15 Best Sensory Toys For Toddlers In 2020

Best Sensory Toys For Toddlers

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Sensory toys help stimulate the five senses, namely taste, touch, smell, sight, and hearing. These toys are designed in different shapes, textures, colors, and sizes that engage a child’s attention both physically and cognitively. Also, sensory-stimulation toys play a key role in the development of children with special needs such as autism, cerebral palsy, developmental delays, or intellectual disabilities (1).

Here, we give you a list of the best sensory toys for toddlers that would engage at least one or more of their senses.

15 Best Sensory Toys For Toddlers

1. Learning Resources Spike The Fine Motor Hedgehog

Learning Resources Spike The Fine Motor Hedgehog

If you do not want to get home bulky toys, you may consider this hedgehog toy. The colorful peg-shaped pieces fit the back of the toy when not in use, while the quills are soft and easy to hold for a toddler or a preschooler. The set includes a two-piece hedgehog and 12 quills with an activity guide.

Pros

  • Stimulates color recognition, curing and sorting skills
  • Lightweight and convenient to hold
  • Hones fine motor skills
  • Plastic construction is durable
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Baby’s fingers may be stuck in the holes
  • Spikes may not fix into the holes smoothly

2. Crayola Musical Doodle Board

Crayola Musical Doodle Board

Your little one might enjoy this musical doodle board that plays around six songs. It has a gel-based surface board to doodle on, which makes it one of the best sensory toys for toddlers. It runs on three AA batteries and is suitable for children aged two to ten years.

Pros

  • Improves hand-eye coordination
  • Musicals develop the baby’s auditory system
  • Lights stimulate visual perception
  • Mess-free and portable
  • Reusable coloring tablet

Cons

  • Gel has to be spread manually after each drawing
  • Gel in some areas may become thick and clumpy
  • Does not include batteries

3. Fisher-Price My First Fidget Cube

Fisher-Price My First Fidget Cube

The Fisher-Price cube is loaded with unique activities on all six sides. It has metal and rubber buttons, a rubber joystick, a toggle switch, spinning rollers, fingerprint scanner, and a notch. All of these with different colors, textures, and sounds stimulate the baby’s senses.

Pros

  • Teaches cause and effect
  • Easy to grasp
  • Improves dexterity
  • Develops tactile and auditory senses
  • Easy to clean and compact

Cons

  • Too big for small babies
  • May not be as durable

4. MAGIFIRE Tummy Time Baby Water Mat

MAGIFIRE Tummy Time Baby Water Mat

Your baby would be delighted with this tummy-time toy as it has a fascinating sea graph and floating toys in the water. They could have fun catching the floating toys and may learn to support their weight, with time. The mat is made of 100% BPA-free and non-toxic PVC materials.

Pros

  • Leakproof and durable
  • Strengthens arm muscles and legs, preparing the baby to crawl
  • Environmentally friendly mat
  • Enhances hand-eye coordination
  • Easy to use and pack

Cons

  • Requires high maintenance to keep it away from mold or mildew
  • Gives strange PVC odor

5. Manhattan Toy Tree Top Adventure Activity Center

Manhattan Toy Tree Top Adventure Activity Center

The Manhattan treetop adventure toy is fully packed with exciting features. It comes with four quadrants having a variety of activities – six bead runs with colorful wooden beads, spring flower, six tracks of animal-themed gliders, and more.

Pros

  • Strengthens coordination skills and helps flex the hands as they move the animal gliders
  • Boosts creativity
  • Develops communication skills
  • Promotes curiosity and adventure
  • Non-toxic and water-based finish

Cons

  • Assembling may be difficult
  • Base may keep wobbling

6. Gleeporte Colorful Counting Bears with Coordinated Sorting Cups

Gleeporte Colorful Counting Bears with Coordinated Sorting Cups

The Gleeporte toy contains 60 bears of six different colors. It also includes six stacking cups to help your little one sort the bears. They help pre-K and kindergarteners learn abstract mathematical concepts such as addition, subtraction, and also multiplication.

Pros

  • Aids in visual stimulation
  • Develops coordination skills
  • Improves hand-eye coordination
  • High quality and non-toxic

Cons

  • Some bears may have sharp edges and could be a choking hazard

7. BettRoom Geometric Board Blocks Stack Sort

BettRoom Geometric

Here is another sensory development toy for toddlers that keeps your little one busy in sorting and piling the shapes and colors. Each shape contains a specific number of holes and place on the board. Small hands could easily grasp the stacking blocks, and playing with them could prepare the baby’s mind for future learning.

Pros

  • Teaches shapes, colors, and sizes
  • Improves vision
  • Promotes creativity
  • Heightens hand-eye coordination skills
  • BPA-free, phthalate-free, and non-toxic

Cons

  • Wooden pegs are not sturdy and may fall off
  • Emits an unpleasant smell

8. Educational Insights Shapes Beanbags

Educational Insights Shapes Beanbags

These beanbags for babies come in eight different colors and shapes, including a triangle, square, pentagon, hexagon, rectangle, circle, star, and oval. Each bag has the name of their shape embroidered on it, and measures around four to five inches in size, perfect for tiny hands. It comes with a ‘tip sheet’ packed with fun activities, which would make learning shapes an exciting thing.

Pros

  • Teaches shapes and colors
  • Develops balance and hand-eye coordination
  • Handy drawstring bag for storage
  • Keeps the child entertained and engaged
  • Lightweight and easy to clean

Cons

  • Fewer beans, and may get punctured easily
  • Ripped seams may cause a choking hazard

9. Infantino Press & Stay Sensory Blocks

Infantino Press & Stay Sensory Blocks

With this Infantin block set, your baby can have a simple and nice selection of blocks in different contrasting colors. The set contains 24 blocks measuring two inches each. Your baby would love to pull apart and put them together from any angle. They can be stacked one above the other or built sideways.

Pros

  • Encourages imagination
  • Ideal blocks to develop early engineering skills
  • Great interlocking pattern
  • Plastic construction, and easy to clean
  • Suitable for babies above six months of age

Cons

  • Restricted pyramid shapes
  • Hard with sharp corners
  • May give an unpleasant odor

10. TOP BRIGHT Magnetic Toddler Toy Game Set

TOP BRIGHT Magnetic Toddler Toy Game Set

How about bringing nature to your home? This magnetic toy set would help you teach your baby about nature, insects, and birds. It is constructed with hardwood and has a mom bird, a younger bird, and cute caterpillars. Play with your child and pretend to feed the young bird while teaching them how to take care of nature and animals around us.

Pros

  • Improves communication skills
  • Feeding the birds could instill compassion and a sense of responsibility
  • Develops fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination
  • Smooth paint finish and rounded edges
  • Build color-recognition skills
  • Prepares their minds for future learning

Cons

  • Paint may wear off
  • Worms may get stuck in the trunk sometimes
  • Magnet may not be that strong

11. Kenley Toddler Busy Board

Kenley Toddler Busy Board

The Montessori sensory board will help your child practice the necessary skills of getting up, dressing, and going outdoors. Created with soft welt wool, it features nine different ties, buttons, and buckles to teach them to put on a shirt, pants, coat, and shoes. It could be one of the best sensory toys for toddlers, covering broad areas of development.

Pros

  • Teaches essential dressing skills
  • Promotes hands-on learning and fine motor skills
  • Buttons and buckles designed with varying difficulty levels
  • Challenging and soothing activity
  • Removable carry strap suitable for travel

Cons

  • Some parts may be a choking hazard
  • Puzzles may seem too close to one another

12. Toy Chest Nyc Colorful Shape Cube Sorting Puzzle

Colorful Shape Cube

This sorting puzzle has spaces to sort and fix the right shapes in them. The 12 different, brightly colored shapes have unique spaces on the cube. This allows your child to learn how to sort, which helps improve their coordination skills. Fixing the right shape in the slot will also strengthen their muscles.

Pros

  • Develops problem-solving skills
  • Boosts creativity and imagination
  • Teaches colors and shapes
  • High-quality BPA material stained with water-based and non-toxic paint
  • Sturdy and durable blocks with smooth edges

Cons

  • Paint may chip off with time
  • Lid slides off easily

13. Happkid Toddler Bath Toy

Happkid Toddler Bath Toy

Keep your toddler engaged and excited during bath time with this Happkid bath toy. It comes with a little brush and water cup with spinning gear, water jet, and a cute water faucet. Pour water into the yellow cup and let the baby turn on the tap for flowing water or let them press the bright orange button to activate the water jet. When your baby pours water into the cup, their hand-eye coordination also improves.

Pros

  • Hones fine motor skills
  • Suitable for children aged from one year to three years
  • Easy to assemble and store
  • Non-toxic, soft rubber materials

Cons

  • Rubber suction has mixed reviews
  • Cup is too small to hold enough water

14. iPlay, iLearn Baby Music Activity Cube

iLearn Baby Music Activity Cube

Add some musical fun to your child’s playtime with this iPlay iLearn music learning cube that has a jazz drum, a guitar, and a trumpet. It has three buttons to change and control the songs, along with volume and power control buttons. There is a microphone set too, for your child to perform karaoke.

Pros

  • Develops auditory skills
  • Keeps them engaged and entertained
  • Promotes interaction and exercising of hands and fingers
  • Develops fine motor skills
  • Portable headset encourages active play on-the-go
  • Soft volume settings for gentle baby ears

Cons

  • Volume may get low at times

15. morwant Bristle Interlocking Building Blocks

morwant Bristle Interlocking Building Blocks

morwant 3D building blocks feature soft rubbery bristles that easily allow children to interlock the pieces together at different angles. The set contains 126 pieces that offer endless possibilities to your little one’s imagination and creativity. It also has 16 rolling wheels to add motion to the built objects.

Pros

  • Develops the baby’s muscles
  • Improves hand-eye coordination
  • Teaches colors and shapes
  • Improves memory, attention, and concentration
  • Easy for small hands
  • Free from BPA and phthalates, and safe to keep in the mouth
  • Comes in a portable bag that is easy-to-store

Cons

  • Pieces are flimsy or fragile
  • Building may fall apart easily

How To Choose The Right Sensory Toys For Children?

To invest in the best sensory toy for your child, you should consider the following criteria.

  • Color: Consider bright and vibrant toys with contrasting patterns and colors that are visually appealing to the child and catch their attention.
  • Texture: Find toys that have raised or soft textures which the small hands and fingers can feel. It will be fun for the baby to touch and discover different textures.
  • Sound: Toys that make noise or play music are ideal. Look for ones that play a sound when buttons are pressed, or toys are squeezed.
  • Safety: Choose toys made of high-quality wood, fabric, or plastic that is free from BPA, phthalates, lead, or PVC. There should be no rough edges, loose screws, or small parts that may become a choking hazard.
  • Toys by age: Invest in toys that grow with the child and keep transforming with your child’s growing age, so that they can use them for a really long time.

Sensory toys stimulate and engage one or more of your child’s senses and aid in their overall development while they entertain them. Join your child when they play with these toys and teach them to use their creativity and have fun with their imagination. If you check the tips and go back to the list, we are sure you will find the best sensory toy that suits your baby’s age and needs.

References:

1. Toy Tips: Ideas and Options for Children with Special Needs; Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute
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