31 Sensory Toys for Autism and Why They Work (2024)

Looking for the best sensory toys for autism? Whether your child is:

  • Autistic,
  • has ADHD,
  • is experiencing anxiety,
  • or has sensory processing issues,

The use of sensory toys can be a game-changer! I know this because I’ve had years of experience navigating my own children’s sensory sensitivities. When my son was young, his behavior was over-the-top. I’m not exaggerating. Girl, he climbed EVERYTHING.

multiple sensory toys against a white background including bulk pack of juicy fruit gum, a blue and green trampoline, a pile of multi-colored fidgets, a blue exercise ball, blue weighted lappads, blue scooter

Like the time he climbed on top of the minivan. Or that day when he decided to hang from the 2-story foyer.

Oh! And I’ll never forget when he was 2. He climbed to the top shelf of the pantry to get “hidden” candy.

It gets worse. He shoved EVERYTHING in his mouth. He chewed magnet letters, rocks, and batteries. You heard me. He chewed batteries (that were inside a remote control ON TOP of the media cabinet!)

Life was so stressful because no matter what I did, I couldn’t get him to stop. That’s until I learned about his sensory needs. And I discovered some of the best sensory toys for kids just like him!

If you can relate at all, let me assure you. Sensory toys for Autism, ADHD, and anxiety can be a lifesaver.

What is a Sensory Toy?

A sensory toy is a tool that provides a specific sensory experience. Unique forms of sensory input provide benefits that can either calm or activate the brain and body.

Often, we think of young children engaging in exploratory play with different types of toys. They use all of their senses to learn about the world around them.

This is culturally acceptable, and this is a good thing.

However, sensory toys can benefit children of all ages. This includes older children and, often, adults as well.

Autistic kids, children with ADHD, or those with anxiety can use a variety of sensory tools to provide needed sensory input.


31 Best Sensory Toys for Autism

More recently, toymakers have begun creating sensory-specific toys marketed to parents. And this is great news for you!

The following are 31 of the best sensory toys for Autism, ADHD, and anxiety. Want to know the best part? These can be helpful for kids of all ages.

I’ve listed the sensory tools, their functions, and the sensory needs met by each one. Let’s get started.

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a nominal fee from qualifying purchases. Thank you for your support. See my disclosure policy for more info.

1. Indoor Sensory Swing

Sale
TOPARCHERY Indoor Sensory Swing for Teens w/More…
  • 【Hug-Like Sensory Swing】TOPARCHERY sensory swing can give children a sense of calm, like being…

This indoor swing is one of the best sensory toys for Autistic kids. We’ve had multiple indoor swings in our home and this one has been a huge hit.

Both my son and my middle daughter have brains that need vestibular input.

How do I know this?

  • She’s been flipping and doing cartwheels her entire life.
  • My son loves to spin.
  • They’re basically upside down whenever they can be.

Sensory swings like this one provide vestibular seekers with the input that their bodies and brains are seeking.

Benefits of an Indoor Sensory Swing:

  • vestibular input
  • proprioceptive input
  • safe & secure
  • calming
  • cozy

Ceiling Anchor for Swing

dimok Battle Rope Anchor Ceiling Mount for…
  • STRENGTH QUALITY – industrial strength super-strong stainless steel guarantees safe reliable wall…

For extra security, we use this ceiling anchor to hang our sensory swings.


2. Bubble Pop Sensory Toys

Jasilon [Newest Design] [UPGRAED Material] 2PCS…
  • [NEWEST DESIGN—ATTRACTIVE AND PROFESSIONAL] We hire children experts and medical experts to design…

As simple as they seem, fidget sensory toys are effective at relieving distressing symptoms of Autism including distraction, stress, and anxiety. Bubble Pop toys are fidget toys that are compact, and portable, and they your child’s hands busy.

Additionally, kids can “fidget” by popping the bubbles one at a time. And unlike fidget spinners, bubble pop toys are virtually silent which is always a great thing.

Benefits from Bubble Pop Sensory Toys:

  • helps with self-regulation
  • proprioception
  • fine motor skills
  • relieves anxiety
  • quiet and non-distracting
  • made out of silicone
  • variety of styles

3. Body Sock Sensory Sack

Body Sock Sensory Sox – Deep Pressure Stimulation…
  • SIZE LARGE – This sock measures about 26″ W X 54″ H. It can be used by most children ages 8-11. It…

This sensory body sock is an excellent way to give your child proprioceptive input. Many kids with ADHD and anxiety seek that calming proprioceptive input.

Think of the squeezing sensation as a good hug. Again, this can be very calming. We have this sensory body sock in our home.

Benefits of the Body Sock Sensory Sack:

  • Proprioceptive Input
  • Sturdy
  • Calming


4. Chewing Gum

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JUICY FRUIT Original Bubble Gum Chewing Gum Bulk…
  • Contains forty (40) 5-stick packs of JUICY FRUIT Original Bubble Gum

Chewing gum is one of the best sensory toys for autism. Hear me out, please.

Chewing gum is a daily essential for my son. When he was 2 years old, he put EVERYTHING into his mouth. His speech therapist recommended chewing gum to provide the sensory input his brain was craving.

At the same time, chewing gum strengthened the small muscles in his mouth needed for proper speech.

When your kid is stressed out (or shoving batteries in their mouth), try chewing gum. It works!

Benefits of Chewing Gum for Sensory Input:

  • proprioceptive Input
  • oral sensory seekers
  • strengthens small muscles that help with speech and thus, communication skills
  • calming

Dye-Free Chewing Gum Options

Tree Hugger Bubble Gum – Variety Pack – 2 Oz (4…
  • Individual Citrus Berry flavors include: Tangerine, Classic Bubble Gum, Orange, Lemon-Lime & Berry

Here are some excellent dye-free chewing gum options as well. It’s recommended to avoid artificial preservatives and colors in kids with Autism and ADHD.


5. Indoor Trampoline

Clevr 7ft Kids Trampoline with Safety Enclosure…
  • Safe Playtime | The trampoline is built with durable water-proof protective padding to prevent your…

This indoor trampoline has been a lifesaver for our family. My middle daughter craves proprioception and vestibular input. This trampoline provides this and is accessible in any type of weather!

Additionally, think about trampolines as a learning tool. Jumping provides sensory input that can increase attention and focus. Have your child jump on the trampoline while practicing spelling words or as a sensory break during school.

Sensory Benefits of a Trampoline:

  • vestibular input
  • proprioceptive input
  • promotes lymph system health
  • releases pent-up energy

example of proprioceptive input

6. Outdoor Trampoline

ORCC 1200LBS Weight Capacity Trampoline 16 15 14…
  • 【Safety is Top Priority】Experience peace of mind with the ORCC Trampoline, now boasting CPC…

Our trampoline is one of the best investments we’ve made for our family. While some worry about the safety of trampolines, when monitored closely, they’re a good idea for several reasons!

Because my daughter has sensory perception issues, she’s benefited from the deep pressure of intense jumping and crashing on the trampoline.

For this reason, we consider trampolines to be a physical and mental health necessity that serves everyone in our family.

Further, trampolines are a good option for social interaction. This is because jumping doesn’t require the hand-eye coordination that traditional neighborhood ball games do.

Benefits of an Outdoor Trampoline:


7. Sensory Bed Sheets

Sale
Special Supplies Sensory Bed Sheet for Kids…
  • Relaxing Sleep Experience – A smart alternative to restrictive weighted blankets, these sensory…

While you may not consider it a sensory toy, sensory sheets are perfect for Autistic and ADHD kids who struggle with sleep. The provide proprioceptive input through deep pressure. This promotes sleep.

Give them a try!

Benefits of Sensory Sheets:

  • help to soothe a child to sleep
  • proprioception
  • provides a sense of safety
  • smooth texture

8. Wobble Cushion

Inflated Stability Wobble Cushion, Including Free…
  • Balance disc promotes core stability, strengthens muscle tone, improves balance and body posture.

A wobble cushion can help a child sit at a table by allowing them to make small movements without distracting others.

We used this to help at mealtimes.

Sensory Benefits of a Wobble Cushion:

  • vestibular input
  • helps expend extra energy without distraction
  • assists kids to sit in one place (desk, dinner table, etc.)

9. Exercise Ball

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ProBody Pilates Ball Exercise Ball Yoga Ball,…
  • ANTI BURST AND SLIP RESISTANT fitness ball with thick PVC to withstand the most punishing workouts…

An exercise ball is another seating option for the ADHD traits that often make it hard for Autistic children to sit still.

Exercise balls can be used in a variety of ways. And it’s important to remember that, like everyone, Autistic people have different needs and preferences.

One may use an exercise ball to bounce on, while another may want to roll upon it.

Sensory Benefits of an Exercise Ball:


10. Chilean Cactus Rain stick

Africa Heartwood Project – 20″ Chilean Cactus…
  • HANDCRAFTED CHILEAN HERITAGE – Each rainstick is handcrafted by native Chilean artisans from the…

This sensory rain stick can be an excellent sensory toy for Autism. It’s used to provide calming auditory input. The sound it makes is a great way to induce a child’s sense of calm.

However, please note that different auditory inputs can either increase mental energy or calm it. Allow your child to guide sensory choices.

Sensory Benefits of the Chilean Cactus Rain Stick:

  • calming auditory input
  • introduces children to the power of percussion
  • this rain stick benefits the humanitarian efforts of the Africa Heartwood Project

11. Soothing Sounds with the Echo Dot

Echo Dot (5th Gen, 2022 release) Kids | Designed…
  • ECHO DOT KIDS – Our most popular and cutest smart speaker with Alexa, made for kids (not a toy)….

You may not think that the Echo Dot is a sensory tool, but bear with me. As I alluded to earlier, the auditory system is one of the major sensory systems. Using music and specific sounds can be very soothing.

Use Music to Create Calm

I’ve used sound as therapy for my son for a long time because one of his greatest sensory sensitivities is sound.

We use auditory input to help him self-regulate through the soft sound of calming music. One of the best ways to calm my son when he’s dysregulated is for him to listen to music on his Echo Dot.

Sensory Benefits of Echo Dot:

  • excellent self-regulation tool
  • ask “Echo” to play brown noise which can be calming and helps the ADHD brain focus
  • you can create calming playlists for your child to access through Amazon Music


12. Lifetime Geometric Dome Climber

Sale
Lifetime Geometric Dome Climber Play Center…
  • Heavy duty construction; weather and rust-resistant powder-coated steel

As I mentioned previously, my son’s been climbing everything since the moment he could move (think 2-story foyer). While that was scary at times, I’ve learned that climbing is part of his neurological makeup.

Our local Early Intervention assessed him when he was 18 months old. His evaluators noted his strong social skills but recommended a sensory diet that included safe ways to climb.

In the end, I purchased this dome climber for my son a few years ago without regret. And, if you relate to having a toddler who climbs everything, check out this list of indoor climbing toys for toddlers.

Sensory Benefits of Dome Climber:

  • Proprioceptive input (from climbing)
  • Vestibular input (from hanging upside down)
  • Outdoor time in nature

13. Indoor Play Gym

Avenlur Magnolia Indoor Playground 7-in-1 Jungle…
  • INTRODUCING AVENLUR’S MAGNOLIA 7-IN-1 INDOOR WOODEN JUNGLE GYM PLAYGROUND – Get ready for endless…

The developmental benefits of an indoor play gym include developing:

  • a child’s sense of body awareness,
  • emotional skills,
  • and language development.

An indoor play gym is perfect for larger at-home sensory rooms. Additionally, strengthened motor coordination will come in handy during social situations on the playground.

Benefits of an Indoor Play Gym:

  • creative and imaginative play
  • proprioceptive input from climbing
  • vestibular from swinging and hanging upside down
  • exercise
  • increased muscle building
  • coordination
  • protected from the elements
  • can be accessed at any time if you have the space for it

14. Spiderweb Tree Swing

SUPER DEAL 40” Spider Web Tree Swing Round Net…
  • ★ Whether you prefer to sit or stand, our delightfully fun tree swing can support up to 660 pounds…

We bought this tree swing for our new house about a year ago. It’s been a fantastic addition to our outdoor play area.

Sensory Benefits of Tree Swing:

  • Vestibular Input
  • Nature
  • Calming
  • Can hold two kids at a time
  • Promotes release of oxytocin when pushed by a loved-one

15. Outdoor Ninja Course

B BRANTON Ninja Obstacle Course for Kids – 2 X…
  • ✔ 11 ESSENTIAL ACCESSORIES … Our obstacle course for kids has accessories such as 50 foot…

Kids can have so much fun strengthening their gross motor skills on this Ninja Course. There are different options for setup because it includes a 50-foot slackline, swings, monkey bars, and more.

Sensory Benefits of Ninja Course:

  • proprioceptive input
  • vestibular Input
  • exercise
  • nature
  • affordable
  • easy to install
  • gross motor coordination

16. Kinetic Sand

Kinetic Sand, Folding Sand Box with 2lbs of…
  • THE ONE AND ONLY KINETIC SAND: Kinetic Sand is the original, magical, moldable, squeezable play…

Kinetic Sand is an excellent sensory toy for autism depending on a child’s sensory needs.

Sensory Benefits of Kinetic Sand:

  • soothing
  • tactile input
  • squeezing provides proprioceptive input
  • creative play

17. Play-Doh

Play-Doh Modeling Compound 10-Pack Case of Colors,…
  • 10 cans of creative fun – kids can get creative with just the right colors They need in this…

Long before it was trendy, Play-Doh‘s been creating fun sensory play experiences for decades. Younger children love the bright colors and different textures of Play-Doh.

If your kiddo is touching anything and everything, shove some Play-Doh into your child’s hands to meet that sensory need.

Sensory Benefits of Play-Doh

  • creative play
  • proprioceptive input
  • strengthens fine motor skills

Play-Doh Learning Accessories

To increase the benefits of Play-Doh, try these alphabet letter stamps as a fun way to strengthen phonological awareness and language development.

Sale
Play-Doh Fundamentals Letters with 26 Letter…
  • Includes 26 letter stampers cutters to have fun with and practice ABC’s, letters and colors!

18. Silly Putty

Silly Putty is a classic toy that packs a mighty punch in a small package. This sensory toy is perfect for Autistic and ADHD kids who are asked to sit still and listen.

It’s a good choice because it can have a therapeutic effect. Placing excess energy onto silly putty allows kids to focus on the teacher, for example.

Sensory Benefits of Silly Putty


19. Sensory Fidget Tubes

Sale
hand2mind Sensory Fidget Tubes, Calming Toys for…
  • SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING ACTIVITIES: Teach kids to sooth themselves with hands-on calming toys for…

Visual toys are perfect for calming the ADHD and anxiety symptoms associated with autism. Sensory Fidget Tubes provide calming visual input.

Further, because many children struggle with bright lights, pair these with soothing music in a darkened room. That’s a recipe for calm.

Sensory Benefits of Fidget Tubes

  • visually calming
  • multi-pack with a variety of visual stimuli
  • calming
  • can reduce anxiety

Homeschooling An ADHD Brain?

Grab FREE ADHD Homeschool Teaching Tips Cheat Sheets!

20. Weighted Lap Pads

weighted lap pad sensory tool

A weighted lap pad is an option for the car, church, or while doing schoolwork. I particularly like this one from Fun and Function because it is easily cleaned by wiping it down.

Benefits of Weighted Lap Pads

  • calming
  • proprioceptive input
  • can help with focus
  • compact and portable

21. Weighted Blanket

Sale
Cottonblue Weighted Blanket 15 lbs Queen Size,…
  • Live in the Cloud: Feel what it is like to live in the cloud thanks to Cottonblue Sherpa fleece…

Weighted blankets are essential sensory toys in our ADHD home. While my son resists the weighted blanket, I LOVE them! Weighted blankets are extremely calming and help the ADHD brain settle down into sleep.

If your ADHD or autistic child has trouble sleeping or calming themselves, try a weighted blanket.

Sensory Benefits of Weighted Blankets

  • Proprioceptive input
  • calming
  • provides a sense of safety

Lighter Weighted Blankets for Smaller Kids

Sivio Weighted Blanket for Kids 10lbs 41×60 Inches…
  • 🚗PREMIUM MATERIAL: The Sivio weighted blanket is made of 100% breathable natural cotton, which…

Weighted blankets come in several weight levels. The weight you choose will depend on your child’s stature and their need for deep pressure.

For reference, I weigh about 115 pounds and use a 15-pound weighted blanket. Truthfully, I could easily enjoy a heavier one.

Depending on your child’s sensory issues, you may want to start with a 10-pound blanket. Regardless, there are lots of options available.


22. Noise Canceling Headphones

Noise Cancelling Headphones

When my kids were little, my middle daughter used to get so frustrated with my oldest. My oldest daughter had a propensity for singing CONSTANTLY.

I’d get frustrated with my middle for complaining. Ultimately, I felt stuck in the middle. It wasn’t until I learned about the sensory systems that I realized that she had a sensory sensitivity to sound.

Noise-canceling headphones were the trick. They are an effective way to reduce auditory sensory overload. These headphones from Fun and Function are a great choice!

Benefits of Noise-Canceling Headphones

  • Calming
  • Block out extra noise
  • Allows anxious children to have experiences they may not normally be able to enjoy

23. Tummy Scooters

blue Sensory Scooter

Scooters and bicycles are an excellent form of vestibular input. Using a tummy scooter like this allows kids to enjoy indoor sensory support. Being lower to the ground helps children with gravitational insecurity (or vestibular hypersensitivity). Another way to work on vestibular insecurity is by using a balance board for kids.

Sensory Benefits of a Soft Tummy Scooter

  • vestibular input
  • proprioceptive input when lying prostrate on the belly
  • helps children with gravitational insecurity grow in confidence
  • releases feel-good chemicals
  • improves balance

24. Swing and Play Set

Creative Playthings Spring Hill Wooden Swing Set…
  • One 15 x 14 x 11 ft Creative Playthings Playtime Series Spring Hill Wooden Swing Set, safe, sturdy…

You’d be shocked at how sensory-friendly a swing set is. Many of us grew up using them without realizing the benefits to our brains and body. Swings, monkey bars, and slides (going up and down) are vital sensory tools for kids.

Benefits of Swing and Play Sets

  • Swinging and hanging provide high levels of vestibular input
  • Proprioceptive input when climbing
  • builds muscles and joints
  • creates opportunities for social engagement
  • strengthens motor coordination

Sensory Toys for Autism: Teaching Tip

Multisensory learning isn’t only for the classroom. Use the swing set for learning. While your child is swinging:

  • Practice spelling words
  • Read a book aloud to your child
    • Discuss the characters, setting, and plot, for example
  • Use flashcards and practice math facts

25. Sensory Ball Chair

blue sensory ball chair

A sensory ball chair is a great way to help your ADHD child sit at the table for dinner or schoolwork. The ball chair allows kids to make tiny gross motor movements which allows them to better focus.

Benefits of a Sensory Ball Chair

  • Tiny movements provide proprioceptive and vestibular input
  • Calming
  • Helps with focus and attention

26. Weighted Stuffed Animal

sensory weighted sloth stuffed animal

This weighted sloth stuffed animal is a high-quality sensory toy and is perfect for the kid who loves stuffed animals and plushies!

This stuffed sloth weighs 4 pounds and is meant to be worn as a backpack. The deep pressure of this weighted stuffed sensory toy will create calm for that anxious Autistic child.

Sensory Benefits of a Weighted Stuffed Sloth

  • deep pressure
  • heavy work
  • calming
  • provides a sense of safety
  • especially perfect for animal-loving kids

Other Weighted Stuffed Animal Options

If your child is not a sloth fan, Fun and Function also has:


27. Chewy Pencil Sleeve

sensory chewy for pencils

Some of the best sensory products out there are chew toys for kids. This pencil chewy is genius. My son chews his pencils constantly. This pencil chew topper is a great sensory toy that saves pencils!

Benefits of the Sensory Chewy Pencil Sleeve

  • offers oral sensory input
  • saves pencils
  • releases anxiety

28. Squishy Toys for Your Child’s Hands

Sale
80PCS Mochi Squishy Toys Kids Party Favors Kawaii…
  • 🤩More Packs More Fun – A huge number of 80 mochi squishy toys for kids, adds exclusive mini…

Another great sensory toy for autism is squishy toys. This set of Squishy Toys is perfect for the whole neurodivergent family. There’s plenty to go around.

Benefits of the Squishy Toys

  • Easy to shove in your child’s hands to keep extra energy at bay
  • Provides calming proprioceptive input
  • Portable
  • Bulk pack eliminates the chance of fighting over the squishies

29. Sensory Mats

blue, brown, green, red, yellow, and white sensory mats against white background

These sensory mats from Fun & Function provide children with a variety of tactile inputs. If you notice your child seeks out a variety of textures, try these.

Had I known about these earlier, I would’ve purchased these for my son. I used to describe him as “the child who’d rather walk on broken glass than wear shoes.”

Benefits of Sensory Mats

  • Great for kids who don’t like to wear shoes
  • Encourages exploratory play
  • Can be calming

30. Mini-Trampoline

Children benefit from the sensory input provided when jumping on a trampoline. If you don’t have the space for a larger one, try a sturdy fitness rebounder for adults or a foldable trampoline designed for multiple children.

ANCHEER Foldable Trampoline, Mini Rebounder…
  • Larger/Wider Kids Trampoline: The ANCHEER…
BCAN 40″ Foldable Mini Trampoline, Fitness…
  • 【Portable Trampoline】With unique frame construct, folded size less to 1/4! Easy to storage your…

Benefits of a Mini-Trampoline

  • Proprioceptive Input
  • Vestibular Input
  • Burn off extra energy
  • Body awareness for gross motor development
  • Small size for limited spaces

31. Gentle Monster Stepping Stones

Children who struggle with body awareness including vestibular sensitivities can benefit from Gentle Monster Stepping Stones. Varying the height and depth of your child’s walking platform strengthens visual motor skills, proprioceptive awareness, and vestibular awareness.

Sale
Gentle Monster Stepping Stones for Kids, Set of 11…
  • 【ENDLESS WAYS TO PLAY & 11-PIECE SET】: ❤ These kid stepping stones come in various sizes and…
  • 【DEVELOP BALANCE & COORDINATION】: ❤ With varying steepness, these stepping stones help kids…
  • 【NON-SLIP BOTTOM & SAFE DESIGN】: ❤ Designed with rubber footings to prevent slippage, our…
  • 【PREMIUM MATERIAL & EASY TO STORE】 : ❤ Each Stepping Stone is expertly crafted of durable…
  • 【PERFECT GIFTS FOR FAMILY & KIDS】: ❤ The Balance Stone Kit is the perfect gift for family and…

Benefits of Gentle Monster Stepping Stones for Kids:

  • Proprioceptive Awareness
  • Vestibular Input
  • Body awareness for gross motor development
  • Can be used indoors or outdoors

What are the 8 Sensory Systems?

Ok. We’ve gone through the list of the best sensory toys for Autism, ADHD, and anxiety.

So now, let’s talk about the 8 sensory systems. Understanding them will help you choose the best for your child’s unique needs. There are 5 senses you learned about when you were in school.

  • sight (visual)
  • touch (tactile)
  • hear (auditory)
  • smell (olfactory)
  • taste

Today we know about 3 other sensory systems that impact our daily lives. Those are:

  • proprioception
  • vestibular
  • interoception

What is proprioception?

Proprioception has to do with the input we receive in our joints and muscles that relate to body positioning.

(Proprioception Example: Close your eyes. Bend your arm. The sensation that tells your brain that your arm is bent has to do with proprioception.)

What is vestibular?

Vestibular input results from a change in the position or direction of the head.

(Vestibular Example: That sensation you feel when you fall from the top of a roller coaster or flip upside down.)

What is interoception?

The ability to know how you physically feel.

(Interoception Example: Am I cold? Hot? Am I hungry?)

The 8 sensory systems are the mediums by which the brain receives and processes information. This is how people “learn”.

Additionally, different types of sensory input release feel-good chemicals to the brain and body. These chemicals can calm or wake the body.

Things to Consider When Buying Sensory Toys

If your child has an occupational therapist, I’m sure you’ve been informed of your child’s sensory needs. If you have any questions regarding which sensory toys to choose for your child, ask your OT.

Another option is to take a look at your child’s most recent Occupational Therapy Evaluation. Look at any comments about Sensory Processing and Sensory Integration.

Occupational Therapy Evaluation

Let’s take a look at the following occupational therapy evaluation as an example.

example pediatric occupational therapy evaluation

An evaluation can help determine which sensory toys for autism are best for your child’s needs. In the above eval,

  1. This child demonstrates both an over-response and an under-response to tactile (touch) input.
  2. The child also shows an over-response to auditory stimuli.

Using this evaluation, I’d take its data and combine it with what I know of this particular child. That would guide my decision.

Sensory Toys for Autism Example Purchases

Based on the OT evaluation and my first-hand observations of my child’s needs, I might purchase the following:

This is just an example. You will need to purchase based on your child’s needs. I own most of these sensory toys because I have 5 people living in my home. We’re a family with great awareness of our sensory needs.

What if My Child is NOT in Occupational Therapy?

If your child is NOT in occupational therapy and you don’t have a formal evaluation for your Autistic or ADHD child, don’t panic. Observe your child.

  • Does she do cartwheels all the time? (vestibular seeking behavior)
  • Is he constantly climbing? (proprioception)
  • Does she put everything in her mouth? (oral sensory seeking behavior)
  • Hands over his ears when in stressful situations? (auditory sensory sensitivity)

Do your best. Life is often trial and error. And if you’d like more support, I dive deep into the sensory systems and behavior in this training session:

The Unregulated Child: Self-Regulation and the Sensory Systems in Your Home and Homeschool.

Recap: Best Sensory Toys for Autism

The prevalence of Autism, ADHD, Anxiety, and sensory processing disorder has led to a greater understanding of sensory needs.

This has fueled the creation of some of the best toys to help children get the sensory information that they need.

And that’s a GOOD thing for a lot of kids AND parents. Did I miss any of your favorite sensory toys for Autism, ADHD, and anxiety?

Final Note on Language

One last thing. You may have noticed that I don’t use terms like Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

Over the years, I’ve learned how dangerous it is to pathologize people based on neurodiversity.

Language is powerful and I choose to use language that affirms the value of every child. Thanks for understanding!

caucasian woman wearing black v-neck long-sleeved shirt sitting crossed legged with a black and white havanese dog in her lap

About the Author:

Lindsay is a trauma-informed educator with a Master’s Degree in Teaching. Her mission is to support moms to equip neurodivergent kids (ADHD, Autism, Dyslexia, Anxiety) to thrive as exactly who they’ve been created to be. Wait until you hear the story that led to it all…

Homeschooling the Dysregulated Child: Self-Regulation, sensory systems in your home and homeschool!

self-regulation in homeschool animated angry kids

Homeschooling An ADHD Brain?

Grab FREE ADHD Homeschool Teaching Tips Cheat Sheets!

5 thoughts on “31 Sensory Toys for Autism and Why They Work (2024)”

  1. I have to admit I am always amazed that the weighted items (blankets, sheets, plushes, etc.) work so well for some children. Personally, it stresses me out to have heavy things pressing on me. It is wonderful that are so many options to help everyone based upon their specific needs.

    Reply

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