Sensory input is so important for kids. We learn best when all senses are engaged and kids who are able to engage in sensory play can receive calming effects almost immediately. For sensory seekers, it can feel nearly impossible to keep up with their demands (just yesterday, my daughter dumped an entire bottle of glitter on the floor because it looked fun to draw in). But, there are some tools and products to have on hand, that can really help sensory seekers learn and thrive.
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Best Gifts for Sensory Seekers
‘Sensory seekers‘ is a term that has become to encompass a large umbrella of children who are constantly craving sensory input. While often used under diagnoses of Sensory Processing Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder, or even ADHD, sensory seekers can also be children without any of these (or other) diagnoses but whom are constantly looking to touch, interact, and experience their environment.
In my opinion, all kids are sensory seekers to some extent, whether through touch, taste, sound etc., and in providing children with rich sensory experiences, we are really helping them develop and learn.
We recently got to check out some Dough Dots, and they have quickly become our new favorite play dough to buy. My kids love that they look like a surprise or a blind bag, and the round containers are so much easier for my kids to open than traditional play dough containers. You can see them in action over on our Sensory Play Instagram account! (check out the highlighted Instastory titled, Dough Dots)
Sensory Tables and Trays
Having a table or a tray where kids can engage in sensory play is a really excellent way to keep some of the mess contained, and for kids to have a space where this kind of exploration is ok. Finding one that can be used indoors or out really helps keep sensory play accessible!
Caterpillar Play Box
This adorable caterpillar will inspire imaginative play all day. With durable construction, there are endless opportunities for creative sensory play including sand, water, building blocks and more. And, when playtime is over, the toy box lid preserves the play so that it can be used over and over again.
We like to keep a seasonal sensory play box outside like this throughout the year, switching from construction zones, to sand play, to water play, and then even for mud and pretend critters!
In & Out Activity Table
More than a sand and water table, the In & Out Activity Table is multipurpose and can also be used for arts and crafts or snack-time fun. It’s incredibly versatile and is great for taking sensory play indoors, but doubles as a table for inside which can be used for snacks and other indoor activities.
Sensory Bin Fillers
A sensory table is a great gift, and to go with it, here are some awesome fillers that many sensory seekers just love.
Water Beads Rainbow MixLearning Resources Handy ScoopersUnder The Sea Plastic Sea Life CreaturesPlayfoamPlastic Mini AnimalsSilly Sensory SetKinetic SandPlay-DohFloof Modeling ClaySensory Sand Kit – Eco Friendly
These toys are excellent for all types of sensory input including visual, tactile, proprioceptive and vestibular.
Sensory Seekers will love these!
We know that providing sensory seekers with the opportunity to engage with many of these materials can impact behavior and overall affect. My own sensory seeker loves sensory bins and anything weighted and with movement. The chewlery and a bean bag have been among the most loved items in my own house, and are must-haves in our calm down corner!
I hope your sensory seeker enjoys these gifts as much as mine do!
*I was paid and received some of the items in this list to include them in this gift guide. The opinions expressed are my own.