Sensory Friendly Toys
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Sensory-friendly toys can be used for various reasons, from mood regulation to skill-building, and benefit many different disabilities. The best thing about sensory play toys is that the user can have fun while meeting these goals!
Sensory Stimulation Toys
Toys can stimulate a range of different senses and often focus on sight, sound and touch. Often, toys will target multiple senses to provide a rounded experience for as many users as possible.
Sight is often targeted in sensory play toys, whether they use colours, lights, reflection or fluorescence. Tactile sensory toys will allow users to feel different textures and shapes or move pieces. Noisy toys can provide a pleasant auditory experience for any mood – some toys are noisy and great for helping a user get excited and stimulating reactions. Some sensory calming toys use sound as a soothing and relaxing feature.
Benefits of Sensory Play Toys
Sensory play toys can have positive resonance and help with various needs, including calming, sensory stimulation and distraction.
If individuals become agitated or upset, sensory calming toys can help them slow down and regulate themselves. In addition, sensory stimulation toys can help distract the individual and give them something positive to focus on, thereby taking their attention away from whatever was upsetting them.
In addition, sensory-friendly toys can help build or improve a range of personal skills, including:
If used in a social setting, sensory play toys can also promote sharing and social interaction skills while allowing the focus to remain on the toy rather than the potential pressure of social expectations.
Uses of Sensory-Friendly Toys
One benefit of sensory play toys is that they are often portable and can be taken with you, meaning the user can benefit from them in public spaces.
They are also great additions to public sectors, not only hospitals and special schools but any public space that could be accessed by someone with disabilities, like football clubs. They are fun and exciting for users, but they can also distract them as public places are more likely to come with stressors and triggers that can’t be avoided.