32 Best Sensory Toys for Kids, as Recommended by Educators


1. Dual Rattle and Teether

A multi-colored rattle has many rubbery tubes intertwined (sensory toys)

We love this option for the 12-month and under crowd since it acts as both a rattle and a teether. Offer this toy to your infant around the 4-month mark because most babies begin to learn to grasp around that time.

Buy it: Winkel Rattle and Teether at Amazon

2. Sensory Activity Table

A table is divided in two. An orange table is filled with sand and the blue side is filled with water (sensory toys)

Sand and water tables have been a staple in daycare centers for decades because they open the door for imaginative play while creating the ultimate sensory experience.

Buy it: Sensory Activity Table at Amazon

3. Sensory Balls

A baby sits playing with a red ball. Other balls in different colors and shapes are lined up in front of her.

Babies and toddlers will certainly love exploring the different textures and colors these balls offer.

Buy it: Sensory Balls at Amazon

4. Water Mat

A smiling baby lays on an inflatable mat with sea life designs on it (sensory toys)

Tummy time is vital to a baby’s development and helps to prevent flat spots, so we are in favor of anything that helps make that essential time more appealing. Unlike most tummy-time mats, this one uses water to create more of an interactive experience for little ones.

Buy it: Tummy Time Water Mat at Amazon

5. Light Bar

A half moon shaped toys has different colored buttons on it (sensory toys)

This light bar by Baby Einstein encourages color recognition while also teaching animal sounds. While the animal, xylophone, and music features alone would be enough to put this toy on our list, you can also program it for English, French, or Spanish!

Buy it: Baby Einstein Glow and Discover Light Bar at Amazon

6. Crinkle Book

A soft cover book says Peek-a-Boo Forest and has a 3-D owl on it.

Crinkle books are the perfect sensory toy for infants since they engage so many senses at one time.

Buy it: Lamaze Peek-a-Boo Forest Book at Amazon

7. Activity Cube

A wooden cube has all kinds of gadgets and toys attached to it (sensory toys)

While electronic or battery-operated toys have their place, we love that this cube requires only the imagination of the toddler using it. Kids will love moving the beads around, then changing the hands on the cute clockface.

Buy it: Toyventive Wooden Activity Cube at Amazon

8. Suction Toy Construction Set

A jar contains rubbery looking pieces with suction cup bottoms in different shapes.

The only downside to this fun building toy is that you may need to buy more than one since your students may fight over it. The pieces suction to one another and would even make for a fun bath-time toy at home.

Buy it: Froogly 50-Piece Suction Toy Set at Amazon

9. Bristle Building Blocks

Primary colored blocks have bristle like texture (sensory toys)

These are the perfect building blocks for preschool-age children who have more dexterity than toddlers but who will still benefit from a toy that is easy to connect as well as pull apart.

Buy it: Picasso Tiles Bristle Shape Building Blocks at Amazon

10. Sensory Letters

Capital letters are filled with gel like beads.

These letters provide a stress-relieving sensory experience while also teaching young students letter recognition. That’s a win in our book!

Buy it: Lesong Alphabet Letters at Amazon

11. Outer Space Sensory Bin

A clear bin has cute plastic outer space themed toys in it.

Space-loving littles will undoubtedly be drawn to this outer space–themed sensory bin. Give your students a few options for tools, then watch as they dig through and pull out their prizes.

Buy it: Creativity for Kids Sensory Bin at Amazon

12. Montessori Busy Board

A small child plays with a wooden board that has different tasks like a shoelace to tie (sensory toys)

Busy boards allow for self-discovery while teaching real-life skills like snapping buckles or tying shoelaces.

Buy it: deMoca Busy Board at Amazon

13. Sit ’n Spin

A little girl sits on green base with her legs wrapped around a pole and her hands on a red steering wheel.

You probably remember from your own childhood that nothing was more fun than sitting on one of these and going for a whirl. We love that they are self-propelled and therefore encourage coordination.

Buy it: Playskool Sit ’n Spin at Amazon

14. Mini Trampoline

A little girl is seen jumping on a small trampoline while holding onto an attached handlebar.

Jumping on a trampoline can enhance children’s muscle development while providing a fun outlet for little bodies that have been sitting still too long. Jumping sends information to the brain about spatial awareness as well as balance and coordination.

Buy it: Little Tikes 3-foot Trampoline at Amazon

15. Wiggle Seat

A little boy sits writing on a table while sitting on an inflatable blue cushion.

Sitting still can be challenging for anyone but especially for kids who may have ADHD or other challenges. These affordable cushions can be a game changer both in the classroom and at home.

Buy it: Inflatable Wobble Seat at Amazon

16. Liquid Motion Bubbler Timer

Three children stand behind bubble timers in red, green, and blue. They are similar to lava lamps.

These are perfect for when a student needs a quiet moment to calm down.

Buy it: 3-Pack Liquid Motion Bubbler Timer at Amazon

17. Stretch Toys

A hand is holding long skinny stretchy tubes in various colors (sensory toys)

Fidget toys are all the rage and for good reason since they can help calm our nerves and settle us when we are feeling overstimulated. We love that these stretchy bands are both affordable and versatile.

Buy it: Multi-Pack Fidget Stretch Toys at Amazon

18. Screwdriver Busy Board

A young child is shown screwing in a screw into a wooden board.

Let your little ones feel like Bob the Builder while also working on hand-eye coordination!

Buy it: Panda Brothers Montessori Screwdriver Board Set at Amazon

19. Magna-Tiles

Small magnetic squares in rainbow colors have been attached to form a human shape.

Although they can be pricey, these are a favorite toy of any kid that is lucky enough to own them. The creative possibilities are endless and they are just challenging enough for elementary-age students.

Buy it: Magna-Tiles 100-Piece-Set at Amazon

20. Kinetic Sand

A little boy holds up handfuls of pink kinetic sand.

Since kids are always drawn to sand whether it be at the beach or in their own sandbox, why not stock up on some kinetic sand for your classroom. It’s like regular sand but even better since it has a unique texture and comes in a variety of colors.

Buy it: Kinetic Sand at Amazon

21. Wikki Stix

Small thin flexible strips in different colors are bent into designs. (sensory toys)

We love Wikki Stix because they can be used for both learning and play. While learning letter recognition and formation can be tedious, having students practice forming letters with these can add a bit of fun into the mix.

Buy it: Wikki Stix at Amazon

22. Sensory Stress Balls

Two small kids are playing with sensory balls that have gel beads inside them and are squishy.

Let’s be honest, we all need something to squeeze when we are feeling frustrated or overwhelmed. These balls will be perfect for your students, but don’t forget about your teacher friends too!

Buy it: 12-Pack Sensory Stress Balls at Amazon

23. Cuddle Ball

A blue pillow is twisted into a knot shape (sensory toys)

This plush pillow would make a great addition to a calm-down corner since it can be hugged or squeezed for a calming effect. You may want to get an extra one for home too since they make for a cute decoration as well!

Buy it: Plush Knot Ball Pillow at Amazon

24. Pod Swing

A blue pod style swing hangs in a classroom/playroom (sensory toys)

What kid wouldn’t feel safe and secure in this adorable pod swing? Hang one from a hook in the ceiling or get a separate swing stand for it.

Buy it: Outree Kids Pod Swing Seat at Amazon

25. Water Beads

A hand is shown holding water beads which are small gel-like balls.

These start as a science experiment, since they grow slowly over time with the addition of water, and they end as a unique sensory experience.

Buy it: 300-Piece Water Bead Set

26. Brain Teasers

A man and a boy sit working on a variety of puzzles.

Even big kids enjoy and benefit from sensory toys. We love the variety and affordability offered by this big box of brain teasers and puzzles.

Buy it: 20-Pack Wooden and Metal Brain Puzzles at Amazon

27. Wobble Stool

A person is seen sitting on an adjustable green stool.

Unlike a lot of wobble chairs and stools on the market, this one can be adjusted as needed to suit older kids and teenagers.

Buy it: Adjustable wobble stool for teenagers at Amazon

28. Shape-Shifting Cube

A cube is in the center and different shapes are shown around it that it can transform into.

The endless possibilities of this shape-shifting box will surely keep middle school students engaged for long stretches.

Buy it: Shashibo Shape-Shifting Box at Amazon

29. LEGO Sets

Four photos of a Lego Succulents set is shown (sensory toys)

Oh LEGO, how we love thee! This is such a unique LEGO set that will prove a challenge for even the best builder you know.

Buy it: LEGO Succulents at Amazon

30. Gravity Maze

A blue, green, and yellow maze is shown.

This maze will work on motor control while also encouraging development of visual perceptual skills—plus, it’s just really fun!

Buy it: Perplexus, Revolution Runner Motorized Motion 3D Gravity Maze at Amazon

31. Fidget Spinner

Four circles show faces in different stages of distress. A green fidget spinner is also shown. It has a dot in the center and three spokes.

Fidget spinners have been all the rage for a few years now and for good reason since they help people of all ages deal with their anxiety and restlessness. We love that they are affordable and can be bought in bulk.

Buy it: Fidget Spinner Toy 5 Pack at Amazon

32. Acupuncture Rings

A set of hands are shown with twisty metal rings on each finger. Text reads Safe, Comfortable, Soundless

Surprisingly simple, these acupuncture rings can improve focus and ease tension. At less than $10 for a bundle, you can buy enough for the whole class to use while practicing mindfulness.

Buy it: Mr. Pen-Spiky Sensory Rings at Amazon

Want to add to our list of the best sensory toys? Come share in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.

You might also love these amazing classroom tables!


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60 thoughts on “32 Best Sensory Toys for Kids, as Recommended by Educators

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