3 Sensory Toy Choices
They are Fun And Educational Too!
Yay 4 play educational sensory kits are used and endorsed by educational providers, occupational therapists, and physiotherapists.
For kids with ADHD, and autism they are particularly effective in helping with concentration and focus. They are a great alternative to just one Sensory Fidget Toy and unlike stress balls, for instance, kids will play with them for hours.
Before we have a look at which sensory toys to choose for your child, let's get some background on what sensory play is and why these types of educational toys are so great for learning. We'll also spend some time on looking at how sensory toys help autistic children.
What is sensory play
Sensory play includes activities that stimulate a young child's senses by playing with these educational toys in different ways. These games could include things like tasting foods, touching objects, seeing images, listening to sounds, smelling smells and so on.
Sensory stimulation encourages kids to engage in exploration, develop their senses, and solve problems. These activities help them become better problem solvers.
Remember - there is no one way to offer sensory play. There are many options that ensure that your child builds their school readiness by having a good attention span and being able to concentrate and listen to instructions as well as having short term memory retention.
Why are Sensory Toys great for Learning?
Playing is important for children because it helps them develop their motor skills, improve their ability to speak, learn about the world around them, learn about themselves, improve their sense of balance, coordination, sight, hearing, smell, touch, proprioceptive senses, spatial awareness, tactile dexterity, problem-solve, be creative, imagine new things, gain confidence, be patient, concentrate, motivate themselves, and manage stress.
There are many ways for parents to stimulate their child’s mind.
Reading stories, playing board games and engaging in educational play are all great ways to help your little one learn about the world around them.
However, sometimes an activity goes beyond simply teaching a skill or concept. These experiences can actually strengthen the connection between areas of the brain responsible for cognitive development. In addition, they may improve the ability to focus and pay close enough to retain information.
It seems that sensory play can be used to help develop certain parts of the human brain.
For instance, research shows that infants who engage in sensorial play perform better on tests measuring their ability to coordinate their hands with their eyes. Older children participating in sensory play throughout childhood had better fine motor control than those who didn't.
Sensory Play for Kids: How It Works
The way we interact with our environment is a combination of two things: how we think and what we do. Sensory play encourages children to use both of these aspects of themselves. In other words, it helps them develop their thinking as well as their physical abilities.
In fact, research shows that when children are given opportunities to explore their surroundings through sensory play, they tend to develop more quickly than those who don't. This is because sensory play stimulates the brain in ways that encourage its growth and development.
In addition, sensory play allows children to experience the world in a variety of ways. They can see, hear, taste, feel, smell, and touch everything around them. As a result, they're exposed to different ideas and concepts with the right amount of sensory input.
This exposure leads to increased learning, better social skills and improved academic performance. Plus, it's fun!
How Can I Use Sensory Play at Home?
Parents have lots of choices when it comes to offering sensory play for their kids. Here are some suggestions that are totally free!
Our #1 choice of Sensory products is totally free!
Here are some options that cost nothing to use and are highly effective - not just as sensory toys but to build all kinds of skills at the same time! Any child on the autism spectrum would benefit in their own unique way from these children's toys.
- Read books together - there are such fun ones that include lifting the flaps to discover some tactile element. This gives your child visual stimulation as well as tactile stimulation as they turn the pages and touch the materials.
- Watch nature programs on TV to demonstrate how all the sense are involved as we explore the world around us.
- Have family discussions about current topics or anything that is happening in the world or at school.
- Do puzzles together to encourage touching the pieces, feeling their shape and size.
- Sing nursery rhymes - an easy way to bring joy into the home at the same time as developing auditory and verbal skills.
- Dance - the sound of music together with the movement is a great and enjoyable way of lifting the mood as well. What a fabulous example of sensory input!
- Play board games are simple toys for children that are inclusive of everyone. For example, that include shuffling of cards or moving objects around a board.
- Create crafts - include materials that have different feels such as fluffy material or something that has ridges or buttons.
- Go outside and look for bugs, flowers, birds, trees - touch and feel their texture and listen to the sounds that are all around us.
Our #2 Choice for sensory toys is our own Yay4Play Educational Kit
The normal LEGO type blocks are great fun for kids, but sometimes they just aren't enough. That's why we created our Yay4Play kits that are an amazing way to use sensory toys with a difference. No, they cannot help with taste or smell. Yes, they are designed to stimulate children's senses in ways that traditional building toys cannot.
They're made from durable plastic and feature colorful shapes and textures that appeal to children's sense of sight, and touch.
The sensory blocks come with a wide range of different designs, including animals, vehicles, people, and more. Each block is designed to be used individually or combined into larger structures. The blocks can also be used as an educational tool by helping your child learn about the world around them.
And that's not all!
Sensory toys help both free play and structured play
There is a choice of over 100 activities that are specially designed to ensure that children engage in structured rather than free play. In this way, they develop the following skills:
- They improve their focus and attention. The activities are designed to be repetitive and that in itself provides structure for autistic children. The activities need to be set up and clearly explained, but once the child understands what to do, they are able to repeat these skills-building activities over and over.
- The activities also provide tactile stimulation. The wide variety of bricks, the grids and the other tools in the box give children a wide choice of different shaped objects to feel and experience. They count the studs on top of the bricks, they feel the way in which the animals and other shapes are formed.
- These specifically developed kits help to strengthen brain development, enhance memory and the ability to complete more complicated tasks. They also improve hand to eye coordination. The instructions are able to be scaled up or down with different options for the different levels of development. As the child builds their models and listens to the instructions, they also develop their hand to eye coordination.
- There are also activities for group play to help children develop the ability to interact with others and to form part of a group. Autistic children often don't interact well with others - but once they are in play mode, they are more likely to participate in the group and follow the defined instructions of the activity.
Our #3 Choice for Sensory Toys
Our next choice for sensory toys that make a difference to your child is available from several stores. They are specifically designed sensory kits that include creative ways of using different objects to enhance the skills that we have been talking about all along.
They will typically have some sort of sensory base such as coloured rice, sand or playdough.
We particularly like the ones that have a lot of different textures so that children can explore the different surfaces and textures. This helps to stimulate their senses and encourages them to use their hands and fingers as they play with this type of sensory tool.
This all adds up to enhance the sensory experience by keeping those hands busy! And it all adds up to some great brain development.
Here are some examples of sensory toy kits
Our favourite kits have a large selection of different sized balls, each with its own texture. Children can roll them around, pick them up and put them back again. It also includes a number of different shaped balls, which encourage children to use their eyes and their sense of sight.
Then, in addition to that they will have further objects that children can touch, such as small animals, figurines and other fun items. Each kit might follow a theme such as Christmas, monsters or going on a safari. This type of colorful design is perfect for toddlers with anxiety as it serves as a type of fidget toy.
What makes these types of kits so effective is that they also provide visual stimulation - there are bright colours and children become immersed in the sensory experience. They are also just the right size so that they avoid sensory overload.
An example of this is Carlo and Cub: HOME | Carlo & Cub.
As you can see, there are lots of different types of sensory toys out there. But if you're looking for something that really makes a difference to your child, then it's worth doing your research.
Here's one more idea for educational toys: How do sensory toys help autistic children?
Just a final note about sensory toys and children with autism or who are on any part of the autism spectrum:
Yay4Play has been carefully researched and tested by professionals who work with children with autism. It was found that the sensory toys helped children with autism to become calmer and less anxious. They were also able to concentrate better and make friends easier.
We have also received feedback from parents who say that using Yay4Play helps their children to communicate better, to understand more easily and to express themselves more freely.
Yay4Play is a new kind of sensory toy that stimulates the mind and body at the same time it develops fine motor skills. This product is ideal for special needs children like those with autism and ADHD. There's a whole range of different types of activity that all aim to do what it takes to assist with the neural processing systems.
The Yay3Play educational toys include a selection of sensory toys that stimulate the senses and promote creativity. These include:
- Fidget tool
We hope you enjoy using our Yay4Play products as much as we enjoyed creating them.
Here is some useful further reading:
- What is a sensory toy and how do they help? - Sensory toys for kids with autism enable them to engage in play with their family, friends, or peers. (autismspeaks.org)
- The Benefits of Sensory Toys and Support Tools - There are various benefits of sensory toys and tools which focus on increasing concentration, reducing anxiety, developing fine motor skills and encouraging language skills. (nado.org.au)