Today I’m sharing some great sensory toys for boys (and girls). Before I get into that, I want to clarify that usually, I hate to put children into gender boxes, but sometimes it’s a convenient way to dismiss things you know your child won’t like.
Just like educational toys, sensory toys also come in many shapes and sizes. Some of them will be gender neutral, while others will probably be favoured more by one gender or the other. Now that I’ve cleared that up, I’m going to dive into my list of sensory toys for boys (and girls).
Table of Contents
Different Types of Sensory Toys for Boys
Rather than just listing 20 different sensory toys for boys (and girls), I’m going to share the sensory needs they can help to regulate. This information should help you find the perfect gift for your loved one.
So whether you’re looking for a gift to help tire out a hyper toddler, or something to help your Autistic nephew to have less meltdowns, there’s plenty of ideas in this post!
Vestibular Sensory Regulation
Vestibular activity happens in the inner ear, and it’s responsible for processing movement, direction, speed of movement and changing your head position.
Providing a child with 15 minutes of vestibular input can help them to stay regulated for up to 12 hours. Three sessions a day is the optimum level to maintain sensory regulation. Swinging, spinning, running, jumping and bouncing are all activities which provide Vestibular input.
Vestibular Sensory Toys
Great examples of toys to support Vestibular sensory input include:
Proprioceptive Sensory Regulation
This is sensations from muscles, joints and connective tissue, which lead to body awareness. Proprioceptive input can be obtained by pushing, lifting, squeezing and pulling heavy objects, or one’s own weight.
A child can gain proprioceptive regulation by choosing activities which will push joints together. This includes things like pushing something heavy, squeezing, climbing, cycling, crawling or hitting things.
Proprioceptive Sensory Toys
Great examples of toys to support Proprioceptive sensory input include:
Tactile Sensory Regulation
People who have issues with tactile sensory regulation tend to struggle with anything which feels strange to them. This can include things like: disliking clothes tags, avoiding messy play, not liking the feel or texture of some toys, foods, or surfaces.
Activities to help with tactile sensory regulation include things like: bubble baths, foot spas, bath bombs, massage, playing with water, sand, slime, and modelling clay.
Tactile Sensory Toys
Chances are, you’ve heard of fidget toys. These are usually great for getting tactile input, and helping people regulate when other things are causing them discomfort. There are dozens of widely available fidget toys, including fidget spinners, pop fidgets, pop tubes, fidget cubes etc, but there’s a huge number of alternative tactile sensory toys for boys out there too. These include:
Sight, sound, smell and and taste are also senses which require regulation. They tend to be harder to regulate with toys, but it is possible.
Hypo-sensitive VS Hyper-sensitive
Everybody has different levels of sensory needs. Some people are hypo-sensitive, which means they need (and can handle) more sensory input than post people. If you’re hyper-sensitive, your tolerance is lower than the average person’s, so you become uncomfortable much sooner.
For example, someone with Vestibular Hyposensitivity would be able to ride the Waltzers for hours without feeling overwhelmed or nauseous, while someone who is hyper-sensitive would feel sick and overwhelmed much sooner.
So there you have it. 20+ suggestions of sensory toys for boys. Let me know in the comments which one you chose! Finally, let me know in the comments if you can think of any other great sensory toys for boys.