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Sensory Toys for Calming and Sensory Seeking Behavior | ilslearningcorner.com

Sensory Toys for Calming and Sensory Seeking Behavior

This article provides helpful tips for purchasing sensory toys for calming and sensory seeking behavior. Affiliate links are included for your convenience. Integrated Learning Strategies (ILS) is a learning and academic center. As a reminder, ILS is not a health care provider and none of our materials or services provide a diagnosis or treatment of a specific condition or learning challenge you may see in your child or student. If you seek a diagnosis or treatment for your child or student, please contact a trained professional who can provide an evaluation of the child.

You may be wondering how sensory toys can help kids build sensory integration. As we all know, kids love toys. And, it’s one of the easiest ways for kids to interact and engage in activities they may not otherwise want to try.

For example, playing a game of hot potato with a heavy weighted bean bag for more sensory input is far more fun than trying another exercise with no objects at all.

Sensory toys give kids opportunities to build their sensory integration to calm their bodies and help them learn and grow. Kids with sensory sensitivities or kids who need lots of sensory input can benefit from a variety of items to help emotions, behavior, and attention and focus.

Sensory Defensiveness

Kids who struggle with sensory defensiveness may be more sensitive to certain types of sensory input. Because we process information through our senses, sensory sensitive children may have trouble with loud noises, strong smells, itchy clothing and textures, or bright lights.

When adding sensory toys to a sensory sensitive child’s routine, thinking about their needs is key. A child who can’t watch fireworks because they are too loud may need a set of noise reduction headphones. Or, they may need a calming companion toy to calm their heart rate and fight or flight reaction when they come in contact with unwanted sensory stimuli.

Sensory defensive children may also be prone to a retained Moro reflex, which can be checked with a few simple tests to see if more intervention is needed.

Sensory Seekers

Children who seek out more sensory input crave rough play, jumping, crashing, tight hugs and all types of movement. You may find kids with sensory seeking behavior to have a harder time sitting in their chair. Their bodies need movement and fidgeting to learn in the classroom.

Sensory toys that provide more sensory integration can calm behavior, improve concentration and help social interactions. Toys like sensory vests, crash pads, peapods and bounce bands are all great tools for giving kids the input they need to stay calm. There are many other sensory activities you can try using floor scooters, yoga balls, deep pressure and more!

Kids with sensory seeking behavior may have a retained Moro reflex, but may also struggle with a retained Spinal Galant reflex. To find out if this reflex may be causing additional issues, you can try a few simple tests here.

Sensory Toys for Sensory Integration

Here are a few ways you can incorporate sensory toys into your child’s sensory “diet.” Toys are a great motivator and can provide some foundational elements to help calm sensory behavior and emotions. The sensory peapod is one of my favorites!

If you find all the core muscle toys above helpful for your child or students, you may consider joining our Integrated Movement Center membership.

This resource provides members with monthly or annual access to activities that strengthen and support all motor skills. Many of the activities in the membership include the toys above.

Join other Integrated Movement Center members here.


Integrated Learning Strategies is a Utah-based center dedicated to helping mainstream children and children with learning challenges achieve academic success. Our services provide kids with non-traditional tutoring programs within the Davis County, Kaysville, Layton, Syracuse, Farmington, and Centerville areas. Areas to find Integrated Learning Strategies include: Reading tutors in Kaysville, Math tutors in Kaysville, Common Core Tutors in Kaysville, Tutors in Utah, Utah Tutoring Programs

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