101 Sensory Supports to try

101 sensory aids
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All children benefit from sensory activity but if your child has sensory differences then it is very likely they need sensory supports and activities. Working out what the best sensory activities / aids an individual needs can take time. My approach is always to try lots of different things, have a range of things available and overtime this will help you and your kids to work out what they need.

As a certain time of year approaches most of us parents are thinking about presents. I have had far more success when we get sensory based gifts for the boys. With this in mind I wanted to pull together a list of sensory activities, small sensory toys and other sensory aids. I really hope the list is helpful for those looking for ideas and way’s to introduce more sensory based play.

Whilst some things on the list are small and cheap, others are free but some are a little more expensive. If you are interested in trying out large expensive sensory items talk to local autism charities, some will have or know of local lending library’s. If you are lucky enough to be local to Bristol like me Gympanzees has the most amazing lending library that I highly recommend.

So here are my top tried and tested sensory supports.

101 sensory supports

  1. Chew toys we really like the Hexichew

2. Spikey LED flashing light up balls

3. Fidget Spinners

4. Snap bands

5. Reversible Sequins

magnetic blocks
magnetic blocks

6. Magnetic blocks

7. Going for a long walk

8. Crossing the midline exercises

9. Stretch toys like Mr Stretch or sensory fidgets

10. Foam Soap is a big favourite in our house

Gel timers
colour liquid timers

11. Liquid Gel Timers – the ones above are from the Sensory Submarine

12. Going swimming is a great sensory activity

13. A Barefoot walk over different textured objects

14. Light up Swivel wands

15. Playdoh

fibre optic lamp
fibre optic lamp

16. Fibre Optic Lamp

17. Wobble Cushion

18. Headphones

19. Top or coat with a hood – with a hood up when out there can be less sensory distractions as your sight is limited to the front.

20. LED light up board

Light up board
light up board

21. Trampoline – this is our top support when the weather is good

22. Messy Play100 ways your child can learn through play has some great ideas.

23. Wear a heavy backpack or large coat when out can help to feel grounded for some

24. Slime Bath

25. Disco Ball Light

Autism foods
My food hero’s

26. Food – think about sensory food i.e. chewy bagels, crunchy rice cakes or smooth yogurt. All food is sensory in some way but some will really be helpful snacks when out someone who is struggling with their senses may benefit from a chewy fruit yo yo so they can refocus their senses.

27. Bubbles – a bubble machine is a great option

28. Liquid Sensory Floor Tiles

29. Swinging – either on a swing or something like a hammock

30. Scratch Art

bath toy cups

31. Water play like with the bath toys above

32. Magic Water Colouring books, I would recommend these for car journeys

33. Microwave bags – slightly weighted

34. Weighted blankets or lap pads

35. Blankets or duvets for hiding under

36. Sensory clothing i.e. seamless socks, labels removed. Take a look at the Marks & Spencer Easy on Range

37. Compression clothing – try football skins

38. Texture books

39. Sensory Stories – we can get these from our local library

40. TacPac – great sensory activity often used in specialist schools

Gym Ball
Gym Ball

41. Gym Balls

42. Sand in a playpit or at the beach

43. Kinetic Sand or So Sand DIY

44. Compression blanket

45. Squeezing yourself under big sofa cushions or behind the sofa

46. A body sock

47. Heavy work

48. Music or musical instruments

49. Stacking tins or Tupperware, pots and pans

50. Slinky / spring

Teacch at home, wipe clean

51. Wipe Clean books or a whiteboard

52. Rubik’s cube

53. Wind up toys

54. Flexible wooden toys like these fidgets or snakes

55. Mini stretchy men – my kids love making these stick to the ceiling!

56. Jumping

57. Torch lights with projections or a standard torch to make shadows

58. Black out tent

59. Ikea Egg Chair

EK Hair Bristol, Sensory board

60. Make your own sensory board

61. Think about items you have around the house – spices for smelling, an empty washing up bottle for blowing air on you.

62. Pencil Grips

63. Easy Grip Scissors

64. Chalk

65. Vibrating mat

66. Bean Bags for sitting in

67. Bean Bags for play

68. Bubble Wrap – best kind of popping or you can buy a Pop It

69. Pulling i.e. resistance bands

70. Massage

Lending library
soft play from Gympanzees Lending Library

71. Soft play – this is ideal for energetic sensory seekers

72. Giant balance spinning tops

73. Meditation and or mindfulness

74. Dancing

75. Climbing

76. Head massage claw

77. Think about temperature playing or eating ice, having a warm bath. A change in temperature really helps to stimulate our senses

78. Aromatherapy oils – strong calming smells

79. GeoMag construction toys – the sensory pull of the magnets is a nice sensory element

Geomag
Geomag

80. Similarly LEGO or Duplo is great for sensory feedback

81. Ripping or scrunching paper (newspaper and gift wrap work well)

82. PlayFoam my youngest loves this stuff

83. Lava lamp – you can make your own check out my building attention post

84. Koosh ball

85. Giant Jiggly Ball – this is a current favourite in our house

86. Water Beads

87. Ribbon dance wands

88. Pom Poms

89. Rainmaker

Messy play
food messy play

90. Store cupboard messy play – cornflour and water / spaghetti / lentils / flour / jelly / cereals there is so much sensory play to be had with what we have in our kitchen cupboards

91. Popping candy

92. Pop fidget tubes we got ours from the Sensory Submarine (use AutismPages10 for a discount)

93. Spinning on a roundabout, just yourself spinning or try a Whizzy Dizzy

94. Balance Board

95. Light & sound buzzers

autism and nature

96. Connect with nature – visit some woods / spend time in the garden / talk to your plants

97. Squeezy Toys like mesh or stress balls.

98. Baking – especially kneading dough

99. If there are a few of you parachutes can be great fun

100. Vibrating ball

101. Glow in the dark stars for the bedroom ceiling

I hope you got some inspiration from the list. What would you add? Let me know in the comments.

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**Please note this post contains affiliate links. If you purchase from these links I may receive a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you but does support this blog.**

18 Comments

  1. Rebecca
    25th November 2021 / 9:09 am

    I love these ideas. I need some suggestions to Christmas so this is perfect. It can be hard finding present ideas when my children both have different play needs. Sensory is always a winner x

    • admin
      Author
      25th November 2021 / 11:08 am

      Yes I remember knowing I needed sensory gifts but not being sure what that could be so now I know I wanted to share. Glad it was helpful.

  2. Anonymous
    27th November 2021 / 11:54 pm

    I loved those bath toys – great fun! #KCACOLS

  3. 27th November 2021 / 11:55 pm

    I loved those bath toys! Great fun! #KCACOLS

  4. 28th November 2021 / 3:00 pm

    These are such awesome ideas! I love my wobble cushion and my aromatherapy oils too. Some of these other things, I’ll look into. I also agree that going for a walk, swimming or meditation/mindfulness are also great sensory activities. #KCACOLS

    • admin
      Author
      28th November 2021 / 3:17 pm

      thanks, I was just thinking I need to try some more aromatherapy oils with the boys now they are bigger.

  5. 28th November 2021 / 4:18 pm

    An amazing list! We used lots of sensory support when my kids were younger. I love how accepted our society has become with supports for all ages and circumstances lately. #KCACOLS

    • admin
      Author
      28th November 2021 / 5:33 pm

      It is definitely getting better. Sensory supports can make so much difference x

  6. 28th November 2021 / 5:10 pm

    Great options! #KCACOLS

  7. 29th November 2021 / 11:07 am

    Wow! Sooo many fantastic ideas. I really agree about baking. We’ve been making recipes which involve rubbing butter into the dry ingredients which seems to be a good one too. #KCACOLS

    • admin
      Author
      29th November 2021 / 11:31 am

      Ohh yes scones is always my favourite for that.

  8. 1st December 2021 / 2:07 pm

    There are some great ideas here, some I have used and some I will definitely be using! #KCACOLS

  9. 2nd December 2021 / 12:48 am

    I think these are excellent ideas for any child, regardless of whether or not they might have an extra need for sensory support #KCACOLS

    • admin
      Author
      2nd December 2021 / 7:18 am

      Absolutely all kids (some adults too) benefit from meeting sensory needs. Would be nice to start including sensory awareness everywhere.

  10. 5th December 2021 / 1:38 pm

    Awesome list. My eldest loves chewies but there too much for me. My fav is also noise cancelling headphones and google map (helps with anxiety and not writing about getting lost). X #kcacols

    • admin
      Author
      5th December 2021 / 3:51 pm

      Oh yes Google.maps is definitely very helpful

  11. 6th December 2021 / 11:51 am

    Love the coloured liquid timers – they look great don’t they! Thanks for co-hosting this week’s #KCACOLS with me!

    • admin
      Author
      6th December 2021 / 11:53 am

      Been great co-hosting with you xx

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