Tactile Sensory Toys often come as a calming and relieving aid for parents with an inquisitive and active child.
We all can describe the basic five senses i.e., sight, touch, smell, taste, and hearing along with the other two senses i.e., proprioception and the vestibular sense that help us efficiently maneuver through the surrounding environment effortlessly.
The tactile sense is the sense of touch that allows individuals to feel different textures, temperatures, shapes, and dimensions, and allows one to discriminate between painful and pleasurable sensations.
Whether these toys may be in the form of fidgets, slimes, play dough, or even sand, Tactile Sensory toys provide children with the necessary tactile stimuli to improve their concentration, enhance attention span, and most of all keep them busy for hours on end.
Infants, even before they open their eyes, are heavily dependent on their sense of touch to make sense of the world that surrounds them.
Toys are among the best ways of incorporating necessary sensory stimuli that help facilitate physical, cognitive, sensory, social, emotional, gross motor, and fine motor skills in children.
If you are a parent or an immediate caregiver looking for some exciting Tactile Sensory Toys for your child to fidget with, look no further.
Here is all you need to know about toys that stimulate the tactile sense in children to help you find the best tactile Sensory Toy for your child.
What is Tactile Sense?
Your skin is covered with several microscopic somatosensory receptors that allow you to feel different sensations.
The tactile sense is the sense which is governed by the sensory somatosensory receptors that come into contact with a surface passing a message to the brain with the help of neurons to distinguish different sensations such as pain, textures, or temperature.
This sense is developed in the fetus immediately after conception where the fetus is able to sense pain or temperature changes inside the womb.
The tactile sense also known as the sense of touch is the primary way children initially establish and develop an understanding of the objects present in their surroundings.
This innate ability helps infants feel pain, pleasure, and pressure, and develop an understanding of the world around them.
Furthermore, the tactile sense or the sense of touch is also responsible for emotional development, as babies who are constantly caring and loving touch from their caregivers are healthier.
The tactile sense is governed by the entire tactile system that includes somatosensory receptors, the nervous system, and even the mouth. You can experience the following tactile sensory input:
- Processing Pain
- Varied Temperatures
- Light touch or Firm touch
- Different textures such as wet, dry, coarse, gritty, soft, silky, smooth, etc
- Can be peaceful and calming for some individuals
- Others may consider certain tactile inputs to be overstimulating or distracting
What are Tactile Sensory Toys?
Toddlers and preschoolers have the tendency to get their hands dirty and constantly touch things in order to make sense of the world that surrounds them.
Tactile Sensory toys can be defined as any object that promotes tactile stimulation by incorporating components that provide children with a positive tactile input.
These toys often integrate varied shapes, sizes, colors, dimensions, textures, surfaces, and consistency to help acquaint the child with varied tactile sensory input.
Tactile Sensory Toys and Tactile Sensory Activities can be exceptional providing children with open-ended play opportunities that enhance the child’s creative imagination, gross motor skills, and fine motor skills.
Furthermore, Tactile Sensory Toys are also used as therapy toys for children diagnosed with sensory processing disorders, autism, and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder), among other cognitive or developmental delays.
What are the Benefits of Tactile Sensory Toys?
Tactile Sensory Toys are objects that isolate and stimulate the child’s tactile sense to provide them with unique tactile experiences.
Tactile Sensory Toys encourage children to indulge in active self-directed open-ended learning.
Tactile Sensory Toys are crucial for holistic development in children as it promotes the development and enhancement of cognitive, physical, social, as well as emotional skills.
If you are interested in incorporating Tactile sensory Toys into your child’s curriculum but are skeptical about its effects on your child’s development process look no further.
Here is a list of some of the benefits of Tactile Sensory Toys that will seal the deal:
Sensory Development, although disregarded by most parents, is paramount during the early stages of development in children.
Tactile Sensory toys are a great way of stimulating the tactile sense as these toys integrate different textures, consistencies, surfaces, and shapes.
These toys help children identify, recognize, and discriminate between different tactile sensations.
Fine Motor development:
Fine motor skills are abilities that involve the movement of smaller muscles present in the hands, fingers, and wrists.
These abilities allow individuals to perform intricate tasks such as holding, gripping, grasping, scooping, transferring, sorting, and writing.
Tactile Sensory Toys incorporate stationary or moveable components like handles, knobs, or grips the child is encouraged to manipulate and maneuver which helps develop and refine their fine motor skills.
Tactile Sensory Toys also help with the development of hand-eye coordination in children as these toys allow children.
Children diagnosed with sensory processing disorders and disabilities like autism can often experience too much or little sensory stimuli, leading them to feel apprehensive or uncomfortable.
Tactile Sensory Toys provide children with appropriate tactile stimuli that help them feel calm, tranquil, and peaceful.
Tactile Sensory toys involve different components that help facilitate the development of cognitive skills in children.
These Toys often integrate concepts of cause and effect and components that promote children to analyze their actions and develop their problem-solving skills and critical thinking.
A List of the Best Tactile Sensory Toys for Children:
Tactile Sensory Toys are fun, engaging, interactive, and definitely effective in facilitating holistic development in children.
Tactile Sensory Toys integrate different tactile components to enhance your child’s play experience and often encompass a wide range of toys that provide children with varied tactile sensations.
If you are a parent or an immediate caregiver bewildered and perplexed as to which toy you can splurge on, look no further.
Here is a list of some of the best Tactile Sensory Toys for children that will definitely fit perfectly in your child’s playroom:
1. Tactile Blocks:
Tactile Blocks as the name suggests are solid silicone blocks often encompassing different shapes and varied dimensions.
This exciting Tactile Sensory toy is a fun way to introduce different shapes, colors, and sizes to the child while simultaneously enhancing their fine motor skills and tactile sense.
Each block in the pack is covered with blunt silicone projections that provide the child with a unique tactile input.
2. Moon Sand:
Moon sand is a great toy for tactile sensorial exploration as it has a texture close to the sand, moldable like clay but with the benefit of not drying hard like clay.
Moon Sand is nothing but a simple mixture of cornstarch, water, and sand that is mixed together that is great for children, toddlers, and infants to enhance their creative imagination.
3. Play Foam:
Play foam is another fun Tactile Sensory toy that claims to provide your child with endless fun as it never dries out.
This tactile sensory toy comes in a pack of eight balls of different vibrant colors made from tiny polystyrene balls that provide a unique tactile input and are perfect for squishing and squashing.
The play opportunities are endless with this fun toy as the child can knead, squish, mush, pull, and mold the balls into any shape of their choice.
4. Puffer Ball:
Puffer balls are a tactile sensory toy staple as these soft silicone balls are perfect for children to squish as a form of stress relief.
This fun tactile sensory toy comes in the form of a silicone ball with fine projections made from silicone that provide children with a unique tactile sensation.
5. Sensory Stepping Stone:
This Tactile Sensory Toy not only helps facilitate the development of tactile sense in children but also promotes the development of gross motor skills.
The Sensory Stepping Stone Toy is perfect for indoor play activities for children.
This toy incorporates a set of 10 sensory setting stone circles with different ridges and projections that the child can either sense by touching or by stepping on them.
6. Snap and Click Fidget Toy:
The Snap and Click Fidget Toy is great for keeping the child busy for hours on end and enhancing their attention span, problem-solving skills, as well as critical thinking.
This Tactile sensory toy comes with a set of 6 different shape puzzles with different assorted colors that the child can twist and snap into any shape of their choice.
7. Water Beads:
This tactile sensory toy is a great way of developing your child’s fine motor skills, tactile sense, and hand-eye coordination.
Water Beads sensory toy comes with different vibrant colored beads that expand in diameter when submerged in water for prolonged periods of time.
This toy provides children with a cooling and calming tactile input. It also comes with scoopers and tweezers that children can use to develop their fine motor skills.
8. Finger Paint:
Finger Paint is a perfect Tactile Sensory toy for any tactile seeker who is not afraid of getting their hands messy.
9. Pop Toob:
Pop Toobs are multicolored tubes that can be stretched, connected, and even make different sounds when you stretch or compress them.
This tactile sensory toy is great for children with sensory processing disorders and dyspraxia.
Slimes are a great way of facilitating sensory exploration for children with sensory processing disorders because of their unique texture and consistency.
You can use this tactile sensory toy to promote mess-free tactile exploration and the development of fine motor skills by hiding small figurines.
11. Color Changing Putty:
Color Changing putty is a fantastic Tactile Sensory toy that helps isolate and develop the tactile and visual senses in children.
This toy can be great for play therapy as it changes colors when compressed and can be molded, shaped, rolled, and flattened making it great for relieving stress and anxiety.