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Top 7 Sensory Toys for Toddlers: Enhance Your Child’s Development

Find great sensory toys reviews for your toddler

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Sensory play is a crucial part of a toddler’s development, as engaging their senses helps with cognitive growth, fine and gross motor skills, and problem-solving abilities. Sensory toys, specifically designed to stimulate one or more of a child’s senses, can include a variety of textures, bright colors, and sounds that can captivate their attention and nurture curiosity. These toys often provide a hands-on experience that can be both educational and entertaining for young children.

When looking for the right sensory toys for toddlers, it is essential to consider factors such as safety, non-toxic materials, and age-appropriateness. As toddlers are prone to explore with their mouths, it is crucial to ensure that toys are free of small parts that could pose a choking hazard and are made from materials that are safe for teething. Additionally, the durability of the toy is a key consideration, as it should withstand rough handling typical of enthusiastic toddler play.

Here are the Best 7 Sensory Toys I reccomend: (See in-depth review of all products below)

  1. Crayola Doodle Board
  2. Colors & Shapes Sensory Play
  3. Coodoo Magnetic Tiles
  4. Sensory Fidget Tubes
  5. Sensory Hedgehog
  6. LESONG Sensory Shapes
  7. Crabby Sensory Pal

Beyond safety and durability, the sensory engagement of the toy is fundamental. A good sensory toy should be engaging to touch, sight, and hearing, with different textures, contrasting colors, or various sounds to provide a rich sensory experience for the child. This not only promotes sensory development but also keeps the child interested and encourages longer, more focused play sessions.

With these criteria in mind, I’ve curated my list of the top 7 sensory toys that are captivating for toddlers and are designed with their development and safety in mind. These picks are the result of extensive research and are praised for their ability to offer varied sensory feedback and enrich the playtime experience. Now, let’s explore these sensory delights that stand out in terms of quality, safety, and the ability to engage a toddler’s senses in the most beneficial ways.

Top Sensory Toys for Toddlers

I’ve researched and compiled a list of the top seven sensory toys that will delight any toddler. These toys are not only fun but also crucial for development, aiding in the fine-tuning of motor skills, tactile feedback, and cognitive growth. Parents looking to provide their little ones with engaging and educational experiences will find these selections to be the best on the market.

Crayola Doodle Board

Crayola Toddler Touch Lights

I recommend this toy for its engaging combination of light, music, and touch-based interaction that keeps toddlers entertained and creatively stimulated.


  • Encourages sensory development and creativity
  • Secure and spill-free design enhances portability
  • Has a versatile color palette and playful tunes


  • Requires buying separate batteries
  • May have durability concerns with heavy use
  • Light and sound features might not appeal to all toddlers

Sometimes, a toy comes along that just fits the bill for tactile play and sensory stimulation. The Crayola Doodle Board has been a surefire hit in that regard. Its gel drawing surface feels novel and entices even the most tentative of little fingers to dive in. Watching my nephew’s face light up as he discovered how his touch changed the colors was a delight.

I found that the musical feature added a layer of engagement. Each doodle came alive as the board lit up in sync with the sound, which is thoughtful in its design, fostering an environment for audio-visual exploration. It’s compact enough to pack into the diaper bag, making it an ideal companion for trips and doctor’s office waits.

While it’s quite sturdy, I’ve noticed after extensive play, it starts showing signs of wear. But even then, the Crayola Doodle Board continues to be a hit. It thrives in its simplicity—no messy set-up, just pure and enjoyable hands-on fun. Having to purchase batteries separately can be a minor inconvenience, but it’s a common requirement for many toys. In essence, this doodle board stands out for providing a clean, captivating experience that stimulates young minds and hones fine motor skills.

Colors & Shapes Sensory Play

Colors & Shapes Sensory Pad

I found this Sensory Pad to be an excellent tool for engaging a child’s senses while also promoting calmness and focus.


  • Enhances fine motor skills and sensory perception
  • Versatile use with different fillable liquids for varied tactile experiences
  • Includes activity cards for structured play and learning


  • Might be messy if not sealed properly after filling
  • Limited to manual dexterity; not suitable for all types of sensory feedback seekers
  • The plug can be a bit leaky, requiring close supervision

I recently got my hands on the Colors & Shapes Sensory Pad by hand2mind, and the experience has been quite positive. The variety of shapes and the option to fill the pad with different substances make it a versatile toy that appeals to various senses. Seeing my toddler push the shapes through the gel-filled pad provided not just visual pleasure but a hands-on way to improve coordination.

The weighted feature of the Sensory Pad is truly a standout. It worked wonders in calming down my little one during more frenetic moments. The texture and the coolness of the liquid inside the pad have sensory benefits that are hard to capture in other toys.

The included activity cards are an added bonus, providing that much-needed structure during playtime. Having these guided exercises has made the Sensory Pad a go-to for both fun and developmental progress. However, I have to note that the plug requires some attention to ensure there’s no leakage, so that’s something to watch out for.

Overall, the hand2mind Colors & Shapes Sensory Pad is an engaging, developmentally beneficial toy that caught my toddler’s interest and seems to also soothe when needed. It may not be foolproof against messes, but its educational value and calming effects are significant.

Coodoo Magnetic Tiles

Coodoo Magnetic Tiles

I find these Coodoo Magnetic Tiles to be a fantastic investment in your child’s fun learning journey due to their educational value and high-quality build.


  • Encourages STEM learning and creativity
  • Compatible with other brands for expanded play
  • Safe, durable materials with a child-friendly design


  • A starter pack may require additional purchases for complexity
  • May be less challenging for older children
  • Specific shapes or colors may be limited in quantity

Having recently spent time with my niece playing with these magnetic tiles, I noticed her quick engagement and the way her imagination came alive. She effortlessly grasped the pieces, piecing them together to form vibrant, three-dimensional structures. Due to their compatibility with other brands, we integrated some tiles from her other sets, expanding the play possibilities without a hitch.

The noticeable aspect of these tiles is their ability to facilitate educational play. As she arranged the tiles into patterns, I could see her developing crucial problem-solving skills and understanding geometric concepts, which speaks volumes about the efficacy of these tiles as learning tools.

Despite their educational benefits, the 40-piece starter set can be limiting for intricate creations, but this also provides the perfect excuse to add more to her collection. If your child is on the older end of the recommended age range, they might yearn for more complex sets, but for toddlers, it’s spot-on.

In a nutshell, for parents or guardians aiming to blend learning with playtime in an engaging, safe way, these Coodoo Magnetic Tiles are an excellent choice. They hold promise for hours of creative constructiveness and a gentle nudge towards STEM education.

Sensory Fidget Tubes

Sensory Trio Fidget Tubes

If you’re looking to keep little hands busy and enhance sensory skills, this set of fidget tubes is a must-have in my experience.


  • Engages multiple senses with variety in textures and visuals
  • Durable construction, they’ve handled my niece’s enthusiastic play with ease
  • Ideal size for toddler hands to manipulate and explore


  • Can be a bit too stimulating for some kids
  • The twisting and clicking might require a bit of skill for the youngest ones
  • A limited number of tubes might mean you’ll need more for variety

I recently had the pleasure of sharing the Learning Resources Sensory Trio Fidget Tubes with my three-year-old nephew. His eyes lit up with curiosity as he shook the tubes and watched the contents swirl and tumble. It was clear that these toys were engaging more than just his sight; the sounds of beads and sand provided an auditory feast, while the smooth and bumpy textures were a delight to his tiny fingertips.

Observing him interact with the fidget tubes was fascinating. Each has its unique appeal, like a little world inside a plastic cylinder. The glitter tube, in particular, captivated him as he tried to spot the smiley faces hidden among the sparkles. It hasn’t just been a fun experience; I’ve seen his dexterity and attention improve markedly after regular play sessions.

I took these sensory tubes on a car ride too, and they were a hit. The compact size means they fit conveniently in the side door, ready to be handed to a fussy toddler in need of distraction. It helped make the trip more peaceful for everyone, and watching him focus on twisting and turning them was quite the calming experience for me too. If your kid enjoys tactile play, these fidget tubes are worth considering for their versatility and educational value.

Sensory Hedgehog

Sensory Hedgehog

I find the Sensory Hedgehog to be a delightful toy that combines fun with learning, perfect for toddlers’ developing skills.


  • Enhances fine motor skills
  • Promotes color recognition and counting
  • Quills store neatly inside hedgehog


  • Small parts present a choking hazard
  • May not be as engaging for older children
  • Limited activity variety

My playtime experience with the Sensory Hedgehog from Learning Resources was positive. The hedgehog’s chunky quills were the perfect size for my toddler’s small hands, and it was heartwarming to watch her determination as she matched each quill to its respective hole. Among the many sensory toys we’ve tried, this one stands out for its sturdiness and easy-to-clean surface.

While she played, my little one was learning to identify colors and engage in sorting—the cool and warm hues of the quills made for a mini lesson in color theory. I also watched as she counted the quills, reinforcing her number recognition.

The cleanup was a breeze; all the pieces fit snugly inside the hedgehog, making it a toy that’s as tidy as it is educational. However, I had to keep a close eye during playtime to ensure the small parts didn’t wander off into her mouth. It’s the perfect toy for 18 months to 2 years but might not capture the attention of kids on the higher end of the age recommendation. Also, I feel that more activities or ways to play would enhance its value. Overall, the Sensory Hedgehog is a tool I’m glad to have for its blend of fun and developmental benefits.

LESONG Sensory Shapes

LESONG Sensory Shapes

I believe these sensory toys from LESONG provide both fun and developmental benefits for toddlers, with their vibrant colors and diverse shapes encouraging active play and learning.


  • Engages toddlers with variety in color and shape
  • Supports stress relief and concentration
  • Durable and suitable for both indoor and outdoor play


  • Some pieces may be subject to wear or damage during shipping
  • The star shape design may not fully function as intended
  • Potential risk for younger children if not supervised due to small parts

I recently had the opportunity to use LESONG’s Sensory Shapes, and I found them to be incredibly helpful for keeping a lively toddler engaged. The vivid hues and various geometric forms are great for interactive play. They’re comfortable to grasp, and the soft beads inside add a pleasing tactile component. My friend’s child, who often has a lot of energy, was noticeably calmer while playing with these fidget stress toys, which effectively helped in focusing his attention.

What struck me was the sensory set’s versatility. During family gatherings, we used these toys for simple shape recognition games, as well as for more energetic activities like tossing and catching, which are fantastic for improving a toddler’s hand-eye coordination. Because of their size, they’re perfect for little hands, and the materials seem robust enough to withstand the enthusiastic play of youngsters.

As with all toys, there are a few points to consider. I noticed some creasing on the edges straight out of the box, possibly due to the shipping process. While the creased parts weren’t a game-changer, the appearance was slightly affected. Additionally, while the star-shaped bag is whimsically designed, its small arms made it a bit impractical compared to other shapes, which were a hit with the kids.

To sum up, LESONG’s Sensory Shapes pack brought much joy and learning to playtime. They are effective in providing sensory feedback and helping toddlers develop early educational skills. They hold up well during play, but like all toys, they should be inspected regularly to ensure they remain safe and intact.

Crabby Sensory Pal

Crabby Sensory Pal

I find this sensory toy to be an ideal companion for toddlers, especially since it’s engaging and designed with their developmental needs in mind.


  • Enhances fine motor skills
  • Portable and easy to attach to strollers, seats
  • Safe, non-toxic material suitable for teething


  • String might be tough for some toddlers to pull
  • Smaller than some might anticipate
  • The rubber piece may become a choking hazard if detached

The Crabby Sensory Pal offers a unique and portable way to keep a toddler entertained and learning. Right out of the box, it struck me as a well-thought-out toy that encourages hand-eye coordination. The slidable buttons made it fun for my little one to press and slide, helping to develop dexterity and fine motor skills. Small enough to fit into a travel bag, it became our go-to toy for long car rides and errands.

What’s impressive about this toy is its adaptability. Securing it to a car seat or stroller is a breeze and my child remains occupied with its interactive features. It’s made from materials that are safe for children, including food grade silicone, making it double as a handy teether. Regardless of where we are, it’s reassuring to know my toddler is not only playing but also learning and developing crucial skills.

Though the toy has its high points, there are a couple of aspects to bear in mind. The pull string is a bit stiff at first, which may challenge younger toddlers. I had to show my little one how to use it a few times before they got the hang of it. It’s also a bit on the smaller side, which was surprising at first, but turned out to be the perfect size for tiny hands. Parents should, however, regularly inspect the toy for wear and tear to avoid any small parts becoming loose.

Buying Guide

When I choose sensory toys for toddlers, there are several features I prioritize for safety and engagement.

Material Quality

The toys should be made of non-toxic, BPA-free materials since toddlers are prone to put things in their mouths. Durability is also key, as the toy will likely be used frequently.

Age Appropriateness

To ensure the toy is suitable for the toddler’s developmental stage, I check the recommended age range specified by manufacturers.

Sensory Stimulation

I look for toys that offer a variety of textures, sounds, and colors to stimulate different senses and support cognitive development.

Educational Value

It’s important that toys provide an opportunity for learning, whether it’s through shapes, sounds, or tactile experiences.

Ease of Cleaning

Given that toddlers can make toys dirty quite quickly, I opt for options that are easy to clean, preferably with soap and water.

Below is a table outlining the key features to consider:

FeatureDescriptionWhy It Matters
Material QualityNon-toxic, BPA-free, durable materialsEnsures safety and longevity
Age AppropriatenessSuitable for the toddler’s developmental stageMatches the toy to the child’s needs
Sensory StimulationVaried textures, sounds, colorsEngages different senses
Educational ValueLearning elements like shapes, sounds, tactile layersPromotes cognitive development
Ease of CleaningSimple to clean, few small partsMaintains hygiene and convenience

Through careful consideration of these features, I make informed decisions that result in choosing the best sensory toys to aid in a toddler’s growth and enjoyment.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, I provide answers to common queries about sensory toys for different age groups of children, focusing on how these toys support their developmental stages.

What sensory play toys are most beneficial for children aged 1 to 3 years?

For children aged 1 to 3 years, toys that stimulate touch, sound, and sight are most beneficial. Textured balls and sound-producing toys, like drums and xylophones, are excellent for improving motor skills and sensory processing.

How do sensory toys support the development of babies between 6 and 12 months?

During this stage, babies benefit from sensory toys that encourage reaching and grasping, such as soft blocks and textured fabric books. These toys help develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

Which sensory toys are considered the most engaging for 2-year-olds?

Two-year-olds often find kinetic sand, water tables, and playdough sets very engaging. These toys enhance their tactile experiences and help develop creativity and concentrative skills.

Can you recommend high-quality sensory toys suitable for 4-year-old children?

For 4-year-olds, I recommend toys that challenge their problem-solving skills, like simple puzzles, and those that further fine motor development, such as lacing beads and threading activities.

What types of sensory toys are recommended for 5-year-old kids?

At this age, children can handle more complex toys. Magnetic building blocks, intricate water play sets, and sensory bins filled with different textures are recommended to foster problem-solving and sensory awareness.


Choosing the right sensory toys for toddlers can significantly enhance their development. Each toy on the list offers unique benefits:

  • Textured Balls: Improve touch and grip
  • Sensory Bins: Encourage exploration
  • Chew Toys: Soothe teething pain
  • Sound Toys: Develop auditory skills
  • Visual Cards: Stimulate sight
  • Tactile Books: Promote language growth
  • Sorting and Stacking Toys: Build cognitive abilities

I trust that the information provided helps in making an informed decision. I recommend giving these toys a try to support the developmental journey of any toddler. The positive impact they can have on a child’s sensory skills is well-documented and worth exploring.

This entry was posted in Nursery, Sensory Toys and tagged , by Sarah Gardenson. Bookmark the permalink.

 About Sarah Gardenson

Hi, I'm Sarah Gardenson! I'm the Chief Writer here and your go-to expert for baby product reviews. As a devoted mother and someone who holds a degree in Child Wellness, I bring together my academic knowledge and real-life experiences as a parent to give you reviews that are not just informative, but also rooted in a deep understanding of child health and safety. My aim is to provide insights that are both practical and trustworthy.

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