Sensory-Friendly Gift Ideas

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When my boys were first diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder I spent hours searching for the best items that would help them regulate their little bodies. Now years later, we’ve tried a number of things- some we’ve loved and some they didn’t really use. Today I’m sharing my favorite sensory gifts for sensory seekers.

ZURU’s Tangle

The ZURU Tangle is a fidget toy that provides sensory and motor stimulation that has been found to help stimulate and maintain attention. It’s also a great tool as a means to relieve stress and anxiety. The shape, color, texture and visual impact of Tangle stimulates the brain and makes Tangle a fun and functional toy for children and adults alike. Tangle come in a variety of colors including Classic, Crazy, Metallic, and Sparkle. You can get multiple Tangles and connect them to create longer and more colorful Tangles! For under $5, it’s an affordable and collectable toy for everyone. ZURU’s Tangle is available at Walmart and Toys “R” Us.

Doorway Gym

In our old home we had a doorway “gym” hanging in the doorway of the boy’s room. The most used piece was a hammock but our set also had a swing, rings, pull up bar and rope to climb. The set was perfect for days we were stuck inside and the hammock swing was good for restoring balance to the vestibular system and providing deep pressure (both of which help kids on the spectrum feel more in balance). I can’t recall the name of the set we had but it was similar to the one linked below on Amazon. Whichever set you choose I recommend finding one that doesn’t need to be screwed in and has multiple ways it can be used.

Lycra Tunnel

If you are looking for a sensory toy that doesn’t take up much space you’ll want to consider a lycra tunnel. These soft, resistant fabric tunnels encourages heavy work and is the perfect activity for coordination, gross motor skill development, low tone and sensory-seeking.

Mini Trampoline

If you have a child who constantly has to be moving you will want a trampoline to let them burn off energy- especially during the colder months. We had a small square one with a handle that my sister-in-law had bought but I really like this one because it’s enclosed.


Theraputty is great for strengthening hand muscles and improving fine motor skills. It is sold in a set of various colors, each one having a different firmness. Children can start with the softest one and switch to different colors as their hand muscles strengthen and they find the putty easier to manipulate.

HOOT for Kids Subscription Box

Children on the spectrum can have a limited range of interests and play materials, which can make it difficult to engage in purposeful play. HOOT for Kids encourages the use of sensory materials that can help children reach developmental milestones in a unique way by tailoring each toy and activity to their specific needs. HOOT for Kids’ Treasure Boxes are tailored for your child by the in-house Pediatric Occupational Therapist. Starting at just $34.99, each Treasure Box includes a personalized activity card with suggested tips for play, including instructional tips for parents on how to play with their kids utilizing each of the hand-selected toys. This subscription box is well thought out and I love that it comes with the activity card to help parents navigate playtime with their child.

Weighted Blanket or Lap Pad

Weighted products, including lap pads, have proven useful as a calming tool for individuals with sensory issues, ADD, ADHD, autism and hyperactivity. I’m linking to one that has good reviews and is affordable but you’ll want to ask your child’s therapist what weight they’d recommend since each child’s needs will vary. You can also look online for tutorials to make your own weighted blanket or lap pad.


We didn’t have playfoam when the boys were younger however we just recently got some of this last weekend at the Chicago Toy & Game fair and it’s great for creative tactile play! Kids can squish, squash, roll, and sculpt while molding the muscles they need to write, draw, and manipulate objects with their little hands. Best of all, playfoam has a great no-stick formula and never dries out.

What would you add to this sensory-friendly gift list?

You might also like the following posts:

 Tips for navigating the holidays with a child who has special needs

15 Christmas Themed Sensory Activities


  1. These are such great gift ideas! Kids with sensory processing issues really need specialized toys so they can enjoy themselves instead of getting overloaded.

  2. That doorway gym would be amazing for any kid but I’m loving the Hoot subscription box too … what a fun gift idea!

  3. These are all awesome ideas. I think my son would love a mini trampoline!

  4. Mini trampoline is an amazing gift idea. Kids will love to have it.

  5. There’s definitely a lot of interesting things here. I would love to get that mini trampoline for my kiddo. He loves to jump around and that would be a great way to do it. It burns energy so I call it a win.

  6. These are awesome gift ideas for kids with special needs. The trampoline would make any kid happy!

  7. I can see these gifts being great for just about all kids! Playfoam was always a big hit in our home.

  8. I know so many Mamas can benefit from this post as a resource! Thanks for thinking of those kiddos!

  9. I love all of these ideas. We have some of the Playfoam and love it! I remember having some as a kid as well. I’ve always loved it.

  10. I have been seeing the kids playing with those Tangles at school. They’re perfect for my daughter!

  11. These are some really awesome ideas! It can definitely be hard to find sensory friendly stuff for the kiddos.

  12. I like these suggestions! I can see how toys and equipment like these could be helpful!

  13. These are all great ideas. I am glad to see a list like this for children that need sensory friendly toys.

  14. Claudia Krusch says

    My Son loves playfoam. He can spend hours playing with it. These are great sensory gift ideas.

  15. I was just saying to someone that this year is all about sensory gifts isn’t it? Great list here!

  16. This is such a great guide. My niece has sensory issues and would love getting something from this list!

  17. I had seen the tangle and hadn’t even thought about it being great for sensory issues. We have some in our family so this is a great gift!

  18. my nephews love the mini trampoline I’ve purchased twice for two separate households awesome gift idea.

  19. These are all great gift ideas. I have seen Tangle and have only heard good things about it.

  20. My son is on the spectrum and could benefit from these gifts. I need to see about getting him a weighted lap pad.

  21. These are such great ideas! I have a friend who I can never shop for her son… this makes it so much easier!

  22. These are great ideas. I am going to have to bookmark this when I am purchasing for my nephew.

  23. These are really great gift ideas. It can be hard to figure out what to buy sometimes but this will totally make it much easier.

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