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Sensory Toys

From Tactile to Auditory: Sensory Toys that Boost Development

Babies and Parenting: From Tactile to Auditory Sensory Toys that Boost Development

As babies grow, so do their senses. They need to explore their surroundings, discover colors, shapes, textures, and sounds. That’s why sensory toys are crucial for their development. Tactile toys, for example, provide babies with opportunities to touch and feel different objects, while auditory toys help them explore sounds and rhythms. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the most popular sensory toys that boost development.

Tactile Sensory Toys

Tactile toys are essential in helping babies develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. They also provide a sense of comfort and familiarity, which babies need as they grow. Here are some examples of tactile sensory toys for babies:

  • Soft toys – stuffed animals, plushies, and other soft toys provide babies with a comforting and familiar texture to touch and feel.
  • Textured balls – small balls with different textures help babies develop their grip and hand-eye coordination.
  • Sensory blankets – these blankets have different textures, colors, and shapes to stimulate babies’ sense of touch and curiosity.
  • Squeeze toys – rubber or silicone squeeze toys help babies strengthen their hands while providing a satisfying sensory experience.

Auditory Sensory Toys

Auditory toys help babies explore the world of sounds and rhythms. They also develop babies’ cognitive abilities and language skills. Here are some examples of auditory sensory toys:

  • Rattles – these toys are a classic favorite for babies. They produce a simple sound that babies can easily grasp and recognize.
  • Music toys – music toys with buttons or keys that produce different sounds and rhythms allow babies to experiment with different sounds and melodies.
  • Musical mobiles – these toys attach to cribs and play soothing music before bedtime, helping babies relax and sleep better.
  • Electronic toys – electronic toys that make animal sounds or play music can help babies develop their language skills and recognition of different sounds.

Sensory Play Mats and Gyms

Sensory play mats and gyms are excellent tools for babies to explore different textures, colors, and shapes. They also encourage movement and interaction through play. Here are some types of sensory play mats and gyms:

  • Tummy time mats – these mats are specially designed to give babies a surface to practice tummy time on. They often have colorful designs, textures, and toys attached to keep babies stimulated and engaged.
  • Activity gyms – these gyms are usually made of soft materials and come with fun attachments like dangling toys, mirrors, lights, and music to keep babies entertained while developing their abilities to move and explore with their hands and feet.
  • Sensory blankets – double as play mats, these blankets often have different textures, patterns, and colors to stimulate babies’ senses.


Sensory toys are essential for babies’ development, allowing them to explore their surroundings, experiment with different textures, shapes, and sounds while developing their different skills. It’s crucial to choose sensory toys that stimulate various senses and are appropriate for their age. Tactile toys like soft toys, textured balls, sensory blankets, and squeeze toys help babies develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Auditory toys like rattles, music toys, mobiles, and electronic toys help babies develop their cognitive abilities and language skills. Sensory play mats and gyms like tummy time mats, activity gyms, and sensory blankets provide babies with a safe and stimulating space to explore and interact with their surroundings.

From Tactile to Auditory: Sensory Toys that Boost Development FAQ

1. What are sensory toys?

Sensory toys are toys that are designed to stimulate one or more of the five senses (sight, touch, taste, smell, and hearing) to help babies and children with their overall development. Sensory toys come in different shapes, sizes and textures.

2. How do sensory toys benefit babies and children?

Sensory toys help babies and children to develop their senses and explore the world around them. Sensory play also contributes to language development, cognitive growth, fine and gross motor skills, problem-solving skills and social interaction.

3. Are sensory toys suitable for all ages?

Sensory toys can be suitable for all ages, but they are particularly beneficial for babies and young children, as they are still learning about the world around them and developing their senses.

4. What types of sensory toys are there?

There are many different types of sensory toys, including weighted blankets, tactile toys, auditory toys, visual toys, and olfactory toys. Weighted blankets and tactile toys offer deep pressure stimulation and help calm and soothe babies and children. Auditory toys can help improve listening skills, while visual toys can help with hand-eye coordination. Olfactory toys can help babies and children to distinguish different smells.

5. How do tactile toys help with sensory development?

Tactile toys help babies and children to develop their sense of touch by offering different textures and surfaces to explore. This can improve their fine motor skills, cognitive development and emotional regulation.

6. How do auditory toys help with sensory development?

Auditory toys help babies and children to develop their sense of hearing by playing different sounds and music. This can improve their listening skills, language development and communication skills. It can also help with emotional regulation and sensory integration.

7. Can sensory toys replace parental interaction?

No, sensory toys cannot replace parental interaction. While sensory toys can be a fun and beneficial tool for development, it is important for babies and children to have face-to-face interaction with their caregivers to build secure attachments and establish healthy relationships.

8. How do I choose sensory toys for my baby or child?

When choosing sensory toys, it is important to consider your baby or child’s age, developmental stage, and sensory preferences. It is also important to ensure that the toys are safe, durable and age-appropriate.

9. How do I clean sensory toys?

Sensory toys should be cleaned regularly to prevent the spread of germs. Tactile toys can be brushed or wiped clean, while auditory and visual toys should be wiped down with a damp cloth. Olfactory toys can be cleaned by washing with soap and water.

10. Can sensory toys be used for children with special needs?

Yes, sensory toys can be used for children with special needs, such as autism, ADHD, and sensory processing disorders, to help regulate their sensory systems. It is important to choose sensory toys that are appropriate for their specific needs and preferences.

Related Products for Sensory Toy Development Boost

  • Manhattan Toy Winkel Rattle and Sensory Teether Toy

    The Manhattan Toy Winkel is a colorful and visually stimulating toy that doubles as a teether. It is made of soft, BPA-free, and phthalate-free plastic that is easy to grip and chew. The toy’s maze of soft, continuous tubes is perfect for babies to explore and develop their tactile and visual senses. It also promotes hand-eye coordination and helps soothe teething gums.

  • LAMAZE Organic Baby Toy, Rainbow Stacking Rings

    The LAMAZE Rainbow Stacking Rings is an eco-friendly and non-toxic toy made of organic cotton and bamboo. It consists of five colorful and textured rings that stack on top of each other. The rings’ various textures and shapes help stimulate a baby’s sensory development, while also improving their hand-eye coordination, problem-solving, and fine motor skills.

  • Infantino Sensory Balls Blocks & Buddies

    The Infantino Sensory Balls Blocks & Buddies is a set of five textured balls and blocks designed to foster a baby’s sensory development. Each ball and block has a unique pattern and texture, from soft spikes to embossed shapes. Babies can play with them individually or stack them to work on their hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. The set comes in a handy storage bag for easy clean-up and portability.

  • Baby Einstein Sea Dreams Soother Musical Crib Toy

    The Baby Einstein Sea Dreams Soother Musical Crib Toy is a fun and relaxing toy that helps babies sleep soundly. It features underwater-themed graphics and lights, soothing ocean sounds, and classical melodies. The toy also has a remote control that allows parents to adjust the volume, lights, and sounds without disturbing their baby’s sleep. The Sea Dreams Soother helps promote auditory and visual stimulation, and can also serve as a lovely bedtime routine for babies and parents.

  • Fisher-Price Deluxe Kick ‘n Play Piano Gym

    The Fisher-Price Deluxe Kick ‘n Play Piano Gym is a versatile and interactive toy gym that grows with a baby’s developmental stages. It features a soft, padded mat, a customizable activity center, and a detachable piano that plays music. The gym encourages babies to kick, grasp, reach, and play, which helps develop their gross and fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and sensory awareness. The piano has three modes of play and can be adjusted for different heights and angles for tummy time, sitting, and standing.

  • The First Years Stacking Up Cups

    The First Years Stacking Up Cups is a classic and simple toy that never goes out of style. The set consists of eight colorful cups that can be stacked, nested, and poured. The cups’ various sizes and shapes help babies learn spatial awareness, cause and effect, and hand-eye coordination. They can also be used for bath time fun and sandcastle building.

  • VTech Musical Rhymes Book

    The VTech Musical Rhymes Book is a interactive and educational toy that introduces babies to nursery rhymes, phonics, and music. The book features six popular nursery rhymes, five colorful piano keys, and four light-up buttons that teach numbers, colors, and animals. Babies can turn the pages, press the buttons, and hear the rhymes and music, which help develop their language, cognitive, and auditory skills. The book’s durable and portable design makes it perfect for on-the-go playtime.

  • Black and White Art Cards

    Black and white art cards are simple but effective tools for stimulating a baby’s visual development. The cards feature high-contrast patterns and images that are easy for babies to focus on and track. They can be used for visual stimulation during tummy time, as flash cards, or even as wall art. The cards’ minimalist design also makes them stylish and versatile additions to any baby’s nursery.

  • WubbaNub Infant Pacifier

    The WubbaNub Infant Pacifier is a soft and plush pacifier that comes attached to a cute and cuddly animal plushie. The pacifier’s unique design helps babies self-soothe by allowing them to keep the pacifier in their mouths while still being able to grasp and cuddle the plush toy. The WubbaNub is also easy to clean and sterilize, and its bright and colorful design promotes visual stimulation.

  • Lovevery Play Gym

    The Lovevery Play Gym is a comprehensive and thoughtfully designed play gym that caters to a baby’s every need. The gym comes with a variety of developmentally appropriate toys, such as a wooden batting ring, a soft organic ball, and a high-contrast Montessori ball. The gym’s activities, colors, and textures help stimulate all of a baby’s senses and promote cognitive, physical, and emotional development. The gym is also adjustable and adaptable for different developmental stages and comes with a handy storage bag.

Pros & Cons: Sensory Toys that Boost Development


  • Provides Neurological and Cognitive Benefits: Sensory toys help to develop a child’s cognitive and sensory-motor skills, as well as promote their motor development.
  • Improves Social Interaction: Sensory toys help children learn about their surroundings and interact with their peers, thereby improving their social interaction skills.
  • Reduces Anxiety and Stress: Sensory toys can help reduce anxiety in children by providing them with a healthy outlet to express their emotions, and this can also reduce stress and anxiety in parents.
  • Caters to Different Learning Styles: Sensory toys cater to children with different learning styles, as they provide a hands-on experience that appeals to both visual and kinesthetic learners.
  • Affordable and Easily Accessible: Sensory toys are affordable and easily accessible, and parents can purchase sensory toys online or from their local toy stores.
  • Cons:

  • Overstimulation: Sensory toys can sometimes overstimulate children, causing them to become restless and anxious.
  • May Cause Distraction: Sensory toys can sometimes distract children from other important activities like sleeping, eating, and studying.
  • Not Suitable for All Children: Some children with certain medical conditions or developmental disorders like Autism Spectrum Disorder may find sensory toys overwhelming and unpleasant.
  • May Require Supervision: Sensory toys may require supervision, especially for young children who are still developing cognitive abilities and hand-eye coordination.
  • Quality Concerns: Some sensory toys may not be of high quality and may pose a safety risk to young children who are more prone to putting things in their mouth or swallowing small objects.

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