The Best Sensory Toys for Toddlers (1, 2, & 3-Year-Olds)

Best Sensory Toys for Toddlers Stock image of two toddlers playing with toys in an indoor sandbox.

Looking for more engaging playtime options? Explore our curated list of the best sensory toys for toddlers and prepare to watch your child dive into a world of sensational exploration and learning.

Whether you are searching for sensory toys for 1, 2, or 3-year-olds, open-and-go sensory bins, or the best sensory toys for little ones with Autism Spectrum Disorder, we’re here to help!

From delightful textures to captivating colors, these sensory toys will keep your toddler engaged for the long haul!

The Best Sensory Toys for Growing Toddlers! By Such a Little While (text overlay image of various colorful wooden sensory kids toys).
Graphic by Such a Little While LLC

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What are sensory toys for toddlers?

Best Sensory Toys for Toddlers:
"Sensory play focuses on activities that engage your child’s senses, helping them develop language skills and motor skills. It also helps with cognitive growth, fosters social interactions, and encourages experimentation."  -The Cleveland Clinic
Graphic by Such a Little While LLC

Sensory toys for toddlers are thoughtfully crafted play-based tools that engage and stimulate their senses to foster learning and exploration.

Sensory toys offer a multi-sensory experience, incorporating diverse elements such as textures, colors, sounds, and movements to captivate young minds.

By encouraging exploration and interaction, sensory toys help toddlers grow their motor skills, enhance cognitive abilities, and promote emotional development.

Best Sensory Toys for Toddlers: Two girls lying down on the grass playing with colorful blocks on their faces and surrounded by numerous different shaped colorful blocks.

There are many types of sensory toys:

  • Tactile Toys: Toys with different textures, surfaces, and materials for hands-on exploration and touch.
  • Visual Toys: Toys with bright colors, patterns, and optical effects to captivate and stimulate the eye.
  • Auditory Toys: Toys that allow little ones to produce sounds, music, or noises to engage the auditory senses and promote listening skills.
  • Proprioceptive Toys: Toys that provide resistance or pressure, such as squeezable balls or weighted toys. These promote body awareness.
  • Vestibular Toys: Toys that encourage movement and balance, like swings or rocking toys, stimulate the vestibular system.
  • Olfactory Toys: Toys with scents or aromas, like scented playdough or scratch-and-sniff books, to engage the sense of smell.
  • Gustatory Toys: Toys that involve taste exploration, such as edible sensory play materials or textured teething toys.
  • Kinetic Toys: Toys that encourage gross motor skills and physical activity, like ride-on toys or play tunnels.
  • Multi-Sensory Toys: Toys that engage multiple senses simultaneously, offering a holistic sensory experience.

Sensory toys play a vital role in fostering a child’s creativity, curiosity, and overall growth, making them an essential addition to any toddler’s playtime.

While all toddlers benefit from sensory input and exploration, neurodivergent toddlers may particularly benefit from strategic sensory toys, including those with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Best Sensory Toys for Toddlers
(Stock photo of toddler's hands touching a textured ball).

Where to Find the Best Sensory Toys for Toddlers in 2024

It’s time to discover the best sensory toys for toddlers in 2024! We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of the best multi-sensory learning tools for ages 1-3.

The best part? You can find most of these engaging toys on Amazon for quick and easy ordering. Let’s dive in and make playtime sensational!

The Best Sensory Table for Toddlers

KiwiCo Water and Sand Sensory Table

Best Sensory Toys for Toddlers: The Best Sensory Table by KiwiCo

Key Features: This water-resistant table includes a pipe set, paint crayons, and a sand bin for endless sensory exploration! It’s a hands-on water exhibit for your home.

Why We Love It: You can adjust the table to 3 different height settings as your toddler grows into their big kid years.

Know Before You Buy: If you wish to store the table outside, you will want to purchase a cover to protect against harsh weather.

Price: $159.95*

*Price listed at the time of post-publication and subject to change by the manufacturer.

The Best Sensory Bins for Toddlers

Kinetic Sand Folding Sand Box

Key Features: This self-folding, easy-to-store case comes complete with 2 digging tools and 5 sand molds. Kids will enjoy building castles and letting their imaginations run wild.

Why We Love It: As an elementary school counselor, this sandbox was a top favorite among students across age groups. Playing in the sand has such a calming effect!

Know Before You Buy: Not your average sandbox! Despite the wet feel, kinetic sand won’t stick to small hands. It never dries out or hardens- Kids can play with it for years!

Price: $34.99*

*Price listed at the time of post-publication and subject to change by the manufacturer.

Sensory Bin: Ice Cream Shop

Key Features: Who said sensory bins have to be DIY or homemade? This open-and-go sensory bin comes with 2.5 lbs of kinetic sand and pretend ice cream cones with all the fixings.

Why We Love It: This bin is a double-win, encouraging both sensory exploration and imaginative play.

Know Before You Buy: This bin contains small parts and is intended for children over 3 years of age.

Price: $24.99*

*Price listed at the time of post-publication and subject to change by the manufacturer.

Made By Me Explore + Create Dino Galaxy Sensory Bin

Key Features: This dino-tastic kit includes everything your child needs to embark on their own dinosaur adventure! Includes moldable sand, a shovel, beads, dinosaur figurines, tongs, and more!

Why We Love It: Interactive sensory bins are a great way to reinforce cognitive skills such as counting or sorting while engaging your child’s love for prehistoric creatures.

Know Before You Buy: Made by Me also makes sea life and unicorn versions of this bin. Perfect for gifting to multiple siblings with unique interests!

Price: $14.86*

*Price listed at the time of post-publication and subject to change by the manufacturer.

The Best Sensory Toys for One-Year-Olds

Infantino Textured Multi-Ball Set

Key Features: 6 diverse textured and colored balls allow your baby to engage in tactile sensory development and grow fine motor skills. Bonus: They make for gentle and safe teething toys!

Why We Love It: These may be one of the longest-loved toys in our home! Given to me at my baby shower nearly 6 years ago, I have yet to put them away. They always find their way into different games or homeschool activities.

Know Before You Buy: Please avoid using these balls as bath toys. Each contains a small hole (perfect to give babies that squeezing effect), but can also trap mold in the tub.

Price: $13.50 – $16.99*

*Price listed at the time of post-publication and subject to change by the manufacturer.

Silicone Teething Toys

Key Features: These colorful teethers are easy-to-grasp and come in 5 uniquely shaped tools that can double for imaginative play.

Why We Love It: These multi-sensory teethers are BPA-free and made from safe food-grade silicone.

Know Before You Buy: You should sanitize them regularly. Fortunately, these teething tools are easy to clean and can even be boiled!

Price: $9.99

*Price listed at the time of post-publication and subject to change by the manufacturer.

Itzy Ritzy’s Itzy Lovey Plush and Teether Toy

Key Features: This cuddly koala made from sherpa and Minky plush provides comfort and entertainment through playful tags and crinkly arms and feet.

Why We Love It: This is a great non-electronic toy to engage a child’s auditory senses. Little hands love making that crinkle noise!

Know Before You Buy: Teethers require frequent cleaning, although spot cleaning is recommended due to the soft fabric part of this toy.

Price: $12.99*

*Price listed at the time of post-publication and subject to change by the manufacturer.

The Best Sensory Toys for Two-Year-Olds

Crayola Toddler Mess-Free Touch Lights

Key Features: Toddlers get the feel of fingerpainting without the mess! Includes 12 different colored lights and 6 songs to spark multi-sensory creativity.

Why We Love It: Having a sensory-sensitive toddler who dislikes getting their hands dirty, this toy is a big win for our home

Know Before You Buy: This toy requires 3 AA batteries (not included).

Price: $26.99*

*Price listed at the time of post-publication and subject to change by the manufacturer.

Bristle Blocks by Battat

Key Features: With a whopping 112 pieces in different shapes, sizes, and colors (including 8 wheels), the sky is the limit with these interlocking, easy-to-grasp blocks.

Why We Love It: These blocks helped my kids through the pandemic, providing months-long entertainment! Open-ended sensory toys offer the most longevity and keep young minds engaged as they grow.

Know Before You Buy: Bristle blocks are recommended for ages two and up.

Price: 14.50*

*Price listed at the time of post-publication and subject to change by the manufacturer.

The Best Wooden Toys for 2 Year Olds

The Best Sensory Toys for Three-Year-Olds

Learning Resources Farmer’s Market Color Sorting Set

Key Features: This unique 30-piece farmer’s market sorting set includes 25 durable play food items, 5 baskets, an activity guide, and stickers for labeling.

Why We Love It: In addition to teaching your kids color recognition, sorting, and organizing, they can engage in imaginative play by role-playing farmers or chefs.

Know Before You Buy: Manufacturer recommends this toy for ages 3 and up (and children may be tempted to chew on pretend food).

Price: $45.99*

*Price listed at the time of post-publication and subject to change by the manufacturer.

Pop Tubes

Key Features: With over 2 feet of stretch and its bendable structures, your kids can shape letters, connect them, use the tubes for marble races, jump rope with them, and so much more!

Why We Love It: Pop Tubes are a rare sensory gem in that they provide a satisfying (not obnoxious!) noise without flashy buttons or batteries.

Know Before You Buy: If your child manages to squish a dent into their Pop Tube (been there, done that!), rest assured you can easily pop them back into place using a pen.

Price: $5.99 – $19.99*

*Price listed at the time of post-publication and subject to change by the manufacturer.

Aaron’s Thinking Putty

Key Features: The longest-lasting putty you’ll find! Young kids can sculpt, stretch, or bounce it to help manage big feelings.

Why We Love It: As a former school counselor, I can attest that Aaron’s is the crème de la crème of all the playdoughs, slimes, and putties on the market!

Know Before You Buy: Aaron’s offers over 50 varieties! These putties come in diverse colors, limited/holiday editions, and DIY kits.

Price: $14.89*

*Price listed at the time of post-publication and subject to change by the manufacturer.

Monkey Noodles

Key Features: Monkey noodles may not look like much at first, but kids love to pull, twirl, and squeeze them to larger-than-life proportions!

Why We Love It: Made with hypoallergenic, non-toxic, BPA-free, phthalates-free, and latex-free materials, monkey noodles are easy to clean with traditional soap and water.

Know Before You Buy: Colors can vary from package to package (so as one preschool parent to another, please don’t promise your child a specific hue until they arrive!).

Price: $12.99*

*Price listed at the time of post-publication and subject to change by the manufacturer.

The Best Wooden Toys for 4-Year-Olds by Such a Little While (Text overlay, image of playroom with wooden toys)

The Best Sensory Toys for Toddlers with Autism

Best Sensory Toys for Toddlers:
"...providing control of sensory changes to autistic children may help create better conditions for learning." -Unwin, Powell, & Jones (2021)
Graphic by Such a Little While LLC

Playable Art Ball

Key Features: Take the brightly colored balls apart, rearrange them, and even combine them with other sets for endless creations. An ideal therapeutic tactile toy.

Why We Love It: The wooden balls are painted in colorful, non-toxic water-based paints free of harmful chemicals.

Know Before You Buy: Playable Art also offers a monochrome version of this toy if the colors are too overstimulating.

Price: $25.00 – $33.50*

*Price listed at the time of post-publication and subject to change by the manufacturer.

Brewfish Jellyfish Lava Lamp

Key Features: Enjoy the wonders of the aquarium at home! The realistic swimming jellyfish and the mood lighting will give any room the mesmerizing ambiance of an aquarium.

Why We Love It: You can customize the mood lighting with 16 color options. What a great way to personalize a calming space with your child!

Know Before You Buy: This toy requires electricity and a water refresh now and then.

Price: $27.99*

*Price listed at the time of post-publication and subject to change by the manufacturer.

Gafly Chewie Toys

Key Features: Designed to withstand ALOT of chewing, this 5-pack of taste-safe tools provides a range of diverse textures.

Why We Love It: Created by a licensed professional therapist with extensive experience working with neurodivergent children, Gafly’s chewies are ideal for oral sensory seekers.

Know Before You Buy: Recommended for kids ages 3 and up.

Price: $23.50*

*Price listed at the time of post-publication and subject to change by the manufacturer.

Meavia Reversible Sequins Wall

Key Features: This 40 x 27-inch reversible sequin wall screams #sensoryroomgoals! Hang it or lay it on the floor and allow your tactile sensory-seeker to dive in with their hands and 6 shape stencils.

Why We Love It: In addition to fulfilling sensory needs, this sequin wall can become a work of art and engage your child’s creative side.

Know Before You Buy: Recommended for kids ages 5+.

Price: $34.99*

*Price listed at the time of post-publication and subject to change by the manufacturer.

Explore More Of Our Favorite Sensory Toys & Tools

The Best Sensory Toys for Toddlers: You may also like our post on "The Best Weighted Stuffed Animals for Anxious Kids!"
By Such a Little While LLC
The Best Sensory Toys for Toddlers: You may also like our post on "The Best Sensory Swings for SPD, ASD, and ADHD."
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The Bes Sensory Toys for Toddlers: You may also like our post on "The Best Kids' Sensory Tents for Indoor Calming Spaces."
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The last thing you need to know about choosing the best sensory toys for your young child

Best Sensory Toys for Toddlers: A mother and her daughter seated at a table playing with colorful wooden toys.

Each child is unique, so observe their interests and needs when selecting sensory toys. Pay attention to what captivates their focus and what brings joy to their playtime.

Some children may adore tactile toys with various textures, while others may prefer visually stimulating or auditory toys. Keep in mind that some sensory experiences can bother some children, particularly those with loud noises or undesired textures.

Finding the right balance of playtime elements is key to ensuring a positive and enriching play experience. Tailor the toy selection to match your child’s preferences, and you will help foster a lifelong love for learning and exploration.

Happy playing!

My toddler refuses to brush their teeth blot post, written by Tana from Such a Little While
Hi, I’m Tana! I’m a mom, certified positive parent educator, and former school counselor. It’s my mission to help you foster social/emotional wellness through positive parenting.

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