Calming sensory toys can help individuals who experience a high level of anxiety, providing the right kind of sensory input to reduce or eliminate the anxiety and presenting symptoms.
Activity MatSKU #3975Soft, portable and hygienic, this padded mat is the perfect surface for exploration, play and practicing new skills.$131.95
Crash PadSKU #3139Sturdy enough for jumping yet soft enough for sitting and relaxing, this foam filled pad is a must for any sensory room, gym, home, or classroom nook. Note: Item non-returnable once opened. To view accessories for this item click accessories tab below.$295.95
Glowing strands of fiber optic lights set a calming mood for a sensory space or any room you choose.$44.95
Fiber Optic SpraysSKU #3954These color changing sensory sprays provide an abundance of multi-sensory benefits and are perfect for your sensory space.$863.95
Gel Lap MazeSKU #3154Press, squeeze or push the marbles through the spiral gel maze to build hand-eye coordination and finger strength.$49.95
Gel Lap PadSKU #3142Great for classroom use, this multipurpose pad, full of squishy, colorful sparkling gel, is a treat for the eyes, fingers and regulatory system.$47.95
Two graceful, life-like jellyfish dance and sway in this illuminated mood lamp. Choose the color that reflects your mood—blue, yellow, red, green or purple.$89.95
Interactive Musical Bubble TubeSKU #2291Make “sensory tubing” a group experience with an interactive tube that accommodates up to four users at once.$995.95
Massaging PillowSKU #3128WOur massaging pillow encourages good posture and helps soothe your back and or neck.$42.95 – $57.95
On-the-Go Sensory BuddiesSKU #3826WThese soft plush backpacks are more than just cute! Unzip them and inside is a treasure trove of sensory toys for on-the-go fun.$79.95
Patchwork Activity MatSKU #3161Floor play is safe and comfortable with this 1-inch thick, dense foam activity mat. Covered in vegan leather, the mat is easily cleaned and disinfected with household cleaner.$125.95
Roots of Anxiousness and Fidgeting
Most people experience anxiousness occasionally, such as before a speech or important test. But some people experience feelings of anxiety that persist or seem extreme for the situation. These anxious responses could be related to a mental health disorder or disability.
Many children with disabilities experience intense anxiety. Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), for example, may be anxious about changing routines or overwhelmed by certain sensory stimuli. Children with anxiety disorders may also experience symptoms that make learning and functioning difficult. In both cases, anxiousness may present as a desire to escape the situation, difficulty focusing or fidgeting.
Things Parents, Caregivers and Educators Should Know About Calming a Child
A child who is experiencing anxiety may struggle to focus, be more sensitive to touch or fidget excessively. In some situations, adults can mistake these symptoms for poor behavior. The important thing for parents, caregivers and educators to remember is that a child’s distress feels very serious to them. Even if their response seems overblown to surrounding adults, children need to feel acknowledged in their feelings.
In order to support a child or student who is experiencing anxiety, you can express your understanding and offer help.
Ways to Calm Anxiety
You can help someone calm their anxiety in a number of different ways. Simple options can include stepping away from the stressful stimulus, practicing breathing and developing ways to cope with difficult situations.
People with anxiety disorders may benefit from working with a professional. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help kids manage their anxiety and respond with more positive behavior.
Kids with ASD may also benefit from treatment for anxiety, although CBT may not be as effective for some kids on the autism spectrum. In the short-term, adults can guide children in dealing with their anxiety and provide calming sensory toys to promote relaxation.
How Sensory Toys Can Calm Anxiety
Sensory toys are designed to provide a specific kind of sensory input. To relieve stress and anxiety, some schools and organizations design entire sensory rooms to provide a variety of calming stimuli for children and adults.
Sensory toys can calm children by providing something external to focus on. Interesting colors, shapes, textures and sounds draw attention away from distress and bring people back to a relaxed state. Fidget toys may also help calm anxiety by providing an outlet for energy.
Many sensory toys also provide proprioceptive input, the kind of sensory input that lets us know where our bodies are in space. Weighted toys and lap mats can provide this kind of input to help kids on the autism spectrum calm sensory overload.
How to Select the Right Calming Sensory Toy
To select the right sensory toy, you’ll want to think about who will be using it. Adults and children with anxiety and autism have individual preferences about what kind of sensory input they do and don’t like. Talking to the child and observing what kind of stimuli they gravitate toward can make all the difference.
You may also consider where the child will use the toy. Some toys work well for at-home exploration but could cause distractions in classrooms. Enabling Devices offers calming toys that fit in a variety of settings, from classroom fidget kits to calming light projectors.
Have a Toy in Mind That You Don’t See? We May Be Able to Make It for You!
At Enabling Devices, we’re dedicated to helping people of all ages and abilities reach their goals and live fulfilling lives. To further this mission, we make hundreds of unique products for people with disabilities, including toys to help calm adults and children with anxiety, autism and other disabilities.
We also know that every person has unique needs. If you have a toy in mind and don’t see it offered, reach out to us! We frequently work with individuals to design products that meet specific needs, so we may be able to make it for you.