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Everything You Need To Know About Baby Sensory Toys

Everything You Need To Know About Baby Sensory Toys

Thinking up ideas for how to play with your baby can be tricky, considering they have a very limited attention span and skillset! But sensory play is fun for all ages. It’s also super easy and affordable to do from home. But where do you start? Read on for our top tips, baby sensory ideas, and favourite baby sensory toys for little explorers!

Guide To Baby Sensory Toys 

Sensory toys for babies offer excellent early learning activities. In this short guide, we reveal some examples of sensory toys and explore what the 7 sensory experiences are, why sensory toys are important, and what age you can start. 

Baby playing with Sensory Blocks 

What is an example of a sensory toy?

Good examples of sensory toys include touch-and-feel puzzles, squishy stress balls, tactile fidget toys, percussion instruments, textured books, light-up toys, kaleidoscopes, mirrors, rainmakers, playdough, water toys, and so on. Essentially, anything that stimulates a child’s senses can be considered a sensory toy. 

What are the 7 sensory experiences?

The 7 sensory experiences include sight, touch, hearing, smell, taste, balance/movement, and body awareness. We often focus mostly on the core 5, but it’s just as important to choose sensory toys that invite kids to explore the lesser-known senses, too. 

Dad and baby playing with sensory rattle toy

Why are sensory toys important?

Sensory toys are key in early childhood development as they help kids better understand the world around them. Some of the benefits include enhanced brain development, cognitive growth, recognition of the different senses, improved social and language skills, and opportunities for parent-baby bonding. 

Let’s take a closer look…

1. Brain development: Sensory toys stimulate different areas of a baby’s brain, contributing to healthy cognitive growth.

2. Alertness & recognition: Exploring different textures, sights, sounds and smells teaches babies and toddlers how to respond appropriately as they grow (think hot temperatures/loud noises etc.)

3. Boosts social interaction: Collaborative sensory play with other little ones can support the first stages of a baby’s social development.

4. Language skills: Research suggests that sensory play early on in a baby’s life has positive effects on their language development as they progress into toddlerhood.

5. Bonding activity: Enjoying some mindful sensory experiences together is a wonderful way for you to connect and spend time with your baby. 

Baby looking at sensory flashcards

When should I start using sensory toys?

You can start introducing sensory toys to babies as young as 0 months, as long as these toys are suitable for newborns. Black and white toys, flashcards and cloth books featuring contrasting patterns and shapes are ideal for tiny ones, as at this age the only colours they can see are black, white and shades of grey. As your baby grows, you can start to introduce more colourful sensory toys that encourage them to explore diverse textures, visuals and sounds. 

How do I start sensory play?

For babies, start simple! Sing songs, tickle their tummy, try baby massage, skin-to-skin, investigate new objects and fabrics, blow bubbles, play with reflections in a mirror, and get messy! Baby sensory play doesn’t have to be complicated. You can start with just one sensory toy, such as a set of black and white flashcards or a pair of baby maracas. Show your baby how they work by gently shaking the maracas, and they’ll be able to listen to the different sounds they make until their grasping skills have developed enough to hold and shake one themselves. 

Mum and baby blowing bubbles during sensory play

Best Sensory Toys For Babies 

Here are some of our favourite sensory baby toys broken down by age to help you find the right picks for your curious tots. 

Baby Maracas

Shake, rattle and roll with our Twin Maracas! Perfectly sized for babies, this double-sided maraca has a chunky wooden handle for little fingers to grasp and a colourful striped pattern for visual stimulation. Choose from bright pink or blue. Suitable from birth.

Wooden Animal Rattle

Made from eco-friendly FSC® Certified wood, this adorable Wooden Fox Rattle features a friendly face with pointy ears, two beads in its tummy, and an easy-to-grip handle. We also have a Wooden Rabbit Rattle available. Suitable from birth.

Wooden Fox Rattle for sensory play 

Rainmaker Toy

Shower your littlen with a rainmaker gift! Our Garden Rainmaker recreates the soft soothing sound of rainfall and features rainbow-coloured tabs for added sensory stimulation, alongside butterfly and ladybug illustrations on either end. Suitable from birth.

Busy Board

Busy boards are great sensory toys for strengthening children’s dexterity, coordination and body awareness, as they learn how to navigate and control their movements to achieve a goal. Our Marine Activity Centre is packed with gadgets, including sun and wind dials, a bead frame, follow-the-path puzzle, and spinning dials. It also has buckled straps which you can attach to your baby’s cot. Available in marine or flower themes. Suitable for 6+ months.

Baby playing with Marine Activity Centre sensory busy board

Sensory Spinners

Meet wombat, koala and cockatoo, a trio of Aussie animals ready to go for a spin! These Sensory Spinning Toys from Tiger Tribe are designed with a strong suction cup base, so you can stick them to a high chair tray, bathtub, or car window for entertainment on the go. Suitable for 6+ months.

Activity Puzzle

A shape sorter, jigsaw, and sensory board in one, this unique Activity Puzzle features two contrasting soft and hard textures for tots to touch, feel, and even chew! The shapes are made from 100% food-grade silicone and the tray and puzzle pieces are crafted with sustainable wood. Suitable for 12+ months.

Musical Shapes

Babies can explore three senses (sight, sound and body awareness) with these Rattle & Stack Blocks, as they take in the colours, listen to the sounds, and use their fine motor skills to stack the shapes. Made from plant-based bioplastic and available in sets of 11 and 24 blocks. Suitable for 12+ months.

Sensory Blocks

Discover a bunch of sensory surprises in this little bag of tricks! Inside the drawstring tote, you’ll find some wooden Sensory Blocks featuring a mix of sensory experiences, including a jingly bell, mirror, viewfinder, optical prism, scratchy felt, cylinder squeaker and rattles. Suitable for 12+ months.

Baby playing with Sensory Blocks toy 

Touch & Feel Puzzle

Lift up the friendly farmyard animals to feel the different textures, from fluffy fleece to smooth felt. Alongside sensory discovery, this Touch & Feel Farm toy doubles up as a chunky wooden puzzle with four animal pieces which can be matched to the correct spaces on the board. Suitable for 12+ months.

Create A Baby Sensory Box

How To Make A Sensory Box banner

Top tip! Combine these baby sensory supplies to create your own homemade sensory box for babies. Read our How To Make A Sensory Box feature for step-by-step instructions and helpful hacks. 

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