Little girl playing with sensory toys.

Sensory issues are common among kids nowadays, often though not always involving kids who are on the autism spectrum. Whatever the underlying reason, it’s important to find ways to make kids with sensory issues feel comfortable when they are stressed or anxious. This can happen not only while out in loud and crowded public places but also at school. In school, many educational institutions and teachers allow children with sensory issues to use things like push toys to help get them through tough moments, calming their anxiety and nervous energy.

Sensory toys are designed specifically to help stimulate one or more of a child’s senses. They help distract the child so they can focus and concentrate, whether it’s while working on an assignment, listening in class, or dealing with a loud activity. Most won’t disrupt the teacher or other students like other methods of calming stress can, like clicking a pen or fidgeting in their seats.

Push pop toysThere are lots of sensory-friendly toys to choose from, which kids can use at school, home, or anywhere else they might be feeling overwhelmed.

Sensory toys for school

Fidget toys are one of the earliest and most popular sensory toys developed for children with sensory issues. While lots of kids love playing with them, for kids with sensory issues, they can prove invaluable. Holding the spinner using the thumb and index finger and spinning it round and round can help kids calm down and focus.

The latest version of the fidget toy is push pop bubble sensory fidget toys that come in all shapes and sizes with rows of bubbles kids can pop in from one end and pop out to the other. It’s the same satisfying experience you’d get by popping bubble wrap but it isn’t quite as loud nor distracting. With various colours, designs, and fun themed shapes, it’s the Magnetic sensory ringsperfect toy to keep in the backpack and use when they need to release some stress and anxiety. These even come in the form of bracelets kids can wear around their wrist for easy access whenever the need strikes.

Magnetic rings kids can spin on their fingers are also helpful for releasing anxiety. Each has three rings: kids place their fingers inside and spin it every which way to help calm their fidgety hands. Other finger fling-type toys include a simple string with two weighted pieces on either side that kids can fling back and forth in one hand to keep them relaxed and prevent over-stimulation.

Fidget noodle stringsWhile it will make a bit more noise, for classrooms that can accommodate that, or for use outside of the classroom, like at recess, there are click and fidget toys that come in the form of puzzles kids can snap together and take apart repeatedly to be soothed by the repetitive motion. The come shaped like snakes and other items.

A simple option is fidget noodle strings that kids can stretch, pull, twirl around their hands, and squeeze. No matter how they are manipulated, they always return to the initial form. It’s simple and lightweight to put in a backpack. Since they don’t make any noise, it won’t distract others in the class.

Sensory vibrating pillowSensor vibrating pillows are also great for kids with sensory issues, and there are ones small enough to bring to class. Powered by a lithium battery, the vibrating sensation can be soothing, and can only be triggered when the child applies pressure to the pillow. Otherwise, it’s just a simple pillow to use at their desk.

Sensory toys can make a difference

A simple sensory toy can make all the difference for a child with sensory issues. From push pop toys to fidget toys, vibrating pillows, fidget noodle strings, and more, there are plenty of options to consider.

See a wide selection of sensory toys for kids of all ages they can use at school, home, and elsewhere at Best Buy Online.

Christine Persaud
With 20+ years of experience in trade and consumer tech journalism, I have covered the tech space since before social media was a "thing" and the smartphone as we know it was even invented. Writing for various technology, lifestyle, and entertainment sites, I have covered and reviewed hundreds of tech products, from home appliances to wearables, fitness tech to headphones, TV entertainment products and services, and more. I'm also a passionate foodie who loves to cook and bake, a TV show fanatic (happy to give what to watch recommendations!), and proud mother to a 12-year-old son.