The Ultimate Guide for Sensory Processing Gift Ideas

I will be the first to say I am not normally a huge fan of gift guides, as I feel they encourage us to feel the pressure to purchase things and more things that may or may not be necessary. However, I am also the same person that loves finding recommendations from people I trust, especially for tools that can help my children. When I was in the classroom, and now that I run a sensory support group, I am always asked for advice on tools and items that can help encourage their child’s sensory development. Raising a child with sensory processing disorder can be a struggle for any parent, and finding the perfect tools can be confusing. That is why I have joined the Ultimate Gift Guide 2014 to share this massive guide for sensory processing gift ideas.

Sensory Processing Gift Guide


When I sat down to write this gift guide, I thought long and hard about the things I wished I had known about when I was in the classroom, or when I was just starting out in our journey to learn more about Sensory Processing. Over the last few years (this last year, especially) I have learned so much about simple ways to promote healthy sensory development in all children and support sensory processing. Although, I know this guide is lengthy and cumbersome, I hope it will be a guide you can use, share and refer to as a way to support your chid’s sensory needs!

So let’s get started!

10 Sensory Processing Gift Ideas for Vestibular Input

If you are familiar with my post on vestibular input, you know that this refers to our sense of movement. This movement is incredibly important in the development of all children, despite having processing concerns or not. This sense refers to moving fast or slow, up or down, spinning in circles and flipping upside down. Many of the tools that promote vestibular input are also great for gross motor development and getting the fidgets and “energy” out of any kid!

10 vestibular Sensory gifts

Plasma Car | We love, love, love our Plasma car! In fact, it has made its way through 3 kids and is still working and has tons of life left in it! Even thought our 9 year old is too big for it, he still gets it out an a frequent basis.

Twister | What better way to turn upside down and all around than with this awesome classic game! Who doesn’t love a great game of twister?

Gonge Top | This has to be at the top of our wish list. I can picture us doing our reading and math inside this throughout the day. Its great for spins, balance and just all around fun vestibular input.

Move and Groove Game Cube | Perfect for the itty bitties. This game encourages family play and movement while teaching toddlers all about their body parts and the way to move them.

Wobble Deck Balancing Game | We love our balance board, but this takes it to a whole new level and turns it into a family game of balance and listening skills.

Ikea Swing | TOP RECOMMENDED from our sensory support group! Hands-down the most recommended swing anytime someone asks about setting up a home sensory room or adding to their playroom. This is a must for sensory input!

Ball Pit | We don’t want to leave out the little ones. This ball pit is perfect because you can fold it up and put it away when not in use. Its also a wonderful way to involve the whole family in some fun and energetic vestibular play.

Ring and Trapeze Combo | On our wish list for sure, this trapeze would be perfect hanging in our basement to help center and organize the boys sensory systems. Talk about an awesome brain break between activities and school work. Perfect!

Wheely Bug | Another family fave! We have had our bumblebee for all there children and have let others borrow it. I believe this simple ride on toy has seen 6 children and is still going strong. I love sustainable toys with a purpose!

In Sync Activity Cards | Used for Brain Breaks, Heavy Work, a Sensory Diet, or just fun sensory play ideas for the family… these cards are perfect stocking stuffers for any child who loves to move!


10 Sensory Processing Gift Ideas for Visual Input

I know, I know… visual processing. How fun can that be? Who want to buy gifts for kids to encourage visual input? Surprisingly, you might find that these are pretty awesome and you might even want some for yourself. Did you know that a healthy visual system is responsible for reading skills, tracking, depth perception and even more?

Visual Processing Sensory Toys

Spot It | One of the first card games the kids got and still one of our favorites. Every card has a matching image on another card, making it a fun and quick paced look and find game. It is great for problem solving, team work and developing keen visual skills.

Simon | Another classic game you can’t forget. Mixed with auditory input, this game is sure to capture any child’s attention and fine tune their ability to visually attend.

Motion Bubbler | Ahh… can’t you just watch these for hours? I know I can. Perfect as a stocking stuffer or a calm down tool.

Perplexus | If your kid likes mazes, they will LOVE this game! Children have to spend their time and concentration getting one small ball around a maze as they twist and turn the game. Encourages concentration and focus!

Doodle Quest | This has to be one of my new favorite games! I could honestly play this for hours. Each player lays out a clear card and has to follow an instruction (like circle all the fish) while looking at the main card but not touching it. After both players are done, they place their see-thru card on top to reveal how many points they earned.

Labyrinth | A new favorite of Legoman (age 9) from his time in therapy. He comes home every time talking about playing this game and how much he loves it. Not only does it encourage visual development, it is perfect for developing social skills and problem solving strategies.

I SPY Bingo | Recognition, Matching, Memory and Discrimination skills all in one game! What could be better than a simple game to  encourage visual development.

Find It | Discovery bottle style games that are awesome for visual development. There are so many to choose from, I’m not sure I found one I could pick as my favorite.  The size makes a perfect stocking stuffer idea.

Light Table | Although these are a bit pricy due to the size of the item, these are perfect for family gifts that will last forever! I had this same light table in my classroom for 12 years and can assure you it is nothing but sturdy and amazing for visual play. You can learn much more about the benefits of light table play here.

Time Timer | Do you have a child that has trouble making transitions? Time Timer is perfect for visually showing the passing of time and allowing your child to see the transition approaching.


10 Sensory Processing Gift Ideas for Proprioceptive Input

Proprioceptive input can be confusing and often overlooked. Think pressure and body movements. Jumping, skipping, pushing and pulling are all activities that encourage proprioceptive development. Many of the tools and toys that promote proprioceptive input have one thing in common… force.

10 proprioceptive sensory processing gifts

Trampoline | Jumping is pretty much the best form of proprioceptive input you can give a child! I love this trampoline for the walls, and quality construction, but any trampoline will do the trick!

Jumparoo | Okay, I am pretty much in love with this new tool! Honestly, this might just be what the family gets this year to split. I love how it has a place to climb, jumps, and hang! Love, love, love!

Pounding Tower | Proprioceptive input can be simple and super fun to provide even at a young age! Most toddlers and babies will love pounding the balls into the tower and trying again. Melissa & Doug products are durable and sustainable, making them an excellent choice for your children’s toys.

Crash Pad | Perfect for a calm down spot or for a landing spot for loads of jumping. A crash pad is an amazing way to help your child organize their sensory system and receive tons of proprioceptive input.

Sensory Backpack | This kit has everything you need to help your child succeed in school. From putty to chewing gum, it has it all and will help provide sensory regulation for any child.

Handee Band | We have fallen in love with our Handee Band Set and use it every single day for brain breaks and for movement and proprioceptive play during out homeschool routine.

Mini Massager | Did you know that massage is actually helpful for providing proprioceptive input? Use it on a child’s joints, on their lap during circle time, or even on their scalp at the end of the day. Makes a great stocking stuffer!

Wagon | The whole family can benefit from a nice sturdy wagon like this. Here is another tool we have had through all three kids and continue to use it on a weekly basis. Pushing and pulling the wagon is a perfect way to increase proprioceptive input and organize your child’s sensory systems.

Stress Toy | Perfect Stocking Stuffer! This squeeze toy is great for providing pressure to the joints and releasing stress and overstimulation for your sensory seeking kiddo.

Thinking Putty | Oh My GOODNESS!!! That is about all I can say about this stuff. We are so in love with this slime like putty that we can’t contain ourselves. It doesn’t dry out. Its thick and not sticky. Best of all, it is perfect for squeezing, pulling, and twisting out your frustrations and need for proprioceptive input!

Want More Sensory Processing Gift Ideas

Honestly, I could go on forever! I had every intention of sharing the best sensory gifts for each of the 7 senses  and self regulation. However, I feel like this is a lot of information and might be better broken into a few guides. I am working as fast as I can to get the rest of the senses covered, since I continue to get requests.

For now, I encourage you to hop over and check out all the other amazing gift guides! There are more than 75 gift guides arranged and sorted by categories.

kbn gift guides landscape

So, now its your turn to tell me what is on your list? What would you add to this list? I want to know!   I would love to know! FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestInstagram or subscribe by email. I can’t wait to hear your ideas.




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6 thoughts on “The Ultimate Guide for Sensory Processing Gift Ideas”

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  5. Helen Brindell

    These toys seem to be for younger children. Do you have any ideas for 8-10 year olds? Thank you.

    1. That is a great question. I will make my Christmas list this year for that age range! Be sure to sign up for the newsletter so you don’t miss it.

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