Sensory toys are an amazing support for our toddlers in discovering the world and stimulating the senses. Ours are also in the spirit of Montessori.
The senses are of great importance in the development of infants and young children. The little ones get to know the holidays around them, they are curious about everything, they have to try everything - taste, touch, smell, watch from all sides. Sensory toys are those that shape the ability to receive, understand and respond to stimuli coming from the environment. Sensory toys also activate the baby's brain.
I have already shown you our favorites toys supporting the development of an infant. Practically all of them are with us to this day - although playing with them looks a bit different - Maksiu adopted the Baby Gym stand as a pusher and uses it to learn to walk! And strings of beads of various shapes and textures still do not cease to interest him.
Why is it so important to choose the right toys for children?
Sensory toys, apart from supporting the sensory development of babies, also have a preventive function - thanks to them we can react in time when we see that our child perceives the world incorrectly - hears or perceives colors incorrectly.
What is the difference between sensory toys and others? To develop eyesight, they focus on simple, contrasting colors and practice perceptiveness. Hearing is stimulated by all these sounds, but beware: loud melodies do not attack from all sides, but scratching, rustling, chimes etc., so the best will be a tambourine, drum or bell. To learn sounds, a child must create them by themselves, and not start a melody from a toy with the button.
The sense of touch is supported by all toys with insets, depressions, soft, rough, smooth, slippery, matte and rough, and the taste? Everyone, after all, Toddler has to taste everything 😉
Sensory toys also train your child's balance. When a toddler tries to take his first steps, it is extremely important.
You already know that in raising children, they largely inspire us Maria Montessori methods. Therefore, we looked first of all for toys that will not be fruitless in our child's time, on the contrary - under the pretext of having fun, they will serve as an excellent scientific aid - developing the mind and showing the world.
What's the best thing about them? That many of them are toys for children of all ages - they are perfect not only for our one-year-old Maximilian, but also three-and-a-half-year-old Mikołaj with them, thanks to which the boys have a beautiful time together!
What sensory toys can we recommend to you?
Our type is Animals in the ZOO - a fantastic toy that stimulates the brain and develops our child's sense of touch. Each window with a pet is lined with a cuddly material that contrasts with hard wood, additionally in the color of the animal. Isn't it simple and brilliant at the same time?
You know very well that small children love balls and balls - play with them, throw, chase, roll, bite ... and here it comes to our aid Rubbab with a series of its rubber balls, 100% natural and antibacterial. This is our discovery! They come in several colors and variants - with letter-shaped insets (helpful in the future when learning the alphabet - you can ask for a specific letter) or with recesses. They develop the toddler's motor skills, his sense of touch and… taste a bit too - fortunately, thanks to the material from which they are made, they do not cause allergies. Animal shapes are also available in this rubber series!
Another great idea from Rubbab is bowling set. But not the ordinary ones, made of plastic, as you have often seen in stores, and maybe even at home. These, like the balls, are made of rubber, so much safer than the plastic ones - surely, no moisture will get inside, so you can be careful about mites or mold. These skittles are a development for the senses of a small child and great fun for the older one. We recommend!
Plaque with locks
My salvation when I am waiting with Maks in the line to see the doctor, for example. Sensory charts are certainly well known to you - you can make them yourself, and you can use ready-made solutions. Our suggestion is wooden plaque with locks from Melissa & Doug - I showed it to you in post about games on the couch. Something fabulous! First of all: locks - your children also like to close and open cupboards and drawers, and here they have it at hand. Second - there are pets hidden behind the door! Moreover, these animals make sounds so the child can already learn "how a kitten does" 😉 Could it be better? Yes! The animals hidden behind the door are also learning to count. Fantastic toy and activity for a long time.
A set of colorful bowls
Our suggestion is bowls from the German company Grimm'swhich specializes in making wooden toys. A very simple toy, but in a different edition - not the ubiquitous plastic, but wood, so it is a safer material for such a baby. Sorting and arranging is great fun! You can make a tall tower from the colorful bowls, place one inside the other from the largest to the smallest, or play with the fact that they are kitchen utensils and serve your mom dinner
Our favorite is - as we call them - sticks, that is Oogi creative toy, two little men with suction cups on their heads, legs and hands. A very creative toy, because the silicone sticks can be stretched and glued not only to each other, creating a tangle of arms and legs, but also to furniture, the floor, windows, bathtub ... Both our boys have a lot of fun with them!
Since he is in our house, I am sure that our sons are born drummers! Cylinder It develops Maks' motor skills (holding the sticks in small hands and hitting the drum is a real challenge!) and the sense of hearing - as I mentioned at the beginning, the toy does not make sounds by itself, it is made by a child. Sam is a conductor in his orchestra. The drum gives children a lot of fun! And playing with two drums and a pot is just fun!
Wooden puzzles, which are not only made of natural plastic, but also teach the child colors, numbers and develop motor skills, should be found in every home. We bet on hedgehog puzzle, which is used both to learn how to sort colors and teach numbers - just right for Santa, and simply to set the spikes into holes - for Maks - each of them plays with it in their own way.
You certainly know the popular plastic ball - sorter for blocks of various shapes. But if we change plastic to a safe material such as wood and additionally add another element that stimulates the senses, we get ... Sensory puzzle. Shapes and sounds! It is a great toy for little ones - colorful blocks of various geometric shapes adjust to the appropriate fields on the pad, and the blocks are equipped with a tiny bell, a safe mirror, a squeaky knob, a kaleidoscope, a horn and a rattle. Each brick is not an ordinary brick, but an independent sensory toy! This puzzle therefore develops in the child not only the matching of colors and shapes (here, the child's perceptiveness and concentration are also important) like an ordinary sorter, but also auditory sensitivity - all using safe materials. He is not only Maks's favorite, but also mine!
Safe mirror in the shape of a giraffe
I have already written to you about how a perfect toy that perfectly fits Maria Montessori's philosophy post about toys supporting the development of babies. I am sure that you have noticed for a long time how much joy it gives a child to look at himself in the mirror, to tune his faces or simply to hit the reflection with a little hand (or an object held in that hand). And for such hitting to be safe, the mirror must be made of unbreakable material. We ordered a beautiful mirror in the shape of a giraffe's head for Maks's room. Thanks to this solution, I am sure that our son can spend time alone in his room, which is a safe space for him and will not hurt himself with a broken mirror. The mirror was made for us for special order in the shape of a giraffe - so that it fits the theme of the Maxin's room.
The ones mentioned are just some of our toys, but they are also the favorites that not only stimulate the development of little Maks, but also allow boys to play together and safely, which we also care about very much.