There are a lot of reasons people are sensory seekers- For the most part, Fidgets and the like keep their bodies busy and it allows their brains to focus. People with ADHD, ODD, ADD, ASD, or simply those who are very stressed, may “fidget” to help focus.
Fidget spinners, doodling, and tactile small toys are all great. Some people who are sensory seekers (whether they know it or not), require more such as deep pressure or being bundled up. Regardless of whatever type you have, here are some of our favorite gifts that have helped our family:
Remember the Bop It toy from the 90’s? Twist it, pull it, bop it? This Fidget cube is the smaller, more discreet version. With 6 different tactile fidgets, it’s a great way to discover whatever kind of sensation works best.
If you are looking for something bright and colorful, a little more engaging…
These “snake” fidgets as we call them, are IT.
We have some in the sensory box, my car, and the kids’ backpacks. They are fun- you can make a circle, or a snake, my son likes to bend them in weird ways and pretend it’s his mustache.
If you are new to the world of fidgets and sensory toys, this is a great “starter pack”. It has all sorts of great small toys. They are discreet too.
Some people need sensory items to help them decompress. Items like weighted blankets are great for this type of need. Weighted blankets act like a hug and release feel-good hormones in your body, and help quash the stress hormones like cortisol (1). Weighted blankets for adults should be 10% of their body weight. For growing kids, it should be 10% of their current weight, plus 1-2 pounds to allow for growth (2). I really like this weighted blanket, especially since it has a removable cover. It comes in 2 sizes and 4 different weights.
My big kid loves being wrapped up in a blanket, almost like being swaddled. That gets exhausting after a while, so I took to the internet to find a solution.
Hug Sleep, Sleep Pod is perfect. Especially with a weighted blanket on top!
For fun time, when rolling around and being silly, we’ve found that this stretchy sack is tons of fun, and helps him regulate. And yes, these type of sacks come in adult sizes too!
The next item, while not a toy or fun doodad, is essential in my mind. Not just for sensory seekers, but for those that just need a break from sounds. Loop Earplugs are a life changer. My big kid is easily overwhelmed by sounds, especially out in public, or when his sister is having a hard time herself and is vocal about her troubles. They are discreet too, which is important for tweens and teens.
The last two items are both in my car at all times.
Some sensory seekers chew. Were you a pencil chewer as a kid? Always have gum at your desk? “Chewelry” or silicone jewelry that’s meant to chew on keeps your pencils and fingernails safe.
My big kid has these sweet shark tooth necklaces. There is one in my car (and one in his backpack). He informed me that all the cool kids at school have them. He also told me some junior high girls have pacifiers- which was popular when I was in high school…
And finally, these Liquid Motion Bubblers are great for helping kids (and adults) calm down and center. Remember a few years ago when DIY calm-down jars were all the rage? These are a much better idea- They aren’t going to open and get everywhere. One of these lives in my center console for when kiddos need to listen to some quiet music and re-center themselves.