Sensory Toys UK

Affordable Sensory Toys

Spacemasks – an easy to use self care product.

Posted by 77c53b on 09/03/2021

As a parent of a disabled child with high care needs, I’m often mentally and physically exhausted but it can be very difficult to ‘switch off’ and unwind from all the daily stresses. When I came across Spacemasks I was intrigued as they looked like a self care product that would work around my busy schedule with no mess to clean up afterwards! I’m often so tired the thought of creating more mess for me to tidy after self care, seems to go against why I’m doing it in the first place – to relax and chill out and have a break from my 101 ‘jobs.’

The Spacemasks are award winning and so easy to use, open the packet, pop the mask over your eyes and chill! The mask is self heating which is so relaxing and comforting and is infused with jasmine which is known to have a calming effect. I often use mine to help me drift off to sleep at nightime, the heat from the eye mask lasts for around 10 minutes but you can keep the mask on all night.

My son has a sleeping disorder so I have become accustomed to having very little sleep which now means even when my son does sleep, I’m having trouble drifting off. I’ve found that these spacemasks help me to get into the right frame of mind for sleep and help me to stop thinking of everything else but focus on the warmth that they create.

Why is Self Care important as a Carer/Parent?

Self care is so important, especially as a Carer or Parent as it helps our health and wellbeing by promoting rest and relaxation. Often as a Carer or Parent we don’t have time to look after ourselves but it’s so vital to make time to recharge in order to remain healthy and positive. Self care can also help improve your self esteem and confidence as when you feel better, everything else tends to improve.

I also find if I’ve made some time for myself, I feel more motivated and seem to be more productive and efficient as my mind is clearer. I like these spacemasks as my time is so limited and I don’t need to set aside time as such but just use it as an aid when I jump into bed.

As a Carer I do have seem to have more stresses than your average person so I feel that self care is even more important to prioritise as the benefits are huge, with the main benefit of self care being relieving stress. Stress can have such a detrimental effect on our mental health but also on our physical health so we do need to help reduce it when and if we can, ironically stress can have the biggest effect yet we often neglect ways to help reduce/manage it by practising self care regularly. I’m trying to take note of this and actively help myself so that I cam be a better Carer/Parent.

If you have any other ideas of products that can help me to relax, de-stress and have some self care quite easily, please let me know.

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Messy Play is the Best Sensory Play!

Posted by 77c53b on 16/09/2020

Here at Sensory Toys UK we adore Messy Play as it gives such great tactile feedback which is useful for children that are sensitive to touch but also for children that seek out tactile input.

What is tactile input?

Tactile input simply means TOUCH! It includes light or deep pressure touch as well as different mediums/textures such as dry, wet or messy! The brain not only processes the different types of touch but also experiences touch differently depending on where the touch was received  such as to the hands or feet, the back, face, the entire body etc.

We feel that the more tactile experiences that a person can have the more the brain gets used to processing it. Messy play is rich in tactile input so is a favourite for helping children that need a lot of tactile input.

It is so important for children and adults to have a healthy tactile system, to be able to feel the world around them.

The tactile system is quite complex and due to the different pathways a child/adult may tolerate one type of touch but not another. Deep pressure touch is regarded to be the most accepted form of tactile input however there are some children/adults that can be tactile defensive to deep pressure also (like our son).

 

Sensory Messy Play!

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Tuff Tray

Posted by 77c53b on 18/06/2020

What is a Tuff Tray?

If you’re a fairly new parent you may be asking yourself this question.

A Tuff Tray is a large tray around 1m x 1m that is octagonal in shape with raised sides. The tuff tray is made from plastic so that it can be used indoors or outdoors and is very hardwearing. The size and shape of a Tuff Tray or Tuff Spot means that children are free to move around and explore an activity from different angles giving a different perspective. The tuff tray gives opportunities for lots of different types of play including exploratory play or messy play ideas.

 

Tuff Tray

Tuff trays come in lots of different colours, the standard tuff tray colours are black or blue however you can now buy a tuff tray in the following colours – white, cream, red, yellow, green, pink, purple, green.

You can buy a tuff tray stand so that children can play whilst standing, some stands are height adjustable so they can grow with your child. You can go without the tuff tray stand and place the tuff tray on the floor or grass etc for sit down play. The tuff tray stand and tuff tray can also serve as a den to hide underneath!

 

We love the tuff trays as there are so many wonderful tuff tray ideas on Instagram and Pinterest of ‘small worlds’ that you can set up to enhance children’s play. The possibilities are endless and so versatile.

 

What are the benefits of a Tuff Tray?

There are so many benefits to having a Tuff Tray mainly that it will support the learning and development of children through fun, hands on practical play experiences. Learning through play and making learning fun is key. The Tuff tray helps to provide a focused area of play that is ‘contained’ to the tray  but gives children the opportunity to explore and discover independently, and fosters their creativity and imagination.

A large Tuff tray can also encourage group play, allowing numerous children at once to join the activity, playing along side each other or together. This creates a great opportunity for children to develop language skills, their emotions and creativity, social and intellectual skills.

For most children their play is natural and spontaneous although some children may need extra support from adults. A tuff tray enables the adult to ‘set up’ the learning experience for the children, either on their own initiative or in collaboration with the child(ren). A great idea is to focus on a theme for your tuff tray each day/week, there are so many ideas online to google and inspire, themes range from the sea, dinosaur land, construction site etc.

What are Tuff Tray Inserts?

Tuff Tray inserts can be purchased if you need help to create/develop a theme. These inserts are placed inside the tuff and have various designs and bright colours to enable parents/teachers to display and create resources in an appealing and accessible way for young learners.
Here are examples of the types of inserts and tuff tray play mats available.

Dinosaur Land Tuff Tray Mat

Forest Tuff Tray Play Mat

Arctic Tuff Tray Play Mat

Where to buy Tuff Trays?

Sensory Toys UK sell a wide range of Tuff Trays and Tuff Tray accessories.

 

 

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Teaching my Son to Touch – Sensory Processing Dysfunction Tactile Defensive

Posted by 77c53b on 16/04/2020

My Son has a rare neurological condition. When he was around 2 years of age, I had to help him to touch everyday objects like his feeding spoon, a toy, food, everything we take for granted.

One of the exercises was to brush his arms, legs and body with a sensory brush and then use a vibrating sensory toy to stimulate his sensory perception. After many months of hard intensive work my Son has improved vastly but still needs regular input.

Helping your child to overcome sensory overload is not an easy task as there is a lot of screaming, hitting out and biting as it becomes too much to the child, but the rewards are worth the effort as the results are overwhelming.
Playing with your child and using sensory toys such as squishy and hard toys, vibrating toys and also chews that stimulate the urge to bite can teach the child to touch through creating neural pathways within the brain.
Sound is very important too and playing certain music can help your child to focus and tune into the most common waveforms that our brain deciphers into sounds that we can recognise and respond to.
We also used lots of Sensory toys and he really started to enjoy squeezing a stress ball. A stress ball is a great sensory toy to give tactile feedback and perfect for children with autism.

Stress Ball

Stress Ball

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Corona Virus – Talk to your Kids

Posted by 77c53b on 27/03/2020

corona virus

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Problems with children chewing their clothes?

Posted by 77c53b on 17/03/2020

Sensory Processing Issues.

Oral stimulation needed by a child or adult is a regular occurring dependency that is shown in conditions such as sensory processing issues, Autism or a condition such as Angelman syndrome.
The mouth is full of sensory receptors that sends a signal to the brain in order to process temperature, taste, texture, dryness and how moist the mouth is. Children or adults that have sensory issues naturally strive for or avoid some sensations that occur around the lips, tongue, and mouth.

 

Using Chewigem to overcome chewing barriers.

Helping your child to overcome these barriers can be a difficult journey but sometimes it cannot be remedied. Talking to your child will help you to understand why they are seeking oral stimulation or even sensory feedback; this can lead to putting in place an alternative strategy to alleviate some of the triggers and adjust accordingly to meet their needs. Just be calm with the child or adult and try not to get frustrated if they become defensive but instead make them feel at ease and reassure them that you are curious and want to learn why they do it.
A child or adult with sensory issues may enjoy sweet or sour experiences because he/she finds those types of foods stimulating, but oral sensory seeking that involves the unclean and even dangerous habits of licking and biting are socially unacceptable and must be addressed immediately.

What are Chewigem?

A child or adult can utilise an oral chew such as the Chewigem which can be different styles, different bite characteristics such as aggressive bitters or just chewers. The Chewigem comes in different shapes, sizes and materials and can also be flavoured such as chocolate. These oral tools help to stimulate and calm down the child/adult giving them some feedback so that they do not feel the need to bite anything else around them, making it safer. The Chewigem can also help to produce more saliva in the mouth that can aid tooth brushing as this can be a very difficult task indeed.
Most children and adults bite, lick and chew more when they are feeling stressed, anxious or frustrated. This is an ideal time to introduce an oral chew such as the Chewigem or even Chewelry that is a different form of oral sensory chew.
Other sensory toys such as bubble machine, sensory bean bag or even a ball pit can help the child/adult overcome their anxiety, frustration or even boredom. Introducing these types of sensory toy or machines can encourage positive behaviour, a stimulating environment and to also teach the child or adult necessary fundamental skills that will enable them to achieve more complex tasks or even achievements.

In working with a child or adult with sensory issues you will want to gently push them out of their comfort zone and get them to go through new experiences such as splashing water on their hands or feet, placing them on grass with bare feet or even getting them to feel grains of sand on their hands or feet. The anxiety or stress around a memory of being forced to touch something that they may find difficult (sand, for example) can make it harder to encourage a child or adult into trying something new next time. It will be more likely to be harder for them to build up a tolerance for the repulsive sensation, and their trust in you will be reduced or even lost. It’s better to use fun, meaningful rewards, and increased exposure time to expand you’re the child’s or adult’s ability to handle difficult and unpleasant sensations. Over time the sensory issues may change, or they may overcome certain sensory issues and develop new ones. Through repetition the brain creates new pathways that build a schema that allows adults or children to advance and overcome certain sensory issues like being able to be touched or teaching them to touch.
Sensory balls or Koosh balls can help with tactile issues where the child or adult can squish balls with their hands and feet and experience the sensation of this. Water or sand trays and stands can be an important sensory toy or aid where it can be filled with either substances and can be drained accordingly through use of a drain plug, accessible indoors as well as outdoors. This enables the child or adult to overcome or tolerate the sensation of sand or water before they return to the seaside or beach.

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Mesh Ball Keyring

Posted by 77c53b on 05/03/2020

Back in Stock today our Mesh Ball Keyring.

This Mesh Ball Key Ring is the new craze and great to squeeze on the go, helping to relieve stress. A mesh ball key ring is a stress ball with a net making it satisfying to squeeze, watching the bubbles squish out and can also be clipped to your trousers/shorts, or even your keys can be attached to it. The mesh key ring are great stress toys. Sensory balls such as a mesh ball key ring helps to bring calmness and also relieve stress and anxieties. Consists of one mesh ball key ring that acts as a stress ball.There are four different colours to choose from.

Mesh Ball Keyring

Mesh Ball Keyring!

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Sensory Toys UK Favourite Stress Relief Toys

Posted by 77c53b on 27/02/2020

Our TOP TEN stress relief toys for children and adults with special needs. If you like to fidget then read on.
There are many stress relief toys and sensory toys on the market to help calm and maintain focus for children and adults with sensory processing dysfunction or autism. Here are our favourites and top ten stress relief toys.

1. Squishy Bead Balls – you can squish these and get lots of feedback from the balls, they often come in lots of fun, different characters like dinosaurs. We have lots of squishy toys uk available.


2. Squidgy Balls – these are more known as stress balls and you can squeeze and twist them.

3. Slime-Some slime can help focus anyone and make you completely mesmerised in the goo.

4. A tactile ball – it may have lumps and bumps and different textures to keep your fidget fingers happy but is mess free.

 

5. Chewelry – a chew can give the most anxious person a calming effect, also helps develop oral motor skills.

 

6. A Tangle Teaser – helps to keep your mind and fingers busy.

7. A Fidget Spinner – is often very discreet so fits in the palm of your hand but can help retain focus, some also have a light feature on them to maintain interest

8. A Fidget Cube – ideal for older children/adults
9. A Pea Keyring Fidget – little peas that act like stress relief balls but very compact and all on a keyring so you have it whilst on the move without being in danger of losing it.
10. The Galactic Globe – tends to distract people and bring a smile to their face.

 

There are so many sensory toys available, don’t struggle if you find it hard to keep focus, use one of these aids to help you.
Fidgeting isn’t a negative attribute (even though sometimes it is perceived as so) often it is a way of expressing your emotions, often when you don’t have any other way. It is particularly useful to have a fidget sensory toy available during transitions as these can be difficult times, so the fidgeting can take the place of other emotions you may have such as anxiety that you are unable to express.

Fidgeting is often a way to relive stress hence why lots of fidget toys are called stress relief toys. We often fidget to help us self regulate so it is often used to calm our emotions but can also be used to energise us too. Fidgeting isn’t a bad thing it actually helps us and helps regulate our emotions and bodies.

 

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New Wooden Toy Kitchens

Posted by 77c53b on 24/11/2019

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Sensory Tub’s

Posted by 77c53b on 13/11/2019

Sensory Tubs

These Sensory tubs are full of sensory toys for autism and other special needs to keep your child busy and happy. They contain squishy toys, stress relief toys and light up toys plus lots more. They are perfect for children that like to fidget and will keep fidgety hands busy, often having an added calming effect. There is also a messy play sachet of sno or gelli in it too! They are available at a special introductory offer of £19.99!

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