30 BEST Sensory and Fidget Toys...
30 Great Kids' Sensory Toys & Prizes
May 23, 2023
What's the deal with sensory toys (also known as fidget toys)? Why are they so popular now in 2023? Sensory toys are items that kids use to engage their senses, including touch, sight, and sound. They're more focused on the body than the mind. So, while a puzzle does require the hands and fingers (body) to complete, in contrast a sensory toy doesn't require much thinking. Think of the fidget spinner craze of 2017 - or of stress balls sitting on desks. Both fidget spinners and stress balls are toys that make soothing, repetitive movements. Sensory toys also soothe those with autism, sensory processing disorder, and other neuro-developmental disorders.
Sensory toys are soothing because they make repetitive movements, which many find to be calming. This is why we suggest adding some of these awesome sensory toys (below) to your school store or as prizes for your next carnival or fundraising event. They're also quite popular at school stores!
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Plastic Mini Clear Springs
These mini clear springs are awesome slinkies and even better sensory toys! These are the bounciest springs ever and when you bounce them, they wiggle.
By the way - we've had folks order them specifically for Special Needs kids. These kiddos love tossing and bouncing them back and forth (so their parents kept plenty of extra on hand to replace once they got worn down).
Run your hands or palms across the Tic-Tac-Toe buttons to change them. Use 'em to play a game of Tic-Tac-Toe or use as a soothing sensory toy.
Mini Water Ball Yo-Yos
Water ball yo-yos are the perfect sensory toy. You can throw them, squish them, bounce them, yo-yo them, or run your hands across the soft spikes. Kids LOVE them. Just don't squeeze way too hard!
Puzzle erasers are one of our all-time favorite carnival prizes! They're a perfect sensory prize for kids and adults alike. How many combinations can you make out of the 6 puzzle pieces (see below)? They're also functional erasers, hence the name.
Mini Hand Clappers
Hand clappers are a great, repetitive auditory toy. We've even seen adults use them to sarcastically or jokingly clap with their friends & family. Note: These can get obnoxious for parents as they can be quite loud despite their miniature size.
Kids enjoy handling these plastic wiggle snakes. Each segment is able to move and we've found they work equally well as a fidget toy and carnival prize.
Finger Basket Traps
This old-timey traditional toy is back in town! Finger traps will trap fingers if you try to tug them out, but will allow an escape if you gently pull your fingers together and slowly pull out. Older kids will enjoy this sensory prize.
Large Spike Balls
What's better than a large spike ball? Bounce them, play a game of catch with them, or use as a fun sensory toy. Please note that these are quite large at 7 inches (17.8 cm).
Yay - we also have these in 5 inch spike balls at a great price! Check them out - click here!
Neon Squishy Net Balls
When they're squeezed, squishy net balls pop out of the nets to look like grapes. Kids are enthralled with this unique sensory toy. Squishy net balls are one of those must-haves!
Have you heard of a Chinese Yo-Yo before? They differ from a traditional yo-yo in that it's colorful rolled paper on a stick instead of string wrapped around a round object. Flick your wrist to make the rolled paper pop out quickly!
Neon Mini Spin Tops
These spiral spin tops are a great fidget toy. It's a modern take on one of those classic, traditional carnival prizes. See how long you can make yours spin.
Very Wiggly Spider
Kids will love stretching and wiggling these little critters. Note: These wiggly spiders are quite squishy and move realistically. Keep 'em far away from arachnophobes!
Mini Noise Putty (Slime)
Ah, slime. Kids are going crazy for slime! When will the craze end? This mini noise slime makes silly noises when you stick your finger in it. Noisy slime is a great auditory and sensory toy.
Pull-back Toy Cars
Honk honk! Kids love playing with these pull-back cars over and over again. Just pull them back to wind them up - and watch them go.
Metallic Tinsel Wand
What could be more fun than a wand or lightweight stick with some tinsel? Nothing. We joke, but kids do enjoy using tinsel sticks as a great sensory toy. They also make for a fun, pretty carnival prize.
Hip hip hop! These jumping frog toys leap when you push down on their backs with your finger. Kids enjoy watching these little guys leap around. Have a ribbit-ing time (get it?) with these new froggy friends!
These colorful coil bracelets are good fidget gadgets, as they can be stretched and pulled back quite a bit without snapping. Keep them on your wrist or keychain when you or your kiddos want something to fidget with.
Sticky Pencil Grips
Aside from being practical, sticky pencil grips also function as a sensory toy. Slide these pencil grips around pens or pencils for an easier grip. Their ridges and texture (squishy, sticky) also make them a good hands-on sensory item.
What a sweet treat! Kids love squishing these sweet treat stress toys. (Note: These are not slow-rise squishies. These dessert squishies are fast-rise squishies - more like a stress ball toy. Stay tuned, because we do have some slow-rise squishies on this list!)
Are bugs icky or cool? We'll leave that for you to decide after hanging out with these mini insect fidget toys. Let your bug-loving kid collect them all at the school store or carnival!
Silly Porcupine Yo-Yo
Check out this cute, googly-eyed porcupine yo-yo! He's quite squishy and wiggly, which makes him a fun sensory toy. Use him as a yo-yo, a puffer ball, or simply as a fantastic fidget toy.
Twist and turn these awesome twisty erasers. It may look like a colorful straight pretzel... but lo and behold, it is both an eraser and a fidget toy!
Putty Slime Eggs
Eek, even more slime? Yup! Kids are OBSESSED with slime nowadays. These fun, colorful putty slime eggs are perfect for busy hands. Just keep slime off of very light-colored items, as it can stain.
Have you ever used a kaleidoscope? These mini kids kaleidoscopes are pretty cool. Put one up to your eye to see the world in a new way.
Flying Stretchy Frogs
Leap-frog your way to a cute amphibian fidget gadget! These flying stretchable frogs are stretchy and squishy. Put their arms around your index finger and their legs around your thumb and let go to watch these cuties fly!
Large Puffer Balls
These large puffer balls are a super fun fidget item. Like an upgraded stress ball, this can help kids feel calmer and more focused. By the way, they are quite large in size at 5 inches diameter.
Squishy Mini Dinosaurs
These mini dinosaurs are a blast! Tug, pull, or squish on them - they make a great fidget toy. Aside from being a favorite carnival prize, these are quite inexpensive.
Yo-yos are a great, repetitive fidget toy. They do require some practice to get better. Check out the hamburger yo-yo here!
Fuzzy Slap Bracelets
Kiddos enjoy buying fuzzy slap bracelets from their school store or winning them at the school carnival! These slap bracelets make a good sensory item - and the fuzzy texture is the cherry on top.
Emoji Slow-Rise Squishies
Woohoo! Saving the best for last: Kids are going nuts over slow-rise squishies. These emoji slow-rise squishes are a great de-stress toy. Watch 'em slowly rise back up after pressing your finger down on them.
Thanks for reading our carnival blog! Be sure to check out our posts for free hints & tips for having carnivals and related events.