Sensory toys fulfill a special purpose in your kid’s toybox. Each of the senses your boy has can be carefully nurtured and developed, allowing healthy growth as he hits the appropriate milestones for his age. Sensory activities and toys help target those senses and provide specialized experiences that feel like play, but are really helping them grow!
Sensory toys are designed to stimulate a child’s five senses: sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste. They might include elements such as bright, contrasting colors, sounds, or different textures. These toys are meant to help children develop their senses in a safe and natural environment using play. – Carmen B Pingree
If you need some inspiration and ideas on which ones to pick out for your kid, we created a list just for you! Remember, different toys help develop different senses, so make sure you check them all out and pick the one that your child needs.
Here Are The Best Sensory Toys And Gifts For 5-Year-Old Boys!
If you’ve ever played with water beads, you know just how fun they can be! With some dried beads and some water, you can have a slippery, fun world for your kid to make-believe in. This kit is ocean-themed and comes with 16 oz of sea water beads. Included with the set are three containers, a strainer, a shovel, a bead picker, and 12 different sea creatures to dig for and play with inside the boxes. These beads are designed to be tons of fun without all the mess. They are self-contained and feel like you are playing with silk, making them perfect for touch sensory development.
Fidget toys are perfect for any 5 year old boys who have “busy hands” when they are supposed to be paying attention. It’s often not a kid’s fault that they can’t sit still during a multi-hour-long day, they are just kids! If you are looking for ways to help keep their hands occupied so their minds can stay focused, check out these fidget toys. This kit comes with 25 pieces and can be used for hours and hours. Because of the size of the kit, it comes with all sorts of different toys, allowing you to find the perfect one for every situation. From soft slime balls to tactile clicking connectors, this kit has it all.
When you see these, you might think they are some version of hopscotch for kids. They are sort of that, but with a twist. The Turtle Steps are foam pads that can be placed on any surface and provide hours of fun. What makes these toys special, however, is what they are accomplishing while your kid is having fun. The purpose of these pads is to help develop balance, coordination, and concentration, all through play. While jumping and leaping to the various shells, your child will have to work on their core balance and keep themselves upright without falling. Over time, they become stronger, steadier, and have a better understanding of balance.
We’ve already seen water beads once on the list, but this set has something different. The Li’l Gen kit comes with the standard 8 oz of beads (roughly 20,000 total) and can be soaked in water to activate. Once they are activated, you can use the included toys to play with and move the beads around within the boxed-off section. What’s special about the toys is that they are specially designed to develop fine motor skills. When using the small cupped scissors or carefully playing with the plastic tweezers, the actions encourage healthy development in their hands and fingers, as well as encouraging focus and persistence.
If you bring a ZNNCO into your home, you might find more than just your kids playing with it! Quite possibly the best thing about getting a package in the mail is the bubble-wrap that comes with it; adults and kids can’t help but spend some time popping the bubbles! There is something reassuring about taking the time to pop the little bubbles. The same fun applies for kids, too! The ZNNCO is a reusable version of plastic bubble wrap that can be taken anywhere you want. If you need a natural stress reliever for your kid, spending a few seconds focusing on popping the bubbles is a great way to calm them down.
A sensory ball is like a stress-ball but for kids! The Rainbow Magic Ball is specifically designed to help your child focus (at school or in lessons) and provide a sense of calm in case of anxiety. This little pack comes with two balls, each with a few different features on them. The ball itself glows in the dark, but what makes it special are the little holes in it. Each hole is filled with a unique material that provides a different tactile experience when pressed. When feeling a bit stressed, your kid can press on the different materials, taking their mind off the stressor. In a classroom situation, they can keep their hands occupied while they watch the teacher.
What makes water beads fun to play with is their unique feeling and liquidity. When grabbing a handful of them, it almost feels like you are dipping your hand into cold gelatin! There are lots of accessories and toys that can be purchased alongside the beans, and this is one of them. The LESONG learning shapes are little plastic bags that you can fit water beads inside of, creating floppy little toys to play with (that are especially sensory oriented). They can be tossed, held, or just poked at! This pack comes with six different shapes, allowing for lots of imaginative fun and rich sensory experiences.
If marshmallow fluff could be formed into little beads and played with, it would basically be PlayFoam. PlayFoam has been around for quite some time, and it is a dryer version of water beads, only they have the ability to be squished! This pack comes with eight different colors to play with. It never dries out and is non-toxic (necessary for kids who can’t help but taste them). They can be molded and shaped into anything imaginable and are a cooler spin on PlayDoh (only it never has to be soaked with water).
Almost any arcade will have some version of this game, and no matter what version they have, it’s always way too much fun. If you’ve never seen this game played, you simply take a soft mallet and hit the heads of the animals as they pop up from “under the ground”. If you hit the wrong one, it’s game over. A 5-year-old will spend HOURS playing a game as fun as this, but what he won’t know is how much good it will do him. Through playing, he is subconsciously developing his hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.
Slime is the best! Nowadays, there are even whole Instagram and YouTube channels dedicated to making and playing with slime. If you have a young kid, odds are they already watch them. There is something ASMR-inducing about watching someone squish and play with slime. Eventually, they will want to make some themselves! When that time comes, you need to pick up this kit. It has all sorts of slime types (glitter, glow in the dark, mystery slime, and more) and is a fun project for them to work on for a little bit. It has 18 different slimes to “cook up,” so they will have a ton of fun and a reward when finished!
Stress balls have been a staple in corporate offices for years (and for good reason). Without something to squeeze the life out of, we might not make it to the next day. While your kid may not have as much pent-up fury as you during the workday might, they will still love to play with this MASSIVE stress ball! From Power Your Fun, this stress ball is probably the biggest we’ve seen, allowing for two-handed squishing and destressing. As you squeeze it, the stretched portions change colors, adding a little element of surprise and satisfaction to the whole experience. It’s highly sensory and good for a developing mind!
While these may look like clear lava lamps, they actually aren’t! These Liquid Bubblers work with gravity to make beautiful bubble-shows whenever they are flipped. On top of the bubbling, they also have a subtle noise that radiates out when in use. It’s almost like the noise of a water bottle that’s been flipped over and emptied, but a little more satisfying. These make great toys for kids who need some sensory stimulation or as a useful way to decorate a kids’ desk (especially with COVID forcing lots of kids to learn from home). They are fun to look at AND to play with!
What’s the most ancient sensory toy out there? Sand! With this tractor kit, your 5-year-old can play in the sand, making fun structures and letting his imagination run wild. This set is pretty inclusive and features construction signs, cones, working figurines, vehicles, and lots of detail elements. On top of all the toys, this kit also comes with 2 pounds of clean sand (no cat poop in this sandbox). They can use their vehicles to build and the molds to create as they spend hours messing around and stretching their imagination.
A “pop tube” is essentially a bendy straw on steroids. Everything that makes a bendy straw awesome is present on this toy, only bigger and better. It’s a pipe section that has compressed sections that can be pulled apart with an incredibly satisfying *pop* noise. After it’s been completely extended, you can push it all together again and commence popping to your heart’s content. This pack comes with eight different tubes, all of them connectable. With the 8 piece set, your kid can make tunnels, tubes, and connect them together in lots of fun ways.
Regular old sand is quite a mess to keep in the house. It can get everywhere, and it easily slips out of any container you place it in. With Play Sand, however, all those troubles are gone! Play sand is a mixture between play-doh and sand, basically meaning it has individual grains, but it can be compressed, and it sticks together. It’s perfect for molding into shapes since it feels moist, and it won’t get everywhere since it sticks to itself. Sometimes known as kinetic sand, it’s something your kid would love to have. This pack comes with 12 lbs of blue play sand and a few molds to make castles with.