If you’re just here for the list scroll down and click the photo!
I found almost all of my favorite brands and products through recommendations from other moms I love and trust. Then I try and fill in the blanks with my own style and random things I just happen to find at 3am on amazon.
When it comes to my boys… I like to have toys that spark imagination and all that good stuff. But I’ll be honest, my kids want what they want and I care about how they look laying all over my house. So, I try to get things they love but that I don’t mind seeing laying everywhere because I don’t want me or them to be picking up toys all day. They take their towers, roads, and creations very seriously and it would be tragedy if I asked them to destroy everything they built so I could get some occasional mental and visual clarity. So I think it’s fair that we compromise. Some toys are more expensive, but we intentionally have less and are selective in what we buy and how often we collect toys we’re ready to say goodbye to. Also a best practice for my kids because the more they have the less they play with and more frustrated they are. I’ve had my fair share of shaming (mom shaming is real) over the idea that I care about how their toys look, and honestly, I just don’t care if someone thinks that’s dumb. Those same people choose their clothes, their kids clothes, furniture and on and on. I’ve noticed its usually people who are insecure about their own choices that feel the need to put you down for yours. To each their own, let’s stop that mom-shaming asap because it’s rough. Having a child who is blind means we leave toys out so that he’s constantly given the opportunity to explore and touch/hear/find new toys and naturally learn (google: active learning). There isn’t a time when we put everything away, so his toys feel like my home decor.
Big Disclaimer: It’s not lost on me that I have one child who cannot see… so he doesn’t care how things look. He cares how it feels, sounds, tastes, etc. For him, his sensory needs and toy choices trump everything! But I also have gotten pretty good at finding the perfect toys that meet his needs and encourage development, that we both really love. There are so many amazing companies making kids products, with amazon and Pinterest I’m usually only ten minutes sway from finding a really well made product that works for us. However, my biggest success in finding things that work for my son who has differences was when I started looking everywhere, not just at toys. Some of his favorite toys include: a dry-erase marker eraser, silicone bath sponge, pencil case (made of that octupus arm looking fabric) and tennis balls I bought from wildone.com …. that is a PET products website. I’m serious when I say I look everywhere. Those white tennis balls are prettier and softer than the ugly neon yellow ones, and for anyone thinking “who cares!”….well they’re also cheaper. So stick that in your pipe. There’s my speech about finding toys that work, aren’t horribly ugly, and bonus if they’re cheaper.
With that said, I put together a list of my favorite things. Vitamins, books, and kids products and clothes I love. The reason I started the sensory list was for moms who are specifically looking for toys for kids with differences. My list of sensory toys was a labor of love (and research) and the product of countless hours trying things that worked and didn’t. So that list is for the Mama who feels unseen and is trying to find toys when everything feels like it was made for ‘typical’ kids in mind. I see you. And for moms like me who have typical kids as well. These are the toys my boys (3,5, and 6) fight over the most!