Here are our top recommendations for where to buy sensory play equipment and toys in Australia and how to get started -
Now that we know why sensory play is so important for babies and toddlers (see previous blog post), let’s dive into what you might need to get them started and where you can find these. There are so many easy ways to engage your toddler in sensory play from simple things around your home. Cooking is a really great way! However, not everyone has that extra time on their hands to get organised. So if you are looking to buy some great toys and tools to use for sensory play at home, these are some of our favourites Australia based and eco-friendly options-
First things first, you might want to consider buying a sensory table or tray because it just makes the whole experience that much more manageable.
Creative Play Australia have an excellent table and tray option- https://www.creativeplayaustralia.com.au/collections/frontpage/products/sensory-table
Timber Love Co-
Timber Love Co has so many amazing sensory play toys. Some of our favourites from their store are Sensory Water Beads and Kinetic sand. All you need is a tray table and some containers. Add a few little toys and scoopers so that your little one can scoop up sand/beads.
Little Big Learning-
The most used toddler-friendly item in our home is our learning tower! Involving our toddler in cooking and mixing tasks really made dinner prep so much easier (and fun, because let’s face it- there is no job more boring that food prep!). We do make a big mess, but she loves it and learns so much!
If you are good with tools and can build one yourself there are several online guides to doing this. Although this isn't a sensory play toy in itself, what it will allow your little one to do is climb up to the kitchen bench and reach out to all the wonderful sensory play items on there.
The Little Cardboard Co-
Cubby houses and Princess Castles - every toddler’s dream! The little cardboard co. has some really cool castles, cubbies and even a toddler sized rocket! We love that they can be drawn and coloured on, allowing for more creativity and hands-on learning. Let your toddler go nuts with their decorations and express themselves in their most unique way.
Play dough is another really amazing inexpensive way to engage your toddler in some sensory play. You can make your own at home, there are several youtube videos on how to make it at home. This one’s our favourite- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2ytbSa3mPg
Or you can buy non-toxic play dough from several online stores:
Tiny Paper Co-
Happy Hands Happy Heart-
All kids love stackers and it helps them immensely with their motor skills! We love this one from Wooden Wonderland that can be stacked in so many different ways, it is unbelievable-
For some of your sensory play set ups, you may want to use paints that are safe for children. We found these amazing eco paints that are plant based, vegan and obviously non toxic. Regular paints have so many nasties in them but so easily available all around us, that it is scary! Check out these natural eco paints by The Messy Caterpillar https://themessycaterpillar.com.au/shop/natural-eco-paints/
Little Earth Nest are another great little online toy store specialising in eco-friendly toys that are high quality using sustainable materials and considerate production ethics. They have a range of education toys on their website. Look for Elou’s building blocks set (on sale at the moment) which are what every kid needs and always a safe purchase, and the I’m a toy sort and count city that is made from sustainable rubber wood using non toxic paint and will stand the test of time in family play spaces.
Now if you’re looking for something super easy that can be put together really quickly and keep the little ones occupied for ages, we recommend activity kits from The Not So Perfect Mum.
We hope you found these helpful and manage to give them a go with your toddler! What are some of your favourite sensory toys? We would love to hear! Tell us in the comments below.