What Is the Difference Between Fidget Toys & Sensory Toys?

May 23 , 2022

What Is the Difference Between Fidget Toys & Sensory Toys?

Desiree Ras

 

Touch it. Squeeze it. Squish it. Pull it. Push it. The opportunities are virtually endless when it comes to fidget and sensory toys. They're squeezed, squished, pushed, popped, pulled, and everything in between. Sensory toys and fidgets are becoming more and more popular, entertaining both young and old.

But, what are the primary purposes of these toys? Let's get into it. 
  1. Sensory Toys: Designed to stimulate the five senses. Touch, smell, sight, taste, and/or sound. Some sensory toys are designed to stimulate a combination of senses to enhance and amplify the sensory experience, such as pairing colors, scents, or different textures. 
  2. Fidget Toys: Objects provided to a child or adult intended to regulate the need for restless movement and touch. Fidget toys were designed to enhance the ability to channel energy in a less distracting way while helping users remain calm, focused, and attentive. 
If you're reading this, either you or someone near and dear could benefit from a sensory or fidget toy. We're here to help you find the best fit!

So, what's the difference?
Sensory and fidget toys are sometimes perceived as the same thing. While they share similarities in style and purpose, all fidget and sensory toys are not created equal.
People require different sensory stimulation to perform at their best, whether it's to keep them calm during an anxiety-triggering situation or to keep them focused and still in moments where they are itching to move around.
Sensory and fidget toys have been designed to appeal to and assist those on the spectrum or struggling with anxiety. It helps stimulate and engage their senses by providing feedback to their sensory systems and regulating their sensory needs. 

Pick a toy, any toy!
Deciding between either a fidget toy or a sensory toy or one that does both can be overwhelming; here's how to understand the difference and make the right choice for you or your little one. 

Sensory toys:
Sensory toys are intended to stimulate the five senses, much like a sensory kit. Sensory toys and devices either help regulate or enhance senses for those with sensory issues in a safe and natural environment. 
Sensory toys: 
  • May include bright and contrasting colors
  • Sounds
  • Textiles 
  • Smells/scents 

Fidget toys are self-regulation tools, preferably one that fits in hand. These toys/devices help regulate or calm restless movements (fidgeting). Some people' fidget' without even realizing it. Some may tap their leg, rock on their chair, chew a pencil, etc. These seemingly unconscious actions or movements allow them to focus and filter out unnecessary or excess surrounding sensory information. 
Fidget toys: 
  • Less sensory stimulation instead helps to process and regulate 
  • Targets tactile system through the hands 
  • Helps to filter out excess noise or distractions either from their own body or surroundings
  • Used to minimize stress and anxiety
Ask yourself: 
  1. What size am I looking for? 
  2. Do I want something smooth or something a bit more textured?
  3. Am I okay if it makes a noise, or would I prefer something quiet?
  4. What would it do for me? Is it functional, and how so.
  5. What is my budget? 
  6. Which senses do I want to stimulate?
  7. Is it something I can use discreetly at school, work, or home? 
Our family at BunMo has extensively researched, tested, and trialed ran all our products. Thanks to combining new technology and innovative designers, we can create unique fidgets and sensory toys that accompany all sensory requirements and cater to those on the spectrum who have anxiety, ADHD, or ADD. 
From squishies to clickers, textile stress balls, pop-in tubes, fidget pads, magnetic fidget rings, weighted and adaptive utensils, etc. 
Some of our favorites: 
  1. Hedgehog Stress Ball. It is a joy to look at, but it is also excellent at helping relieve anxiety and stress in both kids and adults. This little sphere of fun has therapeutic spikes, so if you need a quick release, make this the object you squeeze. It's super durable and budget-friendly, so you're getting more than expected. 
  2. Magnetic Fidget RingsPerfect for adults, very discreet, and they slip easily and hassle-free into your pocket or bag when you're on the go. Super-strong, entirely modular, and freestyle. Decide between two colors, back or multi-colors. 
  3. Poppin' Pipes Pop TubesUltimate sensory satisfaction. These tiny tubes do it all, stretch, snap, shrink, and pop. While enjoying all that sensory stimulation, your little ones develop fine motor skills and bilateral coordination. 
  4. Fidget Tri-Pad. Tackle tasks, release nervous energy, and keep your mind fierce and focused. Getting nervous from time to time is normal; keep this ten feature (yes 10) fidget pad nearby. 
Browse our collection to find the perfect sensory or fidget toy for you. We offer a variety of options for all types of sensory stimulation and fidgeting needs. Endless hours of fun awaits!