A Sensory Toy is a toy that has been specifically crafted to help children develop using as many methods of stimulation at one time. While sensory toys are often mentioned as beneficial for children with special needs (such as autism), these sensory toys are beneficial for ALL children. Many normally functioning children can have minor sensory disorders, which can benefit greatly from working with them to overcome any sensory integration challenges.
In many cases these sensory focused toys can be used successfully in tandem with therapy to maximize sessions.
The reason that Sensory Toys are development in the first place is that studies clearly show a link between cognitive development and the amount of stimulation that is encouraged while children are still young. This takes the form of sight, sound, taste, tactile contact and encourages multiple methods of discovery at once.