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7 Handheld Sensory Toys for Cortical Visual Impairment

April 23, 2022 No Comments

7 Handheld Sensory Toys for Cortical Visual Impairment

The text "sensory toys for CVI" is at the top. Below the text are three pictures of the following: Whirly Squigz, light up pop tube, and liquid timers.

Sensory toys offer different benefits for children with cortical visual impairment. For some students, they can provide movement. For other children, they can offer a visual break. Other students benefit from the tactile experience. In this blog post, I have included my favorite 7 sensory toys for cortical visual impairment. All of these toys are $20 (except the glitter balls), are handheld, and fulfill at least one characteristic of CVI. 


1. Liquid Timer

The text at the top says "liquid timers." Below the text is an image showing three liquid timers that are the following colors: pink and blue, green and blue, and yellow and red.

These liquid timers can have such a calming effect for students with cortical visual impairment. If you haven’t seen these before, a brightly colored liquid slowly drips down through the clear liquid. These can be a great addition to a sensory corner or a light table activity due to them also being transparent. A great bonus feature of these liquid timers is that they are silent and compact. They can make a great transition item, as well as provide a calming, visual sensory break for students with cortical visual impairment. 


2. Light Up Pop Tubes

The text at the top says "light up pop tube." Below the text is an image showing a blue pop tube lit up in the dark.

These pop tubes are engaging sensory toys for cortical visual impairment with the lights on or off. The tubes themselves are brightly colored. In addition to being a great fidget, with the lights on, these pop tubes are also a great way to work on visual tracking, visual attention, engagement, and more. The lights have three settings, which are changed by a small button on the end. Unlike the previously mentioned liquid timer, this fidget isn’t silent when it is moved and stretched, but it does provide movement for the child. Note: The light-up component is provided by small lights inside the pop tube. Over time, these lights and wires can move closer to the opening of the pop tube. Be sure to be cognizant of this when the child is playing with this fidget. 


3. Dimpl Toy

The text at the top says "Dimpl toy." Below the text is an image showing the Dimpl toy. This toy has 5 sections that you can push to pop. They are pink, green, orange, blue, and yellow.

I know everyone loves pop fidgets, but I love this Dimpl fidget from Fat Brain toys even more! I love that the “pop” it parts are different colors and different sizes. In addition, the simplicity and bright colors against the white background lend itself perfectly to kids with CVI. Lastly, this fidget can also be used for color identification, cause and effect learning, finger isolation, hand strengthening, and more! 


My Favorite Sensory Toys for Cortical Visual Impairment: Light Up Spinner

The text at the top says "light up spinner" Below the text is an image showing the light up spinner against a white background. The spinner is lit up and has a red and blue handle.

This is one of my absolute favorite sensory toys! This toy provides both movement and light, not to mention a little vibration, The only downside to the toy is that it has a small button that activates the toy. Students without the fine motor strength or skills will need an adult to assist them in turning on the toy. The toy can also be used for gaining attention, visual tracking, practicing a child’s guided reach, and more!


5. Whirly Squigz

The text at the top says "Whirly Squigz." Below the text is an image showing three Whirly Squigz which are in the shape of two, three or four petal flowers. The flowers are multi-colored (blue, green, and pink).

Is anyone else surprised that multiple Fat Brain toys made the list? These fidgets are silent, have a suction cup so they can be added to multiple surfaces, are bright and engaging, and provide movement. Students with varying levels of fine motor skills can use these toys, as pushing any part of the flower will spin the fidget. 


6. Gel-bead Sensory Shapes

The text at the top says "gel bead shapes." Below the text is an image showing four shapes: a yellow circle, red rectangle, blue square, and green triangle.

These shapes have so many uses! First, they make an excellent fidget. They are bright, so fun to squish, and offer tactile input. They are very fun and easy to manipulate in your hand. In addition, they make for a great light table activity, as they are transparent. As a bonus, they are also an engaging way to learn about shapes!


7. Glitter Swirling Sensory Balls

The text at the top says "glitter balls." Below the text is an image showing six glitter balls in the following colors: gold, green, blue, silver, red, and purple.

Yes, these bounce and make a fun toy. But they also can have a very calming effect when shaken or rolled. The glitter provides movement. They also appear to have a light component when played within a well-lit room or outside as the glitter catches the light. In addition, as some of the other fidgets have also been, these sensory balls are silent. They are 2.75 inches across so most small hands should be able to hold them.

This list could go on and on, but these are my absolute favorite sensory toys for cortical visual impairment. Many offer a tactile component while offering movement and some light. Not all sensory toys are for all students. Sometimes it takes trying a few different types of sensory toys to find the perfect one or ones for your child or student with cortical visual impairment. 

Looking for other toy ideas?? Be sure to check out these blog posts:

7 Fun and Engaging Birthday and Holiday Gifts for Kids with CVI

7 Handheld Sensory Toys for Kids with Cortical Visual Impairment




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