My daughter is most definitely a tactile learner. She cannot help but take things apart, build things, and break things. It’s part of who she is and because of that I know that I need to embrace her learning style by giving her ways to not just cope with things like breaking chalk and crayons, but engage her meaningfully. Here are some toys and gadgets for tactile learning that we have found to be very helpful – we hope it benefits you as well!
This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.
I have mentioned before that I am tactile defensive and it is something that has made me notice more acutely little quirks and preferences that my daughter has. For instance, she loves to break chalk and crayons and does not like for anything to be in a wrapper. All this being said, I have been working hard to give her the tools she needs now as a toddler to help engage how her brain seems to function.
Gifts for Tactile Learners
Blocks, Legos, Play Doh, and Kinetic Sand – Starting with the obvious, kids that need stimulation through working with their hands will forever and always love simple toys like block and legos. Anything that has an interesting texture and that is easily manipulated like play doh and kinetic sand are also always a hit with young tactile learners
Wacky Tracks Hand Fidget – Hand fidgets and things that keep my daughter busy are always a great tool to have on hand. In fact, we loved our Wacky Track so much, I have been making printables and other ways to incorporate this gadget into her learning experience.
Magformers & Mag Blocks – Magnets in general are such a great tool for children that seek tactile learning opportunities. The first time my daughter played with magformers, she was busy building and manipulating for at least 90 minutes. And that was when she was 20 months old. It was incredible. Add in a little light board, and her focus on learning and playing goes up exponentially.
Manhattan Toy Skwish – Such an all-age appropriate toy. It never seems to get old no matter how old my daughter gets or how old company is. Even adults seem to be attracted to fidgeting with this tactile toy. We have two because for awhile we made sure to have one in the car and one at home.
Chalk Holder – This is more of a gadget to help with drawing and art. Since she breaks crayons and chalk, this is a wonderful tool to help her still be able to use the pieces she has broken and make her feel more comfortable holding them. (Plus I don’t think she likes the textures of chalk and crayons, so it helps in that arena as well). They even make some for jumbo chalk too!
TinkerToy – Such a classic toy and you probably had some growing up. There is so much open-ended play with this great toy and is one of our favorites. Even if it means just giving my toddler the chance to put a stick in each of the wooden wheels, it keeps her occupied and her mind working with her hands.
Stickers – They are great for working on hand-eye coordination, keeping little fingers busy, and fine motor skills. If I would let my daughter play with stickers all day, every day, then she would gladly take me up on that.
More on Tactile Learning and Sensory Issues on my site below and Find Sensory Fixes of all Kinds at Project Sensory!
Kara is an author and advocate for positive, grace-filled parenting. She is homeschooler to her 4 children living in Boston, MA and believes in creative educational approaches to help kids dive deeper into a rich learning experience. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!