Using household items

Mainstream toys are not always accessible to disabled children, and buying sensory toys can be expensive. Simple adaptions can often be made to make toys more suitable. You can also create toys out of everyday household items.

Tips for adapting toys

  • Keep it simple
  • Tailor the toy to the child’s needs
  • Try adding a tactile element
  • You may want to enlarge features to make the toy easier to interact with
  • Think about whether there are any unnecessary features or distractions that can be removed
  • You may find it useful to stabilise the toy with Velcro strips or suction cups

Using everyday household items

  • Pots, pans with lids, and wooden spoons can either be used to make noise – or you can add clean ‘mud’ (tissue paper and brown paint) for messy play
  • Items like sieves can be fun to look through
  • Fill rubber washing up gloves with beans or liquid cornflour
  • Put some bells in a secure bag and squeeze into a kitchen whisk to create a shaker

Top tip

Any toy that has been adapted should always be used under supervision. Never leave a child alone with an adapted or homemade toy and be aware of anything that could come off and become a choking hazard.

First published: Monday 17 October 2016
Updated: Monday 31 October 2016