7 Creative Eco-Friendly Sensory Toys for Summer

sensory toys

Keeping young minds engaged and little hands busy can be challenging. But it doesn’t have to be! This summer, introduce your kiddos to a variety of activities that are not only sensory appealing but are eco-conscious too! Here are seven amazing toys to add to your child’s collection for endless hours of creativity, skill crafting, and fun!

Scented Toddler Dough by The Scented Dough Confectionery
Scented Toddler Dough by The Scented Dough Confectionery

1. Scented Toddler Dough by The Scented Dough Confectionery

Hands down, this is the most amazing, irresistibly smelling dough! Not only are these doughs toddler-friendly, but they are also made without harsh chemicals or preservatives. Instead, products are homemade and scented with essential oils. The doughs come in a variety of scents that are anxiety-reducing and are not sticky, but smooth. Better yet, all the packing is environmentally-mindful, too!

Mom Review

Four little tubs of dough arrived in four scrumptious scents: cherry, lemon meringue, blueberry muffin, and chocolate mint. Also included were four wooden spatulas, a packet of clay sprinkles, a glass ice cream dish, a metal spoon, and ice cream scooper. Opening each dough, the scent was perfect and not overbearing. It easily could be removed from the jars, rolled, stacked, and played with. There was no leftover residue and dough was easy to pack up and store.

Play Idea

Construct a pretend ice cream shop! Kids will have fun taking your order, suggesting flavors and scooping mock ice cream with this set. The real-life tools make for a special touch and skills like counting, color identification and hand-eye coordination are strengthened.

Wooden Sensory Bin Tools by Simply To Play
Wooden Sensory Bin Tools by Simply To Play

2. Wooden Sensory Bin Tools by Simply To Play

One of the best ways to let children explore is through play. Montessori toys help fine-tune motor skills and stimulate learning. Simply to Play offers wonderful, natural tools for sensory play. Items are smoothly sanded and come in a cotton storage bag. Toddlers will enjoy the variety of scoops, cups, tongs, and pots while spending hours digging into homemade sensory bins. Parents can fill a container with fill items like pom poms, dry beans, or rice to use these sturdy play tools.

Mom Review

I received a light-colored drawstring bag, adorned with a Simply to Play tag. Upon opening, it contained seven, naturally colored tools. Each was the perfect size for toddlers’ hands and exceptionally made. Lids snuggly fit the pots and the tong was easy to use for grabbing small and rounded objects. The entire set had unique pieces to accompany an afternoon of play.

Play Idea

Combine snack time or a treat with playtime! In a clean, food-safe container, fill it with your kiddo’s favorite cereal (pictured: Trolls Trix) and allow them to nibble as they play!

Magnetic Rocket Stacker by Manhattan Toys
Magnetic Rocket Stacker by Manhattan Toys

3. Magnetic Rocket Stacker by Manhattan Toys

Night skies are dusted with stars and you’ll surprise your little astronaut with a vibrant, wooden rocket stacker! The stacker, which contains seven varying shaped pieces, is magnetic and encourages motor development. It also teaches cause and effect learning and helps kiddos identify colors! Each piece is smooth and sealed with a non-toxic, water-based finish. Children will enjoy constructing their very own rocket!

Mom Review

The bold color stacker came in a sturdy box with a front window. After removing the packaging, the rocket was well-made and had no sharp edges. Once assembled, it stood about six inches tall and had a fire blast detail on the base. When the pieces were stacked, a child could easily identify when to flip over the piece to make the magnets stick. The toy is easy to clean and store and provided a constructive twist to playtime.

Play Idea

Challenge your kiddo to a build-off and see who makes a rocket the fastest! You can also include this stacker in theme play by reading a space-themed story. Small children will love the brand’s soft space crinkle book!

Glowing Sensory Stones by Absolutely Adrian
Glowing Sensory Stones by Absolutely Adrian

4. Glowing Sensory Stones by Absolutely Adrian

Just when you thought playtime couldn’t be better, it becomes an adventure! With Absolutely Adrian’s set of sensory stones, children will enjoy the smooth touch and extra special feature: they glow in the dark! Entertain the senses with these handmade stones and transform playtime!

Mom Review

Unwrapping lovely green bubble wrap revealed three sensory stones! The stones were made of thick resin, felt quite chunky when held and each had their own shape inside a moon, puzzle piece, and dinos! After placing these stones under light and darkening the room, the stones glowed beautifully! They were durable and entertained a toddler for several hours throughout the day. They even were a fun addition to a nighttime car ride!

Play Idea

Charge the stones and create a scavenger hunt with clues for the kiddos to find them! Safely dim the lights for an extra special, glow in the dark experience!

Eco Beach Toy Set by Love Lotte
Eco Beach Toy Set by Love Lotte

5. Eco Beach Toy Set by Love Lotte

There’s nothing like hitting the beach on a sunny day with the family! Instead of lugging flimsy sand toys along that break easily, grab an eco beach toy set from Love Lotte! Made with biodegradable materials, the set will allow children to be hands-on and creative. The ergonomic handles are easy for little hands to grasp and the bucket design makes building sandcastles a breeze!

Mom Review

The set came in a cute box and revealed a yellow bucket with an ultra-thick rope handle, blue scoop, red triangular scraper, and a green sand fork. To the touch, everything is extremely durable but gentle on the hands. The colors are subtle but appropriate for beach toys. The cutout at the bottom side of the bucket is smooth and helps easily tip the bucket. On the beach, the set was perfect. Not only is it fun, but it cleans up well to avoid bringing sand home!

Play Idea

Along with playing at the beach and building sandcastles and digging, this set can universally be used with moon dough, kinetic sand, or dirt at home!

Water Beads by Sensory Jungle
Water Beads by Sensory Jungle

6. Water Beads by Sensory Jungle

Ramp up water playtime with water beads by Sensory Jungle! The beads are 100% non-toxic, odorless, and safe for curious toddlers. These beads were carefully designed to be extra durable and can be scooped, squeezed, or sorted. They come in a variety of colors and parents can control the bead size by adjusting the amount of water added. Best of all, these beads can be dehydrated and reused for endless, cost-friendly fun!

Mom Review

A small package of tiny beads landed in my mailbox. They got quickly added to a shallow bin and water was added. I decided to test out making smaller beads, which after soaking overnight, turned out pretty awesome! Hundreds of light and dark green, opaque white and blue beads filled the tub. Not only were they vibrant but they felt silky. My toddler enjoyed scooping these beads and sorting the colors. I like that these beads formed smaller, but may add more water next time for larger beads, too.

Play Idea

Pickup a set of small ocean animals toys for an educational opportunity to teach about the world’s oceans! Kids will enjoy learning about new animals and diving them under the beads.

Vegetable Cutting Basket by Hape
Vegetable Cutting Basket by Hape

7. Vegetable Cutting Basket by Hape

It’s never too early to teach children about healthy food choices! The vegetable basket by Hape gives kids the opportunity to learn about vegetables and to work on hand coordination skills with its plush pieces. The set comes in a soft, felt basket and includes six veggies. Kiddos can peel cabbage leaves, pop peas out of the pod, squish a soft tomato and potato, and cut a carrot and eggplant with a play knife. The pieces are attachable by velcro and are the perfect size for small hands.

Mom Review

The little red basket came with the veggies carefully attached inside and with a colorful outer wrap with info about the set. The pieces are soft and fit in the palm of your hand. I was impressed with the chunky knife as it’s not sharp but sturdy enough for a toddler to hold and cut the vegetables. A few of the pieces are cuttable and can easily reattach by the velcro. It’s an adorable little set that is soft and easy to pack in a day bag.

Play Idea

Create a felt garden at home using brown felt and a shoebox. Kids will spend the afternoon planting, harvesting, washing, and prepping veggies! The set also makes a great toy for a pretend market.


There are so many trinkets and toys to keep kids busy and creative this summer. Not only are they made with natural materials but they can be great for those with a variety of sensory needs. Which toy is your child’s favorite?

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