Sensory mats are necessary toys for kids with autism. They will help with stress relief and also keep them busy while playing for hours. Good sensory mats should be textured to offer the sensation that is needed to keep them engaged.
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There are different sensory mats out there but the trick is to make sure that you choose non-toxic materials to keep your child safe. It is advisable to go for food-grade silicone because it feels good on the skin and it is also safe even when ingested.
In this article, I will provide you with handy tips to help you to choose the best sensory mats and give you some reviews to make it easy for you.
How to choose the right sensory mats for autism
When choosing sensory mats consider the type of material. The most common sensory mats are made using silicone because it is soft and flexible. Children with autism love silicone because it is squishy and feels good on the skin.
However, we have other materials like soft plastic that also feels like silicone.
It is also possible to get a fabric sensory mat with fabrics like fur that feel soft on the skin. No matter the type of fabric that you choose, make sure that it is high quality and safe.
Safety is an important feature when choosing sensory mats. You need to make sure that the sensory mat is safe for your child especially when dealing with young kids.
If you have decided to go with plastic or silicone mats make sure that they are BPA-free. This is important so that your child does not ingest any toxins in case they put the mats in their mouth. It is also advisable to get anti-skid mats that do not slip on the floor to prevent accidental falls.
When buying a sensory mat for kids make sure that it is an all-around toy. Apart from using the mat for the sensory function to keep the child stimulated, you need to buy sensory mats that are ideal for other activities.
For instance, we have mats that can be used to cover the cold floor and these are best for preventing cold in the playing room while at the same time acting as play mats. We also have play mats that can help children with learning about colors and numbers while at the same time acting as play mats.
Easy to clean
It is advisable to buy sensory mats that are easy to clean. Hygiene is important when dealing with kids’ toys so you should clean them regularly to prevent germs. Most of the silicone mats can be thrown in the dishwasher for cleaning. Make sure that the material is easy to clean and disinfect so that you can prevent germs in your kids’ toys.
Easy to carry and store
Buy sensory mats that are easy to carry and store. Sometimes your child might need to carry their sensory mat to school so it should be able to fit in their school bags. When traveling you should be able to carry the sensory mats without any problems. Storage should also be easy so that you can keep the mats in any place of your home.
10 best sensory mats for autism
- Skil-Care 912425 Sensory Gel Maze, Green, 14
This green mat is everything your child needs to calm down. It comes with a soft gel inside so it is great for stimulation. The gel is squishy and works well to reduce anxiety when your child is stressed. You will love the texture that is great for physical and brain stimulation.
Apart from being a great toy for kids with autism, it can be used for toddlers to aid in development. The gel inside is heat-sealed so it will not leak. It is non-toxic so you do not have to worry about poisoning.
- The gel inside – it comes with a maze gel inside that moves and your child can move the marble inside when playing for relaxation
- Heat-sealed – the gel inside is sealed with heat and has a phthalate-free vinyl material.
- Weighted – the mat is about 2.5 pounds. This makes it sturdy when placed on a lap, table, or the floor.
- No liquid leakage
- Pop fidgets inside for calming effect
- Sturdy construction
- Encourages sensory function
A little bit costly compared to other mats
Edusense Toddler Sensory Toys for Autistic Kids & Children, Silicone Sensory Mat
The assortment of 10 mats comes in different colors, sizes, and textures. They are all your child needs to improve sensory function and encourage them to calm down. The mats are made with soft silicone that is long-lasting and feels good on the skin. Kids with autism will enjoy the texture of the mats that is relaxing.
Apart from the soft silicon textures, the mats are available in different colors and sizes. When the kids are playing they can arrange the mats to help with coordination. These are great toys for kids and they can help with sensory functions and occupational therapy.
- BPA free high-quality silicone
- 10 circular mats 5 large and 5 small
- Different textures
- Storage bag
- Different colors
- Safe and non-toxic material
- Versatile toys for different games
- Easy to clean in the dishwasher
- Long-lasting high-quality material
Art3d Liquid Sensory Floor Decorative Tiles
Art3d Liquid Sensory Floor Decorative Tiles are multipurpose play toys. They can be used for sensory play, dance, and also protection from the cold floor. These tiles come in a pack of six tiles with different colors. The cosmetic liquid inside is useful for sensory play because it helps the kids to calm down.
Art3d Liquid Sensory Floor Decorative Tiles are large enough so you can place them on your kids’ playroom to cover the play area.
They will protect your kids from the cold floor as they play.
- An abrasion-resistant high-quality polymer material
- Nontoxic cosmetic liquid
- Variety of colors and patterns available
- The bottom part is anti-slip
- Safe for kids – does not slip and no leakage
- Durable – strong polymer material that is durable
- No installation required – holds onto the floor without slipping
- Variety of uses – fun play, sensory play, dance, and floor protection
- Easy to clean – wipe with a wet clothe
- Used on the floor and might not be ideal for moving around.
Massage Sensory Mat Module Game Mat for Kids and Adult Orthopedic Massage Puzzle Floor Mats
Massage Sensory Mat Module Game Mat contains 8 mats with different colors and textures. These square puzzle mats have an interlocking design and can be attached to each other.
They are ideal for sensory play and kids with autism will definitely love them. The mats are also great for orthopedic massage to stimulate the functioning of feet and arms in young kids.
The mats are made using soft plastic so they are easy on the feet for kids who love walking on them. Since they come in different colors, older kids will love coordinating the colors and interlocking them.
Sensory seekers will definitely love the different textures on their hands or feet.
- Made from a soft plastic material
- Interlocking design to keep the mats together
- Different textures for different sensations
- Different colors in a set
- Variety of uses – sensory play an orthopedic function
- Stimulate sensory function with different textures
- Easy to store and put together with interlocking design
- Bright colors attractive to children
- Ideal for older children above two years
Moss Modular Mat with Squeakers Set of Sensory Mat
These puzzle floor mats are meant to help with orthopedic but they are also great for sensory functions. They come in green color and they are made with a PVC material. To create a puzzle, they have an interlocking design for locking the mats together when the kids are playing.
A set contains six modules that can be attached and placed on the floor. For kids with autism, the rough texture is important to keep them calm and reduce anxiety. The process of solving the puzzle helps them with concentration.
- Six square modules 25 cm by 25 cm
- Soft PVC material
- Puzzle interlocking design
- Beeping sound when pressed
- Good for sensory function and Orthopedic Massage
- Safe non-slip design
- Puzzle design for brain stimulation
- Durable good quality PVC material
- Beeping sound for added audio stimulation
- Available in a single color per set so you have to buy different sets for color combination
Fidget Blanket Sensory Pad with Activities for Toddlers and Elderly, Aids in Therapy of Children with Autism
This Fidget Blanket Sensory Pad is a great gift for children with autism. It is a fabric sensory pad that is made with different textures for simulation. This is a small mat that you can place on the child’s lap or table.
Apart from being a good sensory mat, it can be used for a lot of play activities. It comes with zips, buckles, and fasteners that will keep your child busy with activities. The pad is only 21 x 16 inches so this is a decent size. You can carry it anywhere even when traveling and you can also fold it for storage.
- Fabric material with four different textures
- Different features such as buckles, zippers, and fasteners
- Foldable design into a pouch
- Non-skid bottom
- Safe fabric material which is good for the environment and non-toxic
- Packed with different activities to keep your child busy
- Stays in place when placed on the table
- Portable – great size and easy to fold
- Great for kids with autism and also adults with dementia
- Easy to clean by hand.
PFCA Fidget Toys 3Pack Push Pop Bubble Sensory Fidget Toy Autism Special Needs Stress Reliever Silicone Squeeze Toys
This set of three pads comes in hexagon, square, and round shapes. The shapes come are in rainbow colors so they are visually pleasing. For children with autism, the squeeze features are great and they can fidget with the shapes to help with relaxation. Unlike other plastic toys, these ones are made using plastic so they are easy to fold and durable. The bubbles are easy to press and your child will remain calm while playing with them. Apart from being used for relaxation, they can be used as educational toys to learn arithmetic.
- High-quality silicone material
- Assortment of three pads with different shapes (hexagon, square, and round shapes)
- Bubbles with a popping sound
- Bright rainbow colors
- Sensory stimulation with a bubble popping sound
- Assortment of shapes for variety to reduce boredom
- Nontoxic high-quality material
- Good for learning arithmetic
- Easy to clean, carry and store
- Ideal for kids five years and above
Ortodon Space Orthopedic Massage Walk & Exercise Modular Mat Hypoallergenic Eco Elastic Material
These mats were made for massage walk therapy but they can be used by children with autism for relaxation. The mats come in a set of 8 modules and have different textures. For toddlers, these mats are great for development because they help them recognize colors and textures. They are also great for sensory activities with stimulation from the diffe4rent textures. The mats attach to the floor with an anti-slip design so no worries about accidents.
- Hypoallergenic PVC material
- Assortment of colors and textures
- Puzzle design for interlocking
- Easy to clean by wiping with soap and water
- Safe for your kids with hypoallergenic PVC material
- Good for sensory activities and also massage
- Easy to store and also a portable design
- A variety of bright colors ideal for kid’s visual stimulation
- Made with plastic as opposed to silicone
LESONG Sensory Toy for Toddlers Kids 12 Pack, Water Beads Toys Anxiety Relief for ADHD & Autism Children
These sensory toys are small mats/pads with water beads inside. Children with autism will love the calming effect they offer every time they fidget on the toys. They also help with focus and will keep your child busy for hours. The toys are available in a pack of 12 with different shapes and different colors of water beads inside.
For young kids who might put the toy in their mouth, the water beads are non-toxic and they are heat sealed to stay in place. Apart from being used for sensory function, these can be great tools for learning shapes and colors.
- 12 pads with different shapes and colors
- Non-toxic water beads inside
- Flexible plastic for fidgeting
- Sturdy construction
- Portable box for storage
- Variety of toys to keep the child active
- Safe for kids – heat-sealed and non-toxic water beads
- Ideal for sensory function and also learning
- Ideal for young kids from two to five years
- Easy to store with a portable box
Fidget Sensory Marble Maze Toy Mat for Autism ADHD
The Fidget Sensory Marble Maze is great for easing anxiety and calming down. It has a maze inside that your kid can follow to stay calm and concentrate. The mat is made using fabric so it is easy to machine wash whenever you want.
Unlike other mats that are made using silicone, this one is made using soft fabric that feels good on the skin for people looking for textures. The mat has a hoop that you can attach to the school bag for easy carrying.
- Soft fabric material
- Interior maze to follow
- Fabric lines to follow the maze
- Attachment hoop at the end
- Easy to clean fabric
- Soft fabric for a sensory touch
- Portable – you can carry it everywhere with you.
- Calming activities with the maze and soft fabric
Benefits of sensory mats for children with autism
Keeps the calm
Sensory mats are great for keeping your child calm. Most of the mats come with different textures and designs. Your child can hold on to the mats or step on them for sensation. The texture can be great for stress relief to keep them calm. Your child will stall calmly for a long time by trying out different textures and feeling the sensation.
Helps with focus and concentration
Sometimes children with autism need something to keep them busy. Most of the activities like watching television can be boring to them. They need an activity that is engaging and interactive. Sensory mats are the best for keeping your child-focused. The mat comes with liquid or texture that they can keep squeezing and stay focused.
Help with learning
Sensory mats can help with learning. The mats are available in different colors and shapes. For pre-school kids who are learning how to count and color, they can aid in the learning process. The mats help the children to learn about coordination, negotiation, and even communicating. These are fun learning tools that allow kids to learn important lessons while playing.
Great for orthopedic exercises
Some of the sensory mats are great for orthopedic exercises. If you want to help your child with movement and coordination you need to get a sensory mat for them. The mat is recommended by doctors because it helps in strengthening their movement.