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Homemade Sensory Toys

Updated on November 6, 2011

Homemade Sensory Toys

How to make sensory toys and using them with a trabasack sensory play tray.

Toys for children with special needs can be costly. It is often easy to create toys for children to play with yourself by using objects around the home. Anything that stimulates your childs awareness of his/her surroundings and encourages them to explore the feelings and sensations of the world around them can help as an educational sensory toy.

Trabasack is a kids play tray that works very well as a mount or play surface for sensory toys.

This unique play tray is a new design is perfect for children to use in buggies, car seats or at home. Use for eating, drinking, playing with toys and games. For messy play use a Trabasack Mat.

The Connect surface is especially suitable for attaching toys, DVD players or laptops using velcro. Attach toys to the D rings and carry toys or food and drinks in the bag section. Fully washable too.

Trabasack may be used in a car as a lap tray. They are great for maps or snacks when stopping. Use the 'connect' surface with 'velcro' stickers to attach things that you do not wish to drop. This is especially good for children who might drop a game or dvd player the minute you start to drive away.

Stows at the back of a buggy when not in use or carry it messenger/ rucksack/ bum bag style.

Homemade Textured Discs

Thanks to Gemma Conyard who sent us this lovely picture of her son with a red trimmed Trabasack Curve Connect. ”My son with his Trabasack curve connect, I made him textured activity discs to keep him occupied while out and about ” She has put discs of material with different textures and colours so he can explore them. The sensory discs are a brilliant idea, being lightweight and easy to put inside the trabasack, they are great for children travelling in their buggies. I love the way she has put a little clacking frog in the middle so that it makes a click when he presses it!

Trabasack Curve Connect with a surface you can stick toys to with 'hook' or velcro tape
Trabasack Curve Connect with a surface you can stick toys to with 'hook' or velcro tape

Trabasack Curve Connect

Trabasack Connect is very good for attaching toys and materials as it has a soft fabric covering that sticks to 'hook' or rough velcro tape. I expect each of the sensory discs has a small piece of 'hook' tape so that it can be repositioned around the trabasack tray top.

Trabasack was created by a mum designing something that helped her child play so we love it when we see people creating toys to use with it.

You can use it to attach all sorts of homemade sensory toys. Here is a sensory toy that we made for our son last year. It doesn't include a picture of our Joe as he had quite gruesome chicken pox at the time!

Trabasack with Sensory toys
Trabasack with Sensory toys

Homemade Sensory Toys

making Your own sensory toys

As you can see, we used some plastic bottles, some masking tape (orange and neon!), plastic flowers, tin foil and some wind chimes.

There are lots of things around the house that can be used as sensory play toys. You can experiment with anything with textures, bright colours or that make interesting noises, as long as it is safe for your child. If you enjoy crafts, doing it can be a lot of fun.

Other ideas for the discs shown could be sticking different types of pasta to them, or cotton reels on string, shells, other textured materials like leather or suede, patterned or woven cloth, or even old plastic bags and canvas. Exporing them can help your child's fine motor skills and development.

Homemade sensory toys on a Trabasack Curve Connect, including plastic bottles with tinfoil, plastic flowers, wooden block, a bamboo arch with windchimes

When you have experimented please do send your pictures to us at info(at) Any pictures showing homemade toys on a trabasack will win one of our fun Trabasack 'Manifesto' T Shirts.

Value of Sensory Play

The value of sensory play

Sensory play is one of the most valuable experiences you can offer your child from the day they’re born. It’s crucial for a baby’s development and growth and I’ve certainly seen sensory development in my little girl in the last twenty weeks of her life. From recognising her own name to the range of screams and babbles she knows, she’s definitely growing at an alarming rate!

It’s believed that one of the first senses to develop is touch and I’d definitely vouch for this. My little girl grabs everything and anything from drinks cans (no, I’m not letting her drink it!) to tissues and her little fingers are desperate to feel and get to know every texture. Her first definable giggle came from pressing her feet into crumpled newspaper!

Sensory play generally relates to any sort of play time which relates to the use of one of the five key senses. Most of our sensory play at the moment relies on my daughter’s sense of touch, however you could focus on any of the senses. If you want to focus on your child’s sense of sight try shiny and bright objects or even light displays. If you want to focus on your child’s sense of hearing, opt for a fantastic music box or a range of kid’s musical instruments. Sensory play is really down to you and your child’s imagination.

Sensory play is a fantastic and important stage in your child’s development but when they’re as young as mine it can be hard to find a way to show them different textures and toys as she’s not yet able to sit unaided. We’ve recently been offered a fantastic solution which has made sensory play a lot easier.

We are the lucky owners of a Trabasack, a versatile tray bag which we use by attaching it to my daughter’s buggy and placing different toys, items and even foods to play with! My little girl can now lean forward in her seat and securely reach and play with the items of her choice, she is learning new textures and flavours every day!

Trabasack is play tray that has an integral bag for anything you need to carry. It comes with straps that allow it to be attached to a buggies, car seats or pushchairs in a vartiey of ways. It is soft and light weight whist still being tough and durable. It is even machine washable.

Since we’ve had our Trabasack, it’s given me the opportunity to make some economical sensory toys for us to play with. Favourites include rice filled tubs, little sandboxes and of course her favourite, the mirror (taken from my own toiletries bag). It’s great to be able to have buckets of fun without spending lots of money and without our Trabasack we’d find it really hard, at least until she’s sitting up on her own (give me strength!).

As my daughter grows and learns, our sensory play box can develop further and I’m really looking forward to the changes and developments in her and our play time as she grows!

Trabasack Manifesto T-Shirts
Trabasack Manifesto T-Shirts

Trabasack Manifesto T Shirts

Win one of our T-shirts

Send in a picture of you or your child with a homemade sensory toy on a trabasack and win one of our special Trabasack 'Manifesto' T-shirts. Our T-short is a 'crowd sourced' design featuring slogans and sayings sent in by Trabasack fans on facebook and twitter.

Our T shirts our 100% sweat shop free organic cotton.

The black shirt shows slogans that are our 'Manifesto' in red and white lettering on the front and our logo on the back.

Here is a list of the slogans: Bag a table anywhere, Sing, Grow together, Sow, Sew, Global family, Love your neighbour, Level up a wonky world, Make music, Smile, Share, Make art not war, Access all areas, WAKE UP, Free hugs, Make things happen, Straight from the hip, Express yourself, Read more, Good as gold, Play games

These are limited edition shirts and when they are gone they will become rare items!

Trabasack is perfect for mounting and using sensory toys

Trabasack is sold by the best sensory toy retailers worldwide because of it enables children to play with many sensory toys and its use as a mount and play tray. It is a light weight and versatile.

A great way to access sensory toys, communication aids and games anywhere. Trabasack Curve Connect is the best sensory play tray available. Designed by a mum with many features to help your child explore and play. 'Connect' surface is 'velcro-sticky' to attach items firmly to the tray surface.

Ideal as:

A firm, level surface for communication aids, switches and toys.

The curved shape hugs the body's contours. The padded rim and cushion base are ergonomically designed for comfort and safety.

Trabasack is light weight. It can be attached onto the front of a therapy chair, buggy or wheelchair and used throughout the day. When not in use it can be conveniently worn as a rucksack, carry bag or stowed at the back of a chair.

Items are stored safely within the bag after use

"Really useful, great for keeping equipment stable."

Tracey, Assessor, Ability Net.

Trabasack has been developed during a two year research period to meet a range of specific needs, for work, play and mealtimes. Features include easy to use ring pull zips. High contrast coloured trims. D rings for attaching toys or straps. Choose either a PVC or soft Velcro tray side surface. Machine washable at 30C.

What Our Customers Say:

Wendy, Leicestershire, Parent

"Trabasacks are brilliant, so quick to attach to any wheelchair. It enables Lucy to access her switches to communicate and for fun ie. switching on and off her music unaided. I have recommended her school purchase Trabasacks for use with other children- especially when they go out on school trips, to avoid resting their lunch on their knees. Many thanks for an excellent product."

Tracey, Assessor, Ability Net

"I have found the Trabasack really useful when undertaking Assistive Technology assessments for young children. It enables the child to access the equipment from their pushchair or wheelchair rather than having to find alternative seating. The child remains in an appropriate position ie. not having to physically stretch to reach equipment. The Velcro option is great for keeping equipment stable too."

Debbie, Leicestershire, Parent

"Chloe finds it easier to join in with activities when we are out and about as she can explore toys etc more easily now we have a tray to put them on. It also makes mealtimes easier."

Kids Play Tray

Children's Play Tray from Trabasack

This unique, original AND award winning product is a great play tray which your kids can use wherever and whenever they want! Trabasack is the best kids play tray on the market as you can take it out and about as well as playing at home. Whether your child is in a buggy or older, they can use their Trabasack to play with and also store their toys.

Trabasack kids play tray comprises both a handy play tray surface and a  bag compartment so the toys can all be stored safely when not in use and you can keep tidy (or at least try to). It's extremely convenient as you can simply pop it on your back and use it as a rucksack when out and about and if you're on the bus or train, in the car or even sat in a cafe, your child can get their toys and games out and play on their Trabasack instead of disrupting other travellers, putting themselves in danger or disrupting the lunch table!

Another great feature of the Trabasack is its "Connect" surface which is a velcro receptive top for the tray. If you opt for a Trabasack with "Connect" surface, you can safely secure more expensive toys to the surface and not worry about them being damaged or launched from the tray surface.This is a great option for when you're travelling as you know how annoying it gets when prized Mr Piggy goes rolling down the bus aisle and you have to chase after him!

Trabasack also produce a range of accessories to support play time including a Trabasack Mat which keeps the Trabasack nice, clean and dry during messy play. It can also be put in the washing machine with your normal washing on a thirty degree wash.

There are endless uses for your Trabasack, depending where your child is playing and how they want to play! It can be great for introducing new toys and experiences to young babies and is great for travel as you can keep the kids occupied without having to constantly worry about them disappearing or the toys suddenly going missing!

For more information please head to our other site Buggy Tray or the main Trabasack site to purchase. Trabasack is also available from Amazon see above

Duel Debate: are homemade toys better than shop bought toys? - Homemade or shop bought?

Well we have all had the great aunt say "No there is no need for you to BUY one, I will make you one". Sometime kids want something made with love at home, sometimes they want the same branded toy that all the other kids have.

So here is our fun Duel Debate: which is better: homemade or shop bought?

Which toys are better?

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    • ismeedee profile image


      8 years ago

      Great lens! Very creative ideas!

    • Anime-e profile image


      8 years ago

      I love this lense just so much! It has such great information thank you!

    • trabasack lm profile imageAUTHOR

      trabasack lm 

      8 years ago

      @wayne_luvinlife: I agree, thank you Wayne.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      These are wonderful ideas, every child is special but, some have special needs and sometimes are over looked. Bravo on the lens!


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