Therapeutic Toys You Can Make at Home

Updated on October 19, 2017
DMChristiansen profile image

Christiansen's son, Jackie, is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). She is the author of Planet A: A Mother's Memoir of ASD.

Turn These Common Household Products Into Fun!

3 DIY Therapeutic Toys That We Love

Therapeutic toys can be expensive. With all the doctors’ visits and therapy sessions that many parents of special needs children pay for out-of-pocket, it’s nice to be able to cut corners somewhere. Here are three great therapeutic toy ideas that are easy to make at home and use many of the products you already have in your cabinet. Each toy takes minutes to make and is designed to take with you to keep children occupied and their hands busy.

1. Sensory Bag

Grab a can of shaving cream from the bathroom, a plastic Ziploc bag and some food coloring, that’s it! Open the bag and spray a dollop of shaving cream in each corner and one in the middle. The Ziploc freezer bags work best because they are sturdier than the sandwich bags. Add a drop of food coloring to each of the side dollops and zip up the bag. Your child can have fun pushing the shaving cream together to mix the colors and create a new one. I used blue and yellow. This is an easy activity to throw together before leaving for a long car ride or outing.

2. Lava Sensory Bottle

I used a smaller size water bottle for this project, knowing that I wanted to be able to throw it in my purse to pull out during stressful times. The Nestle Pure Life, 8.0 Oz is the perfect size. Empty one-half to two-thirds of the water from the bottle. Add several drops of food coloring to the water then refill the bottle with any cooking oil. Turn the bottle upside down several times to mix and see the lava action. You may want to glue the top onto the bottle to make sure there won’t be any leaks. That’s it! You can add glitter or beads to make it more exciting but the lava action might be enough to calm your child during a stressful situation.

3. Therapy Putty

I was surprised at how simple this was to make on my own. With several brands selling for as much as $10, this took two products and was a fraction of the price to make. All you need is lotion and cornstarch. Start by putting an ounce or two of lotion in a bowl. I liked the FRAGFRE lotion from Amazon. Add cornstarch, a tablespoon at a time and mix. Use your hands to combine well. It will stick to your fingers at first but just keep mixing. Roll into a small ball and add food coloring if you wish. Your child can play with the putty in a bag or with their hands and you can make as much or as little as you need. I made a very small ball and stored in a bag to take in my purse.

As parents of special needs children, we don’t have much extra time and these therapeutic toys are a great way to quickly put something together with minimal cost. You can make several sensory bottles and keep one in the car and another at home. Tuck the therapy putty into your child’s backpack and throw together a sensory bag as you walk out the door. Sometimes these little things can really help.

Make Your Own Putty and Sensory Bag

Great Lotion!

FRAGFRE Organic Body Lotion 8 oz - Parabens Free - 86% Organic Face Hand and Body Lotion - Natural Soft Aroma for Men Women Children - Cruelty Free Gluten Free Vegan Organic Moisturizing Body Lotion
FRAGFRE Organic Body Lotion 8 oz - Parabens Free - 86% Organic Face Hand and Body Lotion - Natural Soft Aroma for Men Women Children - Cruelty Free Gluten Free Vegan Organic Moisturizing Body Lotion
This FRAGFRE lotion is great for the putty. It is fragrance free which worked great for my son who has sensory issues. Plus, I really like that it's organic. It does have a light scent but we found it soothing rather than overwhelming. 8oz goes a long way since we only used about 2-3 oz for our putty.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Great stuff. My son has more toys than he could play with in a year. But he much prefers us making our own. These are cool.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)