The 5 Best Light Up Sensory Toys of 2023

Close up shot of a baby boy having fun in a sensory group with illuminated toys.

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  • When choosing a light-up sensory toy, consider your child’s needs and which sensory systems you want to help them regulate.
  • You will find that most light-up sensory toys are made with LED lights and come with the ability to dim or change the light settings, giving you the ability to create calm environments. 
  • A light-up toy is best used for therapy, distraction, or to calm a child down.

Thanks to the research of qualified professionals, there’s a new wave of toys hitting the market—sensory toys. Sensory toys for toddlers and children have become a popular market. And for good reason! 

Many behavior specialists, teachers, and doctors even recommend specific sensory toys to help child development. You’ll likely find them all over the internet, in schools, and even in pediatric offices. Some of the more popular sensory toys include fidget toys, pop tubes, playdoh, and kinetic sand.

There’s another type of sensory toy which is gaining popularity and bringing a new element of fun to the game—light-up sensory toys. Known for their calming qualities, these toys are useful for just about any age. 

If you’re new to light-up sensory toys and beginning to search for the best options for your little one, we’ve got you covered! Our list of the 5 best light-up sensory toys of 2023 will help make your decision easy. 

Best for Fine Motor Skills
WeGlow Spinning Light Up Wand | Glowing Multi-Color LED Light Spinner in Wild Sensory Patterns | Toy for Children, Autistic People, Party Favors, Carnival Prize | 2 Pack with Batteries
Best Hands-Free
EXELME Night Light Projector Ocean Wave - Sound Machine with Soothing Nature Noise and Relaxing Light Show - Color Changing Wave Light Effects for Kids Adults Bedroom Living Room – White
Best Tactile
The Noodley LED Light Up Gloves for Kids Toys Halloween Costume Accessory Sensory Games Outdoor Toy for Boys Girls Autistic Children Kid Sized Ages 4 5 6 7 (Small, Black)
WeGlow Spinning Light Up Wand
Exelme Night Light Projector Ocean Wave
Noodley LED Light Up Gloves
$28.99
Price not available
$11.95
Best for Fine Motor Skills
WeGlow Spinning Light Up Wand | Glowing Multi-Color LED Light Spinner in Wild Sensory Patterns | Toy for Children, Autistic People, Party Favors, Carnival Prize | 2 Pack with Batteries
WeGlow Spinning Light Up Wand
$28.99
Best Hands-Free
EXELME Night Light Projector Ocean Wave - Sound Machine with Soothing Nature Noise and Relaxing Light Show - Color Changing Wave Light Effects for Kids Adults Bedroom Living Room – White
Exelme Night Light Projector Ocean Wave
Price not available
Best Tactile
The Noodley LED Light Up Gloves for Kids Toys Halloween Costume Accessory Sensory Games Outdoor Toy for Boys Girls Autistic Children Kid Sized Ages 4 5 6 7 (Small, Black)
Noodley LED Light Up Gloves
$11.95

Top Choice: WeGlow Spinning Light Up Wand

WeGlow Spinning Light Up Wand
  • LIGHT UP THE NIGHT – WeGlow’s interactive light up wand is perfect for parties, parades, and concerts. Moveable fiber optic light tubes can be configured into a multitude of wild light patterns! Wow! Mesmerize your audience with a kaleidoscope of color!
  • CUSTOMIZABLE LIGHT SHOW – LED light up toy is interactive, allowing you or your inner child to create fanciful patterned light displays. The plastic wand contains 4 bendable tubes on the top which light up, bendable plastic tubes can be inserted into top holes making the display of lights different each time it spins.
  • LIGHTWEIGHT – The WeGlow scrambling spinning light up wand is compact and lightweight, making for a nice and easy transport from party to party or place to place. Easy to carry at a nighttime party, a rave, concert, backyard party or parade!
  • EASY USE – An easy on and off switch, with included batteries make this spinning, scrambling toy simple and easy to use right out of the box!

Our top pick for the best light-up sensory toys of 2023 is the WeGlow Spinning Light Up Wand. Here’s why this made our top pick: 

Great for Fine Motor Skills: Most parents know the importance of helping their child learn to pinch, tie, cut, or do other actions that require fine motor skills. We love that this toy gives them extra practice while they are having fun. 

Battery Type: How many of us have purchased games or other items requiring special batteries you never have on hand? That always ends up being a hassle. We like the fact that these use AAs instead of a less-common battery.

Sturdiness: Let’s be honest. Kids are rough on just about everything. When purchasing a toy, you want to make sure it can withstand a drop from the highchair or a launch from the stroller. Thankfully, this wand can. 

Entertainment: The multi-colored light tubes that spin make this toy lots of fun to watch. Your child will likely be mesmerized by the customizable, spinning display. 

For these reasons, we recommend the WeGlow Spinning Light Up Wand as an addition to your sensory toy collection, or as your child’s first light-up sensory toy.

Best for Visual Tracking – ArtCreativity Light Up Magic Ball Toy Wand for Kids

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ArtCreativity Light Up Magic Ball Toy Wand for Kids
  • 🌟 MESMERIZING GOODNESS: Keep your kiddo enthralled and engaged with a kaleidoscope of colors! They will love this 7.5” magic ball wand that produces a mesmerizing spinning light show and engulfs any room in eye-catching hues—a recipe for hours of excited fun.
  • 🚀 READY TO GO: There’s no need to hunt around the house for batteries. This flashing toy wand for kids includes 3 x AA batteries already installed. Getting the multi-color fun going couldn’t be simpler: just push a button and watch the LEDs do their thing.
  • 🌈 CULTIVATE THEIR IMAGINATION: This light-up wand isn’t just a visual treat; it’s also a great prop to inspire hours of imaginative pretend play. Children will have a blast channeling their inner Merlin or adding some panache to their magic shows.
  • 🎉 FUN LED PARTY FAVORS: Looking for birthday party favors that boys, girls, and even adults will relish? Hand out these light-up magic ball wands and watch everyone beam with joy. The wand also makes a great gift idea or calming toy for kids with autism, suitable for ages 3 and up.

If you’ve ever visited a theme park at night, you’ve likely seen kids walking around with light-up wands and toys. Many of them twirl and blink as the colored lights provide a fantastic show. That’s exactly the kind of delight you’ll find in the ArtCreativity Light Up Magic Ball Toy Wand for Kids.

With the simple push of a button, your child can easily turn on and off the wand. Inside the ball, many colored LED lights spin around in a circle. The clear, plastic ball keeps your child from being able to touch the lights. 

Many parents have successfully used this as a visual tracking tool. If you’re looking to improve your child’s eye strength in tracking, you can have your child follow these lights with their eyes as you move the wand.

Many babies like to put their mouth on the plastic ball as it spins since it gently vibrates. Just be sure to keep them from chewing on the handle, as the paint might chip off. The toy is also sturdy enough for them to drop or throw without breaking.

This toy does require 3 AA batteries, so you’ll want to have plenty on hand. Many parents reported this toy needing new batteries every few days with heavy use. However, this might be worth the cost if it soothes or distracts your child in uncomfortable situations.

Manufacturer Recommended Age: 3 years and up | Batteries Required?: Yes
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Best for Fine Motor Skills – WeGlow Spinning Light Up Wand

WeGlow Spinning Light Up Wand
  • LIGHT UP THE NIGHT – WeGlow’s interactive light up wand is perfect for parties, parades, and concerts. Moveable fiber optic light tubes can be configured into a multitude of wild light patterns! Wow! Mesmerize your audience with a kaleidoscope of color!
  • CUSTOMIZABLE LIGHT SHOW – LED light up toy is interactive, allowing you or your inner child to create fanciful patterned light displays. The plastic wand contains 4 bendable tubes on the top which light up, bendable plastic tubes can be inserted into top holes making the display of lights different each time it spins.
  • LIGHTWEIGHT – The WeGlow scrambling spinning light up wand is compact and lightweight, making for a nice and easy transport from party to party or place to place. Easy to carry at a nighttime party, a rave, concert, backyard party or parade!
  • EASY USE – An easy on and off switch, with included batteries make this spinning, scrambling toy simple and easy to use right out of the box!

If your child likes spinning objects like fans and pinwheels, they are sure to enjoy this next pick. The WeGlow Spinning Light Up Wand takes light-up wands to a new level of interaction and joy. 

This wand has fiber-optic light tubes extending from the top in all different colors. When your child flips on the switch, the colors spin around like a fan. This creates a beautiful display of light.

With the flexible fiber-optic tubes, your child is able to customize the light show. Each LED light tube can be inserted into any of the holes at the top of the wand. This allows your child to change the position of the colors as they please. 

There’s another attractive benefit to the adjustable tubes. As your child moves the tube, they will strengthen their fine motor skills. This is an easy way to squeeze in some practice while they’re having fun.  

This light-up wand does require 3 AA batteries. As with most light-up items, you will need to replace these batteries often. Plan on having plenty on hand as your child will likely want to use it daily.

Manufacturer Recommended Age: 3 months and up | Batteries Required?: Yes
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Best Hands-Free – Exelme Night Light Projector Ocean Wave

What if you’re looking for a toy for an infant who doesn’t have a firm grasp yet? Or what if your child has special needs which prevent them from being able to press buttons or use fidget toys? This hands-free light display is the perfect option.

The Exelme Night Light Projector Ocean Wave provides a beautiful display of colors in your child’s room. With a slight tilt of the projector, you can cast the light onto the wall or ceiling. The automatic timer allows you to turn it on for up to 4 hours at a time. 

As the colors dance in the room, they mimic ocean waves. You can also choose from 7 different LED light colors. Alongside the lights, you can play your own music through the projector or choose from 8 nature sounds. 

Many parents have found that their kids love the calming effects for nighttime sleep. However, this could be used in a sensory room any time of the day. It might be especially helpful in the case of a sensory meltdown

This projector does not use batteries, so you won’t have to worry about an added expense.

Batteries Required?: No
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Best Musical – LED Tambourine Musical Flashing Tambourine

LED Tambourine Musical Flashing Tambourine
  • Durable and Non-Toxic Material: Our light-up tambourines are made from high-quality plastic materials that are designed to last. You can rest assured that they are completely non-toxic and comply with CPSIA safety standards, making them a safe and healthy choice for your kids to easter basket stuffers gifts.
  • 3 FLASHING MODES LED TOYS: These LED toys have three different flashing modes that can be activated by pressing the black button on the handle. By pressing the switch button three times, you can switch between fast flashing, slow flashing, and alternate flashing modes for the LED tambourines. These light-up toys are perfect for illuminating your party for hours and make excellent easter basket stuffers gifts for kids.
  • GREAT TOYS FOR ALL OCCASIONS: The Aywewii Glow Tambourine Set is a fantastic party favor for both kids and adults. These tambourines are perfect for various occasions such as easter, birthdays, celebrations, camping trips, raves, discos, neon parties, concerts, weddings, clubs, and any other night-time events. Additionally, they make great toys for kids who have autism or disabilities.
  • GLOW IN THE DARK PARTY SUPPLIES: Add some excitement to your party with these Glow in the Dark Party Supplies, featuring the coolest LED light show with bright-colored lights. The Glow Dark Tambourines are perfect for sprucing up any occasion and driving the rhythm of the party. They’re great party toys for both adults and kids alike, and they also make wonderful easter basket stuffers gifts and easter decorations toys.

Have a little musician in your life? Or a child who loves sounds? This light-up tambourine is great for all ages. 

The LED Tambourine Musical Flashing Tambourine provides both a visual, tactile, and auditory delight. As your child rattles this instrument, they’ll get to hear the sound of the metal cymbals clanging. They’ll also feel the vibration as they shake or hit the tambourine.

The on and off button for this toy is simple to use. Your child can easily click the button with one finger. This button also gives them 3 light choices including quick flashing, slow flashing, and an alternating flash.

The tambourine is made with durable plastic, so you won’t have to worry about your child being too rough. If they drop or throw it on the floor, it will withstand the impact. 

This toy uses 3 AA batteries. These will likely need to be replaced often with heavy use.

Manufacturer Recommended Age: 3 years and up | Batteries Required?: Yes
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Best Tactile – The Noodley LED Light Up Gloves 

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Noodley LED Light Up Gloves
  • Battery operated with 3 LED colors and 6 light modes – strobe, alternating, steady, and one color at a time flashing. In colors for boys and girls aged 4 and up.
  • Super bright vibrant illumination wireless and thin LED strips feature no wires in the fingers. Full liner separates the LED lights from the hands for both comfort and safety during use. LED lights emit no heat.
  • Boys and Girls Colors: designed with matching LED light colors – black and blue gloves feature red, green, and blue lights, and pink and purple gloves have orange pink and blue lights.
  • Easy to Use: Press the button on the cuff to change light modes. CR2016 batteries pre-installed plus extra batteries. Hidden battery box in cuff has a safety screw to keep little hands away from batteries.

Touch is one of the best ways for kids to learn. When they’re able to put their hands in a bucket of sand or touch the scales on a lizard, their brain makes new connections. These sensory gloves bring a new level of learning to sensory play. 

The Noodley LED Light Up Gloves have LED-colored lights on each finger. With the push of a button, children can activate the lights and put on a show with their hands. The lights have 6 different modes and are great for soothing an anxious or overstimulated child. 

These gloves are made with a soft, cotton material that works for both summer and winter. It also stretches to fit any size hand. The wires for the lights sit between 2 layers of cotton, so your child won’t be touching the wiring when wearing them. 

You’ll want to take note that these do not use standard batteries. You’ll need CR2016 batteries. However, an extra set is included, so you likely won’t need to purchase them for a while. 

Manufacturer Recommended Age: 4 years and up | Batteries Required?: Yes
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Choosing a Light Up Sensory Toy

When choosing a light-up sensory toy, you’ll want to be sure it’s a good fit for your child. Depending on your child’s needs, there might be specific light-up sensory toys that work better than others. Here are some helpful questions to consider when shopping.

What makes a good light-up sensory toy?

Perhaps a better way to word this question would be, “what makes a good light-up sensory toy to you”. What we mean by this is that sensory toys are designed to regulate specific sensory systems of the body. Some toys will address the auditory and visual sensory systems, while others address tactile or oral sensory systems. 

When choosing a light-up sensory toy, consider your child’s needs and which sensory systems you want to help them regulate. Focus on toys with a heavy emphasis on those systems to ensure you’ll have better results.

For example, suppose you notice your child has to touch, hit, or tap just about everything they see. This shows their tactile system has a need. You might do best focusing on sensory toys with a huge emphasis on touch.

If your child seems to be consumed by, or easily disrupted by, actions involving a specific sense, pay attention. This is an indicator of a sensory system calling for attention.

When is the best time to introduce light-up sensory toys to babies or toddlers?

Light-up sensory toys can be introduced at any age. However, it’s important to note that these shouldn’t replace other toys that don’t involve sound, lights, and buttons. Simplistic toys like wooden blocks, soft dolls, or sand are also important for developing a child’s brain.

A light-up toy is best used for therapy, distraction, or to calm a child down. At whatever age you introduce light-up sensory toys, provide a healthy balance. Include both simplistic toys and light-up toys in your child’s toybox. 

Developmental Benefits of Light-Up Sensory Toys

So why do many professionals recommend the use of light-up toys for kids? Through research, we now understand the impact light has on the brain. Think about how a warm summer day affects your mood versus a cloudy winter day.  

A 2018 study by The US Department of Energy, et al studied 3 classrooms to determine the impact of LED lighting versus fluorescent lighting. They found that ASD students performed significantly better in classrooms with dimmable LED lights, rather than in classrooms with fluorescent lights. It is clear that lighting plays a huge role in behavior, attention, and the overall health of students

Other developmental benefits that light-up sensory toys provide include:

You will find that most light-up sensory toys are made with LED lights and come with the ability to dim or change the light settings. This gives you the ability to create calm environments that promote attention, learning, or relaxation.

  • Strengthening or gauging visual tracking abilities.
  • Improving gross or fine motor skills. (Some toys require the child to make those specific movements to interact with the lights.)
  • Improving the child’s mood, helping them calm down, or distracting them from situations that might cause anxiety. (These toys often provide much hope to parents wondering how to deal with sensory overload in their child.)

For these reasons, there is now a rising demand for these sensory toys for autism as well as other kids with special needs.  

Recommended Accessories

There are several other light-up sensory products that would make a great addition to a sensory toy collection. Some of these accessories would also make a fantastic start to creating a sensory room on a budget. Here are some of our favorites: 

FAQs

What should I look for in a light-up sensory toy?

When shopping for light-up sensory products, you’ll want to be sure they will last and will be convenient enough to use daily. We recommend asking these questions before purchasing:

  • Will this require special batteries that I don’t have on hand?
  • Will the quality of the materials hold up with heavy, daily use?
  • Will my child be able to turn this on and off by themselves? Will they be able to operate the other functions without my help?
  • Are there different light settings in case the flashing is bothersome?

Asking yourself these questions might help you narrow down your list of products. 

Can you make a DIY light-up sensory toy at home?

Yes, you can! Some parents make simple light-up sensory toys with things like old containers and string lights. 

One simple idea is to put glowsticks in an empty plastic bottle. Next, add water and a bit of dish soap. Secure the bottle cap so that your child can’t remove it. Flip it over and watch the glowing sticks rise and fall. You might also find other inspiration online such as sensory table ideas or DIY fidget toys. Even with a limited budget, you can find plenty of ideas for simple, sensory activities for infants or older kids.

Best Light Up Sensory Toys Pin


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