Search
  • Lauren

Maintaining your sensory toys

Updated: Aug 8

After some social posts recently by a consumer testing organisation, who highlighted unsafe sensory boxes being sold on eBay (not by us!), we've decided to list below exactly what we do in terms of product testing to ensure that the toys going into our boxes are as safe as they can be. As a parent myself, I'm incredibly aware that safety is at the forefront of every parent and carers mind where babies and children are concerned.


Babies should NEVER be left alone with any toy, regardless of safety checks that have happened or guarantees that brands purport to have. Just as a baby should never be left alone with unsafe bedding, an animal, or indeed strangers, a baby should NEVER be without a responsible adult when playing. We expect that these sensory toys are used primarily BY an adult, WITH a baby rather than a baby by themselves.


All our stock is purchased from reputable sellers (not eBay sellers - except for our coloured feathers and bows for gift-wrapping). Typically, items are purchased at a premium price compared to our 'competitors'. Where there are slight defects in any product, items are disposed of or returned to the supplier for a refund or replacement. Over the years we have made tweaks to both suppliers and the way we present information on our products. This includes using alternative suppliers when we're not happy with the quality of items and the introduction of safety warnings on our boxes and in our guides, to ensure that we are as clear as we can be when it comes to using the toys included in our sensory boxes.

There are times when items may make it into our boxes that are not of the high standard we expect and strive to. This may occur due to human error, or during transit after we have passed our parcel to mail carriers. Where that happens, we replace and/or refund items when we are contacted, and investigate how it occurred. Typically if an item breaks within the first 30 days, we would ask that you contact us so we can replace them as that's not the quality we expect. If an item has been used frequently, you are encouraged to check the item for wear and tear and discard of it if the quality deteriorates.

Ultimately, if we feel that we'd be unhappy receiving an item in the condition that it's in; then it won't make it into the sensory boxes. As we're a home run business, my husband and I do the quality checking, with other family members often dipping in to do batch quality testing of certain items.

On our boxes and in our guide, we prominently feature warnings - in particular that anyone using these items should do so in the presence of an adult. As with most toys, if there is wear and tear, items need to be discarded.

Below is a list of the thorough checks that we carry out on each item, plus recommended ways to maintain and clean your toys.



The Premium Sensory Box for Babies/The Baby Shower Sensory Gift Box


Wooden rattle

  • What we do: Ensure that no paint is flaking off, that the head of the maraca is secure by pulling/squeezing/shaking and checking the seam. We also check for spots on the wood which may indicate mould.

  • How to maintain: Use hot soapy water and a cloth to wipe clean, antibacterial spray or liquid may be used to enhance clean. Do not put in dishwasher/washing machine.


Coloured chiffon scarf

  • What we do: Check for any obvious tears through the protective plastic packaging, plus any loose threads (in particular in the corners). We also check for any unsightly marks/stains. We place a sticker on the packaging to inform you to hand wash the scarf in cold water before use, to ensure that any coloured ink does not leak if it gets damp.

  • How to maintain: Hand wash in cold water with washing liquid, as and when needed.

Handmade ribbon ring

  • What we do: These are handmade by us, in our home. Ribbons are checked for any tears or frays before use. The ribbons are cut using serrated scissors so that they do not fray quickly. The wooden rings are checked for mould spots, for any cracks/chips or scuffs and discarded if not satisfactory. Ribbons are double knotted, and typically less than 30cm in length to decrease strangulation risk.

  • How to maintain: Ensure knots are tight and that any frayed edges are periodically trimmed.

Bubble tube

  • What we do: Check that no liquid is leaking and that there are no cracks in tubes. The end of the wand is also inspected to ensure no cracks or parts falling off. The tubes are then placed in individual bags to ensure they do not leak within the box onto other items.

  • How to maintain: Wipe with a damp cloth and inspect for any cracks. These will tend to be used really fast so discard when empty.

Foil blanket

  • What we do: We periodically check batches of foil blankets (they are all from the same supplier) and ensure that there are no tears or holes. (We do not individually check each blanket as they are hard to fold back into their packets).

  • How to maintain: Check for any tears or holes, if any are found then cut away the damaged parts. These are sometimes tricky to spot as blankets will get more crinkled with more use.

Coloured feather

  • What we do: Check feathers for sharp ends, any tears in feathers or bits falling off and check the feathers are soft.

  • How to maintain: Check for any wear and tear, discard if so.

Folding paper fan

  • What we do: Check the paper fan part for any rips or tears. Ensure that the fans fold effectively. Check the plastic cap for sharp parts/pieces falling off.

  • How to maintain: Wipe plastic parts with damp cloth if necessary. If paper part rips or tears, discard.

Bell rattle

  • What we do: Ensure that there are the correct amount of bells on the rattle, ensure there are no sharp edges and that the bells are not folded in on themselves. We vigorously shakes/pull/squeeze the rattles to determine that parts are correctly fitted (and check the screws to ensure they are fully fitted). The wooden handles are checked for chipped/damaged paint and mould spots. If any defects or faults they are discarded.

  • How to maintain: Wipe wooden handle with hot soapy water if and when needed. If there is any wear and tear to the bells themselves, immediately discontinue use and discard.

Flashing spiky ball

  • What we do: Test the ball to ensure it lights up when hit. Check the ball spikes to make sure there is no damage and that there are no holes or tears. If so, discarded. Please note that these are CE tested and are packaged in our boxes with their label still attached. This label shows that it is not for use for ages 0-3 without supervision as if it breaks, there are small parts inside

  • How to maintain: Use hot soapy water and a cloth to wipe clean, antibacterial spray or liquid may be used to enhance clean. Do not put in dishwasher/washing machine.

The First Birthday Sensory Box

Lavender scented bubble tube

  • What we do: Check that no liquid is leaking and that there are no cracks in tubes. The end of the wand is also inspected to ensure no cracks or parts falling off. The tubes are then placed in individual bags to ensure they do not leak within the box onto other items.

  • How to maintain: Wipe with a damp cloth and inspect for any cracks. These will tend to be used really fast so discard when empty.

Flashing spiky ball

  • What we do: Test the ball to ensure it lights up when hit. Check the ball spikes to make sure there is no damage and that there are no holes or tears. If so, discarded. Please note that these are CE tested and are packaged in our boxes with their label still attached. This label shows that it is not for use for ages 0-3 without supervision as if it breaks, there are small parts inside.

  • How to maintain: Use hot soapy water and a cloth to wipe clean, antibacterial spray or liquid may be used to enhance clean. Do not put in dishwasher/washing machine.

Pair of plastic rattles

  • What we do: Vigorously shake rattles to ensure no gaps/holes and defects. Seams checked to make sure there are no minute holes. Overall appearance of outside checked to ensure there are no cracks or impending defects.

  • How to maintain: Use hot soapy water and a cloth to wipe clean, antibacterial spray or liquid may be used to enhance clean. Do not put in dishwasher/washing machine.

Stringy pom pom ball

  • What we do: Check that all stringy bits are in tact and that there are no breakages/overstretched parts of the balls. Check the middle part of ball to ensure no unusual lumps or bumps.

  • How to maintain: Use hot soapy water and a cloth to wipe clean, antibacterial spray or liquid may be used to enhance clean. Do not put in dishwasher/washing machine.

Plastic whistle:

  • What we do: Whistles are checked to make sure the internal ball does not fall out. Plastic checked to ensure no cracks or splits, or rough/sharp edges. String is checked to make sure it does not fray, and that it is no longer than 30cm when tied, to reduce strangulation risk.

  • How to maintain: Use hot soapy water and a cloth to wipe clean, antibacterial spray or liquid may be used to enhance clean. Do not put in dishwasher/washing machine.

Light up spinner torch

  • What we do: We periodically check batches of the torches (they are all from the same supplier) and ensure that there are NO defects - from faulty batteries to cracked spinner body and heads. (We do not remove each torch as they are individually vacuum packed but we do check through the packaging where possible. If any doubts they are discarded.)

  • How to maintain: Use hot soapy water and a cloth to wipe the outside casing clean, antibacterial spray or liquid may be used to enhance clean. Do not put in dishwasher/washing machine. Batteries may need to be replaced periodically.

The Toddler Sensory Box

Triangle and beater

  • What we do: Check the body of both the triangle and beater for any defects (through their individual packaging). We check the plastic/rubber end of the beater, and the finger holder for the triangle to ensure there are no tears or rips.

  • How to maintain: Use a damp cloth to wipe clean. Periodically use hot soapy water, but do not use antibacterial spray or liquid in case it tarnishes.

Kazoo

  • What we do: Check the plastic casing for any chips/scuffs or defects, plus check the plastic film that creates sound. If this is ripped then it is discarded. These are individually wrapped (as they are used with a mouth) so are inspected through the packaging. They are periodically batch tested by taking out of wrapping.

  • How to maintain: Use a damp cloth to wipe clean. Periodically use hot soapy water, but do not use antibacterial spray or liquid in case it tarnishes. Do not share kazoos between multiple people.

Inflatable microphone

  • What we do: We check for obvious holes but do NOT inflate them before sending (due to hygiene). We check the plastic plug to ensure that it is in tact with no breakages.

  • How to maintain: When inflated, use hot soapy water or antibacterial spray liquid and wipe down with a cloth. If a hole appears, then discontinue use.

Wrist rattle

  • What we do: Check the fabric wristband for any tears or breakages. We check the bells for any loose parts and sharp edges.

  • How to maintain: Use a damp cloth to wipe metal parts clean. Hot soapy water may be used on the fabric strap.

Wooden maraca

  • What we do: Ensure that no paint is flaking off, that the head of the maraca is secure by pulling/squeezing/shaking and checking the seam. We also check for spots on the wood which may indicate mould.

  • How to maintain: Use hot soapy water and a cloth to wipe clean, antibacterial spray or liquid may be used to enhance clean. Do not put in dishwasher/washing machine.

Tambourine

  • What we do: Check the screws are secure, with none missing. Zills (jingly bits) are checked to ensure no chips, cracks or scuffs. Plastic handle checked for any cracks. Whole item checked for any sharp parts.

  • How to maintain: Use a damp cloth to wipe clean. Periodically use hot soapy water, but do not use antibacterial spray or liquid in case it tarnishes.

The Autism Sensory Box

Fidget cube

  • What we do: These are checked to ensure each section works as expected. Checked for any loose parts and sharp edges. They are vigorously shaken and squeezed to ensure no breakage imminent. Any scuffs or damage to colouring results in discarding.

  • How to maintain: Use hot soapy water and a cloth to wipe the outside casing clean, antibacterial spray or liquid may be used to enhance clean. Do not put in dishwasher/washing machine.

Fidget spinner

  • What we do: Check that it spins effectively, and that there are no sharp parts or cracks. Items are vigorously spun, shaken and squeezed, to ensure no cracks or defects appear.

  • How to maintain: Use a damp cloth to wipe clean. Do not use hot soapy water or antibacterial sprays in case it tarnishes.

Chewy bangle from Chewigem

  • What we do: We periodically check batches of the bangles (they are all from the same supplier) and ensure that there are no defects including cracks or breakages to the bangle body. We inspect each bangle through the packaging as they are individually packaged. Where there is any concern, a bangle is removed from packaging and inspected further.

  • How to maintain: Use hot soapy water to clean. If cracks appear, or wear and tear occurs, discard immediately.

Rainbow coloured slinky

  • What we do: Inspect each slinky for any cracks, chips and splits. If any are identified then they are discarded. The colour is checked to ensure no discolouration or aesthetic faults.

  • How to maintain: Use hot soapy water to clean.

Stringy pom pom ball:

  • What we do: Check that all stringy bits are in tact and that there are no breakages/overstretched parts of the balls. Check the middle part of ball to ensure no unusual lumps or bumps.

  • How to maintain: Use hot soapy water and a cloth to wipe clean, antibacterial spray or liquid may be used to enhance clean. Do not put in dishwasher/washing machine.

Stretch toy

  • What we do: Ensure that there are no breakages or tears in the stretch toy by stretching the toy and inspecting. We check for any loose parts of the rubbery material and make sure there are no strains present that may lead to future breakages.

  • How to maintain: Use hot soapy water but do not use any antibacterial sprays in case of deterioration. If any breakages or cracks appear, discard immediately.

If you have any questions, then do send me an email: hello@thesensoryboxcompany.com