Parents of kids with sensory issues know that shopping can be extremely tough. Finding children's decor that's appropriate, affordable, and still cute is super challenging, but at least one retailer is trying to make it a little easier. Target is rolling out some adorable new sensory-friendly kids products that check all those boxes and more.
Target's Pillowfort line — which you might be more familiar with from things like its cute, colorful bedding and fun teepees — is adding almost 20 new pieces designed for kids with special sensitivities. The store says it developed the new products based on customer feedback about how hard sensory-friendly items are to find, and how unaffordable they can be. While any child can enjoy these new offerings, they may be especially helpful to kids with autism, who often have special sensory needs, according to The Mighty. They could also be great for children with sensory processing disorder (SPD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or other development delays.
The line includes a rocking desk chair ($80), which is a great option for kids who have trouble staying still and focusing when it comes to homework or mealtime — rocking can have a calming effect, according to the Indiana Resource Center for Autism. There's also a crash pad ($50) for kiddos to dive into. An over-sized pad to safely jump on can be a great way for kids to work on their gross motor skills and get lots of sensory input for their legs and core, according to Integrated Learning Strategies. Target's version comes with a zip cover that can easily be taken off and thrown into the washing machine when your kiddo's done beating it up.
There are also cute new floor cushions that feature lots of different textures, a kid-sized tent ($50) that's still big enough to hold a small desk, and weighted blankets ($50) that could help your child get better sleep. None of the new products cost more than $100, and everything comes in a range of colors that will keep your kid's room looking cute. Special needs parents often have to choose between fashion and function when they're shopping for their little ones, so I'm happy to report that that's definitely not the case here.
This isn't Target's first foray into the special needs world. The store started selling sensory-friendly, adaptive clothing as part of its Cat & Jack line in 2017. That line features heat transfer labels instead of tags and flat seams designed to minimize discomfort on a sensitive kiddo's skin. It also includes bodysuits with access to feeding tubes, as well as clothing designed to accommodate disabled children who need help getting dressed.
As a special needs mama myself, I'm fully aware of how hard it is to find outfits, toys, and home goods that suit my kid's needs. It's very exciting to think that the store I already practically live at is making this a focus, and I can only hope that lots of other retailers follow suit someday.