It is a well-known fact that kids love toys. Playing is fun, and toys are a big part of that experience. However, toys can serve a purpose beyond providing entertainment. Today, many toys in the market can help teach necessary skills, one of which is navigating and regulating emotions.
Here are 7 favorite items that help kids identify, manage, and move through their emotions:
Deep Breathing Pillow
This deep-breathing pillow is the perfect addition to your children’s toy collection. Unlike a standard pillow, this is smaller and has rope handles so that it can accompany your kiddo wherever they want to take it. These “breathing buddies” are weighted and scented to help calm and ground children when they’re going through rough times, and it also has fluffy hair to be used as a visual reminder of deep, even breaths. Overall, this pillow is a great way to help your child calm their nervous system in any setting. Click here to purchase yours.
Emotion Plush Toys/Dolls
Emotion plushies are incredibly popular right now. The stuffed toys present different emotions for your child to use to illustrate their emotions without feeling pressure to voice it.
These plushies, in particular, are a companion to the best-selling book “A Little SPOT of Feelings” and represent eight different emotions you and your child can discuss together.
We love these Snuggle Buddies! You can implement these toys into your child’s evening routine to help them learn, name, and discuss the emotions they experience throughout the day.
Teen Table Topics
Are your children at an age where they’ve outgrown plushies and snuggle toys? Use this game as a conversation starter for older children or teens who have outgrown some of the toys on this list. A game like this can provide a healthy way to express their emotions without the intimidation that “talking about your feelings” can create.
These magnets are a fun complement to the refrigerator or mirrors in your children’s bedrooms. They allow kids and teens to express their emotions through words in a unique way. What’s lovely about this toy is that kids of all ages — and adults, too — can create positive affirmations they can revisit when they’re feeling down. You can also encourage them to leave a new positive affirmation each week to build a healthy routine.
Games with Physical Movement
Kids love to move! Movement is a powerful form of expression and an excellent method to get children to identify, feel, and shift their emotions. Movement encourages the production and release of endorphins — leading to happier, healthier individuals. We love Stomp It Out, a movement-based therapeutic game created by a well-known Educational Psychologist to help children improve their emotional capacity.
Children are fascinated by things that light up, so it makes sense to use lights to benefit their emotional health. Sensory lights are known for calming nervous systems by creating a relaxing atmosphere. Interestingly, they also contribute to better sleep. You can use sunset lamps or space projects — to name a couple — to create a calming atmosphere that helps your kiddo feel safe while experiencing various emotions. Check out this highly-rated space projector as an example.