Our 3 Favorite Toys for Emotional Development

The right toy isn’t just something your child loves to play with, but it can help develop important skills for your little one as he or she grows!

When it comes to developing a child’s social and emotional well-being, there are a variety of different types of toys that can help them become secure in their emotions and learn how to express themselves in healthy ways.

Here are our favorite toys for children that encourage open-ended play as well as help them become more emotionally adept as they grow.


A child’s first doll begins its journey as a security item and something that helps a little one learn to self-soothe.

A doll is a way for children to access the emotions they feel and mimic how Mom, Dad and other adults around them react. For example, a child might pretend a doll has a boo-boo and kisses it to make it better. Or they may practice rocking their doll to sleep and put their nurturing skills to the test.

Gugguli Doll - Oompa Toys
A doll can also act as an outlet as a child tries to work through their own emotional stresses. If there’s an argument between a sibling or classmate, practicing how to work through that on a doll is a great way for children to begin processing their emotions and work on problem solving.

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Cooperative Games

Although there’s nothing wrong with a little friendly competition, collaboration and teamwork are much more important skills to hone in young children. It’s why we carry so many cooperative board games. The only way to win a cooperative game is by working as a team.

Animal Upon Animal - Haba - Oompa Toys

Cooperative board games teach players to strategize and cooperate, which helps children practice their critical thinking skills in a non-stressful, team-motivated environment.

Over time these skills will help children be a team player in school, in sports and in playtime with other children.

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Art Supplies

When a child sits down with crayons and a blank piece of paper, they’re able to enter a world of their own.

Artistic endeavors can feel like a meditative, calming state for most children. Allowing them to sit with their own ideas and thoughts is a way for them to express themselves creatively and often times emotionally too!

Children are often able to express things that make them happy or sad or anxious through drawing, so giving children that outlet early on helps them engage with their emotions and express themselves more freely.

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Does your child have a favorite toy to use to express their emotions? We'd love to hear!

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