Social Emotional Gift Ideas for Kids of All Ages

With the approaching holidays, I know parents are looking for gift ideas for their children. We have a saying in the play therapy world that we want to select toys not collect them. Today, I will be providing you with sixteen ideas to gift your children this holiday season to improve their emotional awareness, vocabulary, and regulation. We will include gifts for children of all ages.

With the approaching holidays, I know parents are looking for gift ideas for their children. We have a saying in the play therapy world that we want to select toys not collect them. Today, I will be providing you with sixteen ideas to gift your children this holiday season to improve their emotional awareness, vocabulary, and regulation. We will include gifts for children of all ages. 

Books

I’m going to start with one of my favorite children’s books. Drop me a comment and let me know what one of your memorable childhood stories are. 

The Invisible String

This book is for children of all ages (and yes, adults too!). We feel a great sense of peace and joy realizing that we are all connected to the ones we love through The Invisible String.  “That’s impossible!” the children insist, but still they want to know more. “What kind of string?” The answer is the simple truth that binds us all: An Invisible String made of love. Even though you can’t see it with your eyes, you can feel it deep in your heart, and know that you are always connected to the ones you love. Does everybody have an Invisible String? How far does it reach? Does it ever go away? The answers are revealed throughout the story. Kids will enjoy this book and discovering who they are connected to by invisible string.

Red: A Crayon’s Story

In the next book on our list a blue crayon mistakenly labeled as “red” suffers an identity crisis.  Red: A Crayon’s Story, by Michael Hall, is about being true to your inner self and following your own path despite obstacles that may come your way. Red has a bright red label, but he is, in fact, blue. His teacher tries to help him be red (let’s draw strawberries!), his mother tries to help him be red by sending him out on a playdate with a yellow classmate (go draw a nice orange!), and even the scissors try to help him be red by snipping his label so that he has room to breathe. But Red is miserable. He just can’t be red, no matter how hard he tries! In this humorous story, kids will learn the importance of being themselves.

Breathe Like a Bear

 This book is a beautifully illustrated collection of mindfulness exercises designed to teach kids techniques for managing their bodies, breath, and emotions. Best of all, these 30 simple, short breathing practices and movements can be performed anytime, anywhere: in the car to the grocery store, during heavy homework nights at home, or even at a child’s desk at school. Breathe Like a Bear teaches kids how to flex their mindfulness muscles and be calm, focused, imaginative, energized and relaxed.  Children who practice mindfulness are better able to self-regulate, have improved social skills… and demonstrate higher self-esteem. Who wouldn’t want to provide that as a gift for their kids? 

The Color Monster

Unpack feelings with color in this book that helps kids identify emotions and feel more in control.  One day, Color Monster wakes up feeling very confused. His emotions are all over the place; he feels angry, happy, calm, sad, and scared all at once! To help him, a little girl shows him what each feeling means through color. As this adorable monster learns to sort and define his mixed-up emotions, he gains self-awareness and peace as a result. This book provides an approachable way for kids to identify feelings and allows for the understanding that one can have many emotions at once.

Inside Out

And of course, we cannot talk about feelings without including Inside Out. This is the perfect activity and book for kids looking to play out their emotions (card why play therapy). It is an engaging storybook and toy in one activity kit! My Busy Books offer full-page illustrations, a story, figurines, and a playmat that bring the characters to life and ignite your child’s imagination.

Toys

Hape Eggspressions Wooden Learning Toy with Illustrative Book

Have a child whose emotions are feeling scrambled? Then this is the perfect toy for you! This set includes six expressive wooden eggs with an idea book. This toy promotes emotional maturity as children identify their feelings. It is recommended for ages 2 years and up. Kids love to name the emotions and put them on their stands. In the story, Humpty’s cousins are invited to a party but they need a plan to get over the castle wall. By sharing their feelings and working together, they find a happy solution.

The Constructive Playthings Expression Babies Plush Dolls 

This is a Super Soft Baby Dolls Set of 6 for All Ages. These emotion baby dolls encourage children of all ages to identify and label common feelings. Each doll features a unique facial expression that represents an identifiable emotion. These cuddle-friendly soft fabric babies come with removable sleep sacks and promote self-regulation through active sensorial play. Learn hands on with your kids – these dolls enhance young children’s social-emotional learning through hands-on play. Educational toys like these help young children verbalize feelings while building a capacity to demonstrate empathy. 

Whatsitsface 

This stuffed animal comes in teddy bear, puppy, or kitten styles. This plush toy has 6 different emotion faces. Flip the face or twist to knob to change between, happy, sad, surprised, angry, laughing and sound asleep. This is a good tool for helping little ones better understand emotions. Kids in my practice love that the bear can feel what they feel.

Education

Emotions dice

 Smile, frown, and feel every emotion in between with these Soft Foam Emoji Cubes. This set of dice-style cubes comes with two cubes adorned with 12 different faces meant to represent common feelings and emotions, and two cubes filled with prompts and questions designed to get kids talking. The dice-like soft foam cubes help kids relate words to feelings with depictions of common emotions. Their friendly smiley face icons based on imagery from popular mobile messaging apps. The twelve different faces cover the emotional spectrum, from Happy and sad to Angry and nervous. The question cubes contain interesting prompts that get kids talking about their feelings. Knowing what these words of emotions actually mean and putting them in situations they’ve experienced personally with each. Engaging, fun and gets kids to open up about FEELINGS. 

Feelings Flashcards 

These Emotion Flash Cards for Social Emotional Learning Cards for Kids to Identify, Understand, and Cope WITH THEIR FEELINGS & EMOTIONS. The cards are realistic and fun hand drawn expressions that your child will understand. They build their emotional intelligence, social skills, and improves behavior responses. INCLUDES: 100 BIG SIZED MULTICULTURAL FLASH CARDS FOR KIDS OF ALL AGES – 50 gigantic hand sized 4×6 inch emotion expression cards. On the back of each emotion is one suggested coping skill and two fill in the blanks for your child to write in what works for them. Also includes 50 large scenario picture cards with the scenario answer and cards with additional coping skills for your child to do trial and error.

Games

My Feelings Game

 This is a Fun Educational Family Game to Help Kids Express Their Emotions and Learn self-Regulation. What scares your child? What makes him or her feel happy, frustrated or angry? This inspirational game encourages you and your child to explore these emotions in fun, active (and sometimes very silly) ways. As they play, children will discover how to recognize feelings in themselves and in others, and to cope with them in socially appropriate ways. And they’ll have way too much fun to realize that they’re developing valuable life skills! This game includes 280 scenarios to help kids explore and talk about feelings! In addition to 260 regulation strategies to help kids manage their feelings in socially appropriate ways! Plus 24 movement cards to keep kids engaged! AND an Illustrated Booklet that introduces seven different kids with seven different feelings!

The HOYLE Mixed Emoji – Children’s Memory Card Game 

This game encourages recognizing and expressing emotions and memory! It is a Fun game for kids & parents! This family fun game is for 2-6 players ages 6-8! It is Easy-to-learn you can teach mixed emojis to your kids in less than five minutes and can be played in 15 minutes or less! The Mixed Emoji a card game encourages recognizing and expressing emotions, and memory. 

Superhero Strengths: Building Resilience, Coping Skills, and Emotion Awareness Card Game 

Kids and teens play the role of superhero collectors while learning to identify their strengths, deal with feelings, build coping skills, and improve resilience. With 78 QUESTION CARDS Superhero Strengths is a great value and a fun learning tool. KIDS LOVE THE SUPERHERO Designed For kids and teens ages 6-14. It TEACHES SKILL SETS – strengths, coping, feelings, breaking the ice, resilience, and relationships. Superhero Strengths uses principles from a strengths and growth mindset perspective to help young people grow! Kids and teens with a variety of issues such as anger problems, poor coping, anxiety, low self-esteem, and poor social skills will all love Superhero Strengths.

Action

Emotions thumb ball

This ball helps to Develop communication skills, Stimulates imagination and Learning while having fun. Kids will Develop an expanded understanding of feelings. They can Act out the emotions with facial expressions and body language. They can Share life experiences and discuss beneficial ways of responding to events.

Flip flop faces

Aim, toss and flip, with flip flop faces. This innovative bean bag toss game teaches children to understand facial expressions. Score by landing the bean bag inside the bowl or even better, flip a bowl onto the bag. It Includes 6 target bowls and 6 bean bags labeled with emotions that add up to one great party game. 

Yoga Pretzels

Practice bending, twisting, breathing, relaxing and more with Yoga Pretzels, a vibrant and colorful set of illustrated cards that provide a healthy dose of fun and education while teaching all the basics of yoga to help your head and heart. The poses on these jumbo cards are very easy to follow, thanks to clear descriptions and up to five drawings to demonstrate each move. Yoga Pretzels is a fantastic way of spending quality time with your kids. Together, you can exercise your bodies and minds leaving you feeling energized and refreshed!

It includes 50 cards full of yoga activities; cards divided into 9 sections: breaths, balance, stand, forward bend, twist and stretch, back bend, partner, game, and time in. Cards with position are split into 4 sections, illustrated with pictures.

There are links to all of these products below. So, I hope you can check a few names off your shopping list for this year. If you find your child continues to struggle with their emotions CONTACT us to discuss how play therapy can help.

(Affiliate Links)

Invisible String https://amzn.to/33qnKF7

Red https://amzn.to/3mlg7ai

Breathe like a bear https://amzn.to/33pfV2g

Color Monster https://amzn.to/33nCepa

Inside Out characters https://amzn.to/2KMsDSl

Hape Eggspressions Wooden Learning Toy with Illustrative Book https://amzn.to/33o56xp

Constructive Playthings CP-039 Expression Babies Plush Dolls, Super Soft Baby Dolls Set, 6 Piece Set for All Ages https://amzn.to/2J9585J

Whatsitsface stuffed animal https://amzn.to/2JjFmLD

Emotions Dice https://amzn.to/3ld0pgc

Feelings Flashcards Emotion Flash Cards for Toddlers Social Emotional Learning Cards for Kids to Identify, Understand, and Cope Therapy and Educational Games https://amzn.to/3lnG1c5

My Feelings Game. Fun Educational Family Game to Help Kids Express Their Emotions and Learn self-regulation. https://amzn.to/2KRwQnZ

HOYLE Mixed Emoji – Children’s Memory Card Game https://amzn.to/2JtRHNd

Superhero Strengths: Building Resilience, Coping Skills, and Emotion Awareness Card Game https://amzn.to/3fQDw0T

emotions thumb ball https://amzn.to/2HMyUwa

FLIP FLOP FACES – Bean Bag Toss https://www.discoverytoys.us/products/flip-flop-faces?_pos=1&_sid=e7f32fbae&_ss=r

Yoga Pretzels https://amzn.to/2VgJuyQ

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