For many of us, it’s apparent when we’re happy, excited, upset, or even hangry and we know how to communicate those feelings to those around us. Little ones can have a hard time expressing their feelings since they’re not even sure what they all are yet. This can affect how they interact with others—which is where the best toys for social skills that teach feelings, collaboration, and communication come in. It’s worth mentioning that if your child has a sensory processing delay, socializing can be even tougher for them since they can have sensory overload… something as small as the sound of a toy dropping on the floor can turn their playdate from fun to their (and your) worst nightmare in seconds.
“Some children have problems with impulse control and self-regulation; some have a problem with processing information,” says Lawrence Balter, Ph.D., a child psychologist and parenting expert. “These issues can lead to [kids] having awkward interactions with peers.” Although you can’t ensure your child will never have an uncomfortable experience in a social setting, you can prepare them with the top toys for social skills. By introducing concepts like feelings, teamwork, communication, and moods, you will help them realize why they feel the way they do and teach them how to express themselves to others. It will take a lot of the guesswork out of your child’s social interactions, leaving them more comfortable to talk and play with those around them.
What better way to learn your feelings than with a cute illustrated book of animals looking “sad,” “shy,” “worried” and so forth? Plus, the characters are kid-sized, meaning your little one can easily lift the book to their face to show how they’re feeling.
So much of socializing is learning how to work together with others. This adorable game requires little ones to work alongside each other to help four animals get back to their igloo—it even requires crossing an icy bridge. Instead of focusing on competition, this game will have kids cooperating and cheering each other on.
A toolbox of emotional and social toys are a playroom must for learning feelings and manners. Things like feelings flash cards, monster bean bags, and emotions putty are tailored to children with autism, sensory processing disorder, and development delays to make them feel more at home in social settings.
Did you know that when children interact with others is how they learn best? Along with the help of vibrant colors and pop-up pages, this book lets kids explore feelings of sadness, anger, happiness, calmness, and love. A fun way for you to help your child practice + prepare for playdates.