The 10 Best Therapy Toys
This wiki has been updated 12 times since it was first published in March of 2018. Playtime isn't only about fun and games when dealing with kids or adults who suffer from certain developmental disorders or emotional issues. These therapy toys give you the tools needed to teach important physical and social skills, while also providing a safe outlet to express feelings or release energy. Some are entertaining by nature while others are deliberately calming. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. If you'd like to contribute your own research to the Wiki, please get started by reviewing this introductory video.
June 05, 2020:
When I was growing up, most of the toys I typically played with included things like jigsaw puzzles, board games like Monopoly, Connect 4 games, and of course, retro video games (yes, I was one of those geeky kids who loved to stare at televisions on the weekends and mash controller buttons). But in those days, I didn't assume there were toys made strictly for therapeutic purposes, and ones that could help build social skills and self-esteem. I figured I was simply learning those things in school and through a close relationship with my parents. Today, there are all kinds of ways to develop a person's psyche or provide emotional rehabilitation for children who may have been traumatized or who simply suffer from a sensory disorder. Sometimes, traditional jigsaw puzzles and board games can be applied to these situations, but it's nice to have toys that are specifically geared for this kind of entertainment.
We've done our best to provide a list of useful toys that can do anything from developing a young child's motor skills to providing a way for groups of people to express themselves and their feelings in a safe setting. As with any toys geared for little ones, always provide the proper adult supervision and follow the manufacturer's guidelines for recommended ages, particularly when dealing with toddlers.
Let's be honest. For many people, fart jokes are funny, regardless of how old you get. If harmless humor can help melt away the stress experienced by a family throughout the day, then I would say Kids Against Maturity has done its job. Keep in mind that not every single joke in this game is specific to flatulence (and you can remove those cards from the pile if the concept offends you), but this game is certainly a fun way to strike up some laughter.
Both the Learning Resources Spike and Zaxideel Fidget Pop Tubes can stimulate the tactile senses, the former of which helps young minds develop an ability to recognize colors and use spatial reasoning while the latter serves to improve user dexterity.
While the Open Spaces Totika resembles a Jenga game, its fundamental use is a bit different due to the color-coded playing cards and building blocks as a method of communication within a group.
We've also included the Sensory Jungle Water Beads, which can soak up liquid and expand to nearly 1,000 times their original size, making them a good physical stress reliever when held in your hands.
For the visual dreamers out there, we've got you covered with the Super Z Bubbler. This thing looks like a lava lamp and works in a similar fashion when it comes to watching it for hours on end. However, it can be flipped over and used as a timer in the classroom as well.
If you work with autistic children, the Wily Fox Animal Kingdom is a great option for teaching them to identify appropriate habitats for (and sounds attributed to) several creatures.
CounselingToys Founded in 2007, CounselingToys is a provider of non-directive play therapy and sand tray supplies. The company's play kits are designed by credentialed professionals and consist of a mix of toys and miniatures with specific purposes. Several product categories are available, some of which are exclusive and designed to encourage young imaginations and help professional counselors identify underlying emotional issues through behavioral interactions with specific objects. counselingtoys.com
Child Welfare Information Gateway The Child Welfare Information Gateway is dedicated to promoting the safety, permanency, and well-being of children, youth, and families by connecting child welfare, adoption, and related professionals as well as the public to information, resources, and tools covering topics on child welfare, child abuse and neglect, out-of-home care, adoption, and more. childwelfare.gov
Autism Spectrum Disorder Foundation The mission of the Autism Spectrum Disorder Foundation is to support children with the disorder by providing information, education, and financial assistance to their families and relevant community service organizations. Since 2010, and through its autism awareness program, the foundation has provided information to over three million mothers nationwide. myasdf.org