Emotional intelligence and awareness is taught—not innately learned. That is why you’ll hear experts spouting about the “best developmental toys” or which toys are the best for emotional development. We need to teach our little ones how to express and manage emotions, as well as empathize with others’ emotions.
If you want to get your toddler and child out on the right foot, emotionally, take a look at these ideas for great developmental toys for toddlers that will help your little one to grow some emotional intelligence.
Developmental Toys for Toddlers: Growing Emotional Intelligence
There are many wonderful cause and effect toys that will teach toddlers about their environment—how their actions can indeed, cause a chain of reactions. Remember when your baby first started throwing things to the floor? He or she did so in order to watch as you went to fetch that object time and again…until you realized your little one’s game!
But there are numerous toys beyond cause and effect toys that will help your child learn:
And many other valuable social skills that are not innately known, but must be taught.
- Mirrors: Letting your toddler play with a child-safe mirror is an amazing way for him or her to see the various expressions he or she makes! Even better? If you have an emotional preschooler or early –years elementary student, use a mirror to help your child see how his or her facial expressions may affect
- Pretend Play: Buying some pretend play clothes that represent people in your neighborhood is a great way for children to learn and model how doctors, teachers, nurses, postmen and women and others interact and work in the world. Pretend play is how children learn. It’s essentially their “work.”
- Dollhouses & Pretend Vet/Hospital Clinics: Enjoying those little dolls aren’t just for fun—but it also helps children “act” out what they see in real life with materials (dolls and play houses) that are relatable to them.
- Emotion Cards: Investing in a stack of emotion cards that pairs images of people’s facial expressions, along with emotion terms like anger and sadness, helps your child learn the difference between these complex emotions.
Life-like and Personalized Dolls: Toys for Emotional Development
Dolls are not just loveys to snuggle, but they are also wonderful toys for emotional development. Personalized dolls that are meant to look like mom or dad or another cherished loved one, is a fabulous toy and emotional toy for a little one.
A personalized doll can:
- Help a child “act” out emotions he or she might have on a safe doll
- Assist a parent who is trying to teach a child who to react appropriately in a situation after a child has had a meltdown
- Soothe a child who is anxious or dealing with separation anxiety from a caregiver
- Teach a child to “care” for someone he or she loves through pretend play
Play is the work and teacher for your child. Investing in toys that will increase and strengthen your child’s emotional development will pay off in the long run for their social wellness.