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    29 Toys And Games That Promote Emotional Learning

    Products to help your little ones grow up with healthy tools to manage and express their emotions.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Some may have been sent as samples, but all opinions and reviews are our own. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. An Aha! Self Worth kit where they can build a kaleidoscope, and in the process build up their own self-esteem and self-confidence.

    the self worth kit

    Promising review: "Self is a super important yet difficult concept to explain to kids. I was so glad to find this toy on Amazon that can actually do that work for me by teaching about ourselves and memory through play! There are many stem boxes in the market, but this one is definitely the most meaningful one I’ve ever bought." —mj

    Get it from Amazon for $29.95 (available in other editions).

    2. An interactive smart teddy bear filled with more than 100 scenarios to help kids create good habits, emotional intelligence, as well as other helpful information. The bear also helps with kids' daily routine including teeth brushing, potty training and other info like math, facts about the world, and more. The app can connect to parents mobile device, too so parents can not only see what the kids are learning but can initiate lessons, too. 

    the teddy bear
    @my_smartteddy / Via

    Promising review: "We’ve tried so many toys to keep our 4-year-old busy so that we could get at least 15 minutes of peace and quiet to have breakfast or reply to an email, but absolutely nothing worked! Our friends recommended Smart Teddy, and it finally helped. This toy is a treasure and our little helper!" —Peter

    "We didn't even know that the bear has so many activities, from washing the hands to workout and more. An amazing purchase!" —ANDREY DORONICHEV

    Get it from Amazon for $199.95

    3. Emotional Rollercoaster — through chaos cards and coping cards this board game will help kids identify what makes them angry, how to express that emotion, and how to manage their anger. 

    the game

    Promising review: "I work in a special education classroom and this game is perfect as we learn to manage and cope with strong emotions." —Laura Richins

    "I am a behavioral health therapist and this is a game that kids request the most. It is one of my favorites as well. I am finding that the board is getting a little bit flimsy, so I have to be gentle when folding and putting it away. Worth it!" —Kat

    Get it from Amazon for $31.50

    4. An Aha Emotion kit featuring a super fun science experiment that also teaches about the science of emotions — specifically, how the emotions are made. 

    the emotion kit

    Promising review: "Bought this as a gift for my 5-year-old niece. The box comes with a story book, parts to a robot and conductive doughs. She had fun making the little robot and learned about the science of emotions. Making the dough to trigger the little robot eyes shining and heart beating wows the kid! So fun! It works like a charm!" —Kelley

    Get it from Amazon for $29.95

    5. Who's Feeling What? — sort of like Guess Who, except instead of trying to find people wearing glasses, you're trying to find the person feeling a certain emotion. 

    the game that kit

    The game is actually inspired by distance-learning, which is helpful when so many interactions are now through video screens. The game sets out to help children recognize other people's feelings and emotions, as well their own. 

    Get it from Amazon for $12.79.

    6. A rainbow feelings sensory tube complete with an activity guide to show how the tool can be used to explore emotions. It's designed to encourage conversation about how to respond to emotions in positive ways. It doubles as a fidget toy that reacts when you flip it. 

    the fidget tube that has a sad face on one side and a happy face on the other side

    Promising review: "This is a great tool for not only my own child, but for my students as well. We use it as a calming tool." —hilaree emmons

    Get it from Amazon for $17.79.

    7. An emotional pineapple with two sides and a variety of pieces to teach kids to recognize what they're feeling, understand that emotion, and embrace those feelings. And, the pieces store inside the pineapple for easy cleanup. 

    Promising review: "I was really excited to receive this toy and play around with it. I will say that it was a little smaller than I expected, but it feels fairly durable and I think it was a good value for what I spent. I work in an elementary school as a mental health therapist and this will be so great for my kids to use to talk about how they are feeling. Sometimes I have them draw pictures of how they’re feeling each day, but I think this will be a great alternative. The facial pieces and arms are very flexible and bendy. Some of the face pieces are a little small and could be a choking hazard for young children. I also really appreciated that it included a picture guide of the many different expressions you can use with the pieces included. I definitely think this is an upgrade to the classic Mr. Potatohead toy!" —Fielding Fam

    "Happy Feelings Friday Friends! We're using this as a launchpad for talking about and naming our feelings. Its wonderful. Way more adorable than Mr. Potato Head, more durable and no butt flap for stuff to fall out leaving a trail of carnage! (The "crown" is removable to reveal a storage space.) It came with a poster of MANY facial emotions and more than the average happy, sad, mad. Well worth it as an educational product but also, it belongs on the mantle. 🍍" —Abby

    Get it from Amazon for $10.99

    8. A set of mindful maze boards ideal for children to use when they're feeling anxious or stressed. The boards have a maze that children can travel with their fingers which can help them acquire the skill of self-soothing, mindfulness, and emotional control. 

    a child playing with the finger maze

    Promising review: "I bought these for the calming corner in my elementary classroom. I can safely say that it truly does help. Students can use it individually or if I see the class getting too rowdy, I pull one out and we do the breathing exercises together. It’s easy to clean as well. I highly recommend these to use as a calming aid." —Amazon Customer

    Get a set of three double-sided boards from Amazon for $13.87.

    9. A calming pup designed to guide the child with breathing exercise with the glow of its light. 

    the calming pup

    Promising review: "This is such a great idea for children to have. This pup helps children at a young age manage their feelings and get to know their body through breathing. My 2-year-old loves to breathe along with this pup (he can’t hold his breath for the length of the light) and my 4-year-old also loves to breathe along with it too. Being that this is an animal with a light they think it is a fun toy for them. Such a wonderful product!" —It is me

    Get it from Amazon for $21.99

    10. A thoughtful card game you can use to ignite conversation with the kids in your family. After a round, you should walk away with insight into the younger generation and deeper connection. You'll be surprised at some of the things you'll learn from family who you see all the time or find out something new about family you don't know too well. 

    the train of thought card games

    Promising review: "I ordered this card game for our family reunion, thinking about the fact that some family members hadn’t been in touch for about 25 years! I didn’t really think we’d have time to play it, but after a couple of hours of meeting, greeting and eating, I brought it out. A few of us decided to daughter, her children and myself. Within literally 10–15 minutes into the game, we had an “audience” and everyone wanted to get in on the game! We had a group of 42 people from infants to 80 years of age. I had no idea this game would be such a HIT! We passed it around to groups of six for the better part of two days. It was very easy to learn and I would recommend it as a cool gift for virtually anyone. Also, since the children enjoyed it as well as the adults, I’d say I got my money’s worth and MORE! It’s enabled our family members who hadn’t ever even met, to bond easily. Those of us who were familiar with each other, were hysterically laughing at some of the things we never knew about ourselves. The most fun we’d had — ever! WE LOVED IT!" —Paula B.

    Get it from Amazon for $16.97.

    11. A set of expression bottles that'll double as sensory bottles that reviewers say have become a great addition to their calming corner. 

    a child holding one of the sensory bottles

    Promising review: "I absolutely LOVE this product. I was looking for something fidgety to put in my child’s calming corner that could also help regulate or show which emotion they’re currently feeling. They love that each ‘emotion’ has a different filling inside, that change at different speeds. I would highly suggest this for a classroom, Pre-K, and at home." —Arlene Pagan

    Get it from Amazon for $21.96

    12. An emotion ball to catch feelings, literally. The ball can be used in a variety of activities that give kids a wider vocabulary that they can use to express their feelings. 

    the ball with words and expressions all over like kind thoughtful kind jealous and more

    This ball is great for groups and a useful tool that both educators and therapists have used to help children learn about emotions while having fun. 

    Get it from Amazon for $9.74 or from Target for $23.65.

    13. A mindfulness journal, not a toy specifically, but an exciting activity that'll give kids a chance to spend some time with themselves. They'll be occupied following the prompts that urge them to connect with how they feel.  

    the emotions journal

    It's a 68-page mood journal with reflective activities to help children practice mindfulness. 

    Get it from Amazon $9.43.

    14. A reversible octopus plush, a simple plushy with two strong emotions that can be a comfort tool when they need a snuggle, or an outward display of what they're feeling inside. (Adults have used this plush to communicate feelings to each other, too.)

    the reversible octopus
    a reviewer's octopus in yellow

    Promising review: "I love this little kids' toy. At first I just thought it was cute then I started to use it to communicate with my significant other. On days when I’m in a bad mood I turn the octopus to the angry side and sit it on the bed. It really helps prevent arguments and makes for easier communication. I also use it as a stress ball the furry soft texture really eases my anxiety. Despite it's being super cute, I’ve found it to be very useful." —Lauren

    Get it from Amazon for $15 (available in 42 colors). 

    15. Friends And Neighbors so your kids can learn all about cooperation! What does it take to be a good friend or neighbor? Empathy, compassion and cooperation, all of which are needed to play this game. They'll identify why a friend feels a certain way and how they can help that friend feel better. 

    the helping game

    Promising review: "Enjoyed playing this with our 4-year-old granddaughter who is usually nonstop high energy. Nice to sit with her for a peaceful respite! She caught on very quickly and became more familiar with the emotion 'frustrated.' I like the Peaceable Kingdom games because all players work together and help each other to win over adversity." —Mrs. B.

    Get it from Amazon for $19.99.

    16. Table Talk — a fun card game that'll encourage meaningful conversation with the entire family, both young and older. 

    the game
    an example of the cards

    Promising review: "Our first-graders love taking turns choosing cards radium the dinner table. Perfect conversation starter for families young and old." —ShedWa

    Get it from Amazon for $34.99

    17. Caring Cats you can use to help children learn about kindness by joining together to beat that ~mean~ mouse. 

    the caring cats game

    Promising review: "I'm a special educator and work with clients of all ages. I absolutely am crazy over this game and so are the children!! The cards are full of language skills that the kids can describe what's going on in the picture as well as the main theme of which kindness to perform. Not only that, but this game also promotes critical thinking skills and problem solving. A must-buy!!!!!!!!!" —Special Educator

    Get it from Amazon for $25

    18. Emotion-oes that plays sort of like dominoes as players match faces to learn how to identify emotions.

    the emotionoes

    Promising review: "Both my 3-year-old and 7-year-old love this family-oriented game, I definitely would recommend. It teaches them a variety of the more commonly used different emotions!" —Kali

    Get it from Amazon for $10.99.

    19. A dozen eggxpressive eggs complete with a book you can read along with while the littles identify the emotions with the actual toy eggs. 

    the eggs with expressions on their face

    Promising review: "Great educational toy with lots of thought put in it. I like how it has many but not an overwhelming number of emotions presented in the toy which is very helpful for my 2-year, 10-month-old boy to learn his feelings and verbalize them. My boy really likes the story that comes with the toy too. My 9-month-old baby also likes to play with this toy. She is happy to remove all the eggs from the carton car and bang the eggs on the floor. I like how the eggs are very durable so I don’t need to worry that my baby will break them." —BobaTea Mama

    Get it from Target for $17.99

    20. A Leapfrog interactive pup that'll give them hours of fun while learning first words, animals, counting, mindfulness, and emotions. 

    a parent and child playing with the pup

    Promising review: "Scout/Violet are very interactive. You can adjust your kids name and favorite foods they like to make it more personable! My niece is turning one in a few weeks and hope she loves Violet as much as we love Scout!" —Stacey

    Get it from Target for $18.74 (originally $24.99).

    21. Grounded for Life is from the makers of What Do You Meme? which brings an entertaining game that makes room for quality time with the whole family. Beware of the secrets you'll uncover from those teenagers! 

    the game
    a reviewer photo of the cards from the game

    Promising review: "I got this as a fun gift to play with my partner's two kids. We played it twice. On the second night we learned some secrets about the two kids that we now cannot bring ourselves to play the game anymore because of the bombshells we learned. It’s awkward. Other than that, it’s a fun game. Lol." —Brandi

    "This game is adorable! I have three teenagers ages 12, 13 and 14, and this game is appropriate for all of them. We love family game night and this game has brought us hours of laughter together." —chasity

    Get it from Amazon for $19.82.

    22. A set of expressive baby dolls for hands-on sensory play your littles can use for imaginative play and to identify emotions. 

    the expressive dolls

    Promising review: "These are so cute! We’ve been talking about diversity and emotions at home with our 2-year-old and she loves talking about all the feelings these babies are having and how they are alike and different. The gowns are all removable so she likes swapping them out too. she also loves the cute little basket." —Catalinamag

    Get it from Amazon for $37.57.

    23. A face-making set ideal for a mix of craft and play. They can build a variety of different faces that represent feelings and build confidence, resilient, and maturity. 

    the face making set
    a child holding the face making set

    Promising review: "So cute to teach emotions and feelings to toddlers. It is very sturdy so very heavy. Bought initially for airplane travel but it’s very heavy and didn’t pack well. Still very happy with it. My toddler likes to look and faces and is interested in emotions. Super cute." —Gina Ellingson

    "This is a high-quality product that easily engages students in conversations about feelings. It is versatile and beautifully packaged!" —mallory ungs

    Get it from Amazon for $17.99.

    24. A feelings beanbag set so kids can play a game of cornhole that gives them insight into their emotions. Each beanbag has a different facial expression and a different texture to satisfy sensory needs, too. 

    the bean bags

    While kids toss around these 10 tactile emotion beanbags, they'll be strengthening their social-emotional skills by discussing the feelings shown on each bag. It will also expand their vocabulary to better help them communicate how they're feeling. 

    Get it from Amazon for $24.99