Times of uncertainty and stress can lead to fears and worries in both adults and children. For children this could mean anything from a change in their routine to transitions involving new places with new faces. But these moments of anxiety in children can also lead to social-emotional growth opportunities! Learning to cope with stress and worry can have lifelong benefits. In some cases, children may need outside resources or tools to help them understand how to respond when they get overstimulated or upset.
That is why we developed the Sensory Fidget Toy Kit—to help children deal with big emotions, calm their minds and bodies, reduce anxiety and stress, and practice quiet focus. The 8 fidget toys in this kit each have a specific purpose. Keeping in mind that every child is different, we suggest you find the toys and tools that work best for your child in different situations.
Below are expert tips for getting started with social–emotional learning in any setting.
1. Focus on Soothing Movements
If your child is overstimulated or upset, encourage him/her to focus on the movement within the Sensory Fidget Tube or the Rainbow Coil Spring. This will automatically slow down heart rate and respiration as your child turn his/her attention there. Encourage bringing mindfulness to your child’s breathing by syncing his/her breaths to the movements. This gives your child more awareness and agency in managing emotions.
2. Direct Energy and Focus
Having a captivating external focus can help your child appropriately direct his/her energy. Allow your child to experiment with the different fidget toys in this sensory kit and find 1 that is the easiest to use for focus. For example, the Marbleized Poppers are a great tool for expending energy while the PopCubes® provide an opportunity to focus on connecting the cubes, creating patterns, and counting.
3. Talk About Feelings
Expand your child’s social–emotional awareness by pairing the Sensory Fidget Toy Kit with conversations about feelings. If he/she is overstimulated, angry, or upset, ask specific questions about feelings such as “Do you feel any tightness or heat in your body? Any other feelings? Where do you feel that?”. Then, invite your child to track progress toward a calm, focused state while playing with the sensory toys of his/her choice. This draws attention to how your child’s body feels when he/she is upset, how it feels when calm, the strategies your child can use to help manage feelings, and how to communicate about feelings.
We hope that you have fun exploring the fidget toys in this kit and that you find these tips for getting started with social–emotional learning helpful! We would love to hear from you! What else has worked for your family in dealing with anxiety and stress?
I am a Product Manager at hand2mind and a mother to an active 3-year-old boy. I have a passion for all things design, and I love incorporating that into the amazing educational products I work on every day at hand2mind! I studied Product Development at FIDM in Los Angeles and have enjoyed working on many different products over the past 10 years. I love coffee (all the coffee!), exploring the world with my husband and little one, cooking, and practicing yoga.