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Wish you could help regulate your child's emotions? The good news is, you can! We have come up with 5 of our best products that will help your child feel calmer and reduce anxiety.
The world today is busy, fast paced and full of overwhelming stimuli and it is important that we provide our children with as many tools as possible to assist them in dealing with these things as they grow.
All children (and many adults) struggle with naming, managing and regulating their emotions as they grow.
Learning how to deal with big emotions in a healthy way promotes resilience, empowerment, stable adult relationships and better overall mental health.
When experiencing big emotions such as frustration, sadness, disappointment, happiness, fear many children exhibit behaviours as a result of this such as screaming, tantrums, crying, withdrawal or hyperactivity.
Whilst these behaviours are expected, as they grow, it is important that they can learn how to express them appropriately and use healthy coping strategies. It is our job as parents to help them with this using conversations and offering alternative options.
Fortunately, there are lots of products out there to help children remain calm and reduce their anxiety. Some of the below toys can be used alongside parenting as tools to prompt your kids to learn how to name, manage and regulate their emotions.
The Triblox are triangle clocks that are numbered 1-9 and have a tactile surface with pictures on some of the faces. They are crafted from flexible silicone, allowing them to be squeezed; these blocks are freezer-friendly and can be used as a sensory toy or teething aid. Their bold and lively colours enhance the visual appeal, making them an engaging and versatile addition to playtime.
These blocks can be used as a distraction tool to help calm kids or divert their urges to something else. They can count the numbers and move each corresponding block from one pile to another.
Squeeze them if they are feeling angry or anxious. They can stack the blocks into a tower and knock it over again if they feel like breaking something.
The Calm Down Bottle is a sensory toy that is designed to help focus children, play calmly and incorporate breathing techniques.
It comes with reusable and refillable materials. Inside the bottle, coloured glitter, stars and streamer like materials are placed inside, then water is added. Once it is full, the caps are sealed and the child can turn the bottle in different directions and watch the materials move with the water.
This action in itself is calming though it is more useful when coupled with breathing exercises. Getting the child to hold the bottle, watch the glitter and breathe in for 3 seconds, hold for 3 seconds and exhale for 3 seconds or they can take 10 slow breaths.
Once they know how to engage in this calm play and use breathing techniques to reduce their frustration or anxiety then you can prompt them to use these tools when they seem to be dealing with difficult emotions with the goal that eventually they will think of these without prompting.
The silicon Feelings Cube has a textured picture representing an emotion on each face of the cube. Each picture has 4 synonyms for each of the emotions shown to help children learn ways to describe each feeling.
It is a great tool to start conversations with children about feelings and it can help them to point to what emotion they are feeling to express their needs even before they have the vocabulary to do so. There are so many fun and creative ways to use the feelings cube.
When they can express their emotions, it opens up dialogue but also makes them feel heard when you are listening. The cube can be rolled, squeezed and bounced so if they are feeling hyperactive, angry or even happy, they can bounce it on the ground, throw it (inappropriate scenarios) or squeeze it as hard as they can to get energy out.
This sensory ball is suitable for kids of all ages. It can be a teething toy for babies when they have the need to bite down on everything to soothe their gums. It is also great for older children to use as a sensory toy. It is safe to chew on as it is made with food-grade silicon and has a smooth surface so it won’t hurt them.
It is easy for children to grasp and lightweight for more convenient playing. They can throw it or kick it to other people in a game of catch to burn off energy or for exercise when they feel restless, anxious or angry.
It can be used as a fidget toy when they feel anxious or they can even roll it around, squish it, pull it or throw/bounce it at a wall outside.
Not only will it help with hand-eye coordination but physical activity and redirecting anger/anxiety to something safe like a toy is much healthier than lashing out verbally or physically to others.
At Grace & Maggie all our playmats have carefully designed colour schemes that can suit any decor. They are made of soft, safe materials and are great for babies and children of all ages. They can be used under a highchair, as a mat for tummy time, playtime or as a personalised corner for your child.
They are very versatile and easy to clean. For older children to facilitate calm play or help them to calm down after feeling emotionally heightened or overstimulated, you can utilise the space for that purpose. For example, make it a sensory corner, place a comfy chair, sensory toys, tactile books and things like playdough to create a calm environment.
This is especially great for children with a sensory processing condition, ASD or ADHD. It could also be a craft corner, puzzle corner or even a chill spot or reading corner.
A safe space for your child that they can go to when they feel anxious or overwhelmed. It is a calm environment that they can go to to help de-escalate their behaviour and learn to use these coping strategies.
Teaching kids how to regulate their emotions is very important for helping them grow into well-balanced adults. Using products as tools such as a feelings cube, play corner, calm down bottle, sensory ball and triblox can teach kids productive ways to cope with their big feelings.
Together, these tools empower children to manage emotions effectively, cultivating resilience and minimizing the likelihood of unwarranted outbursts as they navigate the complexities of growing up.
Do you have a question about your Grace & Maggie Playmat or any of our other products? Feel free to email us.
Written by Laura Agrimi, mother of 2 and owner of Grace & Maggie.
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PO Box 2852, Cheltenham, VIC 3192
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia