PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – To say 2020 has been stress-inducing would be an understatement.
That stress is not only being felt by adults, it impacts children as well.
Enter the idea of “calming toys.”
Amanda Mushro is a Lifestyle and Parenting expert with three young children of her own and says some toys can help your child’s mental health.
“We usually look for the big, bright flashing toys, but there’s so many different toys that can help focus on calming relaxing, that can help with their mental health and reduce their stress, while they’re playing,” she said.
Mushro says a small airplane called Smarty JoJo is great for younger children.
“A Smarty JoJo is an interactive airplane that is going to help kids, move and grow that’s going to encourage them to learn directions and colors, and it uses smart technology to even identify certain colors and say; can you find red?” Mushro explained. “And when the child identifies red JoJo lights up red, but JoJo also talks about feelings and emotions.”
WATCH: More Calming Toys For Kids
Then there are stuffed animals wearing COVID masks called “Mask Buddies.”
“So not only are they super cute snugly plush, but they’re also wearing a face mask so young kids can practice putting the mask on taking it off, sort of what they’re seeing out and about, where they’re wearing a mask or parents are wearing a mask, but they also have something that they can love and snuggle,” she said.
How about a doll that was designed by kids for kids and can be changed and manipulated any way the child wants including cutting its hair?
“Isn’t it amazing when usually when we cut doll’s hairs moms are like, oh, but this is a wig so they cut and style the hair, they just get another one,” Mushro said.
There are small appropriately sized bikes to get the child out of the house, and something called “Angry Putty.”
“My older kids are doing online school,” Mushro said. “And so they have the angry putty, so as they’re sitting at their desk, they’re pulling it, they’re twisting it, and it’s actually helping to calm and focus them, and you know I think as the holidays come up maybe, I don’t know, maybe I need to be pulling on angry putty, its good for adults to help them regulate some of those emotions.”
Mushro says the toys will help get kids away from screens and encourage creativity and getting active.
You can see more on Amanda’s website.