Check out all of our favorite toys and games for self-regulation! These would be great gift ides for kids who are working on developing self control and regulation.
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If you live or work with kids who have difficulty with self-regulation, you know how difficult it can be to provide practice with the exact skills they need most – impulse control, social emotional skills, motor control, attention, and more.
These kids often resist participating in activities and often won’t engage in activities that challenge their ability to maintain self-regulation and control.
This is why it is so important to be equipped with fun and exciting options that can hook these kids in, get their attention, and make practicing self-regulation skills fun!
We’ve already shared some of our best ideas activities for promoting self-regulation skills. Today, we wanted to share some of the best toys on the market that we’ve found to be the best options for working on self-regulation during therapy sessions, in the classroom, or even at home! In fact, these ideas would make great gifts for kids whose parents are invested in helping them develop these important skills at home.
Here are some of our favorites.
Toys and Games for Self-Regulation
This is a great self-regulation game because kids have to control the impulse to yell out the answer. This takes a lot of self-control, because it is such a fun and exciting game. But as they play, kids realize that it is much more fun when they don’t yell out the answer and they let their friends figure out the answer themselves by asking the right questions.
This game works on a different kind of self-regulation, regulation of movement. So while it’s a great option for working on fine motor skills and fine motor control, it also helps kids who struggle to regulate the speed and force of their movements.
This old classic is another great option for working on regulating force and speed as well as working on fine motor control. You can also add all kinds of printed prompts to each block, just using packing tape to secure them. We have used this technique to work on everything from social skills to math problems to letter sounds and more!
Continuing on the track of working on motor regulation, Operation is a really fun way to address this skill. It’s an older game, but kids still get a kick out of operating on the patient without sounding the alarm!
Games and therapy tools like this one that support memory, attention, motor control, and sequencing can help kids develop the ability to self-regulate despite challenging situations and circumstances.
Like Simon, Bop It is great for building foundational skills for self-regulation like memory, attention, and motor control.
Spot It is one of our all-time favorite games for developing visual skills and building attention.
Rocking on a hammock is an awesome way to introduce calming movement that can help to support self-regulation.
Another awesome option for calming vestibular input for kids.
Research has shown that guided meditation for kids can go a long way toward supporting positive outcomes related to emotional regulation, behavior, attention, stress, and anxiety. This activity deck is a great way to start!
White noise can be calming for many children (and even adults) as they’re trying to fall asleep and it also blocks out other sounds that might startle or wake them.
Certain scents like lavender have been found to be calming sensory input for our kids who struggle with self-regulation. Diffusing essential oils with certain scents have been found to have a calming effect on kids and adults alike.
Pairing mindful movement with breathing is one of the best ways to help kids develop an improved ability to regulate their emotions and behaviors. A yoga dock is a great place to start and can be used with beginners and kids who have experience with using yoga during therapy or in the classroom or at home.
Most occupational and physical therapists will tell you that deep pressure is one of the most powerful tools for calming. A weighted blanket is an excellent option for bedtime, naptime, or sensory breaks throughout the day.
Rhythmic movement is another a great option for calling sensory input. This could be a kids rocking chair, or a regular adult rocking chair where you can sit and hold a child on your lap while you rock. Reading books, listening to music, or even singing or telling a story are great ideas for spending time in a rocking chair.
This is a great idea for kids to be able to get the benefits of a weighted blanket, but on a smaller scale. Weighted lap pads are perfect to use in the classroom setting.
Memory card games are great for building visual memory, visual perception, and self-regulation.
Slow movements, balance, and impulse control are the name of the game here! A fun and creative game designed to support motor skills as well as self-regulation.
Another great way to work on motor control, impulse control, and emotional regulation.
This one is a big challenge and probably better suited for older kids, but it is such a great way to work on building attention, perseverance, and motor control as well as visual motor integration.
For kids who can’t tolerate a weighted blanket at bedtime or naptime, the sleep sleeve is a great option for providing calming deep pressure during sleep.
This is a great self-regulation skill builder because kids have to learn to keep their cool under the pressure of a ticking clock!
What else would you add to this list? What are your favorite toys and games for self-regulation? Leave them in the comments below!
Be sure to check out our other self-regulation resources: