9 toys to support your child's mental health and wellbeing, during Children's Mental Health Week and beyond (and #4 is groundbreaking)

As it's revealed that 75 percent of parents are worried about their child's mental health, try these nine toys to calm your child's worries and help them talk about their feelings

(Image credit: Future)

In recent years, there has been more of a focus on children's mental heath than ever before. But that doesn't mean you, as a parent, automatically know what to do if your child starts showing signs of anxiety – in fact, it can be all too easy to miss the subtle ways your child might be expressing it.

While there are resources available to help parents (NSPCC has just launched a new online support portal after it found that 75 percent of parents are worried about their child's mental health), it can be tough to know how to navigate these issues with your child.

In honour of Children's Mental Health Week, which runs from 5-11 February 2024, we've found nine toys and games that can help your child to learn about – and manage – their mental health and emotional wellbeing as they grow.

9 toys to support your child's mental health and wellbeing

What to look for in a toy to help an anxious child

As with adult anxiety sufferers, drawing focus to the five senses through mindfulness, known as 'grounding', can help to alleviate fear and worry in tiny humans too. Toys that offer a soothing, tactile experience can be particularly useful to anxious children – look for options with smooth, squishy or soft textures to promote calmness and relaxation. Similarly, toys which embody slow, rhythmic movements can also help to calm a racing mind.

But toys can also help to encourage your child to learn how to articulate their emotions so they can voice them and get them out in the open. Take the Mood Bears, for example. These not only employ the findings of colour psychology in their design, but also feature specific expressions on their paws to help children recognise their different emotions and can be used to help a parent understand how their child is feeling if the words aren't there yet.

It's also worth looking at how you can use story time to encourage helpful conversation. You could try The Worry Tiger, a magical tale that incorporates mindfulness actions into the story, the No Worries mindfulness activity book for kids, or the Big Bright Feelings Book Ruby's Worry that can help encourage your child to talk about their worries.

In other toy news, you might also like these gross-sounding games that kids will love, the best Peppa Pig toys in light of Peppa's 20th anniversary, or the best kid-friendly chess sets.

Sarah Handley
Consumer Writer & Money Editor, GoodtoKnow

Sarah is GoodtoKnow’s Consumer Writer & Money Editor and is passionate about helping mums save money wherever they can - whether that's spending wisely on toys and kidswear or keeping on top of the latest news around childcare costs, child benefit, the motherhood penalty. A writer, journalist and editor with more than 15 years' experience, Sarah is all about the latest toy trends and is always on the look out for toys for her nephew or Goddaughters so that she remains one of their favourite grown ups. When not writing about money or best buys, Sarah can be found hanging out with her rockstar dog Pepsi, getting opinionated about a movie or learning British Sign Language.