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Find Out How These 20+ Toys Can Help Reduce Anxiety in Your Kid

No age is discriminated against when it comes to fears and worries, even young children. In fact, the CDC reported that 9.4% of children aged 3-17 years have been diagnosed with anxiety disorder in recent years, and 9.8% of children are diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD.

While anxiety can be experienced in many different ways, it can generally be described as fear or worry. However, it can also make children irritable, angry, fatigued, sleepless, and have frequent headaches or stomach aches.

If that’s the case for your child, you might be able to find a solution that both you and your child will love: toys. Keep reading for a comprehensive list of 20+ toys that can not only keep little hands busy, but may have a huge difference when it comes to soothing anxiety symptoms, ADHD, and other conditions.

Our Top Picks for Toys for Anxious Kids: 

Do you have anxious kids at home? Moms know how tough that can be. However, we’ve also found that these 20+ toys for anxious kids offer some relief: 

1. Best Toy for Younger Kids: Sago Brothers Push Pop Bubble Fidget Sensory Toy

Is there any kid (or human, to be honest) who does not love popping bubbles? The problem is that mothers know it won’t be long before that loud, popping sound becomes sensory overload. 

That’s where the Sago Brothers Push Pop Bubble Fidget Sensory Toy comes in. This bubble fidget type of toy was made to offer that same satisfying sensation in a quiet, ultra-safe design. This toy comes in several colors, features silicone-like materials, is easy to clean, and presents no choking hazard. 

Best for: 

  • Budgets
  • Mess-free play 
  • Portability when traveling 
  • Improving motor skills & providing stress-relief

Not best for: 

  • Older kids 
  • Noise-sensitive folks – it’s not completely sound-proof

2. Best Toy for Older Kids: Crags Magnetic Putty

The tactile feel of these small, smooth magnetic stones is designed to provide quite the sensory experience in stressful situations. Think of Crags Magnetic Putty like slime but without the mess. (Moms, you’re welcome.) And of course, that crunchy, relaxing sound when manipulating the stones is intended to give off an ultra-soothing, ASMR vibe.

Best for:

Anxiety & stress relief
Older kids (and adults – let’s face it)
Not best for:
Young children due to the choking hazard

Not best for: 

  • Young children due to the choking hazard

3. Best Fidget Spinner Toy: Magtimes Rainbow Anti-Anxiety Fidget Spinner

For kids who can’t seem to focus, consider a sensory fidget toy like The Magtimes Rainbow Anti-Anxiety Fidget Spinner. Thanks to the durable stainless steel construction, it’s made to prevail throughout whatever your kids put it through. Plus, the fidget ring comes in a variety of colors and options. 

Best for: 

  • Older kids
  • Traveling portability 
  • Distracting kids with ADHD

Not best for: 

  • Classrooms 
  • Little kids

4. Best Weighted Blanket: Nest Bedding Luxury Weighted Blanket

The elegant, machine-washable comforter is ideal for adults and children alike, and it also makes a great gift. The Nest Bedding Luxury Weighted Blanket features polyester jersey on one side and bamboo-based rayon on the other. As a result, this weighted blanket is made to be smooth, soft, and slightly satiny to the touch. And like most weighted blankets, the weight comes from small, glass microbeads that — thankfully — are designed to not make a sound. 

Best for: 

  • Queen-sized beds 
  • Neutral homes & design styles 
  • Messes 

Not best for: 

  • People who crave a lot of pressure
  • People who sleep hot; polyester and rayon are less breathable than cotton

5. Best Budget Toy: Little Kids Fubbles No-Spill Big Bubble Bucket

Bubbles are not only fun for anyone, but can be a calming and mindless activity for children of all ages. Not only does chasing after bubbles strengthen fine motor skills, but blowing bubbles promotes oral motor skills, and touching them supports sensory processing skills. Little Kids Fubbles No-Spill Big Bubble Bucket is designed to be leak-free, and there’s no assembly required. 

Best for: 

  • Mess-free play 
  • Budgets 
  • Little kids

Not best for: 

  • Entertaining lots of children; the small wand limits the amount of bubbles

6. Best Toy for ADD: Wuqid Infinity Cube Fidget Toy

By keeping your kid busy and away from too much screen time, the Wuqid Infinity Cube Fidget Toy is one of the best fidget toys for kids with ADD. This relaxing, noiseless, compact device is designed to play, flip, and fold to your heart’s content. Therefore, its designed to help children who have a hard time breaking pesky habits like nail biting, pen clicking, and knee shaking.

Best for: 

  • One-hand operation
  • Tactile sensory relief
  • Relieving hyperactivity & restlessness

Not best for: 

  • Sensitive ears; it’s slightly noisy
  • Large hands; it’s smaller than expected

7. Best Sensory Toy: Crazy Aaron’s Putty Color Shock

In one preliminary study regarding stress ball usage, sixth graders who used fidget spinners or toys during instruction independently reported that their “attitude, attention, writing abilities, and peer interaction improved.” And while fidget spinners sometimes cause a visual attention problem (balancing a moving object requires eyes on it), putty does not. Therefore, Crazy Aaron’s Putty Color Shock is designed to entertain kids without distracting them. And of course, the smooth finish makes this terrific sensory play. 

Best for: 

  • Sensory play 
  • Relieving symptoms of anxiety
  • All ages – from youngsters to adults 

Not best for: 

  • Budgets – it’s more expensive than other putties 

8. Best Chew Necklace: Tilcare Chew Chew Sensory Necklace

If your child likes to chew on an object as a form of stimming (repetitive or unusual movements or noises), the Tilcare Chew Chew Sensory Necklace is a great way for redirecting their behavior. Made from 100% food-grade silicone, these necklaces are designed to be safe for kids to put in their mouths. And of course, they are latex-, BPA-, phthalates-, lead-, and metal-free. 

Best for: 

  • Children ages 5+
  • Easy portability
  • Redirecting a child’s mouthing habits

Not best for:

  • Children under three years old 
  • Teething babies 

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9. Best Calming Toy: Harkla Sensory Swing for Kids

Looking for effective ways to calm your child down?  A sensory swing is a great tool to help you do just that. The Harkla Sensory Swing for Kids caters to anxious kids’ desire to sway their bodies. Additionally, it stimulates the structures in the inner ear, which regulates a child’s hypo-reactive vestibular system. And when wrapped around your child like a cocoon, this swing is designed to provide maximum calmness.

Best for: 

  • Mess-free play – it’s machine-washable
  • Novice home installers – set up is a breeze

Not best for: 

  • Anyone over 200 pounds 
  • Long nails – fabric snags easily 

Here Is Some Additional Toy Recs To Help Relieve Your Child’s Anxiety:

Because what kid has enough toys? While you’re already browsing, check out these additional toys for anxious teens or kids: 

1. Wobble Board

Wobble boards are beloved by kids of all ages—teens included! Your anxious kiddos will love balancing or rocking themselves back and forth. 

2. Play-Doh

As you can probably imagine, the act of squishing, molding, and manipulating Play Doh helps kids cope with stress and anxiety. 

3. Nee Doh Stress Balls

These color-changing balls are squishy, squeezable, and ultra-effective ways of releasing anger and anxiety

4. Water Tables

Water tables are phenomenal stress-relieving toys for younger kids. Why? Well, the sand-water combination allows for lots of exploratory play and repetitive motions. 

5. Breathing Balls

Not only are breathing balls somewhat addictive, but the rhythmic motion of expanding and collapsing takes attention away from stressful and intrusive thoughts. 

6. Squishmallows

The super-soft fabric, satisfying shape, and huggable nature of these stuffed toys offer a calming, tactile stimulation. 

7. Water Beads

These moveable, squishable balls are loads of fun for all ages. Not only that, but they’re incredibly stress-relieving and almost meditative to use. 

8. Nutty Toys Pop Tubes

If you have younger children, these colorful plastic tubes will twist and connect to keep their hands busy all night long. They’re also great for building fine motor skills. 

9. Zuru Tangle

Zuru Tangles are the ultimate calming puzzles. They’re quiet, come in a wide variety of styles, and connect to one another for many hours of fidgeting fun. 

10. Stretchy Bendable Men

These stretchy, bendable toys are small enough to keep in a pocket. Therefore, they keep 

your child’s hands busy all day long. 

Additional Help

Sensory toys are fantastic for providing immediate comfort and helping children to self-soothe, but sometimes, they’re just the first step on a much longer path. When a child’s anxiety runs deeper, especially in the case of kids with special needs, bringing in a professional can make a world of difference. It’s not just about managing symptoms; it’s about understanding the root causes and developing strategies that cater to their unique needs. Think of it like a puzzle: sensory toys might be one piece, but a therapist or a counselor can help find the missing pieces to complete the picture. It’s all about giving kids the tools they need to navigate their world with confidence.

Benefits of Toys for Anxious Kids

While dealing with feelings of stress and anxiety is challenging for all kids, some find a new experience especially overwhelming. Fidgeting is nothing more than a response to that stress, anxiety, or boredom. Every brain requires certain conditions for learning, focusing, and sitting still. And while some people need quiet environments, others need noise or stimulation. If you don’t give a child an explicit fidget toy, they’ll likely make their own out of pencils, paper, or whatever else is around—which can be perfectly fine too.

However, sensory toys serve as an excellent way of providing stimulation and improving a child’s attention in an effective–yet minimally disruptive–way. By creating outlets for focus, energy, and worry, these toys relieve anxiety and attentional issues. Additionally, they provide a sort of balance for a child’s mind whenever it is attending to something stressful.