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Every year, many children receive all kinds of gifts for the Holidays.  Children rattle off their ‘wish-lists’ to Santa and parents attempt fulfill those wishes.  However, you may still be unsure what to get your children this year.  I compiled a list of gift ideas I think that foster creativity or emotional growth.  Just a heads up, these are NOT affiliate links!  I just sincerely love these resources and want to share them!


Kids naturally process their feelings and struggles through the act of play. Kids are great at using just about any toys to do this, but there are certain kinds of toys that are really great for kids to process their experiences.

Dollhouses.  I always have a dollhouse in my office, because they are a great way for kids to enact their daily lives with the people around them.   Make sure you have little people to go with it!Play theray play counseling depression

Farmhouses.  Some kids prefer to connect with animals more than people figures.

Emergency Vehicles.  If your child has been exposed to anything involving a type of emergency vehicle (i.e. an accidents, deaths, witnessed someone getting arrested), they benefit from expressing that experience through those toys.

Kitchen.  Much of our lives are centered around food, eating, and entertaining with food.  Naturally, kids are going to have feelings and experiences surrounding that.

Building Blocks.  Building blocks are my personal favorite.  Kids can build, tear down, create, and release energy with blocks. 

Sensory Gifts

Water beads.  Water beads are a fun way for kids to do sensory work.  They can put toys in there or just feel the beads with their hands (when they have been hydrated).  I keep a container of these in my office (a tupperware container with a lid)

Beans in a box.  If you have any  kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans, or any beans for that matter, you can easily dump them in a container and make a sensory box.  Kids like to play with their toys in the beans. The box represents a place to hold their experiences and feelings.  This is a fun and relatively inexpensive toy that will keep your kids entertained and feeling good for a long time. play therapy kid therapy kid counselingchild therapy child depression


Books are a great way to help children work through real-life problems. It gives them a real or imaginative example of a problem and a way to solve it.  It helps their story feel validated and to help them understand difficult topics.  Here is a list of awesome books that your little ones might enjoy:

“What do you with a problem?” by Kobi Yamada. This book is visual representative of  a difficult problem and how pushing it away doesn’t help.  The resolution helps kids to understand how to embrace and cope with a ‘problem’.

“What do you do with an Idea?” Also by Kobi Yamada. This book is like the former, it helps kids develop confidence in themselves to try new things and express their unique ideas.

“What should Danny do?” by Ganit and Adir Levy. This is an interactive book designed to help kids learn how to make choices.  It is a valuable tool that will help them as they emerge into their teen and tween years and need help making big decisions. https://www.amazon.com/What-Should-Danny-Power-Choose/dp/069284838X/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1544590802&sr=8-7&keywords=what+to+do+with+an+idea

“The Invisible String” by Patrice Karst. If your child is struggling with the loss of someone dear, this is a beautiful book to help them process grief and loss.

“In My Heart: A Book of Feelings” by Jo Witek.  “In My Heart” helps kids to connect with and talk about their feelings.

“The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes” by Mark Pett. IF you have a kid that wants to be perfect, this is the one to get! This helps kids how to let go and learn from mistakes.

“ The Most Magnificent Thing” by Ashely Spires.  This book helps kids learn how to foster creativity and persevere when things get hard.










Games is a great way for the whole family to get involved.  Kids can learn a lot about themselves and their emotions through games:

My Feelings Game.  A game to help understand feelings and emotions with everyone!

Don’t go Bananas! A game to help kids with emotion control (CBT based).

The Talking, Feeling, and Doing Game. I’ve played this a few times with clients! This is an awesome game to connect thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.




There you have it! Have a wonderful holiday season.

Information from this blog post is not intended to treat, diagnose, or substitute as therapy.  If you have concerns regarding your mental health or the mental health of your kids, please seek out treatment from a trained professional. The purpose of this blog is to provide information and education regarding mental health.

Kylie Chaffin, Licensed Mental Health Counselor.








information from this blog is not intended to treat, diagnose, or substitute as therapy.  If you have concerns regarding your mental health, please seek out treatment from a trained professional.