How Toys Reinforce Emotional Expression

by Ramona Holland
March 22, 2022

Children need to be able to express themselves including feelings, thoughts and wants.

Children’s first step to acceptable emotional expression is learning how emotions work. One of the most effective teaching tools is how parents react. Parents can reinforce negative behaviors by responding to a child’s demands. Likewise, children begin to see that tantrums don’t always work when only good behaviors receive praise. These steps lead to socially acceptable emotional expressions. Children learn to express their wants, fears, or frustrations in ways that get parental responses.


Board games are an excellent tool to help regulate emotional responses. When a turn is lost or other setbacks in the game cause your child frustration, practice expressing that frustration or surprise in a way that models appropriate behaviors.