At first glance you may see a person squeezing a bunch of grapes, yet on closer inspection, you can see that these are not real fruit. I see adverts regularly while surfing the internet, for toys that help calm your kids down. Squishy balls, Chewy toys, Spinners, Fidget toys in fact anything to keep the hands busy.
There are many different types of toys which are predominantly meant to distract the user from the anxieties they experience in their minds. Are they aimed at children only? No, is the short answer. They look like something that you would amuse a young child with, yet the extra sensory opportunities that these ‘Coping toys’ offer is a revelation to those that need a diversion, and these are embraced by the Autistic communities the world over, as well as those with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).
Chewy Toys for sensitive teeth and mouth, Clicking toys for sensory attention therapy, Texture toys for comfort in coping, the list is extensive. Personally I would avoid the cheap makes for safety reasons, and if you are considering buying for a child or younger person, please do your research and ask questions, ie risk of choking.
You don’t have to have any extra needs to enjoy using these toys, perhaps they help you concentrate or they intentionally distract you from worrying about something in your life. There are all sorts of uses for them and from my experience, they are easily available and inexpensive to purchase.
Sometimes people use these on the commute to the city, as it passes the time on a long journey.
Another tried and tested distraction for anxieties, is to purchase or make Worry Dolls.
In Guatemala there is a belief that if someone has a problem or concern, they can find help in the little dolls “quitapena” (worry dolls). Tradition says that these dolls should be placed under the pillow before sleeping, then the little dolls will take the problems away during the night.
It is also believed that another power of the “Worry Dolls” is to help and protect children during their dreams. Among other things, it is also known that the colors in the doll’s clothing have meaning… the white color symbolizes the air and the sacred word, which in a few words would mean purity. Yellow represents land and work. Red is the symbol of fire and wisdom in the Mayan worldview, representing life and energy. And the black that represents water, or the origin of life, death, rest and germination.
And this is the story behind the famous Guatemalan “QuitaPenas” dolls. **
**Ref Antiguana Spanish Academy**