photo: Fisher-Price

Ahh, Thanksgiving! It’s that time of the year when we all try to help our kiddos learn about being thankful and giving to others. But shouldn’t that be an every day thing and not an annual occurrence? Well. There’s a whole new crop of toys that want to teach your child about some of the more heartfelt concepts, and they’re growing in popularity. Check out the new trend in toys that focus on teaching kindness and empathy.

What do you look for in a toy? Chances are that you pick the ones your child wants. Beyond that, you act as a guide and try to pick the toys that will help your child the most in life. Okay, so you want your tot to have fun. But if he or she happens to learn a thing or two, that’s not so bad. Right?

Toy makers, such as Fisher-Price, are listening to what parents want out of a toy and responding. As it turns out, they want toys that help children develop their intelligence. They’re emotional intelligence that is.

With that in mind, Fisher-Price has overhauled their famed Little People line to help children learn about emotions, kindness and empathy. Instead of the same standard smiling expression, different Little People figures now have an array of facial expressions. Many of the playsets also have new names, reflecting kindness and empathy topics. For example, the old school farm is now the “Caring for Animals Farm.” Along with the new names, the sets also come with new “surprise and delight buttons” instead of just sights and sounds.

Of course, Fisher-Price isn’t the only company making emotionally savvy toys. Look on the shelves, online and anywhere toys are, and you’ll see this trend growing.

What do you think about toys that build emotional intelligence? Share your thoughts in the comments below.