Yaara Nusboim’s “Alma” Therapy Toys

Israeli designer Yaara Nusboim created these wooden therapy toys in collaboration with child psychologists for kids to work through various struggles (including trauma) during play therapy. This kind of treatment was developed by psychoanalyst Melanie Klein some 80 years ago, and encourages children to express themselves through play rather than conversation—offering a comfortable distance for them from whatever issue they are facing. Nusboim says, “The therapist can observe the choices the child makes—which toys they pick, the way they play, the concept of the game—and through them the therapist can learn about the child’s mental and emotional state.” But the designer found that this type of therapy was still relying on generic toys, and she wanted to create something more effective. After working with seven child psychologists over the course of a year, Nusboim made a set of tactile toys out of maple and silicone, each of which can be interacted with in a number of ways. “All of the dolls are open to interpretation, which will depend on the child’s backstory and the treatment method,” she says. Find out more at Dezeen.