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Marek Struszczyk

Co-Founder ManagerUp

Every manager or executive is familiar with the feeling of being so frustrated that they risk losing their composure and venting to a co-worker in a manner that would be counterproductive and inappropriate in a professional environment. You can only spend so much time away from your desk attempting to cool off, and traditional stress balls fail to stimulate the mind and maintain interest.

We have compiled a list of unique stress relief toys that will melt away your tension and frustration while entertaining, challenging, and stimulating your brain.

The following are our favorite stress relief toys that are both entertaining and attractive enough to display on your desk.


1. Cubebot

This combination puzzle, action figure, and toy robot is made of natural wood and elastic bands that enable you to transform the toy into dozens of shapes and poses. The design takes its inspiration from Japanese Shinto Kumi-ki puzzles.

Transforming the toy into new and creative poses not only sparks the imagination, but it can also provide a moment of light-hearted fun when tensions start to run high at the office.


2. Magnetic Sculpture Toys

One of the hottest stress relief toys on the market, magnetic sculpture toys allow you to transform a collection of metal ball bearings or cubes into anything that your imagination can conceive.

Transforming the toy into various shapes can also sharpen your hand/eye coordination and may even improve cognition and creativity.

Mr. Pen offers a functional desk toy with a hundred paper clips in a variety of colors that keeps the paper clips altogether and helps you relieve stress.

If you are looking for advice to break down stress in the office, we recommend you to read one of these stress management books and start your stress-free living now!

3. Desk-sized Sand Garden

Miniature sand gardens are designed to encourage meditation and relaxation in the same manner as a traditional Japanese meditation garden.

Most sand gardens come with rakes and brooms that you can use to create intricate patterns in the sand. Toysmith offers a version that measures 9 inches by 9 inches and comes with stones and ceramic cranes for visual interest as well as a meditation booklet.



4. Cast Metal Brain Teasers

Essentially 3-D jigsaw puzzles, cast metal brain teasers challenge you to separate the various components and then reassemble them back into their original shape.

Not only will these puzzles serve as a welcome distraction from the stress of work, but they also hone your hand/eye coordination and problem-solving skills.

Brain teaser stress relief toys are available in varying degrees of difficulty to ensure that you stay challenged.


5. Sand Art Pictures

Sand art pictures simulate the gentle undulations of sand dunes caused by the wind. The toy creates a new picture each time you move it as the sand shifts to create new mountains and valleys.

Not only is the movement of the sand hypnotic, but sand art pictures also have a way of transporting you from the chaos of the office to the tranquility of the beach.


6. Perplexus Epic

This classic desk toy challenges you to guide a small ball through an elaborate 3-D labyrinth toward a finish line. This model by Perplexus features 22 feet of track along with 125 barriers to keep you on your toes.

In addition to reducing stress, the puzzle will help improve motor skills, dexterity, hand/eye coordination, and spatial reasoning.


7. Nap Pillow

travel pillow


A short nap during your lunch break will not only help reduce stress, but you will be less likely to fall asleep during those long afternoon meetings.

To ensure that you do not wake up from your nap with a stiff neck, look for an inflatable nap pillow that provides the proper neck support. Inflatable pillows are also handy for those long airplane trips.



8. Pin Art

This classic desk toy allows you to create 3-D impressions of virtually anything. Unleash your inner artist and imagination to create one-of-a-kind pin sculptures. The toy also serves as a great office conversation starter.


9. Newton’s Cradle

Perhaps the ultimate stress relief toy, Newton’s cradle is a device that demonstrates its namesake’s laws regarding conservation of momentum and energy. The toy consists of a series of metal balls suspended in a frame and has been a mainstay on executive desks since the 1970s.

When the ball on one end is lifted and released, its energy is transferred through the middle stationary spheres to push the end sphere upward.


10. Sports Toys

If sports are your favorite method of releasing pent-up frustration, consider adding sport-themed stress relief toys to your office.

miniature putting greenbasketball hoop, or even a desktop dart set can provide a welcome midday diversion. They may even help spark some healthy competition among your co-workers.



Interested in working stress-free?  Check out our Books which are exclusively selected for executives who are looking for a calmer lifestyle.

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What are your favorite executive stress relief toys? Let us know in the comments below.



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One Response

  1. Gwen says:

    I am actually here looking for gift ideas for my brothers. Both of them work at the same law firm (family owned). I know they both have moments of stress at work as both my sister in laws have expressed it to me. I thought this would be a fun way to gift them something to help relax them while having a bit of fun. Thank you for the list! Gave me some great ideas 🙂

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