There are new toys popping up all over that are meant to help people who fidget or have trouble concentrating. These fidget toys include Fidget spinners, fidget cubes, putty, stress balls and tangles. While fidget spinners appear to be among the most popular of these devices, they are also among the most controversial.
Having one of these toys can be an inexpensive way to fit in with the other kids and help kids feel included. Even more importantly, for the kids who truly need the sensory input or a way to help them control their ADHD symptoms, these toys can help a child spend more time in the class and can be a type of therapy.
With fidget spinners especially, teachers are finding that they can be a big distraction and be more of a toy than a therapeutic device. Because these are so fun to play with, lots of kids that don’t really need a fidget toy are using them and perfecting tricks with them that they like to use to show off. This means that many teachers and schools are banning them, making it so not even the kids who could really benefit from this type of toy can use them. There’s also a risk that the metal bearings in some spinners could come out and be a choking hazard, so be sure to warn kids to keep them out of their mouths. There’s already been at least one case of this happening with a teenager.
It may be better to opt for a different type of fidget toy that’s less distracting to others and can be used discretely in a pocket or under a desk, such as the fidget cubes, putty, stress balls or tangles. These aren’t as likely to be banned. They also shouldn’t share their fidget device with other kids or throw them. For kids who don’t actually need fidget spinners to focus, it would be best for parents to tell their children that they can’t bring them to school to make it less likely to ruin things for the kids who really need them.