What Are Some Good Fidget Toys?

Reviewed on 2/10/2021

Fidget toys are used by many adults and kids.
Fidget toys are used by many adults and kids.

Fidget toys are used by many adults and kids. The adults use these toys as a diversion from anxiety and a cycle of anxious thoughts. Many adults make the kids use the fidget toys as well for managing the child’s hyperactive state and anxiety.

Though there is no scientific literature available for these, people swear by these fidget gadgets to distract them from the oncoming anxiety or panic attacks.

Some of the good fidget toys may include:

  • Visual fidget toys:
    • Glitter stick: The slow-moving glitter and confetti shapes in this glitter stick create a sparkly visual effect that is ever-changing.
    • Pocket slider puzzle: Unscrambling and scrambling the slots in the puzzle.
    • Newton’s cradle: This consists of five steel balls suspended from a sturdy frame with a wooden base. These oscillate and move when touched.
  • Tactile fidget toys:
    • Stretchy squish ball: A ball that can be squeezed in the palm, causing relief from stress.
    • Playdough: The swishy gooey play dough is a fun knead for both adults and children.
  • Taste/oral fidget toys: These can be chewed when a person is anxious. These are similar to chewing pencil tops and pen caps that kids chew.
    • Chewable pendant
    • Silicone straw
    • Chewable pencil caps
  • Smell/olfactory fidget toys:
  • Proprioceptive fidget toys:
    • Weighted animals
    • Weighted handballs
    • Lap pad
  • Other popular fidget toys may include:
    • The flippy chain fidget
    • Fidget spinners
    • Tri fidget spinner
    • Roller chain fidget toy
    • Six-sided fidget cube
    • Metal tri spinner fidget toy
    • Relaxing liquid motion bubbler
    • Magnetic sculpture desk toy

Do fidget toys help in focus?

Fidget toys can provide low-cost fun. There are also promising results showing that fidgeting helps some people burn off their nervous energy and distract from the anxiety-causing stimulus. Therefore, it can improve focus. 

There are many different types of fidget toys, ranging from squeezable stress balls to bendable sticks and malleable slimes. In recent months, fidget spinners and fidget cubes have become extremely popular items among children and adults. Regardless of the type of toy used, the goal is to help focus attention and improve learning ability.

Research indicates that most children learn better when their hands are active. Channeling expandable energy this way allows them to better focus on what they are trying to learn. In addition, experts have concluded that movement is essential for learning because the learner is required to use both the left and right sides of their brain.

How do fidget toys help with anxiety?

Patients with anxiety find it hard to focus. Taking too many breaks, tapping their feet, and other such habits are behavioral disruptions conveying bad body language. Additionally, anxious patients have short attention spans and are usually slow at learning new things because they are unable to concentrate for longer periods. Fidget toys help them to focus by calming their anxious behavior. The repetitive motion of spinning, clicking, or rolling fidget toys can boost concentration and productivity because of their calming effect.

Summary:

A major concern of parents and teachers is that fidget toys can be a distraction from important lessons. However, it is important to note that symptoms of anxiety, stress, or disorders (such as ADHD) can be equally or more disruptive and harmful for the child. Overall, fidget toys can be extremely useful for combating the symptoms of anxiety, stress, and other mental health disorders. However, more evidence is needed for conclusive proof of the effectiveness of the toys.

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References
Javonillo D. Fidget Toys: The Craze, the Pushback, and the Therapy. Morning Sign Out at UCI. November 13, 2017. https://sites.uci.edu/morningsignout/2017/11/13/fidget-toys-the-craze-the-pushback-and-the-therapy/

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