Updated: Apr 24, 2019
I wish when I was a kid I knew about all the cool fidgets out there that I could have used to help keep me focused and relaxed. I notice now that whenever I have to write a long report I am reaching for one of my fidgets to help keep me on task. Furthermore, when I am in listening to someone speak at a lecture or conference, I notice that using a fidget helps me pay attention much more. Also, whenever I feel anxious about a situations or am waiting nervously for something, utilizing a fidget has the ability to calm my mind down. It does not necessarily prevent strong emotions from occurring but it definitely helps me manage them better. There is something about just moving my fingers around that provides a soothing feeling. While there are many different fidgets out there, below are some of the ones that I have found to work best for myself and the kids that I work with. In addition, these fidgets in my opinion are best for kids to use in schools because they are quiet and least distracting to others.
Tangle - these fidgets I have found to be extremely helpful when I am sitting in my chair and I can use both my hands to manuever it. I noticed for kids, they enjoy disconnecting the pieces and then snapping them back together. Either way Tangles are best if you can use both your hands. These fidgets are fantastic for kids to twist around when they are in situations where they have to listen for a good period of time.
Fidget Cube - this is a favorite among kids as it provides multiple sensory options such as turning, clicking, pushing etc. What makes the fidget cubes so great is that they are small enough to hold in one hand while they try to write with the other. In addition, these fidgets are typically small enough to hide away from others kids who could get distracted by its appeal.
Wacky Tracks - what makes this fidget special is how easy it is to make different shapes with all the pieces. It is easy to maneuver and provides an easy solution to those who need something in their hand to help them manage their emotions. In addition, Wacky Tracks provides a relaxing and comforting feel as you click the different pieces while manipulating its shape in your hands. Wacky Tracks are a great tool for kids to keep them busy when they are expected to be seated for a long period of time.
Finger Fidgetz - these are some of my favorite tools to help keep my mind calm when I am feeling stressed. The act of of flipping and folding the wooden cubes provides great comfort for me. It also distracts my mind at times from what is bothering me as I try to figure out how the different wooden cubes are able to move on the piece of string. My only negative is its durability. If used roughly, the cubes can sometimes crack and fall off the string. However, even though I might break one, I always purchase more just because I find the engineering of it so fascinating. THis fidget is also a perfect tool for kids at school because it provides barely any noise.
Flippy Chain Fidget - This is a heavy duty fidget where kids flip two rings in and out from each other. The benefit of using this fidget is that you can use it with one hand while gripping a pencil in the other. It is on the smaller size and does not have as many different movement options.If you are looking for variety though this tool is a great one to put in the sensory bin as it provides another option for kids to utilize.
VANTASII - this is one of the most quiet sensory tools out there as it contains a single marble in a mesh net. It is not as exciting looking as some of the others but is very effective as kids simply push the marble back and forth in the mesh. This is a great tool for kids who might be taking a test and need a fidget to help ease their anxiety. The VatassII can be very helpful for kids struggling with focusing and staying on task. Typically, you can buy more than one for a good price as well.
Conclusions: Listed above are some of my favorite fidgets to offer to kids. Some of the key components that I like about these fidgets are that they are quiet and are easy to use. In addition, I like how they are smaller and don’t present as a distraction for other kids in the classroom. Furthermore, I like how these fidgets offer many different sensory options for kids as they manipulate them in their hands. If you have a child who struggles with paying attention and experiences a lot of anxiety at school, these fidgets, in my opinion are great choices for helping them to either stay focus or manage their emotions. I know when I am feeling overwhelmed or need to stay alert during a long lecture, these tools have helped me. If you know of other fidgets that you have found to have helped your kids, please feel free to share below.