Fidget Spinner: How They Work, Why They Work, And Which Ones Are Best

Posted: Apr 27 2017, 1:18am CDT | by , Updated: Jun 8 2017, 12:07pm CDT, in News | Toys

 
Fidget Spinner: How They Work, Why They Work, and Which Ones Are Best

They've been popping up almost everywhere lately: on Facebook, on Instagram, in BuzzFeed articles, and even in classrooms. Fidget toys have been called "life changers" for some people, enabling them to pay attention in situations, feel calmer, and reduce their outbursts. According to CBS, "The Fidget Cube is the ninth-most funded project on Kickstarter, with creators raising nearly $6.5 million from backers. They say it’s designed to help you focus. Forbes even dubbed Fidget Spinners the must-have office toy for adults for 2017."

What Are Fidget Toys?

Fidget toys help children and adults with focus and attention. They have been called "self-regulation" toys that calm people down and allow them to actively listen. These toys come in all shapes and sizes, though they may be called different things. In the past, we have had stress balls, but these are more effective. They have moving parts that people can move around or "fidget" with, using the tactile input to calm them down. Some fidget toys are as simple a lever that one can push back and forth while others have parts that interconnect. It sometimes takes a few tries to get the "right" fidget toy.

They work simply by spinning. You can spin them in your hands or you can put them on a flat surface and watch them spin. There really isn’t a lot to it, but it has become increasingly effective for many people because it is enough to distract them.

Most fidget spinners are about the size of phone or smaller, and are incredibly thin. They are made so that they can easily fit into a pocket or a bag. Generally made of plastic with a central spinning section, they can have any number of additions to make them work. You can get a fidget spinner for anywhere from a few dollars to hundreds of dollars, depending on what want from them.

I asked a friend of mine, Maria, who teaches at a middle school about her experience with them.

“It’s amazing – it really is!” she said of the students who now use them regularly. “They have started to pay attention to what I’m saying, they don’t talk as much in class, and they are doing better on their tests.”

Of course, it isn’t without problems, “There are some students who want them even though they don’t really need them. So now we are having trouble with whether or not to give them to all students and then take them away, which is risky. The problem is that they are really only effective in students who need them. While this is a large number of students, the ones who don’t need them are only getting distracted.”

Not all school are as lucky at Maria’s – many parents have to purchase fidget spinners by themselves. You can search on eBay and get over 30,000 results, however. You can find over 17,000 fidget spinners on Amazon and there are plenty of specialty markets all over the internet. There are even Facebook groups and sub Reddits devoted to spinners.

Should My Child Use Fidget Spinners?

It is easy for people to see that their child is restless at times, but it is harder to tell if they are restless at school. Often times, there are the children that don't do as well in classes, often get in trouble, or just can't sit still. For many of these children, they need more stimulation than just a lecture or sitting and listening to someone talk. Of course, fidget toys have been particularly helpful with autistic children. Even in adults, the same can be said - for adults whose minds just continue to go, fidget toys allow them to be more attentive.

While they look like something simplistic or silly, they are actually extremely effective and relieving stress, anxiety, ADHD, and autism problems.

How Fidget Toys Help Children Focus

Research shows that directed movement can enhance learning in some children. Even more, it is necessary for some children in order to get them to calm down and focus. Some people just need two forms of stimulation - like people who play music when they work or have the television on when they're cleaning. There are a few great books and videos out there where you can make your own fidget toys as well, allowing you to personalize it for your child.

Research has proven the importance of movement and sensory input in daily lives - enhancing learning, improving behavior, and allowing for "down time." Case studies have shown that scores in traditional students improve 10% with fidget toys and as much as 25% in students with learning disabilities or autism.

Most importantly: fidgets are easy to introduce to your children, affordable, and appealing to all children. Even better, they don't attract attention.

Where Can I Find Fidgets?

For now, most online retailers sell fidget toys, including Amazon. The top 10 most selling toys on amazon.com are in fact fidget spinners. More and more retail stores are getting fidget toys in as well, though they are more difficult to find. If you are having trouble, educational stores will also have them soon.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/46" rel="author">Noel Diem</a>
Noel passion is to write about geek culture.

 

 

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