Fidget Toys for ADHD
I recently participated in a local consignment sale. My non-disabled child had quite the collection of fidget spinners. That was a short-lived trend, wasn’t it? I’m kinda glad it’s over. For him, anyway.
But, for some kids with ADHD, Fidget Spinners and Fidget Toys are therapeutic. I just hope that the trend of spinning them, recording spin times and trading them in classrooms didn’t ruin it for everyone. Or ruin it for those students with ADHD who really need them and benefit from them.
Do Fidget Spinners really work for ADHD?
There certainly is no shortage of people who will roll their eyes at the prospect of a little toy being able to help someone with their ADHD, PTSD or other disorders. And of course, for the folks trying to sell fidget spinners, there is no shortage of claims that they can do so. You can read this article from Forbes which explains some of the science behind fidget toys and spinners.
For me, this meets my criteria of “worth a try.” Fidget toys are inexpensive and harmless. Nothing detrimental can happen to your child from using a fidget spinner. It might even be a stress relieving accommodation. So why not give it a try? Wouldn’t your IEP team rather have the child spinning a fidget toy in his lap instead of incessant skin picking? It might be a great replacement activity.
Spring standardized testing season is upon us, so now is the perfect time to see if it works for you.
Benefits of Fidget Toys Spinners
- Relieve Stress
- Can replace negative habits such as skin picking or hair chewing
- Distraction during anxious times
- Physical movement can help cognitive function
- Social-discussion item with peers
- Can become a preferred or comfort item to take places
- It is a type of movement for kids who just cannot sit still and need some movement.
- Much quieter option instead of other habits that may distract classmates such as tapping.
Fidget Toys under $10
Just a reminder that pricing on Amazon changes all the time. At the time this was published, they were all under $10. The number of the item should match with the collage below. We also have a fidget cube and it’s great for Kevin to work on fine motor skills.
- 5 PCS Squeeze-a-Bean Soybean Stress Relieving Keychain Mobile Chain Fidget
- Fidget Spinner Bauhinia Flower
- Infinite Cube, P.LOTOR Magic Infinity Flip Cube Edc Fidgeting Square
- Fidget Controller Relieve Pad with 8 Functions
- 12 Side Fidget Dodecagon Toy Cube
- Golden Circle Fidget Spinner
- Flippy Chain Fidget Toy
- Rainbow Wheel Fidget Spinner
- Silicone Frame Fidget Cube
- Colorful Infinity Cube
Where to Buy Fidget Toys and Gadgets
When shopping for fun and funky stuff like this, sometimes you have to look beyond the mainstream and big-box retailers.
- Light in the Box– They sell a ton of stuff for nerds, but also have a decent cosplay department.
- Geek Buying– need I say more? Name says it all.
- TomTop– unusual assortment of electronics.
- National Geographic– amazing online assortment, the stores are cool to visit too.
- And Amazon. Of course.
Here are more fidget toys. Some are over $10, but some are much less than $10. Depends on if you want a good one that is a favorite, or do you need a few for the backpack, the car, your purse and so on?
Now that fidget spinners aren’t as popular (as toys for trading) as they were 2 years ago, you might even just ask on your Facebook page if someone has some they want to give away.
Do Fidget Spinners work?
At the time of the video about fidget spinners and ADHD, there were no studies done to prove that they “help” adhd. However, it’s a very inexpensive and harmless accommodation, so why not try it?
I remember one time I was at Longwood Gardens at Christmas time. It was very crowded and difficult to move. The family behind us had a young man with autism in their group. I noticed that he had a small set of keys on a keyring that he was fidgeting with the entire time. (this was before fidget spinners) So hey, why not try it? Obviously handling and fidgeting with keys enabled this young many to tolerate the large crowds and noise.
Adding Fidget Toys to your IEP
Yes, I’ve actually seen fidget toys on IEPs quite frequently. It’s an accommodation. And quite frankly, a really simple and inexpensive one. If your child benefits from fidget spinners and is able to focus better when using a fidget toy, I’d get it added to the IEP. Sure, it might not be needed. But in the event that there’s a substitute teacher or something like that, always best to have it in writing.
Just make sure that it is clear to your child the difference between playing with a toy and using the fidget spinner as an accommodation. I know at my son’s school during the “fidget spinner heyday” they could be quite distracting. At one point, I made him leave his fidget spinners at home.
You might find other ideas here:
- 25 Amazing Gift Ideas for Teens and Adults with Autism and other Disabilities
- 50 Best Toys for Developmental Delays