Is your child a fidget? Do their fidgety digits never ever stop moving? Is your child a constant wriggler, nibbler, fiddler? Do they get in trouble at school because they just can’t sit still? My adopted children are fidgets. Their constant fidgeting is how they deal with their underlying anxiety caused by their early life experiences of neglect and trauma. But other children may need to fidget as a result of autism, ADHD, anxiety. For us, during times of stress, the fidgeting gets worse. But we have started to discover that there are a number of toys that can help the fidgeting, and help keep kids calm, focused and out of trouble!
And there are benefits to being a fidget
Science that says there are many benefits to being a fidget.
- An article in the New York times notes a study in Child Neuropsychology showed that children with ADHD were better able to concentrate if they were allowed to fidget
- The Atlantic points to the Journal of At Risk Issues which notes that when sixth-grade students (UK year 7) were given a stress ball to play with during class the students showed improvements in attitude, attention, writing abilities and pupil interaction
- An article that appeared in IFL Science says fidgeting could even save your life. According to a new study movement involved in fidgeting can counteract the adverse effects of long-term sitting
Hey it’s great to be a fidget
Check out the Fidget Widget blog by engineers Dr Michael Karlesky and Dr Katherine Ibister. They are exploring why people fidget, the connection between the hand and brain, and how our thoughts, feelings and our physical body are connected.
Their project is exploring this connection and the need we have to fiddle while we work and process our thoughts.
10 awesome toys for children (and grown-ups) who can’t stop fidgeting
1. The Fidget Cube
The Fidget Cube is kick starter funded toy for grown-ups and children who need to fidget. I’ve ordered two for my children who can’t stop fidgeting. This little cube is fitted with six fidgety, flicky slidey bits in the form a button to press, a joystick to glide, a switch to flick, a ball to roll. It’s small and fits snugly in the palm of the hand. Perfect for sneaking into class, and fidgeting in secret.
2. The Original Rubick’s Cube
Did you know there are 43 trillion ways to scramble the Original Rubik’s cube?
We bought this 80s throw-back for our kids last year, and it whiled away time on boring metro journeys and a long train journey to the south of France as the kids’ furiously tried to solve the cube. The Original Rubik’s cube has kept busy hands and minds occupied, and the rule was no cheating with YouTube!
3. Snake Magic
A friend of mine got Wonder Boy this for Christmas, and it’s been in his hands ever since. He just loves to click and clack it about.
Another great 80s toy making a comeback into our house. Coolzon® Snake Magic is made up of 24 wedges that are connected, twisted into a variety of shapes. The perfect distraction for children who can’t stop fidgeting.
4. Slap Watch
This is another good one for fiddly fingers. The Slap Satch sits comfortably on the wrist, and children who need to fidget can slap and snap the band round their wrist.
5. Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty
Wonder Boy carries a tin of Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty in his pocket where ever he goes. If I see him getting fidgety or anxious he reaches for his putty and pulls, stretches, squeezes and squishes it until he is calm.
Our putty changes colour as it warms up in fidgety hands. There is a whole range of amazing putties from magnetic, hyper colours, glow in the dark, even liquid glass putty.
6. Scoubidou Strings
Rember Scoubidous? Were you into the Scoubidou craze? This is the newest craze in our house. Scoubidou Strings are a knotting craft that first made its appearance in the 1950s in France.
The kids have been making keyrings with Scoubidou Strings, and this keeps both children entertained and occupied as they master the Scoubidou stitches. A range of brilliant projects can be found on YouTube.
7. French Knitting
I walked past a haberdashery shop in Paris and spotted lovely French knitting dolls. I bought two and tried it out on the kids and it was a big hit. The repetitive motion of looping the wool over the pins, and slowly and surely a chord is knitted into bracelets, necklaces, and a dog collar but Lucius wasn’t to keen on that.
WaxiDoodles are fantastic, the wax warms up in the child’s hand and can then be moulded and melded into all sorts of shapes. There’s something very comfortingly therapeutic about squishing wax strings. I’ve put an order in for another batch of WaxiDoodles.
9. Noah Fidget
Now I haven’t tried this, but I think this is something Wonder Boy will love. The Noah Fidget is produced by Fidgetland and designed by Jason Burns who suffers from Attention Deficit Disorder. He’s used his fidgeting expertise to create his own fidget toy. Brilliant!
Made up of a series of rings and keys Jason has created functional, fluid moving fidget toy. I can really see the Noah Fidget fitting comfortably in Wonder Boy’s hand, and fidgeting without anyone knowing. Perfect for when he goes to secondary school.
10. Tangle Creations
I want this for Super Girl, I can see her having great fun great fun clicking and twisting these into all sorts of shapes. Tangle Creations are based on motion, therapeutic and calming for the soul. Yes, that’s what I need for Super Girl!
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