Learn more about fidget toys and find out about some of our favorites!
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According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of “fidget” is “to make a lot of small movements because you are nervous, bored, etc. : to move or act in a nervous or restless way.”
Think about all of the ways you calm your body and focus without even thinking about it! You may tap your fingers or a pencil on the table. You might bounce your legs while you sit or rock slightly in your chair.
A fidget toy is an object that can be provided to a child to regulate his need for movement and touch. This enhances his ability to remain calm, focused, and attentive. Fidget toys provide a place for kids to direct their energy in a less distracting and more socially appropriate way while they focus on the task at hand (e.g. listening to a lesson in the classroom, paying attention to a book during circle time).
A fidget toy helps a child filter out all of the excess sensory information in his surroundings and within his own body that might be distracting him, pointing all of his energy and focus right to the toy in his hands.
Here are my top ten favorite simple or DIY fidget toys! Make a bunch and rotate them to keep your child’s interest.
1. Flour filled balloons or unfilled balloons to stretch and pull
2. Wikki Stix
3. Rubber band(s) or hair bands
4. Nuts and bolts to screw/unscrew
5. Silly putty
6. Stress ball (textured or smooth)
7. Loop velcro strip adhered to the top of a desk or underneath the desk to touch
8. Stretchy frogs or worms
9. 2-3 legos to pull apart or put together
10. Smooth stone or large marble to turn in his hands
Here are a few more of my favorite fidget toys!
Keep your child’s fidget toys nearby for easy use by attaching one to a lanyard around his neck or on a retractable keychain hooked to his belt loop! Even a zipper pouch around his waist will work to store his fidget stash securely!
And remember, fidgets don’t have to be exclusively for tactile (touch) input! Think outside the box – provide oral input with chewing gum or quiet movement by allowing the child to sit on a semi inflated beach ball placed on a chair.
Check out some other ideas for helping kids pay attention at school!
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