In recent years, fidget toys have soared in popularity. Initially aimed at helping kids with ADHD or autism stay focused, these novelty toys have now found universal appeal. However, they’re more than just novelty toys and provide more benefits than just fun. Both children and adults turn to them to relieve stress, enhance focus, and provide a satisfying sensory play experience. Whether you’re a parent, a teacher, or someone looking for a fun way to stay focused at work, this comprehensive guide will introduce you to the world of fidget toys, highlight their benefits, and help you choose the best fidget toy that suits your needs.
The Allure of Fidget Toys
Fidget toys have evolved from mere novelty items into tools that promote calmness, focus, and stress relief for people of all ages. This surge in their popularity isn’t just a passing trend but a response to the proven benefits these toys offer. From helping kids stay focused in school to providing adults with a way to calm anxiety and relieve stress at work, fidget toys have proven to be beneficial in a multitude of settings.
Understanding Fidget Toys and Their Purpose
When asked, “What are fidget toys?”, you might receive a myriad of answers. At its core, a fidget toy is a device designed to occupy idle hands and minds, thus relieving stress and anxiety while improving concentration. These toys, which include fidget spinners, fidget cubes, squeeze balls, and even textured putty, cater to a variety of sensory preferences.
Fidget toys can be particularly beneficial for individuals with ADHD or anxiety disorders. They provide a physical outlet for the restless energy often associated with these conditions, allowing the person to better concentrate on the tasks at hand. However, the benefits of fidget toys aren’t limited to people with ADHD or anxiety. Anyone looking to relieve stress or improve their focus can benefit from these sensory toys.
The Best Fidget Toys on the Market
Below are just some of the best fidget toys on the market. For more in-depth reviews on each of the products, find the links below.
Fidget spinners have gained massive popularity in recent years. However, they’ve been written off by many as a fad item. But, like most fidget toys out there, fidget spinners provide the same benefits as any other fidget out there. Furthermore, you can get really high-end fidget spinners made from metal such as the Djuiinostar spinner. As well as more discreet fidget spinners that are different from the traditional spinner. Check out my review on cool fidget spinners to see what I mean.
Fidget cubes are like a Swiss Army knife of fidgets. Each side of the cube offers a different tactile experience, providing multiple ways to fidget. Some fidget cubes even include additional features like worry stones or rolling balls. There are some fidget cubes that integrate spinners into them as well. One example of this is the brass fidget featured below. This is my personal favorite of the bunch as it offers my preferred tactile experience. However, all of the fidget cubes featured below have been tried and tested by us and therefore recommended to you. When it comes to fidget cubes there are 3 that stand out above the rest. First, you have the original fidget cube by Antsy Labs which is an instant classic. On the other hand, you have theFube which is similar but has some added features. And lastly, you have the Infinity Cube which is a completely different type of fidget. All in all, fidget cubes are definitely one of the best fidget toys out there. At least in my opinion.
Sensory rings are discreet yet effective fidget toys. They can be used in almost any setting without drawing attention. Some sensory rings come with additional features like textured surfaces for enhanced tactile stimulation. Sensory rings are especially helpful to people that suffer from neurodivergent disorders such as autism and ADHD. this is due to the tactile nature of sensory rings.
Squeeze Balls and Slime
These toys are perfect for those who enjoy a squishy, tactile sensation. Squeeze balls can range from soft and squishy to firm and resistant, catering to different preferences. Slime, on the other hand, offers a unique, moldable tactile experience.
Pop toys are a relatively new addition to the world of fidgets. They are made of silicone and feature small “bubbles” that can be pushed in and out, much like bubble wrap. Some pop toys even come in fun shapes and designs, like animals or puzzles.
Magnetic fidgets, provide a unique and versatile fidgeting experience. They can be molded, shaped, pulled apart, and snapped together, allowing the user to create different shapes and structures. This adds an element of creativity to the sensory experience.
Magnetic balls, with their versatile and engaging properties, offer a uniquely captivating fidgeting experience, providing an effective outlet for stress, promoting focus, and sparking creativity
Thinking Putty offers a unique tactile experience. It can be stretched, squeezed, rolled, twisted, and molded, providing a wide variety of sensory inputs. Some versions of Thinking Putty even come with added features like glow-in-the-dark or color-changing properties.
Fidget pens, combining the utility of a writing tool with the stress-relieving benefits of fidget toys, offer a discreet and effective solution for those seeking to improve focus, enhance dexterity, and manage restless energy.
These are a special type of fidget toy on the market that have been available for quite some time. You can read more about Tangle Toys and similar types in my review.
Stress balls are compact, squeezable fidget toys, perfect for providing a physical outlet for tension. They’re definitely one of the more classic fidgets, but they do help reduce stress, improve focus, and manage anxiety by offering a repetitive, calming activity. Available in various textures and designs, stress balls cater to different tactile preferences, making them a versatile and portable choice for a discreet, effective fidget toy.
Ono Roller Fidget
The Ono Roller seamlessly combines form and function, presenting a tactile masterpiece that captivates the senses. With its elegant design, this handheld device glides effortlessly between fingers, offering a therapeutic rolling motion that not only soothes restless hands but also acts as a calming anchor for the mind. Perfect for the modern professional or anyone in need of a discrete stress reliever, the Ono Roller stands as a testament to the power of innovative design in the world of fidget tools.
Fidget Toys and ADHD
Fidget toys can be particularly beneficial for individuals with ADHD. They provide a physical outlet for the restless energy often associated with these conditions, allowing the person to better concentrate on the tasks at hand. By engaging their sense of touch, fidget toys can help people with ADHD focus their attention and manage their restless energy. ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is characterized by restlessness, impulsivity, and difficulty maintaining focus. Individuals with ADHD, their brains are often seeking additional stimuli to help them concentrate and process information.
Fidget toys, with their hands-on nature, provide the necessary sensory stimulation that can help individuals with ADHD improve their focus and attention. They can help channel excessive energy into physical activity, keeping hands occupied and thus allowing the mind to focus.
For instance, a student with ADHD may find it easier to concentrate on a lesson while quietly spinning a fidget spinner or rolling a sensory ring. These fidget tools can help improve the classroom experience for students with ADHD, enhancing their ability to learn and absorb information.
Fidget Toys and Anxiety
Fidget toys are not just for people with ADHD; they can also provide significant benefits for those dealing with anxiety. The physical act of fidgeting can serve as a type of sensory grounding, helping to redirect attention away from anxiety-inducing thoughts. The repetitive tactile stimulation that a fidget toy provides can also create a rhythm that can help soothe the nervous system, reducing feelings of anxiety and promoting a sense of calm. Anxiety is a common condition, often characterized by feelings of excessive unease, worry, or fear. Fidget toys can provide a natural, non-pharmacological tool for managing symptoms of anxiety.
When someone is feeling anxious, their body is typically in a heightened state of arousal. Fidget toys can help distract the mind from anxiety-inducing thoughts, focusing attention on the physical sensation provided by the toy. This can help induce a state of calm and relaxation, helping to reduce feelings of anxiety.
For example, the repetitive action of squeezing a stress ball or the rhythmic motion of a fidget spinner can help create a sense of calm. These toys provide a tangible object to focus on, helping to break the cycle of anxious thoughts.
Fidget Toys for Adults
While they are often marketed toward children, fidget toys are also incredibly beneficial for adults. In the modern world, adults face a myriad of stresses and distractions, from juggling work responsibilities to dealing with everyday anxieties.
Fidget toys can provide adults with a simple, portable tool to help manage stress, improve concentration, and provide a much-needed break from screen time. They can be used in various settings, from the office to the commute home, offering a practical and effective way to relieve stress and stay focused.
For instance, taking a few minutes to play with a fidget cube during a work break can help reset the mind, relieve stress, and can help people focus for the rest of the workday. You also get quiet fidgets which are great for use whilst sitting at work or in an office setting. Similarly, using a fidget spinner or sensory ring during a long commute can provide a sense of calm and relaxation.
Sensory Toys and Fidgets, Are They The Same?
Sensory toys, while often used interchangeably with the fidget toy, have a specific focus on stimulating one or more of the five senses: sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell. Sensory toys can be particularly beneficial for individuals with sensory processing issues, autism, ADHD, or anyone who benefits from additional sensory input. While fidgets primarily cater to the sense of touch and, to a lesser extent, sight and sound, sensory toys can provide a broader range of sensory stimulation. Sensory toys can include items like textured balls, light-up toys, musical instruments, scented play dough, or weighted toys. Like fidget toys, they can help manage stress and anxiety, improve focus, and provide a therapeutic sensory experience. Read more about it sensory fidgets in my guide on sensory toys.
Considerations When Using Fidget Toys
While fidget toys have many benefits, there are a few considerations to keep in mind. For one, they should be used as a tool to improve focus and reduce stress, not as a distraction. For example, in a classroom or work setting, it’s important that the use of a fidget toy doesn’t distract others around you.
In addition, while fidget toys can be beneficial for managing symptoms of ADHD and anxiety, they are not a replacement for professional treatment. If you or someone you know struggles with these conditions, it’s essential to seek advice from a healthcare professional.
Finally, safety is an important factor to consider, especially for children. Make sure any fidget toy used by a child is age-appropriate and doesn’t contain small parts that could be a choking hazard.
Incorporating Fidgets into Your Daily Routine
Incorporating fidget toys into your daily routine can be simple and seamless. Here are a few ways you can make use of these handy tools throughout your day:
- During Work or Study: Keep a fidget toy on your desk while you work or study. It can serve as a physical outlet for stress and help maintain focus on your tasks.
- While Traveling: Carry a portable fidget toy, like a fidget spinner or sensory ring, during long commutes or travel. It can provide a welcome distraction and help reduce travel-related stress.
- In Waiting Situations: Whether you’re waiting at the doctor’s office or in line at the grocery store, having a fidget toy can make the wait less stressful and more enjoyable.
- During Leisure Time: Even while relaxing, a fidget toy can provide a soothing sensory experience. Try using a fidget toy while watching TV, reading, or simply unwinding at the end of the day.
Fidget Jewelry: A Stylish Spin on Traditional Fidget Toys
Fidget jewelry takes the concept of fidgets and incorporates it into wearable items, such as fidget rings, bracelets, pendants, and necklaces. This type of fidget toy is not only functional, providing the same benefits as traditional fidget toys, but it’s also fashionable. It’s a discreet way to have a fidget toy on hand (or wrist, or neck) at all times. Like other fidgets, fidget jewelry provides a tactile experience that can help reduce stress, improve focus, and manage restlessness. It’s a particularly good choice for adults who want a more professional-looking option that fits seamlessly into a work or social setting.
In Conclusion: The Power of Fidget Toys
In the world of stress-relief tools, fidget toys have carved a unique space. With their wide range of designs and sensory experiences, they cater to diverse needs and preferences. Whether you’re an adult looking to reduce work stress, a parent of a child with ADHD, or someone seeking a useful tool to manage anxiety, there’s likely a fidget toy out there for you.
Remember, the key is to choose a fidget toy that matches your sensory preferences and fits seamlessly into your lifestyle. While they are not a cure-all, when used properly, fidget toys can be an effective tool to improve focus, reduce stress, and provide a satisfying sensory experience.
So, why wait? Explore the fascinating world of fidget toys and discover the perfect fit for you. Whether it’s the smooth spin of a fidget spinner, the diverse tactile experience of a fidget cube, or the soothing squish of a stress ball, the right fidget toy can bring a new level of focus and calm into your daily life.