During the past few months, a new toy has emerged and is taking the internet by storm: fidget toys. You may have seen them on Youtube, or from the many students in our school that have purchased one, but it seems like they are just another useless toy. In reality, they have an extremely useful purpose: helping students to focus in the classroom or at work.
A fidget toy is a tool used in classrooms or at work to help with focus, attention, calming, and active listening. The toys are mainly made for people with autism and ADHD, or Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder, helping them to calm themselves in their workplace. According to www.friendshipcircle.org, a website used for special needs student resources,“Stress balls, tangles, squigglets, and other fidget toys can be used to promote movement and tactile input that is critical for some student’s learning.” The toy gives a mindless energy outlet to the student so that they can sit still, while still being able to focus on the subject they are learning.
Recently, you may have noticed students who have acquired these fidget toys, including myself. I do not speak for anybody who has ADHD, because I am not diagnosed, but these new toys are seriously addicting. Since I got mine about two weeks ago, I haven’t been able to put it down. Every day, I am spinning and fidgeting with this toy during class or at home, no matter what I’m doing.
This addictiveness is where the problem is introduced to students without ADHD or autism. Honestly, the toy has been more of a distraction to me than anything, and that is probably due to the fact that I have never had an attention deficit problem. Although you may wish to go out and purchase one of these toys, I would seriously recommend doing your research on them beforehand. This distracting quality may not affect you, but I suggest not purchasing one unless you know what you’re in for. Everybody’s learning process is different, and fidget toys aren’t going to be able to help everyone. But, if you feel that you can never pay attention to your teacher, I would suggest doing some serious research into fidget toys, because they may be able to improve your focus in class.