Ever noticed your child just tapping their fingers, bouncing their knee, or twirling their hair? The small movements of restlessness are called “Fidgeting.” It is often observed among kids with anxiety or attention disorders like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or ADD.
Recent studies show that fidget toys help children with attention disorders and anxiety. Children with anxiety usually find themselves making small movements when they feel anxious, restless, impatient, or nervous.
“Fidgets” are specially-designed tools that help children focus and decrease stress. They can be especially helpful when your child needs to juggle more than one task or jog their memory. Fidget toys are helpful because they distract the child from any particular stressful thought or situation and provide temporary relief.
These tools can make a tremendous difference to someone with an attention disorder; however, fidget toys are not one-size-fits-all. Fidgets of various types cater to a variety of sensory needs. We have come up with a list of some of the best fidgets for specific disorders. Go through the list and see which ones work best for your child.
Best for Anxiety – iMagitec Squeeze-a-Bean Keychain – $6.99
The iMagitec squeeze-a-Bean keychain is a small, easy to tote fidget toy. It comes in the shape of a peapod filled with three peas. When your child feels anxious or stressed, they simply squeeze the pod, and a cute little pea pops out of the pod.
This fidget toy is portable, affordable, and easy to use discreetly. The lighthearted style, combined with the physical act of squeezing the peapod, will help lift your child’s mood, allowing their anxious mind to refocus. It is essential to check for loose peas frequently, which may be a choking hazard for kids.
Best for ADHD – Fingears – $19.99
Fingears is a fun three-ring fidget toy for your child that can help with focus. The fun three-ring circus comes in different ring sizes and colors. The three rings are magnetized and stick together, providing a twirling and spinning action to keep your children’s hands busy when they feel the urge to fidget.
The sweet part of these rings is you can do tricks, spin, and stick them to surfaces. In addition to all the fun and creativity, Fingears helps children improve their skill and dexterity. While having these excellent fidget tools, it is essential to keep in mind that they’re small and may not be appropriate for young children.
Best for Younger Kids – BunMo Poppin’ Pipes – $6.99
The BunMo Poppin’ pipes are a great fidget toy for preschool or grade school-age children. These colorful toys produce a sound and action that is fun and engaging. However, this toy may be too much for children with auditory sensory challenges.
The tubes come in different colors and are easy to handle for small hands. Your child can stretch them out and join them to make long tubes. All the twisting, stretching, and connecting help the child to develop fine motor skills.
Best for Autism Spectrum Disorder – Duomishu Anti-Anxiety Fidget Spinner – $14.66
The Duomishu fidget toy is a unique fidget toy. The toy combines the action of a fidget spinner with a double pendulum spinner. Many autistic children find watching an object in motion soothing, making this toy great for releasing anxiety, relaxing ADHD, ADD, and autism.
The Duomishu spinner also provides a variety of ways to use the fidget spinner. You can flick it, let it drop and spin, generate endless spins by constant motion, spin one or both arms, and many other things. The unique product is durable, portable, quiet, and will work in almost any environment.
The Best Sensory Toy – Chuckle & Roar Pop It! – $7.99
Pop-It is a soft handheld fidget device that mimics the bubble popping action of bubble wrap. The fidget toy has become somewhat of a viral toy; they come in a wide range of shapes and colors and are popular among school-age children and teens.
It’s an excellent option for all ages and very durable for daily use; the popping action and sound provide tactile and aural feedback. The toy has no pieces or parts, making its self-contained design suitable for on-the-go learning.