My family is filled with “fiddlers”…in other words, they are always spinning, flicking, or in some way manipulating something in their hands. My son has to be constantly told to stop touching things when we are in stores. We have in fact had experiences with the break it, you buy it policies. In addition to fiddling, we have a lot of anxiety. So the popularity of fidget devices has interested us for a while.
According to a July article from Psychology Today, there have been no studies on fidget spinners to show that they benefit mental health and as a mom, I admit that I can’t stand them. My son, unfortunately, got one this summer on the boardwalk when visiting his grandmother. It has since disappeared and honestly I had no part in it, but I am thankful that it did. I have seen many posts on social media that declare how much spinners have helped autistic and hyperactive children, but they are very distracting to everyone else. So the alternative devices that are less obtrusive are much more appealing. My son and my husband both have fidget cubes that they keep in their pockets. If you get the right one, then there is no sound. Though do read comments and check where they are coming from. These are small enough that they would fail the choke test. (Even the spinners fail that as the ball bearings can come loose). So it is probably not a good idea to give either of these devices to someone prone to putting things in their mouth.
As a trainer, manipulatives are something that I try to have out during my trainers. We primarily use pipe cleaners and tangles but have also recently started using adult coloring sheets and doodle pads. There are a lot of researchers interested in the thought that doing something with your hands, can help you concentrate. Here is a list of some of the products I currently have my eyes on that I find less intrusive than the fidget spinners:
*Warning* The Fidget Cubes are small and not recommended for small children as they will fail the choke test!
Do you have any favorites that you would add to this list? Comment below and let us know about them!