10 fun fidget toys to help kids stay focused
Anxiety? ADHD? Just plain wiggly? Fidget toys can help.
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For kids who have a hard time keeping still, small, inexpensive gadgets—called fidgets—can be the answer to keeping them focused. Fidgets can also be useful to keep kids’ hands occupied anytime you don’t want them to touch things that may be germy or off-limits.
While nearly anything that fits in the palm of a hand could be considered a fidget, most kids—especially those with special needs—usually prefer certain textures and movements, so there may be some trial and error to finding one that is effective. When choosing the best fidget also think about where it will be used. Some fidgets may be great at keeping a child focused at home but may not work for school because they make too much noise.
Here are 10 of our favorite fidgets:
1. A soft maze that fits in a pocket
These Marble Mazes are incredibly plush, making them great for kids who prefer soft textures. Some kids will like just being able to hold and rub the material. Others will appreciate that these fidgets also contain pellets and a marble to move through the maze and around the pellets. These mazes are absolutely silent and can be used in all environments.
2. Out-of-the-ordinary bean bags
These are not your ordinary bean bags. These weighted bean bags are a bit smaller than those used for tossing in games, so they fit well in smaller hands. These come in a variety of textures from silky smooth to bumpy. Although these bean bags are weighted, they are not heavy and come in at about .4 pounds each. This provides the right amount of heftiness for kids who benefit from calming pressure. For kids who are prone to misplacing things, a slightly different version with a wrist strap is available.
- Get a set of six weighted bean bags at Kozie Clothes for $31.25
- Get a set of three weighted bean bags with wrist straps at Kozie Clothes for $16
3. A cube that never gets boring
The PILPOC Fidget Cube is a great choice for those who prefer some calming pressure because it has some weight to it. This cube is metal and is made of several interlocking squares that can easily be moved into different positions with either one hand or two. This style of fidget is also sometimes called an Infinity Cube because the squares never lock into place and can be moved into new positions repeatedly. While this fidget is quiet it is not completely silent and makes a soft, soothing clacking sound when the squares are moved around.
4. A top to keep spinning
The Bruce Charles Designs spinning top is a great choice for older kids who spend time reading or doing school work at a laptop at a desk. The process of keeping the spinning top in motion requires touching the top repeatedly, making it a great way to fidget with one had while engaged in another activity. Tweens and teens will also appreciate that this fidget does not look like one used by little kids since it would be just as at home in an office as on a homework desk. This fidget comes in a variety of metals, all of which will stand up to long-term use. This fidget does make some noise when spinning, so it is best used when silence isn’t required.
5. A puzzle made of balls
The Icosa Atomic Puzzle Ball consists of a bunch of smaller balls in bright colors connected in way that allows little (and not so little) fingers to move the balls in pairs using one or both hands. The balls can be arranged in patterns or moved around mindlessly as a distraction while focusing on something else. The balls make some noise when being used.
6. A fidget that's stretchy
The Epic Stretch Astronaut is perfect for even the youngest kids who need a fidget—or anyone who finds it calming to stretch and pull. This Astronaut has limbs that can be pulled very far then bounce back into place. This fidget can also double as an out-of-this world toy making it a great choice for kids who may not be open to other types of fidgets that are not familiar to them.
7. A set of rings that twirl
Gyrings is a colorful set of circles spinning circles, and many kids find the repetitive motion very calming. A great feature of this fidget is that the interlocking circles can be taken apart and put back together again as another form of fidget. This also means that the Gyring is adjustable to fit a variety of hand sizes, since larger rings can be removed. Gyrings make some noise, especially when being popped apart and put back together.
8. A pad full of fidgets
This PILPOC Fidget Controller Pad has eight different fidgets in one, making it the ultimate fidget. Options on this fidget include buttons that pop in and out, a switch, a clickable joystick, a tiny massage roller for a finger, and more. Even with all of these options, the Controller Pad is small enough to fit into a pocket. The Controller Pad comes with a carrying case, and contains both silent and audible fidgets.
9. A bucket of stretchy "noodles"
This bucket of colorful, stretchy noodles from Schylling is a simple yet very effective. No thinking is required at all when using these perfectly silent noodles. Kids can use them to fidget by moving them around in one hand, pulling them, or twisting them together. Because they are so easy to use and can be used in so many ways this fidget is great for even very young kids.
10. Plastic tubes that pop and bend
These tubes made of flexible plastic can be pulled to become longer tubes, bent into arcs, and then pushed back together. Get a few and they can connect to one another to create a giant tube. These popping tubes are not very loud, but they do make some noise so they are not appropriate for a classroom or other quiet setting. Most kids use two hands to use this fidget making it a great choice for when kids need to keep their hands occupied.
Get a 4-pack of BunMo Pop Tubes on Amazon for $6.99
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.