Fidget Spinners – To Use or NOT to use?

In is you will learn:
1. What is the Goal of a Fidget Tool
2. How to Select
3. Quick Tips for Sensory Tools
4. Top Tips to Introduce in your Classroom

Understanding Sensory: ‘The Magic Wand’ to Improving Concentration and Reducing Anxiety

Fidget Spinners – To Use or NOT To Use

There has been a huge amount of debate around the use of fidget spinners. I suspect they are a fad that will pass. The great news is these have raised awareness of some students needing sensory tools to engage, participate in learning, regulate emotions and reduce anxiety. It has also highlighted the need to make careful selection of sensory tools.

Here are my tips for using, introducing and managing sensory tools in your classroom, preschool or home.

Instead of calling the sensory resources ‘fidgets’ or ‘toys’ consider calling them ‘tools’. I often call them a ‘magic wand’ as they can make a huge difference much like glasses are a tool to help me see better, focus, stay on task, be more independent there are different tools different students need to help them too i.e. sensory tools.

Many people ask me is there one fidget tool that is best? The simple answer is ‘no’, because a combination of strategies is required and each child has different sensory needs. Here are some good guidelines to help select and introduce tools in your classroom/home:

What is the Goal of a Fidget Tool?

  • Reduce anxiety.
  • Increase focus.
  • Increase concentration.
  • Calmer to start off or engage in activities.
  • Less disruptive to peers.
  • Wait for longer, sit for longer.
  • Keep fingers busy, body active
  • Motion can increase productivity.
  • Replace current behavior (i.e. chewing).

How to Select a Fidget Tool?

  • Small enough to fit in your hand or pocket.
  • Doesn’t make noise.
  • Not distracting to others (which I suspect is the key issue with fidget spinners as they attract other students).
  • Doesn’t bounce.
  • Has movement or texture or something that will engage the hand of the individual.

My preference rather than the fidget spinner is the wooden hand massager. It gives the same sensory feedback and fits ALL my selection criteria.

This is MAGIC! It fits in the palm of your hand and the little ball rotates. Solid and beautifully made!

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  1. Quick Tips to Using Sensory Tools
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