You don’t have to have kids to know of the latest must-have toy that has been selling out worldwide-the fidget spinner. This toy has driven parents crazy, as they are asked (or pestered if we are being honest here) to trek all over toy stores and convenience stores to find this popular item. So is that spinner in your child’s hand the latest fad or a device that can improve his/her attention?
WHAT IS A FIDGET SPINNER?
This toy is made up of three arms joined in the middle by a spinning disk. The idea is that this toy can keep a person’s hands busy which then, in turn, helps their mind remain focused on the topic or task at hand.
THE BENEFITS OF THE FIDGET SPINNER
- Those diagnosed with ADHD have seen results in improved concentration and cognitive performance-when “fidgeting.”
- Children performed better on assigned tasks when able to fidget, than those that could not.
- Children, with ADHD, could better think through and solve problems, when fidgeting
- They are unobtrusive and don’t make noise
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CAN FIDGETS BE A DISTRACTION?
While there are benefits to owning a fidget spinner, especially for children diagnosed with ADHD or other attention deficits, there is a downside. Fidgets have become a distraction in the classroom-as anyone can purchase this new fad. Fidgets have been thrown in classrooms or used as collectibles for trading at inappropriate times. This has caused a disturbance in the classroom, and some school districts have even gone as far as altogether banning these toys.
WHAT IS THE BEST USE OF FIDGETS IN THE CLASSROOM?
- Kept in a basket or some container to hand out to children who have attention problems.
- Students can use them when taking a test or working on various assignments where focus is needed.
- Works well in mainstream classrooms-as they are discreet and don’t make any noise. Students who don’t want to draw attention to themselves would prefer these types of toys.
SHOULD YOU GIVE YOUR CHILD A FIDGET?
Not every fidget is appropriate for school and not every child will benefit from this popular item. Parents should have their children test out a few different items (maybe while they’re doing homework) and see what fidget best fits the child’s needs.
CONSIDERATIONS TO KEEP IN MIND
- How big is the fidget?
- Does it have any sharp edges or other dangerous attachments?
- Is it quiet?
- What is the school’s policy on fidget spinners?
* National Resource Center on ADHD. (2017, June 15). Are Fidget Toys Just a Popular Fad? ADHD Weekly. Retrieved from http://www.chadd.org/Understanding-ADHD/About-ADHD/ADHD-Weekly/Article.aspx?id=338