ToyQueen’s Favorite Fidget Toys, Fidget Cubes and Fidget Spinners

As a pediatric occupational therapist (OT), I have been recommending fidget toys for kids with learning and attention issues for almost 20 years.

Even though this might seem impossible, guess what friends, the concept of fidgeting and the use of fidget toys is not new.

For decades in my career I have watched many children fidget. I’ve been called hundreds of times to classrooms to help teachers try and figure out why kids are fidgety or fidgeting, and help come up with a plan to help them fidget less. As an OT I observe children in the classroom and problem solve ways to redirect this inappropriate fidgeting.

The most common frustrations from teachers and parents are kids who bite their shirts, twirl or tap their pencils, chew on their fingernails, sing or hum while working, rock back in their chair or even fall out of their seat onto the floor. In my personal opinion, with the exception of humming, fidgeting does not usually bother the other students in the classroom. It’s usually something that distracts or annoys the teacher. 

Why Do People Fidget?

The reason why people fidget is simple. When you have to sit in one spot and pay attention to learn difficult things, it is virtually impossible to sit still and focus without moving for indefinite periods of time.

Try learning how to do something without moving your body. At some point you will have to move, either by crossing/uncrossing your legs, shifting your bottom, searching for a drink of water, or using your fingers to touch something in front of you.

Fidgeting is what you do to sustain your attention.

Using your fingers to squish, pinch and pull toys and items, with a fidget toy or fidget item, can actually help people focus, pay attention longer and ultimately be more productive to learn and perform, especially when society says you have to physically be present, like sitting in a chair in a classroom or joining in a meeting with peers in a conference call.

So why the obsession with fidget spinners? In my opinion, fidget spinners just happen to be a new item in the fidget toy category. Fidget spinners have brought a lot of attention to something people have been doing forever, but probably never once stopped to actually think or ask questions about.

Why Do People Like Fidget Toys?

While to some fidgeting or being fidgety might seem to be a bad behavior, in my profession it’s a clue. It’s a big, flashing neon sign that indicates to me that someone is probably trying the best they can to focus and pay attention with what they have available to them.

As adults we figure out that there are quiet, appropriate and effective ways to fidget. Do you click the top of a pen over and over, chew gum, squeezing a stress ball, drink water from a water sport top water bottle? 

Kids unfortunately tend to fidget in ways that are often considered inappropriate or not socially acceptable. 

Sometimes fidget spinners and fidget toys are toys, and sometimes they can be great tools for learning.

Using a fidget toy to learn is only effective when it is not a distraction.

You can learn more about fidget spinners, whether they are a tool or a toy here in a video I collaborated on in my role as an Occupational Therapist Expert with Understood.org.

As you will see featured in the video above, there are many types of popular fidget toys, so I compiled a list of my personal favorites, too.

In full disclosure this website participates in the Amazon affiliate program, at no cost to you, clicking on some of these links to purchase these recommended fidget toys may bring some commission to the website. I have also received some of these products for free to facilitate a review.

ToyQueen’s 8 Favorite Fidget Toys, Fidget Spinners and Fidget Cubes

 

Superman Fidget Cube Antsy Pants LabsOriginal Fidget Cube by Antsy Pants Labs 

The Original Fidget Cube by Antsy Labs has been a tremendous hit with adults since it first launched on Kickstarter. This multi-sensory, multi-sided fidget has dials, switches and buttons that click, spin, roll and glide, which can appeal to many different types of fidgeters. The different options also help people narrow down the features they like in a fidget. Aside from arriving in 8 different colors, it is now also available as Marvel’s Spider-Man, Hulk, Iron Man, Captain America and DC Comics Wonder Woman, Superman and Batman, which makes them a super cool gift for Dads, too. Buy Fidget cubes on Amazon.

Zuru Fidget Spinner

Zuru Fidget Spinner

By now someone in the family probably owns at least one fidget spinner. Kids and adults enjoy spinning, balancing, and watching their fidget spinner. There are so many knock-off cheap versions of fidget spinners with removable parts that are unsafe for kids. The Zuru fidget spinner is made from premium materials and is compliant with all toy safety tests. Aside from choosing from fun patterns and colors, there are licensed spinners that include Marvel’s Iron Man, Hulk, Spider-Man, Captain America and and DC Comic’s Wonder Woman, Superman and Batman. Zuru brand fidget spinners are available at Walmart and Toys “R” Us.

Zuru Makya LEGO tapeMakya Toy Block Tape

LEGO and MEGA Construx construction toys are great fidget toys in their own right, as kids like to manipulate and attach them in their fingertips. Makya tape transforms any surface into a brick building space. The tape can be cut to any length and has re-usable adhesive backing that allows it to attach to most surfaces. Why not attach a little Makya tape to a desk or homework spot for kids to run their fingers across as a fidget. Kids will also enjoy fidgeting by attaching and unattaching their bricks to the tape, too. Visit www.Makyaworld.com for more information.

squish dee lish toysSquish-Dee-Lish

 

Stress balls are a very popular fidget toy. Squish-Dee-Lish are slow rise foam toys that kids can squeeze and manipulate within their fingertips to fidget with. Each Squish-Dee-Lish toy  is sold in a blind bag package and there are multiple series to collect. For kids who love Shopkins, they will love collecting the Shopkins Squish-Dee-Lish toys, too. Buy Squish-Dee-Lish on Amazon.

Zuru Tangle Fidget Toy

Tangle

As an OT Tangle fidget toys have been around for many years. At a retail price of $3.99, they are a super affordable fidget toy.  Tangle fidgets can be bought in a variety of colors and textures. Fidgeters twist and turn the toy in their fingertips. The small different colored segments can also be taken apart and put back together, piece by piece. Tangle toys are available on Amazon.com. Make sure you check out one of my personal favorites, “The Hairy Tangle!”

Magformers_fidget_toy

Magformers

There is something absolutely magical about magnetic toys. The push and pull of the magnets can offer input to the hands. The bright colors are easy to focus on and my favorite part of this fidget, is hearing the “click” sound when they attach and unattach. Aside from being a fidget, these are a great construction toy, which are used to create 3D designs. Buy Magformers on Amazon.

Stikbot fidget toysStikbot

Stikbots are part of an animation toy kit. Using an app and a green screen, these robots can be posed and filmed in movies. However, the suction cups on the ends and moveable joints are also great for fidgeting, too. Buy Stikbot animation kits on Amazon.

 

theraputty fidget toyTheraputty

Theraputty is like Play-doh, but it offers a lot more resistance. Different colors offer varying resistances and generally fidgeters prefer the green and the blue colors. Theraputty can be rolled, squeezed, pinched and cut with scissors. Kids like hiding and finding coins and other small items in it.  Do not leave theraputty unattended. Always store it in the container or it will absolutely ruin clothing and carpets. Buy Theraputty on Amazon.

How Do I Know Which Fidget Toy, Fidget Cube or Fidget Spinner is The Best?

It’s hard to say what the best fidget toy is for anyone, because each person’s individual interests and needs are different. Thankfully, fidget toys are not really expensive. I would suggest buying a few, and put them together in a fidget toy box. Leave it on the desk, try them all, and see which ones speak to you. Sometimes having choices is the best. Fidget toy preferences can change depending upon the day, activity and a person’s mood.

While there are certain more popular fidgets than others, it is a very personal decision.  What is the most amazing fidget toy for you, may not be the right fidget toy for someone else.

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In full disclosure this website participates in the Amazon affiliate program, at no cost to you, clicking on some of these links to purchase these recommended fidget toys may bring some commission to the website. I have also received some of these products for free to facilitate a review.

 

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