Get Your Fidget On: 5 Fun Fidgets to help Kids Focus
Children are constantly faced with a number of factors that can cause them to become dysregulated. Dysregulation occurs when the balance between feeling calm and alert is “off”. When children are too alert, it is difficult to feel calm and safe. When children are too calm, it is hard to remain alert enough for the task at hand. For example, to read a book, a child needs to be able to keep their body still enough to hold the book steady to read the words, while remaining alert to process the meaning of the words. A child can become dysregulated by factors including sensory input from the surrounding environment, other people, the physical environment, their emotions, and the predictability of what’s going on around them.
While there are many ways to help children cope when they are dysregulated, fidget toys have become an increasingly popular method. Fidget toys are small handheld devices that can be squeezed, twisted, or manipulated to help relieve stress and anxiety by providing proprioceptive and tactile input. Here are some of the best fidget toys for children that can help them feel more relaxed and calm.
1. Busy Block Fidget Cube
Busy Block Fidget Cube allows busy fingers to be happily entertained, while developing movements in everyday tasks such as spinning taps and fastening latches. Each side of the cube features a unique tool to fidget with. This fun little gadget will provide hours of fun in the classroom, when you are on the go or simply playing at home.
2. Look and Find Fidgets / Exploratory Bag or Tricky Fingers
Look and Find fidgets engage both the tactile (touch) and visual systems to provide double the sensory input to help calm a dysregulated nervous system. Fingers must move objects based on visual input.
3. Stress Balls / Smoosho’s Range
Stress balls, such as those in our Smoosh’s range, are a classic fidget toy that has been used for many years to relieve stress and anxiety. They are small, handheld balls that can be squeezed and manipulated to help release tension. Stress balls come in various materials such as foam, gel or rubber, and can be easily carried in your child's bag or pocket.
4. Tangle Toys / Twisty Tangle Fidget
Tangle toys are a series of interconnected curved pieces that can be twisted and manipulated into different shapes. They come in various sizes and colours, and their flexibility makes them excellent fidget toys for children of all ages. Tangle toys provide a tactile experience that can help with anxiety and stress, as well as help with focus and concentration.
5. Chewable Jewelry
Chewable jewelry is a type of fidget toy that is designed to be chewed on. It can come in the form of necklaces, bracelets, or rings, and is made of safe and durable materials. Chewable jewelry provides children with proprioceptive (heavy work) input to the muscles of the mouth which can assist in supporting regulation. The OT Store has a wide range of Chewable jewelry children can try.
Fidgets are a great physical outlet for nervous energy and can help promote relaxation and calmness. With the various types of fidget toys available, there is something for every child.
So why not try one of the fidgets we have available at ‘The OT Store’ to assist in supporting your child or students' regulation.
See: “How Can I help a child or student who won’t sit still” for additional information regarding fidgets.