Fidget toys are all the rage with children these days. While they're great for helping kids to focus, they're also an excellent way for them to have fun and release some stress. However, there are many different fidget toys on the market that come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and designs.
ADHD comes with several symptoms that affect children’s ability to focus, including an inability to sit still and difficulty focusing on tasks. Finding the right kind of fidget toy can make a big difference in improving children’s attention span.
While there are many different types of fidget toys out there, they come in different shapes and sizes. If you're considering purchasing popping fidget toys for your child or students in Melbourne Australia, here are things you should know about them before buying!
What is a Fidget Toy?
A fidget toy is a type of stress-relieving toy that people like to use to keep their hands busy and their minds focused. It’s a great way to pass time and keep stress at bay.
The function of a sensory toy is to capitalize on the reflexive behavioral responses of voluntary muscle contractions. Unlike some other types of toys that may have an attention focus, which requires focused concentration and attention on the product or task at hand, the fidget toy relies on attentional factors.
The thought to stimulate the nervous system via involuntary muscle contraction lowers stress levels in health and acute stress in individuals suffering from anxiety or stress due to an unavoidable event, such as an injury.
7 Things to Know Before Purchasing Fidget Toys
1. Different Types of Fidget Toys?
Sensory toys come in several different sizes and designs, but most feature the same basic shape. They tend to be tough to grasp, and they may be uncomfortable to wear for longer periods. Most fidget spinners are marketed as fun activities for younger children. Because they don’t house a battery, they’re portable, and they can be changed out often.
Three different types of fidget spinners are available: plastic, metal, and bamboo. Different materials may stimulate the same side of the body differently. Electric toys are the most common, and they tend to stimulate both the right and left sides of the body. Docs, test tubes, and Lego bricks are other popular styles of fidget toys.
The type of activity performed using a fidget toy may depend on the muscle group targeted by the toy. For example, putting the Lego brick between the thumb and index finger may stimulate the right side of the body based on the prevailing dominant hand centrality in early childhood.
2. Some are more effective than others.
Before you buy any new fidget toy, take a little time to research the brand and determine if it meets your child’s attention span and focus requirements. A fidgety pressure-weighted rock or ball might be a great choice for a younger child to concentrate on, while a long plastic ball may be better for a child who can only sit still for a few minutes at a time. It’s important to play with the toys to find which best fits their personality.
3. Small children should find smaller balls and not balls filled with weights.
If your child is a toddler or toddler-level, try a toy that is just under five inches in diameter. As a rule of thumb, toys smaller than two feet in diameter will often have problems keeping their grip during activities throughout the day that require focus.
Sensory toys over two feet in diameter may also be too big for smaller children. Aim to buy a four-inch or less gadget. While smaller size toys are likely more affordable, finding a good fidget toy that is relatively affordable is still worth the small investment.
4. Different Fidget toys are effective for certain conditions
Exquisite fidget cubes, for example, are hard and round, which means they provide more of a pressure release. This is good for relieving muscle tension, stress and anxiety, but is not the best type for active recovery. Their lack of variety is not an issue sometimes, but it can easily limit the amount of engagement that an individual can have with an outside stimulus.
Heavy-duty fidget cubes are rather large, which makes them ideal for active recovery. Heavy-duty cubes provide a much greater amount of stimulation, which is ideal for the fatigue that often comes with being physically active. This is because each one can be swept around rapidly by the user. If you have kids, this is especially important because you want them to take turns using one of the cube handles.
Squishy toys are ideal for carrying in pockets or purses for easy transportation.
5. Which materials are best for fidget toys?
There are many different types of fidget toys made of various materials, including wood, stainless steel, silicone, and plastic. Some materials are more durable than others. Durable fidget toys are safe for kids, and they can withstand being dropped and banged around.
6. Consider your kid’s condition and capabilities
There are fidget toys for various ages and abilities. The right fidget toy for kids of all ages is essential to their learning. However, it will be especially important for those kids who are neurologically delayed, have neuromuscular disorders, emotional challenges, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, depression, or anxiety.
There may also be differences in the effectiveness of different types of fidget toys depending on the individual child. The use of fidget toys is also highly individualized to the individual child. Some kids feel more frustrated and confused by certain toys than others.
7. Ask your child what they like before buying popping and fidget toys
The best way to know if a fidget toy is right for your child is to ask them. If they’re not interested in it or don’t feel like it helps them, then it’s not the right toy for them. If they do like it, then you can start to see how it helps them.
All children have certain characteristics they tend to react well to, and certain toys tend to be better than others when they match the child’s personality. So, try to figure out if your child tends to like certain toys, then look at the pros and cons and see if this is the one that’ll fit right in.
Some kids enjoy moving things around, while others find it boring and uneasy. Fidget toys combine the two — they make it interesting for your child to rotate items around, which makes it a great way to help them integrate more into the big picture.
As they get more internalized with moving things around and having to nest them into their desk as they pass them from one place to another, they learn how things "actually" work and can increase their level of risk tolerance more rapidly.