Forget the Fidget Spinner – 9 ADHD and Anxiety Teacher Approved Fidgets
I often coach moms who are struggling to support their child who is overwhelmed, struggling with high anxiety, ADHD, or other sensory issues.
The fact is, many of our kids have trouble sitting still, focusing and regulating their emotions.
One thing I am certain about is our kids stress levels are at an all-time high.
According to a recent survey conducted by the American Psychological Association our teenagers are more stressed out then their parents. (This is a little concerning, I don’t know about you, but I can be pretty stressed out).
We need to be addressing this issue.
One way is to provide our kids with things they can do that help them to soothe themselves and relieve some of the stress they feel.
My daughter shared with me alternatives that she’s tried, tested, and approved in her classroom. (Comments are hers from her experience working with kids) Occupational therapists and other teachers love them as well.
Not only are they great with kids with anxiety, ADHD, autism, or sensory issues, you may find that they help you relax and be less distracted too!
Here are 9 alternatives to the
annoying fidget spinner.
These are 9 awesome gadgets. I actually just bought the Sequin pillow (my daughter’s favorite that she keeps on her desk), the stretch balls, and the stretch strings. Oh my gosh I love them. I was tempted to buy the pencil toppers but I wasn’t sure if that would be a good look! Ha ha.
I wish I’d had these in middle school math class. They would have helped me immensely with my anxiety. These fidget tangles are discreet and the 3 pack is perfect, your child or you can keep one in your desk, in your pocket, in a backpack, or wherever. These are totally silent and can be used if your child needs to calm down and take a break. They can be taken apart, attached in a circle or molded into whatever you want.
Beneficial for: Kids or adults with anxiety, kids that can’t sit still, or those suffering with OCD or PTSD.
These allow you to click, flick, roll, or spin, depending on what feels best. It’s not quiet, so it could be distracting in a classroom, but being able to do so much with one fidget item is a major bonus.
Beneficial for anxiety stress relief, attention focus for children and adults with ADHD or those who fidget. It’s specifically designed for people who can’t keep their fingers still, and to help you to focus on your work.
A therapist claimed “it’s by far the best stress ball ever invented, none have held up to the standards of this pull and stress relieve ball.” I like that they can’t get dirty like putty might, and they’re more durable so it’s good for you child to use at home and take to school. be careful where you put them because they may go missing when you have your friends or extended family over! One thing to be aware of, it doesn’t bounce like the name suggests. It’s a modern alternative to the stress ball but much better.
This is my daughter’s personal favorite. She keeps one on her desk, “They’re palm-sized, have a strap to keep the pillow from falling off your hand, and rubbing the sequins and getting the color to change is the most oddly satisfying and soothing feeling I’ve had from any kind of fidget item, ever.” It’s really fun to play and helps children and adults relieve stress, helps increase focus and with kids who have sensory processing disorders.
These are simply, non-distracting in a classroom setting and low-mess. These come in a pack of 5 so if you lose a few in the first few weeks of school you won’t be out of luck. It’s high quality and made from non-toxic, hypo-allergenic materials so it’s safe for younger kids. Elastic, durable and easy to stretch to 9 feet. You can stretch it at will, squeeze it, bend it, and it snaps right back into place.
Beneficial For: ADD/ADHD, and autism, high stress levels, anxiety disorders and restless people.
My daughter’s experience, “I’m more inclined toward things that can be worn because they’re less prone to being lost or misplaced, so the fact that these can be worn as a bracelet is a plus. Some kids seem to do better with spiky items that deliver a little bit more tactile stimulation, which these deliver.” It is quiet, durable, and has great colors. The size is great and flexible enough for manipulation. They’re BPA and latex free, hypoallergenic, nontoxic, and dishwasher safe. Perfect for the classroom, home or office, they’re great for parents, teachers, students, therapists and anyone else
Beneficial For: All children ages 3+ and adults, but especially those with ADD / ADHD, OCD, autism, or high anxiety levels. These toys help promote a sense of calm, reduce stress / anxiety and can increase focus / attention.
I used to chew the heck out of pen caps and pencils sometimes (but I’ll admit to it as those days are over now). If you or your child love to chew you will love this and you won’t mess up your teeth. For kids with sensory processing disorder or anxiety this chewable pencil topper helps calm and focus. It’s durable for serious chewers, odor free, just the right size, and fits firmly on a pencil to sustain lots of chew stimulation. It can easily be pulled off if a child (or you) chooses to calm and chew without a pencil. These knight shaped pencil toppers are proven winners with kids, parents, teachers, and therapists.
My daughter claims that she loves the way these feel rolled in the palms of her hands, and she’s found a lot of the children in her classroom enjoy them, too. They’re strong, durable and safe, with only a little bit of squeeziness and perfect for sensory and tactile stimulation. Perfect for the classroom, home or office, they’re great for parents, teachers, students, therapists and more.
Benefical For: Children ages 3+ and adults, but especially those with ADD / ADHD, OCD, autism, or high anxiety levels. These toys help promote a sense of calm, reduce stress / anxiety and can increase focus / attention.
This is like goop that you might make at home or play around with but with a little bit of added resistance. TheraPutty is the leader in resistive hand exercise material. You can squeeze, pinch, stretch or twist. A bonus is it’s made from material that’s gluten, nut, egg, soy, latex and casein free. Physical therapists, occupational therapists, and doctors recommend theraputty for patients with arthritis, to strengthen hand, forearm and wrist muscles after injury or if you’re noticing your hands are getting weaker and you need help opening jars.
The best thing about all of these, is to a kid they are still toys. There is no stigma attached to having a fidget, no one is judging them for their ADHD, anxiety, spectrum or sensory issues. They are just playing quietly. AND feeling better!