Toys for fidgeting.
There are likely quite playthings with better names. And the plain fact is that any child, whether active or not, will fidget. This is why fidget toys existed before they were officially named that.
Some children require movement in order to focus, learn, and maintain calm. Consider how often you notice someone tapping their pen or thumping their foot in a waiting area or meeting.
When your students become restless and lose concentration, how do you respond? Is fidgeting one of your endeavors to increase your students’ focus? A lot of questions need to be answered well to make the most of fidgeting. This includes discussing what are the benefits of fidget toys in the classroom.
However, there are others who don’t know about fidget toys and how they can help students focus and their ability to concentrate. To tell them how these sensory toys can help us manage restlessness in our students and how to increase our vigor to teach effectively, let’s talk about the benefits of fidget toys in the classroom.
What are Fidget Toys?
They are sensory toys used to release negative feelings of stress and anxiety. Made to regulate insinuations of restlessness, fidget toys are commonly used by children with ADHD, likewise to increase their focus and to keep them calm.
Additionally, fidget toys are sensory toys that help both adults and children who struggle with anxiety. These portable and handy toys offer affordable means of keeping concentrated by just stretching, pressing, squeezing, and spinning them inconspicuously. They fit the palm of the hands, so they can be brought or used anywhere.
Perfect examples of these self-regulation tools that are very convenient to use are tangles, cubes, chain fidgets, and stress balls. They offer unique designs, shapes, and textures that give tactile inputs to calm the senses and decrease restlessness.
Who are they for?
Fidget toys are for everyone who wrestled with stress and anxiety. Meaning, they can benefit both adults and children. To point it out exactly, fidget toys are effective for a student in your classroom who makes it a habit to tap his or her feet, sharpen pencils a hundred times a day, or has displayed actions that could distract learning or disrupts interaction.
In other words, fidget toys are meant for children who can learn better when their hands are busy with something. They tend to concentrate better if they touch on things while at the same doing some other tasks.
<<<Are you looking for fidget toys to calm your mind and body? We suggest the 19 most popular fidget toys that can help.
What Are the Benefits of Fidget Toys in the Classroom?
1. Improve Concentration
The use of fidget toys, research says, can help improve attention and focus among children. Hence, having fidget toys in the classroom which are to be used alternatively with educational toys has a great impact on student learning.
Notably, when students get agitated, they need something to hold onto to divert their attention. They need something to stretch, spin, press, and squeeze in order to let go of boredom and restlessness.
Clearly, this is one of the most practical uses of fidget toys. Although they can be annoying to others who are just onlookers, these handheld toys make a difference in student learning as they remarkably increase students’ focus and decreases queasiness.
Teachers can also benefit from fidgeting. Finding yourself playing with your pen during a meeting or doodling in your conference notebook means you are fidgeting and you need to do it because you want to concentrate even more.
2. Aid in Active Listening
Fidget toys are good for conditions of poor concentration and anxiety. When students are in full attention, they establish active listening. As a result, they grasp the lesson and enjoy the learning activities.
Using sensory toys can regulate students’ bad habits of touching things repeatedly. Just imagine having a student in your classroom who always grabs things, reaches out to other students, and always seeks something to click and squeeze. All these can be annoying to others and can distract others.
Well, teachers, the best thing we can do is put something on their hands and give them spare sensory inputs so they regulate their actions and engage in active listening. When they touch and feel stress balls and tangles they receive tactile inputs which calm their nervous system and make them feel less tense and anxious.
3. Help Children with Learning Disabilities
Through the regulated use of fidget toys in the classroom, students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and anxiety most practically benefit from it. According to a study, when these kids fidget, they are more likely to improve concentration and focus on the lessons.
Hence, fidgets are considered therapeutic toys that can help children with learning disabilities. Essentially, fidgets cause a great impact on student learning. They make the hands busy while telling the brain to concentrate more on the tasks at hand, like listening to the teacher.
Certainly, the right fidget can impact a student’s attention. As their little hands explore squishy balls’ texture, their brains concentrate on the task in store. With that, they learn and they’ll do great.
4. Improve Fine Motor Skills
Fidget’s usefulness goes to improving fine motor skills in children other than self-regulation benefits. When children find difficulty holding their pencils, I usually let them squeeze stress balls to exhibit hand exercise that develops hand muscles essential for handwriting skills.
Using the right fidget tool essentially helps children develop the right grip on pencils or other learning materials so they can learn and perform at their best. Largely, fidget toys help children develop necessary movements that help activate both sides of the brain. Allow your children to take advantage of these playful and useful little things so they can learn meaningfully.
5. Reduce Anxiety
As teachers, at some point in our careers, we experience difficulties in achieving work-life balance. Basically, we need immediate solutions when are anxious or stressed so as not to affect our effectiveness. For this matter, personally, I fidget. It helps.
Fidgeting reduces anxiety and is one great strategy to relieve teacher anxiety. Fidget toys are great tools that support wellness. When our anxiety is high, don’t get agitated even more. Learn to calm down and regain your balance.
Be the best teacher that you can be by learning the right strategy to relieve stress and reduce anxiety. This reason, fundamentally, makes fidget toys, even more appealing.
6. Sidestep Fight or Flight
How do you go about the acute stress response? If things become unbearable and mentally dreadful, how do you sidestep a fight-or-flight response?
Interestingly, fidgeting can help us overcome this physiological reaction quickly. When you or your students face terrifying situations where you are breathing faster and your nervous energy level up, you need to calm down immediately and take control of your mind and emotions.
The efficacy of fidget toys has gone to this level of helping people from all walks of life to deal with triggering situations calmly. Fidgeting the right way and choosing the right fidget can help you relax your mind and body. Holding onto these cute toys during tough times can help ease the tension within you.
Pacify yourself and let go of fear.
7. Gives fun, focus, and development
Do your students manifest fidgeting acts like flicking pencils, nail-biting, desk tapping, and tapping their feet? Or are they sensory seeking? Well, then, fidgeting behaviors are present in your classroom. Or do you fidget too? If your answer is a resounding yes, then you are enjoying the benefits of fidget toys.
The purpose of fidget toys is to divert and engage a child’s attention in a positive way. Giving your child’s mind a little enjoyable mental break will help them be more focused and productive in addition to making it simpler for them to pay attention later.
Moreover, they are entertaining! Kids need to take breaks from their work and study sessions with some type of unstructured play, as every parent and educator is aware. In order to make that happen, fidget toys can offer a toy that is simple, easy to use, and easy to contain.
When done correctly, fidgeting can help in cognitive processes. Moreover, doing it at the right time can be less distracting to other people. With all the benefits mentioned above, it’s really clear, and as research states, fidgeting isn’t a bad habit at all.
We can employ this strategy to become even more effective and productive. Using them in the classroom is a great idea. For as long as you manage and supervise your class religiously, then fidgeting can take part in your student’s growth and development.
Over and above, fidget toys can help increase student engagement and maintain their focus. To fidget means to become attentive. They are the most affordable thing that can help you and your students during high-pressure circumstances in the classroom.
What else do you gain when you fidget? Have you tried it before? Share your fidgeting stories below. I’m excited to read about your best experiences with fidget toys!