What Are the Benefits of Fidget Toys in the Classroom? 7 best gains you deserve

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.

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.

a colorful fidget cube

Photo by Kreeson Naraidoo on Unsplash

However, there are others who don’t know about fidget toys and how they can help in student’s focus and 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 fidget, and stress balls. They offer unique designs, shapes, and textures that give tactile inputs to calm the senses and to 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 like a hundred times in 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.

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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 hand-held 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 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 for 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 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 students’ attention. As their little hands explore the texture of squishy balls, their brains are concentrating 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.

playing a fidget toy

Photo by ian dooley on Unsplash

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 acute stress response? If things become unbearable and mentally dreadful, how do you sidestep fight-or-flight response?

Interestingly, fidgeting can help us overcome this physiological reaction quickly. When you or your students face terrifying situations that 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 a lot in relaxing your mind and body. Holding onto these cute toys during tough times can help ease out the tension within you.

Pacify yourself and let go of fear.

Conclusion

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!

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