The 10 Best Fidget Toys for School and Home

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Inside: These awesome fidget toys for school or home are sure to spark your imagination – from squishies to spinnables, there’s something for everyone – give your brain a break and get your fiddle on!

I doubt you missed the biggest toy trend of the past few years!

Fidget toys are small objects that spin, twist, pop, stretch, and bend! And best of all, they keep little hands busy.

This might be just the sensory input that your kids or students of any age need! (They are great for adults too!)

 Despite being around for years now, kids still love them!

But you might be wondering, what is the right fidget? What fidgets are suitable for the classroom setting? For the home setting?

So here’s the good news:

We’ve rounded up the best fidget toys for kids on the market today, so you don’t have to!

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Because we all want our kids to be happy and healthy — not just for right now, but for the rest of their lives.

What are the Benefits of Fidget Toys? 

Fidget toys are small toys that move in all kinds of ways. If you are new to this craze, you might be wondering? What exactly is a fidget toy, and how can this tiny, spinning sphere be helpful?

But, for kids who really need sensory input, fidgets can help tremendously.

**We do not provide medical advice. Always speak to your medical provider to determine what may be best for your child.

best fidget toys for kids

Benefit #1: Increased Focus and Concentration

Research suggests that fidgets might “boost attention and memory.”

If you feel anxious and can control or direct your movements, you can also improve focus and concentration.

Benefit #2: Productive Mental Fun

Fidget toys productively distract and occupy a child’s attention. For those sensory seekers, movement is essential, and studies suggest that minor distractions can help boost productivity by giving the mind a break.

“But a key thing that separates a fidget widget from other distractions is that it’s used “for the enjoyment of the experience itself,” not to achieve any particular goal.”

This means they can focus and be more productive because their brain can have a little break.

Benefit #3: Creative Movement

Fidget toys productively distract and occupy a child’s attention. For those sensory seekers, movement is essential, and studies suggest that minor distractions can help boost productivity by giving the mind a break.

“But a key thing that separates a fidget widget from other distractions is that it’s used “for the enjoyment of the experience itself,” not to achieve any particular goal.”

This means they can focus and be more productive because their brain can have a little break.

Benefit #4: Brain Benefits

The brain stem is important because it controls basic body functions like breathing, heart rate, and consciousness.

Some children’s brains wake up but cannot stay alert, while others need help to start.

Fidget toys can trigger the brain stem and get it working!

Benefit #5: Less Anxiety and Stress

Stress, anxiety, and disorders like ADHD can affect a child in a BIG way.

Fidgeting itself can be a calming mechanism. Fidget spinners and cubes give children a way of keeping their hands busy.

Fidget toys will not prevent or eliminate anxiety or worry, but they are a great calming or coping technique.

Benefit #6: Fine Motor Skills

In addition to all the learning and stress-reducing benefits, fidgets help with dexterity, improve coordination, and help with fine motor skills.

They can also help with the development of muscles of small hands.

Are Fidgets Ok in The Classroom? 

Teachers usually are a-okay with a child using a fidget in the classroom. So many children need sensory stimulation and need to release nervous energy, and they are helpful for autistic children or kids with Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Some teachers may request that kids use fidgets that aren’t too distracting. After all, it’s not fair to the other students if the fidget is too noisy.

The last thing anyone wants to hear while trying to concentrate is the “pop, pop” sound from a fidget.

Does Your Kid Need Fidget Tools in School? 

Some kids have difficulty paying attention, are extra wiggly, or have sensory issues.

If your child has any of those things mentioned, a fidget toy may be an excellent tool for the classroom. 

A fidget toy may also be the perfect fix if your child seems to be leaving their seat, tapping the pencils, distracting, or disrupting lessons. 

Fidgets are not toys or an excuse to stop doing the lessons.

Best Fidget Toys for The Classroom

There are many types of fidget toys, from classic fidget spinners to squishy balls. Fidgets come in different shapes, various colors, and materials.

It might be overwhelming to know what is the best fidget for your child.

This list will put all the best fidgets for school into one place to make it easier to figure out which ones to buy and which to pass on. (If you are wondering about fidgets for the home, that list follows the classroom recommendations, so keep scrolling).

Kneadable Erasers

Kneadable erasers are super cool!

They are multifunctional fidgets, much like play-doh; they erase pencil marks on paper but can also be played with like play-doh.

Children can keep these erasers in their hands without knowledge from others around them, and it’s also a needed school supply.

Stress Balls

Sand-filled stress balls are probably one of the best fidget toys for school.

They help release tension, are great hand exercisers, and will increase focus.

The best thing about these fidgets is they can be made right at home from a balloon and sand. Find directions here.

Chair Bands

If you’re looking for whole-classroom fidgets, consider buying chair bands.

These fidget toys for the classroom or home are great for all kids.

They go around the legs of a chair and create a place for students to rest their feet, bounce them, or push/pull them back and forth.

They are super quiet, and barely anyone notices students using them.

Fidget Pencil Toppers

These fidget pencil toppers fit right on the top of a standard pencil and don’t cover the eraser making the pencil still functional.

The child uses their fingers to spin the pieces while listening or thinking.

They are quiet and perfect for older kids who may not want their fidgets to be as noticeable to other students. 

Thinking Putty

Thinking putty is often seen as a toy, but it is a great sensory tool.

It relieves stress, helps children pay attention, and even can help with physical therapy for the wrists and hands. 

Aaron’s thinking putty is one of the best brands.

And even though it looks super sticky, it’s not!

Fidget Weighted Lap Pad

If you have a child or student with ADHD who cannot sit in their seat or just needs some sensory work while learning, a fidget lap pad is a great ADHD fidget.

It is weighted and has three different fidget devices built right in.

Marble Fidgets

If you haven’t noticed a theme with this list yet, the best fidgets for school are quiet ones.

Marble fidgets are small, quiet, simple, and relaxing, even for adults!

Pushing the marble back and forth in the pouch will allow children the movement they need and give their fingers a little exercise.

Gel Filled Fidgets

Gel and glitter-filled gel pads are perfect for providing tactile and visual stimulation.

They are squeezable and filled with colorful gel to help engage kids, and they are perfect for fidgeting and building fine motor skills.

The perfect fidget for helping calm students, reduce stress/anxiety, and can help increase focus and attention.

Plus, they are small enough for little hands and are easy to squeeze, touch or hold.

Stretch Balls

A little different than a stress ball, with stretch balls, a child can mold, pinch, and squish the ball in their hand to help stimulate circulation in their hands, arms, and fingers.

Most of these balls can even be washed, making them perfect for home and the classroom.

Coil Fidget Bracelets

The nice things about these coil fidgets are they look just like bracelets, and they are.

However, there are many ways to play with it, twisting, stretching, or rolling up and down.

The stretchy bracelet provides great tactile stimulation for kids with sensory input disorders and can help reduce anxiety and stay focused.

These are just a few of the best fidgets for the classroom.

Best Fidget Toys for Home

Product Alert: The expandable breathing ball sphere is a good option for kids who need help breathing and relaxing. It can also help with stressful situations.

Mini Spinners – Watch for small parts (Pay attention to the age rating).

Anxiety Ring – This is a great option for kids a little older. Fidget rings are a favorite among occupational therapists and are great for kids with sensory processing disorders.

Fidget cube – I personally love the fidget cube. There is something so satisfying about the little clicks.

Stretchy strings – who doesn’t love stretchy string? It’s especially a hit with young children. I love this brand called Monkey Noodles.

Fidget band – Promote calmness and a feeling of security and boost your kid’s concentration levels with these fidget resistance bands. Help your children focus while moving or bouncing their feet.

Squishy toys – These mini toys are easy to carry anywhere; it’s fun to poke, stretch, and squeeze them when bored. Excellent pressure relief toys.

Infinity cube – Have fun for hours while practicing and improving finger flexibility.

Wacky track – The 24-link wacky track can be flexibly rotated and locked to 5 positions, making a satisfactory clicking sound, helping you relieve stress and have unlimited fun.

Magic ball – This makes for a fantastic travel game. It’s small, handy, and can go anywhere. Think of long car rides or waiting rooms.

Magic Snake Set – This is another one of my personal favorites. I could spend hours making different variations of the snake.

Along with using these fidgets at home, they all make for great long-car ride distractions!

Sensory fidget toys – occupational therapist

Fidget toys can be especially helpful for occupational therapists. I particularly like these three fidgets:

  • sensory balls
  • pop tubes
  • silly putty

How To Use Fidgets Effectively

Parents and teachers are often alike regarding fidgets and trying to figure out the best fidget toys for school.

Parents buy them for their children because they said they would like them, and teachers often give them out in the classroom because it seems like they need them.

Both have one thing in common, the fidget is given to the child without any direction, and when they use them as a toy instead of a tool, they get angry.

The last thing a parent wants is thinking putty stuck in the carpet, and the last thing teachers want is a stress ball thrown across the room. 

It’s essential to teach a child how to use the fidget properly. 

Step 1: You want to discuss how a fidget is a tool for the child and how it can help with focus, movement, and even the calm-down process.

Step 2: Discuss with the child when the fidget may be helpful.

It would help if you talked about a specific time.

During independent work during math, homework time, or while trying to sit still in a restaurant.

Step 3: Set up rules for the classroom or at home.

These are non-negotiable, and the fidgets aren’t used if they aren’t followed. 

Some popular rules are:

  • Think before you grab. Before grabbing the fidget, the child should consider whether it is needed. If they are unsure, discuss step #2 and review bullet #2. 
  • You can only use the fidget to help focus, pay attention, or calm down. Otherwise, it’s taken away. 
  • Don’t use the fidget if it distracts or interferes with others doing their work. If the fidget is distracting, try a different fidget or strategy. 
  • Every time you’re done with a fidget, put it back. 

Setting up these ground rules in your home or classroom will help set up a great foundation.

It will also make bringing fidgets into your classroom/home easy and help your child succeed while using them! 

The Best Fidget Toys for School or Home Final Thoughts

If you are a parent looking to get your child a fidget or a teacher looking to add some fidgets to your classroom, remember one thing.

The fidget should not distract others and shouldn’t be given to everyone as a “toy.” 

There are many options if you want to try a fidget with your children or students!

They can help kids expend their excess energy and provide an excellent way to keep busy hands from getting into trouble.

Gain access to our library of free printables!

Because we all want our kids to be happy and healthy — not just for right now, but for the rest of their lives.

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