Fidget cubes are all the rage from elementary to high school. What are these things, why do kids love them, why do parents like them and why do teachers HATE them? Let’s break it down with this week’s Friday Fave – Gadget of the Week.
Fidget Cubes and Fidget Toys
Fidget cubes are 6-sided desk toys that will keep your fingers busy. Fidget cubes (or fidget toys) specifically designed for people who can’t keep their fingers still, and whether you’re a clicker, a flicker, a roller or a spinner, the cube has something to satisfy every type of fidgeter.
Why is are fidget cubes our favorite gadget this week? Fidget toys help with focus, attention, calming, and active listening and as a mom – this is a total win! Another bonus? These toys are CHEAP. Amazon has a great selection – many under $10.
You aren’t limited to just the cube. Since gaining popularity, there are now spinners and clickers, as well as an array of other fidget toys. These toys help keep the kids’ fingers occupied and moving which is great – especially in a classroom setting. Rather than distracting classmates – the kids can move their fingers and move around the toys or cubes various mechanisms to help them self-regulate their behaviors. (Mom tip – these are great for the car when you don’t want the kids to have technology!
Fidget Cubes and Kids
These are the new stress ball. Fidgeting is something I am guilty of, so of course – I’ve managed to pass down that fidget jean to my children.
One of our kids has A.D.H.D. (I, myself have this as well) and another child has sensory processing disorder. Fidgeting is something that we just can’t help doing – so focusing the fidgets to a toy does help bring some calm and normalcy to some situations.
For years, I had a clicker on my keychain. I would use it whenever I needed something to occupy myself with as I worked. The clicker finally clicked one too many times and died. When I noticed the fidget toys becoming popular, I was excited to get my hands on one – also to get these for my kids (especially the 2 who need to move!)
If you have a young children, check out our post – 20 toys to help fine motor skills.
Sensory Processing Disorder and Anxiety
Anxiety is another issue that fidget toys can help with. They can help the brain focus on something other than the situation causing anxiety.
Our child with S.P.D. (sensory processing disorder) has a collection of fidget toys that the teacher has provided when needed in class. Speaking of these toys, let’s look at how they are being used in schools.
Fidget Cubes in Schools
Each our 4 kids are in school and all have classmates with fidget cubes. It’s so funny to me how these trends happen. Last year, it was bottle flipping. Every single kid was bottle flipping. A few years back, who remembers silly bands? Every year there is something new – so this year, the fidget cube wins fad of the year.
It’s testing season and kids are required to sit still after they finish and read. Several of my friends’ kids were allowed to bring these toys to class to help pass time, quietly.
Could fidgets help kids in class? Here is what PJ Media says:
…a 2005 study at the University of Hertfordshire found that “children who fidget with their hands in the class learn more quickly than those who stay still.” Use of “manipulating objects,” researchers said, “is known to activate the brain.” Dr. Karen Pine, of the University of Hertfordshire stated, “Therefore, far from restricting children from moving their hands, if teachers encouraged more fidgeting in the class they might find children actually learn more.”
Why Do We Fidget?
According to Science Focus.
Fidgeting is a response to anxiety or boredom. Anxious fidgeting occurs because the body has elevated levels of stress hormones, which are prepping your muscles for sudden exertion.
More On Fidgeting
ADHD and Fidgeting
From the Boston Globe…
Julie Schweitzer is a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of California, Davis, where she’s also part of the Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders (MIND) Institute.
She has studied ADHD and fidgeting — one recent study of teenagers and pre-teens suggested that fidgeting might improve the cognitive performance of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder — but she stops short of calling fidget toys a “treatment.”
Is Fidgeting a Productivity Tool?
Here is what Fast Co Design says….
People deep in thought often have a compulsion to fidget. The action might thwart boredom during intense focus. And these mini mind breaks may even be necessary for people to perform their jobs well
Why We Fidget While We Work
Fast Company looks at why we fidget while we work.
Do your kids use Fidget Cubes and Fidget Toys? If so – have you noticed a difference? Leave a comment!