Pediatric Occupational, Physical,
ABA/Behavioral, Feeding, Speech
and Language Therapies
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Cookeville, TN 38501
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"Fidget Toys"

What Is A "fidget toy?"

If we were business executives we would call them "stress toys," and our desks would be full of them! Fidgets (and stress toys) really do de-stress the body and help increase focus and attention. Fidgets have particular properties that intrigue our sensory systems. The components could be the:

  • Interesting tactile composition such as squeezable or spiky massagers

  • Heaviness or pliability of the product

  • Movement opportunities it provides our hands (can the child squeeze it?)

  • DOES NOT make any noise, so it not a distraction to others

  • Several different ones that are small enough to put in pockets

Adults most frequently use their fidgets near the telephone. Language production is a high-level task and creates both positive and negative stress in our system. We doodle, flip things in our hands, and do this naturally to keep our brains thinking better!

Many schools today have one common rule. No toys allowed at school. However, in this language-filled learning environment, some teachers and speech-and-language therapists consider fidgets tools, not toys, and create a toolbox that can be manipulated during circle time, discussion groups or where focus is required.

Remember, when "sit still and pay attention" isn't enough to get them paying attention, that's when fidgets work best combined with things that allow a little movement such as move and sit seat wedges!

Google fidget toys and see all the amazing ideas out there.  My favorite is water beads inside a balloon!

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