Sitting in a classroom all day is difficult for any child, but for a student with ADHD, sitting still and listening for an entire school day can be particularly difficult. Fortunately, accessible treatments, such as classroom fidgets, can help kids with ADHD function better in the typical classroom environment. Small, non-disruptive toys or things with a sensory appeal that kids can fidget with during the school day are known as fidgets. Fidgets improve the school experience, according to ADHD experts, because doing two things at once permits a child’s brain to focus more on the primary job.
Fidget Tools, Sensory devices, Tools for concentrating, these gadgets are known by a variety of names and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. However, all of the tools may be used to create minor movements, usually with your hands or feet, and many of them also provide tactile feedback. Instead of calling them “fidget toys,” call them “fidget tools” to assist your students to remember what they’re for. The tools aren’t just for fun; they can aid with self-control, focus, and relaxation.
Many teachers think that providing the opportunity to employ fidget toys benefits all of their kids. Teachers love them especially in primary school when many pupils have high levels of energy and few opportunities to expend it during P.E. or recess. Fidget toys can be relaxing and calming for children with autism because they help them meet their sensory needs. The tools can provide a movement outlet for youngsters with ADHD, allowing them to focus and concentrate better. Fidgeting can help some people who suffer from anxiety.
There is plenty of anecdotal evidence as well as evidence from research that shows other teachers think fidget tools help their children during class. If you’ve made it through the fidget spinner craze in your classroom, you may be hesitant to introduce other fidget toys. Fidget spinners have even been prohibited in some schools because they are noisy and distracting for both the user and the children around them (especially light-up options). Students can also use them as a toy to do tricks. Fidget spinners were also being traded, stolen, and broken in schools. Fidget spinners demand attention when spinning and doing stunts, which disrupts the entire class’s focus, which is the polar opposite of their original function.
A useful fidget toy Is silent and secure and can be utilized without being seen (so the user can focus on the lesson). To eliminate distraction, it can be utilized out of sight of other youngsters. Make sure that it meets your student’s sensory requirements (some students love specific textures, while others avoid them), fits your student’s physical ability (he or she must have fine motor skills or strength in order to operate the item), and that it is reasonably priced (or, if more expensive, long-lasting)
Here are our favorite picks for fidget gadgets in the classroom, from stress balls to squeeze under their desks to resistance bands to kick when tied beneath their chairs.
With stress reduction squeezes, you can get back to basics. These beautiful stress balls are an excellent option for younger children who may not always follow instructions on how to properly use fidget gadgets. They’re ideal for mild squeezing to assist your student focus and pay attention. These stress balls and anxiety relief toys are filled with tactile beads that are pleasant to squeeze, making them ideal for children and adults of all ages. These kids’ balls are 2.4 inches in diameter and fit nicely in their palms. Pink, blue, green, rainbow, purple, yellow, orange, black, white, two-tone, clear, and red are among the vibrant color selections. They’re small and convenient to carry everywhere.
Therapy putty is a great fidget tool because it is squishable, rollable, and silent. Choose smaller containers, put your pupils’ names on the lids, and place one at each child’s desk. Your pupils can just place it back in the container and close the lid at the conclusion of the session, and it will be ready for the next day. Alternatively, keep a few containers of putty in your fidget toolbox and let your pupils experiment with it.
This set of 4 containers can be enough for smaller classrooms. You might need to order multiple cases if your class is larger.
This FootFidget attaches to your current desks and allows your children to channel their fidgety energy against the ideal amount of resistance. Leg extensions are included with the package, allowing you to transform the workstation to a standing desk for use with the FootFidget. This ergonomic footstool beneath the desk, designed by a former NASA scientist, softly elevates your feet, legs, and knees to help enhance circulation and restore your natural energy. It also boasts a well-balanced rocker structure, with curved “feet” on the bottom with anti-slip grips that allow it to roll and tilt without slipping or sliding.
Try a hand exerciser if you want something fascinating like a fidget spinner but without the distraction of kids trying to learn tricks. Multiple buttons on the exerciser can be pressed individually or all at once. Additionally, the resistance will improve your student’s hand muscles. The anatomical design of this yellow 1.5-pound resistance exerciser fits the resting posture of fingers. The newest model’s unique fingertip design ensures that fingers are appropriately positioned every time, preventing useless exercises. An extra notch in the center of the bar guarantees that fingers are properly positioned to keep the thumb from shifting during the workout.
Try TheraBand resistance bands if you’re seeking a less expensive solution. Simply cut the band to the appropriate length and tie it over your student’s chair’s front legs. Your pupils can either lay their feet on top of the band and gently push down, or they can put their legs behind the band and try to lift their feet forward. You can even split the roll with a fellow instructor to split the cost, depending on how much of the band you’re using.
These pop tubes are a fun and functional sensory toy that pops stretches, and connects, making them the go-to playtime toy. The toys are designed for all busy little fingers, but they’re particularly fun for children with special needs. Tactile stimulation, fine motor skills, and auditory input are all provided by special needs toys like these sensory tubes. This is an excellent addition to your autistic toy collection. Physical therapy toys that stimulate and inspire are also included in these sensory toys. Green, pink, purple, and blue are among the colors available in each pop tube kit.
A pedal exerciser may be a better option for children who have a lot of extra energy. It’s a more pricey fidget gadget, but it’s also more durable, so you might want to acquire one and have your pupils take turns using it. Simply position it beneath your student’s desk and let them pedal away while writing or listening! The pedals are easy to store due to their foldable form. During training, its four anti-slip rubber pads prevent sliding and protect surfaces.
Are you looking for a different way for students to sit? Balance and core strength are required when using exercise balls, which also allow children to shift while seated. For students who wriggle in their seats, they’re a terrific solution. Allow your pupils to use them at their desks, or place a few on a dedicated table where students can leave their work and “get the wiggles out.” When the balls are not in use, stack them to keep them organized.
These come in 4 vibrant color options and a range of five sizes so that you can mix and match according to your needs.
This chair, which combines an exercise ball and a rolling desk chair in one product, is a good alternative if you need a bit of additional assistance. Although this alternative is pricey for a full class, the wheels make it easy to relocate when students share. Leading health and fitness professionals created this device to boost general well-being and provide an active outlet for having to sit for lengthy periods of time. Keep in mind that it may be necessary to re-inflate the ball after initial inflation to allow the ball’s material to stretch to its final size.
This weighted lap pad relieves fidgeting by applying deep pressure. When on your lap or top of a desk, gently press the microbead-filled pad to move the glitter around as a hand fidget. The blanket is the only lap cushion with a removable washable cover that provides comfort and aids in relaxation and calmness. The coveted Parent Tested Parent Approved (PTPA) Seal of Approval has been awarded to only one weighted lap blanket.
For seated mobility, this is our top pick. For active sitting, just place a stability disc on your student’s chair. They provide sensory movement without causing others to become distracted. Because of their smaller size, these fidget gadgets are easier to store than exercise balls. They also wipe clean to keep your classroom free of germs.