How Fidget Toys Can Help With ADHD, Anxiety, & Sensory Issues

Fidget toys aren't just hype. While some may find the small sensory toys distracting, fidget toys can have practical uses for helping with ADHD, anxiety, and other sensory issues. Tactile sensory toys come in all shapes, textures, and sizes. They're not a one-size-fits-all type of toy. Different kinds of fidgets can meet different needs.

While it may take some trial and error to find fidget toys that work best for your child, it's worth looking into. We're covering everything you need to know about fidget toys and how they can benefit learning, focus, and ease anxiety.

Understanding Fidgeting

While the fidget-spinner craze of 2017 may have gained sensory toys worldwide popularity, gadgets to keep your hands busy have been around long before. Fidgets may look like your everyday toys, but in reality, they're therapeutic devices that can have a big impact on someone's day-to-day life.

Ever since fidget-spinners became one of the most sought-after toys, many teachers banned disruptive toys from their classrooms. It's important to note that not all sensory toys are the ever-popular fidget-spinners. There are plenty of less-distracting pocket-sized devices that won't interrupt the teacher's lesson.

How Do Fidget Toys Help With ADHD?

ADHD toys are created to help children who have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) focus. Bridget Gilormini, director of the PACER Center's Simon Technology Center, says, "Fidgets give the user an opportunity to give their hands or bodies something to do, and allows their brain to then focus on the task at hand, such as listening to a teacher or reading."

Sensory toys can help students (and adults) with ADHD concentrate on the task at hand. Sitting in a classroom or Zoom class (since this is 2021) is hard for any child, but sitting and trying to focus for the whole day is even harder for students with ADHD. Small, non-disruptive toys with sensory appeal can drastically improve the classroom experience. How? For people with ADHD, sometimes doing two things at once allows the brain to hone in on the primary task, in this case, learning or focusing on the lesson.

Fidgeting often requires using both hands as well. When the hands are at the midline of the body, it automatically sends a signal to both the brain's left and right sides. When both sides of the brain are active, they work together to perform a wide variety of tasks.

Anxiety Toys Help Calm, Soothe, & Relax

Some fidget toys can help drastically reduce anxiety. When we can focus on an object, it allows our brains to filter extraneous sensory information easier. Anxiety toys keep the hands busy. Whether it's a small sensory toy attached to a keyring or something subtly kept in your pocket, keeping the hands engaged in simple, repetitive motor movements helps us 'tune out' stress-inducing sensory overstimulation.

If you've ever used a stress ball, the technique is similar. Like a stress ball, most fidget toys are considered a rapid stress management technique (RSMT). Fidget toys are a common coping mechanism for people with anxiety because they make self-soothing predictable. The toys provide rhythmic, expected motor patterns that help expend nervous energy. The repetitive, rhythmical movements when playing with a fidget toy help slow down breathing, decrease anxiety, and induce feelings of overall calmness.

Which Sensory Toys Are Best?

There's no lack of fidget toys on store shelves. When you or your child requires a toy to squeeze, spin, or play with, there's a lot to consider. Sensory toys to help soothe anxious minds and help people with ADHD concentrate better should be relatively simple. These toys should offer a dose of calm, not become another distraction. 

It's best to avoid over-the-top fidget toys with lights and too many moving parts. Fidget and ADHD toys shouldn't be used as toys to "play" with, rather a tool to expend anxious energy, nerves and increase focus safely. Try to avoid sharp edges and pinch points as well. Safety, durability, and effectiveness are key. The last thing you want is to get poked or pinched when you're already nervous or trying to concentrate on something. Lightweight, smooth, easy-to-use toys are often the best.

Fidget Toys By Fidget 2 Give

At Fidget 2 Give, we sell fidget toys like Pop Its, Squishes, Mochi's, and other tactile sensory toys to help children and adults focus, manage stress, and transfer anxious energy from their brain to their fingers. 

Sometimes finding the best fidget toys takes a little trial and error. If you're looking for a great sensory toy for your child, try to understand your child's behaviors and inclinations to find the best toys for them. We're here to help to make life, learning, and living a little easier for anyone living with ADHD, stress, or sensory issues. Our collection of fidget toys help ease the symptoms of ADHD, anxiety, and sensory sensitivity. 

Fidget 2 Give is committed to giving back to our local community. For every toy we sell, we will be proudly donating a toy to our local Pediatric Therapy Centers.