Unless you've been away on a zen silent mediation retreat, in a coma, or under a rock for the last month, you've likely heard of the newest craze: the Spinner Fidget toy. The idea is simple: give to a child who has trouble focusing a toy that is small enough to hold in the hand and innocuous enough to not cause a ruckus in school, and she will happily fidget away while sitting in her seat and paying attention and learning everything we want her to learn.
But let's back up, say a few years or a decade or so. Givens has long had a nice collection of toys that qualify as fidgets. They vary from Crazy Aaron's Thinking Putty to colorful, curvy puzzle-like toys, and we are asked on a weekly basis (if not more often) for just that sort of thing, for there really are many, many kids out there who need to move in order to learn. Research has long suggested that sitting still in a desk for hours a day can be difficult, if not impossible, for children with conditions like ADHD, ADD, Autism, or childhood. In other words, it's a very normal thing for a child to feel fidgety, and true fidget toys can be a lifesaver for kids, for parents, and for teachers. Especially teachers.
Spinners are a hot craze, indeed, but many schools are now so inundated with them that they are being banned. Not fidget toys in general, but spinners. They require more than just passive attention, and because they are so popular, they are becoming something of a distraction.
Now, don't get us wrong...we LOVE spinners! At least half of our employees have bought them for themselves and their children, and we play with them while standing at the counter in a quiet moment, while we read, while we are on the phone thinking. They are super cool, truly. The good ones are tough and made with high performance ball bearings that allow them to, once set in motion, spin for upwards of 10 minutes at a time! They have a great variety of tactile qualities, and a perfect weight and balance in the hand. We have ordered them over and over in the last few weeks, selling out immediately every time.
And we will continue to carry them! But we'd like you to consider that we have many other options, most of which are less disruptive in the classroom, unlikely to be banned, and are easier to use without requiring active attention.
Teachers have mentioned to us that they'd rather children have a quiet fidget toy, like the Fidget Cube (shown in photo above) or Mad Matter. Before the spinner became so popular, we had even created a display of the range of toys we carry that are appropriate for use everywhere, from the movies to the classroom, to the car.
So whether you decide to give your children the spinner that they are all crazy over, or you want something less intrusive or loud, we can all happily point you to a great selection of items. Many of them we've used ourselves or with our own children through the years. Many have stood the test of time (like the Flexipuzzle and the What'zit), many are brand new, like the Molecube, and all are fun and, within reason, helpful in keeping busy hands just a wee bit calmer.