As a child psychologist, I am beholden to fidgets. They have made my ADHD evaluations and therapy sessions WAY more pleasant. The relief on kid’s faces when they spot my fidget basket always makes my day – and theirs. Instead of immediately plotting to escape, children with restless minds and bodies can settle in and focus better.
Research also supports the benefits of fidgets, formally known as quiet tactile manipulatives, for students who need higher levels of sensory input. According to Sydney Zentall, Ph.D., of Purdue University, an activity that uses a sense other than that required for the primary task can enhance performance in children with ADHD. Basically, fidgets calm their minds by busying their hands.
I have purchased numerous fidgets over the years, but a few stand out.
Here are My Five Favorite Fidgets For ADHD Kids
- Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty: I love this putty! It comes in cool colors, has fun properties (e.g., heat sensitive, magnetic, glow-in-the-dark). Kids love how it feels, and the metal tin it comes in fits neatly into a child’s pocket.
- Widget Cubes: I like widget cubes because they are small, have interesting features, such as a switch, ball and gears and and holds kid’s attention well.
- Fidget Spinners – These can come in a variety of colors and weights and entertain kids for hours. I offer spinners as rewards since they come in multi-packs, are super-affordable, and kids love them.
- Silly Putty –This classic child favorite entertains well because it creates resistance, is a perfect size for children’s hands, and fits in a compact egg-shaped container.
- Acupunture Rings– These little rings are PERFECT for kids because they’re fun, can worn without drawing too much attention from classmates, and the ring applies light acupuncture to the finger to relieve tension and add sensory input. Kids love to roll them back and forth on their fingers and squeeze them. Plus, they’re super affordable.