UKEdMag: Fidget ‘toys’ vs ‘tools’ by @vicks_marshall

Fidget ‘toys’ vs ‘tools’ – This article originally appeared in Issue 48 of the UKEd Magazine. Click here to view.

I think since the fidget spinner craze, we have all become more aware of these fidget ‘toys’ and the negative impact that they can have on some students. The reason that I am referring to things like fidget spinners as ‘toys’ is that from my point of view that is what they are – they are toys not tools.

This is what makes a successful fidget tool:

  • Something unobtrusive
  • Something which is not visually stimulating
  • Something silent
  • Something tactile

The reasons I feel that fidget spinners are not helpful is because they are visually stimulating and they also don’t require a lot of ‘fidgeting’. Simply flicking a finger to move a fidget spinner is not going to be enough to keep a student’s hands ‘busy’ and their minds focused. I recommend using simple handwriting pencil grips.

Advantages of using pencil grips as a fidget tool:

  • Inexpensive
  • Silent
  • Small
  • Not visually interesting or stimulating
  • Inconspicuous in the classroom and does not draw attention to the student
  • Not easy to get on and off pencils so require a lot of effort from students’ hands

@vicks_marshall SENCo – Frome

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