Fidget Toys Can Make A Difference For Children With ADHD
In recent years, toys like fidget spinners and pop-its have risen to popularity across the globe, and are commonly used by both kids and adults. While these toys can be fun, they actually have a wide variety of benefits for children— especially those diagnosed with ADHD— that should not be overlooked.
Human beings are all different, and the ways in which we learn reflect that. We need to ensure that each of these learning styles are addressed with care, and that each child has the tools they need to succeed in the classroom. Fidget toys may make a big difference in a child’s daily life, helping them build healthy habits that serve their academic career.
How To Look At Fidget Toys
It is necessary for us to reframe our thinking about fidget toys here. They are not simply “fun items” but therapeutic tools. Fidget toys have been proven to help children with ADHD, anxiety, and other sensory issues.There have been an array of studies done that demonstrate the efficacy of fidget toys to combat stress, anxiety, and restlessness in children, as well as their ability to help them hone in on tasks and focus in the classroom.
Many fidget toys require the use of both hands, and it has been shown that when the hands are centralized around the midline of the body, this promotes a dialogue between the left and right hemispheres of the brain, optimizing our capacity to absorb information and complete tasks. While playing with these tactile toys children are able to increase focus and attain higher levels of comprehension.
Connecting Play & Anxiety
For kids who suffer from anxiety, occupying the hands with the simple movements of a fidget toy can help expend nervous energy and help them to feel grounded. The rhythm of the fidget toy can become a familiar beacon when they are stressed or triggered by things in their environment.
Sitting for long periods of time can be challenging for anyone, especially a child with ADHD. Some studies have shown fidget toys to be extremely effective in keeping kids awake and focused in lessons. Keeping the hands busy sends signals to the brain to stay alert and awake, heightening kid’s ability to focus on the task at hand. They can also be used in short breaks from academic work. Sometimes, taking a short mental break from the work can put a child in the right state of mind to return to tasks with a renewed sense of clarity and focus. (Understanding Sensory Toys and Sensory Play)
What Are Rapid Stress Management Techniques
Fidget toys are considered RMSTs or Rapid Stress Management Techniques, and can be built into any plan to make self-soothing not only possible, but predictable. Giving children this kind of structure can go a long way in helping them learn to navigate and overcome these daily challenges.
Finding the right fidget toy to suit your child’s needs is important, and there are a few good rules of thumb to stick to. Keep it simple and avoid any toys with too many moving parts or flashing lights. Keep it gentle and avoid any toys that have sharp angles or edges— the last thing you want when you’re interacting with an item designed to help with stress, it for it to poke or stab you unexpectedly. Toys should be a reliable source of calm.