Over the years, we have seen an increase in the use of fidget toys in the mainstream setting. Whether it is the ever-popular fidget spinner, pop it, or the fidget cubes, these tools can help keep our children’s hands busy.
However, a fidget toy is not something that is new. In fact, fidget tools have been used by Occupational Therapists for many years to help children with sensory processing disorders or attention difficulties.
What is a Fidget Toy?
A fidget toy is an object that accelerates attention and focus. It can help the brain to manage the child’s sensory needs.
Fidgets keep one’s hands engaged via repetitive and simple motor movements which allows them to reduce any distractions like sounds, sights, smells, lights, movements, and so on.
Sometimes, these distractions may be difficult to manage. In such cases, fidgets are helpful to calm down any emotional overwhelm. Fidgets are also commonly used by people with anxiety as it provides a calming effect in predictable and rhythmic motor patterns.
In fact, it is not uncommon for adults with anxiety to even use a key ring fidget. However, for children who struggle in stressful situations with or without anxiety, making some easy squeezy DIY fidgets might just help!
These fidgets can be held in hand, fixed to key rings, attached to a bag’s zipper, or at the end of a pencil. On the other hand, some fidgets are more of a household item that attracts people to hold, push, pull or slide it.
However, it is always important to remember that a fidget toy is used to improve attention and concentration, and not to distract the users and other children around them.
Classroom Fidget Toys
When considering making a fidget tool for your child to take to school, it is important for them to be school-friendly fidget toys. The following list may help you decide whether the fidget tool is school-friendly or not.
- Does it distract your child?
- Does it distract other children (i.e is it a quiet fidget)?
- Does it make noise?
- Could it potentially hurt other children?
Additionally, if your child does not like to appear different, it may be important to consider a discreet fidget toy.
DIY Fidget Putty
Fidget putty is a combination of the fun of slimes and the soothing nature of fidgets. Typically, Fidget Putty is a slime recipe that is made without water.
The absence of water makes it less messy and pliable at the same time. You can make this putty yourself and keep it for further use.
DIY Infinity cube
Infinity cube plays a great role to increase concentration by calming kids down. All you need to have plain wooden cubes and a long piece of duct tape to make your own infinity cube.
Tape the wooden blocks together in such a way that they can be bent with according movements over each other.
You can make it in different sizes by using different sizes and shapes of wooden blocks. Involve your child in the making process by allowing them to decorate and paint the cubes to make them more personalized.
DIY Flour Stress Balls
Flour stress ball making can be fun for your kids.
- You just need to fill a durable balloon with flour.
- You can add another layer of the balloon on top of it to avoid spillage.
- Now, tie the balloon up securely.
DIY Maze Bracelet
A maze bracelet can be a good DIY fidget that you can make with your child (might I add, it’s super fun). Hand stitch will work fine.
In this craft, the stitches do not need to be perfect and thus make it kid-friendly. You can teach your child how to sew during this process. Alternatively, you can use a sewing machine.
- To make a maze bracelet you just need a comfortable fabric or you can recycle a piece of fabric, a long piece of thread, a needle, and a marble.
- On the fabric, draw a maze.
- Sew along the lines of the maze and around three edges of the fabric.
- Place the marble at the beginning of the maze and complete sowing the last edge of the fabric.
DIY Squishy Fruits Toy
Most of the kids love squishy toys. Involving your child to make such one will be fun and satisfying.
- You simply need to have a piece of memory foam, a pair of sharp scissors, and some paint to make this squishy toy.
- Cut the memory foam and shape them as any of the cut fruit.
- Ask your child to paint and decorate the cut fruits made of memory foam.
- You can make it more fun by making a whole plate of fruit salad!
DIY Lego Fidget Cube
Making a Lego fidget cube can be an endless source of fun for kids who love playing with legos. This small fidget is made in such a way that it can be turned and twisted and thus, provides long hours of entertainment to your little munchkin.
DIY Popsicle Stick Fidget Spinner
Try making your own fidget spinner at home along with your child by using some basic materials. All you need are some popsicle sticks, washers, decorative duct tape, and a safety pin to make this inexpensive, decorative fidget spinner.
DIY Zipper Bracelets
The idea of making a zipper bracelet can be as satisfying as playing with a zipper by moving it up and down. Have your child make a zipper bracelet for themselves and wear this bracelet in their busy hands to enjoy the satisfying and calming effect.
DIY Marble Maze
Making a Marble Maze is easy – you just need a small piece of marble, a soft fabric, and embroidery thread. With these simple items, you can make an all-in-one toy that solves the purpose of a sensory and a fidget toy. Make sure to choose a fuzzy or soft piece of clothing that is soothing to touch to fulfill the sensory need. Sew the fabric in a way that your child can guide the small piece of marble through the fabric maze.
DIY Soda Bottle Cap Fidget Spinner
You can make a fidget spinner using a soda bottle cap along with your child. Though it requires a bit more hardware, it is a unique fidget toy that helps to calm down your child. Playing with this fidget spinner works as a stress buster for your kid while performing a strenuous task.
DIY Fidget Paper Clip
A fidget paper clip is the easiest that your child can make under your supervision. You need to have some palmer beads and a paper clip to make a fidget paper clip. Just put the palmer beads through the paper clip and it’s done.
DIY Weighted Writing Tool
Adding some weight to your child’s writing tool can help to boost the focus and a sense of self-awareness of your child. Buy some rubber grips and add some metal nuts or colorful beads to add weight, texture, and color to the pencil or pen. This DIY weighted writing tool also encourages children to do their homework.
DIY Paper Fidget Spinner
This is another version of a fidget spinner that you can make at home with your kids. These origami fidget spinners help your child to deal with any stressful situation. Therefore, encouraging your child to keep it handy can be beneficial for them.
DIY Desk Fidget Tool
During the stage when your child learns to write, they also learn to have controlled hand movements by adjusting the required pressure of the writing tool according to the thickness of the paper.
At this stage, you can encourage your kid to use the desk fidget tool to explore mobility. The desk fidget tool comes with a craft stick, a few plastic beads, and a pipe cleaner. Children can move the beads through the ends smoothly. This tool helps to calm them while performing a tricky task.
DIY Emoji Balloon Squishy Stress Balls
Try and make these adorable and exciting stress balls at home with just some slime and emoji balloons.
- Take a durable emoji balloon and pour the slime into it. You can perform the pouring task with the help of a funnel to avoid any mess.
- Make sure to choose a double-layered balloon for making a stress ball to ensure no spillage.
Sometimes, it becomes difficult for parents or caregivers to calm down a kid. Using fidgets can be a handy and instant stress buster solution for those moments. A little DIY fidget toy also improves focus, concentration, and attention which helps your child to perform better in their daily life.
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