Fidget toys for adults are not created equal and with so many jumping on the bandwagon, there are a lot of cheap copies and items of dubious effectiveness around.
Of course, spinners spin but at hugely varying rates and duration’s. Cheaper spinners tend to spin for shorter periods and to break easily, leaving their owners frustrated.
Why does this matter?
First of all, for a fidget toy to be effective it needs to work unobtrusively and with as little effort as possible for adults. The best fidget toys disappear into the background, with their users almost unaware of their presence as they use them.
While fidget spinners can be distracting at work or at home for instance, a fidget cube does not produce the whirring noise that a spinner does and can also be operated without drawing attention to yourself.
Although fidget spinners are wildly popular, they may not be as effective for certain conditions and needs as therapeutic fidget items like cubes, rollers, pads and other sensory aids.
One beneficial side effect of their popularity is that adults and kids with special needs who were already using fidget aids now feel less conspicuous in public places or in the classroom as their classmates jump on the bandwagon.
This means that, despite the work place and classroom bans of spinners and controversy over their use, the issue of attention span has been brought into the open and adults and children previously labelled different now feel more comfortable than ever using their aids and gaining benefit from them.
Arguably, you could say that the controversy over their use has opened up the debate and made fidget toys more effective for those who need them by taking away any perceived stigma.
There are a number of experts who are dismayed by the classroom bans.
“These little gadgets should be called fidget tools, not toys, and they can be part of a successful strategy for managing fidgety behavior if they are introduced as a normal part of the classroom culture,”
Claire Heffron, pediatric occupational therapist, Cleveland as reported in the Washington Post
Certainly, with so many children and adults buying into this craze, there are many who are discovering that fidget toys work far better than they expected and that what, for them, was initially another trend has become a beneficial lifestyle addition.
With such a variety of stress relief toys and fidget aids on the market, debate over the effectiveness of one type of device is offset by the option to choose another, perhaps more effective one for a particular need.
What is certain is that far more people benefit from fidget toys than gain little or nothing and this, in itself, is a good argument for using them wherever practicable and necessary.