With the rising popularity of phone apps and video games, it’s refreshing to see school-age children become obsessed with something that doesn’t involve a screen. But if you’re a mom or dad like me, you probably have a lot of questions about these famous fidget spinners.
These toys are the latest craze among kids, and every classroom is currently crawling with them. It is the new must-have gadget of 2016 and 2017, hailed as a go-to toy for ADHD and anxiety sufferers.
But with any new trend, there are also concerns about whether they are suitable for children in a school setting, and whether they are actually helpful. There is also a new concern over the safety of fidget spinners after a Texas mom shared on Facebook that her 10-year-old girl choked on a fidget spinner part on Saturday, May 13.
Since new reports are coming out daily either praising or denouncing fidget spinners, below are the basic facts about them so you can decide for yourself.
What Are Fidget Spinners?1/8
So, what are fidget spinners? If you haven’t already seen one, they are colorful and quirky little hand-held pieces that can easily fit into your pocket. They have a sturdy center-point with a disc that holds paddle-like wings that can orbit between your fingers. Much like a helicopter or a fan, fidget spinners can be spun on one’s finger for a couple of minutes at a time, which creates a pleasing and calming effect. They are usually made with plastic and can have bits of metal. They are lightweight and easy to carry, making them very accessible to students and office workers who want to take them out at any time.
These fidget spinners were initially marketed as tools for anxiety, as they were designed for children with ADHD and autism.
Many retailers praise them as a fantastic resource for stress relief, according to Time Magazine. They can also promote mental relaxation for those who are used to picking up their phones when they need a break. The spinning sensation allows “fidgety” hands to be occupied, which some say improve concentration.
While the tool is meant to be educational, retailers have since turned them into distracting schoolyard spectacles. Equipped with exciting patterns, colorful silicone parts, aluminum, and even light-up LEDs, fidget spinners have now become a cool fad among kids.