9 Homemade Fidget Toys, Tricks, and Alternatives
What are fidget spinners and toys? Basically, a fidget toy is a pocket-sized device you can discreetly pull out and spin, twist, or otherwise manipulate. Proponents of fidget toys claim that they relieve stress and help students focus. Others say it simply distracts. Either way, they're fun, and, like "Brain Breaks," can provide a needed break from a monotonous or strenuous task.
These homemade fidget toys and simple fidget tricks are quick, easy, cheap, and give little fingers something to do while they sit.
DIY Fidget Toys
These homemade fidget solutions are DIY, will require a bit of time, and could might be fun family craft ideas.
Take a full-sized, empty balloon, and fill it with flour, sand, cornstarch, rice, or oatmeal. Tie it off. Squeeze! Experiment with the different textures each filling provides. You can decorate them with fun faces, designs/patterns, or leave just leave them one color.
Clothespin Spring Fidget Toy
Remove the metal springs from about eight clothespins. Connect the springs to each other so that the metal endings of one go inside the spring of the next one. Once they are all linked, attach the last one to the first one, to make a complete circle.
Another easy-squeezy fidget toy is silly putty ... make your own version by putting homemade playdough inside a plastic Easter egg. If the egg has a hole, seal it with a drop of hot glue.
Fidget Spinner Alternatives & Tricks
These fidget hacks are "easy wins" that can be done with household items, no assembly or DIY required. Some of these tricks may require practice.
A simple pipe cleaner can bend into a million different shapes for a simple, pocket-sized fidget toy.
A rubber band can be carried on your wrist, and you can stretch, fiddle, fidget, and twist it in endless ways.
One fun trick is to loop the rubber band over your thumb, then pull it across the back of your hand and loop the other end over your pinkie finger. Now try to get the rubber band off without using anything to help but that hand. It's trickier than you'd expect! If it's way too easy, your rubber band is too big, and if it feels painfully tight, try a slightly bigger rubber band.
A small bag of decorative glass stones in different colors can be arranged and rearranged on a flat surface or rolled between your fingertips. They look like marbles with flattened bottoms and can be found in most craft stores.
Take a new piece of clear plastic tubing (the kind often used for fish tanks, and available at hardware or craft stores), and cut a piece a few inches long. Slide it onto the eraser end of a pencil for something to chew on. You can also fill it with small items like rice or tiny balls and turn it into a bracelet. Use a small cork piece or hot glue to attach the ends.
Coin Fidget Spinners
Coins make great fidget toys. One trick that takes some time to master is rolling a quarter along the top of your knuckles, then back again. You can also learn to spin a coin like a top: Use one finger to hold it upright on its edge, then flick the coin and make it spin. Try spinning several coins at once.
Dice Fidget Spinners
Dice, too, make fun little spinning tops. Hold the die between your thumb and middle finger, touch one tip to the table, then spin. The motion will be similar to snapping your fingers. This alternative may be a bit... unpredictable. Good for the home, but not in public.
Having Trouble Sitting Still?
If your child has trouble sitting still, I recommend you check out this article about using exercise bands to help ADHD children sit still. It is a technique being used in schools and home schools across the country with great success.