Toys and games come and go, as do fads and trends. Take spinners, for example. It appears that the jury may still be out as to whether spinners are still a “thing” or not. For example, a 2020 article about the widespread banning of spinners reported,
“The banning encouraged a rapid decline in Fidget Spinners sold towards the end of May. By June 26, 2017, it seemed by Google Trends/ Statista standards, that the majority of the world had lost interest in the device.”
However, according to another more recent article,
“After making their way out of fringe Instagram meme accounts and into mainstream stores, fidget spinners are now frequently found to be an everyday carry for kids and adults (and pets!). It’s easy to think that fidget spinners have passed their prime time and are no longer relevant. However, you couldn’t be more wrong.”
What cannot be debated is the enduring popularity of fidget toys in general. And regardless of whether you are looking for spinners or any other of a variety of fidget toys, you can count on finding a delightful selection at Fundemonium, the fidget store you’ve been looking for. Or, as our Fundemoniacs are prone to saying, “The best toy store EVER!” From an eclectic collection of stress balls to spinning tops (and spinners!) to tons of different types of putties and plastic clays, fidgeting can be taken to a whole new level with a visit to Fundemonium.
Fidget Toys, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and Attention Deficit Disorders
April is National Autism Awareness Month beginning with United Nations-sanctioned World Autism Awareness Day on April 2. When fidget spinners first became popular, they were often advertised to increase concentration and help focus children’s attention on academic tasks. Kids in the autism spectrum can benefit from fidget toys, as well, according to Live Science,
“There’s no doubt that toys that allow kids to fidget can benefit kids with autism. Occupational therapists often use sensory toys like tactile discs, Koosh balls and even putties or clays to soothe kids who have sensory-processing issues.”
In addition, there has been recent research to suggest that hyperactive movements, such as fidgeting, can also improve performance on attention tasks in children with ADHD, or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. The CDC describes ADHD as one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood. The condition is usually first diagnosed in childhood and often lasts into adulthood. Children with ADHD may have trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviors, or being overly active. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs), on the other hand, are a group of developmental disabilities that can cause significant social, communication, and behavioral challenges. While similar, these conditions differ in a few key areas. As Medical News Today explains it,
“Children with ADHD often have difficulty paying attention to the same thing for too long, and they may get distracted easily. Autistic children may have a limited scope of interest. They may seem to obsess over things that they enjoy and have difficulty focusing on things that they have no interest in.”
In addition, children with ADHD may:
- talk continually
- want to have the last word
- not notice how their words affect other people
- interrupt others
Autistic children may:
- have difficulty expressing their emotions and thoughts
- not use gestures to communicate
- struggle with eye contact
- fixate on one topic of conversation
- play differently — they may not understand turn-taking or imaginative play
- not initiate or respond to social interactions
How Fidget Toys Can Benefit Kids with Developmental and Attention Disorders
Interestingly enough, there are several seemingly otherwise innocuous fidget toys that can have benefits for kids suffering from different conditions. According to one pediatrics journal,
“While fidget spinners are a new phenomenon, existing therapy toys (e.g. sensory putty) have been used by occupational therapists for similar reasons, with comparably little research supporting these claims. The purpose of this review is to explore literature regarding sensory toys and examine educator/professional-reported concerns and medical adverse effects of using fidget spinners.”
There are a wide variety of “fidget toys” but it was the spinners, in particular, that fueled a sometimes contentious debate on the benefits and downsides of fidget toys beginning around 2017. The main focus was more on the distraction that these particular toys tended to create in classrooms and elsewhere. However, it has been established that fidget toys in general, however, can provide several benefits for kids, aside from just being fun! Most children who do not actually require something to help keep their focus tend to ask their parents for one of these cool fidget toys? They are just so much darn fun and your hands begin to use them without even noticing that you playing with them!
Increased Focus and Concentration
Research has shown that when kids can control or direct their movements, especially when stressed or anxious, they can also improve focus and concentration. In addition, case studies have shown that learning can be improved with fidget toys. For example, a study focusing on showing the impact of fidget toys concluded that students given stress balls had improved scholastic achievement, especially students with ADHD.
Create Movement for Stimulating the Brain Stem
One of the main functions of the brain stem is to control basic body functions such as breathing, heart rate, and consciousness. Some children’s brains can wake up but not sustain alertness, while some kids need a bit of help to even awaken. Movement is a fundamental way to trigger the brain stem and fidgeting with the hands can help by sending signals from the body to the brain to awaken and be alert. This is why popping fidget toys have become such an important tool for all of our youth to use.
Provide Fun Mental Occupation
Popping fidget toys serve to productively distract and occupy a child’s attention. As every parent and teacher knows, kids need to break up their work and study times with some free play of some sort. And dimple fidget toys can provide an easy, simple to use and contain toy to make that happen.
Reduce Stress and Anxiety
While anxiety, stress, and even learning disorders such as ADHD can affect the entire body, they most notably affect the hands and fingers. Heightened anxiety in a child can result in restlessness, shaking, and even cramping in the hands and fingers. Although fidget toys cannot prevent or eliminate these issues, they can help calm a child, since fidgeting is a calming mechanism. Fidget spinners and cubes give children a way of keeping their hands busy. In fact, one study found that fidget toys for anxiety can help relieve pre-surgery jitters in adult patients.
Hands-On Fun with Pop It Fidget Toys for Active Kids of All Ages
As we noted at the outset of this article, Fundemonium is the place in Sonoma County where you can find fun fidget toys to keep young hands busy and young minds stimulated and occupied. Oh, and we also have a mind-blowing selection of other toys, games, and hobby items, all designed for having fun and creating fun. That’s because Fundemonium is far more than just a toy and hobby store. We are a family fun experience and a place where families and kids of all ages can meet and play. And Fundemonium also offers a safe and friendly place where adults and children can enjoy creative fun. In addition to toys, we stock a huge selection of arts and crafts projects and materials, games, models, and hobby products for your entire family.
Have questions? Our friendly and knowledgeable staff makes it their business to help you have fun.
One way we can do this by always doing our best to quickly respond to your questions and website inquiries about arts and crafts (and toys!) and you can also find answers to your questions by calling us at (707) 540-0701.
So, if you’d like to speak to one of our Fundemoniacs, just give us a call during our business hours. We are open seven days a week, starting at 10am everyday.
Thank you and we hope to see you soon!