May 31, 2017
This season a new craze is hitting the office and school playgrounds: the fidget spinner.
So-called fidget toys were originally created to help develop fine motor skills in kids with autism and other special education needs.
The fidget spinners are small, ball-bearing devices that the user can rotate between his or her fingers. The momentum of the toy provides a pleasing sensory experience, according to user reviews, while the challenge of tossing, transferring and twirling the spinners has spawned an entire universe of instructional YouTube videos.
While other crazes have relied on collectability or competition, the fidget-spinner craze has taken off due to the toy’s immediately addictive nature. The sensation that comes from holding a fast-spinning contraption is a large part of its appeal. As you tilt it back and forth while it whirrs, you can feel the various spinning forces undulate in your hand.
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. Similarly, research has shown that movement can help kids with ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ) to focus.
And these small devices which go viral on internet have even proved to help kick the odd bad habit. Reviewers on Amazon claim it has helped their nail-biting urges.
One, who left a five star review, wrote: “I had a habit of biting my nails. Instead I can spin this and take my mind away from it.”
What else should I know?
Some schools have already banned fidget spinners for being too distracting, but that hasn’t stopped them taking over playgrounds. A lot of their success is helped by their affordability. While you can invest in high-end spinners that can cost anywhere between £20 to £100, your average device will only set you back around £5.
The fidget spinner industry has also exploded over the last month, and brought a huge range of different types of the toy into existence. There is also a panoply of YouTube videos and Reddit threads to be found online, featuring tutorials, trick showcases, reviews and FAQs.
If you’re interested in getting into the fidget spinner craze or just fancy seeing what all the fuss is about, then you’ll be interested to know they’re not just sold to kids. There are spinners for adults too, and they come in a variety of different colours and shapes.
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