About Those Fidget Spinners

Helpful or harmful? Toy or tool?

Are these ball-bearing devices truly an antidote for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety, and autism? Or are they low-cost toys designed to drive teachers insane? Promotions for fidget spinners tout increased concentration for individuals with anxiety, autism, and ADHD. One marketing campaign suggests that a spinner may also “bring out the creative genius lying deep within you.” Okay, that is tempting.

My teacher instinct tells me that the place for fidget spinners is in the home, not at school. I actually brought up the topic of spinners during a recent dinner with teaching pals. The response was instant—cranky faces all around. What’s your take on this latest craze?

If you’re unfamiliar with the spinners, click here for an article from Live Science. Or you can simply google “fidget spinners” and you’ll find a surplus of reading material.

Eager to hear from you!


15 thoughts on “About Those Fidget Spinners

  1. Our school has banned the Fidget Spinners from school but on the other hand the Books Are Fun guy brought in a set of them for the teachers to buy. I think it is a fad like the cards the kids bring in and while they are cool, they are a distraction. so much for using them to calm those who may benefit and provide a fidget object.

  2. I’m honestly thinking this “fidget craze” hasn’t made it to my school — yet. I saw only one student with a fidget spinner this year. The student (a 3rd grader) played with it for a little while, then put it away. He told me his uncle had given it to him. I’m beginning to think this craze be around my school when the new year starts at the end of August. And if it is, teachers will either tell the students to put them away or to not bring them to school at all.

  3. I went to an awesome O.T. workshop years ago called “how does your engine run”. It talked about items that children and adults a use as a calmer.. large paper clip, small smooth rock,……that can be kept in hand or pocket without attracting attention .those figgets are a distraction if you are talking to the person who is doing it ..really they are annoying while you are talking to someone.

    • Katie, your idea of using the spinners during the last week of school is fantastic. Kids will definitely be engaged in learning and having fun too. Thanks for sharing!

      • Sure! And kids that don’t behave won’t get to participate…and I even gave optional review homework–kids who brought it back get to use their OWN spinner for the science experiment. 🙂

  4. It’s just a fad. I wouldn’t purchase one- it sometimes goes airborne and may strike a child.
    Not a good thing. It’s just one of those things that I call nonsense toy…

  5. In my limited experience with them, they can be beneficial in the right context. Just like any other tool they need to be controlled, governed, kept in their place, and used with guidelines – preferably in advance of their invasion…er… that is, inclusion. I applaud students & parents trying to up concentration levels, but of course teachers need to be in control of the class atmosphere. At times tools like these in the sole control of the students with no boundaries surrounding their use give opportunity for students to try to disregard other, perhaps more proven tools, techniques, routines, etc. previously in place, in which case the fidgets become a liability.

  6. It’s a craze at our school and everyone most students have one and simply play with it.
    Definite distraction.

  7. It’s a craze among my 4 year class. Personally I think it’s just hype and another problem brewing. Thankful none of my kiddos have brought one in as it falls under no toys from home rule I have

  8. Several schools in our district have now banned them and I heard today that the district plans to ban them. I confiscated three of them this morning after announcing to the class every day this week that if I see them out, that I would take them. They are not helpful at all to my ADHD students. They are a distracting toy. Not only distracting to the student spinning it but the others around them as well.

  9. I have look for research on fidget spinners and their claim of increased concentration for students with ADHD, autism, etc. I have found none, only anecdotal evidence. Until such research has been conducted, they are a toy. The companies making these have a brilliant marketing scam going on in my opinion.

  10. It has not helped my students who truly need them, even when taught how they should be used. They have become a distraction to them as well as others and has been banned from my classroom. They aren’t being used as a tool, but more as a toy.

  11. Weighting what might happen if a child gets careless or clumsy, I side with safety. No spinner in my classroom. Even though I seen a few cute ideas of how to use them in the classroom.

  12. They are an annoyance in the classroom. These fidget spinners distract other students . work at 2 schools, one has banned them from the classroom, and the other hasn’t despite teacher’s complaints. Those teachers are taking them away if they show up in the classroom. Students get them back at the end of the day with an admonishment to leave them at home.

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