Social media has undoubtedly a huge influence when it comes to creating trends these days. A couple of years ago, there was a hype with Rubik’s cubes. It used to be just a toy for smart and gifted kids; then all of a sudden, everyone was interested in it.
The same was true when Pokemon Go was launched last year. Only a handful of people are actual fans of Pokemon, but when the game was launched, it was like everyone has known all those cute monsters all these years. This year, the fad is all about fidget toys – more specifically, fidget spinners.
Fidget toys are the hottest new trend among youth today. Generally, these are pocket-sized toys which are created to keep your hands busy. Sounds familiar? Well, if you experienced using a stress ball in the past, then you’ve pretty much ‘played’ with a fidget toy before it was even ‘cool’.
Stress balls are basically considered as fidget toys. In fact, there are several types of fidget toys that are available – not just the fidget spinners. The craze has swept elementary and middle school kids in the last few months. It has become so popular, it is considered as the top best-selling item in the toys category according to huge product review sites.
Kids, and maybe some adults, are very fond of it. However, not everyone is impressed with this sudden rise to popularity of these toys. A lot of people may find them fun and interesting but, most often than not, they have no clue what these toys are for. In fact, almost all teachers are banning these toys from their classrooms – something that may not be a big deal for a lot of people, but is a very serious matter for those whom fidget toys are really made for.
So, what exactly are fidget toys and what are they for?
Function of Fidget Toys
Fidgeting started way before it became a craze among young people. If you have a habit of clicking on a pen, then you have actually done it before. Your pen, just like a spinner, is a fidget item and it’s created to keep someone focused while doing certain tasks.
Aside from enhancing concentration in people, fidget toys also help them relax and stay calm, especially in a very stressful situation. These toys are available in different sizes, shapes, textures, and designs. Stress balls, squigglets, spinners, and tangles, are some of the most popular types of fidget toys. Fidget toys are originally made for people with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder or ADHD and anxiety issues. It is supposed to help them stay focused. Keeping their hands busy fidgeting on this one tiny item can create a sensory stimulation or distraction.
Basically, what a fidget toy does is fine-tune the environment and divert one’s attention into a single item. For people who have troubles managing anxiety and other negative energy in their mind and body, using fidget items make them more contemplative and relaxed.
Advantages and Disadvantages of the Fidget Spinner Hype
The latest hype that everyone is having about fidget spinners has brought awareness to people what these toys are and who they are for. But while it is perfectly fine for anyone to play with these fidget toys and use them as much as they please, it is actually causing issues for those who really need them. Since almost everyone in class have these toys, it is causing major distraction for the kids, which is why teachers are banning them from classrooms. For kids who are actually struggling from anxiety, ADHD, and sensory issues, this can be quite a dilemma.
Well, their parents can just explain the situation to the teachers and request for their child to continue using the toys in class. However, it can be hard to explain to the other kids why their classmate can ‘play’ with these items while they can’t. Research is still being conducted to further understand how fidget toys work as self-regulation tools that help people to re-focus pent-up energy. Meanwhile, the hype about these toys obviously brings both positive and negative concerns. The challenge is for everyone to take the initiative to understand what fidget toys are for and to use them moderately so they won’t affect the people that actually need them.