The Benefits of Fidgets!

November 3, 2015

Squish, twist, flip, or squeeze. A good fidget can be a parent, teacher or student’s  best friend in the classroom.  They can mean the difference between focusing or drifting away or possibly the difference between a stressful day or a calm relaxing one.  What is a fidget you ask and how can it benefit my child?  Let’s explore the world of classroom fidgets and how they are making a huge difference for students at all levels.

What is s fidget?  To the untrained eye a fidget looks like a toy, or worse yet a distraction in the classroom.  In fact, it is exactly the opposite. A fidget is a small object (preferably one that fits in the child’s hand), that can be squeezed, pulled, or moved around as the child sits and listens to the teacher. Fidgets can be toys, games, or everyday things such as pens, jewelry, or pocket change.

What is the point of a fidget?  For many children (and even adults), fidgeting is a normal behavior.  We often fidget when we are trying to concentrate or pass time. Some students fidget because they are stressed or nervous in the classroom. This is especially true with students struggling with learning disabilities and/or neurological disorders such as autism. While it might seem like fidgets are distracting, they actually take care of “antsy” behavior—making us more relaxed and evening out our energy levels.

Benefits of Fidgets – Fidgets can serve many purposes in a classroom including the following:

  • Research on fidgets shows that if movement can be directed, it can enhance learning. Test scores improve and students report they can focus better on what is going on in the classroom with a fidget in their hands.
  • Movement is essential for learning because the learner is required to use both the left and right hemispheres of the brain. Kinesthetic learners can actually absorb more information if they can move or “fidget” while learning.
  • Fidgets are affordable can can be a quiet way to reduce stress.
  • For students who concentrate better with sensory feedback a fidget may be a good solution for a child who chews clothing, rocks, or needs to tap a pencil incessantly.
  • Fidgets are socially acceptable and will not single a child out like other actions may.

Fidgets come in different sizes, shapes, weights, and textures. These different characteristics provide different pressures and sensations to the nervous system. Find one that is right for your child by following the links below.


Autism Resources