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Should Fidget Spinners Be Allowed in the Classroom?

Should Fidget Spinners Be Allowed in the Classroom?

March 16, 2018 | Savannah Copland
Are these tools a nuisance or nifty?

The explosive popularity of fidget spinners and fiddle cubes has caught the interest of parents, educators, and children of all ages. This ingenious solution for restlessness has sparked the creation of game cards, online spinner challenges, and the introduction of fidget toys in the classroom.

Educational Benefits of Fidget Spinners

The most obvious upside to fidget toys is how engaging they are for young kids. They combine hands-on motor activity with fast motion and unpredictable results -something any preschooler loves!

  • Fidget spinners are durable, inexpensive, and easily sanitized. They're can also be purchased in large quantities, making them ideal for distribution in the classroom setting.

  • Downloadable STEM card challenges for fidget spinners are now available online. They engage children in exploratory play that educates them in science and math. Some activities include testing how a fidget spinner moves through water or counting how many can be spun at the same time.

Avoiding the Fidget Spinner in Preschool

These innovative toys are obviously great for kids and they have valuable use as an educational resource. However, some reasons to discourage these toys in toddler and preschool environments include:

  • Most fidget objects are recommended for ages 3 and over. Some variants recommend 6+ because they contain batteries. For this reason, they're better suited to elementary school level or higher.

  • Spinner toys that are not part of a lesson can cause distraction in the learning environment.

  • Preschoolers love to put things in their mouths. Fidget spinners brought back and forth to school aren't sanitized the way classroom toys would be. This can transfer germs or illnesses between home and school, or among classmates.

Toddler Friendly Fidget Toy Alternatives

    The biggest advantage to the fidget spinner craze is that it's prompted other toy manufacturers to follow suit. New toys developed specifically for hyperactivity and attention-deficit are hitting the market daily. Even though your toddlers will have to wait on the fidget spinners, there are lots of other age-appropriate classroom activity alternatives that include:

  • Wiggle seats - designed to keep attention focused while allowing for constant, seated movement

  • Stress balls and koosh balls - quiet sensory play and engaging for idle hands

  • Thinking putty or kneadable erasers - malleable, messs-free creative play

Which activities and toys do you use in the classroom to keep you little ones engaged and occupied? Join the conversation on Facebook.

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