WHAT IS A FIDGET?
WHAT IS A FIDGET?
The fidget craze is sweeping across Australia, but fidgets have actually been around for years. Experts say that Fidgets are good for conditions like ADHD, anxiety and stress in children and adults alike. In fact, if you’ve ever clicked a ballpoint pen over and over yourself, you’ve already used a fidget! We also like to call them “Fidget Tools”, or “Brain Tools” to avoid the negative connotation of “fidget” and using these terms can also help teach the child they are using them as a ‘tool’ to help their brain so they can focus.
HAVE YOU NOTICED?
Have you seen your child sitting in a waiting in a room, at the dinner table or riding in the back of the car and they are always touching at things? They are always fidgeting for things and just wanting something in their hands? Teachers, have you had a child reach out and grab things, pick up small items and play with them, seeking out other children’s laces?
WHY ARE THEY DOING THAT?
You may have had these experiences and wondered why are they doing this? Why must they have something in their hands?! You may be familiar with some of the concepts and terms of sensory integration?
In many of these situations, children are ‘seeking’ extra sensory input that they may not otherwise be receiving from their environment. Some refer to this as a ‘high threshold’ to neurological input, and therefor, the more input they get, the more alert an organised their minds can be. Amazing right.
The concept of fidget toys is based on this, where children are seeking things to touch and feel, to provide the ‘just right’ amount of sensory input, to calm their nervous system. Fidget tools are therefor often used to provide sensory input in a less distracting way.
Fidget tools can help improve concentration and attention on tasks by allowing the brain to filter out extra sensory information (e.g. listening to the teacher in the classroom, paying attention to a book during circle time). By having a fidget toy, a child may be able to better ‘filter out’ excess sensory information in their surroundings and their own body, which is causing them distraction, and encouraging this sensory information to be focused on a toy in their hands instead.
Fidgets can be bright, colourful, interesting, stimulating, calming, noisy, quiet, textured, smooth, and there are so many you can pick from, that you can find the one that is right, for you or your child. Fidgets encourage play and cognitive function and have been know to help greatly with stress and anxiety, so give them a go!