The Best Fidget Toys for Kids with ADHD
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Attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common medical conditions affecting American children. Kids with ADHD often have a hard time focusing, keeping still, and practicing self-regulation. Because the effects make it more challenging for the child to participate in school and other activities, they are more likely to be considered fidgeters, especially when it’s time to remain still.
Fidget toys are highly recommended by many doctors, parents, and professionals because the toys allow for a sensory fidget and stress-relief associated with being overly active. Because FamilyEducation is all about families and children, we’ve put together a list of the best fidget toys for kids with ADHD.
What to Consider When Purchasing a Fidget Toy
As Scientific American stated in their article Fidget Toys Aren’t Just Hype. “Fidgeting didn’t start with the spinner craze. If you’ve ever clicked a ballpoint pen, again and again, you’ve used a fidget item.” Now there are countless objects that are marketed specifically as fidget toys, and they have the science to back them up.
When you’re considering the purchase of a fidget toy, you want to keep the sensory fidget in mind. Kids with ADHD are looking for an extra sensory input that will help to stabilize and calm their nervous system. The hands are great self-regulation tools to focus and filter out extra sensory input.
Depending on what feels “good” to the child, you’ll want to look for toys that are manipulative and easy to hold, preferably in one hand. They can be squishy, clicky, furry, smooth, or other sensations. And as an added bonus, they often boost fine motor skills.
How We Chose Our Favorites
Lots of research and experience! I’ve been a teacher for over a decade in classrooms ranging from preschool to high school. Teachers have seen a wide range of fidget toys, and most would agree that we’re happy there are others besides the fidget spinner.
This list provides you with the best fidget toys for kids with ADHD as recommended by teachers, parents, occupational therapists, and other professionals who work with children. You’ll find a range of toys for any type of fidgeter and for any age.
Stress Balls and Squeeze Toys
Stress balls are notorious for being one of the most used stress reducers for kids and adults with ADHD, especially for those who prefer a squeezy, pumping motion for their hands.
Squeeze toys are similar to stress balls because they are squishy and squeezy, but they come in plenty of shapes than just a ball. These are great for younger kids who prefer fidget toys with character and personality.
These offer tactile stimulation, such as soft, smooth, spiky, and squeezy, and are great for sensory fidgeters.
Fidget Cubes and Puzzles
Fidget puzzles are great as a mindfulness tactic since they’re mostly brain teasers and fidgeters that require focus.
Keychains and Desk Toys
Many of the items mentioned in this article can be used as desk toys, but these are small enough to clip onto a backpack or keychain.