Those who remember the days of Hit Clips and Tamagotchis know a toy fad when they see one. The latest toy mesmerizing kids everywhere doesn’t have a screen or make noise. It doesn’t even need a battery. It’s called a fidget spinner. You’ve probably seen a kid trailing his mom or dad in the grocery store playing with one or seen it on social media.
A fidget spinner is a simple, small, handheld toy that can be spun. That’s pretty much it. They have prongs or a circular rim that sticks out of a center wheel and can be spun off that center wheel, sort of like a mini ceiling fan. Essentially, you pinch the center wheel between thumb and index or middle fingers and spin the prongs that are left sticking out. To get an idea of what they look like and how they work you can virtually take one for a spin with an online fidget spinner simulator. They’re perfect for fidgety kids who would otherwise be using desks as a drum kits, biting their nails or incessantly checking their phones.
The toy was originally created to help promote a calming activity that would help people feel more peaceful, Catherine Hettinger, the toy’s inventor, told Money. She began thinking up the idea decades ago, and when her patent expired on the toy in 2005, other companies picked it up and began selling it. Now the toy, that supposedly helps lower levels of stress and help people focus is wildly popular. Hettinger has started a Kickstarter campaign to get her original spinners back on the market. They’re a little different than the spinners that have taken off. The campaign page describes the spinner as a way to keep kids out of trouble as they sit in class for hours at a time.
If you’re just looking for a simple fidget spinner to keep your hands busy in a meeting or during your commute, or even for your child, you can find them in toy stores or on Amazon. The high demand for the toys has made them difficult to find in some stores. They range in price from as low as $5 to hundreds for the most sophisticated spinners. They also come in a number of patterns and colors. Some light up, and they come in different shapes as well.
In short, the spinner can help alleviate feelings of anxiety and can help subdue the fidgety habits that come with a shorter attention span or extra energy. Pilar Trelles, a psychiatrist at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, told Health.com using such devices can help manage anxiety or ADHD. The spinners are a rapid stress management technique that could work well in addition to medical treatment. Using a spinner may help keep those with anxiety or attention challenges focus or feel more relaxed, but no studies have been done on this, so there is no proof that the devices help alleviate such symptoms.
The latest toy trend is known for helping those with ADHD, but it didn’t take long for those on YouTube to…