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Fidget toys.

Fidget toys!!

Who hasn't heard of them lately?

These thing are everywhere.

Your younger sibling might have one, that guys in the street, you friends, you might even own one. It's surprisingly difficult to be in a public place and not see one. This has sparked several conversations about how useful these things really are. They're the latest craze. Some people question the usefulness of them and others are all for it, some are cautious because they are literally everywhere and can be a distraction in schools.

I'm leader at my local guide unit and last time we met several of the girls had the fidget spinners. I'm not going to include a photos because we all know what they look like. At out unit there are 4 leaders including myself (we have a big unit). One of them works at a primary school so is very up to date in what these things are, the other two had no idea what they were all about. We had to convince them about their usefulness and that they could help with people with ADHD, anxiety and other things, as they were unsure about them being allowed at guide due to them being a distraction.

But is it ok for adults to have them? (yes, I did sadly include myself under the adult bracket). In college there is a slightly different view about them. Tutors are fine with them however, it's my other peers that a little skeptical.

Yes they are a big trend at the moment (please don't shoot me for saying that, we all know its true) But fidget aids have been around for a long while.

As a teenager I took my hand to street magic, for me it was the ultimate combination of manipulation, body language analyse, crowd control and self awareness. After scamming my history teacher out of £50 (what he still owes me!) I spent more time developing slight of hand. This was about the time I became a bit of a nervous wreck. I soon found myself with a deck of cards out the majority of time playing with them. Performing tricks however, gave me a sense of control. Instead of playing with my hands or fidgeting with a pencil I would find myself with a card under a desk performing the trick above. It took me over a week to learn how to do it but it intimidated the same thing that a fidget spinner does.

Fast forward to college and my love for street magic had moved on. 

Then this guy came along. 

We had a fun time explaining to the guides that fidget aids had been around a long time and were not a new thing. I'm not sure about others but during my time at secondary school this was the common one to see SEN kids with.

 For this reason I kept the fact that I had one in college quite. I had a hard time getting out of the mentality of the label that came with being lightly associated with the SEN department at school (what I kept very quiet about) and wanted nothing to do with the colleges own version of it, not to mention that I didn't need help anymore.

But back to the fidget toy.

 This one was cool. It was very tactile and helped most when I was stressed at college.

I was really skeptical of it to begin with. In my head I was almost an adult and I should be able to control my anxiety. I didn't get how having some wooden blocks on a piece of elastic string could help me in class, but it did. I thought that playing with something in my hand would distract me from what was being said and that it would have no impact on my anxiety. However, I was desperate to a solution or anything that could possibly help me so I gave it a go, not expecting it to work.

But it did. It had a real positive impact on it.

I don't know why they work, I only know that they do.

When we were trying to get the other leaders to understand how positive the spinner was, we asked one of the girls to give hers to them to try. This girl is one of the newer guides and is so hyperactive and simply won't concentrate. I had spent most the evening being worried about her because she had been so calm that week, was actually listing to us and it was so out of her personality that I became concerned. It was only half way through the evening that I noticed a gold fidget spinner in her hand under the table.

She was kind enough to hand hers over to the other guide leaders to let them have a go. As a kid my dad would always tell me not to turn my nose up at something until I had tried it myself. This was very much the case at guides and with the fidget toy craze as a whole.

I've heard a lot of negative things about them from the girls at guides. One school in our area has already banned them, what's upset her because some kids do genuinely need them. Another said that some people make fun of them for having them as in there eyes you have to be disabled to use them or had sever special needs. Even talking to some of my peers at college, they have the view that their pointless and shouldn't be allowed.

My view on fidget toys is don't complain about them until you have tried them for yourself. 

Do some people used them just to keep up with the current trend? Yes. However, there are people who they help. 

Eventually my block one grew uncomfortable so for my birthday my mum brought me a fidget cube (she knew just how much I had been using my block one). It's such an improvement. It gives me a sense of control that helps with my anxiety. It's also fantastic for grounding techniques. I know that my cube isn't going to change, so I can use the tactile things to bring myself back when I get panicky.

As an adult (hate using that word) am I embarrassed about using one? I'm going to be honest and say yes, a little.

Is it acceptable for an adult to use on though? Absolutely!

If something positive helps you. You use it. 

Having something to fidget with helps me, so I will continue to use it. 

Do I recommend fidget toys?
 Hands down. yes!

Whats your opinion on them?


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