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If your kids are anything like mine, you have a lot of wiggling, flipping, flopping, getting up and down, playing with stuff nearby, and difficulty paying attention to their online classes. They need to MOVE, and sitting in front of a screen most of the day is the exact opposite of what they need. Enter: Quiet Fidgets.
There’s plenty of points we could debate about that, but as I write this, we are still in the midst of the worldwide pandemic, and my kids’ school districts are still delivering classes via Zoom and other online platforms. I have a houseful of very distractible, wiggly, “bored” teens and preteens, so I thought I’d share some of the kinds of things we are using to meet their need to wiggle, and improve their ability to pay attention during class right now.
Please note that the links below are affiliate links, and any purchase you make through these links will help our family 🙂 (see my affiliate disclosure statement)
Fine Motor Fidgets
Much of the time, when we think of fidgeting, we think of something small we can hold in our hands and play with. It helps to keep our hands busy so our minds can concentrate on the audio/visual information that’s coming in. It’s a little bit of constant movement to help keep the rest of our bodies still when needed, or help to reduce our anxiety.
Below are some examples of QUIET items you can purchase that can be used as a Fine Motor Fidget – whether or not they were originally created for that purpose.
Need to Spin or Flip?
- Fidget Spinner – there are many varieties, but these are great. If you’re looking for quiet, non-distracting spinners, be sure to avoid any that make noise or light up or have moving parts. (And consider your child’s abilities and needs, with regards to spinner that have sharper points, holes or other moving parts.)
- Tom’s Fidgets Flippy Chain Fidget Toy – metal bike chain pieces and rings connected and spinnable.
- Roller Chain Fidget Toy – metal bike chain pieces connected together.
- Big Mo’s Fidget Toy – plastic chain snakes, bendable, can be pulled apart and reconnected.
- GoodPlay Gyroscope, 3 Pcs/Set Handmade Painted Wood Spinning Tops – colorful painted designs (not lighted)
Need to Push, Click or Pick?
- Fidget Cube – six-sided cube with something different on each side – buttons, switches, knobs, clickers.
- KeySmart Flex – Compact Key Holder (regular keys can be connected, and spun/folded in and out quietly, much like a pocket knife)
- Finduat Hand Fidget Toys Fidget Pad – flatter and longer than a fidget cube, but still offers several fidgeting options
- The Original Fidget – Purple & Silver Circle Sequin Pillow Fidget Toy – strap for holding in hand; reversible sequins
Need to Pet Something Soft?
- Soft Pom Pom Keychain Charm – for those who like something soft to run over their hands
- Colorful Boho Pom Pom Tassel – another lovely soft tassel
- Hibery 5 Pack Monkey Stringy Balls – multiple colors
Need to Pull, Stretch or Squish?
- Coiled Stretchy Wristband Keychain (pack of 5)
- Heavy Duty Retractable Key Holder – stretch and pull, then let go. Heavy duty. (A retractable ID badge is great for this too!)
- Sticky Stretchy Slingshot Flying Frogs – stretchy and satisfying – but if youre child is likely to slingshot them at his sister (ahem), maybe not, lol.
- Stretchy Bendable Man (36 Pack) – assorted colors
- FlintRehab Premium Quality Therapy Putty (4 Pack, 3-oz Each) – each color is a different firmness
Need to Squeeze, Pop or Pinch?
- Acerich 3 Pack Edamame Keychain Fidget Toys – Pop these little edamame beans up out of their pod!
- POP Sensory Fidget Keychain – one large bubble that can be popped many times; silent
- 1x Push pop Bubble Fidget Sensory Toy – hand-size sheet of ‘bubbles’ to ‘pop’ over and over, like bubble wrap.
- Hedgehog Rings – Soft, Flexible Ring with Rubber Spikes, set of 3
Need to Throw, Roll or Flip?
- Desktop Cornhole: Mini cornhole game for the desk.
- Velcro Dart Board for Kids – 11″ diameter, plastic hook & loop balls
- Novelty Place Ice Cream Shooters Toy (Pack of 12) – ‘ice cream’ ball is attached by a string
Need to Bend, Tie or Buckle?
- ArtCreativity Bendable Zoo Animals, Set of 12 – monkey, tiger, giraffe, zebra
- Ecovona – Special Needs Sensory Therapy Activity Apron – adult size, includes zipper, lace/tie, buttons, pocket…
- Sensory4u Sensory Buckle Pillow – snaps, clasps and buckles
Not Sure Which Kind of Fine Motor Fidget You Want?
- Sensory Fidget Toys Bundle – lots of different bundles available on Amazon; great way to try a few different things to see what your preteen prefers.
Quiet Fidget Blog Post Series
This is the first in a series of blog posts about various forms of fidgets and solutions to the additional sensory needs kids sometimes have. This series is by no mean comprehensive, and I am not an expert in all things Sensory Integration or Occupational Therapy. However, I have a houseful of teens and preteens who have struggled with many different sensory integration, anxiety, depression and other needs along the way. They’ve taught me a lot, and I wanted to share with you.
I will link the rest of the posts here as they are published.
- Quiet Fidgets Part 1: Fine Motor (<– you’re here!)
- Quiet Fidgets Part 2: Vestibular / Proprioceptive / Large Motor
- Quiet Fidgets Part 3: Resistance
- Quiet Fidgets Part 4: Oral-Motor
- Quiet Fidgets Part 5: Comfort/Snuggle/Cocoon/Weighted
- Quiet Fidgets Part 6: Frugal DIY Fidgets
- Quiet Fidgets Part 7: Retro Fidgets
- Quiet Fidgets Part 8: Sensory Integration Resources
Connect with Kristi
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