Fidget Spinners: Schools Ban Latest Kids Toy Craze; What Parents Need To Know

By Amanda Moore, Parent Herald May 04, 04:00 am
WATCH RELATED VIDEO
Fidget spinners have been around while but school kids recently discovered it as a stress relief tool. PICTURED: A simple design for fidget spinners.
(Photo : Unbox Therapy/YouTube)

There's a kids toy craze that's supposed to also help children deal with daily stress. They're called fidget spinners and they have been cleverly marketed for people with ADHD, autism and anxiety issues.

Schools, however, started imposing a ban on these fidget spinners because the toy is becoming a big distraction in classrooms. BBC reported the item has been around a while but its popularity among school children recently peaked.

"It's become a playground toy as well as something that is used by children to stop them from fidgeting," teacher Danielle Timmons said. She, however, also said it has gotten in the way of learning for some kids because their focus is on the toy and not in the lessons.

Teacher Christina Bolusi Zawacki wrote why she found fidget spinners a distraction in a viral essay on Working Mother. "I worry about the students in the room who are completely thrown off-track because it's all they see." Here's what else parents need to know about fidget spinners.

Fidget spinners are mechanical gadgets designed with prongs and held with a bearing in the middle. The bearing allows the toy to spin smoothly on a child's hand, which triggers stress relief. It's "oddly satisfying and addictive, according to this video below.

Fidget spinners rose through the list of best-selling toys as of April 2017 on Amazon. Prices vary from $2 to $10 without shipping or depending on the brand or material. Convenient store 7-11 also carried the toys in its franchises.

Florida local Catherine Hettinger, 60, invented fidget spinners after decades of developing the idea. "It started as a way of promoting peace, and then I went on to find something that was very calming," she told Time.  She said the popularity surge seen today, following her over 20-year-old invention, indicated how much trying these times are for children.

Mom Ro Marks told Today fidget spinners helped one of her sons in his 504 plan for special needs kids. She, in fact, wrote her sons' school when officials decided to ban the toys and asked for consideration.

Experts, however, are not too quick to jump on the idea fidget spinners help kids with special needs as there are not enough studies. "Using a spinner-like gadget is more likely to serve as a distraction than a benefit for individuals with ADHD," the University of Central Florida clinical psychologist Mark Rapport told Vox.

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