Contrary to popular belief of critics who like to parade that they know everything about our children, there is likely no way to cure Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). However, what is possible for parents, teachers, even neighbours, is that we can help our children by giving them the tools to succeed with these 7 Best Fidget Toys for ADHD, thus taking the pressure off children when it comes to improving focus at home, in the playground, and in the classroom.
What is ADHD?
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder refers to a medical condition which is generally characterized by having difficulty in self-control, the ability to sit still, and maintaining periods of concentration.
ADHD mostly affects children, however, the typical traits can be experienced throughout the stages of life, progressing into adulthood. Persons with ADHD have difficulty in controlling their impulses and also in concentrating on specific tasks or on whatever that is happening around them.
At first, it may seem counter-productive – eliminating the difficulties of concentration by providing a child with ADHD or an adult with ADHD with a fidget toy to hold. This view is perfectly reasonable coming from people who are not yet entwined in the life of ADHD or special needs.
How do Fidget Toys for ADHD help?
Fidget toys for ADHD are used as an easy tool to assist children and adults to concentrate and to remain alert and calm, in an environment that may be overloading their sensory input. What these fidget toys are essentially doing is keeping a child’s brain busy by satisfying the need for sensory stimulus input, therefore providing extending periods of concentration.
What we experienced in our home, and as many families the world over experienced too is an instant and substantial increase in the ability for their child to concentrate on tasks that prior to introducing fidget toys would have been impossible.
Great, let’s grab all the Sensory Toys!
Now, unfortunately, it’s not as simple as throwing a bunch of sensory toys to a child and saying fiddle with these and let’s get some concentration happening – we thought it was like this when we started our journey with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and ADHD… boy was we wrong!
You have probably heard this (or said this) a million times (and no doubt you are sick of having to say this to all those parents at school who think they know):
“If you know one child with ADHD or ASD then you know what it is like for just that child with ADHD/ASD“
Every child, every adult, living with ADHD is different. Repeat, EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT!
What works for our son Nash, does not work for our eldest Fynn. Nash has very high oral sensory needs. We cannot count the times we have dressed everyone ready to go out and then bam… we have to change Nash’s shirt because he has spent 10 minutes sucking on his shirt and sleeves.
The weekly load of non-school and work-related washing was always predominantly filled with certain young misters clothes. This was driving us insane in its own right, until one day it stopped.
We decided to invest in a bunch of oral sensory toys – think chew necklaces etc. Now, at first, it was hard to tell the difference between the dog’s chew toy and Nash’s chew toy! Okay, settle, we didn’t have trouble – we knew the dog’s chew toys were much larger.
Back to the problem at hand, we were trying to apply the sensory tools we knew worked for our eldest for our youngest – silly us. From memory, I think we spent close to $120 ordering random fidget toys that looked good.
Basically, none of these worked for Nash except for one fidget toy on a leash type thing which was going great until it went to school the next day… and it was hurled at the teacher – all before the first break tsk tsk. Lesson learned.
Over the last few years, we have churned through fidget toys and sensory tools so we have put together a shortlist of 8 Fidget Toys for ADHD that we recommend:
Flippy Chain Fidget Toy Stress Reducer
The Flippy Chain Fidget Toy is made of interlocked bike chain links that are connected to steel rings. Don’t get us started on the number of hours we have spent messing with it trying to figure out how it was put together let alone break it haha.
The fidget toy is very compact and very light (meaning reduces the damage if thrown #bonus) which makes it easy to carry in the pockets of school pants. This fidget is also rust-free due to the stainless steel that is used in the design.
What does your child do with it? Children with ADHD simply hold it in one hand and continue to flip it back and forth over each end in their fingers. Beware: these flippy chain fidgets are very addictive fidget toys.
You can find these great quality flippy chain fidget toys here.
Parents – this fidget toy is one you will likely be able to appreciate.
These marble fidget toys are great for so many reasons. The mesh is flexible enough and very quiet to fiddle with, while allowing children to squeeze, pull, twist, squish, roll, and bend – and no, this isn’t one of those dreaded but fun Bop It toys.
As if you didn’t need any more convincing, these marble fidget toys are easy to wash which means these can benefit children looking for oral input as well as fidgeting for ADHD. Just throw it in some warm water and detergent and it will come out looking brand new.
Oh yeah, if you manage to break the marble out of the mesh then the fidget toy is not lost – as now you have an insanely cool marble to add to the collection every family has hiding away in the cupboard! We should make it clear though, these are really tough to break and you can find the marble fidget toys here.
Disclaimer – It’s getting to a point we might just cut the marble out of a few when the boys aren’t looking just so we can have a trip down memory lane!
These trendy hedgehog rings are very popular at the moment, with many OTs and teachers recommending them to parents,
The rings are effective for tactile sensory stimulation and are made from soft and durable spiky silicone rings. Your child can squeeze, twist and roll them to provide a deep sensation. Don’t forget, they are easily cleaned and non-toxic which makes it great for children and adults of all ages and needs requirements.
Tangle Jr fidget toy
In 2018 the Tangle fidget toys took over classrooms and bedrooms the world over. They are great for children of all ages to use as fidget toys for ADHD because they easily wrap around little hands and big hands.
Tangles are the perfect way for children to express their creative side in a whole new light. More importantly – your child is going to rip it apart, but that is fine because they are meant to be taken apart, put back together, and used over and over.
You can find the Tangle Jr fidget toy here and even better – it comes in a pack of three with different colours meaning you can kit out the whole family, or stash two away for those terrible days when an imminent meltdown is on the verge because the first one is missing.
Monkey Noodle fidget toy
Kids like to stretch things all the time – it is why we have a strictly no slime rule at our house – because they stretch slime so much and then it crumbles into the carpet. These Monkey Noodle fidget toys though, they stretch really well… like up to 8 feet (or 2.4 metres depending on where you live) which is crazy considering they are only 12 inches long.
These Monkey Noodles are quite durable, and once stretched they bounce right back to their original shape as if nothing had happened.
Dog Tag Chewies
Is your child constantly chewing their fingers, pencil, hair, clothes, nails, toes? If this sounds like your child then you likely have a case of oral sensory seeking at its finest!
We absolutely LOVE these dog tag chewable necklaces. Firstly, they are not as thick and heavy as the other chewables we have tried – they were conveniently turned into a missile and hurled at a teacher. These dog tags are very light and look real bad-ass for boys and girls alike.
Our son thinks he is so cool with his soldier tags, every time we go to the RSL for lunch he wears them loud and proud. It is adorable, but it also stops him from sucking on his clothes! yay!
I think we have just about made it to the other side of the fidget spinner craze, congrats – you survived!
If you have been living under a rock then you won’t know that fidget spinners became a cult hit with children everywhere, however, they still do a great job at calming and focusing children with ADHD.
Fidget spinners are rather controversial, your school might not allow them but if they do and are managed properly they really are very effective at improving concentration. You can find fidget spinners everywhere and most are dodgy and poor quality, but we have used these cheap but slightly pricier fidget spinners than the el’ cheapos that are everywhere.
We were going through the cheapo fidget spinners every 2 or so weeks until we found these awesome premium brass fidget spinners which are quiet and spin high speed for over 3 minutes at a time. Our boys love removing the configurable bars and spinning on different setups.
Apparently, they are “so cool”.
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P.P.S. TL;DR Skimmers version