21 Alternatives To Fidget Spinners That Can Help Your Kid Focus

By
Share
Ad failed to load

Doodling to improve focus and memory? That's so last year. A new wave of attention-boosting items has hit the scene, and although they may look a lot like regular toys, these sensory-soothing items are more therapeutic than trinket. If you're child struggles with focus, stress, or a case of the wiggles when it's time to get down to business, you don't need to run out to purchase the latest trend in order to streamline their attention. In fact, there are plenty of alternatives to fidget spinners that offer the same results (and don't have you adding your name to waitlists at specialty toy stores or hoping those online backorders fill ASAP).

According to Additude magazine, a publication dedicated to publishing all aspects of Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), "an effective fidget toy doesn’t distract you from your primary task because it is something you don’t have to think about." The sensory input from things such as fidget gadgets creates a calming, focused effect in the brain, according to the Center of Development, Pediatric Therapies. These 21 toys for fidgety bodies can be especially useful for kids who struggle with concentrating or listening for long periods of time, or anyone who just needs a little boost in focus.

Ad failed to load

1Thinking Putty

Amazon

Crazy Aaron's Thinking Putty, $16, Amazon

Open the brain for creativity while keeping hands busy is a double win. Your kid will love Crazy Aaron's Thinking Putty ($16) for the relaxing nature it induces and you will love that it keeps them happy and busy for long stretches of time.

2Fiddle Sticks

Trainers Warehouse

The Bendeez Fiddle, $10, Amazon

Kids can bend, twist, and twirl these special sticks into any shape they can think of. The Bendeez Fiddle ($10) comes in a variety of colors and gives little hands something to do while listening and learning.

3Flippy Chain

Amazon

Flippy Chain Fidget Toy, $8, Amazon

Approach the fidgets in a new way with the interlocking pieces of the flippy chain fidget toy ($8). With more than one way to use this toy, kids can experiment with new ideas for playing with each use.

Ad failed to load

4Sensory Ring

Amazon

Spiky Sensory Ring, $12, Amazon

With so much tactile input, the spiky sensory ring ($12 for three) is a great form of stimulation for kids who struggle with focus. In addition to its therapy-like nature, this toy is also hypoallergenic, nontoxic, and free of BPAs, phthalates and latex.

5Bead Ball

Office Oxygen

Therapy Bead Ball, $4, Office Oxygen

With soft nodules on the outside and tons of microbeads on the inside, the therapy bead ball ($4) is perfect for squeezing, stretching, or rolling across the palm of the hand.

6Fidget Ball

Amazon

Fidget Ball, $12, Amazon

A great alternative to spinners or squeeze toys, the fidget ball ($12) may produce a zen-like state. Made of connected rings, every ring turns over the next in a spinning pattern, creating a rhythmic play experience.

Ad failed to load

7DIY Jewelry

LeoNeoBoy/Pixabay

Make your own fidget item at home with a simple craft. Create a non-toxic bead bracelet or necklace that can be chewed and fidgeted with, as Mothering magazine suggested. Just make sure you use a cord or string that's can hold up against all the wear and tear.

8Chewable Pencil Topper

National Autism Resources

Chewable Pencil Topper (3 PK), $6, Amazon

Safer and less damaging than chewing on pencils, hair, or clothes, a chewable pencil topper ($6) will do the trick for those who like to keep their teeth busy.

9Spikey Gloves

Soar Life Products

Spikey Gloves, $11, Amazon

Use them to paint with or wear them for pressure and tactile therapy — a pair of spikey gloves ($11) are great in either the home or classroom for getting sensory systems in sync.

Ad failed to load

10Bouncy Foot Band

Discount School Supply

Bouncy Band For Chairs, $14, Amazon

If it's your child's feet that have the wiggles, perhaps a bouncy band for chairs ($14) will do the trick. This is great for the classroom since it allows kids to silently fidget without causing distractions.

11Zipper Bracelet

Stimtastic

Zipper Braclet (12 PC), $11, Amazon

Fidget toys can be stylish too and the perfect example is this zipper bracelet ($11) which comes in an assortment of colors and can connect to other zipper bracelets with the clasp.

12Smooth Stone

Hans/Pixabay

Sometimes simplicity works best. According to Very Well, a smooth stone makes a perfect fidget toy and doesn't cost a thing. This item can be easy kept in a pocket and rolled around with fingers when some energy needs to be released.

Ad failed to load

13Sensory Ruler

Karleen's Ideas/Etsy

Desk Buddy Sensory Ruler, $18, Amazon

Provide focus while at school or working on homework with a Desk Buddy sensory ruler ($18). This can be kept on top to the desk to keep busy hands occupied while learning and thinking.

14Soothing Fidget

Special Supplies

Boinks Soothing Fidgets (10 PK), $9, Amazon

Roll the marble all around this soft, handheld toy to help with the fidgets. Boinks soothing fidgets ($9) are durable and machine washable (and can also be purchased in bulk).

15Roller Chain

Amazon

Roller Chain Fidget Toy, $11, Amazon

Although it looks like something that fell off your bike, the roller chain fidget toy ($11) is made to withstand the play of heavy fidgeters. With different grooves and motions, this toy is sure to engage users of all ages.

Ad failed to load

16Magnet Worm

The Fidgety Flower/Etsy

Magnet Worm Fidget Toy, $7, Etsy

Aside from being straight up adorable, the magnet worm fidget toy ($7) is fun and soothing to use. Pull this little guy by his head and tail and he pulls himself back together on his own.

17Squeeze-A-Bean

Amazon

Squeeze-A-Bean Keychain (3 PK), $11, Amazon

Keep the squeeze-a-bean ($11 for three) attached to back packs, keys, or belt loops to always have a fidget toy nearby. Just squeeze a pod and a cute little soybean pops out. Be warned: this one may make you crave edamame with the power of suggestion.

18Stretchy String

Trainers Warehouse

Stretchy String Fiddle, $2, Trainers Warehouse

Hands stay busy when they pull it, twirl it, squeeze it, or tie it in knots. The stretchy string fiddle ($2) is more a great way to provide sensory input while trying to facilitate more focus.

Ad failed to load

19Tangle Toy

Amazon

Tangle Jr. Orginal Fidget Toy (3 PK), $9, Amazon

There are endless possibilities when playing with Tangle Jr. original fidget toy ($9 for three). Pull the pieces apart and reattach them however you wish to create a variety of shapes and figures.

20Homemade Squeeze Ball

SauLustig/Pixabay

As Very Well explained, all you need is a new balloon and some sand to make a fidget toy for your kiddo. This can be decorated with markers or left plain depending on preference. Just remember to tie the balloon off tight to avoid a sandy spill.

21Finger Squash It

Amazon

Hourglass Shaped Fidget Finger Squash It (6 PK), $12, Amazon

Swirl the colors around in the hourglass shaped fidget finger squash it ($12 for six) using finger manipulation for tactile stimulation. The soft texture makes this toy easy to squish and squash for hours.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

Umm, Toys "R" Us Has A BOGO 50 Percent Off Deal So You Better Stock Up

After the holidays, you were probably hoping that your kid's massive toy collection would keep him entertained for a little while, at least. But that was wishful thinking, wasn't it? Because now that a couple of months have passed, all those must-hav…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

Turns Out, Kim Kardashian's Favorite Mom Products Look A Lot Like Your Own Faves

Being a mom is really hard work, especially for the first few months, and Kim Kardashian West is no different in that regard. Now the mother of three, Kardashian says that there are a few products she just can't live without when it comes to raising …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

These 9 Instant Pot Recipes Will Make Even The Pickiest Eater Happy At The Table

Like any parent, I've had my share of parenting hits and misses, but one of my favorite "wins" is my daughter's diverse palate. I don't even know if I can take credit for it, but I would like to think I had something to do with her love for lentils, …
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

Soda Might Hurt Your Fertility, Study Says, & Here's What You Can Do

Who doesn't love sugary drinks? I stopped drinking soda years ago, but I still love gulping down those fancy Starbucks coffee beverages. I don't have a big sweet tooth, but I am a sucker for sugar-sweetened beverages every now-and-then. Turns out, th…
By Annamarya Scaccia

10 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 30s

If you're like me, you evaluate the pros and cons of any major life decision. When my husband and I were considering starting a family, I thought about my career, education, and financial stability. I wanted to know how a pregnancy and childbirth wou…
By Steph Montgomery

This Woman Thought She Had An Eyelash Stuck In Her Eye. Then It Moved.

I'm not a person who is easily icked out. As a kid, I collected bugs and thought I was going to be an entomologist and asked Santa Claus for ant farms and nets to catch bees. I'm still super curious about anything that flies and crawls, which might s…
By Karen Fratti

A Hot Mess Mom's Guide To Surviving Winter

As I sit here at my home office in Connecticut, it's cold. Damn cold. Winter is a rough season in New England and it's even worse when you're a parent and have to manage cooped up, restless children. It's even worse when you're a hot mess as it is, u…
By Jamie Kenney

5 Red Flags Your Toddler Isn't Eating Enough

Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters, at least in my experience. You offer mashed potatoes, they want french fries. You give them crackers, they scream for chips. It's frustrating, to be sure, but it's usually their way of vying for independence. It…
By Candace Ganger

11 Ways Your Pregnancy Will Be Different If You Have A Boy Vs A Girl

If you've been pregnant before, you might start comparing your previous pregnancies to that of your current pregnancy. A lot of things can change from pregnancy to pregnancy, based on a whole host of different factors (including how well you remember…
By Lauren Schumacker

35 Moms Share The Most Disgusting Things Their Husbands Do

I'm a human being who revels in challenges. I like when people present me with one, especially if they don't think I can meet or succeed it, and I like taking a challenge on, especially if it's unexpected. So when I aimed to uncover the most disgusti…
By Jamie Kenney

How Having Kids In Your 20s Affects You Later In Life

For parents, like myself, who had kids in their 20s, there are a number of questions that come to mind. When you're deciding what your future will look like, you'll likely consider what this means for your health, career, and more down the line. Thin…
By Tessa Shull

8 Reasons I Let My Toddler Play Outside Unsupervised

I'm not a helicopter mom, but I'm not exactly a free-range parent either. I like to think of myself as safely ensconced somewhere in the middle. I insist on certain safety measures, like car seats and helmets. I prefer to keep my 2-year-old in my sig…
By Kimmie Fink

12 Moms Share How They Stay Healthy During Flu Season

Unfortunately, we're in the middle of the roughest flu seasons in recent memory. And we’re not totally out of the woods, either. People around the country are still getting the flu, and, sadly, some of them are having to be hospitalized due to flu-re…
By Priscilla Blossom

8 "Mistakes" I'm Glad I Made During My First Pregnancy

As an adult, I've learned you never really stop hating being told what to do. When I was pregnant I was getting instructions at every turn, from doctors, relatives, and complete strangers on the subway. I would nod and smile but then go about making …
By Liza Wyles

Study: Drinking Two Glasses Of Wine A Day Is Good For Your Mind — Here's Why

There’s more scientific proof that a daily drink or two isn't necessarily a bad thing and could have a place in an overall healthy lifestyle. A new study out of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in New York found that — in mice, at le…
By Tiffany Thomas

Research Says Eating Carbs Can Lead To A Healthy Pregnancy, So Bring On The Pasta

In the world of me, no food is better than bread. I know it's supposed to be pretty terrible for you, high in calories, low in protein, and full of that modern-day demon, gluten... but guys, it's really yummy. Especially warm out of the oven, when th…
By Jen McGuire

These Photos Of Prince George Then & Now Will Give You Serious Baby Fever

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child in Spring 2018. With all of the excitement surrounding the new baby, it's easy to forget all of the good times that have already passed. The couple's eldest is already well into the sc…
By Azure Hall

This Is, Hands Down, The *Grossest* Thing Babies Do Inside The Womb

Your baby's life in the womb may be safe and warm, but it's also kind of grody. Seriously, the whole process of growing into a human being includes more than a few icky moments along the way. But this is the grossest thing babies do inside the womb b…
By Lindsay E. Mack