It's basically guaranteed that, each year, a new toy will become the latest, short-term craze. The past few years have brought us loom bracelets, bottle-flipping, and even homemade slime. But 2017 is shaping up to be the year of the fidget spinner, a small gadget on a bearing that spins. The fidget spinner is said to have calming benefits, particularly for those who struggle with anxiety or Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). As it gains popularity, and you consider one for your child, you might wonder, do schools allow fidget spinners?
Fidgeting has been shown to increase concentration and focus in those with ADHD, according to The New York Times, and many parents look to fidget toys as tools to help their kids in school. Fidget spinners, which were originally marketed as a tool for kids who have difficulty sustaining attention or maintaining focus, have gone mainstream, Newsday reported. Spinners have become the latest must-have gadget, shifting their use from purposeful tool to mania-inducing toy. As they fill the backpacks and hands of kids worldwide, teachers and schools are noticing the effects these spinners may have on their students. As TIME mentioned, schools are banning fidget spinners due to them being "too distracting."
Because true fidget toys are meant to be felt, and not seen, according to US News & World Report, many are saying these fidget spinners are nothing more than a distraction. The novelty is in watching the blades blur together as it spins, TIME noted, and so, the user becomes entranced in the object rather than the calming sensation that it may otherwise provide. This can cause distraction in the classroom, as both the user and the surrounding students could become more interested in the visual attraction of the spinner than their assignments.
There have been some reports that schools are beginning to ban fidget spinners because of their distracting nature. Many school websites are showing announcements that fidget spinners are no longer allowed on school grounds and will be confiscated if seen. If your child uses fidget toys in school as an adaptation for a special need, it's best to check with your particular school to see if fidget spinners are an appropriate option.