Let’s admit it. We all fidget. We fidget with our pens, the buttons on our shirts, our keys, the paperclip sitting on our desk…the list goes on. These often overlooked little tools help us redirect our restless energy and be more present in the moment. They help us focus our attention, stay calm and allow us to be more active listeners. We often start using these powerful tools without even realizing it but the children we work with often don’t instinctively seek out these magical items.
Self-regulation is a common issue that parents and teachers share about those on the autism spectrum and fidget tools are one of the first things that an occupational therapist may offer as a support because they’re easily portable, affordable and extremely versatile. We’ve compiled a list of our most used fidgets and fidget distributors to help guide you on your fidget journey. Fidgets make excellent stocking stuffers and are a wonderful alternative to sugary snacks at Halloween. Make sure there is a stash in every backpack, purse and car so that they are easily accessible to everyone in the family.
Our favorite fidgets:
- Chewelry or chewy jewelry
- Tangle Jr.
- Stress balls (purchased or homemade)
- Koosh balls
- Wacky Tracks
- Worry stones
- Resistive putty
- Stretchy animals
- Bouncy balls (especially those with texture that light up)
- Pocket Gel Fidgets
- Calm down bottles (again, purchased or DIY)
- Bug-Out Bob
Our favorite vendors:
- Office Playground – www.officeplayground.com
- Fun & Function – www.funandfunction.com
- Ark Therapeutic – www.arktherapeutic.com
- The Sensory Kids Store – www.sensorykidstore.com
- Therapy Shoppe – www.therapyshoppe.com
- Amazon – www.amazon.com
- The Dollar Store, Target and Michaels
Happy fidgeting, everyone!