Some might think that fidgeting with a toy while working would distract a student, but a physical outlet can actually have the opposite effect. Fidget toys are a great way to help students with ADHD focus. A fidget toy helps by stimulating neurotransmitters in the brain, giving the nervous system the stimulation it needs to stay focused. Depending on the individual, a fidget can be as simple as a smooth stone in the pocket or as involved as wearing an inflatable vest. Before giving a student a fidget toy it is important to let them know that the toy cannot distract them or others from the task at hand. Here’s a list of a few of our favourites.
ADHD Fidget Toys
- Comfort and compression clothing provides a sensory experience that is soothing, calming, and aids in organizational thoughts and improved body awareness.
- Balances help centralize focus and provide overall body strengthening benefits.
- Exercise balls, similar to seat cushions but more versatile for gross motor, not only strengthen core muscles but provide an outlet for movement that can engage the brain to increase concentration and focus.
- Fidget for Your Digit offers fine and deep touch stimulation to be worn on the finger. If not the name brand version, try a ring, elastic band, or bracelet.
- Stress balls provide a simple squeeze or fiddle toy in various sizes. A foam ball from a dollar store can do the trick!
- Tangles are items for fine touch and a manipulative for fiddlers.
- Theraputty is a soft manipulative that can be used to squeeze, form a pencil grip etc. Use Playdoh, clay, or other made-at-home materials.
- Therabands, large elastic resistance bands, are available in different resistances and used in multiple ways, e.g., tied to chair legs to give children heavy legwork while seated.
- Wedge cushions are soft seat cushions on an angle for those who have a hard time sitting upright or tend to lie on their desks or floor.
- Weights or weighted products can provide pressure touch and proprioceptive input, giving a calming feeling. Weighted wristbands, ankle-bands, and lap weights can bring incredible focus to a person. Use objects from home at varying times, especially during sitting activities.
- Wiggle cushions stimulate the vestibular and proprioceptive systems and are effective for those who need mid-body stimulation. Some examples are ‘Disco Sit’ and ‘Movin Sit’.
- Wikki Stix is a mess free, hypoallergenic creative tool used for kinesthetic activities.
With the proper fidget toy or tool, it is possible to witness your child transform from “characterized by inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity” to calm and focused while working or observing/listening.
Find more information about ADHD resources in Toronto on our website and learn about our 1-1 programming.