Fidgets-Not Just Spinners

There is just something about fiddling with something with your hands while you talk, work, or watch TV. Sometimes these activities require quite a bit of your attention but can't keep it super well. This can be problematic when you need to focus in a lecture or on a test. I have often struggled with this. I'll twirl my pencil or play with an eraser or start making marks in my notes. While these aren't bad necessarily, they are not exactly the best way to get out my unfocused energy. Luckily, with lots of supplies from my mother, I have curated a large collection of fidgets. They range from the conventional fidget spinners and fidget cubes to DIY band rings and ball mazes. I have an overflowing box and many in or on my backpack.

When fidget spinners came out oh so many years ago, people finally started to realize anyone could play with fidgets. It was easy for me to jump onto this wagon since so many people were making fidget spinners. The health center gave some at the welcome fair and I even picked some up at career fairs. Therefore, it is my largest collection. The ones I bought include the gear looking one the tie-dye one, and of course the Captain America one. I am not skilled at tricks or anything, but the simply motion of spinning helps me keep my hands busy. Through I love fidget spinners, they can be loud if they are not good quality. Therefore, I don't really recommend them for lectures or exams.

The next category is squishy things. This includes stress balls and rubber things. A large portion of my fidgets are squishy things. I have a lot of stress balls, while most are not explicitly balls. I have a lot from grad schools fairs. Recently I got the little scientist from Sandia Nationals Labs at a career fair. But my favorite is the corn stress ball from the health center. It is just so Nebraskan. I do not use stress balls or squishy things as much, but I do love having a lot to decorate with. They’re easy to just pick up and play with. I especially like the rubber squishies because I can pull on them. My squishy ball bracelet is nice. While it makes an extreme fashion statement, it is fun for around the dorm to pick at and roll up and down my arm. The mouse and cheese fidget is pretty great, but requires more focus. And the squidget, squishy tentacle thing, is more just funny.

Another fidget staple that has gotten a bit of ground with the general public is tangles. These twisty toys are great for keeping your hands busy. They are definitely a two-hand fidget, but for listening activities, they work great. I picked up a free one from a health center booth at the dining hall and let my friend try it out. She ended up playing with it for the rest of lunch and I let her keep it since I have so many. I even have two textured ones that add an extra element to the fidget. Though not really tangles, I do have two long flexible fidgets, which can be fun as well.

Another common fidget I have are two of the fidget cubes. They are good for one hand, but the shape is not ideal. They are good if you tend to want stimuli as they six sides are all different.

A good portion of my fidgets are DIY. These include a ring with loom bands, hose extension, and ball maze. The ring has just a bunch of rainbow loom bands to pull at and play with. Though I originally was skeptical, it turned out to be a pretty fun fidget. The hose extension was part of some promotion my mom got at her work and she couldn’t stop playing with it, so she sent it to me. My mother also made me the ball maze. This is one of my favorite fidgets because it is so mindless and easily attaches to anything I want to transport it on. The ball moves up and over across the bracelet until the end. Again, this is a two-hand fidget, but it helps me focus during exams when reading problem statements or during lectures when I don’t have to take notes.

A common toy that many may not consider a fidget is slinkies. I play with slinkies a lot when talking with my mom on facetime. The ease of use makes them great for occupying your hands without requiring much focus.

I also have playdough, galactic sand, and a ball in mesh fidget. These are even more I could list, but those are the ones I either like the best or use most frequently. They are wonderful aids and I think there should be no shame in using a fidget to focus yourself during an activity. They keep my hands busy and let me concentrate on what I'm reading or listening to a lot better. Plus, they’re just so fun!