Fidget toys are latest kid craze: Concentration aid or distraction?

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Children’s toy trends are constantly changing. Just weeks ago, we told you how kids across Northeast Ohio were into do-it-yourself slime.

But now, the latest craze is Fidget Spinners.

The little gadgets, made of metal and ball bearings, were originally made to help children with ADHD and anxiety. There are other fidgets on the market, like the cube, or mesh and marble.

“I think what is so remarkable and unusual about the fidget toy category is how much the toys really help people focus,” said Mark Caston, owner of Learning Express in Westlake.

“Toy fads are often distracting, but spinners and fidget toys give the brain an outlet, and I think that is why they have become so popular with kids and adults alike. We also love that the toys are screen-free and provide a healthy outlet for stress and anxiety.”

Fidget Spinners are going mainstream and it’s causing headaches for some teachers, who call the toys a distraction.

Several schools in Illinois already banned them.

“Frankly, we’ve found the fidgets were having the opposite effect of what they advertise,” Kate Ellison told the Chicago Tribune. The principal of Washington Elementary School in Evanston added, “Kids are trading them or spinning them instead of writing.”

A middle school in Massachusetts also told students to keep the spinners at home.

“It seems that they are being sold and marketed as a tool to help students. Spinners are highly distracting to students and those around them. There is no doubt that for some students, (very few) a type of school approved fidget is a good idea on some occasions. The majority of students do not need the distraction,” Nissitissit Middle School said in a blog post on its website.