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Fidget toys. Updated


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#1 Upsy Daisy

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 08:20 PM

Could this be a different way for schools to think about fidgets?

 

I think lots of early years settings already take a positive approach to the benefits of fiddle toys.

 

Maybe schools could build on this?


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#2 Rebecca

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 02:51 PM

That was really interesting - thanks for sharing. I'm a constant doodler, I've noticed that I do it when I'm a bit bored in a meeting and I do it to make my brain 'stay with it'. I also learn things by writing them down - because it makes me read the material properly (concentrate!). If I just try and 'read' things, and not write anything, I drift off. My husband on the other hand, twists his wedding ring round and round his finger when he's thinking - drives me nuts (I'm very accomodating!)


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#3 Froglet

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 08:45 PM

Could this be a different way for schools to think about fidgets?

 

I think lots of early years settings already take a positive approach to the benefits of fiddle toys.

 

Maybe schools could build on this?

 

I think some schools do already.  I know that I have, on more than one occasion, written IEPs and MEPs that include the use of a fiddle toy in some way.  I have frequently used them just because and I deliberately teach my children how to twiddle their thumbs so they have an always available fiddle toy.  I know that I am someone who when stressed folds paper - when I was going through a particularly rough time once I used to carry a pad of post-it notes around with me so I could and re-fold shapes.  I know that doing that doesn't stop me taking in what is being said - indeed, it often calms me so that I can take it in.

 

However, I would love to have a discussion about the best way to use fiddle toys - I am open to all ideas for how/when and strategies to use them.  A child who has one at the moment (a tangle thing, not one of the actual fidget toys) is fine while tangling it but then he starts throwing it up in the air and hitting it on the table next to him.  This is when it does start to become a distraction both to other children and to me.  I will lose my train of thought, need to draw others back in and what was a short, succinct lesson input can become drawn out and confusing which in turn means a difficult time for more children.

 

I also wonder if it's possible to distinguish between a fiddle toy being used as something to calm, comfort and aid concentration and one which is just being a toy?  I'm slightly anxious having said that that you're all going to start shouting at me but I hope you know that I am not anti-play.  I know that spinning a spinner can help you to listen - but what if what you are listening to is a conversation about who has which spinners, which goes fastest, what colours you have etc. rather than something to do with how you subtract by counting back?



#4 Upsy Daisy

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 07:38 PM

 

However, I would love to have a discussion about the best way to use fiddle toys - I am open to all ideas for how/when and strategies to use them.  A child who has one at the moment (a tangle thing, not one of the actual fidget toys) is fine while tangling it but then he starts throwing it up in the air and hitting it on the table next to him.  This is when it does start to become a distraction both to other children and to me.  I will lose my train of thought, need to draw others back in and what was a short, succinct lesson input can become drawn out and confusing which in turn means a difficult time for more children.

 

 I'm slightly anxious having said that that you're all going to start shouting at me but I hope you know that I am not anti-play.

 

 

 

I think that lots of discussions like this are exactly what we need and nobody should ever be shouted at.

My thoughts are that children need to be taught to use fiddle toys in the same way they are taught to use pencils or sunhats. They can all be used as projectiles and sources of distraction but we teach them to use them responsibly. I think you would manage a child throwing a fiddle toy in the air in the in exactly the same way you would a child who was doing the same with a pencil. If fiddle toys are around them all day, every day, they have no novelty value and become as mundane as those pencils.


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