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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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#5 Froglet

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Posted 23 July 2017 - 02:44 PM

I've been mulling this over and with a summer ahead of me to prepare for a new class have decided to 'go' with the fiddle toys for everyone approach.  Next year's class is markedly different: 2:1 boy/girl ratio, 20% on the SEND register and another 10% or so on the SEND concerns list.  I am going to make some DIY fiddle toys over the summer - enough for everyone and do my best to teach the children how to use them.  I am going to do things like nuts and bolts that will spin up and down, pipe cleaners with beads on, pipe cleaners encased in fabric/padding so they are soft but bendy and I was contemplating mini pots of playdough (I'm still undecided about that one though)!

 

So, I'd love any other ideas anyone has to DIY the toys themselves and also any suggestions about how I go about the teaching bit.  I'm thinking of having a jar of them on each table so that when children are sitting listening at the table or about to transfer to the carpet they can pick one up if they choose.  I feel like I need some ground rules though and am very open to suggestions!



#6 blondie

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Posted 23 July 2017 - 07:24 PM

squishy sensory gel pad - ziplock bag(extra sticky tape) with hair gel in-glitter, small sequins etc

crazy coil key ring - ones that stretch and clip onto belt loops?

stickle brick shapes

stress balls

 

have a look on pinterest - will be lots of ideas on there


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#7 Upsy Daisy

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Posted 23 July 2017 - 09:32 PM

My older daughter has an in-line switch like these

 

https://www.amazon.c...s=inline switch

 

She has dismantled it to remove the bit that makes it noisy so she can use it in lectures but I don't think that would be necessary for you.

 

Gemstones on elastic to make bracelets are good. You can make your own for a good price by buying jewellery-making beads from Hobbycraft.

 

Bath plug chains and other small chains from B&Q

 

The wax that you can model with the heat from your hands that comes from Baker Ross is really good but you have to make sure it doesn't go in pockets.

 

Gloop tied in an uninflated balloon.

 

 

Tangle

https://www.amazon.c...keywords=tangle

 

Jelly beads in deflated balloons

 

Wooden/plastic beads threaded onto metal keyrings - hard to get on but robust once they are on there.

 

Small toy carabiners or even big ones if you can get hold of any.

 

Hexaflexgons


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#8 Froglet

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Posted 23 July 2017 - 11:29 PM

Brilliant. Thanks for all the ideas.

#9 finleysmaid

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 08:00 AM

i want a hexaflexagon!!! may have to teach some of my more challenging after schoolers to make one rather than flipping fidget spinners which are driving me mad!


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