Teachers Toolbox - Fidgets

Friday, July 1, 2016
If you're curious about this bag, it's the best way to display the goods and it has a ring
that I use to hang it off a magnetic clip on the board. Click Here to purchase.
I've detailed what the testing room looks like, so if you're curious, you can click here. However, what supplies do I keep in there? I've been getting some e-mails to detail what materials I keep handy for all students. So, here's one of the many, Fidgets. Read more below!

Fidgets are silent classroom items that are ideal for school classrooms and other places where a quiet fidget is needed to keep restless students busy, bodies relaxed, and minds focused. Silent fidgets can be very helpful self-regulation tools too! Ever had one of those desk tappers? Yup, s/he might need one. There's so many types, so I try to buy a few that I know my students might enjoy using. Julia has been kind of enough to donate some col new ones into this bag - thanks "bruh!" It really all depends on your students and what you see them needing.

Now, there is a catch. Fidgets are the first to disappear or get destroyed. It's an expensive resource to have since it's not the easiest to keep safe (or clean). There is some pre-teaching/ routine teaching that is involved. Personally, I like to ask a few students to explore what's in the bag and show them how it is used, and what's the purpose of these items.

Students loved the sensory feeling of goopy or small bead filled fidgets!
When I'm teaching them, here's my go-to points, (let me know if you have others): 
  • This isn't a toy.
  • It's NOT suppose to distract you while you're learning.
  • It's NOT meant to be jabbed with a pencil, ripped open, or dissected
  • It's something to keep your mind or body relaxed
    "like when you shake your leg or click your pen."
  • This is NOT noisy
  • It's to assist you with your learning.

I show them how they might use it in the classroom and see how it goes from there. I like to watch and see what are the most reached for and what students seem to "ooh" or "ahh" at when they get it.

This student likes to bounce on the yoga balls, but they weren't available that day.
I handed him a softer fidget, since I know he likes to "squish" his fidgets.
Squish is putting it nicely, more like squeeze it until it's about to pop open.
Maybe, I shouldn't use the word squish, sounds odd.
At times, when I'm in the testing room, I like to slyly sneak one on the table for those who I know need it. I usually get the quick "WHY is there a spiky stick on my paper" stare and then the "ohhh, cool. Gotcha!" nod after a quick poke at it. Mission complete!

Here's the part that you've probably all been waiting for - WHAT IS IN THAT BAG? Here ya' go friends!

Fidgets that are currently in my bag. Names were taken directly from Amazon, for your sanity!

Here's the breakdown of their durability and interest level in Middle School:

  • Tangles - Low maintenance; Average interest
  • Isoflex - Low maintenance; Low interest
    (great for the angry ones though, squeeze away!)
  • DNA Ball - High maintenance; High interest
    (kids will try to dissect the mini balls out)
  • Light up DNA Ball - SUPER HIGH maintenance; High interest
    (kids will try to rip open the ball to get the light up bulb inside)
  • Sensory Stixx - Medium maintenance; Average interest
    (stuff gets in 'em)
  • Squeeze Ball - Medium maintenance; Average interest
    (glitter everywhere during first couple of uses)
  • Novelty Stress Balls - High Maintenance; Average interest
    (first to get stabbed by everything, but easy to replace)


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