Fidget Spinners: Toy or Tool?|The Great Controversy 

It was about a month ago when my 5 year old came home casually spinning this little gadget between her tiny little fingers. It was obvious that she felt like the coolest kid in the world that day. She raised her chin up to me as she walked past and entered the house. Okay, I guess she’s too cool to say “Hi, Mommy” and give me a hug now. Whatever. I just looked at her and said, “I see you got one of those spinner things. Who gave it to you?” Apparently the latchkey supervisor at school gifted this little wonder to her. No big deal. I didn’t mind her having one.

The Great Controversy over Fidget Spinners. Is this latest trend an effective coping tool or nothing more than another toy?

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The realization

As days went on, I noticed how she couldn’t go a day without messing with this thing. I spend big bucks getting her toys and gadgets she really wants, and she’s usually bored with them in less than 24 hours. Now here she is with this little $5 fidget spinner and her sense of boredom has been completely obliterated. Go figure.

I even watched her sit outside one day with the fidget spinner just rotating on her forehead for like 10 minutes straight as she rested her head on the back of the chair. This kid usually can’t stay still for just 10 seconds! How in the world could she sit in one spot for 10 minutes!? That spinner. It had super powers or something.

Now, I know this fidget spinner has been banned at many schools, and I totally understand why. Some say it should be allowed because it helps individuals with ADHD, anxiety, or autism. Some say, in the case of children, it is nothing more than a distracting toy. So, the question is: is the fidget spinner an effective coping tool or just another toy? Well, I say both.

I just shared the story about my hyperactive daughter sitting still for about 10 minutes just spinning that gadget on her forehead. I’ve never seen her sit in one place that long just focusing on one thing. It honestly amazed me. Now, could she focus on a homework assignment while using the spinner? Absolutely not. Most of the time the spinner seemed to have taken her into LaLa Land and she wasn’t even hearing me speaking to her. However, she’s only 5. Most kids in Kindergarten can’t focus on more than one thing at a time-totally normal. Could the spinner still assist with calming children when they are anxious, afraid, or overly excited? I certainly think so.

The verdict

I think the fidget spinner can be both a toy and a tool. It all depends on how the individual is using it. I also think age is a very important factor to consider. I can see it being a major distraction for a young child (especially in the classroom). For older children and adults, it may actually help them focus while receiving instruction or working on a particular project. It can definitely help ease the mind (maybe I need to invest in several to cope with Motherhood).

For my 5 year old daughter, the fidget spinner is really just another toy.

What are your thoughts on the fidget spinner? Do you think it’s an effective coping tool, or nothing more than the latest trending toy? Please share in the comments below.

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