31 DIY Fidget Toys That Are Easy and Inexpensive to Make

Because kids don’t need to sit perfectly still to learn.

DIY fidget toys

Fidgeting used to be a problem teachers tried to solve. These days, we recognize that students don’t need to be completely still in order to learn, and constructive fidgeting actually helps many people focus. You can certainly buy fidgets, but the cost can add up if you want enough for a whole class. That’s why we love these DIY fidget toys! Make them yourself or use them as hands-on class projects for students to make their own. Either way, your students will love these DIY fidget toys, and so will your wallet.

1. Zipper Bracelet

Student wearing blue and black bracelets made of zippers
Moms & Crafters/Zipper bracelet via momsandcrafters.com

These DIY fidget toys also make a fashion statement! You can wear them when your hands are busy, and take them off to fidget as needed.

Buy supplies at Amazon: 9” nylon zippers

Get the tutorial: Zipper Bracelets from Moms & Crafters

2. Fidget Sticks

Wood craft sticks, plastic beads, and pipe cleaners are all inexpensive when you buy them in bulk. Find a few rolls of pretty washi tape, and you’re all set to make these easy DIY fidget toys!


Get the tutorial video: DIY Fidget Sticks

Buy supplies at Amazon:

3. Bead Snakes

Pony beads strung on vinyl laces in various patterns (DIY Fidgets)
Super Mom Hacks/Bead snakes via supermomhacks.com

Kids will enjoy the process of making these colorful “snakes,” personalizing the colors and patterns with cords and multicolor pony beads. Once they’re done, they can use them to fidget to their heart’s content!

Buy supplies at Amazon: Pony beads and nylon string

Get the tutorial: Bead Snakes from Super Mom Hacks

4. Fidget Putty

Child playing with a tin of yellow putty
Little Bins for Little Hands/Stress putty via littlebinsforlittehands.com

Stress putty combines all the fun of slime with the soothing nature of fidgets. Make your own and store it in small tins for a quiet fidget option for your classroom.

Buy supplies at Amazon:

Get the tutorial: Stress Putty from Little Bins for Little Hands

5. Wearable Marble Maze

Child wearing a fabric DIY Fidget Bracelet with a hidden marble maze
de Jong Dream House/Fidget bracelet via dejongdreamhouse.com

If you’re handy with a sewing machine, you’ll love these fidget bracelets! The secret? There’s a built-in marble maze hidden inside. So cool!

Buy supplies at Amazon:

Get the tutorial: Fidget Bracelets from de Jong Dream House

6. Fidget Bands for Chairs

One of the best things about fidget bands is that they’re pretty much silent but they are perfect for kids who can’t sit still. Cut up old T-shirts (or any cheap fabric) that still have a bit of stretch left to them, braid them together, and sew them into a loop. You can make enough for your entire classroom for next to nothing!

Buy supplies at Amazon: Stretchy fabric

7. Fidget Pencil Toppers

Child writing with a pencil that has a fidget topper made from pipe cleaners and beads for DIY fidgets
The OT Toolbox/Fidget pencil toppers via theottoolbox.com

This easy-to-make pencil topper is as easy as threading beads onto a pipe cleaner and twisting it around the pencil. Making this DIY fidget toy also uses kids’ coordination to move beads onto the pipe cleaner and twist it around the pencil.

Buy supplies at Amazon: 1,000 pony beads and Chenille pipe cleaners

Get the tutorial: Fidget Pencil Toppers from The OT Toolbox

8. DIY Fidget Spinners

Red Ted Art/Fidget spinner via RedTedArt.com

Remember when fidget spinners were all the rage? They’ve gone from fad to classroom tool now, but they can be pretty pricey. Fortunately, you can make your own from card stock and coins.

Buy supplies at Amazon:

Get the tutorial: Fidget Spinner from Red Ted Art

9. Nut and Bolt DIY Fidget Toys

Bolts with one nut glued to the end and a second bolt in the middle free to spin (DIY Fidgets)
You Clever Monkey/Nut and bolt fidget via youclevermonkey.com

You’ll need one bolt with two matching nuts for each of these DIY fidget toys. Spin one nut onto the bolt about halfway. Then, use hot glue to attach the second nut at the very bottom of the bolt. Now kids can spin the one in the middle when they need to fidget, with no worries about having it come loose and getting lost.

Buy supplies at Amazon: Nuts and bolts set

Get the tutorial: Nut and Bolt Fidgets from You Clever Monkey

10. Paper Infinity Cube

Infinity cubes are so addictive! With some patience and precision, you can fold one from colorful paper squares. Watch the video and make a few by yourself to get the hang of it. Then try this as a classroom project so kids can make their own.

Buy supplies at Amazon: Origami paper

11. Dice Infinity Cube

If you’re looking for an infinity cube that’s a bit more sturdy, try this one! Dice are affordable, easy to make with regular tape, and they look cool.

Buy supplies: Translucent dice

12. Fidget Chain Toy

Beads strung onto keyrings attached together to make a chain, next to a staple remover; text reads Fiddle Key Ring
Party Through the USA/Fiddle key ring via partythroughtheusa.com

String beads onto key rings, then turn the rings into a chain. Try hanging one from your water bottle to remind you to drink more often too!

Buy supplies at Amazon: Split nickel key ring and 1 lb bag of pony beads

Get the tutorial: Fiddle Key Ring from Party Through the USA

13. CD-and-Marble Top

Colorful spinning top made from an old CD and a marble (DIY Fidgets)
Meaningful Mama/CD fidget spinner via meaningfulmama.com

If you’ve still got a box of old CDs hanging around, use them to make these DIY fidgets with a marble. They might be a little big for kids to use during class, but they’re a nice addition to your calm-down kit or corner.

Buy supplies at Amazon: CD-R blank discs and marbles

Get the tutorial: CD Fidget Spinner from Meaningful Mama

14. Perler Bead Fidget Toy

Colorful pony beads strung onto paperclips
Sensibly Sara/Paper clip fidget toy via sensiblysara.com

You can make a whole bin of these fidgets for just pennies! All you need are Perler beads and jumbo paper clips.

Buy supplies at Amazon: Large paper clips and Perler Beads

Get the tutorial: Paper Clip Fidget Toy from Sensibly Sara

15. Shoelace and Beads Fidget Toy

White shoelaces knotted at each end with colorful beads strung on them (DIY Fidgets)
Marvelous Multiagers/Shoelace fidgets via msdraffkorn.blogspot.com

DIY fidgets don’t get any easier than this! String colorful beads onto shoelace string, knotted at each end. These also make really fun tools for teaching kids to segment phonemes.

Buy supplies at Amazon: Flat shoelaces at Amazon, crafting beads at Amazon

Get the tutorial: Shoelace Fidgets from Marvelous Multiagers

16. LEGO Fidget Spinner

Student playing with a LEGO fidget spinner
Frugal Fun for Boys/LEGO fidget spinner via frugalfun4boys.com

Every kid loves the chance to build with LEGO! Find sets with round plates and axle pieces (like the ones we list below). Try turning this into a STEM challenge by providing the necessary pieces and asking kids to figure out how to construct one on their own.

Buy supplies at Amazon: LEGO bricks

Get the tutorial: LEGO Fidget Spinner from Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls

17. Pop Tab Fidget Toy

Child holding soda pop tops strung onto a keychain ring (DIY Fidgets)
STEAMSational/Pop top fidget toy via steamsational.com

Here’s another super-easy DIY fidget option. Save pop tops from soda cans and feed them onto a key ring or binder ring. Kids can fidget with one hand while the other is clicking a mouse or flipping pages.

Buy supplies at Amazon: Split nickel key rings and aluminum pop tabs

Learn more: Pop Top Fidget Toy from STEAMsational

18. DIY Stress Ball

These easy-squeezy DIY fidgets are fun to make and even more fun to play with! Fill balloons with a mixture of baking soda and hair conditioner, then decorate however you like.

Buy supplies at Amazon:Latex balloons and baking soda

19. Craft Stick Fidget Spinner

Craft stick spinner
Kids Activities Blog/Fidget spinner via kidsactivitiesblog.com

The best thing about this DIY project is that your kids can customize a fidget toy to make cool fidget spinners that no one else has!

Buy supplies at Amazon:

Get the tutorial: Craft Stick Fidget Spinner from Kids Activities Blog

20. DIY Watermelon Squishy Toy

Watermelon squish toy for a DIY fidget toy
Buggy and Buddy/Watermelon squish toy via buggyandbuddy.com

This tutorial will show you how to make a watermelon squishy toy, but you can use the same method to make any shape or figure you’d like!

Buy supplies at Amazon:

Get the tutorial: DIY Watermelon Squishy Toy from Buggy and Buddy

21. Desk Fidget Tool for School

Fidget pencil tool
The OT Toolbox/Desk fidget toy via theottoolbox.com

This DIY fidget tool is perfect for the desk because of its small, discrete size. It can be stored right inside the desk or even in a pencil case.

Buy supplies at Amazon:

Get the tutorial: Desk Fidget Tool for School from The OT Toolbox

22. Soda Bottle Top Fidget Toy

This fidget toy made from recycled soda bottle caps will take a bit of effort, but it will be worth it! Be sure to thoroughly watch the YouTube video for the exact dimensions of everything you’ll need.

Buy supplies at Amazon: marbles

23. Easy DIY Spinning Top

Bottle spinning top
The Craft Train/Spinning top via thecrafttrain.com

Make a spinning top DIY toy from a plastic milk bottle lid and a toothpick. Does it get any easier? A word of caution: This fidget toy may not be suitable for younger kids as the toothpicks are sharp.

Buy supplies at Amazon: Skewers

Get the tutorial: Easy DIY spinning top from The Craft Train

24. DIY Weighted Glove

stretchy glove filled with beans for a DIY fidget toy
The OT Toolbox/Weighted glove via theottoolbox.com

Some kids need weight and the feeling of heaviness to help them focus—this targets the proprioceptive system. A knit glove filled with beans (or corn, rice, etc.) can do the trick.

Buy supplies at Amazon: Stretchy gloves

Learn more: Weighted Fidget Toy from The OT Toolbox

25. Flextangle

folded paper flextangle DIY fidget toy
Babble Dabble Do/Flextangle via babbledabbledo.com

Get the template to cut, color, fold, and then fidget with the Flextangle. The nice thing about this fidget is kids can make as many as they want.

Buy supplies at Amazon: Card stock

Get the tutorial: Flextangles from Babble Dabble Do

26. Pretzel Stress Ball

stress ball made of a balloon that can be twisted for a DIY fidget toy
Handmade Charlotte/Pretzel stress ball via handmadecharlotte.com

Fill a balloon with flour and stretch and roll it into any shape, including a pretzel. This is a great fidget for a desk or flat surface where a student can roll with one hand.

Buy supplies from Amazon: Hand twisting balloons

Get the tutorial: Pretzel Stress Ball from Handmade Charlotte

27. DIY Slime-Filled Squishball

slime squishball for a DIY fidget toy
Views From a Step Stool/Squish ball via viewsfromastepstool.com

The perfect fidget for the slime-obsessed student, and it won’t make a mess (unlike slime).

Buy supplies at Amazon: Balloons and mesh fabric

Get the tutorial: Calm-Down Squish Ball from Views From a Step Stool

28. Cake Squishy

cake squishies to make as a DIY fidget toy
Kid Spot/Cake squishy via kidspot.com

These cake squishies are adorable and perfect for a pocket or palm to squeeze when a student is anxious.

Buy supplies at Amazon: Manicure sponges and puffy paints

Get the tutorial: Squishy Cakes from Kid Spot

29. Chewable Necklace

a boy wearing a chewable necklace, a diy fidget toy
Lemon Lime Adventures/Chewable necklace via lemonlimeadventures.com

This fidget is more for kids who require a lot of oral input—think kids with autism who tend to rub things on their mouths as a sensory-seeking behavior.

Buy supplies at Amazon:

Learn more: Chewable Necklace from Lemon Lime Adventures

30. Yarn Doll

yarn doll for a DIY fidget toy
The Craft Train/Yarn doll via thecrafttrain.com

The act of making these cute yarn dolls is as helpful as having them on a key chain or in a pocket for fidgeting.

Buy supplies at Amazon: Yarn

Get the tutorial: Yarn Dolls from The Craft Train

31. Coding Bracelet

materials to make a coding bracelet from beads and pipe cleaners for a DIY fidget toy
STEAMsational/Coding bracelet via steamsational.com

Combine coding and fidgeting with this activity. Students can choose a word that they want to code in beads (amazing, unique, friend), then use coding techniques to write the word in beads that they can play with.

Buy supplies at Amazon: 1,000 pony beads and Chenille pipe cleaners

Get the tutorial: Coding Bracelet from STEAMsational

What are your favorite DIY fidget toys? Come share on the We Are Teachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.

Plus, check out great ideas for your classroom calm-down kit.

Fidget toys are popular these days, and for good reason. Save money by making DIY fidget toys to help your students focus in your classroom.