When fidget spinners became the hot new trend a few years ago, some teachers hated them. Others embraced the fad, though, understanding that fidget toys actually help many kids concentrate on their schoolwork. The key is finding quiet devices that won’t distract other students. This roundup of fidgets is classroom-friendly, silent but useful for students of any age. Don’t be surprised if you wind up using one of these clever gadgets yourself!
Need to save a little cash? Try these inexpensive DIY fidgets you can make on your own!
(Just a heads up, WeAreTeachers may collect a share of sales from the links on this page. We only recommend items our team loves!)
1. Fidget Spinner
Here’s the original that started the trend: a fidget spinner! They’re still beloved, and the holographic rainbow finish on this one makes it among the coolest we’ve seen.
Buy it: MAGTIMES Rainbow Fidget Spinner
2. Mini Spinners
Want enough spinner fidget toys for the whole class? Try this bulk pack of smaller spinners made of lightweight but sturdy plastic.
3. Fidget Band
Some kids have more trouble keeping their feet still than their hands. That’s where fidget bands are useful. Attach them to chair or desk legs, and kids can kick and swing quietly while they work.
4. Bubble Pop Fidgets
Bubble wrap was a fidget long before these toys became a must-have! Check out ways to use these pop its in the classroom. We love these toys that let anxious fingers “pop” bubbles over and over again.
Buy it: AYGXU Fidget Toys 8-Pack/Amazon
5. Marble Fidgets
The concept is so simple: it’s just a mesh tube with a marble inside. But there’s something very soothing about sliding it back and forth while you work.
6. Marble Maze
Here’s another version of a marble fidget toy. Guide the marble through the simple maze, back and forth. You can find patterns online to sew these yourself, or buy them at the link.
Buy it: SensiPalStore/Etsy
7. Infinity Cube
This is one of the highest-rated fidget items on Amazon. The infinity cube never stops moving, and you can turn it from any angle. If this sturdy version is a little pricey for your budget, try a plastic model instead.
8. Rainbow Fidget Ball
This clever little fidget is a puzzle, too! Push the small colorful balls into the center of the bigger ball, then try to get them back into the right spots.
Buy it: CuberSpeed Rainbow Magic Ball
9. Fidget Slug
Yup, you read that right: slugs! These cute little buggers have 3-D printed flexible bodies you can wriggle and adjust to relieve anxiety.
Buy it: CleverContraptions/Etsy
10. Fidget Cube
Fidget cubes are terrific because they give you lots of different options. This one has lots of 5-star reviews and comes with its own case.
11. Fidget Dodecahedron
If 6 sides are good, 12 must be twice as nice! Expand the fidget cube fun with this dodecahedron version.
12. Tangle Toys
These might not seem that intriguing at first, but they’re surprisingly fun to fidget with. Reviewers absolutely love them for kids and adults too.
13. Mini Hoberman Spheres
Hoberman spheres are fun to fidget with, but they’re also great for mindful breathing exercises. They’re an excellent addition to your classroom calm-down kit or corner.
14. Fidget Bracelet
This pretty bracelet doubles as a fidget device. It’s a smart choice for older kids and adults who feel like they’re past the “toy” stage.
Buy it: DiPrana/Etsy
15. Monkey Noodles
Pull, stretch, wrap, twirl … whatever helps you concentrate! These toys have thousands and thousands of 5-star reviews.
Buy it: Monkey Noodle 5-Pack/Amazon
16. Stretchy Fidget Men
Feeling stressed? Take it out on this stretchy little guy. You get enough for a whole class for pennies apiece.
17. Fidget Snake
This style of toy has been around for years, and they’re endlessly fun to play with. Twist them into different shapes and see what you can make!
Learn more: Ganowo Sensory Fidget Snakes, Set of 3
18. Squish Panel
Water beads have a fun squishy texture, but they can make a real mess. This sealed bag makes them safe to fidget with anywhere you go.
Buy it: SensiPalStore/Etsy
19. Kneadable Erasers
Kneadable erasers were originally intended for artists to allow them to create useful shapes to erase small lines. They’ve become popular fidget toys, too. These are food-scented, which is a plus for most people, but non-scented versions are available too.
20. Stress Relief Balls
Work off your fidgets by squeezing these squishy emoji balls! This assortment is lots of fun and comes with enough for your whole class.
21. Roller Chain
Spin the disks or move the sections to make different shapes. These fidget devices are small enough to fit in a pocket.
22. What’Zit Fidget
There’s something irresistible about this colorful wooden toy, according to the Amazon reviews. Kids and adults both love twisting and turning it into lots of interesting shapes.
Buy it: What’Zit Fidget Toy/Amazon
23. Original Fidget Retro
Full of buttons and rollers, this cute little device is designed to look like a retro game controller. One caveat: some of the buttons do make a clicking noise, so this one might not be the best choice for quiet classrooms.
24. Thinking Putty
Pull, stretch, mold, and watch the mesmerizing colors change under the light. Thinking putty is kind of like Silly Putty; it never dries out and lasts pretty much forever.
25. Chain Fidget Toy
For older kids who might prefer a more discreet toy, this little device is less than 2 inches long. It twists, turns, and rolls, and slides into your pocket when you’re not using it.
Do you use fidget devices in your classroom? Share your favorites on the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.
Plus, check out great ideas for your classroom calm-down kit.