How to Spin the Fidget Spinner into Your Life

The fidget spinner has been all the rage over the last year or so. And for good reason. Helping autistic children—as well as other children who struggle with fidgeting and focus—continues to a major goal for parents and early childhood education. There’s a lot of conflicting information about how young is too young and what the relative benefit is to children of various ages. Nearly all models represent some kind of choking hazard for children under the age of 3. Other models suggest they’re designed and best used by children 8 and over. So we recognize that in terms of infant care, fidget spinners are best left in the drawer. Be sure to read the manufacturer information that comes with the product.

In fact, while the fidget spinner is experiencing new heights of popularity, this type of children’s toy has been around since the early 1990s. Of course, the principle of calming a child down and helping them focus on goal-oriented tasks has been around for a lot longer than that. The benefits are real, and people have noticed them before, but at the same time, these devices and the principle behind them are far from an unqualified positive.

As young parents, you may have also noticed the backlash against fidget spinners as some parents encouraged their kids to use the fidget spinner pretty much anywhere and at pretty much any time. Though quiet, they’re not silent and when you get 30 kids playing with spinners all at once, it creates a problem for the preschool or kindergarten teacher. And that’s the big-picture wisdom to keep in mind when buying and giving your child a fidget spinner. Many, if not most, children (and their parents) can benefit from a fidget spinner or similar device, but again not in every circumstance, nor is it necessarily healthy to let a child become too dependent on their fidget spinner.