According to the neurodiversity experts at Understood.org, “Most young kids can’t sit still for long periods of time.” Quieting your body and focusing your attention without rocking, fidgeting or bouncing is a skill that develops over time, and on a spectrum—meaning some children master it earlier than others.

Enter the explosive popularity of sensory toys and fidget toys.

Do they fulfill their loftiest promises to sharpen cognition and settle emotions? That’s up in the air. As NYU clinical psychologist and ADHD specialist Dr. Yamalis Diaz told the New York Times, there is conflicting evidence as to whether these toys actually improve focus in school. (It also depends on the kid. So they very well may work for yours!)

What’s crystal clear is they are all the rage. They are the perfect stocking stuffers, goody bag fillers and outdoor playdate trading objects. And while behavior charts are controversial, if you’re going for positive reinforcement, these little guys work wonders as rewards.

Here, our top 12 squishy, pop-able, can’t-put-down-able must-have best fidget toys.

Related: 5 Things a Child Psychologist Wants You to Stop Saying to a Child with ADHD

Amazon

1. Tganghak Push Pop Bubble Handbag

Wearable Pop-Its

The newest, hottest, latest in fidget technology? Multi-tasking sensory toys masquerading as other things. There’s a pop-it iPhone case, a pop-it tote bag and even a pop-it wristband. Perfect for portable popping.

$15 at Amazon

Amazon

2. Depointer Keyboard Shaped Push Pop Bubble Fidget Toy

Tech-Inspired Fidgets

Help gamers unplug with pop-its designed to look like video game controllers or gamer fidgets that clip onto your backpack. Or practice your typing—sans screentime—on a keyboard pop-it. Silicon valley, indeed.

$13 at Amazon

Target

3. Xtreme Time Rubik's Magic Star Spinner

Fidget Spinners 2.0

Remember the fidget-spinner craze of yesteryear? Ancient history. Those toys have mated with other beloved novelties, yielding results that will keep hands and brains busy. Behold, pop-it fidget spinners, fidget cubes, rotating Rubik’s cubes…It’s enough to make your head spin.

Buy it ($20)

Amazon

4. TOGOO Jumbo pop Fidget Toy

Giant Pop-Its

We searched high and low for the biggest pop-it money can buy. But if you’re not down to spend $88, try this runner up: A rainbow behemoth with 400 bubbles. Gifting any mega-mat should make you very POP-ular.

$30 at Amazon

Walmart

5. Jumbo Gummy Worm

Foodie Fidgets

Spaghetti-stretch squishes? An ooey gooey jumbo jelly worm? An irresistible, giant gummy bear? While not actually edible, these tactile toys hit the multi-sensory sweet spot.

Buy it ($13)

Walmart

6. Squishmallow Austin the Avocado

Squishmallows

People are obsessing over these pillow-like plushies at Beanie Baby levels of passion, thanks in part to #SquishTok. They are the It toy of the pandemic, due to their softness, cuddle-ability and inclusive, gender-neutral pronouns. Hey, if they’re comforting kids at a time like this, they deserve the hype and the hugs.

Buy it ($20)

Amazon

7. Mini Kawaii squishies Mochi

Mochis

These tiny squishies have big-time appeal, thanks to their soothing pastel colors and cute, expressive animal shapes. Buy them by the bucketful, to trade. Or keep them in your little one’s pocket as an unobtrusive, soothing transitional object.

$10 at Amazon

Walmart

8. Glitter Monkey Noodle

Monkey Noodles

Stretch them up to eight feet. Braid them (and not mom’s hair!). Wrap them (safely) around your extremities. Meet the new craze that encourages kids to monkey around.

Buy it ($14)

Amazon

9. MagneDotz Magnetic Balls

MagneDotz

These mesmerizing magnetic balls fuse together to create endless geometric combinations. And thanks to the rules of attraction, they don’t fly apart and roll all over the floor (or find their way into the dog’s mouth).

$35 at Amazon

Walmart

10. Sensory FX ASMR Light up Disc Spinners

ASMR Spinner

An interactive handheld toy that lights up and creates hypnotic visuals? It’s a spin for the win.

Buy it ($10)

Target

11. Flowtoys ToroFlux Interactive Kinetic Sculpture Metal Spring Flow Toy

Kinetic Sculpture

This metal spring contraption looks like a slinky but shape-shifts into an otherwordly orb. Mindfulness has never looked so cool.

Buy it ($19)

Amazon

12. Argh Ball Giant Rainbow Stress Ball

Argh Ball

We’ve squished almost every stress ball on the market. The ones that pop out through mesh to look like glittery brains. The color-changing glow-in-the dark ones. The ones with crunchy snow or shaped like beaded ice creams. Nothing beats the Argh Ball for size, softness and durability. We love it so much, we could just squeeze it.

$15 at Amazon

RELATED: How to Help Kids Focus, According to a Clinical Psychologist

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