The 12 Best Fidget Toys for Any Kid Who Needs to Keep It Movin’
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.
2. Depointer Keyboard Shaped Push Pop Bubble Fidget Toy
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.
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.
6. Squishmallow Austin the Avocado
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.
8. Glitter Monkey Noodle
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.
10. Sensory FX ASMR Light up Disc Spinners
An interactive handheld toy that lights up and creates hypnotic visuals? It’s a spin for the win.
11. Flowtoys ToroFlux Interactive Kinetic Sculpture Metal Spring Flow Toy
This metal spring contraption looks like a slinky but shape-shifts into an otherwordly orb. Mindfulness has never looked so cool.
12. Argh Ball Giant Rainbow Stress 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.