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.