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Fidget Spinners Help Kids Improve Concentration And Focus, But Do They Distract Others?

4 May 2017, 6:39 am EDT By Steve Bowman Tech Times
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Fidget toys, the latest craze among children, are proving to be a source of distraction during school hours. Fidget toys such as fidget spinners and fidget cubes were originally developed for children suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or autism

In the last couple of weeks, the fidget toys have entered the "must-have" list of most school-going kids. Teachers and school administrations report a significant rise in the number of fidget toys has been seen in the school, which the children are bringing with them.

Some schools have even gone to the extent of banning these toys from the school premises to prevent distraction in classes.

Benefits Of Fidget Toys

Although some schools have banned the fidget toy inside the institute premises, Danielle Timmons, a primary school teacher told the BBC that the toys are beneficial for children in some ways.

"It's become a playground toy as well as something that is used by children to stop them from fidgeting," Timmons told the Kaye Adams Programme.

She noted that while these palm-sized toys have been around for a while, the craze surrounding them is recent.

Prior to the popularity of these fidget toys, Timmons states that they were used only by children who required special support. Specialists vising schools recommended the toys and the administration followed their advice and stocked them for kids.

Melissa Ferry, a special education teacher at the Ganiard Elementary School in Michigan also spoke in favor of the fidget toys being allowed inside school premises.

"If we see students are unfocused, getting up to use the washroom, sharpening their pencil frequently or causing a disturbance, they might need a sensory tool to help them focus," Ferry stated in support of fidget toys.

Ferry cited a study conducted on the benefits of fidget toys. In one such case study, sixth-grade kids from a school in Georgia were provided stress balls to observe how it helped them concentrate on their school work.

The study's results revealed that the average score on a writing test increased from 73 percent to 83 percent. Performance of kids who were diagnosed with ADHD showed a 27 percent rise.

Fidget Spinner Toys Distract Kids?

Fidget spinner toys were created specifically for a particular group of kids requiring support for focusing and concentrating on their studies. However, the current craze for fidget spinners can be seen in kids without ADHD or autism.

Stores stocking the toys reveal that most kids are following the craze blindly as they don't want to be the odd one out. They want the toy because their peers own them too, so that they can feel like they're a part of the ongoing fad.

Some educational institutions in England and Manchester banned the use of fidget spinner toys inside the school premises as they found that it was distracting kids from their lessons.

Cory Sicard, a science teacher at the Sierra Middle School located in Colorado, banned the use of fidget spinner toys in his class as he saw children getting distracted. However, psychologists and pediatricians see the ban of fidget toys as a matter of concern as they believe that such tools help kids more rather than distract them.

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