I think, DARE I say it, that we may finally be getting over the bottle flipping phase in our house. Or at least that’s what I thought until my 3-year-old came into the kitchen with a grin from ear to ear and showed me his ‘trick!’ WHERE do people come up with these things anyway??
I’m waiting for the ‘how fast can you wash the dishes’ fad/challenge to start! (HEY – maybe we should start that one!) I digress! Sooo, now it seems we’re on to the next phase, FIDGET SPINNERS. Are they good or bad?
I guess it depends on how much you hated the bottle flipping phase!! Because maybe fidget spinners are a welcome relief! At least they’re quiet!
I have seven kids in my house and sometimes all the kids but the baby were flipping bottles at the same time! It did create several laughs and a lot of playtime together across the ages, but sometimes, I wanted to flip the bottle RIGHT INTO the garbage!! (OK, recycle bin but I think you follow me and can probably identify!!)
Before we tackle the question at hand, let’s define a fidget spinner.
If you haven’t heard of them you will soon. At least if you have kids around. Just like the Rainbow Loom and Cold Water Challenge were sweeping the nation, so is the fidget spinner. Relax though. If you don’t like them, they will be replaced soon enough by some other crazy thing (how do we start that dish washing challenge again?)
According to Wikipedia,
a fidget spinner is a type of stress-relieving toy. … The toy has been advertised as helping people who have trouble focusing or fidgeting (such as those with ADHD, autism, or anxiety) by acting as a release mechanism for nervous energy or stress. (wikipedia.org)
Why can’t I come up with these things? (I could retire now!) I mean really, they are SOOO popular now.
ARE THEY HARMFUL?
By that I mean, in and of themselves, no.
They are a tiny, pocket-sized gadget that spins around. It’s not like you can poke an eye out or anything. Or can you? Some parents, along with schools have banned them, because just like anything, after the initial thrill wears off, it’s time to invent a new way to use them.
So, while the initial use for a fidget spinner was to help kids who couldn’t sit still have some outlet for their energy in a quiet (non-distracting) way, now, there are all kinds of tricks kids can do with their fidget spinners.
There are even YouTube videos teaching crazy and far out tricks (if you have nothing else to do on a Friday evening, consider watching some!)
As I was saying, when you throw an object up in the air and try to catch it, there is always potential that you could miss. And someone’s eye could get poked out (does this really ever happen?).
My cautionary advice to you would be, if you are going to let your child use a fidget spinner, please teach them to spin responsibly.
DO THEY REALLY HELP KIDS CONCENTRATE?
Consider this quote I found in an excerpt while researching fidget spinners:
“Students will hold the spinner in their hand and they’ll spin it – above the desk, usually – and kids move it through the air. They try to spin it on their noses and their elbows and kind of play around with it like a toy. And then there’s usually kids looking at the child playing with the spinner. It’s just pretty distracting.” (npr.org) (original source uncited)
While there are some who feel they can be helpful for kids who struggle with ADHD and ADD the general consensus is that they are more of a distraction than a help.
I had a hard time finding many who were in favor of fidget spinners being allowed in classrooms and organized settings.
Think for a minute if 30 kids in a classroom were all playing with fidget spinners while the (poor) teacher tried to teach, how much concentration would be going on?
ARE THEY FUN?
(But so was flipping bottles!)
It seems like the draw to fidget spinners (both for adults and kids) is because they ARE fun. They have a level of intrigue (which is so funny because all they do is spin! – washers and dryers also spin, but my kids have not seemed too excited about them!)
Whenever there is a new fad sweeping the nation, it’s usually because it’s fun! You don’t see too many people buying boring toys, now do ya?!
There are many tricks and crazy things that you can do with a fidget spinner. Again, just look on YouTube! You may end up wanting one for yourself, so be careful! I won’t tell your kids if you decide to use it after they are asleep! 😉
SO WHAT’S THE CONCLUSION?
In my humble opinion, and that’s exactly what it is, I think fidget spinners, when used the right way, (not thrown around – gotta protect those eyes) in the right setting, (the middle of algebra class is not good), at the right time, are a good thing. (Oh great! When my kids read this, they’re all gonna want one!)
Like anything, they can be used for good or evil (I never thought of a water bottle as evil until a few months ago!)
Ultimately you’ll have to decide what’s right for your kids!
And hey! If you do decide to take the plunge, they aren’t gonna break the bank (most are under $10) and when your kids are all done with them, they can take up residence in the back closet next to the long lost Rainbow Loom and maybe even a Beanie Baby!
If you absolutely have to have one or your kids have been begging you, (or maybe you just want to see what on earth I’m talking about). You can check them out below! “We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.”
See! They’re actually kind of cool!
What do you think about fidget spinners? Are they good or bad? Have you let your kids jump on the fidget spinner craze? How do you like them? Have you found them helpful or a distraction? Comment below and let me know! I may need to buy 10 of them!