Which fidget toys are helpful for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder?
The right fidget toy for children with ADHD will help them remain calm, de-stress and divert or engage their focus. Fidget toys come in many forms including stress balls that are ideal for squeezing or manipulating, fidget cubes that you roll around in your hand and click together or fidget spinners that you can flip around.
Fidget cubes are advertised as an intervention for ADHD, anxiety and stress. But do they actually work? In this blog, we examine the science behind ADHD fidget cubes and look at some of the clinical trials supporting their use.
What is ADHD?
ADHD is a mental health condition that affects people of all ages. It can be a lifelong condition where people find it difficult to focus, sit still and control their emotions. ADHD affects over 6 million people in the UK and its symptoms include:
- Being easily distracted
- Being restless or fidgety
- Having problems sitting still
- Having problems paying attention
- Having problems organising yourself
- Having problems sticking to tasks
These issues are typically first noticed during childhood and can be very disruptive to a young person’s development. Children with ADHD can fall behind in school and struggle with friendships.
Finding the right fidget toy will keep hands busy whilst helping concentration. You might want to avoid fidget spinners because these can be visually distracting and possibly over-stimulate.
The science behind fidget cubes
The science behind fidget cubes is pretty simple: they help people get out some of their excess energy and focus their attention. People with ADHD tend to have an excess of energy that can be difficult to control and so fidget cubes are a simple way to get rid of some of that energy.
One study found that fidget toys can improve the focus of people with ADHD. The study also found that fidget toys could help reduce some of the hyperactivity that often affects people with ADHD. However, there is no evidence on how long these effects last after using fidget cubes.
Another study, carried out at the University of Toronto, showed that they can help improve concentration and reduce hyperactivity and impulsivity. So, Are Fidget Cubes Good For ADHD? The results suggest that fidget toys can be helpful for people with ADHD, but more research is needed to understand how they work and how long the effects last.
For more information on How do fidget toys help? read our article here.
Different types of fidget toys
Fiddle and fidget toys come in all different shapes, sizes, colours and textures. They can be spun, squeezed, connected, twisted, snapped and clicked – encouraging exploration and manipulation. Any toy that has moving parts or enticing textures will be great as a fidget toy.
Our Edx Education UK fidget toy pack of 100 Fidget Cubes or Edx Education USA fidget toy pack of 100 Fidget Cubes are THE perfect fidget toy! A pack includes 10 colours and 5 different shapes; square, pentagon, circle, triangle, and hexagon. These sensory fidget cubes link together and connect with a satisfying ‘click’ as you feel them ‘snap’ together. You can build them up, over, down or out so you can create endless 2D and 3D shapes, matching the shapes and creating patterns.
There are other types of fidget toys available that help with fidgeting behaviours including fidget rings, fidget balls, Zubik’s Cube and similar puzzles, stress balls and squeeze toys.
Fidget cubes and ADHD
If you think that a fidget toy could help improve the concentration of your child, try using one at home first, then speak to your child’s teachers if you feel they will be of benefit at school. Like most other toys, fidget toys are safe to use as long as you follow the manufacturer’s instructions. However, please note that due to some fidget toys containing small parts, not all are suitable for children ages 3 and under.
For home learning toys for different age groups, abilities and developmental stages, view our full range here:
Edx Education – Heather Welch
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