21 Great Fidgets For Your Child With Special Needs

Special Needs Fidgets

Fidget toys are great self-regulation tools to help with focus, attention, calming, and active listening. We asked some of our contributing bloggers what widgets they would recommend. The results are some pretty neat fidget toys that will help your child with special needs. Check out all 21 below.

Karen Wang

Fidget Toys1. Rainbow twist and lock blocks
2. Robot X-7
3. Wooden Jacob’s Ladder
4. Small PinFrame
5. Tangles
6. Cars and planes: Hot Wheels cars, monster trucks, motorcycles and airplanes are great fidget toys – very soothing when the wheels roll on the hands and arm, plus they’re 100% appropriate for kids in almost every social situation.
7. Silly Putty is an excellent quiet fidget toy in a school setting.
8. We also have a few dozen stretchy plastic lizards, frogs and snakes.
9. Haba makes wooden fidgets that are marketed as teething toys for babies – they’re safe for chewing.

Karen is a Friendship Circle parent and contributor to this blog. She is also a contributing author to the anthology “My Baby Rides the Short Bus: The Unabashedly Human Experience of Raising Kids With Disabilities”

Jeanette Jones, OTRL/MOT

Koosh Ball Fidget10. Koosh balls
11. Marbles in a small bag
12. Squish balls- kids love the ones that an effect happens when you squish it (eyes pop out, or different colors turn on)
13. Ponytail bands
14. Soft pipe cleaners with ends cut off (not sharp)

Jeanette is an Occupational Therapist at the Kaufman Children’s Center.

Brenda Kosky Deskin

Corks Fidget15. Stress balls: You can make them with cornstarch or sand and balloons.
16. Corks for people who like to pick at things.
17. Buckyballs but they’ve stopped making them as they’re too dangerous.
4. Pin Art Toys (i find ours addictive once I have it in my hands!)
18. Hoberman Spheres
19. Wikki Stix
20. Gear Ring: For older kids it’s hard to find items that will not be noticed by classmates.
21. Chewlery

Brenda is the parent of a child with Autism.She is a Founder and Editor of AutismBeacon.com, a one-of-a-kind website and online directory dedicated to providing vital resources and information to the international Autism community.

Melissa Ferry

I like tangles and they tend to work well for younger students.  My older students tend to prefer my homemade ones (I fill balloons with either rice, oatmeal, or flour)…they choose which one they want based on their sensory needs. It’s very funny how some kids can’t stand even to touch the rice one but love the flour and then some kids are the exact opposite and need the stress relief the rice provides. The oatmeal I found is a nice balance between the two.

Melissa is a former Friendship Circle volunteer. She currently is a special education teacher for Mt. Pleasant Schools in Michigan.

So… What are your favorite fidgets?


Written on 2013/02/07 by:


Tzvi Schectman is the Family Coordinator for the Friendship Circle of Michigan and the Editor of the the Friendship Circle Blog. You can connect with Tzvi on LinkedIn and Google+
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    iPad is the best friend I’ve ever got just Hold it in your hand and you are hooked by its size, feather weight and sheer quality. Apple was late with the iPad mini but in my view they really have hit the spot.

    iPad 3 Keyboard

  • http://www.facebook.com/kerry.hincka Kerry Gallagher Hincka

    party beads! they can be held in a hand in a pocket and mushed around, twirled, worn around the neck so they are ready when you need them, cutom colours to go with your outfit! Best of all they are super cheap and readily available. My 20 year old can’t leave home without them, and have saved the skin from being completely picked off her hands :)

  • Erin

    silly putty because i have ocd and its hard to keep still at certain places like church when i can’t pick soIplay with silly putty.

  • Lorna d’Entremont

    KidCompanions Chewelry, made in Canada and sourced in Canada and the USA, CE marked, and sold at http://kidcompanions.com ? They are often recommended by health professionals and parents because our stylish, wearable or attachable chewy fidgets are age-appropriate and allow the user to blend in. Our circle and heart shaped pendants are safe, bpa, phthalate, pvc, lead and latex free. KidCompanions are great for all who MUST chew, bite or fidget and appreciated by those with autism, ADHD, Tourette’s syndrome, Down syndrome, FASD, SPD…

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  • Loz

    Chewigem is wonderful

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