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Pure Friendship for Individuals with Special Needs
Ahren Hoffman

18 Favorite Fidgets for a Child with Special Needs this Holiday Season

Fall flies by in the blink of an eye, and unfortunately for this eye-catching season of changing colors, there are some times when you just can’t get outside to enjoy the falling leaves and fresh air before Old Man Winter comes knocking. When that’s the case, it is best to look towards the fun and friendly toys called fidgets. Fidgets are a category of self-regulation toys loved by kids everywhere because they give their busy hands and fingers (and sometimes even feet) something to do. Most fidgets are small objects that can be discretely handled by kids while providing them with kinesthetic engagement. However, there are some that provide visual and auditory cues that make them not the most discrete, which is okay when appropriate! For kids who struggle to focus for extended periods of time, fidgets have been shown to help when attention is essential. The discrete variety of fidgets can help kids maintain focus and attention without making a scene, making them great for school, car rides, and bad weather. The louder variety is perfect for playtime inside the home and with friends when more stimulation is needed. Here is a list of some of our favorite fidgets:

1. Bouncy Bands for Desks

Bouncy Bands for DesksHeavy-duty solid rubber bungee-like cords attach to the legs of a chair or desk to allow kids to discretely exercise their legs while sitting.

2. Bouncy Bands for ChairsBouncy Bands for Chairs

Kids can enjoy being able to rest their feet on Bouncy Bands instead of having them dangle all day. Bouncy Bands are quiet and don’t distract others, so they are a great tool for the classroom!

3. Fiddle Focus Busy HandsBusy Hands Superhero

Busy Hands is a fidget toy that is small enough to be used when a child is seeking out sensory stimulation or feels overwhelmed and needs to keep hands occupied.

4. Fiddle Focus Busy FingersFingers bugs busy hands

Busy Fingers help promote focus and attention and encourages self-regulation. Busy Fingers is a fidget toy that utilizes a variety of fabrics to provide tactile discrimination and sensory stimulation.

5. Tangle Creations Tangle TherapyTangle Therapy

Interconnected curved segments that are rubber coated and can be twisted and rotated to keep minds and hands busy! Tangle Creations has many different sizes, textures and colors to choose from!

6. Q3 Enterprises LLC Twiddle

Pup twiddleTwiddle products are plush fidgets that resemble a hand warmer/muff. Twiddle can help soothe and calm and/or create focus and attention through sensory stimulation. There are many Twiddle themes to choose from to fit each individual’s personality: Classic, Sport, Cat and Pup. Each Twiddle includes fidget accessories like an orbit ball, wooden beads, textured ribbons, Velcro and a satin pouch.

7. Hedstrom Specialty Sensory Twistz

TwistzSensory Twistz include 20 connected balls that come together as a circle and pop apart as different strands for kids to manipulate and create! The connected foam balls come in bright colors and patterns but have a smooth uniform texture for visual and tactile sensory appeal.

8. Wabobawaboba pool ball

Waboba stands for “Water Bouncing Balls.” These balls may be meant for water, but the variety of sizes, densities, colors and textures are perfect for using as a stress ball to squeeze and fidget when extra energy needs to be exerted.

9. Senseez Pillows

senseez vibrating pillow spottedSenseez Pillows provide sensory feedback through vibrations. Kids can sit on the pillows during school, homework or dinner to help promote focus and attention. Pillows come in many textures and colors to suit different personalities!

10. Spin Master Bunchems

bunchems These orbs have a similar effect to burrs—they stick. The feel of Buchems is like a little massage when you squish them in your hands and connect them to each other to fidget or make masterpieces. Warning: parents will want to review the recent mishaps with this product becoming entangled in children’s hair before bringing them home!

11. Oballs

oballsOballs are easy-to-grasp and lightweight. The holes in the balls provide a perfect space for fingers to explore and manipulate.

12. Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Puttycrazy aaron thinking putty

There are a plethora of colors, kinds, and scientific discoveries to explore with this putty promoting focus and self-regulation.

13. Wikki Stix

wikki-stixWikki Stix stimulates self-regulation and self-confidence as kids bend and stick these wax-like sticks.

14. Bendeezbendeez

This rubbery band can be manipulated into infinite shapes and designs right at one’s fingertips.

15. Weplay Olive Massage Ball/RollWeplay Olive Massage Ball

Textured with bumpy nubs, these massage balls provide sensory stimulation and help increase attention.

16. Hasbro Koosh Ballshasbro koosh ball

Classic toy with multiple ways to engage. The rubber texture with silly strings helps to keep hands busy.

17. Fat Brain Toys Squigz Benders

squigz bendersSquigz Benders are a family member of the original “Fun Little Suckers” known as Squigz. These fun little fidgets can twist and loop to help kids keep minds focused while hands are busy.

18. Schylling Flexi SphereSchylling Flexi-Sphere

The Flexi Sphere has super flexibility! It collapses and expands into tons of shapes—the shape is in the hands of the fidgeter. Fidgets are about as unique as children and their individual needs, so make sure to take the individual child into consideration before finding that perfect fidget, it’s definitely out there! See more great posts about fidgets here.

WRITTEN ON December 08, 2015 BY:

Ahren Hoffman

Ahren Hoffman IS the manager of Industry Relations and Partnerships for the National Lekotek Center. Lekotek, is a not-for-profit and leading authority on toys and play for children with disabilities. Lekotek is dedicated to providing children of all abilities access to the benefits of play experiences. Visit for a complete listing of toys. You can also find them onFacebook