If you have a schoolgoing child then you have probably heard about fidget spinners. So what is all the fuss about? Read on to get the lowdown.
What is a fidget spinner?
The latest ‘It toy’ is a small metal or plastic sensory gadget with prongs that spin around in your hand. They are said to have been originally developed for children with autism, anxiety and ADD/ADHD, and are now cropping up in classrooms as a way to channel ‘restless energy’ and therefore improve memory and focus.
Recently the toys have become the ‘must-have’ gadget for every child on the playground, not just those who need it.
Although their benefits have not been scientifically proven, many parents are still pressured to buy these toys in the hopes they will bring some concentration to their little ones. With prices varying from R145 to R399 on www.takealot.com , this seems like a high price to pay for a toy that schools are starting to ban after they’ve created widespread disruptions in classrooms.
Why are they being banned?
‘Spinners are highly distracting to students and those around them,’ wrote one middle school in Massachusetts in a message asking parents to keep their children from bringing them to class. ‘There is no doubt that for some students (very few) a type of school-approved fidget is a good idea on some occasions. The majority of students do not need the distraction.’
Many schools in South Africa are following quickly on the heels of US and UK schools by officially banning the fidgets from being on school grounds.
Should you buy a spinner for your child?
No, says teacher Molly Callaghan, adding that the trend has caused more harm than good in her classroom. ‘Here’s the thing: when a student needs a fidget it is usually directly outlined in their individualised education programme, but now I have all these kids who don’t need them bringing them in and playing with them incorrectly,’ she explained to www.goodhousekeeping.com.
Our take? Save yourself the expense and ride out the fad.
Extracts used from a post published on Good Housekeeping US.