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Fidget EB

Everything You Need to Know About Sensory Toys

Sensory Toys started booming in 2017, and since then, they've continued to grow with various designs available. Seemingly pointless due to their purposeless nature, you may be confused about why they're so popular that some schools have resorted to banning them. Hopefully, this quick run-down will tell you all you need to know if you're confused about their popularity.



What Are They?

Sensory toys are small, hand-held, tactile toys usually made from plastic, wood, metal, or rubber. They're self-regulatory and designed to help channel movement to aid concentration and relieve boredom. Toys with this purpose existed long before "sensory toy" as a term was commonplace - the traditional stress ball being one example.

Who and What Are They For?

They're mainly targeted at children, but adults can also use them if they find them helpful. They're primarily used by those with anxiety, ADHD, autism, sensory issues, and other common conditions and learning difficulties that can result in fidgeting behaviour or stimming (making repetitive movements or noises) to help ease anxiety, concentrate, and release excess energy. These fidgeting behaviours at school or work can distract others and make it more difficult for them and the individual to continue their lesson or work. A small, discreet toy to play with will redirect their movement, calming the user, heightening their focus and listening. Sensory toys tend to pop, crackle, and make other satisfying noises, which are auditory stimulants that can have a calming effect similar to ASMR videos - videos you or your child might watch in the evening which aim to produce a pleasant tingling sensation in the scalp to aid in relaxation.


Fidget ECI

Why Have Some Schools Banned Them?

If these toys have significant benefits for increasing concentration, why do some schools ban them? Some might have banned all types, and others may have only banned one or two, like the Fidget Spinner. Ironically, a few schools think these toys have become too distracting. With the rise in their popularity, kids who don't necessarily 'need' them have been using them at school because they're seen as a cool playground trend, concentrating on playing with them more than using them to aid their work. Therefore, blanket bans have come into force.


However, if you find your child is struggling with their schoolwork without the help of a sensory toy, it may be worth talking to their teacher or headteacher about it to see if an allowance might be made or if your child can get extra support with their learning.


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What Types of Sensory Toys are Available?

Stress Toys / Squishy Toys - this variety is easily identifiable thanks to their squishy nature! Ideal for squeezing, this is a basic and much-loved version with few frills and deviations. However, you might also find some with lights, glitter, or other decorations.

Tangle Toys - these can be twisted and manipulated into various shapes if you or your child prefer toys to be slightly more interactive.

Fidget Pops - made famous on TikTok, these toys act like bubble wrap, allowing you to push each popper repeatedly for a satisfying experience. They're available in various designs and shapes to suit any personality.

Fidget Cube - the Fidget Cube has six sides, each with its own mindful activity, allowing you to roll, click, spin, and more. With more than one sensory experience, this toy is an excellent choice for those who get bored quickly.

Fidget Spinner - these are usually a three-pronged toy that can be spun or used to create cool tricks. This toy is available in different colours and styles to suit you or your child's personality.


If you're curious to discover what kind of toy might help your child with their restless movements, why not explore our Jokes, Sensory, and Tricks collection?

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