Review: We Tried 12 Best Fidget Toys That Keep You Calm & Focused (May 2022) - Singapore
You probably remember that fidget spinner craze that took over a few years ago...
And yes, fidget toys are still around today. And they’re more sophisticated — and helpful — than ever.
What are fidget toys and are they good for children?
Fidget toys are small objects designed for fidgeting. Although similar objects have been seen all throughout history, fidget spinners first became popular in 2017. Today, fidget toys have expanded from your basic three-pronged spinner to encompass fidget cubes, rings, keychains, and much more.
Fidget toys are meant to help relieve feelings of anxiety or boredom. They can help you regulate your emotions, calm down, and focus on the task at hand. Multiple studies have been conducted to address the potential role of fidget toys in emotional regulation. Fidget toys are small toys that are meant to be self-regulatory tools. They can be small handheld devices that a person squeezes, stretches, or more multi-purpose objects with switches to click, dials to turn, and buttons to flip.
Fidget toys are meant to engage a person in repetitive movements that help focus and calm the mind. Based on a 2018 study, people with ADHD, OCD, anxiety, autism, or other sensory conditions can use fidget toys to release tension, relieve anxiety, and cope with stress. There are many a benefit that come with playing with fidget toys!
What can fidget toys help with?
Experts say that good fidget toys actually aid one’s ability to concentrate when one is struggling to focus. Elizabeth Hankin, MA., L.M.F.T., and licensed marriage and family therapist at Whole Health Psychological Centre says that “Movement of the toy causes instant grounding effects by taking the user out of their head and refocuses them back to the present moment.”
Nervous energy, boredom, and anxiety are huge obstacles for concentration and productivity, often precipitating bad habits such as skin-picking, nail-biting, or checking your phone too often.
Fortunately, not all is lost: fidget toys, which are specifically designed to relieve stress, reduce boredom, and increase focus, can help with these harmful habits. “A good sensory toy should have some weight or texture to it that the user can focus on," adds Hankin.
The search is over – we’ve compiled a list of the best toys for you, so read on to find out where you can purchase the best fidget toys to help you stay calm and keep focused!
How we chose these 12 best fidget toys
We went by a careful set of criteria to pick and evaluate the best fidget toys for each category:
Fidget toys are frequently used when you’re anxious, stressed, or upset – meaning they’re likely to get pretty scuffed up. We did our best to see how products held up under long-term use!
Boringly patterned fidget spinners or cubes are long gone; colour, shape, size, texture, and material are all key factors that contribute to a visually appealing and soothing fidget toy.
How could we not listen to the public opinion? We thoroughly scoured reviews from previous customers, ensuring each toy we looked at lived up to the hype.
We did our best to ensure the following range of fidget toys spans a range of budgets to cater to as many people as possible!
We did our best to find as diverse a selection of toys as possible; there’s something for everyone, from tots to adults.
Some toys are on the noisier side; others are completely silent. We tried to include both!
The Toy Folks’s picks for the 12 best fidget toys
Best overall: Speks Geode Magnetic Spinner
Unsurprisingly, we found the Speks Geode Magnetic Spinner to be the best fidget toy overall. The magnetic pentagonal pieces satisfyingly click into place, making it a great option regardless of whether your child simply wants something to fidget with or wants an actual toy they can use.
For older kids who want to exercise creativity, your child can choose to stack the geodes straight up, slide the pieces to make the tower balance, build shapes on their side and stand the creation upright — or anything at all! Dubbed a “premium fidget toy” for kids, this is worth the price — it’s great for messing about whether you’re trying to concentrate, or simply want something to toy with in your free time.
Do note that because of their strong magnets and small parts, this fidget toy should be kept away from children and should only be handled by kids 14 and up. If any part of the toy breaks, immediately locate loose magnets and discard as soon as possible. This fidget toy can be a little noisy as well, and because of its loose parts, it may not be the best in the classroom, but we highly recommend it all the same!
These super budget-friendly fidget spinners come in a pack of four and are beyond easy to store in a desk, a drawer at home, or in your bag. Easy to use, they’re loved by both kids and adults. Children will especially love the different brightly-coloured colourways to choose from!
This fidget toy’s snap-and-click mechanisms help decrease restlessness and are a great outlet for any pent-up energy or boredom your child may possess. We personally love the mix-and-match you can do with the different pieces to create new colour patterns! Just note that the clicks may be a little loud for classroom use or in an environment where other kids may be distracted.
Best on-the-go: Tom’s Fidgets Original Flippy Chain
Residing on the more affordable end of the fidget toy spectrum, we personally love Tom Fidget’s Original Flippy Chain for long road trips or bus rides. This toy has two stainless steel split rings and two small bike chains that you can flip and slide around on the rings to your heart’s content, with small silicone bands thrown in to boot for extra texture.
The best part is, the bike chain links make this toy super durable (though we wouldn’t necessarily recommend throwing this around and stomping on it).
Plus, its small size means this Flippy Chain can easily slide into your pocket when you’re done with it. We’re especially fans of the super discreet and quiet nature of this fidget toy — it’s perfect for the classroom!
Even though this isn’t the most brightly-coloured or exciting looking fidget toy, we guarantee your kids will love it all the same. Just be careful with your tots; this toy is quite small, and may present a choking hazard.
Best for kids: Tangle Creations S&S Worldwide Therapy Tangle
Easy for small fingers to handle, parents can rest easy — this toddler-free toy lacks small pieces and has super simple construction, making it great for tots 3 and up. We’re sure your child will especially love the vibrant colours on this fidget toy too!
Offering a bevy of textures, from textured plastic to jelly surfaces, restless fingers will love messing with this toy. The best part is, the high-quality plastic pieces mean you can easily disinfect this fidget toy with soap and water to keep your child safe.
The Therapy Tangle is also great for older kids (or even adults) looking to soothe their aching joints and fingers from spending too long at a desk or churning out essays. Sounds therapeutic? We concur! Just note that this fidget toy is not the most discreet-sounding; it does make some noise, so we wouldn’t recommend taking it out for a spin at your local library.
Best for the classroom: Gnawrishing Chair Bands
We love these natural latex bands that are meant to go around the legs of chairs and desks. More for those with fidgety-feet, this band can help children (or even adults) focus by resting their legs and feet against the band, jiggling to their heart's content while leaving their hands free to write or type. Just make sure your kid gets their teacher’s consent before bringing it to school!
Best spinner: MAGTIMES Rainbow Fidget Spinner
We’re fans of the vibrant hues on this spinner that create a cool rainbow effect, with its decently long spin time thrown in to boot. These fidget spinners are made with ultra durable stainless steel bearings that create the swift and lengthy spin fans love. The cherry on top?
It comes with a carrying case for easy transport, making sure your fidget spinners won’t get scratched or damaged while on the go. We also love MAGTIMES’ 100% satisfaction guarantee, which works great if your kid is picky with their toys.
Best magnetic fidget toy: Speks Magnetic Balls
Speks Magnetic Balls are like a magnetic putty, but with none of the mess! Best for older kids or adults, we think these are one of the most fun stress-relief desk toys out there. You can keep a set on your desk for coworkers’ empty, keep them in your pocket to break that pen-spinning, desk-tapping habit, or even just mess with it during long meetings and classes.
We love the multi-purpose nature of this fidget toy, too: they aren’t just great for fidgeting, but building, too. Unleash your inner artist and build heaps of uber cool geometric shapes with these metal balls.
Do note that these balls are made with rare earth magnetics, though, and are pretty small in diameter at 2.5mm. Keep them well out of reach of your toddlers, and make sure only kids 14 and up have access to them. Don’t fret, though – their magnetic flux index rating is less than 50, and certifiably meets all toy and safety standards for those over 14.
Best putty: Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty
For those who prefer a more soothing, soft fidget toy, you’ll love Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty. Coming in a wide array of colours and types, choose from the uber-cool Intergalactic Triple Colour Changing Putty (which will change colours when your body heat meets the putty’s surface), to the satisfyingly glass-like Crystal Clear Thinking Putty.
We love the high-quality, soft malleability of this putty (that comes with its own tin for easy transport and storage!), which simultaneously manages to not feel sticky or greasy, so parents can rest easy knowing your child won’t emerge from playtime having left a mess or loads of stains behind. Fun for the family and for kids of all ages!
We especially recommend this toy for children with sensory difficulties; they may find this preferable to fidget toys made of plastic or metal, which tend to be harder on their little fingers.
Best cube: Appash Fidget Cube
We love the six-sided fidget cube, which provides not one, but six ways to fidget: glide, click, flip, roll, breathe or spin. There’s something for everyone! This sturdy, top notch desk toy is guaranteed to help you concentrate, or provide some much needed stress relief. It’s even small enough to slip into a pocket or your bag, so it’s great for on-the-go fidgeting too.
[h3] Best sensory toy: Impresa Products Monkey Noodle
Especially great for kids with sensitive skin, these hypoallergenic toys are free of BPAs, phthalates, and latex, so parents can rest assured. We especially like the variety of colours the Monkey Noodles come in.
Perfect for the hyperactive, fidgety kid, these toys can stretch up to eight feet and still bounce back to their original shape – no need to worry about overstretching these guys!
Best for 3 years and up, although we do recommend that adults supervise their child when playing with this fidget toy nonetheless to avoid injury to self or others.
Most discreet toy: ALEXTINA Stainless Steel Spinner Ring
Want to keep a fidget toy on the go while remaining stylish? That’s what sets this ALEXTINA Stainless Steel Spinner Ring a notch above the rest – we love the discreet wearability of this toy! It’s a great option to keep focused, or if you just want any fidgeting to stay unnoticed.
Plus, the stainless steel of this ring is safe, hypoallergenic, and never-fade, so you don’t have to worry about tarnishing from all the fidgeting. This toy is the best for every occasion!
Best popping: Louliou Fluorescent Bubble fidget toy
What sets apart this bubble pop fidget toy from the rest are the soothing fluorescent colours – they’ll be a great help for those with ADHD and autism-associated symptoms.
Suitable from ages 5 to 86, the silicone bubbles can be “popped” on each side, then flipped over and re-popped all over again for hours of fidgeting. The durable silicone also ensures parents can wash the fidget toy as many times as necessary without worrying about tarnishing or wear and tear. Pop to your heart’s content!
Frequently Asked Questions
Who should use fidget toys?
Fidget toys are often a popular staple in the workplace or the classroom. Kids and adults alike who struggle with anxiety or have concentration issues can bring them to school or the office to help them focus. They work great for people with ADHD and autism too. There isn’t a specific demographic – anyone can use them!
Is there anyone who shouldn’t use fidget toys?
Though fidget toys are suitable for kids to adults, bear in mind that smaller toys do present a choking hazard for toddlers and small children – especially those with loose parts.
Some schools may also have a ban on fidget toys, especially for those that tend to be more noisy. Make sure that the toys you bring to the office or classroom are sufficiently quiet and discreet to avoid disturbing others.
How do fidget toys relieve stress?
Many people swear by the fact that fidget toys help relieve stress by giving you something else to concentrate on. What distracts the brain and calms it down is the repetitive tactile input and movement!
Having heard the innumerable benefits of fidget toys, what’re you waiting for? From kid to adult, there’s something for every age – get fidgeting today and purchase a fidget toy! (Or two…or five…or ten…we don’t judge.)