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Are Fidget Spinners Really Worth The Hype?

Are Fidget Spinners Really Worth The Hype?

Have your children succumbed to the craze of Fidget Spinners yet? Marketed originally as a toy to help concentration, the Fidget Spinner and Fidget Cube come in a seemingly endless variety of colours, materials, and shapes. You can even make your own! Made up of a ball bearing surrounded by a circular pad, with "blades" which can spin around, Fidget Spinners can cost as little as €1 online, but most are on sale for between €5 and €15.

The popularity is so great that toy shops are struggling to keep up with this unexpected surge in demand; partly because toys sold in the European Union must first be tested & receive the CE (Conformité Européene) label which shows they've been approved for the use of children. This is why products can seem more plentiful from street vendors rather than official retailers; but be warned that cheaper versions may not achieve the same safety and quality standards.

So what is the attraction?

The appeal of the fidget spinner is its simplicity: It’s small enough to fit in a pocket and carry around; and unobtrusive enough to play with while you’re doing other things. You don’t need any time, or skill level to start enjoying it. But fidget spinning can also be developed, with a number of tutorials for tricks already appearing online; and pimped up versions appearing with extra moving parts, or led lights. No wonder Fidget Spinners are becoming an increasing frustration for teachers, who feel their classes are being distracted.

Is it a tool, or a toy?

There is very little scientific evidence to back up claims that the Fidget Spinner can help disorders including ADHD, Autism, and PTSD; but there are reports that those who concentrate better while moving, might find focusing easier while using one of the more discreet versions, which wouldn’t become a main focus, or distract others. It is also being adopted by adults who want a distraction from smoking or nail biting, as it gives them something else to do with their hands.

Where did they come from?

They may be the latest craze, but Fidget Spinners in their original form, were designed back in the 1990s. Canadian Catherine Hettinger invented the fidget spinner while suffering from an auto-immune disorder called Myasthenia Gravis; which causes muscle weakness, and made playing with her young daughter difficult. Hettinger developed the toy as an easy way to do an activity with her daughter, since they could both take turns spinning it. Selling her design at a number of craft fairs, Hettinger patented the ‘Spinning Toy’ in 1997 after a deal with Hasbro fell through. But when she couldn’t renew in 2005 because of lack of funds, she lost the rights to the design; which is why it is made by a range of different companies today.

Are they safe?

Like any toy, Fidget Spinners could potentially get stuck in hair, or hit someone if thrown. But as they are designed to be held consistently between thumb and forefinger, this is only a threat if your little monkeys like to see how well things fly! However, they are banned in some schools as they are causing so much distraction in the classroom, so if you’re unsure just check that they won’t be confiscated immediately.

What were the biggest crazes when you were in School? (Mine were Pogs and Diabolos!) We'd love to hear. If you're still deciding how to keep your little ones entertained over the summer, check out 15 Fab Summer Camps Your Kids Will Love.


About the Author

Emily is a Writer, Editor, Blogger, and our new Digital Content Intern. She has three awesome nieces, and has accidentally worn the same outfit as them on at least one occasion. Emily likes making things, including hand-drawn cards, and a darn good chocolate cake; and she still sounds very English, despite living in Dublin for the last eight years. More insight into the workings of her brain can be found on dancingcakesandsilence.blogspot.com.

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