If you don't yet have these available in your classroom, give them a try! You may notice that some of your students will make just about anything a hand fidget-- an eraser (or all of them), a pencil, a paperclip, a toy from home..... seriously, anything. By providing these for students who need them, you are preventing additional distractions and encouraging them to use tools to help keep them focused on the task at hand.
|These are from Hobby Lobby-- use their weekly 40% off coupon to get these for around $3.50|
I love these as an "incognito" fidget. Kids can wear them on their wrist when they don't need them, and slip them into their hands when they do. These are found in any hardware store in the key department-- just remove the metal ring and you're good to go! I love that these are durable, easy to clean, and don't draw too much attention. If we're doing an activity with lots of transitions or if a student is particularly shy about coming to the Fidget Bin throughout the day, these are a great choice. Plus, if they do break, they are still perfectly functional as a fidget!
I have similar rings in my Writing Teacher Time Bin (more info HERE), but I like this set in particular because of all of the varied texture they have. I will put two together for a student (no need for a 20-link chain!) and they can shuffle them in their hands and play with the texture all they want. They are easy to keep clean and small enough for a whole-class setting without added distraction. I let the student choose his/her two rings so they have more buy-in with using this tool. They are pretty fun!
Pool Noodle Rings
Definitely grab one of these when you're out and about this summer! You'll just need one (about $3) and a serrated steak knife. Cut these into 1" rings and you're all set! These aren't super durable, but their unique shape and the low price point makes them an easy tool to offer to your average fidgeter. Plus, since they aren't fun party toys like the balls mentioned above, they look more like tools (and are all the same color), so I have found these to be easier to manage in the classroom.
|This 2-pack is from Target for a little over $5|
How Do I Use Hand Fidgets in Class?I will typically offer these as an option to the class at the beginning of the year and see who actually uses them and who is just curious about them (similar to the Noise Blockers I mentioned HERE). By the end of the week, the initial excitement has waned, and then I can really focus on getting the right fidget to the fidgeter. You see that these are simple, but all very different, so some may be more preferred over others, and that's ok! I leave them in a common spot in our Fidget Bin so those kids can grab what they need and get to work. As with everything, we lay down some ground rules (keeping them out of our mouth, returning them to the bin, using them as tools, not toys, etc.) and expectations beforehand so it's not a free-for-all. The simple reminder of "Tools, not toys." has been great in ensuring their proper use throughout the year.
Some kids come with preferences from years past, and I will always default to what works for them and ensure I have something that they need. No need to reinvent the wheel! And if someone is a chronic fidgeter, they can keep their fidget in their personal bin since they rely on it much more throughout the day.
I'm hoping these gave you some easy ideas to get a Fidget Bin started in your own classroom this year. There are *tons* more examples of fidgets out there and several websites where you can do some shopping, but I have found these simple and (very importantly) cheap solutions have done their job very well these past few years.
Any more to add to the list?
I'm linking up with my sweet friend, Tara, at 4th Grade Frolics for her Monday Made It! Be sure to head over to see loads more and get incredibly inspired for your classroom next year :)