Fidget spinners: A tool or distraction?

Fidget spinners: Learning tool or distraction?

There's a new toy on the block that's turning heads and spinning off shelves. 

Fidget spinners are designed to help kids who have a hard time concentrating in class, but some schools in Illinois, Minnesota, and Massachusetts have banned the toys saying they're more of a classroom distraction than a classroom tool. 

Toy stores like Williams Fun and Smart Toys say they can't even keep them in stock -- kids love them, especially kids diagnosed with ADHD.

Morning reporter Yvonne Thomas spoke to a family in Houston County who says they've tried everything to help their son and so far the fidget spinner is doing the trick.

“Devin is constantly moving, fidgeting, banging on stuff,” said Kristi Clarke.

Eighth-grader Devin Dees needed a better way to focus in class.

“I like tapping my pencil a lot and teachers don't really like that,” said Dees.

“It drives us crazy,” said Clarke, with a laugh.

Kristi Clarke says since her son Devin was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD. They've looked for ways to help keep him still.

“Doctors say, try natural foods. We tried that,” said Clarke. “We put him in sports, everything.”

Even with their doctor's recommendations, Clarke says her son couldn't help but move around.

“He was still constantly fidgeting a lot,” said Clarke.

That is until a new fidget toy came spinning into town.


“I keep it in my pocket,” said Dees. “I use it in my left hand while I write with my right hand."

Now everyone in the family has their own, including Devin’s little brother Jayden Cannon, who uses it just for fun.

“You spin it and you can do tricks with it like this,” said Cannon, showing off his skills.

Kids across the nation are using fidget spinners in class, but while some kids use them to focus, other kids just use them to play with, which could be distracting.

Behavioral Psychologist Ashley Allen says they can help kids who suffer from anxiety or ADHD.

“I think the fidget spinner is a really fun toy and kids really like them because they are visually stimulating,” said Allen.

“Having them to do something with their hands allows them to focus on the teacher in the front of the classroom or the actual learning exercise that's going on.”

For Devin, this trend seems to do the trick.

The prices for fidget spinners range from $2 to more than $200 on Amazon.

If you can't find a fidget spinner, Allen says students can also use hacky sacks or stress balls to help with focus.

We reached out to several school districts in Central Georgia: Bibb County, Houston County, Laurens County, Dublin, and Jones County schools. They said either kids weren't using them in class or they have no comment. 

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment
More Stories