Kati Berlin, Occupational Therapist, shares ideas on how to make a fidget.
Fidget toys are small objects that can be used during school, in the classroom, or at home to focus a need to move, help kids pay attention, or help to decrease anxiety. Children with attention deficit disorder (ADHD), hyperactivity, sensory processing disorder, or anxiety may be able to benefit from a fidget toy. Fidgets should help your child focus, should not make distracting noises, and should not distract other children in your child’s class. When fidgets start to interfere with focus and functioning in the classroom, they should be taken away & a new approach should be attempted. Make sure to ask your child’s teacher before sending a fidget with your child to school.
More ideas for fidgets, include using small toys that provide additional tactile input, such as squishy, spikey, gooey, and moveable surfaces. A classic figet, or “stress ball”, can be made easily at home. Just take a thick balloon, fill it with sand or flour, and tie it securely. You may also want to fill a balloon with playdoh for a different texture, and finger strengthening.
Make sure to take your childs needs & any safety concerns related to mouthing objects or immaturity into account before providing your child with a fidget. For more information on helping children with ADHD, sensory processing disorder, anxiety, or hyperactivity in Charlotte, NC contact an occupational therapist at Child and Family Development.