Fidget toys for children with anxiety

Yesterday, when I left for a shopping trip, there was an Amazon package on the front step. I picked it up without looking who it was for and put it on the dining room table. I knew it wasn’t for me, I rarely shop at Amazon. I figured it was for one of the men.

When I got home the package was still on the table, unopened. I thought, it must be for my daughter. Sure enough, when she arrived home from school and upon completion of the puppy-mauling-attack, she opened her package and took out the following items:

Fidget toys.

I have never heard of them before but was intrigued. I asked her if I could blog about it and take pictures, and she said yes.

I remember when she was much younger, we came up with a sensory box for her. She had anxiety about some subjects back then too, and this sensory box was something she enjoyed sticking her hands into.

It doesn’t surprise me that this idea of fidget toys has exploded in recent months, or even years.

My daughter has been struggling a little bit while in lockdown, spending a lot of time plugged in watching Marvel movies, or chatting with friends. Virtual school was kind of uninspiring, although I am not knocking the teachers for that…it just isn’t the same experience for kids still in elementary school, you know? But once she started going back to school a few weeks ago, things improved a bit. She walks the 11 blocks picking up her various friends along the way, spends the day in school, returns, and seems a little bit more herself now. She is back into her routine, a bit of a social life, and some variety in her day.

Of course, she still has homework. And although this girl is a straight-A student, she stresses over homework. Especially math.

While testing out her fidget toys, I asked her a little about them. She said that it helps her to calm down while fiddling around with these items. Well, all the power to her. If it helps, and it put a smile on her face, then that’s fine by me.

After she left for school today, I looked for the sensory box and found it. Here’s a little clip of it:

Tell me, how do you handle anxiety? Do you have a toy, a stress ball, or something else that helps calm you? What about kids? What worked for them?

Thanks for reading today! See you in the comments.

38 thoughts on “Fidget toys for children with anxiety

  1. I think fidget toys would work for children, adults, anyone with anxiety really! The sensory box seems like a great idea too. I think fidgeting, though helping relieve anxiety temporarily, prevents us from learning how to keep composure while experiencing intense emotions. Just a thought!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I find the best way to handle anxiety is to get things done. I discuss with my husband or a girlfriend my anxiety over something. When I figure it out, whether it is over daily living, work anxiety, health or a bucket list item and then I do it. I take it step by step. If I am doing well, everything flows. For in between, I exercise and eat healthy foods to motivate me.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I use coffee, old movies, and my sister to calm my nerves. I know coffee seems counterproductive but for me it’s like a sedative. Okay, okay, I failed to mention wine, that too has become a appealing ritual especially during this never-ending pandemic! C

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t get anxiety much anymore. I get stressed out, overloaded, but I think my “worry” wires burnt out during my marriage and for a few years after he left. I spent every waking minute anxious and worried. My meds helped a little, but mostly I just existed in that state.
    My younger daughter has anxiety and panic attacks, she uses cannabis. Older daughter drowns hers in wine or Jack Daniels.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I find it amazing you have never heard or seen a fidget toy!! A couple of years ago fidget spinners were a bit of a fad in Australia. Every kid had one, every kid tried to out do every other kid with tricks, who had the coolest looking one yada, yada. Needless to say there were many teachers who shuddered at the sight of them, kind of like the bottle flip. Sadly this amount of attention meant that students who genuinely needed something like this were deprived because there had to be a blanket NO in many classes. How do you explain to a twelve year old that they aren’t allowed a toy when the other kid over there is without isolating the kid over there?

    I currently have a student who I believe genuinely needs something but he hasn’t produced it yet. I am not sure how it will work because he is one of those boys desperately trying to find his place in the pack and fit in. Everyone is going to notice if he turns up with a toy and then I am going to have 27 of them to deal with the next day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We had the spinners too in Canada and I believe they were not allowed in the classrooms. But the kids took them out at recess, or at the rink during games while the siblings played…

      It’s tricky, navigating these things. My daughter is in grade 8, I’m not sure how things work at her level, or whether she even uses it in school. I do know she uses them while watching movies on her computer…

      Liked by 2 people

  6. As I typically only experience anxiety when I am more than a few feet off the ground, or when flying I just avoid those things and life is wonderful. Now that I have a daughter moving to Colorado, the flying thing comes smacking me in the face. Fidget toys are unlikely to help I think. I might be okay if someone could stuff me in the overhead bin…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Running, or exercise, is a great way to work off that mental clutter, isn’t it. I noticed a big difference in my kids’ personalities when all the sports stopped. They were on the ice 3-5x per week and it wasn’t just exercise, it was socializing, change of scenery (out of town games) and playing against kids they’ve grown up with…

      It’s been a tough year.

      I too clean when I’m stressed (and cry at the same time). πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Well as an adult I handle anxiety with alcohol, but as a child I loved to swing going higher and higher, getting all the angst out of me. Would probably work now, but I have no swing. So I drink.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. The sensory box with the beads reminds me of my childhood. I used to make oodles of beaded jewelry. I would do it for like 5-6 hours at a time some days. Looking at this post about your daughter and thinking back now, it likely was me covering for the anxiety I was feeling that I didn’t know was anxiety at the time.

    I started taking anxiety meds around Christmas time, which made a night and day difference in my life, so I haven’t had too many panic attacks the past few months. That being said, when I get anxious, I’m the type to put the TV or music on as loud as possibly can. When I get anxious, I want as much background noise as possible to try and drown out the thoughts in my head. Does that make sense?


    1. It makes perfect sense. I know a few people who use music to drown out their mind. There are some who use more destructive methods to deal with anxiety, so I agree that it needs to be taken seriously so that it doesn’t progress to that degree.

      Finding good coping methods is crucial. When I faced a particularly stressful time right before a major renovation I asked for anti-anxiety meds and was given them for a short time. My doctor is not against meds but prefers other coping mechanisms be explored first.

      We have so much more knowledge these days, right? This too is helpful.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. That’s so interesting, especially the sensory box, that tactile sensation can cause anxiety reduction. Personally, I fidget with my car window when i’m driving. It’s almost unconscious at this point. Drives passengers nuts. 😁

    Liked by 2 people

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