Fidget Toys For Anxiety

Updated December 18, 2018

Reviewer Laura Angers

Recently, there has been a craze about fidgeting toys. Fidget toys are small devices that users rotate between their fingers. If you have kids, you probably have been forced to the store to buy a fidget spinner or toy. While most kids just see them as fun to play with, many people who use fidgeting toys claim that they get a calming sensory experience.

Bearing in mind that most of the times people are glued to their screens due to the increase in technology, fidgeting toys comes is as a refreshing change. The trend started in 2017 and in most homes and even some classrooms, one would find almost every kid has a fidgeting toy.


Most of the sellers claim that it is useful in dealing with anxiety and ADHD. However, the new craze for fidgeting toys should be handled carefully especially in terms of the safety of some of the fidgeting toys. Moreover, there are concerns about the usefulness of the fidgeting toys for anxiety and if they are suitable in a school set up. So what is the deal? Are fidget toys useful for anxiety or are they just another toy trend, one-hit-wonder? The answer might surprise you.

What Are The Fidget Toys?

Fidget toys are colorful, handheld gadgets that small enough to fit one's pocket. Fidgeting toys take different shapes and forms, but most of them have disc-holding paddle-like wings that can easily spin on your hand. As stated above, fidget toys come in various shapes or forms. Some are in the form of a keychain, wearables such as rings, bracelets, necklaces, and even wristbands.

Fidget toys keeps the hands engaged in repetitive and simple movements that enable the users to easily keep off what would be distracting such as smells, closeness to people, lights, and sounds. If one is in a situation where distractions are too overwhelming, then the use of a fidget toy comes in handy to reduce anxiety. Interestingly, even a clicking object such as a pencil or pen can be used as a fidget toy.

Do Fidget Toys Help With Anxiety

Most of the people who have used fidgeting toys report that fidgeting with toys helps them in stay focused when sitting still, in a meeting, or when performing various tasks. Initially, fidget toys were made for the purpose of helping people dealing with stress, but anxiety is reduced as well. Occupational therapists have been using fidget toys for anxiety to help kids dealing with ADD and autism for quite some time. Now they are becoming popular worldwide, meaning more and more people have access to this helpful tool if they are aware of the benefits.

How it works: fidget toys for anxiety are very useful because most of the time they are used together with other anxiety treatments or medications. The continuous spinning and twirling those individuals can do with fidget toys helps in keeping the hands busy, and they provide sensory stimulation for those people who have mental health issues such as anxiety disorders. Moreover, fidget toys for anxiety offers the perfect distraction for people who have trouble focusing.


Fidget toys for anxiety provide a distraction from anxiety symptoms and provide soothing benefits for people with sensory problems. People with anxiety disorders can attest to the fact that anxiety affects the whole body, more so the hands and fingers as it causes shaking, cramping, restlessness, and tingling sensations in the fingers and hands.

Fidgets toys for anxiety has been shown to be effective as it helps the victims to calm their nerves when they are in anxiety episodes. It helps people to calm down, and it encourages people to have positive thoughts.

Some people relieve anxiety by biting their nails, others touch their hair, fiddling with jewelry, and some put their hands in pockets. Fidget toys for anxiety work in the same way.

One should note that fidget toys for anxiety do not cure anxiety; instead the act of fidgeting is what helps the individuals to calm down. Fidget toys assist people to fidget and in turn, helps them in coping with anxiety.

Factors To Consider When Buying A Fidget Toy

There is a variety of fidget toys that come in different shapes, colors, and sizes. Choosing the right fidget can depend on one's taste and a variety of other factors that one should put into consideration. Here are some of the suggestions you should follow the following factors when deciding on the best fidget toy to buy:


  • Cost Of The Fidget Toy. Check for various reviews on the product. A high price fidget toy does not mean it is the best, but as always remember that cheap is expensive. The best idea is to read the customers' reviews on the fidget toy before buying.
  • The Type Of Material Used To Make The Fidget Toy. Nevertheless, a fidget toy whose material does not wear out too quickly is the best option so that you do not have to keep on replacing it. Also, make sure that the material used to make the fidget toy does not contain any harmful components. If one has a preference for soft or squeezy texture, then go for the toy whose material offers that benefit.
  • Design Of The Fidget Toy. The determining factor when it comes to the design factor depends on an individual's preference. If one prefers elegant designs or simple designs, then go for what one prefers.
  • Extra Features Depending On The Type Of The Fidget Toy. If one prefers extra features such as glowing LED lights and extra clicking objects, you should consider this when buying your toy. Also, keep in mind that there are some fidget toys that one can use together with essential oils. This can bring on extra health benefits.

Benefits Of Fidget Toys For Anxiety

Use of fidget toys for anxiety have been used by medics to calm people with anxiety. However, of late, there has been an ongoing increase in the trend for fidget toys for anxiety and some people see them as a nuisance. Nevertheless, most doctors agree that the benefits of fidget toys for anxiety outweigh the problems that it causes.

Some studies confirm that fidget toys are useful in controlling anxiety in learning situations. Students with ADHD can benefit significantly from using fidget toys. Fidget toys for anxiety can be useful in calming victims, but they should be used in combination with other anxiety therapies and medications, not in seclusion. Although fidget toys do not cure anxiety and ADHD, they can play a significant role in calming the affected individuals if used correctly.

Major Concerns For Using Fidgeting Toys

The use of fidget toys for anxiety in classroom set-ups has been a major concern for parents and teachers. One can argue that the distraction benefit that it offers can distract the student from the important classroom work.


There have also been some concerns about the issue of safety of fidget tools in children. One of the major concerns is that fidget toys may choke small children if the fidget toy falls apart. Essentially, you have to decide if the pros outweigh the cons for your particular situation.

DIY Fidget Toys For Anxiety

Although they are relatively cheap, there are DIY options. If one does not have the money to buy fidget toys, make them!. One can make stress balls that can work just the same way as fidget toys. There are various tutorials and videos on different DIY fidget toys for anxiety. Examples of fidget toys that do not involve any cost are such as a pen, worry stone, pipe cleaners, paper clip, plastic straw, and shoelace among others.

Precautions To Take When Using Fidget Toys For Anxiety

Always make sure that one does not use a fidget toy whose bearings are spoilt. Bearings often are worn out due to constant use of the fidget toy. Make sure that fidget toy with a defective bearing is not used as it may cause safety issues.

If the fidget toys have batteries, ensure that the battery compartments are tightly closed to prevent them from falling off as they may choke children.

Always buy a fidget toy that is age appropriate by checking the manufacturers' label. Children under the age of three years should not use fidget toys. As a matter of fact, the best age to introduce fidget toys should be 7 years. However, this depends on the parent and the attentiveness of taking precaution when the child is using a fidget tool.

Fidget tools for anxiety should not be used solely for the treatment of anxiety. Rather they should be used in combination with other options such as anxiety medications. This is because fidget tools do not cure anxiety disorders; rather they only help the victim to cope with the condition.


Management of anxiety disorder can make use of fidget toys as supplements as it has been shown to show excellent results. Fidget toys should be used in conjunction with anxiety medications and psychotherapy for one to enjoy the best results. However, it should be noted that some people have reported as having received complete relieve from anxiety just by using fidget toys.

If you are thinking of using fidget toys for anxiety, then make sure that you buy one from reputable stores and make sure that it is age appropriate.

In conclusion, fidgeting toys for anxiety can aid in relieving anxiety symptoms. Repetitive spinning or rolling of fidget toys boosts concentration and aids in calming anxious people. Always make sure that you chose the best fidget toys for anxiety.

Feel free to contact BetterHelp for more information on ways of dealing with anxiety.

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