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There’s a new fad spinning its way into schools across America and stirring up opinions all over the place. Fidget spinners are everywhere: in pockets, backpacks, and even 7-11. By now, you’ve probably heard of them, but if you’ve been living under a rock you may be thinking, “Fidgy wha now?”
Let me fill you in, because I don’t want you to miss an opportunity to jump on a bandwagon. Plain and simple, fidget spinners are small metal or plastic objects that spin around on a central bearing.
Originally intended as a spinning toy to reduce anxiety and increase attention abilities, they’ve quickly taken off with kids everywhere. They’re so popular that many schools are even banning them from class completely.
As with anything that’s popular, there are plenty of opinions to be had. I’ll get to where you can purchase them soon, but first let’s talk about fidget spinner pros and cons.
Fidget Spinner Controversy
Although they’re intended to bring calm, some people find them annoying. I mean, super annoying. Mom Nichole Beaudry says she almost lost her zen at gym class because of them. She recalls, “A mom sat beside me at gymnastics last night and spun one for the entire three hours. I had fantasies of grabbing it and flying it frisbee-style across the gym.”
Aside from the fact some people spin their fidget for hours, there are other reasons for the Anti-Fidget Club. For example, my son has one that clicks as it spins. My advice? Don’t buy one of those. He says he finds it relaxing, but I feel like Captain Hook being chased by Tick Tock Croc on a regular basis. Make it stop.
On a more serious note, there have been incidents of children swallowing pieces of their fidget spinner. If you have a kid that likes to put things in their mouth, or a child under three, it’s probably best to avoid these things. Kids have also been known to get their fingers stuck in the small holes. According to local mom Rachel McNamera, her daughter got her finger stuck and when she lubricated it with water to get it out, the spinner rusted and stopped working. A double fail!
Aside from safety concerns, some parents are avoiding them for more personal reasons. “I am against them based on the principle that it is a fad, and fads are uncool. Had I been an early adopter I might have felt differently, but at this point it’s a definite no,” reasons local parent Krissy Crabb.
Danielle Porter warns that spilled milk will make the fidget spinner stick and lose its spin. One of my own kids stuck his spinner under the lizard’s heat lamp and melted both it and his heart. To summarize: don’t eat, stick your finger in, melt, or pour milk on your spinner and you should be okay.
The Fidget Spinner Fan Club
Of course, there are those who like these whirling wonders. Christina Larson is a Speech Language Pathology Assistant and she believes they have real benefits. “They’re better than giving your kid an iPhone or iPad while waiting in line, and they help with anxiety. They’re similar to a stress ball. Just because kids look distracted while using them doesn’t mean they aren’t paying attention,” she says.
Special Education teacher Jessica Appleford suggests children who struggle with focusing branch out from the fidget spinner focus. She explains, “Certain children would greatly benefit from a fidget spinner. Unfortunately, they have become such a fad at our school they are now not allowed for any student. I don’t agree with that. I do think there are far better techniques that would work for those who benefit from fidget spinners AND there are far better fidget toys than the spinner such as swivel chairs, silly putty, or koosh balls to name a few.”
Other parents have chosen to remain neutral in the fidget spinner controversy. Jennifer Kersten has four boys and she says, “They don’t bother me. It’s just like any other craze that will be replaced soon. In my day, I loved the Chinese jump rope and Lemon twist fads.” (Full disclosure: she also lets her kids ride hoverboards in the house while wearing a T-Rex suit. I personally find that to be inspiring parenting, but it’s not for everyone.)
Where to Find A Fidget Spinner
If you’re interested in finding a fidget spinner, there’s no need to look very hard. Even Disneyland is selling them now. For $9.99 you can choose between light-up Mickey, Minnie, or Stitch.
Locally, you can find them for roughly $6 pretty much anywhere: Michaels, Food 4 Less, many shops in the Sierra Vista Mall, and even 7-11 sells them. Of course, Amazon is in on the fidget game, with literally 400 pages of fidget spinner options with prices starting at $3. Basically you can’t throw a fidget spinner without hitting another fidget spinner. What a time to be alive.
If you really want to make someone’s birthday special, check out this list of the Most Expensive Fidget Spinners. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are a lot of tutorials on Youtube on how to make a fidget spinner with materials around the house, like paper, bottle caps, and even Legos. Bottom line? Fidget spinners are everywhere, and (some) people love them.
What do you think of fidget spinners? Are you someone who has 17 in your house or are you avoiding them with every ounce of your being? If you have any tips or warnings based on your fidget spinner experience, drop them in the comments.