How many times have you been sitting at work and your mind wanders off, and you lose focus? Or you are on a conference call and find yourself thinking about your grocery list or doodling on the page in front of you instead of taking copious notes? When a child has this problem in the classroom, we give them fidget toys. Bright, shiny, spinny, smooth, textured, rough and colorful.
We see fidget toys work wonders with children in the classroom as the distracted child will suddenly have a sense of focus as long as they can play with the brightly colored fidget in their hand. Why can’t an adult do the same thing? After all, clicking a pen, tapping on a desk, or playing with something that makes a constant sound can all result in frustrated co-workers or aggravated bosses if left unchecked.
These behaviors are often brought up as an issue by young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). They talk about how they are frustrated as they find themselves in an environment where these child-oriented fidget toys are no longer accepted. However, by not providing alternatives for this behavior, anxiety and distractibility can occur as well.
Fidget toys that are socially appropriate in work and college settings can benefit adults without receiving negative social feedback, and we have five examples of fidget toys that can be used by any adult who struggles with focus in a professional setting.
5 Fidget Toys for Adults
Infinity Spinner Ring
Just one of many in a collection of spinner rings, this infinity spinner ring, is simple but provides an outlet for those with nervous fingers that need for an outlet to move. Stimtastic has a wide variety of jewelry that is beautifully designed, but also functional as fidgets for the adult.
Magnetic Sculpture Nuts
While not appropriate to bring around to a company-wide meeting, this desk toy can sit near a computer for the user to play with while listening to an important phone conversation or trying to focus on a complex problem they are working to solve.
Tangle Jr. Textured Metallic Line
Similar to their primary colored counterpart, these metallic colored plastic connectors provide an excellent small toy that can be slipped into a purse or pocket and taken out to be used during a college class for the adult student.
A bonus of this toy is it also works fine motor skills and dexterity by requiring the user to move the interlocking rings in a rotating pattern. Due to the small size, this is perfect for the adult who can’t sit still on the bus headed back home after a long day at work. Fitting into the palm of your hand, it can be easily concealed and handled without drawing attention to the user.
Bike Chain Fidgeter
A typical design in the world of adult fidget toys, this tool, can be used single-handedly by the user to help them focus on the task at hand. This lends itself perfectly to the goals of including adults across the spectrum levels in all manners of work and tasks.
Let us know which ones work for you. Do you have any we missed? Continue exploring on these sites the variety of fidget toys available because there are so many to choose from for adults and kids!
And for more great ideas:
Alyssa R. Webb-McCune is a graduate student at Sam Houston State University in their Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program and works at Including Kids as a Focused Intervention Specialist. She has five years of experience working with students with disabilities and two years of experience working with adults with autism. She is active in research and focused on developing new ways to support clients in reaching their highest level of success.