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Chances are, you’ve seen fidget spinners or other fidget toys around. They are growing in popularity. These toys can act as a distraction to ease a wandering mind, calm anxiety symptoms, or improve focus.
Concentrating on the simple movements of these toys can help filter extraneous sensory information. In other words, these fidget toys can help “tune out” anxiety-producing events such as speaking to others, riding in a car, or visiting a new place.
What Do Fidget Toys Help With?
Fidget toys can help promote calmness, concentration, decrease stress, anxiety, and increase tactile awareness of hands and fingers. For some, the simple repetitive motor movements using fidget toys can help regulate impulses triggered by anxiety.
Struggling with anxiety? Learn more about how to change the way you think about anxiety with the book Badass Ways to Reduce Anxiety & Panic Attacks.
These toys aren’t just for kids either, they can be useful for adults. Have you ever noticed yourself clicking a pen or tapping your foot? These are the coping mechanisms the mind uses as a distraction from stressors. That’s where these little toys come into play. They can be fun toys to pass the time, help those with ADHD or anxiety cope with symptoms.
What are the Best Anti-Anxiety Fidget Toys?
Virtually anything could be considered a fidget toy, from a pencil to a paperclip. It really comes down to your personal preference. You’ll want to take into consideration the place you’ll be using the fidget toy to determine the best option for you.
For instance, if you’re looking for something to use at home, it can be a little larger, colorful, and it may not matter if it makes noise. However, if you’re planning to use at work, you’ll likely be interested in something more professional looking (think stainless steel) that doesn’t make as much noise.
As you may have noticed, there are hundreds of fidget products out there! So to save you some time, we put together our list of the best fidget toys for anxiety. Let us know if we missed any of your favorites!
This unique take on a fidget spinner uses a double pendulum to create different paths each time you spin. The changes in movement each spin make it fun and addictive.
The pendulum offers hundreds of ways to occupy hands and fingers spinning and flicking. It’s 3.5 x 3.5 x 1.3 inches, so can easily fit in your pocket.
- Portable design that can fit in your pocket
- Unlimited spin paths make it the perfect distraction
- Durable with stainless steel construction and ceramic precision bearings.
- Great for releasing stress, anxiety, ADHD
- Quiet – doesn’t distract others with noise
- Bearings can rust over time (if exposed to moisture)
- Lightweight intricate spins may not be a good fit for everyone
This infinity cube by Joeyank, made out of aluminum alloy, is composed of 8 small cubes that can be rotated or twisted from any angle. It can be held in one hand to adjust into the shape desired.
The Infinity cube is lightweight and is small enough to fit into a pocket (especially when folded flat). It’s a great option for reducing stress, anxiety, ADHD or to simply improve focus. This toy is another great option for an office or classroom environment since it looks nice and makes limited noise.
It’s recommended for adults and kids over 8 years old. This cube is 5.8 x 3.9 x 1.9 inches and weighs 4.8 ounces.
- Can relieve stress, anxiety, ADHD, and lack of focus
- Lightweight, portable design
- Durable – high quality made from aluminum alloy
- Simple, but with soothing movement opportunities
- Clean, elegant design (can be left on table or desk)
- Makes a soft metallic noise which may disturb others in some settings
- Limited folding options
This fidget toy is fun, almost a little too fun. With over 200 little magnet balls the shapes and formations you can make are endless. The Twiddler Magnets can relieve stress, anxiety, and enhance creativity.
The elegant design makes this product great for an office environment. It’s important to note these magnets are very small so they are not safe for younger kids or animals. The magnet balls can easily be swallowed! Overall this is a great product, although some were surprised by the actual size of the magnets (they are smaller than they look).
- Reduce stress, anxiety, ADHD
- Improve creativity and focus
- Endless possibilities for long-term fun
- Small and portable
- Doesn’t make noise
- Unsafe for small children and pets
- Balls are smaller than they appear in photos
- Some formations such as cube may not hold their shape
The Tangle Therapy Relax toy is one of few fidget toys that has real studies to back up the claimed benefits. Its twistable pieces are hard plastic on the inside but with a rubberized textured exterior for a nice soothing feel. Twist it into all sorts of shapes to calm an anxious mind.
This squiggly tactile sensory toy is great for working through a panic attack and for easy anxiety. But it’s also FDA approved for improving hand motion and restoring joints!
Tangle Therapy has been proven to help people relax their mind.
- Clinically proven to relax the mind
- FDA approved
- Twist into multiple forms and shapes
- Soft rubber with texture for easy gripping
- Lightweight (less than 1oz)
- Larger, doesn’t easily fit into a pocket
- Can be choking hazard since pieces come apart
- May break with excessive use
The ATESSON Fidget Spinner is an upgraded version of your average fidget spinner. This puppy can spin up to 10 minutes (avg. 4-10 min) with its SLA technology stainless steel bearing. You’ll love its sleek metal design, rounded edges and smooth surface. This fidget spinner is a real beauty.
Calm the nerves with this classic, high-quality clean fidget spinner. The smooth spinning motion can busy idle hands to help soothe an overactive mind.
- Clean, stainless steel design
- Reduce stress, anxiety, and ADHD
- Quality bearings + design for long spin times
- Fidget spinners only offer one spinning motion
- Bearings can rust over time (if exposed to moisture)
Möbii Fidget Ball (infinity ball)
This infinity ball is made of stainless steel chainmail rings just loose enough to pull over one another. It’s like weaving an infinity pattern that never ends.
The endless movements of the Möbii fidget ball make it the perfect choice for relieving stress, anxiety, and improving focus. It’s available in three sizes, with the smallest version measuring only 1 inch across.
- Available in 3 different sizes
- Durable stainless steel design
- Calming infinite ring overlapping
- Washable with soap and water
- Not kid friendly
- Limited movement
Considerations When Buying a Fidget Toy
It’s important to remember that these are just toys. If you are struggling with anxiety disorder or ADHD none of these products (or any for that matter) are going to magically “treat” health disorders. These toys are in no way a replacement to help from a medical professional.
But these type of toys can be useful! Sometimes taking the edge off or giving you a little extra comfort is all you need to help get you through the day. That’s what we’re hoping for here. Happy fidgeting!
Also take a look at other natural ways to reduce anxiety here. There many resources and options that can help, even if fidget spinners don’t provide the distraction you’re looking for.