Fidget toys have been all the rage lately. Meant for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), they purportedly increase concentration levels and bring comfort in stressful situations. There are two main types, namely the fidget cube and the fidget spinner. I bought both of them as a set on Carousell for S$9, and thought I’d give the fad a spin.
There is a wide variety of designs for fidget spinners and some even glow-in-the-dark. The spinners that have metallic bases are usually pricier and cost more than S$20.
Before getting my hands on the toys, my friend sent me a video of his fidget spinner spinning on its own. Hence, I thought that I simply had to press the center bearing for the spinner to be activated. Needless to say, I was underwhelmed when I realised that the spinner will only start swirling when I manually turn the outer bearings.
The fidget spinner pictured above is 7 ½cm long from one outer bearing to another. It has a plain white plastic base, top, and bottom bearing cap as well as black rubber shields. Fidget spinners are customisable so you can purchase different colours for all the aforementioned parts.
I found that the fidget spinner shortened my concentration span because I needed to use both my hands to set it in motion. I was reading material on my laptop, and my eyes were fixated on the screen so I couldn’t really pay attention to the fidget spinner.
I guess it’s meant to get easier the more you get the hang of it, but starting out, I found it quite contrary to its purpose.
The model that I got is the Colour Mini EDC Hand Spinner Fidget Cube with a grey base and red buttons. It is made of plastic and is 3cm across, which makes it more portable as it is easy to be kept in pockets. Unlike the spinner, which can only spin, this toy incorporates more movements for your hands, such as clicking, flipping, gliding and rolling.
You can glide around the protruding button at the top of the cube with your thumb.
The circle on the left face of the cube is meant to be spun and the five buttons on the adjacent face are made for clicking.
The face on the left has a metal ball and gears that you can roll with your fingers, while the one on the right has a switch that can be flipped.
You only need one hand to use the fidget cube, so it is suitable to use even when you’re working on something else. The cube does not require much of your attention, so it is unlikely that you will be distracted by it. Students may use it with their non-dominant hand while doing written tasks.
I found the fidget cube to be quite unnecessary for adults with office jobs though. It would hinder your efficiency at work because you do need both hands for typing. Perhaps it would be appropriate to use it in secrecy at a meeting but even so, the sounds emitted from using the contraption are rather loud.
Fidget toys should not be household items for I highly doubt that they vastly improve one’s concentration. In fact, they may achieve the opposite effect. With their bright colours, they are hard to miss and they draw attention to themselves when a user whips the toys out. It can distract people around the user.
However, I do acknowledge the social benefits reaped from fidget toys’ sudden surge in popularity. Children diagnosed with ADHD now experience less stigma when they take such toys out in class. Nevertheless, the hype surrounding fidget toys appears to be more of an appropriation of the medical condition.
If you’ve recently jumped on the bandwagon, share your experience with us in the comments!
Prices: S$5 – S$12 (Lazada, Qoo10 and Carousell); S$20 – S$30 (retail stores)
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