The last few years has seen a massive rise in fidgets of all colours, shapes and sizes. Whilst many think this is a new trend, they forget about the Rubix Cube, Lights Out and those handheld gadgets filled with water, where you needed to push air into it and get the hoops over the little poles. Remember those? There are many reasons why fidgets can make children feel better and we are going to take a look at some of them now.
Whilst this is about children, the same effect of using a fidget to help ease mental stress, and indeed physical stress, can be achieved for adults to.
For children the world can easily be overwhelming and daunting, regardless of whether they are coping with added stress or illness or conditions that affect them day to day. A fidget can be a life saver in a world that is hectic and loud.
Some children, for example, can be extremely fidgety and it can be caused by a multitude of reasons. Perhaps they are bored, finding it hard to concentrate, are feeling anxious or maybe just overwhelmed. Handing a child a fidget in this situation can have an instant affect that is incredible, calming them and allowing them to be more still, both mentally and physically.
This is because the act of using a fidget gives the brain and hands something to concentrate on, a way to focus all of that jittery energy in one place, it is a distraction from the environment and their internal feelings.
Fidgeting can be caused by the body experiencing a raised amount of hormones caused by stress. This places the body into a situation where it is preparing to move, it could even be their fight or flight response. So, to curb that response, the body fidgets, expelling that excess energy in the only way it feels it can in that moment.
This can cause issues for children who perhaps are needing to be still in class, concentrate on a task or prepare for bed. Their fidgetiness could easily be due to feeling overwhelmed or anxious, handing them a fidget can concentrate that energy and alleviate those feelings, providing an opportunity to discuss it with them and find a solution.
Obviously, this can have a massive benefit to their mental health overall.
In our house we have a chest of fidgets, from old school ones, to the newer kind, poppets, spinners, squishies, putty, cubes and many more. We have tiny ones and huge ones, cute ones and some frankly ugly ones. They each have their uses though, sometimes they just get played with, there are games that the children make up with them too, such as the fidget trading game, (I’ll come onto that shortly) and other times they help calm, destress, concentrate, relax, focus, be still or avoid sever outbursts.
Another benefit of fidgets is that the kids are away from screens. So much of our lives now are screen based, both at home, work, school, even when out shopping. there are screens everywhere, and I believe they are fantastic and can be incredibly educational, entertaining and relaxing. It’s not a bad thing to let kids be kids though and use their imaginations for something a little different.
The Fidget Trading Game
As I understand it, all fidgets are placed in the centre of the children and they begin to pick in a round, one fidgets at a time until they are all gone. They then begin trading.. This can be fast paced or incredibly slow depending on the kids and their own rules that they seem to add each time they play. That is all there is to it and they play for hours! Everyone gets their own fidgets back at the end of the game, it’s done purely for fun.
The hours spent using Etch-A-Sketches and stress balls are not lost on me, I can totally understand the appeal of the fidgets around for the children of today and the benefits to their mental health. Happier, calmer and more settled children is always our aim as parents, this is a step in the right direction.
Our section especially for children will be packed full of tips, tricks and information to help them cope in this busy, hectic world, and hopefully improving their mental health.