Pick of the Month:Fidget Spinner
By Karma Khalidi, Early Childhood Educator
As an early childhood educator, I am fascinated with how much time children spend discussing and playing with their fidget spinners; as a parent, I cannot believe that my two-year-old also finds this toy entertaining.
Historically, fidgets are toys that provide sensory input for children who find it challenging to concentrate and pay attention. In classrooms, swoosh balls, spinning tops and stress balls are typically used for sensory input.
The fidget spinner is appealing because it is small, easily available, affordable, colourful and easy to use. It has become a hit because children can use it anywhere (it is easily transportable), it provides the sensory input needed by some children and it’s a great conversation starter amongst children of all ages. Some fidget spinners that spin longer than others are made of precious metals are being sold for a fortune.
The fidget spinner is banned in some schools, as they can be distracting in the classroom. Because of this craze, the initial purpose of the fidget spinner (sensory input) is sometimes forgotten and children who used to benefit from it are disadvantaged due to schools banning it and other fidget toys. In addition, some fidget spinners are poorly made and have proven to be dangerous.
Most fidget spinners are fun and safe for children eight years and above. They aren’t meant for younger children, though. In fact, the United States’ Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued a safety warning about fidget spinners since they contain small parts that pose a choking risk if they break, which many of them do. Here are additional safety tips for parents: pay attention to battery-operated fidget spinners. The CPSC has issued these safety guidelines:
Never leave a battery-powered fidget to charge overnight
Charge the fidget spinner only with the charger intended for it
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and don’t overcharge
Shop for a fidget spinner only at a reputable retailer that follows toy safety standards
Approved for children eight years and above with safety measures taken.