Fidget Spinners Renew Focus on Kids’ Attention Spans

By; Xavior Reyna

Fidget spinners are one of the year’s hottest toys, and while the devices can be a distraction in the classroom, they seem to be sparking a conversation about how to help kids pay attention.

The toys are made of plastic or metal with a ball bearing in the center so a person can spin it between his or her fingers. Manufacturers suggest that as kids spin the toy on their finger or elsewhere, they will relieve their need to fidget and thus be able to focus on the classroom lesson. Some marketers also claim the toys may improve concentration in people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism and anxiety. However, some schools have banned the trendy toy from classrooms because teachers say kids’ frequent use of them has become too distracting.

Even so, the wild popularity of fidget spinners is renewing interest in the topic of children’s attention spans and how to help youngsters focus, said Megan McClelland, a professor of child development at Oregon State University who has conducted research on attention spans in preschool children.

Schools are banning fidget spinners and cubes because they are causing too much distraction in class. But they are known for relieving stress and proving particularly beneficial to children with additional needs such as ADHD or ASD. But some schools have already banned the gadgets. So are they helping kids concentrate or are they more of a distraction?


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