My Love-Hate Relationship with Fidget Toys

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fidget toys10-year-old: “Mom, mom, mom, Can I get a pop-it or a simple dimple?”

Me: A whatza what now?

10-year-old: “It’s a fidget toy. They’re so cute and I want them alllllll.”

Chances are if you know a child between the ages of 4 and 14, they have fidget toys. They frequently request more fidget toys. They trade fidget toys. They watch YouTube videos about fidget toys. They are generally obsessed with fidget toys. OK… well, the obsession may just be my child, but fidget toys are certainly the hot sensation running around the playground.

And I have a love-hate relationship with these little silicone poppers.

LOVE: Ok, let’s be honest, tapping a pop-it is as satisfying as popping bubble wrap. We’ve all done it. 

HATE: They come in so many shapes and colors and sizes, that my kids have an insatiable need for more and more. I thought once they got a single pop-it, that would be it. TA-DA… You got one! False… they want them all!

LOVE: They are relatively inexpensive. I mean, you can certainly spend big money if you want to, but generally speaking, they make great gifts for birthday parties or rewards for behavior charts.

HATE: They have bizarre names. When my child goes into fidget toy mode it’s like she’s speaking another language. Pop-its, simple dimples, monkey noodles, marble mesh, pressure rings, pea poppers, infinity cubes, bike chains, and the list goes on and on.

LOVE: I have a simple dimple fidget toy on my keychain, and I hand it to my kids when we check out at the grocery store. They’re so busy popping it that they don’t touch the candy rack or the counter or any other germ-covered, high-traffic surface.

LOVE: I find myself mindlessly clicking the one on my keychain at stoplights instead of reaching for my phone. It helps me resist the urge to peek at my phone when I’m sitting in traffic, making me a safer driver.

LOVE: When my daughter started a new dance class, I could tell she was incredibly nervous standing out in the hall waiting to get started. I asked her if she wanted my keychain and she immediately got to clicking.

So, I guess it turns out, I’m more of a fidget lover. Although they are definitely toys and can be annoying (sorry teachers!), having a fidget toy on hand gave her an outlet in a moment when she could feel anxiety starting to build in her body. And for that, I’m very grateful. We practice a lot of calming techniques, and what a gift it was to have a simple tool, that fits in the palm of her hand, that helped her regulate her emotions.  

Where to find Fidget Toys

Of course, they’re also just cute and fun to play with and trade with your friends. We love to shop the selection at local toy store The Learning Post, and you can also find a multitude of them online.

What types of fidget toys do your kids like?

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Content Coordinator Megan doesn’t really fall into any one mom category. With three kids from ages 5 to 12, she’s been a working mom and a stay-at-home mom. She’s breastfed and bottle-fed. She’s kept kids on strict sleeping schedules in their own beds and also embraced the benefits of co-sleeping. She’s a big believer in finding what works for you and your kiddo (and it’s often different for each kid). Megan is an Iowa native and lives in Ankeny with her husband Darren. They love to travel and are often planning their next road trip (even it’s a year away). They also enjoy entertaining and are famous among their friends for throwing big bashes to celebrate the Olympic Games. But her everyday life is mostly comprised of playdates, trips to the park, and trying to stay ahead of the never-ending laundry pile.    

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