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|Of course you hate them. But they are not your enemy!|
Overall, the experiment was successful for me and my kids. I started adding fidgets and sensory supports to my class BEFORE fidget spinners hit the market, so I was well prepared to deal with that wave of nonsense.
Why Fidgets: "Fair is not Equal."
I am not going to go into the "why" too much. If you read my original post, I go into it probably deeper than I should. Suffice it to say that I am totally sensory seeking, and many kids are too. Have you seen that kid who constantly runs his fingers through his hair? Or the girl whose leg will not stop knocking into something? Or the kid who chews the end of his pen and pencil so bad his gums occasionally bleed? Those are the extremes, but everyone benefits from learning how they learn. If I can help them learn better, feel calmer, feel better, than that's why.
smooth pokey soft heavy textured fuzzy hard (solid) squishy interesting heavy
These are the adjectives you want to keep in mind when looking for fidgets.
Take your huge budget of $30.00 or so and head to the dollar store. A slightly more expensive option is a party supply store. In Utah, Dollar Tree and Zurchers are the places. Family Dollar does not usually have what I am looking for.
Look for things that are interesting to touch but small enough to fit in a hand. Dog and cat toys are very popular with my kids, as are items from the bathroom section- the little massager roller is a favorite for pokey and solid. Squishy toys, legos, and stuffed animals are all favorites too. Get some, remove anything that can be removed, and see what they like!
|Remove the keychain part!|
Things break: Some great squishy toys are also prone to breaking when put in a middle schooler's hand. So...be thoughtful. Take apart anything that can be taken apart. Of course, if they break it, a natural consequence is that they clean it up.
DIY Chair fidgets:
1) Find kid pajama pieces at the local thrift shop, or fuzzy socks from the dollar store. Note: it is incredibly hard to find non-gendered items, but it is worth looking! I ended up with a Frozen PJ set, which both the boys and girls seem to love equally, and it contains almost no stereotypical symbols or colors.
2) Purchase bulk rice and/or beans. This is the biggest cost of the project.
3) Cut off pieces of the PJ set to make tubes (think arms, legs, right?) and sew them up at either end to make heavy tubes. Sew them really, really, really well.