Fidget spinners are still best-sellers in the toys department of Amazon. The addictive palm-sized toy’s popularity has spread like wildfire. In fact, the toy industry has seen sales over $500m since the trend took off this spring.
The activity has been met with a mixture of positivity and also criticism. Some say the toy is great for concentration while others argue it’s just another distraction. I’d like to add to the argument that fidget spinners are a positive and useful toy for children.
A toy that gets children up and away from their screens is a good thing. Alan Giagnocavo, publisher of the new book Fun with Fidget Spinners: 50 Super Cool Tricks and Activities, agrees saying, “Fidget spinners are actually wonderful tools that can help kids learn. We all want crafts and activities to reduce the amount of screen time for our kids. The mental benefits of working with your hands in some way in the physical world has been known for centuries. And increasingly, science is able to measure and demonstrate this fact that we have known all along.”
Fox Chapel Publishing, known for creating crafts, arts, and hobbies books, is adamant about producing books that help users work with their hands, get outside, or inside an art studio, and help them interact creatively with the world around them.
Fidget spinners are great for getting kids off devices, but they offer another benefit: social interaction. Children enjoy collecting toys, whether they be Pokémon characters, Beanie Babies, or Pogs, and sharing their finds with their peers. With fidget spinners, children may children like to show off their moves or compete with one another on tricks and stunts. This is one reason Giagnocavo and his team made the decision to include a trick checklist section in their new book. Spreads are provided where friends can respectively track their tricks and time.
Social interaction is so important these days, especially when considering we’re more connected digitally but less connected face to face. “The misuse of technology is allowing us to become such a strong culture of communication that children forget about talking to people,” says children’s author Michael Morpurgo. “They get on social media just like that, in their bedrooms, and that can be very isolating.”
While some may still say fidget spinners are a nuisance, I challenge them to look at how the whirly gadget inspires children. A simple toy made with a few pieces of plastic is not only getting children to work with their hands, it’s helping children become connected to one another in an increasingly complex digital world.
Fun with Fidget Spinners: 50 Super Cool Tricks and Activities by “Pro Fidgeter” David King is available for pre-order now. Visit here for special orders and to stay up to date.