A Fidgetarium of Possibility

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Thank you, Norm DeLisle, and the Maryland AT Act Program (MDATP) for this reflection and collection of resources for fidgeters everywhere.

One of my minor autistic traits is fidgeting. When I was a kid, I had to learn how to do hidden fidgeting, because people (especially adults) thought fidgeting meant I wasn’t paying attention, or I was acting weird. Actually, I needed to fidget to focus my attention, though I didn’t understand that at the time. I just knew I was “born to fidget”. I did things like silently tap my foot, tap my tongue around in my mouth, or carefully hide one hand to repeatedly touch my fingers with my thumb.

I do much less fidgeting now that I am older, but I still think it is an important tool that people use to manage their available attention and the brain resources to make it through life. I know a lot of people who use fidgeting this way, and who had to hide their fidgeting when they were young.

So, I found the successful marketing of “fidgets” (toys to make fidgeting more effective or entertaining) a few years ago very interesting, though I didn’t make it further than superficial glancing at the time. Recently, I wanted to buy a gift for my wife, who likes to fidget especially with bubble wrap and “touch-me-nots”.

Hands popping bubble wrap.
Poppin’ The Bubbles

Seed pods in nature.
Pinchable Pods

So I looked on Amazon for the fidget toys I remembered when they were a fad.

Was I in for a surprise!

There are Kits of Fidget Toys for just about any occasion, for both kids and adults, and the sheer variety of individual toys is astounding!

Sensory Toys Set 38 Pack, Stress Relief Fidget Hand Toys for Adults and Kids, Sensory Fidget and Squeeze Widget for Relaxing Therapy – Perfect for ADHD ADD Anxiety Autism

Ursobutegl 30 Pack Pop Bubble Cheap Fidget Sensory Toy Pack for Kids

28 Pack Sensory Toys Set, Relieves Stress and Anxiety Fidget Toy for Children Adults, Special Toys Assortment for Birthday Party Favors, Classroom Rewards Prizes, Carnival, PiƱata Goodie Bag Fillers

The full search page for Amazon contains many additional choices. For us fidget fans, a true panoply of personal playthings!

Fidget Toys on Amazon

If you like to fidget, or wanted to fidget, but felt you would be stigmatized for doing so, the current environment of fidgeting possibilities is made for you.

Sample the devices and make (or remake) fidgeting a part of your personal play repertoire!

Editor’s Note:

Another fidgetarium is marketed for persons with dementia. Check out the Twiddle Muffs at the Alzheimer’s Store.

Plush cat muff with ribbons and beads dangling off its body for fidgeting.

And this gorgeous page of handmade fidget and sensory blankets at Etsy.