Ah, fidget spinners. The latest toy fad to conquer many children’s interests in different countries including the US and Ecuador. Originally marketed as an antidote for attention deficit disorder, autism and anxiety, (Pappas, 2017) they can now be found at Amazon.com, in stores and even on the streets of NYC’s Chinatown for prices ranging from $2 for simple plastic ones to $25 for the more elaborate ones.
Fidget spinners are “two or three paddle-shaped blades attached to a central core” and are usually made from a combination of plastic and metal (Best, 2017). Think of a toy top that spins on the floor, but these can spin for longer as the only friction they encounter is with air.
The point is to rotate the device between your fingers, and feel the pleasant motion. The spinners now come in all colors and even shapes believe it or not, ranging from glow in the dark, to “sharp” blade ones, to light up LED color changing blades.
Of course, there are several Youtubers that have now come out with different tricks you can do with fidget spinners (for those parents thinking they serve no purpose), and kids are falling for these gadgets even more. Check out this furry friend mastering 3 fidget spinners: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TY7g27QIoOE
On the down side, many teachers across the US are finding it difficult to keep children focused as fidget spinners are becoming a distraction in class. Children who do find it hard to focus in class and bring objects to fidget with for more serious reasons feel more included however, because everyone’s fidgeting!
Fun fact: The not very well known inventor of the fidget spinner, Catherine Hettinger, from Florida, no longer owns her famed invention. She unfortunately was not able to afford to renew the patent fee after eight years of owning it. Therefore, her product has the fame, but not the money. Nevertheless, she is happy that others have found great use in her creation.