Kids Are Loving Fidget Spinners, Teachers Not So Much

by Julie Scagell

Fidget spinners are the latest kid’s fad to drive everyone insane

Fidget spinners are the latest craze to take over our kids’ brains, our wallets, and unfortunately for teachers — the classroom. These pocket-sized spinners are this generation’s Rubik’s Cube, but spinnier.

If you’ve never played with one before, allow us to explain. You can balance the spinner on one finger. You can toss it from one hand to the other while it spins. You can spin it and stop it and spin it and stop it 500 times in a row while someone is trying to talk to about the pile of dirty laundry they found in your room hidden under a blanket in the back of the closet even though you promised them you’d put it away. Then, when they can’t take it anymore and scream, “Stop spinning that goddamn thing for 30 seconds,” you can drop it and it will actually take a chunk out of your hardwood floor.

The possibilities really are endless with these things.

Most of all, you can fidget with it, which is the point. The sensory toys were initially designed to be helpful for parents of children with autism, anxiety and ADD/ADHD as an outlet for restless energy while also improving memory and focus. But they have quickly morphed into a craze of epic proportions and can be found in most elementary and middle schooler’s hands today.

My son and his friends not only play with these things, they talk about them, constantly want to upgrade their spinners to newer colors and materials, and even watch You Tube videos of “professional” fidgeters who show them how to do impossible tricks that inevitably wind up in hours of frustration and disappointment for the average tween fidget master.

It’s no surprise that kids have trouble sitting still, especially when they are at school. So these new gadgets are a big hit with kids looking for a distraction from math or science. While it’s pretty harmless in terms of extracurricular activities, these spinners are driving teachers mad.

Some schools have even decided to ban them because students are throwing them around classrooms and hallways. Carroll Garden Schools for Innovation sent the following notice out to parents to make sure everyone is aware of their stance on the latest craze.

Teachers on Twitter agree:

It seems other schools are fed up as well. Principal Kate Ellison told The Chicago Tribune that the toys at Washington Elementary School were taking over their classrooms until the administration sent out a letter to parents telling them to keep them at home.

“Frankly, we’ve found the fidgets were having the opposite effect of what they advertise,” Ellison said. “Kids are trading them or spinning them instead of writing.”