View Full Version : fidget toy ideas?

09-16-05, 08:57 AM
Any good ideas for small fidget toys--for one whose mind gets bored very easily? Drs Hallowell and Ratey recommend adults carry one.

I apologize if this question has been answered elsewhere.

Thanks in advance.


09-16-05, 03:25 PM
At Wal-Mart I found these things called tangles. Its hard to explain what it is but go to ( I bring it to school with me and it helps me think.

09-16-05, 03:41 PM
really can someone order me one i need one. My b-day is coming soon.

09-16-05, 06:15 PM
they sell them at Wal-Mart

Menoma Minx
09-16-05, 06:28 PM
well, if it doesn't have to be super small,a GBA micro with a Warioware cartridge could do the trick. This is a key chain sized GameBoy advance machine that just came out. The hype probably makes it sounds smaller than it really is,but it should easily fit into a pocket. Warioware is actually a collection of very simple 10 second mini games rather than a full length game you need to keep track of what's going on for.

09-16-05, 09:34 PM
I love tangles, too stellato!!

Trooper Keith
09-16-05, 11:53 PM
I've always been a fan of anything I can roll around in my fingers. I normally just spin my keys on my finger or something if I'm waiting. Otherwise, I've found various ways to amuse myself. The purpose of a fidget toy is to expel hyperactive energy mindlessly, without either being loud or distracting to those around you, or interfering in your ability to stay attentive to the task at least, that's always what my parents and doctor used them for since I was like 9, heh.

09-17-05, 12:14 AM
My daughter uses one of those "ball" thingies that are like a mass of rubber strings combined together when she's at her therapy sessions. It keeps her from picking at herself and fidgeting so much.

09-17-05, 03:18 AM
Take a look at ( there are a lot of fidgets there. Also the new book Fidget to Focus is great too.

09-17-05, 12:07 PM
Silly Putty. I use it everyday I have a class. Its quiet and fun to create things with.

09-28-05, 08:23 AM
Well, Sunday I went to Target and bought something called "The Game of Perfection" (remember I have OCD :-) It's probablysmall enough to fit in my pocket.

I also bought a Tangle toy.

After I open the perfection game, I'll let you know what it's about.

Though I'm 44, I feel like a kid with new toys :-)


09-29-05, 07:37 AM
The tangles look great! Now I have to go to Walmart...

I should get a keychain tangle. My keychain has a metal disk on a leather flap and I use it like a clicker, shake it in rhythm. Makes my husband nuts. He'd prefer the tangle I think!

09-29-05, 09:46 AM
It's strange that Us ADDers detest certain sounds... Well i know i do...
Pen tapping etc

And yet we can do these noises ourselves without aggitating ourselves!

I have 3 other diagnosed ADDers in this house and i get so pis*ed off with some of the noises they make! and visa versa!

Anyway having said that, i tend to think carefully about my figit toy.. i don't want to aggitate others with my figiting!

At the moment, i'm figiting with a picture-poster sticky stuff 'White tack' (though there is Blue-tack too).

Squeezing the tack stuff in my hand and the more i squeeze it the softer it gets, which is a nice sensation in my hand.

If i didn't have the tack in my hand, i would pick the skin, that's around my fingernails!

One of my ADDer children has always chewn on things... from a baby to the present day of 14 years of age.

My undiagnosed ADDer Daughter bites her nails(they look so very sore!).

09-29-05, 11:14 AM
I looked for the tangles at Walmart and had no luck. Any idea what area they are in.

09-29-05, 12:10 PM
usually right by the checkout ... you could check the toy section too though ...

i've been carrying a small polished rock lately. look for those at a specialty toy store ... sometimes they have displays of various types of rocks. or, a worry stone, bead shops sometimes carry those. i have a friend who wears a 'worry bracelet.'

my kids have rubbery-squishy frogs and lizards. it's made from the same material as those sticky hands that you can slap at a window ... or the little toys you can toss against a window or wall and they kinda roll down.

lately, i've also been knitting. not as good if you're wanting to be discrete though....

09-29-05, 12:59 PM
*tons* of ideas here ( ... our downtown toystore sells WikkiSticks -- wax-coated fiber or something, looks like it'd be good for practicing the alphabet or just playing with ... i'm going to go pick some up this afternoon.

09-29-05, 10:22 PM
I play Solitaire on my iPod while I'm on the bus. I also do loads of crossword puzzles. I bought a book of crosswords that I'll be able to complete relatively easily, which keeps my frustration down while occupying my hands and mind. My newest "fidget" is practicing the accordion while watching tv...much to the delight of my roommates.


09-29-05, 10:32 PM
I go nowhere without a pen that unscrews. If I'm in a meeting or a workshop I need something that keeps my hands busy and the twisting and untwisting is very soothing to me. I love rubberbands too but the pen has less chance of being notices or of me shooting it accendentally and hurting someone.
I can always just see myself hitting my prinical or a parent with a rubberband that slipped during a meeting.

10-03-05, 12:33 AM
I bought a tangle today and I LOVE IT! What a great 2 dollars spend!!

10-18-05, 01:04 AM
Great Idea!

Actually when I went to the Tangle Toys website, I realize that I bought one of these already. Heh. I was standing in line at Wally World and grabbed a couple. I thought they would keep me busy. They were fun for a while then it kinda bored me. (I get bored very easily) Usually I have to write, I dont care what it is, it can be anything. Copying something, redoing papers ect. Keeps me busy. Now, Im making up new papers on my laptop for work. I enjoy doing it and it keeps me busy.

But thanks for the ideas im gonna check out the sites and see what else I can find.

12-14-05, 01:40 AM
There is a handheld exercise device called the Power ball. It gyrates and there is also one that lights up the faster it goes. I am kind of addicted to exercise so I can take this anywhere and fidget as well as exercise a little bit at the same time.

12-14-05, 06:38 AM
My friend uses play-doh. I myself, I don't have a fidget toy per-say, but I do tend to tap my pencils on things that won't make noise (soft cover book, bookbag, et cetera). Even more often I tend to sit there and look around for something interesting in the room, while bouncing a leg, and possibly playing the tune to a song I like with my fingers... Maybe I do need a fidget toy...

02-16-06, 12:48 AM
I pen flip- its a debate habit that i picked up. I flip the pen around my thumb and its really fun to do. I also take apart my pens. I also have a bad habit of chewing on my pens when figiting with them gets boring, freud would say i have an oral fixatoin :P

02-17-06, 08:31 AM
"I flip the pen around my thumb and its really fun to do."
LOL, my son does that while he is supposed to be doing his homework..It annoys the hell out of me!!
I grab my kids hands and rub my fingers on their palms...they HATE it :-)

02-24-06, 10:22 AM
A friend of mine who is a fourth grade teacher kept Silly Putty in her class for one boy. It worked great. He'd play with it under his desk, and didn't disturb any of the other students. Fourth grade is the year students start moving from class to class here. She said she'd often get requests to send the silly putty to other classes for him.

02-24-06, 12:46 PM
Tangles are really fantastic. I originally bought them for my son and found that I liked them soooo much I had to go back and get some for myself. I now have a pretty long string that just moves and twists and is wonderful.

02-25-06, 06:19 AM
some might have said it already , but a TANGLE JR is a good one. i have two of them, and i gave one to my boyfriend (who has add) with his christmas present. he loves it. he played with it on a long car trip (luckily he wasnt the one driving!!! haha), and he sits with it and watches tv.

i dont know if he uses it at the moment or if he forgot about it.

i have a whole box of little things for myself when i'm bored

blue tack, chewing gum (flavoured), paper clips, a tiny little bell, a bouncy ball, juggling balls, little origami paper, stretchy stuff... i dont know what else.

03-01-06, 10:37 AM
Karennerak --

Wow! I'm a Karen, too, and I never thought I'd see that someone else picks at the skin around their fingers. I thought I was just too weird. Right now my thumbs are almost raw -- it's worse when I'm stressed. Guess I need some fidget toys, too! I'm going on a long car trip soon, so I really need to get some fidget fun before then.

And I know EXACTLY what you mean about being oversensitive to noises. My two older ADD kids (20 and 17) have always ragged at each for what seemed to me like simply one of them breathing too loud. But then I realized things bug me the same way, too. Yet, we all do little things that make noises that drive each other nuts, without even realizing it!

06-08-06, 10:29 AM
Take a look at ( there are a lot of fidgets there. Also the new book Fidget to Focus is great too.OMG Tara.....that site is awesome!!

06-08-06, 12:18 PM
I have a celtic thumb ring, that's on the wide side, that the outer part spins. Instead of hanging around with the wringing of the hands and nervous scratching or folding any paper I'm holding to the size of a postage stamp, i'll twirl my ring with my forefinger, and I love it!

11-01-07, 01:30 AM
Stress balls! my schools office of disability services has them for free.. i go through a few a month.. the funny thing is when i play with it in class other students ask if they can play with it too. I also carry around a racketball when Im outside, although I almost got run over a few times after chasing it into the street! I also knit... productive way to fidget!

11-01-07, 12:08 PM
I do latch hooks sometimes. Very good way to keep mind and fingers busy

01-14-08, 08:11 PM
I found the ultimate Fidget! There's this site specifically for Fidgets! They're these bendy things, and I bring them with me wherever I go, I even got a keychain one which I just hook on my belt strap. It helped me out tremendously, here's the site:

01-15-08, 11:28 AM
One of the presents I got for Christmas was a powerball, I use it all the time at home, just absentmindedly spinning it in one hand, when that hand gets tired I switch, I use it when reading or playing computer games, browsing forums, it's just something to do, I could stare at it for aaaaaaaaaaaaages since it has a neon blue light that glows and spins once you have it going, you can also see the speed it's rotating thanks to an LCD screen on the top.


there are many different versions of it but that is the one I have.

01-18-08, 07:45 AM
What a great thread, I'm glad to see it resurrected!

Someone already mentioned "spinner rings" (do a google search for lots of sources) ..... there's also a very inexpensive alternative. Pick up key rings (hardware store, key making section of any store) that will fit around your finger. Buy some small beads (with openings large enough for the key ring to fit through) and string a few beads onto the ring. Put on your finger with the beads on the inside, and you have a small item to "spin" that is pretty inconspicuous!

I keep a supply of these for my older special education students who need something to fidget with but who are reluctant to use something 'obvious' in class.

Gotta love the low-tech solutions!


01-18-08, 12:02 PM
Here's another fidget toy I found that looks interesting and promising for those of us who fidget and squirm! :D

They're called
Tan gles

Here's the web~link They look like the sort of thing we AD{H}Der's Love. I've not tried them but would if I could get my hands on them. LOL!!! :D :D :D Here's the Web link:

I know what I'm adding to my next Wish list! :D Love that Sooper Dooper :cool: Red Power Ball and a Tangle too!!!


02-22-08, 01:26 PM
I found this at a 7-11 its roughly ball shape, rubbery (jelly), with um, spines? sticking completely out all over it, with a rubbery (jelly) ring. Mine is blue. You can squeeze it and a bubble sticks out with sprinkles in it. It smells nice. you can put a finger through the ring and use the ball like a paddle ball, your hand being the paddle. you can grab a spine and make the ball act like a yo yo kinda it has the up and down motion springy.
Wish I could get a picture it. lol

02-22-08, 03:52 PM
Great Idea!

Actually when I went to the Tangle Toys website, I realize that I bought one of these already. Heh. I was standing in line at Wally World and grabbed a couple. I thought they would keep me busy. They were fun for a while then it kinda bored me. (I get bored very easily) Usually I have to write, I dont care what it is, it can be anything. Copying something, redoing papers ect. Keeps me busy. Now, Im making up new papers on my laptop for work. I enjoy doing it and it keeps me busy.

But thanks for the ideas im gonna check out the sites and see what else I can find.

Funny how the know that those most likely to like Tangles are also those who are most likely to make impulse buys while having to wait in line.....

The evilness.......

But yeah, I'ma gonna get one of those too. They look cool!

03-20-08, 07:16 PM
I have a fidgety 1st grade boy. He is having a little trouble reading. We put together a box of fidgets for him to hold while reading. There is everything from a clear smooth stone to stress balls to kush balls and of course his newest treasure a heart shaped rock from the play ground. They seem to help him keep his body still and keep him from rubbing his right eye. I haven't tried one myself...... I twirl my hair when I read but I confess that I do love to play with them and test them out.

03-20-08, 08:14 PM
Funny, you should ask. I'm a leg-jiggler mainly, but have tons of nervous energy. Never really thought of allowing myself to have a toy until reading this forum (I was still pretending to be my vision of a "normal adult" then). Anyhow, this thread planted the seed and a little while back I bought a bead-filled ball - bigger and harder to squish than a stress ball. I liked it because I could really squeeze and squish aggressively with both hands. Felt nice! Within a couple of days, I wanted to carry it around with me everywhere. Anyhow, it didn't take long at all until the glued-plug opened up and beads started spilling out. Bummer. Guess they weren't made for that kind of treatment.

I went to Walmart Monday looking for something to replace it and picked up a Kush-type creature (mostly it has fat starfish-like arms) and this cool ball that's made of soft memory-foam or something. They're in the toys section, and all look like different types of sports balls. You can squish them like crazy, they squish really small, then come right back to their original shape. I've been squishing mine pretty hard the last few days and it's still as good as new.

Still I like the feel of a stress-ball better, that's actually what I was looking for. Funny how businesses often give them away free but you can't find one at Walmart. But now I'm wondering if all sand/bead filled balls will have the very limited lifetime of my first one (less than a week, I think).

I don't get so much out of hard little fiddling toys like the tangles. I need something I can put some real energy into.

I think I'll pick up a few more of those squishy balls next time I'm at Walmart.

03-21-08, 02:30 AM
Okay it's not soft or squishy but I wouldn't have gotten through most of my University lectures without my Rubiks cube :)

03-21-08, 06:17 PM
I use paper clips a lot. They help because in class they are quiet. I love to click the top of pens as well, but you can imagine the complaints I got with that one!

03-21-08, 07:01 PM
:o I'm a pen clicker and tapper too. I know it bothers people, but I would almost certainly lose any and all fidget toys within a few days.

05-13-08, 12:04 AM
gripmaster, always have a tooth pick when I walk out the door, always have a notecard with a word definition- not for class- just to quiz myself when I am bored- a) it improves memory b) I learn a new word. also idk if anyone here smokes much but check this out: I always have ciggies when I get drunk and I love playing with smokes- this crown7 seems like a great alternative. google e-cigarette

05-13-08, 07:50 PM
I usually carry a pocket watch, as wristwatches bug me. Often I'll fidget by spinning the crown. I've recently taken up prestidigitation with coins. So sometimes I'll fidget by practicing the skills involved. This works out great, as the skills requried for coin magic can take hours of practice.

05-14-08, 09:54 AM
Anything that is invisible and imperceptible to others! Watching others fidgeting makes me crazier than just about anything else. It is so distracting, I start losing my mind. Of course, being the queen of fidget, I am a hypocrite when I say this. My legs are the thing I can't stop moving, so I flex and unflex my thigh muscles when I'm restless. I've never had anyone notice. Of course, if you don't have restless legs, this is not going to work. . .

05-14-08, 01:06 PM
My two favorite "toys" are the ring on my right hand... it's wide, so I take it off and spin it between my fingers. Usually when someone is talking to me or I'm in a meeting. I don't do it otherwise... weird.

The other is a key chain with a piece in the middle that spins. I'll just spin it over and over.

I never did much with stress balls and those bendy things, but I have mutilated my share of paperclips. I am also a leg rocker. I can't say I jiggle it quits as fast as my brother does, but I do tend to rock it. I do that less than I used to... I think because it drove my ex nuts and he always made me stop.

I pick at my chin a lot and when stressed, rub my forehead with both hands rather hard.

06-13-08, 12:29 AM
In addition to the "pre-installed" fingers, toes, leg muscles, skeletal frame (I switch seating positions into bizarre contortions at a high frequency), etc, the "toys" I find easiest to bring with me are rings. I have one ring on my left index finger that is composed of a solid band and a thinner band held within a divot in the former. The smaller band spins...I will repeat for my fellow ADDers...the smaller band spins!! If this isn't the simplest way to keep something on your person that leads to no awkward social situations, provides tactile response, has a nice sound (when spinning), and (most importantly :)) is shiny, then I don't know what is. The development of this device is easily the greatest achievement in the experimental sciences that has yet to be recognized by the Nobel Institute.

06-13-08, 12:35 AM
That reminds me, in the movie The Prestige, the one magician character briefly does a neat flourish with his wedding ring. It's similar to a coin roll, but executed across the finger tips. Lately, I've been doing coin rolls for fidgeting. I picked up a pile of half dollars from the US mint and keep at least one in the pocket of every pair of pants I own:)

06-13-08, 01:30 PM
That reminds me, in the movie The Prestige, the one magician character briefly does a neat flourish with his wedding ring. It's similar to a coin roll, but executed across the finger tips. Lately, I've been doing coin rolls for fidgeting. I picked up a pile of half dollars from the US mint and keep at least one in the pocket of every pair of pants I own:)
You actually just reminded me of something that I haven't thought of in years! When I was a kid, I always thought coin rolling was awesome and frequently tried to replicate it with quarters...without much success. I might try this again now that I can order half dollars on my own! :D

06-13-08, 03:12 PM
Sgolden, those "ball thingies" I think you're talking about are called spagetti balls. I got one from Walmart. I have it in my office at the high school and some kids absolutely love it.

06-13-08, 03:58 PM
I often do group trainings, similar to a public speaking role. This can be very hard to stay on task, so I bring stress balls, for the groups and leave them on the tables and for myself I were a ring on every finger. The group is able to play with the toys left on the tables and I have a pen in hand and with my thumb i consistenly twirl the rings on my other fingers. I wear shiny bracelets too, which I can use when I am the one listening to a training or lecture. They don't have any noise and it keeps me focused.

06-13-08, 04:31 PM
I don't think I fidget, but I do get bored easily and quickly. And I love cool toys. If I don't feel like reading or just want to do something different I have a Sony PSP that I can get in my pocket if I want. I usually play car racing games. sometimes I play games like U.S. Navy SOCOM. I have a lot of toys, some are pocket size and some aren't. I usually buy these toys from Edmund Scientific or Grand Illusions in the UK. I have a Levitron. it is a top that levitates while it spins and once you get it set up correctly with the help of electric black box it sits on, it can spin for days, weeks months. I know a retired Air Force guy in Florida that has had is going for up to a year! I like neodymium magnets, they are also called rare earth magnets, they are extemely powerful, much more than any ceramic magnet. I have a couple of tops that I got from Grand Illusions that take two quarter-size lithium batteries in them that when you spin them, they automatically spin, and are even better in the dark, because they put on a constantly changing light show. Not to mention they will spin for over 4 hours or untill the batteries run out. I have a few really fast Radio Controlled cars that I got at Radio Shack. I run those through the house. At any rate those are some of my toys that I play with to fend off boredom.

10-17-08, 11:20 AM
THANKS to all of you for the wonderful Ideas .... I'm a finger picker (since 6th grade) and my DS12 is a paper-ripper / item destroyer extraordinaire ... He had received a glob of eraser putty the other day, which should be useful for fidigting and correcting errors ... as long as he doesn't "lose" it :rolleyes:

I've done the ring thing before, but will look into a toy for myself ;)

10-17-08, 12:02 PM
My grandfather (who I suspect was ADD) carried around 'worry beads' everywhere. He called them his 'Greek Worry Beads,' and I'd see him use them when we were waiting in line for something or another. They are similar to those used in certain religions (rosary or islamic) and come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Google worry beads.

Before I was diagnosed with ADD, I bought a stone with a thumb-sized indentation and pit it on my keychain so I can fiddle with it Google 'Worry Stone' and you'll see what one looks like. This goes with me everywhere and gets pretty frequent use.

Otherwise I annoy everyone by clicking pens, tapping fingers, pencils, paper clips or whatever else is handy. I also used to pick my nails when I was in school, from 1960-78. That was before they recognized ADD.

I used to carry palm pilots or web-based phones, but I'd used them in lieu of fidgeting, but they were more or less black holes for my time and were a bit too easy to hyper focus on.

I'd be careful about using small electronic devices or things that require mental attention. Fidgeting with a palm pilot or Treo in a meeting is a bit rude.

I doodle ALL the time in meetings or I'd go bonkers.

10-23-08, 01:23 PM
Ok -you know how "we" are ... anyhooo - I have some Smart Mass (adult silly putty) on my desk at work - I finally took out a gob of it and have been carrying it with me all day, driving in the car, watching TV at night ... Holy crap! I haven't felt the need to pick my lip or fingers at all ... as long as I'm hanging on to my "putty"..

I can stretch it/ squish it/ break it ... and even more cool, haven't gotten any funny looks from co-workers .... niiice! My brain even seems a bit calmer while I'm needing away Woo hooo

11-05-10, 05:30 PM
Tangles are good (they are found at Wal-Mart and Target), And at cracker-barrel there are sometimes a wooden finger fiddlers.
Silly putty is by far the best, although it can be a bit messy. And it sticks to those rubber bracelets that used to be popular before sillybands came out... The ones with words on them. Knitting is also a good 'finger fiddler' and it creates somthing too, so long as it is a simple project.

08-04-12, 10:51 AM
one of those hand squeezer things. constructive fidgeting-and it's adjustable! or a gum wrapper.

08-12-12, 01:18 PM
Kneadable erasers (some are even scented) are a huge hit in the "Fidget Boxes" that I put together for the teachers to use for their classrooms at my school. I buy in bulk online, but most art stores will sell them individually. Much less messy than silly putty, way cheaper than therapy putty, and lots of bright colors too.

For the classroom setting, I purchase empty film canisters (ebay) so the erasers can be stored easily when not in use.

08-13-12, 03:54 PM
I'm always making origami cranes, that's my main fidget. You could buy small packs of origami paper, but what I do is I buy a pack of gum and make cranes out of the wrappers.
Worry stones are pretty cool too.

08-14-12, 10:19 AM
one of my favourite is something everyone has, a pen... i like to roll it between my fingers

10-06-12, 02:37 PM
Play-Doh. :p

10-07-12, 03:04 AM
I liked bracelets with soft easily bendable cords and spaced beads on them. They're easy to flip and contort in a hand, big plus is that it's easily carried on your wrist and it's not technically yet another thing you can accidentally leave home. Different materials, textures, gotta love them.

10-07-12, 05:50 AM
I always pick the skin around my fingers, they've started to get infection lately so I am using a tangle toy, just ordered one with different textures as well - wish me luck!