I think my 16-year-old son was one of the first to purchase a Fidget Cube — that gadget that’s supposed to help kids concentrate with buttons to push, switches to click and balls to roll.
He heard about the cube even before it was available and couldn’t wait to get one. Shortly after, however, he found something even better — a fidget spinner. It’s far cooler and much quieter, he explained. If you haven’t seen one yet, it’s a palm shaped, three pronged device that can be whirled around from a ball bearing spinner in the middle and at the end of each prong.
For the record, my son does have ADHD. In elementary school, they’d give him pipe cleaners to play with hoping to help him stay focused. He thought the Fidget Cube was a brilliant idea, but it turns out it makes too much noise. All that clicking and switching was pretty distracting to those in class around him. Kind of like the kid next to you incessantly clicking his pen, he explained.
The fidget spinner, in comparison, is much quieter. But in reality, no less distracting.
The spinner has become so popular that almost everyone in school has one — not just the kids with ADHD. It’s the latest fad. It’s like the Rubik’s Cube but requires no brain power. It’s mesmerizing. You just want to watch it spin all day. And apparently teachers hate them — probably because all the students are watching them spin all day.
One of of my son’s teachers has banned fidget spinners from her classroom. They drive her crazy. Though it might help my son concentrate, it apparently screws up her concentration. And I can see why. When you are looking out at your students and they are all spinning these little gadgets — it would be hard to stay focused.
I recently asked him if spinning that little thing really helps him concentrate.
“It helps me as much as I normally can’t concentrate,” he said.
Maybe the spinner is actually sucking his brain out of his head. Now that’s an educational tool we should all endorse.
FranklyStein is a blog by Chesapeake Family Life editor Betsy Stein, who lives in Catonsville with her husband, Chris, and four children, Maggie, 18, Lilly, 16, Adam, 16, and Jonah, 12.