How do we make fidgets that don't become toys?! Yes, if a child is impulsive, fidgets can look like they are more distracting to a student. This is why we need to find the RIGHT ONE! However, we don't want to spend a lot of money doing this either! There are everyday options that can be made into great fidgets! Here is a list of my favorites:
rolled up pieces of Scotch or masking tape - inside out!
Pipe Cleaners (I always fold down the ends so they are not sharp)
Wiki Stix or Bendaroos
Sticky back velcro placed on the student's chair or desk (ask them what side they like the best)
small piece of fabrics ("minky" fabrics are my favorite!)
Golf stroke counters (click HERE to learn how to make them....SUPER easy by the way!)
homemade STRESS balls made out of balloons and any of the following (salt, beads, birdseed, flour, PlayDoh, beans, etc.)
So in OT today, my students and talked about WHEN we may use a fidget and WHAT they may be.
I then supplied them with pipe cleaners. We folded down the sides and made them into bracelets that can be worn so ANY TIME they feel like they need to fidget, they have it on their body ready to go!
I then supplied them with a small piece of Play Doh and a balloon. We worked on our fine motor skills to play with the Play Doh and open up the balloon. With assistance, the students inserted their piece of Play Doh into the balloon and I tied it for them. They now had a homemade STRESS ball!! I love using Play Doh inside balloons because if they POP!...they don't explode and make a mess. I also LOVE the texture!!
THEN we worked on fine motor skills to make a "golf stroke counter"! I just took a long piece of twine, folded it in half, and tied it around itself at the top (like a loop knot). I did not tie it to something like it shows you to do in the picture (that would cost me more money)! Then we used the instructions HERE to insert the two pieces of string into each side of bead for 10 beads. Then knot it at the end. Voila!
The kids loved this activity and they also were so excited to use the tools in the classroom! Of course, I did send an email out to their teachers letting them know that they were coming back with TOOLS...not toys! ;)