Fidget Toys Calming Device or a Fad?

Swapna Mirashi
​Trendy little toys spinning between little fingers is a common sight in schools across the developed world. Since it hit the markets in March, Fidget Spinner – along with its partner, Fidget Cube has captured the imagination and playtime among kids and youth. According to a recent article by CNN, the fidget spinners and fidget cubes held the top 49 of 50 spots in Amazon’s rankings.

They are positioned as a toy that can help kids relieve stress and help with concentration. While there is a divide among practitioners on this claim, some teachers found the toys to be a distraction in the classroom. Many schools across the world have banned or are considering a ban on the toy for its choking hazard or disruptive nature.

While skeptics brush them off as fads, the toys and everything related to them on the net – – a free app, scores of YouTube videos, related music videos, news, even nail art and philosophical lessons derived from the toy are going viral.

Unconfirmed stories of the origins of this infectious toy are also interesting.  

​Catherine Hettinger, a chemical engineer, was initially credited by some news stories to have been the inventor of the fidget spinner based on her patent filed in 1993 for a spinning device. Her idea for the toy came as she saw young boys throwing rocks at police officers in Israel. In response to that she wanted to develop a soothing toy that could help children release pent-up energy and promote peace.​Engineer Scott McCoskery invented a high quality, precision spinning device, termed as the iPhone of desk toys – Torqbar – in 2014. Many thousands of Torqbars, manufactured at his garage workshop, have been sold. He claims that the fidget spinners are actually a flimsy spin off of his Torqbar.
​Whether the spinners are here to stay or just a passing fad, only time will tell. For now, if you have a crazy fan of the toy at home, direct the interest into making – creating their own toys, and their curiosity into understanding the technique – physics behind it. Check our website for leads and links.