Fidget Toys, Ranked by How Much I Want to Play With Them

| December 29, 2017 | 0 Comments

I consider myself a bit of a fidget toy connoisseur. It’s a lot more productive fidgeting with toys that were built for it, instead of just clicking pens or chewing pencils like I used to do. Without further ado, here’s my (by no means complete) ranking of fidget toys, complete with links to buy your own if one in particular strikes your fancy.

9. Slime

Look, there’s nothing wrong with slime. I’m not hating on people who like it. But I really don’t like the weird farting sound it makes when you shove your fingers into it. Also, when people put little objects into the slime, my first instinct is to dig them out and pick the residual slime off of them, which totally defeats the purpose of them being there in the first place. Sorry, slime. You’re just not my cup of tea. Or cup of slime, I guess.

8. Metal Twisty Rings

I don’t think these have a real name, so I’m going to call them twisty rings. It’s clever, it’s discreet, and the metal probably means it’s durable; however, it seems a little boring for my taste. I think I would get tired of just spinning the thing around over and over again. Again, not trying to disparage those who love it, but it seems like it’s lacking in creativity.

7. Tangles

My sister had a couple of these as a kid, so I’ve had some hands-on (ha) experience with these. It is pretty satisfying to turn them around, especially when they’ve got some cool textures, but it gets boring pretty quickly. I always tried to unfold them to make a big circle anyway, which of course they don’t do, so it never really quenched my thirst for fidgeting.

6. Squishy Balls

The best kind of squishy balls are the ones with the smaller balls inside of them that get popped out when you squeeze it from one side. It caters to my inner rage and need for squeezing things until I get the anger out. But I’m both anxious that it’ll break, causing all the things inside to fall out, and determined to break it and get everything out of it for maximum squeezability. I don’t trust myself to keep one of these intact for too long.

5. Chewable Necklace

Cons: I don’t really like wearing necklaces, especially ones that are going to be covered in my spit all the time. Pros: I love chewing on things. Usually it’s an unfolded paper clip, or my hangnails, or the inside of my cheek, so biting something designed to be bitten would probably be a step in the right direction for me.

4. Fidget Spinners

I hate that they’re so popular, but these things are so weirdly irresistible. I held out for a long time before I finally caved and bought one at Target for five dollars this summer. Unfortunately my hands are too small to spin them with just one hand, so it’s not really a productive fidget if I’m trying to work. But when I do spin them, I really enjoy it, especially feeling the forces as I tilt it back and forth. I reluctantly admit that they mostly live up to the hype.

3. Kinetic Sand

Wow. I could sit and watch videos of kinetic sand for the rest of my life. It seems a little pricey, and it’s a lot of effort to set it up and clean it up afterwards, but it looks so wonderful to squish and smash and cut up. I don’t think I would get it for myself, but I would certainly watch a million videos of someone else playing with it. Especially when you press down on it from the top and it all balloons out to the sides before collapsing in a big messy pile. Writing about it really makes me want to get some for myself, though.

2. Spinner Ring

I admit, this one’s up there for sentimental reasons, since a good friend of mine bought me one a couple of years ago and I wear it almost every day. It’s a great combination of stylish and satisfying, since it’s discreet enough that no one would notice you were playing with it unless you were holding it up. If you maintain them well they’ll spin for ages and look fancy while you do it. Plus it’s an excellent asset if you’re trying to punch someone. Not that I would. But I’ve thought about it.

1. Fidget Cube

The king of fidget toys. I worship the cube as ardently as a bishop prays. It might have literally saved me from going insane this summer, where I would bring it to band performances to keep my hands occupied while waiting through orientation speeches. It’s got six sides for maximum stim potential: my personal favorites are the little metal ball and the circular wheel you turn with your thumb. If you splurge on the real kind, not a cheap knockoff, it’s totally worth the $25. I keep mine in my backpack for fidgeting on the go. I give thanks every day to the cube people who allowed me to have such a wonderful piece of technology. All hail the cube!


featured photo credit: marcoverch Fidget Spinner dreht sich via photopin (license)

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Category: featured, Poetry, Prose and Comedy, Reflections, Science and Technology

Charlie Scanlan

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Charlie is a journalism major in the College of Communication.

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