Many children feel an uncontrollable urge to fidget and move around. This need for movement is often a distraction to both the child and to those around the child. To meet this need, William DeMeo, PhD, author of When Nothing Else Works: What Early Childhood Professionals Can Do to Reduce Challenging Behaviors, recommends fidgets. Fidgets are simple toys that provide children with sensory stimulation in a way that is non-disruptive, allowing them to stay calm and focus on the task at hand. Young children often crave sensory stimulation that can be hard to provide in a classroom setting, but fidgets allow the child to experience movement without having to actually get up and move around. The stimulation allows them to meet this developmental need, leaving the rest of their minds available to pay attention and learn. Fidgets can be made or purchased, and come in a variety of shapes and sizes to meet unique sensory needs. Below, you will find instructions to construct your own fidget gel bag. The child can assist you in making this fidget toy, giving them a sense of pride and ownership over the toy.
- Hair Gel
- 2 Ziplock Plastic Bags
- Glitter or Small erasers
What to Do
- Put some hair gel in a plastic bag. Do not overfill—leave room for the gel to move around. Variation: Substitute silly putty or shaving cream for the gel.
- Add glitter or small erasers.
- Seal the bag with glue.
- Place the first bag inside a second bag, and seal the second bag with glue.