If you've got fiddly kids, then a fidget spinner is the perfect addition to your family. In case you don't already know what that is, a fidget spinner is a small, ball-bearing device that people can spin between their fingers. While they were originally created to help children with their concentration, deal with stress, and cope with sensory processing - they've also become incredibly popular in terms of performing tricks and playing. Take a look at how you can make your own at home, along with some other pretty cool homemade fidget tools!
Method 1: Easy Cardboard Fidget Spinner without Bearings
All you'll need for this DIY fidget spinner are two small pieces of cardboard, three 1p coins, a needle, a toothpick, scissors, and glue.
Step 1: Print out this template, place it onto your piece of cardboard and draw an outline around it. You can then cut out the shape from the cardboard.
Step 2: Have fun decorating your cardboard cut-out. You could draw on it, paint on it, or even use glitter and decorations should you wish.
Step 3: Take your three pennies and glue down each one on the individual corners of the spinner. Wait for the glue to dry.
Step 4: With the help of your printed template, pinpoint the centre of the fidget spinner. You can then use the needle to pierce a hole through the centre of your cardboard spinner.
Step 5: Use the toothpick to slightly widen and round the hole.
Step 6: Cut out two small circles in the remaining cardboard and thread them one onto the toothpick, sliding the toothpick through the hole and then threading the other circle onto the other side - so you end up with a circle placed on either side of the spinner.
Step 7: Squeeze a blob of glue onto the centre of each circle so that the toothpick can be held into place and allow this to dry.
Step 8: When dried, you can trim away the remaining length of the toothpick and you're ready to get spinning!
If you'd like to watch this tutorial in action, check out the video here.
Method 2: DIY Glitter Fidget Spinner without Bearings
You'll need 4 lids from plastic bottles, liquid glue, glitter, a knife, a toothpick, 3 pennies, and a piece of cardboard.
Step 1: Position your four lids in the traditional shape of a fidget spinner and glue them together.
Step 2: Use the tip of your knife to pierce a hole through the centre of the middle bottle lid, just big enough to fit a toothpick through it.
Step 3: Take your three pennies and glue them into the inside of the three outer bottle lids. Wait for these to dry.
Step 4: If you'd like to decorate your spinner, cover the entire spinner with glue and coat it in glitter. Alternatively, you could use glitter glue or pens/paint for less mess. Let it dry.
Step 5: Using a penny as a guideline, draw and cut out 12 circles of cardboard - using your knife to pierce a hole through the centre of 10 of these.
Step 6: Glue 5 of the cardboard circles with holes on top of one another, and repeat with the other 5 separately. These will be used for either side of the spinner.
Step 7: Glue one of the circles without a hole onto the top of each pile. You can once again decorate these if you'd like - we recommend with paint.
Step 8: Apply some glue to the top of your toothpick and insert it into one of the circular piles, being careful not to pierce the top circle.
Step 9: Thread the toothpick through the centre hole of your fidget spinner. You can then cut off the majority of the remaining toothpick on the other side, leaving a length large enough for the other pile of circles.
Step 10: Using glue, attach the other circular pile to the remaining side. Once this is dry, you're good to go!
For a more visual tutorial, you can watch the video here.
Fidget spinners aren't the only tool that can help keep your kids entertained and concentrated, there are plenty of other home-made fidget toys that you can make yourself - just like this fidget putty. Fidget putty, or slime - however you'd like to call it - is super fun, so easy to make, and is sure to keep your little one's fingers occupied for hours!
The squishy, squeezy texture of the putty is both soothing and calming to fiddle with - and the sensory nature of it makes for a fantastic tool for both relieving stress and helping with attention difficulties. It also helps kids to develop their fine motor skills, along with their hand and finger strength. Not to mention, it's extremely entertaining. Children will love the bright colours, and having the putty to focus on will give their brains a much-needed break from any worries.
With just a few ingredients, you and your little ones can create your own fidget putty. Check out the recipe here!
Pipe Cleaner Pencils
Whether your children love to write, draw, or simply enjoy having something to fiddle with - pipe cleaner pencils make for a great fidget tool.
All you need for this is a pencil, coloured pipe cleaner and a couple of beads. Simply thread a bead or two onto your pipe cleaner, wrap it around the pencil several times, and place a small piece of sellotape (or superglue) at either end so the pipe cleaner sticks and the bead doesn't fall off.
Not only does this tool allow for sensory engagement, but kids will love the texture, and being able to move the beads up and down as a fidget toy. Moving the beads from one end to the other will help little ones to stay calm if they're tackling a tricky task, and will improve their fine motor skills.
Squeezy Stress Balls
Home-made stress balls are a great fidget tool for kids. Not only can you decorate them so they're bright, colourful, and enjoyable to look at - but there are many proven benefits to both children and adults.
For those who learn best by touching and manipulating materials - using a stress ball frequently helps significantly in increasing your attention span. It's also been proven that squeezing and releasing a stress ball repeatedly relieves stress and tension, and can be incredibly therapeutic. Kids will love having a stress ball that they can fiddle and play with throughout the day - and will reap in the calming and concentration benefits.
If you'd like to learn how to make your very own kid-friendly stress balls, you can find the method here.