Thursday, May 4, 2017

Why Rebbe/Morah should not ban the fidget spinner in the classroom


Kids love those fidget spinner toys. But are they too much of a distraction? Teachers are totally fed up with the Fidget Spinner craze and schools across the country are starting to impose bans.
This season's hottest toy is marketed as an antidote for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and autism — but it's also being banned in classrooms across the country. The list of schools banning the spinners seems to be growing and now includes schools in Massachusetts, Brooklyn, New York, Florida, Chicago, Illinois, and even across the pond in Manchester, England.
"Fidget spinners" are small, ball-bearing devices that the user can rotate between his or her fingers. The momentum of the toy provides a pleasing sensory experience, according to user reviews. At least one expert is disappointed by the bans. "These little gadgets should be called fidget tools, not toys, and they can be part of a successful strategy for managing fidgety behavior if they are introduced as a normal part of the classroom culture," said Claire Heffron, a pediatric occupational therapist in Clevel
and, as reported by The Washington Post. “If we see students are unfocused, getting up to use the washroom, sharpening their pencil frequently or causing a disturbance, they might need a sensory tool to help them focus,” says Ferry, a special-education teacher at Ganiard Elementary School in Mount Pleasant, Mich. read more at Livescience


  1. Harold HerskowitzMay 4, 2017 at 12:06 PM

    Toys for thought has been promoting fidget toys for ADD and ADD "diagnosed" children for over 16 years now. We always look for new exciting ways to help a child focus and make it through a grueling school day. We brought spinners in a few months ago just for that reason. As with most of our toys , they were fun as well as serving a special needs purpose. Of course we were excited to see the spinners become a craze and everyone from small kids to adults enjoying them. But like all crazes, it started to take on a life of its own. Everybody became a spinner fidget expert. You could buy them at groceries, and gas stations. Stores were selling inferior made ones for ridiculous prices. Other stores decided to make it into a lifestyle, with gold and silver,and titanium, shaped like scythes, bats, shields etc. Now everyone was special needs. We even sold a few hundred to a local clothing store to give out as a promotion.

    But now as the craziness dies down, one thing remains. A spinner is still a valuable tool as a small tchotchke to keep someone's hands busy while they focus on something else. Studies were done that show a person fidgeting with something while they listen to a lesson absorbs more information than someone left with nothing to touch. The act of touching and movement helps A person's brain focus easier on new information or express themselves better. Perhaps that is why so many people sway when they pray, or hold prayer beads.

    We can surely understand how a rebbe or morah may be annoyed when the whole class is spinning their fidgets. The scraping sound of the bearing is minimal in most cases but 25 at once (or 50 if you are in a public school) might be a bit much. I just hope that teachers will be able to tell students that they can hold them in class but not make them spin loudly. I have seen so many children have a positive benefit just holding them and spinning them slowly while listening in class.

    So let's hope our teachers will be patient with this latest misshegoss, that for many children is actually a life saver.
    If you havent bought one already, or want to get a better one, Here is some spinner advice.
    Feel free to give your spinner a try in the store. Make sure that you dont hear a scraping noise and that the spinner is balanced. Cheaper spinners usually have cheaper bearings that may not work as smoothly. If the child has small hands, look for a smaller lighter spinner. New inexpensive small ones are on their way. All new Silicone rubber spinners are good if you are worried about them breaking. Some spinners have weighted ends without bearings. They are an excellent choice, as there are less parts that can break.
    Please keep spinners away from small children.the bearing covers in middle may be a serious choking hazard and can come loose. If you see a spinner on the floor in your home,please put it out of a small child's reach.
    And last but not least, if you take away a spinner from your child and can't give it back because you are enjoying it, go get your own.

  2. If you think about it,it really isnt different then an adult fidgeting with his beard or a child fidgeting with his long payos. We see it all the time.

    1. Or fidgeting with the fringes of a talis koton.

  3. No, this is different because it requires balancing skill. That takes away concentration. Mindless fidgeting is something else.

    This is another scam fron people who see parents desperate to keep away from medication, so they prey on them with nonsensical experimental ideas, from fastforword to herbs. They are all garbage and don't waste your money.

    1. Harold HerskowitzMay 5, 2017 at 5:55 AM

      Wow, Tipesh, you really need help.balancing skills? You have trouble holding your cell phone?
      It's a fidget TOY, not alternative medicine. You would like to see a kid take Ritalin rather than play with a spinner in class? And a cheap spinner is less than a dose of medicine. It's not a therapy scam. It's a bunch of Chinese manufacturers jumping on a hot item and making bad knockoffs or crazy new ideas. They are even coming out with a Bluetooth one that can play music. The craziness is already ending, and Chinese manufacturers have run out of the good bearings used to make the spinners spin quietly.

  4. I used it as a tool in my classroom. I told the boys to take out your spinners and when I say "spin" let's see how many Shas Milim you can say in one spin....
    Really no need to "ban" things.... Just use it for your advantage!!!!