The fidget spinner has taken the world by storm and it is the one toy distracting children from screens and giving them a different brain-body play experience…

Time in front of a laptop computer or mobile device is a growing phenomenon among children around the globe and all parents need to know is – how do I limit my child’s screen time and encourage more time outdoors?

Parenting expert, Nikki Bush says the fidget spinner could be the answer. Bush, who has helped parents build relationships with their children by turning “very ordinary, everyday moments into extraordinary memories”, says the toy is the distraction children need from a smart phone and gaming screen.

“The fidget spinner has taken the world by storm and it is the one toy distracting children from screens and giving them a different brain-body play experience,” Bush says.

The three pronged toy, with a ball bearing in the middle to enable its spinning functionality is no bigger than the palm of the hand. And playing is simple – kids should hold onto the centre of the toy with the thumb and forefinger and spin as fast as possible with the remaining fingers.

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“The objective is to spin as fast as possible for as long as possible and everyday kids are finding new ways to play with them,” she says.

The learning benefits

According to Bush, fidget spinners are also being marketed for their “therapeutic value” for ADD, anxiety and autism, but can also be seen from an educational and developmental point of view.

She says the toy is known to assist with:

  • Fine motor control
  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Muscle development in hands and fingers
  • Manual dexterity

Why it’s fun

Bush says the device is an innovative and fun way to play and encourages kids to be physical and have some off-screen fun. “It’s a toy with a difference and even watching children play with a fidget spinner is fun. Imagine actually playing with one,” she says. What makes the fidget spinner fun?

  • Wakes up the brain
  • Encourages perseverance
  • Collectable – wide variety to choose from
  • Creative and challenging

What the experts say

Occupational therapist Cara Lee Weir-Smith describes the toy as “pure genius” despite that it’s considered disruptive in the classroom. In her professional opinion: “Schools should be fun and kids should enjoy the school experience. Every child should be given the opportunity to learn in a way that works for them in the classroom, and some, if not many would certainly benefit from a small amount of socially acceptable, appropriate fidgeting,” Weir-Smith says.

The fidget spinners are available from Toy Kingdom stores country wide and prices start at R79 including VAT.

ABOUT TOY KINGDOM

Toy Kingdom is Africa’s most loved toy store with 16 retail stores in South Africa, offering the latest and most recognised toy brands to families. Toy Kingdom brings together unrivalled quality toys, beautifully designed stores and friendly and knowledgeable staff who encourage children and parents to interact and play with the toys. Each store is designed not as a retail space but rather around the concept of play, creating a unique in-store experience of toadally charming fun.

What started as a single store with 8 employees in 2007 has grown into a multi-national operation with multiple stores and more than 250 employees. For more information, visit www.toykingdom.co.za or visit Toy Kingdom on Facebook.