Fidget Spinners: Fab Toy or Fidgety Fad? Here’s how they came about, where you can find them, and whether they’re worth the headache!
Have you heard about Fidget Spinners, mama? If you’ve got primary school-aged kids, chances are they’re hounding you to buy some (if they haven’t got their fingers into them already!).
Where to buy Fidget Spinners?
Stores all over Dubai should be stocking them; specifically we’ve heard about Virgin Megastore carrying them, along with individual shops like Hallmark cards. You can even try your luck at supermarkets like Geant or Carrefour — even select gas stations – and some of the little kiosks in the parks (Safa 2 Park has them!)
Read More: The best toy stores in Dubai
How much do they cost?
On average they’re around AED 20 apiece, but ones with funky shapes or made from high-quality materials are selling for up to AED 100! Apparently the trend is nearly as popular with fidgety, office-bound adults as it is with kids, so really the sky’s the limit, mama.
How do they work?
A few mamas on the Sassy team are already well-versed in the world of Fidget Spinners. Read on for their takes (one mama’s for, one mama’s against)…along with some pretty honest feedback from an on-trend teen!
The Dubious Mama
Last weekend I finally gave in to my son’s constant requests for a Fidget Spinner — according to him all the boys at school have one. He’d just finished his Student-Led Conference at school, we were super proud so we rewarded him with a trip where I shelled out AED 25. I’m kind of regretting the purchase.
To be honest, I wasn’t entirely sure what I was buying. It looked gimmicky, it made him happy, I didn’t really give it much thought. In hindsight I should’ve done some homework.
So here’s some background: invented by mama Catherine Hettinger from the U.S. back in 1997, the Fidget Spinner was originally a tool to help kids with ADHD, apparently as a means of helping them stay calm and focussed. This palm-sized, three-pronged, plastic device has had a resurgence this year and every kid (and some adults) has to have one.
It’s a craze that I think a lot of parents and teachers are waiting to blow over. The big sales pitch my son gave me was that it would make him ‘concentrate more in class’. From what I can see it’s more of a distraction. Case in point, we were reading before bedtime last night and whilst he was reading he was twiddling, fiddling the Fidget Spinner furiously in his hand. He kept stop starting on his reading, concentrating more on how fast he could get his spinner going. I ended up confiscating it for the evening, then having a grumpy boy.
I don’t know how teachers cope with allowing these at school and I can see that in no time it will be banned — just like the Pokemon cards and the beyblades that were all the rage. We are, however, keeping ours at home where he can spin to his heart’s content on the weekends only. Call me the strict mama!
- Andrea, Marketing Manager, Sassy Mama Singapore
The Mama Who’s a Fan
Fidget Spinners may only be a craze – but I think they’re the best thing that has happened to kids in a long time – and I for one hope this trend sticks around!
Much to everyone’s surprise, they don’t involve an electronic device, you don’t have to collect expensive cards and no downloading involved. Good, old fashioned fun.
It started with the massive craze of flipping a half empty bottle and getting it to land upright on various objects; it takes hours of practice and concentration, it’s almost free (you just need a bottle of water!), and mostly done outside. Big ticks all round.
Then came in the Kendama — the traditional Japanese toy with a ball and a string that involves getting the ball to land on various parts of the handle, surprisingly great to watch!
Now we are at the Fidget Spinner stage; it’s a super simple toy that comes in many shapes, sizes and colours. It’s relatively cheap, too. Kids spin it on their fingers, and learn tricks to swap fingers/hands, get it balancing all over the place. It’s pure genius. It’s a great way to keep kids active and engaged, and away from a screen!
I am so happy to see these old fashioned toys making a comeback. One of my biggest bug bears of playdates is when they ask for the iPad or the Xbox – what’s the point of having a friend over if you are both going to stare at a screen?! Isn’t that the same as just being on your own?
So when Bertie, my 9-year-old, said to me yesterday, “Ask Jasper’s mum to bring his Kendama and Fidget Spinner with him for a contest” I was genuinely happy! They proceeded to practice a synchronised show for hours — learning skills, working on concentration, patience and teamwork. OK, they wanted the iPad for 5 minutes to make a movie of themselves, but that’s actually quite a cool skill, too, so allowed!
These toys embrace all the things I love to see in children’s play – keep them coming, toymakers! I know we won’t ever be 100% screen-free in this day and age – but any reduction works for me.
-Georgina, Partnerships Manager, Sassy Mama Singapore
What Kids Say
All 3 of my kids have them (Felix, aged 7, Arthur, aged 5 and Violet, aged 4). I have to be honest, the younger 2 don’t really have a clue but they want to keep up with their older sibling who has mastered the art of fidgeting (or spinning!?) his fidget spinner and even doing tricks. They like them because ‘it makes me concentrate’ and ‘I like learning how to do it’. As Georgina said above, anything that keeps them away from the screen for too long is good by me too!
-Kaya Scott – Editor, Sassy Mama Dubai
According to my 13-year-old brother, Fidget Spinners are meant to stop you from fidgeting, but in actuality he personally likes the satisfaction he gets from the spinning action… so of course I’d say it’s totally counterintuitive. Another variation is the noisy fidget cube I once saw being advertised on Instagram.
His young on-trend teenage friends tell me they get their spinners from a multi-retailer locker shop called Hako. Prices range from $18 to well over $100 for the ‘good brands’, which are usually made entirely out of metal with skateboard bearings.
–Syazana, Editorial Assistant
Fidget on, mamas!