Fidget-Friendly Finds for Older Kids With Autism and Sensory Challenges

It can be tough to keep your mind on task when your body wants to stay in motion. These gadgets help teens and tweens keep on track.


Who says fidgeting is bad? For many kids with autism, sensory or listening challenges, fiddling with a toy can help them keep calm, focused and attentive. Koosh balls are cool for wee ones, but how about teens? Find a few fixations in our photo gallery for older kids who can benefit from a bit of positive preoccupation.

Fidget Spinner

This little dude has some mixed reviews, but the idea behind it is to provide kids on the spectrum a sense of comfort and focus. The center ring has a baring inside. Hold the circle and use a finger to spin it. This particular spinner, by the same folks that make The Fidget Cube, can hold a spin for more than two minutes and costs around $40.

Kinekt Gear Ring

This patented product won’t give away its secret purpose at first glance. However, fidgeters will recognize the hidden potential that the Kineckt Gear Ring has for fingers. The micro-precision gears work in unison when the outer bands are turned, providing instant relief for restlessness. Available at Kinekt Design online for about $165.

Finger Fidget Pencils

Sold in packs of four, these fidget-friendly pencils keep fingers busy. Each one has a different fidget near the eraser that can be taken off and moved onto another pencil. The cool designs feature a wing nut plus nut-and-bolt pencils – along with two others. Check them out at Discount School Supply online for around $7 a pack.

 Roger Von Oech’s Eureka Ball

Have a LEGO lover in your life? Then the Eureka Ball by Creative Whack is for you. This kinetic toy uses 12 blocks and rare earth magnets to create endless design possibilities. Excellent as a fidget while encouraging right and left brain communication and problem solving. Warning: Keep away from pacemakers and young kids (small magnets are located in the toys and, if dislodged, are very dangerous if swallowed). For ages 14 and up. Find it at Fat Brain Toys for about $22.

Looking for something a little squishy – or drippy? Look no further. Smart Mass Thinking Putty fits the bill. It even shatters, shears and tears, keeping hands occupied and attention focused on the task at hand. Try this nifty product in different styles or colors at ThinkGeek. Price ranges from $12.99 to $14.99.

Ultimate Fidget Toy

Best suited for tweens and teens, due to its small size, this fidget will help ease anxiety and can be quickly stored or retrieved from a pocket. Designed by a person with ADHD, the ultimate fidget toy is sure to be a hit with anyone needing a fidget friend. Available via Amazon for about $15.

The Ultimate Stress Relieving Cube

The Fidget Cube has six sides, each with something to flip, glide, click, spin or roll, in order to help kids focus. It retails for about $30 and comes in an array of colors including blue on white, pink on white, black on black and others.

Digiflex Pediatric Hand Exerciser

This little pediatric hand exerciser does double duty as a fidget and a hand strengthener. The ergonomic design and soft exterior make it easy and appealing to use. Kids won’t know they’re improving fine motor skills – they’ll just be happy to keep those hands in motion. Find it on Amazon for about $28.

This post was originally published in 2013 and is updated regularly. 

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