5 Fidget Toys That Make Meetings More Productive
Planning important meetings or a board retreat? Make sure fidget toys are part of your supply arsenal.
“Mom, do you know what a fidget spinner is?” my son asked me one day.
“Do you mean a fidget toy? If so, yes. They’re toys that are used during meetings, like strategic planning retreats, that provide distraction for your hands so that your mind can concentrate and be creative.”
“No,” he tells me with some impatience. “They’re this thing that spins and you can do tricks with. They’re really cool. Can I get one?”
While I had my doubts that the fidget spinner would be anything more than a distraction in his fifth grade “meetings,” my husband granted his wish a few weeks later. Now my son, like the other kids in his class, is obsessed with his new toy.
Despite my reservations about the spinner, I do see the value in fidget toys for meetings. Rather like doodling, knitting, or any of a variety of other activities, fidget toys provide a useful distraction for antsy people who would otherwise struggle to sit still through important planning meetings.
They aren’t all that expensive, and I recommend investing in a box of them to have on hand for longer meetings.
To help you assemble your toy box, here are of the ones that disappear most often from our supplies. I’m guessing this is a good indication people like them!!
Tangle Fidget Toys
We have a number of the Tangle Jr. products. They come in smooth plastic and a fuzzy-textured version. I’d stick to the smooth plastic, as it’s easier to clean. The fuzzy ones seem to attract stains, which makes it look as if we don’t clean our toys!
You can buy them here. Of course, there are other manufacturers of similar items, such as the blue one on the left which was from a company that unfortunately is no longer in business.
Ball Fidget Toys
There are lots of fun balls out there. I look for ones that squish easily, pull in funny directions, or have fun textures. Avoid the hard ones. Someone, sometime will throw one. You don’t want injuries!!
Here are some of the ones we have (or have had) that have been popular:
- Stringy Balls
- Pull and Stretch Bounce Balls
- Squishy Mesh Balls – we haven’t used this one, but it is similar to others we have had that have been popular
Flexi-Sphere Fidget Toys
This has been a very popular toy. In fact, we’re down to our last one! It can be twisted into a number of shapes, and stores flat in the toy box. You can get it here.
Connected Blocks Fidget Toys
For the builder in the group, fidget toys that are like building blocks are a hit. We have both plastic and wooden versions. The wooden ones are more durable and quieter to use. This is the one I recommend.
Bendable Shape Fidget Toys
People like shapes they can bend and mold. Whether its people, animals, or snake-like pieces of bendable plastic, like these, you will find that participants have fun molding them into different shapes.
The ones we have are reinforced with a stiff core so that they hold their shape. However, the downside to these is that they tend to break in places that they are bent most frequently. Instead, I recommend this more flexible version which stretches and snaps back into place.
While the fidget spinner has been a huge hit with my son and his friends, I won’t be adding it to my company’s toy box. They are fairly noisy, and could be a distraction during the meeting.
What should I add?
Do you have a favorite fidget toy? Please share! I always love to add new toys to my toy box.
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