Final Tip – Make sure you monitor the fidget toy!
It is super important to make sure the sensory fiddle toys are helping rather than creating more of a distraction for the child or their classmates. Don’t expect the child to necessarily look more at the teacher when they are talking. Do, however, expect to see some of the following signs that the child is getting some benefits from their sensory fidget toy:
What if the sensory fiddle toy is not helping?
For some children, fidget toys don’t make a lot of difference or can make them more distracted. In this case, remove the toy, or try a different fidget toy.
It is also important to use basic behaviour management strategies with fiddle toys. If the child is creating a distraction with they toy, this is not OK. Teachers should make sure the child is using the sensory toy appropriately. The toy should remain on the student’s desk. It must not cause a distraction to other students. The fidget toys must also be used how they are designed to be used. A toy designed to be squeezed should be squeezed. If it’s designed to be stretched it should be stretched. Even if the fiddle toy has been recommended by an occupational therapist it still needs to be used appropriately in the classroom.
Indications that the fidget toy might not be helping: