Top 10 Best Fidget Toys to Help Your Teen with Focus and Anxiety

10 min read

Last Modified 12 April 2024 First Added 7 July 2023

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Author Samantha

We begin experiencing stress from an early age, with more children feeling increasing levels of stress in their daily lives.

Exams, homework and peer pressure are all contributing factors to increased stress levels.

Managing stress can be difficult and overwhelming for some. Fortunately, there are many ways to help manage stress.

One of the simplest ways to help your child cope with stress is with fidget toys.

What are Fidget Toys?

Fidget toys are small, easy to carry toys that can be held and played with to help relieve feelings of stress.

Fidgety fingers can squeeze, stretch, and fiddle with the toy to help bring a sense of calm to any situation, whether out and about, at school or at home.

These types of toys feature tactile elements that can be manipulated to help reduce feelings of nervousness.

Fidgets are designed to help keep your mind busy, allowing it to focus on what’s in your hand and distracting you from the current worry.

Are Fidget Toys Good for Anxiety?

Fidget toys can be beneficial for those experiencing feelings of anxiety.

Simply having something to absentmindedly play with can help decrease overactivity in the brain and in turn, promote calmness. Your brain focuses on the physical action and less on the emotional unease.

This type of distraction may also benefit those who are neurodivergent. People experiencing ADD, ADHD and autism may find fidget toys can help provide an outlet for their restlessness.

Do Fidget Toys Help with Focus?

Fidget toys can be the perfect solution for those who struggle to concentrate or are easily distracted. They momentarily distract the brain, enabling the user to increase their focus on a single task.

The simple movement of the object simultaneously increases concentration whilst developing fine motor skills.

The often-repetitive nature of fidget toys helps the mind feel more alert and better able to absorb information.

This can be ideal in a learning environment. Having something small to hand can help students remain focused on their studies.

There is a plethora of fidget toys that can help teenagers and children focus in or outside of the classroom.

boys play lego.

The Top 10 Fidget Toys for Children

1. Rubik’s Cube

The Rubik’s Cube is a classic 3D puzzle where you use your fingers to rotate the sides to get all 6 faces of the cube to be one solid colour.

This may sound easy, but it requires a lot of brain power to get all the colours to match. Just when you think you’ve cracked it, you find a rogue red square amongst the blue!

Concentration and focus is key in finding the right patterns to solve the puzzle, giving your brain a good workout.

Since its release, there have been many evolution’s of the cube including ones with more squares, one with lights and one that is heat sensitive with colours appearing when touched before fading away again. Just when you think the cube couldn’t be more difficult!

This brain teaser combines problem solving whilst keeping your fingers busy. It tests your concentration, requiring you to think several steps ahead to avoid messing up pieces you’ve already matched, making it the ideal fidget toy for those who struggle with focus.

Children play with rubik cubes

2. Nee Doh

Nee Doh is a stress ball you can squeeze to release any built-up tension. It is filled with a dough-like compound that returns to its original shape so there’s no end to the number of times you can squeeze it. 

Nee Doh’s come in a multitude of shapes, colours and sizes including fruit themed, colour changing and glow in the dark varieties. They are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand making them great for on-the-go stress relief. 

It’s designed to be held, squished, pinched and stretched for instant stress relief and is perfect for anyone experiencing feelings of anxiety or stress. 

3. Tech Deck

Tech Decks are mini fingerboards that fit into the palm of your hand. These little skateboards are smaller versions of real full-sized skateboards and feature graphics from iconic skating brands.

These fingerboards use a similar mechanic to the fidget spinner, where you use your fingers to manipulate the board. Push the board around whilst performing flips and spins in a technique known as fingerboarding.

Moving the placement of your hand and altering the weight distribution allows you to rotate and even lift the board into the air.

Tech Deck’s are the perfect fidget toy for those who want something a little bit different. There are several ways you can use them making them great for a variety of fidgeters.

4. Tangle Fidget Toys

The Tangle Fidget toy is a great sensory toy to help keep fidgety hands busy. 

The Tangle is made up of several linking parts joined together to make one big loop. Each small section features a different type of surface so as you move your finger along the loop, you encounter several different textures for the ultimate sensory experience. Textures range from smooth to bumpy and bobbled. 

There is no right or wrong. Just the freedom to wiggle, bend, flex and twist your Tangle into any shape you like. 

The compact size makes it perfect to hold in your hand allowing you to absentmindedly fiddle. It is small enough to fit in your pocket and can even be worn around your wrist as a bracelet, so you always have it on you when you need a fidgety fix. 

5. Fidget Cube

The Fidget Cube is a 6-sided tactile cube that fits comfortably in the palm of your hand. Each side of the cube features a different type of activity.

Restless hands can slide, flip, roll, spin and click the various components to relieve their fidgety symptoms.

One side features small cogs and a ball bearing you can roll with your thumb. Another side features 5 buttons to push. There are two sides featuring a spinning feature, one with a light switch and the final features a smooth dip that perfectly fits your fingertip.

With its various textures, single-finger operation, and lack of sound, this small fidget is the perfect discreet toy for children and adults alike and presents several ways to keep your fingers and mind occupied.

Boy holds two fidget cubes.

6. Yo-Yo’s

Yo-Yo’s are a classic toy dating all the way back to ancient times and may be the world’s first fidget toy. It is made up of an axle, two disks and a piece of string. Simplicity at its finest!

To play, you put your finger through the loop of string and throw the Yo-Yo downwards to unravel it. When the string is completely unravelled, it winds itself back up and returns to the hand ready to be thrown again. The combination of gravity and kinetic energy keeps the Yo-Yo coming back once released.

More modern Yo-Yo’s allow you to tailor them to your own individual style. You can replace the string, change the casings, and swap the bearings to alter the speed and amount of friction, making tricks easier and smoother to perform. Some even come fitted with LED lights so you can Yo-Yo in the dark.

There are hundreds of tricks to learn and master. Flick your wrists to perform ‘sleeper’ tricks including ‘walk the dog’ where the Yo-Yo hovers and spins before returning back to the hand.

The more complex the trick, the more your mind must concentrate and the busier your hands become. Some tricks even require both hands to pull off.

Boy plays with YOYO.

7. Push Poppers

Push Poppers are the perfect fidget toy for those with restless digits.

It has a similar sensory experience to popping bubble wrap, even having a similarly satisfying popping noise.

Unlike bubble wrap, Push Poppers are made from silicone meaning you can use them again and again. Simply turn over and repeat for endless fidgeting fun.

Push Poppers became a huge craze, becoming popular for their bright colours, smooth texture, popping action and pleasing ‘pop’ sound that combined, helps to bring a sense of calm to the user.

Today, Push Poppers come in every shape and size you can imagine. From geometric shapes to animals, there’s a Push Popper to suit everyone. They even come in the form of keyrings, pencil cases and more, making them both satisfying and useful.

8. Slime

Slime is ooey, gooey and of course, slimy!

The gloopy consistency is somewhere between a solid and a liquid, making it great for those who enjoy a more messy, sensory experience.

Dip your hand in the slime and move it between your fingers. You can poke, prod, squeeze, stretch and squish.

Slime is often cold to the touch adding an additional sensory layer.

Slime comes in pre-made pots for on-the-go fun or slime making kits allow you to make some yourself, combining fidgeting with science.

Due to its malleable texture, Slime is one of the messier fidget toys but that’s what makes it so satisfying and fun! Plus, it promotes fine motor skills development and concentration.


9. Squishies

Squishies are the perfect blend of fidget and comfort. They don’t require any brain work and instead alleviate feelings of anxiety simply by being held and, as the name suggest – squished!

Soft toys like Squishmallows and Ty Squishy Beanies are perfect for when you need something to squeeze and cuddle at the same time.

These ultra-squeezable soft toys are both adorable and provide a sense of comfort when feeling stressed or nervous. Who doesn’t feel better after a nice hug?

They come in a variety of characters and sizes. The smaller sizes make for the perfect on-the-go companions, and the larger scale ones are ideal for providing comfort whilst at home or at bedtime.

10. Kinetic Sand

Kinetic Sand is perfect for those at-home fidgeters who also love to be creative. 

This unique sand sticks to itself without the need for water meaning less mess and more fun. 

The sand can be squeezed, squished and moulded to make any shape and comes in a variety of bright colours, with some even being scented. 

Kinetic Sand’s soft but grainy texture is the perfect tactile experience for those who have restless hands, plus the ability to mould the sand into any shape you want helps engage the brain too. 

The act of moulding and then cutting into your creations helps slow the brain down to become hyper-focused on the task at hand making it a great solution for those who struggle with concentration or are easily distracted. 

Meticulously build up the sand layer by layer before slowing cutting into it with the included tools. Peel away, press down and slice the layers to reveal the colours within. As you do so, listen to the ASMR sounds as you crush and squish, making it even more soothing. Aaaaah what a wonderful noise. 

To Fidget or Not to Fidget? 

There are many different fidget toys out there that cater to everyone’s needs. 

They help provide an outlet for those with fidgety tendencies, provide comfort and help increase focus when we need a little help. Plus they’re fun! 

So have a play and see which one works best for your little one and have something to hand for when you or your child next need that fidgety fix. 

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About the Author

Sam profile picture


Starting her career in our stores, Sam learnt what customers really want from a toy shop.

Sam’s writing reflects her knowledge of all things data and strategy – she’s a reliable source of information on everything from customer favourites to new playground crazes.

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