Long fidget toys

Best Fidget Toys 2023 - Fidget Toys for Anxiety

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For reducing anxiety or just plain fun, these are the best sensory toys for kids and adults.

By Kylee McGuigan and Priscilla Blossom

Popular Mechanics; Courtesy hand2mind

Fidget toys have become all the rage in recent years. From occupational therapy offices to classrooms to work meetings, these items have spread like wildfire for their usefulness in keeping busy hands and minds focused, as well as for the simple fact that they’re just plain fun. But what exactly makes one fidget toy better than another? And what kinds of things do we need to know prior to purchasing one (or a dozen) for the kiddos in our lives? For this, we’ve turned to Caitlin Sanschagrin, an occupational therapist and cofounder of Bright SpOT Pediatric Therapy, serving Texas’ greater Austin area.

The Best Fidget Toys

  • Best Overall

    4-Pack Pop-It Rainbow Fidget Toys Zalik

    $5 AT AMAZON

    Read More

    $5 AT AMAZON

  • Best Magnetic Fidget

    Magnetic Rings Fidget Toy Set Finger Rock

    $15 AT AMAZON

    Read More

    $15 AT AMAZON

  • Best Fidget That Makes Sound

    8-Pack Pop Tube Sensory Toys Nutty Toys

    $10 AT AMAZON

    Read More

    $10 AT AMAZON

  • Best For Reducing Stress

    Color Changing NeeDoh Schylling

    $13 AT AMAZON

    Read More

    $13 AT AMAZON

  • Best Soothing Fidget Toy for Anxiety

    ColorMix Sensory Tubes Hand2mind

    $21 AT AMAZON

    Read More

    $21 AT AMAZON

  • Most Discreet Fidget Toy

    3-Pack Edamame Keychain Fidget Toy Acerich

    $7 AT AMAZON

    Read More

    $7 AT AMAZON

  • Best For Babies

    Baby Whoozit Manhattan Toy

    $19 AT AMAZON

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    $19 AT AMAZON

  • Best For Curious Toddlers

    Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog Fidget Friend Learning Resources

    $9 AT AMAZON

    Read More

    $9 AT AMAZON

  • Best for Tweens

    6-Pack 24 Links Wacky Tracks Snap and Click Fidget Toys Yeetec

    $11 AT AMAZON

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    $11 AT AMAZON

  • Best For Teens

    Anti-Anxiety Fidget Spinner Duomishu

    $18 AT AMAZON

    Read More

    $18 AT AMAZON

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What to Consider

First and foremost, consider who the fidget toy is for.

“The purpose of fidget [and] sensory toys for toddlers is sensory exploration,” Sanschagrin says. “[They] are learning about the world through their environment, and offering them various sensory experiences encourages them to learn in different ways.” At this stage in development, she recommends sensory-based toys that have multiple textures, high-contrast colors, or even fun sounds, like crinkle paper.

Fidget toys for elementary-aged children are used more for regulation. “This means that fidgets can be a tool to either ‘wake up’ your body [and] brain or to calm yourself down,” she says. For this age range, she says the biggest benefit comes from toys that encourage more movement and strong sensory feedback. Kids might use more concentration while playing with these toys and often focus more on the toy itself.

“Additionally, fidgets that provide a sense of deep pressure, compression—or as we occupational therapists call it, proprioceptive input—would be a great option,” Sanschagrin says. “This would include things that make the child’s hands work hard by squeezing, pinching, stretching apart, or pushing the fidget.”

Teens and adults use fidget toys for regulation as well, Sanschagrin says, but tend to use smaller ones that are both fun and easily used while focusing on other activities. “Consider fidgets that would be inconspicuous when held in their hands or even fidgets that can be manipulated using only one hand,” she says. “These are the more traditional forms of fidgets, like the classic fidget spinner that was popular a few years ago.”

Sanschagrin recommends occasionally rotating fidget toys, as kids tend to go through phases of what they like, and this will help renew their interest in their toys. “Also keep in mind the goal or what function you want to fidget to serve prior to purchasing,” she says. “If your child really likes to fidget using their fingers, a fidget snake is more likely to land rather than a squeeze ball.” Overall, though, she says fidget toy preference simply depends on the person, and parents should be open to trial and error.

How We Selected

To figure out which fidget toys would make the cut, I asked for recommendations from other parents, as well as from Sanschagrin, who uses fidgets in her occupational therapy practice. I also tested a few out and allowed my 7-year-old to test some, too. I read through countless reviews on various retail sites to see which ones consumers recommend, making sure to note which reviews were independent versus ones that were in exchange for free products, to reduce bias. After careful deliberation, I compiled my list of the best fidget toys for all ages and a variety of purposes.

For more great toys, check out our picks for the best science toys, science kits, and popping toys.

Best Overall


4-Pack Pop-It Rainbow Fidget Toys

Now 75% off


Key Specs
Age Range 3-12 years
Features Includes different shapes and soft, light builds are easy to take anywhere

Best Magnetic Fidget

Finger Rock

Magnetic Rings Fidget Toy Set


Key Specs
Age Range 12 and older
Features Stack and pair together in various ways and can use as a fidget spinner

Best Fidget That Makes Sound

Nutty Toys

8-Pack Pop Tube Sensory Toys

Now 57% off


Key Specs
Age Range 1-10
Features Engages multiple senses and connects to other pop tubes

Best For Reducing Stress


Color Changing NeeDoh

Now 35% off


Key Specs
Age Range 8 and older
Features Great for squeezing, pulling, squishing, and smushing

Best Soothing Fidget Toy for Anxiety


ColorMix Sensory Tubes

Now 36% off


Key Specs
Age Range 3 and older
Features Three colormix tubes offer a calming sensory experience to reduce anxiety

Most Discreet Fidget Toy


3-Pack Edamame Keychain Fidget Toy


Key Specs
Age Range 1 and older
Features Keychain loop attaches to house keys, bags, backpacks, and more

Best For Babies

Manhattan Toy

Baby Whoozit


Key Specs
Age Range 6-12 months
Features Top attachment loop and multiple arms with different colors, shapes, plus rattle and crinkle noises

Best For Curious Toddlers

Learning Resources

Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog Fidget Friend

Now 36% off


Key Specs
Age Range 18 months-3 years
Features Six ways to fidget and lightweight, compact design for on-the-go play

Best for Tweens


6-Pack 24 Links Wacky Tracks Snap and Click Fidget Toys


Key Specs
Age Range 12 and older
Features Snap-and-click style provides satisfying sensory input via sound and touch

Best For Teens


Anti-Anxiety Fidget Spinner


Key Specs
Age Range 10 and older
Features Double-pendulum design causes random spinning and stainless steel build is durable yet lightweight

Kylee McGuigan Associate Commerce Editor Kylee McGuigan is an associate commerce editor for Hearst Magazines’s Enthusiast Group.

Priscilla Blossom Priscilla Blossom is a queer Latina freelance writer focusing on travel, motherhood, identity, health and wellness, and pop culture.

7 Best Fidget Toys for Adults 2022

7 Best Fidget Toys for Adults 2022 | The Strategist

Every product is independently selected by (obsessive) editors. Things you buy through our links may earn us a commission.

A former high-school French teacher, Liza Corsillo is a fan of Italian surgeon clogs, perfectly crafted art supplies, and anything related to her dog. She’s also an artist and illustrator.

A former high-school French teacher, Liza Corsillo is a fan of Italian surgeon clogs, perfectly crafted art supplies, and anything related to her dog. She’s also an artist and illustrator.

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

In our advice column, “Ask the Strategist,” we take your most burning shopping questions and survey friends, call up experts, and draw on our own personal experience to answer them. If you have an online-shopping question of your own, please send it to [email protected] with the subject “Ask the Strategist.” We’re here to help.

I fidget — a lot. And especially working from home, having something to do with my hands helps me stay focused during long Zoom calls. But right now I just have a gum eraser thing and it’s kind of gross. Most of the things that are marketed as “fidget toys” (like the popper things or spinners) aren’t very satisfying to me. I love an old-school stress ball but want to find something more design-y or that’s more flexible, maybe with moving parts.

As someone who suffers from anxiety and doesn’t always love being on camera, I also find it hard to focus during long Zoom meetings. I tend to doodle or pet my dog to ground myself and concentrate on work. Other people find focus by chewing gum, tapping their feet, squishing kinetic sand, or squeezing a stress ball like the old-school variety you mentioned. And occupational therapists often use fidgets that provide sensory feedback to help their patients focus while at work or in the classroom. Julie Schweitzer, a neuroscientist and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at UC Davis Health in Sacramento, California, is currently working with researchers at UC Santa Cruz to study the effects of fidgeting (with or without the help of a fidget device) on people with ADHD. But she says you don’t have to have ADHD to benefit from fidgeting, and that it can help with attentiveness as well as regulating emotions like stress and anxiety. When it comes to what kind of fidget is best, she encourages people to test out a few different things and systematically take note of what helps the most.

So far it sounds like what works best for you is the sensation of squeezing or pulling rather than spinning and popping. So I started my search by looking for something to replace your gum eraser. At first, I thought you might like “thinking putty,” which comes in lots of cool colors and looks like a less gloopy version of slime. But when I showed it to my fiancé, a fourth-grade teacher who spends a good amount of time recommending fidgets to the parents of his students, he worried that it might be too sticky. Plus some of the reviews on Amazon warn that it can get stuck on clothes, which might add to your stress rather than relieve it. Next, he asked me to move over, took control of my laptop, and started googling “OT therapy putty.”

Vive Therapy Putty

$19 for 4

$20 now 5% off

$19 for 4

From that search, this set of four tubs of putty is his recommendation. He likes that you get four different colors and four different densities — extra-soft, soft, medium, and firm — and notes that unlike slime or other putties made for kids, this won’t stick to your hands or your clothing. While the varying densities are designed with hand rehabilitation and muscle strengthening in mind, they also provide different sensations to fidget with, so you can choose your favorite or rotate through all four.

$19 for 4 at Amazon


$19 for 4 at Amazon


Serenilite Tri-Density Stress Balls

$21 for 5

Since you mentioned liking old-school stress balls, I asked him to recommend some that would work for fidgeting during meetings. He found this set of balls that are covered in a slinky fabric and also vary in density from soft to firm. The set has more than 2,000 five-star ratings on Amazon, and while they aren’t the most stylish option, they do come in a handful of pleasing colors.

$21 for 5 at Amazon


$21 for 5 at Amazon


Speks Blots Silicone Stress Balls



From there I took back the reins and went looking for something so aesthetically pleasing it could double as desk decor. I found it in these silicone stress balls from Speks, a brand that also makes sets of wildly popular (and Strategist-approved) magnetic balls. Everything from the blobby shapes to the jewel tones to the matte texture of the silicone makes me want to reach out and touch these squishy fidgets. Do they look a tiny bit like minimalist sex toys? Yes. For one thing, the aesthetic goals are somewhat aligned — both are meant to encourage relaxation and a sense of calm, and both might pass as home decor. But they don’t look so much like a vibrator or a butt plug that you should be nervous about a co-worker noticing one on your desk. I am seriously considering buying the green one that looks like a planet with six orbiting moons, as well as the one that looks like a reimagined Koosh ball.

$25 at Speks


Speks Fleks Magnetic Silicone Building Set



If you can’t unsee the adult-toy similarities, Speks also makes this eight-piece magnetic desk toy that you can combine in different ways to create little bendy sculptures. Like the Speks Blots, these pieces, called Fleks, are made of soft silicone. Magnets at each end let you snap them together and to the included steel base. But you don’t have to use them with the base at all; you can simply play with the feeling of snapping the magnets together and pulling them apart over and over again.

$30 at Speks


Speks 2.5mm Magnet Balls



In 2017, features editor Katy Schneider wrote about finding relief for her “incorrigible” restless hands in a set of Speks magnetic balls. While other devices designed for fidgeters left her disappointed or with hands that smelled like imitation vanilla, these kept her hands busy for hours. “Each ball detaches from the last, which means you can do anything with them: build them into a little marble house; flatten them into a square; form a long, single strand and wrap it around your wrist or your fingers — all while taking phone calls, reading emails, and even sitting in long meetings,” she says. Just writing this, I am tempted to buy some. Speks has since broadened its offering to include tons of different colors, from full-spectrum rainbow sets to slightly more subdued palettes like this green and gold one.

$35 at Speks


925 Sterling Silver Anti Anxiety Ring



I know you said you found spinners distracting. But this spinning anxiety ring was recommended by Jessica Biren Caverly, a licensed psychologist with Western Connecticut Behavioral Health, as one of her new favorite fidgets because it’s discreet and not distracting. She says, “I wear it on my finger during endless Zoom meetings or when I testify in court. It keeps my fingers moving and makes me so much more attentive.” I was surprised to see that it is made of sterling silver, giving it a degree of quality most fidgets don’t have.

$12 at Amazon


Spiky Sensory Finger Rings



Another fidget that could pass for jewelry is this spiky sensory ring that I use to calm my nerves anytime I am anticipating a stressful event like a medical procedure or an interview with a celebrity. As you roll the ring back and forth along your fingers, the spikes create what I would describe as a hard tingle. For what it’s worth, I am easily creeped out by light feathery sensations but find a slightly painful, poke-y touch calming. If you feel that way too, this ring is worth checking out.

$7 at Amazon


$7 at Amazon


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Are There Any Good Fidget Toys for Adults?

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English spotted rabbit - beautiful fidget

The English Spotted Rabbit is a rare decorative breed. It is also called a "butterfly", because on the muzzle of the animal there is a dark spot resembling this insect in shape.

The rodent has a graceful arched physique: the back is arched, the body is taut, muscular, and the paws are long. The head of the animal is small, oblong, the ears are erect. The spotted handsome man is thin and graceful, but not fragile. Females are larger than males and weigh an average of 3.2 kg. nine0003

The real decoration of the English rabbit is a short and thick coat, characterized by a variety of colors. The snow-white "fur coat" of animals is covered with spots of various colors:

  • blue;
  • black;
  • chocolate;
  • gray;
  • purple;
  • red.

Sometimes they talk about the tortoiseshell pattern. On the sides, the marks are scattered randomly, and a clearly defined stripe runs along the line of the spine. nine0003

Correct diet

The character of the English spotted rabbit is friendly, active. A quick-witted rascal is attached to people, he likes outdoor games. It is better for experienced breeders to buy a spotted rabbit, in a house where there are no small children, but teenagers live. Conflicts may arise with other animals due to the lively disposition of the "butterfly".

It is advisable to feed the animals in question at least twice a day with low-calorie food, because they are prone to gaining excess weight, which spoils their exterior. Ordinary haylage is replaced with forbs from timothy grass, clover. They also give pets: nine0003

  • hay;
  • leaf and branch mixtures;
  • vitamin and mineral supplements;
  • ready-made compound feeds.

Raw vegetables and fruits are contraindicated in these wards, because they cause indigestion in them. It is important that the water and products for them are fresh and of high quality.

Everything for a comfortable life of a pet

The cage for the English rabbit is chosen spacious, it is preferable to buy an aviary. In addition to bedding made of natural material, feeders and drinkers, it should contain tunnels, balls, soft toys so that the fidget tenant moves and does not get bored. Outside the home, a four-legged friend also needs space to run. Some owners teach the cute jumper to walk on a leash. nine0003

Breeding spotted rabbits from England is easy, but it can be difficult to achieve a standard color in offspring. A pregnant rabbit needs to arrange a "nest" in a separate cage. After giving birth, she will need a lot of water. In general, English rabbits are healthy rodents. For excellent health, they need cleanliness, balanced nutrition, attention and love of the owners. And then the pet will be able to live happily for 10-12 years.

Australian Shepherd: character traits, maintenance and care

  • Type of riddle: winding
  • Minimum age of the manufacturer: 00
  • Number of pieces: 1
  • Size of the DHSHHV point: 28 x 2. 28 dime 9000 9001 2 UNTRISS 2 UNCION Introduction

    Shashibo's patented, award-winning fidget box uses 36 rare earth magnets for an original design that transforms into over 70 shapes, unlike other puzzle toys that look frustrating and dull. Easily fits in your hand for hours of puzzle entertainment; Stimulates the senses with limitless creativity! Nothing compares to Shashibo's quality and distinctive design, durable premium injection molded plastic construction, 36 rare earth magnets and a durable, matte or glossy finish. Each magnetic puzzle features four different artistic designs of colorful, hypnotic artwork, providing you with an ever-changing variety of beauty at your fingertips. nine0003

    For the most useful magnetic toy and puzzle, connect multiple magnetic cubes using our puzzle boxes' powerful internal magnetic system to create even larger structures and sculptures. Create stunning 3D art by collecting all 12 drawings! Our sensory stimulation puzzle gifts and STEAM & STEM gift toys for all ages include our magnetic bricks. The relaxing therapeutic effect of our shape-shifting puzzle box relieves stress and tension with every pleasant click. Try our Gift Box Set of 4 for the perfect set of toys to let your loved ones build amazing long structures! nine0003


    Combine 2 or more boxes to build big shapes and create unlimited possibilities.


    Our mesmerizing magic fidget cube can keep kids entertained for hours of fun and sensory stimulation, snapping and changing over 70 shapes for a fidget toy that stimulates the mind, body and imagination.


    Shashibo is the perfect STEM/STEAM toy to develop problem solving, building, design and imagination skills. Let your child's curiosity and creativity flourish! nine0003


    Available in 16 unique designs with 4 patterns. Connect multiple Shashibo cubes to build large 3D art sculptures in a variety of vibrant colors and patterns to create stunning structures.

    • Take two halves of
    • To create a shape, you must open it by pressing one corner and fold it together.
    • Repeat the process with the second block, opening it at one corner and holding it together. The magnets will snap into place and land in the desired shape. nine0010

    What is it made of? Plastic? Paper? Wood?

    Basically it's a set of plastic triangles connected together and attached with stickers. The stickers seem pretty durable, but don't expect them to last long with regular use. It's the magnets that probably make it so expensive. OK, new if on sale, but not close to full price IMO.

    This one is much more expensive than the others... It's better than the ones that cost 7.9$9 or $8.99?

    The term "rare earth" can be misleading because some of these metals may be[3][4] as common in the earth's crust as tin or lead,[5] but rare earth ores do not exist in strata (e. g. , coal or copper), so in any given cubic kilometer of the earth's crust they are "rare".

    How about a boy who is in 9th grade and loves the Rubik's Cube?

    YES - this cube is mesmerizing! Got this for my 23 year old and he loves it! His whole extended family wanted to play with it, turn it over and make a design. This is my new gift for engineers, techies, fidgets and, well, for those who find it difficult to buy! nine0003

    What are the dimensions of the box when it is not opened?

    For a simple comparison, this is about the size of a Rubik's Cube. I was surprised at how small the cube was, but when it was opened in various shapes and combined with other cubes, I am very happy that it is small! Anything more would definitely be too big!

    Will he call on the Cenobites?

    Only if manipulated into the correct shape and then flipped again after transformation. And only if you are deemed worthy of such a gift. If you fail, you can spend eternity in hell. Good luck. nine0003

    Can the magnets in Shashibo be dangerous near phones, computers and other magnets?

    Theoretically, there could be some functional influence (like a compass) if you place the Shashibo Cube next to your mobile phone. And the impact will disappear if you move the Shashibo die.

    Can my 6 year old grandson tear this apart?

    Shashibo is very durable but recommended for children aged 8 and over. Not because younger kids won't like it, but because without adult supervision they can play too roughly with it, trying to shape it, which puts unnecessary stress on tear-resistant stickers and strong adhesives that aren't indestructible. nine0003

    How many pieces will I receive?

    You get one Shashibo that can transform into more than 70 geometric shapes.

    Is it normal for some sides to not be magnetic?

    Looks like it. Some of my sides are not magnetic or not as strong as others.

    Is this made of paper?

    Shashibo is made of durable injection-molded plastic, tear-resistant stickers, 36 rare earth magnets and some magic. nine0003

    Is it made of paper?

    No paper, but when we first bought it, the person showing us how it works told us not to be too rough with it because it might tear. But I want to note that we have had more than a year and no problems.

    Are the cubes in the set the same size as the individual cubes?

    The cubes in the box are the same size.

    Is this product harmful to clothing?

    It didn't come off any of my baby's clothes when I played with it, but I don't suggest throwing it away with the laundry as that would probably destroy the real toy. nine0003

    Is this another pet or what? Should I just save myself the hassle and buy Perplexus instead?

    Now my son has three and takes them everywhere.

    Learn more