If you have a child in elementary or middle school, then there's no doubt you've heard about fidget spinners. The compact, spinning toy is the latest craze with kids—and grown-ups have a lot to say about the new gizmos.
While some school districts are banning the popular toy on the grounds that they're too distracting, other teachers and parents speaking out about the benefits, according to the New York Post.
One reason? The sensory toys can be a preferable alternative to smartphones if you're looking to cut back on your kids' screen time. Others say the trinkets are a way to help kids improve their memory and focus on their school work. "One nice thing about the spinners is that you don't actually need to look at them when you're playing with them," Naomi Schaefer Riley, a mom of three, wrote in the New York Post article. "Students can feel them in their hands and still be watching and listening to a teacher."
In fact, the gizmos, which are said to help release nervous energy, were originally developed for children with autism, anxiety and ADD/ADHD. "What I'm seeing [with these spinners] is, with parameters set of course, a quieter classroom," Gloria Chesbro, a sixth-grade teacher told NPR. "I'm seeing kids that can concentrate better on class discussion, even writing. I'm seeing it—in almost every aspect of their class activities—being something that's helping them concentrate."
For now, the jury's still out on these toys—we'll have to wait until scientific research proves or disproves the benefits. But if you're interested in giving the trend a try with your kids, here are some of the best fidget toy options for kids, including the original spinner.