Fidget spinners become distractions in classroom

BLUFFTON, SC (WSAV) – Fidget spinners and fidget cubes are small plastic objects designed for children who have trouble paying attention, but they’ve now become a fad that’s spinning out of control in classrooms.

“I can probably attribute my business being up 10% by just the amount of spinners I’m selling every day. It’s unbelievable,” said Steve Maleh, owner of Surf’s Up in Hilton Head.

He sells about 250 of the new fidget toys every week.

“Red, green, black, you name it. The kids are collecting every color,” Maleh confirms.

They come in different designs, like Batman shaped and glow in the dark, and sell for anywhere between $10 to $100.

“Put it between your finger and give it a spin,” Maleh instructs. “That’s all you do.”

A simple spin—designed to help children with ADHD and ADD sit still longer and stay focused. Fidget cubes are a bit less popular, but they have buttons to click, flip, roll, and more.

“There are certain children who just need to move,” said Kathy Corley, the principal at Red Cedar Elementary in Bluffton. “In the beginning, it was great, because it released the tension it was supposed to release. But, there are now many different colors. There are some that light up. They (students) want to trade them. We can’t do that; it becomes a thing. It becomes a toy, something to play with, and that’s unfortunate.”

While teachers WSAV spoke with say they like the idea of them, fidget spinners are becoming a distraction in the classroom.

“Some students play with them underneath their desk, and it’s fine if it helps them stay focused, but other times it becomes a distraction when other students are watching what they’re doing,” said Kristen Parson, a 5th grade teacher at Pritchardville Elementary.

Schools like Pritchardville haven’t banned fidget spinners in their classrooms entirely. Principals say they’re leaving that choice to each teacher because every kid is different and, really, they want to do whatever they can to help each of the students learn.