Fidget kits are used to help children, teenagers, or adults focus and maintain attention during challenging activities such as learning in a classroom setting or seminar. Fidget kits should contain sensory items that help maintain attention and focus but do not distract the person from learning or distract others in their environment. Fidget kits are often used as part of a sensory diet.
Before starting to make a fidget kit for an elementary, high school, or college classroom setting it is important to talk with the classroom teacher/lecturer or special education teacher to find out what items they are comfortable with allowing in their classroom.
Next it's time to identify what items to put in your kit.
The sensory system is made up of: vision smell hearing taste touch vestibular/movement senses *and proprioception/muscle and joint senses.
Using these senses explore things in your environment and label them calming, alerting, or indifferent.
For example: Vision- using colored high lighters, colored pencils, using a ruler or half sheet of paper to keep your place when reading etc...
Smell- different scented lotions, lips gloss, therapy putty, or markers.
Hearing- different types of music- rock to classical to nature sounds to play into headphones.
Taste- sweet, sour, bitter, crunchy, or chewy foods. Alerting candies often include sour, hot, or chewy textures. Popular items for sensory kits include Red Hots, Lemon Drops, and Bubble Gum.
Touch: different textures- soft, hard, spiky, silky, bumpy, ect can be found on pencil fidgets, pencil grips, key chains, small toys (that can be hidden in your hand or pocket), Koosh balls, and different textured squishy balls etc.. Touch also includes cold or hot liquids such as a cold water bottle.
Vestibular/Movement: Sit and Move Cushion (see Therapy Shoppe catalog), sitting on a exercise ball, T-Stool, or a chair that allows movement.
Proprioception/Muscle and Joint: Therapy putty, modeling clay, rubber bands, squishy balls, stress balls, Silly Putty, play dough etc..
If you are often bored or have a low arousal level put the items that you labeled ALERTING in your fidget kit. If you have a high arousal put the things that you labeled CALMING in your fidget kit. If you are a mix of both put both items in your kit.
Fidget kits when used appropriately are very successful in helping the individual maintain attention and focus. They are often used as part of a sensory diet in the classroom setting.
Only put items in the fidget kit that will be nondistracting to both the user and others in their environment.
Occupational therapists and special education teachers are often good resources in creating fidget kits.
Fidget kits may need to be modified after time based on the needs of the user.
Go to The Therapy Shoppe for good ideas on things that can be included in a fidget kit at http://www.therapyshoppe.com. Therapy Catalogs such as Abilitations can also provide you with unique products to put in your fidget kits. Chain stores such as Walmart, Kmart, Target, and Walgreens offer have similar products such as stress balls for less cost than therapy catalogs.