The Best Fidget Toys to Keep Kids’ Hands Busy and Minds at Ease

The Simpl Dimpl is an appealing, quiet fidget toy you can take anywhere

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products. Healthcare professionals review articles for medical accuracy. Learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

In case you’ve missed the biggest toy trend of the past five years, fidget toys are small objects that pop, spin, twist, stretch, squish, or provide another way to keep hands busy. These toys come in a variety of styles, like fidget spinners or stress balls, and can be used by all ages. At the beginning of the fidget spinner craze, some claimed these toys had therapeutic value for children with ADHD or autism, but scientists are divided about this. Still, kids love them, which is why it’s helpful to know which are the best fidget toys out now.

Reviewed & Approved

A surprisingly satisfying toy for all ages, the Simpl Dimpl is small enough to take anywhere. If you child is a fan of puzzles, we recommend the Toysmith Wood Fidget Puzzle.

“My message to parents would be that we do not have sufficient evidence to support the idea that fidget toys will be helpful for all children with ADHD, autism, and anxiety. I would encourage parents instead to consider whether a particular fidget toy is helpful for their child,” Chelsea Weyand, PsyD, ABPP, at Akron Children’s Hospital, tells Verywell Family. “Additionally, I would ask parents to consider treating symptoms and not disorders. For example, a fidget toy may not improve your child’s ADHD, but it may help your child sit still in the classroom.”

Look for fidget toys that are fun, age appropriate and durable, so you or your child can get plenty of use out of it. Additionally, keep in mind whether it’s suitable for and allowed in school, if your child plans to take the toy with them to the classroom. We carefully considered design, age recommendations, material, ease of use, and value when reviewing products.

 Here are the best fidget toys on the market. 

Best Overall: Fat Brain Toys Simpl Dimpl

best fidget toys

Amazon

Pros
  • Mini keychain clip included

  • Portable

  • 4 color combinations

Cons
  • Noisy when popped quickly repeatedly

  • Key ring can pinch fingers when not in use

The name says it all: This is a simple toy that provides immediate sensory and fidgeting satisfaction with the push of the little dimples, which is why it’s our top pick. Toddlers to preteens will enjoy the Simpl Dimpl’s compact and lightweight keychain design that easily clips onto a backpack or beach bag. Unlike those giant pop-it toys, you can take this anywhere. The fidget toy’s frame is made with durable plastic, while the dimples are 100% silicone. Available in four bright color combos, the Simpl Dimpl can be safely pushed, popped, or poked, by children ages 3 and up. 

Price at time of publication: $5

Age Level: 3 years old and up

Best Spinner: Scione Fidget Spinners

best fidget spinners

Amazon

Pros
  • 12 fidget spinners included

  • Multiple style options

  • Easy to use/discreet

Cons
  • Can break when dropped

  • Bearings loosen over time

The Scione Fidget Spinners earn our top spot because this pack includes enough fidget spinners for the whole family to enjoy. Recommended for children 3 years old and up, this pack from Scione includes 12 classic fidget spinners in a variety of colors and patterns, like camo or galaxy themes.

Each fidget spinner has ball bearings and bearing weights under the center disc for smooth, long spins. All three corners of the fidget spinner are rounded to help prevent any scratches or injuries to fingers. To rotate, simply put one finger on each side of the center and spin with your other hand. 

Price at time of publication: $19

Age Level: 3 years old and up

Best Collectible: Pop It! Pets Mystery Bag

best fidget toys

Amazon

Pros
  • Small and portable

  • Fun to collect and trade

  • Some change color

Cons
  • Can be easily lost

These “pets” are two toy trends in one: Single-bubble versions of the original Pop It! toy delivered to kids in a blind bag—meaning they don’t know which five pets they’ll get until after they’ve opened it. There are 100 different pets—some are animals, others are not-quite-inanimate objects like tacos—and each comes with a card that’s also part of a map to their “world.”  Whether you let your kids keep buying more to create a full-on pet collection is up to you, but they’ll get plenty of pleasure out of just five of them, which can clip onto keychains, zippers, or backpacks for mobile fidgeting fun. 

Price at time of publication: $10

Age Level: 3 years old and up

Best Doll: Fidgie Friends Fashion Doll

best fidget toys

Walmart

Pros
  • Encourage imaginative play

  • Multiple fidget toys

  • Rooted hair

Cons
  • Not for younger children

Sometimes, just a single fidget toy doesn’t feel like enough—especially when you’re giving a gift. These 10.5-inch dolls, however, are multiple toys in one, and we know plenty of kids who will adore them. As of this writing, there are five different dolls (Watermellow, Unicorn Sprinkles, Boba Bubbles, and Dandielion Wishes), each of whom wears multiple fidget toys (pop-it wings, squishy skirts, sequins-flipping mermaid tail, etc.) in addition to rooted hair and working joints. They’ll encourage imaginative play as well as fidgeting. But if your kid isn’t in the mood (or isn’t allowed) to bring their doll on the road, they can just take one of the fidget accessories with them.

Price at time of publication: $21

Age Level: 6 years old and up

Best Game: Buffalo Games Pop It! Pro Game

best fidget toys

Walmart

Pros
  • Engaging and exciting

  • Encourage motor development

  • Many levels of play

Cons
  • Not meant for quiet/educational settings

Most toys on this list are meant to be fidgeted with quietly, perhaps while something more important is going on in the room. Not this one. Pop It! Pro is a single-player game that will take up a child’s (or adult’s) entire attention as they watch a lighted pattern and then try to push the bubbles to repeat it. With increasing levels of difficulty, this frenzied little game is quite addictive, so distribute it wisely.

Price at time of publication: $20

Age Level: 5 years old and up

Best for ADHD: Tangle Jr. Original Fidget Toy

best fidget toys

Amazon

Pros
  • Interchangeable parts

  • Vibrant colors

  • Can double as a bracelet

Cons
  • Pieces can be lost

Children ages 3 and up will enjoy twisting, tangling, taking apart, and putting back together this colorful toy. The Tangle Jr. comes in a wide variety of color schemes (some with textures, too), which you can mix and connect with other Tangles. Kids can mold the Tangle into different shapes, expressing their creative side. Plus, this package includes three separate Tangles to mix and match together. 

Because it’s quiet, the Tangle Jr. has been used in studies looking at whether physical activity can help students with ADHD focus while learning. The results aren’t definitive, but you can always try this fun toy at home first. 

Price at time of publication: $24

Age Level: 3 years old and up

Best Puzzle: Toysmith Wood Fidget Puzzle

best fidget toys

Amazon

Pros
  • Create a variety of shapes

  • Bright colors

  • Great for adults or children

Cons
  • Small

  • Elastic inside can snap with rough play

This isn’t a puzzle to solve, exactly, but kids (and adults)  enjoy arranging and twisting Toysmith’s Wood Fidget Puzzle into a variety of shapes. Twelve colorful wooden blocks connect together via an elasticized string, allowing you to create a straight line or make fun shapes

Each cube measures about half an inch, and when it’s stretched into a line, the toy measures 6 inches total. While this fidget toy is on the smaller side, it’s handy to have close by in your bag for restless moments. 

Price at time of publication: $7

Age Level: 3 years old and up

Best Sensory: Impresa Spiky Sensory Finger Rings, pack of 10

Impresa Spiky Sensory Finger Rings, pack of 10

Amazon

Pros
  • Wearable

  • Made with stainless steel

  • 10 included in pack

Cons
  • Tighter fit on adult fingers

Recommended for children 3 years old and up, these spiky sensory rings can be worn by anyone in the family. The stainless steel rings are 1 inch in diameter, and they’re stretchy enough to fit fingers of any size. When the urge to fidget strikes, simply roll the rings up and down your finger to create a unique, calming sensation. 

Price at time of publication: $7

Age Level: 3 years old and up

Best for Toddlers: Bella Tunno Beginner Spinner

best fidget toys

Maisonette

Pros
  • Safe to chew on

  • Hand drawn icons

  • Easy to clean

Cons
  • Toy doesn’t spin (rotate via hands)

For a fidget toy you’ll get years of use from, we recommend the Bella Tunno Beginner Spinner. Recommended for newborns and up, the spinner is made with non-toxic, food-grade silicone that’s safe for teething littles to put in their mouths. 

The water-resistant spinner features adorable hand-drawn icons of shapes, numbers, and animals for educational and visual appeal. Plus, it’s available in a variety of colors, like pink, blue, or gray. Toss it in the dishwasher or use warm water and soap when it’s time for a quick clean.

Price at time of publication: $15

Age Level: Newborn and up

Best Stress Balls: Power Your Fun Arggh Mini Stress Balls

best fidget toys

Amazon

Pros
  • Color changing

  • Squishy

  • Non-toxic gel filling

Cons
  • Can pop if squeezed too hard

Squeeze away those worries with these mini stress balls that change colors when you squish them. Filled with a non-toxic gel, the stress balls change from blue to green, pink to purple, or yellow to orange. They are safe for children 8 years old and up and measure 2.5 inches in diameter, so they’re small enough to take on the go. 

The company recommends washing the balls in warm water and soap before air drying them. You can also apply a little bit of baby powder once they’re done air drying to make the balls feel like new again.

Price at time of publication: $11

Age Level: 8 years old and up

Best for Teens and Adults: Fat Brain Toys Executive Magnetic Sculptures

best fidget toys

Fat Brain Toys

Pros
  • Sculpt into different shapes

  • Creative outlet

  • Base is compact

Cons
  • Bearings themselves are not magnetic

As any compulsive doodler or pen-clicker knows, fidgeting isn’t just for kids. This sculpture is recommended for children 11 years old and up, and features a magnetic base that’s 2.5 inches in diameter. Stack, mold, fiddle, or sculpt the included non-magnetic metal spheres on top of the base. Leave it on your desk or out in your home for fidgeting stress relief throughout the day.

Price at time of publication: $7

Age Level: 11 years old and up

Best Stretchy: Impresa Monkey Noodles

Impresa Monkey Noodles

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Stretches up to 8 feet

  • Non-toxic material

  • Hypoallergenic/BPA-free

Cons
  • Attract pet hair/fuzz

  • Can snap fingers/hands

The fidgeting options are endless with these strings that stretch up to 8 feet long! Stretch, twist, pull, wrap, squeeze, or twirl the strings into different shapes, knots, and more. Recommended for children ages 3 and up, the fidget strings are hypoallergenic and made with non-toxic materials. Plus, they come in a variety of vibrant colors, like green and yellow.

Price at time of publication: $10

Age Level: 3 years old and up

Best Putty: Crazy Aaron's Hypercolors Thinking Putty

best fidget toys

Amazon

Pros
  • Stretch, bounce, squish, and more

  • Heat-changing, vibrant colors

  • Glows in the dark

Cons
  • Costly

  • Stiff

If you or kiddos love fidgeting with putty, we think you’ll enjoy stretching, twisting, sculpting, pulling, and snapping Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty. This putty is sensitive to both heat and light, so it turns the blue putty into a glow-in-the-dark green with heat from your hands. It comes in a 3.2 ounce tin can for storage to keep it fresh, and is recommended for children ages 3 and up.

Price at time of publication: $19

Age Level: 3 years old and up

How We Selected the Best Fidget Toys

We chose the best fidget toys by researching reviews from customers and competitors, studying the features of dozens of products on the market. We considered design, age recommendations, ease of use, material, and value when deciding our picks. We also consulted with Chelsea Weyand, PsyD, ABPP, at Akron Children’s Hospital, and reviewed guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics on fidget spinner safety.

What to Look for When Buying Fidget Toys

Type of Toy

Fidget toys first became popular in 2017 with the release of fidget spinners. Now, fidget toys have expanded beyond spinners and into fidget cubes, pop-its, keychains, rings, and more. For example, instead of only spinning a fidget toy, you can now twist, pull, stretch, roll, or pop to relieve nerves, anxiety, and stress. The type of toy that’s best for you or your child will depend on a few factors, like age, material, and where you plan to use the fidget toy. 

Age Level

As with any toy, it’s important to check age recommendations before buying to ensure safety for everyone playing. “Be certain that the fidget toy selected for your child is age-appropriate and free of choking hazards if they still put things in their mouth. Fidget toys should be seen as a coping tool and not as a replacement for therapeutic or medical intervention,” explains Dr. Weyand. When buying for a child, check the manufacturer’s age recommendations, as a fidget toy made for preteens may be too difficult to use by a preschooler. 

Durability

It’s no secret fidget toys get a lot of attention and love, so a durable fidget toy is a must. Opt for a stronger material, like wood or silicone, so their fidgeting doesn’t sacrifice the integrity of the toy. Plus, you want the toy to hold up against being dropped and tossed. 

School-Appropriate

Many fidget toys are not allowed in the classroom as they may distract students from learning or listening. “They can be very distracting for certain children in the classroom setting, making many issues associated with these conditions [ADHD, autism, anxiety] worse. Families should collaborate closely with the teacher before planning for their child to use a fidget toy in the classroom,” Dr. Weyand recommends.

Some studies have shown that using fidget toys in the classroom have improved attention, writing abilities, peer communication, and attitude. “[Fidget toys] may be helpful in decreasing specific symptoms of ADHD, anxiety, and autism in some children with these disorders,” says Dr. Weyand. “They are also a low-cost intervention, so if effectiveness is demonstrated for your child, that is a bonus.”

For classrooms that allow fidget toys, opt for one with a small footprint that doesn’t make noise to avoid any distractions in the classroom.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do fidget toys help with anxiety?

    “When considering the effectiveness of fidgets for youth with anxiety, autism, and ADHD from a research standpoint, there is no consistent evidence of their effectiveness in these populations. In fact, some studies indicate that fidget toys increase distractibility in the classroom, which indicates that they may make symptoms worse,” says Dr. Weyand. “A fidget may not improve anxiety overall, but it may serve as a helpful distraction during painful medical procedures, talking in front of a large group of peers, etc.,” she adds.

  • Do fidget toys help with autism or ADHD?

    Dr. Weyand tells Verywell Family she has many patients with ADHD, anxiety, and autism who use fidget toys and find them helpful to manage symptoms associated with their disorders. It’s important to keep in mind that fidget toys don’t treat a disorder, but they can help improve symptoms. 

     

    “A fidget may not treat autism, but it may serve as an effective coping strategy when your child with autism becomes angry in a public setting,” says Dr. Weyand, adding that fidget toys are also used in behavioral therapy. "Fidgets can also be used in behavioral therapy as an evidence-based intervention for certain habit disorders, such as hair pulling and skin picking. The psychologist works with the patient and family to identify a preferred fidget, and when the patient has an urge to pull their hair or pick their skin, they would use the fidget instead. … However, I would not recommend parents initiating this intervention on their own.”

  • What fidget toy is most popular right now?

    While there are dozens of fidget toys on the market, there are a few favorites among kiddos and adults. “Pop-it toys and infinity cubes still seem to be very popular, as well as stress balls,” explains Dr. Weyand. 

Why Trust Verywell Family

Katrina Cossey has been a digital content producer and news and feature writer for more than seven years. She has covered topics ranging from local and national news as well as writing and researching parenting content. While a fidget toy will depend on a person’s age, Katrina recommends the Simpl Dimpl for younger children, and the Executive Magnetic Sculptures for teens and adults.

4 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Aspiranti KB, Hulac DM. Using fidget spinners to improve on-task classroom behavior for students with ADHD. Behav Anal Pract. 2022;15(2):454-465. doi:10.1007/s40617-021-00588-2

  2. Kercood S, Grskovic JA. Reducing the effects of auditory and visual distraction on the math performances of students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Australian Journal of Learning Difficulties. 2010;15(1):1-11. doi:10.1080/19404150903524515

  3. Fidget spinner safety tips. HealthyChildren.org.

  4. US KI The Conversation. Fidget toys aren’t just hype. Scientific American.