So many neurodivergent families struggle with different sensory needs. To help, I’ve collected my neurodivergent family’s favorite fidgets for under $20. They make great additions to your at-home school set-up, office desk, or even if you’re just looking for an inexpensive (but fun!) gift for the fidgeter in your life.
It’s a real challenge keeping everyone regulated. But having the right kinds of sensory toys and fidgets available for both you and your kids, during work, lessons and play breaks, can help keep everyone on-task and enjoying life as much as possible.
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Made of silicone, this putty is ideal for home, classroom or clinic use, especially for people with fine motor delays, sensory processing disorder, ADHD, or other neurodivergent needs.
It supports sensory integration and fine-motor skill development, and is just plain fun! A great stocking stuffer or party favor, too! You can find every single member of my family fidgeting with this stuff.
Timers are a must-have in the school or work context – they help people learn how long a minute is, and to focus on tasks like clean-up. These liquid timers are great for calm-down time and sensory play, too!
We bought one these timers when my son was about 2 years-old, and he would play with it for hoouuurrssss, no joke.
When he dropped it down the stairs from the second floor and it started leaking, we were very happy to remember that they’re inexpensive and easy to replace. Still, I would say these are pretty sturdy, as long as you don’t drop them onto a wood floor from the second story of your house too often!
Another great option for the peaceful place or your sensory corner is this sequin snake! This stuffy is about 3 feet long and covered in those gorgeous double-sided sequins.
Wrap it around your arm for some good pressure, and stroke the sequins to change the snakes color and get some wonderful tactile input along the way! My daughter loves to snuggle with this snake.
This is one of the least expensive items on this list as of writing, but it’s the one that gets the most use at our house. Why? My partner, an ADHD adult, keeps one in his pocket at all times. (They really are fidgets for the entire neurodivergent family!)
His thera cube helps him focus during conversations, wait more patiently in line, and think through thorny problems at work.
This is such an underrated little toy; I really recommend it to everybody!
Are any of you chewers? This is a very common stim for a lot of kids and adults, but it can also be destructive. You end up chewing holes into your shirts, biting down your nails, breaking bracelet strings, or injuring your teeth.
I always chewed the erasers off my pencils, and then never had an eraser when I needed one. The struggle is real.
We have these drop pendants at home, one for each kid, and they are just great. Once you get in the habit of wearing them and redirecting biting, these work well to provide the same sensory input without damaging anything.
These are my daughter’s absolutely favorite fidgets. They’re basically really, really stretchy little noodles that lengthen from 10 inches up to 8 feet.
My daughter needs a lot of heavy work, and the ways she finds to get that with these noodles amaze me. She doesn’t just stretch them out with her hands. She’ll thread one end through a fixed point and pull with all her weight. She lays down on her back and pushes them out with her feet to use like a resistance band. She’ll stretch them out and wrap them around her arm for some deep pressure. They really are phenomenally adaptable little noodles!
Last, but not least, may I introduce you to the only reason my kids will sit down for their meals? This chair fidget is basically a stretchy, elastic band that slips over two chair feet and provides a fun thing to kick against while sitting.
It’s amazing in the classroom for helping kids focus and giving them some heavy work opportunities. It also, as I said, helps my kids fidget while eating dinner with the family. If you or your child struggles to sit for any length of time and focus on work, this little doodad might be what you’ve been looking for!
I hope this list of my best fidgets to keep around the house will help all of you on your searches for focus and regulation!