3 Safar 1439 AH • 24 October 2017

Fidget spinners: yay or nay?

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By Najma Bibi Noor Mahomed

South African retailers have been hit by the latest frenzy of Fidget Spinners with scores of people flocking to get their hand on them. The newest sensation has created waves in other parts of the world and their entrance into the South African market has been received with overwhelming curiosity from adults and children alike.

Fidget spinners  is designed with a bearing in the centre made with a range of other additions around it like plastic, metal or even steel.  It works by using the index finger and thumb to hold the centre and using your other fingers to initiate a circular motion from the device.

However, there have been a range of tricks and methods to make the device more fun and entertaining.

Experts claim the use of the Fidget spinners can be adopted as a concentration mechanism. However, educational psychologist Anel Anondale disagrees with this.

“Generally with children who have attention deficit or attention difficulty what we find is that the brain is under stimulated. So anything in the environment that attracts their attention can actually distract them because the brain needs a certain level of stimulation to be able to block out anything that interferes with concentration,” she said.

Some schools in the United States, France and England have banned the gadget — prompting a debate about difficulties children experience concentrating.

Anondale said some experts find there other devices that kids can quietly fidget with.

“Sometimes we find when they fidget with something in the pocket like a stress ball or a piece of clay when under their desk, that provides the tactile stimulation that the brain needs so that they can concentrate on what the teacher is saying. The problem with the fidget spinner is that it is distracting more than anything else. It provides visual information which is not what we need. We need tactile information which is the opposite of what the Fidget proposes,” Anondale explained.

“From my perspective, there is absolutely no reason to buy the Fidget. However if you choose, rather make it very clear to your kids that this is not the type of thing that should be used in class or when doing homework,” she reiterated.

Listen to the full interview below:

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