A hand spinner also called a fidget spinner is a toy which comprises a bearing at the center of a multi-lobed flat structure that is made of metal or plastic. It is designed to spin on an axis with little effort on the part of the user.
This toy has of late become very popular among school children. Many schools are currently determining whether to ban them or not because whereas some argue that they are generally beneficial to school children, others are complaining that they are distracting the scholars.
The gist of the discussions that follow shall be to examine the merits and demerits of this toy with the aim of aiding school boards across the nation arrive at a viable conclusion.
ADVANTAGES OF HAND SPINNERS
Boosts Memory, Focus, and Creativity
While engaging these toys, the working memories of the students are greatly enhanced, as are their ability to focus on particular tasks as well as their overall creativity. It, therefore, follows that the use of this toy has the overall impact of boosting the memory, focus, and creativity of its users.
Relieves Stress, Anxiety, and Depression
It is often said that ‘an idle mind is the devil’s workshop’. A mind that is not engaged in any meaningful task will usually tend to become anxious, stressful, and if not given the necessary attention in time, degenerate into depression. The use of this toy helps to combat these problems by fully captivating the hearts and minds of the little ones.
Helps in Mitigating the Side Effects of Mental Disorders
Some mental disorders such as Attention Deficient Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and autism may compromise the ability of small children to communicate, form relationships, restrain themselves and stay focused on one task for longer. The use of this toy has been proven to help in mitigating the side effects of these disorders by among others lengthening their attention spans and bolstering their communication skills.
When utilized in a group, the hand spinners may enhance the bonding, interaction, and socialization of those involved. Such bonds play very vital roles in combating loneliness, boredom, stress, and other problems that are ordinarily associated with solitude.
Bolsters Sensory and Coordination
Engaging some hand spinners properly such as the tri-spinner fidget toy requires very effective hand-eye coordination. Prolonged and regular use of these toys is, therefore, the surest way of enhancing the sensory, coordination of the various bodily faculties, and reactions.
DISADVANTAGES OF HAND SPINNERS
If not properly regulated, these toys may be very addictive and time-consuming. Many school children may often end up spending more time playing with the toys at the expense of studying, completing their homework, playing, or interacting with fellow students.
Their use may, if not given the necessary attention, interfere with other tasks and activities that are even more important to the students. For instance, when allowed in class, the use of these toys may turn the children’s attention from coursework to the toys thus leading to poor grades.
Apart from playing and engaging the attention of the small children, these toys offer almost no other tangible benefit. They do not boost their intellect like scrabble, physical strength like fitness tools, or intelligence quotient like computer games.
It is very clear from the foregoing discussions that the benefits of hand spinners far outweigh their downsides. On the basis of that fact, I strongly recommend that schools should not ban them at all. Instead, I opine that schools should put in place regulatory frameworks that are meant to ensure that they do not distract students and therefore interfere with their educational activities.