Virtual Fidgets

Fidget spinners and cubes exploded in popularity a few years ago. Initially, this was fantastic because it meant that neuro-divergent children (and adults) could incorporate fidgeting and stimming into their lives in a way that was not ridiculed or mocked by those around them. Of course, like with most fads that kids get into, eventually schools began banning fidgets as “distractions.” This backfired because there are kids who focus better when they are permitted to fidget. At this point, many teachers have come to an appropriate balance between minimizing distractions in the classroom but allowing kids with ADHD, Autism, anxiety, or other conditions to move in ways that help them learn.

Photo by Sebastian Voortman on

I have over a dozen different fidget spinners in my office, not to mention fidget cubes, stress balls, and other sensory items. Since these items are less popular than they were in about 2017, I can give parents recommendations to buy these items for their kids at a fairly low price too.

I’ve talked before about Antistress, an app with several different virtual fidget options. This is one of my favorite therapeutic apps, but like most apps, there is not a version that can be used on a laptop or desktop computer. Kids can use physical fidgets during telehealth sessions, but some kids engage better in a telehealth session if I can keep their focus on the screen rather than on a physical item in their home.

Virtual fidget spinners are available here and here. A virtual fidget cube is available here. And this website has a variety of virtual fireworks games, which are great both for fidgets and for a visual sensory intervention.

What virtual fidgets have you used in your telehealth sessions?

Published by Dr Marschall

Dr. Amy Marschall received her Psy.D. from the University of Hartford in September 2015. Her clinical interests are varied and include child and adolescent therapy, TF-CBT, rural psychology, telemental health, sexual and domestic violence, psychological assessment, and mental illness prevention. Dr. Marschall presently works in the Child and Adolescent Therapy Clinic at Sioux Falls Psychological Services in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where she provides individual and family therapy and psychological assessment to children, adolescents, and college students. She also facilitates an art therapy group for adolescents and college students with anxiety and depression. Dr. Amy Marschall is certified in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Telemental Health.

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