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A parent or teacher who scolded you for fidgeting might have imprinted you with feelings of guilt for tapping, twirling or twiddling when you ought to be working. Good news: research shows that fidgeting can support productivity and creativity.
While something as simple as doodling on a scrap of paper can be beneficial, there are loads of toys that can help as well. You can use any of these stashed in a drawer or decorating your desktop for when you need a boost during the workday.
This collection of tiny magnetic balls (2.5 mm, to be precise) are rollable, stackable and smashable. The finger-busying balls come in an array of colors, and you get more than 500 in a pack.
If hundreds of tiny balls aren’t quite your speed, how about one large sphere? This kinetic “ball” actually has a special, flat bottom that allows it to whirl in place on your desk.
This nifty gadget can help you focus during a meeting or webinar. You can flip the cube in one hand or use both hands to fold and fidget. The smooth, cool metal surface is soothing as well.
Moving Sand Art
Some productivity toys double as desktop decor. This framed piece has sand, water and air between two glass panes. Turn it upside down and watch the sand slowly fall, creating a new design while providing relaxation in the process.
Sand Painting Pendulum
Another sand design gadget that inspires creativity and relieving stress, this pendulum uses basic gravity. Grasp and swing the apparatus from different directions and watch the calming, rhythmic swaying as the pendulum draws in the sand.
Originally an educational tool created to demonstrate the physics principles of a spinning disk on a flat or curved surface, an Euler’s Disk can also be a delightful desk toy. The twirling, glimmering disk provides a temporary distraction, giving you a break that can boost productivity.
Moon Drop Fidget
Leave the office for outer space, if only for a minute or two. These magnetic fidget toys imitate the freefall of Earth, Mars and the moon with a twist of your wrist.
Slick, gooey slime of any sort can let you fidget while you focus. Magnetic putty takes it a step further, as you can stretch it, rip it, squeeze it or move it with magnets.
Wooden Brain Teaser Puzzle
Promote your problem-solving skills by working on this three-dimensional puzzle. The handcrafted wood pieces look appealing on any desk and provide a unique sensory experience.
Playable Art Balls
This set of 20 balls have built-in connectors that allow you to create unique designs. The smooth, wooden spheres are easy and enjoyable to manipulate. The vividly colored toy makes an interesting conversation piece as well.
If you believe you have outgrown building blocks, think again. Each of these bright blocks contains 14 magnets, letting you put them together in every way imaginable with lots of satisfying clicking and clacking.
Squishy Stress Balls
Some days, the tension is thick. Stress can be distracting. Find some relief by squeezing one of these multi-textured stress balls, which also satisfy sensory needs.
Magnetic Display In a Bottle
When is a bottle a fidget toy? When it contains a blob of ferrofluid magnetic liquid suspended in clear fluid. You can manipulate the blob with magnets on the outside of the bottle, changing its form into spikes, droplets and more.
Magic Wire Loops
You can mindlessly stretch, collapse and twist this toy into attractive designs while you focus. The beaded wire loop toy can be worked into a multitude of shapes.
Ever feel like you just want to grab somebody by the face? Now you can, but with no repercussions. Go ahead and pinch, punch or throw this anti-stress toy. It will return to its original condition when you’re finished.