Popular gadget helps kids focus in the classroom

Published: Apr. 21, 2017 at 5:52 PM CDT
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Spinning off the shelves.

There's a new gadget kids are desperate to get their hands on. They're called Fidget Widgets or Flip Spinners. They're showing up in classrooms across the nation and Eastern Iowa and teachers we talked to are okay with that.

Multiple school districts and say they all have similar policies. It's okay to bring the widgets and spinners to class but only if the students are using them therapeutically. But if the students are goofing off with them, teachers will take them away.

"The kids are just using them in school to help them focus and anything to help kids get better grades I think people want" said Mandy Meyer, a housewares manager at Paul's in Iowa City.

That's why these Fidget Widgets are so hard to find in stores. They keep running out.

"When I told them about it they were like oh this is so awesome and they've just been trading them in school" said Meyer.

Of course they're fun to play with, but they're proving to be very helpful to students who have a hard time concentrating in class. West Branch resident Scherie Gates said her grand daughter has that struggle.

"I think focus is her biggest thing when it comes to a math test or reading test. So she's eight years old and I thought maybe she would like this" said Gates.

A manager at Paul's in Iowa City said one man bought ten Flip Spinners Friday morning.

"I feel like a lot of stuff that is for educational purposes aren't the cool thing and kids don't want to do it because they're not being cool but if it's something that helps them that their friend who doesn't necessarily need it is also using it, then they're cool plus getting better grades" said Meyer.

They can be good for kids and adults too since they keep your hands busy while staying quiet at the same time.

"I think all kids want to do well and they get nervous when they don't so any little fun thing, keeping it fun right?" said Gates.

S&G Distributions supplies Paul's with Fidget Widgets and Flip Spinners. One of their representatives said in the last four weeks, they've sold more than 120,000 of them nationwide.