Gadget designed to aid adults becomes latest craze among kids

It’s a new toy that’s becoming so popular some Hawaii schools are telling parents it has to be left at home.

It’s called a fidget spinner. It is a toy that’s original purpose was to help people who may have problems with fidgeting.

Stores say the spinners have recently become wildly popular thanks to social media.

KHON2 has learned the Department of Education will be taking a close look at the spinners to figure out of it’s a helpful tool or a distraction.

At the Razor Sports store in Pearl Ridge, Ikona Medeiros says the fidget spinners have been spinning their way off shelves and into the hands of children. “It turned into a game for the kids and basically I want to say the biggest thing is our kandama customers now became spinner customers.”

With dozens of different styles and prices ranging from around $15 to $100, Medeiros says it’s been hard to keep track of just how many have been sold. “It’s really hard to tell because we go from either a full case to completely sold out, then it goes by every weekend, it’s hard to get an accurate number but many have been sold.”

The toy was originally made for adults who could benefit from something occupying their hands, and has even been marketed as a tool to combat symptoms of ADHD.

But because it’s a toy, some Hawaii schools are asking parents to keep the spinners at home.

Right now the Department of Education says it’s leaving it up to the principals and superintendents like Lea Albert of the Castle/Kahuku complex as to how to deal with the influx of fidget spinners. “I have heard that many students received these in their Easter baskets, and that some of our schools are classifying them as toys. Going forward I intend to find out whether or not all of our schools are adhering to that kind of policy or whether the spinners can be useful in someway for students.”

As for the toy’s use as a treatment for ADHD, Brittany Robinson, a PHD in psychology with Hawaii Pacific University, says more research would have to be conducted to say whether or not the toy could help, but she says it can have other uses. “I would say that in general the tool might be useful as sort of a recreational tool, and something that we can give to kids to have fun, or when they have time to have fun in school, but not as much for helping them to focus on things that they need to focus on in the classroom.”

There is no blanket policy regarding the letters although various schools have sent letters home letting regarding the toy. If you’d like to know whether or not your child can bring one to school, contact school administrators to find out.

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