CPL’s 8 Fidgety Faves

Everybody needs to fidget sometimes. Whether you are neuro-spicy or neuro-vanilla, a toddler or a grandpa, sometimes you just need to do something with your hands. When you think of fidget toys, your mind might jump to spinners or pop-its. These are great options, but only the tip of the iceberg of what’s available for modern day fidget fanatics. 

Here at CPL, our staff enjoy a variety of fidgets. They help occupy our hands so our heads can stay on task. Here are some of our favorites that we want to share with you.

Baoding Balls

These first appeared in China over 3,500 years ago, and some people believe that they were the very first fidgets. Baoding balls are metal balls that are meant to be rotated together in one hand. They’re not just for fidgeting either, these balls can help rebuild muscle strength and dexterity after surgery, and many folks use them for meditation.


These li’l guys are small, squishable, colorful, and aww-dorable. They’re often shaped like small animals or popular characters. Squishes might not be ideal for folks who don’t like touching goopy or slimy stuff, but are perfect for those of us who routinely suffer from “cute aggression”. You know that feeling when something is just too stinking cute and you get that urge to bite its little cheeks or squeeze it until it pops? Squishes might be the fidget for you. 

Sensory Brushes

A favorite of a few of our staff members, these brushes are made of colorful rectangular plastic with gentle and flexible bristles. You can run it over your skin to get a mini deep pressure massage effect or run your fingers through the bristles for a stimulating and soothing fidget experience.

Fidget Slug

These chunky bois are great for those of us who need a little extra stimulation. They look like a series of different sized colorful cups stacked together, culminating in the head of a cute slug. These guys click and twist and slide in your hands and are great for an in-depth session. Probably too distracting to bring to class, but your desk at home might be the perfect habitat for these slugs.

Mesh and Marble Toy

Sometimes called “boinks” or “monkey fidgets” these toys resemble a marble stuck inside a plastic mesh finger trap. You push and pull the marble back and forth through the tube, and the mesh rubs against your skin for an invigorating sensory experience. They come in many different colors and fun designs, one of our librarians loves these so much she brought a whole pack to work to share with everybody and we all got to pick our favorite color. It was a good day.

Mechanical Pocket Watch

This watch is for the discerning fidgeter with an eye for style. Snap and click the case, fiddle with the chain, check the time, wind the doohickey—the possibilities are endless. A gentlewoman’s fidget of choice, this is a refined and classy way to fidget that makes you feel like an old timey gangster or a steampunk scientist.

Worry Stone

Worry stones are simple, minimalist options for mindful fidgeters, appealing to both new age spiritualists and Steven Universe fans alike. Rub your thumb through the groove of these smooth stones and feel your anxiety slip through your fingers.

Office Supplies

Sometimes your fidget is something you just pick up and play with while you work. Simple fidgets tend to be quiet and unassuming. Not to brag, but some of us librarians are pretty talented at twirling pens and dismantling paper clips.

Nearly anything can be a fidget toy if you are feisty enough. Do you have a favorite? Let us know below!