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Helping Kids Learn The Value Of The Dollar

You know what they say; money makes the world go round! It’s an interesting thing when kids get to the age where they realize the importance of money in their lives and what money can get for them. Depending of how well you are off financially and how you were raised teaching kids about money can be a very different experience and often difficult to know the lines of how much is too much and how little is too little. Should your kids be made to get by with the bare minimum? Or should they be indulged and not have to think about the troublesome thing money can be? In my opinion teaching kids the value of the dollar is a worthwhile exercise. When kids learn the value of money and that it does not just grow on trees to be handed to them whenever they want something, they learn to respect it a lot more. Likewise when it is opened up to kids that they have an opportunity to make their own money they learn to treasure it and you will often find they are can be great savers, saving their coins up for that perfect thing. So teaching kids how they can make their own money, how to save it and how to spend it can help them in their future and in budgeting as adults also.

How To Make Money

Showing kids ways they can make their own money instead of just asking for a handout every time they want something, or not daring to ask and going without that special something they’ve had their eye on, can be an extremely liberating thing for them. Learning how earn by exchanging goods or services for money as a kid can lead to entrepreneurial adults.

Pocket Money

The first and most simple step to helping kids earn is the ‘pocket money’ system. This can work a few ways; it can be a set amount each week a child receives for having helped around the home or it can be small amounts of money per job they do, the more they do the more they can earn.

Starting in the home is a safe place for kids to test out their new money making abilities. You can write a list of all the chores you want done, now this can be a different list from the regular chores they do as part of their contribution to the house, and you can put a price on each chore, the kids can tick off a chore once they have done it and collect their money when the whole list is complete or as they go, depending on what works best for them and you.

Be careful when you do set your prices on home hold and garden chores that you are not setting them too high or too low. Too low and kids will soon loose interest as their goal of saving enough seems unachievable. Set it too high and they are not really learning how you need to work hard for your money. Once you have come up with your prices stick with them. As the kids grow older and their tasks become harder, then change the prices to suit.

Small Business

Supporting kids to run their own small businesses is a great way to teach them how to make and save money and a range of other skills. Running a little business can teach them people skills, how to handle money and customer service it can also help them get better at a hobby and is a great after school and weekend activity hat will keep their inventive brains working and best of all it’s fun!!

Small business for kids don’t have to be an intense production. It can be little one off lemonade stalls, or an in season orange stall that they may pick from your backyard and sell them. Some projects can be ongoing ones however. So if your child is interested in making some extra money, go through with them what they are good at, the skills they have and how they could turn any of them into a way to make money. If you kid loves animals but doesn’t have a pet they may like to start a dog walking service. You could help them print out fliers or go door to door with them while they ask the neighbors.

Or if your child is very crafty they could consider making their crafts and selling them. This could be between family and friends or if there is a certain quality about their products you could help them set up a stall at some local markets.

The important thing with helping a kid with their small business is giving them confidence while helping them maintain some grounding. If some of their ideas are a bit far fetched or out of reach financially or ever skill wise, it’s important not to shut them down and tell them it’s a bad idea, but more help then think of ways they could make the idea a little simpler and more in reach. That way they will be able to achieve their goals without getting downhearted when a huge idea doesn’t work.

Employed Work

If these ideas so far aren’t quite the right fit for your child you could consider perhaps helping them acquire a paper round or pamphlet run or even ask any friends or neighbors if there is any regular jobs they need done. It could be that a neighbor wants their lawn mowed once a week or help with some house hold tasks at a regular time. This can be great with kids with a busy schedule that prefer to have everything pre planned for their week so they know when they can fit their ‘work’ time in.

How To Save Money

Now they have their money, the next step is to save! Now some kids will want to save big for that one toy or game they have been dreaming of, they will be willing to not spend any of their hard earned cash until they have enough for it but other kids the minute they get a dollar they are down to the store to buy candy! Showing kids what they can achieve with there money can be a useful tool in helping them save further. If your child does not have a specific goal in mind, sit with them and talk about the things they want, it may not even be a thing it could be a particular outing to a theme park or an exhibition. Go through with them how much what ever they want will cost and break it down. For example you could say, well if you do X amount chores a week for X amount of weeks, then you will have enough to buy this. Breaking it down will help kids understand how much work is needed to get what they want, and if they want it sooner they will work harder.

If it’s a bigger item your child is saving for, something they have their heart set on but would take them years to save for you may also consider meeting them part of the way with money. If you can see a child is saving so hard but it will take them a long time to get what they are after you may suggest that when they have raised a certain amount of money then you will pay the rest. This will encourage them to keep working and saving and not having them loose heart when what they want seems out of their reach.

How To Spend Money

Teaching kids how to spend their money is also a very important part. Some kids will want to buy junk with their hard-earned cash cheap toys or sweets. You can show kids how to budget and save some of their money for those little immediate things and then the rest for more important items. Teaching kids how much things are worth is also worthwhile, tell them that while something may be cheaper so they could buy them quicker the quality may not be as good so the chances are they will not work as well as they want or will break sooner and they will get to enjoy them for a shorter time. If kids are buying the things they really desire that are good quality with their own money they will build more of a respect for those items and in general for things, understanding the hard work it took to get certain things. Once they have their items it’s important to show them how to care for them properly, if for example they buy a skateboard, leaving it out in the yard at night will damage it. Show them they need to respect it by putting it away in its correct place. The same goes for sports equipment or electronics. How much care they treat an item with will determine its lifespan.

Life Time Skills

By teaching kids the importance of working for their money you are teaching them to understand how work equates to money, which equates to the things they get to enjoy. This can show them to have more respect for their own possessions and for you as parents by making them realize that no, money doesn’t grow on trees and you too have to work hard to provide for them. Kids that are taught these skills young will find it easier in the future as they grow and have to start budgeting while in collage and even when getting their first jobs and having to support themselves. They will know how to save and what is worth spending their money on.

Going Green With Kids

Taking The Plunge

Going Green or heading into a sustainable future is something we should all aspire too. It can seem like an overwhelming challenge at first, and after seeing some mum blogs or pintrest posts of mums who have it all figured out and look like they are saving the planet one beeswax wrap at a time it can seem too out of reach and meant for those who have all the time in the world to do a million and one projects to cut down their footprint. But like all worthwhile projects, going green and heading towards a more sustainable future for your family takes times. When are you going to find time for this though? You may ask, well lucky enough there are plenty of things you can do to up your green game and involve your kids at the same time! Bellow are a list of different activities to help with living a greener life that you can involve your kids and have the opportunity to learn and grow with them teaching them about the importance of a sustainable future and spending some beautiful quality time with them.

In The Garden

One of the first things that springs to mind when you hear the word ‘green’ is of course trees!!

Staring with nature it’s self can be a beautiful way to start your and your children’s Eco journey. Talk to your children about how the earth needs trees to provide clean air for us. If you have a backyard you could consider planting a tree with your kids. Open a discussion about which trees are their favorites and which would be best suited to your yard and environment. Planting fruit trees can be a beautiful thing as kids can actually watch the fruit grow and sample it themselves, and you’ll save in your grocery bill!

If you live in a smaller space and planting a tree may not be possible for you, check in with your local council and see if there are any rehabilitation projects going on in the area in which you could be a part of. Often local councils will have tree-planting projects that they love to get the community involved in. It can also be a great social opportunity to expose your kids to people who have a great knowledge and love for the environment and they may just be inspired!

Another beautiful way to incorporate green into your home is by planting a garden, flowers can be beautiful and provide some lovey colour and excitement to your garden but veggie and herb patches can be really useful in helping to provide your family with fresh produce.

Now I know a huge veggie patch is almost a full time job, but it doesn’t have to be big, at least not to start with. It can be as small as a few pots of herbs by the windowsill that kids can help cut to go into lunches and dinners.

Cherry tomatoes are also great for small spaces and can really flourish; also kids adore picking them off and eating them as snacks. Find out what grows best in your area and spend time with your kids carefully selecting the plants that best suit the family, no point planting carrots if no one in the family likes them! Go through every step with the kids, teaching them about soil, earth worms and what makes our food nutritious and delicious. Children love to watch the process of things and love to watch things grow. This can also be a great idea if your kids aren’t huge fans of veggies to get them loving them. They will be too curious about what their snow peas taste like not to try them and food fresh of the vine or out of the soil is always so much more delicious. Growing a living thing can give kids such a sense of accompaniment. And gardening is always a great skill and step to being more sustainable.

This can also tie in really nicely to composting food scraps and recycling which we’ll talk about later.

One more idea for those with a bit more outdoor room is chickens! Kids love pets and some species of chickens can make beautiful pets. Also they great thing about chickens is you feed them and they feed you. Help the kids be involved in feeding the everyday and also collecting their eggs daily. This can make them very proud and help to teach them responsibility and to be mindful about where their food comes from and to respect animals.

Recycling With Intention

Recycling is another one of those obvious ones when it comes to going green. These days we are very lucky to have our towns doing a bit more to recycle and providing an assortment of bins to make recycling much easier. But the problem is many people are still not using them properly. The easiest way to start recycling is to set up smaller bins or boxes inside the home for this purpose. Get the kids to be creative and make signs for each bin, having them draw or cut from magazines the kid of things each bin is for. This way is make sit easier for them and you to remember which is which. Having your cardboard and plastics and food scraps and then your general waste separate in smaller bins makes it a lot easier when sorting it out into your bigger council collections bins. Take the time also with your kids to research into how things are recycled. There are videos on YouTube and documentaries also showing how the processes work. Knowing what good can come from their recycling can make them more eager to recycle properly and eventually cut down on waste when they see what things aren’t easily recyclable.

The Joys of Upcycling

The next step in Recycling is what is now referred to as Upcycling. Upcycling Is all about reusing things that have broken or are no longer needed as they are. There are so many creative projects that you can do with kids in reusing materials instead of going out and buying new. There projects can be grand scale like building go carts out of a too small kids bike and other scrap laying around in the garage, or tiny simple things like reusing an egg carton to grow seeds in. Teaching kids the importance of reusing things is vital when trying to move in a more sustainable direction. There are a range of fun projects to be had, sewing dolls clothes out of clothes they have outgrown, making their own shopping bags out of old clothes or scrap material. Upcycling is about teaching kids that just because it’s broken or doesn’t fit or they no longer want to use it doesn’t mean it has to be chucked in the junk, there are so many ways to reuse and if they truly don’t want something any longer, it doesn’t necessarily mean other wouldn’t. You know what they say, one mans trash is another mans treasure.

Teach kids the joy of donating. Old toys and games and clothes can go to charity shops. Teach your kids about how sharing their old things with others can really make someones day and add to the life of the product. An old teddy could turn into another child’s favourite new toy. There are also often other ways of donating goods whether it be to third world countries or disaster relief or just to charities that support the less fortunate. Talk about these with your kids and see what ideas they can come up with for things they would like to donate and special items that them may have out grown but would love to see given a second lease of life. You would be surprised at how many children would love the idea of sharing the things they don’t want or need and more with others that could really use it.

Taking Care Of Your Community

Doing community clean ups is a wonderful way to engage your kids with the community and their own ton. While litter is not a huge problem in Australia compared to some third world problems, chances are when you’re out for a walk along the beach other through the bush you will find some rubbish that has been dropped accidentally or blown in from somewhere.

Search on the internet for groups around your area that organize clean up days and if there are none, start your own!! Teaching kids to have pride in their own country can start with making them aware of what litter does to the environment. Many native animals are lost to accidentally eating or getting trapped in litter. Showing kids how easy it is to pick up that candy wrapper on the side of the road will make them firstly aware not to do it themselves and also to encourage other kids not to do it. By teaches them the negative effects littering can have on the environment you are setting them up with an understanding of the fragility of nature and why we need to protect it. If kids learn this from an early age they will be far more inclined to be a good role model for other kids around them and also to love and respect nature it’s self.

Creating a Litter Free Lunch

Single use plastic packaging is one of the major causes of pollution and accounts for so much of the litter you see around towns, on beaches and in the bush.

A lot of foods used in kids lunchboxes contain this single use plastic and also plastic wrap, to seal and keeps kids food fresh. Some of this plastic is not able to be recycled and as a result is damaging our environment. Trying out a Litter Free Lunch is a great way to cut down on your and your child’s use of plastic that may not be recycled correctly. Many foods, especially fruits and veggies come with their own natural casing and does actually need to be put into ziplock bags. There are a range of beautiful metal and BPA free lunchboxes out there not available that have great compartments in them which means that yogurt can be bought in a large tub and dolloped in every way instead of buying many little tubs. These compartments can help the raisins not to mix in with the carrot sticks and the dip not to mix with the sandwich, which is why we so often use pre packaged goods.

If getting a new lunchbox isn’t in the budget right now and you are still wanting to keep food sealed and fresher a great project to do with your kids is to create your own form of plastic wrap using just beeswax and cotton fabric.

This is another great project you can do at home with your kids. Have them pick out scraps of fabric form their old cotton clothes or bead spreads and cut them into squares then make a mix with beeswax to coat them in. There are plenty of wonderful recipes for this on the internet. This is a great way for the kids to add their own bit of style and special touch to their lunches and can make them excited to package their fruit or sandwiches in them themselves.

Burning Energy Not Fuel

Depending on where you live this may or may not work for you, but cycling instead of driving can help cut down on your families carbon emissions. If you are in riding distance for school then it’s the perfect start giving kids exercise and

Helping them save the planet is a winning combination. Even things like riding to the park or shops instead of driving can make a great difference and is a fun activity to do as a family.

Small Steps In The Right Direction

There are so many small ways you can teach your kids to make a sustainable difference in the world. Teach them these skills and you’ll see their appreciation for nature and their care for the world around them increase. By showing kids it can be fun and easy to choose more sustainable options you are helping them broaden their own horizons and be a better influence to those around them.

Remember, this doesn’t have to be a one month dramatic overhaul, but more small steps along the way to a greener future for your kids and their kids to enjoy.

Getting Kids To Help Around The Home– Is It Necessary?

In this busy day and age, having one parent at home is mostly a luxury and even if both parents are not working the stresses of modern live leave parents busy and often the house in a mess. Toys and clothes can be strewn everywhere, dishes stacked unwashed in kitchens, floors in desperate need of a sweep…Sound familiar? It’s hard to keep up with it all at the best of times, let alone if you’re the one having to clean up after a whole family. So what can you do short of paying for a house cleaner? And do most of us really have time for that? How about enlisting your own small army of kids. It makes sense as they are often the ones making a lot of the mess. But is it right to let your kids help around the home? And could it help or hinder their growth?

Is Getting Kids to Help Actually Better For Them?

There are some people that would argue that kids need to be kids and a parents role is to look after them. And while that is very true, a parents role is to also help them grow and guide them into becoming responsible adults themselves, so perhaps teaching kids some household skills could be doing them more favors than not. Now I’m not talking getting kids to cook every meal and scrub floors on the daily. The jobs they are given need to be suitable to their age. But I am suggesting letting them help in sharing the cleaning and clearing duties within the house. Kids that learn simple household tasks like sweeping, doing dishes and tidying up after themselves are often better equipped for adult life living away from home and life in the workforce. Learning these small skills and having them as a normal part of life can set them up with a good work ethic and a knowledge of pulling their own weight. Having kids help around the home can also give them more pride in their home and eventually lead to them packing away after themselves without having to be told.

Fun Ways To Involve Children in Cleaning up

Now if kids have not grown up with having to clean up around the home and you are trying to get them into the groove of things it can be fun at first to turn cleaning up into some games because as we all know kids love games. These games don’t need to be fully thought out things just simple games like, “okay who wants to race me and see who picks up the most blocks first?” Races are great ways to get kids into the spirit of picking things up. It works with taking off washing, picking up toys and putting away things, although I wouldn’t recommend it for things like putting away dishes! It may create even more mess! Another way to get kids involved is by doing things creatively and letting them have their own ideas about how it should be done. Things like asking kids creative ways they could make their beds! Still ensuring that they are neat but you could get all kinds of fun designs going and it allows them to be creative and have input not just being told what they HAVE to do because as we all know, kids can be stubborn when authority is thrown in their face.

Creating new recipes together for dinner can be fun as well and helping them perfect a favourite, even if it is just scrambled eggs or pancakes, that they can eventually make on their own. If you put your mind to it you can make even the most boring of chores seem fun, and if when starting out you are working along side of your kids they will feel less like they are being ‘punished’ and accept it as something fun you do together.

Should Children Have Treats as Incentives?

So, should you give your kids treats or prizes for helping out? Well it’s really up to the individual parent, and they can work as great incentives but I would suggest not offering a treat for everything they do. Kids need to know that helping is a normal thing and doesn’t need to be highly praised as it is just part of daily life, like Brushing your teeth or eating breakfast.

It can help to explain to children the joy of contributing to the house, that mummy and daddy do a lot of work and they would love some help from the kids too. That them clearing away their mess leaves you with more free time to play with them!!

Kids love to make mum and dad happy and by explaining how their helping can do just that can have a big impact of them.

Having said that, I think that on some occasions offering rewards for some chores, like pocket money can be a great way also to show kids the value of the dollar. The best way to do this is by having regular chores, sweeping, dishes, packing up after themselves, as the normal every day occurrences and then having extra jobs they can do if they are trying to raise money for something special, even if it’s just an ice cream on the weekend.

Bigger jobs, or extra jobs around the house can be given to them as ‘work’ make sure to make a distinction however between what is ‘work’ and what is helping for the sake of contributing to the family and having a beautiful family home.

Can This Really Work For You?

Many people may read this and think ‘you don’t know my kids! It’s not that simple!’ But this isn’t a quick fix. Getting your kids to learn the importance of clearing up after themselves and helping around the house requires time and patience. Some parents like to implement a chart system to help them and the kids keep track of what has been done and other parents prefer to freestyle it. But the important thing is positive reinforcement and patience. You are literally training your child to be alone in the world. Keep that in mind and teach them that also. These are skills they will need one day and what better way to teach them but in their own home, with the example of their own parents.

Always remember one step at a time!

Traveling with kids

For most of us traveling any long distances (or even short) with kids can be a daunting thought. Images of screaming kids in the car or crying kids on a plane spring to mind and can put a lot of people off actually traveling with their children. If you are one of the brave ones though who have dared to go onto the open skies or road with children you’ll know that one of the easiest ways to distract them from the ever painful call of ‘are we there yet?’ is Tablets, Smart Phones, or Mini Movie Players. Sitting the kids in front of the screen or handing the phone to let them play a game and distract them seems like a relief and an easy way to get some peace and quiet to make your own journey more comfortable. But is taking the easy way and using screens as a way to distract and entertain while traveling really the best option in the long term for you and your children?

The Realities of Screen Time

For many parents the inventions of tablet devises, or portable DVD players that play movies, TV shows and games have seemed to be heaven sent and have often allowed parents to take a little more time to themselves and some much longed for peace and quiet. When traveling long distances either by car or plane they can often seem like the perfect option to keep kids occupied and busy while letting the parents relax and enjoy their flight. We know that there have been studies conducted about the amount of screen time that is suitable for children and that having them glued to devices isn’t obviously the best thing, but when we travel it seems like a different set of rules and often traveling with children can seem more like a ‘let’s just get through this as quickly and painlessly as possible’ scenario where the normal rules go out the window.

So while some of us may even hold out a little while and point out the sheep on the side of the road or try to play spotto it’s usually not long before kids get restless and our first instinct is to control the situation and hand over what ever screen you have before things escalate.

While for some this method may work well, giving in to handing over devices just to ‘keep the peace’ can actually be doing more damage than you realise.

Children need to be bored

Yes! That’s right, it’s actually GOOD for children to have time to just sit and be bored. By giving children time out from constant stimulation that screens present you are giving their minds much needed breathing space. Being bored is when children slip into a different level of thinking and it’s often when both in kids and adults their most creative ideas form. Think about, sitting and staring out the car window may seem like the worst way to pass time, and if you told a child to do that for a few hours I’m sure they would not last five minutes without screaming out for some kind of device to keep away the boredom. But if you are able to hold off from this then in that space of boredom imagination has time to come out and play.

Now I’m not suggesting you take your kids on a five hour road trip and tell them to stare out of the window the whole time, lets face it, that would quickly turn to a living hell! But what I am suggesting is working out a way to reset our kids and getting them to a place where then are able to spend even ten to twenty minutes at a time just in the wonder of their own minds and growing their special imaginations.

So What Are The Options?

Now doing a massive overhaul all at once can be daunting enough to not even want to start. So Depending on how dependent your kids already are on screens, and of course your own tolerance levels, you can work out a plan for your next trip that suits you.

Audio Books

Audio Books can also be a great option for car rides as they can get the whole family involved. They can be a great teaching tool for parents. By stopping the tape at some pivotal point and discussing the story line or why a character may be doing what they are doing you can further engage kids minds. It’s also a great way for the whole family to bond, talking about their favourite parts or characters, what they wish may have happened and having kids think of alternative endings. The possibility’s with stories are endless and allows kids to really use their imaginations and the great things about Audio Books is you wont get car sick reading them!

Activities

In a car or even on a plane or long journey train, it’s great to get some fun activities going with the kids where they can use their hands and imaginations at once. Some of my favourites are Pipe cleaners, an inexpensive craft item that is easily bendable and not messing like Plasticine makes for a great activity. Have competitions or have everyone take turns to make a suggestion of what to make so that there can be more interaction between (non driving) parents and siblings. You could even offer small prizes or treats to winners. An example could be that one child picks ‘birds’ then everyone else tries to shape birds out of the pipe cleaners they are given and the person with the best bird could win a prize for that round. Offering prizes can be a great way of getting kids really engaged in the task.

Twenty question cards or other quiz cards can also be a great way to pass some time. Depending on the ages of the children they could take it in turns to be the quiz master or if they are not at reading age then a parent can always call out the questions. Again there is opportunities for prizes and great laughs and fun. Try adding in some quizzes about the area you are going or the activities you will be doing once you arrive at your destination. This way the kids will be learning some great new facts and also building up their excitement for the adventure to come.

Colouring in books are always a winner. It allows kids to have some quiet time while using their fine motor skills and getting some of that anxious energy out by being able to create. At this time it’s really nice to be able to put on some soothing music to promote stillness if they are a bit buoyed up by the excitement of other activities. Have kids choose their own colouring books prior to departure so they are happy with their choices and there is no ‘but I wanted THAT one!

Movies

If it was a longer journey and you have exhausted your other options and the kids just need to take time to chill, then putting on a film can be a great option at some point. Studies have shown that full-length films can actually be beneficial for a child’s development, as they have to use their attention span to focus on the story line and understand what is happening. There are also a lot of kid’s films out there that have great morals and stories, also think about where you are going and it can be fun to find a film that will tell a story relating to the trip you are actually on. For example, say you are on a six-hour journey to the snow, choose a film like Snow Dogs to get the kids excited about their upcoming adventure.

It’s important that between each activity the children still have their time however to just stare out the window and have a bit of peace and quiet themselves. Who knows what they might see and what may inspire them to create new games or think up amazing stories or promote question asking which allows for learning and growing.

Making trips about the journey not just the destination

By making your trips more interactive you are helping your kids and yourself to actually enjoy the journey and look upon the travel time as part of the fun of traveling. Interacting with your kids on these journeys also creates further bonding and open up learning and growing opportunities for both of you. If you put in the bit of extra effort, the kids will end up thanking you for it and will be left with beautiful memories of the journey not just the holiday and eventually it will become part of the excitement that comes with going away. By pre planning activities for the trip you’re helping your children’s minds grow and expand and also creating a trip that you end up enjoying even more.

Are Fidget Spinners a Useful Toy or Just Another Fad?

Fidget Spinners first entered the marketplace as a useful toy for children with Autism and other Attention Deficit Disorders but they soon became much more than that.

It wasn’t long before Fidget Spinners because a trend for children and teens who did not suffer from any disorders but began to use them as a toy almost as they would a yoyo.

A Fidget Spinner is a toy created from metal and plastic that is incorporates ball bearings in the center to spin the three outer lobes.

The Spinner is designed to be held in the center and once it gets going spins very fluidly.

As the name suggests the Fidget Spinner was designed to help children who do Fidget to be able to calm themselves by spinning the device. It is small enough that it was meant to be used while children are in classrooms or anywhere else where their concentration is needed.

As the Spinners were picked up by parents and teachers with Autistic and ADHD Children They soon caught on as a popular toy for other children and what started out as a simple toy became highly marketed and redesigned in different colors and even shapes.

Kids began to invent new ways of doing tricks with the Spinners, throwing them up and catching them, free spinning them on their fingers and spinning them in certain patterns. The Fidget Spinner became almost like a yo yo in terms of all the new tricks being done by them.

While the Fidget Spinner could have been good news if it had of stuck to children who really needed them, used so widely the Spinner has become more of a distraction in most classroom settings than a help. Some schools have banned Fidget Spinners from the classroom and even from the school saying they are causing more kids to loose focus than gain it as the toy was originally intended.

So are they an okay toy for most children to have even outside of school hours?

On the surface it seems like these little toys are nothing but a harmless toy, but a news station in Wisconsin recently tested a range of fidget spinners and concluded that some contained alarmingly high amounts of lead with one brand showing up 400 times the legal amount of lead. The lead is used often to soften the plastic but under certain conditions such as sunlight the plastic can start to break down allowing the lead to seep out and when children put them close to their mouths than can incidentally breathe in some of the particles containing lead. The affects of lead are irreversible and can be highly damaging, especially to developing children.

After the study had been done some of these products were recalled from toys stores and online outlets. But authorities warm there still could be some out there containing more lead than is meant. It has been advised that parents do their own research into trustworthy brands before purchasing one. While it is true that not every brand of Spinner has unwanted amounts of lead in it, it is still a good practice to be cautious with any plastic based toys and what they really contain.

Aside from lead testing studies there have also newly been studies into the actual effectiveness of Fidget Spinners and whether or not they even help children with their attention span. Some Scientists in the US decided to do a study to find out if there really was any merit for children suffering from attention disorders as many manufacturers of the toys claim there are. They saw that there had been before July 2017 no research had been done on the links between the Spinners and children’s attention. Without having actual scientific evidence behind them it appears that the advertising of the Spinners is false.

But there are some parents, Occupations therapists and Teachers who do claim when used correctly and by children who genuinely have Attention Disorders, ADHD, Autism and Anxiety they can be an asset. There are many parents blogging about the benefits they have seen with their children after using them and Occupation Therapists have long been using sensory toys as a way of letting children harmlessly fidget.

So if your child does suffer from a disorder that does affect their attention are Fidget Spinners for them? If you are choosing wisely from brands that you trust and that show no high amount of lead then it seems that a Spinner could do no other harm but provide them with a toy to fidget with. If you are going down this path there are also many other sensory toys that have been scientifically studied and proven to help children with Autism, Anxiety and ADHD to focus in the classroom. So it may be worth having a look at options that aren’t such a fad.

If your child wants a to join the fidget spinner craze and use it as more of a toy then after you have done your research onto selecting one from a reputable manufacturer, there could be no real harm, provided you encourage them to keep them for an after school and weekend toy so they are not distracting other children in the classroom and even the teacher and not taking away from the kids who really need them to be able to concentrate in class.