Fidget Tools


Have you ever noticed how people fidget  with some kind of a thing while lost in thought as they work? On my courses I put out fidget tools on the table for participants to use during the training day.  It never ceases to amaze me how much these are used.  The majority of the course participants  will fiddle with something – pipe cleaner, playdough, paper clip, stress ball – during the training day.  When I ask them why?  Nearly always the answer is to help concentration,  focus and attention.


Researchers in the Fidget Widget project  describe a fidget tool as “an indirect productivity tool aiming to subtly enhance your creativity, or give you focus, or decrease stress just when you need it”. They have found that people “strongly desire a very pliable, stimulating, and satisfying tactile experience in their hands” while they are working.  The project asked folk  to upload photos and videos of the fidgets they used at work and state how these helped them – See here.


Fidget Tools

There are thousands of different fidget tools available, below are just a small selection.  

There is still time to buy for Christmas and they make great stocking fillers.



Pipe Cleaners

Very cheap to buy – other similar fidgets are blu-tack, playdough, elastic bands, paper clips



Bendy Men

Come in various sizes and colours and pliability




Classic fidget tool in many sizes, textures and colours



Peas in a Pod

Very cute and unobtrusive, carry around on key ring or in pocket



Roller Chain

Very simple idea which again is easily carried in your pocket



Stress Balls

These can be made with flour but when they pop you get flour everywhere! To avoid this mess see these instructions for making with playdough



Spring and Summer Term Courses

There is a programme of courses arranged for the Spring and Summer Term.    All  courses are now held at The Space Centre, Preston and are open to teachers, professionals and parents. Applications are now open  and places are allocated on a first come first served basis.  Please apply early to avoid disappointment.  All courses are limited to a maximum of 30 participants.

All courses are also available as INSET or in house training, please contact us for further details and prices.

Introduction to Sensory Integration and Sensory Processing Disorder  

More about this course

7 and 8 March 2018

The Space Centre, Preston

Some people don’t behave as we expect them to – not because they won’t, but because they can’t. Inefficient processing of sensory messages that come from their body and environment often cause this unexpected behaviour. These people may withdraw from physical contact, refuse to participate in typical classroom and playground activities, or respond in an unusual way to ordinary sensations such as touch, movement, sights and sounds.

This popular two day course will provide participants with an understanding of sensory processing disorder and the everyday difficulties that children and adults experience at school, home and other settings. The main focus of this course will be to give participants the tools necessary to identify and analyse sensory behaviours, and then set up simple and appropriate sensory strategies. There will be a practical session in the large sensory room at The Space Centre on Day 2.

All the reduced price parent places for this course have now been taken.  Parents may apply but would need to pay the full price.

Sensory Processing and Autism

More about this course

1 May 2018

The Space Centre, Preston

How can we understand and address some of the sensory difficulties we see in children and adults with autism? How can I extend my knowledge and skills in working in this area?

Recent research has found that up to 95% of children with autism have significant sensory processing problems. This has been recognised in the diagnostic criteria for the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) for autism. NICE guidelines also recognise the significant sensory difficulties in children and adults with autism. Increasingly, teachers and health professionals working with children and adults with autism are expected to have an understanding of the sensory processing difficulties faced by those with autism, as well as the ability to implement simple strategies and alter the environment to accommodate the individual’s sensory needs. Additionally, for establishments that are seeking Autism Accreditation, ‘Sensory Issues’ is one of the core standards.

The aim of this one day extension course is to provide teachers and health professionals, who have a basic understanding of sensory processing difficulties, with the skills needed to apply that understanding to the everyday difficulties that children and adults with autism experience in different settings. This course will further develop participant’s knowledge base including the neuroscience of sensory processing, and the ability to then apply this knowledge to set up more complex strategies, both for individuals as well as whole school/curriculum/service strategies.  There will be a practical session in the large sensory room at The Space Centre.