Thursday, June 22, 2017

Fidget Spinner Counseling Games

We received free product to facilitate this post. No other compensation was received. 
All opinions expressed are our own.

Being a mom to a 6 year old and working in a school, I've experienced the fidget spinner craze in a very real way. When I initially heard of fidget spinners and their use to help ease anxiety and increase focus, I was all in. These are the things I believe in! Sadly, it wasn't long before I found myself banning them during structured social skills groups, and asking students to put them away until free time. I'm not sure if they were more of a distraction for me or for them, but they weren't working the way I envisioned and I was ready for them to go!

Well... I've given the helpfulness of fidget spinners some thought and I've come to the conclusion that with fidget spinners - as with most things - appropriate and structured use is, in fact, a good thing. So, my students will be excited to know that I'm welcoming these little gadgets back into the counseling office with excitement. I have some new games up my sleeve and I can't wait to put them to the test!

* * Fidget Spinner Feelings * *

Fidget Spinner Feelings is a game in which we'll spin the fidget spinner, and use an I-statement to describe a time we've felt a certain way. For instance, if the sticker on the end of the fidget spinner lands on "happy", one might say, "I feel happy when I'm playing games with friends in the counseling office." You could customize this by using a blank pie chart, laminating, and allowing the student to choose some emotions they experience most often and writing them in with a dry erase marker. I've included links to download this game as well as a blank game board below.

* * Fidget Spinner Friend Chat * *

When I have social skills groups with students, I often like to offer some structured conversation starters to our time together. It gives the opportunity to students to get to know each other (and me!) and to practice appropriate social skills such as taking turns, listening, and speaking with peers. Fidget Spinner Friend Chat is perfect for this. Again, we'll place the fidget spinner in the center of the circle, spin, see where it stops, and respond accordingly! You can customize this with questions or sentence starters appropriate for your group. I've included links to download this game as well as a blank game board below.

We received our fidget spinners from Oriental Trading. You'll find several fidget spinner options and other fidget toys in stock on their website right now. My favorite are the emoji ones! They are perfect for all the emotions we explore in the school counseling office. 

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