Why the “Hand Spinner” has gotten children (and adults) spinning with the flick of a finger in French schools
When these spinners were introduced they were acclaimed by parents of artistic and hyperactive children, today they are spreading in school playgrounds like wildfire.
What is it?
The hand spinner – which is literally a rotating object – is a small plastic toy that is held between two fingers, which you have to try to spin for as long as possible.
It’s available in all colors, and the most powerful models can spin for up to four minutes. There are tons on videos on youtube showing you how to spin.
Where did it come from?
In 1997, Catherine Hettinger, a mother with an autoimmune disease, was looking for a simple and inexpensive way to entertain her daughter. This was when she invented this spin top that immediately had a huge success with children, however, it never really took off.
In 2016, this spin thingy was spotted by parents of autistic and hyperactive children, and it was here that these parents learned that their children – with ADD and other concentration disorders were benefiting from it. Needless to say, in a short period of time the hand spinner was a huge success, and it far exceeded all expectations as a simple toy.
Today, the hand spinner is the new favorite toy of almost all primary school children here in France. It sells by the thousands, and much more worldwide.
Why is it banned in schools outside of France?
Despite its popularity, hand spinners have been already present for a few years in The States, The UK, and Canada, however, it’s quickly being banned in many of schools across these countries.
One of the main reasons for this is due to the fact that some professors consider the hand spinner having the opposite effect of what it advertises, and actually interferes with the child’s concentration rather than help him. Though it may seem harmless, these spinners are being taken out during class, causing a major distraction to students and teachers.
For now, the hand spinner is still quite popular in French schools, children are drawn to it.
But like many in-toys, hopefully, it’s just a passing fad, and will not pick up momentum in the months to come avoiding the nightmare experience in other countries.