April 21, 2024


Education, What Else?

Inexpensive DIY Fidgets Your Students Will Love

6 min read
Examples of DIY fidget toys including watermelon squishy toy and hands holding a LEGO fidget spinner

Fidgeting used to be a problem teachers tried to solve. These days, we recognize that students don’t need to be completely still in order to learn, and constructive fidgeting actually helps many people focus. You can certainly buy cool and useful fidget gadgets, but the cost can add up if you want enough for a whole class. That’s why we love these DIY fidgets! Make them yourself or use them as hands-on class projects for students to make their own. Either way, your students will love them, and so will your wallet.

(Just a heads up, WeAreTeachers may collect a share of sales from the links on this page. We only recommend items our team loves!)

1. Zipper Bracelet

Student wearing blue and black bracelets made of zippers

These DIY fidget zippers also make a fashion statement! Wear them when your hands are busy, and take them off to fidget as needed.

Get the supplies:

Learn more: Moms & Crafters

2. Fidget Sticks

Student holding DIY fidgets made from wood craft stick, beads, pipe cleaner, and washi tape

Wood craft sticks, plastic beads, and pipe cleaners are all inexpensive when you buy them in bulk. Find a few rolls of pretty washi tape, and you’re all set to make these easy DIY fidgets!

Get the supplies:

Learn more: DIY Fidget Sticks/YouTube

3. Bead Snakes

Pony beads strung on vinyl laces in various patterns (DIY Fidgets)

Kids will enjoy the process of making these colorful “snakes,” personalizing the colors and patterns with cords and multicolor pony beads. Once they’re done, they can use them to fidget to their heart’s content!

Get the supplies:

Learn more: Super Mom Hacks

4. Fidget Putty

Child playing with a tin of yellow putty

Stress putty combines all the fun of slime with the soothing nature of fidgets. Make your own and store it in small tins for a quiet fidget option for your classroom.

Get the supplies:

Learn more: Little Bins for Little Hands

5. Wearable Marble Maze

Child wearing a fabric DIY Fidget Bracelet with a hidden marble maze

If you’re handy with a sewing machine, you’ll love these fidget bracelets! The secret? There’s a built-in marble maze hidden inside. So cool!

Get the supplies:

Learn more: de Jong Dream House

6. Fidget Bands for Chairs

Student kicking at a chair band DIY fidget made from braided strips of old t-shirts

One of the best things about fidget bands is that they’re pretty much silent but they are perfect for kids who can’t sit still. Cut up old T-shirts (or any cheap fabric) that still have a bit of stretch left to them, braid them together, and sew them into a loop. You can make enough for your entire classroom for next to nothing!

Get the supplies:

Learn more: T-Shirt Chair Fidgets/YouTube

7. Fidget Pencil Toppers

Child writing with a pencil that has a fidget topper made from pipe cleaners and beads

Turn pencils into all-in-one tools by adding DIY fidgets. Just pick up some pony beads, pipe cleaners, and rubber bands.

Get the supplies:

Learn more: The OT Toolbox

8. DIY Fidget Spinners

Remember when fidget spinners were all the rage? They’ve gone from fad to classroom tool now, but they can be pretty pricey. Fortunately, you can make your own from card stock and coins.

Get the supplies:

Learn more: Red Ted Art

9. Nut and Bolt Fidget Toy

Bolts with one nut glued to the end and a second bolt in the middle free to spin (DIY Fidgets)

You’ll need one bolt with two matching nuts for each of these DIY fidgets. Spin one nut onto the bolt about halfway. Then, use hot glue to attach the second nut at the very bottom of the bolt. Now kids can spin the one in the middle when they need to fidget, with no worries about having it come loose and getting lost.

Get the supplies:

Learn more: You Clever Monkey

10. Paper Infinity Cube

Student playing with a colorful folded paper infinity cube (DIY Fidgets)

Infinity cubes are so addictive! With some patience and precision, you can fold one from colorful paper squares. Watch the video and make a few by yourself to get the hang of it. Then try this as a classroom project so kids can make their own.

Get the supplies:

Learn more: Paper Infinity Cube/YouTube

11. Dice Infinity Cube

Student playing an infinity cube fidget toy made from red dice and transparent tape

If you’re looking for an infinity cube that’s a bit more sturdy, try this one! Dice are affordable, easy to make with regular tape, and they look cool.

Get the supplies:

Learn more: Dice Infinity Cube/YouTube

12. Fidget Chain Toy

Beads strung onto keyrings attached together to make a chain, next to a staple remover; text reads Fiddle Key Ring

String beads onto key rings, then turn the rings into a chain. Try hanging one from your water bottle to remind you to drink more often too!

Get the supplies:

Learn more: Party Through the USA

13. CD-and-Marble Top

Colorful spinning top made from an old CD and a marble (DIY Fidgets)

If you’ve still got a box of old CDs hanging around, use them to make these DIY fidgets with a marble. They might be a little big for kids to use during class, but they’re a nice addition to your calm-down kit or corner.

Get the supplies:

Learn more: Meaningful Mama

14. Perler Bead Fidget Toy

Colorful pony beads strung onto paperclips

You can make a whole bin of these fidgets for just pennies! All you need are Perler beads and jumbo paper clips.

Get the supplies:

Learn more: Sensibly Sara

15. Shoelace and Beads Fidget Toy

White shoelaces knotted at each end with colorful beads strung on them (DIY Fidgets)

DIY fidgets don’t get any easier than this! String colorful beads onto shoelace string, knotted at each end. These also make really fun tools for teaching kids to segment phonemes.

Get the supplies:

Learn more: Marvelous Multiagers

16. LEGO Fidget Spinner

Student playing with a LEGO fidget spinner

Every kid loves the chance to build with LEGO! Find sets with round plates and axle pieces (like the ones we list below). Try turning this into a STEM challenge by providing the necessary pieces and asking kids to figure out how to construct one on their own.

Get the supplies:

Learn more: Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls

17. Pop Tab Fidget Toy

Child holding soda pop tops strung onto a keychain ring (DIY Fidgets)

Here’s another super easy DIY fidget option. Save pop tops from soda cans and feed them onto a key ring or binder ring. Kids can fidget with one hand while the other is clicking a mouse or flipping pages.

Get the supplies:

Learn more: STEAMsational

18. DIY Stress Ball

Colorful stress balls made from balloons (DIY Fidgets)

These easy-squeezy DIY fidgets are fun to make and even more fun to play with! Fill balloons with a mixture of baking soda and hair conditioner, then decorate however you like.

Get the supplies:

Learn more: DIY Stress Balls

19. Craft Stick Fidget Spinner

Craft stick spinner

The best thing about this DIY project is that your kids can customize a fidget toy to make cool fidget spinners that no one else has!

Get the supplies:

Learn more: Craft Stick Fidget Spinner

20. DIY Watermelon Squishy Toy

Watermelon squish toy

This tutorial will show you how to make a watermelon squishy toy, but you can use the same method to make any shape or figure you’d like!

Get the supplies:

Learn more: DIY Watermelon Squishy Toy

21. Desk Fidget Tool for School

Fidget pencil tool

This DIY fidget tool is perfect for the desk because of its small, discrete size. It can be stored right inside the desk or even in a pencil case.

Get the supplies:

Learn more: Desk Fidget Tool for School

22. Soda Bottle Top Fidget Toy

This fidget toy made from recycled soda bottle caps will take a bit of effort, but it will be worth it! Be sure to thoroughly read the tutorial or watch the YouTube video for the exact dimensions of everything you’ll need.

Get the supplies:

  • Bottle caps
  • Glass marbles
  • 4 mm nuts and 5 mm bolts
  • 10 mm washers
  • Springs (from old ballpoint pens)
  • 25 mm wooden discs
  • Gears

Learn more: Soda Bottle Top Fidget Toy

23. Easy DIY Spinning Top

Bottle spinning top

Make a spinning top DIY toy from a plastic milk bottle lid and a toothpick. Does it get any easier? A word of caution: This fidget toy may not be suitable for younger kids as the toothpicks are sharp.

Get the supplies:

Learn more: Easy DIY spinning top

What are your favorite classroom fidgets? Come share on the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.

Plus, check out great ideas for your classroom calm-down kit.

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