Cutting Edge Training and Facilitation Skills: Fidget Toys

Toys, balls, and any other fidget reliever are great training tools.  When participant’s hands are busy, it can create a physical, emotional, and intellectual connection with the material they are learning, making it easier to recall the information when they need it.  Remember, it is important to have a toy for each participant in the class.  When only one person has a toy or game, other participants tend to shift their attention and watch the person play with their toy or game.  The variety of toys you can bring to a training session is as long and wide as your imagination.  However, be sure the toys you bring don’t have distracting noises, flashing lights, are too complex, or are too hard (may cause injuries if thrown).  Here is a possible list of toys, puzzles, balls, and other fidget relievers that have been successful for other facilitators:

    When conducting a training around leadership, coaching, teamwork, or strategic thinking, fidget toys can help participants make a connection with learning concepts.

  • Koosh balls
  • Stress balls
  • Bouncy balls
  • Squishy balls
  • Wire puzzles
  • Slide puzzles
  • Lego bricks
  • Hacky sacks
  • Play dough
  • Modeling clay
  • Wikki Stix
  • Silly putty
  • Foam dice
  • Markers or crayons and paper
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Poppers

Because most of these objects are small in size, soft, and compactable, they are easy to take with in a small plastic container or plastic bag.  Trainer and facilitators can toss them in their luggage. If you can’t find these items in a local novelty store, many on-line vendors that carry these products for a reasonable price.

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Cherissa Newton