What are those spinner things, and why are people so fidgety about them?

This season’s hottest toy is marketed as an antidote for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and autism — but it’s also being banned in classrooms across the country.

“Fidget spinners” are small, ball-bearing devices that the user can rotate between his or her fingers. The momentum of the toy provides a pleasing sensory experience, according to user reviews, while the challenge of tossing, transferring and twirling the spinners has spawned an entire universe of instructional YouTube videos. [How Fidget Spinners Work: It’s All About the Physics]

Many spinners are marketed as aides for individuals with anxiety, autism and ADHD; Cppslee’s spinner marketing patter on Amazon, for example, promises greater concentration for people with those conditions, plus an opportunity to “bring out that creative genius lying deep within you.” [Why Fidget Spinners Are So Hot (and Where to Buy Them)]

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