Fidget Toys

Between staying at home, distance learning, and so much going on in the world, a lot of us are feeling restless and anxious. Fidget toys are fun to make and mess with, and they’re a great outlet for that antsy energy.

Here’s how to make three easy fidget toys from materials you probably have around the house.

Downloadable instructions

Pencil Gripper


  • 2 pencils (or pens, chopsticks, popsicle sticks, etc.)
  • 1 - 3 rubber bands or ponytail holders


  1. Lay the two pencils over each other like an X.
  2. Wrap rubber bands where the pencils cross. Experiment with wrapping in different directions, making the pencils cross in different places, or adding more bands until you get the resistance you like.

You’re done! Exercise your hands by squeezing the ends of the pencils.

Transforming Star


  • Cardboard tube from toilet paper or paper towels
  • Tape (any kind)
  • Duct tape (you can use other kinds if you don’t have duct tape, or skip it)
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Marker


  1. Wrap the outside of the tube in duct tape.
  2. Press on the tube to flatten.
  3. Mark 1.5 centimeter (a little over half an inch) increments going down the long side of the tube.

  1. Use the marks to cut rings that are 1.5 centimeters wide. Decorate them with markers if you’d like.
  2. Fold the flattened rings so they resemble squares.

  1. Tape them together one by one, but don’t tape the last ring back to the first.

Your fidget toy is ready to transform! Now you’ve got a squishy chain of rings, a star, and all kinds of other shapes that you can create by pushing each ring in and out.

Fidget Spinner


  • Cardboard (the thin kind like cereal boxes are made out of is best)
  • Toothpick or skewer
  • Needle
  • Tape (any kind)
  • Scissors


  1. Draw the shape you’d like your spinner to be on cardboard. It helps to trace a shape like a circle or triangle, or the template in our printable instructions.
  2. Cut out the shape and decorate.
  3. Use the needle to poke a hole through the exact center of your shape. Poke your toothpick or skewer through-- you may need to wiggle it around or poke the needle through more to widen the hole.

  1. Carefully trim the ends of the toothpick or skewer to about 1 inch (half an inch on either side of your spinner).
  2. Wrap some tape around each end to cover the rough spots where it was trimmed and to help you grip the spinner.

Give it a whirl!