Tamagotchis may be making a comeback, but someone forgot to tell the kids, because the latest craze to take over schools and playgrounds isn’t a digital pet with a death wish, but the fidget spinner. These little gadgets started as a tool to help children with ADHD or on the autism spectrum to channel energy and release anxiety in a harmless way. However, they are a lot of fun for fidgety kids (read: every school-age kid) and the shiny spinners have become the latest must-have accessory for kids around the country and the world.
As for what they are exactly? Well, they are palm-sized, usually three-pronged toys that can be balanced on a thumb and flicked into spinning. It’s about as exciting as a slap bracelet or, for you adults, C-SPAN. Kids usually just flick them excessively, balancing them on their thumbs, while annoying their teachers and becoming a threat to America (dial it down there, Chicago Tribune). However some clever and dexterous folks have figured out ways to make them interesting: They are performing tricks with the toys, posting the videos on YouTube, and wracking up the page views, earning ad revenue to buy more fidget spinners in a vicious cycle that will only end when kids’ attention shifts back to rainbow looms, Pogs, or even C-SPAN.
The only question is whether manufacturers will be able to stock up on fidget spinners in time to meet the demand before interest wanes—or schools ban them entirely.