Fidget spinners are very popular at this time, but they are toys (not a true fidget or fidget toy). A true fidget is used to help students, and others, focus on their tasks with minimal distraction to those around them.
Fidget rings are great for students on the autism spectrum, with ADD/ADHD, and with dyslexia in the regular and special education classroom, as well as for anyone that likes to fidget to relax. They are also cheap and easy to make. I have made fidget rings, like this one for, wife, a special ed teacher, to use in her classroom. They have been quite successful. Yes, they can be bought in some stores and on line, but it is cheaper to make them, especially if you need more than one of them.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
- Bike Chain (see note).
- Rings for key rings. You will need 2 for each fidget. 7/8-inch or 1-inch work well.
- Jewelry or Super Glue (optional, but high recommended).
- Chain Breaker
- Toothpick or Small Stick to spread glue (optional).
- Something to pry open rings (optional)
I used some old bike chain that I had left over from making a custom length chain. If you decide to make the fidget with an used chain, make sure to clean and degrease it.
Note: Some chains have a master link, and riveted pins. This type of chain will not work with a chain breaker. Grinding and drilling may separate the links.
Step 2: Breaking Down the Chain
Use the chain breaker to remove links from the chain.
You will want two (complete) inner links (the gray ones in the pictures). To use the chain breaker, place a link so that the pin is in front of the slot on one side, and the pusher pin on the other. Twist (screw in) the tool until the chain pin pushes out. This can be difficult, and you may want to loosen it up and make sure the two pins line up.
Step 3: Gluing Links (Optional)
As you can see, my inner links come apart. If your
links are like mine, you will want to glue them. If they are solid, skip this step.
Glue around the holes. You can use a toothpick or a stick to spread the glue. Place the spacers over the holes on the bottom piece of the link, on the glue. Then place on the top piece of the link. As shown in the photos. Try not the glue your fingers. Let the glue dry.
Step 4: Assembly
Attach the two rings so that they cross. This will
allow the links to go past each other.
Take one link, and run one ring through each hole (where the pins had been before breaking down the chain). Then, run a ring though each hole of the other link.
Note: You may want/need to use a screwdriver or other tool to open the rings. If possible, use your fingernails; tools can over spread the rings, and there may be gaps in you finished projecy.
Step 5: Fidget
Now that the fidget is complete, test it to make sure that the links easily move past each other. If they grind, your rings are too small. If it is hard to move, the rings may be too large, or too thick. Make adjustments as needed.
Now your fidget ring is ready for you, your student(s), or both.