Principals fear 'fidget spinner' influx as the toy craze reaches NZ

Fidget spinner (Getty)
Fidget spinner (Getty)

Principals and teachers are concerned about the latest international toy craze that's reached our shores.

Fidget spinners are a hand-held toy consisting of a bearing in the centre of a three-pronged device, which is held by two fingers and spun.

Variations of the device are among the top 20 most-popular toys being sold on Amazon at the moment.

They originate from the United States, and are marketed a therapeutic tool to help children focus. However, Principals' Federation national president Whetu Cormick says they look more like a distraction.

"Every school has its own policy or procedure around bringing toys into the school, and it would be a surprise to me if teachers and school managers would allow such toys in the classroom because they would just cause a distraction to the learning process.

"I personally see no benefit of such devices being at school or in the classroom."

The devices have been banned from classrooms around the world, and Mr Cormick says Kiwi parents need to exercise common sense if they purchase one of the toys for their children.

"I'm sure that most of our New Zealand parents would be discerning in their choice of toys, so I'd expect most would discourage their children from bringing the toy to school."

One of the New Zealand-based suppliers, Game Kings, has completely sold out of fidget spinners. Owner Eliot Jessup says kids are going "mental" for them.

"The craze has really caught on over the last couple of days. People are even placing back-orders, it's like the anticipation is just electric."

Mr Jessup defended the product, saying fidget spinners are better than other recent fads that have to be played through a screen.

"It's amazing that kids are getting so into a new craze that isn't technology. I think parents like it too, because it's an old-school game like your grandparents used to play, like the polar opposite of Pokemon Go."


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