Your kids like fidget toys? Here's why

Fidget toys can be helpful for children, but parents should beware of any claims about how effective the toys are.

(CNN)First there were the fidget spinners, then the squishies, then the pop toys, then the faux game controllers, bendable this-and-thats and a number of other hand-held items that my kids could manipulate with one hand.

Initially, I fluctuated between feeling mildly enthused and agnostic about them.
Unlike most toys, particularly those marketed to boys, fidgets weren't about competition or violence. They weren't branded merchandise connected to weapon-wielding good guys. Nor did they, as with "blind box" toys, use surprise to seduce kids to keep buying more stuff. Sure, kids collect fidgets, but, at least in my experience, in far smaller quantities than other toys. Those were all good things.
    Except, I wondered, what exactly do fidgets do? They move. Some require more skill, some less. Either way, they're repetitive and mindless, and for a long time this seemed both their strength and the fatal weakness that would lead them to quick obsolescence.
      Fidget toys can be helpful for children, but they may make children more fidgety.
      Except that never happened. Fidgets remain popular, kids love them, and I, a parent of two of these kids, feel uncertain about what to make of this. At the heart of it sits a chicken-and-egg-style inquiry: Does the existence of the fidget toy make my kids more fidgety? Or does it serve a physical and psychological need for children who are inherently fidgety creatures?
      It turns out the answer is "yes" to both questions. The fidge