Recently, Jennifer Lisi @bitesmaller, pointed us to a twitter conversation regarding the overuse of plastics for most fidget toys and they want for there to be more sustainable materials used and also to maintain pricing that isn't out of reach. This led to a bit of research on the options of what constitutes a sustainable material for a fidget toy and what options are currently available.
Typical autism fidget toys are made with ABS plastics. These plastics are used for their inexpensive manufacturing process and durability. However, these plastics are made from petrochemical compounds that undergo chemical reactions in order to form the plastic polymer. In other words, they are made from oil. Oil is neither biodegradable nor a renewable resource.
Alternative materials should include renewable resources or materials that can be easily recycled. Such materials include glass, metals, woods, fibers, stone, and silicone, just to name a few. With the need for toys to be durable and safe that left wood, metal, fibers, and silicone as the most obvious choices for sustainable fidgets.
Sustainable Fidgets @ Happy Hands
This fidget is made with steel and silicone parts. It's portable, lightweight and will last a lifetime with minimal care.
Made of an aluminum shell and steel bearings, this item can be recycled with scrap metal. A fun toy that is a good replacement for the traditional fidget spinner.
Like the cube spinner, this item is made from an aluminum shell with steel bearings and is another choice for replacing an ABS fidget spinner.
This wooden toy is a challenge! Flip it end over end to master stopping it standing upright.
These fully aluminum tops are sustainable and calming. Made of aluminum these can be recycled with scrap metal.
Another fidget made of aluminum, these rings are great for sensory seekers.
Made fully of wood these brain teasers are a challenge and the smooth exterior can be calming to rub.
Another fully wooden product, tangrams are great for endless imagination fun!