My students have been loving the wiggle seats this year. I have two in my class at the moment. I have tried them with 4 of my movers and shakers and found two who are really benefiting from them. The wiggle seats that I have have one smooth side and one bumpy side. Which allows for students to choose the side that best helps them. I had my students try out both sides to see which one they felt helped them more. By allowing them to wiggle in their desk they have been able to focus on their learning more.
I have tried stress balls before, with varying degrees of success with students. This year one of my movers and shakers brought his own diy stress ball from home. It has been working well with him most of the time. He brought it with him on a field trip to a Ballet performance our class went on. He stayed focused for almost the whole performance. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw him squishing his stress ball, with his eyes transfixed on the dancers. He found it extremely difficult to focus for even five minutes. So that sold trip sold me on it. He now uses it in class. Most of the time he uses it as a tool, but every once in a while he throws it up and down like a toy. I remind him that if it continues to be a toy, rather than a toy, he will get it taken away for a while. He usually will stop, and either put it away or use it as a tool. Every once in a while I have to take it away for the rest of the class period. When he gets it back again he uses it as a tool.
I have had a few feet fidgets. When I learned about stretchy bands for feet fidgets I had to try it. One of my students loved it and it helped focus her energy, while keeping her focused. Unfortunately, it also made a "boing, boing, boing" elastic band snapping sound that drove me bananas. As an alternative I tried using a bungee cord. This seemed to do the trick. No more annoying sound, which meant a happier teacher, and still a great resistant fidget for my foot fidgeter. Win-win.
One of the fidgets I had one of my movers and shakers try this year was a coil finger fidget. It worked well, but unfortunately because of it's delicate material it didn't last long. The coil soon was starting to loose shape. As it became more flat/unravelled it no longer was very useful. I think that if you know they won't pull or push it apart, it is worth trying, otherwise try a different finger fidget.
These have to be my favourite fidgets. When my school's counsellor came to my class to talk about fidgets she brought with her a class set of fidgets. Each student got a flexible rubber tube. They could wiggle it with their hands like a wiggly worm or flex it in a V-shape like a hand exercise tool. My students loved these. After the initial few days of the students trying them out, only the ones who really found them helpful kept using it. I think this shows that students, even at a young age, can figure become aware of tools that work for them. One of my students even brought one of the extra ones home, so he could use it when he did his homework. At the moment I have four of my students who are still using these fidgets to help them learn. I think that by having a fidget that has versatile ways to be used it lends itself to benefiting more students.
I'm not sure where she got the tubing from or how much it was. I always forget to ask her when I see her. I think that you could probably pick it up a home improvement store for relatively cheap. The tubing to the right, looks similar to the kind that she brought.