The History of Fidget Toys

Apr 26 , 2022

The History of Fidget Toys

Desiree Ras


Although fidget spinners may be the first fidget toy you know of, it does not mean that it was the first fidget toy around! The creation of fidget toys can be traced back to the earliest centuries but only became popular in recent decades. We have had yo-yos, spinning tops, and Rubik's cubes all made for fidgeting, but these hit our market as mainstream toys without us even knowing the purpose of these creations.

Fidget toys date back to the Ming Dynasty in China, approximately 3,500 years ago. In a small town of Baoding in the North China Plain, those who practiced traditional Chinese medicine created Baoding balls as a health precaution to keep fidgeting hands busy and out of trouble. This started with walnuts and gradually evolved into stainless steel, iron, or chrome balls. If one desired, these balls could be decorated or left plain.
Both balls could fit in one hand and constantly be rotated in the palm of your hand and were created to have a soothing effect on the user. Fast forward to 2022, the Baoding balls are still used for fidgeting and as a form of meditation to keep one calm. The balls are now hollow on the inside, therefore, producing a pleasant chime sound.
Does anyone else remember when you couldn't go a day without seeing a fidget spinner? Be it with your coworker, neighbor, or your 8-year-old nephew with 3 of his own - they were everywhere! The rise of fidget spinners opened the door to modern-day fidget toys becoming socially acceptable in our everyday lives.
Fidget spinners rose to fame in the 2010s but were initially created in 1993. Catherine Hettinger started inventing toys for her daughter to play with, which eventually led to the invention of what we now call the fidget spinner. Fidget spinners were initially created as a spinning toy to help children with anxiety, concentration, and restless hands. 
These fidget spinners have proven to be great for children with ADD and ADHD as it gives them something to occupy and entertain themselves with. Kids have started to learn how to do tricks with these fidgets, and some are even collecting them. In 2017, the fidget spinner was an international sensation.
There are different types of fidget spinners that kids do enjoy. BunMo knows this. We've created the perfect 10-function fidget toy to keep busy hands and fingers occupied. 
I know we have all had moments when we want to scream in frustration, but we have learned to redirect these emotions to our infamous stress balls. Thirty years ago, a man named Alex Carswell had a bad day at work and had a light bulb moment. He had the idea of creating something that would serve as an aid for stress relief, and thus, stress balls were born.
Stress balls are of a soft and plush texture and can usually fit in the palm of your hand. It's pretty common to see these fidget toys around schools and workplaces; that's right, adults use them too. BunMo, believe it or not, actually has color-changing stress balls. Cool, Right! Our Color Chameleon Stress Balls also have extra casing for those stressful days! 
TikTok was an app that blew up over the last few years, and on this app, a viral video introduced us to a whole new fidget toy in the game called pop-its. These toys were invented in 1975 by Theo and Ora Coster, who were a married couple that developed games. Pop-its only gained popularity in the last few years after a monkey went viral for playing with a pop-it on TikTok. If it works with animals, imagine how much we would enjoy it! With millions of views, this viral video sparked the rebirth of pop-its. Pop-its now come in so many shapes and sizes. BunMo has unique silicon pop-its perfect for anxiety and fidgety little hands.

Human nature causes us to fidget when bored, stressed, or anxious. These are not emotions we can control. Thankfully for us, we had these toys created for just that purpose. No more nail biting, pen clicking, leg shaking, and foot-tapping; just reach for your go-to fidget toy!