Anyone who finds themselves fidgeting frequently has noticed that some types of fidgeting seem to “work” better others. There’s good reason for this. Most people who tend to fidget do it as a self-regulation mechanism. It might, for instance, relieve stress or expel excess energy. The best fidget toy accomplishes this without adversely affecting the task at hand.
In fact, the best fidget toys can do even more than this. Spinning tops are a great example of a fidget toy with numerous potential benefits.
Why do tops make the best fidget toys?
Tops are time-tested, inexpensive, and universally appreciated. But the reasons that they make the best fidget toy go beyond this. Here are 5 ways in which spinning tops beat out the rest of the fidget toy competition.
1. Spinning tops incentivize you to get back to work
You can pick up a top, run your fingers over its surface, and otherwise fiddle with it. At some point – probably sooner rather than later – you’ll want to spin it. After spinning it, you’re incentivized to leave it alone for a while. You want to watch it balance and see how long it can spin.
During this time, you’ll likely get back to the task at hand.
Few other fidget toys can encourage productivity in this manner. Most require constant human manipulation for any sense of satisfaction.
A purported benefit of fidgeting is cognitive enhancement. However, to attain this benefit, a fidget toy can’t distract from what you’re trying to do. It needs to actually help you narrow your attention and focus more on your work. Spinning tops do exactly this.
2. Familiarity, structure, and predictability
The sense of relief of built-up tension with fidgeting is often due to the familiarity and predictability of the motion.
Not many toys are as familiar and predictable as a top.
The structure of a top’s motion also stands out when it comes to fidget toys. The cycle of launch, spin, fall offered by a spinning top is a structure that the fidgeting mind tends to crave.
Similarly, fidgeting is productive if it is either calming or energizing. Tops can be both. The near motionless spin of a precision-machined top is mesmerizing. Setting a top into motion and ultimately watching it fall can be the tiny bit of energy needed to make progress on a cognitive task.
3. The best fidget toys spark a conversation
Tops aren’t just used a fidget toys. They are frequently used as desk toys, as well. They are conversation starters, decorations, and mini science exhibits.
Pulling out a random fidget object during a meeting or conversation is likely to be met with a raised eyebrow. You might come across as though you’re distracted or disinterested. On the other hand, an elegant, well-balanced spinning top might lead to comments like:
Wow! Neat top.
Can I give it spin?
Is that thing still spinning?!
This conversation can act as an ice breaker, establish rapport, or provide a needed break from mentally taxing meeting topic.
Fidgeting with a spin top can, in some cases, be socially and professional acceptable.
The action of fidgeting, by definition, is a nonproductive motor movement (even though it might feel productive). Tops are unique fidget toys in that they can actually be educational. It’s physics that makes them spin the way that they do. This educational component is another element that sparks conversation.
4. Tops improve both grip strength and dexterity
One commonly cited benefit of fidgeting is improved physical health. Specifically, fidgeting has been shown to burn calories and prevent blood vessel dysfunction. These benefits can occur regardless of what fidget toy you’re using. A spinning top, though, goes beyond this in terms of its physical health benefit.
Most other fidget toys don’t have an end-goal; however, atop comes with the goal of maximal spin time. A powerful launch means a longer, more satisfying spin. Effectively using a spinning top requires both grip strength and dexterity. And both of these improve with use over time.
5. Pocket tops are both safe and durable
Finally, spinning tops are safer than many other fidget toys. Since fidget spinners became popular, hospital emergency departments have seen an influx of kids who have accidently swallowed parts. Any fidget toy with pieces that can be removed or break off may be a swallow and choking hazard. This is not a concern with most spinning tops.
Durability is another area in which tops shine. A well-made top doesn’t break or wear out. It is a fidget toy that can accompany a fidgeter for years.
Feel like fidgeting? Pick up a spinning top
If these five reasons have convinced you that spinning tops make some of the best fidget toys, it may be time to try one out for yourself! Scovie Precision Turning offers precision machined metal spinning tops that check all the boxes of a perfect fidget object. Take a look them out in action on our YouTube channel and get your own from our top shop.