In our house, we call them Bubble Fidgets because the boys think they look and feel like bubble wrap! (thank goodness they don’t sound like bubble wrap though!!) These push pop fidgets are all the rage these days with kids and I totally get it! They can be so much more than just a toy! I use sensory tools with the kids I work with and, as y’all know, we have sensory baskets with lots of choices throughout our own home. We decided to start carrying our Bubble Fidgets in the arcs.solutions Sensory Shop because we understand the well-researched benefits of fidgeting and this tool fits the bill for us: it’s discreet, quiet and can be used in a million different ways!
Now, I’ve mentioned it’s quiet a few times but it’s worth repeating: I am suuuper sensitive to sounds and it would defeat the purpose if the sensory tools my kids gravitate towards the most were super triggering for me – so this is a great option for home, the classroom and even in the car!
So, what's up with all the fidgeting, anyway?
Adults fidget all the time – we bounce our legs during long meetings or tap our pens while brainstorming. We chew gum while we’re reading or drum our fingers on the steering wheel while driving. All this sensory input definitely helps us!
What are some benefits of fidgeting?
Well, I'm glad you asked! Fidgeting can:
So you can use our Bubble Fidgets to keep your hands busy but we also wanted to share a few suggestions about how to use these for interactive learning and fun!
Here are our Top 10 activity ideas using our Bubble Fidgets:
1. Simple Counting
This one’s great for our youngest learners! We rolled a dice and practiced pushing down the number of bubbles until we’d popped the entire fidget!
2. Second Language Number Recognition
Our youngest son is learning a second language at school right now so we wrote a number on each bubble in dry erase marker. I called out the number in French and he “popped” it. This helped him practice and helped me easily check which numbers he might need more practice with. (Be sure to check out our Instagram Reels to hear us practice our numbers in French!)
3. Simple Adding & Subtracting
We drew 2 playing cards and popped the number of bubbles to add up the total. For subtraction, which is what our youngest son is working on now, we drew 2 cards and popped the largest number, then unpopped the lowest number to find the difference.
4. Skip Counting
We used a dry erase marker to write numbers in sequence. We took turns calling out a sequence (counting by 2s, 4s, 5s, 10s) and the other person popped the bubbles in the sequence. Super easy and memorable visual learning!
5. Pattern Mirroring
We wanted to focus on attention, concentration, and pattern recognition for this activity. You’ll need two Bubble Fidgets for this. Partner A created a simple pattern sequence (one pop, no pop, no pop, one pop, etc.) Partner B tried to figure out the pattern and then recreate it on their Bubble Fidget.
This one is super fun and could be adapted for small groups in a classroom or for family game night! Each person gathered a few small items that might fit under the bubbles. We gathered some rocks (the boys are allllllways finding tiny rocks to bring in the house!), pompoms, wooden bees, along with a few odds and ends. A choice of items is placed under the Bubble Fidget. Partner A looked at all the items then closed their eyes. Partner B removed 1 item. Partner A opened their eyes and tried to figure out which item was removed.
7. Fine Motor Matching
Oh my goodness – this was so much fun and really emphasized hand-eye coordination, concentration, and dexterity! We used a pair of super cute play tongs, but clothespins or just using pincer grip would work perfectly for this too. We gave our little guy a bowl full of wooden bumblebees and some sensory rice. He created a hive! So much imagination!! He had to carefully place items within every single bubble to fill up the entire Bubble Fidget! He did a great job! Afterwards, we brainstormed what else he’d like to fit in the bubbles… marshmallows were his #1 choice!!
8. Alphabet Pops!
You’ll need 2 Bubble Fidgets for this fun alphabet reinforcement activity. Our youngest knows the alphabet but sometimes gets the lower case and upper case confused. This helped us practice and really reinforce those distinctions. We wrote the alphabet out in all upper case letters using dry erase marker on one Bubble Fidget and in all lower case letters on the other fidget. Partner A called out the letter and Partner B had to match up the upper and lower cases by popping both. (We practiced this one in French too!)
9. Word Families (Simple Phonetic Words)
We stayed focused on CVC words here (consonant – vowel – consonant). Partner A said a CVC word (b-a-t; c-a-t; p-a-n; etc) and Partner B sounded out the word by popping a bubble for each sound he heard. Check out our Instagram Reels to see how we extended this activity in a few ways!
Finally, just keep those hands busy! With a Bubble Fidget on your desk, in sensory baskets or in the car, kids and adults can reach for something to use if they're needing more stimulation or a way to relax!
So, along with being a pretty epic sensory tool that can come in handy in an office, classroom or on long roadtrips, these Bubble Fidgets can be awesome educational tools too! If our kids are already excited to use them because they’re trendy right now, might as well harness that motivation and have some fun while learning!
You can find our Bubble Fidgets in our shop here.