I make a variety of sensory, otherwise known as fiddle, toys to help with concentration and anxiety. The most popular of these being 3 line marble fiddles, where there is a marble in a fleece case and the marble zig zags back and forth along a slalom inside.
They use different fabrics, maze complexities, textures and patterns to suit the individual. Some are different shapes like the vegetable bean bags, some have beads on the outside, and some have ribbons to play with too.
Why use fiddle toys?
Another pro of using fiddle toys, besides improving concentration, is to help with anxiety. They can be helpful for anyone with anxiety, autistic or not.
The physical sensation and sensory feedback helps your brain to regulate the overload of emotion.
A lot of people (including myself) use the fiddle toys when undergoing therapy, in appointments, or going to other anxiety inducing places.
Contrary to what logic seems to suggest, encouraging neurodiverse people to fiddle with things (which is a form of stimming, see definition here) helps with concentration.
Stimming helps to regulate oneself which in turn can help improve focus. Even if someone can make themselves sit still and silent, this can then use up most of the persons mental energy leaving nothing left over for the conversation or task at hand.
Having something sensory such as using a marble fiddle, bean bag, fidget spinner, or putty to play with in school or at work will help neurodivergent (especially autistic people or those with ADHD or SPD ) to concentrate whilst the same may be opposite for neurotypical peers.
How fiddling helps me to concentrate
Because I am needing to concentrate to think of the words and write this up, I am sitting in a chair that bounces slightly and so I am bouncing up and down writing this (when I am reading, sometimes I concentrate better when shaking my head.
When I am needing to listen to something anxiety inducing or where I have to concentrate, such as undergoing therapy or doing a singing lesson, I always have a fiddle in hand. my favorite type is the towelling 3 line marble maze because of the texture and the repetitive movement.