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The Best: The Tangle

The best

Looking for unique stocking stuffers? As part of my The Best series, I’m sharing some of my favorite gadgets with you. The Best series are unsolicited reviews, 100% my own opinions. I was not provided any items for this review or any kind of compensation for my reviews.

Are you a fidgeter? I am. I never thought I was, but several years ago my husband started to point out how often I shook my foot, flicked the pen, or generally kept in motion–all while seated. I started to remember years past in school when I was constantly biting my cheek or fiddling with my books–just to have something to do! In college I would play word games endlessly during lectures, just to keep from dying of boredom. Even in my favorite classes! About eight years ago I was diagnosed with inattentive ADD, and it all suddenly made sense. One of the oddest parts about having ADD is that I can actually focus better when my hands and/or brain are engaged in something else. Strange, but true!

About two months ago, my son (who has ADHD as well) came home with a new toy from school. The teacher called it a “fidget toy.” I was so fascinated with it, I began to research them on Amazon. That’s where I discovered the Tangle. The Tangle is hard to describe, but endlessly fascinating. In a nutshell, it’s an eternity loop that twists and turns to keep your hands busy with mindless activity, so that your mind can focus on whatever is at hand. I sit and twist it repeatedly, and after a few seconds I forget I’m even doing it–my hands are busy, my mind is taking in the sensory input, but my brain and eyes are focused on the person speaking to me.

My first Tangle was coated with this soft textured plastic that resembles a toddler’s teething toy. It also has these small segments that rotate and pop apart, somewhat similar to toddler pop-beads, but thinner and better formed. You can twist and turn it all kinds of ways–but it will never lie straight. My kids play with theirs almost non-stop, and any time the teenagers from church visit us, the Tangle is the first thing they start asking for. They even fight over whose turn it is!

Many people see it and think it is a baby toy, but it isn’t. It is a fidget toy. No more sitting in meetings drifting off into space. I can have a long conversation with someone without opening up something else to do at the same time. A couple of weeks ago I upgraded my plastic tangle to a chrome one. It is such a cool little toy, that many adults around me are now grabbing it in meetings and playing with it instead. Sigh–guess I better start carrying two around!

Tangle comes in many styles and colors. The Tangle Jr runs about $6 each on Amazon.com, while the full size Tangle runs about $8 – $12 on Amazon. The chrome version sells for $24.

If you’re a fidgeter, you should check it out. The Tangle is The Best!


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