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Fidget & Fiddle Toys

Fidget & Fiddle Toys

Sensory toys, specifically fiddle or fidget toys, are a variety of handheld items with specific textures or materials designed to fulfill a tactile need. Many pickers are sensitive to sensory stimulation, which makes the reason to pick so satisfying. These toys can be used to help replace the sensation of picking and are most effective when used in triggering situations. They can also be used throughout the day as distractions, feeding into sensory needs that often get overlooked by professionals who aren’t knowledgeable about the treatment of body-focused repetitive behaviors (BFRBs).

Fidget & Fiddle Toys
Five Fidget Toys for Compulsive Skin Picking
By: Angela Hartlin

The reasons behind my top five fidget toys for excoriation disorder can be found in an article I wrote for The Mighty. In summary, the best sensory toys for picking are:

  • Fidget cube
  • Spinner ring
  • Stress balls
  • Slime or putty
  • Edamame key chain

Top BFRB expert Dr. Fred Penzel created a master list of nearly 200 stimulation substitutes and behavioral blockers for the TLC Foundation for BFRBs. Therapist Laura Santner, who also has trichotillomania, revised the list and condensed it down to the top 100 suggestions.

If you don’t know what to buy, soft or squishy items are a safe bet. If there’s a particular material that brings you comfort (ie silk, wool, etc) you can find a toy or purchase a strip of that material to cater to your preferences. You can also try fidgets in the variety pack from Picking Me Foundation to see which ones work best for you.

For every fiddle pack purchased, one is donated to a dermatologist, pediatrician, or skin picker in need. Some items you may find in the variety or promo pack include a tangle toy, pimple patches, nail file, stickers, coloring book, and more!

Fidget & Fiddle Toys
Picking Me Foundation’s
Fiddle Pack Project

While sensory toys can be helpful for those with BFRBs, they are only one tool out of many in learning how to manage dermatillomania. Combined with comprehensive therapy and other strategies they can assist you in curbing your urges in the moment, but they are not a singular fix for excoriation disorder.

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