Squeezing, stretching, shaping, and popping are the keywords for gel-filled fidget balls, stress balls, or putties.
This type of fidget toy comes in all sorts of textures and intensities. Whatever your sensory needs, you can get everything from super soft and dense to doughy.
People with BFRBs often have restless fingers that constantly wander around, leading to picking and pulling.
Squishy stress balls and putties are great for getting (nervous) energy out of your fingers and keeping your hands busy.
Fiddling with these fidget toys will help relieve anxiety and tension. Some stress balls even have sensory features like different colors or scents. They have a calming effect and can improve concentration.
Strengthening hands with the stress ball
Another advantage of the stress ball and putty is strengthening the hand, fingers, and wrist muscles. I’m a rock climber and used training putty to improve my grip even before I knew the term BFRB.
I’ve noticed my hands get tired and calmer after playing with the putty. After some time of kneading, they don’t wander as much anymore.
I like to get two benefits from using the stress ball and putty–finger workout and BFRB relief.
In general, I prefer a firm putty to a softer stress ball. I like the playful stretching, rolling, and kneading. It’s like adult Play-Doh!
But everyone has different experiences with body-focused repetitive behaviors and preferences regarding fidget toys. I recommend trying different toys to see what you like!
TIP: @pullyoselftogether uses a kneadable art eraser which makes a great fidget putty. I like that idea a lot!
Click here to learn more about how to find the right fidget toys for your sensory needs.