De-Stress from Life with Stress Balls and Fidget Toys for All Ages

We could all use a little soothing.

By Brian Olson

The products listed here were independently selected by a member of the editorial staff. Should you choose to purchase a product through a link on this page, we may receive an affiliate commission.

Little ones learn while you chill out.

Image: Clover Toys

HUSTLE AND BUSTLE know no bounds these days, and unwinding at the end of a long one—or figuring out how to center yourself in the midst of it—is a must. And, oh look, there just happens to be a product trend focused around that. Here are some choice fidget toys from local Seattle shops.

These products were chosen by our editorial staff from the Shops at Seattle Met, the city's first online marketplace bringing the best local businesses together in one place

Relieve stress or muscle tension while your hands move this malleable chain of twelve beechwood balls into nearly any configuration. Triangles, squares, circles, a chair, double garlands—there’s almost no limit to what you can form and where your mind can wander. 

Like an endless supply of bubble wrap that fits in your pocket, this keychain soothes nerves for optimal focus. Pop the bubbles one way, flip them over, and pop the other. And repeat, ad infinitum. An included mini carabiner attaches to keys, backpacks, purses.... There’s even one that glows in the dark.

Make stressors putty in your hands: Just pull out a colorful glob from this tin and squeeze, mold, tear, and stretch your worries away. There are several color and theme options for kids (and adults).

Great for developing those motor skills and a solid distraction choice for bath time, the Begin Again sensory ball is a tactile delight for little hands with its outer sphere framing the bumpy ball inside. 

Occupy kiddo’s senses and quell nerves with this two-piece toy set made by Fat Brain Toys. Infant-safe, squishy silicone bubbles are fun to pop back and forth, and a colorful, squiggly-framed mirror lets little eyes dance. 

Enhancing scents of lavender or sweet orange make this therapy clay more than child's play. It's also available as a set with a wooden knife and a cutting board. 

Tactile stimulation center you in the present. A fruity scent is just a nice extra touch.

These four intricate fidget toys are fun to build and take just a few minutes to construct. Perfect for ages five and up, the set includes a tractor, a cat, and more to play with and spin. See more fidget collections from Ugears.

For sensory stimulation or a fidget outlet, Popstretch tubes let kids bend, pop, and flex to their heart’s desire. The colorful plastic tubes are designed to provide just enough resistance for little arms to enhance bilateral coordination. 

This classic fidget toy can occupy one hand while the other does homework. Combine sets to build your own moving marvels.


Our Picks from Other Retailers

The NeeDoh fruit set comes with strawberry, banana, and orange-shaped stress balls. Squeeze them, stretch them, and stash them in nightstands to backpacks to decompress wherever you need. Cat fans might like NeeDoh’s Cool Cats.

Relieve stress, quell attention issues, or just have fun with this smooth-spinning toy. Stainless steel bearings resist corrosion for years of easy use, and a high-quality aluminum body offers the right amount of heft.  

It's not always socially acceptable to scream when we’d like to, so squeeze away the tension with this color-changing squish ball that’s great for the stressed out.

For fun stress relief, or problem-solving, this atomic fidget ball is a twisty, turny way to soothe your worries away.

Bend and connect the six X-shape magnetic pieces in this set to create hundreds of different structures, from chains to boxes to balls. Let's call it constructive fidgeting at its finest.

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