Unless they’re parked in front of the TV, children can be balls of energy. And for the kids who are really active — like the ones who have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) — sitting still for long stretches is so much harder, making it difficult to focus in class.
That’s why Scott Ertl, a school counselor at Ward Elementary School in North Carolina, came up with a simple but genius device to help these kids channel all their excess energy.
The product — called Bouncy Bands — is a stretchy tether that can be attached to a student’s desk legs so that he or she can bounce their feet and stretch their legs while quietly working (and without distracting their classmates), the Winston-Salem Journal reports.
Besides those with ADHD, the device can help students who have learning disabilities such as autism, anxiety disorder and restless leg syndrome.
Surprisingly, fidgeting is important. According to a 2007 Mayo Clinic study, allowing children to move around more while sitting made them more attentive.
Indeed, a reviewer on Amazon writes that the Bouncy Band helped her second grade nephew focus better and have more success in the classroom: “The teacher was pleased because he could pay attention for longer stretches and the movement doesn’t disrupt the class or distract others in any way.”
Ertl tells the Journal that kids with ADHD are hyperactive and do things that can get them in trouble because they don’t know what to do with all this extra energy. “They’re tapping their pencils on the desk or they’re drumming on the table and making noises or leaning back in their chairs,” he says. “They just need extra stimulation.”
Since January, Ertl has sold more than 3,000 Bouncy Bands. At Ward Elementary, students have been using these bands since 2012. Ertl also recently completed a successful Kickstarter to help provide these bands for students across the U.S. who can’t afford them.
Teachers seem to love the product, too. “The funny thing about it was I started using them and didn’t even realize it,” Ward teacher Linda Bohland says. “This is an amazing way to keep [ focused, able to work and move at the same time.”