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Fidget-spinner craze is sweeping the U.S., but some schools say they're distractions

Fidget Spinner fad
Fidget Spinner craze sweeping the nation 01:58

WAYZATA, Minn. -- A three-pronged gadget is the latest fad spinning out of control with kids.

They trade them, make them, even sell them. fidget spinners are almost mesmerizing.

Fidget spinners CBS News

Compared to Rubik's Cubes and yo-yos, kids can't get enough of them. Millions have been sold. Eleven-year-old Athena Dorf buys them wherever she can get them.

"We like to see whose can spin the longest and we kind of have a competition about that," she said.

The challenge of tricks and twirling has generated a barrage of how-to videos on YouTube.

With its calming effect, the toy was originally designed to help kids stop fidgeting and concentrate. But like with any true fad comes a backlash.

Fidget toys are big in this school district 01:27

Educators say they're becoming a dizzying classroom distraction.

"Because it's a distraction we are no longer allowing them in school and if they do bring them to school, we will take them, hold on to them and then give them back at the end of the day," said John McDonald, assistant principal at Delano Elementary School in Minnesota.

A survey of the 200 largest schools in the U.S. found fidget spinners are banned in 32 percent of them.

Even adults are getting in on the action. Joe Garritano in Wayzata, Minnesota, makes custom spinners in metal and ceramic, through his company, Steampunk Spinners. Some sell for as much as $400. Lately his internet sales have been going through the roof.

Joe Garritano, right, builds his custom spinners CBS News

"Someone said, 'Oh my God! I'll buy that from you,' and I made 10 more and 1,000 more, and it kind of took off," he said.

Many now are wondering if the newest fad will start to teeter or continue to twirl.

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