There is no shortage of desk toy variety from squishable creatures to puzzles. You can find desk toys for just about any interest.
Believe it or not, your seemingly silly desk toy provides real benefits. Desk toys can relieve stress through repetitive movements and give professionals a break when dealing with creative block. Desk toys can also help to improve your focus and ease anxiety—benefits you don’t want to pass up.
As writers, we find desk toys to be particularly useful. Writing, as with other creative fields, requires plenty of pondering and problem-solving. Using desk toys to distract ourselves or fidget while we think can help tear down creative blocks.
Was this article an excuse to pull out our favorite desk toys and go on the hunt for new ones? Absolutely. But we see the benefits and hope you do too. If your work environment is a stale, sterile, husk of a place, consider giving yourself the gift of a desk toy. You can thank us later.
Ahead, we have curated the 19 best desk toys to keep you entertained on the longest of work days.
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1. Spinning Kinetic Toy
Best Overall Desk Toy
We Recommend: Samisoler Kinetic Desk Toy
Why You’ll Love It: This spinning desk toy is incredibly mesmerizing, small, and easy to use.
Spinning the Samisoler Kinetic Desk Toy creates a mesmerizing optical illusion that makes for an excellent fidget-spinning type of desk toy. This toy comes in a number of colors including black and white, rainbow, white and gold, and more. You can also get it in the sizes x-small, medium, and large.
2. Zen Garden
Best Splurge Desk Toy
We Recommend: ENSO Japanese Zen Garden Kit for Desk
Why You’ll Love It: Zen gardens are a relaxing way to play with texture and create patterns. Plus, they look pretty on your desk and who doesn’t want a desk that’s aesthetically pleasing?
The ENSO Japanese Zen Garden Kit for Desk is a premium zen garden that is on a large circular tray with patterned spheres and sand tools. We love how this zen garden uses textured bamboo spheres as tools which are unlike any other zen gardens on the market currently.
3. Desktop Boxing Toy
Best Budget Desk Toy
We Recommend: Desktop Boxing: Know Out Your Stress!
Why You’ll Love It: Knock stress out of your space with this mini boxing kit.
This desktop boxing toy includes two mini boxing gloves you can use on your pointer fingers to box with the suction cup-based punching bag. This is a humorous and fun form of stress relief. It’s also a fun gift for White Elephant or company gift exchanges.
4. Newton’s Cradle
Best Classic Desk Toy
We Recommend: CERROPI Large Newtons Cradle Pendulum with 7 Balls
Why You’ll Love It: Newton’s Cradles are stress relieving to watch and that’s a major factor to consider when picking your next desk toy.
When you think of desk toys, Newton’s cradle is likely up there with the common options. The Newton’s Cradle by CERROPI has a sleek design and is highly durable. This is a minimalist and mature desk toy for those who have an image to maintain. (It’s okay, we won’t tell people you’re hiding silly toys like the Desktop Boxing Toy above in your desk drawer.)
5. Desk Ball
Best for the Sports Fan
We Recommend: NALAKUVARA Golf Pen Gift
Why You’ll Love It: This is a functional and entertaining desk toy.
My shaky hands would not mesh well with this desk toy but I get the appeal for golf lovers and sports fans. This little desk toy is functional (hello pen golf clubs) and entertaining. Sounds like a hole-in-one to me.
6. Magnetic Decision Maker
Best for the Indecisive Decision-Maker
We Recommend: MarsGeek Magnetic Decision Maker Swing Pendulum
Why You’ll Love It: If you’re always second-guessing yourself, give yourself a new outlet to second-guess! In all seriousness, this is a fun way to make simple decisions like whether to drink that fourth cup of coffee.
There are a few magnetic decision-maker pendulums available online and many have poor ratings because of the toy’s sensitivity and breakability. This one available from MarsGeek seems to be a tad more durable and has a modern design.
7. Fidget Popper Toys
Best for Keeping Calm
We Recommend: Genovega 24 Pack Fidget Ball Popper Its Toys
Why You’ll Love It: Pop away your stress with what is essentially endless and reusable bubble wrap.
This bundle of 24(!) pop fidget balls will help your manage stress. These sensory toys can be split between your office mates or shared with your kids.
8. Magnetic Building Tool
Best for Stimulating the Brain
We Recommend: Speks Geode Magnetic Fidget Sphere
Why You’ll Love It: This fidget toy allows you to build all sorts of creations using magnetic pentagons.
The Speks Geode Magnetic Fidget Sphere has 100s of ways to combine and create different shapes. There are 12 magnetic pentagons in each set which are available in aqua, peridot, quartz, rose, slate, and topaz. This desk toy is ideal for those who want to stimulate their brain throughout the workday. There’s no right answer to this building toy, only hundreds of possibilities.
9. Buddha Board
Best for the Low-Key Artist
We Recommend: The Original Buddha Board Art Set
Why You’ll Love It: Making water painting doodles with a bamboo brush is a zen way to step away from a creatively draining work day.
If zen gardens aren’t necessarily your thing then a Buddha Board might be. These boards allow you to let your inner artist fly by creating doodles that fade away. Doodling has been tied to increased creativity and reduced anxiety making this desk toy an excellent option for a creative professional.
10. Squishy Animal Stress Reliever
Best for Animal Lovers
We Recommend: Boxer Gifts Calma Llama Stress Toy
Why You’ll Love It: Having a cute squishy animal toy is fun to look at and when you’re stressed you just squeeze the heck out of it and enjoy the stress relief that comes with that.
The Boxer Gifts Calma Llama Stress Toy is so adorable and as its box says, “When SPIT happens give me a squeeze!” This novelty llama stress toy is a cute addition to your desktop while being a functional tool in your stress-relieving arsenal.
11. Plant Building Set
Best for Plant Lovers
We Recommend: LEGO Icons Succulents Building Set for Adults
Why You’ll Love It: Love plants but can’t have them in your office space? Buildable plants will let you enjoy the beauty (sort of) plants provide without the upkeep.
12. A Mini Turntable
Best for Music Fans
We Recommend: Teeny-Tiny Turntable: Includes 3 Mini-LPs to Play!
Why You’ll Love It: It’s fun to play around with and makes music. Need we say more?
Get a little lit (are the kids still saying that?) at your desk with this adorable turntable. It has a movable arm and a liftable lid. You’ll get 30 seconds of music for three genres: classic rock, jazz, and soul/funk.
13. Shape-Shifting Box Toy
Best for Fidgeting
We Recommend: Shashibo Shape Shifting Box
Why You’ll Love It: You’ll keep your mind entertained with this box that shifts and changes into various shapes.
This box is an award-winning and patented magic cube that can transform into over 70 shapes. It comes in a variety of bright and vibrant colors and can be purchased in sets of 1, 2, or 4.
14. Mini Desktop Basketball Hoop
Best for Basketball Fans
We Recommend: HLJgift Desktop Miniature Basketball Game Toy
Why You’ll Love It: Shoot hoops from the comfort of your rolly chair with this desktop ball game.
This is portable, foldable, and easy fun. It sits easily on your desk or can be folded and stored when not in use which is an extra feature we particularly like about this particular miniature basketball hoop.
15. Stress Relief Pillow
Best for Those Prone to Outbursts
We Recommend: Big Enter Key Plush Toy
Why You’ll Love It: Protect your keyboard from random outbursts with this USB enter key plush toy.
This jumbo plush key can be plugged into your computer to act as a functional enter key. When you’re frustrated enough to hit your keyboard, punch this plush key instead. This is a fun gag gift for coworkers who can commiserate with your stressful work environment.
16. Fidget Sets in Metal
Best for the Classy Businessman
We Recommend: The Executive Fidget Set
Why You’ll Love It: Even the classiest of businessmen get fidgety and this metal set is perfect for the executive who has an image to uphold.
This set of fidget toys places an emphasis on craftsmanship. It includes a metallic deck, spinning top, pendulum orbiter, flowing helix, magnetic spheres, rolling quadrilateral, and an infinity cube. These designs are durable and elegant making them perfect for gifting.
17. Brain Teaser Puzzles
Best for Puzzle Lovers
We Recommend: LFLQ 20 Piece Brain Teaser Puzzle Toys
Why You’ll Love It: Brain tease puzzles ar an excellent way to get your brain working in a different way, whether you’re taking a break from staring at a spreadsheet or taking a moment to try and break through a creative block.
We Love the LFLQ 20 Piece Brain Teaser Puzzle Toys pack because it gives you a mix of different brain teaser puzzles in both wood and metal. This pack also makes for an excellent gift for the puzzle-loving coworker.
18. Stress Balls
Best for Stress Relief
We Recommend: Serenilite Hand Therapy Exercise Stress Ball Bundle
Why You’ll Love It: This isn’t your typical stress ball. This bundle of stress balls has three densities (soft, medium, and hard) to challenge your grip strength.
Stress balls are in the top five common desk toys, and for good reason. There’s something incredibly stress-relieving about squeezing the heck out of something. We like the Serenilite Hand Therapy Exercise Stress Ball Bundle because it includes three durable stress balls with different densities.
19. Melting Snowman
Best for Getting in the Holiday Spirit
We Recommend: Toysmith’s Melting Snowman
Why You’ll Love It: This toy not only stimulates your creativity but it will get you in the holiday spirit as the weather begins to cool and Winter sets in.
This is maybe my favorite desk toy I’ve ever encountered. It’s just adorable. You build a snowman and watch him melt. Not only is it creative but it’s also comical as the snowman looks quite humorous melted with his various accessories splayed out.
If you’re not a fan of snowmen, snow, or Winter then you can also get this desk toy as a monster, animal, or alien.