The Best Back To School Toys for Pissing Off Your Teacher

The Best Back To School Toys for Pissing Off Your Teacher

Not that we condone getting kicked out of the classroom, but these are fun.

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A photo of a fidget cube
Photo: Florence Ion / Gizmodo

While kids are still slowly finding their way back into the classroom this month, teachers are likely also remembering how disruptive leading a room full of kids can beand yes, I’m lumping in college-aged kids, too, because I know when I started university, I was constantly finding ways to hold on to childhood (and, in many ways, I still do).

Anyway, I call myself the queen of desk toys here at Gizmodo, because my workstation is surrounded by things to play with. And when I came across this Tiktok counting down the worst fidget toys, I realized how much of a menace these things can be in a classroom situation. So here’s some inspiration! Of course, you’ll want to proceed with caution when trolling your teacher, because there’s still an entire school year ahead.

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Slime: relaxing but disgusting

Slime: relaxing but disgusting

A photo of slime
Image: Amazon

I haven’t been in a classroom in a decade and a half, but I can imagine that the existence of slime and putty toys is causing distress in schoolhouses everywhere. I wasn’t even allowed this stuff growing up because of its propensity to get stuck in carpets and hair.

But slime and putty have seen a mass resurgence among ASMR makers and fidgeters alike for their gooey texture and malleability. Unfortunately, the classroom is not suitable for this kind of sloppy plaything. Perhaps the only consolation to a teacher confiscating slime is that you can make your own once you return home with a simple pack of sparkles and the right kind of glue.

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“Pop it” toys can be helpful when they’re not distracting

“Pop it” toys can be helpful when they’re not distracting

A photo of a pop it
Image: Amazon

I have purchased over a dozen different “pop it” toys for my toddler, and I can confirm that these things are loud when you want them to be. The popping mechanism alone can do wonders to drive your desk partner to pull out their hair. And these toys are easy to make, so they’ve become pretty commonplace: you can find everything from a purse to a pencil pouch covered in the pop-its motif. Some teachers have taken back the pop-it by figuring out how to incorporate them into their lesson plans.

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Remember to mute your virtual pet

Remember to mute your virtual pet

The author holding an r2d2 tamagotchi
Photo: Florence Ion / Gizmodo

I had to throw one in here for my favorite virtual pet, the Tamagotchi. The original Tamagotchi and its nano variants are affordable and small enough to cart in your backpack, sight unseen. But your baby will get you in trouble when you forget to turn off the volume. Mute your virtual pet before the teacher takes it away—Tamagotchi is a collectible.

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Fidget cubes forever

Fidget cubes forever

A photo of a pile of fidget cubes
Image: Fidget Cubes

The fidget spinner is out. Long live the fidget cube, which you can find at many major retailers and collect in various colors. I have one myself, and it’s super helpful when trying to get through a task. But some of the buttons are loud enough that my microphone can pick them up in the background during a podcast recording. I imagine it’s loud enough to drive your teacher up the wall, too.

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Did you know fidget toys fly now?

Did you know fidget toys fly now?

A photo of a kid throwing a fidget toy to an adult, but why?
Image: Amazon

Thanks, TikTok, for showing me that flying fidget toys are a thing. But also, I have so much sympathy for the teacher who will have to deal with attempting to confiscate one. This thing has a “boomerang” mode so that it flies out and back to you, drone style, but without the remote control. It’s also filled with flashing lights, like a disco ball on the go. They are widely available on Amazon.

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Suction cups are sucky

Suction cups are sucky

A photo of a toy with suction cups that is definitely annoying someone somewhere
Image: Amazon

This is also something I learned on TikTok, and it makes sense: fidget toys with suction cups that can adhere to a desk will make a thunderous noise as you tear them up off the surface. Leave the toys with suction cups at home.

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A pen for the pensive fidgeter

A pen for the pensive fidgeter

A photo of the Sensory FX pen
Image: Wal Mart

Sensory FX toys are one of my favorite fidget brands because of the variety of collectibles available. They make for neat desk toys like faux fidget cassette tapes and these light-up disc spinners, both of which could be distracting and destructive in their own right. But perhaps the most unassuming of them is the surprisingly loud fidget pen, which you can bundle in your pencil case without the teacher being any the wiser.

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The old games-on-the-graphing-calculator trick

The old games-on-the-graphing-calculator trick

A screenshot of games on a Ti-84
Screenshot: YouTube

I did it back in the early aughts, and from a quick search on the web, it appears you can still load games onto a Texas Instruments graphing calculator. Yes, some of us played games instead of paying attention in math class—can you blame us?

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