When I look for prizes and presents for students, I look for things that are gender-neutral, non-licensed, fun and interesting. (Don't look here for Disney princess toys.)

If they're vaguely educational, that's a bonus. If they're just silly and fun that's fine too. Here are some favorites.

Hoppers is an ingenious game that can be player cooperatively or alone. The multiple cards make the game change and stay challenging.

Hoppers is an ingenious game that can be player cooperatively or alone. The multiple cards make the game change and stay challenging.

Glitter Wands are soothing. The glittery things inside move slowly as you turn it around and upside down. An excellent silent fidget toy. 

Glitter Wands are soothing. The glittery things inside move slowly as you turn it around and upside down. An excellent silent fidget toy. 

Fidget Toys like these Tangle Toys can be great for kids who need to do something with their hands to help them think. These can be taken apart and put back together again -they snap together and apart just easily enough. This one is a good toy for the back seat of the car or a waiting area for your studio.

Fidget Toys like these Tangle Toys can be great for kids who need to do something with their hands to help them think. These can be taken apart and put back together again -they snap together and apart just easily enough. This one is a good toy for the back seat of the car or a waiting area for your studio.

This size is just too big - though it's fun to contemplate a life that could include such gigantic toys!

This size is just too big - though it's fun to contemplate a life that could include such gigantic toys!

These buzzing magnets are sometimes known as Rattlesnake Eggs. These are anything but silent — the whole point is that they buzz against each other and make a lot of noise. They're fun and interesting and you can pretend that it's educational and talk about magnetic attraction.

These buzzing magnets are sometimes known as Rattlesnake Eggs. These are anything but silent — the whole point is that they buzz against each other and make a lot of noise. They're fun and interesting and you can pretend that it's educational and talk about magnetic attraction.

I once had an extremely agitated student who was completely soothed by a liquid motion toy like this. His mother seemed so mystified that I gave him the toy on the spot even though it was an "expensive" prize. Having raised an extremely challenging child myself, I wanted to help in any way I could and a Liquid Motion toy was the least I could do. I like to play with them, and the multicolored ones are the most satisfying and beguiling. Some of them are quite elaborate.

I once had an extremely agitated student who was completely soothed by a liquid motion toy like this. His mother seemed so mystified that I gave him the toy on the spot even though it was an "expensive" prize. Having raised an extremely challenging child myself, I wanted to help in any way I could and a Liquid Motion toy was the least I could do. I like to play with them, and the multicolored ones are the most satisfying and beguiling. Some of them are quite elaborate.

Silly Putty is one of those low-tech toys that we sometimes forget is still fun. Kids like the feel of it and because it's small and can be store in its little egg, you can use it as a travel toy. I recommend buying it in bulk as it's much cheaper.

Silly Putty is one of those low-tech toys that we sometimes forget is still fun. Kids like the feel of it and because it's small and can be store in its little egg, you can use it as a travel toy. I recommend buying it in bulk as it's much cheaper.

Hoberman Spheres are quiet toys, but they aren't exactly Fidget Toys. These are the small size ones which expand up to the size of a beachball. The extra large ones expand to the size of a chair. 

Hoberman Spheres are quiet toys, but they aren't exactly Fidget Toys. These are the small size ones which expand up to the size of a beachball. The extra large ones expand to the size of a chair. 

Magic Loops are a quiet, pleasant, endless movement toy. There are Amazon links here, but I'd recommend buying them somewhere else as they're completely overpriced and ridiculous on Amazon. Keep your eyes peeled at any Japanese or Chinese market if you're lucky enough to have them in your town. Daiso sometimes carries things like this as well.

Magic Loops are a quiet, pleasant, endless movement toy. There are Amazon links here, but I'd recommend buying them somewhere else as they're completely overpriced and ridiculous on Amazon. Keep your eyes peeled at any Japanese or Chinese market if you're lucky enough to have them in your town. Daiso sometimes carries things like this as well.

 The Rush Hour Game is one of a number of brilliantly designed games from ThinkFun. Each of these games has adjustable levels, so as one's skill increases, so can the challenge.

 The Rush Hour Game is one of a number of brilliantly designed games from ThinkFun. Each of these games has adjustable levels, so as one's skill increases, so can the challenge.