You know what they say: All work and no play makes for a very cranky employee.
But how many people actually have opportunities for play on the job? Besides, of course, the lucky few people who work at companies that have basketball courts, ping-pong tables, and video games in the office.
So, because I believe every worker deserves at least one desk toy that helps him or her relieve stress and get back on track, I’ve compiled the ultimate list of gadgets and gizmos that’ll keep you entertained for hours. OK, maybe don’t play with them for hours (or else we’ll both get in trouble).
1. Magnetic Dinosaur Sculpture, $5
Stack them up to create a true work of art—or just a jumble of animals.
2. Mini Buddha Board, $13
Confession: I have one of these on my desk, and it’s the most amazing toy. You don’t have to be afraid to doodle what you wish (no matter your artistic abilities), because it fades as soon as you start drawing.
3. Chinese Meditation Balls, $5
Rolling these between your fingers is both refreshing and produces a soothing sound to calm your nerves.
4. Light Bulb Stress Ball, $2
Squeeze out your best ideas yet!
5. Jeliku Puzzle, $3
This little puzzle will distract you just enough to refocus and relax.
6. Henry Desk Vacuum, $25
If you’re like me and need to clean when you’re overwhelmed, Henry is your guy. This mini vacuum will suck away all your troubles—and some dust bunnies.
7. Crazy Aarons Thinking Putty, $13
You’re never too old to play with putty—and not only that, it’s great for thinkers.
8. Scalp Massager, $2
Rather than throwing money into a real massage, scratch your head all by yourself while you ponder your thoughts.
We learned that coloring books are great for combating anxiety—but have you tried this very accurate one yet?
10. Dream Cheeky USB Stress Ball, $40
The stress ball just got cooler. This one connects to a USB and simulates your motions on your computer, allowing you to take your anger out on your work without actually ruining anything.
11. Desktop Cornhole, $11
A fun game, just a bit fun-sized for your desk.
12. Kneadable Eraser, $2
For those who are always chewing on pencils or peeling off labels in anxious moments, these erasers will survive through all your bad habits.
13. Mini Magnetic Fishing Game, $6
Test your fishing skills with this miniature carnival game.
14. USB Aromatherapy Diffuser, $20
Pick your favorite scent and plug this in to your computer to fill your workspace with comforting smells.
15. Mini Desktop Arcade Game, $28
Wishing you could play video games in the office? Your wish is my command—just don’t let your boss catch you.
16. Lazy Bones Skeleton, $16
Watch this guy fall over and come back together again and remind yourself that you too can pick yourself up in stressful times. (Deep, I know.)
17. 3D Pin Art, $22
Relive your childhood with this classic desk toy (if you stick your face on it we won’t judge).
18. Fingerboard, $8
Another throwback that’ll keep you (and your fingers) entertained for way too long.
Previously an editor for The Muse, Alyse is proud to prove that yes, English majors can change the world. She’s written almost 500 articles for The Muse on anything from productivity tips to cover letters to bad bosses to cool career changers, many of which have been featured in Fast Company, Forbes, Inc., CNBC's Make It, USA Today College, Lifehacker, Mashable, and more. She calls many places home, including Illinois where she grew up and the small town of Hamilton where she attended Colgate University, but she was born to be a New Yorker. In addition to being an avid writer and reader, Alyse loves to dance, both professionally and while waiting for the subway.More from this Author