Ripple Spinner for Mindfulness, Relaxation, Play
What are Ripple Spinners Helpful For?
In a word: Life! There's something awe-inspiring and fascinating about the motion, gentle sound, and joy of playing with a Ripple Spinner!
These small interactive works of art blend play, spirituality, and mindfulness, literally bringing us to our senses. Playing with a Ripple Spinner allows for somatic integration of hearing, touch, sight, motion (vestibular), body position (proprioception), and even the smell of wood. That's all of our 7 major senses, except taste!
Play the videos here to get more of an idea of what they do. The current videos are my own personal spinners, so they're somewhat beat up! Feel free to send us videos of your own Ripple Spinners once you get them. :)
They have so many uses: Focus, sleep, smoothing anxiety, easing tension in conversation, opening up to process trauma in therapy sessions, as a daily practice for mindfulness, increasing a sense of agency, setting the stage for honest conversation, to name a few. Based on our experience, they're also extremely helpful for calm and somatic integration for folks who are neurodivergent. We've even had people explore them in dance. That's a lot for one simple, but innovative toy!
I often turn to a Ripple Spinner to calm my body as my mind chews on a problem or works through a conflict. Somehow the interacting marbles adds a variable into the story that helps me shift and untie the mental knots. One person trying out the Ripple Spinner noted how useful this would be to quit smoking, because she could reach for this instead of a cigarette. Because of the real-world physics and instant feedback to small motions, I find it also makes an excellent replacement for electronic devices. Another person saw how useful it would be to ease anxiety for her mother with dementia and I know it's also useful for grief, which we all carry.
The Ripple Spinner Story: My husband, Tom Sire Clark, is a phenomenal artisan. A third-generation woodturner, he has been exploring by turning these shapes, reminiscent of a water droplet, on a lathe since the early 1970's, with more deliberate focus on seeing what qualities it reveals starting in the early 1990's. My curiosity and sense of play recently led me to realize that we could animate them with spheres, marbles, crystals, etc., and the Ripple Spinner was born!
We now have several around our house. I use them to focus, to meditate, and as an alternative to technology. Tom and I love showing each other new ways to play with the Ripple Spinners. It's like a gorgeous, mature, spiritual version of a fidget spinner, or a very tiny, less dangerous version of showing off tricks in a skate park.
As we were discovering that we were onto something, I shared them around, eager to see if people found them as fun as we do. They LOVED them! They urged us to make more of these. I'm even considering forming a non-profit to get these out into people's hands in a major way: school counselors, senior centers, prisons, in the hands of our political leaders, everywhere, really. I think they'll change the world.
Ripple Spinners are wonderful for parties because we humans often don't know what to do with our hands at those times. Here's what happened when I introduced the Ripple Spinners:
- A kindergartner adored the spinner and got his grandfather to play, for at least 30 minutes of connection, focus, fun, and giggles that neither will ever forget.
- Waiting for a graduation ceremony to begin, teenagers set down their phones to interact with the toy and each other, urging each other to do different tricks with it. "Did you see that?" Their mother saw the value immediately, and asked us where she could buy the Ripple Spinner, but we weren't selling them yet.
- A worried working dad with ADHD paused for 5 minutes to breathe and be present, a smile of awe coming to his face. "This would help me sleep!"
- A boy on the autism spectrum explored the heft of the spheres and how they spin, transfixed and enjoying himself among the guests.
- A therapist exclaimed, "I could use one of these in my practice."
- Some folks especially savor and comment on the texture and smoothness of the turned wood.
Whenever I've shared the spinners, each gathering became more connected and interactive, as people enjoyed this exploration of spinning beauty.
Why are These Sold Here on a Dog Site?
If you're here on the site because you know me as a dog trainer and author, you might be wondering why they're here. For one, we invented these. Also I love these and want everyone to have one. And finally, a calmer human leads to a calmer dog, and these are simply amazing. My dogs know it's Ripple Time and they settle down when I start to play.
Choosing your Ripple Spinner
We sell the Ripple Spinners here on the site in two sizes. Each one is uniquely crafted by an artisan on a lathe a work of art made in collaboration with the bones of the tree (wood), so we aren't precise in the measurements. The small is about 4-6 inches in diameter, a great travel size to go in backpacks. The Standard is about 8-10 inches across.
You can specify if you prefer a flatter one or a steeper one and if you want ripples or grooves. The small one in the video has one ripple and is more flat. The standard size in the video has no ripple and has steeper sides.
More on ripples and grooves: A ripple is like a rolling hill, it comes up out of the wood. A groove a sharp valley that is cut down into the wood. The Standard spinner shown here, for example, is one of my favorites, and it has no ripples or grooves, so the marbles can interweave in many different ways.
That said, I also like how the Small one has a ripple, so some spheres can be in the center and some on the outside. I find more than 1 ripple just makes it a lot of complication and my life is complicated enough as it is! But you may enjoy more than one, so we've given you the option of 2. Ripples/grooves are $10 each for the small, $15 each for the large.
We will include a few random marbles with your Ripple Spinner, and you can start collecting your own marbles, crystals, wooden balls, and other spheres! Please note that clear marbles or spheres are magnifiers for the sun, so don't leave them out in the sun on your Ripple Spinner. We learned that the hard way - you'll see a burn on our dark brown (Walnut) standard sized spinner in the video!
We Care: We care about this living earth and honor the trees. The wood is all sustainably and consciously harvested from dead or dying trees. Ripple Spinners are made with joy by local craftspeople in Oregon, USA under Tom's creative supervision. The choice of wood (tree species) and other factors are up to the team here, so you'll be getting a unique work of art made in collaboration with the trees. Every Ripple Spinner is different! We aren't Amazon, and these are made to order, so we thank you in advance for your patience! Expect it to be something like 1 month to get your Ripple Spinner.
Your purchase helps the world: This is a cottage industry for members of our local community, and all craftspeople are taught to a high standard and fairly paid. Plus we donate $5 from each small and $10 from each standard Ripple Spinner to organizations devoted to making the world a kinder, fairer place for all types of people and all beings. The beneficiary for the rest of 2023 is Grief to Action.
Ripple Makers: We plan on having online classes to extend the reach of this project, which are lovingly calling The Turning World. If you are a woodturner (or want to be) and would like to learn how to make Ripple Spinners, please contact us!
Pricing: The pricing at the top will change when you make selections below.