37 Things to Distract You on Endless Zoom Calls | 22 Words

By this point in the pandemic, most of us have mastered video calls as a substitute for hanging out in person -- and we're grateful for it. But those of us working from home have had more than our share of virtual meetings and are on the brink of Zoom burnout. How can we distract ourselves during endless Zoom calls? I've got some ideas!

How about occupying our hands with a cool fidget spinner or an infinity cube? Or we could sketch in a drawing pad or doodle with a 3D pen. We could also use the time to get a jump on our workout by toning our arms with this barbell and strengthening our legs with this pedal exerciser.

From fidget toys to doodling tools to artwork that cleanses your visual palate, here are 37 things to distract you on endless Zoom calls.

We hope you find these handy products as awesome as we do. Just an FYI: We participate in affiliate programs, and may receive a share of sales from links on this page.

The 12 sides of this fidget cube give you oh so many sensory experiences

Engage your senses with the rubber buttons, rotating joystick, sliding levers, massaging bumps and other features of this 12-sided gadget. Some of the actions are silent, while others are audible, so just be careful not to play with the louder gizmos while your Zoom microphone is unmuted. This fun, colorful toy comes with its own carrying case.

Roll this spring toy up and down your arms for a surprising sensory experience

This kinetic spring toy is like the sophisticated grandchild of the slinky. Instead of taking bold, flopping steps down the stairs like its ancestor, this gadget billows and flows smoothly up and down your arms like a ballerina made of air. Watch the product video and you'll be ordering one, I guarantee it.

This classic desktop balance art is a great distraction for Zoom calls

A metal balancing sculpture is classic desktop decor. But we've perhaps never had a better opportunity to fiddle with these interactive works of art than now, when we're all stuck on endless Zoom calls. This little steel balancing man is a great focal point for your energy while you're taking in what's being said on the call. Just tip him this way and that and watch him wobble but never topple.

This optical illusion spinner looks beautiful on your desktop

Unlike some spinners, this metal ball has a flat base and is designed to sit on your desktop rather than rotate in your hand. As it twirls, the etched swirls on the ball create an optical illusion, making it a mesmerizing focal point. Having something like this to look at occasionally during a Zoom call can help cleanse your visual palate after endlessly staring into the faces on your monitor.

Build a desktop tower with these balancing stones

Instead of spending your Zoom meeting stacking together office supplies to create Fort Stapler, why not get yourself a set of these colorful wooden stones that are actually meant for stacking. See how high you can build your own desktop Stonehenge. It's a soothing activity that'll free your mind to focus on the content of the call.

Get your whole body in on the Zoom call with these barbells

When you're stuck on an hours-long call, give your arms something to do by grabbing one of these barbells and working your biceps. It's a great way to get in some exercise while sitting in one place. Plus, the physical exertion will keep your blood flowing and your brain sharp. Just make sure your webcam is pointed directly at your face and not at your entire torso, or you may give your Zoom-mates an unexpected show.

This magic board lets you paint using just water

Add a touch of flair to your meeting-time doodling with the amazing Buddha Board. Just flip it open and the cover becomes a base for your easel. Fill the special brush with water and use it to "paint" images on the board. It's great for soft, fluid strokes that create the look of Japanese art. Have fun filling the board with artwork, and then watch as it slowly fades away over time, leaving a blank slate so you can start all over again. (Just be careful not to use it to take meeting notes or you'll be in trouble when it comes time to read them back.)

Give your eyes a break from the monitor by gazing at this surreal art print

Recent studies show that Zoom burnout is a real thing. Staring into another person's face on a screen for extended periods of time is not a natural way of communicating, and it can make it hard to concentrate on what's being said. That's why it can be good to give your eyes an occasional rest by looking away from the monitor and focusing on something else. This Salvador Dali art print would be a great visual palate cleanser. Just gaze at this surreal imagery while you continue to listen to what's being said, and you'll find you actually take in more info than you do while staring endlessly at the screen.

Sketch your way to increased focus with this drawing set

When it comes to meeting-time distractions, doodling is a classic. I have countless notebooks filled with sketches I made during business meetings. That might sound like I wasn't paying attention, but my notes for those meetings are extremely detailed. The doodling actually helped me focus. There's no reason this shouldn't work for a Zoom meeting, too. This drawing set gives you everything you need -- sketching and charcoal pencils, an eraser, two sharpeners and a drawing pad.

Pulling this stretchy noodle will help you focus

This five-pack of multi-colored stretchy noodles is just begging for you to take a tug. By directing your physical energy to this sensory activity, you'll free up your mental energy to focus on the Zoom call at hand. Each noodle is one foot long and stretches up to eight feet!

This groovy lava lamp will give you a psychedelic show while you Zoom-chat

Without distracting attention from your Zoom call, this lava lamp will give you something to look at besides the face staring back at you from the screen. It's a visual palate cleanser. Because the purple, red and yellow in the lamp are always swirling, you get a live show that's both soothing and refreshing. Kind of like a good stick of gum.

Bring this In the Garden coloring book to your next Zoom meeting

If you're in one of those long Zoom meetings where you're an unseen participant, this beautiful coloring book is a great way to get out your physical energy while focusing your mental energy on what's being discussed. Get out the colored pencils and go to town shading in the trees, birds, flowers and other inhabitants of the garden. This coloring book is rated 4.7 stars by more than 3,500 Amazon buyers!

You'll be mesmerized as this egg-shaped spinner flips itself upright

While on your next Zoom call, try spinning this ellipsoid top and see if you can get it to stand up on its own. When spun at a high speed, the egg shape miraculously shifts upright, demonstrating laws of physics that I won't pretend to understand. It's a fun little gadget that'll scratch that itch to fidget while Zooming.

Entertain yourself with the magic of a 3D pen

This 3D pen will let you bring your meeting-time doodles to life right before your eyes. If you don't need to take notes during your Zoom call, this pen could be a way to keep your hands busy and your mind focused on what's being said. As you use it, the "ink" will form 3D colored strands wherever you direct the pen. Draw yourself a little pet that you can hold in your hand!

Expand and contract this ball to ease tension and increase joy

Stressed-out by the anxiety-inducing content of your Zoom call? Go ahead and use this expandable ball to mimic the beating of your heart, opening and closing it rapidly for the entertainment of your Zoom-mates. Or if that's not a welcome stunt, just fiddle with it off-screen and enjoy the smooth movement from small to big and back again. The energy you use to fidget with the ball will actually calm you down and help you focus on the call at hand.

Mold these magnetic balls into all kinds of shapes and structures

Talk about tactile fun! This set of tiny magnetic balls is the perfect thing to fidget with while on a Zoom call. You can form them into shapes and mold them into sculptures. Then just smoosh them together and store them in their cute carrying case. They come in a bunch of different colors. (The purple set is my fave.)

Hone your concentration by spinning this dragon wing fidget toy

There's a reason fidget spinners are so popular with students who have ADHD. They help reduce anxiety and increase focus -- two benefits that make them great for Zoom calls, too. This one has a stainless steel center bearing with three rainbow-colored dragon wings attached. It spins silently, creating a colorful swirl.

Squeeze, toss and fiddle with this silicone-string ball

You probably know this toy as a Koosh, but since that's a brand name, we'll just call this one a squishy string ball. No matter what you call it, you know the feeling of those silicone strings tickling your palm as you toss one of these babies back and forth between your hands. You wish you have one in your hand right now, don't you? So do I. Get one before your next Zoom call!

The pretty colors of these pencils will perk your spirits as you Zoom-doodle

Get out your sketchbook or coloring book and go to town with this set of 72 colored pencils. I find coloring relaxing. It frees up my mind to think about things, meaning it's a great activity for a Zoom call. That is, if it's not distracting to others on the call. I'd certainly welcome someone coloring while chatting with me over Zoom. It'd be more natural than staring directly into each other's faces for an hour without break.

The metal gears on this fidget cube give it a unique steampunk feel

This gear fidget cube looks like something out of a machine factory. Made of shiny brass, it's got a cool industrial feel. You can hold it in your hand and spin the gears forward and backward. Or you can set it on the desk and twirl it like a top. Both ways, it makes for a satisfying activity to occupy your physical energy while you're focusing your mental powers on a Zoom call.

Keep the blood flowing and stay alert using this peddle exerciser

There's no reason being on a Zoom call should force you to remain absolutely still. In fact, it's better for you to get in a little movement and keep your blood flowing. This pedal exerciser is a great way to be active and engaged while still sitting at your monitor. Just slide it under your desk and pedal from your office chair. The physical movement in your legs won't distract from the call, and the increased heart rate will keep you alert and focused.

This set of knitting needles will be your perfect Zoom companion

Of all my hobbies, knitting is perhaps the one best suited for Zoom calls. I mean, as long as I'm knitting something simple like a scarf that requires only automatic movements and no counting of stitches. (Which is the kind of knitting I prefer anyway.) Whether you already know how to knit or whether you're just getting started, this set of 22 needles is the perfect all-in-one kit, at an amazing price. Just grab a ball of yarn and watch a quick YouTube video. You'll be all set to complete a potholder in the time it takes to have that morning Zoom meeting with your boss.

This hypnotic spinning disc will reset your mental energy on long calls

When you've had your fill of staring into your boss's face on your Zoom call, direct your attention to this visual treat. Spin the three-inch disk on the concave mirror base and the holographic foil will create a mind-bending show that'll have you entranced.

This Amazon buyer-fave drawing guide will teach you to make cute Kawaii doodles

The thing about doodles is, they're simple and take no brain power to produce. That's why they're the perfect activity to keep your hands occupied during a meeting. This book will teach you to do Kawaii doodles, which are those cute little smiling tacos, ice cream cones, rainbows and teacups. You can follow the step-by-step process to draw them while you're on a Zoom call. They're that easy and fun!

Relieve stress and keep yourself Zoom-focused with this fun infinity cube

This lightweight metal infinity cube can be folded, unfolded and flipped about to keep your fingers active while your mind is focused on that Zoom call. You can use it with a single hand, leaving the other one free to give a thumbs-up to your Zoom-mates. Choose from six cool colors, each with its own carrying case.

Shoot some mini hoops to relieve tension on your Zoom call

Since mini basketball hoops were invented, there've been office workers shooting hoops during meetings. There's no reason for that to change just because we're stuck working from home. If it won't be too distracting to your Zoom call, why not take some shots at this mini basket while chatting away? Or, if that's a bit too much activity for your call, mini hoops make a great tension reliever in between marathon Zoom sessions.

Create a menagerie of paper creatures with this origami kit

Instead of making paper airplanes out of Post-its, why not upgrade your paper-craft game by learning origami? This origami kit comes with 350 sheets of colorful paper and 25 easy origami patterns. Practice some basic shapes while on your next Zoom call. The next thing you know, your Zoom-mates will be putting in orders for your origami dinosaurs.

The squishy goodness of this golden putty will satisfy your tactile needs

This marvelous concoction is called Thinking Putty, which means it'll do wonders for your ability to participate meaningfully in that Zoom call. It's got extra-soft texture and is filled with gold glitter. That bling will surely impress your Zoom-mates. Stretch it, mold it, wear it as a hat: The glitter-putty possibilities are endless!

Smoosh your hand in this pin art desk toy

Ok, this might seem like a one-hit wonder, but it's amazing how much fidgety fun one can get out of a pin art toy. Use it to create a 3D sculpture of your hand, foot (maybe not while on camera), and all the accessories on your desk. The feel of the colorful little pins against the skin is addictive. You'll be playing with it all through your call.

This sleek hand roller is a simple, satisfying fidget tool

This fidget toy looks sophisticated, like a fancy gadget you'd find in an important person's briefcase. And in a way, it is. Just hold it in your hand and roll the aluminum bars one over the other in rhythm to massage your muscles and soothe your nerves. The repetitive motion will help you focus on your Zoom call, without distracting you or anyone else from the topic at hand.

This colorful plasma ball is something cool to look at alongside the Zoom screen

This isn't a crystal ball, but you can pretend it is. (Dear crystal ball, when will this Zoom call end?) This cool plasma ball makes a fun Zoom companion. It has two modes: One is a touch-sensitive blaze of multi-colored lights. The other responds to touch and sound, meaning it'll do a little show in response to the voices of your Zoom-mates.

Keep your hands busy and build strength at the same time with this workout kit

If you're looking for a fidget toy to use during Zoom calls, why not go for one that improves your strength and agility? These aren't exactly toys, but they're pretty fun to use, and will serve the same purpose as fidget spinners, but with added benefits. This set comes with a grip strengthener, a finger exerciser, a finger stretcher resistance band, a hand strengthener grip ring and a stress relief grip ball.

Stay Zen during stressful meetings with this desktop rock garden

When that Zoom call is getting you frazzled, just grab the mini rake and run it through the sand of your tiny rock garden. It'll transport you instantly to a more peaceful place. The bright pink tree and meditation statue are beautiful art for your desktop, and you'll have fun arranging the rocks and interacting with your little Zen retreat.

This exercise ball makes a great chair that engages your core

Stay fit and alert while navigating that endless Zoom call by sitting on this balance ball that keeps your core engaged. While focusing on the call, you can wiggle and sway to further strengthen core muscles and stay on top of your game. When the call finally ends, lay back over the ball and have a much-deserved stretch. You'll need it!

This classic game cube is great for Zoom fidgeting

This game cube probably reminds you of that famous one whose name I won't mention. This one, though, is fine-tuned for super-fast, super-smooth rotation. So if you're a cube master, you'll be able to solve this one in seconds flat. But even if you're a newbie, this toy is fun to play with and makes for a great distraction while stuck on a lengthy Zoom call. And if you're dying to figure out how to solve it once and for all, there's a cube solver app that'll walk you through it in 22 moves.

This flowing sand picture is interactive and soothing

Refresh yourself during a Zoom call by picking up this lovely moving art. Just tilt the frame this way and that, and watch the sand flow. It's like your own little beach in a box! Relax your eyes and give your emotional self a break while still listening to the call. This refocus of your visual energy will surprise you by giving you a greater ability to engage in what's being said.

Flick, spin and dangle this yoyo while tackling that dreaded Zoom call

In a way, yoyos were some of the original fidget toys. They're great for getting out nervous energy and fine-tuning motor skills. When you're on an endless Zoom call, try doing some basic one-handed yoyo tricks that'll keep you entertained. (Or at least help you avoid falling asleep.)