"Don't just stand there twiddling your thumbs!"

If you've ever been accused of twiddling your thumbs, it means you have been sitting or standing by idly. Doing nothing. For to twiddle one's thumbs is to wait for something to happen. To waste time. To become a nonproductive member of society. Nonetheless, thumb-twiddling is also an exercise in hand-eye coordination and fine movements of dexterity.

How to twiddle your thumbs: First thing, establish the fact that you have at least two thumbs (opposability helps!). This is a requisite for the activity of thumb twiddling. Next, bring your hands out in front of you so they are side by side. Hold your hands in the air so that your palms are facing eachother and your fingers point away from you. Interlock your fingers and keep them interlocked but pull your palms away so your thumbs have some room to maneuver. Now move the bottom joint of each thumb in forward circular motions so each thumb goes around the other but they do not make contact. Congratulations! You are now twiddling your thumbs!

Variations:
  • Varying speed
    Try to see how fast you can twiddle your thumbs! You can also try to see how slowly you are able twiddle your thumbs, although this seems not to be as fun.
  • Varying direction
    Once you have become proficient in the forward motion, try to change direction so that your thumbs are making small circles towards you instead of away from you.
  • Twiddling someone else's thumbs
    Have your volunteer hold their arms and hands in the thumb twiddling position in front of you. Reach out and grab their thumbs (without disturbing their hand positions) and move their thumbs so as to create the circular motions.

When to twiddle your thumbs: You can twiddle your thumbs when you have nothing else to do. You can twiddle your thumbs when you don't feel like doing anything else. You can twiddle your thumbs to show off your skills to peers and potentials. You can twiddle them here or there. You can twiddle them anywhere. Twiddle your thumbs inside a house. Twiddle your thumbs there with a mouse. You can twiddle in a box. You can twiddle with a fox!* Okay..you get the point. Spread the news.


*rhyme scheme courtesy of Dr. Seuss

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