5 Amazing Activities
For Kids With ADHD
Parenting a child who has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder comes with a unique set of issues that multiply the challenges of parenthood exponentially. It can feel as though you are constantly trying to find ways to keep their body and brain busy while also trying to get done what you need to do in the day.
Here are a few enriching and engaging activities for kids and ADHD that can help your child with ADHD feel productive and confident, while also having fun.
Structured movement activities
Children with ADHD often can feel as though they have a lot of energy to burn. For some, this can be paired with difficulty following directions or working cooperatively which can make team sports a challenge. If this is the case for your child, one way to help fulfill their social and fitness goals can be helping them find access to more structured activities like tae kwon do, yoga, or tennis. These types of structured movement activities allow them to work alongside others, for the benefits of being part of a team while also providing a great outlet for energy.
Card and board games
Card games and board games are a great way to practice following rules, waiting your turn, and being a good sport, but are sometimes so long and detailed that even adults have difficulty getting to the finish line. (Monopoly, anyone?) There are also plenty of games that follow simple rules and that can be played fairly quickly. Look into games that have a time limit or move quickly, like Uno, Skip-Bo, Pictionary, Twister, or Pick Up Sticks. This shorter amount of time can help your child feel more successful as they do not need to focus as long to play.
Art and imagination
Children who have ADHD often think outside of the box and have a unique perspective that is very valuable. Experiment with providing different art supplies and asking your child to come up with a plan for using them. Art projects are great activities to help practice executive function, or the ability to plan ahead, stay organized, and finish an intended task.
Using dress up clothes, Legos, blocks, and toys that encourage free play are also beneficial to help your child practice executive functioning skills like planning but can also provide a positive outlet to release energy. Consider offering one activity at a time, to help your child focus on the task at hand and to prevent them from feeling overwhelmed with options.
Fresh air, sunshine, and exercise are all important elements of good physical and mental health. Activities like a nature-based scavenger hunt can help kids improve their observation skills and attention spans, while still allowing space to play. Jumping rope, hula hooping, biking, or playing a game of catch or hopscotch can build motor skills while helping to get their energy out. Even lying on a blanket while watching the clouds can become a lesson in mindfulness.
Note from Mightier Clinicians
Helping children with ADHD find activities that feel successful for them may take time and may require a bit of extra energy, but it is crucial in developing confidence and building relationships. Work with your child and discuss what works for them best to find something that feels positive, fun, and productive for your family.