Activities for Kids With ADHD
Whether we want a way for our kids to use some excess energy, or if we are looking for organized activities that not only help our children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) burn energy but also help with social skills, there are all kinds of activities to try.
There is no one activity that every ADHD child will love. Everyone has their own tastes, but activities such as organized sports, teams and organizations, indoor and outdoor play, and art therapy can be a place to start.
Organized Sports for Kids With ADHD
Some kids excel in the arena of organized sports, whether they are team sports like soccer, basketball, or football, or individual sports like martial arts, running, swimming, or archery.
When my daughter was little, she could not sit still. Ever. She could not stop talking. Ever. We exhausted new ideas every day and needed something more.
She had a movie about kids taking martial arts, and she was mesmerized by it. She would re-enact the scenes until I looked around and found a studio nearby that had classes for younger kids.
From day one she would sit at attention and hang on every word in complete silence and stillness while children older than she would get antsy, and start wriggling or whispering. It was the only thing I ever saw her give her undivided attention to.
I hated when I had to take her out, but it showed me that if I could find activities that she was interested in, that it was possible to help her with focus while also finding an outlet for her energy.
I think soccer is a great organized activity for kids of any age. Not only is it very active, but being outside is an advantage. My daughter has played soccer all through school, and benefits not only from being part of a team but the intense exercise as well.
Other children enjoy baseball. For my child, softball was too slow paced. She would get distracted and start daydreaming. I know other kids that are passionate about the game and can concentrate easily when they play.
Any activity that gets our kids outside and moving is a good thing.
Maybe your child isn’t into soccer, baseball, or football. There are great indoor sports that are good exercise and help them learn to be part of a team, such as basketball or volleyball.
Team sports, whether outside or inside, can be great for our kids. It can give them a chance to be part of something, and also have them work on their social skills and their ability to focus and learn to work with others.
Team sports can be challenging for our kids too. The very reasons that make them great also make them difficult. Working with others, taking turns, focusing, and listening to coaches; these things can be difficult for our children.
Know your child. If something interests them, they are far more likely to do well than in a sport they don’t love. Unfortunately, sometimes we don’t know what our kids love until they try it – and if it doesn’t go well, the negative experience can be hard for them as well as for us.
It is also common for those with ADHD to be passionate about something for a little while, and then become disinterested as a new passion takes its place. I struggle with this myself. I try to insist if my daughter begins something as part of a team, she has to see the season at least through.
Indoor Activities for Kids With ADHD
Sometimes all we need is something fun to do when our kids need to blow off some steam.
- Balloon games
- Nerf gun fights
When my daughter was little, any one of these things could be used to help her with all that excess energy. Now some still come in handy as tools to use for study breaks or any time she’s restless. Nerf guns stay loaded in the closet, and a pack of balloons is always in a drawer.
Outdoor Activities for Kids With ADHD
If the weather is nice, getting outside is the best for focus. Running in the grass, playing tag, hiking a scenic trail, or playing at the pool are a few things our kids can do outside. The possibilities are endless.
I think sometimes we disregard the importance of simple play. We rush around to find things to involve our children in which can become costly and time-consuming.
Clubs, Teams, and Organizations
There are many different organized activities for kids and teens to try. Scouts are good for a lot of kids. Our experience with Girl Scouts wasn’t a fun one, but that’s not the case for many, who join scouts and excel!
There is also dance, drama, art, and music! Any of these can be a fantastic outlet for our creative kids!
Art Therapy for Kids With ADHD
Art therapy can be an amazing tool. Through art therapy, children with ADHD can learn to express their feelings and emotions, while enjoying the act of creating something unique.
While you can have your child see a professional for Art Therapy, and many find this to be a wonderful experience, you can also help your child create at home.
Drawing or painting about their day or feelings, realistically or abstractly, can help your child learn to express themselves. This can also open the door for some genuine conversation between you and your child.
All Activity Is an Outlet for ADHD Children
From playing in the park or backyard to more organized activities, there is always something to do with your child that is fun and good for them too!
Depending on your child’s age, circumstances, and what you hope to accomplish in an activity, there are many different options for parents of ADHD children that will meet the needs of your child.