Best Toys for Kids with ADHD
For any child, the best gifts are those that are tailored to their individual interests. But, if you are looking for a great gift for the child in your life with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD), or simply want to know more about toys for kids with ADHD, there may be a few extra things to consider.
Play to Their Strengths
Realizing a child’s individual set of strengths and giving gifts to enhance those natural tendencies will ensure a gift a child with ADHD will enjoy. What do they like to do? What do they dislike?
For the young child that loves to explore outdoors, Backyard Safari makes some wonderful toys that not only help build imagination but are also great learning tools. Backyard Safari has a gadget that will safely vacuum bugs into a magnified chamber for a child to study up close and then release. This is just one offering that a child curious about the world around them might enjoy. For a curious child always on the go, this type of toy will be a hit versus something more complicated and tedious such as a puzzle.
When my daughter was younger, she had the idea in her head that she was supposed to like puzzles, but they frustrated her. If they were age appropriate, the activity gave her anxiety. She was much happier with more active learning toys, or even raw tools and materials to come up with her own inventions.
However, I’ve met many kids with ADHD that love puzzles — and I also loved them, but your child definitely has to have a knack for them. Puzzles are probably more suitable for those with inattentive type than hyperactive type.
A Few Ideas
What would be some good choices for a child with ADHD?
- Fidget Toys: these can be quite popular among children with ADHD. These types of toys can give them something to do with their hands at times when they need to sit or be quiet, such as at the doctor’s office. In some instances, when teachers are amenable, they can even be used in the classroom to help promote better attention.
- Board Games: if you stick to games that are fast paced and take a relatively small amount of time to play, board games can be fun for those with ADHD. Think Sorry!, Chutes and Ladders, or Hisss instead of Monopoly.
- Costumes: having ADHD can also come with loads of imagination. A big box or trunk full of costumes and dress-up gear can lend itself to anything, including maybe even being treated to a show, written, directed and starred in by your creative child!
- Play Doh and Kinetic Sand: these deceptively simple toys can be great for our children with ADHD. Both can be great sensory toys, especially the kinetic sand. These toys produce relatively little mess, and again, creativity and imagination can rule play time. Keep it simple and allow your child’s natural creativity to shine. My child had more fun with some tubs of Play Doh and cookie cutters than any of the kits out there.
- Instant Camera: while this can be a great gift, it might be best suited for a child who is a little older; film can get expensive if your child decides to snap 42 pictures of their big toe. Yes, that is something my child would do on the phone or iPad, so she definitely did not get the instant camera until she was older.
- Hopper Balls: if you are looking for something fun to take outside and burn off some energy, these are great. My child loved them. A family Hopper Ball race, perhaps?
- Cozy Phones: I have not yet used these myself but feel they must be included in this list. Cozy Phones are soft, stretchy headbands (many with cute animal designs) with very thin speakers inside. What a great invention! They look really comfortable and easy to wear. I’m ordering
one for myself ASAP.
- Video Games: my child was never much into video games, but for many kids with ADHD, they are a favorite. The downside to video games is that you want to avoid too much screen time, of course, but if used responsibly, they can be very enjoyable for your child and make a great gift.
The Best Gifts Always Match the Child
Growing up, we all had that one relative who gave the worst gifts. From ugly sweaters, games that were way too young, to things we had no interest in, these gifts sat for a while before being quietly donated elsewhere.
There is always the tendency to pick something for our children that we wish they enjoyed or want them to like, but they just don’t. I learned the hard way to stop buying those craft kits for my daughter; she loved arts and crafts but hated those. A box of supplies for her to do her own thing with, instead of trying to copy whatever creation was in the box, was much better received.
Wanting her to experience all the same books I did as a child was also a failure. We didn’t have the same tastes. Knowing what books would hold her interest over those I just wanted her to read made a big difference.
Gift giving is an individualized, personal thing. I always make an effort to truly find a gift I think any child will actually use and enjoy, but if you are looking specifically for toys for kids with ADHD, hopefully the ideas here can get you started.