For those who care for children with ADHD, finding the right activities can be a struggle. Luckily we're sharing 5 that are perfect for active little ones.
ADHD can be a struggle in many areas of life, especially for kids.
Once the diagnosis is made, it is important to know how to best support them.
Crafting well-designed activities for kids with ADHD can produce positive outcomes in their confidence, provide healthy outlets for energy, and increase focusing abilities.
1) Hiking and Biking
These activities provide 100% time-on-task.
Team sports athletes often experience periods of standing around, waiting their turn or watching others practice a technique.
Being outdoors provides constant stimulus from the changing environment whether on foot or pedal.
And, hiking and biking require full-body coordination which requires a lot of focus.
2) Board Games
Traditional board games provide incremental challenges, a clear goal, and require focus.
Depending on the age of the child, the number of players may matter. For instance, a younger child with ADHD may not have the capacity to wait for his or her turn while 4 other players go.
So be sure to consider attention span capacity before inviting the whole family to join.
Plus, as the game progresses, and the child experiences some success, the opportunity increases for the child to internalize the connection between sustained effort and reward.
Running, whether outdoors or indoors, provides multiple levels of stimuli and pace.
In addition to the physical demands and coordinated focus that running demands, physical surroundings and any music being listened to can help satisfy an active body and mind.
Studies have shown that running can assist with memory, attention, and sensory processing.
Music has long been known as a wonderful stimulus, activator, and synapse connector.
For a child with ADHD, learning to play a musical instrument provides ample opportunity to utilize fine motor skills, coordination, and grow attention spans.
Learning to read music and produce a sound on an instrument is complex, but also achieved with incremental practice, providing both challenge and reward regularly.
For those kids who like music, but for issues of dexterity, attention, or capacity learning to play an instrument isn't possible, listening to music can be beneficial too.
Consider dusting off your old vinyls, telling your child stories about when you first heard the band or bought the album, showing him or her the relevancy of the album or sleeve artwork, and talking about the role of technology in music.
Or, crank up the iTunes and ask your child to identify different instruments or sounds.
The goal here is to turn listening to music from a passive activity into an active one.
5) Scavenger Hunts
On the rainy day when all the kids are home, a scavenger hunt can save the day! Scavenger hunts, when well-planned, keep the minds and bodies of ADHD kids busy.
Remember to take into account the age of the child, what their attention span is, and what really keeps their interest.
This will vary from kid to kid, but typically a variety of items, a large space to cover, and diversity in types of clues can keep the hunt going for hours.
If you live in a family neighborhood, you might be able to work with other parents make it a multi- house or yard event, complete with weather appropriate items, and spotters to make sure no one strays.
Another possibility with scavenger hunts is to have kids work in teams.
Living with ADHD isn't easy, but with some planning, these activities can help engage the brain and the body.
Contact Provo Pediatrics today for additional resources!