Activities for ADHD
When planning activities for your ADHD child, you should consider activities that stimulate both her body and her brain. Children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder struggle with sitting still all day in school, so let your child run off her energy after school, be it in the back yard or on the playground. Children with ADHD benefit most from spending time outside and vigorous physical activity combined with social interactions.
The University of Illinois Human-Environment Research Laboratory states that to improve your child’s ADHD symptoms, you should interact as much as possible in parks and nature trails. So instead of heading to a carnival, hike along a nearby nature trail or go fishing in a designated creek, bringing along a picnic lunch. Divide nature time throughout the day, like eating lunch at the park and taking an evening jog to hear about your child’s day. The Illinois researchers also discovered that there was an improvement in grades for children whose bedroom was placed by a tree or a creek rather than a parking lot.
Physical Activity and Team Interactions
Since they have been cooped up all day, ADHD children have excess energy and benefit from vigorous aerobic exercise at least four times a week for about 40 minutes a day. Encourage your child to try swimming, where she will use both mental and physical capacities to learn new strokes as she becomes a fish in the water. Or enroll your child in a karate class, where she will learn different moves and kicks that require physical strength and mental concentration, while she interacts with other peers and adults.
Research a team sport that would work with your child and her ADHD. Typically, children with ADHD need sports that keep them active and moving throughout the activity, so consider soccer or basketball but avoid softball or volleyball, where the team stands around much of the time. In addition to physical activity, team sports will help your child learn proper social interactions and team work.
Sign your child up for the Scouts. In the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts, children learn structured activities and earn badges, often for physical activities such as exercise, learning how to survive in the wilderness or eating healthy. Your child will learn how to respect authority, interact with her peers to meet goals and have fun doing it.
If your child is not athletic, consider getting her involved in drama classes, so that she can still interact with others. Drama allows children with ADHD to pretend to be other characters and is a wonderful outlet for them to let out emotions in a proper setting.