Are you a parent or a teacher looking for some fun and healthy activities for ADHD children? If so, you are certainly not alone. The rigors and constriction of a typical school day can be difficult for any child to manage, but it is especially toilsome for ADHD children—children who struggle with symptoms of hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention. However, once the school day is completed, there are many activities for ADHD children that can help them unwind from their busy day at school, activities that can significantly improve their ADHD symptoms and the behavior that accompanies them. To help you schedule some of these activities for your child, in this article we will list 7 fun activities aimed to help children recoup and recover from the long school day—activities for ADHD children that have proven effective in managing problem behavior.
7 Fun Activities for ADHD Children
While it might be tempting to park your ADHD-affected child in front of the television after school, or allow him/her to engage in countless hours of video game play, ADHD experts say these activities can be counterproductive, worsening a child’s symptoms over the long-term. Children with ADHD need physical activities that can help them expend some of their pent up and excess energy, as well as focus-related activities–activities that are of interest to the child—that can ultimately help improve the symptoms of inattention.
Some of the positive activities for ADHD children after school include:
- Martial Arts Classes. Classes in the martial arts, including karate, tae kwon do and judo, involve intense mental and physical activity, and teach discipline that can help improve impulsive symptoms in children. Positive role models and plenty of opportunities for peer building round out the reasons why martial arts classes are a perfect after school activity for ADHD children.
- Boy/Girl Scouts. The Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts programs are the perfect activity release for children with ADHD. Scouting involves physical stimulation and highly structured activities, which are ideal for ADHD children who typically perform better in a structured environment.
- Team Sports. Team sports—baseball, football, soccer, etc.—teach teamwork, fairness and the importance of physical activity and staying in shape. Team sports are generally led by a respected role model, someone who teaches the value of cooperation, taking turns and following rules—all important skills for the ADHD child to learn.
- Swimming. Swimming, at home or in a public pool, is a great physical release for the ADHD child, and one of the best forms of exercise. An hour or two of swimming each day can help release some of the pent up energy in hyperactive children, leading to a more restful night’s sleep.
- Art or Music Classes. Expressive activities such as art or music classes give students the opportunity to be creative and free. They involve concentration, which is often difficult for the ADHD child, but by performing a task that is of interest to them ADHD children will learn the importance of concentration and focus, which could then transfer also to their schoolwork and homework.
- Drama Clubs. Trying to conform to the rules and structure of a typical school day can be a challenge for the ADHD student, but after school, when participating in drama clubs, children will have many opportunities for self expression through acting. Acting also teaches children the value and importance of concentration and discipline.
- Organized Play. When play is unstructured, especially when there are many participants, it can be difficult for ADHD children to form the necessary relationships required for inclusion. However, when parents structure activities for children, with measurable timeframes and rules, ADHD children tend to be much more successful and are more apt to participate.
All of these after-school activities for ADHD children are perfect for managing some of the troublesome symptoms of their disorder. They allow plenty of opportunities for physical release, and because the activities interest them, they improve children’s focus and concentration as well.