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Active & Therapeutic Activities for Children with ADHD

Active & Therapeutic Activities for Children with ADHD

Evidence-backed therapeutic activities for children with ADHD


A parent’s job is full of schedules and surprises. There’s the bake sale at school tomorrow morning you learn about an hour before bed (Rice Krispie Treats to the rescue!), or the way you love reading in bed instead of being the night owl you used to be (Jane Austen, anyone?). But if your child has ADHD, you may live by the beat of a different drum, and another surprise may be how many therapeutic activities for children with ADHD are out there.

Hopefully, the ideas here will add to your toolbox of therapeutic activities for children with ADHD and provide you with additional resources to help make life better.

Research-Backed Therapeutic Activities for Children with ADHD

Play with Music

01-active-and-therapeutic-activities-for-children-with-adhdDr. Robert Melillo, a professor and researcher, recommends playing with music as an activity to tap into the imaginative side of your child’s brain. Work with your child to create a piece of original music, remembering that this is a creative activity and not an audition for the Philharmonic. Alternatively, ask your child to create a dance or story to go along with a piece of music.

Play Video Games

Video games? Yes. You’ve heard over and over that kids get too much screen time. However, a recent study in the Journal for Medical Internet Research notes that games designed specifically as a treatment complement for ADHD may, in fact, help children with their social and behavioral skills.

Clearly, video games aren’t going to engage your child’s body, but the mind needs exercise, too. Use games as a reward or in conjunction with other physical activities to make the most of your resources.

Adopt a Dog

02-active-and-therapeutic-activities-for-children-with-adhdNo, your kid didn’t pay us to tell you this. There is extensive evidence that caring for a dog is good for your health in many ways. Dr. Sabrina Elayne Brierley Schuck, Ph.D. discovered that canine-assisted therapy helped improve social skills and reduced behavioral problems in children with ADHD.

In a review of multiple studies, Caroline Busch, of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, found that caring for a dog can help calm and motivate children with ADHD while also improving their social and cognitive skills. Dogs are good for you, too, as a parent! Pet owners tend to have lower cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, higher levels of serotonin, and reduced anxiety and stress levels.

Get Exercise

This is no surprise. Regular exercise is good for almost everybody. Exercise keeps your child’s body healthy, mind functioning, and blood pumping. Despite the busy schedules we keep, it isn’t that hard to fit exercise with your child into your day, and you don’t have to join an expensive gym to make it happen. Furthermore, if you and your child engage in activities together, you both benefit. So what can you do?

Take your dog for a long walk (yes, the dog you adopted because of tip number two). Take up jogging; there are some great “couch to 5k” programs for those of us who might not be natural athletes. Ride your bike to the grocery store. Start a pick-up soccer game on weekends. The goal is to find something that works for you and your child to keep the activity flowing in a directed and beneficial way.

Bounce on a Trampoline

03-active-and-therapeutic-activities-for-children-with-adhdYou just know we had to include this, but it’s not just because we love trampolines. The Center of Development in Cookeville, Tennessee, points out that sensory intervention, including exercising on a trampoline, improves impulsivity and hyperactivity in children with ADHD. Of course, it also happens to be a lot of fun, so you can’t go too wrong!

Additional Tips for Families of Children with ADHD

  • Join a support group.
  • Focus on the positive. Be sure to acknowledge good behavior, it’s good for you and your child.
  • Try your best to maintain a routine. We know life happens, and it’s not always possible, but knowing what to expect can help everyone function better.
  • Don’t forget to take care of yourself. Raising children is hard work. Take time to connect with your spouse, partner, and friends.
  • Even a 30-minute walk around the park can do wonders for your mental state.
  • Smile. You’re doing a good job, even if it doesn’t always feel that way.

Join us at Launch for our next VIP night which caters to children with ADHD and sensory disorders. Find out how much fun and beneficial a little Launch time can be! Find your nearest Launch location here.