Play-Doh or Play Dough
Whether you buy the branded version or make it at home, Play-Doh is a great option for younger children. Choose a simple set, and encourage them to get creative. Get out your rolling pin and cookiecutter and let their imagination run wild. They have plenty of it! That way they won’t get frustrated if things don’t come out exactly as it says on the box.
Again, choose a simple set without complicated instructions or without instructions at all. Aiming to complete a lengthy task will only cause frustration. Freestyling allows kids with ADHD to create simple structures within a short period of time gaining gratification and a sense of accomplishment.
Books with short stories or chapters can beread together at night. Read to your child or have them read to you. The shorter the better to help retain focus and attention.
Puzzles & Simultaneous Tasks
Something as simple as a floor puzzle (or three) will help your child build confidence. Choose a simple or very recognisable pattern to avoid frustration. Having more than one puzzle available simultaneously allows your child to switch back and forth, keeping them engaged longer overall.
Social skills, such as taking turns and not interrupting, require patience and practice for any child, but even more so fora child with ADHD. You can help them hone their turn-taking skills by challenging them with games that require them to practice it. Still, it needs to be tailored to the child.
“Figure out where your child is functioning and challenge her slightly above that level," says occupational therapist Heidi Tringali, of Tringali Occupational Therapy Services in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Remote control cars are great for this. Build an obstacle course in your garden or lounge and take turns completing it within an allotted time. Making the time appropriate for the player will give a sense of fulfillment on completion and reduce frustration. Adjust the time to suit the skill level, reducing it as they become more proficient. You can even create an obstacle race and play team tag if you have 2 remote control cars on different Mhz frequencies (such as 27Mhz and 40Mhz), or on 2.4Ghz which canrace up to 10 cars. The options are endless.
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Games that require calm engagement
If your child is more the inattentive type you may want to engage him socially. He or she is probably more attracted to isolated activities, so games that involve quiet turn-taking such as Draughtsor Chinese Checkers challenge them to engage socially without the intensity.
If your child is more hyperactive, then movement-based games will go down a treat. Things like Tag or Frisbee which keep them in constant motion or Twister which requires some staying power. An outdoor obstacle course on a Space Hopper will definitely have the whole family in stitches and can help your child work on turn-taking skills and increase their confidence too.
If the weather doesn’t permit, try bowling. The added weight handling the ball helps children with ADHD to feel calmer and better able to focus afterward.
Experts would like us to believe that there is no “cure” for ADHD and ADD. But at the same time, they prescribe drugs to mask the symptoms eventually causing worse overall health while not getting to the root of the problem. Proper nutrition and detoxification coupled with emotional and psycho-social therapies can definitely go much further to “curing” ADHDthan prescription drugs.
Appropriately challenging your child with toys and play that engage, develop and fulfill is one psycho-social therapy that doesn't have to cost the earth and brings great family bonding moments too.