21 Fun-Filled Indoor & Outdoor Activities For Children With ADHD

A child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has a shorter attention span, which could hinder their day-to-day activities. Therefore, after-school activities that can enhance their attentive skills are valuable. In addition, these activities may also help them drain their extra energy and channel it better.

Here, we bring activities for kids with ADHD that can be conducted indoors and outdoors. These activities range from light, fun activities to exhausting yet entertaining physical activities.

21 Activities For Kids With ADHD

To make these games more interesting, you may also introduce some props.

10 Outdoor Activities For Kids With ADHD

Connecting with nature while having fun can provide peacefulness, relaxation, and the daily physical exercise for children. So find out the interesting outdoor activities besides the usual running and biking activities from the list below.

1. Group activities

Group activities for kids with adhd

Activities such as gymnastics, martial arts, yoga, or tennis are a good option for children with ADHD to expend their energy. Structuring such activities also helps them avoid any confusion and provides better access to the activity. Furthermore, these activities form the basis for socializing and forming new friend groups. Start weekly and observe your child’s comfort level to create new activities as time progresses.

2. Independent activities

Independent activities for kids with adhd

Not just group playtime activities, even independent ventures can help them channel their energy in the right direction. These may include activities such as riding, swimming, or running. Independent activities could be a preferable choice for those children who find socializing and large groups overwhelming. These activities also reflect on improving self-control skills. Set targets on distance or number of laps to make these activities more interesting.

3. Treasure hunt

Treasure Hunt activities for kids with adhd

A scavenger hunt is an activity that provides unlimited access to creativity. Your child can play it indoors and outdoors. You could also club treasure hunt with other activities of your child’s choice. It could be a fun way to expel excess energy by including intense activities, such as running or jumping.

4. Trampoline

Trampoline activities for kids with adhd

With safety precautions, a trampoline is an interesting outdoor activity. Side-tracking the basic jumping routine on a trampoline, you could play catch with your child while they are hopping on the mat. You could also have a group trampoline activity where a person sits in the center with arms and knees close to their heart and the rest jump around trying to move their position. Simultaneously, you could also try trampoline basketball if team sports are of your child’s interest.

5. Chores

Doing Chores activities for kids with adhd

There are several outdoor house chores that can be converted into an activity such as gardening, washing a car, painting the fence, or even fixing the roof if they are old and worn out. These activities could also aid in teaching them responsibility and discipline. You could also use these activities to connect and bond with your child.

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6. Bubble blowing contest

Bubble Blowing Contest activities for kids with adhd

Bubble blowing is a stress-busting experience for children and adults. You may create your soap solution and a blower (which could be an activity on its own) or get a pre-made pack from the market. It is a simple activity, and all that your child would need is strength to blow and pop the bubbles. To make it even more fun, start a competition within the family on who gets to blow and pop more bubbles. You could also check who could blow the biggest bubble.

7. I spy

I Spy activities for kids with adhd

The game I spy can be played indoors and outdoors. Although the game is simple, it tests your child’s descriptive and cognitive skills. You and your child could take turns to find who’s hiding. Make running and other deemed physical activities a part of the game to make matters more fun.

8. Puddle jump

Puddle Jump activities for kids with adhd

If rains soothe your child, then keep their raincoats ready for the next time, as jumping in puddles could be a relaxing activity that they may enjoy. Although it may seem messy, jumping in puddles with no care about the world or staining their dress could be a fun way to blow off the trapped energy. You could also use this nature’s therapy session to organize a rain-themed dance party and help them develop their social skills.

9. Water balloon games

Water Balloon Games activities for kids with adhd

There are several water balloon games your child could use to disburse their extra energy. They can participate in games involving water balloons – such as fights, painting, catches, or playing dodge ball with it. The preparations of this game could be an activity too. Fill the balloon with colorful or plain water and let the children practice their throwing skills. The next day, you could also do an activity after cleaning up the trash.

10. Imaginative play

Imaginative Play activities for kids with adhd

By combining creativity skills and obstacle games, you could create your own imaginative outdoor play for your child. Place any item you or your child could find on the path, and imagination takes the lead. Add in many riddles, with some physical activity in, and your child would be preoccupied for hours fulfilling the rules of the game.

11. Horseback riding

Horseback riding

If your child loves adventures, horseback riding can be a game changer. Children often admire horses for their strength, agility, and beauty. While some may adore the animal from a distance, others may want to have a ride on the horse. Horses and humans have been friends since ancient times, and this holds true even today, especially for children. The bonding is soothing for children with ADHD, as horses are said to respond to both verbal and nonverbal communication. Horse riding itself requires discipline, concentration and dedicated effort that may have a calming effect on children.

12 Indoor Activities For Kids With ADHD

Besides the classic indoor games such as puzzles, scrabble, and other board games, there are more fun and interesting options to explore from the list below.

12. Tune-up the house

Tune-up the house activity for kids with adhd

Music is therapeutic, and you could use this as a means for your child to express their extra energy. Every time you feel like your child is getting diverted, play some soothing music to calm them down or start a dance party to expend that energy. Dancing to tunes and singing along could improve their focus and vocabulary skills while simultaneously lightening up the house. You could also play their music playlist while they help around the house in cooking or cleaning.

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13. Mask Tape Games

Mask tape game activity for kids with adhd

A masking tape could be used in multiple ways to make indoor environments lively. Stick the tape around the house in multiple patterns: zig-zag, straight, or curved to create your obstacle course. Pair these tasks with household chores and physical activities, such as jumping, hopping, crawling, or running for more fun. In the end, you could ask your child to clear up the tape.

14. Balance board

Balance board activity for kids with adhd

A balance board is a low-investment option for a child with ADHD to release some energy. It doesn’t involve a huge setup and is a one-time purchase. A balance board can be found in most children’s toy stores and is available online too. All your child needs to do is balance the plank by steadying their feet on this mini-seesaw. Although minimalistic, balance boards help improve posture, cognitive abilities, balance, and sensory skills and promote mindfulness.

15. Egg race

Egg race activity for kids with adhd

The egg on a spoon game could be played indoors too, and it is even more challenging this way. Since a house is packed with furniture and fixtures, this simple game could be made into an obstacle course. This game improves their motor skills and balancing abilities.

16. Bubble wrap games

Bubble wrap game activities for kids with adhd

A bubble wrap has been gaining popularity for being therapeutic, and it is not just by popping the bubbles; there are several other ways you could use it to help your child focus. For instance, spread the sheet across the floor and ask your child to pop it with their feet; you could also have a choreographed routine for this activity. These popping sessions would help them navigate their energy levels.

17. Balloon games

Balloon game activities for kids with adhd

There are a plethora of games your child could play indoors using balloons. While blowing them is an activity, other games such as balloon basketball and volleyball are variations you could try. Another variation you could try is hitting balloons while on an exercise ball. If your child is alone and is looking for an independent game, they could engage in bouncing the balloon off the wall or ceiling or playing balloon tennis with it.

18. Hula hoop games

Hula hoop game activities for kids with adhd

Hula hoops are one-time investments and could be a medium for many games. They are also a great aerobic exercise. The primary activity of hula hooping is fun. After your child has mastered this, you could pair this with simple aerobic exercises. For example, add in more hula-hoops and challenge each other on who could keep the hoop(s) in motion the longest. If you want to make this even more challenging, make hula hooping a part of an obstacle course.

19. Exercise ball

Exercise ball activities for kids with adhd

An exercise ball is an interesting prop to help your child focus while letting them blow some steam off. This inexpensive prop is a one-time investment and is versatile too. Even simple bouncing on the ball could be therapeutic. Alternatively, you could ask them to lay the ball on their stomach and see how well they could work on their balancing skills.

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20. Word games

Word game activities for kids with adhd

You could pair up word games with physical activities. Take the classic word games such as charades, scrabble, and word building, and add a physical touch so that your child stays focused. On finishing two words, they perform a song or play with a jumping rope. You could also have games for the alphabet. For instance, using the alphabet k should follow by an exercise ball. These games could build up their vocabulary and help them stay focused on the play.

21. Arts and crafts

Arts and crafts activities for kids with adhd

These ideas could never be missed in any activity lists. There is so much your child could do indoors: mandalas, finger-painting, coloring sheets, weaving, model making, etc. Arts and crafts would assist your child in improving their hand-eye coordination, observational and crafting skills and boost creativity. You could also try pairing them with physical activities if your child finds sitting around a chair boring.

22. Card games

Card games

Card games are a great way to keep your child engaged and focussed. This is a relaxed activity that exercises their brains. Card games such as Go fish, Solitaire, Uno, and Memory can help your child improve memory and concentration.

23. MadLibs

Another great indoor activity to do with your child with ADHD is MadLibs. It is a word game that requires you to fill in the blanks with word suggestions given by the audience. The passage is then read out loud. The game will bring upon a cheerful mood as the audience does not know what the passage is about, and the filled-in words are random in nature.

Sharon Huizinga, a mother who was herself diagnosed with ADHD in high school, writes about her experience playing a game of MadLib with her kids, who also have ADHD. She says, “This is definitely not a quiet activity in my house. The giggles are just so contagious! We love filling these out as a family and then crack up as one of the big kids tries to read the story with a straight face. It is the best! (This is also a great learning tool for parts of speech, but don’t tell the kids!) (i).”

Engaging children with ADHD in activities may give them ways to expend their energy and learn to concentrate on a single task. Since each activity may have a different effect on a child, we suggest you try all these listed activities for kids with ADHD. These activities aim to improve the participant’s concentration, observation, and creative skills. You may customize each of them as per your child’s preferences or try to combine the activities to boost their enthusiasm. Observe which one brings the most solace to your child and let them participate in the activity whenever feasible.

Key Pointers

  • Outdoor activities such as martial arts or gymnastics help children with ADHD channelize their energy better.
  • Swimming, running, or a scavenger hunt are effective methods.
  • Imaginative plays, a simple balance board, or indoor games with balloons or bubble wraps can help them stay engaged and expel their extra energy.

Article written by Baby Plumbing

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