What is Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
ADHD is a brain disorder characterized by difficulty in paying attention and control of impulsive behaviors. The patient is normally restless and almost always active. Although the symptoms start in childhood, they can continue into adolescence and even adulthood.
ADHD people have problems with either; inattention and hyperactivity or both.
Inattention in ADHD may be characterized by:
- Making careless mistakes when undertaking tasks
- Problems paying attention in whatever they are doing e.g. play, conversations
- Listening problems thus fail to follow instructions given.
- Neatness problems, they are often unable to keep their belongings and even activities in order resulting in messy work.
- Easy distractions by unrelated thoughts or stimulus
- Forgetfulness in running of daily chores
- Hyperactivity is characterized by;
- Restlessness in calm situations. For instance, they may have trouble sitting down where they are expected to, they are also likely to run dash or climb around in inappropriate places and situations. They are also likely to be uneasy in their seats making them fidget and squirm.
- Inability to engage in daily activities such as play quietly, Talking non-stop is also a sign of hyperactivity in ADHD. They are likely to finish sentences for others, interrupt speech or answer questions before they are complete.
- Impatience-they are always on the move and have trouble waiting for their turn.
ADHD children need somewhere to channel their energy towards. Toys are a great way to help the child have fun while still helping to control the disorder. So, what exactly are the benefits of toys for ADHD kids?
Toys help ADHD children to learn to stay with a string of tasks for a longer time. As the child is learning how to use a toy, they are focusing on that single act especially if it’s the right toy.
This skill of focus will improve gradually; it could be 10 minutes to 15 the next but it is essential since these skills are transferrable to real life.
2. Controls impulsive behavior
An ADHD kid acts on impulse rather than on anticipation. Having a toy will help each actions have consequences. When a child owns a toy it becomes his or her responsibility. It is more likely that a kid with ADHD will break the toy within no time. The loss enables the child to start learning the art of being careful and responsible for their items thus controlling impulsive behavior.
3. Improved social skills
This will be successful if the toy being used teaches the child turn taking .
Compiled below is a list of ADHD toys.
Stop, Relax & Think game
This is a game that is recommended for older children with ADHD between 6-12 years old. It is a board game with thought provoking questions that can accommodate up to 6 players. The board is very attractive for kids and keeps changing the questions to avoid boredom. It comes equipped with a manual that guides therapists or care takers on how it can be used as a diagnostic, treatment and therapeutic kit for disorders in children.
It is designed to help in controlling impulsive behavior in children. The children proceed through the feelings, stop, relax and think while collecting chips on the way. After finishing the game the player with the most chips is declared the winner of the game. This helps the children gain control, relaxation and expression of feelings skills. An ADHD child has problems with all these areas.
However, there are a few disadvantages associated with the purchase of this playing kit. The therapist or care-giver has to re-word the questions sometimes so that the children can fully understand. The manufacturer says it is recommended for kids between six and twelve years of age but it has been found mostly useful for kids above 8 years. The topics for discussion are also really mature which could be a minus for using it on kids.
Fat Brain Toys Teeter Popper
Fat brain Teeter Popper is all about moving around and just a little bit of laying down similar to most ADHD kids. This toy comes in the form of a concave board covered with sturdy silicone suction cups. The manufacturer recommends it for kids above three years of age.
An ADHD kid who shows symptoms of hyperactivity will enjoy this toy most. It has endless ways to play as kids can sit, stand and roll using the fat brains teeter popper. This means that the kid will have the opportunity to engage in all the physical activity they wish to throughout. Remember that they also have very high levels of energy which can be channeled here.
This feature also makes sure that the kids are engaged as they try to find more ways of playing with the toy which teaches an inattentive ADHD kid focus.
In case you are worried about its stability, the suction cups keep it stable for kids to rock and roll on it. This is definitely a great purchase if you want to keep an ADHD child’s climbing closer to the floor!
BizyBeezMagStix Sensory Magnetic STEM Toys Building Set for Kids (41 pcs)
I love this toy first because of its name, bizzybeez coined from busy bees which is what ADHD kids are and second because of its portability.This toy is designed to ignite a child’s creativity through brain building play. It consists of a jumbo sized building set complete with wheels, a portable play board meaning the child can build even when travelling and is made of non toxic ASB plastic.
The kid uses the building blocks which consist of magnetized sticks and colorful metal balls to come up with designs of their liking. This creates calm focus in the kid as they try to bring out their creativity. It also helps the kid to work on their patience as they wait to come up with what they would like to achieve. You also don’t have to worry about how you will get your ADHD kid to like it since it is visually attractive.
However, it is not ideal for children who are easily frustrated by failure. This is because its magnets are not very strong and what is built easily falls off. This can present a challenge for ADHD kids because of their impatience and impulsiveness. Its little parts can also be swallowed by kids making it necessary to have an adult watch over as play goes on.
The original toy company fold and go trampoline
Have you been wondering where your ADHD kid will redirect their energy especially during winter or the cold seasons? Well, this is the right product for this activity. This toy is designed in a way to make sure that kids are bouncing for hours even while indoors.
This toy will provide a way in which an ADHD child expedites his/her energy. It is portable as it is a fold and go toy and also easy to assemble. This toy will have the child’s behavioral and impulsive behaviors under control.
Regular jumping on the trampoline enables the children to control body movement and balance both physically and mentally. ADHD children normally have focus problems. Jumping on this trampoline requires focus to avoid falling off. It is a tool that teaches the child focus which can be translated to real life.
Nonetheless, it is imperative for a care giver or parent to ensure that this is the right size for the child. Some kids will feel insecure jumping up and down on this trampoline due to its wider surface area. Getting the right size will ensure that the child enjoys it over and over again.
Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Servin’ Up Fun Food Truck
Learning turn taking and role playing for a normal kid can be quite a task and it’s even more for ADHD kids. This toy is one of a kind that can help train your child. This food truck involves interactive play and presents a restaurant set-up for kids where they can cook, serve and play.
This means that there has to be a chef and a server. It will help the ADHD kid to learn how to wait for their turn to become a chef or a server while still having fun. A restaurant set-up also encourages them to have manners when talking to ‘customers’.
Kids with ADHD often have high levels of creative energies. This toy avails a platform to redirect these energies. Kids get to practice how to make several ‘meals’, how to handle ‘customers’ and generally how to run a restaurant on their own.
This food truck encourages kids to play together thus helping ADHD kids who are poor in maintaining and keeping friends. Above all this is a highly interactive and engaging toy helping the kid with focus skills. The care-giver/ parent needs not worry about batteries since they are rechargeable.
Little Tikes Activity Garden Baby Play set
This is a toy for younger kids most especially those with ADHD. Just as its name states, it’s an activity garden which helps in re-channeling the energy that the kid has. It is like a baby gym where there are different kinds of baby toys and activities that can help an ADHD kid learn, remember, problem-solve and pay attention.
Related: Alternative seating for adhd
It comes with a piano and music which can be used to test the listening skills which are normally a problem for ADHD. Listening skills come hand in hand with the ability to pay attention making this toy ideal for instilling these skills to a toddler.
It is visually attractive. ADHD children are easily distracted and bored. This toy stimulates the eye and makes it a perfect choice for ADHD. This aspect also encourages focus which is a big problem for ADHD.
This activity garden can be set up in a number of ways to ensure that activity does not get boring. It taps into the creative side of a toddler who has ADHD by trying to find different ways of using the toy. While at this, the toddler is exhibiting focus which if continuously practiced can be exercised in real life.
Another hack that we recently found out was using trampolines so that the kids are well occupied.