Children with ADHD thrive on action. They enjoy being fully engaged, in mind and body. Physicians and educators have seen positive results when ADHD children are able to incorporate movement into learning at school, but what about that time at home? How can you create a positive home environment for a child who enjoys kinesthetic activities?

When they are bored or need to burn energy

Boredom is an ADHD child’s biggest downer. Although he requires structure and routine to thrive, the repetition may be tedious. Instead, consider giving your ADHD child something to look forward to. Within your daily routine, block out time for play. Make it visual. Make it active. 

Engaging in physical activity will burn off excess energy and plow through that free time. A trampoline is a hyperactive child’s best friend. If you’re game, throw a ball, go for a walk or a bike ride. If the weather is nice, turn on a sprinkler or let him swim in a pool if you’re lucky enough to have access to one. 

Use that energy to your advantage and involve your child in household chores. Children with ADHD may feel more engaged, thus, less bored when they are given responsibilities. 

Age-appropriate chores include:

Preschoolers (4-5 years old):

  • Set the table
  • Help with simple food prep (e.g. pouring ingredients, stirring)
  • Help with laundry (e.g. sorting, folding)
  • Water plants with supervision
  • Make their bed

Elementary schoolers (6-8 years old):

  • Wash dishes with supervision
  • Sweep the floor
  • Take out the trash
  • Help with grocery shopping
  • Dust surfaces

Preteens (9-12 years old):

  • Vacuum or mop floors
  • Clean the bathroom with supervision
  • Cook simple meals with supervision
  • Wash the car
  • Walk the dog

It’s important to start with simple tasks and gradually increase the difficulty as your child gets older and becomes more capable. Also, be sure to offer positive reinforcement and praise when your child completes his chores successfully. An ADHD child faces a lot of criticism in his life, and positive behavior supports go a long way. 

When you need to calm a child with ADHD

Parents without ADHD children often say things like, “Oh, we’ll just take her to the park and tire her out,” and their wish comes true. Parents with ADHD children know the park is just priming the pump, and their kid is ready to keep driving. 

If you need to calm your child down, or occupy his time on rainy days, incorporate creative and sensory activities. Younger children can use playdoh or color-safe markers and crayons. Make it a long-form activity, encouraging with comments like, “Can you build an ice cream shop? How many flavors can you make?” Using household items like spoons and rolling pins will extend the activity and occupy his attention for longer periods. 

As the child ages, consider activities that require fine motor skills and attention to detail. This mental investment is wonderful brain training. Drawing, painting, simple crocheting, and making jewelry are excellent outlets for excess energy, and they allow your child to exercise his creative bug. 

Some children with ADHD benefit from sensory stimulation. This can include activities such as playing with fidget toys, squeezing stress balls, or listening to music.

Mindfulness exercises can help children with ADHD learn to focus and manage their emotions. Additionally, they help you, the parent, boost your positive mental health. Try guided meditations, deep breathing exercises, or simple yoga to help your child center his intentions and wind down. (Link to the breathing exercises post?)

When you’re looking for activities to do together

Board games 

There are so many engaging board games out there, and challenging your ADHD child with a bit of competitive fun is an excellent family activity. You can go back to basics with games like Scrabble and Monopoly, or you can focus on process-oriented and physical strategy games like Jenga and Mouse Trap.


The beauty of puzzles is they can literally be beautiful. If you have the space to sprawl, consider a larger puzzle. Something 500-1,000 pieces. This is an activity that you can come back to as time permits, and when you have the finished product, you can frame it! It operates as a positive reward because the child sees the fruit of his labor. You can point it out to friends and family members as an accomplishment. 

Whether it’s a beautiful day for a long walk in the park or the weather stinks and you’re stuck inside, there is a myriad of activities to occupy the ADHD child’s time. It’s important to remember that ADHD children are highly intelligent and very creative. Nurture these unique qualities, and you’ll find a home to be a more harmonious place for the entire family. 

Navigating education with ADHD can be challenging, but at The Broach School, we see it as an opportunity for tailored learning and personal growth. We specialize in supporting and empowering children with ADHD, helping them to channel their unique energies and talents into academic success.

Don’t let ADHD stand in the way of your child’s potential. Reach out to us at 904-637-0300 today. Together, we can create an educational journey where your child’s abilities shine. Because at The Broach School, we believe every child can thrive.