As every grownup knows, education takes time and patience. But how do you teach patience and perseverance to a child with ADHD when their main problem is a lack of focus? And it’s not just education that is an issue. How to teach them to concentrate on the task at hand to equip themselves to deal with life and its problems?
Some therapies and medications can help, but there are also some “softer” methods. Some toys have proven to be amazing with ADHD. Snap Circuits Kit is one of the best we’ve seen. It teaches important STEM skills to your kid while keeping them entertained and focused.
Related post: Best Toys for Nonverbal Autism [12 Picks Reviewed 2021]
- Best Toys for Kids With ADHD
- Best Toys for Toddlers & Preschoolers With ADHD
- Best ADHD Toys for Elementary Schoolers
- Best Toys for Tweens and Teens With ADHD
- What to Consider When Buying Toys for ADHD Kids?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best Toys for Kids With ADHD
Best Overall – Snap Circuits Jr. Electronic Kit
If Snap Circuits spurs interest in your ADHD child, it will be a massive hit. It’s a versatile STEM toy that they can use to create over 100 different projects, using as little as 30-ish little parts. Tinkering is the best way to learn, and there’s a full instructions manual, so there’s no need for any detective work.
We consider this the best overall toy for kids with ADHD because this is an educational toy that can really improve concentration and fine motor skills. Not to mention the surge of self-esteem when they see that the model they built actually works!
However, note that this is a toy that requires some time on the parents’ part. It’s up to you to read the instructions and spend some time on the task. That is, at least until the kid finishes their first couple of projects. You don’t want to put them off by having them figure it out on their own!
Therefore, this amazing toy’s only caveat is that it’s a bit risky buy for kids with ADHD. If done right, it will be a treasure trove of skills, knowledge, and most importantly – patience and focus. The last of which are the very things ADHD kids typically lack!
But once they get it right, they’ll be in for hundreds of hours of entertainment.
Best for Hyperactive Trouble Makers – The Original Toy Company Fold & Go Kids Trampoline
Whether your kid has ADHD, ASD (autism spectrum disorder), or is simply a restless little rascal with tons of excess energy, this Fold & Go Kids Trampoline will give them a chance to blow off some of the steam. Especially in the winter months! After that, maybe they’ll even be happy to do that math homework.
Kids love jumping and running, but it’s always better to let them do it in controlled settings. This trampoline has a handle for safety reasons, but it’s still advisable to be there and supervise.
Other great features are portability and easy setup. Assembling and disassembling take only a few minutes. Plus, you can always take it to the backyard to trick them into breathing some fresh air.
While immensely enjoyable, this toy has its health benefits too. Jumping strengthens core muscles. And if your little one is a toddler, it will also improve their gross motor skills and sense of balance. As for age range, any 3 year old kid and up can use it, as long as their weight doesn’t exceed 150 pounds.
Best Budget Option – Mandala Coloring Book for Kids
Many parents tend to choose expensive toys full of bells and whistles (sometimes quite literally). They forget how much beauty lies in simplicity and good old books. Want to occupy your kid with some screen-free entertainment? Why you can always go for a book!
Granted, this Mandala Coloring Book is not a book proper, with text and stories and all. Still, it’s a relaxing tool ideal for kids with ADHD, from toddlers to preschoolers. Can you imagine how overwhelming it is for a child when they can’t focus on a single detail, yet everyone keeps throwing complex structures and narratives at them?
These expectations to conform to the standard and be like all other children can dishearten a child instead of motivating them. That’s why these coloring mandalas can have an incredible effect. Finally, there’s a thing that doesn’t require any multitasking. It doesn’t glow, speak, or sing Christmas carols. Much less all three at the same time!
Nor does it force peer pressure on the kid. It’s as simple as it gets – get your crayons, sit back, and enjoy. The drawings are rather spacious, so there’s no eye strain.
The only minus is that the paper could have been a bit thicker.
Best Toys for Toddlers & Preschoolers With ADHD
Best for Little Builders – Kinetic Sand Dig & Demolish Truck Playset
This playset taps into a great area of interest for almost every kid on earth. Do you remember just how much delight it gave you to get your hands in the sand? The creators of Kinetic Sand got this right. There’s only one thing more fun than building sandcastles. It’s knocking them down!
To keep your child’s hands busy even longer, this set includes a construction front loader truck with expansions, a jackhammer, a brick mold, and one pound of sand. Oh, and there’s also an enclosed construction site so that the sand doesn’t end up in your dinner!
The tactile experience is an essential ingredient of child development. Not only is it a baby’s main contact point with the outside world, but it also boosts logic and even language development! Kinetic Sand is so addictive that even adults will enjoy molding it.
The only possible issue with this set is that the amount of sand is not very generous. You’ll probably need to buy more, especially if you have a toddler who likes to throw things around.
Best for Fun Indoor Exercise – Hippity Hop Space Hopper
Boing, boing, boing! Do you fancy having a house full of hoppers?
Like the trampoline we reviewed above, this Space Hopper Ball aims at working out the kid so that they spend some of that wild energy and exercise while at it. The little one can just bounce around if that’s what they like best. But there’s also a booklet with exercises for specific muscle groups.
The ball will arrive deflated. However, it comes with a little pump to get it up and jumping (pun intended). If you have safety concerns, note that the handle is non-slippery. Still, it wouldn’t hurt to have some adult supervision.
If you have more than one child, make sure to get the corresponding number of these balls. Otherwise, they’ll end up fighting for it!
Best ADHD Toys for Elementary Schoolers
Best for STEAM-Minded Souls – Magna Tiles Deluxe Set
What kind of shapes can you build with 15 squares and 25 triangles, plus a couple of arches and rings? You’d be surprised!
Even though it sounds like a combinatorial nightmare, Magna Tiles is a playset that can be as simple or complicated as you need it to be. The set will grow with your kid from simple flat shapes to elaborate 3-dimensional constructions such as houses or vehicles. And it will even be fun for other family members!
It’s particularly good for kids with ADHD because it practices focusing while feeding their sensory needs. Sounds like a good bargain. Especially because every creation will glow in the dark, reminding the creator of their accomplishment. These abstract shapes are an art form in its own right, and something a kid will really be proud of.
These tiles stick together thanks to a bunch of tiny magnets that are welded inside every piece. That is why you should definitely avoid keeping them in the vicinity of kids who are less than 3 years old. The tiles are sturdy alright, but it doesn’t mean you can’t break them.
As far as average toys go, this one is a bit on the pricier side. And that’s the only downside that we’re aware of. If you’re ready to splash out some more money, consider getting Magna Tiles 100-Piece.
Best Toys for Tweens and Teens With ADHD
Best for Fidgeters – Infinity Fidget Cube
There are countless fidget toys on the market, but not many have the amazing capabilities of Joeyank Infinity Fidget Cube. It’s a cube composed of eight smaller cubes that will move and rotate to form various shapes. And the best thing is, you only need one hand to do it!
Even though it’s not strictly a toy, it’s still suitable for younger children as well as teens or adults. Just like any other fidget spinner, it reduces anxiety but also improves focus and attention. If your kid is a nail biter or a pencil clicker, a small and discreet little cube should help fix it. It doesn’t make any noise, which makes it excellent for the classroom!
The price might appear a bit prohibitive for an item of that size and functionality. However, it’s a high-quality, durable cube that is made to last. Even if you drop it (which you will, many times), it won’t break. Cheap, plastic fidget toys tend to break within days. This one will outlast them by years.
Best for Video Games Fans – Minecraft
Much has been said about the timeless appeal of Minecraft. It’s open-ended as it gets, bringing you into a weird pixelated world where you can do just about anything. With no rules or narratives whatsoever, you can structure your gameplay, build or destroy, fight or interact with other players, and take on different adventures.
The positive impact of video games is endless. They provoke critical and strategic thinking, planning, decision making. On another level, they improve hand-eye coordination and spatial awareness. Patience, tenacity, focus, even social skills – what more could you aim for with an ADHD kid?
Minecraft is all of that and more. The game literally never ends. Updates and editions are being released all the time. Therein lies the appeal – and the danger – of this game. Children with ADHD are reportedly more prone to an addictive obsession with games than other children.
So why did we decide to include this game in our list? Because of the numerous benefits outweigh this potential danger. That is, of course, if parents can maintain control over their child’s behavior.
If you aren’t positive that you can rein in your kid, a set of LEGOs will do!
What to Consider When Buying Toys for ADHD Kids?
Age is always a concern when buying toys for kids. But in ADHD kids, age can complicate things even more. It’s challenging to ascertain whether a toddler has ADHD or if they are simply a lively little fella with one temper tantrum too many every day.
Some of the most common symptoms of ADHD in toddlers include impatience and impulsivity. But it’s best to take even them with a grain of salt. Instead of diagnosing your child with the help of Dr. Google, it’s always better to go and see a psychologist. If a specialist has not diagnosed your child, it’s best not to assume anything. Their impulsive or even reckless behavior might be a temporary developmental phase.
As for toys, offer your child both a fidget toy and one (or five) for hyperactivity. Maybe they can’t make an informed choice, but they will certainly know what they need.
By now, you are certainly aware that persistence and focus are the main problems that children with ADHD face.
So how does that relate to choosing ADHD toys? It would help not to opt for very complex toys that require elaborate instructions and a bunch of rules. Put yourself in your kid’s shoes. Think about how discouraged they must feel every time they fail to complete an assignment.
This point of view then kicks off a negative feedback loop that keeps them locked in their feeling of inadequacy.
On the other hand, when they get a simple task, they will be much more likely to complete it. This micro-success then sets off a surge in confidence.
Is your child inattentive or hyperactive?
These two symptoms may look like complete extremes, but they are really two sides of the same coin. It might be hard to imagine, but they may even appear in a combination.
Inattentive kids are usually diagnosed with ADD or attention deficit disorder. It’s a subtype of ADHD, but without the prominent “hyperactivity” part. Such kids are not impulsive. But they also have a short attention span, are prone to fantasizing, and often find it difficult to focus on any task.
The hyperactive type is easier to discern since such kids are usually pretty noisy and often cause trouble in the classroom. Interestingly enough, ADHD is more typical with boys than girls.
So, are your toddler’s temper tantrums and inability to settle down a sign that they have ADHD? It’s difficult to tell before they turn at least 6 or 7. But are there any educational means, toys, or tools to try and make a positive impact?
If your kid is calm but inattentive and absent-minded, it’s best to choose toys that are easy to understand. Those toys will guide their attention in a single direction. Conversely, with a hyperactive kid, it’s advisable to get them a wild toy that will use up at least some of that energy. And a fidget spinner or two to help them relax once they settle down.
Frequently Asked Questions
What activities are good for a child with ADHD?
Children with ADHD usually seem to have so much extra energy that they are simply craving exercise. That’s why it’s always good to introduce them to a sport. Or buy them active toys that would let them work out while playing.
However, that is not to say that you should confine your kid to the physical field. On the contrary: Like all other kids, she or he is a complex being with an intellectual, artistic, and many other sides.
For example, many ADHD-diagnosed children adore building things. Others will enjoy music or role play. Whatever your child’s affinities are, make sure to set them in motion. When practiced in a supportive environment, they will yield significant results, triggering a positive feedback loop.
How do you punish a child with ADHD?
First of all, let’s not use the word “punish.” Punishment is an obsolete method that has been proven wrong time and again. It’s understandable for the parents to get frustrated or run out of patience from time to time. But you should always keep in mind that your child’s being out of control is not their fault.
That being said, you have to have some discipline strategies in place. You should always reward and praise good behavior and explain when he’s just being bad. You can’t shame or scold your child into accountability.
Remember also that your kid needs positive parenting even more than other kids. She is already receiving tons of negative feedback and misunderstanding in school or the playground. While she’s still very young, you are the pillar of her self-esteem. If you believe in her, she will start believing too.
How to deal with a hyperactive child at home?
We’ve already talked a lot about activities that should serve as an outlet for your kid’s excessive energy.
But the standards you set outside the playtime are as important. And the keyword here is consistency. If you want him to (eventually) learn to play by the rules, you need to stick to those rules daily.
Also, avoid giving too broad, vague, or complex instructions. For example, a request to tidy up their room may sound reasonable enough for you. But for them, the unstructured mess in the room works like a chaotic network of distractions. As soon as he starts cleaning up the desk, he will notice the iPad under the bed. By the time he checks his Instagram, he’ll forget about the desk entirely.
So it might be a better idea to micromanage and ask him to clean up the desk. Once he’s done, remind him that the bed needs making too. Offer your help and ask him to help you too.
Last update on 2021-04-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API