Activities and Tips to Promote Concentration in Children with Attention Deficits and Hyperactivity
ADHD and concentration are not usually synonymous, but there are ways to help children focus so that their days are not composed of flitting from one activity to another. Your child with attention deficits may struggle to concentrate on homework, be easily distracted from chores, or battle to keep to routines, causing high levels of frustration in the household. How can you help?
Daily Structure for ADHD
Days that are structured foster better concentration for kids with ADHD. Develop set routines for homework, bedtime, and chores so your child doesn't have to think about what to do and when to do it. Remove distractions such as a blaring TV or a ringing phone when your child is doing homework.
A daily activity to look forward to also helps focus children as they have a reward in sight for appropriate behavior. The activity need not be expensive or elaborate: a family game night, an ADHD-friendly food treat after dinner or any event that your child enjoys.
Exercise and ADHD
Tap into the seemingly endless energy of your child and channel it into physical games and formal exercise. WebMD recommend that ADHD children spend 60 minutes a day doing medium to intensive exercise, and activities that need focus on body movements, such as gymnastics or dance, are often good. Team sports help kids with ADHD to concentrate, as they are getting exercise, experiencing social interaction and have to obey the rules of the game.
On days when sport is not part of the schedule, just 20 minutes outdoors at the park helps to calm ADHD kids and help them to concentrate better. While you're there play a game of catch with a ball, spelling a word or doing a simple math sum each time you toss the ball from one person to another — when your child visualizes the thrown ball he will remember how to spell the word or do the sum.
Table games assist with improving academic focus in kids and are great fun. Ideas include:
- Hide the dominoes — Place an assortment of four dominoes on the table, allowing your child to study them. Place a sheet of paper over the dominoes and ask your child to replicate the exact order of the dominoes with the selection before him. Time how long it takes. The aim is to beat the time, and you can add dominoes to the control group to make it more difficult.
- Jigsaw puzzles — Promote fine motor skills and build concentration with jigsaw puzzles; choose puzzles with appropriate piece counts for your child's age.
- Word search and crosswords — These types of word games assist in building vocabulary and foster concentration.
- Quiz — Read a story with your child and then have a quick quiz afterwards; this helps develop memory and concentration.
ADHD children often suffer from sensory overload, so it's important not to structure too many activities into each day, but give your child time to relax. Keep the lines of communication open and spend time with your child — you'll both enjoy it. Focus on the appropriate behaviors, and your ADHD child's concentration is sure to improve.