The holiday season is upon us!
Regardless of which holiday you’re celebrating (and even if you’re not), this guide will give you some great ideas for what to buy kids/teens with ADHD. You can even save it for those birthday parties throughout the year!
If you have any other suggestions, let us know. We’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas!
Younger Kids (4-7)
1. Lower price point
Pros: Doesn’t take up much room; Tons of fun; Exerts physical energy
Cons: Watch your toes!
2. Medium price point
(Note: Similar product called “River Stones” can be found on Amazon for those who have a higher budget.)
Pros: Don’t take up much room; Simply toy that would occupy an ADHD child for a longer period of time; Promotes imagination and creativity; Allows for role-playing scenarios with friends.
Cons: Your child might think these are balls and chuck them across the room during Christmas dinner and knock out Aunt Betsy’s false teeth.
Pros: Will entertain them for hours; exerts physical energy; doesn’t take long attention span; allows impulsiveness in a safe way
Cons: Might be tough for families with littler kids who could get knocked over; You’d need a lot of space if it was an inside toy
Pros: Occupy their hands; Engage left brain thinking
Cons: Might grow bored before solving the puzzle
Middle-aged Kids (8-10)
1. Lower price point
Pros: Keeps their minds stimulated; long-term entertainment with short-term goals
Cons: Losing small pieces over time
Pros: Comes out different every time to avoid boredom; provides cool sensory stimulation
Cons: Sand is almost as bad as glitter. Cool thing about this sand is that it’s kinetic, so it sticks together.
Easy Bake Oven (Boys OR Girls)
Pros: Occupies their minds and hands; Really easy directions to follow
Cons: Depending on the maturity of the child, might need adult supervision.
Pros: Constantly changing; challenging left brain well for this age group; occupies hands
Cons:Some kids with ADHD struggle with word games
Pros: Keeps their bodies moving without overwhelming their minds
Cons: Some kids with ADHD get overwhelmed by loud music
Pros: Stimulates right-brain creativity while occupying the hands
Cons: Again, some ADHD kids don’t respond well to music or loud noises. Fortunately, this keyboard can be turned down to a gentler volume.
Pros: What kid doesn’t want a way to get around before they’re old enough to drive? For ADHD kids, specifically, this is a great option because it is a physical stimulant!
Cons: If you don’t have a safe place for them to ride, this could be a waste of money.
Pros: Kids with ADHD love to take things apart and see how they work… Why not let them?!
Cons: Kids who can’t figure out these puzzles might grow discouraged. Purchase based on child’s developmental level and capabilities.
Younger Teens (14-16)
Pros: They can play it anywhere! (As long as it’s not on the table at Olive Garden)
Cons: Must be played with a partner. Unless you’re Forrest Gump. Then you can play with the wall.
Pros: Changes every time they use it; engages right-brain creativity
Cons: Supplies will eventually run out!
Pros: They can literally do something different every time they pick it up (yay, ADHD!). They’re also at the age where they’re starting to explore what they want to do as adults, so this gives them the opportunity to feel like a professional.
Cons: Your floors might be littered with photos of their index fingers.
Pros: When they get bored with one puzzle, they can go to the next; Lots of options, in case some teens have a hard time concentrating on words
Cons: Not all ADHD teens like puzzles; Some are discouraged by them, rather than stimulated
Older Teens (16-18)
Pros: Fun; Encourages their uniqueness; Keeps them laughing throughout the day
Cons: Some teens are private about their ADHD; choosing the correct t-shirt size (for either boy/girl) can be tricky sometimes.
Pros: I’ve done these myself and they’re beyond relaxing. They have a million tiny pieces to color so even the most distracted brain is occupied.
Cons: They might feel silly doing them, but it’s worth it!
Pros: Teens in general love music. Teens with ADHD can especially love music because it distracts them in a way most other things can’t. It occupies their right brain so their left brain can focus.
Cons: There’s always the chance they’ll get broken. *sigh*
Pros: They’ll actually keep something clean? Win. It’ll occupy their hands? Double win.
Cons: There’s always that chance they’ll lose it on their trash-strewn floor and it’ll end up stuck to the bottom of your sock. Or it’ll end up in the washing machine.