9 Fun Activities for Kids With ADHD

Father helping daughter learn reading the clock

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If your child has ADHD, it might sometimes feel like they have an endless supply of energy. It might seem like you can't find enough to do to keep them busy or hold their attention. This doesn't mean that you aren't doing enough—it just means that your child has different needs than some other kids.

When you are struggling to keep your child's attention or direct their energy, it can be helpful to have a list of fun activities for kids with ADHD.  These activities can help your child focus their energy in a positive way and give them a chance to burn off some extra energy.

Get Moving

One of the best activities to help a child with ADHD is to get them moving. This doesn't mean that you have to sign them up for every sport under the sun, but it does mean that they need to be active.

Go for a walk, play tag, or ride bikes together. Getting your child's body moving will help them to focus their energy on a fun and rewarding activity.

One study found that physical exercise helps decrease anxiety, depression, aggression, and social problems among children with ADHD.

Signing up for a youth sports group can also be a great option for many kids with ADHD. Sports and athletics can be a particularly great outlet for kids with ADHD, but you should carefully consider which type of sport might best match your child's needs. 

A child with hyperactive/impulsive type ADHD might benefit from a highly active, physical sport (such as wrestling or swimming), whereas a child with inattentive type ADHD would do better with one that has more short-term, focused goals (such as track and field).

Create Something

Another great way to channel your child's energy is to encourage them to be creative. This could mean painting, drawing, building with blocks, or even just making up stories. Let your child's imagination run wild and see what they come up with.

Creative expression is beneficial for many mental health conditions, including ADHD. Expressive arts therapy, for example, can be helpful for both children and adults with ADHD. It may help kids practice and strengthen several skills, including focus, communication, and problem-solving skills. It can also be useful for expressing emotions, building self-awareness, and reducing stress levels.

One study found that allowing kids with ADHD to draw and talk about their lives was a useful way to gain insight into their interests and subjective well-being.

Fortunately, you can draw on many of these same benefits by doing creative activities with your child. Drawing, finger painting, sculpting with clay, collaging, or even just scribbling can help your child express themself while having fun.

Get Organized

Many kids with ADHD struggle with organization, but cleaning up and getting organized can be a fun activity if you make it into a game.

Help your child to organize their toys, clothes, or school supplies. You can even race to see who can clean up the quickest.

Some ideas to help make cleaning and organizing fun and exciting:

  • Set a timer: Try setting a timer for a short amount of time (around five to ten minutes), and then see how much each of you can clean up in that time. 
  • Laundry race: Challenge your child to see how much laundry they can help fold and put away.
  • Fill a basket: Grab a couple of laundry baskets (or find one for each member of the family if everyone wants to get involved), and see who can fill each one with toys or other items lying around the house. Once the first phase of the game is over, you can move on to the next challenge—seeing who can put all of the items in their basket away the quickest.

Go On an Adventure

Kids with ADHD often love adventure, and new experiences are more likely to hold their interest. Plan a treasure hunt around the house or go on a nature hike and see who can find the most interesting things. Be sure to bring along a camera so that you can document your child's findings.

Because kids with ADHD often struggle with feelings of boredom, introducing novel activities can be a great way to help them stay interested. 

Variety is the key to keeping your child engaged. So, mix things up and try out new activities on a regular basis. With a little bit of creativity, you can come up with endless fun activities for kids with ADHD.

Play Games

Games are a great way to help kids with ADHD focus their energy in a way that can help entertain them while building valuable skills. 

Memory games or word puzzles can be a good option for some kids or even an active game like musical chairs.

Other fun activities to try include:

  • Indoor scavenger hunt
  • Building towers out of cards or blocks
  • Balloon volleyball
  • Playing music and dancing
  • Indoor obstacle course
  • Jumping rope
  • Hula hooping
  • Jumping on a trampoline

You don’t need to spend a lot of money to find items for your games. In many cases, you can take things you already have in the house and incorporate them into a fun activity. It just takes some imagination to keep things interesting and keep your child from getting bored. 

Do a Project Together

Working on a project together can be a fun way to bond with your child while also helping them to focus their energy.

Examples of projects you might work on together include:

  • Creating a storybook
  • Learning a musical instrument
  • Craft projects
  • Dress up games

Choose a project that is age-appropriate and let your child take the lead. This can be a great way to help your child build self-regulation skills. Finishing a project with your help can also help them gain a sense of mastery and accomplishment.

Get Out of the House

Sometimes, the best way to entertain a child with ADHD is to leave the house. Plan a day trip to somewhere that your child will be interested in. This could be a museum, the zoo, an amusement park, or even just a new playground.

  • Have a picnic: Picnics are fun for everyone and can be a great way to spend some time together outdoors. Pack up some snacks and head to your backyard or a nearby park for a fun-filled afternoon. You can make your picnic as simple or as fancy as you want—just make sure to include plenty of good food and fun games.
  • Go camping: If you really want to get away from it all, go camping! This is a great activity for kids with ADHD because it gets them out in nature where they can run and explore. And if heading for the wilderness isn’t an option, try just camping out in your backyard (or even your living room).
  • Visit a museum: Museums can be fun for kids of all ages, but they can be especially fun for kids with ADHD. They offer a chance to explore and learn in a stimulating but not overwhelming environment.

Cook Together

Cooking is a great activity for kids with ADHD because it involves many different senses. Plus, it's a fun way to bond with your child and teach them valuable life skills. Start with simple recipes that are great for beginners before working your way up to more complex ones.

You can make this a regular part of your child's routine by setting aside certain days of the week for preparing certain meals.

For example, one night might be "pizza night," where each member of the family gets to choose their own toppings and prepare their own mini-pizza. 

Go Stargazing

Stargazing is a calming activity that can be fun for kids of all ages. It's a great way to spend time together while also teaching your child about science and the world around them.

If staying up late enough to see the stars isn't an option for your little one, you might consider something like a hike, nature walk, or trip to the beach during the day instead. All of these activities offer a chance to explore and learn while also getting some fresh air and exercise.

Studies have shown that having more contact with nature and green spaces can positively impact children's mental health, including children who have ADHD.

A Word From Verywell

Doing activities with your child is a great way to bond with them and help them to focus on something that they find interesting and rewarding. Finding activities to entertain your child doesn't have to be a burden. Instead, look for ways to incorporate fun and adventure as you go about your day—even when you are just preparing a meal or doing household chores! These fun activities for kids with ADHD can help to provide a much-needed outlet for their energy and give you some quality time together. 

3 Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Zang Y. Impact of physical exercise on children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorders: Evidence through a meta-analysis. Medicine (Baltimore). 2019;98(46):e17980. doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000017980

  2. Barfield PA, Driessnack M. Children with ADHD draw-and-tell about what makes their life really good. J Spec Pediatr Nurs. 2018 Apr;23(2):e12210. doi:10.1111/jspn.12210

  3. Tillmann S, Tobin D, Avison W, Gilliland J. Mental health benefits of interactions with nature in children and teenagers: a systematic review. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2018;72(10):958-966. doi:10.1136/jech-2018-210436

By Kendra Cherry, MSEd
Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."