*Thanks to Joyce from TeacherSpark.org for providing Los Gringos Locos with this guest post on the benefits of concentration-enhancing activities for kids with ADHD. I believe these activities would be great for ADHD adults as well. Enjoy!
According to the U.S. Department of Education, there are three necessary components required for students with ADHD to be successful in school: classroom accommodations, academic instruction and behavior intervention. Following guidelines within these three components, teachers have seen serious results in helping students with ADHD focus in the classroom. But what happens when the student goes home? How can parents help their kids focus on daily tasks outside of school? Here are three activities for kids with ADHD that are sure to improve your child’s concentration.
Most activities engage either the left hemisphere of the brain, (logic and language) or the right, (creativity and intuition). But activities involving music are among the few that stimulate both. Many children with ADHD have the ability to focus completely on one specific subject or activity that interests them. When that interest is discovered, they have the ability to shut out anything occurring around them and work on that activity until they feel they cannot improve it in any way. This mild form of obsessiveness can be beneficial when trying to learn a musical instrument. The key is finding the right instrument to spark the interest of the student.
Learning to play a new instrument, or developing the voice as an instrument in chorus or choir, is not a good match for every child with ADHD. But numerous studies support the use of simply listening to music as a means of harnessing attention. Like playing jazz when students work in groups or classical during periods of independent study. If the audio stimulation is low and steady, instead of distracting from the task at hand, it enhances the student’s concentration.
Puzzles, memory activities and concentration games are excellent ways to keep your child engaged while jump-starting their focus. Word searches and crosswords are excellent activities for kids with ADHD, as they simultaneously assist in building vocabulary and stimulating concentration.
Movement-based games, like Twister, are particularly effective in holding the attention of hyperactive children as they require both thought and motion. Bowling also requires motion and concentration and studies show holding the weighted ball applies joint pressure. This can help them feel calmer and more capable of paying attention.
Naturally, frequent, consistent exercise will improve your child’s physical health, but it can also have many mental health benefits as well. For example, types of exercise that require intense physical activity can help children stay focused for a longer duration. In fact, medications used to treat ADHD trigger the release of a neurotransmitter called dopamine in the brain, which is a hormone associated with attention. Exercise also triggers the release of dopamine. With dopamine exercise improves blood flow to the brain. This can improve many cognitive functions, such as thinking, self-control, and more.
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For children with ADHD, the inability to stop the carnival of distractions that the world presents can cause negative effects on their education, development and even relationships. As a concerned parent, you can help with such issues through specific activities for kids with ADHD that tune out unwanted and overwhelming distractions.
Author Bio: Joyce Wilson is a retired teacher with decades of experience. Today, she is a proud grandmom and mentor to teachers in her local public school system. She and a fellow retired teacher created TeacherSpark.org to share creative ideas and practical resources for the classroom.