Activity Ideas for Hyperactive Kids
Updated: Apr 22
In light of the stay-in-home order for COVID-19, we want to provide parents some new ideas to keep their children occupied and settle the CABIN FEVER! We understand that routines are turned upside down and your children are likely going through some big challenges with attention and hyperactivity. For the hyperactive child, try these fun games to increase attention and neutralize hyperactive behaviors while also learning. The games below are best for preschool and elementary aged children.
We love this classic outdoor game! As it goes, you will need chalk and an outdoor sidewalk. Have your child build a hopscotch board labeled 1-10 alternating between 1-2 blocks on each level. To make more challenging add a zip-lock bag of rice and have them toss it at the board. Whichever number it lands on they will need to hop over and skip. This is a great game to challenge coordination and key motor milestones in your early elementary age children.
This is a great peer building activity. Plus it is great for upper arm strength, hand-eye coordination, and self-regulation. All you will need is a balloon blown up with air (not helium), two rackets, or a pool noodle cut in half. Before starting set a clear boundary for each child with duct tape. Place this on the floor to simulate a "net" or boundary line. See how long they can keep the balloon up before hitting the floor!
Freeze Dance or Tag
Children with weak impulse control need games that strengthen inhibitory responses. A great way to do that is with a quick "Start & Stop" game. Freeze Dance or Freeze Tag are a great way to challenge this! Have your child pick their favorite tunes and start a play list. Then have them dance and move for 10, 20, or 30 seconds until the music stops. They have to listen very closely to know when to "freeze" and be very still. Its a great way to get your children to learn how to pay attention to how their bodies are feeling during movement and learn how to make themselves pause when they get overly excited!
It would take an entirely new blog post to explain all the wonderful things this game does for children! Twister is a classic game that strengthens coordination and gross motor skills. It is also excellent in strengthening left versus right bonds. Children that struggle with quickly identifying the left versus right side of their body also frequently struggle with letter reversals (such as: p vs q and b vs d). Twister is an excellent way to help kids become quicker at recognizing where their body is and to improve their coordination. It is also a great exercise for attention!
Shaving Cream Games
Ask any OT, we love tactile activities. They help so much with learning opportunities. We encourage parents to use shaving cream, slime, sand, etc. as much as possible when young children are trying to learn a new skill.
Some of the things you can try with shaving cream.
1) Hide small items and play I-Spy
2) Hide letters and have your child practice letter recognition
3) Draw a letter on a sheet of paper and then have your child copy it with their finger in the shaving cream
4) Practice drawing shapes and alphabet
For more tactile game ideas we encourage you to look at our DIY section. If you haven't already check out our putty recipe.
Article by: Tara Pearson, COTA, ADHD-RSP