Children with ADHD benefit immensely from after-school activities that burn extra energy, challenge the mind, stretch the limits of creativity, and boost confidence by developing new skills and friendships.
As we previously mentioned in our blog about the best sports activities for a child with ADHD, athletic clubs and teams are a wonderful choice for children who need to expel extra energy before coming home to concentrate on homework and for kids who want to gain mastery of their bodies to overcome symptoms of the disorder.
But what about non-sporting activities?
Read on for Woodburn Pediatric Clinic’s recommendations for the best after-school activities that will benefit children of all ages struggling with ADHD.
Music has long been known to benefit children academically and socially, working both sides of the brain simultaneously. Music – whether singing solo, playing the piano, joining a rock group, singing in a choir, or making digital beats – is a wonderful form of self-expression that boosts an individual’s confidence and says to the world, “this is who I am.”
Art classes provide a wonderfully creative and diverse outlet for children with ADHD, from elementary through high school. Kids can express their feelings and emotions through drawing, painting, modeling and building, sculpture, print making, animation, and more; the bonus of this activity is that many art projects require time and dedication, meaning a child with ADHD will further develop his personal life management skills that will carry him into adulthood. Art, like music, is a wonderful after-school activity because it can be performed either individually or in a group, making it an excellent choice for kids and teens with diverse social preferences.
Boy or Girl Scouts
One of the best activities for a child with ADHD is to join the local scouts program. Both the Boy and Girl Scouts clubs require its members to be dedicated by coming to weekly meetings, disciplined by working with other members to perform tasks and challenges, and goal-oriented by completing projects to obtain badges and ascend to higher levels of the Scouts organization. Kids with ADHD benefit greatly by competing with and against club members, by taking on new challenges that may be frightening or overwhelming, and by being part of an organization that combines work with fun.
Creative teens who have more experience controlling their ADHD symptoms will likely enjoy Drama Club because it requires regular practices and group meetings, collaboration, line memorization, and creating sets and costumes; all of which help establish routine and commitment, improve concentration and mental acuity, and help boost confidence and a positive self-image.
Children afflicted with ADHD often struggle both academically and socially, but the right after-school activities (chosen based on the child’s age, personal interests, and the severity of the ADHD diagnosis) can help to mitigate the disorder and improve the child’s life both at home and at school.
If you have questions about your child’s health and would like to schedule an appointment, please contact us today at Woodburn Pediatric Clinic.