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It's no surprise that children with AD/HD have different needs than kids without the disorder — even when it comes to playtime. In fact, choosing the right playthings can help kids with ADD/ADHD focus better, gain self-confidence, and learn to interact appropriately with other children.


Here are a few toy-selecting tips to help your ADHD child make the most out of playtime”

Play to the child's strengths

If you know your child is good at math, for example, choose games that tap into those skills. Careful selection of computer games like Peggle, Bookworm, and Bejeweled can help exercise cognitive skills. Appropriate games can also boost self-confidence and give children a sense of accomplishment.

Remember, less is more

Sure, bringing home an elaborate construction set or complicated puzzle may seem like a good idea, but it's also likely to intimidate a child with AD/HD. What's more, he or she isn't likely to sit still long enough to complete the task. Instead of buying the Lego set with a million pieces, buy the smaller set and work on it with your child. And lose the distractions. If your playroom looks like a toy store, your kid is more likely to get sidetracked.

Get creative

Whether you give a child costumes, puppets, clay, crayons, or finger paint, creative play allows for imagination and positive interactions with other kids. Plus, role-playing, drawing, and painting give children an opportunity to express their emotions in a safe way. And since there's no right or wrong when it comes to art, it's easy to give the child positive reinforcement. You can even showcase your child's work in an art show or a play for friends and family.

Encourage physical activity

Kids with ADHD tend to have a lot of energy. Give them equipment to use that energy in positive ways. Let them run around, practice karate, or participate in other physical activities they enjoy. Toys and games that have a physical component are good choices, too — including video games like Wii, which incorporate movement into the game.

Play with your child

Children with ADD/ADHD may be more likely to be rejected by their peers and tend to have fewer friends than children who do not have the disorder. So it's critical for parents to engage their kids. Just spend some time together with the TV off and the BlackBerry put away. In that way, you can model good behavior for your child and teach him or her how to stay focused, interact, and be a good winner or loser.




AD/HD:  Playtime

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Article Adapted from EverydayHealth.com