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Extracurricular Activities for Kids with ADHD

Every kid enjoys cartoons, video games, and Internet surfing, but these aren’t the best after-school activities for a child with ADHD.  Not only are these forms of entertainment distracting; they also encourage a sedentary lifestyle and prevent kids from doing physical activity, which is important for the postural muscles.  Instead of spending their after-school hours in front of the television, help your ADHD child by enrolling him or her in one of these extracurricular activities.  Not only will they give your child the discipline and structure he or she needs to overcome ADHD, but they can also unmask and develop any hidden talents your child has.

Martial arts

Martial arts are one of the best sports for ADHD kids because its very nature teaches impulse control and discipline.  The physical movement required will also allow your child to spend any pent-up energy he or she might have, reducing instances of hyperactivity at home or in school.   Kids with ADHD tend to be easily bored and distracted, but your child will receive a lot of one-on-one instruction from the coach because martial arts classes tend to be very small.  The healthy competition and spiritual aspects of martial arts will also help your child grow into a well-rounded individual.

Piano lessons

If you have a piano gathering dust at home, and your child seems to be interested in music, enroll him or her in piano lessons.  The piano is an excellent way to teach coordination and movement control; in order to make a piece sound as it should, the student needs to have full control of both the right hand and the left hand.  Piano lessons also enhance concentration.  At first, you child might start out with 20-minute lessons, but as he or she gets better, the time of the lessons will lengthen, and so will his or her attention span.  Finally, learning how to play a piano is like learning how to ride a bike; it’s a skill that stays with a person forever.  Your child might eventually lose interest in it, but many kids who started playing the piano at a young age eventually learn to play other musical instruments.  

Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts

Organizations like the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts are very accommodating to kids with learning disabilities and conditions like ADHD.  Scouting includes many elements that can eliminate the symptoms of ADHD, such as a lot of physical activity, close adult supervision, structured activities that accommodate different learning styles, and healthy competition.    The merit system also contributes to a child’s sense of pride and self-esteem.   However, joining the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts is not recommended for younger children, especially if they haven’t learned how to control their ADHD symptoms yet.