Physical activity is good for the brain and body, and structured movement — for which thought is required and there is a learning curve — increases concentration dramatically. Learning new movements develops new neural pathways, which can have a positive effect on attention in the classroom.
ROCK CLIMBING encourages crossing the midline — reaching across the middle of the body with an arm or leg to the opposite side — which is crucial for reading success and building confidence. Having to plan each move develops concentration. SOCCER combines developing motor skills with aerobic bursts. As a child learns to control her feet, her coordination and balance improve. Soccer also encourages teamwork.
JUGGLING involves crossing the midline and developing concentration, timing, and eye-hand coordination. This is a favorite sensory break activity, and it can be done in the classroom or at home.
Engaging in GYMNASTICS has a good effect on grades, focus, and attention. The sport encourages a child to cross the midline, develops foot-eye coordination, and is aerobic.
PING PONG improves concentration, math skills, counting ability, and eye-hand coordination. Combine ping pong with rhythmic chanting, such as counting, for a bigger brain boost.
Learning proper SWIM technique can have long-term benefits for a child with ADHD, since each motion requires focus and attention. Swimming also encourages rhythmic breathing and oxygen exchange, which increases blood flow to the brain.
DANCE is not just footwork with music. Dance is a discipline. And who doesn’t like to dance? Learning — and then mastering — steps, timing, and rhythm can have a positive effect on attention in children with ADHD.