Sports & Activities

“Mom, I’m Bored!”

Want to stop hearing that tired old claim? There’s never a dull moment with these fun ways to fill your ADHD child’s unstructured time.

Boy with ADHD folds arms over back of chair in front of work desk looking bored
Boy with ADHD folds arms over back of chair in front of work desk looking bored

Send them to their room to create the costume of their favorite superhero. Then guess who they are supposed to be. Building a fort, tree house, or hide-out also works.
-An ADDitude Reader

My son and I cook and bake. I also keep a big box of paint, empty egg boxes, toilet roll tubes, leftover wrapping paper, old Christmas cards, glitter, and glue, and let our crafts genes take over.
-Julie Fagenbauer, Vermont

We play the “Minute to Win It” game – you stack and un-stack paper cups as fast as you can. My son loves it!
-Carrie, Michigan

Move the front room furniture, put on some music, and declare it “dance party time.”
-Patti, Texas

Play games, like I Spy, when waiting in a doctor’s office. I also keep a stash of coloring books and crayons in the car.
-Jim, California

[Free Download: Brain-Building Video and Computer Games]

The number-one solution is to do things with them. Nothing means more to a small child than giving him your undivided attention.
-Joy, New York

It’s amazing how many things a child will suddenly find to do if I suggest that there are plenty of chores I would like him to do.
-Matt Davies, New Jersey

I join in the chorus of “I’m bored” until we all just laugh our heads off.
-Robin, Oklahoma

I say, “Well, just draw pictures in the air, honey.” And she does.
-Angela White, Virginia

[How Do We Shut Down the “I’m So Bored!” Whining?]

To keep everyone calm and happy on long rides, we play a game called “guess the word.” I start by saying a word – for example, “black” — and everyone else tries to find a word that goes along with it. For instance, blackbird or the pop group The Black Eyed Peas.
-Tiffanie Smith, Florida

I got this advice from my parents when I was a child: “Find something to do, or I will find something for you to do — and you won’t like what I pick!” My son usually stops bugging me after I say this.
-Helen, Ontario

A game of Monopoly or charades worked when my 11-year-old was younger, and it still works now.
-James, Maine

A sandbox and Legos are the best toys ever.
-Emily Dykema, Michigan

Obstacle courses in the living room; board games (award either prizes or points); reading to your child; or taking a drive together saying you’re “going on a mission.”
-Shawne Albero, New York

[Creative Activities for Restless Kids]