Friendships & Activities

Gift Guide: ADHD-Friendly Presents to Build Your Child’s Brain

A fidget that doubles as a ruler. A safe crash pad for wrestling, jumping, and crashing. A hammock cocoon. And more ADHD-tested gift ideas for creative, spirited, sometimes forgetful and disorganized kids.

A boy is excited to recieve one of the best gifts for kids with ADHD.
1 of 16

Break the Gift-Giving Mold!

Yes, you could buy another baby doll or Nerf weapon, and your kid would probably love it. Or you could invest in a gift that stimulates your child’s brain, builds up her working memory, or helps him improve social skills. If you’d like to give the gift of stronger organization skills, focus at school, or reduced anxiety, use these ADHD-tested recommendations to get a jump on holiday shopping.

A girl with ADHD sleeps under a weighted blanket she received as a gift.
2 of 16

1. Mosaic Weighted Blankets

Kids with ADHD don’t sleep well. Why? Their brains and bodies run in perpetual overdrive — and when comorbid conditions like anxiety or sensory issues come along for the ride, quiet rest is elusive. One solution is this calming weighted blanket, which wraps your child in a reassuring “hug” as he falls asleep. Mosaic blankets come in tons of colors, patterns, and weights, so you can construct the most snuggly combination for your unique child.  ($84.95-$139.95; www.mosaicweightedblankets.com)

A kiwi crate is a great gift for kids with ADHD.
3 of 16

2. Kiwi Crates

It takes serious time and energy to find toys that are age-appropriate, stimulate curiosity, and encourage our children to interact with the world. Now, a subscription service called Kiwi Crate does the heavy lifting, sending you a kit each month filled with STEM-based activities to get kids aged 3-4, 5-8, or 9-16+ thinking, learning, and building. Each Kiwi Crate comes with handy ratings, indicating the expected level of parental involvement, mess, and skill building in each kit. They’re all-in-one tools to help your child’s creativity blossom! (Starting at $16.95/month; www.kiwicrate.com)

A mom high-fives her daughter. Giving praise is part
4 of 16

3. Desk Buddy

Some kids with ADHD focus best when fidgeting, but misinformed teachers may assume that movement distracts from their work. Now, with the dual-purpose Desk Buddy, kids can fidget and remain productive, with teachers and classmates none the wiser! This fidget doubles as a ruler, and has differently textured sections for children to rub or tap to their heart’s desire. It’s made of FDA-approved material, dishwasher-safe, and bacteria resistant — so don’t worry: it’s safe for your child to chew, too! ($9.99; www.sensoryuniversity.com)

This green swing is great for people with ADHD.
5 of 16

4. InYard Therapy Net Swing

This super strong hammock swing is perfect for children with hyperactivity or sensory issues, or anyone on the autism spectrum. The high-quality cotton and Lycra fabric swaddles your child like a cocoon, creating a relaxing safe space where she can rock all her worries away. The therapy swing comes in several colors and is machine-washable; plus, the “jumbo” size supports up to 165 pounds — perfect for teens and even parents. ($69.70-$89.70; www.inyardproducts.com)

This will help your child with ADHD with their balance!
6 of 16

5. Diggin Wobble Deck Extreme Balancing Game

Balance boards like the Diggin Wobble Deck are used by Dr. Ned Hallowell in his Learning Breakthrough Program (LBP), a non-medical exercise-based intervention for treating ADHD. The program is based on stimulating the cerebellum and frontal lobe, spurring natural improvement of difficult ADHD symptoms. Your child doesn’t need to know any of this, though — she’ll be having too much fun wiggling and rocking on the balance board! Have her try it while she’s watching TV; she’ll improve balance, coordination, and (maybe) ADHD symptoms instead of just sitting there. ($39.95; www.stuccu.com)

With this set up, your child with ADHD will be so comfortable and focused, homework won’t seem like such a big deal.
7 of 16

6. Too Cool Tween Homework Kit

As a child enters the tween years, she peer needs, attention skills, and temperament all begin to change. She may suddenly be more opposed to doing her homework at precisely the time when middle- and high-school grades begin to really matter. To bring her attention back to homework, get her this all-in-one focus kit, complete with a comfy beanbag, a sensory cushion, and a concentration-boosting CD. She’ll be so comfortable and focused, homework won’t seem like such a big deal. ($136.96; www.funandfunction.com)

check out this mega “crash pad,” where your child can jump, fall, or wrestle to his heart’s content.
8 of 16

7. Crash Pad

If your child has hyperactive-type ADHD, chances are you’ve considered outfitting him in full, protective football gear as he leaps boldly from couches, careens around the house, or spins wildly in his tire swing. To give you peace of mind (and him a new thrill-seeking activity!) check out this mega “crash pad,” where your child can jump, fall, or wrestle to his heart’s content. The surface wipes clean, and the cushy foam is bouncy enough for jumping, yet soft enough for relaxing. No more busted bedsprings or skinned knees! ($155; on www.amazon.com)

9 of 16

8. KidCash

Everyone knows kids with ADHD do great with rewards, but it can be a struggle for parents to implement systems that work for each child’s unique needs. Enter KidCash, a simple incentive system based on real-world economic principles. When your child behaves well, you reward her with realistic looking “cash” that can be exchanged for candy, device time, or put in savings. When she misbehaves, you can present her with “tickets” that can be paid for with cash she’s already earned. Your child will feel all grown up controlling her own “money,” and start to understand the consequences for her actions, too. ($25; www.kidcash.com)

The TranQuil vibrating pencil is a great gift for a child with ADHD.
10 of 16

9. Tran-Quill Vibrating Pencil Kit

If your child struggles with handwriting — whether due to dysgraphia, poor fine motor control, or difficulty focusing — the Tran-Quill Vibrating Pencil Kit might be the answer. The pencil vibrates gently as your child writes, increasing focus and subtly improving pencil grip as your child builds muscle memory. To top it off (literally!) each Tran-Quill pencil comes with interchangeable Bite-n-Chew pencil tips, allowing chronic pencil chewers to get the oral stimulation they need while they work on improving handwriting skills. ($39.99; www.arktherapeutic.com)

A worry eater is a great gift for a child with ADHD.
11 of 16

10. Worry Eaters

ADHD often goes hand in hand with anxiety, and it can be devastating for parents to watch their child struggle with constant worry. Worry Eaters are comforting toys that can be used to help young children manage anxiety. By writing or drawing his or her worry on a piece of paper and zipping it into a Worry Eater’s mouth, your child can learn to express anxieties and let them go. Worry Eaters are goofy monster dolls that your child will love to play with, but they can also be close companions, helping your child carry the burden of anxiety. ($15.99-$22.99; www.haywiregroup.com)

Kids with ADHD play with a Busytown game they received as a gift.
12 of 16

11. Busytown Eye Found It Game

The stories of Richard Scarry, beloved children’s book author, come to life in this exciting board game for children under the age of 8. It promotes cooperation — a skill we can all work on — by requiring all players to work together toward a common goal. It also strengthens cognitive skills, visual processing, and planning, with an engaging plot that will provide young children with hours of fun! ($24.99; www.amazon.com)

A boy with ADHD plays with a Zoob Challenge set he received as a gift.
13 of 16

12. ZOOB Challenge

If your child goes wild for Minecraft, she’ll love the ZOOB Challenge, an open-ended modeling system where creativity, problem solving, and perseverance are rewarded. The ZOOB system includes 175 pieces — including wheels, rubber bands, and balls — as well as 25 “challenge cards” to test your child’s ingenuity. Can she build a device that will bounce the ball? How about one that will send it down a ramp? For children interested in the science of motion, the ZOOB challenge will provide hours of STEM-based fun. ($49.95; www.mindware.com)

LazerMaze is a great gift for kids with ADHD.
14 of 16

13. Laser Maze

Children with ADHD can struggle with executive functions like sequencing tasks, and they often have difficulty understanding cause and effect. Laser Maze, an award-winning logic game, can help them on both fronts as they use mirrors, beam-splitters, and a little creativity to direct a laser
through a series of obstacles. Plus, Laser Maze’s engaging one-player design will allow your child to have plenty of solo fun — without resorting to staring at a screen. ($29.95; www.thinkfun.com)

Lineup is a great gift for kids with ADHD.
15 of 16

14. Lineup

Working memory is important (especially for kids with ADHD), but classic memory games can be slow moving and — dare we say it? — a bit dull. Lineup breaks the mold, testing memory, focus, and attention to detail using a comical crime scenario that kids will love. To top it off, Lineup ends with a fun twist that will keep your whole family guessing right until the end. Those who can remember the smallest details will come out ahead! ($24.95; www.mindware.com)

Demolition Lab is a great gift for kids with ADHD.
16 of 16

15. Demolition Lab

Your kid gets a kick out of destroying things, and while you want him to be happy, it’s not your favorite habit. Now, he can put his destructive tendencies to good use with Mindware’s Demolition Lab, the ultimate realistic (and safe) destruction kit for kids ages 8 and up. The set includes materials to build a factory or a warehouse, along with realistic “blasters” that your child can strategically place to help the whole thing come tumbling down! Some blaster locations are more destructive than others, so as your child destroys more and more, he’ll learn a little something along the way.($39.95; www.mindware.com)

Leave a Reply