written by: Lynn-nore Chittom
• edited by: Daniel P. McGoldrick
• updated: 12/31/2010
Play therapy can be a significant part of helping children manage their ADHD symptoms. Read on to learn more about some of the best ADHD treatment toys and what makes them so useful.
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Two Types of Toys
ADHD treatment toys fit into two main categories -- toys that address the issue directly and those that address the ADHD indirectly.
Toys which directly address a child's attention deficit disorder generally describe their usefulness in the name of the game. For instance, The Social and Emotional Competence Card Game. These sorts of games are intended for parents to purchase as tools to help their children succeed or improve in a given area.
The second type of toys for children with ADHD are those which are intended for all children, but provide additional help for kids with ADHD. Toys in this second category often help soothe a child's hyperactivity while also grabbing and holding their attention. Toys such as Legos or Playdoh fit into this second category.
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Toys which directly address a child's ADHD symptoms are considered ADHD therapeutic toys. These toys are not usually available in toy stores or toy departments, but are offered through online sources. Toys are available for a variety of different ADHD symptoms. Here are some of the best selling and best rated therapeutic ADHD treatment toys available today through ChildTherapyToys.com.
The Talking, Feeling and Doing Game - This was the first ADHD game and is still one of the most popular. Through questions included in the play of the game, this toy helps parents and psychiatrists identify which issues are most anxiety provoking for the children playing the game.
Getting Along With Others: Charts and Tips to Help You Teach Social Skills to Children and Reward Their Good Behavior - This workbook helps kids learn and keep track of their social abilities.
The Self Esteem Game -- This game helps children focus on positive self-esteem statements and also helps them consider the emotional consequences of their actions.
Plain Bop Bag -- This bop bag is unlike those in toy stores as it is solid grey in color and comes with wipe off markers which allow children an opportunity to express themselves in pictures and release their frustrations against the bag.
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Soothing Attention Getters
In addition to intentionally therapeutic games, many popular children's toys are also very useful for kids with ADHD. Toys which force children to use fine motor skills and patience, while also entertaining them are ideal. While most of these toys do not address specific social skills, they do help reduce hyperactivity and help children practice sustained concentration. Here are some great toys that can be used as ADHD treatment toys.
Memory Games and Uno. These are often available featuring popular children's characters.
Toys which use gross motor skills, such as Twister, can also be fun and provide an outlet for children with ADHD, although they do not provide a calming element.
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Other toys which are not directly marketed as ADHD treatment toys, but are often useful, are those which encourage pretend play through dolls or characters. Doll houses with representative family members can be helpful for children to play out various scenarios. Observing children during their play time can be very telling in terms of what issues they are working through. Playing with children with toys like this can help teach them proper social skills such as manners and kindness. Although boys are less likely to play with doll houses, character-based toys such as army men, super heroes, or small figures from movies such as Toy Story or Cars, can be used in similar ways. Toys such as dress-up clothes, puppets and play tents may also be used as pretend play ADHD treatment toys.
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Parents of children with ADHD should try a variety of different ADHD treatment toys from both categories to find games and toys which engage and instruct their children according to their individual interests and needs.