Benefits of Group Games
Many popular games, songs and play activities are especially beneficial when used as group games for children with attention deficit disorders. These games help children with ADHD practice and learn many necessary social and development skills. Depending on the activity, group games can help children with ADHD stretch their attention spans, practice patience and concentration, learn how to take turns, and develop skills in cooperation, strategy and memory building.
Because these activities are play-based, students enjoy participating in the games while learning valuable life skills in an indirect way. Group games for children with ADHD can have a positive future affect on their behavior in the classroom, at home, in social settings and even in future work environments.
Play With Me
When choosing group games for your children with attention deficit disorders, it is important to consider which life skills those games address. Here are a few good choices and the skills they teach.
Connect Four and Operation — Both of these popular children's games require patience and strategy. The game Operation also requires a certain amount of anger management and good sportsmanship as other players may succeed or fail at tasks which may seem either easy or difficult to their opponents. These situations can cause a variety of emotions and anxiety for children with ADHD. Adult supervision can help guide them through their feelings of frustration.
Memory-Based Games – Group games that work on memory skills are excellent for helping children with ADHD practice memory building techniques. The best options are ones which build throughout the game — similar to the progression in the story The House that Jack Built — with each turn adding something that needs to be remembered and recited.
Puzzles — Puzzles are excellent group activities for practicing patience and focus. They are often calming for children with ADHD and help them practice sustaining concentration. The fine motor skills required for puzzles are also beneficial for children with ADHD as they require both physical and mental focus.
Outdoor Games — Kickball, capture the flag, freeze tag and soccer are all good outdoor sports for children with ADHD. They are a good release for hyperactivity while still requiring a certain amount of structure and sportsmanship. Adult supervision can help turn these multiple-player games for children with attention deficit disorders into learning experiences as children are faced with the emotional challenges of losing and recovering after moments of frustration. These team activities also require cooperation, strategy and sustained focus.
Board Games or Bored Games?
Traditional board games can also be very beneficial as group games for children with attention deficit disorders. The structure of playing a board game can be a challenge for children with ADHD as it can be difficult for them to pay attention while waiting for their turn. This is exactly why board games can be good skill-building activities. With adult supervision, board games, such as Sorry and Monopoly, can be good opportunities for children with ADHD to practice taking turns, waiting quietly, and planning ahead. They also require children to manage their anger and anxiety as other players affect the outcome of the game. It may be necessary to play a simplified version or to stop occasionally to discuss proper sportsmanship.
Group games for children with attention deficit disorders can help them develop good social skills and life skills. Over time the lessons learned through group games will carry over to other areas of life and prove useful in the classroom and in situations that require team work, cooperation and compromise.