Do you want your child or your loved ones with ADHD to stop feeling restless, frustrated, and angry?
I’ve got you the most modern and best calming activities for ADHD children and adults!
Our list of relaxing activities for ADHD provides sensory input, helps a child self-regulate, reduces stress and anxiety, helps them be less fidgety, and helps them stay calm.
This is the most comprehensive list you can ever find on the internet – at least, for now!
So, search this long list to get the calming activities that work best for you.
Let’s start with the preparation for these exercises.
- Preparing the Calming Activities for ADHD Children and Adults
- Why are these Preparations Important?
- 160 Modern and Practical Calming Activities for ADHD Adults and Kids
- 1. Wheelbarrow
- 2. Hands and Knees Superman
- 3. Salt Dough
- 4. Climbing
- 5. Paper Scrunching
- 6. Clothes Pegs
- 7. Squeezing Games
- 8. Using Scissors
- 9. Tongs
- 10. Nuts and Bolts
- 11. Music Does Magic
- 12. Board Games
- 13. Crafts and Arts
- 14. Balloon Volleyball
- 15. Use Fidgets
- 16. Perform Stretches
- 17. Perform some Yoga
- 18. Kaleidoscopes
- 19. Sing ABCs
- 20. Chew Gum
- 21. Request for a Warm Hug
- 22. Sing or Hum a Song
- 23. Go for a Brisk Walk
- 24. Chew on a Chew Toy
- 25. Wear Noise Reduction Gadgets
- 26. Use Stretchy Resistance Bands
- 27. Use a Weighted Animal or Weighted Snake
- 28. Utilize a Sensory Cuddle Swing
- 29. Pudding Play
- 30. Utilize a Compression or weighted vest
- 31. Listen to an Audio Book
- 32. Use a peanut ball or yoga ball
- 33. Set up a dot-to-dot puzzle or a maze
- 34. Catching or tossing the weighted ball
- 35. Practice a deep breathing exercise
- 36. Read a book
- 37. Rub lotion on
- 38. Make music or play an instrument
- 39. Follow along with music lyrics
- 40. Draw an item and clean it
- 41. Engage in deep-pressure massage
- 42. Wear sunglasses
- 43. Deep-pressure massage
- 44. Write a journal
- 45. Draw a picture of yourself or someone else
- 46. Color pictures in a coloring book
- 47. Utilize essential oils
- 48. Suck on Candies
- 49. Write a short fiction story
- 50. Diffuse essential oils
- 51. Bath Epsom salt
- 52. Bounce a ball or several balls
- 53. Visit a quiet sensory location
- 54. Cuddle a pet
- 55. Use a ball tent
- 56. Slowly count forward and backward
- 57. Have a bubble bath
- 58. Rub beads on hands
- 59. Wrap up in a warm blanket
- 60. Use a ball tent
- 61. Wash hands with warm water and scented soap
- 62. Close your eyes for minutes
- 63. Deep meditation
- 64. Focus on what you smell, taste, see, touch, and hear
- 65. Blow on a feather
- 66. Perform mindful activities
- 67. Brush your hair or style it
- 68. Play with foam
- 69. Play with clay
- 70. Play with shadow puppets
- 71. Perform heavy tasks
- 72. Build with building toys or blocks
- 73. Utilize a sensory calm-down bottle
- 74. Crawl through boxes
- 75. Rip up tissue paper
- 76. Make funny faces in the mirror
- 77. Have kids play in dry beans sensory bins
- 78. Drink a smoothie or milkshake using straw
- 79. Use a straw to blow pom poms
- 80. Push against a wall
- 81. Peer at a liquid sensory timer
- 82. Use each hand to draw figure 8
- 83. Use bath time paints and crayons
- 84. Play with Jella
- 85. Lay in bed using a compression sheet
- 86. Have fun with silly putty
- 87. Squeeze stress balls
- 88. Play with slime – You can make one too
- 89. Sit on an Ergo seat or Kore stool
- 90. Pop bubble wrap
- 91. Create art using Wikki Stix
- 92. Squish between cushions or pillows
- 93. Have fun with a water beads sensory bin
- 94. Look at pictures in a magazine or an album.
- 95. Play with whip cream
- 96. Have kids blow on a pinwheel
- 97. Lie down on a bean bag chair
- 98. Use a lap pad or weighted blanket
- 99. Hug or squeeze a toy or stuffie
- 100. Play with play-doh
- 101. Suck on ice
- 102. Wear an eye mask
- 103. Take a cold shower
- 104. Play with play-dah
- 105. Practice joint compressions
- 106. Blow bubbles in a bowl or cup
- 107. Use a mini massager
- 108. Listen to a bird’s sound through an APP or a CD
- 109. Play the ‘I Spy’ game
- 110. Make a craft that will be memorable
- 111. Mount on a body sock
- 112. Blow bubbles
- 113. Play a board game
- 114. Trace hands with fingers
- 115. Sniff stickers or smell scratch
- 116. Hug anyone
- 117. Read with a flashlight
- 118. Sit in a sensory tent
- 119. Doodle on a whiteboard or paper
- 120. Relax on pillows
- 121. Exercise
- 122. Swim for hours
- 123. Play in a sensory sand table or sandbox
- 124. Hug yourself
- 125. Have fun with water toys
- 126. Play with kinetic sand
- 127. Utilize a scooter board
- 128. Try to balance on a balance board
- 129. Use a quality vibration cushion
- 130. Visual calming card
- 131. Roll a small ball over your skin slowly
- 132. Use a scooter board
- 133. Use your fingers to pain
- 134. Paint a picture on the wall
- 135. Watch a snow globe
- 136. Toss beans bag
- 137. Play with rice bins
- 138. Lift mini lightweights
- 139. Play in a dry or cooked pasta bin
- 140. Make scented sensory jars
- 141. Talk about emotions and feelings
- 142. Cover yourself with a super soft blanket
- 143. Eat a crunchy fool
- 144. Carry a weighted backpack
- 145. Blow up balloons
- 146. Write a letter
- 147. Use a lava lamp
- 148. Spin on a spin toy
- 149. Examine a sensory bubble tube
- 150. Cat’s cradle
- 151. Use a rocking chair
- 152. Smell scented sensory jars
- 153. Examine a sensory bubble tube
- 154. Use a sensory projection light
- 155. Wear weighted hats
- 156. Use a huggable massager
- 157. Play with super soft toys
- 158. Use the playground tower
- 159. Have kids or adults use a fiberoptic sensory light
- 160. Watch funny skits
- Final Thoughts
Preparing the Calming Activities for ADHD Children and Adults
Before scheduling your child for any of the activities below, we’ve got some recommendations:
1. Wake up the Muscles
Squeeze their hands, shoulders, arms, and their fingers.
2. Use Brush Along the Skin
Another essential preparation technique is to brush along the skin. You can use a vibrating massager or a brush.
Why are these Preparations Important?
It will help the child or the adult to be aware of their body, helping them be more effective and accurate in their movements.
If your child has any tightness in their hands or arm, offer them an excellent stretch before implementing these activities.
A close friend will always insist: Irrespective of the results obtained, praise efforts!
How kind that is! Praising efforts motivates, even if they don’t succeed at first.
Okay, it’s time to explore this list. Fasten your seatbelt!
160 Modern and Practical Calming Activities for ADHD Adults and Kids
Jill Mays is no stranger to wheelbarrow activities. She does it regularly with her three children.
What’s her experience? She said: “All the kids love it.” Why does she do it often?
Jill says wheelbarrow activity builds core strength and helps hands get more muscular.
In addition, it requires no ADHD calming toys.
It’s straightforward and can be done anywhere.
How to Perform Wheelbarrow Activity
- Hold the child by their hips with their hands on the floor and their legs straddling you.
- Ask the child to move around the floor, picking up some ADHD calming toys you’ve got. Let them pick as many as both of you can go.
- Move hands down to the child’s knees and move around the room – You can still keep picking up objects.
- You can also hold the child by their ankle. Be sure not to hang their tummy down; instead, keep their bottom in the air.
You can think of a game to add. It will make it more interesting.
As the child gets stronger, you could go even farther. For example, if you have a staircase, you can go up any steps.
Some experts who play this game will create an obstacle course to move over or around.
2. Hands and Knees Superman
Michelle Kenway is one of the Physiotherapists with much love for superman exercises.
Hands and knees superman can be paired with attention on breathing control.
Some kids might love the competitiveness of this activity by holding a pose for a particular duration.
It suggests holding each posture for a specific period.
How to Play Hands and Knees Superman with Kids or Toddlers
- Like superman, reach out one of your arms straight out in the air.
- To keep the arm up, a teacher or the parent can ask the child to keep a soft toy or balance a beanbag.
- Try to hold it for a minute.
- After, the child can put the arm down and lift one leg straight out.
- Hold this for a specified time, a minute.
- They can also learn to hold the opposite arm and leg out simultaneously for a minute at least.
- This move will challenge their elbow, shoulder, and hand stability.
- Then try the other side.
3. Salt Dough
I’ve got a long-standing obsession with salt dough. If you try it once, you’ll come back to it repeatedly.
Hence, it’s one of the best calming activities for an ADHD child. In addition, it can be one of the perfect calming activities for ADHD at school.
Tara revealed that while her kids think that making and playing with salt dough is all games and fun, she mentioned that they are actually learning many essential skills.
These skills include improving math skills, learning what happens when they mix specific ingredients, and how they can measure liquids and solids.
Kneading, squashing, and pulling apart the play dough, are great exercises for hand strengthening.
To add more fun, hide objects in the dough and ask your kids to manipulate them to get the toy.
For many kids, repetitive pulling and kneading are relaxing and calming when feeling irritable.
Bonus point: There are different adaptations you can find on YouTube.
In the article “Why children climb,” Frost, Joe L. mentioned five reasons this calming activity is incredible.
Development, fun, learning, and adrenalin are incredible advantages of this activity.
Climbing, regardless of its form, offers proprioceptive input and resistance, especially when the climbing is done via the hands and arms.
The climbing can be that of climbing furniture or even the stairs.
So what makes the game more fun?
The more weight that goes through the arms!
Ask your kids to hang on a monkey bar or move along the bars for more challenging ones.
Alternatively, they can hang off a door or a cabin bed frame. When you choose this, supervision is highly required!
Also Read this article: Top 60+ Resources for ADHD
5. Paper Scrunching
Your child can scrunch junk mail or a large piece of newspaper into smaller balls that can fit into their hands.
Now, instruct them to try it with a hand. Of course, this will be challenging. But that’s the idea.
Another idea is to ask them to set up a target where they can throw it in. A recycling bin can be a perfect idea.
This also activates the muscle required for pencil control. While it will calm the adult or the kid down, it will even do more!
6. Clothes Pegs
Clothes pegs are fascinating for children and by extension, adults with ADHD!
Tikal agrees that clothes pegs can be an excellent source of great fun and interest.
However, he emphasized that supervision is essential, especially for kids.
And the most important point from Tikal is that this calming activity enhances motor skills.
How to Play
- Start by cutting a piece of hard card to a head shape. The kid can draw a face on the sheet and then use the pegs to make hair.
- Another option could be to tie strings around one or two chair legs and peg the strings. Ask your child to remove those pegs. You can introduce arithmetic.
- In your home, peg curtains or other items that you have with all your pegs.
- Ask your kids to move around and ask them to deliver a specific number of pegs.
For example, you could say: “I need 60 pegs in this bowl; you’ll find them on the curtains!” This is both funny and a welcome distraction.
7. Squeezing Games
One excellent resistive activity is the squeezing games. It’s easy to start and play.
First, find an empty toothpaste tube, fill it with either yogurt or liquid, and hand it over to a child or an adult so they can have fun squeezing it.
They can also fill a bottle with any liquid and let them have fun squeezing out the liquid.
Finally, they can make snake dough with a plastic bag having a hole filled with playdough.
8. Using Scissors
Attention: If you opt for these calming activities for your child, they need to be monitored.
Using scissors is both an excellent and thrilling way to strengthen hands.
The kids might begin by learning to cut dough. This step helps the kids learn how to cut the right way.
Kids might use the dough to make a snake and then cut them into pieces!
As they advance, you can draw more complex images and become more inventive with your cutting. Thereafter, they cut out those shapes.
Items to Use
- Aluminum foil
- Egg boxes
- The crinkly inside chocolate or biscuit boxes
Begin with junk modeling with all of your recycling items. Doing this builds attention and planning to a task and imagination that benefits kids with ADHD!
You can get the Silicon Mini Tongs.
Wright agreed that the Tongs are great to be played with. Denise uses it for kids in the classroom.
Tongs are amazing for resistance activities. Use the tongs to hand-pick soft toys, and socks.
This can function as a scavenger hunt too.
Inform them about the items they should pick up!
You can take pictures of those items and pick them up around the house.
Adults can even enjoy these tasks. It can be a healthy way to distract themselves from problems.
10. Nuts and Bolts
Sue, a Montessori-certified mother of 3 adorable kids, speaks highly of nuts and bolts toys!
She agreed that kids could be really thrilled and fascinated at how things can be assembled and put together.
And the nuts and bolts activities are important for helping them get this concept clearly.
With years of psych experience and professional adolescents under her belt, she believed that you wouldn’t regret introducing this to your adolescence.
You can start by collecting nuts and bolts you have in your home.
Another alternative will be to get some plastic and nuts on Amazon. They are cheap; you can get more than a pair.
The next step is to proceed by getting a card. Therefore, cut small holes and amuse your child by asking them to thread the bolt through the holes.
Thereafter, they can screw the nuts onto them. This can allow them to make some excellent 3D art.
11. Music Does Magic
A little bit of music in the life of an adult with ADHD can be effective in curtailing tension and anxiety.
How does music help? It enhances engagement, attention, and working memory.
Calming music helps deliver stress relief for adults and children.
It might be time to incorporate music into your daily life if you have ADHD or a child with the condition.
12. Board Games
Most kids love board games. Why important? It teaches kids how to be patient. They are also sufficient for faster attention spans.
Simple and easy image puzzles are excellent calming activities for kids.
Thus, parents and teachers are encouraged to teach kids board games that demand a lengthier attention span.
With board games, your kids will improve their thinking and mental ability.
You can start with chess.
13. Crafts and Arts
In the article, Healing Power of Art, it was revealed that creative activities have the power to relieve stress.
Thus, there is no denying that this calming activity is excellent for calming children, even adults.
What do your kids love? Model building, sewing, painting, sewing, or drawing?
Ask your child with hyperactivity to get involved in this; it will be very encouraging!
14. Balloon Volleyball
It might not really surprise you to find this calming activity here.
Balloon volleyball is an exciting game. How did MP feel about Balloon Volleyball?
She expressed how much her five-year-old son loved it, claiming that it’s one of the easiest balloons she’s ever played with.
Will MP get it again? A resounding yes!
It can be an excellent soothing activity for as many children as possible.
It’s also an excellent game for one child if other children aren’t around.
How to Play
- Draw a line
- Ask your kids to blow the balloon in the air
- Ask them to run back and forth over the line till the balloon lands.
15. Use Fidgets
Fidgeting increases dopamine and norepinephrine. These chemicals play a significant role in increasing attention.
16. Perform Stretches
17. Perform some Yoga
This is one of the ADHD calming toys that can create fascinating and beautiful patterns for pleasure.
19. Sing ABCs
20. Chew Gum
21. Request for a Warm Hug
Kids can enjoy this. Adults can do this with their spouses too.
22. Sing or Hum a Song
23. Go for a Brisk Walk
24. Chew on a Chew Toy
25. Wear Noise Reduction Gadgets
Headphones are perfect examples. You don’t have to break the bank. Get a simple one!
26. Use Stretchy Resistance Bands
27. Use a Weighted Animal or Weighted Snake
28. Utilize a Sensory Cuddle Swing
29. Pudding Play
30. Utilize a Compression or weighted vest
31. Listen to an Audio Book
32. Use a peanut ball or yoga ball
33. Set up a dot-to-dot puzzle or a maze
34. Catching or tossing the weighted ball
35. Practice a deep breathing exercise
36. Read a book
37. Rub lotion on
38. Make music or play an instrument
39. Follow along with music lyrics
40. Draw an item and clean it
41. Engage in deep-pressure massage
42. Wear sunglasses
43. Deep-pressure massage
44. Write a journal
45. Draw a picture of yourself or someone else
46. Color pictures in a coloring book
47. Utilize essential oils
48. Suck on Candies
49. Write a short fiction story
50. Diffuse essential oils
51. Bath Epsom salt
52. Bounce a ball or several balls
53. Visit a quiet sensory location
54. Cuddle a pet
55. Use a ball tent
56. Slowly count forward and backward
57. Have a bubble bath
58. Rub beads on hands
59. Wrap up in a warm blanket
60. Use a ball tent
61. Wash hands with warm water and scented soap
62. Close your eyes for minutes
63. Deep meditation
64. Focus on what you smell, taste, see, touch, and hear
65. Blow on a feather
66. Perform mindful activities
67. Brush your hair or style it
68. Play with foam
69. Play with clay
70. Play with shadow puppets
71. Perform heavy tasks
72. Build with building toys or blocks
73. Utilize a sensory calm-down bottle
74. Crawl through boxes
75. Rip up tissue paper
76. Make funny faces in the mirror
77. Have kids play in dry beans sensory bins
78. Drink a smoothie or milkshake using straw
79. Use a straw to blow pom poms
80. Push against a wall
81. Peer at a liquid sensory timer
82. Use each hand to draw figure 8
83. Use bath time paints and crayons
84. Play with Jella
85. Lay in bed using a compression sheet
86. Have fun with silly putty
87. Squeeze stress balls
88. Play with slime – You can make one too
89. Sit on an Ergo seat or Kore stool
90. Pop bubble wrap
91. Create art using Wikki Stix
92. Squish between cushions or pillows
93. Have fun with a water beads sensory bin
94. Look at pictures in a magazine or an album.
95. Play with whip cream
96. Have kids blow on a pinwheel
97. Lie down on a bean bag chair
98. Use a lap pad or weighted blanket
99. Hug or squeeze a toy or stuffie
100. Play with play-doh
101. Suck on ice
102. Wear an eye mask
103. Take a cold shower
104. Play with play-dah
105. Practice joint compressions
106. Blow bubbles in a bowl or cup
107. Use a mini massager
108. Listen to a bird’s sound through an APP or a CD
109. Play the ‘I Spy’ game
110. Make a craft that will be memorable
111. Mount on a body sock
112. Blow bubbles
113. Play a board game
One player for a single person and multiple for several kids
114. Trace hands with fingers
115. Sniff stickers or smell scratch
116. Hug anyone
117. Read with a flashlight
118. Sit in a sensory tent
119. Doodle on a whiteboard or paper
120. Relax on pillows
122. Swim for hours
123. Play in a sensory sand table or sandbox
124. Hug yourself
125. Have fun with water toys
126. Play with kinetic sand
127. Utilize a scooter board
128. Try to balance on a balance board
129. Use a quality vibration cushion
130. Visual calming card
131. Roll a small ball over your skin slowly
132. Use a scooter board
133. Use your fingers to pain
134. Paint a picture on the wall
135. Watch a snow globe
136. Toss beans bag
137. Play with rice bins
138. Lift mini lightweights
139. Play in a dry or cooked pasta bin
140. Make scented sensory jars
141. Talk about emotions and feelings
142. Cover yourself with a super soft blanket
143. Eat a crunchy fool
Carrots, coconuts, or cucumbers.
144. Carry a weighted backpack
145. Blow up balloons
146. Write a letter
147. Use a lava lamp
148. Spin on a spin toy
149. Examine a sensory bubble tube
150. Cat’s cradle
151. Use a rocking chair
152. Smell scented sensory jars
153. Examine a sensory bubble tube
154. Use a sensory projection light
155. Wear weighted hats
156. Use a huggable massager
157. Play with super soft toys
158. Use the playground tower
159. Have kids or adults use a fiberoptic sensory light
160. Watch funny skits
Adults and kids with ADHD can really stay calm! If you are a parent, these soothing activities for ADHD can get you the best feeling from your children.
All kids are extraordinary. Because of the difference that exists among them, they are all unique.
And for that reason, we’ve got great length to get you a whopping 160 calming activities for ADHD.
Now, the bigger task is in your hand. What do I mean?
Find out which of these activities your kids love best. If you are an adult, it’s important to get try these activities.
We want both young and old to get empowered to achieve all they desire and put their minds at.
Emphasize kids’ positives and downplay their opposites.
With these activities, adults can stay calm and self-regulate!