11 Sports to Adapt for Play at Home for ADHD

11 Sports to Adapt for Play at Home for ADHD

Sport is a great way for our child to get the exercise and movement they need, while also building confidence, self-esteem, strength, stamina and team-working skills. It’s also lots of fun!

Sport can be particularly helpful for children with ADHD. It offers a great opportunity to channel excess energy, let off steam, and work on impulse control and discipline. Physical exercise has been proven to boost the mood and brain function of those with ADHD, so there’s that too!

While sport is traditionally played out of the home (and often in teams), we can adapt lots of games to play at home. There are 12 sporty ideas to try below. 

If we have more than one child in the house these games can be played in a group; however we can also play 1-1 with our child, or they can practice the skills alone. 

Here are some great indoor sports and activity ideas to try at home with your child

  1. Set up a volleyball court with a piece of string between two walls, or between two chairs.  You’ll also need a balloon or softish ball.

  2. The aim of the game is to make the balloon/ball touch the floor on your opponent’s side of the string.

  3. If your child has less accurate arm function a corridor is a good place to set up your court as the walls keep the balloon in reach. 

  4. For more physical children, we can set this up in the middle of a room or in the garden between two chairs to encourage more activity.

  1. To make your ‘net’, set up a laundry basket or draw a circle on a piece of paper and stick it to the wall or the floor.

  2. Throw a ball into the net to score a goal. 

  3. Try to score a goal from different places – getting further away with each successful shot.  

  1. Set up ten bowling pins in a triangle shape – use toilet roll tubes or empty plastic bottles if you don’t have skittles. 

  2. Throw objects at the skittles to topple them. See how many tries it takes to knock them all down.

  3. Get further away from the skittles as your child improves.

  4. Try this with your child in some different positions – on their hands and knees or up high on their knees to work their muscles further.

  1. This is a fabulous and fully inclusive sport similar to Bowls. See this ‘Our Home‘ video which explains how to play the game. 

  1. In this version of hockey, you dribble a balloon (the ‘puck’) using your hands (the ‘stick’).

  2. For a single child game, you could set up an obstacle course with chairs and a goal at the end.

  3. For a sibling game, try to steal the balloon off each other to head for goals at opposite sides of the room/ garden.

  4. For a more dexterous child, keeping the balloon in the air while they crawl around the house will keep them entertained and use up lots of energy.

  • This great series Tennis at Home done by the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) provides simple ideas to practice your tennis skills in your back garden or in a room with a few meters of space.

  • If you don’t have a tennis racket you can still try these games with a fly swatter, any other kind of bat, a roll of wrapping paper or a broom. You could use socks, a balloon or scrunched up paper instead of a ball.

  • The activities vary in difficulty but most can be played from the wheelchair or in kneeling. 

  • In this video, Mickey Quinn gives some lovely and very challenging ideas of what to do with a ball to improve your ball handling skills at home. 

  1. Make an obstacle course at home for your child to dribble a football around.

  2. Depending on their skills, they could move the ball around objects or furniture or even try to shoot between two chairs as goals. 

  3. Can they dribble a ball from one side of the house to the other? Up and down stairs or on and off furniture will challenge their motor planning skills for an extra challenge.

  1. This #TogetherActivite mini series from Saracens Sport Foundation provides some fun activities to do at home which are loosely rugby focused. You don’t need a rugby ball and most of their activities use things you can find around the house. Some are indoor, some are outdoor.  

  2. The first video is here:

  3. The remaining videos can be found here

  1. Use empty tissue boxes on your child’s feet to slide around the floor. Challenge them to spin or slide on one leg.

  2. You could try using more tissue boxes on their hands to pretend to be an ice-skating bear!

Play Boccia

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