Top 10 Games for Kids with ADHD to Boost Brain Development

Kids with ADHD to Boost Brain Development
Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge

Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge

When your child has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD, it can sometimes feel like you're sitting on a wild train blindfolded. The ups and downs, the constant juggling of their short attention span, and the challenges in managing their behavior can leave you exhausted. 

To help you out, we're going to embark on a journey through the world of games—a fun and natural solution that can significantly benefit your child's brain health, attention, mood, and behavior.

Understanding ADHD in Children


To effectively support children with ADHD, we must first understand what they're going through. ADHD is not just about being hyperactive, but a complex neurological condition that affects a child's ability to focus, control impulses, and regulate their emotions. 

It's important to remember that ADHD isn't a result of poor parenting or a lack of discipline. It's a genuine medical condition that requires empathy, understanding, and a personalized approach to treatment.

ADHD isn't a one-size-fits-all diagnosis. There are primarily three types: inattentive, hyperactive-impulsive, and combined. Inattentive ADHD primarily affects a child's ability to focus while hyperactive-impulsive ADHD is characterized by restlessness and impulsivity. The combined ADHD presentation is a mix of both.

Additionally, ADHD often occurs alongside other conditions, such as anxiety, depression, or learning disabilities, which can make diagnosis and treatment even more complex. But here's the good news: With the right support and strategies, children with ADHD can thrive.

The Importance of Brain Development in Kids with ADHD


While the ADHD brain is wired a bit differently, it doesn't mean they can't thrive. Brain development is crucial for all kids, and it's especially important for people with ADHD. 

As parents of children with selective attention and executive function issues, you play a pivotal role in helping your child's brain develop to its fullest potential. One great way to do this is through playing games that target specific cognitive functions, such as attention, working memory, and problem-solving.

Now is the time to see games as more than just entertainment. They can be a therapeutic tool for cognitive growth and emotional regulation. When ADHD kids engage in certain kinds of play, they gain various benefits such as:

When ADHD kids engage in certain kinds of play

  • Improved attention span
  • Enhanced problem-solving skills
  • Better emotional regulation
  • Increased social skills
  • Heightened executive functions
  • Strengthened working memory
  • Reduced stress and anxiety

Factors to Consider When Choosing Games for Kids with ADHD


Before we delve into the top 10 games for kids with ADHD, it's essential to consider a few factors when selecting games for your child. These are:

  • Age-appropriateness: Ensure the game is suitable for your child's age and developmental stage.
  • Simplicity: Games with straightforward rules are often better for kids with ADHD.
  • Physical activity: Active games can help burn excess energy and improve focus.
  • Social interaction: Some games promote teamwork and communication skills.
  • Cognitive engagement: Look for games that challenge the brain and require problem-solving.
  • Interest level: Choose games that align with your child's interests and passions.

Top 10 Games for Children with ADHD

Now, let's get to the heart of the matter—our top 10 games that can make a world of difference for kids with ADHD. These are the best games that can help children with ADHD focus, improve motor skills, and develop problem-solving abilities. But more importantly, they give children a break from their daily routines and allow them to have some fun.

1. Scavenger Hunt Adventures


Scavenger hunts are a fantastic way to combine physical activity with cognitive engagement. Create a list of items to find around the house or in your backyard. This fun game not only improves attention but also encourages creativity while problem-solving.

2. Brain-Boosting Board Games


Classic board games like Chess, Chinese Checkers, or Scrabble are excellent choices. They require focused attention and strategic thinking to help your child develop critical mental skills. A study shows that the children who were made to play board games as a form of brain training exhibited improvement in their linguistic short-term memory and conduct problems after intervention (Estrada-Plana et al., 2019).

3. Simon Says 


Simon says can be used as a mindfulness game. It can help children with ADHD improve their self-control and attention skills while having a blast. First, teach your kids mindfulness techniques like belly breathing, sitting still, and listening to nature’s sounds.  When ready for the game, you can go, “Simon says: Do short, deep breaths!” 

4. Active Obstacle Course


Create an indoor or outdoor obstacle course with various challenges. An obstacle course is a great game that not only burns off excess energy but also enhances coordination and problem-solving. Physical activities have been shown to improve mental health, which has led to including exercise in mental health treatment (Lufi & Parish-Plass, 2011).

5. Bubble Wrap Pop Challenge


Who can resist popping bubble wrap? This simple yet engaging activity is an excellent way to help kids improve their hand-eye coordination while having loads of fun. No bubble wrap? You can get a fidget popper at toy stores. 

6. Digital Game Changers


In recent years, there has been a surge in therapeutic video games designed specifically for kids with ADHD. One notable example is the first FDA-approved prescription video game, which has shown promising results in improving attention skills (Canady, 2020).

7. Card Games for Cognitive Skills


Card games like Uno, Go Fish, or Crazy Eights, which are popular in elementary school, are perfect for honing executive functions, working memory, and social interaction—all while enjoying a fun card game with friends and family.

8. Time Management Challenge


Teach your child time management skills through games that involve setting timers and completing tasks within a specified time frame. It helps improve their ability to complete homework and manage their time effectively.

9. Social Skills and Communication Games


Engage in role-playing, sketch comedy, and improv games that focus on communication and social interaction. These games can help your child develop valuable skills in understanding and navigating social situations (Amador, 2018).

10. Creative Memory Games


Finally, encourage your child to engage in memory games like “I packed my suitcase” or “Memory Matching.” These games enhance working memory and concentration skills positively and enjoyably.

Raising a child with ADHD comes with its unique set of challenges, but it also brings endless opportunities for growth, development, and joy. Incorporate these top 10 games into your child's routine to provide them with an engaging and fun way to boost brain development, improve attention, regulate emotions, and develop essential life skills.

The BrainBehaviorResetTM Program is designed specifically for kids with ADHD and other mental health issues. It incorporates a carefully curated selection of science-backed natural solutions that target various cognitive functions. It provides your child with the therapeutic tools that can help them develop essential skills in a positive way.

Remember, every child is unique. So don't be discouraged if some games work better than others. The key is to keep trying and, most importantly, to create an environment filled with empathy, understanding, and love. Your child's journey is a marathon, not a sprint, and every step counts.

Parent Action Steps

  • Help your child embrace their uniqueness.
  • Select games that align with your child's interests.
  • Be flexible in your approach.
  • Play games as a family to strengthen bonds and create positive memories.
  • Implement game time as a reward for completing household chores or schoolwork.
  • Praise your child for their efforts and achievements in games.
  • Take this ADHD Quiz to know if your child has ADHD or something else. 
  • Try the Solution Matcher to get personalized treatment for your child. 


Amador, S. (2018). Teaching Social Skills Through Sketch Comedy And Improv Games: A Social Theatre Approach for Kids and Teens Including Those with ASD, ADHD, and Anxiety. 

Jessica Kingsley Publishers.Canady, V. A. (2020). FDA approves first video game Rx treatment for children with ADHD. Mental Health Weekly, 30(26), 1–7.

Estrada-Plana, V., Esquerda, M., Mangues, R., March-Llanes, J., & Moya-Higueras, J. (2019). A Pilot Study of the Efficacy of Cognitive Training Based on Board Games in Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Games for Health Journal, 8(4), 265–274.

Lufi, D., & Parish-Plass, J. (2011). Sport-Based Group Therapy Program for Boys with ADHD or with Other Behavioral Disorders. Child & Family Behavior Therapy, 33(3), 217–230.

Always remember… “Calm Brain, Happy Family™”

Are you looking for SOLUTIONS for your struggling child or teen? 

Dr. Roseann and her team are all about solutions, so you are in the right place! 

There are 3 ways to work with Dr. Roseann: 

You can get her books for parents and professionals, including: It’s Gonna Be OK™: Proven Ways to Improve Your Child’s Mental Health, Teletherapy Toolkit™ and Brain Under Attack: A Resource For Parents and Caregivers of Children With PANS, PANDAS, and Autoimmune Encephalopathy.

If you are a business or organization that needs proactive guidance to support employee mental health or an organization looking for a brand representative, check out Dr. Roseann’s media page and professional speaking page to see how we can work together. 

Dr. Roseann is a Children’s Mental Health Expert and Therapist who has been featured in/on hundreds of  media outlets including, CBS, NBC, FOX News, PIX11 NYC, The New York Times, The Washington Post,, Business Insider, USA Today, CNET, Marth Stewart, and PARENTS. FORBES called her, “A thought leader in children’s mental health.” 

Dr. Roseann - Brain Behavior Reset Parent Toolkit

She is the founder and director of The Global Institute of Children’s Mental Health and Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge. Dr. Roseann is a Board Certified Neurofeedback (BCN) Practitioner, a Board Member of the Northeast Region Biofeedback Society (NRBS), Certified Integrative Medicine Mental Health Provider (CMHIMP) and an Amen Clinic Certified Brain Health Coach.  She is also a member of The International Lyme Disease and Associated Disease Society (ILADS), The American Psychological Association (APA), Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) International Society for Neurofeedback and Research (ISNR) and The Association of Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (AAPB).

© Roseann-Capanna-Hodge, LLC 2023

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to give health advice and it is recommended to consult with a physician before beginning any new wellness regime. *The effectiveness of diagnosis and treatment vary by patient and condition. Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge, LLC does not guarantee certain results.

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