ADHD toys are great for helping with ADHD symptoms—some kids have problems with inattentiveness, while other children struggle with hyperactivity, and some children may have issues with both at once.
Not all toys suit all children as ADHD manifests differently in different people. However, with the range of features and toy designs available on the market, surely there will be a toy that suits your kiddo.
While we were looking for the very best ADHD toys, we found a variety of options that will help kids focus and develop while also having fun.
What Makes a Great ADHD Toy?
Selecting toys for children can be a challenge, even more so when considering niche toys like ADHD toys. Some kids have special needs, so picking a toy that meets those needs will help them boost things like concentration, self-confidence and hand-eye coordination. Toys that allow for movement without being too distracting are the way to go since fidget toys are able to help with focus.
Most toys come with a manufacturer’s recommended age range. Toys meant for younger children are simpler, while toys meant for older children are more complex. A toy that’s too complicated for a young child will be frustrating to play with, while a toy that’s too simple will be boring for an older kid.
A great ADHD toy will be age-appropriate and challenging enough to keep your child stimulated, while still being simple enough to not take up too much cognitive energy, allowing your child to focus on the task at hand.
As with all toys, safety is paramount—the last thing you want is for your child to get hurt while having fun. Many toy manufacturers make toys according to international toy safety standards and the information is usually posted on their website for anyone interested. Manufacturers also include safety information like recommended age and any warnings in the packaging or product listing.
When looking at a toy’s design, pay attention to any sharp edges or moving parts that can trap small fingers. If there are small children in your home, you’ll want to stay away from toys with magnets and small parts that can fall off and become a choking hazard. Pick toys that are durable, especially for younger kids who will lovingly put toys through the wringer.
For children with ADHD, the best toys are those that provide stimuli without being so distracting that they draw all of their attention. Every child is different—certain kids do better with certain toys. The main environment where the toy will be used is important too. For example, if the toy is used in school, it should not be disruptive or uncomfortable to use, nor should it take up too much attention as the child is using the toy as an aid to stay focused on lessons.
Some children under-respond or over-respond to sensory stimuli. Toys that provide harsh stimulation like loud noises and vibrations can be difficult to deal with for a child with ADHD, so a calming or quiet sensory toy will be better for kids who find noisy toys stressful.
Meanwhile, other kids may have trouble sitting still—fidget toys that help keep their hands occupied can help them concentrate, or games that involve movement can help them get rid of their excess energy.
Finally, some children respond best to toys that encourage expression and imagination—finding out what your child responds to best will help you find a toy that hits all the right spots.
From funky fidget cubes to toys that allow for some satisfying squishing and popping, we’ve rounded up our favorites among ADHD toys. Kids can use these toys as a hands-on way to keep themselves calm and focused.