Strategies and techniques to assist kids with ADHD at play centres
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) often occurs during childhood, with symptoms including hyperactivity, and a limited attention span. This condition can affect children in many ways, including difficulty with learning and making friendships and low self-esteem. It is important to note that if a parent suspects their child has ADHD symptoms they should seek medical advice.
There are many strategies and techniques that parents and carers can provide to support a child with ADHD. Kylie-Jane Shannon, owner of Jungle Kids Indoor Play Centre, elaborates on some of these. “Both indoor and outdoor play allows children with ADHD to express their spiritedness in a more conducive environment,” says Kylie. “In the context of outdoor activities, rustling leaves and gentle wind breezes across the skin, provide a level of calmness that helps children with ADHD to relax,” she adds.
“Indoor play centres provide the perfect environment for interpersonal skill development, teaching children to take turns, respect each other and learn to manage personal space,” says Kylie. “The variety of play activities such as slides, ball pits, swings and balancing beams help with the improvement of children’s flexibility and coordination as well as providing an effective outlet for children to expend their energy,” adds Kylie.
Effective strategies and techniques that support all children but can be particularly effective for children with ADHD include understanding rules, using positive language and praise, preparing children to switch activities or finish an activity, and helping children to manage their behaviour.
“It is imperative to remind children of appropriate play, and should be done in a specific manner, as children with ADHD usually understand best through demonstration,” says Kylie. “For example, telling a child that fun balls must be placed in the ball pit after one is done playing with them followed by enacting the rule, is the most helpful way of explaining rules effectively,” adds Kylie.
Using positive language and praise is a more effective way of supporting a child to manage their behaviour. For example, saying ‘Please wait for your turn’ as opposed to Don’t push’ demonstrates how we learn to interact respectfully with each other. Commending positive behaviour is vital for all children, however, those with ADHD react very positively to praise. Commend a child who has demonstrated positive behaviour. For example, say, ‘Well done Micah, for playing so well with your friends today’ or ‘Thank you Micah for being kind to Rosie today’.
It is important to support children to manage their own behaviour. Strategies that can help include, giving children an indication of when an activity will end or when they will need to switch or transition to a new activity. All children, but more often those with ADHD, need time to realise that the situation they are currently in or experiencing is about to change. “Reminding children of the duration of play, as well as mentioning the time left before finishing an activity, eases the packing up process and helps prepare children for home time,” says Kylie.
For children who find it hard to manage their behaviour or display forms of tantrums, it is important to be kind but firm. Children like boundaries, so being clear about behavioural expectations and what will and won’t be tolerated is necessary from the outset. It is also important to be consistent about behavioural expectations. “for example, should a child display impatience in a crowded line that potentially may trigger a tantrum, suggest a detour to another play area until the traffic of the previous area slows down,” says Kylie.
Jungle Kids Indoor Play Centre continues to dedicate its expertise and delight to serving families within the town of Wallan, Victoria.
Check out their full range of services and current featured promotions at junglekids.com.au.Visit their Facebook page to view all their activities and special offerings. Jungle Kids Indoor Play Centre is open seven (7) days a week and is open until 5:00pm on weekdays during the school holidays.
As part of their Play-all-day Single Admission, adults and babies attend free of charge. 12 months to 3 years old attend at $8.50 and 4 years old to 12 years old attend at $10.00.
Written and syndicated by: YDMA News