Activities for Overactive Children

by Eliza Martinez Google

    Children can be wild and crazy at times, which is frustrating for parents who just want them to calm down and do their homework, clean their room or go to bed. Sometimes you want your child to relax so you can have some peace and quiet or so he can wind down at the end of the day. Planning activities for your overactive child helps harness his energy into something you can both enjoy and benefit from.

    Your child might not always quiet down, but when he becomes overstimulated and is having trouble maintaining control, a corner or nook where he can get away from his current situation can help him calm down and give you a break from the madness. Linda Kreger Silverman, Ph.D., writing for Education.com, suggests putting a pair of headphones attached to a radio in the quiet corner. This allows your child to listen to calming music or an audio book. Books and puzzles are other items that work well for a quiet corner because they give your child something to distract him, but don't make a lot of noise or require much space to use.

    Overactive children need an outlet for all their energy. Going outside is an ideal way to combine fun with a release for your child's need to move around, notes the Children's Physician Network. Head to the park and let him climb on the play structures, play football or Frisbee together, or simply go for a walk. Let your child ride his bike up and down your street, with your supervision. Blow bubbles, play hopscotch, jump rope, or jump on a mini trampoline. When your child is done, he'll probably be worn out and more likely to sit still for a while. (Especially if you've got that quiet corner ready.)

    Water play is an ideal way to wear an overactive child out so he'll rest or sit long enough for you to make dinner or pay the bills. Fill the bathtub and toss in some water toys and let your child pour, dump and splash around. In the summer, fill a wading pool for young kids to play in. Take older kids to the local swimming pool and play games for a couple of hours. Dive for toys, swim laps or play Marco Polo. Your child gets the chance to expend some energy while having a good time . Always supervise kids closely while they play in the water to prevent drowning. Remember that small children can drown in even very small amounts of water.

    Reading and coloring takes concentration, which makes both a good way to calm an overactive child while also teaching him to focus and sit still. The Children's Physician Network suggests starting with picture books and progressing to those with words and stories. Look for simple stories to keep your child engaged. As your child gets older, let him read books to himself for a short time each day. Coloring with crayons or markers offers similar benefits and is good for young children who have trouble sitting still.

    About the Author

    Eliza Martinez has written for print and online publications. She covers a variety of topics, including parenting, nutrition, mental health, gardening, food and crafts. Martinez holds a master's degree in psychology.

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