Spring break is here. Some families go on vacation but many stay at home. With the rise of technology, many kids navigate to screen time to fill in their free time. However, many studies show that too much screen time may lead to bigger issues.
For example, Clinical Psychological Science published a groundbreaking study that discussed some possible effects of excessive screen time. The study of 5,000 North American teens found a strong correlation between the proliferation of smartphones and teenage mental illness. The CDC recommends that in order for children to function well they should get at least one hour of physical activity a day and at least 8 hours of sleep a night. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation kids ages, 8-18 spend an average of 7.5 hours in front of a screen for entertainment each day which adds up to 114 full days of watching a screen annually.
Physical activity, a healthy diet, and adequate sleep are all keys in helping kids who have ADHD and who have Underachievement Syndrome. To get kids to stop spending so much time in front of their screens can be a little challenging for some parents. Research shows that when the brain’s reward pathway is activated (by having fun!), people with ADHD can pay attention for longer periods of time.
Unique activities that do not involve screen time
Tap into their interests & strengths- Encourage them to do something they like and are good at. If they like the activity they will be more likely to want to participate. In addition, having them do something in which they excel in will help bolster the confidence they need to try out things that are more challenging to them.
Play sports- If your kid enjoys sports this is a great way to encourage physical activity. Playing sports such as tennis or volleyball may help kids to release frustration in a healthy way. Archery can also be great for kids with ADD because it can help them to improve their focus and concentration.
Get outdoors- Research shows that children with ADHD benefit from spending time in nature. Kids experience a greater reduction of symptoms of ADHD when they play in a park full of grass and trees than on a concrete playground.Horseback riding and interacting with horses is not only therapeutic but also can help kids to learn to react to the animal’s behaviors instead of their normal behavioral patterns.
Play and listen to music- Listening to music allows for relaxation and playing an instrument can help them to learn better multi-tasking skills.
Play a tabletop or board game together- This will encourage social interaction and depending on the game they chose it can also help to stimulate their brains. Here is a list of games that may be helpful.
Try out some yoga and meditation- Yoga and Tai Chi are more formal methods of moving meditation. Formal forms of moving meditation are structured, and structure is beneficial to people with ADHD. Often people find sanctuary in structured activities which makes it easier for someone with ADHD to perpetuate their meditation practice.
Play chef- Suggest they try making their favorite meal or dessert. They could make it for the family or invite a few friends over. Following a recipe may help them to get better at following directions in order and sharing their meal they made may help to boost their self-esteem.
Get crafty- Find a fun art project on Pinterest or take a trip to Hobby Lobby to find a new hobby to learn.
Things to do in Cincinnati Over Break
Coco Key Water Resort- This indoor water park makes for a great staycation for the family. Also, be sure to check out their special packages to stay at their resort bundled with other deals on local attractions.
Laser Kraze– Play laser tag or jump around in their indoor trampoline park. This is a good way to have fun all the while, burning off excess energy.
Royal Theatre Company- Check out a play or take some drama classes. This activity encourages creativity and can teach them to work together as a team.
Cincinnati Observatory- Go star gazing and take a look into the world’s oldest telescope.
Creativities– They offer sewing and craft classes all year long. They even offer gardening classes.
Ault Park– Have a picnic in the park and look at all the new flowers that are springing up.
Sometimes families need extra help with helping their ADHD or underachiever child to come up with a plan to help improve their behavior and increase their skill levels. If you have any questions or need to talk with someone we would love to help. We hope you have a good break with your family.