The Best Gifts for ADHD Boys
You will find fun things for ADHD Kids to do inside and out. This gift guide is different because I use my own photos! I really want to convey how much my two boys (both diagnosed with ADHD) have used and loved these.
(Scroll down for outdoor ideas for summer!)
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Why are these Gifts great for ADHD boys?
- They keep hands, bodies, and brains active and growing – no zoning out on a screen with these. I want kids to build a foundation for play where there is not a screen in sight.
- They are versatile, many can be played alone or with a friend.
- They span the ages and will be played with for years! – super for multi-age families,
- They engage and build creativity and are open-ended to allow for all sorts of play.
- Using these helps a kid’s frustration tolerance grow rather than crash and burn.
- They are high quality and stand up to hard play.
FACT: My boys were not even diagnosed with ADHD when most of these toys came into our home. But they were so busy and active – and these toys satisfied their need to PLAY and MOVE.
I now see how helpful these were in building the skills they have today – creativity, ability to concentrate for long periods of time, tremendous reading skills, off the charts spatial abilities…..the list can go on and on.
These building toys promote mindfulness and concentration.
I love the open-ended nature of these toys and we’ve had them for literally 9 plus years!
Your kids will get lost in these for hours and can use them together to create the ultimate city!
We have had our Kevablocks for about 8 years and they continue to be played with on a regular basis – yes, even by a 13 year old! They are super versatile and their long, thin shape makes them a little different from a regular set of wooden blocks.
Start with a set of 200, but you can never have too many of these!
Querceti Skyrail Mini Coaster
The Quercetti Skyrail Mini Coaster is as fun to set up as it is to play with. This is like a marble run on steroids.
Your kids will think of so many ways to build the Quercetti Marble Run, it is a bit more complicated and engaging for older boys, too. You can constantly change the coaster to make unlimited configurations. Great for those loooong winter days. The Marble Run is great for 4 years and older, while the Skyrail Mini Coaster is best for 7 years and older.
Wooden Blocks and Tape Roads
Your kids will play for hours (literally) with these wooden blocks. If I didn’t already have them, I would purchase them 1000 times over now! These create a love of architecture, not to mention spatial abilities, focus and concentration.
The tape roads were purchased for my kids on just about every occasion because they LOVED and used them so much. Building a whole city full of roads is a great way to keep kids active and engaged. They’ll be set for a career in city planning. The tape roads come up easily from wood floors and leave no residue. We’ve had the train track tape, too.
The wooden fence was a fun add-on to corral cars and animals! It can be used with just about any other set we have.
Lego Advent Calendar
The Lego Advent Calendar has become a bit of a tradition around here. Over the years, we have ordered both the Lego City and Star Wars versions. They are fun to open each morning leading up to Christmas and the Lego figures become part of our collection forever. My boys have to take turns opening the days, so it’s also a lesson in sharing. Order yours early..they do sell out quickly. This year we have the Harry Potter Lego Advent Calendar!
Lego Architecture Studio
Lego Architecture Studio – This is an absolute favorite – still – for my 11 and 13 year olds. The single color lets you concentrate on the architectural details as you build from your imagination.(Oh No! It’s been discontinued by Lego! Check on Ebay.) This book or this book give you great ideas, too – with or without the set.
Lego Classic Set
My boys love the Lego Classic sets, too. These sets really let’s kids use their imagination and create whatever they can dream up. The Classic sets come in large and small sizes. Last year, my son choose this Classic set when he redeemed a gift card. I was surprised that he did not go for a more commercial, themed set. But, he loved it–and continues to love it – and is making amazing things with it!!
Lay-N-Go for Lego Storage
The Lay-N-Go is an absolute life saver for lego storage.
My boys first got the largest Lay-N-Go (seen above in blue) and have since expanded to each having an additional small one to keep in their bedrooms.
Lego clean up and storage is so much easier with this drawstring bag. You just cinch it up and all the legos are kept in one place. Lay it out and legos are visible to create!!
You’ll see a tackle box in the background too. My boys have a ton of little accessories like guns and food, etc. The tackle box is for their special small items and mini-figs
Matchbox and Hotwheels Cars
My kids collect these and dare I say, they have hundreds of them now! You can start a collection for about a dollar each and there are so many ways to use them. Set up tape roads, draw your own roads, invest in a car play rug. Use them outside in the dirt or snow! The ultimate open ended toy!
Spending time and connecting with your ADHD kiddo, looking them in the face, sitting next to them on the sofa, working on something together – is the best medicine –THAT is the reason why I am including games in this gift list.
Maybe this will inspire you to go to your game cabinet and get something out tonite. Take a look at our list and see which games we LOVE.
Labyrinth is a super fun game for the whole family. The object of the game is to wind thru the castle maze to find treasures. BUT, each player changes the maze on every turn, so you are constantly rethinking your strategy. The set up is simple, but the ideas are big. This is really fun for the whole family.
Cat Crimes – My younger son got this when he was 8 and we still play it, 3 years later. It’s a mystery solving game with lots of critical thinking involved. Many levels for all ages and abilities.
Game time: 5 to 10 minutes per mystery. The great thing is it can be played alone or with a partner.
Ticket to Ride
Ticket to Ride is a great game for a big crowd – or even just two. You build railroads from city to city amassing your empire! The skill level and strategy involved make this great for the 8 to 98 crowd.
This is a longer game which is good for building concentration and focus – plan at least 45 minutes. They do have a newer version for younger children, too!
Payday – Another vintage classic! We found ours at a garage sale, but you can get one here. Fun way to talk about spending and saving money, too. Game time: As little as 20 minutes if you choose to just do three months of play.
My kids and I have such fun with this game! Like the old fashioned pen and paper word guessing game, only you play two rounds at once, with each player trying to guess the other’s word.
It’s quick, a great way to practice spelling, and can be whatever level you choose. Ebay is the way to go with this one — find the 1988 version for under 10 bucks.
Shut the Box
We learned about this game when we visited Williamsburg, several years ago. Shut the Box or Ferme La Boîte, as it’s known in France, is an old timey game from 12th century Normandy. The dice are rolled, added up and the addends are flipped.
Each player tries to flip the entire board before he rolls a number he can’t play. It is a favorite of my kids and my classroom! This is a great gift for ADHD Kids who have trouble learning their math facts.
Indoor Energy Burning Toys
We are huge fans of the Automoblox line of toy cars. My oldest son received a red sports car for his first birthday and we collected them for years. The cars are super high-quality and can be taken apart and interchanged with each other. Switch wheels, people, front ends, etc. to create all new vehicles. My kids have spent hours making tape roads for these all over the house. The cars are big, so their whole body gets involved pushing these around the house.
We use ours to do lots of therapy movements, but it also gets used All. Day. Long. Balancing, sitting, bouncing (sometimes annoyingly often). My kids fight over it, so I probably need to get a second one.
Yoyo’s are coming back–at least at my son’s school –and he is happy to follow this trend. We have had a vintage one for awhile, but a good Duncan yoyo can be purchased for under $8.00. Yoyo’s are great for balance and coordination skills and perseverance–you really have to put some time into practicing to get good.
Oh, have I had fun looking back at old pictures to create this ADHD Gift guide!!
We have loved our mini tramp for a long, long time. It certainly gets the energy out! We have jump breaks in the winter so each of us can do 500 jumps while everyone else counts out loud. Really a great investment!!
Also, a great thing to search for at Goodwill!
Stuff we found during Covid that we still love!!
These were the things that saved us during shelter in place and we kept because we loved them so much. These items helped my boys with ADHD who have an excessive amount of energy to burn. Can you relate?
Our Mondo Koosh Ball and scooter board were used on an hourly basis! Zoom Ball is great for an upper body workout(and bi-lateral coordination!) and getting brothers who have been fighting to work together. The whole family has been using it.
The rainbow Puddle Jumpers are super for a quick trip outside in the yard. It takes some practice but kids will be running after
in no time!
Raddish Cooking Subscription Box
My tween and teen surprisingly LOVED the Raddish Subscription Cooking Box.
Maybe it’s because we’ve already taken an online cooking class with Katie Kimball.
Or maybe it’s just because the box is expertly created to engage kids of all ages in fun and yummy cooking activities.
All the work is done for you: The box contains recipe cards, tools, shopping lists, puzzles, fun facts all around a different theme each month.
This also makes a great gift. Check it out HERE.
Outdoor Energy Burning
There is nothing like a trampoline to get the energy out of any sized kiddo. Great for the heart and lymphatic system and just plain fun, a larger trampoline is a great investment. My kids jump on it year round, day or night. We were lucky enough to receive one like this from a friend when her kids had grown out of it. You can buy one here or check your local Craig’s List for a used version. (Make sure you see it set up first to make sure it’s in safe, working, order.)
Wham – O Track Ball
Remember this game? We found a set at a thrift store and then had to look online to find the ball. It’s fun!! and hard and takes practice. Super for crossing the midline activities, eye-hand coordination and running around after the ball. Get the kids outside with a set.
This big frisbee is super fun and really easy to throw. It seems to hover a bit more to give kids a chance to get under it, too, making catching it easier, too. We have the 16 ” version and they also make a 30″ one.
We have had a Foxtail of some sort or another for years. They are easy to throw by the tail or the head and fun to chase after wherever they land. This one is so awesome–it lights up as it sails thru the air!! What a perfect way to get outside when it gets dark at 4:30! I would not recommend this in the snow, but anything else goes!
Gifts that promote movement are great anytime of the year, and especially for ADHD kiddos who have a lot of extra energy to burn.
Purposeful work tools
Kids love to work side by side with their parents. Start young and they’ll learn the rewards of doing purposeful work! These make it easier for ADHD kids to do their chores. They kind of make chores fun, too!!
Brooms were brought by the elves for my kids about 8 years ago and were used every single day. So great for fine motor skills and crossing the midline and learning to contribute to the family.
A crumb sweeper makes cleaning the table fun!
Our mop and bucket are still used and mopping is my oldest’s favorite chore!
Books My Boys Love
We are readers in this house! My kids are constantly reading, but these are the books we have chosen to purchase and keep on our shelves for reading over and over again.
Stephen Beisty’s Cross-Sections: Castle and Man O’War
Laura Ingalls Wilder Series (We listened to the audio versions – so fun!)
Books about legos: This one and this one are favorites!
Art supplies to keep hands busy(even teens!)
Calligraphy Pen – Really great for practicing cursive and writing fancy thank you letters. Just the thing to write secret notes, too!!!
Markers – we’ve had many sets over the years and love these and these the most.
Wax crayons – Seriously these rectangle shaped ones are the best!! They last for years, even with a lot of use. Made of beeswax, they smell wonderful!
Paper– a good heavy white paper is a must! And the big rolls of paper are super for getting your whole body involved! Lots of cities have been created with them.
Fine Black Markers – I have to hide mine like this because my boys steal them all the time! Great for fine drawing and just feeling a bit more grown up!
Clay – This air hardening clay is great for the older set(7 and up). Model Magic is great for younger kids. This engages my kids for hours!!
Travel water color set – A very high-quality set for on the go or at home. The color is amazing!! Really great for nature journaling!
Spirograph – We have a vintage set, but the new ones are a bit more tricked out. Super for hand strength and concentration! Best for ages 5 and above.
Other things my boys love.
I found one like this at a thrift store about 7 years ago and we get so much mileage out of it!! It’s great to use in the winter when it gets dark so early. My kids love to draw on it using tracing paper. We’ve played with stacking cups, colorful shapes and clear legos also. Here is a smaller, more economical one, if you are not lucky enough to find one at the thrift store!
Both of my boys are so extra-sensory and love a good fuzzy blanket. In the winter it goes under their weighted blanket. Sometimes it makes its way into the car and onto the sofa. This blanket has been a cape and a roof of a cushion fort, too!
Puzzles are so great to promote concentration and visual-spatial skills. We’ve had many over the years, but the Geography ones are the best. My kids have such a broad knowledge of world geography because of their states and continents puzzles.
Check your local thrift store or Craig’s List. We got ours for about 5 bucks at Goodwill. My kids go in phases with ours, so I keep it around for when the mood strikes. So great for keyboarding practice, thank you notes, story writing, pretend play, and budding journalists. This thing is heavy and great for heavy lifting exercises, too.
A good journal
There is something so inviting about a really nice journal. Over the years we’ve had many different kids. This, this, and this one have been favorites. The journals come in the car, to waiting rooms and restaurants, on family trips, and are used to write lego instructions, and draw big plans. We keep a list of the books we’ve read in one, too.
I would love to hear what your kids most favorite, long lasting toy has been-boy or girl! Let me know in the comments or drop me a line at [email protected]. Happy shopping!!
Our favorite resources
We order from Amazon for convenience and the price, but I love to support smaller companies as well. These have been our faves over the years.:
The Wooden Wagon @Thewoodenwagon.com
Nova Natural @novanatural.com
Imagine childhood @imaginechildhood.com
Don’t forget to check your local thrift store often to keep all those gently used toys out of a landfill.
*Many of these are affiliate links. I may get a small commission if you purchase these items using these links. Thanks for your support so that I may continue to bring you thoughtful content.
Want to Save These Ideas for Later, Click Here for a PDF with all the Gift Links
I love this!! Is it possible to get the list in a pdf to quickly click on a variety of the items without scrolling through? No worries if not. Thank you for all your support and research you share!!!
Interesting idea! Thanks…I’ll work on it this weekend and add a link to a quick download in the post.
Hi Natalie! I’ve added a pdf download to the post…once at the beginning and at the end. Thanks for the idea!! Makes it easy to save for later or give to Santa! : ) Thanks for the idea!!!
Thank you for all these great ideas. I parent 2 young ones with very different attention and energy needs. Some of these suggestions made me smile as I used them and loved them myself as a (not ADD) kid.
I only have one criticism (I know you parent boys) but this list is in no way gender specific. Maybe you could title it to reflect that.
Thanks for your thoughtful work!
HI Crystal! I just made another note in the post about girls. : ) I just feel I have little authority about what girls like to do because I just have boys, but YES, these are not particularly boy toys. The blocks were mine as a kid! Thanks for your comment!
I love how real you are about thrifting! You dont see that often on here. Some of the best finds are found thrifting ? thanks for sharing!
Hannah! YES, I love to thrift and used to find such good stuff when my kids were smaller. What kinds of stuff do you find?
We received an ADHD diagnosis for my 9 year old this summer and your blog has been a lifesaver. I love all of these recommendations and will be adding some to our Birthday/Christmas list. What suggestions do you have for helping my son to clean up and keep things organized. The hardest part of the legos, hot wheels, etc is that he doesn’t want to put it up. He says he’s going to keep building or add to it (but he usually starts on something else)
Hi LeAnn! Glad you found us! A few thoughts on your question. I try to have no more toys available than they can clean up themselves. That said, there are times when I just have to embrace the mess and let them build and keep building and redoing. You see some of the photos are of huge cities they created which would stay up for a few days or a week as they kept playing and changing. It kept them BUSY, so I was relieved in the one sense.
We loved our Lay-n-Go to quickly clean up legos…I will add it to the post because I’ve gotten so many questions about it.
We also rotate toys in and out of the basement, so they are out of reach for a week or month or so.
Hope some of these ideas help! Stay in touch.
This is a wonderful list. Thank you! 🙂
You are welcome…it is really the best of the best from the past 14 years! : )
We have many of these, but I do want to add that if you have carpet like we do (and it matches most of the grey Lego pieces) those 1″ deep trays from the school supply section work amazing! My son can work with Legos on it, organize the pieces, and when he’s not finished it goes on a shelf as is. No tantrums about cleaning up the Legos with those! Sometimes we have 3 trays out, but at least it’s on a tray and not under our feet.
Anna!! Thanks for sharing that — great idea! Where do you get the trays? We had an oil pan (about 2 by 4 feet) when the kids were little that we nailed to the wall for magnet play….is it something like that? Or more like a plastic lunch tray? Thanks!!
These are great ideas, thank you! I come from a family where four of the six of the kids are adhd. It is fairly prevalent on both my parent’s sides. We all had our different levels and types so it wasn’t a one size fits all kind of list of items. I now have four children and two of my four have adhd, with my daughter also being dyslexic (also runs in my family). My mother kept us occupied with a lot of role play, studying said role play in order to perfect it, and music. My dad would buy us both wooden and metal lock puzzles, and Rubik’s cubes. They kept most of us hyper focused for long periods of time.
Love it!!! Rubiks cubes are awesome and music is such a great thing to get into.