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Creating a Structured Summer Routine for Kids with ADHD

Discover how to create a structured routine for children with ADHD during the summer months to help maintain stability and reduce stress.


Elizabeth Clarkin, LCSW

6/21/20243 min read

Understanding the Importance of Structure for Children with ADHD

Children with ADHD often struggle with maintaining focus and staying organized. Having a structured routine can provide them with the stability and predictability they need to thrive. A consistent schedule helps reduce stress and anxiety, as children with ADHD know what to expect each day. It also helps them develop important time management and self-regulation skills.

By understanding the importance of structure for children with ADHD, parents can create an environment that supports their child's unique needs. With a structured routine in place, both parents and children can experience a smoother and more enjoyable summer.

Implementing a Consistent Daily Schedule

One of the key elements of creating a structured routine for children with ADHD is implementing a consistent daily schedule. This means establishing set times for waking up, eating meals, engaging in activities, and going to bed. Consistency is crucial for children with ADHD, as it helps them feel secure and reduces the likelihood of meltdowns or behavioral issues.

When implementing a consistent daily schedule, it's important to involve your child in the planning process. Discuss the schedule together and allow them to provide input. This gives them a sense of ownership and helps them feel more motivated to follow the routine.

Additionally, it can be helpful to create visual schedules or use timers and alarms to remind your child of upcoming activities or transitions. Visual cues and prompts can enhance their understanding of the schedule and make it easier for them to transition between tasks.

girl playing beside body of water during daytime
girl playing beside body of water during daytime
summer parenting ADHD
summer parenting ADHD

Encouraging Physical Activity and Outdoor Play

Physical activity and outdoor play are essential for children with ADHD. Engaging in physical activities helps them release excess energy, improve focus, and reduce hyperactivity. It also promotes healthy brain development and enhances overall well-being.

To encourage physical activity and outdoor play, consider incorporating activities such as bike riding, swimming, hiking, or playing sports. These activities not only provide exercise but also allow children with ADHD to engage in structured and goal-oriented tasks. Additionally, spending time in nature has been shown to have a calming effect on children with ADHD, reducing stress and improving mood.

Remember to provide clear guidelines and expectations when engaging in physical activities. Set boundaries and rules to ensure safety while still allowing your child to have fun and explore their interests.

Incorporating Fun and Engaging Activities

While structure is important, it's equally crucial to incorporate fun and engaging activities into your child's summer routine. These activities can help keep them motivated and interested, while also providing opportunities for learning and growth.

Consider incorporating activities such as arts and crafts, cooking or baking, board games, or building projects. These activities can be tailored to your child's interests and strengths, allowing them to explore their creativity and develop new skills.

It's also important to provide opportunities for social interaction. Arrange playdates or join summer camps where your child can interact with peers and develop important social skills. Socializing with other children can also help reduce feelings of isolation or loneliness that children with ADHD may experience.

By incorporating fun and engaging activities into your child's summer routine, you can create a well-rounded and enjoyable experience while still maintaining the necessary structure.

girl in pink long sleeve shirt and pink pants climbing on blue metal ladder during daytime
girl in pink long sleeve shirt and pink pants climbing on blue metal ladder during daytime