If you’re looking for apps to improve ADHD in your child, there are many that can help kids with planning, organization, and mindfulness. But there is an important caveat when explaining their effectiveness: these apps are only as useful if the user fully engages with them, and learns how to effectively put them to use. In the same way that many ADHD kids are given planners and schedules in the classroom and may choose not to use them, an app that might help them with scheduling, remembering homework and school projects, and keeping themselves organized can only help if users engage with it.
However, there are hundreds of available apps, some of them more appropriately described as games, that hold some promise for improving sustained attention, memory, and time management. While there is virtually no research specific to these games and apps that proves that they reduce or help with symptoms of ADHD in the children and teenagers who use them, there is a clear rationale for using them, as they encourage building the thinking skills that are often challenged in children with ADHD. The following apps and games are recommended for providing fun opportunities for your child to practice and develop some of these skills.
Apps to improve attention span
Bugs and Buttons 2 – Many of the goals and objectives specific to each mini-game require users to zero in on small details. Matching, finding patterns, and locating small bugs takes keen concentration and attention to detail. Given the fact that there’s a small reward and goal to work towards, (collecting additional bugs), users must demonstrate a degree of goal-directed persistence — the ability to carry out an activity until completion — as they perform the various tasks the app presents.
Tupsu (The Furry Little Monster) – Quite a few levels in the game are tricky enough to stump a player for five or ten minutes, or more! Strong Focus skills are the key to sticking with things when she is stalled or at a loss. Persevering and staying driven when confronted with a good challenge is the key to success in this tricky game. The less she applies her Focus skills while playing, the less likely she is to make steady progress in Tupsu (The Furry Little Monster).
Apps to improve Working Memory
Roblox Studio – A robust program with a number of customizable options and tools, Roblox Studio requires users to learn a number of functionalities in addition to where and how to deploy these tools. Creating a new “Place” involves populating the landscape with pre-designed blocks, scenery, and architecture. Recalling where items are located within the menus, how to utilize the different tools for arranging and building with these objects, and altering their texture and appearance all require users to exercise their Working Memory.
GeoDash – While playing GeoDash, users must actively formulate strategies to pass through each level. It is often multi-step process, requiring users to retrace their steps and use a combination of “special powers” to successfully enter the portal. Recognizing the proper time to use a “burrow” technique or a “double jump,” demands careful attention to detail during gameplay. The game implements the basic scaffolding teaching method, wherein users are slowly introduced to new abilities and more difficult challenges. Being able to absorb new gameplay strategies and use them in each ensuing level require exercising Working Memory. Users with solid working memory skills will generally be able to complete a level on their first or second attempt, while users who struggle with their working memories may need 3 or more tries to completely traverse a level.
Apps to improve time management
Hay Day – There are few game types better than a sim for illustrating simply the concept of time management, and many children will find find the idea of overseeing their own farm operation appealing. Players begin the game with a small selection of crops (corn, wheat) and animals (chickens), and the cyclical concept of growing food to feed animals that provide us with food is quickly made apparent. These processes take differing amounts of time; if a player wants eggs to sell, they have to wait for chickens to produce them, and they must feed the hens when they are done laying. But chicken feed takes time to make, as does growing the corn it is comprised of, so it becomes necessary for players to efficiently juggle the subtasks that fall under the larger process of producing eggs for the community. Good time management is needed to ensure there aren’t too many gaps in production.
ChoreMonster – For parents who would like to see their children complete their chores, and in a timely manner, the “I’ll get around to it” line simply does not fly. It doesn’t mesh with the functionality of ChoreMonster, either. In order to receive any points, users must finish the task in a timely manner — especially since points can be revoked at any time through the parent account. The app helps take the tension out of assigning household chores, as the app essentially becomes the “middle man,” the chore administrator. Be sure to set each chore to recur throughout the week, especially if it’s a daily activity like making the bed or brushing teeth. This way, users will always know to set aside enough time to complete each new chore.