Can Playing Outside Cure Your ADHD?

Spring gives us the opportunity to play outside and get our green time. By green time, we mean outside activities with lots of grass and trees and very few with kite

Studies have shown that spending time in green environments can help improve ADHD symptoms in both children and adults. One study, conducted by Taylor and Kuo, indicated that hyperactive children showed the most improvement in open green spaces like soccer fields. Occasional exposure might be helpful.  However, regular green time showed the most improvement in ADHD symptoms, even if the green time is just 20-minutes at a time.

It may sometimes be difficult to remember the importance of spending time outside.  We can all get caught up in our daily schedules.  Time management is especially challenging for adults and children with ADHD. To get your daily green time, schedule an event in your calendar so it’s always blocked off.  You can consider these fun activities:

  • Play ball
    Some sports that can be done in green spaces are soccer, golf, football, and bike riding. For scheduled consistency, sign your child up for a team at school or in your community. Otherwise, just practice together around your backyard or at a park.
  • Gardening
    Planning and working on a vegetable garden is educational and provides a rewarding result. It’s easy enough for family members of all ages to help out. Butterfly gardens can also be fun and a beautiful sight for you to enjoy.
  • Observe the great outdoors
    If you or your child have a scientific mind, start a log for your outdoor discoveries. You can track and learn about different kinds of plants, birds, or bugs. Or you can become a citizen scientist to advance scientific research!
  • Simply stroll
    Take a simple walk in the park each day. Walking can help clear the mind and reduce stress from a busy day. Make it fun for your child by bringing special snacks or a water bottle with their favorite colors (or characters).
  • Picnic at the park
    Have a picnic in your backyard or at the park. Pack your meal or a variety of healthy snacks. Bring a board game to enjoy while you eat or play I-Spy.

You and your child might find new interests by trying these activities while getting the outdoor time you need.

No, playing outside will not cure your ADHD.  However, one study concluded that “Doses of nature might serve as a safe, inexpensive, widely accessible new tool in the tool kit for managing ADHD symptoms.”

In order to plan and prioritize our daily tasks, we need to have good executive functioning. Play Attention combines feedback technology with cognitive exercises to improve executive function and self-regulation. Call 800-788-6786 to schedule a free consultation. We will customize your training plan to address your particular needs.