Ideas for afternoon bonding activitie... - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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Ideas for afternoon bonding activities with 9 year old ADHD gal?

SparklingSmile profile image
18 Replies

Hi all! Every year, I take each of my three kids out for a solo afternoon with me just to have some one-on-one time together. Historically, I've taken them out to lunch and then we go and do something that we don't usually do with them -- e.g., go to a science museum, a hike, a trip to a bookstore to browse and drink a hot chocolate at the cafe, a trampoline/jump place, a bit of shopping, etc. I'm working on planning my day with my 9 year old daughter who has ADHD and am struggling to come up with ideas that will wind up being fun for both of us. So many of the things that she wants to do are just not that fun to me -- she's dying to go to a trampoline park or go shopping or go to an arcade. I recently hurt my neck so jumping doesn't sound that great to me, when we shop, she wants to buy everything in the store and it's a huge exercise in patience for me, and arcades are sensory overload for me! Does anyone have any ideas about activities than would be super-fun to a kid with an ADHD brain and still be fun for me? It's cold where we live, so we could bundle up but tough to spend the whole afternoon outside! Thanks for any ideas -- I'm so appreciative of the community here!!

18 Replies
sunsetnb profile image

Hey! This is an incredible thing you do with your kids, and I will definitely use it in the future when I have kids! Great job mom, your kids will remember this forever, and the time you spent with them!! Have you thought about a water park where she could run wild, and you could do some of the activities with her, and it may be easy on your neck? Another suggestion is maybe you have indoor playgrounds in your area where you could watch her and participate when you wanted- if you have anything like this for older kids in your area. I am a young adult with ADHD, and as a kid, I LOVED and still remember going to interactive museums with my mom that were more like indoor playgrounds. It was an opportunity for me to run wild and still do things with my mom. My favorite was COSI which is in Columbus; if you could find something like that possibly that is high in interaction, she will love it, and it can be fun for you too! Hopefully this was helpful, I'm not sure if these ideas were too similar to ones you have already done. But, I hope you have an amazing time and soak in these memories! You are doing a fantastic job!!!

SparklingSmile profile image
SparklingSmile in reply to sunsetnb

Thank you so much for the ideas -- I appreciate it and love having your perspective on what would be fun for her!!

SparklingSmile profile image
SparklingSmile in reply to SparklingSmile

And COSI looks AWESOME - I wish we lived closer to there!!

sunsetnb profile image
sunsetnb in reply to SparklingSmile

I'm glad it helped! I know some websites online like Yelp & Trip Advisor have similar options like COSI for your area! :)

Onthemove1971 profile image

What about:

A kids/parent cooking class

A tea tasting ( they have 3 or 4 different types) or a real tea tasting with mini sandwiches,

Kids painting class where you do a Clay creation, then paint it.

Nail painting- manicure.

Get a massage💆‍♂️!!

What about a good movie?

Here are a few outdoor ideas: ropes course, tour local Town for historical learning or horseback riding and mini golf ( may have an indoor place).

You could also do a split trip with limiting shopping to 1 store with a $ amount and lunch. Since this is really what she loves.

Hope these help.. I could go on.. and on..

SparklingSmile profile image

These are awesome ideas... thank you!!!

eva2022 profile image

I’m following this as well for my son and me -thanks for the topic!

myselfcarecircle profile image
myselfcarecircle in reply to eva2022

Me too! There are some really great ideas.

eva2022 profile image

I usually take my son to the local pool…great for energy/sensory needs.

Other things I’ve done with my kids on ‘special dates’ (we have four six and under so it’s the only alone time that they get):

-pack hot tea and go for a hike

-long bike ride to ice cream

-building a tree fort in a natural area

-science project

-digging a giant hole (I know! But he loved it.)

-building a small table with wood

-mosaics on wood


-ice hockey/ice skating

-tree climbing

-bird watching (really just walking around a lot with binoculars)

-hide and seek at a park


I love hearing that other families do special dates, too…such an awesome community on here!

eva2022 profile image

I just read that it’s a once a year date for your daughter…none of my suggestions seem quite right for that-more like a hour or two on the weekend. But It’s so cool that you do this!

SparklingSmile profile image
SparklingSmile in reply to eva2022

These ideas are awesome -- she especially would like pool time, ice skating and building a tree fort in the woods near us!! I usually take them out of school at noon so it feels extra special. We get lunch somewhere and then spend the whooooole afternoon together until 6pm. When they were younger, I did it in December and it had a holidays focus, but this year we were all sick in December with every virus known to mankind, so we had to punt to now instead. Often I string together a few different activities that are each an hour or two. Thank you so much!!

Onthemove1971 profile image
Onthemove1971 in reply to SparklingSmile

Let us know how it goes!

LAJ12345 profile image

if she likes shopping opp shopping in recycle shops can be fun and not so expensive.

SparklingSmile profile image
SparklingSmile in reply to LAJ12345

Great thought, thank you!

Trying1978 profile image

In the summer, when there are no activities, we practically live in & around creeks. It's definitely harder in the winter. We used to do a lot of museums & play places before things got so busy!

SparklingSmile profile image
SparklingSmile in reply to Trying1978

Agreed, it feels extra busy right now!

Trying1978 profile image
Trying1978 in reply to SparklingSmile

The 1-1 activity idea is amazing, though. Both of our ADHD kiddos' therapists keep pushing this and, like you, we have three overall, and, most of the time, it's just me with them, so I'm always like, "Look, that sounds awesome, and I'm sure it would help immensely, but it can't happen right now!"

SparklingSmile profile image
SparklingSmile in reply to Trying1978

Oh, I hear you on that! Lots of people advise me that it would be great if we could do it more often, but I just do what I can and hope that it is enough :)

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