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The 7 Best Apps To Help Kids With ADHD Thrive

09/12/2020
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Technology plays an integral part in modern life and the majority of children are now raised on a digital diet. It’s important to consider exactly what our children access online, and even better if we can find a way for this technology to be beneficial. For children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and other neurodivergent conditions, there are certain apps that may help to ease symptoms of ADHD in children and improve social and organisational skills, while also allowing them to have fun. Here are seven suggestions of brain-healthy apps that will benefit and nurture ADHD children. (Links for downloads are underneath the app title).


1. Khan Academy Kids (And Khan Academy)

(FREE; iOS, Android)

This award-winning app contains thousands of educational activities, books, songs and games. It is suitable for pre-schoolers up until around the end of Key Stage 1. Children can play at their own pace and repeat their favourite activities as many times as they like. The app features friendly animal characters who can be gifted special items to go into their personal collections. The library section is full of short books, videos, phonics and counting activities. This is a great educational app where the material is presented in short chunks, ideal for younger children or those with a limited concentration span. There are no distracting adverts either which is a bonus!

Khan Academy is the more mature version suitable for older children (age 12+), students and even adults. It’s also free and features thousands of interactive exercises, videos and articles. It’s a great tool for improving general knowledge in short, sharp bursts, which is perfect for an ADHD brain.


2. Reading Eggs

(£6.99 per month; iOS, Android)

Reading Eggs teaches children to read using interactive reading games, guided reading lessons, fun activities and a vast library of digital storybooks. Monthly subscriptions include access to different reading stages according to children’s ages and abilities. Used widely in schools, this app is a useful resource for kids with ADHD who are reluctant to read at home. It can be accessed via the Reading Eggs website as well as the app and is recommended for children aged 2-13.


If Reading Eggs isn’t for you, there are various other reading apps you might like to try such as  Jolly Phonics, Endless Reader and Teach Your Monster.


3. Colour by Numbers: Paint Game

(FREE; iOS, Android)

This is one of the best-rated colour-by-number apps. It’s very easy to use and is a great way to calm the busy mind of a child with ADHD. To use it, you simply choose an image and zoom in until you can see the numbered areas. Then just select the correct colours from the bottom of the screen for each square. It’s suitable for young children up to adults. It’s completely free but unfortunately, there are distracting adverts. If this one doesn’t suit you, then there is a really wide choice of other similar “colour-by-number” apps available; it’s just a question of trying out different ones until you find one that you like. Colouring and painting apps such as this tend to work better on a larger screen, so you might want to use it on a tablet rather than a phone.


4. Monster Physics

(£1.99; iOS only)

Minecraft enthusiasts will love Monster Physics with its open-ended designs and infinite possibilities. Users are given various materials to build a vehicle which they then drive through an imaginary world. One particularly helpful feature for children with ADHD is how they are encouraged to move past mistakes and try again. They won’t even notice they are learning about physics! This app is recommended for age 10+ but could be managed by younger children with supervision. Unfortunately, it’s only available on iOS devices and works best on an iPad.


5. Happy Kids Timer Family Chores

(FREE; Premium £3.99; iOS, Android)

This visual timer app helps children to complete morning and bedtime tasks easily and on schedule. It’s controlled by the child and there are related stars, certificates and incentives for completing tasks on time. The free version has predefined settings and is fairly limited, but worth a try to see if it works in your home. The premium version allows you to amend and add chores, change the duration, set awards and print certificates. This app has been designed specifically for ADHD/autistic children; its visual elements and specific instructions will make it especially appealing for those who struggle with structure and routine. It’s aimed primarily at children age 6-8 but could be used for children of other ages too depending on their needs.


6. Rooster Money

(FREE; Rooster Plus £14.99 per year; Rooster Card £24.99 per year; iOS, Android, Amazon)

When you have ADHD managing money can be challenging. Rooster Money aims to help children build money-confidence and financial capability from a young age. In the free version, there’s a reward chart where children can earn points and then be rewarded with pocket money. In the Rooster Plus version, children are encouraged to save money and develop budgeting skills. Older children can move onto Rooster Card where they can spend money using a debit card – with parental control!


7. MyLife Meditation (formerly known as Stop, Breathe and Think)

(FREE; Premium £57.99 per year; iOS, Android)

MyLife Meditation is an award-winning meditation and mindfulness app that offers daily wellness check-ins and suggests different activities depending on how you feel. It offers a personalised meditation and mindfulness experience in order to reduce anxiety, stress and lead to better sleeping habits. These are all areas that ADHD children often require support for and mindfulness therapy is a well-recognised form of ADHD treatment. There is a good selection of free resources available but as with many apps, you need to pay the subscription to access all of them. 

There are millions of apps that children enjoy and in this article, we’ve tried to include a variety suitable for different age ranges and requirements. Obviously, everyone is different and it’s worth trying out different apps until you find something suitable. There are plenty of free apps that you can download and then delete very soon after if you choose. This is really useful if you have a child that becomes bored quickly.

Using Apps Responsibly

It’s also worth noting the importance of monitoring how time on certain apps (or games) affects children with ADHD. Do you find that limiting screentime or having a set cut-off point before bedtime helps them to settle? You may want to explore if the devices your child uses have parental controls. Do you set boundaries such as no phones in bedrooms, daily screen time limits or removing devices after a certain time? If your child is mature enough to understand why these rules are necessary and for their benefit, it might be worth trying to create them together. 

At The ADHD Centre, we offer private ADHD assessments for children (and adults) and ADHD treatments. To find out more about our services, please contact us on 0800 061 4276or via email connect@adhdcentre.co.uk

Further Reading

8 Mom-Approved Apps That Kids Love

Apps To Help Teens With ADHD Manage Everyday Challenges

Prices and availability may vary but they were accurate when updated in December 2021.

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