adhd family playing board games in sitting room
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11 ADHD-Friendly Board Games for Any Occasion

Last Updated on

April 9th, 2024 11:11 am

We’re always excited for a reason to celebrate, and we know you are too! Whatever the occasion, it’s a great time to get together with loved ones and share some laughs.

But for adults and children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), our brains can feel under stimulated if they’re not engaged in a fun game or one that requires strategic thinking skills to test our abilities.

In this article, we’ll be showcasing 11 of the most fun ADHD-friendly board games that cater to those with a poor attention span but are super into structure and organization in their daily lives. These fun games will help get you through the holiday season and not feel too “board!” (pun very much intended).

Wit’s End

For the heavily intellectual loved one with cognitive abilities out of this world and an innate curiosity, take a look at Wit’s End.

Wit’s End is a lateral-thinking game that tests your cognitive skills, attention skills and executive functioning skills as you make your way to the middle of the board by solving riddles and puzzles.

It’s a brilliant game for anyone who loves to study or really test their cognitive functions. For anyone looking for something a little more stimulating and challenging during the festive season, you’ll be at your Wit’s End with this one!

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Catan and Catan Junior

For those who prefer strategy and negotiation, both Catan and Catan Junior are excellent choices. Catan is a classic board game that involves building settlements, gathering resources, and trading with other players. It’s a game that requires careful planning, decision-making, and adaptability, making it an ideal option for anyone with ADHD.

Catan Junior, on the other hand, is a simplified version of the game designed for younger players. It retains the core mechanics of Catan but introduces a pirate theme and simpler rules. This makes it more accessible for children or anyone who prefers a less complex gameplay experience.

Both versions of Catan offer a great way to engage the mind, strengthen critical thinking skills, and practice organization. The element of competition and social interaction can also help people with ADHD stay focused and engaged throughout the game.

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Better Me: Self-Improvement

If you’re looking for a game that not only provides entertainment but also promotes personal growth and self-improvement, then the Better Me: Self-Improvement Board Game is a perfect choice. This game is specifically designed to help you work on executive functioning skills, mindfulness, self-regulation, and goal-setting abilities.

Better Me combines elements of positive psychology, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and mindfulness to create a unique and engaging gameplay experience. Players are encouraged to set personal goals, overcome challenges, and make positive changes in their lives. The game includes various activities and exercises that focus on improving focus, attention, organization, and time management.

By promoting self-awareness and self-reflection, Better Me offers a valuable tool for people with ADHD to develop strategies for managing their symptoms and enhancing their overall well-being. It also provides a supportive and non-judgmental environment that encourages personal growth and resilience.

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Foxmind Match Madness

Foxmind Match Madness is a fast-paced and visually stimulating game that helps people with ADHD improve their focus, attention, and visual perception skills. The game consists of a deck of cards with various colorful and unique symbols. Players must quickly scan the cards and find the matching symbols to form pairs.

The fast-paced nature of the game keeps players engaged and prevents them from getting bored or distracted. It also helps improve processing speed, mental flexibility, and visual discrimination abilities. The game can be played solo or with multiple players, making it a versatile option for anyone with ADHD.

Foxmind Match Madness is not only fun and challenging, but it also exercises working memory and cognitive processing, which are areas that can be weaker in anyone with ADHD. The game can be played in short bursts, making it a great option for those who have difficulty staying focused for longer periods of time.

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Azul Summer Pavillion

Azul Summer Pavillion is another excellent game for anyone with ADHD. This strategy board game requires players to plan and execute their moves carefully while considering various factors. It helps improve cognitive skills such as problem-solving, decision-making, and strategic thinking.

In this game, players compete to create the most beautiful and intricate mosaic patterns. They collect and place tiles on their player board, following specific rules and patterns. The game stimulates the brain and encourages players to think ahead, which can be beneficial for people with ADHD who often struggle with impulsivity and making impulsive decisions.

Azul Summer Pavilion provides a visually appealing and immersive experience. The vibrant colors and intricate designs can captivate the attention of those with ADHD and help them stay engaged in the game. The gameplay is also structured, with clear objectives and rules, which can provide a sense of focus and structure for players.]

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Carcassonne

Carcassonne is a tile-based board game that is not only enjoyable to play but also a great choice for anyone with ADHD. This strategic game involves placing tiles and building cities, roads, and fields, while strategically placing and moving meeples (game pieces) to earn points.

One of the benefits of playing Carcassonne for people with ADHD is that it allows for flexible and open-ended gameplay. Players can choose different strategies and approaches to win, which encourages creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. This flexibility can be particularly appealing to those with ADHD, as it allows them to explore different possibilities and adapt their strategies as they go along.

Carcassonne also requires players to pay attention to the game board and their opponents’ moves, promoting focus and attention. Players need to constantly analyze the board and make strategic decisions on where to place their tiles and meeples to maximize their points. This engagement helps improve concentration skills and can be an effective tool for anyone with ADHD to train their attention span.

Additionally, Carcassonne offers a social aspect, as it can be played with friends or family members. This social interaction can be beneficial for anyone with ADHD, as it provides an opportunity for practicing social skills, turn-taking and collaboration. It also adds an element of fun and excitement to the game, making it more engaging and stimulating for the easily distracted mind.

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Know!

Are you fed-up of knowing all the answers to Trivial Pursuit? Well, try Know!

Know! is a game that puts a modern twist on classic general knowledge games, and it’s a game-changer. That’s because it works with your Google Assistant so the answers are always up-to-date. Clever questions such as “Who is the best-selling artist of all time?” mean that the answer will always be the right one!

Of course, it’s a general knowledge game at heart, but that makes it great for brain activity, exercising your memory skills whilst having simple rules that everyone can enjoy. It’s a genius idea and fantastic use case of Google Assistant that doesn’t involve shouting at your speakers to turn off the loudest timer in the world.

It’s one of my favorite board games of all time thanks to its innovative use of modern technology, taking classic games to a new level.

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Bluey Scavenger Hunt

If you’re fedup of family fallouts, Bluey Scavenger Hunt, an excellent game that’s perfect for neurodivergent kids and adults alike. That’s because everyone wins or everyone loses together!

Parents of children all over the world will be familiar with Bluey and the Heeler family as you pick one of the many characters in the game. In this game you take turns to move around a board and depending on where you land, pick a card and complete a task.

The best thing about this game is not only does it encourage kids the importance of teamwork and co-operation, but also the notion that not every game has to be a competition against another person.

It’s a game I’ve personally used to bond over my kids with during tough times. It’s one of the best games for kids as it encourages social skills and executive function development through game play. In fact, it even involves some physical activity and comedy too – they love my impression of Grandma!

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Pandemic

Pandemic is a popular board game among people with ADHD. In this game, you’re trying to stop an epidemic from spreading across the globe by using cards to build cities, research cures, and buy supplies.

Averaging a gameplay length of 45 minutes means it also doesn’t drag on like other games that can take hours. It’s also easy to teach and learn, which makes it perfect for families who want an engaging game that develops essential skills, allows for critical thinking and spending time together.

Just like the Bluey game we mentioned above, it’s a co-operative board game where everyone wins or loses together. It’s a brilliant way to teach older kids how to manage their own resources and make tactical decisions that benefit everyone!

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Twister

We’re including this one for nostalgic value. If you’ve got excess energy to burn, then this is the game for you. Channel your boundless energy as you try to stay upright while everyone else becomes entangled underneath you in a web of bodies full of festive food!

Twister is a fast-paced party game for kids and adults that requires participants to work together to avoid being caught under each other. Its reliance on physical activity makes it a fun game for adults and kids alike, and is perfect for those looking for something different to do at Christmas parties. Plus, the benefits of physical activity on cognitive function are well-documented too.

Twister is Definitely a game for those who want to improve their motor skills and physical dexterity as well as their concentration skills to try and work out how to place their left hand on yellow without slipping!

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Herd Mentality

Herd Mentality is a board-game meets card-game that engages your cognitive skills and critical thinking. In this game you have to try and guess the same answer as everyone else. Even if you know the answer, and it’s obscure, trying to make sure you write the obvious answer is a challenge in itself!

The game has been designed to help children and adults develop their ability to think critically and logically. The more you play, the better you get at guessing the right (or wrong) answer!

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Burn Off Excess Energy and Stop Your ADHD from Getting “Bored”!

These are just a small selection of the dozens of games out there that are marvellous for adults and children with ADHD. Although video games and online games have their advantages too, sometimes you can’t beat a traditional board game to boost social interactions around the dinner table.

So whatever festival you’re celebrating in the coming weeks and months, there’s something for everyone to enjoy – even the most distracted minds!

Keep reading our articles for more inspirational ideas for spending time with loved ones!

FAQ

What board games can be played with a group?

When it comes to board games, the possibilities are endless! There are games that are perfect for small groups, such as the classic game of Scrabble or the more modern game of Settlers of Catan.

There are also games that can accommodate larger groups, like the ever-popular game of Monopoly or the strategic game of Risk. No matter how many people are in your group, there’s sure to be a board game that will provide hours of entertainment and fun.

Are board games beneficial for all ages?

Board games are beneficial for all ages! Board games encourage social interaction and communication, which is beneficial for children and adults alike. They provide a great opportunity for family members to bond and get to know each other better.

Board games can also help improve cognitive skills, particularly for children. They can help increase problem-solving ability, foster creativity, and improve memory. Board games also give everyone the chance to have some fun and relaxation, no matter their age.

What are the educational benefits of board games?

Board games are one of the best educational tools available for both children and adults. They can help develop critical thinking skills, problem solving skills, and strategy skills. Board games can also be a great way to help children learn math, social skills, and explore other topics in a fun and interactive way.

Board games that require players to make decisions can help children learn how to think through their choices and develop better decision-making skills. Board games can also be used to introduce children to history, geography, and other topics in an engaging way. Finally, board games can be used to help students practice their reading and writing skills.

What are the cognitive benefits of playing board games?

Board games can bring a variety of cognitive benefits. From developing problem-solving skills to honing decision-making and strategy, board games have been consistently proven to promote mental growth.

These games can also improve memory, foster creativity, and help children learn how to think independently. Board games also encourage social interaction, helping children and adults alike practice their communication and collaboration skills. As a result, board games can be an effective tool to deepen relationships and build friendships.

How can board games help with problem solving?

Board games can provide an ideal environment for problem solving. Games like Monopoly and Chess provide a space for players to think strategically and plan ahead. By playing these games, you can hone your problem-solving skills and build up your cognitive abilities.

The ability to think ahead and anticipate the actions of your opponents can help you to make better decisions in real-life situations. Board games also foster collaboration, as you work with others to develop a strategy and work towards a common goal. This team-building exercise can also help teach you how to work together to solve complex problems.

Board games provide a fun and engaging way for people of all ages to enjoy quality time together. They can help improve problem-solving skills, increase cognitive flexibility, build social skills, and foster creativity. Furthermore, they provide an engaging way to practice collaboration, communication, and strategizing. With all the benefits that come with playing board games, it’s no wonder why they remain popular and timeless.

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Rob Butler
30-Something Millennial with ADHD and suspected Autistic and Dyspraxic. Thought leader behind this website. Big visions of a better future for everyone, but forgets where he is half the time.Loves Rugby, his kids, and anything silly. Hates U2 and Marmite.

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