There are many apps that actually have great benefits for children with ADHD, and some are even designed to help kids develop executive functioning skills. If you are looking for a new app to use with your child who has ADHD, then you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, I’ll introduce 16 of the best apps for kids with ADHD to help them organize their time, get through their to-do lists, and even develop positive habits.
- Joon App
- Rescue Time
- Bugs And Buttons
- Happy Kids Timer
- Monster Physics
- AR Dragon
- Breathe, Think, Do With Sesame
- Khan's Academy
We'll start with the one where we know best--our own.
Joon is a top-rated chore app for kids with ADHD. This game-based app makes it easy for kids with ADHD to get motivated to complete all of their tasks without any nagging from their parents.
How does Joon work?
Joon is a to-do app created specifically for kids with ADHD. Unlike some of the other to-do apps on this list, Joon is 100% kid-friendly, which means that your kids will naturally want to use it.
Research has shown that home-based video game programs can help improve symptoms of ADHD. But many video games that claim to help kids with ADHD only focus on improving kids’ attention and focus while playing the game. But what happens after the child turns the game off? Are the skills they learn in the game applicable to their real lives?
Joon makes it a priority to seamlessly integrate our game with your child’s real life. To advance to the next level in the game, your child will need to complete real-life tasks on their to-do list. Claim your 7-day free trial here.
When you download Joon, you’ll be able to choose a few age-appropriate tasks – called Quests in the game – for your child to focus on. For example, some Quests include getting dressed, brushing their teeth, and making their bed. You can also write in your own tasks that you want your child to complete!
Your child will then get to choose their very own virtual pet, called a Doter, to feed, wash, and grow. In order to care for their Doter, your child will need to complete the Quests you’ve assigned them! A Doter is like a dog for your ADHD child. Once they complete their daily Quests (and you approve them on your device of course) they will receive virtual coin rewards that will let them buy food for and play with their Doter.
As they progress in the game, they’ll begin unlocking more things in the world of Joon such as new regions, new clothing items and even new minigames. In parallel in real life, your child will naturally start becoming more motivated and focused on completing their daily tasks so that they can continue playing the game. Doing chores for ADHD children have never been easier.
Benefits of using Joon
The Joon app has many benefits for your child with ADHD, including:
- Completing tasks without nagging
- Time management
- Responsibility and independence
- Improved attention and focus
- Increased motivation and executive functioning
Joon is so effective that 90% of kids who use it complete all of their Quests.
While Joon is only 12 months old, parents everywhere already have great things to say. You can read more testimonials about Joon here.
If your child with ADHD frequently loses track of time while using their devices, then the Rescue Time app may be helpful for them.
If you notice that your child with ADHD stays online well past the time limit you’ve given them, it may not be entirely their fault. ADHD can cause time blindness, which means that kids with ADHD often don’t have an internal clock. They might truly think that only 5 minutes have passed, when in reality, an hour has gone by.
Rescue Time tracks the time your child spends on every activity across all of their devices. For example, the app can measure how much time they spent on social media vs. how much they spent doing research for their school work. This can provide both you and your child with data about how your child is spending their online time.
It may also make it easier for your child to realize how much time they’re actually spending online without having to rely on their faulty internal clock.
Asana is a popular project management app that you may have heard of before. This app isn’t so much for your child with ADHD to use on their own (although older teens may be able to use it themselves). But parents can help their children use Asana to keep track of their to-do lists.
For example, if your child has a project to work on for school, you can insert all of their tasks into Asana. The app makes it easy to break large projects up into smaller steps that are more easily surmountable for your child with ADHD.
A great feature of Asana is that it’s designed for teamwork and collaboration. You and your child can both log in to the project management app to work together on tasks.
If your child is in high school, they can use Asana themselves to manage large projects, both at school and in their extracurricular activities.
One of the effects of ADHD is emotional dysregulation. Because of the way ADHD affects the brain, kids with ADHD have a harder time controlling their emotions and calming themselves down. It’s important for parents to teach their children with ADHD tools to manage their own feelings.
One app that can help with emotion regulation is Headspace. Headspace is one of the largest platforms for virtual meditation. A recent study found that using Headspace helped kids with ADHD significantly reduce their anxiety and sleep problems.
Headspace has an entire library of guided meditations and mindfulness exercises that are specifically designed for children. These kid-friendly meditations may be able to help your child manage their emotions, calm their energy levels, and get better sleep.
Hay Day is a popular farming simulator app that was developed by a Finnish video game company. The game involves growing crops, cultivating trees and bushes, crafting products and raising animals and pets on a farm. Your child can trade goods with non-playable characters (visitors) as well as other players to earn coins and experience points while progressing in the game.
New items can be purchased to spruce up your own farm. Special events regularly occur, giving players rarer or expensive items as rewards for winning challenges. Players can chat and help each other in neighborhoods and compete for prizes in races. Lastly, the game even gets thematic seasonal changes.
Neuronation is an app that uses brain training games to improve memory and focus. Brain training is based on the scientific idea of neuroplasticity, or the idea that there are things you can do to increase your mental fitness. Some of the training activities used in Neuronation might be too difficult for younger kids, but older kids and teens may be able to benefit.
One study found that a group of people who used Neuronation experienced improved working memory and brain processing speed when compared with the control group. The group who used Neuronation also experienced real-life benefits, like forgetting fewer appointments and being less distractible.
Using this app consistently may help your child with ADHD strengthen their memory and focus. Although more studies are currently being conducted, using Neuronation isn’t likely to harm your child – so it may be worth trying.
Bugs and Buttons
Bugs and Buttons is a carefully crafted collection of 18 whimsical games and activities designed to reinforce countless educational skills while providing an entertaining and healthy experience for kids (between the ages of 3 and 5).
Each whimsical game focuses on a different type of skill improvement such as motor skills, critical thinking, hand-eye coordination and much much more. The games offer multiple achievements to maintain engagement and excitement and most activities are self-learning.
Lastly, parental gates and safety features are put in place for your child’s safety along with zero in-app purchases or third party advertisements. It truly is a very family-friendly app!
You may have used Evernote as a way to quickly jot things down on your phone. But you may not have thought about how Evernote might be able to help your child with ADHD. Not only can your child themselves use Evernote to take and organize notes (especially if they’re older), but you, as the parent, can also use this app to organize your child’s activities.
Taking notes on Evernote may be more effective for your child with ADHD. All of their notes stay organized in one place, and they don’t need to worry about misplacing or forgetting various notebooks. You can also use Evernote to organize your child’s daily tasks and to-do lists.
EndeavorRx, created by Akili Interactive Labs, is the only app on this list that’s FDA-approved to help kids with ADHD. It’s a game-based app that has been proven to help kids with ADHD improve their attention span. While they play the game, kids need to multitask, ignore distractions, and use complex problem-solving skills.
EndeavorRX is only available by prescription, so if you’d like for your child to try it, you need to talk to a certified physician. It’s only available for kids in the U.S. who are between 8 and 12 years old. Read more about the cost of EndeavorRx.
ToDoist is a simple app that makes it easy for your child to organize their to-do lists and keep track of their goals. The lists created on ToDoist can be as complex or simple as you want them to be, which can be helpful for kids with ADHD.
You, as a parent, can also use ToDoist to keep yourself organized regarding your child’s appointments, medications, and more.
Happy Kids Timer Family Chores
Again, kids with ADHD often experience “time blindness.” Having visual reminders of the passing time is key to helping your child understand when it’s time to transition from one activity to another. Visual timers can also make it less likely that your child will have an ADHD meltdown when it’s time to transition.
The Happy Kids Timer is a simple-to-use app that provides a kid-friendly countdown timer. You can use the Happy Kids Timer while your child is getting ready for school (to keep them moving through each task) or start a visual countdown before it’s time to start getting ready for bed.
The Happy Kids Timer also gives your child visual reminders of what task they’re supposed to be working on. The app encourages children with ADHD to be independent; it’s their responsibility to take the timer with them as they move from one task to the next.
Monster Physics doesn’t address your child’s ADHD symptoms directly, but it’s a fun way for your child to engage in learning. Monster Physics is a Minecraft-esque building game app that allows your child to explore the principles of physics.
Kids can build their own contraptions (including cars, rockets, cranes, and more) and watch these contraptions come to life with the rules of physics. Kids also need to use critical thinking and problem-solving skills to tackle missions. Plus, the colorful graphics make the game fun and engaging for kids with ADHD.
Taking care of a pet can teach a child with ADHD important life skills like responsibility, critical thinking, and independence. For parents who aren’t quite ready to take the step of bringing a live animal into their home, there’s the AR Dragon app.
With the AR Dragon app, your child can hatch their own baby dragon and “take care” of it until it grows into a unique adult dragon. Your child will need to remember to open the app every day to feed and care for their dragon, which may help them with focus and responsibility. If nothing else, this app may help your child start training for their first puppy.
Breathe, Think, Do With Sesame
This app from Sesame Street teaches kids important life skills like feelings identification, problem-solving, self-control, and more. Many of these tasks are dependent on strong executive functioning skills, which is an area that kids with ADHD often struggle with (research shows that kids with ADHD are more likely to have executive function deficits).
Kids can help an adorable monster from Sesame Street learn how to breathe through hard feelings, make hard decisions, and choose a plan. The app is evidence-based and part of the Little Children Big Challenges initiative. This app is best for younger kids; older kids may find it too easy or simple.
Many kids with ADHD struggle with reading and writing. This is linked to many of the ways that ADHD affects the brain. For example, kids with ADHD may lose focus or get distracted while reading, or have too much hyperactive energy to sit still long enough to read a book.
But this doesn’t have to mean that your child with ADHD can’t experience the magic of books. The Audible app has hundreds of thousands of titles in audiobooks, including many books for children. You can search for books based on your child’s age or interests, and the Audible app also has kid-friendly podcasts.
The Audible app may make it easier for your child to read and enjoy books without the frustration that ADHD often brings.
Khan Academy Kids
The last app on our list, Khan Academy Kids, is popular for all children, not only those with ADHD. However, this app can be even more helpful for kids with ADHD because it makes learning fun and engaging. It also breaks lessons up into smaller chunks, which makes it easier for kids with ADHD to digest information that they have missed at school.
Using Khan Academy Kids, your child can access engaging lessons, games, videos, and more to help them with reading, writing, math, and socio-emotional skills. Best of all, Khan Academy Kids is 100% free and doesn’t require a subscription. This app is best for younger kids between the ages of 2 and 8.