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Activity to Enhance Emotional and Social Skills for Child with ADHD

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Childcare
Wordcount: 1177 words Published: 18th May 2020

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Present an activity to enhance a child (Paul) with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) emotional and social skills.


Snakes and Ladders


To promote social skills, to encourage turn-taking and to help improve level of concentration and patience.


I chose this activity because it has been researched as one of the best activities for children with adhd because it is not a complicated game and the less complication for Paul the better. Also as stated in the Disability Act 2001 inclusion is very important for children with special needs in a mainstream school (Alcott, 2007).  As this activity consists of two or more players, playing with other children will help Paul feel included. I also chose it to help Paul to express his feelings, to help him to understand the concept of turn-taking and to increase his level of concentration. Also, to help him interact with the other children.


The game consists of a dice, four pawn and a board with numbers one to a hundred covered with snakes and ladders.  The object of the game is to take turns throwing the dice then starting from the bottom and working the way to the top.


Before doing any research, I spoke to Pauls teacher and principal, I explained to them how I was going to use this activity to help Paul to work on his social and emotional skills. Both teacher and principal agreed to support my strategy and allowed me to go ahead with the activity. I then researched both ADHD and Snakes and Ladders.  I learned that adhd is not a learning disability, but it can affect the learning process and, that adhd is more common in boys than girls. The child with adhd can become easily distracted, does not like to sit for a long period of time, does not follow instruction very well.  They may also find it hard to express their feelings, become frustrated and lash out.  I also learned that a child with adhd does not take well to turn-taking and can be very inpatient (WebMD, 2005). When researching the game snakes and ladders I found it was a game that two or four players can play, this will promote Pauls social skills, encourage him to share and take turns and enhance his concentration.



  • I asked Paul to sit with two other children
  • I introduced Paul to the other children
  • We had a little chat before starting the game
  • I then placed the game on the table
  • Using clear and short instructions I explained the object of the game
  • Each child chose a pawn in the colour of the choice
  • I allowed Paul to take the first turn
  • I then passed the dice to the next child to help Paul understand the concept of taking turns


At first, I wasn’t sure about this activity for a child with ADHD but, once I researched the game and ADHD, I felt it would be a task but a good one. What may seem like a basic easy board game may just be a challenge for Paul. This game involves patience, sharing and concentration, traits that Paul does not portray. Snakes and Ladders anticipates success and teaches how to deal with failure.  Ladders to climb (success) snakes to slide down (failure). Children get frustrated with the sliding down but, quickly learn that a ladder is not far away.  I found that Paul was a little uncomfortable when he set down with the other children, so I decided that maybe a little chat would help. When Paul became settled, I placed the board on the table Paul seemed to take an interest but, he was not totally focused he was looking around the room too. I started to ask Paul what he seen on the board.  He replied saying the snakes and the ladders, so I asked him and the other children what they thought the snakes and ladders meant. Once they understood the concept of the game we began to play.  I kept encouraging the children to wait their turn especially Paul. It took a while for Paul except this but once he got into it, he seem to gradually learn that he had to wait his turn.  I noticed Paul would look angry when he had to slide down a snake, I would ask him how he felt about it and I used a positive approach by encouraging and praising Paul each time he took his turn.  The encouragement seemed to help keep him involved and focused on the game. It was hard work keeping Paul interested and focused however, I felt the tactics of the game helped increase Pauls frustration tolerance and promoted a more positive connection between Paul and the other children.

On reflection of the game and overall activity I realised that it can take a very long time to connect with a child with adhd.  Also, that the child is easily frustrated when they found it hard to understand something.  I, therefore thought the snakes and ladders game was an easy game for Paul to understand and follow. Clear and basic instructions and information are best for Paul.  Being patient is also very important when working with children with adhd.  Positive reinforcement is also extremely important not only for a child with special needs but for all children. The child’s best interest and wellbeing are the most important factors when helping and caring for and them.  I just want to add that while having patience when working with a child with mild general learning disabilities is so important, I feel that when working with a child with adhd your patience is tried and tested a lot more.  I enjoyed my time with Paul and the other children but, I found that it may have just been a game of snakes and ladders to the other children I was a lot more stressful for Paul and that it took longer than I thought to get him interested and relaxed.  With a lot of time, patience and care Paul will improve and progress.



  • Alcott, M., 2007. An introduction to children with special educational needs. 2nd ed. london : Hodder Arnold .
  • WebMD, 2005. What Is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?. [Online]
    Available at: https://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/childhood-adhd/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd#1
    [Accessed 28 08 2019].


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