High-energy kids need active play, especially when they’re cooped up indoors. Active gaming fills the bill. Check out Kinect forXbox 360. The player’s body acts as the controller. Kinect tracks your child’s full-body movement in 3-D, while responding to commands, directions, even different emotions in his voice. Sports, fitness, dance, and animal games will be first off the assembly line. Price: Xbox 360 console with Kinect: $299.99; Kinect sensor only: $149.99.
Building toys, like LEGO, are great for creative kids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but, oh, the mess! This year, along with the latest “Toy Story” or “Harry Potter” LEGO set, give your organizationally challenged child a LEGO ZipBin. When unzipped, it turns into a play mat, on which your child can construct buildings, airplanes, whatever. When zipped up, it’s a box or basket, depending on the model, which stores the bricks inside. Perfect for one-step cleanup. Price: $12.99-$24.99.
A Maze and Marbles (via Young Explorers) is an interactive building toy that captures -- and holds -- our ADHD kids’ attention. The countless configurations of chutes, bridges, and drops, through which the marbles race, develop organizational and spatial skills. This hardwood version of the classic toy is sturdy, making it ideal for the rough play of ADHD kids. Price: $69.95.
Spheres of InfluenceHoberman Spheres are an engineering marvel, and an addictive distraction that occupies busy hands and curious minds. The colored collapsible spheres, which expand from six inches to 30 via small plastic joints, are not only fun to play with, but can also teach self-regulation, a function often lacking in ADHD kids. 1000 Petals Yoga suggests using the Hoberman sphere as a visual aid for meditation. “Take a deep breath, while expanding the sphere, breathe out while contracting it.” Price: $14.99 - $34.99.
Feel the Burn
Super Skipper, by International Playthings, burns up a child’s extra energy while harnessing the therapeutic benefits of music and rhythm. Kids jump and skip over a revolving bar in time to music. Music is key to brain development, for language processing, motor skills, and coordination. As a bonus, the toy might just tire out your child! Price: $32.99.