For many parents, finding ways to create safe and engaging activities for their children is a priority, especially as warm weather sets in. For children on the autism spectrum, it’s especially important to make safe spaces that will encourage learning, yet will also help the child feel comfortable.
In spring and summer, there are several ways you can make your backyard a safe haven for your child on the autism spectrum. Plus, several of these activities you and your family can do together outdoors.
The key is to come up with a good plan so your child will stay engaged and curious. Take their specific needs into consideration to ensure that they’ll stay safe and think of the best ways to get your family involved in their favorite activities.
Making learning fun will keep them engaged and happy and will allow for some bonding time for all your loved ones. Keep reading for some of the best tips on how to make your backyard a safe, functional space for your child on the autism spectrum.
Create A Safe, Functional Backyard For A Child On The Autism Spectrum
While there are a ton of amazing ways to help make your backyard fun for your autistic child, there are some safety measures to take into account. Today, we’ll go over things to avoid and some fun ways to make sure you and your child have a great time outdoors!
Avoid Standing Water
Children on the autism spectrum have a tendency to love water. While water has many therapeutic uses, standing water can cause real danger. Autistic children don’t often realize the dangers of drowning. Even a small kiddy pool with a foot of water can be a risk.
If you plan on having a small pool on hand, make sure to drain it when not in use.
Having a Fence and Gate
When all possible, it is always a great idea to have a fence and gate for your backyard. This allows your child with autism the safety to run around their backyard without the worry of wandering.
Put Away any Dangerous Items
Whether your child is autistic or not, kids are curious by nature! Make sure that you put away any items that may be dangerous to them. This includes lawnmowers and other dangerous equipment, along with any lawn chemicals you may keep. The best (and easiest way) to keep these items is in a locked shed. Just make sure to put the key someone they will not find, or use a combination lock.
Now for the ways to make your backyard fun for your child on the autism spectrum!
Plant a garden
Gardening is an excellent activity for children on the autism spectrum because it’s quiet. You can move at your own pace, and it allows for lots of sensory play without creating an overload. It’s also great for movement and activity, and it’s something the entire family can do together.
Working with one another to build something will promote teamwork, and you can enjoy the health benefits if you choose to plant vegetables or fruit. It’s essential to make sure you have the right tools. Everyone who will be taking part will need protective gloves, sunscreen, and water for hydration.
Create a bird-watching station
There’s a reason why bird watching tops Plexus’ list of family-friendly outdoor activities. Birds are fascinating creatures and provide lots of opportunities to learn from the safety of your backyard.
Create a station where your child can watch and learn by setting up a comfortable area for them to sit and put together simple bird feeders, look at bird guides, and watch the species in your area through binoculars.
You probably already have the makings for a bird feeder in your home. A pine cone covered in peanut butter and rolled in birdseed will do the trick. Or try a row of Cheerios strung onto a pipe cleaner.
Have a Campout
Many kids love camping because it’s a little break from the norm. Sleeping under the stars, making marshmallows over a campfire, and taking time away from electronics to see how people used to live before the days of technology can be lots of fun.
The great thing is, with a little preparation and some gear, you can do it in your backyard. You don’t even have to buy a tent if your budget doesn’t allow; drape some sheets from a tree and secure them with a clothesline.
Make a butterfly feeder
Butterflies are beautiful and mysterious little creatures that provide great learning opportunities for kids because of the way they transform. Talk to your child about the different gestation periods for butterflies and look for cocoons in the backyard during spring.
Build a butterfly garden using a few small, shallow trays. Fill one with water and add stones the butterflies can land on to get a drink, and place butterfly nectar in the others.
Creating A Safe, Functional Backyard For A Child On The Autism Spectrum
Getting your child outdoors and interested in learning is a great way to keep him engaged, and it will allow for some family bonding at the same time. Talk to your child about every step of your outdoor activities and look for new learning opportunities along the way.