As the parent of a child with ADHD, adapting the home to meet their unique needs is vital. While a winning bedroom, lounge, and space to relax are all vital, there is another area that could become your secret weapon—the garden.
When the garden is used to its full potential, it becomes the perfect place for connecting with teens and younger children alike. In the post coronavirus era, the proposed benefits are even greater. By the end of this guide, you’ll be ready to unlock the best situation for your family finally.
Why The Garden Deserves Your Attention
Spending time outside delivers a host of physical and mental benefits for everyone. However, many of those benefits become even more noticeable for children with ADHD. In fact, studies into the subject have shown a direct correlation between time outside and reduced ADHD symptoms. From reduced stress to improved short-term memory, the direct results can boost your child’s wellbeing.
Time spent outside can take place anywhere. However, the garden is a particularly suitable location for kids with ADHD. Some of the most telling reasons include;
- It removes the threat of your child contracting covid.
- They are familiar with their surroundings.
- There is no threat of mistreatment from other people.
- It is available at all times and requires no travel time.
- You can oversee solo play from the kitchen or patio.
Of course, having outdoor opportunities within the land of your property helps with various other features. For example, it can be a significant weapon in the battle against screen addiction.
How To Utilize The Garden In 10 Steps
The potential benefits of using the garden to support your child with their ADHD symptoms are clear. But the big question revolves around how you can make it happen.
Thankfully, the transformation can be completed with far less hassle than you might imagine. Follow the ten steps below, and you should notice stunning results that begin to benefit your child’s life in no time.
#1. Clear the space
Before you can create a backyard space that’s tailored to your family’s needs, you must first appreciate the space you have to work with. If your land has been left unloved and untreated, now is the time to change that. A garden clearance will instantly make the road ahead look smoother, not least because you can complete it in one day flat.
Removing the debris, junk, and unwanted items will show precisely how much space you have. It can also highlight what steps may be needed to prepare the garden for increased activity. Similarly, you can use this time to draw up a budget and schedule.
#2. Ensure visibility for parents
Safety has to come first for every parent. You will enjoy plenty of activities with your child with ADHD outside in the garden, but it’s equally important to encourage some independence. However, you will only feel confident doing this if you can keep an eye on your child.
The best way to do this is to ensure that the windows looking out on the yard are dressed to offer good visibility. However, you can also think about adding a deck or designated patio area. Not only will this encourage peace of mind, but it will allow you to enjoy relaxed afternoons in the garden too actively.
#3. Add sensory toys
Sensory Toys and games are an essential ingredient in the recipe for success in a child with ADHD’s life. The garden shouldn’t be any different. Jungle gyms, mud kitchens, throwing games, and outdoor art equipment are all excellent ideas. Meanwhile, toys that light up the ground or have different textures to be explored can be significant.
The key is to focus on fun activities that allow your child to develop social and cognitive skills. The best items do this while retaining their attention for just the right duration of time. After all, this is the area where kids with ADHD tend to struggle most and feel frustrated.
#4. Remove potential hazards
As already mentioned, safety is a priority for all parents. While excellent visibility gives you the chance to stay vigilant, prevention remains the best form of protection. If you have a young child, ADHD or not, it makes sense to cover pools and hot tubs or incredibly sharp stone corners.
This may be an excellent incentive to think about getting an artificial lawn too. This will create a flat surface. The fact that it reduces the need for regular maintenance is a great feature for parents. If you have invested in a trampoline, you’ll want to get a guard for it too.
#5. Create a gardening area
Gardening is a great activity for kids to get involved in. Aside from encouraging more time outside in the backyard, it teaches kids about nature, nutrition, and a host of valuable life lessons. The concept of growing something from seed over time also shows the value of hard work and what it can produce. This can be a great tool even from preschool ages.
Nonetheless, the studies show that it is an activity that soothes children with ADHD. The therapeutic factors can significantly enhance their quality of life by fighting symptoms. Even a few minutes each day in the garden on this activity can promote life-changing rewards.
#6. Consider constructing an outbuilding
While they will spend most of their garden time enjoying the sunshine and garden games, it’s not the only benefit. The backyard also offers you the opportunity to build an external building that can serve as a playroom. You could use it for table tennis, artwork, or a whole host of other features.
In fact, it can even work as an ideal setting for video games. It becomes far easier to monitor and restrict the amount of time spent using the facility as separate from the main building. Of course, you will have to protect it with the right security features.
#7. Think about outside distractions
When a child has ADHD, autism, or any related condition, the outside factors are a significant issue. This can leave them feeling very distressed by loud noises, for example. You cannot control what your neighbors do or stop planes from flying overhead. However, ear defenders for children can provide relief and protection. It allows them to enjoy their garden to the full.
Loud noises aren’t the only potential problem to consider. Keeping your backyard protected from critters and pests is another hugely important step, not least because it will actively protect the garden’s financial assets.
#8. Use calming sounds
While unexpected sounds from outside sources can be disruptive, sounds you control can be instrumental. A water fountain is perhaps the most obvious solution. The gentle trickling of water can be very calming for your child. Better still, it may help drown out some of the outside noises you are a little concerned about.
Further options include adding a wireless speaker or adding speakers to the patio area. They can use them to play calming sounds or the music that your child loves. Naturally, they double up as excellent sources of entertainment for parents or gatherings with friends.
#9. Create a den
When your child is overwhelmed, they may want to spend some alone time to calm down. The outbuilding can be a great option for this. However, a small tent is another fantastic option. A few minutes spent in the tent with a few snacks and a game can work wonders for calming your child. It is a nice break from the summer sun too.
There are many ways to make this more comfortable. Meanwhile, tents with windows allow parents to keep an eye on their son or daughter. Many children have playhouse tents inside the home. The backyard option ensures that the home is even better suited to their needs.
#10. Avoid clutter
While you can use the garden to encourage a wide range of activities, you don’t want to overawe your child. Having too many items out in the yard at once can spell disaster for children with ADHD. Therefore, it’s best to avoid clutter by investing in good storage facilities. This could be a shed, a storage box, or a designated area in the garage.
Some of the products, like jungle gyms, will stay out at all times. However, slip slides, and sporting toys can be kept away until they are needed. In turn, there will be more space for your family to play in. This is great for kids with ADHD, as well as all other house members.
Backyard spaces are often the most commonly overlooked asset in the home, especially for families with ADHD children. With the right plan of action in place, it’ll be possible to build an accommodating space. Better still, it’ll be safe, engaging, and great for their social development.
It also improves the look and financial value of the garden while giving you an excuse to spend more time outside is great for parents.