This is a contributed post and therefore doesn’t necessarily reflect the views and opinions of this blog or its author.
Not all activities available to the wider public are also available to children with autism, but this isn’t necessarily anything to do with the children themselves. It’s because the creators of event centers and beyond don’t take the few extra steps needed to make their venture open to all people in society, regardless of who they are. Fortunately, there’s one place out there that doesn’t discriminate (or, rather, discriminates equally): the great outdoors! Nature’s playground is full of fun activities for you and your children. Don’t believe us? Just check out some of our fun spring and summer activities that we’ve outlined below.
Create an Obstacle Course
What’s better than being outside on a sunny day, working up a sweat, getting dirty, and being challenged all at the same time? There’s nothing that we can think of. If you have a garden, look at creating an obstacle course for your child to complete. It doesn’t have to anything overly complicated. It can be a matter of putting a few things to climb over, and a few things to climb under, and you’re done. For extra fun, try to end the course with a deep dive into a paddling pool. They’ll love it.
Into the Woods
Of course, you don’t always need to put an effort in to enjoy the outdoors. Indeed, sometimes the very act of simply being somewhere beautiful is enough to bring a smile out in all the people that are involved. If you have a wooded area near you, why not pack a lunch for everyone and set off to explore? There’s magic in the woods if you’re willing to look for it. Your children will love seeing what’s behind the curious looking tree or trying to catch a glimpse of the bird that’s making the sweetest of sounds.
If you have more than one child, then why not make things interesting, and a little competitive at the same by getting the adrenaline going? Take a look at the best electric go-kart available, set up a fun and safe course, and then let your children take to the outdoors and try their hand at getting the best time. The best ones run up to 17 mph, which isn’t slow by any means! But if this is too fast, you can limit the speed to a more agreeable ten mph – but expect your child to moan that they want to go faster!
It can sometimes be challenging to get any child to get up off the couch, but they’ll be much more inclined if they know they’re going on a fun adventure. Have you heard of geocaching? It’s the act of treasure hunting, using GPS to find “caches.” It’s essentially like a sophisticated version of setting up your own treasure hunt! And the good news is that there’s no way you could find them all – they’re located all over the world – so you’ll have an activity that you can do again and again.
Learning a New Skill
It’s a bright and sunny morning, what better way to spend it than by heading out into the garden and learning a new skill? Your child will love the creative and focused aspects of building or painting, you’ll be spending time together, and there’ll be a tangible result at the end of the day’s proceedings. Of course, it’s better to start small. Begin by just painting the fence or building a bird box for the summer visitors, and then work your way up from there.
Yoga in the Outdoors
You might not know that yoga has been shown to be excellent for children with autism. It helps children to build confidence, improve their motor skills, boosts self-awareness, and so much more. And of course, you won’t be left out either: yoga has been shown to be great for just about everyone! If you’re a newbie, then it’s normal to feel a little intimidated, but don’t be: you can learn using online tutorials or apps. In no time, you and your children will become yoga masters, and you’ll see that your child has developed in ways you didn’t think possible.
If you’ve got a garden, then why not set up a vegetable garden? These are brilliant ideas anyway, as it uses your land, provides fresh food, and gets you into the outdoors, but it’s extra great for children with autism. They’ll love being in the outdoors, getting their hands dirty, and taking care of something that grows. This page about gardening with children is helpful.