Posted on: 23 April 2018
According to research, the increase of technology has contributed to a decrease in time spent in nature. In fact, the study found that children 8-12 years old spend three times as many hours in front of televisions, computer screens, and electronic devices than they do playing outside. And while it's common knowledge that a sedentary lifestyle increases the risks of obesity, research shows that it also increases the risk of ADHD in children.
In a study published by the National Institutes of Health, symptoms of ADHD reduced significantly when children were exposed to and involved in nature. If you have a child who has been diagnosed with ADHD or who may have problems with attention and focus, here are a few ways you can get them interested in the great outdoors.
Create Outdoor Living Spaces
Outdoor living spaces, particularly for lounging and dining, can give you and your family places to hang out and enjoy being outdoors. Children with attention deficit disorders focus better when outside. Also, being outside in nature can also help with their cognitive development. Have your child do their homework out on the deck or in a seating area in the garden. Consider giving them a personalized area where they can relax, read, and study. If you live on a busy street or in an area where there is noise pollution, you may be concerned about sounds and noises interfering with your child's ability to focus and concentrate. Hire a landscaper to install a sound barrier to protect your outdoor living spaces from local noise pollution, such as a soundproof fence. Plant a row of shrubs or other greenery in front of the fencing for a more natural setting.
Install a Nature Path
Another thing you can do is to install a meandering nature path through your backyard. Include various areas throughout the path where your child can be active with nature, such as large rocks for climbing, grassy areas where they can look for bugs, pebbles they can turn over to look for worms, and a sandpit they can dig in. Provide your child with tools for exploring on the nature path, such as a hand rake, a small shovel, and a magnifying glass.
Along the nature path, include several areas where your child can sit and relax and, as the saying goes, be one with nature. Fostering this type of behavior in an outdoor environment can have a restorative effect on your child's mind. Being immersed in the outdoors in an area that captures their attention and that is away from day-to-day activities can greatly increase their ability to concentrate and focus their attention. In fact, it's called attention restoration theory.
Build a Playground
A playground built right in your backyard can give your child an area where they can exercise and play. But since being in nature is important, try to avoid the classic metal swing set. Instead, hang a tire swing from the sturdy branch of a tree. That way, when your child is swinging in the tire, he or she can gaze up to the branch and the leaves of the tree.
Install a climbing wall or a balance beam to improve their strength, agility, and proprioceptive input while they are playing. Proprioception is often dysfunctional in people with ADHD. By giving your child a way to improve their proprioception while in an outdoor environment where they are better able to focus and concentrate, your child's ADHD symptoms may improve.
Speak with a landscaping contractor for more information and ideas on how to incorporate outdoor living spaces and areas for activities for your child to help improve their ADHD symptoms.Share