Building a garden for children with special needs

Featured photo by Helena Lopes from Pexels.

Gardening has been prescribed by many doctors as a therapeutic form of recreation. It’s an activity that will not only benefit adults, but may also be rewarding for children, including kids with special needs, as it may enhance their creativity and improve their motor skills, self-confidence, and sociability. Engaging them in garden activities will also help them relax and cope with anxiety and frustration. 


A garden for children with disabilities 

There are certain things to keep in mind when creating a garden with a disabled person in mind. Make sure that the garden would be suitable for the child’s needs. Draft a detailed sketch of the garden that will guide you as you build it. Here are two types that you can choose from: 


Sensory garden. This type of garden is filled with scent, sounds, textures as this is designed to appeal to our senses. Sensory gardens are great as they can be turned into something educational and at the same time, healing. 


Themed gardens. Considering the short attention span of children, you can incorporate themes in your gardens that will help grab their interest like planting flowers in their favorite color, adding statues of their favorite characters as decor, and other safe and fun activities you can think of. 


In building the garden, it’s important to focus on the specific needs of each child including plant height, garden pathways, and space for wheelchairs and other walking aids. For children in wheelchairs, you may construct raised beds that will allow them to tend to the plants easily. Add garden furniture such as chairs and tables where they (and you) can enjoy the surroundings, too. 


As for the plants, do not just sow plants according to your wants. Ensure that they are appropriate to your region’s climate and that they are safe for kids. Avoid toxic plants and varieties with thorns as you would want to protect the children from any possible risks when exploring the garden.    


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