We are living in the times dominated by digital entertainment. Children have their own smartphones and tablets, they watch the telly all the time. But playing outside has long-lasting benefits – especially for children suffering from a disability, for example Down syndrome, autism, or ADHD.
Fresh air and exercise
Fresh air used to be perceived as a cure for all problems with sleeping or appetite loss in children. My grandmother used to say that if a child doesn’t spend at least two hours outside, you’re in for a rough night. Try this if your child has ADHD. Just let them loose in your garden or a park and see what happens.
And exercise, running around, playing tag, and so on, are great for your child’s body and fitness. Children with Down syndrome, for example, are prone to be overweight or even obese. It is important to provide them with a healthy diet and a daily portion of exercise to help them be healthy.
Playing in the garden for SPD
Also, the outside provides a lot of stimulation for children with sensory integration issues, for example children with Down syndrome or autism. If your child is over-sensitive to touch, playing with water and sand outside, or simply walking barefoot on grass can have a good impact on their coping skills. Physiotherapy is an important tool, but it’s just one hour every few days. You should work on your child’s sensory processing problems every day.
Playing alone is not as pleasant. Try to reach out to other parents in your community and organize play-dates for your children. Everyone will benefit from that.