ADHD is a topic I am very, very familiar with. From parenting kids to my own personal struggles, I can assure you that the connection between the calming of ADHD and nature is not fabricated in any way.
Studies have shown that kids with ADHD focus better when they spend time outdoors and this “nature time” leads to more positive moods, as well as lower stress and anxiety. Children who are exposed to natural or outdoor settings receive benefits to their cognitive health, such as the reduction of ADHD symptoms. Recent trends have pointed to a dramatic drop in outdoor time for kids and in one generation – just thirty years – kids are getting outdoors half as often as their parents.
Nature and Reducing ADHD Symptoms
Nature deficit disorder refers to a hypothesis by Richard Louv in his 2005 book Last Child in the Woods that human beings, especially children, are spending less time outdoors resulting in a wide range of behavioral problems. Louv claims that causes for the phenomenon include parental fears, restricted access to natural areas, and the lure of the screen-time. Today’s kids are becoming more and more removed from nature, and are spending more time in structured activities and on electronic devices. A disturbing fact that leaves them little time for unstructured play in nature.
So here it is, my call-out to YOU…get your children outside and into nature. Into the dirt, into the garden, into the lakes. Have them take off their shoes and socks and let Mother Nature’s healing energy soak from the soil into their skin.
Go ahead and try it. I’ll wait.
Years ago, when myself and fellow author Marilyn Scott-Waters created an innovative and enchanting book inspired by a classic children’s tale, we knew all of these nature facts. That was one of the many driving forces that made us determined to write and publish a book that encourages kids to step away from electronics and initiate creative play.
A Year in The Secret Garden combined our respective talents to not only create a clever solution for those struggling with symptoms of ADHD, but also an amazing guidebook to help parents help their children regain their interest and love of nature.
From Day One, we wanted A Year in the Secret Garden to be the catalyst in introducing the beloved children’s classic, The Secret Garden to a new generation of families.
With that in mind, Marilyn and I created a book for kids and adults that uses over two hundred full-color illustrations and photos to bring the magical story to life, with fascinating historical information, monthly gardening activities, easy-to-make recipes, and step-by-step crafts, designed to enchant readers of all ages.
If you are serious about getting your youngsters off the couch and into The Great Outdoors (or the kitchen and craft room), parents will find monthly activities and reading based on the Secret Garden characters, as well as have fun together creating the original crafts and activities based on the book.
Even today (almost five years later!) our goal is still to not only raise awareness for the necessity of families spending more quality “unplugged” time together but to also share monthly activities that incorporate nature and the outdoors as well.
About A Year In The Secret Garden
With over 120 pages, with 150 original color illustrations and 48 activities for families to enjoy, learn, discover and play together, A Year In the Secret Garden is an opportunity to introduce new generations of families to the magic of this classic tale in a modern and innovative way that creates special learning and play times outside in nature. This book encourages families to step away from technology and into the kitchen, garden, reading nook, and craft room.
In The Book:
12 Gardening Activities that will get your kids outside digging in the dirt and encouraging their imaginations to sprout and grow. Some of the fun includes:
- Magic Carpets
- Planting Bulbs
- Old Man and the Spade Game
- Bringing in the Evergreen
- Ice Disks
- Garden in a Jar
- Seed Paper
- Seed Packets
- Plant Labels
- Hula Hoop Magic Circles
- Affirmation Stones
12 Secret Garden Recipes based on events and scenes in the book including:
- Curry Chicken
- Ploughman’s Lunch
- Hot Oat Cakes
- Toad in a Hole
- Parkin Cake
- Robin Cakes
- Tin Foil Breakfast
- Ladybug Sandwiches
12 Secret Garden Crafts based on the book:
- Jump Ropes
- Unique Bird Feeders
- Wutherin’Wind Flags
- Oaten Pipes (flute)
- Nest making
- Dickon’s Felt Creatures
About The Authors (Including ME!)
I am the CEO of Audrey Press and the best-selling children’s author of Dragons Are Real, The Fox Diaries: The Year the Foxes Came to our Garden and The Ultimate Guide to Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. I am passionate about making kid’s books come alive and am proud to be a play and reading advocate. My mission is to inspire children and families to embrace their world through reading, play, and creativity.
Scott-Waters is an award-winning author of notable books such as The Toymaker’s Christmas: Paper Toys You Can Make Yourself (Sterling), The Toymaker’s Workshop: Paper Toys You Can Make Yourself (Sterling co-creator with J. H. Everett of the middle-grade nonfiction series, Haunted Histories, (Christy Ottaviano Books / Henry Holt Books for Young Readers).
Her popular website The Toymaker receives 2,000 to 7,000 visitors each day, who have downloaded more than six million of her easy-to-make paper toys. Her goal is to help parents and children spend time together making things.
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