We are both blessed and cursed with a big garden.
We are blessed because it is lovely to have your own outside space but cursed as we have had no idea what to do with it!
I am not a gardener by any means, shape or form.
I look at our neighbours immaculate gardens (and I mean immaculate) and feel like we are letting the side down.
But, once Oscar’s adaptions have been done, I am on a mission.
I want to create a sensory garden for Oscar.
Now it may sound like that this is going to be expensive but it doesn’t have to be.
I am on a tight budget and have been doing some research as to things we can do.
Firstly, look round the house and see if there are any things in the house that you no longer really use or want but could be used in the garden.
I have some old shoes, a pair of wellies and an old set of tea, coffee and sugar pots which I was going to throw away but instead I am going to use them as plant pots.
It might sound a bit quirky, but I have saved some money by not having to buy plant pots.
Old pots and pans make great plant pots too.
You can find lots of things for the garden in shops and supermarkets at a reasonable price.
You just need to shop around and stick to a budget as it is easy to get carried away.
Plants flowers that are bright and colourful. Also, if possible, plant them in plant pots that are bright and colourful.
Make your garden a haven of colour.
A good flower to plant with you child is of course the sunflower.
Lovely and bright and your child will be able to watch it grow.
Colourful windmills (like you put in sandcastles) and wind socks, and 3D sun catchers are also great for adding colour and for your child to watch.
Gnomes and funny outdoor ornaments are also fun to have in the garden.
Lavender is the obvious choice for a plant with a lovely smell.
Lemon balm is also another great plant.
Herbs are also good for smell, mint, basil, oregano, rosemary and thyme to name but a few.
There are lots of plants out there it is just finding the ones that your child likes the smell of.
There are already many sounds outside with the birds singing and bees buzzing so invite nature into your garden.
Make or buy a bird table or bird box.
Put seed out in a feeder for the birds.
Wind chimes are also great and you can easily make your own with some metal spoons, string and a piece of wood.
You can also tie different lengths of bamboo or plastic tubing together to make a kind of homemade outside xylophone.
It may not look or sound like the ones you can buy for your garden but it will be a lot cheaper!
And, I am sure your child will still love it.
A water feature is also great for sound in the garden but of course these can be expensive.
I would suggest getting a small bucket of water, a water wheel and some water toys (watering can, colinder, jugs) and let your child have fun with their own water feature.
I know it is not quite the same but it should keep them entertained for a while.
Encourage your child to feel the flowers, leaves, stones and branches (watch out for any thorns).
Let them help you plant some flowers, get their hands dirty.
It is what being a child is all about.
Just because our children have special needs shouldn’t mean they have to miss out.
If your child is in a wheelchair, having raised flower beds are great to enable them to help out in the garden but again these can be expensive.
If you have no garden, use a window ledge and grow some herbs, put a wind chime near an open window and hang a sun catcher up on the window.
It doesn’t matter whether you have a big garden, a small garden or no garden.
There is always something you can do to add sensory experiences for your child.
If you grow herbs or any fruit or vegetables you can obviously include these in your cooking (your culinary skills are probably a lot better than mine)
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