Guest Post: Tips for Designing Calming Spaces for Children

(A Note from Sally:
I’ve always been very sensitive to the vibes from the rooms I’m in. I prefer the colors muted, the arrangement simple and logical… Maybe after raising three boys, I’ve developed ultimate sensory burnout and an allergy to primary-colored plastic! 🙂 But truly, I’ve always been this way.

For these reasons and more, Jane Sandwood’s thoughtful article, below, caught my eye. She makes some great points, and I’m pleased to introduce her guest post today…)

by Jane Sandwood

Sometimes, the most important thing to finding inner peace and settling our anxieties is having the proper space to go to that inspires a sense of calm. For children with ADHD, autism, or other neurodiverse conditions, having a relaxing space can also help them to manage emotions and regroup after an active day spent socializing or playing with friends.

Parents can create calming spaces at home where children can find refuge from the busyness of daily life, allowing them unwind and be free from any distractions. These spaces can ultimately make life a little easier, and can be used by anyone in the family who needs a little extra peace and quiet time by themselves. Whether you decide to create a small nook or cubby near a window, or you designate an entire room for relaxation, having any amount of space that is dedicated to peace and tranquility will be useful.

When designing a space that is friendly to children with neurodiverse conditions, parents should consider adding elements such as:

Soothing colors: Painting the walls or coordinating colors that are comforting, like warm earth tones (light browns and greens) or blues is a wise choice for the space
Space organizers: By including organizers, like fun storage cubes or closed shelves, the space will be free from clutter, which will discourage disruptive behavior.
Chalkboard calendar: Having a calendar or schedule that is visible and interactive can help children feel like their days are more structured, and that they are aware of their lineup of activities.

By having a space where they can go when they’re feeling restless or anxious, neurodiverse children can find support and comfort. Designing a space that is organized, free from distractions, and inspiring of peace and quiet is a great way for us all be more at ease and settled down at home.

(A slightly longer version of Jane’s article can be found here.

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