Creating a sensory room or area at home

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In part one of this series, we examined the benefits of sensory rooms for children and the different ways sensory rooms are used.  In the second and final part, we will look at some ideas for building a sensory room or area in your home or school.

If money is not a consideration, there are companies that will come to your home and build a beautiful sensory room for your child.  Many companies sell expensive items to stock your sensory room with.  The focus of this post is designing a sensory room that will not break the bank.

PLANNING YOUR SENSORY ROOM
Before diving into your sensory project, do some research.  Talk to your child’s medical providers about the type of sensory stimulation that would be most helpful for your child.  As a parent, you will have ideas of what would help your child also.  You also need to consider what is age appropriate for your child.

After you have made a list of your child needs, get ideas of the types of things included in sensory rooms from companies that build sensory rooms.  (See list below)  

Next, consider your space.  Can you a lot a whole room for this purpose?  If not, figure out the amount of space you have available.

Finally, determine your budget.  Building a sensory room or area is expensive but you can shop around and find items at lower costs.

THINGS TO INCLUDE IN A SENSORY ROOM OR AREA
I have listed below a wide variety of items included in different sensory rooms.  This list is just to give you ideas.  Some items may not be appropriate for your child. 

  • Black out blinds
  • Beanbags
  • Fiber optic lighting
  • Foam framed mirrors
  • Disco balls
  • LED interactive lighting
  • Bubble tube
  • Weighted blankets
  • Floor cushions
  • Wall cushions
  • CD player or iPod dock
  • CDS of nature sounds or other calming music
  • Ball pits
  • Vibrating cushions or pillows
  • Aromatherapy unit
  • Swing
  • Hammock
  • Tunnels
  • Black walls
  • Chew toys
  • Exercise balls
  • Rocker or balance board
  • Trampoline

WAYS TO SAVE MONEY
Look at your local bargain store and see if they offer items that are similar to what you need but cheaper than traditional sensory items.  Here are some examples
Credit: Raija Ylonen on stock.xchng
  • A rocking chair may be appropriate for your child instead of specialized rocker.
  • Use gym or yoga mats instead of padded flooring.
  • Regular exercise balls may work instead of specialized OT balls.
  • Look at Lava lamps, fairy lights or other lighting that you can use instead of LED lighting.
  • Use a bunch of large cushions or pillows instead of padding.
  • Instead of a specialized trampoline, a small indoor trampoline may be used.


RESOURCES

Companies that design and build sensory rooms


Companies that sell products for sensory rooms


Here are some other sites I came across that have useful information on building your own sensory room.



If you have any tips for building a sensory room at home, please share them in the comments below.



©Mary M Conneely T/A Advocacy in Action

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