What is a Sensory Room used for?
As well as the traditional calming use of sensory equipment, dynamic and interactive sensory equipment can change a child's life.
Sensory rooms provide a unique sensory experience to people of all sensory abilities. These rooms can help to aid sensory development by guiding individuals through various challenges that target their sensory ability to correctly respond to sensory information. This is best achieved through providing a specially designed space that gives a tailored experience to the individual. Additionally, sensory rooms can also improve skills such as balance and hand-eye coordination. And of course, sensory rooms can be used purely as a fun treat!
In terms of education, schools can benefit tremendously from a sensory room. For children with sensory issues, developmental disabilities, or learning difficulties, a sensory room can give them a special place to escape to and feel safe and secure in. With a room designed specifically for their needs, individuals have control over what they want to interact with. These rooms can be particularly beneficial for people living with special needs, such as Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder. For some people with these conditions, everyday life can be an overwhelming and challenging struggle. Sensory rooms provide the perfect setting to face any sensory problems experienced as a result of these disorders. Whether it be a calming and relaxing environment, or a more interactive one, sensory rooms keep learning and development fun.
Calming Sensory Room
When planning a sensory room, you first need to decide on the purpose of the room. Does it need to be calming? Or more interactive? A calming sensory room is good for individuals who are over-sensitive to sensory information. For this environment, you can induce relaxation and
calm through a variety of sensory products. For example, sensory bubble tubes are soothing to watch with the mesmerising movement and changes in soft colours. At the same time, these tubes stimulate visual development and communication skills. Wall mirrors can then be used to give the illusion of multiple tubes. Additionally, you can introduce soothing sounds through a calming CD, which also promotes sensory development. Projectors are good for providing relaxing visuals whilst adding interest to the room. These visuals can be changed with a variety of effects wheels. The key is to create a space that is stimulating whilst remaining a soothing and relaxing space.
Interactive Sensory Room
Some individuals experience an under-sensitivity to sensory information, and can become withdrawn. In this case, having an interactive and stimulating sensory room is ideal. An interactive floor system allows individuals to interact with the image using movement. With a range of games available, such as ‘Scatter the Stars’, and an option to create your own scenarios there is something for everyone. A superactive LED fibre optic bundle allows individuals to work on their interaction skills through cause and effect and colour recognition. Wall panels can also be a great asset to a sensory room; there is a large variety of different interactive wall panels, from an interactive LED ladderlight, to a musical touchwall. A musical touchwall has a range of settings that work towards developing life skills, including fine and gross motor skills, shape recognition, and number recognition.
Whether in a school, at home, or another learning environment, the location of a sensory room is key. The ideal space will have no windows, in order to control lighting artificially. However, a sensory space can still be created if a window is present. Peace and tranquillity is essential for a sensory room, so it’s good to have a room that is away from noise. Accessibility is also extremely important, as well as choosing a space that has enough plug sockets for the sensory equipment to go into.
There are many benefits of a sensory room. As well as being fun and relaxing, these rooms induce sensory stimulation, enhance learning and play, improve balance, and more. If you are a school and are thinking about creating a sensory room, read our case studies to see how a sensory room has impacted some of the schools we have worked with.