WHAT IS A SENSORY ROOM?
A sensory room is a specially designed room which combines a multitude of stimuli to help ALL individuals develop and engage their senses. A common misconception about sensory rooms is that it can only be used by someone with special needs or sensory processing disorders; this is NOT true, it can be enjoyed and used by everyone. Sensory rooms include lights, colors, sounds, sensory soft play objects that come together and create a safe environment that allows the person using it to explore their senses without risk.
Sensory rooms have many functions. They can help those who have learning difficulties, sensory processing disorders, development disabilities and anyone else that would like a safe environment to help build up their confidence and abilities to learn to interact with the world around them. Usually the user is able to explore this room at their own leisure.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A SENSORY ROOM?
Sensory Stimulation! By encouraging the user to play, engage and explore the environment, it can create a feeling of comfort and confidence when interacting with the larger world around them. Another benefit would be that a sensory room can improve balance, movement and spatial orientation. By spending time in a sensory room, it can help develop fine and gross motor skills and also strengthen the users’ visual processing abilities. Sensory rooms are known to be very highly absorbing while providing opportunities of comfort and calm for overactive or distressed individuals. Sensory rooms can also help inactive individuals feel better engaged and focused which in turn can help prevent users from getting the urge to have an outburst or tantrum. By allowing users to enhance their learning through means of play helps engage all regions of the brain. This can help children especially absorb and retain more information.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO GET STARTED?
Having a plethora of specific products that are designed to give users’ various sensory inputs is essential. There are many similar products out there. What makes us recommend these specific products? We carefully look at the details of each product using our own rating scale. We research the materials used, product design specs, the overall usage, the appeal both aesthetically and therapeutically and the overall quality of the product. Here are a few hand-selected products that will provide you with everything you need to create your personalized sensory room.
- Sensory LED Bubble Tubes
This glass tube that shines LED lights, pretend fish swimming and has bubbles that create shifting patterns of light can add to the relaxing environment with calming visuals and sounds. This is most helpful when users relax by the lighted tube. The combination of the pretend fish and bubble colors stimulate the senses which make this product great for children with Autism, special needs and ADHD.
- Skil-Care Crash Pad
This crash pad is foam filled which makes it perfect for jumping and bouncy, or sitting and relaxing. This crash mat helps your child or teenagers vestibular and proprioceptive senses. The sturdy foam is durable enough for jumping and comfortable for sitting and resting. This is an ideal product for sensory stimulation, balance integration activities and even a great place to rest!
- Sensasoft Compression Canoe
This compression canoe surpasses all other competitors alike. The quality of material, thickness and weight of the overall canoe provides a sensory experience like no other. This product is specially designed for kids who crave calming pressure around their bodies. This is perfect for kids who want to play, read or hang out in the canoe. It provides a calming hug like feeling of pressure as your child explores and plays. It can also aid in motor planning skills when climbing in and out and balancing skills when rocking the canoe. This is the perfect product to help support children with sensory processing needs.
- Air-Lite Ball Pit
This ball pit is perfect for relaxing activities. It provides a great multi-sensory environment and can improve body awareness and sensory integration. There are numerous activities your child can explore in this particular ball pit. This ball pit is incredibly light, with a cushioned bottom to help provide that support your child needs. This ball pit and use in the ball pit is recommended for children who are hypersensitive to touch. The reasons why this is recommended for children who are hypersensitive is that it can help develop gross motor skills by providing both visual and tactile feedback.
- Air-Lite Sensory Pack
They also make a full Air-Lite Sensory pack that has everything you need to start your Sensory Room. The Air-Lite brand really focuses on providing a multi-sensory environment which helps sensory integration by providing visual and tactile feedback at all times. This includes a barrel, the ball pit and a bolster swing. All of these products can work together to provide the ultimate sensory seeking experience.
- Infinity Light
Lighting is the key for the ultimate sensory experience room. Deciding on which type of lighting is used can either make or break your entire design. This specific product not only allows you to choose which lighting style you would like, it provides a deep calming sense whether you choose the night sky option, the randomizer or even a moving galaxy. The LED lights provide you or your child with the ability to choose what they would like. Personal control is incredibly important when building your sensory room. By allowing the personal control to alter the intensity, dimming and focus helps create sensory friendly environments.
- Calming Light Projector
Personal choice is huge for designing your own sensory space. Like the Infinity Light, the Calming Light Projector allows 8 different modes to choose from. Not only do you get the choose from the lights but you also get to chose the specific motion you desire. You can use this projector as ambient lighting for daytime, nighttime or bedtime use. This specific product is great because there is a built-in music player. You can plug in your smartphone to get started! This is the all customizable projector which is why this product beats all other projectors out there. Another very useful option this product has is that it can auto-shut off after one hour if you need help relaxing before bed or a daily nap. You can also use this anywhere, even in the bathroom while relaxing in a soothing bath!
- Liquid Dance Floor Tiles
These bright liquid color moves with each and every step, jump or dance. This is the go-to sensory product to create a sensory square to play and jump on. When looking at these tiles, it is best to choose the 9 tile option as it provides the largest area to play on. These specific tiles help apply tactile input and pressure in colorful patterns. They also encourage visual stimulation and aid in providing both visual and tactile feedback.
- Fish Tunnel
This fish tunnel was designed to improve sensory processing skills, positioning and mobility and fine and gross motor skills. You might be wondering how? Well this specific fish tunnel is one of the top sensory processing product you can do to help help the nervous system receive messages from each of the senses and turn them into appropriate motor and behavioral responses. Each fish tunnel comes with an activity guide that help with specific skills. Just by laying in the fish tunnel, it can help core strengthening, lead to better breathing, and improved focus and concentration. There may be multiple tunnels out there but this is the one to have!
- Indoor Swing
This swing is a top rated item. The reason why this particular swing out ranks the others is because of the multitude of sensory inputs it provides. First, the swaddling gives children a sense of protection and blocks out unnecessary sensory input. Second, the swinging motion strengthens the vestibular and proprioceptive systems by teaching your child’s brain and body to work together. Third, sensory integration greatly improves your child’s coordination, balance, body awareness, and concentration. Many therapeutic swings are impossible to set up in your home or office. These swings take no more than 5 minutes to completely set it up with the mounting and all. The fabric of this swing is also a big hit. It is created out of a 4-stretch fabric (80% polyester, 20% lycra) which makes it very soft to touch yet durable and long-lasting.
- Jellyfish/ Sea Turtle Aquarium Décor Lamp
This LED décor lamp is not only impressive but it is a MUST HAVE. This tank lamp is comprised of 10 beautiful faux fish and 2 faux sea turtles that dazzle their viewers with their movements. This aquarium lamp is like no other. Not only does the tank have a specifically timed water jet system that allows the faux fish, turtles and jelly fish to move realistically, it also allows YOU to personalize the colors and movements. These colors not only help calm down the senses but also provide the sensory experience you are looking for. And even better, there is a whisper quiet option to eliminate white noise. This product is too good to not be sitting in your sensory room.
- Foam Flooring Mat
These foam flooring mats provide comfortable flooring while providing tactile input because of its’ texture. This super soft flooring supports self-regulation. This is perfect for sensory rooms, corners. These are a necessity in a sensory room and can be used over hardwood flooring or rugs. These mats come in all different colors!
- Tactile Sensory Ball
You have seen these before! The exercise ball that hold up to 200 lbs. Well, you have never seen anything like this! This tactile sensory ball is just as large as an exercise ball but it also contains hundreds of small bumps which awaken the sensory system! The movement this ball can provide not only will help strengthen core muscles for balance but also increase calmness and focus. This is a must have for all your supercharged massage needs. This ball adds sensory simulation to regular ball activities which makes this product a must have for your sensory room.
- Peel and Stick Brick Building Wall
This is the equivalent to an all-you-can-eat buffet! Imagine having a Lego wall that you do not have to screw in to the wall! Just imagine the infinite amount of building your imagination can create. This is a peel and stick brick building wall. This helps strengthen fine motor skills for children of all ages! The organization, play and creative building provides a sense of calm and therefore is one of the best additions to your sensory room!
Your sensory room is all about YOU. What do you want? What do you need? Personal choice is the number one factor when deciding what products best fit with the environment you are hoping for. Lighting, sound and tactile products all come together to create your dream space. The sensory inputs that you crave or want to eliminate are up to you! Choose wisely but most of all have fun!