What is Sensory Equipment?
Sensory play equipment is a special type of play equipment that is used to enhance cognition in children and improve their social skills. The equipment itself is designed to activate the five senses and improve body awareness. It can be colourful, and can include numerous shapes, patterns even lots of different textures.
Sensory play equipment is not exclusive to children. Research has identified ways that this type of equipment can benefit special needs children and dementia sufferers.
What Is Sensory Room Equipment?
If sensory play equipment is individual types of play equipment used to activate and challenge our senses, a sensory room is a whole room dedicated to this equipment. Many schools, play venues and care facilities will install a sensory room to benefit its users.
The sensory room is not always an active play setting but may take on characteristics that make it therapeutic and calming for some users. Sensory rooms are not exactly new either and were first used by the Dutch back in the 1970s.
How Sensory Equipment Meets Children’s Needs
Children, especially those at a very young age, are highly sensory orientated. Most of their early experiences and thoughts are commanded by what they feel, smell, see, hear and taste. It shapes how their brains develop and how they react to different materials, colours and more.
Sensory equipment is a safe way of introducing children to many different objects and getting them to use their senses frequently. As the aforementioned benefits suggest, this is crucial for their mental wellbeing and their cognitive and social development.
For very young children, introducing new textures and shapes is also a way for them to identify concepts such as danger and teach them how to respond to stimulus safely.
Sensory Equipment Helps Dementia Sufferers
The benefits of sensory stimulation within dementia sufferers has long been known.
Back in 2010, a group of scientists published their findings on this subject in the British Journal of Clinical Psychology. Their experiment was to test the effects of sensory stimulation in older adults with dementia. They tested over fifty people with dementia and found that after sensory stimulation sessions they:
- Had better social interactions with others
- Were less bored and more active
- Became more independent
- Showed an increase in alertness
This is just one of many studies that has proven the benefits of sensory stimulation among dementia sufferers and is why sensory play equipment is not always just for children.
Where to Find Sensory Equipment for Children and Adults
As sensory equipment is a unique and niche part of the play equipment industry, it is usually only designed and installed by a number of experts.
Rather than asking any good soft play equipment provider to try their hand at a sensory room, it is highly recommended to use a team who understand sensory equipment and how to maximise its benefits in a bespoke sensory room design.
Create Your Own Sensory Area!
House of Play is an experienced specialist when it comes to play equipment, including sensory play equipment for children and adults. We can design and install sensory rooms that meets your venue’s and user’s needs.
Whether you want more information or to bring your sensory room vision to life, speak with our friendly team now!