A common question we are asked is what do you do in a sensory room, and if you don’t already know what a sensory room is, we recommend checking out our latest guide on the benefits of sensory rooms and why they are so important for vulnerable populations.
In a nutshell, a sensory room is a specialised space that encompasses sensory play equipment. This equipment is designed to help children and some adults to engage their senses in a safe and therapeutic environment. They are especially useful for children with autism, Dyspraxia and adults with Dementia.
But what do you actually do in a sensory room? That’s the question we’ll be answering here!
What Do You Do in a Sensory Room?
What you do in a sensory room will be largely governed by two things, i.e., what the aim of the sensory room is and the sensory room equipment that is inside your sensory space. Some sensory rooms are designed to be very calm, quiet and relaxing spaces, whereas others encourage more active play and communication with other users.
For example, young children or children with sensory disabilities may explore the sensory area alone or in silence. They will touch, feel and try to understand different sensory play items and how they make them feel. The sensory space for these people – and also for vulnerable adults that use sensory rooms – is a relaxing and peaceful experience.
Older children may use a sensory room more actively and enjoy simple games with colours, which simultaneously promote communication and teamwork if users need to work together on puzzles. Or the sensory room items can be used as a way to initiate a discussion with others.
Of course, some sensory rooms can be designed to provide both types of experiences.
Examples of Calming Sensory Room Equipment
You can discover lots of sensory room equipment that doesn’t necessarily provide a ‘play’ function. These items are created to provide therapeutic experience and to gently stimulate the users’ five senses. Here are three examples:
Kitting out your sensory room with a fibre optic carpet will intrigue younger children to investigate the colours and shapes at their feet. They don’t include any electricity or heat, making them 100% safe for everyone.
#2: Bubble Tubes
Bubble tubes are often fitted to the wall of a sensory room and come in a range of colours. Often it is possible to change the colours of the bubble tubes to maximise interest in children. These tubes are known to have a calming effect on users. The slow movement of the bubbles can make them feel at ease.
Fibre optic strands may encourage motor movement and some communication between users, but they can also be a calming experience as children handle these colourful objects. UV fibre strands are especially beneficial for children who have a sensory disability.
Examples of Interactive and Social Sensory Equipment
Interactive sensory room equipment can add lots of colour and smiles to these spaces. Here are some examples of how some sensory items get users thinking creatively and encourage communication:
These tiles are full of colourful liquid that users can move around by pressing, standing and even jumping on them. Placing multiple together can create a unique space that children enjoy.
The Rhapsody Panel is a new and innovative sensory item to combine both visual and audio engagement. It sits on the wall and is one of the best pieces of equipment for speech therapy and promoting group cohesion.
#3: Light-Up Balls
Excellent for developing hand-eye coordination, light-up balls can be a popular item within your sensory space. They encourage motor skill development and activate visual senses through incorporated lights.
How Colours Affect Sensory Room Activities
One thing you might notice about many sensory room items is that they come in lots of colours. Some colours are known to create a more therapeutic and calming environments, such as white, greens and blues. On the other hand, dark yellows and reds may influence more high-octane activities and increase participant movement.
You can learn more about the choice of colour in your sensory room in our blog!
How Do Teachers and Carers Use Sensory Rooms?
We have covered what children and vulnerable adults do in a sensory room, but what do teachers and caregivers do when using a sensory room with them?
The answer will again depend on the user and their needs. But the good news is that all sensory room equipment has been designed and manufactured to be safe. Although supervision may be important for lots of users, some users can be left to their devices and enjoy the room independently.
Teachers and carers may choose to engage with the users while they discover their sensory room surroundings, or they may take a step back and evaluate how the room benefits the child.
Where Can I Buy Multi Sensory Room Equipment?
House of Play is a specialist provider of sensory room items for all sensory room functions. Our extensive collection of sensory room lights, occupational therapy toys, sensory swings and much more are a big hit among users.
Can I Get a Bespoke Sensory Room Designed?
Yes, you can! As we have discussed in today’s post, sensory rooms and what you do in them is decided by the user. Thus, it is important to design a sensory room with the users in mind. House of Play also offers a bespoke sensory room design service to provide exactly what you need.
Contact us now to discuss your sensory equipment needs or ask us about our complete sensory room design service. We’re here to help!