The Magical World of Sensory Rooms
Our sense of smell, taste, touch, sight and sound provides the foundation for our understanding and actions, so when these senses are stimulated, the benefits can be extraordinary. While individual products and sensory toys can have a fantastic affect on children of all ages and abilities, there is nothing quite like the magic of a sensory room.
Imagine a world where safe and imaginative learning and play is openly encouraged and there is the freedom to roam and discover new experiences. That world is a sensory room. These environments are designed to encourage and simulate children with special needs in order to improve cognitive and physical abilities in a fun, interactive way.
Sensory rooms, or sensory environments, come in many different shapes and sizes but all have a similar goal; to create a safe, engaging and appropriate environment for the child. This aim is central to the design ethos at SensoryPlus, a specialist in the design and creation of sensory environments for children and adults. David Payne, Sensory Product Manager explains: “Though the idea of creating a sensory environment may seem daunting and expensive, this does not have to be the case. A sensory environment can be created to suit specific needs and according to budgetary requirements, and with thousands of options and so many products available, the sky is the limit when it comes to creating a bespoke space for your child to enjoy.”
Such boundless choice may lead you to question: “Where do I begin?” Getting started is the exciting part, explains David, as this is where your sensory journey begins and it can take you anywhere you like. When designing a sensory or soft play environment, David tells us there is one important point to consider at the outset: “Setting goals and having a clear understanding of what you want to achieve and why is of the utmost importance. At SensoryPlus we encourage close collaboration with our customers from the very beginning and ensure that everyone receives guidance on this essential first step. Once aims and objectives are established, your journey is well under way.
One family who followed the advice and guidance of SensoryPlus in order to create a sensory environment is the Sim family from Aberdeen. As a result of 11-year-old Jordan Sim’s head injury when she was younger, she has Cerebral Palsy, visual impairment, ADHD, developmental delay and a language disorder, so having the perfect sensory environment was vital for her and mum, Kay. Having already had a sensory corner in Jordan’s current bedroom, Kay had a rough idea of what she wanted the space to look like, and with the help of Kevin Critchlow from SensoryPlus, managed to design a space which helps with specific aspects of Jordan’s needs. The resulting cabin has a padded floor and walls as well as a projector, bubble tube (which Kay says is a particular favourite of Jordan’s!), mirrors, a star projector for the roof, UV light, bean chair and a selection of soft play shapes.
David Payne added: “Our experience, paired with Kay’s enthusiasm and vision, meant we were able to create a bespoke solution which matched Jordan’s needs and benefitted the whole family.”
And what does Jordan think of her new environment? Kay said: “She loves the space and chooses what she wants switched on. She builds towers with the soft play shapes and can actually sit still in there for more than five seconds! Everyone in the house has been out into the cabin as it’s a lovely, relaxing space – my son has even used it to study for college!”
If you would like more information on creating a sensory room or safe space for your child, contact the team to discuss your options. Start your sensory journey by calling 01302 645 685 or emailing