We started making Freddies sensory room in summer 2011. Freddie has never been particuarly interested in toys. We bought every toy you could think of but nothing really excited him unless it had something he could spin on it. So we started thinking about making an enviroment for him that would capture his imagination more. Alot of the stuff we wanted to go in there was very expensive & our budget was pretty tight so we had to improvise abit.
The health resources website gives a good explanation as to why a sensory room can be beneficial for children like Freddie –
What are the benefits of a sensory room?
Sensory rooms can have benefits for everyone but may be particularly beneficial for children and adults with special needs, behavioural disorders, sensory processing disorders and disabilities. Sensory rooms are multi-functional and can help to stimulate the senses, as well as relaxing and calming people down. Senses can be stimulated by following flashing, colourful lights, pressing buttons, hearing noises and sounds and feeling different textured materials, but the sensory room can also have a calming influence. The exciting flurry of lights and sounds can quickly be adapted to create a calming, relaxing environment, where people can lie back and be soothed by dim, slow lighting, pleasant, soothing smells and calming music.
The sensory room can be beneficial for many different people. For people with disorders or conditions that affect their senses, the sensory room can help to stimulate their senses and help them to gain a sensory experience, develop new skills and explore their senses. For children with behavioural disorders, a sensory room can help them to take time out and calm down when they are getting anxious and unsettled.
Who can benefit from a sensory room?
Anyone can benefit from a sensory room but they are usually found in children’s nurseries and health centres, clinics and facilities which cater for both adults and children with disabilities, special needs and sensory processing disorders.
In Freddies room we bought a bubble lamp, a fibre optic lamp, some fairy lights & a range of small lights some of which have glitter in them & flash. We bought mirrors for the wall, a beanbag, we put some coathooks on the wall & attached bells to it for Freddie to bat at, we made a wall toy by using a cheap wooden cube toy & sticking it to some mdf, we put some wooden toys on the wall & bought some tactile toys. We also bought some sensory balls & got a small ball pit.
Freddie really likes spending time in his sensory room. It really helps him relax & calm down. Since we made Freddie his sensory room the bubble lamp in it broke & a few of the toys need replacing so we are hoping to get him some bits for his birthday. It’s unfortunate that alot of the sensory equipment we want to go in there is so expensive. Hopefully one day we may be able to do some fundraising to help pay towards some the equipment.