Sensory support rooms can provide children of all ages a stable environment via appropriate sensory stimuli that soothe and educate. This support is especially important during times of uncertainty, which the COVID-19 pandemic has left us in. With safety at the forefront of our minds, the pandemic has had an astronomical impact on parents, carers and support staff. As a result, stress levels have risen across the country. In such a worrying time, it’s vital that children with support special needs receive enough apparatus and stimuli to stay suitably occupied and, most importantly, happy. When a child receives sensory support and learns in a relaxed way, stress is reduced and frustration decreases, replacing emotions of turmoil with multisensory associations that excite and inspire. In addition, sensory support stimuli can help young people adapt to new situations; this is called neuroplasticity. As we are sure that parents, carers and staff are learning to adapt also, we’ve listed ways to use sensory equipment to create a relaxing and calming environment for all abilities that support special needs.
As we are spending lots of time indoors during the pandemic, your young person in need of sensory support will require some extra attention. We have a wide range of sensory support at home items for indoor use. For those who require a change of scenery every so often to reduce feelings of claustrophobia, consider using our Black Pop Up Tent for a supportive and calming experience. Our black-out tent provides a safe haven for young people who require a small, dark space to feel safe and secure. The tent also supports special needs by providing a dark space that’s excellent for light-up apparatus. You can create a 360-degree sensory support experience by using our Fireball Light. It’s wireless, so it can be placed anywhere to create a calming and immersive experience that relaxes and distracts.
Did you know that smell is the most emotion-inducing sense of all? Aromatherapy is a perfect way to create themes and environments suitable for storytelling and relaxation. Scents such as vetiver and lavender are excellent for relaxation, whereas thyme can help aid concentration and focus. So why not create themed rooms in your home for different sensory support experiences? Our Aroma Starter Kit comes with 11 oils which can be dispersed into the air via our Aroma Diffuser. Using the ylang ylang aroma oil in conjunction with the Calming LED Light Spreader creates an environment that supports special needs through relaxation and mindfulness. Alternatively, you could use the eucalyptus essential oil, which boosts circulation and lifts spirits, in conjunction with our Interactive Keyboard for a stimulating, multisensory activity.
Do you require a more immersive environment? Our sensory rooms have multiple uses, ranging from calming bath-time experiences to functional play-time equipment. We design our sensory rooms to provide a sensory experience that supports special needs for people with a wide variety of different abilities. Our calming sensory rooms provide a safe and distracting place to return to a calm state, perfect for those with behavioural difficulties. For those wanting a sensory room to provide advanced sensory development, our soft-play rooms are designed for the user to explore and test their physical abilities within the safe confines of their own home. Soft-play rooms are a great alternative to sensory rooms within schools or parks, in a time where you may not feel comfortable leaving the house.
For those in need of a quick idea generation for play-time at home, we’ve compiled a handy list of sensory tools for you to refer back to.
• Bubble tubes
Our bubble tubes are a key component of a sensory room due to their calming effect that encourages interaction. They are constantly moving and changing colour, and so engage the user needing sensory support. They are useful for a wide range of ages and abilities.
Using food to play with is a physical, sensory experience that encourages users to use their hands and engage fully in the activity. For example, chop up fruit to create pictures or practice maths with tubs of cherry tomatoes.
Did you ever play ‘the floor is lava’ as a child? Keeping a balloon afloat around a room is a sensory activity that requires minimal space or effort. Fill up balloons with water for a physically sensory experience, or slowly release air from a balloon to make different noises.
LED light strips can be useful for creating different moods in different rooms. Encourage the user to create stories or imagine anals based on different colours. For example, your green room could be transformed into a jungle with monkeys and parrots, or a blue room could suddenly become an ocean full of fish! If you wish, use music or sound effects as another element of sensory support to create an immersive environment.
Our range of sensory items engage and support users in various ways through sight, touch, smell, and interaction. Using various sensory support stimuli can help the user feel calmer and more assured during the pandemic. Ensuring that the user is suitably distracted and happy is the main aim, and we wish to help you with this endeavour. For more information regarding any of our products, or if you need any product recommendations to support special needs, contact our friendly team of professionals who would be happy to help.