Best Equipment for Sensory Rooms

Best Equipment for Sensory Rooms

Building and furnishing a sensory room for your students or a family member can help calm and relax those overwhelmed by people, objects or sounds in the outside world. Whether you want to help someone with learning difficulties focus on schoolwork or encourage better socialization and communication with your loved one, a sensory room provides an ideal way to learn in a safe environment.

Questions to Ask Before You Start

Before designing and furnishing your sensory room, you should ask yourself a few questions. For example, are you looking for cheap sensory room equipment or expensive, unique products for specific needs? You’ll also want to consider areas like budgeting, size and the type of room your loved one needs. Whether you make a sensory room in your home or school, deciding how it will look is the first step to creating the perfect space.

Who Will Use the Sensory Room?

One of the first questions you should ask yourself is who will use the sensory room. Whether it is children, adults or people with disabilities, you’ll need to accommodate their specific needs. For example, when making a sensory room for children with developmental or learning difficulties, the design process will pose different challenges than setting up a therapeutic area for adults with Alzheimer’s.

You may also want to consider the sensory needs of each person who uses the room. Sensory bathrooms may be ideal for those who find bathing stressful, such as adults with dementia or children with emotional and behavioral needs. On the other hand, dark sensory rooms are better for children and adults with visual impairments and sensitivity issues.

Whoever uses your room, the sensory space should help people who struggle with learning development and frequently get overwhelmed. Consider whether your family member or student needs help with learning and education or struggles with developmental or sensory processing impairments. A sensory room allows people to learn and interact with the world in a safe, non-threatening environment.

As a teacher, therapist or caregiver, you can quickly learn what calms or excites students and loved ones by understanding their behavior and needs. Create a room to match their unique likes and dislikes.

How Big Is the Sensory Room?

How Big Is the Sensory Room?

Another question you’ll have to consider is how big the room will be. Will you want a large classroom filled with sensory toys and spaces? Or are you creating a small space in your home for a loved one? The size of your area may also depend on the furnishings and toys you want in the room. For example, you could easily create a sensory room in a small walk-in closet, but a larger space will better fit multiple games and toys. The shape of the room is also another essential consideration. If you want to mount anything on the walls, you’ll have to avoid a circular room. However, circular rooms may better suit small and compact spaces for those with sensory difficulties.

What Kind of Room Do You Need?

Ask yourself what kind of room your student or family member needs. For example, a sensory room in a school or learning environment may need different designs than a room in a nursing home or individual’s house. Regardless of the setup you create, location is critical. Ideally, the space will have few or no windows to create a safe and comfortable space for those with light sensitivity. You can control the lighting with blackout curtains and artificial lights.

Active vs. Calming Sensory Rooms

Active rooms are perfect for sensory-seekers who require more stimulation than they often get at home or school. You can incorporate activities and features encouraging movement, such as climbing, swinging and jumping. For people who need to regulate their nervous systems or improve motor skills and body awareness, a sensory room helps them calm down and focus on learning.

Some active sensory equipment may include ball pits, therapy trampolines or sensory boards.

Calming rooms are excellent for sensory avoidance or those who find themselves overstimulated by the world and need to take a break. Objects and furnishings like soothing music players or low-key lighting fixtures can help keep your student or loved one relaxed and ready to interact with the world. Lighting that is friendly to those on the autism spectrum or people with other sensory processing disorders can help lessen the effects of artificial lights or bright sunlight.

Some active sensory equipment may include weighted products for deep pressure input and calming muscle signals or equipment that promotes activities like swinging, which encourages relaxation, thought organization and focus.

Do You Have Access to Electricity?

Ask yourself whether you have reliable access to electricity. If you can use the electrical outlets in your home or classroom, you can run separate circuits for each object or toy you want. If there are outlets near each toy, equipment or furnishing, you can group switches together and give yourself complete control of the equipment. Make sure you take some measures to put safety features on your outlets to decrease the chance of injuries and curious hands.

What Is Your Sensory Room Budget?

Finally, consider your personal or school’s budget for the sensory room. Think about the space’s potential and how much you’ll likely spend on toys, decorations, furnishings and other objects. What can you realistically do within a set budget? In many cases, you can find ideas online that fit within your budget. Or, you can figure out ways to raise funding for your sensory room through platforms like GoFundMe or Donors Choose.

Best Equipment for Homes

Using sensory equipment in your home can encourage your child or loved one to communicate, socialize and play in the safety and comfort of their space. Explore senses and improve focus and muscle skills with various coping strategies in a safe environment. Someone in a more relaxed mindset can make better progress on their personal goals.

Remember that a sensory room does not have to take up an entire space. You can create a small section in your bathroom, family room, playroom or bedroom. Many homeowners like to use a combination of objects, toys and features. For example, you can use products like swings, bubble tubes, tactile toys, sensory wall panels, beanless bag chairs, activity mats or vibrating toys.

Creating a sensory corner is an excellent option for those looking for cheap sensory room equipment. You can include a small amount of equipment and help the user interact with them daily. You could even set up a curtain or screen to separate the area from others in the home.

Calming Sensory Equipment for Homes

Using calming sensory equipment in your home can help your loved one feel comfortable and relaxed in their space. Some sensory equipment may include lights, chewables, aromatherapy and weighted blankets.

Sensory lights help people see in soft, calm lighting that won’t hurt their eyes. Chewables can help those who need oral stimulation and want to practice moving their mouth, lips and jaw. You can also use chewables to increase muscle tone and practice lip closure and breath control. Many people who are sensitive to smells appreciate aromatherapy scents that can help reduce stress and anxiety, such as lavender or chamomile. Weighted blankets or clothing create deep pressure for those who need assistance calming down and relaxing from overstimulation.

Tactile Sensory Equipment for Homes

Tactile equipment can help your child or loved one practice touching different textures or improve hand and finger dexterity. Some examples of tactile equipment available at Enabling Devices include textured therapy balls, tactile manipulatives and gel mats.

Therapy balls have hundreds of small bumps on the surface to help stimulate and exercise the hands. Gel mats improve your finger strength, while tactile manipulatives can enhance hand-eye coordination, focus, concentration, tactile awareness and fine motor skills and decrease stress and anxiety.

Best Equipment for Classrooms

Sensory room equipment for schools has proven to reduce negative behaviors, leading to increased student engagement, better learning and improved focus on studies and classes. In classrooms, many teachers or caregivers want to assist students with developmental disabilities or sensory processing disorders that may make learning and concentrating challenging.

Best Equipment for Classrooms

Using sensory equipment in classrooms can also help students learn to control their muscle awareness and reduce the need to send students away for specialized classes. Sensory rooms allow students to learn with their occupational and physical therapists, counselors and caretakers.

Auditory Equipment for Classrooms

Auditory equipment for classrooms can produce calming and focusing effects for students who may have trouble with classwork or learning. For example, our compact activity center acts as a multifunction sensory toy for those with auditory and cognitive development needs.

Motor Skill Equipment for Classrooms

Many teachers want to encourage their students to develop their motor skills, such as muscle strength, walking or running.

Motor skill equipment from Enabling Devices helps children improve their balance, flexibility and hand-eye coordination. Hanging chairs are a zero-gravity motor skill product to help students improve their vestibular and gross motor functions. Ball chairs assist learners who may struggle to sit still during class or pay attention to schoolwork.

The Top 10 Benefits of Sensory Rooms

Creating a sensory room in your school or home benefits people with disabilities. From the development of sensory and motor skills to the calming and soothing effects of toys and lights, sensory rooms allow individuals to explore and learn in the privacy of a secluded and safe space.

The Top 10 Benefits of Sensory Rooms

1. Motor Skills Development

Sensory rooms may help your student or loved one develop better motor skills. A sensory room could encourage people to practice their walking, running or jumping abilities by working with swings, trampolines or other toys.

2. Sensory Development

Children and adults may need help developing their touch, taste, smell, sight and hearing senses. A sensory room allows them to practice with auditory and visual toys in a safe and calming space.

3. Calming

Calming sensory toys and fixtures create a relaxing and safe space for children and adults to play and interact. When the world becomes overstimulating, a sensory room acts as a space for decompression.

4. Stimulation

Individuals may sometimes want to practice stimulation through oral, vocal, hearing or other sensory avenues. Toys, fidget devices and other products can help them through safe procedures without fear of overstimulation, stress or anxiety.

5. Socialization

Many with learning or developmental disabilities may have trouble socializing with other people. A sensory room allows people to communicate effectively with their parents, caretakers or therapists to learn better coping skills and socializing techniques.

6. Improved Focus

Sensory rooms can improve focus for children and adults. By using toys and exercises that stimulate the senses and the muscles, people can learn to focus on schoolwork or other activities. They are especially useful for students who need to concentrate in class or have trouble sitting still.

7. Better Learning

In classrooms, many teachers want to help their students learn better. A sensory space in a school can have focus objects and features to help students concentrate on learning rather than overstimulation or distractions.

8. Improved Balance

Developmental disabilities can cause trouble with balance. Sensory rooms allow people to take time and practice their coordination skills and muscle improvement. Balance can improve with activities that let them practice walking, running and jumping in a safe place.

9. Communication Skills

In many cases, those with learning disabilities may struggle to communicate effectively. Sensory toys can help those with communication issues practice socialization with a safe person, such as their teacher or counselor. They can also practice internal communication by learning about their likes, dislikes and stimulations.

10. Less Stress

Stress from overstimulation or other factors can cause unnecessary anxiety. Sensory rooms create a relaxing space to decompress and take a break from the outside world.

Shop With Enabling Devices for Your Sensory Room

Shop With Enabling Devices for Your Sensory Room

Our company sells toys, assistive technology and tools for people with communication, socialization and learning disabilities. We also offer the ability to customize assistive devices and technology to fit your students’ or loved ones’ unique needs. Consider using our company’s free design services to create the perfect sensory room filled with one-of-a-kind toys, furniture and fidgets. Whether your goals for students and loved ones are learning, playing, socializing, communicating or independence, Enabling Devices can help. Contact us online to speak to a representative, or call us at 800-832-8697.