Many people think you have to have a large area and lots of resources to create a sensory room, when it fact this isn’t true. Sensory Rooms can be created on a budget and using very little space.
Sensory rooms are all about offering children rich and varied experiences which will enable children to use their senses. Many nurseries today have created either a sensory room or a sensory area within another room. The benefits children relish from accessing sensory experiences are huge; it stimulates their brain leading to vast learning opportunities. When thinking about creating a sensory room think about how this will help develop children’s learning and development, having a purpose in mind will help you create that perfect sensory room.
Sensory rooms are a great place for children to escape to and unwind from the busy nursery room. Instilling a calm and tranquil space enables children to relax and let their exploratory minds evolve. As soon as babies are born they are developing their senses from day one. Therefore it is important to ensure your sensory room/space is tailored to children of all ages, decide on the resources applicable to children’s developmental needs and enhance when needed. Don’t forget to use the walls and the ceiling to create sensory experiences as babies especially enjoy looking up at different contrasts, colours and shadows.
If you don’t have a lot of space why not create a dark area using material or use a tent. There is no set rule in how to make a sensory room. The most important resource is the practitioner, as they are the people who are able to observe and assess children playing in this area. Sensory rooms are a great place to see lots of learning taking place; therefore practitioners should be able to get some detailed observations.
Here are some suggestions of resources you can use in your sensory room
Bubble tube machine– there are different ones you can purchase some have fishes in them or you can get ones that just create bubbles and change colour
Different sized mirrors- either mounted on the wall low down for children to look into, or you can get small padded mirrors for the children to explore. There are also mirrors that you can purchase that create different elusions.
Sensory bottles- these can easily be made using old plastic bottle and filling with various items such as dried pasta, lentils etc.
Projector- images and different patterns can be projected onto a wall or ceiling.
Treasures baskets – fill with different textured items such as fabrics, wooden objects, metal objects.
CD Player- use a range of music to create that relaxing atmosphere.
Ball Pool- this can be as simple as purchasing a small paddling pool and filling it with soft balls, or you can purchase an actually ball bit.
Soft blocks- there are many soft blocks you can purchase that have different textures on them which are perfect to use in a sensory room.
Lights- you can use a variety of lights eg fibre optic lights or fairly lights, these will help create that relaxing atmosphere.
Pieces of different textured material – Have a variety of textured materials eg shiny material, foil blankets are good to use.
These are just a few suggestions there are many other items you can use and some companies have sensory packages available to purchase.