Friday, January 16, 2015

Sensory Room!

It's hard to believe that we're half way through the school year! As the school days quickly pass by, teachers and therapists are continually thinking about lesson plans, class activities and room arrangements.  I'm a lucky girl to work with some really, really amazing educators who are creative, resourceful, and just plain good at what they do!  I've learned so much and wanted to share some of the great sensory areas that have been set up for our students with various levels of needs.  One classroom in particular is for medically fragile preschoolers, many of whom have significant developmental delays.  The sensory area in this room can provide sensory stimulation or calming depending on the needs of the child.    Here are some pics for you!

This is a glimpse of the sensory area in the classroom~~the blue fabric limits bright overhead lights, visual distractions, and creates a calming mood.  There are soft mats on the floor and beanbags for positioning.

There are loads of ways to provide sources of visual stimulation!  Here we  have some very inexpensive metallic design folders and curly ribbons in multiple colors.  Wrapping paper is another option and is available in so many designs! The "disco light" spins slowly and lights up when the red switch is lightly touched.  The kiddos love this!

And check out this REuse-REcycle idea! Colorful strands of beads link together old CD's that hang from the ceiling for visual stimulation of another sort.  It only costs a couple of dollars and is so simple! 

Bumpy balls used to be something you would only find in therapy catalogs but now you can find them just about anywhere!  Walmart, Target, Amazon, and even the dollar store usually carry these kid favorites very inexpensively.

I'm not sure where this came from but it offers visual calming as the kiddos can hold it and watch the blue oil slide slowly down the sides of the container.
Soft, cuddly toys are also a hit with kiddos~~they can be used for dramatic play or simply for a soft snuggle :)

For kiddos in wheelchairs, this offers frame is built from PVC pipes and there are toys clipped to stretchy bands.  This has consistently been a favorite with students who enjoy looking at the brightly colored toys and batting at them with their hands.  

The thing I love most about this classroom is that so many of the ideas are very inexpensive!  They are simple to put together and offer a variety of sensory experiences for our kiddos.  

Jen Dermody, OTR/L