Create a multi-sensory environment in your school or home
In a sensory space, children can interact and even control their own environment. The soft lights, mats, mirrors and sounds can mimic a person’s own internal rhythm, creating calm and sharpening attention.
Identify your goals and the needs of each user when selecting equipment. Post rules to set expectations. For example, sensory rooms are usually a quiet space where talking is kept to a minimum and limited to a few people at a time. Here are ideas to get started:
- Walls and Flooring: Cover the floor and walls with mats, especially white mats, to induce calm. Velcro mats adhere to one another along the sides can for full coverage.
- Lighting: Show soft images on your white walls using a projector with projection wheels. Set up an interactive bubble tube with a soft platform and fiber optics for lighting. Turn off the regular lights.
- Furniture: Place soft pillows, beanbag, futon, or a crash mat to lie down, relax or hang out
- Movement: A hammock with swing suspension or chair swing for gentle rocking, a rocking platform and LED tunnel are highly recommended for gentle motion.
- Music: Soft background music or music pumped into furniture, such as the Somatron chair, are soothing.
- Aromatherapy: Use a room diffuser with calming aromatherapy or scented pillows.
Ilana M. Danneman, PT, is the Creative Director at Fun and Function. Reach out to her with your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org