Here are some ideas for creating a sensory corner at home using easily sourced and low cost products.
I have this room – it’s not private enough for a fourth bedroom, not secure enough for an office or study, and calling it a ‘play room’ is frankly annoying because all I ever see is toys scattered everywhere. But it’s a space that I can use to help my kids with their sensory processing skills.
Here are some simple ideas that maybe you can use to create a Sensory Corner, too.
We rent our home, so suspending chairs and swings from the ceilings is a no go. I can’t paint the walls with different colours and textures, nor can I rip up the thirty-year-old carpet. But after much procrastination and too much time spent flipping through the week’s ridiculous amount of junk mail, I have found a solution.
Welcome to our Sensory Corner.
I have a seven-year-old boy with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) who loves soft, cuddly things and things that feel weird for me but thrilling for him. Oh, and he loves being upside down. So, when we go shopping, he feels and smells all the items we look at and gives his approval. Or not. We’re on a tight budget, like really tight, and he cannot be in shopping centres all day, so it takes a few days to gather all the items he approves.
This is what I came up with
All these items were easily found in local shops:
• Colourful cushions (Big W)
• Lightweight sheer curtains (Spotlight)
• Three beanbags, all different in size and fabric (Big W, Spotlight) – and don’t forget the beans (Big W, Spotlight)
• A fluffy long-haired mat that reminds me of the Dulux dog (K-Mart)
• Paper party decorations to hang from the ceiling.
And this is what I did with our ‘approved’ purchases
Beanbags: I filled them up, but each one differently. One was full, one was half full, and the third was only partially filled.
Cushions: I just arranged them randomly on a small couch.
Curtains: Ok, so I may have sneakily drilled, fitted and hung these. The see-through chiffon material gives off different colours in different light.
Hanging decorations: We have the old air-con vents in the ceiling, So, I opened up a paper clip, attached the decoration to one end, and hooked it into the vent.
Using Hama beads, we made some simple items such as rainbows, hearts, and faces with different emotions. WE joined them with fishing line and tied them onto the end of the curtain rods.
Now we have what is the start of our Sensory Corner and over time we can add to these. Our latest addition was a little trampoline we found out on the street before council pick up. With a bit of a clean, it now has a place where it can be used inside. I was worried about the legs damaging the carpet, but I found that the lids off the 2 litre milk bottles fit perfectly.
The biggest thing I’ve learnt is that there is no right or wrong way to create a room or a sensory space. It’s all about what suits your family and your child/children.
So get planning… because when all the kids are asleep, there’s nothing wrong with us parents making a cuppa and relaxing in a beanbag.
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