Friday, 15 February 2019 02:34

Sensory Space

The sensory space The sensory space

I have been busy creating a sensory space/retreat for all of our children to be able to utilise. At any moment our library can now transform into a dinosaur world. With the main lights off, it is complete darkness so before children enter, a sound sensing light moves dots of colour around the room (colours that can be changed to meet the needs and wants of the children). There is also a sound light that ripples peaceful colours up the wall as it plays sounds of nature like the rainforest, birds or ocean, simply changing the sound gives each experience a new dimension. There are also three dinosaur lamps that have multiple colour options, often these are left to fade from one colour to another but the children find it therapeutic to gently touch the base and watch it change colour on their command. Scattered around the room are some large dinosaur toys that cast shadows and create a sense of exploration. A table has also been tipped on it’s side and covered with netting to provide a safe space to hide in.

There are many benefits of our sensory room, not only does it stimulate multiple senses and encourage children to interact more with their world but it is also a therapeutic space to support visual processing and spatial orientation. Children are stimulating different parts of their brains, exploring their feelings and wellbeing. It is a quiet space that supports relaxation and calmness, great for supporting separations and self regulation throughout the day. The children have control over the space while they are in there, able to change colours and sounds to suit their own moods and when in there with others they learn to communicate respectfully and negotiate. Some children have requested for their families to see the space and most mornings we will have to space activated so children can show their families on arrival.

What the children have been saying (generally whispering)...

“WOW”

“Turn the lights off so the magic can start”

“I know what will make me feel better.... going in the dinosaur land”

“We’re making the dinosaurs red”

“I’m listening to the birds”

“Shh the dinosaurs are coming”

“I can hear something”

“I can rest in here”

“I’m feeling happier now”

OLLIE LAUDER - MICCC EDUCATIONAL LEADER

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