Sensory Room


When we first moved into our home, we decided that we wanted a play space for the boys in the basement.  Curtis worked on this room all summer and fall our first year here.  This was their Christmas present our first holiday season in our new home.  At the time, I just knew that I wanted a space for them to play during the cold winter months when we couldn't play outside.  It turned out to be a great asset as we unraveled Colin's sensory needs.

We visited Jake Greenspan at the Floortime Center in Bethesda, Maryland.  He recommended that Colin get at least eight 20-minute sessions of sensory-based play a day.  He is a sensory seeker.  He needs movement that stimulates his vestibular system.  He is rough-and-tumble and always moving.  Giving him this space to get that stimulation has helped him in so many ways.

I am always looking for new and exciting ways to help his sensory needs.  Once, I found this amazing website that would build a sensory room for you!!  Say, what?!  A whole room?! Yes, please! Sign me up....until I saw the price.  I think they ranged from $8,000-$12,000 if my memory serves me correctly.

Friends, you can put together your own sensory room for much, much, much less.  Here are some things that worked for our family.  (All of the pictures are clickable links for you!)

Colin is a low tone kid, but that has greatly improved with the use of his trampoline.  If you would have told me five years ago that I would have a trampoline inside my house, I would have told you that you were nuts!  Seriously, he jumps every single day, and I don't know where we would be or what we would do without the trampoline.  Here is a link to one if you are interested:


 

The trampoline has also been great for Finley too.  You know, because all four year olds need to practice their ninja moves.

This coaster is just fun!  Their new favorite thing is to ride backwards...

We also love these peanut balls:  (they are really sturdy and even hold me!)


The swing has been good for his vestibular system.  This time last year, Colin did not get dizzy.  He was very unsure of himself in space, and he was terrified to be off the ground in a swing.  We ended up getting this circular swing and kept it low to the ground.  Now he loves to swing fairly high and loves to spin in it.  (Mommy, on the other hand, gets nauseated just looking at them spin in it...blah.)  I believe we got ours at Home Depot, but this one is similar:



Another thing you see in our playroom is a slide.  Because we are raising wild ninja boys, a rock wall was necessary.  We just added some climbing wall hand holds to some wood we already had....who am I kidding, "we" means "Curtis."  Because we all know Mommy didn't construct a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g.



Adding a slide was easy.  Like four screws and bam!  Good to go. 




The long, red tube you see was made by my Mom.  If you have someone who can sew, they can whip up a lyrca-like tunnel for you in no time.  Both boys absolutely love this too.  You can also see a handmade weighted blanket on the couch.  Also another Grandma-original, and also very much loved.  

This spin top is similar to what we have (I think).  It is great for vestibular (balance) sensory play.  

The balance beam is made of a foam.  This is one thing that they don't play with much...unless Finley has some ninja jumps to practice...and then Mommy is just fearing a broken leg.  The plan was to help with balance and awareness of self in space, but it doesn't really get much use.  Here is a link, though, if you think your kids might benefit from it:



 

Another thing we like for our sensory room is balls.  Colin is the biggest fan of balls, balloons, bubbles, etc.  If its round and you can throw it, he's game.  A bubble machine is also a great idea!  (Saves Mom and Dad from blowing so many bubbles that we pass out!)



A couple other ideas to finish out this post:  we have a hideout under the stairs.  Finn loves it, Colin doesn't play in it much.  We also have a teepee that we set up, and they can use it as a retreat for a break if need-be. 

I hope this post has been helpful to you!  You can totally pick and choose what things you want in your sensory/play rooms, these are just a few of my recommendations!  .....and if you happen to have $8,000 just lying around....you can totally pay me to build your room. *wink* (Well, I'll spend your money buying stuff.  My husband would have to build it!) 

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