Any parent of a child with special needs will understand the benefits of sensory play – it provides that all-important stimulation and is effectively ‘food for the brain’. Sensory play can give your child confidence, improve their cognitive development, their physical skills, give them a more defined sense of ‘self’, improve their communication skills, their emotional health and their social skills. However, sensory equipment for children does come at a cost. Let’s take a look at how you can create a sensory room for your child, without breaking the bank.
Choose your Room
The room you use doesn’t have to be enormous. A sensory room is a case of substance, rather than size. If you have a spare room to dedicate to your child’s sensory play, then use that. However, it can be just as rewarding to install a small amount of conductive education equipment into your child’s bedroom, rather than trying to force space, where you possibly have none to spare.
Work out the Essentials
As much as it might be tempting to try and get creative and build or make special needs equipment, some things are best put in the hands of the experts. Some special needs furniture is designed with specifics in mind, such as ensuring that your child’s posture is at its best and is likely to include safety features to prevent any accidental injury. These are the things that you’d be best advised not to cut corners on. Buying toys and furniture for disabled children online from specialist outlets such as Smirthwaite is the best way to keep costs down. These specialist suppliers have lower overheads than High Street retailers and can pass those savings on to you.
Plan your Campaign
It’s time to do some homework. You might want to start by having a chat with your GP or a specialist to identify exactly what sort of sensory equipment for children your child might benefit from. Ask what kinds of stimulation will offer the greatest benefits. Bearing that information in mind, look at the room you’re going to use with a fresh eye. Measure the space and see what there’s room for, factoring in any professionally-made special needs furniture you’re going to be using.
Don’t forget the Trimmings!
The importance of specially designed conductive education equipment cannot be underestimated, but its worth is much less if it’s installed in a dull landscape. It’s time to get creative! Consider painting a mural that interests your child. Not all sensory equipment for children has to be designed by specialists; consider stimulating objects, such as bubble lamps, mirror balls and bubble machines – all of which can be bought cheaply from toy stores.
This is also the point where you can get creative yourself. You can incorporate textures into your mural or create a safe-play pit, using soft, squishy balls and even hide a few balls that make noises amongst them.
If you do decide to get creative, the important thing to remember is to do a risk assessment of anything you make. Anything that could be knocked over ought to be secured and anything that involves electricity must be made absolutely safe. Creating a sensory room for your child can be an uplifting experience for everyone – but your child’s safety must always come first.