DIY Sensory Rooms on a Budget!
DIY Sensory Rooms
Have you ever thought about creating a sensory room or space for your child, but thought it would be too expensive or you would need to dedicate an entire room? We know that sensory rooms have a huge calming effect on our children, so, we challenged a couple of moms (and two behavior therapists) to come up with some DIY, low-cost solutions for creating a sensory room that helped children and provided a high-quality experience.
Where to Begin?
First, consider your child and their needs; since every child is unique, the sensory space you create for them should be unique, as well.
Think about the room or space you have and how you might be able to incorporate sensory items that your child would enjoy. Keep in mind that a wall, corner or closet could also work if you do not have an entire room you can dedicate to this effort. Keep an eye out for any toys or sensory activities your child likes.
Once you have an idea in mind of the size, space and sensory items, think about how to make them all work within your budget while still beneficial for your child.
We found a lot of inspiration for our DIY sensory rooms on Pinterest, and took advantage of the dollar store and coupons for various craft and fabric stores.
To provide a sensory room/calming space at church in order to help children (boys and girls) who need a “break” while their parents are attending church.
Kristin Grant began working with children with special needs when she was 13 years old, and hasn’t stopped. She currently works as a Registered Behavior Technician for Positive Behavior Support agency. Kristin also volunteers at her church every Sunday and realized that there were a lot of children with special needs at the church that were not adjusting well. She expressed it this way: “I soon learned that a lot of parents were unable to come to church because they felt like there was no place for their child. This broke my heart and I was determined to create a room that was able to accommodate them”.
Kristin brought up her idea of a sensory room to the Director of Children’s Ministry who was totally on-board with the idea! They were able to resolve this problem by using one of the unused classrooms to create a sensory room that is calming. All of the students start out in their age-group classrooms, but if they need a break, they can come to this room. After they have had a chance to calm down, they can go back to their classroom. Or, if they would like to stay, then they can also do that.
The only pitfall encountered occurred when trying to set up the sensory swing. It didn’t come with the necessary eye-hook, but, you can find them easily at Home Depot. Just make sure they match the correct weight limit of the swing.
- 2 large pieces of plywood
- Paint for the background color
- Silicon ice trays
- Touch lights
- Light switches
- Metal baking trays (to use for magnets)
- Roller coaster bead activity
- PVC ball chute
Supplies for PVC Ball Chute:
- 4 PVC PIPES
- 4 Elbow PVC pipes
- 4 Different colored plastic balls
- Paint to match the colors of the plastic balls
Supplies for chill zone:
- Kiddie pool
- Weighted blanket from SensaCalm
- Pillows (I got mine from Ikea)
- Sensory swing
- Magnetic paint for the magnetic wall
- Little black table from Ikea
- Play tunnel from Ikea
(Continued on page 2)