Sensory Processing Disorder Parent Support
Sensory Processing Disorder Parent Support

Building A Sensory Space 

Children with sensory differences ... painting the world beautiful.  

Building A Sensory Space

Jeanette Loftus

child with sensory differences playing with a sensory wall in a sensory room Building A Sensory Space
Walking into a sensory space can feel so nice and calming. You are surrounded by sensory lights, calming music, comfy seating and soothing sensory products. It feels so peaceful when you are in a sensory space.    

A sensory space can be a calming place for our children when they need to regulate themselves. Their sensory space can be in your home or at school. Some children have a sensory space in both school and at home.

A sensory space is supposed to be an area to feel calm for your child. A sensory space is supposed to be a soothing environment where a child can explore their senses and be comfortable.

Sensory spaces are also known as sensory corners or sensory areas. These sensory friendly areas are designed to provide children with opportunities for sensory exploration and regulation. 

These sensory spaces can be very beneficial for children with sensory processing disorder.  All children can benefit from having a sensory space because it can support their sensory development. 
A sensory room can be very beneficial for children who have sensory processing disorder or anyone who needs a break when they are feeling overwhelmed. There are many benefits to having a sensory space for your child. Having a sensory space can help your child reduce their anxiety and help them with their self-regulation.

A sensory space can help your child's sensory processing skills, improve their focus, reduce their sensory meltdowns and sensory overload. This sensory space can provide a peaceful area for children who struggle with ADHD, autism or sensory differences. 

A sensory area doesn't need to be a huge room or a large space. It can be a small corner in a room or a children's sensory tent. A sensory space is meant to be an area where a child knows they can go to feel calm.

It's important that a child who struggles with sensory differences has a space that supports their sensory needs. A sensory corner is an important part of a child's sensory friendly environment.   

A sensory corner is a space that is designed to stimulate your child's senses. It usually includes a variety of sensory textures and sensory activities for your child to explore and develop their sensory processing skills.
A sensory space should have sensory tools for your child so they can engage with all of their senses. Some of those sensory toys would be a weighted blanket, some sensory lights, comfy place to sit and maybe some fidgets. 
Talk to your child's occupational therapist before creating a sensory space for your child. They will be able to give you suggestions for your child's sensory space  that are just for your child's sensory needs because we all have different sensory needs and what one child will need in their sensory space is different than what another child will need in their sensory space. 

When deciding where to have a sensory space, there are a few factors to think about.  The sensory space should be easily accessible to all children regardless of their mobility or abilities. It should be located in a quiet, low-traffic area to minimize distractions and noise. 

Safety should be a top priority when designing a sensory space. Ensure that the area is free from sharp edges, small objects, and other potential hazards. Flooring should be soft and non-slip to prevent injuries. While it's important to provide a sense of calm, it's also important that the sensory space is visible to adult supervisors. Consider installing a clear partition or window to allow for visual monitoring.

A sensory corner or space is a smaller more compact version of a sensory room. It can be created within an existing classroom or play area, making it a more affordable and accessible option for many schools and early childhood centers. 

A sensory corner can include a variety of textured mats, bean bags, soft lighting, and calming sounds. These spaces can offer a convenient and effective way to support children's sensory regulation.  Sensory spaces can serve as calming environments, helping children to regulate their emotions and reduce anxiety. To create a calming sensory space, consider incorporating the following elements:

Dimming the lights or using a diffused light can help create a soothing atmosphere. Bean bags, floor cushions, or specially designed calming chairs can provide a cozy spot for children to relax. Nature sounds, white noise, or gentle music can help create a serene ambiance. Soft, smooth, or squishy materials can provide tactile stimulation that helps children feel grounded and relaxed.

Children with sensory processing disorder can benefit from having access to a sensory space. A sensory friendly space should include a variety of sensory activities designed to address the child's specific sensory needs.  If a child is hypersensitive to touch, the space may include soft, plush materials that provide calming, deep pressure input. If a child is hyposensitive to touch, the space may include activities that offer intense, focused tactile input like digging in a sandbox. 

When creating a sensory space for your child, consider including a variety of sensory activities for your child's needs and interests. 

Light projectors, mirrors, and colored or textured scarves can engage children's visual systems.

Headphones, sound machines, or a variety of musical instruments can provide diverse auditory experiences.

Textured mats, sand or rice boxes, or fabric swatches can offer tactile input.

Vestibular (movement)
Swings, balance beams, or trampolines can support children's balance and coordination.

Olfactory (smell)
Aromatherapy diffusers, scented markers, or essential oils can engage children's sense of smell.

Proprioceptive (deep pressure)
Weighted blankets, squeeze balls, or resistance bands can provide deep pressure input, which can be calming and organizing.

Sensory rooms are larger and more elaborate than sensory spaces. A sensory room may be a dedicated, permanently installed space within a school or therapy center, while a sensory space may be a smaller, portable, or temporary setup.

Sensory rooms often include more specialized equipment, such as sensory integration swings, fibro optic lights, or interactive projectors. Sensory spaces may focus more on portable, easy-to-store materials.

Sensory rooms can be more expensive to create, maintain, and equip than sensory spaces, making sensory spaces a more accessible option for many schools and organizations.

Sensory Space Tools & Toys

Kids Stay-N-Play Children's Balance Ball

Kids Stay-N-Play Children's Balance Ball

Learn More 
Doorway Therapy Net Swing - Sky Blue Net therapy swing

Doorway Therapy New Swing 

Learn More
Ball Pit Play Tent,Kids Tents/Pop Up Play Tent

Ball Pitt Sensory Tent for Kids 

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LimitlessFunN Teepee Kids Play Tent Bonus Star Lights

Kids Play Tent for Sensory Space 

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KidsErgo is the safe and healthy way to sit.
Ergo Ergo 

Kids Ergo Flexible Seating for Kids 

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calming corner sensory areas for kids

Calming Corner Sensory Area Posters 

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Calming Vibration Self Regulation Tool
Sensory Calming Wands

Calming Vibration Self Regulation Tool 

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inflatable sensory chair for kids sensory room

Inflatable Sensory Chair for Kids 

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sensory fidget kit of sensory fidgets

Fidget Bundle of Sensory Fidgets

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Sensory Processing Disorder Parent Support 

Sensory Processing Disorder Resources  

Supporting, learning, sharing and growing together.
Childhood Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Olfactory Sensory Toys & Tools for Sensory Processing Disorder
Sensory Processing & Potty Training
Sensory Chairs and Flexible Active Seating
DISCLAIMER: I am not an Occupational Therapist. I am an adult who has Sensory Processing Disorder, a sensory parent and a Grandma. The information on this website is not medical advice and does not replace the information that your child's therapists gives you. These are just ideas and information that I have learned myself over the years of being a parent and an adult living with SPD. If you are concerned for your child, please always seek medical attention through a family doctor, pediatrician or therapist. This website is for suggestions and informational purposes only. Each child is different and what works for one child may not for another because all children have different needs. Please always consult with a professional. Amazon offers a small commission on products sold through their affiliate links on my website.  Each of your purchases through links on my website for Amazon affiliation links or sponsored links support me but no additional cost to you so thank you. I appreciate it so much!