Sensory Room Must Haves Part 2!

Categories: Sensory

Sensory Rooms… Part 2!

Last year I gave you a tour of my sensory room and some of our must have equipment in this blog post. Over the last year we’ve added several items that are student favorites and I couldn’t wait to share with you! As always, your OT will be your BEST resource regarding specific student needs. Our OT is absolutely amazing and we are so thankful for her!

Chill-Out Tent

This bookshelf tent from Guidecraft is perfect for students who look for quiet time, away from the lights and sounds of a classroom. I love that it has a removable, washable curtain that helps students get away from overwhelming sensory stimuli. I currently only have the top curtain on, so we can keep an eye on students when they are in the tent. There are additional curtains that tie closed that we took off for safety purposes. We keep calm-down tools on the bookshelves and social stories, too. It’s the perfect place to chill out away from the sensory overloads a classroom can bring.

Crash Pad

I talked about this crash pad before, but it’s absolutely perfect for under the Guidecraft tent! It provides a squishy, washable place for students to chill out. Here’s the link. 

Stepping Stones

These stepping stones are a huge hit! We create obstacle courses with them, and students learn how to balance, jump and play our favorite game, “the floor is lava”! We often create a sensory path with these Tactile Disks. I love that they have matching small disks so students can match what they feel with their feet with that they feel in their hands! 

Swings

The swing is a fan favorite, but we like to mix it up. We have a platform swing, lycra swing and net (hammock) swing. We rotate the swings based on student needs. Each swing is preferred by different students.

Tunnels

A tunnel always makes for a fun sensory path and obstacle course. Make sure you get the correct size for your students – the one linked is kid sized, which is a little bigger than ones sized for toddlers. 

Balance Equipment

We love this rocker board! It’s small enough you can uses it in the classroom or designated sensory space. I love that it’s kid sized, easy to clean, and isn’t slippery! We love this wobble board with handles, too While I can’t find the exact one pictured, this one doesn’t have handles but is pretty close otherwise. 

Meeting Sensory Needs Should Come FIRST

Just like physical needs such as hunger, sensory needs must be met before a student can learn. Sensory equipment doesn’t have to be fancy. In fact, you don’t even need a ‘sensory room’, but it IS important to meet students’ sensory needs. Consult with your OT on how you can best meet student needs.

You can read more about how we started our room here. It started SMALL. We slowly added year after year, and now I apply for grants whenever I can to help update our equipment. Don’t be afraid to start just just one or two items and build from there! 

Jen Koenig, B.S, M.Ed., LBS1
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