Sensory Room Tour

Categories: Sensory
Welcome to my sensory room tour!  I am so excited to show off the incredible sensory room that my school Occupational Therapists designed for us.  This room is the perfect combination of activities for all of the students in the autism program I teach in.  Come along with me as I show you each essential part of our sensory room and what they can do!

Jungle Jumparoo

There are so many ways to use the Jungle Jumparoo.  First, the main sensory purposes of this tool are:

  • Alerting
  • Motor planning
  • Balance
  • Social skills

The Jungle Jumparoo can be used as an aerobic exercise or heavy work to get students ready for learning.  I also like to challenge students to use different movement patterns, for example, “Jump, jump, stop!” or “Little jump, big jump, little jump.” Some other ideas include turn-taking and imitating actions. My favorite activities for the Jungle Jumparoo are:

  • Count or recite the alphabet for each jump.
  • Move in a circular motion- left and right for directionality.
  • Hop on one foot at a time. 
  • Passing around an object through the bars.
This is a photo of an inflatable rubber tube with colorful bars attached on a base.

Crash Pads

This is a photo of a large blue crash pad.
These large, fluffy mats are called crash pads. Crash pads can be used in many ways:

  • A calming spot after an alerting activity.
  • A designated waiting spot between activities.
  • To jump off of the trampoline or Jungle Jumparoo onto these– when closely supervised.
  • Crawling on during an obstacle course.

To summarize, think of the crash pad as a giant pillow to sit or lay on – or like what a stunt person would land on after jumping off of something.  Nice and cozy, and a safe spot to land!

Mini Trampoline

Our mini trampoline is a sensory activity that helps strengthen motor planning and balance.  Instead of just having my students jump, I do various learning activities while they are on the trampoline – notice the green bucket and alphabet chart? Activities I like to incorporate with the trampoline are:

  • Count, recite, or sequence the alphabet for each jump.
  • Spell sight words – one letter per jump.
  • Jump on one foot – if the student has good balance.
  • Toss a bean bag into a bucket while jumping.
This is a photo of a black mini trampoline with a handle bar. On the wall is an alphabet matching chart and on the floor is a green bucket with some bean bags in it.

Platform Swing

This is a photo of a platform swing. It is a swing attached to a metal base.
Platform swings give vestibular input – or a sense of feeling our bodies in space.  When used correctly, the platform swing can build body awareness, muscle tone, and coordination.  Our swing can be used in back and forth, side to side, and circular motions.  We also have an additional tube attachment in which students can lay in versus sitting on a platform.  The inner tube you see on the platform is used as a safety precaution to support students who do not have strong muscle tone or balance yet.  Depending on how a platform swing is used, it can have several effects.  For example:

  • Self-regulating
  • Calming
  • Alerting

While on the platform swing, I like to engage my students with these activities:

  • Tossing bean bags into a bucket.
  • Catching and throwing a ball.

Scooter Board Ramp

Our scooter board ramp targets vestibular stimulation, reflex integration, strength, and coordination.  Depending on the type of activity I have my students do, the scooter board ramp can provide these effects:

  • Alerting
  • Calming

Activities can be done with or without a scooter board, depending on the student.  Examples of activities my students do with our scooter board ramp are:

  • Sliding down in the seated position.
  • Riding or sliding down laying on their stomach.
  • Starting at the bottom of the slide, laying on their stomach, and pulling their body up to the top using the attached rope.
  • Beginning at the bottom of the slide, holding on to the attached rope, pulling their body up to the top while using their feet to help climb.

Sensory Table

This is a photo of a blue sensory table. The top photo has a cover on the table and the bottom photo is the exposed table with compartments for sand and tools.
Sensory tables are great for providing tactile input, perception, and fine motor skills.  We like to switch out the materials inside of the sensory table to give students a variety of materials to feel through.  For example:

Activities I like to use with the sensory table are:

  • Have students describe how the texture feels
  • Hide small items and have students find them without looking.
  • Students find specific shapes or letters without looking.

Tip – We keep our sensory table covered with a weighted mat when not in use.  This prevents unplanned messes!  

Ball Pit

Sure, ball pits can be a ton of fun, but they also provide SO MUCH sensory input!  The balls help to massage, providing students with deep pressure.  In addition, depending on the activities, the ball pit is great for:

  • Calming
  • Alerting
  • Social skills
  • Motor planning

Some super fun ball pit activities I like to do with my students are:

  • Walking/running around the inside perimeters.
  • Hiding objects for students to find.
  • Try to bury yourself.
  • Write letters on the balls and have students spell a word.
  • Throw the balls into corresponding colored bins.
This is a photo of a blue padded ball pit filled with colorful plastic balls.
My school is very fortunate to have amazing Occupational Therapy support!  Even without a sensory room, Occupational Therapists can be a HUGE help and support in your room.  To learn more, read this post from Katie on how Occupational Therapists can support your classroom.
This is a photo of a visual choice board from the sensory room tour.

To conclude, my students thrive on choices and would not have as much success in our sensory room if choices were not provided to them.  I love The Autism Helper’s Sensory Choice Board to help facilitate making choices in the sensory room!

Thank you so much for reading my sensory room tour!  What was your favorite part?  Do you have any questions?  Let me know in the comments!

4 Comments

  1. That’s an awesome setup! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  2. Well done Michelle, so glad you understand the gem you have at your school.

    Reply

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