Creating a sensory space from scratch can be a daunting task. There are so many things to consider and different resources to choose from which can be confusing and costly! At Sensory Direct we want to help you get started on your journey and give you some tips to consider when creating a new sensory space. They may also help you update existing sensory spaces.

#1 Sensory spaces don’t need to be big or permanent!

Sensory spaces/rooms don’t need to be massive and full to the brim with expensive equipment and resources to be effective. A multi-purpose space, perhaps one that is also used as a conference space or meeting room, could be just as good. With removable or pop-up resources the room can be easily re-constructed when required. It’s important to remember that whatever sized space/room you have, that you allow space for the user to move around freely, without obstruction and not feel constrained or trapped. Some sensory resources can be quite large, so care should be taken when designing the space, to ensure adequate room.

#2 Remember the intended use

The main purpose of a sensory space is to calm, soothe, relax and enable the user to feel safe and secure. It’s easy to overlook this, so consider the location of the sensory space and make sure it’s not next to any areas that can be loud, difficult to access or distressing. Try not to overload the room with too many resources as this will likely cause a sensory overload and defeat the main purpose – to calm and relax.

#3 Consider your target audience

Sensory spaces can be used by children and adults, so selecting a good range of sensory products suitable for all ages is recommended.  Selecting resources suitable for adults can often be overlooked and we know from experience, that sometimes older people would like more discreet age-appropriate resources.

#4 Hygiene is really important!

We’ll be honest with you – sensory toys are likely to get mouthed, chewed and licked. If you intend on having permanent sensory toys and resources, i.e. multi-use products, it’s very important to pick those that are easy to wipe clean, spot clean, wash or even pop into a washing machine if it’s fabric. Maintaining effective hygiene will also help with the longevity of the product(s) and help them last a little longer.

#5 Choose quality resources

Sensory resources and fidget toys in particular get a lot of use and can be prone to wear and tear earlier than anticipated. It’s important to look for good-quality sensory toys and resources that have the relevant product certification (CE certification). Regular checking for any loose parts and any obvious wear and tear is good practise for safety. Do remember though – no toy is indestructible!

#6 Don’t be afraid to ask for help

There are experts out there (like us at Sensory Direct) who know what we are talking about and can help you from the very start of the project, right to the end. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone or drop us an email if you have any questions or doubts on where to get started. It’s what we’re here for!



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