At the end of our school year, me and the kids worked to split our schoolroom in half. We decided that we needed an area for the boys to get their energy out in the winter and an area where sensory motor skills could be worked on daily without mom having to worry about what might break in the process. I shared our new classroom HERE , and our old classroom HERE, so today I am revealing our Sensory Motor Room. There are still a couple projects that need to be finished up in order for the room to be completely finished, but enough has been done to be able to share it the way it is now.
Before I share our Sensory Motor Room, I would like to explain the need for a sensory motor room for anyone unfamiliar with them. Children with SPD have a tendency to become over/under stimulated from their surrounding environment. Adding the Sensory Diet/Sensory Integration therapy that we do with the kids improves the ability of the brain to process sensory information so that they will function better in their daily activities.
A sensory Motor Room is a place where the kids can come and calm or stimulate themselves through each of their senses. Our sensory motor room is tailored to to the needs of my kids with SPD and has many options for sensory input (some of which are stored away and get brought out when needed.) Sensory rooms are also a great resource for children in general and not only SPD kids.
For anyone who is now aware, 3 of my kiddos suffer from Sensory Processing Disorder. In order for those kiddos to be able to be at the optimal level for learning, I have added a sensory diet to their daily routine, using the sensory motor room. We also use the room on rainy days when the boys need somewhere to get their energy out, and while I am teaching lessons to the older kids and the little boys need something to do close by so I can supervise!
The kids are welcome to use the sensory motor room whenever as long as the follow a couple pretty simple rules.
You need to put all items used away, back where you found them when finished.
The swing can only be used if Mom, Dad, or Serena are supervising to prevent injuries. Everyone that is not using the swing at the moment must stay a safe distance from the swing when its being used.
To change out the swings ask Dusin, Mom, Or Dad for help
Everyone must stay in the sensory motor room and not go and play in the school room, keep an eye to make sure the little boys are not playing in there as well.
No food or drinks in the sensory motor room
This is a view of the left side of the room standing in the doorway. We decided to put the kid's computer desk in the sensory motor room, so that when someone has a lesson or activity to complete, they do not have to go into the school room to use the computer.
Here is a look at the right side of the room, in the corner we have a table for the kids to work at there are peace books, modeling clay in a basket on the table.
One thing I really wanted in our sensory room was a platform swing, but I didn't want to pay the huge price they go for online, so I found THIS great tutorial and Jake made a platform swing using wood we had already. In the end, the swing cost us about $30 for everything, the rope, swing hooks, and heavy duty celling hooks. The kids have been loving the swing and it has really come in handy when we need something to calm quickly.
On rainy days it has kept Ethan busy for hours, the swinging is such a calming activity for him, the swing has been a huge help! To think that he was the child 2 years ago that was scared to death of swings due to gravitational insecurity, we have come such a long way!
Research shows that using a swing that is hung from from a single point gives children more effective, stronger, and longer lasting vestibular input. Swinging on a swing is an ideal source of vestibular input, and if done for 15 minutes on a swing, can last up to 8 hours in the central nervous system, the other types of input only last about 2 hours, so they must be done more often.
I have 1 book shelf in the room that has our smaller sensory motor room items.
On the bottom shelf starting on the left, Egg and Spoon Race, soft balls, and catch-a-ball.
The next shelf up starting with the green basket with 2 jump ropes, a tape player with a microphone (I pick up tapes for the kids at the thrift store for $.05 the kids need to come ask me for a tape to listen to since they are stored on a higher shelf because we have had to many broken tapes), a light bright (great way to get kids to focus and calm down) All of the items on the far left have been moved and are no longer on the shelf.
The 3rd shelf up starting on the left in the far corner is a package of birdies, next are some puzzles, beanbags, colored scarfs.
The Top shelf starting on the left is our fidget toy basket, a color changing flashlight, cones, some of our puzzles.
Around the room, we have a balance board, our DIY balance beam, a couple hop balls, a rody ball, a giant peanut ball, hula hoops, and our DIY Bowling Pins.
Hanging on the side of the book shelf is our pressure vest, and parachute. I used command hooks to hang them on.
As you can see we choose a colored foam flooring to put down in case of a fall its cushioned on the floor. It's easy to wipe clean, and is even waterproof, so when the kids flood the toilet upstairs it doesn't ruin the floor :)
This is a close up look at our fidget basket, inside are fidget balls, spikey balls, lip whistles, balloons, stress balls, etc... Everything but the lip whistles are great for the kids to fidget with while I am reading stories, or going over lessons. These fidget toys have been great for my kiddos who have a hard time sitting still while we are reading or doing some other quiet activity.
I also keep a container of floam in the basket for the kids to use whenever they need to use it.
Here are a few different sensory motor rooms I have found around the internet. Looking at these sensory motor rooms is where some of my ideas came from. You can find more ideas on my Sensory Rooms Pinterest Board