Traditional kindergarten and preschool classrooms are best described as busy, with children partaking in collaborative play activities, brightly colored furniture, and exciting flashy toys.
Classrooms especially for preschoolers and kindergartners can be extremely noisy, busy, and distracting.
For children with behavioral disorders such as ADHD (attention deficit hyperactive disorder) or developmental disabilities such as ASD (autism spectrum disorder) learning in a classroom filled with multiple children can become quite stressful.
To minimize distraction for children during the early stages of development, sensory classrooms have been developed to provide a learning environment curated to facilitate optimum holistic development in children.
If you do not keep yourself frequently updated with educational trends, the term “Sensory Rooms” might sound like a scene from a science fiction movie to you.
However, Sensory Rooms are specifically and meticulously arranged learning environments that provide children with all the tools required to achieve holistic excellence.
If you are interested in learning about the unique concept of Sensory Rooms and are skeptical about its contribution to the child’s development process, look no further.
To help you understand what exactly a Sensory Room is and its benefits here is all you need to know about Sensory Rooms.
What is a Sensory Room?
Do not confuse Sensory rooms with a sci-fi movie scene, a Sensory Room is a specifically arranged room meant for optimum sensory development and sensory stimulation in children.
Unlike traditional teacher-centered classrooms, Sensory classrooms allow children to indulge in auto-didactic education and self-directed pay.
A Sensory Room is also referred to as a Multisensory Room or a Multisensory environment that helps provide children with a learning environment that controls their sensory stimuli.
Sensory Rooms provide children with a controlled and sensory-focused environment which helps isolate each concept to help efficiently facilitate learning.
Sensory Rooms have a wider scope than just stimulating the child’s senses, these multisensory rooms integrate unique components that facilitate cognitive, motor, physical, social, sensorial, and emotional development in children.
What does a Sensory Room incorporate?
As we know a common classroom can be quite distracting and busy for children diagnosed with behavioral disorders, and learning disabilities, especially during their early stages of development.
Sensory Rooms provide children with an optimum immersive experience by integrating elements that not only provide children with peace and tranquility but also help isolate and develop each skill at a time.
Sensory Rooms are a perfectly curated environment that takes the child’s individual needs and requirements into account and allows them to develop at their own pace.
To help you fully understand what exactly a Sensory Room integrates, here is a list of important elements of a Sensory Room:
- Low Soothing Adjustable lighting
- Minimal Decor
- Light Music
- Different Textures
- Fiber Optic
- Bubble Tubes
Sensory Rooms are far from being a traditional classroom, the goal of a sensory room is to provide children with a systematically arranged calming environment that helps them develop their skills one at a time.
Sensory Rooms are a great way to integrate therapeutic elements that not only develop emotional resilience in pupils but also help develop all the seven senses in the child i.e., visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory, gustatory, vestibular, and proprioception.
What are the characteristics of Sensory Rooms?
Sensory Rooms can be regarded as a new and unique concept for most people who are not fully acquainted with the world of education and technological advancements pertaining to education.
The concept of sensory training and stimulation is not foreign or new at all with pedagogies like The Montessori Method or the Rogerio Emilia Approach integrating this principle to promote optimum holistic development in children.
However, there are some characteristics that set this unique concept of Sensory Rooms apart from other pedagogies.
Here are some chief characteristics of Sensory Rooms to help you fully comprehend what they are:
- Sensory Rooms are specifically curated rooms that help provide children with a therapeutic and calming environment.
- Sensory Rooms have elements that effectively facilitate physical and motor development in children.
- Sensory Rooms allow children to not only develop their physical and sensory skills but these rooms are a great way to develop the child’s emotional resilience and social skills.
- These rooms incorporate elements such as different textured objects, adjustable lighting, optics, and music that allow children to develop all their senses.
What are the benefits of Sensory Rooms?
Senses are the gateway to knowledge, especially during the initial six years of the child’s life.
Sensory rooms based on this principle have been specially curated to provide children with a learning environment that sets them up for success.
Furthermore, Sensory rooms are a great way to help facilitate education for children with behavioral disorders such as ADHD (attention deficit hyperactive disorder) or developmental disabilities such as ASD (autism spectrum disorder).
But there are more benefits of Sensory Rooms than what meets the eye, to help you determine whether or not this unique concept is meant for your child, here are some benefits of Sensory Rooms:
Sensory Rooms as the name suggests are rooms developed to provide children with therapeutic multisensory experiences.
Each element in the sensory has been curated to stimulate and develop each of the seven senses in children.
Sensory rooms prepare children to interact, engage, and respond to the larger world that surrounds them.
Fine Motor Development:
Fine motor skills are basic abilities that utilize the smaller muscles present in the hands, fingers, and wrists.
Fine motor skills allow individuals to perform intricate tasks such as holding, grasping, gripping, and writing.
Sensory Rooms provide children with components that allow them to engage in their fine motor muscles.
Children can manipulate and maneuver different components in the environment to develop their fine motor skills.
Gross Motor Development:
Gross motor skills are abilities that integrate the larger muscles in the body present in the torso, legs, arms, and torso.
These muscles govern the movement of the entire body and often promote the tasks such as balance, walking, jumping, running, throwing, holding, swimming, etc.
Children in a sensory room are provided with elements and toys that help facilitate the development of gross motor skills.
Toys such as balance beams and bubble tubes are great ways to develop the child’s vestibular and proprioceptive abilities.
Sensory rooms are also beneficial for students with physical disabilities such as cerebral palsy, as it allows them to develop their balance and movement.
Development of communication skills:
Another benefit of Sensory Room is the development of communication skills and emotional skills in children.
In a sensory room, children are promoted to partake in collaborative activities with their peers to develop their communication skills.
Furthermore, Sensory Rooms can be highly beneficial for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder to develop their social skills.
The isolated and interactive sensory room can allow children with ASD to focus on the sensory stimuli in the environment rather than being intimidated or distracted.
Each element in the Sensory Room environment is an opportunity to learn and develop.
Children during their initial stages of development are highly dependent on their senses to make sense of the world that surrounds them.
Sensory Rooms integrate specific stimuli that not only promote sensory development but also facilitate the development of language, mathematics, and science skills in children.
Each element in the Sensory Room helps isolate and represent complex concepts in a comprehensible and tangible format.
Improves focus and concentration:
Children with learning disabilities or behavioral disorders can face hardships when trying to learn or concentrate.
Sensory rooms are a great way to promote focused learning for children with such setbacks, as these rooms eliminate all the unnecessary stimuli and provide them with the right amount of sensory stimulation to concentrate.
Helps ease the stress:
Learning can become stressful when you have learning disabilities. The Sensory Room Environment provides children with a tranquil and calming learning environment to help them decompress and de-stress.
Children with ASD are prone to feeling overwhelmed or agitated when working on a rigid schedule.
Sensory Rooms provide children with endless learning opportunities and promote them to learn and develop at their own unique pace.