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Innovative Teaching Methods: How Sensory Rooms Help In Children's Development

Reading Time ~9 minutes
April 2nd, 2024
It’s well-understood that the sooner one starts learning and developing skills, the better. In childhood the mind is still flexible and responsive to new information. The development and implementation of new educational strategies have long been a priority for leading educators and psychologists.

How to make learning as effective and engaging as possible?

A personalized approach, coupled with the active use of interactive practices, is crucial. It's important to identify each child's interests and abilities to tailor the educational process to their inclinations and needs. Utilizing play-based learning, digital resources, and visual aids significantly increases engagement and interest in studies. One of the latest tools that embodies all these aspects is the immersive sensory room.

Sensory Rooms: Objectives and Goals

Sensory rooms are special spaces designed to correct sensory functions: improve attention, memory, thinking, speech, reduce anxiety and stress levels. Sensory rooms help children better adapt to their social environment and develop their creative and cognitive abilities.

They are primarily used in various educational and therapeutic settings: kindergartens, schools, libraries, developmental and rehabilitation centers, and by psychologists and speech therapists. Sensory rooms are particularly beneficial for children with developmental peculiarities and disabilities.

Properly designed rooms target all senses - hearing, sight, smell, touch, and the vestibular system. Sensory rooms can be equipped with a variety of items: soft beanbags, dry pools, bubble tubes, interactive tables, walls, sandpits, etc., depending on the room's intended purpose.

Types of Sensory Rooms

When space and funds permit, a sensory room can be divided into two areas - a relaxation zone and an activation zone.

The relaxation zone is created to calm children down. It uses equipment that relaxes all muscle groups, as well as special projections on the walls and ceiling. Once a child is fully relaxed, the educator can begin their lessons.

The activation zone, on the other hand, is designed to motivate the child to move, interact with objects, and other children. It is especially effective for those with socialization issues. Interactive equipment, dry pools, sensory panels, various mobile constructions, and sets of brightly colored and unusually shaped objects are used for activation.

The Difference Between Immersive and Standard Sensory Rooms

Immersiveness means a fully interactive experience with virtual reality. In addition to standard equipment, immersive sensory rooms utilize video projections on walls, floors, ceilings, and furniture. With these, children can find themselves in any fantastical universe. Just imagine the freedom this offers educators and teachers in organizing activities.

Why set up a Sensory Room in a Kindergarten?

For play and learning through sensory experience. From fine motor skills to social abilities, sensory rooms help children develop holistically, encouraging them to explore the world around them, and stimulating their creative and cognitive growth.

Using an immersive virtual environment, teachers save time on lesson preparation, allowing them to pay more attention to their students.

What's the Purpose of a Sensory Room in a School?

Enhancing concentration, easing the learning process, and reducing emotional stress. Sensory activities strengthen self-regulation and social interaction skills, which are crucial in a school setting. Teachers, in turn, gain an effective way to capture and retain students' attention (a valuable commodity!) and effortlessly present material in an engaging manner. Such lessons are remembered for a lifetime!

How Does a Sensory Room Assist Speech Therapists?

In speech therapy, sensory rooms become a tool for correcting speech disorders. Through sensory activities, children learn to better control their breathing, voice, and articulation. Games and exercises in such a room are aimed at developing phonemic hearing, memory, and attention.

How Does a Sensory Room Benefit Children's Camps?

Sensory rooms were initially designed for children with developmental or health challenges but have gained widespread popularity among children, teenagers, and adults.

In a children's camp, for instance, they can serve as a place for relaxation or a venue for thematic activities and games. Sensory rooms open up new possibilities for leisure organization, teaching children teamwork.

How Do Sensory Rooms Help Educators and Caregivers?

We've discussed the benefits for the children, but what does the staff gain from integrating sensory rooms?

Time and energy saved on lesson preparation. No more sleepless nights searching for information and crafting presentations. Conducting a lesson on any topic with high-quality supporting materials becomes an easy deal.

Genuine interest from students helps maintain their attention and classroom discipline. Teachers can conduct lessons in a calm environment.

Using innovative educational technologies enhances specialists' qualifications and the overall status of the institution.

And, of course, the effectiveness of teaching methods is measured by the students' successes, which surely delight teachers.

Isn't this every educator's dream?

How to Equip a Sensory Room

Just follow a few simple steps.

1. Determine the goals and objectives. The most important step at this stage is to realistically assess the room's potential and align it with your ambitions. Ideally, divide the room into activation and relaxation zones, as previously discussed, but if that's not possible, focus on equipping at least one zone well.

2. Once you've zoned the room and decided on its main purpose, you can move on to selecting equipment, which can be of three types:

  • Relaxation
  • Activation
  • General health improvement

Manufacturers offer many options, but for working with children, only safe, quality materials and modern technologies are suitable. For example, durable LED lighting instead of outdated lamps.

Equipment for an Immersive Sensory Room

Let's delve into its types and features in more detail.

  • Bubble panels and columns create a striking effect with changing backlighting. They help create a special atmosphere and attract attention with the constant movement of bubbles.

  • Interactive panels and tables develop fine motor skills, coordination, and memory, aiding in learning.

  • Light tables for sand drawing or aqua animations allow children to create fascinating sand pictures or water flows thanks to colorful LED backlighting of the work area. These are used in psychological practices.

  • Projection equipment (Videomapping), including projectors and the special softwares, offers additional opportunities for content visualization and immersion.
  • Fiberoptic strands bend light from an invisible source. Fiberoptic carpets, hanging ceiling modules, and tunnels have a positive effect on the nervous system.

  • Rehabilitation and developmental equipment should match the programs you plan to run. This includes didactic toys with interactive switches (busy boards), sensory panels, mobiles, improving attention, memory, and logical thinking.

  • Salt lamps, additional equipment for aroma-, chromo-, and sound therapy, are suitable for general health programs. They relieve stress and can even help with depressive states.
3. The next step is choosing suppliers. With the myriad of options on the market, it's not easy to decide. Trust only verified companies who provide all necessary documents and certificates for the equipment.

At POGUMAX, we offer turnkey sensory room sets: furniture, equipment, and related materials for outfitting sensory rooms, including interactive ones.

Here, you can buy everything you need in one place. No need to study the technical specifications of each device and compare alternatives.

Besides classic equipment, we also offer projection kits to create a virtual environment and maximize immersion in your sensory room. With us, it becomes truly immersive!
4. You're now on the home stretch. What remains is only to prepare a plan for working with little ones in the sensory rooms. Along with POGUMAX equipment, you receive a set of methodological materials and technical recommendations. A ready-to-use animation library (over 1400 pieces!) can be easily integrated into your lessons.
A sensory room for children is an excellent solution for effective holistic development and a wonderful tool for educators. If you're interested in opening such a room in your educational setting, leave your contacts, and we'll consult you on all your queries.
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