Are you looking for sensory room ideas to create the ultimate space?
Whether you are designing a sensory area for the home, school, or clinic, these budget-friendly ideas will help you put together a fun and safe haven for your child to thrive.
Let’s explore what you need to know about a sensory room:
- What is it?
- What are the best tools to use?
- What are the benefits?
- And MORE…
Let’s get started.
What Is A Sensory Room?
A sensory room is a safe soothing space designed for a child with sensory challenges.
This is a place you may go to decompress to play, cope with a current situation, or relax.
With that said, you may be wondering, how does a sensory room help your child?
Let’s dive a little deeper into the science behind it.
Why Create A Sensory Room? (The Science Behind It)…
When a child experiences a sensory issue like having anxiety or being overwhelmed, they need an outlet to unwind.
A sensory room helps a child learn how to interact with the world around them in a gentle way. This space allows a child to develop coping skills in a negative or overly stimulated situation while learning how to cope with that experience in a positive light.
In a nutshell, it is a calming and soothing space to help your child regulate their brain’s negative response.
More importantly, your child will be able to work out those issues they are going through in an atmosphere they feel safe in.
So let’s delve into twelve must-know sensory room ideas designed to calm or stimulate specific senses.
12 Must-Know Sensory Room Ideas
1. Fat Brain pipSquigz
For Ages: 6 months to 3 years
Best For: Sensory, Tactile stimulation, Fine motor skills
Research shows that sensory play builds nerve connections in the brain’s pathways, which lead to the child’s ability to complete more complex learning tasks.
Hence, the importance of sensory integration early on for infants and toddlers.
That’s precisely what this toy, pipSquigz, is all about.
Stick it to smooth surfaces, rattle it, or push and suction the shapes together.
Final Verdict: A great sensory tool to encourage tactile exploration and fine motor development.
2. Chewy Tubes
For Ages: Infant to Adult
Best For: Teething or Aggressive Chewers
Hence the name “super chews” this material is super tough.
It is made for those 6 months and up who are teething or for aggressive chewers.
The purpose of a chew toy is to reduce a child’s stress and anxiety.
It provides a safe alternative chewing solution to clothes, pens, hands, or other unsafe things kids may want to put in their mouths.
Final Verdict: This chew toy supports challenges of sensory issues, ADHD, Autism, and little ones who are teething.
3. Fidget Sensory Board Game
For Ages: 3 years and up
Best For: Relaxing the mind and body while learning
Learning how to count just became FUN.
This sensory toy can grow with your child over time.
For beginners, roll the dice and then press the silicone bubbles to match the number on the dice.
Pressing in the rainbow bubbles creates a satisfying sound and soothing experience.
Final Verdict: An effective stress relief toy that is wonderful for kids of all abilities including those diagnosed with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, or Sensory Processing Disorder.
4. Foam Ball Pit
For Ages: 1 to 5 years
Best For: Motor skills, Sensory play
Does your child need an entertaining sensory toy? Not to mention, a super cute one?
This ball pit is the perfect sensory activity for infants and toddlers.
Plus, it’s an engaging way to strengthen your child’s motor skills.
Kids can’t help themselves but toss the balls and roll around!
Final Verdict: A wonderful sensory outlet that’s safe for infants and toddlers to enhance motor development.
5. Harkla Indoor Therapy Swing
For Ages: 4 years and up
Best For: Sensory needs to calm or self-regulate
There is something so cozy about the soft fabric to make you want to lounge in this swing.
This particular sensory tool is designed to create a calming and soothing environment.
It provides sensory pressure (squeezing you as you sit) while creating a safe space.
It’s super flexible to allow plenty of wiggle room to bounce, swing, or stretch.
Final Verdict: A calming and playful sensory tool to encourage body awareness, motor planning, and balance.
6. Hopper Ball
For Ages: 3 years and up
Best For: Sensory integration, Motor skills
Is your child high-energy who needs an activity to release it?
If so, a hopper ball may be right up their alley.
Not only will your child have a blast hopping around but they will be working on their sensory integration and motor planning.
Final Verdict: A budget-friendly activity that encourages focus, balance, and coordination.
7. Inflatable Sensory Peapod
For Ages: 6 to 12 years
Best For: Relaxation, Vestibular Input
Think of a relaxing deep pressure therapy session when you hear the words Sensory Peapod.
This sensory tool is made for those who experience anxiety or who are touch-sensitive.
While sitting down, the soft vinyl material surrounds you while applying deep even pressure around your body.
The supporting deep pressure holds you upright.
Final Verdict: A wonderful sensory tool for a child who has anxiety, is sensitive to touch, or needs upper body support to sit upright. It’s great to use in the home, daycare, classroom, or clinic. Adult supervision is needed.
8. Lava Lamp
For Ages: 8 years and up
Best For: Soothing, Visual motor skills
Your child will have a blast watching the vibrant glitter lava in motion!
This is a great sensory tool if you’re looking to create your sensory space on a budget.
The entertainment of watching the flow of the glitter spread creates a calming effect while encouraging focus and eye-tracking.
At night be mesmerized as the lava lamp shimmers off your walls ever so slightly.
Final Verdict: A beautiful sensory tool to soothe your mind.
9. Magnetic Sensory Drawing Board
For Ages: 3 years and up
Best For: Hands-on play, Writing
This ultimate hands-on activity brings out your creative side.
Doodle away in four fun colors (red, yellow, blue, and green) and erase to start all over again.
Your sketch is your oyster.
Learn how to write, draw, hold a pencil, count, and spell.
Final Verdict: A fantastic educational tool to boost a child’s writing development.
10. Sensory Pop Tubes
For Ages: 4 years and up
Best For: Focus, Release stress
Does your child like to fidget or grasp things?
If you answered yes, these pop tubes may be for you.
They are an excellent auditory tool to play with by stretching, connecting, or popping it!
This is a wonderful activity to get fingers moving to improve fine motor strength or to focus.
Final Verdict: A sensory tool to support kids who are anxious or fidgety.
11. Sensory Seat Cushion
For Ages: 3 years and up
Best For: Fidgeting, Mood, Strengthen core muscles
If your child has difficulty sitting still, a sensory seat cushion may keep their fidgets under control.
It gives you that extra “oomph!” when sitting.
You may also use the cushion as a booster seat for eating, school work, or during play activities.
Final Verdict: A soothing sensory tool to improve balance or keep your wiggles under control.
12. Zebra Activity Wall Panel
For Ages: 18 months and up
Best For: Hand-eye coordination, Learning shapes
This educational sensory board has been kicked up a notch!
Learn eight geometric shapes and the major color groups (red, yellow, orange, green, and blue).
Final Verdict: An adorable starter tool for toddlers to learn basic shapes.
Common Questions and Answers…
Where should I put a sensory room in my home?
If you are looking to create a sensory space in your home, designate a separate area:
- Guest Bedroom
- A room in your basement
I’m on a budget, where can I create a sensory space in my home?
If you’re looking to create a budget-friendly sensory room, you can do so by designing a sensory corner.
This designated space is for your child to enjoy and it doesn’t have to take up a ton of room.
- Do you have closet space to turn into a little nook?
- Could you move furniture around to free up a corner in your home to put a few sensory items?
- Do you have an area where you could hang up a sheet to act as a curtain for your space?
As you can see the sky’s the limit with the type of sensory corner you can create!
What colors should I use in a sensory room?
Something to consider that many sensory spaces include are tools that project light, color, and sound.
Since you’ll most likely have items like this in your sensory room, it’s best to work with paint colors that are pale or soft white.
The reason is, when your sensory toy projects light or color in your room, it can illuminate off your wall in its ‘true color’.
So what sensory colors should you use?
- Pale blue
- Pale green
- Soft white
- Pale gray
The purpose is to create a calming and soothing atmosphere for your kiddo.
Who benefits from a sensory space?
Does your child have learning difficulties, a developmental disability, or sensory impairment?
If you answered yes, then your child would benefit from having a sensory room.
If your child does not have sensory challenges, a space like this helps a child to relax and enjoy their surroundings.
To Wrap It Up…
Creating a sensory space within your budget is doable!
There are limitless designs and tools to make your kiddo’s play area feel soothing.
Whether you need a sensory room for your home, at school, or a clinic, we hope these ideas help you put together a fun and safe haven for your child to thrive.
We want to wrap up by extending our gratitude to thank you for stopping by today!
What other sensory room ideas do you suggest?
Let us know in the comments below. ♥
Was this information helpful to you? If so, you’d make our day by sharing it! 🙂
About the Author
Lindsey is the co-founder of The LENN Foundation and content creator of the Intensive Therapy for Kids blog.
When she isn’t busy playing Godzilla with her son or chasing around her mischievous Rottweiler pup, she loves creating experiences and memories with her loved ones (traveling, watching a good flick, trying new n’ yummy restaurants). Speaking of restaurants, one of her favs is Taco Bell!
Most of all, she is grateful for her supportive circle of family, friends, and to live out her passion for helping kids with Cerebral Palsy (like her sweet nephew Lenny).
If you’re curious about The LENN Foundation, you may see the kids’ helped and feel-good content here. ♥
Affiliate Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you. We only recommend items we truly believe in based upon in-depth research, reviews, and/or personal experience. Thank you for your ongoing support to keep this website thriving for kids!
The contents of the Intensive Therapy for Kids Site, such as text, graphics, images, and other material contained on the Intensive Therapy for Kids Site (“Content”) are for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.