Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Sensory Room

I think it is about time I posted the pictures from my oldest son's eagle project. He decided on putting together a sensory room for a local elementary school. This room allows children with special needs to have a place where they can go to wind down and relax. It also has many items that can give children the sensory input they need to focus in a school setting. Here are some pics!

Here are a couple of shots of the room before we started in on it.
Here is another shot of the other side of the room.

The first step was to clear out the furniture and start painting.
And more painting. We decided on a blue color that was donated by Home Depot along with the painting supplies.
Then came a whole lot of drilling and putting up things. The cinder block was a little bit of a pain. Make sure you have the right drill bit! (We learned the hard way! :)
Putting together stuff was a lot of the time too.
Is that a Ghostbuster!?! Oh, just a vacuum pack...
Did I mention there was a lot of drilling!?!

Are you ready for the finished product!?!
Working our way around the room... this is right behind the door as you enter. A swing rack and ball rack. There is also a place to put the shoes. Also homemade rolling pins (we ended up cutting them down after a few weeks because they were too large to really manage. Also the school added a platform swing to the one we donated.)
The school also installed a hook in the middle of the room for a swing to hang.
It bolts right in the middle and the swing can be removed easily for full use of the room.
The next corner has a shaggy rug (from Costco) with a couple of bean bags (Walmart). The wall mounts are for sensory play. The one in the middle spins and was purchased on Amazon.
This magnetic board we got at Ikea. The gears are magnetic and connect to spin together when turned.
A mounting file (Office Max) holds the gears. The gears were purchased at Lakeshore Learning Centers.
This Lego board was a top of an old table I was getting rid of, so we re-purposed it. Again, a mounting file holds the construction Legos. (found at Big Lots)
The next corner has the bubble machine and rocker. The rocker was donated by a grandparent and was purchased online. I wanted to point out the clock too because this is one of the only pictures you can see it in. It lights up and looks awesome when it is darker in here. (Found the clock on clearance at a local grocery store)
The bubble machine was one of our better purchases. The bubble machines they sell for sensory rooms are so expensive. But we found on Ebay this one for a fraction of the cost. We also got the acrylic mirrors at Amazon.
The bubble machine lights up and changes color. It also does not get hot.
The bins were from Ikea. The timer was from Amazon. We love this kind of timer because of the red section that helps visualize the time. Also on top is a light show machine.
In the bins were different items. This is a fabric tunnel we made with stretchy fabric from Walmart at $1.50 at yard. Buy 5 yards and sew together into a tunnel! Much cheaper than purchasing one online.
Play-Doh and Tools
The bins on top are also from Ikea.
They hold things like squishy toys and gloves.
Finger Paints
Spinning Toys
Cars and Trucks
Here is a picture of the light show machine turned on. This light has a lot of different settings. We got it at Spencer's Gifts.
Here is what it looks like with the lights off and the light show in full swing! (See the clock!)
Another picture of the light show on.
Here is the last wall. This is an area for the children to come and do work in a quiet enviroment. There are 3 seperate stations so that they can have personal space. The tent tops, tables, and chairs are all from Ikea.
Each station has a personal light (Ikea) and school utensil caddies. (Also from Ikea)
Here is a close up of what is in the caddies.
I am really proud of my son and all the work he did to complete this project. The other half of this project was running a soccer clinic to earn the $2000 dollars to make this room possible! That is a whole other post. Maybe I'll post that soon!
As an update, our son with Autism uses this room on a daily basis as do other children in the school. It has been a project that has benefited our family in so many ways and we hope it benefits many others for years to come. During his eagle board of review, those that interviewed him could tell the passion he had for this project. They also stated that this was the best project they had seen in all the years they participated in the program. I know he was happy to be able to be so proud of something that he did! I have to admit that I am a little bit more than a tiny bit proud of him too! :)

Lastly... a special thank you to all those who supported and donated to make this project so successful. We could not have done it without all of your love and support. Thank you, thank you, a thousand times over! We are so lucky to have so many family and friends who pitched in with time, talents, and monetary support.


  1. Renee-This is absolutely incredible! Loved that you shared this with us...you have such a neat family...and your blog is adorable!

  2. That is awesome! Your son did a great job!

  3. Renee this is beautiful. Send Brandon my congratulations!

  4. Thanks for this. I am a special ed. teacher at an elementary school and am planning on putting a sensory room in place this school year. I just searched sensory rooms on pinterest and this came up! Thanks for your great descriptions of materials and where you purchased them.

  5. What an amazing boy. I posted a comment on another one of your posts about my son who is 14 and getting his Eagle. My younger son has Asperger's Syndrome. I WISH his school had a sensory room!

  6. Thank you! I think he is pretty amazing too! :) We are lucky to have such a strong support in the school for our son. It has been a blessing in his life and ours!

  7. This room is awesome, I would love to do this for both my son and students at school. I was looking for the utensil caddy's did you get those online or at your local IKEA? I wasn't able to find them...

    1. I did find them at IKEA... in the kitchen section. I don't know if they still carry them or not. Hope you can find them!

  8. Thanks so much to your son! My 4 year old Autistic son's school is in need of a place like this as well. He has inspired me to "Get started"! Did the school have requirements to meet and how much were they involved in the setup? Our schools seem to be strict due to the possibility of improper use of things like the swing. Thanks again!

    1. Other than the swing, the school left the set up and installation to us. The swing was installed by the district. Other than that, most of the contact was through the representative teacher and she gave us ideas of what the special ed department would like to have in the room. We did what we could with the money raised and a lot of shopping around. As for the use of the room, the students are not allowed in the room without adult supervision, so the use of the equipment is always monitored. They also have a sign in and out so that there is a log of use. Good luck getting started! Hope you have success in this!

  9. Hi, this is fantastic! Is that swing homemade?

    1. Thank you! No, the swing was purchased from Ikea.


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