Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sensory Garden

Last week, our new behavior specialist recommended that we have a sensory room or station for Javi and Ethan to decompress and get sensory input. I kinda took that idea and ran with it. Why make a just a station, when we can make a room. It's actually something I had planned on doing when we moved in to our new house (which will hopefully be soon. I am starting to look again). Eventually, we plan to move this room in to our garage. A neighbor of ours, built a sensory gym for their son in their garage and it looks quite nice. They have a trampoline, a sensory swing .and basically what looks like a preschool classroom. We are still looking at trampolines, swings, and possibly a plasma car, but will probably wait on some stuff until Christmas since they can be used as fun items and sensory integration. Here is what we have done with the room:

We have a "sensory table", which is a 30" square play table for cars and train sets.  It has a lip around the edge of the table, so it works great to use the sensory play things like rice, beans, shaving cream play, and moon sand.  We have large storage tubs that fit perfectly under the table full of that stuff.  The car and train sets are easily set up, since we always keep the table empty and put them away when they aren't in use.  If we leave them out, Kayleezilla breaks the sets apart, so that's why it's easier to put them away.  The pieces end up all over the house. The sets are in the red buckets on the bookshelf for easy access.  The white drawers have all our art supplies and the tall cabinet with the doors have our larger toys, like fire engines and dump trucks.  The open wire shelf is actually a shoe rack.  All the shelves and cabinets have picture labels so everyone puts the items back where they belong.  It's working very well.  Ethan is used to the picture labels in preschool, so I thought it would translate very well at home.  Also, daddy has no excuses for not knowing where things go.

We have an art and board game table with our new stools.  It's actually a coffee table I found in the "as is" section at IKEA a while back.  We previously used it as a stand for the video game TV, but that has since broken along with the game cube, so our only source of games is the Wii on our family room TV, which is plenty!! The spinning disk (green and red thing) was also an IKEA find and provides good vestibular input, along with the red rocking horse.  They were very inexpensive too.

This is the "chillax" station.  The basket has a number of different sensory toys.  It also has Javi's ankle weights, weighted blanket, chew toys, "fidgets" and "rubbies" (for the skin).  The bean bag also provides stimulation.  This is the area we use in lieu of time outs.  Usually, when Javi has behaviors, they are due to over stimulation or under stimulation, so this is a nice place for him to get the input he needs, relax and refocus.  

The textured circles in the basket were also an IKEA find.  We can play "sensory scotch".  It's heavy work, combined with the input from the different textures on the circles.  Staying on the circles is also good for focus and concentration.  The hopping itself is great for motor planning.  

Can you tell we have had a lot of OT??  

I'm happy with the way the "sensory garden" turned out, which I give full trademark to Cody's mom, Shauna, for the use of that name.  Mark and I just thought that name was so cute and the kids really like the name, so it stuck.


JSmith5780 said...

I lvoe it. It's fabulous. Best part "daddy has no excuses for not knowing where things go"

LOVE IT!! I hear that constantly!

~Mama Skates~ said...

wow - i'm soooo impressed! it looks amazing - i want to come play!! ;0) & u can tell u put a lot of thought/work into it!

baby trevor's mommy said...

Shanna it's fabulous! I love it...and will totally steal the idea once we move into our own place! btw...I'm an Ikea addict too! xoxoxox's the EEG news?


Shanna Grimes said...

Thanks! I am pretty proud of it. I think I am more excited about it than the kids.

Monica, James, Connor McGuire said...

Thanks for leaving me the link to this! I will have to show it to hubby so that maybe I can convince him to help me turn our guestroom into a sensory garden since we rarely have overnight guests! I'm going to have to look into the spinning disk...Connor would love that. Our OT just used a round sled and the parents spun it around. Your room is awesome and I bet all of the kids get alot out of it.