Friday, August 11, 2017

Creating a sensory play area @ Home for Arif

We live in a small home, but I've always felt that it's the perfect size for us. And though we don't have an excess of space, we make it work. 

Each space in our home is multi-functional and flexible to suit our changing needs, and our living/ family room is by far the most multi-purpose space we have. We sleep, eat, watch movies, study and read here and it's constantly evolving. This year, it has developed yet another purpose - a sensory play area for Arif. 

I wanted to create a sensory play area for Arif because on top of his autism, he has Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). Having a sensory area at home can help calm and stimulate his senses. In addition to helping him with his sensory needs, the space also caters to his home-based therapies and learning activities.

To turn our living room into an adaptable sensory room/ space for Arif, we use a foam play mat by Design Skin as a comfortable and safe surface.  The red Cake Sofa is also by DesignSkin. The swiveling egg chair and tunnel are from Ikea's Children Section, while the round and peanut-shaped exercise balls are from Lazada.

Besides displaying some of Arif's favourite books on a ledge on the wall, I also keep Arif's toys organised in a cabinet. For small items, I use shoe boxes from Daiso that I label according to the activity, like - Sensory, Fine Motor, Art, Duplo & Matching and so on. 

And while I try to keep things as organised as possible.. accidents do happen....

This alarming picture shows what happens when Arif doesn't get the sensory input he needs. Looks like a crime scene, doesn't it? I had just received and opened a package from Lazada and left the room for barely a few minutes. When I got returned, Arif was inside the box and everything else was all over the place!

When it comes to physical things, Arif is a sensory seeker, but when it comes to eating things and feeling textures, Arif is a sensory avoider. Trying to keep a sensory balance and adapting our home to suit his needs is one way for our family to support him. Our sensory space is a work in progress and I'm always looking for ways to improve or add to it.  

If you'd like to create a sensory space for your child, do check out my Pinterest page on Sensory Play and here are a few links to read up on:

Benefits of a Sensory Room

Sensory Room on a Budget

I've also included below, a few videos of awesome sensory rooms that I found on YouTube for your inspiration. Have fun creating your sensory space!

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