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Sensory Room Ideas

Updated February 21, 2017

Your senses are constantly at work. A sensory room is a therapeutic space for kids and adults with sensory processing disorders, according to Family Friendly Fun. Synesthetes, individuals with a disorder called synaesthesia, mix up the senses in the brain such that they can, for example, feel the texture of a sound or see the colour of a smell. When coming up with sensory room ideas, think of synaesthesia. Blend the 5 senses --- sight, sound, taste, touch and smell --- to create a total sensory experience.

Fragrant Flowers and Lights

A room full of freesia flowers, potted forsythia bushes, roses or lemon trees delivers a world of smells to the visitor. Because the flowers are also touchable, the guest can experience the tactile leaves and trunk of the plants as well as smelling the fragrances. Keep the lights in the room low. Add a lava lamp, bubble lamp or liquid light fixtures to aid in a calming effect. Fill the room with either one scent, such as freesia, or combine a few scents, such as freesia and geraniums or honeysuckle and lemon trees. However, be sure the smells work well together --- think of the devastating effect of combining a set of perfumes all in one bottle.

Sculpture and Scented Oils

Combine the sense of sight, touch and smell in an indoor sculpture garden. Load the room with small, medium and large sculptures in all mediums, such as marble, porcelain, stone, mahogany and mixed media. Keep the room scented with essential oils, like eucalyptus, lavender, rose water, lemon balm or fresh mint for an added sensual experience.

Sound Pockets

Create a room set with pockets of sounds. Place headphones and speakers in a language lab classroom, a spacious downstairs area or a gallery space. Or, simply have headphones and musical devices set up inside a room. At each sound station, play a different sound, such as whale calls, an old radio program, screaming, laughing, a dialogue between two lovers, a mother singing her child to sleep and a nightingale singing. Fill the room with softly throbbing lights or undulating light images to mix sound, space and light.

Total Calm

Cover a room floor with pillows, soft blanket and soft chairs, such as beanbag chairs or couches. Add scented oils, incense, candles -- if that is age appropriate -- scented blankets and towels. Eucalyptus, jasmine and lavender are all ideal calming scents. Add a few stuffed animals, puzzles and a toys, if the room is for a child. Dim the lights so that the room is almost dark. Turn on a few lights or a slide show of swirling images on a screen.

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About the Author

Noelle Carver has been a freelance writer since 2009, with work published in "SSYK" and "The Wolf," two U.K. literary journals. Carver holds a Bachelor of Arts in literature from American University and a Master of Fine Arts in writing from The New School. She lives in New York City.