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10 Ways to Create a Sensory-Friendly Environment at Home

Updated: Mar 5, 2023

Creating a sensory-friendly environment for children with sensory processing disorders can help them self-regulate and feel both more comfortable and secure in their own space. Here are a few tips for creating a sensory-friendly environment at home:

  1. Clutter-Free Space: Excessive clutter can overwhelm children with sensory processing disorders, distracting them and making it more difficult to focus. Start with keeping the child’s space as organized and clutter-free as possible.

  2. Soft Lighting: Bright or flickering lights can be difficult to deal with for children with sensory processing disorders. Use soft lighting in the room, like a lamp, to create a calm and relaxing setting.

  3. Sensory-Friendly Items: Sensory items include weighted blankets, fidget toys, and sensory-friendly furniture. They can be helpful by providing a sense of comfort and helping regulate the senses.

  4. Calming Colors: Certain colors have been known to create a calming effect on children with sensory processing disorders. For example, Purple is cool and calming to the nervous system, Blue (all shades) is considered soothing, and Green is refreshing and cool. Try using colors like these in the room space to create a peaceful and calming atmosphere.

  5. Create a Routine: Children with sensory processing disorders benefit from having a consistent routine. Establishing a regular routine for activities such as meals, playtime, and bedtime can help provide structure and predictability, which can have a calming effect.

  6. Noise-Cancelling Headphones: Noise-cancelling headphones can be helpful in reducing background noise and creating a more peaceful environment. Additionally, they help reduce the effects of sudden and loud noises that may trigger behaviors.

  7. Quiet Space: A quiet space is an area where a child can go when they feel overwhelmed. This can be a separate room or just a corner of a room, that is designated as a quiet (safe) space.

  8. Avoid Strong Smells: Strong smells can often trigger a behavior, even if the smell if not considered a bad smell. Avoid items that create strong smells in a sensory-friendly space, this includes heavily scented candles or air fresheners.

  9. Decorate with Texture: Incorporating different textures into the sensory area can help create calming effects and stimulate engagement, making the area more enriching and effective. This decor can include textured throw pillows, blankets, and rugs.

  10. Comfortable Space: This is specific to your child, as each child may have specific preferences when it comes to temperature, lighting, and furniture. It is important to create a space that is comfortable for your child and meets their unique needs.

By following these tips, you can create a sensory-friendly environment at home that is tailored to your child's needs and can help them feel more comfortable and regulated in their own space.

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