Before I even moved my belongings into my new home, I knew that I would never be parking my car in the garage. It was the perfect place to put together a sensory-friendly playroom for my sensory seeker, and inspiration hit as soon as I saw the space.
However deluxe my ideas were, I was on a budget and needed to figure out how I could turn the concrete shell into a place that my daughter would benefit from, playing safely in the space while having her sensory needs met.
My first concern was the concrete floor. I knew I needed a soft impact attenuating surface. An online search turned up a great product that was both affordable and easy to install. I installed 190 square feet of the foam flooring, covering approximately ⅔ of the entire floor. I was able to do this on my own within an hour. The pieces locked together easily and have stayed together without any problems. I even had to fold the floor up once to put my car in during a hurricane, and it easily went back down without breaking apart.
$79.99/96 sq. ft.
Once the flooring was laid, the equipment came next.
For anyone needing proprioceptive input like my daughter, the trampoline is a ‘must-have’. She can jump for hours at a time and it was a perfect fit for her and the space. The trampoline required assembly. Stretching the safety net was the hardest part and definitely required more than two hands. I hired someone to help me build the trampoline.
$139.47 (without installation)
If you order this on Amazon, you can even opt for an expert to install it along with delivery for an additional fee. This trampoline is the perfect size for children and can hold a lot of weight – we have had 4 kids jumping at the same time and even I have gone inside to jump with my daughter (video evidence not provided).
This fun tunnel gets your sensory seeker crawling on all fours, which helps with balance and coordination. Obstacle courses are helpful when you’re teaching your little one how to follow directions, and the tunnel is the perfect addition to any course.
If your child is unsure about crawling through, you can always place something she likes such as beaded necklaces or balls from the ball pit throughout the tunnel and ask her to collect them on her way through for motivation.
$8.21 (100 pieces)
The ball pit is an easy and exciting addition to any sensory playroom. It’s light enough that it can be moved around to the exit of the trampoline for some additional fun. The colorful balls provide an enjoyable way for your child to practice naming colors. We’ve found that babies love the ball pit too, so this is the perfect spot for any infants you have in your life to enjoy the sensory room, too.
$9.99/pair (colors vary)
The boppers and noodles are great for games, and the options are endless for incorporating these into obstacle courses or just fun free play. (Make sure you’ve got quick reflexes or you might get a wallop…I know from personal experience!)
The pool noodles are excellent for rolling on, jumping over, and pretending you have go-go Gadget arms.
The boppers are an entertaining, gentle (we hope!) way for your sensory seeker to get proprioceptive input.
Every play space should encourage creativity, and chalk art is a positive way to explore colors while developing eye-hand integration skills as well as motor skills like grip. I left ⅓ of the concrete floor uncovered for a chalk art surface. The chalk dust gets on the foam floor at times, but it wipes up easily.
The decor is of course up to you. I chose Frozen posters (yeah, I know…) but the possibilities are endless!