How to Create a Sensory Room

Creating a Sensory Room can be a transformative addition to any educational or therapeutic setting, particularly for individuals with autism and other sensory processing disorders. Sensory rooms provide a safe space where users can experience a range of sensory inputs in a controlled environment, helping them to calm down, focus, and develop essential sensory and motor skills. Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating an effective sensory room.

The image shows a sensory room illuminated with blue lighting, featuring interactive and colourful panels on the walls. The panels display various patterns and shapes, including spirals, abstract designs, and geometric figures that are vividly highlighted by the black light. There are also buttons with different colours at the bottom of each panel, likely used to interact with the panels. The floor is covered with a soft padded floor, creating a safe and engaging environment. The floor of the sensory room features an interactive projector.

Understanding the Purpose

A sensory room is designed to offer a variety of sensory experiences that can be customiaed to meet the unique needs of its users. These rooms are particularly beneficial for individuals with autism, ADHD, and other sensory processing disorders. By providing controlled sensory input, these rooms help users to regulate their sensory experiences, improve focus, and reduce anxiety.

A well-equipped sensory room installed within a school environment, featuring interactive sensory panels such as the Snow-Scape interactive snow fall panel, The Infinity-Glow panel for infinite colourful reflections, The Spectra-Sync a multi mode interactive sound and light panel and a calming, colourful bubble wall. The Sensory room also features aspects of sensory integration with the soft padded rocker roller and the sensory body roller. Mood lighting around the Sensory Room is controlled by a soft padded cube.

Key Components of a Sensory Room

1. Visual Stimulation:

  • Bubble Tubes and Fibre Optic Lights: These provide calming visual stimuli and create a serene atmosphere.
  • Interactive Projectors – Interactive projectors project activities with interactive elements onto the wall or floor, these activities can add another of learning to a sensory room.

2. Auditory Stimulation:

  • Soft Music and Nature Sounds: Playing calming sounds can significantly reduce anxiety.
  • Sound Panels: These can enhance the auditory environment and help manage sound sensitivity.
A calming bubble tube with a red hue, housed in a soft padded plinth, the bubble tube is installed into a home environment. There are mirrors around the bubble tubes and the plinth features fibre optic strands which are controlled by a tablet and app

3. Tactile Stimulation:

  • Tactile Panels and Textured Mats: These help users within sensory rooms explore different textures, aiding in tactile discrimination.
  • Touchable Objects: Items like soft toys and textured balls can be used for hands-on interaction.

4. Proprioceptive and Vestibular Stimulation:

  • Swings and Balance Boards: These provide vestibular input, helping with body awareness and coordination.
  • Trampolines and Weighted Blankets: These offer proprioceptive feedback, which can be very soothing and grounding.

5. Olfactory Stimulation:

  • Scented Diffusers and Smell Kits: These can offer olfactory experiences that either calm or stimulate the user, depending on their needs.
The image shows an example of a Sensory integration room within a school environment. The Sensory Integration room features a climbing system to promote strength, balance and coordination while providing a fun and engaging sensory activity. The Sensory Integration room has green soft padding to the walls for safety. The Sensory room features a soft padded rocker roller, a sensory body roller and a SENse Air wall mounted interactive sensory floor projection.

Steps to Create Your Sensory Room

Assess the Needs:

Conduct a thorough assessment to understand the specific sensory needs of the users. This will guide your selection of appropriate equipment and activities.

Design the Layout:

Work with professionals to design a layout that maximises the effectiveness of the sensory room. Ensure there is enough space for different activities and that the room can be adapted as needs change

Set a Budget:

Determine your budget and explore funding options such as grants, donations, or school budget allocations. Identifying financial resources early on can help in the smooth implementation of the project. Be upfront with the suppliers you approach for a quotation, tell them the budget you have for the sensory room so they can tailor room to suit.

A large soft padded sensory room installed into a children's hospice. The Sensory room has green soft padding to the walls and floor to provide a safe environment for the children. The Soft padded sensory room also features various soft play equipment that the children can safely engage with. The back wall features a tactile sensory panel for exploration.

Choose the Right Equipment:

Select equipment that meets the sensory needs of the users. This includes visual, auditory, tactile, proprioceptive, vestibular, and olfactory tools.

Train the Staff:

Train staff on how to use the sensory room and integrate its use into individualised education plans. Getting the right training ensures that the room is used effectively and safely.

Ongoing Evaluation:

Regularly evaluate the impact of the sensory room on the users. Collect feedback to continuously improve the space, ensuring it remains effective and beneficial.

This colourful sensory room is well equipped for the range of users it needs to cater for. The Sensory room has an element of Sensory Integration with the soft padded den and soft padded plinth. The wall features four interactive sensory panels, the bubble wall, snow fall, infinity panel and sound and light panel of offer the users a variety of sensory feedback. The back wall features an attractive uv tactile panel and a large, bright interactive projection to the floor is being supplied by the wall mount SENse Air.

Benefits of Sensory Rooms:

Enhanced Sensory Processing

Sensory rooms provide balanced sensory stimulation, helping users process and respond to sensory information more effectively.

Improved Focus and Attention:

Sensory rooms offer a refuge from overstimulation, allowing users to recalibrate and return to their activities with improved focus.

Reduced Anxiety and Stress:

The calming environment of sensory rooms helps reduce anxiety and promote relaxation, providing a safe space for users to manage stress.

Better Emotional and Behavioural Regulation:

Users learn self-regulation techniques when using a sensory room, which helps them manage their emotions and behaviours more effectively in various settings.

Increased Social Interaction:

Sensory rooms can facilitate group activities that encourage social interaction and communication, helping users develop these crucial skills.

Well presented sensory corner, the walls and floor are soft padded in alternate blue and white with a soft padded plinth housing the calming waterless tube. There is also a tactile panel housed within the soft padding for the users of the sensory room to engage with.


Creating a sensory room is a valuable investment in the well-being and development of individuals with sensory processing needs. By providing a customised sensory environment, these rooms can enhance sensory processing, improve focus, reduce anxiety, and support emotional and behavioural regulation. Moreover, sensory rooms create opportunities for social interaction and communication, fostering a more inclusive and supportive environment. As schools and therapeutic settings strive to meet the diverse needs of their users, sensory rooms represent a powerful tool in promoting learning, well-being, and personal growth.


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