How To Make A Sensory Room On A Budget


How To Make A Sensory Room On A Budget

Sensory rooms are developmental spaces that provide a calming and controlled environment for people to therapeutically regulate their senses and emotions. They’re typically used by people with autism and special needs, although their calming and relaxing nature makes them helpful for everyone!

Multisensory rooms are a valuable resource for schools, homes or social centres, but they’re often seen as a luxury due to their high price tags. Well, our sensory experts are here to tell you otherwise!

This blog will help you to build a sensory room on a budget. We’ll share our favourite budget-friendly resources alongside lots of creative and charitable ways of turning your sensory room dreams into a reality.


Calming sensory room with interactive wall panels

Why Are Sensory Rooms So Expensive?

Sensory room resources usually have a high price point because of the high-quality materials used to make them. Our sensory experts make sure that we only source the best products that create the best sensory effects, last a long time, and are, most importantly, safe.

Buying more expensive products usually means they’ll last a long time, too, reducing your need to repair or replace them, which might save you money in the long run.

For more information about the quality of our sensory products, get in touch with a member of our friendly sensory team.


Sensory Room with Tactile Wall Panels

Building A Budget Sensory Room

The best way to create a sensory room on a budget, without losing any of its magic, is to go back to the fundamentals of what a sensory room is. We need to make a space that caters to three key senses: touch, sight, and sound.

Touch: You want something soft to sit on and something to interest your tactile senses.

Sight: Sensory works best in darker environments (blackout curtains & blinds are really useful!), so you’ll want to add some colourful resources that glow, stimulating visual senses.

Sound: It’s best to make sure your sensory space is located somewhere quiet, where it won’t affected by outside noises. Although the space inside doesn’t have to be quiet, we’d recommend adding a sensory soundtrack to create a personal ambience.


Inside a pop up sensory den

Choosing The Right Space

You don’t need a big empty room to create a new sensory space. Sometimes, the smallest spaces can have the biggest sensory effect (have you seen our pop-up dark dens?).

So, whether it’s a spare room, storage closet or corner – all you really need is a partition curtain and some cosy cushions to get started.

(Don’t have a spare corner to spare? Have you considered a sensory box?)


Sensory projector and bubble wall

What Should I Put In My Budget Sensory Room?

You should always design a sensory room around the person who’s going to be using it. Consider their sensory needs and preferences. If they’re sensory seeking, you’ll want to make a space that’s highly stimulating – filled with lights, sounds and tactile resources. But if they’re sensory avoidant, they’ll need a minimally stimulating space.

What Our Sensory Specialists Recommend

To complement the three key senses, our sensory specialists would recommend four key features for your budget sensory room.

  • A Bubble Tube: Bubble Tubes are a sensory room staple for a reason. Not only do they brighten up a room, but their endlessly dynamic dancing bubbles are distracting, calming and ideal for softly developing visual senses.
  • A Sensory Projector: Sensory projectors magically create bright worlds along walls and ceilings, decorating them in colourfully relaxing light. There are lots of sensory projectors to choose from; some create rainbows, others create constellations – we’re sure you’ll be able to find the right one for you.
    • Our Opti Aura Projector is our best-quality budget projector for larger environments. But the Laser Stars and Ocean Wave projectors are just as good at lighting up sensory spaces in a magically immersive glow.
  • Fibre Optics: With a tactile twinkle and a gorgeous glow, Fibre Optics are a magical multisensory resource. With long tactile ‘tails’ and interactive colour options, Fibre Optics offer users an intimately personal sensory session where they can develop tactile and visual senses.
    • Check out our budget-friendly Essential Fibre Optics. They come complete with their own light source and colour controller so that you can play straight away.
  • Safety Padding: Safety padding is an important sensory room resource. Not only does padding help to make a space safe, but it also adds a cosy layer that’s soft to sit on or lean against. Having soft, stable layers in your sensory room can help users develop proprioceptive skills as they comfortably position themselves.
    • We make most of our bespoke padding in-house – perfectly made to measure to fit your space. However, our Colourful Pencil Padding Set is a quick, easy-to-install, budget-friendly alternative.


Girl plays with a Bubble Tube

Our Budget Sensory Range

We know that everyone might not have the budget or space for a big sensory room. So, we’ve assembled a collection of our favourite budget-friendly sensory products so you can create an immersive sensory space with any budget.

Our discount sensory collection includes Bubble Tubes, Fibre Optics, and everything else you’ll need to create an interactive sensory room.

Products in our budget sensory collection are not the same quality as our main sensory collection, which is why we’re able to set lower prices. For more information, get in touch.


Further Information

If you have a question or a query, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a member of our friendly sensory team – they’ll be more than happy to help 😊

5 Benefits of Installing a Sensory Room

5 Benefits of Installing a Sensory Room

Sensory rooms are known for supporting people’s bodies, minds, and emotions. They’re particularly popular with individuals with autism, ADHD and anxiety. You’ll find sensory rooms in schools, social centres and hospitals, but did you know that their benefits are almost universal?

From improving mental health to creating communities – discover our top five benefits for installing a sensory room!


Children learn together in the Rhino Sensory Trailer.

  1. Inclusive of All

Although sensory rooms are typically used by people with autism and sensory processing disorders, they can really be used by anyone.

Designed to take you away from the outside world and into a secure sensory sanctuary – sensory rooms provide a personalised environment to connect with yourself and your senses. Spending time in a sensory room can be an effective way to reduce anxiety, practice mindfulness and therapeutically relax.

So, whether kids in school need a break from their desk between classes; Autistic passengers feel overwhelmed by a bustling city airport; or if neurodivergent office workers need space to relax after a stressful meeting – Sensory rooms can be used as therapeutic space to relax and reset.

Inclusive of Wheelchairs & Physical Disabilities

Sensory rooms can also be designed inclusively for all needs and abilities. If that means special ramps, lifts and hoists for wheelchair users or high-contrast environments for people with visual impairments – there’s always a way to make a sensory room accessible.


Boy rolls down a corridor on a body roller in a sensory integration session.

  1. Develop Key Skills

Sensory rooms are adept at helping users develop key skills – even as they passively explore the environment. Skills developed can include, communication skills, coordination, concentration, cognitive development, socialisation, focus, motor skill development, balance and calming.

Some types of rooms might be better suited to develop certain skills. For example, a Sensory Integration Room will be better for those who want to develop coordination, balance and motor skills. Whereas a Dark Sensory Room will be more effective at developing concentration, visual skills and calming.


A person relaxes in a sensory room, choosing the colours of the bubble tubes from an ipad.

  1. Reduces Anxiety & Promotes Wellbeing

Multi-sensory environments are effective at diverting focus away from anxieties towards soothing lights, sounds and colours. Soft sensory stimulation helps users focus on what’s happening in the moment, so they can spend less time with their worries.

Spending time in a controlled, relaxed environment also gives people the space to decompress and focus on themselves – therapeutically promoting wellbeing.


A group of nurses pose with a Sensory Voyager trolley.

  1. Brings People Together

Did you know that Sensory Rooms can also double as welcoming community hubs? Schools can bring their students together to learn, play and socialise. Community centres can have a social space for parents and children to share their experiences and offer respite. While in hospitals, sensory rooms can act as alternatives to family rooms, offering patients and their families space to relax.

Not only that, but sensory rooms can become a source of income. The inclusive rooms can be rented out for parties and special occasions, creating a new funding source that can go straight back into the community.


Immersive sensory rooms are great for calming, relaxing and learning.

  1. Benefits Inside & Outside The Sensory Room

A study by Cardiff University found that the positive outcomes that were experienced inside the sensory room, i.e. reduced anxiety, continued after the user had left the room.

This finding has lots of practical uses; for example, in schools, a child who’s spent time with teachers and classmates inside a sensory room might be more open/receptive to them outside of the room. And in hospitals, patients who spend time inside a sensory room before they go in for treatment, may be less agitated and calmer going into a procedure.


All in all, there are lots of benefits to installing a sensory room in your environment. If you have any questions or are ready to get started on your own sensory room journey, then make sure you get in touch with our friendly sensory team 😊


Further Information

Book: A free sensory room design appointment

Discover: Our multi-sensory room designs

Explore: Cardiff University’s Study: Improving Learning & Wellbeing For Autistic Children

A Guide To Sensory Room Flooring

A Guide To Sensory Room Flooring

When it comes to designing a sensory room, thinking about what’s on the floor will probably not be at the top of your priority list. But our sensory experts are here to tell you that it should be.

Carry on reading to learn more about different sensory room flooring options, why choosing the right flooring matters and our top sensory floor resources.


Base Flooring

Every sensory room needs base flooring. Base flooring sets the scene for your sensory space, like a blank canvas for your design. Because of this, it’s best for base flooring to be plain and practical. We’d recommend using vinyl or carpeted flooring.

Vinyl flooring is great for messy and active sensory rooms. It’s easy to clean and doesn’t absorb water, mess or smells. It also creates space for interactive projection and is more accessible for wheelchair users.

Benefits: Easier to clean, better for infection control environments.

Carpet is better suited for calming and quiet sensory spaces. Its soft tactile texture is easier on hands and feet – reducing the impacts of falls or trips. It’s warmer, too, adding a cosier atmosphere to a space.

Benefits: Adds a softer, cosier layer to a room.


Why Can’t I Use Safety Padding As A Base Layer?

We’d consider padding a sensory layer as it works best when it sits flush against vinyl or carpet, helping it stay safely in place.

For a classic sensory room, we wouldn’t recommend a completely padded floor. Padding works best when it’s placed in a focused play/calming area in a room, i.e., around the base of a bubble tube podium, so users have a cosy spot to sit and are protected from bumps/bruises while they play.

Using a mixture of textures on your floor is a great way to divide a sensory room. For example, using a carpeted/vinyl flooring area near the door encourages users to remove their shoes and keep play away from a potentially dangerous area.

Although, if you’re looking to create a safe de-escalation space, we recommend a fully padded floor.


Top Sensory Layers & Sensory Floor Resources

Now for the fun part – turning an ordinary floor into something extraordinary! Here are our top sensory flooring elements. Which one is your favourite?

UV Carpet

UV Carpet

Looking for a relaxing retro look? Our funky UV Carpet adds a stimulating glow to sensory areas. Transforming floors into visually stimulating areas for play and relaxation. They’re ideal for playful sensory rooms, calming sensory rooms (where users can passively explore the visual stimulation) and social spaces.

Benefits: Visual stimulation, great at covering large surfaces, easy to clean.


Liquid Floor Tiles

Liquid Floor Tiles

Filled with luscious liquid, glittery goo, or out-of-this-world UV slime – our liquid floor tiles provide a perfectly squishy interactive surface to encourage visual, tactile and motor stimulation. Specially designed for active sensory play, liquid floor tiles are wheelchair friendly and ideal for accessible sensory rooms.

Benefits: Wheelchair friendly, interactive, available in different colours and styles.


LED Carpet

Touch Sensitive LED Carpet

Our magical Touch Sensitive LED Carpet is a multi-sensory treat. Feel the soft tactile material on your fingertips and watch the twinkling LED lights glimmer. The sensory carpet is a great place for users to lay back, explore their senses and relax.

Benefits: Interactive, calming, soft.


Floor Padding

Floor Padding

You can make any space safe with our bespoke, made-to-measure safety floor padding. Available in a range of colours, thicknesses and sizes, you’ll easily be able to remove the worry of nasty bumps and bruises, creating a safe environment for users to release energy and explore their senses.

Benefits: Made to measure, safety-focused, easy to clean.

Fibre Optic Carpet

Fibre Optic Carpet

Create a twinkling galaxy of stars at your very feet. Our soft-to-the-touch, velvety Fibre Optic Carpet is embroidered with hundreds of fibre optic lights that sparkle and shine, creating a beautifully stimulating visual effect. Note: We’d only recommend Fibre Optic Carpet in small sections as it isn’t as robust as some of our other carpets and can wear easily. Because of this, we’d actually suggest you use Fibre Optic Carpets to decorate walls! Get in touch for more information.

Benefits: Accessible for wheelchair users, easy to wipe/vacuum clean, available in a range of sizes.


Hopefully, you now have a better idea of what flooring you should use in your sensory room. Ultimately, the right flooring can transform your sensory area into a cosy and welcoming space for everyone to explore their senses and thrive.

Our expert sensory team are always on hand to help you plan and design sensory rooms – get in touch for more information.

Back To School: 4 Sensory Tips


Back to school means back to classrooms, which can, unfortunately, create a whole host of unnecessary stress on our senses. Fortunately, our sensory team have put together their top four tips to help you settle into the new school year. Take a read below!


Our Top Sensory Tips for Back To School!

  • Talk to Teachers 🧑‍🏫 Speak with your child’s new teacher about their sensory preferences so that they can accommodate their needs from day one.
  • Take a walk to school🚶 Softly reintroducing your child to the school routine will make sure there’s no big shock when term starts. Make the most of the walk, too; play a game of sensory bingo and explore your senses as you move.
  • Make sure school uniforms are comfy 👕 – especially if your child is tactile-sensitive! Put the uniforms through the wash a few times before wearing them, ensuring they’re soft and easy to wear.
  • Get fidget-ready!🖐️ First-day nerves are bound to be around when going back to school. An easy way to help manage this is with a fidget toy. They’re perfectly pocket-sized and can ease anxieties and stress with a couple of pops, twists and rattles.


More Information

Creating An Anti-Ligature Sensory Room

What Is Anti-Ligature?

Anti-ligature, in its simplest form, means that something cannot be used by someone to ligature (bind or tie).

Ligatures pose a risk in many different environments, especially those where people would wish to self-harm. Therefore, it’s important that spaces are safe from ligature risk.

Anti-Ligature Sensory Rooms are specially designed spaces that pose no or very low ligature risk. Sensory Resources in these spaces are typically firmly embedded in walls and ceilings or covered with robust casing so that they’re safe and out of the way, ready for sensory play!

Anti-Ligature sensory room in a mental health environment. With LED Sky Ceiling panels, bubble tube, and soft sensory wall and floor padding.


Where Are Anti-Ligature Sensory Rooms Needed?

Even though Anti-Ligature Sensory Rooms are specialist spaces, many environments can benefit from their secure designs.

From SEN Schools that need to protect vulnerable students to Mental Health Centres where patients may be at a higher risk of self-harm. Choosing an anti-ligature sensory room is a great way to ensure safety and comfort.

Suitable Environments For Anti-Ligature Sensory Rooms:

  • Mental Health Centres
  • Hospitals
  • Secure Children’s Homes
  • Supported Living Facilities
  • SEN Schools
  • Prisons

Anti-Ligature sensory room in a mental health environment. Immersive reality room with cosy beanbags and distracting bubble wall.


Why Are Sensory Rooms Needed In These Environments?

Sensory Rooms are an asset for ligature-risk settings as they provide a neutral space to find calm, therapeutically relax, and reset.

Classically, sensory rooms are used by children with autism to help rebalance their senses and self-regulate their behaviour.

But sensory rooms have lots of other clinical benefits:

  • Improving Mental Health & Wellbeing
    • Sensory Rooms offer a safe space away from wards, busy classrooms and clinical settings. They’re controlled environments where individuals can customise their experience to suit their needs. Whether that’s dimming the lights, putting on their favourite playlist, or watching Netflix on a big projector screen.
    • It gives people the space to spend time with themselves without the judgement of others – so they can find calm and relax, boosting their mental health and wellbeing.
  • Effective at De-Escalation
    • Whether it’s other people, settings or stimulants, it’s essential that individuals on the verge of an incident can quickly and safely de-escalate.
    • Sensory Rooms offer a neutral space for individuals to release their emotions safely and independently. Soft padding creates a safe and cosy backdrop for physical outbursts; bubble tubes and sensory lights stimulate and distract anxious minds, whilst soft rocking chairs offer individuals a place to actively work out their worries.
  • Reducing Self Harm
    • With a safe space to effectively de-escalate and support their mental health, it’s been found that individuals who have access to sensory rooms are less likely to self-harm.
    • Academics agree that sensory rooms in mental health settings reduce distress and reduce the need for seclusion and restraint (Machingura et al. 2018; Scanlan & Novack 2015; Oostermeijer et al. 2021)

Anti-Ligature sensory room in a mental health environment. With vibrating bumpers, cosy beanbag seating, LED Wall Wash and safety floor and wall padding.


Who Can Use Anti-Ligature Sensory Rooms?

  • Patients: To regulate their behaviour, relax, socialise and spend their free time
  • Staff: To work with patients and for their own mental health breaks
  • Families: For visits and meetings


How Do You Make A Sensory Room Ligature Safe?

Making a sensory room ligature safe isn’t too hard of a task. It just requires forward thinking, planning and a team of sensory specialists!

With an anti-ligature sensory room design, you need to make sure there are:

  • No Ligature Points
    • House resources in robust casing, or swap out classic products for ligature-safe ones (e.g. swapping fibre optics for LED wall wash lights)
  • Minimal Gaps Between Products & Walls
    • Ensure resources sit flush against walls or the ceiling or are securely embedded into safety padding.
  • Small Perforations In Ventilation Grills
    • Give radiators + electronic items space to breathe without creating new ligature risks.
  • Minimal Joints
    • Create bespoke sensory areas that are firmly fitted and made for use. This may include boxing in resources or designing made-to-measure furniture.
  • Hard-Wearing Equipment That Can’t Be Broken Or Weaponised
    • Our collection of sensory resources is robust and made for tough sensory play. See below which items we’d recommend for anti-ligature sensory rooms.
  • No Obstructions
    • The room doesn’t have any sharp edges or corners – whether that’s done with clever design, safety padding or corner protectors.

If you’re thinking about creating an anti-ligature sensory room in your environment, get in touch with a member of our friendly sensory team! They’ll be more than happy to get you started on your sensory journey.


What Sensory Equipment Should I Put In An Anti-Ligature Sensory Room?

When it comes to celebrating senses, an anti-ligature sensory room should be no different to a standard one. Sensory Rooms should stimulate, calm and engage all five senses in a controlled and personal manner, safely and comfortably.

It’s crucial to choose robust sensory resources that pose little or no ligature risk and are safe for sensory play.

Our sensory team, alongside the Director of Occupational Therapy at Cygnet, have put together our top resources suitable for anti-ligature sensory environments.

  • Interactive Wall Panels
    • Interactive Wall Panels are highly engaging multi-sensory panels that stimulate visual, tactile, sound and cognitive senses.
    • These can be installed closely to walls or embedded into padding, significantly reducing ligature risk.
  • Interactive Floor or Wall Projection
    • Sitting high on ceilings, our interactive projectors instantly create magical interactive worlds on floors and walls. They encourage individuals to get active and use their bodies and senses to engage with the projected games and activities.
    • Safely kept out of the way, these projectors are an ideal all-in-one sensory aid for anti-ligature sensory rooms.
  • Wall Wash
    • LED Wall Wash strips bathe areas in calming sensory mood lighting. They allow individuals the opportunity to create a colourful environment to match their mood.
    • Sitting flush against the wall and ceiling, they’re kept up high and away from curious hands.
  • Therapy Rockers
    • Offer individuals a cosy place to sit, relax, and work out their worries.
    • Made from robust, zip-free, hard-wearing materials with heavy use in mind.
  • Vibrating Bumpers
    • A soft, padded bumpy wall that vibrates when touched. They’re a great interactive piece of soft play equipment to add to therapeutic environments.
    • Made to measure interactive bumpers provide sustained gentle vibrations that soothe proprioceptive systems and calm minds.

Remember! Every sensory room should be unique. When choosing equipment, it’s important that you choose resources that are suitable for your staff and end users. Get in touch with our friendly sensory team for more information.


Further Information

*Not all images in this blog represent Anti-Ligature Sensory Rooms. Some are calming rooms or de-escalation spaces in mental health environments. For more information get in touch with our friendly sensory team 🙂

Our Favourite Vibrating Sensory Toys

Understanding Sensory Vibrations

Vibrations are a key part of our sensory diet. They provide calming massaging stimulations that are effective in helping us feel more centred and comfortable in our bodies.

Although it can be hard to find vibrations naturally, it’s not every day that we have access to a stimulating sensory room or a luxury spa. So, our sensory team has put together their favourite budget-friendly vibrating sensory toys so that you can access their therapeutic benefits at home or school.

Boy lying on mat


Vibration Therapy

There are two main sensory functions of vibration therapy:

  • Calming Vibrations for people who are sensory seeking or hypersensitive to their sensory environment. The gentle rumbles create a sensory focus, which distracts the brain’s sensory need for attention, so you can instead concentrate on other things like listening in school, sitting still when eating dinner, or calming an emotional outburst.

Calming vibrations are key for people who seek movement, pressure and touch.

  • Invigorating Vibrations for those who are hyposensitive and don’t usually get the chance to get active. Vibrations create therapeutic deep proprioceptive stimulation that strengthens muscles, wakes sensory systems, and energises bodies.

This type of massage therapy is vital for older people and those with physical disabilities.


Boy in wheelchair

Who Are Sensory Vibration Activities For?

Sensory vibration activities are therapeutically beneficial for most people. Although they’re especially great for:

  • People with Disabilities
  • People with Sensory Processing Disorders
  • Children & Adults with Autism
  • Babies


Our Favourite Vibrating Sensory Toys

Vibrating Snake

Best All-Rounder: Vibrating Snake

Our best-selling Vibrating Snake sensory toy is one of our favourite products for helping kids and adults relax.

The snake’s therapeutic vibrations relax muscles and stimulate proprioceptive senses (which is particularly useful for those who are sensory seeking). Vibrating Snake is colourful, flexible, battery-operated and portable, so you can take it wherever you go! Whilst two-speed choices mean you can create a sensory experience that perfectly suits your needs.

Vibrating Pillow

Best Budget-Friendly: Vibrating Pillow

Our super comfy Vibrating Pillow is perfect for quiet moments and therapeutic sensory sessions. Filled with tactile microbeads and equipped with a built-in vibrating massage unit, the vibrating pillow is an all-in-one therapeutic aid.

Massager with Lights

Best Multi-Sensory: Massager With Lights

Our Vibrating Body Massager has three special pads that vibrate, soothing muscles and relaxing minds. The ends of the pads illuminate in soft-coloured lighting, calmly stimulating visual senses – perfect for therapeutic multi-sensory sessions.

Resonance Beanbag

Best Experience: Resonance Beanbag

Part speaker, part beanbag, and a whole sensory treat. Sit back and focus on the soothing vibrations and stimulating sounds emanating from the beanbag, creating a personal and immersive sensory session. Discover an awareness of your body through the vibrations and the physical sensation of the music.

Vibrating Bumpers

Best for Sensory Rooms: Vibrating Wall Bumper

A soft padded bumpy wall that vibrates when touched. They’re a great, fun and interactive piece of soft play equipment to add to any sensory environment.

Vibrating Floor Pad

Best Full Body Vibrations: Vibrating Floor Pad

Our cosy vinyl-covered foam pad has five vibrating discs embedded in its material. Users can lie on the pad and use the handheld controller to match the vibration effects to their mood and comfort levels.


More Information

Children’s Mental Health Week 2023

It’s Children’s Mental Health Week!

And we have a host of spectacular sensory activities ready to boost your mood, support your wellbeing, and celebrate this important occasion.

Children’s Mental Health Week was set up in 2015 by the children’s charity Place 2 Be. Their aim of the week is to highlight the importance of children and young people’s mental health; each year, they attach a theme to the week to help guide discussions and activities. And this year’s theme is Let’s Connect.


Feeling Connected To Our Senses

Connections are a great place to start when thinking about our mental health.

Not only do connections help us feel closer to other people, but they can also help us feel closer to ourselves.

I know we love talking about senses, but did you know that feeling connected to our senses is a great way to boost our mental wellbeing?

You might be asking how? Well, think about the last bath you had…

The warm water against your skin, the weightlessness of your body as it floats in the water, the lavender-scented bubble bath that’s made the water smell like a sunny summer garden and created a pool of pretty purple bubbles, and the sounds of your favourite calming Spotify mix pouring out of your phone’s speaker.

You’re feeling calmer, right?

That’s because you’re stimulating and immersing your senses and giving them the input they need to feel energised, restored and relaxed. Once your senses are in balance, you’ll likely feel balanced within yourself too. It’s a simple therapeutic trick.

Although when you’re a child, it can be difficult to use the same tricks.

At a young age, children are only just discovering their senses and figuring out sensory preferences. They’re also usually in sensory environments that they can’t control (i.e. noisy classrooms), making it difficult for kids to feel connected to themselves and the wider world around them. Unfortunately, this could have consequential impacts on their mental health, stress and anxiety, which could lead to a meltdown.

So, to celebrate Children’s Mental Health Week, we’ve created a bite-sized list of sensory activities designed to help kids think about their sensory preferences. Working through the list should help you to feel more connected to your senses and yourself.

Take your time, have a go, a have fun!


Children's Mental Health Week Blog

Let’s Connect: Sensory Activities

Smell: Think about your favourite scents. How do you feel when you smell them?

  • Connect with someone else by asking them what their favourite scent is. Ask them why it’s their favourite scent. How does it compare to yours? How would they smell together?

Sight: What is your favourite colour? How does that colour make you feel?

  • Paint a picture using different shades of your favourite colour.
  • Connect with someone who also likes your favourite colour.

Touch: What is your favourite comfort to touch and hug? Is it a blanket, cuddly toy or fluffy jumper? Think about its textures and why you like the feel of them.

  • Go outside and explore nature’s different textures—the rough bark of a tree, the crisp, shiny grass, and the crumbly dirt. Stimulate your tactile senses, connect with nature, and give your mood a little pick-me-up.

Taste: What’s your favourite thing to eat? Why is it your favourite? Is it the way it tastes or a memory that’s attached to it?

  • Cook the meal and share it with someone else.

Sound: What’s your favourite song? What does it remind you of? Why do you like it so much?

  • Make a collaborative playlist with your friends that includes all of your favourite songs, and have an afternoon dance party listening to them all.


Children's Mental Health Week Blog

Supporting Our Mental Health

Our senses and building connections are just some of the many different activities that we can do to look after our mental health and wellbeing.

Make sure you look at Place 2 Be’s website for more resources and advice about supporting children’s mental health.

We hope that you have a wonderful Children’s Mental Health Week!


Further Information

A Guide To Sensory Swings

Is there anything better than swinging in the sunny summer sunshine? Legs swinging, hair blowing in the wind, with a big smile on your face as you woosh forwards and backwards.

Swinging is a great way for us to have fun, get active, and develop our senses. Introducing a swing into your sensory garden, room, or home is a great way to actively develop motor, vestibular and proprioceptive senses that will help you feel more comfortable and confident in your body.

There are lots of different types of swings and swing frames on the market, and it can be a little bit difficult to know where to start. To help you out, our Sensory Experts have put together this handy guide to help you learn more about swings, their benefits and which one might be best for you and your sensory environment. Keep scrolling to find out more 😊

Benefits of Sensory Swings

  • Vestibular Input: The therapeutic motion of swings helps to stimulate and develop our vestibular systems – which help our balance!
    • The simple swinging motion is a passive way of developing vestibular skills. Because of this, swinging is particularly beneficial for people with physical disabilities, as they wouldn’t usually be able to create or experience vestibular stimulation.
  • Therapeutic Relaxation: Calming swinging back and forth can help your body relax.
    • It’s a pleasant way of calming down, relaxing, and feeling more connected to our senses and bodies.
  • Spending Time in Nature: Most of our swings can be used outside so that you can swing and connect with nature.
    • It’s a great excuse to get some fresh air and swing in the sun. Perfect for sunny summer days.
  • Sensory Integration: Swings are an important part of sensory integration rooms as they help you to connect your senses and feel more like one in your body.
    • Swings can be used alongside other sensory resources to develop skills in Sensory Integration rooms.
      • Lay down on a platform swing and try to grab objects from underneath you.
      • Coordinate your movements to catch a ball whilst swinging.
      • Try to throw a ball at a target whilst swinging.
  • Sensory Exercise: Some of our more active swings are great for helping you achieve a fun dose of daily exercise.
      • Moving your legs and bodies in sync to get the swing moving, and tensing your core muscles to stay firmly on the swing seat, is a simple and effective way of getting active.

Girl on Platform Swing


The Key Skills You Develop While Swinging

  • ProprioceptiveFeeling comfortable and in control of how your body moves.
  • VestibularSense of balance, movement and position.
  • Gross MotorDevelopment of larger muscle systems that help your body move.
  • Spatial AwarenessKnowing where your body is in space in relation to other people and objects.
  • Sensory IntegrationHow your body processes, integrates and organises information from your senses.

Boy on Platform Swing


Which Swing is Best for Me?

Swings come in all shapes and sizes – alongside traditional swing seats, you can also swing on platforms, nets and in cosy cocoons.

Each swing type brings its own benefits; some are better suited for certain sensory preferences, disabilities, or spaces.

Our sensory experts have come together to discuss their swing recommendations so that you can find the best one for you!

The sensory swing.


Swing Seats

The Best Swing for Your Sensory Garden

  • Belizze Hanging Chair: Our colourful Belizze Chair is perfect for sunny summer days and relaxing sensory swinging. It has a cosy cushioned support that provides comforting proprioceptive feedback, helping users to feel comfortable and confident while they sit and swing.

Best Swing for Sensory Rooms

  • Sling Swing: Part sensory den, part weighted blanket, part swing – the soft and stretchy Sling Swing moulds around your body, creating a calming hug-like effect and a personal space for you to explore your senses. Climb inside to read a book, have a quick nap, or go for a relaxing swing session; it’s a useful resource for bedrooms or calming rooms.

The Best Swing for Sensory Integration Rooms

  • Swing Platform: Their simplicity and adaptability made our Swing Platforms perfect for Sensory Integration Rooms. The large platform gives users a stable place to sit, lie down or stand on top – from which they can develop vestibular, proprioceptive and motor skills.
    • See the swing platform in action in our case study video at More Rehab.

Rhino UK Sensory Swing Guide

Best Swings for Adults

  • Swinger: Sit back and unwind in our cosy Swinger. Its adjustable neck pillow, footrest and armrests provide comforting proprioceptive stimulation. The swing’s shape and design are made for adults who’d like to enjoy the therapeutic benefits of swinging.

The Best Swings for Kids

  • Taco Swing: The Taco Swing is great for kids. Its strong and stretchy material lets them explore their senses whilst they let their imagination run wild. Kids can actively jump up and down and use the swing as a trampoline; lie down and let the material wrap around them, creating a calming proprioceptive pressure, before they swing back and forth like they’re flying; or they can simply stand and put their core motor skills to the test to swing the swing.

Best Swing Seats

  • Full Support Seat: If you’re looking for a classic swing seat, then we’d recommend our Full Support Seats. They come in three sizes and are made for people of all ages to enjoy safe sensory swinging. The seat has a harness vest attached to it to provide support for people with disabilities so they feel safe and secure whilst swinging.
    • We’d recommend our Full Support Swing Seats for sensory integration rooms and sensory gardens, as you need a nice open space to swing safely.

Rhino UK Sensory Swing Blog


Swing Frames

Swing Frames for Sensory Gardens

  • Single Swing Frame: The single swing frame is an easy-to-install versatile swing. It’s just the right size for most back gardens and has a weight limit of 200kg, so it can safely swing adults and children.
    • The swing frame is compatible with most of our swing seat range so that you can always swing in style.

Best Swing Frames for Sensory Rooms

  • C Frame: The C Frame comes as an all-in-one ready-to-use swing frame, complete with a triple-point suspension bracket and safety mats – all you need is to choose which swing you’d like to swing from.
    • Its curved shape means it can easily fit into the corners of rooms, taking up less space and giving you more room to explore your senses.
    • The triple suspension point gives you full swinging freedom. Swing back and forth, side to side, or round and round – developing your vestibular senses!
    • The frame is protected and padded with safety foam so that it’s safe for sensory play environments.

 Swing Frames for Sensory Integration Rooms

  • Custom Free Standing Beam Frame: For its strength, number of suspension points, and adaptability, we’d recommend our bespoke free-standing beam frames for Sensory Integration spaces.
    • You can comfortably hang almost all of our sensory swings from the beams, using the different suspension points to create unique ways of swinging.
    • The legs of the frame keep to the walls of the room, giving you lots of space underneath the frame for sensory integration activities.
    • It’s ideal for rooms with walls and ceilings that aren’t suitable for suspension.
    • Each beam is made to measure and designed so that you can make the most of your sensory space.

Rhino UK Guide to Sensory Swing Frames


More Information

  • Get in touch: Find out more about our swings and receive personal advice from our sensory team.
  • Explore the full collection: Our swings collection is filled with even more swings, frames and resources designed to stimulate and develop your vestibular senses.

Getting Active with a Disability

Last month the government unveiled their latest report looking into the health and wellbeing of children and young people with disabilities and special needs.

It’s the first report of its kind, written by researchers from the University of Bristol, Durham University and Disability Rights UK.

We’ve spent the time reading the report and listed the main takeaways below.

Two young brothers playing in a field together


5 Key Takeaways

1. Exercise is as important for non-disabled children as it is for disabled children.

“The scientific evidence is clear. Disabled children can benefit from being physically active in their everyday lives.”

Like everyone else, disabled children should aim to do around 120-180 minutes of aerobic activity each week. It doesn’t have to be done all in one session, and it’s best spread out across the week in daily 20 minute or every-other-day 40-minute chunks.

So, whether that’s a sunny afternoon playing in the park, walking the dog, or a daily dance session – putting aside half an hour to get active should be quite achievable.

Alongside the aerobic exercises, the experts also recommend mixing in some challenging strength and balance-focused activities too. These don’t have to be as complicated as they might seem, and they could be as simple as swinging on a swing or moving with weighted bands on your wrists or ankles. But doing these sorts of exercises is important for building muscle strength and body confidence.


2. Children are more likely to engage in activities when they’re inclusive, fun and enjoyable.

Motivation is key to getting active, and what better way to motivate children to get moving than making it fun?

Whether that’s joining a local sports team, finding a friend to join you on your active journey, or thinking outside of the box with your activities, e.g. having an impromptu sensory disco. There are lots of ways that you can upgrade your activities.

Find a list of local groups you could join here:


3. There aren’t any health or safety risks when disabled children exercise – so long that it’s within their limits.

Parents can sometimes be sceptical about the safety of getting their disabled child active, although you could be doing more harm by stopping them from getting active in the long term.

The academics in the study found that there was no evidence to show that physical activity was unsafe for a disabled child, so long as it is performed at an appropriate level for their physical development, fitness, physical and mental functioning.


4. Exercise can build muscle, strength and confidence.

Exercise has a lot of benefits. Not only will it keep you fit and healthy, but it will also strengthen your muscles and bones, help you to maintain a healthy weight, improve your sleep, build confidence and social skills, boost your mental health and aid concentration and learning!


5. Even small bouts of activity can provide benefits.

Sometimes the commitment of 120 minutes of weekly exercise can seem like a lot. If it does feel overwhelming, why don’t you set yourself a task to do something active for five minutes every day? That’ll quickly build up to 35 minutes of exercise in the week.

After some time, you might find that you can do four 5-minute activities every day – and you’ll have reached the recommended 120-minute goal without having to put in too much of a sweat.

Thinking about how to make things manageable will help you make them manageable.


Active Activity Ideas

It’s always a little daunting to know where to start with exercise, but it shouldn’t be. We’re not recommending that you sign up for a marathon. But what we are suggesting is that you try to get a bit more active during the day.

Whether that’s going for a walk, doing a happy dance, or stretching. Doing simple, accessible, and fun actions every day is a great way to build up your fitness levels over time.

Our Sensory Experts have put together a few fun and inclusive sensory exercises designed to stimulate different systems and muscles; check them out below!



Not only are swings calming, but they’re also great for stimulating your vestibular systems – which helps you balance. Spending time swinging is a fun and relaxing way of actively developing your sense of balance.

Swings: Accessible Swing Seat, Wheelchair Friendly Swing Platform, Swing Frame, Nest Swing.



Bouncing, rocking, moving and stimming are common sensory seeking impulses. Channelling stims into a sensory activity can be an accessible and inclusive way of getting active and strengthening muscles.

Our Bouncing Chair is built to help you bounce in comfort. Its curved shape supports your body as you bounce, helping you relax in the stimulating movement. It’s available in two sizes for smaller or larger children.



Rocking and spinning in our funky sensory bowls can help you develop balance, gross motor and coordination skills. Use your whole body to carefully move the bowl from side to side, and try not to tip it over. They’re also suitable for indoor and outdoor play.

Rocking Bowls: Bilibo.



Our bright green Floor Surfer combines play, movement, balance, and motor skills development. Specially designed to support the user’s coccyx when sitting and the sternum when lying down, this handy sensory resource stimulates proprioceptive systems to that you can surf comfortably.

Build strength in your arms and legs as you push yourself along as you surf through your house or garden and discover it from a new perspective.



Walking provides the perfect opportunity to get outside and explore nature, although not all of us may be as comfortable on our feet. The Go Wheelie is a great walking support for users who aren’t as confident in their movements. Not only does it help them along, but it also encourages muscle control and strengthening too!


Getting Active with a Disability


Useful Links

Sensory Circuits, What They Are, And How You Can Make Your Own

What is a Sensory Circuit?

A sensory circuit is an active and engaging circuit exercise designed to stimulate students’ bodies and minds so that they’re ready for a productive day at school.

Designed by Paediatric Occupational Therapist Jane Horwood in 2009, the concept has slowly gained traction as more and more educators have seen its benefits. As a result, sensory Circuits are now a key part of many school days.


Who are Sensory Circuits for?

Sensory circuits are great for children with sensory processing disorders, ADHD, and autism – as it gives them the stimulation they’re seeking and helps regulate their sensory system, so it’s ready to focus.

Although sensory circuits are also fantastic for the wider school community, starting the day off with something fun and engaging gets them ready to learn more effectively throughout the day.


How to make a Sensory Circuit

Every sensory circuit should be split into three sections, AlertingOrganising & Calming. Each section has its own activities and purposes, so by the time students have reached the calming stage, they’re ready to learn.


The first stage of the sensory circuit should always be the alerting stage. This section aims to help students release any pent-up anxiety and energy so they’re in a better position to settle into a classroom environment.

Alerting activities are designed to stimulate proprioceptive, vestibular (balance) and motor skills by getting the body active.

Alerting Activity Examples:


After alerting, you should move on to organisingwhere students are challenged to channel their energy into an activity that requires skill and focus.

Organising activities should stimulate students motor, vestibular, sensory and timing skills so they feel more connected to their body and how it moves.

Organising Activity Examples


The final calming section is designed to re-capture students energy and help them feel more centred in themselves, so they’re ready to learn.

Calming activities should stimulate students proprioceptive, deep pressure and tactile senses.

Calming Activity Examples


How long should a Sensory Circuit take?

A sensory circuit should typically last for 15 minutes – with five minutes in each section. It’s just the right amount of time for students to feel focused without getting tired. It also maintains the circuit’s element of fun, any longer, and students might start to see the activity as a chore.

Of course, how long a circuit is up to you. You might find that your students need less time to complete it or that they need to spend more time in one section and less in another.

It’s your responsibility to know your student’s needs and abilities and tailor a sensory circuit that meets them.


When should Sensory Circuits be used?

It’s recommended that you start the day with a sensory circuit – before bums are on seats. It’s a great way of capturing students’ nervous energy and productively channelling it into focused energy so they’re ready for an exciting day of learning.

Although sensory circuits aren’t only reserved for mornings! They can be used whenever students feel restless or unfocused, whether that’s after lunch, to refocus minds after an energetic hour on the playground, or between lessons for a physical, mental, and sensory break from the classroom.


Discover More

If you’d like any help setting up your sensory circuit, then make sure you get in touch with a member of our sensory team. They’ll be more than happy to offer their expert advice, product recommendations, and sensory know-how so that you can create a sensory circuit that works for you and your school community.