15 Items to Put in Your Sensory Room

Creating a sensory room for special ed students can be an incredibly rewarding experience, both for the kids and their teachers.


With the right resources, it can provide a calming environment for the children to relax in and explore different sensory stimulations. But how do you know what you need to create such a room? Here are 15 must-have items for a sensory room for special ed students.

What is a Sensory Room?

A sensory room for special education is a dedicated space designed to provide sensory stimulation to help children with special needs develop and learn. It can contain a variety of items such as lights, mirrors, sound systems, tactile objects, soft furnishings, and textures. Each item is carefully selected to create a calming environment for students that encourages exploration and discovery.

Must-Have Sensory Room Items

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Light is an important part of any sensory environment, as it can help create a calming atmosphere. Soft, warm lights that offer gradual transitions from light to dark can be particularly helpful. Specialized lighting products like fiber optics or LED lights can also add visual interest to the room. Rope lights and light covers are also popular.


Mirrors are a great addition to sensory rooms because they allow students to explore their reflections and learn about body awareness. They can also be used for activities such as dance and exploring patterns of light or shadows.

Sound Systems

Sounds can be an important part of a sensory room. Music, nature sounds, and other calming audio can help students relax their minds and focus on the task at hand. Consider a noise machine or a CD player with headphones.

Tactile Objects

Different textures, shapes, and materials are essential for sensory exploration in special ed classrooms. Soft items like bean bags or foam balls can provide tactile stimulation, while hard items like blocks or construction toys provide a different type of sensory input. Fidget toys are also helpful.

Soft Furnishings

Soft furniture provides comfort and encourages exploration in the room. Bean bags, cocoon swings or chairs, cushions, rugs, and blankets all help contribute to the overall calming atmosphere of the space.

Water Tables

A water table is a great way to provide tactile stimulation for kids. It can be used in a variety of ways, from filling it with different colors of water to adding small toys that will float or sink. If water is not a great option for your space, fill the table with sand or dried rice.

Sensory Swings

A sensory swing is perfect for providing a gentle rocking motion to help students relax. It also gives them a chance to explore their body in space as they grab onto something and push off with their arms and legs.

Tumbling Mats / Crash Mats

Tumbling mats are an essential part of any sensory environment. They provide a soft, cushioned surface for children to explore different movements. Tumbling mats can help kids learn physical skills like balance and coordination, as well as encourage creative movement. Additionally, they provide a safe area for students to practice doing flips and rolls or crashing without fear of injury.

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Square Floor Scooters

Square scooters are another great addition to any sensory room. They are a fun, low-impact way for special ed students to explore physical activity and movement. Not only do they provide a source of physical exercise and stimulation, but they also promote balance and coordination in children with sensory needs. Square scooters offer more stability than traditional scooters, which makes them great for special ed students.

Weighted Blankets

Weighted blankets are a must-have item in any sensory room for special ed students. These blankets promote a calming, soothing effect that can help children relax and self-regulate. Weighted blankets are designed to offer gentle pressure similar to being held or hugged, which can reduce anxiety and promote relaxation. They also provide tactile input that can help with sensory processing and self-regulation.

Bubble Tubes

Bubble tubes can add an interesting visual element to any sensory room. Bubble tubes are visually stimulating and create a calming environment through their soothing light effects. They are often used to create a calming atmosphere in special ed environments, as well as promote the exploration of lights and colors.

Play Tunnels

Play tunnels are a great addition to any sensory room for special ed students. They provide an opportunity to explore a variety of textures, shapes, and movements in a safe and secure environment. For students who prefer cozy quarters, tunnels are always a great option! Play tunnels encourage exploration and creative play while allowing kids to work on physical skills like crawling, flexibility, coordination, and balance. Plus, they can help build confidence and self-esteem.

Yoga Balls

Yoga balls are a great way to add an element of play and physical activity into the classroom. They provide tactile stimulation, promote balance and coordination, and encourage creative movement. Plus, they can help kids learn physical skills like flexibility, strength, and endurance.


A mini-trampoline is an excellent addition to any sensory room for special ed students. It provides a fun and safe way to explore physical movement while providing tactile stimulation. The bouncing motion of the trampoline helps promote balance, coordination, agility, and strength. Plus, it can be used as a source of aerobic exercise that encourages cardiovascular health.

Bubble Machines

A bubble machine can be a great addition to any sensory room for special ed students. Bubble machines provide both visual and auditory stimulation with their bright colors and bubbling sounds. They are also a fun way to explore math concepts like symmetry and patterns, as children can observe the shapes and sizes of the bubbles they create. They also help promote relaxation and self-regulation, which is a must for sensory rooms!

Overall, sensory rooms for special ed students provide a unique opportunity to explore physical activity, creative movement, and tactile stimulation in a safe and secure environment. By considering these must-have items for any sensory room, you can help create an environment that is stimulating and calming for special ed students.




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