MENASHA, Wis. (WFRV) – Educators have found a new way to help children that become overwhelmed throughout the day, they are called sensory rooms and they allow children to center themselves when they need to calm down or get out some energy.
The Appleton and Menasha Boys and Girls Clubs and now fully equipped with new state-of-the-art rooms.
Taylor Maas, the Youth Advocate for the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Fox Valley said, “Research has shown if students and youth come into rooms like this and they get their sensory needs met when they go back into the classroom they’re going to be much better learners.”
“This room for kids is just a great place to have a structured break,” said Emily Montour, the Youth Development Specialist who runs the room on a daily basis. “So they might not necessarily know what they need whether it’s emotional or controlling their body or whatever it might be but in this room, we’re helping them find those things. And then they’re having a more successful day in the future.”
Students that need visual or tactile stimulation can utilize the first two stations.
“This element is for touch where kids can kinda touch the different materials that we have,” said Maas. “Station number two is our light wall station. There are multiple different programs where you can program for different games.”
For students that need an opportunity to get out some energy, stations three and four are for them.
“Station number three for the swinging station,” said Maas. “So basically this is a swing that kinda spins and kids can swing back and forth and we have some mats here where they can kinda push off.”
“Station number four which is our movement station,” said Maas. “We have really cool gell tiles. We have the trampoline of course which is another one of our kid’s favorites.”
And finally, the students that need a moment to calm down can find peace in the quiet corner.
Maas said, “The relaxation station. Basically, this is a station where they kinda just get to relax to themselves.”
Taylor and Emily said children can have scheduled appointments for the sensory room but they always have available space for a student having a bad day.
If you would like to support the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Fox Valley in their efforts to create more inclusive spaces such as these you can find a place to donate directly here.