By Gloria Cardone
A sensory wall provides an alternative for little hands and bodies to explore and learn. Toys don’t always belong on the toy shelf or toy bin. In addition, the young explorers are in a vertical position, which is great for establishing additional gross and fine motor control.
In my classroom, carpet (the kind used in car flooring) bought in the automotive department of a local store (very inexpensive) was attached low enough for little hands using industrial staples (so the carpet does not pull away from the wall). And it’s always a good idea to take some rough Velcro with you when shopping for this type of carpet to make sure the Velcro will stick.
The toys and/or sensory items are attached to the wall using industrial strength Velcro. Helpful for heavy items and they can still be pulled down and played with. And pretty much anything you can stick Velcro to can be used on the wall.
Some of the sensory items we use (and try to change out frequently) include brushes, packing bubbles to pop, noisy toys , light up toys, a variety of textures glued to baking pans, Braille dot muffin tin cells with magnets for Braille practice, beads to string for some built in success.
Stores such as the local Dollar Tree have a wealth of items in every department that can be adapted for a multitude of purposes and can be changed out frequently because they are inexpensive. Also, remembering to just change where different toys are located on the sensory wall keeps things fresh and new.
Adding texture like these fuzzy crafting spheres makes exploring the sensory wall fun for your visually impaired little one.
Materials to incorporate into your sensory wall don’t have to be expensive. Some favorite textures for our students can be found around your home.
Sensory walls are an easy thing for anyone working with a visually impaired little one to set up. With just a few items found around the house, your little one can explore and have hours of fun!