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Business idea - soft play and sensory room

8 replies

SueW · 13/05/2004 23:52

Hope you don't mind my asking!

A friend is thinking of going into business opening a soft play place. A physio friend of hers suggested that she also install a sensory room as this would provide an element not seen in other soft play centres and could be put to great use.

However, my friend is concerned about how she would recoup the cost and whether it would appeal generally. Her physio friend tells her the NHS has their own sensory rooms for treatment and so my friend is concerned - who would actually pay for children to use this: the NHS wouldn't use it. Would parents of children who use NHS senosry rooms want to take their children to something similar in a soft play area?

She was surprised I had heard of sensory rooms and I was telling her that I'd heard lots of you here talk about them and I offered to ask what your thoughts were and whether you would prefer to have special sessions each week set aside aimed at special needs children.

Any thoughts?

OP posts:
Jimjams · 14/05/2004 11:02

NHS sensory rooms? Never been near one in my life. I do know that a number of nurseries have them now- and that some of my friends pay a little to use them each week.

Anther idea to expand her business- hire out soft play equipment for parties. DS1 has one this afternoon!

Jimjams · 14/05/2004 11:08

Should just add- NT children love sensory rooms as well (and use them in the nurseries with them)- no reason why she would have to restrict it to SN (although it should be available for SN families to hire to use exclusively- otherwise it won't be much use iyswim). Maybe she could have free access times and times when it is available to hire. I do think that if autistic children (and many other children with complex needs) want to use the room they should be able to hire it to use by themselves. My son couldn never go in a sensory rom by himself- as turn on the bright bubble lights and he'd be all over the place. He has to be able to use it by himself- and I would imagine it was the same for most SN kids.

Or it could be available to hire at all times, but people could be told if it wasn't in use it could be used. Parties could include time in the sensry room (just 15 mins or so- might attract people in)

coppertop · 14/05/2004 11:09

Despite having sensory problems ds1 has never been anywhere near an NHS sensory room. I'd be interested in seeing one at a softplay centre as I think it would help him to calm down afterwards. It would also act as a transition between the play area and having to leave to go home. I think this could equally apply to NT children as well as those with sensory difficulties.

Jimjams · 14/05/2004 11:10

sorry I meant could never go into a sensory room - with other children.....

Fio2 · 14/05/2004 11:24

They had one at my daughters old nursery and it was fab. The kids just used to go in to chill out. For some children though it was their main setting within the nursery, because it suited them best. I know of a few SN adventure playgrounds that have sensory rooms attatched. There were 2 in Staffordshire I knew of. 1 in Newcastle-Under-Lyme and another in Cannock (by the Pye Green stadium) If you googled for these they may come up with some info.

I am sure alot of people would be interested in this kind of environment. I know thw wacky warehouse near our old house used to have SN sessions on a sunday morning (soimetimes with scope volounteers turning up) that were always very popular

Fio2 · 14/05/2004 11:25

sorry just saw that about NHS sensory rooms LOL I doubt the NHS knows what they are

SueW · 14/05/2004 23:40

Thanks for your comments so far everyone. I suggested to my friend that she might need to have separate sessions, given comments on here in the past about some children with special needs find it difficult to be around NT children. And how stressful it can be for their parents!

OP posts:
Davros · 17/05/2004 16:59

Yeah, I've only heard of sensory rooms at special schools and also as Fio2 says with an SN adventure playground, the one I know of is in Ladbroke Grove area.
By coincidence I was talking to 3 friends the other day about sensory rooms, 3 of us have children with autism and the other has a child with a chromosomal translocation (?) and complex SN. We all agreed that the standard sensory room can be too passive, believe it or not. One of the mums told us about someone she had met from the RNIB who had the most fantastic ideas about creating a sensory environment that could also be stimulating or interactive, maybe contact them?

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