Sensory pools can have outstanding benefits for those who have sensory developmental problems. With the help of sensory pool equipment, regular pools can be transformed into an amazing sensory environment. Placing individuals in an environment with moving colors and shapes, therapeutic music, combined with a sensation of weightlessness, can be advantageous for a range of sensory abilities.
Children learn largely through play, and so sensory exercises designed with play in mind can be fun as well as educational and therapeutic.
Swimming in general is a great exercise for those with sensory problems, particularly for those with Autism, as having individuals focus on using their arms and legs to swim or floating can distract from repetitive behaviors. Being able to concentrate and enjoy the fun of being in water with other people can also help to ease children into social situations. This physical activity relaxes muscles and decreases stress, whilst the energy used decreases hyperactivity and improves concentration and sleep.
Swimming is made all the more fun with moving projections across the pool. Using our IRiS Floating Switch, the swimming experience is made interactive through children being able to change the lighting. With the ability to control the IRiS Shape Projector and the IRiS LED Light Spreader. This can be used as a motivation to swim, as reaching the floating device allows individuals to control the lighting, utilizing and promoting cause and effect skills.
- Noodle Floats
Noodles are a favored floating device for many individuals, but they can be more than just fun for those with sensory development issues. These floats can have vestibular advantages and can be incorporated into a variety of exercises. Depending on the swimming ability and age of the individual, a game of riding the noodle like a horse from one side of the pool to another can be adopted, and a great and fun way of exercising. Alternatively, having the child sit on the noodle as it is presented in an upward U-shape whilst trying to maintain their balance, is another great way of using the noodle. Balancing is a form of vestibular stimulation that can be done safely and effectively when in water.
- Water shooters
Ready, aim, fire! Water shooters can be a great activity for improving hand-eye coordination. Try and use the moving shapes from projectors as targets within the pool. This can really help with children that are inactive, through capturing their attention and interest.
- Walking in water
This isn’t the easiest of tasks, but provides a range of benefits. Depending on the height of the child, depth of the pool, and confidence within the pool, this walking can be in ankle-deep or knee-deep water, or can be even deeper. Although this doesn’t sound as fun as some of the other activities, sensory pool equipment works to keep these activities interesting. For example, the Aurora LED Projector Bundle projects images anywhere in the pool area, whether it’s the ceiling, walls, or even the water itself. Flotation belts can be used to help aid individuals that are not confident in the water. This exercise helps to improve fine motor skills and balance, providing a range of physical health benefits.
Floating a great relaxation activity for children with sensory problems. There are many benefits to floating, with research suggesting that it is a form of meditation that has a positive impact on mood, whilst reducing anxiety and lowering blood pressure. For children that are able to do this, projecting lights and images on the ceiling can add to the calming experience. With this exercise, it is important to supervise the child for safety, or even provide support whilst floating can still help with the therapeutic effect. For children with sensory development problems that think creatively, such as individuals with Autism, floating is said to increase creativity and therefore these individuals benefit from this. In terms of difficulties or limitations in movement, floating is a form of physical therapy that alleviates these difficulties, helping muscles.
Benefits of a Sensory Pool
There are a range of benefits that a sensory pool can provide. Children suffering from sensory developmental problems can often feel a desire for pressure, which is often supplied through weighted blankets or tight hugs! However, water can also provide this through hydrostatic pressure. Water completely surrounds the body with perfect and equal distribution, making sensory pools into a calming and soothing environment, giving individuals more confidence to try new exercises.
As well as this, sensory pools help with physical development. Strengthening muscles and the heart, as well as coordination, balance, endurance, and motion, all of which can sometimes be a struggle for children with sensory development problems.
Sensory pool exercises are calming and can have positive behavioural effects because of this. Additionally, these exercises can help to improve the sensory problems that some individuals experience. Being in a pool can provide a safe environment to try not exercises and activities that might be more daunting if tried out of the water.
If you would like any advice on turning your pool into a sensory environment, or any advice on the products that we have available, do not hesitate to contact us.