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The Hood Magazine

What to Look for in Choosing a Sensory Gym

09/27/2018 02:14PM ● By Digital Media Director

By: All American Gymnastics Academy

Through sensory play, children gain vital life skills such as balance, fine/gross motor development, speech & language as well as social, emotional & behavioral learning. For some children sensory processing can cause difficulty in perceiving and understanding information coming from their senses. That is where sensory integration becomes an important part of a child’s development and success. Early intervention can be a key component to helping a child reach his/her highest possible potential. Sensory integration is an innate neurobiological process that refers to the interpretation of sensory stimulation from the environment to the brain.

A sensory gym is a great opportunity for children of all abilities to enhance physical & cognitive skills in a fun, non-threatening way. It’s especially beneficial to a child with special needs as it creates a stress-free environment.

When seeking a place that will help your child thrive, there are a few things to keep in mind:

1. Visit different facilities. You and your child need to find the right facility for them to feel comfortable to move and grow.
2. Equipment. Does the gym have adequate equipment for your child to get the maximum benefit for their needs?
3. Space. Is there enough space designated for your child to move freely, or even provide quiet space for when they need to unwind or calm down?
4. Safety. Does the gym provide a safe space for children of all abilities to run, jump, climb, roll and play? Some children will need additional space for working on balance.
5. Fun! Children can learn and have fun at the same time. A sensory gym contains all sorts of fun activities and unusual equipment for your child to try out. Your child will learn and grow without even knowing it!
6. Great form of exercise. Unfortunately more and more, children are surrounded by technology. If you find that your child does not seem to enjoy participating in sports, a sensory gym is a great way to get your kids moving and their heart rates up!
7. Social skills. A sensory gym provides space to play and interact with other children in a setting that is comforting and welcoming.
8. Problem solving. Children are naturally curious. A sensory gym helps children develop cognitive abilities and problem solving through play.

A sensory gym should be a bright, inviting and friendly atmosphere for the body and mind.