Creating a safe space outdoors

The unpredictable nature and constant sensory input of the playground can be overwhelming for some students. To support students with sensory processing challenges and promote social interaction,  a sensory safe outside space can be created considering the following:

  • A defined area in the playground accessible for all students who require quieter play time.
  • A place to sit for reading, board games, and rest. 
  • Equipment that promotes inclusive play, such as soft balls, hoops, skittles and bubbles.
  • Textured boards on walls
  • Music
  • Visually appealing items such as ribbons tied to fences, windmills, mobiles, etc.
  • A sensory garden including scented plants such as lavender and rosemary, textured plants such as sage, noisy plants such as rustling grasses and sweetcorn, tasty plants such as mint and chives, and brightly coloured flowers and foliage for visual effect.
Image shows a garden with a large paved area in the shape of a circle. Around the edge is a continuous seat, and all around, behind the seating are flowering plants.
This example has a perfect space for sitting and playing quiet games.
Image shows two semi-circular raised planters filled with herbs. The planters form part of the pattern paved onto the ground. They are a couple of metres each in length and have a path allowing someone to walk between them.
Planters filled with herbs and fragrant plants create a calming environment
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