LSAFHS Intern Amber Pena created described how she created a Sensory Box and Cozy Corner for babies, and how it helps them developmentally.
Sensory Box/Cozy Corner
by Amber Pena
Throughout my internship with LSA Family Health and Service I have witnessed the importance of sensory play and self-regulation. Studies have shown that children with a lack of sensory stimulation are put at a disadvantage. In regards to self-regulation studies have indicated that “supporting self- regulation development in early childhood is an investment in later success, because stronger self-regulation predicts better performance in school, better relationships with others, and fewer behavioral difficulties” (OPRE, 2013). For my final project I decided to create two sensory boxes, which would meet the needs of the children in the socialization program. The first box focuses on sensory, which allows the children to explore their colors and textures through the uses of their senses. The second box is a cozy corner, which gives the children access to a safe space with items ( stuffed animals, pillows, bubbles, and stress balls) that can help them relax and manage their emotions in a healthy way.
The sensory box provides several benefits such as language skills, fine motor skills, and social skills. The children would be improving their language skills by describing what they visualize on the sensory box. An example, would be a child pointing out the red triangle and verbally expressing this. The children would be improving their fine motor skills by manipulating small objects on the sensory box. An example of this would be a child moving the rice grains inside of the ziplock bag. Lastly, the children would be improving their social skills by learning how to share with other children and engaging in play with them through the use of sensory play.
The cozy corner should be an area that children from the socialization program can go to when they are feeling overwhelmed, sad, tired, or want to relax. By the use of the cozy corner the children can self regulate themselves by controlling their own emotions and behavior over time. The caregiver or staff member can observe the child from a distance or sit besides the child in the cozy corner to gain a better understanding of the child’s emotions. The children can help themselves manage their emotions by using the soft items, which were placed inside the box. The items inside the cozy corner can be changed for other items in the future.
The sensory box can be used for infants and toddlers. The children are able to explore the cardboard box with supervision from a staff member or caregiver. The cozy corner can be used for toddlers.
- Cardboard boxes (any size)
- Colored rice (using food coloring & oil)
- Scott duck tape (green, red, pink, blue. Other colors can be used)
- Different color shapes cut outs
- Paint (white & red. Other colors can be used)
- Hot glue gun
- Fabric (any style/design)
- Stuffed animals, pillows, bubbles & stress balls (other comfort items can be used)
Cardboard Sensory Boxes for Toddlers and Babies. (2013). Meri Cherry.
Self-Regulation and Toxic Stress Series. (2013). Office of Planning, Research, & Evaluation.
Sensory Integration. (2016). Learning Strategies.