With information available online, it’s never been easier for parents and carers to build sensory rooms on a budget. It’s also never been easier, thanks to sites like Pinterest, to develop day-centre ideas, producing inspired rooms for educational and developmental purposes. So, with a little inspiration and perspiration, together with sensory room paints and products available at Rawlins Paints, this blogpost highlights some exciting new ideas to try out, as well as offering some important safety advice.
Rawlins Paints is renowned for its wide range of fire protection products, and of course they will come into play here, as safety at home, in leisure facilities and within the workplace is always at the forefront of our blog-posts.
Sensory rooms and playgroup facilities are all about colour in both relaxing and also stimulating imagery. There are a few products we have stocked at rawlinspaints.com that can help bring a room to life with creativity, vitality and interactive elements.
Luminous paint could be used in a multitude of creative ways around the home, or workplace, and not just for safety or ‘navigation’ purposes as described later in the safety section. For children with sight impairments or even in sensory rooms they could be used to create murals on the wall. Most bedrooms, at one time or another, have had the night sky on the ceiling, so why not add an extra dimension to it with luminous paint on a black backdrop. It couldn’t be more fun to create a stellar imaginary galaxy with these paints, and then add to it stick on stars, planets and a moon.
Glow in the dark paints can be applied with a brush, creating some ‘illuminating and engaging images’. They can even be used for painting furniture, toys and educational equipment. With supervision, these paints could be used in arts and crafts sessions with children, too.
Use your imagination
Alternately, Rust-Oleum’s excellent Doodle wall paint could create a massive canvas for children to draw on, or for parents and carers to paint Disney characters or even conduct educational lessons on. Quick and easy to clean and ‘start again’, like an Etch-a-Sketch, there is hours and hours of entertainment to be had from this surface paint. It’s not only walls that Doodle Wall can be painted on, why not create your own white-board or build a reusable easel for children?
As well as adding colour to a sensory room, children and adults alike react to different textures. One method would be to create different floor surfaces using paint additives in the floor paint. This would ‘rough up’ and add texture underfoot.
There are a lot of internal and external sensory pieces of equipment, such as sensory music stations or basic swings and climbing frame sets, which could be brought to life with Rust-Oleum’s CombiColor metal paint. Available in dozens of colours, this product is ideal for mixing things up a little visually.
Imagine this alive with glossy colours
CombiColor’s multi-surface paint could be used for interior wooden surfaces, such as book shelves, bed-frames or toy-boxes. This paint is ideal for surfaces which require a more durable coating than most standard paints. It could even be used on indoor wall climbing equipment and dens, or around ball pits. Create pots of gold and rainbows with this extremely versatile paint.
With so many excellent mobility toys available, like race-carts and bikes, an indoor racetrack – your child’s own Silverstone – is easy to create. Paint crowds onto the walls and then create the track on the floor using line-marking paint. Commonly used on warehouse floors or for car-parks (including disabled sign thermoplastic symbols), these paints and aerosols will create and transform a highly engaging play-space. The products available at Rawlins Paints, by manufacturers including Blackfriar, Rust-Oleum and Coo-Var could bring those Lewis Hamilton aspirations to life.
Line marking paints can also be used to mark-out indoor tennis and badminton courts at children’s activity centres. If there’s space, they work well for line marking indoor five-aside football or rounders/baseball/softball pitches.
Using Coo-Var’s marking stencils, it’s quick and easy to mark equipment and storage facilities too.
If it is a public sensory room, such as at a day-centre, you may need some anti-slip floor coatings. These are available in a range of colours and applicable as medium to heavy duty floor coatings. Easy to clean and ideal for spaces where there may be spillages, such as day-centre cafes or eating areas, these paints are extremely durable and colour resistant.
Outdoor play facilities may also benefit from line marking paints, as described earlier, for play area markings (such as hopscotch games) and around climbing frame equipment. Exterior play areas and wooden decking areas may also require non slip surfaces to meet health and safety requirements. For wooden surfaces, there are a number of products available, including Blackfriar’s anti-slip deck coating. This clear coating works very well on wooden areas around sandpits and woodchip zones.
Bathroom and Wash-Room Facilities
If the shower room floor is too slippery, or extra precautions are required for health and safety requirements in public wash-facilities, Anglo’s anti-slip aqua tape is ideal for barefoot areas. These anti-slip strips could also be used around swimming, bathing or sensory pools.
Most nursing homes, day centres, school and healthcare facilities, including hospitals, use easy to clean and durable hygienic paints for most of their surfaces, including walls and ceilings. This could be around where food and drink is prepared, or around toilet/changing facilities. These paints include anti-bacterial properties and work well with medium to heavy duty general surface cleaners.
One of the best things about the range of hygienic and anti-bacterial paints at Rawlins Paints is the range of colours available. Whilst some health care facilities stick to sterile whites, why not add splashes of colour, with yellows, reds, blues and pinks all available.
If the facilities need to reach a certain standard of cleanliness, then these paints are ideal.
Private landlords and the council can provide ramps for access to homes, but what if a portable ramp is needed for less constraining ease of access elsewhere? It is not possible to expect friends and family, or bed and breakfasts, on spontaneous weekend breaks, to have disabled access ramps to hand. Rust-Oleum, however, along with their range of threshold and standard access ramps have produced a fantastic aluminium portable access ramp (see the image below). Ideal for packing into the boot of a car (as it folds up to look and be carried like a suitcase) or in a family member’s garage, this ramp allows for ease of access to a lot more places for wheelchairs or persons who have difficulty with steps. It can even be taken to music venues or theatres, and stored in the cloak room whilst the show is on.
- Small Ramp – (L)600mm x (W)760mm, weight 6kg
- Medium Ramp – (L)900mm x (W)760mm, weight 7kg
- Large Ramp – (L)1200mm x (W)760mm, weight 9kg
- Extra Large Ramp – (L)1500mm x (W)760mm, weight 12kg
Specialist needs support groups and facilities are generally very good at providing access for private or council properties, but other public venues are less so.
Service providers (at commercial or private buildings) must make reasonable adjustments, as stated in the Disability Discrimination Act, in regards to the physical accessibility of their premises, and ‘overcome physical barriers to access’. The portable, threshold and standard access ramps are all suitable provisions for this.
The ramps available at Rawlins Paints all offer slip resistance, with a ‘grit surface’ suitable for most weather conditions. The ramps are mostly used to enter/exit buildings, but can be used internally too, especially for fire escapes/exits.
Ramps can and should be used at fire exits, but so can anti-slip luminous stair nosings (see below). These hard-wearing nosings can be fixed to stair edges, with luminous tape added to handrails or bannisters, and around the edges of hallways/exit passages. Available in a luminous yellow, they provide highly visible glowing colour in low light conditions.
These luminous stair nosings can also be used in the home, on wooden or concrete stairs and will allow much more freedom to persons with poor eyesight during the night.
Glow tape can be applied around fire doors, or used to make arrows on floors or walls. Ideal for public or residential buildings, they produce up to 10 hours of glow time from a single charge.
This tape can also be used as a navigation ‘tool’ around a home for persons with limited visibility or partial blindness – it could also be placed around light-switches or locks. Creatively it could be used to mark out an area on a bedside table where a phone is kept, or by the front door where keys hang, or even for medication that may be needed in an emergency.
Fire Doors and Fire Protection
Whether it is for curtains, Christmas trees or artificial plants, fire retardant fabric sprays are essential to fireproof private and public play areas and day-centre facilities. Easy to apply to upholstery and decorative textiles, all products should be tested on small sample areas prior to full application. If you require any advice or application tips for these products, please do contact our technical sales support team.
Fire door paint upgrade paint kits are available that add up to 30-minute fire resistance to flat panel or raised timber doors – also available as a varnish. Add to this some intumescent strips around the door-frame for additional smoke seal protection.
The one thing that stands between a sufficient and a brilliant sensory room, or a standard and an extremely engaging day-centre room is creativity and imagination, and safety! We hope that with these tips, your project can reach new levels of fun and be enjoyed by everyone.