• Jane Erbe, OTR/L

A fully-loaded sensory-rich playroom for less than $160.00!

Updated: Sep 22, 2019


I've always loved IKEA, ever since my college days. I had the particle-board desk that promptly fell apart as soon as I tried to move it from one dorm room to another. Nowadays you can buy solid wood pieces that (I can attest from personal experience) will last decades. Well, IKEA continues to impress me, and this last visit proved it again. The people at IKEA understand that children need to move in order to learn. Movement feeds the brain, creating more neuro-connections, which in turn stimulates the body to move more. It's a beautiful cycle. However, in today's world, children are hindered from moving the way their body naturally wants to. We have been warned not to let babies lay on their bellies if unattended. Busy parents transport their infants in safe but restrictive carseats. And once at their destination, babies are propped in bouncy-seats. Once in school, recess time is getting shorter and time spent sitting at a desk increases. Gone are the days when children have free-reign to move at their will. So when I see how affordable IKEA is making toys which encourage children to move and explore, well I've been won over once again!

Here is the list of each items (along with pictures above) and their current prices:

PS Lomsk: $ 69.99

GUNGGUNG swing: $ 24.99

BUSA play tunnel: $ 14.99

PLUFSIG folding mat: $ 29.99

BUSA tent: $ 12.99

EKORRE ceiling hook (2 pack): $ 3.49

GRAND TOTAL: $ 156.44

The play scenarios are endless with these toys. From laying on their belly (and "flying across the night sky") to crawling from the "castle through the moat" to rescue to prince or princess, children will be engaged all day long. When a child spins around, they are feeding their vestibular system, which improves their balance and visual skills. By strengthening their vestibular system, they strengthen the foundation for being able to remain seated at a desk in school. Crawling through the tunnel, which provides heavy input to the proprioceptive system, builds stronger upper-body skills needed for handwriting. And when they need a break from their over-scheduled days, throw a bunch of pillows and books in the play tent and let them take a break to re-group.

Never heard of the vestibular system or the proprioceptive system? Don't worry~you're in good company. Most people are not aware that there are actually 7 sensory systems. And these sensory systems process information automatically and instantly, to allow the body to adapt or respond to what is going on in the environment. For example, a loud noise instantly causes a turning of the head to locate where the noise is coming from. An unexpected light-touch feeling on the back of your neck may cause alarm and a swift wiping away of this tactile input, hoping it wasn't a spider or some other misguided creature! Children strength their sensory processing skills through play. By challenging their bodies to move in different ways and by engaging with the world around them, children develop and fine-tune each of the 7 sensory systems. The sensory systems create the foundation from which children build higher level skills, such as eye-hand coordination, bilateral integration, and cognitive / emotional well-being.

If you'd like to find out more about sensory processing, the 7 sensory systems and how some children actually exhibit sensory processing disorder, visit our website www.smartpediatrics.com.

The link below leads to IKEA's online catalog, with all the items I've listed here. I hope you'll be able to add one, if not all the items I've mentioned so you and your child can have fun-filled days ahead in your own home. Where your child's imagination, sensory processing, and brain power will grow.

https://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/categories/departments/childrens_ikea/

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It is important to know that while early intervention is always ideal, issues with sensory processing and primitive reflexes can be treated at any age. It is NEVER too late to begin addressing your concerns.