Are you ready to bring a new sensory experience to the older adults in your program? An active, open-ended experience that combines sensory-rich materials, allowing participants to use their imaginations, creativity and expression. We are excited to introduce the concept of Sensory Trays from Nicole Root at Tray Play.
At S&S, we work with many activity professionals and occupational therapists that use fun sensory items like our kinetic sand or thera snow with their residents and patients, but this new idea of engaging sensory trays takes these activities to a whole new level. Not only are the trays that Nicole has created beautifully and visually appealing, but they are beyond adaptable for any participant.
These sensory tray experiences from Tray Play are dedicated to increasing the well-being of their residents, participants, or clients, and meets many needs of adults with varying cognitive or physical challenges. They have a wide appeal, lending a unique and individualized design for each and every experience. The arrangement of materials depends on the participant’s experience and imagination. There are no expectations, rules, or directions to follow. Everyone comes to the table with the abilities that they do have – and that is what is celebrated. It’s just a chance to connect, awaken the senses, self-express, and rejuvenate.
How the Experience Benefits Those Involved
The experience is ultimately about sharing the present moment together and receiving a break from repetitive thoughts, worries, and concerns. It can be a time to laugh, share thoughts, and be lively. It can also be a time of stillness, reflection, and exploration. There is a sense of accomplishment and pride with this activity, and this is wonderful for you and the participant to witness together. There are no expectations, except for having respect for each other and honoring whatever surfaces without judgment. It can even be an experience shared with a group session.
Examples of Trays from Engaging Sensory Tray Experiences
Below are examples of some sensory tray experiences from Nicole. As you can see, they are visually appealing and there are infinite ways that the tray can come to completion and designs can unfold. We welcome you to learn more about these experiences here at Nicole’s online course, (which is NCCAP approved): Introduction to Engaging Sensory Tray Experiences with Older Adults
Let us know in the comments if you have tried sensory trays at your facility!