What is a Snoezelen room and how does it benefit our children?
Our Principal, Dr. Vanessa von Auer, is a visionary in the education field. Her dream has always been to create a learning environment of purpose which compels children’s imagination, creativity, sense of wonder, motivation and excitement around their own education. As such, when the Integrated International School (IIS) moved into its current campus, Dr. Vanessa set out to design and construct a “one of a kind” Ocean Snoezelen room, which would evoke our students’ senses to awaken and to incorporate this multi-sensorial experience into their day-to-day experiences at school. Read on to discover more about this unique space:
Does every school have one?
Our Snoezelen room is unique to IIS, special multi-sensory spaces such as ours are not simply outfitted or purchased from one shop. All of our equipment, their placement and colour scheme used, have a purpose and were researched carefully with child development and optimizing learning in mind. Specific items were shipped in from Europe and America.
Why is it nicknamed the Ocean Room?
We chose the Ocean theme because there is so much fascination and wonder when we think of the sea. We wanted to create an environment that would provide a sense of calm yet encourage discovery as soon as you entered the room. Our inclusive school community also loves and respects animals, which is why we wanted to create an environment, in which our students’ passions for animals and the environment will continue to grow/strengthen/inculcate.
What features does your Snoezelen room have?
Our Ocean room’s features include mesmerizing bubble tubes, interactive infinity panels, a colourful fibre optic ‘waterfall’ and carpet, solar projector and tactile sea life toys plus soft textured flooring. It truly varies depending on the individual, one person may love to observe the bubbles while another will enjoy watching the marine life projections, everyone can freely choose how they want to experience and enjoy the space.
How does the Snoezelen room benefit the children?
Our students use the Ocean room in a variety of ways and they know it is always a safe, calming space to enjoy. The environment is brilliant for meditation, imaginative play, and group therapy, we modify the use of the lights and interactive projections according to how we are using the space. For example, for meditation or breathing exercises, we will lower the volume of the background music and only use the solar projectors.
Another example is during guided visualization activities, the students will lie down on the soft pads and watch the marine life floating by that’s projected on the ceiling, these sessions aim to focus the imagination in proactive and positive ways.
The Ocean room is also a place to celebrate after a successful school day, during those times, we introduce musical instruments while enhancing the colourful light projections to fill the room.
We venture into the Ocean room with the students on a daily basis, it is open to all children and staff (it’s a place that we find can inspire our teachers when creating fun and interactive lesson plans!)
If my child has sensory issues, will they enjoy the Snoezelen room?
Some of our students do have different sensory challenges including sensitivity to bright lights and loud sounds and other sensory integration issues. We are a very neuro-diverse school and some of our students need more time to calm their anxieties. The Snoezelen room is a wonderful safe space for these students to take the time to process their feelings, redirect their attention and think up more positive ways to handle the conflict.
If you’d like to view our Ocean Snoezelen room and more of our unique facilities, please book a tour on our Enquiry form.