Sensory room brings brighter future for Sunderland children

Evie Winter

Evie Winter

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Little ones in Sunderland are looking to a brighter future with a new sensory room.

Sunderland Children, West Centre, has had the space completely renovated, with new lighting, toys and equipment that help develop youngsters’ senses.

Saahib Randhawa

Saahib Randhawa

The Thorney Close centre is one of five Sunderland Children centres across Sunderland, which aims to give children under five the best possible start in life.

Gurpreet Randhawa, a teacher from Tunstall, uses the sensory room with her 14-month-old son Saahib during school holidays.

She said: “Saahib loves the lights in the room and it’s a nice change to come here. It’s perfect for when it is raining outside and we can’t enjoy the outdoors.

“The renovation is great. It’s a fantastic space for little ones.”

It’s perfect to be able to bring the girls here.

Sarah Winter

Another parent, Sarah Winter, who lives in Thorney Close, uses the Thorndale Road centre with her youngsters Cara, three and eight-month-old Evie.

She said: “It’s perfect to be able to bring the girls here during holidays. Evie loves the lights and toys in here and it is good for Cara too, even though she is a little bit older.”

Sensory play includes any activity that stimulates the senses of young people, including touch, smell, taste, sight and hearing. Sensory activities encourage children to explore and naturally encourages children to learn while they play, create, investigate and explore.

Spending time stimulating their senses helps children develop cognitively, linguistically, socially, emotionally, physically and creatively, and it is recognised as being extremely beneficial to babies and toddlers in particular.

Councillor Pat Smith, portfolio holder for Children’s Services, said: “Sensory play is just one great way of developing the skills and abilities of little ones, and in an environment that children find quite calming, but no less stimulating.”

The Sensory Room at the West Centre is open all day, every day for parents and carers to drop-in when they please or pay a quick visit between other sessions and is completely free of charge.

l For more information about Sunderland Children and the sessions they offer, visit www.sunderlandchildrencentres.co.uk or join the Sunderland Children’s Centre group on Facebook.