Woman Creates Incredible Sensory Room For Her Son Under The Stairs
Ashleigh Dunkley, from Buckie, North East Scotland, has transformed the large cupboard under her stairs (which was used primarily for junk) into a sensory extravaganza for her three-year-old son, including LED lights, foam walls, cogs and a ball pit.
The idea came when her son CJ, who attends a developmental nursery, was benefitting from weekly visits to a sensory room - which is essentially a special room designed to develop a person's senses through light, music and touch.
CJ also attends a mainstream nursery, who were looking to create their own sensory room cheaply, which got Ashleigh thinking about her own space under the stairs.
Over just one weekend, the mum - who has another son, Hadden, seven - set to revamping the space, primarily using materials she had in her home already and some they'd received as birthday and Christmas gifts - such as a latch board, cogs, a lava lamp, a chair, cushions, magnetic numbers, and a crocodile wall toy.
There were a few bits that Ashleigh had to buy, such as the foam mats, which she purchased for just over £10 for 30 (like this £12.59 option here); LED strip lights for £13.99 for 10 meters from Amazon (there's an option for £18.63 here); a bumble lamp purchased from Facebook Marketplace for £5; and some kid's lights (seen on the back wall) for £1 and £2 from Poundland.
As for the ball pit, the balls were collected from friends and family who were getting rid of them in the pre-Christmas clear out, with the remainder purchased on Facebook Marketplace for £30.
Ashleigh says she spent roughly £80 on CJ's sensory room - and how good does it look?!
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The mum-of-two knew she had to build one in her own home after seeing the effect it had on CJ.
"The effect it has on him was instantly clear to see. He's settled, happy and content," she tells Tyla. "We had looked into purchasing large sensory boards for home use but soon found out that these cost thousands of pounds for one panel."
"CJ also attends a mainstream nursery and they had started to create a sensory room, in a small space, with materials from B&M and Amazon which got us thinking about our large under stairs cupboard that was just being used for junk."
And what does CJ think to his special new room under the stairs? "My son loves it! He gets so excited when it's all lit up," she tells us.
"It's also very beneficial for when everyday life just gets a bit too much for him. It really settles him. Almost like someones pressed a reset button. He is a big sensory seeker so bright lights, white noise and a ball pit are right up his street."
Ashleigh isn't the only mum to have made good use of the space under her stairs lately. Jessica Pool, a mum-of-three, thought of a genius way to boost her mental health - creating a peaceful 'mum cave' under the stairs, where she could escape to unwind.
In just two hours, and with just £17, the mum transformed the tired old cupboard into a miniature boudoir with a reading nook, calming candles and mood lighting.
*Thinks up amazing things we can do with our under-stairs space.*
Featured Image Credit: Ashleigh Dunkley