What is sensory play?

Welcome back to my blog from the Sensory Room at High Rise!

Over the past couple of weeks, I have spoken with a lot of our guests about the benefits of sensory play. This may be a term you have heard before, you may even have been to ‘baby sensory’ or at least know someone who has – but what I have realised is that many of you are still asking me – what exactly is it?

Sensory play is any activity that stimulates the senses. It involves learning through exploring, playing and investigating. Some things cannot be taught by words alone, and for some people words may not work at all – so sensory play offers a different type of learning experience and engagement. And the impact can be incredible, life-changing for some.

There are more than 5 senses …

Most people are aware of five senses – sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. However, we also have an additional two

senses: vestibular– this is about our sense of movement and balance; and proprioception – which focuses on our body awareness.


We all experience sensory stimulation every day and we don’t even realise it. Simply, going to the beach and feeling the sand beneath your feet, enjoying the excitement you get from riding a rollercoaster and eating your favourite flavour of ice cream can stimulate many senses.

Sometimes, it is beneficial to have focused sensory activities. These can be adapted to provide sensory stimulation for one sense or many different senses all at once.

I know this is complex, but don’t worry – that’s what I’m here to help you with, and I will assist you when you visit the Sensory Room at High Rise, guiding you and incorporating these senses into your experience. I will also use future blog posts to explore each sense in more detail.

The key benefits

Sensory play supports language development, cognitive growth, fine and gross motor skills, problem solving skills and social interaction, and is invaluable in lots of situations, for example:

Do you know someone who experiences anxiety or becomes frustrated? Sensory play can have a truly calming and relaxing effect on them.

Does your child disengage from their surroundings and find it difficult to get involved in play? Sensory play can help people to become more self-aware and to engage more fully with – and derive enjoyment from – the world around them.

Sensory play is an important part of learning and playing. Our Sensory and Quiet Rooms are an ideal place to explore this further. As well as our main equipment, I have lots of toys and activities so we can focus on developing or engaging particular senses or have a programme of engagement over a series of sessions.

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Is this something I can do?

Absolutely, both in the Sensory Room at High Rise, but also at home. On your next visit, have a chat with me about how you can carry on the sensory play experience at home.

Get in touch with me

Remember, I always love to hear from you if you have any questions, ideas for future blog posts, or would like to visit the sensory room at High Rise. Simply click here leave your details, and I will get back to you.

Thanks for reading,


Also in this section

Getting here

Instructions for the various ways to get to High Rise in Lisburn including car, bus, train and taxi

Welcome to our Sensory Room Blog

How do we create a space that is genuinely inclusive and welcoming for everyone, that is fun, but also helps people to develop and engage their senses as well as empower and educate people? That was the question we asked when developing our innovative new sensory and quiet rooms in High Rise

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High Rise NI

Clip ‘n Climb

High Rise will include Northern Ireland's biggest and best Clip ‘n Climb experience – providing healthy, challenging indoor climbing fun for all the family!

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High Rise Lisburn is a new indoor adventure centre offering Clip ' Climb, soft play, parties, sensory room, cafe, Changing Places toilet, corporate rooms


High Rise Lisburn offers a Clip 'n Climb, soft play & sensory parties for all occasions



Soft play

High Rise's soft play in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, will feature an exciting soft play area for babies and toddlers as well as equipment suitable for older children.



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High Rise features an innovative, state of the art sensory room and a quiet room, which are designed to offer an accessible and welcoming space for all.

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We are proud that High Rise includes an accessible ‘Changing Places’ toilet facility. This provides the extra equipment, and space, that people with profound and multiple physical or learning disabilities can require.



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