Sensory Retreat


It is important to think about retreat time and places, when thinking about building sensory input into every day life, whether that is at school or at home. Retreat is especially needed for those who are over responsive to sensory input, and for those who find it difficult to regulate their arousal level.

A retreat place should be a calm and quiet space, with low level lighting. Often children like a ‘tight’ space where they can squeeze in, thereby getting deep pressure and proprioceptive input. The retreat place should be readily available, especially within a school setting, so that the child can go there to help them self-regulate. It should never be used as a place of sanction or any sort of punishment.

It is good to think about times in the day that you may want to encourage the child to use the retreat place.

Below are some ideas for sensory retreat places.

Book on a course to find out more, there are courses from beginner to advanced. If you have already attended an introductory course on sensory processing, then Making SENSE of Behaviour is an opportunity to extend your knowledge and reasoning skills.

Find out more on this course Making SENSE of Behaviour

27 and 28 November 2019 at The Space Centre, Preston

Book now to avoid disappointment.



Hideaway Corner


Make a hideaway corner in the classroom or at home, this one is made from a commercial soft dog bed and then filled with cushions and blankets.





Dark tent/hideaway

Dark tents can be purchased and then filled with items such as cushions, beanbags, weighted blankets, as well as smaller sensory soothing toys.





Cocoon Swing

A cocoon type swing can make an ideal sensory retreat.  Ikea used to sell one which was great, but they don’t seem to at the moment.  It looks like there are some available on Ebay, or there are similar type swings for sale on Amazon.  These swings work really well in a bedroom, and provide a lovely snug retreat place as well as providing gentle linear vestibular input.



Tight Spaces

Retreat places don’t need to made from expensive pieces of equipment. Very often you can make one from things that you already have at home or school. For example, a big cardboard box makes a great retreat place.


I have seen children who have made themselves a retreat place in a kitchen cupboard, under a bed, in a wardrobe, or behind the sofa. Here are instructions for a rocket squish box.



Weighted blankets

Weighted blankets which provide deep pressure and proprioceptive input are often used as part of a retreat place. A Stitch Different is a great place to purchase weighted blankets.

The blankets are custom-made and also if you contact them they will give you good and sound advice.

Duvet Ball Bag

A duvet cover half filled with ball pool balls can make a great retreat place. The child can get inside the bag and create a little retreat place. Or they can lie with the bag on top of them using it like a giant cushion.


 Making SENSE of Behaviour

More about this course

27 and 28 November 2019

How do we make sense of some of the difficult behaviours we see in children and adults that we work with?  Is it just behaviour? is all behaviour “communication”? or is it more complex than this?

For example, how do we make sense of:

  • A child who appears to be consistently defiant and manipulative
  • A young person who head bangs without any apparent trigger
  • A child who never sits still, seems to be constantly distracted and unable to concentrate

Understanding why individuals behave in the way that they do, and how it may be linked to sensory processing difficulties, is fundamental to developing appropriate and effective strategies and interventions that will lead to effective change.

The aim of this two day advanced course is to provide teachers and health professionals with a structured framework to develop an understanding of an individual’s behaviour, drawing on ideas from a variety of approaches to develop an individualised formulation. This will inform a clear intervention involving developing and implementing appropriate and effective strategies and programmes to assist the individual in school, home and other settings. Understanding and integrating sensory integration theory into the formulation and intervention will form a key part of the course. There will be a practical session in the large sensory room at SPACE on Day 2.

This course provides an extension to the knowledge gained on the course ‘Introduction to Sensory Integration and Sensory Processing Disorder’.