Educational space for special needs kids is a first of its kind

Designed by a Fremont special education teacher, the Sensory Courtyard is a calming space filled with butterflies, waterfalls, and even a swing. It looks to provide a calm environment for kids to learn and have fun.

By Rachael Miner
April 6, 2019

Little giggles and lots of jangles can be heard throughout the Sensory Courtyard.

The educational space located next to the Fremont Public Schools facility is a first of its kind.

“The Sensory Courtyard is for a new unique way for children to learn and so it has a lot of educational activities incorporated within it, but it's in a fun atmosphere,” Mary Robinson, the founder of the Sensory Courtyard, said.
Robinson founded the Sensory Courtyard after being inspired by a woman in Florida.

As a teacher for the visually impaired in Fremont Robinson knew certain environments could be overwhelming for kids with special needs.

While the space is meant for all kids, it was specifically designed for children with special needs so they could have fun and learn in a calming environment.

A variety of stations throughout the space have kids interacting with their different senses.

“There’s a snoezelen room and snoezelen rooms are really great for exploration and relaxation.”

The snoezelan room is a favorite for many kids who come and visit.

Inside dim lights trigger melatonin to be released in the brain creating a calming effect.

The room features more than half a dozen interactive activities including a ball pit, matching games, and a projection of the ocean.

Aside from the snoezelan room, the sensory courtyard has a swing, books, puzzles, and plenty of educational toys to keep kids learning and having fun.

Watching so many kids grow in the space has been a dream come true for Robinson.

"There are no words. It's a very humbling experience for me to see the growth that kids have made and for parents to come up and say 'this has really impacted my child’s life.'”

The space is free for anyone to use, but does require a reservation which can be made on the Sensory Courtyard's website.

Robinson hopes the space will continue to be a place for both learning and fun for years to come.

The space runs entirely on donations which are used to maintain and keep it clean.

If you would like more information or to make a reservation at the Sensory Courtyard click here.

Click here to read the full article on KLKN's website.

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