How to Create a Sensory Garden at Home
The sensory garden is part of an elementary strategy, implemented by MHS Principal Tara Valoczki, to provide students with emotional and psychological support.
“Everyone deals with stress on a daily basis, including children,” Valoczki said. “It is critical to teach our students how to manage their stress.”
Now, more than ever, stress is at an all-time high due to the coronavirus pandemic. MHS parents/sponsors, houseparents, and staff are looking for resourceful ways to engage students and provide educational opportunities.
Here are four steps to create your own sensory garden:
- Choose a location: Choose a space with natural light and calming noise. Allow for places to sit and explore along the way.
- Implement a child-focused approach: Include your child or family in the creative process. Encourage your child to choose materials that help them feel calm.
- Determine your materials: Collect your materials such as outdoor flowers and plants, planters, potting soil, plastic containers, sand, rocks, water fountain etc.
- Set it up: Plant your flowers, scatter the sand, and construct your instruments with recyclable materials.
“This space is a place of serenity,” Valoczki said. “It allows individuals to calm themselves and feel at peace using their senses.”
MHS students, teachers, and staff are using the Memorial Hall sensory garden throughout the year for classroom lessons, yoga, meditation, and more.
Milton Hershey School is carefully following federal and state guidelines, CDC considerations, and MHS-established health and safety protocols to keep our campus a safe, nurturing, and healthy place. Any group photos of unmasked subjects were taken prior to the face coverings mandate.