Simple DIY Sensory Boards

Whether you are using bright colours to catch a residents attention, soft/ silky textures to stimulate their sense of touch, or a unique material to trigger specific memories, sensory stimulation can help you to connect with low functioning residents in memory care.

Sensory boards can be a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to reach residents, and particularly those who are in the later stages of dementia.

With a little creativity, you can make a wide range of different boards, using an assortment of colours, textures, and materials.

Bark chiselled from a log.

What you will need for this project:

  • Canvas boards from your local dollar or craft store
  • Hot glue gun
  • Glue gun refills
  • Materials of your choice

It couldn’t be more simple; using a hot glue gun , attach assorted pieces of fabric, craft materials, or other items with interesting textures, to the canvas boards.

Once the sensory boards are complete, they can be left out on a table to encourage residents to initiate participation on their own, or hung up on the walls for people to explore as they make their way through the halls.

If you choose to make smaller sized boards, they are a great tool to bring along with you when you are trying to reach a resident who is unable to participate in group programs, but also struggles to remain engaged in conversation during individual visits.

Leather, cut into strips and rotated between smooth and soft sides face up.

You may be able to help guide the resident by first saying “Do you know what this material reminds me of? …My wedding dress. What was your wedding dress like, was it made of a material similar to this?”

If you initiate conversation, and feel that it is not progressing well, this could be a great opportunity to pull out the sensory boards, and ask the resident questions related to them. You could ask which material is their favourite, or if any of the boards bring back a memory that they would like to share with you.

When it comes to finding options for textures that will work on your boards, there is a world of endless possibilities.Trial and error….

Happy Crafting!


Related Product Links


Disclosure: Products listed on this page are sold through Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate I will earn a commission from qualifying purchases. Please note that this is at absolutely no additional cost to you, or your organization. Thank you for taking the time to support this blog.

FIXSMITH-Painting Canvas Panels, 8×10 Inch Board 12 Pack


Carl & Kay [250 Pcs] 1 Inch Pom Poms in Bright & Bold Colors


6-Inch-by-25-Yard Tulle, Turquoise


Artificial Fur Craft Square


Synthetic Grass – 4-Pack


Faux Leather Sheets for Earrings- 12 Pieces Size 8 x 12 Inch


7pcs 18″ X 18″ 1.4mm Thick Soft Felt

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