I really love Ikea...
...I very often go round imagining that each of the rooms are in my house and I play out little scenes in my head...what would I be doing if that was my house? How cool would it be to have a circular bed? or I might do the 'look at me I live in a swanky New York apartment' routine (then I have to come back down to earth and think...I am so not that cool)
But on a different note! While I was walking around today I found a few things that may be really useful for school - either in a PMLD class as part of a sensory diet or for my SLD group in different subject areas. Have a look - Ikea is really great because everything is so cheap!
1. Awesome rainbow curtain - it does look really flimsy but the strips are made out of quite a thick plastic which looks and feels quite durable so if you use it with quite active and unpredictable students the strips probably wont snap...handy!
2. Leaf canopy - I absolutely love this... I used this in my class for a whole term - I had it over the board and created a mini rainforest display when we were focusing on 'animals' as our theme and I used it the term after for the English story 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' for our theme of 'food and drink'. Really useful and it is great for hanging bits and bobs from the inside to create a giant mobile!
3. Night time bed canopy - again a really useful piece of equipment for hanging interesting objects to create a visually interesting display piece - BUT I have seen some really interesting sensory booths using this before...attach this to portable display board to create a sensory booth and fill it with exciting objects to explore - this would be really handy if you are focusing on 'space' as a theme and the sensory booth idea is fantastic for PMLD!
4. Material bed canopies - here are 3 different types - different sizes and different designs - these are great for projecting onto in a dark room or projecting on from the inside with an array of different sensory lights such as light star ships (see http://www.multi-sensory-room.co.uk/ for ideas). This creates fantastic mini sensory rooms or areas for students. Also it could be used to create a role play area for classrooms - get your students designing decorations for the outsides.
5. Wall lights - Really cheap and great for a range of different activities - it could be used for Science, R.E. English, etc etc etc... They come in a few different designs and would be great for small projects or to add to a wall display.
6. These are great...You will find these in the kids section holding a range of different soft toys...I used a green one and turned it into a giant caterpillar when we looked at 'the very hungry caterpillar' for our 'food and drink' theme. I stuck a symbols of the the days of the week on the side of each compartment and the caterpillar 'ate' the different foods as we went though the story. Very cheap as well!
7. 1, 2, 3 collapsible containers - great for maths - enough said really...ordering numbers? counting out? Doesn't matter if these get thrown the length of the room...they aren't going to hurt anyone...excellent!
8. Film reel - These are great for sequencing activities - especially if you are sequencing English text pictures - you will find these in the photo/art/frames section.
9. Air cushion - These are really fun and great for smaller students (primary?) they are not a bean bag - they are filled with air like an air bed - I only saw these 2 designs but there may be different ones too!
Hope this gives you some ideas - there are probably loads more bits and bobs you could pick up from Ikea - feel free to comment and add what you have found!