9 Benefits of Bubble Tubes
What are sensory bubbles tubes?
Sensory bubble tubes are a key piece of sensory equipment that play a vital role in sensory development and can feature in a wide number of sensory rooms or environments. Bubble tubes create constantly moving colour changing sensory bubbles which can both sooth and catch the eye, developing visual skills. Bubbles tubes also softly vibrate, which invites users to explore touch too and helps them to be engaged whilst remaining relaxed. As sensory bubble tubes have the special ability to be both attention-grabbing and mesmerising, but also calming, sufferers of a variety of sensory disorders can benefit.
Experia have a range of controllers catering for a large range of abilities, specifically designed so users can get the most benefits from the experience - these are our iRiS Talkers.
A sensory bubble tube has a special ability to be both attention-grabbing and mesmerising, but also calming and soothing. Sufferers of a variety of sensory disorders can benefit from a bubble tube, as they are a great way to encourage visual development and communication skills.
How do Bubble Tubes for Sensory Rooms Work?
Water is pumped around a tube while a light at the bottom is constantly changing colour. Air is blown into the tube making bubbles shimmers and flicker, resulting in a calming effect which also draws the attention of the user.
Overall, bubble tubes are a very low maintenance piece of sensory equipment, cleaning them is easy and only has to be undertaken every so often. For more information on how to clean a bubble tube, then please check out our previous post which gives a step by step guide on how to do this at home.
The Sensory Benefits Of Bubble Tubes
At Experia, we have built up a lot of knowledge and information when it comes to our range of sensory products and providing the right solutions.
Sensory bubble tubes provide a range of benefits with some of the main sensory benefits of bubble tubes being:
- Development of colour recognition
- Exploration of cause and effect
- Introduction of the idea of story-telling and theming
- Encouragement of interaction
- Allowing for visual development
- Progression of communication skills
- Creates a sense of calm and relaxation
- Enables focus and development of attention
- Encourages touch through vibration in a safe environment
Alongside this, we work with Occupational Therapists who help us get a better understanding of sensory needs so that each user benefits.
Multi-sensory environments support interaction and discovery as well as communication. Bubble Tubes are at the heart of any multi-sensory environment, attracting attention and inspiring interaction through the constantly changing colours and moving bubbles. Bubble Tubes have many benefits including visual stimulation, developing cause and effect skills, understanding colour sequencing and colour matching, and encouraging touch through vibration, as well as a whole range of themed activities.
Sensory Benefits of a Bubble Tube
What is a Bubble Tube?
Bubble tubes are a key piece of sensory equipment that plays a vital role in sensory development and feature in a wide number of sensory rooms or environments and there are many sensory benefits of a bubble tube. Bubble tubes create constantly moving color changing bubbles which can both sooth ad catch the eye. We have a range of controllers – these are our iRiS Talkers.
Bubble tubes have a special ability to be both attention-grabbing and mesmerizing, but also calming and soothing. Sufferers of a variety of sensory disorders can benefit from a bubble tube as they are a great way to encourage visual development and communication skills.
How Do Bubble Tubes Work?
Water is pumped around a tube while a light at the bottom is constantly changing color. Air is blown into the tube making bubbles shimmers and flicker. This results in a calming effect which also draws the attention of the user. This effect helps promote visual stimulation and encourages touch through faint vibration.
The Sensory Benefits of Bubble Tubes
At Experia, we have built up a lot of knowledge and information when it comes to our range of sensory products and providing the right solutions. Alongside this, we work with occupational therapists who help us get a better understanding of sensory needs and what works for which conditions. Occupational therapist, Jess Brown lists the sensory benefits of bubble tubes:
- Help you to engage and interact with the audience you're working with
- Are diverse enough to be used in almost any environment with any user
- Provide visual effects to help calm and relax, or engage and motivate
- Have the ability to encourage interaction, attention, visual development and communication skills
- Are interactive and can encourage learning, such as color recognition, cause and effect, story-telling and development of choice.
Calming Sensory Lights Can Help Calm and Soothe
Research between lighting and autism has brought to the public’s attention numerous positive associations between color and mood. Certain colors, such as blue, can help towards creativity and calmness, with mood lighting adding to a happy, creative environment.
Children’s moods are strongly affected by lighting: for some it provides a calming, soothing effect and for others it acts as a stimulant. Harsh lighting can often hurt the eyes of a person with autism. Flickering, humming lights can be very distracting and sometimes painful. It’s often advised to use adjustable lighting in order to create a calming effect. Certain light levels and colors can be beneficial and the ability to control visual stimuli within the space is important.
Creating a sensory room can aid to stimulate, develop and balance a person’s sensory system. Sensory rooms can include: soothing music, vibrating cushions, fiber optics, mirror balls, bubble tubes, water beds, tactile walls, disco lights, projectors and equipment that is activated by switches, movement, sound or pressure, so that a child can learn about cause and effect.
The competition was to find the best lighting for autism held by Valuelights. It included such creative sensory lighting as tornadoes, bubble fish, color changing LED lights and rocket-shaped lava lamps. The idea behind the campaign was to reject the idea of lighting being a purely functional commodity and making it something fun, creative and exciting within the home environment. The colorful bubble tubes create a sensory calming experience and a creative focal point to captivate a child’s imagination.
Bubble tube lamps are often used for children with sensory processing disorder as they are able to gain a positive response to the color and movement, tracking the bubbles which helps with visual eye development. The Valuelights Aquarium range uses LED lighting that will not become hot, making them ideal for use as a soothing night light with color changing effects that will be interactive by day and act as a sensory night light for autistic children. The Valuelights mood lighting range allows children to concentrate and focus in a positive, fun and creative way.
HOW TO USE THIS VITAL TOOL WITH PUPILS WITH DIFFICULT BEHAVIOUR.
Since the dawn of multi-sensory rooms, light rooms or whatever you may happen to call your special place, one piece of equipment has always featured. Not front and centre but always stuck in the corner and nearly always backed by mirrors. The good old bubble tube, small ones, tall ones, interactive tubes, they all come in many shapes and sizes but in the end they are all the same. Air bubbling up through a tube of water and for such a simple concept they are incredibly popular and this popularity alone makes them a great tool for working with individuals with challenging behaviour. Why? And how?
For many individuals who display behaviour that we may consider challenging they have a significant difficulty with sensory processing. They struggle to tune out unnecessary sensory input and become overwhelmed, they need to practice their skill of sensory regulation and so we begin with, “Just Looking”. The bubble tube with its bright light source, the sound of the bubbles, the feel of the vibration or smooth outer surface becomes our great focal point. If the individual, you are working with wants to sit and stare at the bubble tube don’t be afraid to let them. In fact, let’s make it an individual target. Ryan will focus on the bubble tube for X seconds/minutes without prompting. We are looking for the individual to get lost in their interest for the bubble tube. Don’t worry about obsession or not communicating. We want them to have a period of time where they are not being overwhelmed by a whole range of sensations. We want to teach them to focus on one thing and to not be distracted and overwhelmed by other sensory stimuli. One word of caution, for this to succeed the bubble tube needs to be the sole focus and yet nearly every bubble tube is backed by mirrors.
Adding a switch into the system, which most recent bubble tubes allow, increases the opportunities for developing communication skills. Switch off the bubble tube and look for any sign from the individual that they have recognised the change. Leaning closer to the tube, looking at you, looking at the switch – any indication, then immediately switch the tube back on. This behaviour can then be shaped up to become purposeful communication.
The tactile impact of the bubble tube can also be utilised with individuals simply holding or hugging the bubble tube. Many children seek to crawl behind the tube, hug it or hold it tight. If you are familiar with the strategies involving deep pressure this then is the individual seeking deep pressure on their own terms, without other people’s involvement. In this way it can be a great tool if you are aware that a bad day lies ahead for the individual. Say, because their transport was delayed or someone they really don’t like is going to be in their vicinity for most of the day. Start their day off with some deep pressure work, such as letting them have time hugging the tube. There is an awful lot more to this than just hugging a tube, but I haven’t got space here and now to cover it!
This is just a dip into using the bubble tube to help out individuals with autism, but do try out some of the ideas and let us know how you get on!
An essential element to any multi-sensory room, bubble tubes and bubble columns are captivating pieces of sensory equipment, the combination of ever-changing bubbles and colors creates a magical focus point in any darkened area. Bubble tubes are perhaps the most distinctive accessory in multi-sensory environments, whether it is in a calming room or an interactive room, the array of changing colors and moving bubbles gets everyone attracted to its relaxing effects.
People with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) get a positive response when watching bubble tubes in action, since they provide a tracking activity that helps to improve visual development, color recognition, visual perception and communications skills. The bubble tubes themselves can promote and enhance your client's level of relaxation, creating a calming effect.
Who can resist the soothing and captivating sights and sounds of bubbles? Our selection of sensory bubble tubes are intended for relaxation or stimulation with a variety of functions and color options.
Bubble columns are a wonderful treat for any home or office, but are especially beneficial for children, teens and adults with sensory processing disorders. Our bubble light columns are designed to be used in a variety of ways: Let them bubble away in relaxation mode to help improve visual tracking, connect them with our padded colored cubes to play basic interactive games, or power them with a Super Switch for advanced functionality that builds hand-eye coordination and memory.