Surfing the net to look for an activity to do with my kids locally on a rainy day, I was intrigued by the new Centro Sfera Bianca in Taverne, which I had never heard of. I called, made an appointment, and finally went there with my twins aged 7 years old.
Centro Sfera BiancaSofia, the owner, opened the door and welcomed us with a smile. She’s very positive and enthusiastic and was eager to share with us how she came to open this centre and tell the story about the Snoezelen room (yes, it’s hard to pronounce the word – it took me quite a few attempt before succeeding).
The Centro Sfera Bianca was born about 18 months ago in Taverne, thanks to Sofia who felt the urge to bring to Tessin something that did not exist. It specializes in
in sensory and relaxation game activities through the Snoezelen. Snoezelen is a philosophy that fits into the magical setting of a multisensory room, the “Snoezelen room” indeed.
The origin of Snoezelen rooms
The origins of these rooms, which I call “corners of paradise”, date back to the Netherlands and the ’70s. Snoezelen is not a therapy but it is a way to help people play, relax, discover and learn new things, prevent health issues (for example stress-related problems). To do this you need an ideal environment, which can lead you to listening to your inner self and others without the pressure of a therapeutic result.
The meaning of Snoezelen
The (unpronounceable) word “Snoezelen“ comes from two Dutch words, “Snuffelen” (sniff) e “Doezelen” (snooze). it is the union of these two concepts, stirring and relaxation, which represent the core of the environment. Here you can get yourself going, discover, live… or simply relax, stop, take some time off (something which rarely happens, I would say …!)
At the beginning, Snoezelen rooms were designed for to be used in rehab, to improve the quality of life in people with severe disabilities. Today, however, they are used for many other purposes. The therapists who lead the session, according to their skills and guests’ requests, offers a wide range of activities – from educational to precautionary burn-out prevention.
The Snoezelen Room of the Centro Sfera Bianca in Taverne
But what can you find inside a Snoezelen room? As soon as Sofia opened the curtains, our jaws dropped. We all went “Ohhhhh” in amazement. It is like being transported in a magic world, surrounded by lights, the sound of water, moving luminous shapes projected on the wall. In short, you immediately feel a pleasant sense of well-being.
Sofia introduced us to several activities, like touching “strange” objects in a bag (adults will soon notice how “touching” is not something you do very often). Other activities were building figures using glowing shapes, or even playing with several types of balls made of different materials.
While my son was happily swinging on a hammock, his eyes closed, listening to the sounds of the sea waves, my daughter picked some objects (of different materials) and placed them on her own sea, then jumped into a ball pit. And I? Well, I relaxed on a (vibrating) water bed. Needless to say, when the time came, I did not want to leave…
One hour is a very short time and went by too quicky, but fortunately, at the exit, we found something amazing: the most beautiful gift shop ever!
The gift shop
There is a vast array of a lot of great toys on sale, all thought about to arouse your senses. The toys on sale are not only beautiful, but smart too. There are toys for small babies, as well as toddlers and older kids. It really is worth a visit (but do check the opening days on the website, or else you can order them online). The center organizes very interesting classes like sensory workshops for young children (from 4 months), pre-natal courses, infant massage courses and Snoezelen courses. These are certified by the ISNA / MSE, the international Snoezelen association (this centre is the first one to offer such classes in Italian).