Q & A
What is a Multisensory Story?
A multisensory story is told using words and sensory stimuli (story props).
Who Are Multisensory Stories For?
Each story includes themed, sensory extension activities that link to the EYFS Framework and areas of the KS1 National Curriculum making them the perfect resource for individuals with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (aged 3-19), EYFS, Mainstream Primary, Speech & Language and EAL students.
Are the Stories Only for Use in Educational Settings?
The stories and poems are fully resourced, step-by-step guides, making them the perfect resource for Teachers, TA's, Learning Support Mentors, Mid-Days, Parents, Siblings, Guardians, Childminders, Speech Therapists, Play Therapists, Support Workers, Activity Coordinators, Storytellers, Librarians and anyone with an interest in exploring storytelling through the senses in a fun and engaging way!
Why Rhyming Multisensory Stories?
The combination of sensory stimuli, listening to the rhyme and rhythm and the repetitive structure of the stories, supports memory and aids learning, playing a crucial role in the development of early communication language skills.
What Are the Benefits of Multisensory Storytelling?
Stories create a bond between the storyteller and the story explorer enhancing and enriching experiences.
The stories connect the individual to literature, culture, history and topic in a fun, engaging and motivating way.
They form an excellent base on which to scaffold learning, providing opportunities for the individuals to work towards personal learning goals and targets
The activities in the stories are designed to promote:
Initiation and sensory exploration.
Communication skills: eye contact, listening, anticipation shared attention and language development.
Self-confidence & well-being: trying out new ideas and skills, practicing self-care, independence and enjoying achievement.
Self-awareness: asking for 'help', 'again' and 'more'.
Opportunities to explore cause and effect and to build anticipation skills.
Physical Development: fine & gross motor skills.
Understanding of the environment and the world around us.
Engagement in scientific experimentation and mathematical concepts.
Development of social and emotional Skills: Turn-taking, sharing and teamwork, persistence
Can Multisensory Storytelling Promote Alternative Communication Skills?
Sensory stories are an excellent motivating tool for encouraging alternative communication systems, early communication skills, Makaton, sign language and to facilitate PECS exchanges. The stories build the confidence of students with speech impediments and communication difficulties as they have a physical (story) prop to support the words they are saying.
Can Multisensory Stories Inform on Needs & Care Plans
The sensory stimuli (story props) are a tool for the individual to explore and express their likes, dislikes and sensory preferences providing opportunities to make choices.
Observing reactions to a range of sensory stimuli enables you to build a picture of sensory preferences that can be used to identify motivators, items to items calm an individual when anxious, tired or stressed and to identify triggers.
You may seek to avoid some triggers and to work on building tolerance on others that may be necessary
(e.g. teeth brushing) through sensory exploration in a safe and therapeutic environment.
When used in a safe setting rhyming multisensory stories can be used to prepare the story explorer for visits out of their daily routine such as getting a haircut or the dentist.
This sensory record can help parents, carers and teaching staff make informed choices to enhance daily life in areas such as diet, sensory needs, daily activities and leisure activities and is an invaluable tool to inform on the behaviour strategies and the writing of care plans.
How do I source my Story Props?
The stories and poems are fully resourced and with different options suggested for props.
The props are all low budget items that can be found around the home, garden or classroom.
You can also add your own props.
How Do I Tell A Multisensory Story?
The multisensory stories are written as easy to follow, step-by-step guides.
Click here for more information.
You do not have to complete the whole story in one sitting. You can explore one or two sentences adding to the story in future sessions, it may take several sessions to complete the story.
Allow processing time.
Repetition is the key! Repeat the same story for a minimum of twice a week for a month then change to a different story.
Be allergy aware! Like any other activity, ensure the activities are supervised by a responsible adult.
The interactions should be led by the story explorer who should be allowed to participate without expectation.
Never force stimuli and stop the activity if the story explorer shows signs that they are not enjoying the session.
Focus on having fun and it will become an educational experience!