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December Teaching Calendar

Updated: Dec 19, 2021

Teaching ideas and inspiration to celebrate the month of December!

1st December

Christingle

A Christingle is a symbol of Christian faith used to mark advent.

Make a Christingle

You will need:

  • An Orange

  • Red Ribbon

  • Candle (or LED tealight)

  • Four sweets or pieces of dried fruit

  • Cloves

  • Four Cocktail Sticks

  1. Tie the piece of red ribbon around the middle of the orange.

  2. Place the candle into the centre of the orange.

  3. Insert the cocktail sticks into the orange.

  4. Carefully place the sweets/dried fruit onto the cocktail sticks.

For a sensory experience:

Make a Christingle Sensory Bin

A sensory bin is a container filled with themed items that provide a calming activity and the opportunity to learn through exploration whilst engaging the senses and meeting sensory needs.

This sensory play develops fine motor skills as the student manipulates the objects, problem solving skills through experimentation, creativity and imagination through exploration and the opportunity to build language and communication skills.

Find a container

A large tray, cardboard box, bucket or a large plastic storage box.

Add a Base Layer

Orange/satsuma/tangerine peel, dried fruit (ensure the stones are removed); Apricots, cranberries, prunes, dates figs, raisins, sultanas.

Add Light Related Items

Glitter, LED battery tealights, glowsticks, torches (promote fine motor skills using a wind-up torch) kaleidoscope, (unbreakable) mirrors, light up toys, colour changing cubes, fibre optic lights.

Add Fine Motor Tools

Plastic Safety/Easy Grip/Jumbo Tweezers, Magnifying Glass/Handheld Magnifier, Spoon, Scoop, Beaker.

Other Items:

Add a few drops of orange or tangerine essential oil.

Add red ribbons or cut red crepe paper/material into lengths.

Add Items to Encourage Scientific Investigation

Magnifying glass and an egg carton/ice cube/cake baking tray for sorting items.

1st December - 7th December

National Handwashing Week

With the winter bug season upon us and the continuing Covid-19 pandemic we continue to promote and practice good hand hygiene.

This FREE to download multisensory poem helps individuals to overcome barriers to their hand hygiene.

The resource includes:

  • 'Washing Hands' Multisensory Poem

  • Printable Handwashing Poster

  • Handwashing Visual Support Timeline

  • 'Treasure Soap' Recipe

  • 'Soapy-Doh' Recipe

  • Glitter Germ Game.

8th December

Bodhi Day

  • Buddhists teach that we should show kindness to all living things and not to be greedy. Can the students do something kind today? This could be sharing, helping another person or being a good friend.

  • Decorate a tree with multi-coloured lights and shiny objects.

  • Taste rice pudding (said to be the first meal Buddha ate after fasting.)

  • Practice mindfulness with a meditation. Dim the lights. Play gentle music in the background. Offer a hand massage with or without (scented/unscented cream) or brushes and rollers.

If you like this you may like:

'The Sleigh Ride - A Guided Relaxation Adventure'

Join Santa and his reindeer for a magical Christmas Adventure as they take to the skies!




13th December

Saint Lucy's Day

St Lucy was a early 4th century martyr from Sicily.

Legend says that Saint Lucy took supplies to the Christians hiding in the catacombs.

It is believed she wore a candle lit wreath on her head to light the way.

Activity Idea

  • Can students dress in a white robe? (raid the airing cupboard for a white sheet!)

  • Dim the lights and give students LED tealights or torches (if you do not have LED tealights but have an interactive whiteboard, play footage of a candle burning with music playing in the background.)

  • Can the students carry their lights in a procession?

  • On a sensory level, can the students explore the cause and effect of the switch that turns the LED light ON/OFF?

14th December

The Discovery of the South Pole

The South Pole was discovered on this date in 1911.

Make a South Pole Sensory Bin

A sensory bin is a container filled with themed items that provide a calming activity and the opportunity to learn through exploration whilst engaging the senses and meeting sensory needs.

This sensory play develops fine motor skills as the student manipulates the objects, problem solving skills through experimentation, creativity and imagination through exploration and the opportunity to build language and communication skills.

Find a container

A large tray, cardboard box, bucket or a large plastic storage box.

Add a Base Layer

Dried rice, dried oats, ice cubes, flour, cotton wool balls, white sand, polystyrene packing peanuts, foam, foam, ice, cloud dough, white confetti.

Add Fine Motor Tools

Cups, spoons, forks, measuring jugs, colander, whisk, sieve, funnel, pipette, food tongs, wooden utensils, scoops, paintbrushes, chopsticks.

Add Items to Encourage Scientific Investigation and Exploration

Torch, magnifying glass, magnets, pen/paper, egg carton/ice cube/cake baking tray for sorting items, plastic tweezers and a mirror.

Add Small World Play Items:

Add toy penguins, dolphins, fish, whales, sealions, seals and seabirds.

Add Flora and Fauna

Add grasses.

Ensure that play is supervised at all times and be aware of any potential choking hazards or allergies.

16th December

Boston Tea Party


This was a political protest against the 'Tea Act.'

Activity Ideas

  • Hold a tea party

  • Engage the senses as students explore the bold, lingering smell of tea leaves.

  • Explore different types of tea: Aniseed, Chamomile, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus, Fennel, Ginger, Lemon, Lemongrass, Liquorice, Mint, Passion Flower, Raspberry, Rose,

  • Does the sensory explorer show a preference for the smell or taste of a tea?

  • Explore herbal & fruit & cold tea infusions.

16th December

Celebrate Jane Austen's Birthday!

Jane Austen is known for writing novels, she also wrote poetry.

'This Little Bag' by Jane Austen

'This little bag I hope will prove

To be not vainly made

For, if you should a needle want

It will afford you aid.

And as we are about to part

T'will serve another end,

For when you look upon the bag

You'll recollect your friend'

Activity Idea

Explore sensory bags.

Sensory or feely bags are a cheap and fun way to engage the senses and develop language skills.

  • Choose a non-see through bag that is tactile and catches the eye. (If you don't have a bag then use a pillowcase)

  • Place a variety of items inside the bag.

  • When choosing items think of engaging all the senses. Add items to stimulate vision, touch, smell and taste and items that make a variety of interesting sounds.

  • Give the bag a gentle shake to gain the sensory explorer's attention.

  • Invite the sensory explorer to place their hand into the bag and select an item.

  • Encourage the sensory explorer to use their sense of smell, touch, hearing and taste to guess what the item is. (If the sensory explorer is unsure then provide plenty of clues.)

  • Build functional language skills.

  • Ask the sensory explorer to tell you or show you what you might do with the item and where you might find it.

  • (If the sensory explorer is unsure, model what to do with the item and see if they can copy your action.)

  • Allow the sensory explorer time to explore the item and process the information then shake the bag again for them to select another item.

Remember:

  • Keep language simple.

  • Focus on phrases such as 'Choose' or 'Take One' when presenting the bag to the sensory explorer.

  • Focus on the name of the object e.g. 'Tangerine', 'Pinecone', 'Whistle' and two-word phrases e.g. 'Little Baubel', 'Red Tinsel'.

  • Depending on the ability of the sensory explorer you may choose to add verbs such as 'smell', 'eat', 'touch'

21st December

National Robin Day


This is a day aimed at raising awareness for small birds and wildlife.

Promote communication skills (Listening & Speaking)

  • Play an audio clip of a robin’s bird song.

  • Can the sensory explorer communicate a request to listen to the sound again? (This could be through gaze, verbally or through sign)

  • If using a switch, BIGMack or Talking Tile, can the sensory explorer activate the device independently?

  • Can the sensory explorer imitate the sound using their voice or a flute/recorder/whistle? Record their vocalisation and play it back.

Promote Physical Development, coordination, balance, control & movement.

Watch footage of a robin.

  • Small birds like robins hop as they can move further in lots of little steps. Can the sensory explorer hop like a robin?

Build Understanding of the World & the Environment and Engage in Outdoor Learning

Re-Create a Robin's Nest.

  • Layer a container (tuff-tray or cardboard box) with dead leaves.

  • Add a layer of moss.

  • Create a small 'bowl' of hair (you could use wool), this 'bowl' protects the eggs.

Feed the Birds and don't forget to leave them a bowl of water!

Famous December Birthdays

December is the 100th anniversary of the birth of several opera singers including:

Phyllis Curtin and Deanna Durbin.

Many other opera singers celebrate their birthdays in December: Maria Callas, Grace Moore, Lillian Russell and Tito Schipa.


Activity Idea

  • Listen to a piece of opera music during snack time, circle time or a relaxation session.

  • Can the student(s) sing like an opera singer?

  • Can the student(s) tell a story through song? This could be a well-known rhyme or a narrative about a task e.g. how to make a sandwich or make a cup of juice.

December 11th

Jack & the Beanstalk

Free Training Video

Released 18.12.21 on YouTube

This is the recording of the training video I presented in the Sensory Festival in November.

Jack and the Beanstalk RMSS YouTube - YouTube



Christmas Day

Click the link for your FREE copy of 'Dear Santa' a Multisensory Exploration

Table of Contents

  • Dear Santa - A Fully resourced, step by step Christmas poem.

  • Checklist of Resources (Story Props)

  • How to Tell a Multisensory Story

  • Christmas Listening Game

  • Christmas Sensory Bag

  • Festive Activities

  • Guided Relaxation Overview

  • 'The Sleigh Ride' A Guided Relaxation

  • Letter to Santa Resources


21st December

Winter Begins

'I woke up this morning and to my delight,

A carpet of snow had fell in the night.

I put on my gloves, scarf and a hat,

And followed the tracks of a bird and a cat...'

Explore the sights, sounds, smells and textures of Winter with a Multisensory Story.

Table of Contents

  • Winter- Fully Resourced, Step-by Step Story

  • Sensory Snow

  • Winter Themed Sensory Bin

  • Winter Clothes Exploration

  • Frozen Nature Blocks

  • Expanding Water Experiment

  • Feed the Birds

  • Let's Explore...Robins

  • Winter Sensory Walk

  • Magic Marshmallows

  • Winter Food Tasting

  • Snowflake Decorations

  • Winter Sensory Ideas & Inspiration



Winter Nature Walks

Head outdoors for an Autumn walk or forage around your outdoor learning area:

  • Find five different items to look at

  • Find four different items to touch

  • Find three sounds to listen to

  • Find two things to smell

  • Find one items to taste

Look for: Acorns, Algae, Animal Tracks, Bark, Beech Nuts, Beetle, Berries, Birds (Blackbird, Blue Tit, Brambling, Bullfinch, Chaffinch, Coal Tit, Clay, Dunnock, Fieldfare, Goldcrest, Long Tailed Tit, Nut Hatch, Redwing, Robin, Starling, Waxwing), Bird Nests, Feathers, Grasses, Fallen Branches, Holly, Logs, Chestnuts, Crab Apples, Frost, Fruits, Fungi, Hazelnuts, Ice, Mist, Mistletoe, Moss, Mud, Natural Water Springs, Nuts, Oak Tree, Pinecones, Puddles, Rosehips, Seeds, Sloes, Snowdrops, Soil, Spider Webs, Trees, Twigs, Worms.

Student Enterprise

So it's that time of the year and many classes will have been invited to contribute to a student enterprise. These may be items to sell at a Christmas Fair or gifts to take home.

Here are some ideas:

1. Decorate fairy cakes or biscuits.

2. Make your own wrapping paper by printing on rolls of brown paper.

3. Make Christmas decorations using ribbon and pine cones.

4. Christmas cards

Make Your Own Bee Bombs

This is a lovely sensory activity that will reap rewards next year and help our much loved bees and insects:)

You will need

  • Meadow Flower Seeds

  • Compost

  • Water

  • Powdered Clay

  • Mixing Bowl

Method 1. In a bowl, mix together 1 cup of seeds with 5 cups of compost and 2-3 cups of clay powder 2. Slowly add the water with your hands to create a paste. 3. Roll the mixture into balls. 4. Leave the balls to dry on a sunny windowsill.

5. Package in little paper bags (students could decorate these bags) 6. To plant the seed bombs simply throw into the garden or hedgerow.

Other December Teaching Ideas

  • Have a Christmas hat-making competition. Use recycled materials to see who can make the wackiest hat!

  • Don't forget Christmas jumper day!

  • Christmas maths activities - have fun sorting sizes and colours of baubles and lengths of tinsel.

  • Decorate cookies.

  • Make your own plastic-free Christmas Crackers using cardboard tubes and crepe paper. Write your own jokes to place inside.

  • Explore how Christmas is celebrated around the world.

  • Sing Christmas songs and carols. Play along with musical instruments.

  • Decorate your classroom door (Warning: This can get very competitive!)

  • Open an advent calendar. Write little tasks inside the calendar doors to challenge students e.g. do five jumping jacks, sing a song, tell a joke or choose an item from a sensory bag.

  • Arrange a coat collection or gather unwanted toys and donate them to your local charity shop.

  • Donate food to a foodbank or supplies to a local animal shelter.

  • Feed the birds, (don't forget their water!)

  • Collect pinecones to decorate.

Explore Gingerbread!

  • Make a Gingerbread House

  • Taste food containing ginger: Ginger Snaps, Ginger Jam, Stem Ginger, Ginger Cake, Ginger Chutney, Ginger Tea and (Non-Alcoholic) Ginger 'Beer'.

  • Explore a knobbly ginger root

The Gingerbread Man - A Multisensory Story

''She sprinkled in ginger then kneaded the dough, taking her time, nice and slow.

She rolled out the pastry until it was flat,

cut the shape of a man and gave him a hat...''

Table of Contents

Story Props Checklist

How to Tell a Multisensory Story

The Gingerbread Man Fully Resourced, Rhyming Multisensory Story

Developing Understanding & Comprehension

Story Map

The Gingerbread Man Listening Game

The Gingerbread Man Sensory Bag

The Gingerbread Man Sensory Bin

Let's Explore...Foxes

Ginger Food Tasting

Ginger Arts & Crafts

Salt Dough Gingerbread Man Decorations

Running Races

Gingerbread Man Hunt

How to Grow Ginger From a Root

Classic Gingerbread Man Recipe

Vegan Gingerbread Man Recipe

Essential Oil Scents of the Month

Almond, Clove, Frankincense, Ginger, Pine, Orange, Star Anise and Tangerine.

Competition Time!

Win 10 Multisensory Stories for your school!* and have your artwork featured on the new release 'Spring- A Multisensory Exploration.' There will be 50 runner up prizes of one story of your choice. DESIGN A BOOK COVER for my new multisensory story 'Spring - A Multisensory Exploration'


How to Enter: Using any medium, produce a piece of artwork with the topic of the season of Spring.

A4 Portrait only please.

(You do not need to write the title on the artwork, please do not write any names of the students on the artwork.) How to Enter:

email your pictures to rhymingmultisensorystories@outlook.com Please include the first name of the artist, the name of the school and a contact name.

Competition Rules:

1. There is no age limit. 2. You may submit as many entries as you like. 2. The closing date is midnight 14th Jan 2022 4. Your data will be protected according to law. Your data will not be shared with any other parties. All emails and their contents (including the artwork) will be deleted after the winner is drawn on 15th Jan 2022 (for more information on Privacy Policy visit the website or get in touch.) 5. The winner will choose 10 stories from the latest story catalogue https://designrr.s3.amazonaws.com/.../winter-catalogue... The stories are in the format of a digital download and can be printed out, used and shared throughout the school/setting in multiple classrooms. 6. The 50 runners up will win one story of their choice.

7. The winner will have their artwork featured as the cover of my new release 'Spring-A Multisensory Story'

* If the winner is home-schooled then the prize will be emailed directly to the winner. Good Luck!


Winter Catalogue

There are two new stories in the Winter Catalogue.

'The Romans' and 'Burns Night'

'Chinese New Year' has been updated and the new version has been emailed to everyone who purchased it last year:)

Click to download the catalogue in a flipbook

Stories are priced at £3.98 each

Visit the Etsy Store

or buy direct from

Rhyming Multisensory Stories

rhymingmultisensorystories@outlook.com


1st December Christingle

1st - 7th December National Handwashing Week

5th December International Volunteer Day

6th December Computer Science Week

8th December Bodhi Day

28th Nov - 6th December Hanukkah

13th December Saint Lucy's Day

14th December Celebrate the Discovery of the South Pole

16th December Celebrate Jane Austen's Birthday

16th December Learn about the Boston Tea Party

21st December Winter Solstice

21st December National Robin Day

25th December Christmas Day

Get in Touch!

Your questions, queries, comments & feedback are always welcome!

email: rhymingmultisensorystories@outlook.com

Website: www.rhymingmultisensorystories.com

Facebook Page: Rhyming Multisensory Stories

Facebook: Victoria Navin RMSS

LinkedIn: Victoria Navin Rhyming Multisensory Stories

Twitter: @RhymingStories

Instagram: rhyming_multisensory_stories