With Euro 2021 underway, I thought I’d share a few ideas of how to bring the game into the classroom with a virtual sensory football match.
Re-creating a football game is an excellent way for sensory explorers to learn about the game of football and other cultures.
For the purpose of this post, I have chosen Italy vs Spain.
You can use any combination of countries to suit your props.
Audio Clips/Recordings of the Italian & Spanish National Anthems and of a Football Crowd
(These can be recorded and then played back via a Talking Tile/BIGMack /Dictaphone/Phone or iPad App or through your whiteboard, you will find free downloadable audio clips on the internet)
Smells & Tastes of Italy
Basil Leaves, Fresh Parsley, Dried Pasta, Pizza, Garlic (bulb, flakes, powder or infused in food: garlic bread/crackers) Dried Coffee Beans/Granules (decaffeinated), Ice-Cream.
Smells & Tastes of Spain
Olives, Dried Rice/Rice Pudding (Paella), ‘Sangria’ (non-alcoholic fruit juice), Tortillas, Peppers, Spanish Omelette.
Table Football Game
Fans (Hand-Held/Battery/Squeeze), Penne Pasta/Straws, Ping Pong Ball/Polystyrene Ball/Pom-Pom, Football 'Net' (this can either be drawn on the table with chalk or you could use small fishing nets held by the ‘goal keepers’ at either end of the table)
Whistle, Party Blower
Football Scarves/Shorts/Shirt, Flags (these can be printed off the internet or drawn - the students could create their own flags prior to the match) Bam Bams/Thunderstix/Boom Sticks/Horn/Drum/Clappers, Oranges/Satsumas /Juice, Trophy (Gold Coins/Stickers)
Explore the football kit with the option for the sensory explorers to wear during the match.
Divide the sensory explorers into two groups of football supporters, Italian and Spanish.
Present each group with their countries flag to wave as they listen to the audio recording of the National Anthem in turn. (Option to ‘play’ along to the anthem using musical instruments)
Explore the smells and tastes of each country.
Build anticipation skills counting backwards from 3 to 1 giving the cue for the sensory explorers to blow their whistles/party blowers to signal the start of the match.
Play the audio clip of the crowd cheering.
Begin your game of table football by placing the ping pong ball/polystyrene ball/pom pom in the centre of the table.
Sensory explorers move the ‘ball’ by directing their fans or blowing through straws/ penne pasta. Alternatively they could flick the 'ball' using their fingers/hands.
When a goal is scored pass the Bam Bams/Thunderstix/Boom Sticks/Horn/Drum/Clappers for exploration.
. Play the game either on a timer or until everyone has had a turn on the ball then break for half time to enjoy a tasty segment of orange/satsuma or drink of juice.
. Switch ends of the table then play the second half of the game.
Play the NationalPlay the Play National Anthem of the winning team as they collect their 'trophy’ (this can be made from a cardboard cut-out covered in foil) sor alternative prize uch as a gold coin, sticker, certificate or other motivating/rewarding item.
Make Hot Dogs/Veggie Dogs with onions and condiments.
This is a great opportunity to explore new tastes, make choices either verbally or through the facilitation of PECS or a choice board (mustard, ketchup or relish?) and to practice fine motor skills preparing a Hot/Veggie Dog.
Jackson Pollock Flags
You will need:
A large sheet of paper/card
Poster Paints (in the colours of the national flag of the team)
A selection of balls of differing sizes and weights (ping pong ball, tennis ball, football, sponge ball, spiky ball, paddle ball, table tennis ball etc)
Lay the paper/card onto the floor.
Randomly place the paint in pools onto the card/paper.
The sensory explorer rolls (or throws) the different balls (again offer a choice) onto the paper to create their flag.
For more sensory ideas and inspiration, visit the website
Your questions, queries, comments and feedback are always welcome!