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February Teaching Calendar


Teaching ideas and inspiration to celebrate the month of February including: Chinese New Year, Candlemas, International Polar Bear Day, National Wear Red Day, Parinirvana Day, Valentines Day, Competition Winner and more!


1st Feb

Chinese New Year

Activity Idea!

Chinese New Year Sensory Bin

A sensory bin is 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 will develop fine motor skills as the student manipulates the objects, problem solving skills through experimentation, creativity and imagination through exploration and build language and communication skills.


How to Make A Chinese New Year Themed Sensory Bin

  1. Create a Base Layer. Scatter dried rice or noodles into the base of a tray, bucket, basket or box.

  2. Sprinkle Chinese five spice/star anise/ginger or scatter cinnamon sticks onto the base layer.

  3. Add toy animals to represent the animals of the Chinese Zodiac (if you do not have toy animals them laminate pictures of the animals and stick onto wooden craft sticks.)

  4. Add chocolate coins, paper streamers and red and gold shredded tissue paper.

  5. Add Fine Motor Tools: Plastic tweezers, chopsticks, cups, spoons, forks, measuring jugs, colander, whisk, sieve, funnel, pipette, food tongs, wooden utensils, scoops & paintbrushes.

  6. Add Items to Encourage Scientific Investigation: Torch, camera, magnifying glass, magnets, pen/paper, egg carton/ice cube/cake baking tray for sorting items, and a mirror.

  7. Supervise Play. Be aware of any potential allergies or choking hazards.

Chinese New Year - A Multisensory Exploration


Celebrate Chinese New Year with this fully resourced, step-by-step multisensory story,

Table of Contents

Prepare to Celebrate (Gathering Story Props)

How to Tell a Multisensory Story

Chinese New Year – A Multisensory Exploration

Developing Comprehension & Understanding

Chinese New Year Listening Game

Chinese New Year Sensory Bin

Chinese New Year Sensory Bag

Chinese New Year Guided Relaxation Adventure

Chinese Construction

Chinese Art

Chinese Music

The Great Race

The Great Race PMLD Multisensory Version

Dragon Dance

Chinese New Year Sensory Ideas & Inspiration



1st Feb

St Brigids Day

St Brigid lived around the same time as St Patrick and was influenced by his teachings to become a Christian. She was know for her generosity.

  • Celebrate by making/tasting potatoes with butter, add cabbage to make colcannon and serve with soda bread.

  • St Brigid once gave away her mother's entire store of butter!

Churn you own butter

You will need:

  • A small lidded jar

  • Whipping cream A clean marble

Method

  • 1/4 fill the jar with whipping cream.

  • Add the clean marble.

  • Secure the lid.

  • Shake vigorously.

It will take approximately 15 minutes for the cream to solidify so this is an ideal opportunity to practice turn-taking skills! Taste the butter on a little soda bread.

  • Make a St Brigid's Cross

Traditionally made from woven rushes, when displayed in the home, the cross is thought to keep evil, fire and hunger.

Explore making a cross using different materials: card, grasses, pipe cleaners, raffia, ribbons, straws.


2nd Feb

Candlemas

A Christian holy day which also draws some of its roots from paganism (in pre-Christian times Candlemas marked the mid-point of winter.)

Traditionally, people bring candles to church to be blessed or light candles and place them in their windows at home.

  • Light a candle (or use an LED candle. Can the student explore the cause and effect of the ON/OFF switch?

  • If you have an interactive whiteboard dim the lights and play an image of a lit candle to meditative/calming music.

  • In France and Belgium it is traditional to eat crepes. Explore different toppings: chocolate sauce, cinnamon, cheese, cream, cream cheese, ice-cream, honey or fruit.

  • In Luxembourg children sing in exchange for coins. Explore coins/chocolate coins.

5th Feb

National Wear Red Day

Raising awareness of heart disease.

  • Wear an item of red clothing.

  • Explore red fabrics: chenille, cotton, felt, flannel, jersey, leather, nylon, silk, suede, tartan, wool

  • Explore red shiny items: baubles, buttons, foil/sweet wrappers, foil, glitter, ribbon, tinsel.

  • Explore red Hues through a piece of artwork: burgundy, cerise, crimson, fuchsia, magenta, maroon, ochre, plum, red, raspberry, rose, ruby, russet, rust, salmon, scarlet.

  • Go on a red colour hunt. Place items around the room/outdoor area for the students to find. You can either provide a bag/basket to collect the items in, a list to tick off items when they have been found or create a picture matching board. Here are some ideas: balloons, chalk, crayons, lipstick, plasticine, Play-Doh, rose/rose petals, sock/mitten.

  • Taste red foods: apples, beetroot, cherries (remove stone), cranberries, pink grapefruit, radicchio, radish, raspberries, red cabbage, red grapes, red potatoes, strawberries, tomatoes.

  • Red colour sorting activity: Provide a range of sensory items to sort into colours: bowls, buttons, feathers, straws, chalks, crayons, cups, flowers, leaves, lego (build a tower), Mathlink, pegs, pipe cleaners, pom poms and socks.

5th Feb

Vasant Panchami

In the Punjabi calendar, the start of spring is celebrated with a kite festival. People wear yellow clothes and bangles.

  • Fly a kite

  • Wear an item of yellow clothing or explore different yellow materials.

  • Make/taste Indian sweets.

  • Explore Indian Dancing

Make your own Bangles!

1. Cut a clear plastic water bottle into rings. Wrap wool or silk thread around the plastic.

2. Thread beads onto string or ribbon.

3. Make pipe cleaner bangles securing the ends together.


8th Feb

Safer Internet Day

  • Promote internet safety.

  • Recap the rules.

  • Can students design a poster promoting internet safety?

  • Discuss 'personal information' you would not disclose online.

9th Feb

Toothache Day!

Take a virtual trip to The Dentist with this FREE multisensory story!


The Dentist Multisensory Story
.pdf
Download PDF • 2.08MB

Set up a Dentist Role Play Area

Role play is a crucial part of development and provides opportunities to practice imaginative play, communication and language skills building narrative thought acting out scenarios.

1. Create a 'waiting room' with magazines, colouring and puzzle sheets.

2. Create a reception area for the receptionist. Provide a diary for writing appointments and a telephone.

3. Assign roles. The Receptionist, The Dentist, Dental Nurse and The Patients. Encourage students to swap roles. This sharing of roles and turn taking will develop awareness of others’ thoughts, feelings and opinions.

4. Provide craft materials for students to make badges to identify their job role.

5. Provide a blue, white or green shirt, goggles and face masks for The Dentist and Dental Nurse to wear and props such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, mirrors, a small torch, fake 'toy' teeth, a bib, goggles, masks.

6. Setting up a dental surgery role play area provides an excellent opportunity to work with money, whether it is calculating change or devising a price list for services. Set up an area to sell products (toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss)


13th Feb

World Radio Day

Raising awareness of the pleasure and importance of the radio.

  • Listen to a range of radio clips: music, sports, news, weather to communicate the diversity of the radio.

  • Explore children's radio stations examples are Fun Kids Digital Radio and Cbeebies Radio

  • Explore the cause and effect of a wind-up radio.

  • Become radio presenters!

14th Feb

Valentines Day Sensory Bag

Sensory 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 Valentines Day themed items inside the bag: Rose Petals, Chocolate, Edible Flowers, (Costume) Jewellery, 'Love' Letter/Card, Rose Scented Candle/Wardrobe Hanger Sachet/Essential Oil/Handwash/Cream/Lip Balm, Perfume, Teddy Bear, Rose Water (or foods containing rose water (Turkish Delight, Rose Cordial, Rose Lemonade, Rose Tea, Rose Shortbread.)

  • Tip! When choosing items think of engaging all the senses: Add items that stimulate the vision, tactile items that feel nice to the touch, items to smell and taste and items that make 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.

  • 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. 'heart', 'chocolate' and two-word phrases e.g. 'red rose'.

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


15th Feb

Parinirvana Day

Parinirvana Day marks the death of the Buddha who is believed to have entered a state called Parinirvana, the final goal of Buddhism, 'Nirvana without end'.

Re-Create a Visit to a Buddhist Temple with a Guided Relaxation Adventure

Guided relaxation is generally considered a safe activity as it is the practice of relaxation, stillness and calmness.

By adding props you can create a wonderful sensory experience.

Preparing For Your Guided Relaxation Adventure

1. Find a comfortable place that is free of distractions.

2. Settle the student into a position that is comfortable for them.

3. Provide pillows/beanbags/cushions and blankets.

4. Dim the lights.

5. Tell the student that if at anytime they wish to stop the activity to tell you, raise their hand or open their eyes.

6. There is an option to incorporate props such as mini cymbals, incense sticks, a gong/drum, a money box and coins.

7. Using a calm and gentle voice, slowly read through the guided adventure below pausing between sentences.


'Close your eyes and take a slow, deep breath.

I want you to imagine a magic carpet has floated into the room.

Climb onto the carpet. It is soft and comfortable.

You feel safe as the carpet gently rises, floats across the room and leaves the building.

The carpet flies into the sky and gently glides over the rooftops.

You feel excited as the magic carpet picks up speed, sweeping over towns and villages, fields and farmland. The sheep and cows look tiny below.


You are now travelling over the sea.

Can you see how blue the water is?

Can you feel the warmth of the sun on your back?

You feel very relaxed and happy riding on your carpet.


In the distance you see land approaching. The carpet glides along long winding rivers, and across vast grasslands then sweeps up to the highest part of the hillside, where you see a temple.

Your magic carpet lands outside a gate.


You are greeted by a kind man with a shaven head. He is wearing an orange robe.

The man greets you by placing his hands in front of his body, palms together and bows his head slightly.

Would you like to greet him back?

He asks you to take off your shoes. He will keep them safe.

You follow him through the gate and onto a path lined with colourful flowers and trees bearing fruits. Their leaves dapple in the sunshine.

The path is lined with blossom, the petals are soft on your feet.


You enter the temple.

It smells of perfumed incense (option to light an incense stick or to lightly spritz perfume)

Gold statues line the room.

It is so quiet in the room you can hear yourself breathe.

At the front of the room is a Buddha statue sat on top of wooden platform with two long candles.

You feel very relaxed as you watch the orange flames flicker.


Take a few minutes to relax.


It is almost time to leave.

You turn to leave and next to the door you see a small wooden box.

Would for you to post some coins through the slot in the box?

Listen to the rattle they make as they hit the bottom of the box? (option to create the atmosphere by dropping coins into a money tin)


There is a gong hanging from the ceiling.

You can gently ring it if you like (option to hit the gong to re-create the sound)

As you leave the gate you take one last bow.


Your magic carpet has returned to take you home.

Climb onto the carpet and make yourself comfortable.

The carpet rises slowly into sky and retraces its journey down the hillside and across the land.

You cross the sea feeling very calm and relaxed as the magic carpet glides over fields and farms, villages and towns.

You recognise the rooftops of the shops, school and houses where you live.


Picture the room that we are in now.

The magic carpet gently lands in this room and you climb off and lie on the floor.

Your journey is over for today but remember, you can take a journey on your magic carpet whenever you like.

When you are ready wiggle your fingers and your toes then gently open your eyes.'


18th Feb

Former Planet, Pluto was discovered By Clyde Tombaugh in 1930

Explore Pluto!

''The last stop is Pluto, it has five moons

They orbit the planet like water balloons''


You will need:

  • 5 x Balloons

  • Ice Cubes

  • Washing up Bowl

  • Water

  • Ball Pit Play Balls/Ping Pong Balls

Activity:

  • Fill the water balloons with different quantities of water and secure with a knot.

  • Can the sensory explorer handle the water balloons without them bursting?

Alternative Activity:

  • Place ice cubes into the a washing up bowl then float ball pit play balls/ ping pong balls

  • Explore items that sink and float: Aluminium Foil, Cork, Feather, Foam, Leaf, Lego, Confetti, Glitter, Pulses, Wood

Extend Learning:

  • Explore liquids that sink and float and those that disperse: Baby Oil, Food Colouring, Honey, Olive/Vegetable Oil, Washing up Liquid, Corn Syrup

Excerpt taken from 'Journey into Space - A Multisensory Exploration of the Solar System'

This space themed activity also links with the birthday of Galileo Galilei on Feb 15th


27th Feb

International Polar Bear Day

Lets' Explore....Polar Bears!


Learning about animals and habitats teaches about Conservation and Respecting Wildlife

Promote Communication Skills (Listening & Speaking)

  • Play an audio clip of a polar bear 'chuffing', 'growling', 'grunting', 'hissing' and 'roaring.

  • 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?

  • Record their vocalisation and play it back.

Promote Physical Development, Coordination, Balance, Control & Movement & Imaginative Play

  • Watch footage of a polar bear.

  • Polar bear’s forepaws are directed inwards. They can gait and gallop swaying their hips but cannot trot.

  • Can the sensory explorer move their body like a polar bear?

Re-Create a Polar Bear Habitat.

  • Line a Tuff Tray with ice. Add fake snow (see recipes below) Add toy polar bears, and a bowl of water.

  • Female polar bears make a den in snow. Using fine motor tools (cups and scoops) can the student make a polar bear den in the snow?

Fake Snow Recipes

1. Add shaving cream to baking soda.

2. Sprinkle a sachet of gelatine into warm water and stir until dissolved. Add ice cubes.

3. Mix cornflour with hair conditioner until you reach the required consistency.

4. Mix cornflour with bicarbonate of soda (equal quantities e.g. one cup), add water a tablespoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency.

5. Mouldable snow: Mix three cups of shaving cream with 1/2 cup of glue and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. Stir in 1/2 cup of foam micro beads. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and water. Knead.

6. Add 3 cups of baking soda with 1 cup of hair conditioner.


Design a book cover competition

...and the winner is...

Last month I ran a competition to design the cover for my new release

'Spring - A Multisensory Exploration.'

Thank you to everyone who entered.

The artwork was beautiful and it was a tough job to choose a winner.

I am delighted to announce the winner is Rayyan (aged 17) from Ravenscliffe School in Halifax, UK.

Rayyan and his class peers explored hares and planted daffodils in preparation for the spring.

To create his artwork, Rayyan tore and stuck tissue paper to create the leaves and stems of the daffodils.

He printed the yellow daffodils using a carrot that had been cut and shaped using a canele knife, the vivid orange centres of the daffodils were made using his finger prints.

The body of the hare was textured using a brown wax crayon.


Congratulations Rayyan! You have won a free copy of 'Spring' and a set of ten multisensory stories for your school!


This fully resourced, step-by-step multisensory story is a bumper 69 pages packed with spring-themed ideas and extension activities to meet a range of abilities.

Table of Contents

Introduction

The Benefits of Multisensory Storytelling

How to tell a Multisensory Story

Story Props Checklist

'Spring' Full Story

'Spring' Fully Resourced, Step-by-Step Multisensory Story

Spring Pond Sensory Bin

Let's Explore...Lambs

Bee Seed Balls

Nest Building

Make a Bird Nesting Material Holder

Chocolate Bird Nests

Flower Colour Changing Experiment

Spring Weather Box & Sensory Clothes Exploration

Spring Nature Walk

Bottle Animals

Herb Sock Animal

Cress Shapes

Mini Greenhouse

Nature's Art Room

Spring Weaving

Spring Clean Your Classroom

Make Your Own Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products

Spring Ancient Beliefs - Egypt & The Roman Empire

Spring Ancient Beliefs - Shemu

Spring Ancient Beliefs - Anglo Saxons

Spring Ancient Beliefs - Ancient Greece & Maya

Mayan Equinox Sensory Bin

Spring Festivals Around the World - Holi

Spring Festivals Around the World - Marzanna (Poland)

Spring Festivals Around the World - Cimburijada (Bosnia)

Spring Festivals Around the World - Las Fallas (Valencia Spain)

Spring Festivals Around the World - Cherry Blossom Festival (Japan)

Spring Festivals Around the World - Nowruz (Iran)

Spring Sensory Ideas & Inspiration