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January Teaching Calendar

Updated: Jan 19

Teaching ideas and inspiration to celebrate the month of January including Burns Night, Jackson Pollock Sensory Art, World Braille Day, Big Schools Birdwatch, Martin Luther King Day, National Handwriting Day, Tu BiShvat, sign up for the FREE 'Holi' themed multisensory workshop and more!

Dates At a Glance

4th Jan World Braille Day

6th Jan - Epiphany

6th Jan - 20th Feb Big Schools Birdwatch

16th Martin Luther King Day

23rd Jan - National Handwriting Day

24th Jan - Tu BiShvat

25th Jan - Burns Night

4th Jan World Braille Day

  • Can students write their name using the letters from the braille alphabet?

  • Roll playdoh or plasticine into little balls to place on a template of the braille alphabet.

  • Play a game of dominoes matching the dots.

  • Match physical items to the words

6th Jan Epiphany

Epiphany Day or ‘Three Kings Day’, is a Christian holiday celebrating the day the Three Wise Men travelled to visit Jesus.

Smell frankincense and myrrh (these can be purchased as essential oils, incense, and hand cream)

Touch & look at gold items: dress jewellery, gold foil, gold paper, gold material and fabric, mark make using gold paint.

Listen to the sound coins make as they hit the bottom of the money box/tin when posted. Taste: Foods traditionally eaten at Epiphany include: clementines, dates and dried fruit. Taste gold chocolate coins.

Other Activities

  • Make and decorate crowns.  

  • Make star shaped cookies.  

  • Explore an Epiphany sensory bin or box.  

  • Listen to, sing, sign, and/or play instruments to the song 'We Three Kings'  

  • Dress up as Kings.

Promote Literacy Skills

Traditionally, people bless their home by writing the letters C, M, and B, + the year, above the door to the house. The letters represent Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar. The + signifies the cross. The letters also represent the Latin words 'Christus mansionem benedicat,' which translates to 'May Christ bless the house'

Practice mark-making, writing and recognising the numbers, letters and symbols 20 + C + M + B + 24 in chalk.

Big Schools Birdwatch

8th Jan - 19th Feb

Register - It's free and you will be sent lots of resources to help with your birdwatch and ideas for activities to spark students' interest in wildlife and the world around them.

Visit the RSPB website for your free pack Big Schools’ Birdwatch 2024 (

25th January

Burns Night

'Celebrate Burns Night' my friend said to me,

'Robert Burns' I asked, 'Who is he?'

'Follow me and you will see...'

This fully resourced, step by step multisensory story is set on Burns Night as we join our main character at a traditional Burns Supper.

This teaching resource includes sensory extension activities linked to excerpts of Robert Burns poems.

This story presents a wonderful opportunity to connect individuals to literature, Scottish culture and the exploration of the rhyme and rhythm in poetry.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction

  • How to tell a Multisensory Story

  • Story Props Checklist

  • Burns Night Full Poem

  • Burns Night Fully Resourced, Multisensory Poem

  • 'Bessie and her Spinning Wheel'

  • 'To a Mouse' Sensory Bin

  • 'Winter'

  • 'One Night as I did Wander'

  • 'The Whistle'

  • 'Lines on the Fall of Fyres'

  • 'Ye Flowery Banks'

  • 'The Dusty Miller' (See Below)

  • Burns Supper Invitation

  • Burns Supper Mud Kitchen (Including Burns Supper Recipes)

  • Scotland Sensory Flag

  • Scottish Dancer Craft Activity

  • Vegetarian Haggis Recipe

  • Burns Night Sensory Ideas & Inspiration

Excerpt: 'The Dusty Miller' by Robert Burns

‘Hey the dusty miller

And his dusty coat!

He will spend a shilling

Or he win a groat.

Dusty was the coat’

'The Dusty Miller' Sensory Activity.

Explore the verse from the poem through the senses.

You will need:

  • Flour

  • An Old Coat/Jacket/Chef's Whites/Dark T-Shirt

  • Money

  • Present the dusty flour for sensory exploration.


  • Present the flour for sensory exploration/ Can the student feel how soft the flour is to the touch?

  • Model sprinkling the flour between your finger and thumbs.

  • Can the student copy this action?

  • Dust the flour onto an old coat.

  • Dust the flour onto coins.

  • Mark-make in the flour using fine motor tools or press coins into the flour to make an imprint.

  • Can the student create a pattern pressing the coins into the flour?

  • Can the student make handprints in the flour?

  • Grind grains using a pestle and mortar to make flour. (Explore griding flour using other ingredients (rice, semolina, coconut, oats, rye, tapioca,

  • Add water and oil to make mouldables exploring the flours above.

  • Roll pastry.

  • Taste bread.

Burns Night Kilt Craft Activity

You will need

  • Tartan paper (Tip this can be printed from the internet then photocopied in colour or students can design their own)

  • Two craft sticks

  • Two buttons

  • Paint/felt tips/crayons

  • Glue


  1. Paint or colour the craft sticks, these will be the hose (socks)

  2. Draw on the shoes, adding a button to decorate

  3. Draw zigzags onto the hose (socks) to represent the laces of the shoes.

  4. Fold the tartan paper into a concertina shape (as if making a fan)

  5. Gather one end of the paper to form the waist of the kilt.

  6. Using the glue, stick the craft sticks (legs) onto the back of the kilt.

Burns Night Kilt Craft Activity

16th Jan - Martin Luther King Day

  • Make a dreamcatcher.

  • Make a friendship potion using edible flowers and herbs.

You will need:

A Container: Bowl, bucket or beaker (or for a less mess alternative, place your potion ingredients directly into a large clean, empty water bottle, fasten the lid, secure with tape to make a potion sensory bottle.)

Liquid: Water (still or carbonated), Glycerine, Food Colouring, Hair Conditioner, Vegetable Oil.

Infuse tea in water: Chamomile, Echinacea, Ginger, Green, Lemon Balm, Rose, Turmeric, Peppermint.

(Mix tea leaves to create a new blend)

Items to Stimulate Vision and Touch: Calcite, Feathers, Foam Shapes, Gems, Glass Pebbles, Glitter, Googly Eyes, Pom Poms, Polished Pebbles, Rhinestones, Seeds, Sequins, Shells, Tassels, Water Beads.

Items to Stimulate the Sense of Smell: Fresh or Dried Herbs: (Basil, Cinnamon Sticks, Cloves, Lavender, Lime Leaves, Lemon Grass, Mint, Oregano, Rosemary, Sage, Star Anise, Thyme, Turmeric), Edible Flowers, Orange/Lemon/Lime Peel, Rose Petals.

Essential Oils: Bergamot, Cedarwood, Eucalyptus, Frankincense, Grapefruit, Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass, Lime, Orange, Patchouli, Peppermint, Rose, Rosemary, Tea Tree, Ylang-Ylang.

Items to Stimulate Hearing: Beads, Buttons, Coins, Pasta, Pulses, Rice.

Items to Promote Fine Motor Skills and Encourage Scientific Investigation & Exploration: Chopsticks, Food Tongs, Funnels, Plastic Safety Scissors,

Measuring Beakers/Cylinder/Jug, Plastic Safety/Easy Grip/Jumbo Tweezers, Magnifying Glass/Handheld Magnifier, Pestle & Mortar, Pipettes, Plastic Test Tubes, PVC Tubing, Spatula, Spoons, Water Droppers.

23rd Jan - National Handwriting Day

  • Explore sensory mark making in different mediums flour, foam, oats, pulses, rice, sand, soil

  • Use different tools to mark-make: brushes (bottle brush, hairbrush, nail brush, pot brush, scrubbing brush, toothbrush), chalk, charcoal, feathers, kitchen utensils, paint rollers, sponges, toy cars, sticks and twigs

  • Explore printing using leaves, fruits, vegetables, and bubble wrap.

  • Make bark rubbings.

  • Spray paint from a water spray bottle.

  • Carve into plasticine, clay or wax.

  • Draw around shadows.

24th Jan Tu BiShvat

This is the Jewish New Year for Trees. Many fruits associated with the Holy Land are eaten, in particular the ones mentioned in the Torah, such as pomegranates, dates, figs, grapes and olives.

Some people will try a new fruit.

Engage the Senses & Try New Foods

  • Explore the texture, smell and taste of pomegranates, (de-stoned) dates, figs, grapes* and (de-stoned) olives. (*Be aware of choking hazards)

Explore food containing dates, figs, grapes, and olives:

Pomegranate: Chutney, Juice, Sorbet, Tea.

Dates: Cereal Bars, HP Sauce!

Olives: Bread, Butter, Oil.

Figs: Fig Roll Biscuits, Dried Figs, Chutney, Fresh Figs, Jam, Yogurt, Relish.

Grapes: Grape Juice, Raisins, Sultanas.

Try a new exotic fruit:

Chayote, Coconut, Kiwi, Kumquat, Mango, Papaya, Persimmon, Physalis, Pomelo.

Alternative Activity to Food Tasting

Offer a hand massage using fruit scented and olive hand creams, lip balms*, hand wash/bubble bath (pour a little into a foot spa) and explore essential oils.

*Be Allergy Aware

January Birthdays

4th Jan - Sir Isaac Newton

  • Eat an apple and explore apple printing. Can the students make a repeating pattern using different colours?

  • Explore gravity by trampolining/rebound therapy.

  • Explore the law of acceleration by riding a bike, go cart or scooter or sending a toy car or ball down a ramp.

8th Jan - Elvis Presley

  • Listen to a song by 'The King of Rock and Roll'

  • Can the students join in playing musical instruments?

17th Jan - Benjamin Franklin

  • Explore torches, LED Battery lights, and bells.

  • Fly a kite

  • Explore printing activities

18th Jan - AA Milne

  • Listen to a Winnie the Pooh story

  • Taste honey

27th Jan - Lewis Carroll

  • Hold a Mad Hatter's Tea Party

28th Jan - Jackson Pollock

Jackson Pollock sensory artwork created by the students of Harbour House, Specialist SLD Provision at Gloucestershire College
Jackson Pollock Sensory Art by the students of Harbour House, Specialist SLD Provision at Gloucestershire College

Create Jackson Pollock Artwork.

  • Lay a large sheet of paper on the floor, dip balls of assorted sizes and textures into paint then roll!

  • Fill pipettes/turkey basters with different coloured paints then squeeze onto paper.

  • Place a sheet of paper in a tray. Squeeze poster paints onto the paper then roll a marble or a small ball around the tray.

  • Add different coloured watered-down paints or food colouring to water spray bottles explore the different nozzle settings, spray, spritz and squirt.

  • Squeeze a little poster/acrylic paint onto paper. Provide a selection of toy cars and vehicles (with different sized wheels) for students to 'drive' over the paper.

  • Line a large box with paper, add a little paint, secure the lid...then shake!

  • Tie rubber bands around a rolling pin, dip into paint then roll.

  • Soak sponges with paint, drop them over paper and watch the paint splatter. Experiment using different shaped sponges thrown from different heights.

  • Add paint to the paper then blow through a straw to create random patterns.

  • Place a sheet of paper in the basket of a salad spinner, add watered down paint...then spin!

  • Gently pour paint into a funnel. Place your thumb over the small opening at the bottom then release over the paper to create a picture.

  • Take the learning outside, place a large sheet of paper on the floor, fill water balloons with paint, take aim...then throw!

  • Continuing with the outdoor theme, make tyre tracks by riding a bike scooter over paint on a large sheet of paper.

  • Stimulate the senses. Add a few drops of food flavouring (peppermint, strawberry, vanilla essence) to the paint.

  • Explore using different liquids for 'paint' food colouring, coffee, fruit juice, teabags, washing up liquid.

  • Paint using herbs and spices mixed in water: allspice, cumin, (mild) curry powder, paprika or ground up seed and herbs mixed with water.

'Jackson Pollock Sensory Art' by the Students of Harbour House

I was delighted to receive these fabulous pictures from the talented students of Harbour House - a specialist SLD provision which is part of Gloucestershire College.

Look at the scale of this artwork!

Some students made smaller pieces of artwork using paint and a salad spinner which they glued onto their masterpiece, and they also made their own environmentally friendly scented paint!

(Thank you to the students, their lovely teacher Amy and the team)

January Arts, Crafts and Promoting Literacy Skills

STOP! Don't throw away your Christmas Cards!!!

Receiving Christmas cards is one of the joys of the season. Before you pop them in the recycling bin, take a look at these low-budget educational, yet fun activities!

Next Year's Gift Tags!

This activity promotes creative art & design, decision making and fine motor skills as students handle materials.

You will need:

  • Christmas cards

  • Scissors

  • Ribbon or string

  • Hole punch

  1. Select a Christmas card.

  2. Cut down the edge and use the front of the card.

  3. Encourage the student to look for different pictures to use for gift tags within the card.

  4. Using the scissors, carefully cut around your chosen picture.

  5. Punch a hole in the top corner.

  6. Thread string or ribbon through the hole.


This activity will develop fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, shape recognition, promote problem solving, patience and a feeling of achievement once the puzzle is completed.

You will need:

  • Used Christmas Cards

  • Scissors

  • Ruler

  1. Select a Christmas Card. Cut down the edge and use the front of the card.

  2. Cut the card into shapes

  3. Experiment with different shapes, rectangles, squares, triangles etc.

Speech Bubbles

This activity engages the imagination, develops communication and language skills, encourages social interaction by means of a two-way conversation and helps students to build on storytelling skills.

You will need:

  • The front of a Christmas Card

  • A pen/felt tip

  1. Select a card.

  2. Draw a speech bubble on the card next to a character (Option to print out templates to stick on)

  3. Write the speech inside the speech bubble - it could be a question, command, comment, or a joke.

  4. Extend the learning by using a 'thought bubble' and discuss the difference between and 'though bubble' and a 'speech bubble'

Story Cards

This activity is a fun way to engage imaginative thinking, promote communication & language skills and explore storytelling.

Take a look at this Christmas card.

  • Point to characters in the card and ask open ended questions e.g. 'What gifts do you think the girl is carrying?'

  • 'Why do you think the man is pulling the presents on a sleigh'?

  • What season/month is it?

  • 'Why are the people wearing hats/carrying presents?

  • 'Why do the chimneys have smoke coming out of them?'

  • 'How many dogs can you see?'

Build a story around the card.

'The people who live in this village are preparing for a Christmas party.'

'The boy at the bottom of the card is singing Christmas Carols.'

'The lady at the top of the picture has baked mince pies for the villagers.'

'The people have decorated the tree ready for the big light switch-on later this evening.'

  • Spark conversation by asking 'Who?', What?', 'When?' 'Where?' and 'Why?'

  • Can the student develop the plot? What happens next?

  • ​Can the student relate events in the picture to events or experiences in their own lives?

Word Play

This activity builds word recognition and comprehension skills.

Cut out the verse from a Christmas card.

Ask the student to read the verse out loud.

  1. Photocopy or write the verse onto the top of a piece of paper.

  2. Cut out the individual words then scramble them for the student to place into the correct order.

  3. Can the student use the words to compose their own sentences or phrases? e.g., 'New Year Wishes', 'Best Christmas Greetings.'

Poetry Page

The rhythm and rhyme of Poetry helps individuals to learn new vocabulary and encourages speech and language

You will need:

  • A Christmas card verse page

  • PVA glue/glue stick or sticky tape

  • Piece of card or paper

  1. Carefully cut out the verses from the Christmas Cards.

  2. Glue the verses onto the card or paper.

  3. Read the poem aloud to the student.

  4. Identify and define any unfamiliar words.

  5. Can the student read the poem or any sentences aloud?

  6. Summarise and discuss the poem's meaning.

  7. Can the student create their own verse?

The Sensory Card

I love the cause and effect of this flip-up sequined card!

The senses are stimulated as the shiny silver reversible sequins change into a colourful star as the fingers are brushed over the surface. It is also very tactile.

This beautiful card will be promptly popped into my sensory box!

For more January ideas...

Just Released!

This comprehensive teaching pack is aimed at providing opportunities for learners to explore the month of January 2024 through the senses.

It includes a fully resourced, step-by-step multisensory story, mini sensory stories, and sensory activity ideas to celebrate the month's festivals and celebrations, awareness days, this day in history, January Facts, and more!

The perfect resource for SEN & Mainstream Teachers, Early Years Practitioners, HLTA’s, TA's, SLA’s, Speech Therapists, Play Therapists, Support Workers, Activity Coordinators, Parents, Guardians, Childminders, Carers, Librarians and anyone with an interest in exploring storytelling through the senses.

Table of Contents

How to tell a Multisensory Story

Using Sound Effects in a Multisensory Story

‘January’ - A Fully Resourced, Step-by-Step, Multisensory Story

January Facts - Janus Art Activity

Quote of the Month

January Birthstone

January Nature

January on the Farm

The Sensory Garden

January Star Signs

‘Capricorn the Goat’ Multisensory Story

Aquarius The Water Bearer Activity

Scents of the Month

Tastes of the Month


New Year Lucky Foods

National Whipped Cream Month

National Bean Month

National Milk Day

Brew Monday

National Popcorn Day

National Cheese Lovers Day

National Chocolate Cake Day

National Croissant Day

National Hot Chocolate Day

The New Moon

Festivals and Celebrations


Orthodox Christmas Day

Distaff Day

The Straw Bear Festival


Wassailing Day Multisensory Story


St Agnes Eve Multisensory Story

Burns Night

Tu BiShvat

St Dwynwen’s Day

Awareness Days


World Self-care Day

World Introvert Day

World Braille Day

Big Schools Birdwatch

Thesaurus Day

World Snow Day

National Handwriting Day

Australia Day

International Holocaust Memorial Day

National Lego Day

Jan National Puzzle Day

This Day in History

The launch of rocket Luna

Birthdate of Sir Isaac Newton.

Birthdate of Welsh painter Augustus John.

German physicist Wilhelm Roentgen demonstrated his invention the x-ray.

The opening of a transatlantic telephone line between London and New York.

Galileo Galilei announces his discovery of four moons circling Jupiter.

The Introduction of the Penny Post.

Opening of the London Underground.

Birthdate of Charles Perrault author of 'Little Red Riding Hood’

The London Co-operative society opens Britain’s first self-service supermarket in London.

Birthdate of Michael Bond creator of Paddington Bear.

Disney’s first full-length colour cartoon ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ is released.

The Crowning of Queen Elizabeth I.

The Introduction of Decimal Currency in the UK.

Martin Luther King Day.

Birthdate of Benjamin Franklin.

Birthdate of AA Milne.

Birthdate of American astronaut and second man on the moon Edwin Buzz Aldrin.

Scientists discover the fossil of the oldest known land creature.

Birthdate of Lewis Carroll.

Dr Livingstone is found in Africa by Sir Henry Morton Stanley.

Birthdate of Jackson Pollock.

January Arts and Crafts

Recycling Christmas Cards & Promoting Literacy Skills

Subscribers download your copy free in the Members Library

Buy Direct


Visit the Shop


Subscribe to the Members Library to gain unlimited access to all resources to view online, download and/or print out, training videos and FREE mini workshops held throughout the year

£95 per year (school/setting site licence - multiple users)

email for more information.

Other Titles in this Series

Fully resourced, step-by-step multisensory stories linking individuals to literature, culture, history & topic through the senses.

Each resource includes themed, sensory activities aimed at promoting communication skills, independence and areas of learning.


The Seasons Collection





The Weather (Free resource)


Dear Santa (Free resource)

Dear Santa Adapting into a Play (Free resource)

Culture & Celebrations Collection

A Train Ride Through India

Burns Night

Chinese New Year



St Patricks Day


The King's Coronation

The Queen's Jubilee (Free resource)

The Romans

Life Skills

Jobs and Work Experience


Shapes - A Multisensory Exploration (includes 130 shape themed, sensory activities)


Listen - An A-Z of Sensory Inspiration to Stimulate the Auditory System

Sensory Resources for Sensory Learners (800+ ideas)

January 2024 Teachers Almanac


The Dentist (Free resource)

Washing Hands (Free resource)


Journey into Space



The Beach

The Farm

The Rainforest

Traditional Tales Collection

The Gingerbread Man


Jack & the Beanstalk

Little Red Riding Hood

The Three Little Pigs

Visit the shop £3.98

Visit the Story Library for your FREE resources

Download the Latest Catalogue

RMSS Catalogue
Download PDF • 3.56MB

FREE 'Holi Themed Multisensory Workshop'

Join me for a multisensory exploration of the festival of Holi.

Includes a walk-through of my multisensory story 'Holi' plus themed, sensory activity ideas.


'Multisensory Storytelling & Engagement Through Sensory Activities' Workshop



Whole Setting


The workshop covers all aspects of multisensory storytelling from sourcing story props to adapting existing texts into multisensory stories plus we will explore lots of sensory ideas, activities, and inspiration plus an in-depth look at a multisensory story.

Held via Zoom

Run time 2 hours


Public Group Workshop


Held on several dates each month

Digital certificate of completion

Course notes (pdf)

Focus story

1-1 Workshop


Includes 3 free resources of your choice

Digital certificate of completion

Course notes (pdf)

Focus story

Private Group Workshop


 Includes 5 free resources of your choice

Digital certificate of completion

Course notes (pdf)

Focus story

Whole school/setting INSET


Includes a free 6-month subscription to the Members Library

Digital certificate of completion

Course notes (pdf)

Focus story


Who is the Workshop Aimed at?

SEN Teachers, SENCOs, HLTA's, TA's, Mainstream Early Years Educators, Speech Therapists, Play Therapists, Parents, Guardians, Childminders, Carers, Support Workers, Activity Coordinators, Librarians, and anyone with an interest in exploring storytelling through the senses.

Course Content

  • The benefits of multisensory storytelling.

  • Sourcing story props.

  • Sound effects.

  • How to tell a multisensory story.

  • Adapting an existing story into a multisensory story.

  • Incorporating extension activities into your session.

  • Using the story props as a tool for individuals to explore & express their likes, dislikes and sensory preferences.

  • Case studies

  • Extension Activities

In addition to this we will explore a multisensory story in depth, how to deliver this story and how to use the story props promote communication and areas learning.

How is the Training Delivered?

The training is delivered as a friendly and informal session via Zoom and can be tailored to meet your training requirements.

Course Length

2 hours (can be split into 2 x 1 hour workshops)

Will I Receive any Course Notes?

Yes. Course summary notes will be sent as a word document.

Are There Any Other Free Resources Included?


This comprehensive guide explores fun and engaging sensory ways of stimulating the sense of hearing. The A-Z of sounds is divided into the following categories: Animals, Transport, Musical Instruments & Home. It also includes fun, motivating sensory themed extension activities. This resource is suitable for working with curious pre-schoolers to teenagers with complex needs.

You will also receive a free digital download of the focus story.

How Do I Book?

email or send a message via the chat feature on the website or through social media

How Do I Pay?

Payment is accepted through BACS or Cheque.

I am a School/Company/Setting, can you send an Invoice?

Yes. Rhyming Multisensory Stories is fully registered with HMRC and can invoice.

Will I Receive a Certificate?

Yes. You will receive a digital certificate of completion

New Workshop!

Peer Sensory Storytellers Workshop

Get in Touch!

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

Twitter: @RhymingStories

Pinterest: Rhyming Multisensory Stories

Thank you for your support

See you in February!

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

Contact me via email

or send me a message via social media:)

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