Teaching ideas and inspiration to celebrate the month of January. Burns Night,
Jackson Pollock, Jack & the Beanstalk Training Video, Martin Luther King, Tu BiShvat, Competition, National Handwriting Day and more!
STOP! Don't throw away your Christmas Cards!!!
Receiving cards from family and friends 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, handling materials, decision making and fine motor skills.
You will need:
Ribbon or String
Select a Christmas Card.
Cut down the edge and use the front of the card.
Encourage the student to look for different pictures to use for gift tags within the card.
Using the scissors, carefully cut around your chosen picture.
Punch a hole in the top corner.
Thread string or ribbon through the hole.
This activity will develop fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, shape recognition and promote problem solving, patience and a feeling of achievement once the puzzle is completed.
You will need:
Used Christmas Cards
Select a Christmas Card. Cut down the edge and use the front of the card.
Cut the card into shapes (base the shape and the number of jigsaw pieces on the current ability of the individual)
Experiment with different shapes, rectangles, squares, triangles etc.
This activity engages imagination, develops communication and language skills and encourages social interaction by means of a two-way conversation and build on storytelling skills.
You will need:
The front of a Christmas Card
Select a suitable card.
Draw a speech or thought bubble (or print out templates to stick on)
Write the speech inside the speech bubble - it could be a question, command, comment or a joke.
There is an option to extend the learning by using a 'Thought Bubble'.
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?
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 story explorer develop the plot? What happens next?
Can the story explorer relate events in the picture to their own lives?
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.
Photocopy or write the verse onto the top of a piece of paper.
Cut out the individual words then scramble them for the student to place into the correct order.
Can the student use the words to compose their own sentences or phrases? e.g. 'New Year Wishes', 'Best Christmas Greetings.'
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
Carefully cut out the verses from the Christmas Cards.
Glue the verses onto the card or paper.
Read the poem aloud to the student.
Identify and define any unfamiliar words.
Can the student read the poem aloud?
Summarise and discuss the poem's meaning.
Can the student create their own verse?
The Sensory Card
I love this flip-up sequined card!
Vision is stimulated as the shiny silver reversible sequins change into a colourful star the fingers are brushed over the surface.
This beautiful card will be promptly popped into my sensory box!
5th Jan - 22nd Feb
Big Schools Birdwatch
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.
28th - 30th Jan
Big Garden Bird Watch
Watch and record the birds in your garden.
16th - 17th Jan
This is the Jewish New Year for Trees.
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
30th Jan - Feb 6th
National Storytelling Week
What better way to celebrate than with a multisensory story!
All stories are fully resourced, step-by-step guides and include extension activities linking to areas of learning.
Stories are priced at £3.98 each
Visit the Etsy Store
or buy direct from
'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
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
'One Night as I did Wander'
'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.
Recreate the poem.
You will need:
An Old Coat/Jacket/Chef's Whites/Dark T-Shirt
Present the dusty flour for sensory exploration.
Can the sensory explorer feel how soft the flour is to the touch?
Model sprinkling the flour between your finger and thumbs.
Can the sensory explorer 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>
Make hand prints in the flour.
Grind grains using a pestle and mortar to make flour.
4th Jan - Sir Isaac Newton
Eat an apple!
Explore gravity by trampolining/rebound therapy.
Explore the law of Acceleration by riding a bike, go cart or scooter
4th Jan - Louis Braille
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.
8th Jan - Elvis Presley
Listen to a song by The King of Rock and Roll
17th Jan - Benjamin Franklin
Explore torches, LED Battery Lights and bells.
Fly a kite
18th Jan - AA Milne
Listen to a Winnie the Pooh story.
27th Jan - Lewis Carroll
Hold a Mad Hatter's Tea Party
28th Jan - Jackson Pollock
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.
Other Dates in January
15th Jan - Hat Day
Design a spring hat or flower garland.
Explore different styles of hats.
Provide a mirror so students can see their reflections wearing the hats.
Provide a camera so students can take photos.
17th 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.
Infusing tea in water provides sensory feedback: Chamomile, Echinacea, Ginger, Green, Lemon Balm, Rose, Turmeric, Peppermint.
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, hair brush, 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.
Chinese New Year
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
The Great Race
The Great Race PMLD Multisensory Version
Chinese New Year Sensory Ideas & Inspiration
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
Create a Base Layer. Scatter dried rice or noodles into the base of a tray, bucket, basket or box.
Sprinkle Chinese five spice/star anise/ginger or scatter cinnamon sticks onto the base layer.
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.)
Add chocolate coins, paper streamers and red and gold shredded tissue paper.
Add Fine Motor Tools: Plastic tweezers, chopsticks, cups, spoons, forks, measuring jugs, colander, whisk, sieve, funnel, pipette, food tongs, wooden utensils, scoops & paintbrushes.
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.
Supervise Play. Be aware of any potential allergies or choking hazards.
Jack and the Beanstalk Training Video
Originally shown at The Sensory Festival Dec 2021, this film talks you through the story props needed and how to deliver 'Jack and the Beanstalk - A Multisensory Adventure' with lots of ideas on how to extend learning and promote communication skills.
Win a set of 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.