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May Teaching Calendar

Updated: 7 days ago

Teaching ideas and activities to celebrate the month of May including Vesak Day, World Bee Day, Hedgehog Awareness Day, Whitsun, National Sun Awareness Week and more!


National Walking Month

National Share a Story Month

National Smile Month

May 3rd Space Day

May 6th - 12th Sun Awareness Week

May 5th - 11th Hedgehog Awareness Week

May 5th African World Heritage Day

May 9th Europe Day

May 11th World Migratory Bird Day

May 12th Florence Nightingale's Birthday

May 19th Whitsun

May 20th World Bee Day

May 23rd Vesak Day

May 24th1844 First Morse Code Message was sent

National Walking Month

  • Enjoy a listening walk outdoors.

  • Enjoy a listening walk around your school/setting.

  • Make a sensory pathway. Use different textured materials and natural items to form a pathway (sand/gravel/carpet/water/leaves/wood/foam etc) Would the students like to walk barefoot to stimulate their senses?

Share a Story Month

For me, the best part of storytelling is the bond shared between the storyteller and story explorer as you share your adventures.

For anyone new to multisensory storytelling you can watch free training videos here:

  • A Train Ride Through India

  • Dear Santa

  • Holi

  • Jack and the Beanstalk

  • Journey into Space

The videos will talk you through how to source story props and using the props/resources as a tool to promote communication skills, independence, areas of learning and for students to explore and express their likes, dislikes and sensory preferences providing opportunities for them to make choices and rejections.

There are also lots of ideas for sensory extension activities linking to areas of the curriculum.

There are FREE stories to download here

May 3rd Space Day

Space day is an unofficial holiday aimed at promoting STEM activities.

Create a Space Role Play Area

Role play is a crucial part of development providing opportunities to engage in imaginative play.

  • Involve the student(s) in creating a space role play area and the props to go in it.

  • Secure a black or dark blue sheet/blanket/bubble wrap/egg cartons to the wall. Add stars.

  • Create a rocky/sandy area on the floor to represent a moonscape. Add glitter to the sand for a shimmering effect. Make large rocks from painted scrunched up newspaper, and smaller moon rocks from scrunched up aluminium foil.

  • Provide an assortment of cardboard boxes, aluminium foil, space blankets, pipe cleaners, empty plastic bottles, old cd's, masking tape, tumble dryer venting hose, for your 'astronauts' to make their own rockets, moon buggies, and space suits.

Moon Dust Recipe

You will need

  • 8 Tablespoons of Cornflour

  • 1 Tablespoon of Vegetable Oil

  • Vanilla Essence


Ratio 8:1

Combine the vegetable oil and cornflour until you reach a powdered yet mouldable texture.

Option to add flavoured essence to stimulate the senses.

Press the footprint of a shoe to spark curiosity (the astronaut's footprint)

Create an area for Scientific Investigation

  • Set up a desk and chair.

  • Place on an assortment of items to investigate: bubble tubes, colour changing eggs, colour paddles, coloured cellophane, disco balls, fibre optics, foil, glasses with coloured lenses, glitterballs, glow in the dark stickers, glowsticks, kaleidoscopes, light-up toys e.g., bumble balls, disco glide balls, fluorescent chimeabout, glitter globes, glitter rockets, Koosh, LED multi-spinner, mood cubes, neon gloves/scarves, spiky flashing balls, spinners, UV bubbles, UV mittens, UV slinky, UV shaker, windmills light pads, prismatic projector, prisms, rainbow goggles.

Add fine motor tools to encourage scientific investigation: camera, magnifying glasses, tweezers, magnets, mirrors.

Alternatively create your space area inside a pop-up tent!

Decorate by threading LED lights and hanging cut outs of planets from the ceiling of the tent.

Extend Learning

Provide a box containing items of different materials: Plastic, material, metal, rubber and wood.

Can the students sort the items into their categories according to their material?

Dress for the Part!

  • Disposable decorator's overalls make excellent space suits.

  • Wellies or boots covered with foil make great moon boots.

You Might Like


'Mars has red rocks and a bright red sky,

the volcanoes reach my rocket they are so high

This planet is cold, at night, minus 80 degrees

If I stay here much longer, I'm going to freeze!'

Table of Contents

Buckle Up!

Story Props Checklist

How to Tell a Multisensory Story

Journey Into Space A Multisensory Story

Developing Comprehension & Understanding

Story Map

Space Sounds (Listening Game)

How to Make a Space Themed Sensory Bag

How to Make a Space Themed Sensory Bin

Space Relaxation – A Guided Relaxation Space Adventure!

Create an Astronaut Role Play Area

Galaxy Art

The Space Lab

Space Design & Technology

May 6th - 12th May National Sun Awareness Week

'Sensory Sun' by Sparrow's Class at Hebden Green School, Winsford, Cheshire

Create a Sensory Sun

Class teacher Vicky Ormerod-Jordan explains how the Sparrow Class Hebden Green School in Winsford, Cheshire, celebrated the sun!

'We danced with a yellow stretchy band which is the centre of our sun.

We added oranges and lemons, having smelt, touched, and tasted them.

We explored sweetcorn, peeling off the leaves.

We smelt yellow marigolds and added them to the sun centre.

We bounced, tennis balls and rolled them down a ramp.

We enjoyed a song I wrote called 'The Sun will Shine,' where we shone a torch on various body parts.

The best part of the picture was making hand and footprints in yellow paint for the sun's rays. Very messy!'

Thank you to Vicky, the team, and the students.

Other Ideas

Discuss the importance of staying safe in the sun (link to skin cancer Awareness Month)

Make a sun safety box and place sun protection items inside for exploration

  • Sunscreen

  • Hats

  • Sunglasses

  • Protective clothing (round neck cotton t-shirts)

  • Bottle of water

  • Sunshade

Extend Learning

Can the students tell you what the items are used for how they protect you from the sun?

Click below to view to gallery to see more of the Sparrow's sun themed sensory activities

May 5th - 11th Hedgehog Awareness Week

Let's Explore...Hedgehogs

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

Can the student move like a hedgehog?

Can the student curl up into a little ball?

Build Understanding of Animal Habitats and Develop Creative Thinking Through the Use of Different Materials

Hedgerows are a hedgehog's natural habitat, and our gardens also make a good habitat.

Explore a Hedge

Mark a section 1m x 1m and count how many species of plants you can find in that area.

Make a Hedgehog Habitat

Layer a container (tuff-tray or cardboard box) with fern/bracken, dried grass, straw, and leaves. (Alternatively, find a patch in an outdoor area amongst shrubbery, or in leaf/wood piles) Hedgehogs roll the leaves and grass into balls, can the student roll the leaves and grasses into balls?

Explore Hedgehog Food

A hedgehog's main diet consists of beetles, along with caterpillars and earthworms. Head outdoors. Lift plant pots, stones and logs and see if you can find any of these insects. Use a magnifying glass to see more detail

Make a Hedgehog Sensory Box

Line a shoebox with leaves (I used vine leaves, rosemary leaves, curry leaves and bay leaves for an extra sensory element)

Add a SSCD with a recording of a hedgehog snuffle.

Add hedgehogs (Spiky pom poms, pinecones and a nail brush represent the spikiness of a hedgehog or make hedgehogs by rolling Playdoh into a ball then create the spikes using dried spaghetti)


Place a few items in the box for sensory exploration.

Remove the items the student doesn't interact with, replace them with other items.

Keep changing the items to keep the activity interesting and motivating

May 5th

African World Heritage Day

This a day to celebrate of the culture of the Continent of Africa.

Discuss the importance of Africa and its vulnerability due to climate change and poaching.

Explore animal 'skins'

This presents an opportunity for students to explore and express their likes, dislikes and sensory preferences and can help in everyday life such as clothing.

- Faux fur

- Faux leather (fake leather belts, handbags)

- Fabric craft feathers

- Faux suede

Extend Learning

Animal Match Game

Print out an African Animals picture grid (see example below)

Print and cut out the animal skin patterns below.

Can the students match the animal pattern to the animal?

May 9th

Europe Day

A day to mark peace and unity throughout Europe.

Make a sensory flag of Europe

You will need

  • Rectangular shaped card

  • Blue Paint

  • Scissors

  • Sticky Gold Stars

  • Torch


  1. Paint the card using blue paint and brushes/fingers/rollers/sponges. Leave to dry.

  2. Stick the gold stars in a circle.

  3. Dim the lights.

  4. Shine the torch on the stars to see them reflect in the light.

Alternative Activity

You will need

  • Blue Material

  • Scissors

  • Torch

  1. Cut 12 stars out from the material

  2. Dim the lights

  3. Shine the torch through the back of the flag to illuminate the stars.

May 11th

World Migratory Bird Day

Raise awareness for the conservation of birds and their habitats.

Explore a Variety of Different Shapes, Sizes and Colours of Feathers

Feed the Birds: Birds need to prepare for migration by eating food.

Bird Song Sound Bingo

  1. Print out a picture card with the pictures of migratory birds: Cuckoo, Dove, Goose, Flamingo, Heron, Hummingbird, Starling.

  2. Play the sound effect of the birdsong/call

  3. Can the student identify the bird that makes that sound?

  4. The students may not know all the sounds, so this is a good exercise in listening to new sounds. You can repeat the activity later in the day (week) and see if the student(s) remember any new sounds they have learnt.

Simplify the Activity

Although not all of these birds are not migratory, this activity will teach sound discrimination.

Make a Bird Nesting Material Feeder

You will need

  • Wire Bird Feeder/Suet Cage

  • Materials for Nesting: Cotton Wool, Feathers, Fluff, Grass Clippings, Dried Grasses, Hair, Leaves, Moss, Mud, Pine Needles, Plant Stems, Shredded Paper, Sticks, Straw, String*, Wool* and Yarn*. *Use only natural fibres (not plastic or acrylic.)


1. Ensure the nesting materials are broken/cut into small pieces/lengths as they are a potential choking hazard for birds.

2. Mix the materials.

3. Loosely push the nesting materials into the bird feeder (option to open the top to create a wider opening) Hand the feeder in a place safe from predators.

May 12th

Florence Nightingale's Birthday

Explore the contents of a first aid bag/box

This activity will raise awareness of the contents of a first aid box* and reduce the anxiety some students may have around first aid.

*I have included extra items that may not be in your box

  • Sterile plasters of assorted sizes

  • Large and medium-sized sterile, individually wrapped, unmedicated wound dressings

  • Sterile eye pads

  • Triangular bandage

  • Disposable gloves

  • Foil Blanket

  • Sterile wound wipes

  • Finger dressing

  • Burns gel dressings

  • Adhesive tape to secure dressings

  • An updated first aid guidance leaflet.

Practice simple first aid.

Discuss how to raise the alarm in an emergency.

May 19th


Whitsun is celebrated on the 50th day after Easter. It is a Christian celebration marking the coming of the Holy Spirit.

There are many traditional activities associated with Whitsun including fetes, fairs, pageants, parades, walks and Morris dancing.

Explore Morris Dancing

Watch footage of Morris Dancing

Can the students copy the movements to form a Morris Dance?

You will need

  • Handkerchiefs

  • Ankle & Wrist Bells

  • Jingle Bell Shakers

  • Ribbons

  • Garlands (weave ribbons through a hula hoop)

  • Straw Hats

Alternative Activity

Morris Dancer Sensory Box

  1. Layer a box with shredded paper.

  2. Place items related to Morris Dancing into the box: Handkerchiefs, Ankle & Wrist Bells, Jingle Bell Shakers, Ribbons and Garlands.

  3. Encourage the student to place their hand inside the box and choose and item to explore.

  4. Model the item's function. Can the student copy your actions? Model the language.

  5. To add a little interest, dim the lights and use a torch to explore the items. A wind-up Dynamo torch will promote fine motor skills, a head torch provides a 'hands free' option.

May 20th

World Bee Day

A day to appreciate and raise awareness of bees.

May 22nd

Vesak Day/Buddha Day

Vesak is the celebration of the life and teachings of Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism.

Mark the Day the Sensory Way

Meditate: Dim the lights in the room and close the blinds, switch on an LED candle or play footage of a candle burning on your interactive whiteboard.

People traditionally wear white clothes.

Explore white clothes or white fabrics

Provide a selection of white fabrics of different textures for the student to explore their likes, dislikes and sensory preferences: Acrylic, Aertex, Chenille, Corduroy, Cotton, Crepe, Crinoline, Fake Fur, Felt, Flannel, Fleece, Hessian, Jersey, Lace, Linen, Mesh, Net, Percale, Polyester, Polycotton, Satin, Silk, Terry, Velour, Velvet, Viscose, Wool.

Family & Friends decorate temples with flowers and exchange cards.

Make a Vesak Day Flower Card

You will need

  • A piece of card

  • Double sided tape

  • Flowers/Herbs/Leaves/Grass


  1. Cover one side of the card with double-sided sticky tape or a layer of PVA glue (if using PVA, leave until it is almost dry but tacky enough to stick flora and fauna on to)

  2. Take the learning outdoors

  3. Show the students the flowers and grasses that are safe to pick (dandelions and daisies)

  4. If you have a herb garden in your school/setting pick foliage: lemon balm, mint, rosemary, thyme. (If you do not have access to herbs then pick grass and leaves)

  5. Students pick the flowers/herbs/grasses then stick them onto their card as they find them

  6. Option to place a photo of the student on the card.

Hands Free Alternative

  1. Cut a wide band of card and secure into a bracelet

  2. Apply a thin layer of PVA glue or cover one side of the card with double-sided sticky tape

  3. Place the band on the student's wrist.

The student will have both hands free to explore, pick and place their items onto their band

National Smile Month

The aim is to make someone smile. This could be through a compliment, telling a joke or an act of kindness.

  • Explore Mirrors Exploring mirrors teaching an awareness of your own reflection and how we convey emotion. (Point out safety when using mirrors) Explore a range of different shaped, sized and colours of mirrors.

  • Pull funny faces

  • Model wearing hats, wigs, glasses, and clothes so the student can change their look. Encourage the student to observe how their mouth changes shape as they talk.

  • Draw funny faces on balloons.

  • Smile:)

May 24th 1844

On this Day the First Morse Code Message was Sent

Dots and Dashes Artwork

Create artwork using different tools and materials to make dots and dashes

Dots: Bingo dabbers, cotton wool bud, fingerprints, paint brushes, pipettes, pom poms, sponges, stickers, vegetable printing, paint bubble wrap

Dashes: Chopsticks, cinnamon sticks, dried spaghetti, feather quill, pipe cleaners, rollers, roll balls/toy cars through paint, ribbon, rubber bands, straws, string

Other ideas:

  • Spray paint through card templates/stencils

  • Colour through the hole in an old cd

  • Play dot-to-dot

Other News

Just Released!

This comprehensive teaching pack includes 'Elephants', a fully resourced, step by step multisensory story, a case study, plus themed, sensory ideas, and activities aimed at supporting the five areas of the engagement model, creativity, independence, building communication skills, and supporting other areas of learning linking to curriculum subjects and topics.

Perfect for students (aged 3-19) following pre-formal/sensory, semi-formal or formal pathways, and EYFS to Year 1 students in mainstream education.

Click the images below for a Table of Contents and sample pages.

Subscribers visit the Members Library to download your copy

Subscribe to the Members Library for unlimited access to all resources, bonus content and FREE mini workshops held throughout the year £95 (site licence, multiple users

Rhyming Multisensory Stories Catalogue

Stories are priced at £3.98 each

Visit the Etsy Store

or buy direct for £3.50 email:

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

Multisensory Story Catalogue
Download PDF • 3.92MB

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.


'Multisensory Storytelling & Engagement Through Sensory Activities' Workshop



Whole Setting


Held via Zoom

Run time 2 hours


Private Group Workshop


 Includes 5 free resources of your choice

Digital certificate of completion

Course notes (pdf)

Whole school/setting INSET


Includes a free 6-month subscription to the Members Library

Digital certificate of completion

Course notes (pdf)

The Power of Literacy from Sensory Engagement to Literacy Learning

New Date! 20th May 3.30pm to 5.30pm

Join us for another practical, thought provoking and interactive session, revamped to provide support for all professionals and families.

  • This popular session will support a deeper appreciation for literacy for all including those learners with profound and multiple intellectual disabilities.

  • We know that literacy is not just about reading words on a page.

  • So, join us as we share a more inclusive broader definition of literacy, which embraces the unique ways in which each learner engages with the world of words.

  • We will share the importance of

  • Building a solid foundation, exploring how we consider the unique needs of each learner, including sensory preferences and communication styles.

  • Extending beyond traditional reading strategies to embrace a wide range of approaches, from sound discrimination (tackling the issue of phonics!) to interactive storytelling.

  • Celebrating practical success stories to illustrate the potential of inclusive literacy education.

Join us in this interactive session where we aim to answer the questions that will empower everyone, to be part of the richness that literacy can offer.

Find out more

Get in Touch!

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

Twitter: @RhymingStories

Pinterest: Rhyming Multisensory Stories

The Health & Safety Bit!

Please Read Before Engaging in any Activities

Health & Safety Advice & Disclaimer

  • The author has used their best efforts in preparing the information on this website and makes no representation or warranties with respect to the accuracy, applicability, fitness or completeness to the contents.

  • The information is for pleasure purposes only.

  • If information in this blog are ideas for activities. If you are unsure, please ask for advice.

  • ​The activities are designed to be led and supervised by a responsible adult at all times.

​​A Note on Allergies/Intolerances

  • ​If you have any doubts regarding any activity or prop used, then seek advice before starting.​

  • ​Be aware of potential choking hazards.

  • Check the ingredients in any items you may be using for any potential food or skin allergies or respiratory reactions. If you see any signs of redness, swelling or other symptoms of a suspected reaction seek immediate medical advice.

  • The interactions should be led by the sensory explorer who should be allowed to participate without expectation.

  • ​Never force stimuli and stop the activity if the story explorer shows signs that they are not enjoying the session.

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

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send me a message via social media:)

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