Sourcing Story Props
Stimulate the Senses
Select props that cover the five main senses, sight, touch, taste, hearing, and smell.
If you are representing an animal, pick its main feature e.g. lion’s mane, tiger’s stripes, or a shark’s teeth rather than using a plastic or stuffed toy. You can also use a sound effect.
Use low budget items found around the classroom, home, garden, and outdoor area.
Raid the Recycling
Re-use parcel packaging
Gift bags & pretty boxes add an air of mystery for a 'what's in the bag/box?' activity.
Cardboard boxes become castle, dens, houses, shops, trains, cars, buses, boats, airplanes, rockets, a dolls house, post box, theatre, ice cream van, or a guitar. The imagination is the limit!
When selecting story props, consider the sensory explorer's needs and abilities and how they interact with objects. This will give you an indication of the texture, weight, and shape of a prop to use e.g., use of a head torch enables a hands-free exploration.
Build up a bank of resources on a budget.
Grab a bargain at your local charity shop, car boot sale and £1 shops.
Take advantage of the sales - buy Christmas props in January.
Place a 'junk' box in the staffroom at your setting. One person's trash is another treasure!
Edible flowers engage the senses, are delicate, colourful, tactile and can be eaten providing the perfect multisensory experience.
Activities Using Edible Flowers
Add to homemade dough.
Freeze inside ice for sensory exploration.
Press and use in artwork.
Dry to make pot pourri.
Weave into flower headbands.
Use in baking and to garnish salads.
Top Five Edible Flowers
Lavender: beautifully scented leaves and flowers use in baking and make lavender sensory bags.
Nasturtiums: Round, broad peppery-flavoured leaves, exotic, colourful flowers and edible seeds (capers)
Roses: A member of the strawberry family, their delicate, silk-like petals have a soft feel on the tongue and a perfumed taste.
Other edible flowers: fuchsias, marigolds, cornflowers, violas, pea shoots and flowers, pumpkin flowers.
Health & Safety Guidance
Only use plants and flowers you know are safe to eat.
Pick first thing in the morning.
Wash before use.
Ensure the flowers are bug and disease free.
Do not touch or eat any flowers that have had pesticides or other chemicals sprayed on them.
Ensure there are no thorns.
Be allergy aware.
Stimulate the Auditory System
Present a range of familiar and unfamiliar sounds.
Note the listener's reactions and preferences to calming/alerting music, grinding, hushed, monotonous, musical, intermittent, rhythmic, mellow and percussive tones.
Play musical instruments, blow whistles and party blowers, sing, hum, and whisper.
Listen to bubbles pop and the sounds of nature.
Listen to guided meditation adventures.
Play listening games.
Listen - An A -Z of Ideas & Activities to stiumlate the Auditory System
Our senses are constantly bombarded with stimuli in our busy lives.
To some individuals this sensory overload can sometimes cause them to 'switch off'.
Focusing on individual sounds provides the opportunity to concentrate on the sense of hearing alone helping the sensory explorer to make sense of their environment.
Other benefits of focusing on the sense of hearing are teaching sound discrimination, promoting the development of language, communication skills and increasing attention span.
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 preschoolers to teenagers with complex needs.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Sound Effect & Audio Clip Libraries
Make Your Own Sound Effects
How to Play a Listening Game
Ideas for Themed Listening Games
Stimulate the Auditory System
Guide to Using the A-Z Resource
Herbs & Spices
Explore fresh and dried herbs & spices including the pods, seeds and leaves.
Use in sensory artwork
Top Five Herbs & Spices
Mint: This fast growing herb is available in many varieties including spearmint, lemon, apple and chocolate.
Fennel: Aniseed flavoured, feathery, delicate fern-like leaves and seeds.
Rosemary: Edible evergreen bush with woody stems and blue flowers.
Thyme: Tiny edible leaves with white, purple and pink flowers.
Chives: A rapid growing herb belonging to the onion family with tall, hollow leaves and purple-pink pom-pom like edible flowers.
Grow Your Own
Cheap and easy to grow, herbs can be planted from seeds or cuttings (most towns have a community herb garden, or swap cuttings with friends & family)
Grow in pots on a sunny windowsill, in containers outdoors or plant a herb garden.
Harvest the seeds for the following year.
Sound effects create atmosphere breathing life into a multisensory story and providing the opportunity to elicit a response from the story explorer.
They present the sensory explorer with great opportunities to explore cause and effect, practice listening skill.
Sound effects can also be used as a tool to re-tell a story promoting comprehension and understanding.
SSCD's (Single Switch Communication Devices)
If you have a budget, consider investing in and SSCD. There are many different designs to choose from and although some features will vary, their basic function is to record and playback speech, music, or sound effects. Some SSCD's have a removable clear lid that allows you to insert pictures, symbols, numbers, words, or letters to match your recordings.
Free Audio Clips
A quick search on the internet will provide you with access to a library of free audio clips and sound effects that can be played via your phone, iPad, Kindle or recorded on a Dictaphone.
Explore sound effect apps.