Teaching ideas, activities and inspiration to celebrate the month of September: International Literacy Day, World Teddy Bear Day, World First Aid Day, Roald Dahl Day, Recycle Awareness Week, Autumn Equinox, Rosh Hashanah and National Fitness Day.
September 8th: International Literacy Day
Explore phonics through the senses
Sensory Phonics Bag
Exploring phonics through the senses is a fun and engaging activity.
Here are some ideas using the letter ‘S’ as an example.
- Place a variety of items starting with the letter(s) you wish to teach into a non-see-through bag or a pillowcase.
- When choosing items think of engaging all the senses: Add items that stimulate the vision, tactile items, items that make interesting sounds, items to smell and taste.
- Offer the bag to the student to select an item. Can they use their senses to guess what the item is? (If the student is unsure then provide plenty of clues.)
- Sunflower Seeds
(Look through a toybox/cupboard for items: snail, spaceman, spinner, spider etc.)
Build Functional Language skills.
Ask the student to tell you or show you what you might do with the item and where you might find it. (If the student is unsure, model what to do with the item and encourage them to copy your action.)
Keep Language Simple. Focus on phrases such as ‘Choose’ or ‘Take one’ when presenting the bag to the student.
Focus on the name of the object; ‘starfish’, ‘sponge‘, ‘snake’ and two-word phrases; ‘long snake’, ‘yellow sponge’.
Building Learning – Word Recognition
Place wooden or magnetic letters along with the corresponding item in your sensory bag e.g., the letters c-a-n, can, c-a-p, cap, c-a-r, car,
f-a-n, fan, f-i-g, fig, h-a-t, hat etc.
Can the student sound out the letters as they pick them from the bag?
Can the student put the letters in the correct order to spell the word? e.g., f-a-n
Place two items in the bag along with the letters that spell the word e.g., c-u-p. One item will be the correct item (the cup) and an incorrect item (a hat). Can the student select the correct item to match the word?
Phonics Sensory Bin
A sensory bin is a container filled with themed items that provide a calming activity and the opportunity to learn through exploration whilst engaging the senses and meeting sensory needs.
Layer your tray/bin/box with sand, seeds, straw, sawdust, spaghetti, or soil.
Scatter with items starting with the letter ‘S’ (see previous list for ideas)
Add fine motor tools: Cups, spoons, forks, measuring jugs, colander, whisk, sieve, funnel, pipette, food tongs, wooden utensils, scoops, paintbrushes, chopsticks.
Add items to encourage scientific investigation: Torch, magnifying glass, magnets, pen/paper, egg carton/ice cube/cake baking tray for sorting items, plastic tweezers, and a mirror.
Model mark making the letter ‘S’ in the base layer of the sensory bin.
Phonics Listening Game
Listening games teach sound discrimination, promoting the development of language, communication and comprehension skills and increasing attention span.
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.
There are also sound effect apps available.
- Can the student imitate the sound using their voice?
- Can the student correctly identify the sound? (Provide plenty of clues!)
Letter ‘S’ Sounds
Get Crafty! Stuffed Sensory Sock Snakes
This is an excellent activity for encouraging hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills and gives you the opportunity to model language as well as providing a wonderful sensory experience. You will need
- Old Socks or Tights
- A Filler: Straw/Sponges/Sand/Sawdust/Soil/Spaghetti (dried)
Stuff the socks with items starting with the letter ‘S’; Sand, seeds, straw, sawdust, (dried) spaghetti, or soil. Tie a knot in the end of the sock to secure.
Allow supervised free exploration of the sensory snakes, they will differ in weight, length, smell and texture.
Tip! Adding a few drops of essential oil to the fillers will enrich the experience.
Use a range of Letter Resources.
I like to teach using tactile items. It makes learning fun and allows the student to manipulate and explore the letters and make words without having to write them down.
Here are a few ideas:
- Wooden letter tiles
- Scrabble Board and tiles
- Magnetic Letters on a baking tray.
- Paint pebbles and write letters on them.
- Use letter stickers
- Write in chalks on the patio/fence.
- Write letters on recycled plastic milk bottle tops.
- Mould letters using clay/plasticine or Play-Doh.
September 9th: National Teddy Bear Day
Hold a Teddy Bears’ Picnic Can the students make and send invitations?
Can the students help to choose the menu and prepare the food? (Discuss healthy eating options)
Make teddy bear shaped biscuits.
Make and wear teddy bear masks.
Can the students help to lay the table?
Can the students suggest any games they would like to play?
Table of Contents:
- Story Props Checklist
- How to Tell a Multisensory Story
- Goldilocks & The Three Bears Fully Resourced, Step-by-Step Multisensory Story
- Developing Comprehension & Understanding
- Themed Listening Game
- Themed Sensory Bag
- Hard and Soft Themed Sensory Bin
- Oat Bear Art
- Raised Bear Salt Picture
- The Three Bears Kitchen – Oat Milk Recipe
- The Three Bears Bathroom – Oatmeal Facemask & Oat Bath
- Teddy Bears Picnic
- Let’s Explore…Bears!
- Make a Bear Habitat
- Bear Hugs
Sept 10th: World First Aid Day
Explore the contents of a First Aid Bag/Box This activity will raise awareness of the contents of a first aid box and reduce any anxiety some students may have around first aid.
- Explore the contents of the classroom first aid box to the students.
- Practice applying dressings and bandages.
- Teach the students how to raise the alarm should there be an accident in the classroom or playground (tell an adult)
- Teach students how to ring 999 for an ambulance. Engage in role play practicing making a 999 telephone, call using a toy or old mobile phone (battery removed)
First Aid Box Contents*
- Burns gel dressings
- Adhesive tape to secure dressings
- An updated first aid guidance leaflet.
- 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
*The contents of your first aid boxes may differ to the items in the list.
Practice simple first aid. Discuss how to raise the alarm in an emergency.
Sept 11th: 500th Anniversary of the birth of Ulisse Aldrovandi
Modern history founder Ulisse Aldrovandi was known for his studies of animals, plants, and minerals.
Present a range of animals, plants and minerals for students to explore through the senses.
Animals: (Fake) fur, suede, chamois leather/leather, wool
Herbs: Basil, lavender, lemon balm, marjoram, mint, parsley, rosemary, thyme.
Minerals: Calcite, crystals, rocks, stones or gold, silver and copper-coloured items (Coins, dress jewellery, foil, stainless steel items.)
Can the students group the items according whether they are animal derived, plant or mineral?
Sept 13th: Roald Dahl Day
Explore the Main Characters in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory through the Senses
Augustus Gloop – Gloop. Mix cornflour and water to the ratio of 2:1, (Option to add food colouring and essences/flavourings)
Charlie Bucket – Bucket
Grandpa Joe – Slippers
Mike Teavee – Large square glasses, cardboard box TV, or old TV remote control (batteries removed)
Mr Bucket (Charlie’s Dad) – Toothpaste or fresh mint (this is a reference to the job he held screwing the tops onto toothpaste tubes)
Oompa-Loompas – Orange/satsuma or orange face paint
Veruca Salt: Salt Dough. Mix 1 cup plain flour, ½ cup table salt, ½ cup water. (Option to add food colouring and essences/flavourings to enhance the sensory experience)
Violet Beauregarde – Parma violets, violet essential oil, violet flowers
Violet flowers are edible. Ensure the flowers are freshly picked, washed, are disease and pest free and have not been treated with pesticides.
Willy Wonka – Walking Stick
Describe the characters in the story. Can the students match the props to the characters?
September 15th: International Dot Day
A day to promote art, creativity, and individual achievement.
Read or watch the story of ‘The Dot’ by Peter H. Reynolds, a tale of a young girl who thought she could not draw…until she discovered dots!
Create artwork using different tools and materials to make dots.
Dots: Bingo dabbers, cotton wool bud, fingerprints, paint brushes, pipettes, pom poms, sponges, stickers, vegetable printing, paint bubble wrap.
- Spray paint through card templates/stencils using watered down paint in a water spray bottle.
- Colour through the hole in an old cd to make a pattern.
- Play dot-to-dot.
- Take learning outdoors and draw in chalk around quoits and hula hoops.
- Link to maths: make craft ladybirds, print, and count their spots.
20th – 25th September: Fire Door Safety Week
(Link to Great fire of London 2nd – 6th September)
Teach the students about fire doors.
- Locate the fire doors within your school or setting.
- Explain why fire doors must be kept closed.
- Teach the students how to raise the alarm if they smell or see smoke or fire.
- Show the students where their nearest exit is in the classroom if the alarm sounds
- The new school term brings with it the inevitable fire drill. For some students, the fire alarm provides unwanted sensory feedback and the fire drill itself can be unsettling as it is out of routine. Have a ‘fire drill’ bag in easy reach in readiness for fire drill. This could contain ear defenders, a NOW/NEXT board showing what is happening and some fiddle toys/motivators.
- Look in the classroom for potential fire risks (electric heaters, electrical equipment, plug sockets)
- Discuss the dangers of water coming into contact with electric appliances.
- Explain why we do not place items on top of or cover heaters.
September 22nd National Fitness Day
- Get Active: Balance, bounce, hop, jump, skip, run and crawl.
- Throw and catch balls and beanbags.
- Explore twirling ribbons, hula hoops, skittles, and other equipment.
- Enjoy gentle yoga stretches, physio ball exercises, Dough Disco, or a hand massage.
September 20th - 26th Recycle Week
- Collect clothes, electrical devices, crisp bags, or stamps to pass on to the relevant charities.
- Have a team of students collect plastic bottles, and cardboard from classrooms to sort and recycle.
- Recycle containers into planters.
- Make bubble snakes from water bottles or fill with sand to make bowling pins.
- Use old newspapers to make items from Papier Mache.
- Play recycling bingo.
- Print out items you can recycle (glass bottles, tins, newspapers, cardboard,) and items you cannot (used pizza boxes, waxed paper, stickers, bubble wrap, plastic bags, plastic coat hangers, plastic straws)
- Can the students think of alternative uses for these items (re-use plastic bags, make hangers into mobiles)
- Can students think of alternatives to these items (metal drinking straws, cloth or paper bags)
Sept 20th - 27th: Sukkot
Sukkot is a Jewish festival. The word ‘Sukkot’ translates to a ‘temporary shelter’.
Build a Sukkah Hut
Den building provides an excellent opportunity to explore design and technology through building and construction, the opportunity to explore, experiment, make mistakes and problem solve in a safe environment, promotes physical development and co-operation, turn-taking, listening to others’ ideas and communication skills through teamwork. Dens can be built using everyday items found around the home and garden. Here are some examples:
- Use items found in nature: straw, hay, dried grasses, twigs, and sticks.
- Work around existing features such as a play equipment, trees, a gazebo, or a washing line.
- If indoors, drape a sheet or blanket over two chairs, a table, or underneath open stairs.
Families eat and spend free time in their Sukkot shelters. Accessorise your Sukkot
- Add cushions, beanbags, books, activities, soft toys, and a blanket.
- Add crayons/pencils/felts and paper/whiteboard and marker pen.
- String fairy lights, add glow in the dark stickers, glitter lamps and light up toys.
- Add items to encourage scientific investigation: a torch, mirror, magnifying glass.
23rd September: Autumn Equinox
Explore the sights, sounds, tastes, smells, and textures of Autumn with this fully resourced, step-by-step multisensory story.
Table of Contents:
- Story Props Checklist
- How to Tell a Multisensory Story
- Autumn Full Story
- Autumn Fully Resourced, Rhyming Multisensory Story
- Autumn Themed Sensory Bin
- Let’s Explore…Dormice
- Let’s Explore…Hedgehogs
- Autumn Sensory Walk
- Autumn Food Tasting
- Make a Bug Hotel
- Autumn Leaves Craft Activity
- The Colour of Autumn
- The Sensory Scarecrow
- 40 Autumn Ideas & Inspiration
Sept 25th - 27th: Rosh Hashanah
A two-day festival celebrating Jewish New Year which begins in the Autumn.
Apples and honey symbolise ‘Sweet New Year’ Activities
- Cut apples into slices and drizzle honey on top.
- Make a honey cake.
Honey Cake Recipe Ingredients
- 200g/7oz self-raising flour
- 2 eggs
- 170g/6oz clear honey
- 140g/5oz butter
- 85g/3oz light muscovado sugar
- 1 tbsp water
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 3
- Grease and line the bottom of a cake tin with greaseproof paper.
- Melt the honey, butter, water and sugar in a pan.
- Remove from the heat and mix in the flour and (beaten) eggs
- Transfer to the cake tin.
- Bake for 40 minutes until the cake is golden brown.
- Place onto a wire rack.
- Using a skewer, make little holes over the surface of the cake then drizzle honey over the cake to sink into the holes.
Guess the Item!
Give the students a wooden honey dipper to explore but do not tell them what it is.
Can the students guess what the utensil is used for?
Can the students use their fine motor skills to remove honey from a jar using the honey dipper?
Just for fun!
Can the students think of any other uses for the item?
Explore the Shofar Horn
This is one of the world’s oldest wind instruments (record an audio clip or watch a video of a shofar horn being played)
- Can the students join in by playing a wind instrument e.g., recorder, whistle, or a harmonica?
Promote the development of the mouth muscles.
- Can the students inflate a balloon using their breath, blow a party blower or feathers?
Make an Organic Farm Sensory Wall Display
Making a sensory wall display is a gradual process that all students can participate in.
Make you craft items during your art/craft lessons and watch as your working farm, sensory wall grows!
Make the Fences: Lay three, thin strips of brown card vertically then glue a strip of card diagonally across the three strips.
Add the Crops and Fields: Glue the textured items onto A4 thin card, covering with a thin layer of PVA then staple onto your wall: Grass, Yellow Field: Split Peas, Orange Field: Lentils, Pale Green Field: Split Peas Add a Barn: Use wooden sticks for a 3D effect.
Add Haybales: Cover a piece of thin card with PVA glue. Add the straw. Leave to dry. Add a layer of PVA glue to set in place. Leave to dry then cut into rectangular bales.
Add Farm Animals: Provide animal templates for students to decorate using sensory items e.g. A duck: yellow feathers, a chicken: red, brown, and black feathers, a sheep: cotton wool balls, a pig: pink felt or suede
Add Crops: ¾ fill a clear, disposable plastic cup/biodegradable plant pot with potting compost. Plant your seeds into the soil (Nasturtiums and peas work well). Ensure they are watered regularly and are not left to go dry. Staple the pots to the wall. The beans/peas will trail downwards as they grow.
(Tip! Wet kitchen roll or a wet paper towel are a substitute for soil) Add a Duck Pond: A circle of unbreakable ‘mirror’ or circle of aluminium foil.
Add Farmyard Sounds: Record farmyard noises on Talking Tiles (or similar devices) place a picture of the object/animal next to the Talking Tile. Press the Talking Tiles to bring the farm to life!
Assign Students Roles on the Farm: The crop farmers can oversee the watering of the plants in the cups, the sheep farmers will be responsible for keeping the sheep tidy.
Promote fine motor skills using a pestle and mortar to grind foods make flour.
Pumpkin Seeds Quinoa Rice Rye
Explore the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and textures with this fully resources, step-by-step multisensory story (includes 101 farm themed extension activities!)
Table of Contents:
• How to tell a Multisensory Story
• The Benefits of Multisensory Storytelling
• Story Props/Resources Checklist
• The Farm Full Story
• The Farm Fully Resourced, step-by-step Multisensory Story
• Farmyard Art
• The Sensory Cow
• Farming Culture & Celebrations Around the World
• D & T
• D & T Food Technology & Healthy Eating
• Trips, Visits & Enrichment Activities
• Traditional Farming Methods
• Farming History: Children on the Victorian Farm
• Farm Themed Literacy
• Farm Themed Mathematics
• Farm Themed Counting Songs & Activities
• Farm Themed Sorting Activities
• Farm Themed Mathematics (Weights & Measures)
• Farmyard PE
• Farmyard Yoga
• Plants & Life Cycles
• Role Play
• Farm Safety
• Farmyard Science
• The Sensory Farm
• The Sensory Farm Classroom Wall Display
• Spotlight on…Fairfield School, Batley, Yorkshire
• Farmyard Small World Play
• Understanding the World Farm Animals
• Amazing Facts About Farm Animals
Want to learn more about multisensory storytelling?
Training (1-1, Groups & INSET)
Exclusive offer to Lesson Planned members
Save £5 discount of the price of a 1-1 course when you mention ‘Lesson Planned’ when you book.
Offer ends 31st Aug 2022
Who is the Course Aimed at?
This is a bespoke course aimed at Parents, Guardians, Childminders, Carers, Early Years Educators, Teachers, HLTA’s, TA’s, SENCO’s, Speech Therapists, Play Therapists, Support Workers, Activity Coordinators, Librarians, and anyone with an interest in exploring storytelling through the senses with pre-school, early years, SEN students, SALT students and teenagers/adults with complex needs.
• What is a multisensory story?
• 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, giving them a voice and a choice.
• Case studies
• Extension Activities
• Ideas to stimulate the five main senses.
In addition to this we will explore in depth, a multisensory story of your choice from the latest story catalogue, how to deliver this story and how to use the story props promote communication and areas learning.
You will receive a digital copy of the full resource.
How is the Training Delivered?
The course is delivered as a friendly and informal session via Zoom and can be tailored to meet your training requirements.
Any information you may wish to share regarding the needs of your child/student will be treated in strictest confidence.
How Much Does the Course Cost?
£45 1-1 Training Session
£250 Whole School/Setting INSET
(For smaller group bookings please contact me for a price)
The course is 90 mins.
Will I Receive any Course Notes?
Yes. Course summary notes will be sent as a word document.
- Notes Contents
- What is a Multisensory story?
- The Benefits of Multisensory Storytelling
- Sourcing Story Props
- How to tell a Multisensory Story
- Developing Understanding & Comprehension
- Ideas to Stimulate the Tactile System
- Ideas to Stimulate the Gustatory System
- Ideas to Stimulate the Olfactory System
- Ideas to Stimulate the Auditory System
- Ideas to Stimulate the Visual System
- Extending Learning (Developing Understanding and Comprehension)
- Sensory Bags and
- Sensory Bins
- Useful Links
Are There Any Other Free Resources Included?
You will receive a free digital download of ‘Listen – An A-Z of Sensory Ideas to Stimulate the Auditory System’.
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 your chosen story.
How Do I Book?
email firstname.lastname@example.org or send a message via the chat function on the website or through social media
How Do I Pay?
Payment is accepted through BACS and PayPal.
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
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Your questions, queries, comments & feedback are always welcome!
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