Category Archives: Teacher Articles

Festivals you might not know happening in March

March feels like it’s full of festivals in Ireland with Engineering Week, World Book Day, International Women’s Day and Seachtain na Gaeilge all happening in the first week or so. And that doesn’t even include St. Patrick’s Day – our national festival! However, March is home to lots of other festivals that you may not know about so if you’re looking to do something a little different, here are a few festivals that might add a splash of colour to your classroom.

Fancy a second Halloween?

The Night of the Witches is a festival that takes place in Catemaco in Mexico. It’s much more about shamans and healers than ghosts and witches and there’s lots of music and celebration. If you missed out on a Halloween celebration because of COVID19, now’s your second chance to get in on the action!

Another Costume Party

If witches aren’t your thing but dressing up is, how about joining the Jewish community in celebrating Purim. Although this year, the festival took place in late February, it generally does land in early March depending on the year (The Jewish calendar is based on the moon and they have a leap month every few years.)

The story of Purim is a good adventure story of good against evil with an heroic queen thrown in, but one of the traditions of Purim is to dress in costume.

Holi

If you’re looking to brighten up your life, look no further than Holi – a major Hindu festival. Holi is the ultimate festival of colours. It is celebrated for two to three days in spring. Hindus believe that spring is full of colours so they throw coloured water and powders on each other.

Cherry Blossom Season

If you’re ever in Japan around the end of March, you’re likely to see thousands of Cherry Blossom Trees in full bloom. There’s even an entire festival centred around it in Kyoto and it’s just beautiful. Get your red and white paint out and mix up lots of pinks and make your very own Sakura Tree prints!

Student Blogs or Social Feed?

School websites have gone through a few evolutions since the World Wide Web was invented in the early 1990s. At first, web sites were static affairs which were generally updated by one person who would upload content from one computer to a server via FTP. Then Web 2.0 came along, which allowed multiple people to log on to a shared backend and update the web site in real time, and hence the start of the blogging phenomenon. Many schools had class blogs and some were updated regularly and others…well, let’s say, were updated less regularly. The birth of social media was a game changer where people could update what they were doing in the tap of a screen. While there are hundreds of schools updating their work on social media like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, there are still quite a lot that are still using a blog based web site.

Hold on! What’s wrong with blogging? Isn’t this a blog?

There’s nothing at all wrong with blogging, and almost every guru on the Internet will tell you that every organisation should keep a blog. The blog, however, has evolved and is now best suited to longer articles (like this) or for sharing tips and ideas. One has to ask what good does a blog do for a school anymore?

Apart from the practicalities of space, content on a website can become a little tired looking especially if the website isn’t updated very regularly. While we can persevere with asking people to log on to the website and add photos and videos and news, it’s so much quicker now to use a social media platform like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to share what a school is doing – simply snap a picture and 2taps later, it’s online for everyone to see. Another reason for moving content off a website and on to a social network might be summed up with the phrase: “If the mountain will not come to Muhammad, then Muhammad must go to the mountain.” Most people don’t go on their phones and think – I must check what my kid’s school is doing; most likely, they go to Facebook or Instagram or Twitter and because of the algorithm these services use, it’s most likely they will see your news there.

A good school website will now have a lot of static information like policies, enrollment forms and constant information. However, it should also be able to embed the feed of whatever social network the school is using. So which one is best? Unfortunately there isn’t a straight answer to this question so I’ll stick to 3 – Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

For me, each of these platforms have separate aims. I find that Twitter is probably the least useful place to add school news. Twitter invites conversations and debates rather than likes and shares. While one can like and reshare (retweet) content on Twitter, it doesn’t really feel like the best fit when it shares the stage with debates on politics, news and celebrity gossip. That’s not to say it can’t. Twitter, to me, doesn’t really have that vibe. However, one thing in its favour is that it is really easy to embed your tweets into your website and this is why many schools do this. The only trouble is after a while it can become unwieldy to find what you’re looking for as Twitter is such a busy place.
Facebook is probably the most popular platform for schools to share their news. It’s definitely worth considering for a school. However, it can be tricky to embed your Facebook content onto a website and often requires an add-on like Smashballoon if you are using WordPress.

However, Facebook is brilliant for reaching most parents in 2022. This demographic are still most likely to be using the platform though this is starting to change. Facebook, in some ways, is becoming the platform of choice for older people. Having said that, nearly 3 billion people use it and not all of them are old! Facebook’s culture or vibe is wide ranging and is suitable for schools to share their news. It’s a great way to share news to the widest audience – the only danger is that Facebook has more potential than Instagram for online bullying. For example, there are a number of “reactions” one can give on Facebook and some passive aggressive people out there might get a kick out of hitting a “sad” reaction to stir up a bit of trouble. Comments can be problematic if not well managed but the same could be said for any social network. Another minor thing is that Facebook posts comes in different shapes and sizes and if you are embedding them into your site, it can make your posts look a little messy. Again services like Smashballoon will sort this out for you, but it’s just a minor thing to be aware of.

Instagram was bought by Facebook a few years ago for over €2 billion before it was a big thing. At the time everyone thought that Facebook were mad but they either got lucky or somebody knew exactly what they were doing. Facebook has also bought a few other companies, the other big one being WhatsApp, and all these services now fall under the umbrella of a company called Meta. As you can probably guess by now, I’m going to gush about Instagram!

To me Instagram ticks almost every box but the most important thing is its vibe or culture, which tends to verge on positivity. Sometimes it’s the small things such as the fact there is only the ability to “like” a post or that users cannot see how many likes a post gets (which can be a source of online bullying) and maybe it isn’t anything particularly big. For me, it’s in its simplicity – take a photo or two, maybe a short video, upload it with a short comment and you’re done! There are no further complications when it comes to posts. It’s easy enough to switch off comments if that’s something one wants to do but it’s not necessary. (Although, make sure to have a good AUP.) Another small thing with Instagram is that all posts are the same size and always a square shape. This makes it really nice for embedding pictures on your school website. You can do it with most popular website tools such as WixWeebly, or WordPress but it seems easy enough whatever website tool you use. Your website now shows your most recent number of Instagram posts and you can always be sure it looks the same way because of the size of the images. As long as you are updating your Instagram feed, your website never grows tired.

Some people might like to look back at older posts on Instagram. This isn’t any better than Facebook or Twitter to be honest but it’s very rare to be in a situation where you might be looking for a picture from several years ago. Having said that, when it comes to graduations, often schools will use older images so it might be worth taking that into account and having a place to store school photos. You could use something like Zapier or IFTTT to instantly save any posts uploaded into a Google Drive for access in the future.

All in all, for schools, I think Instagram is best for embedding posts in a website mainly because of the size of all posts being the same, but also because of those little things – the positive vibe of Instagram. There are other nice things about Instagram that you might learn along the way such as playing around with colour schemes and so on but, for now, the basics are good enough. Having said all of that, I’d put Facebook a close second in terms of social media. Thankfully because they run under the same company name, you can set your Instagram account to publish anything you post on both platforms at the same time, which is handy. You may wish to turn off comments on Facebook if you feel the need.

I hope the above is of some use. I had intended to simply send you a couple of lines but I ran away with myself!

Valentine’s Day Ideas

The month of February is always associated with love. The 14th February is Valentine’s Day, and although it is considered strictly-speaking a Christian festival, almost all children and teachers celebrate the day with or without reference to the saint behind it.

Of course, if you want to cover the history of St. Valentine’s Day, this video is a good place to start if you are looking for an explanation of who the man behind the day is according to Christian Tradition.

However, most teachers want to get to the ❤️ 💕 💝 so let’s give you some ideas!

How about an Art Lesson Plan for 5th and 6th Class on theme of love/Valentine’s Day in construction?

Here is a beautifully designed Valentine’s Day Bingo game, well worth checking out!

Want your pupils to make a lovely Valentine’s Day gift for someone at home? Bath Bombs are easy to make and great fun!

These are labels you can print and give out on Valentine’s Day.

We may not be in lockdown anymore but Digital Stickers are great to have when marking work on SeeSaw or Google Classroom.

Mash sellers have over 100 St. Valentine’s Day resources so it’s well worth having a browse to see if you can find something you like.

Advice for Parent Teacher Meetings

While it’s very rare these days for a teacher not to be in contact with families whether it’s a short chat in the morning or a phone call if there’s an incident in school, Parent Teacher Meetings are fairly formal affairs where there is a definite formula and format and expectation. Up until COVID-19 came along, these meetings always happened in the classroom. These days there are other options like a Zoom meeting or even one by phone. However, the format remains the same – it’s usually a ten minute chat with a summary of how a child is progressing. For the purposes of this article, we’ll assume it’s a face-to-face meeting but you can transfer it to any other context.

Given that each meeting is only ten minutes in length, it’s important that you are in control of the meeting. You need to decide what you want to discuss but you also need to give the parent/guardian some time to raise any topics they want to talk about. Most parents will be interested in their child’s progress in literacy and numeracy, but also their general behaviour and attitude in class. There’s very little point in trying to tell parents about their progress in fabric and fibre in Visual Arts during this meeting. Save that for the end-of-year report! (Of course, if the parent is someone that makes rugs for a living, then it might be worth telling them about their child’s skills with hessian!)

It’s a good idea to have some notes pre-planned for each child. The templates above are a good guide. You don’t need to spend a huge amount of time on this – with 30 pupils in a class, you won’t have time! A few words to remind you of things you need to say is enough.

Dos and Don’ts

  • Try not to be too formal. Traditionally the teacher might sit behind their desk and have the parents/guardians on the other side of it. These days, a more round table layout will put people more at ease.
  • Speaking of which, while you might be nervous, don’t forget the parents/guardians will be too. Be friendly and welcoming and try to put them at ease.
  • Have brief notes on each child. While you’ll know each child in your class well, you may have something you want to say that you don’t want to forget.
  • Due to time constraints, it’s best to let parents/guardians know that the purpose of the meeting is to give a summary of progress and that if there’s a need to speak for longer, a follow-up meeting should be arranged.
  • If you feel confident enough, you might ask the parents to start the meeting with any comments or questions. Take notes.
  • If you’d prefer, you could start the meeting with a summary of the child’s progress and then ask parents/guardians if they have any questions.
  • In younger classes, the focus for parents will probably be on how well they are reading and on their basic maths. A lot of parents won’t realise how good their child is doing.
  • In the middle classes, parents may be interested in tips for learning tables and things like that. There are some ideas here on our Mash YouTube Channel
  • In older classes, talk will likely be of second level and the various options out there. It’s no harm to be familiar with the secondary schools in your locality.
  • Some teachers like to give the parents notes on their child but it’s not necessary. Keep things simple.
  • Consider preparing a one-pager to give to each parent/guardian with some websites, booklists, ideas, etc. that they can do at home. There’s no need to individualise them.
  • Many parents/guardians just want to know that you like their child. Don’t forget to let parents know how lovely their child is! All children have fantastic personalities – make sure to point out the best aspects, whether that is they’re funny, confident, quirky, always smiling, and so on.

We hope these tips will help you out for Parent Teacher Meetings. You can check out some of our Parent Teacher Meeting products here.

Making Hallowe’en More Inclusive

Not everyone celebrates Hallowe’en in Ireland. There are lots of faith groups, including many Christian faith groups, that do not celebrate the day. This is because Hallowe’en is a pagan festival.

Given that almost all schools in the country are not under the patronage of Paganism, it’s worth thinking about how one can make the day as inclusive as possible for everyone.

The one thing schools have in common, no matter what their ethos, is that on the final day of the autumn term, children and, often, the staff, like to dress up in costumes and play seasonal games.

In order to make the day more inclusive. Some schools rename the day to something like “Dress Up Day” or “Self-Expression Day.” While this might jar with you at first, ultimately, all you are doing is changing the name of the day to make it more inclusive. Teachers can still teach about Hallowe’en but it also gives them opportunities to teach children about other autumn festivals such as Sukkot, Samhain and Diwali.

How Not To Get a Job Interview

Teaching jobs are getting more and more scarce every year in Ireland. The days when you could almost graduate, pick the school you wished to work in and gain a permanent position have all but disappeared. Nowadays, it seems that substituting and temporary positions are the norm for most teachers starting out. It appears that only the very lucky or well connected have chances of long term positions.

However, before getting near a job, obviously you need an interview! Getting a job interview is also getting harder than ever before. With many schools now allowing teachers to apply for jobs electronically, this means that it is easier and cheaper to apply for many more positions. It also means that schools are getting a lot more applications than normal.

Getting an interview means that you are getting a chance for a job so how do you rise above the other applications to get an interview? There are a number of places that will give you hints and tips, but here are some things to do to ensure you don’t get an interview.

1. Make spelling or grammar errors

Even one error in your application can file an otherwise amazing application into the shredder. While not every interview panel will mind the odd typo, some are unapologetic about throwing away applications with even one error. The theory is that if one is going to be careless in a job application, they will be careless in their job.

2. Make a template then send it to every school

As teachers are sending hundreds of applications, it is often tempting to make a template application and send the same one to every school. This can backfire very easily. In order to make a good template, you’re going to have to generalise the answers to a lot of the questions. Therefore, you’re not going to say anything specific about any school you’re applying for. Worse yet, it seems that there are templates out there in the world of forums and web chats that are borrowed and copied and pasted and sent to loads of schools. In any batch of 100 CVs, there are probably 50 others like it.

3. Write to the wrong person

If you’re putting in a cover letter, be sure that you address the person properly. Here are some real examples I have heard or come across:

  • Dear Reverend Chairperson – to a chairperson who is not a priest
  • Dear Sir/Madame – to a priest. (As of yet, I don’t think there are many madame priests)
  • Dear Mary – to anyone not called Mary!

4. Talk about the wrong faith 

This is probably to do with the fact that the majority of schools are under the patron of the Catholic church. However, if you’re applying for a job in a school that isn’t of a Catholic ethos, while it is admirable that you have claimed to be passionate about Catholic teachings, most of these schools see that you’ve just copied from a template and your application is likely to go into the bin.

5. Don’t read the advertisement properly

You’d be surprised how many applications come in the wrong form to schools. For example, some schools this year only accepted applications via email but still received lots of envelopes, much of which didn’t get opened. However, if you check out the advertisements on Education Posts, often a school will add a few lines to applicants asking for particular things or perhaps asking not to include certain items. If you don’t follow these instructions, you might be missing out on a school that might have wanted you.

6. Make sure your only hobbies are reading and socialising

Schools like teachers to be able to do other things other than teaching. For example, if you’re a grade 8 pianist, you could be gold dust to a school who have just lost their only teacher who could play the piano. Perhaps a school has lost their GAA coach to greener pastures and are desperately looking for a former under-14  GAA player of the year who continues to coach kids at weekends. Who knows, there may be a school who want to set up a computer club and you might just have designed web pages for your mum’s online business? All your hobbies might be relevant to a school so put them in and show how you could be used in your school.

7. Have a level 1 certificate in any sport from college and nothing else

You more than likely have a Grade 1 certificate in coaching some sport. I’m afraid that all your friends in college did the same. You’re going to have to stand out more in an application so add some details. For example, talk about what you did to get the certificate and how you’ve put it into practice. Whilst on the subject, try to get a few qualifications outside college to boost your application. Perhaps you’ve done a First Aid course or an interesting (certified) evening course?

8. Be Bland

“From your web site I can see that your school is an inclusive, welcoming and enjoyable place to work in.   This is an atmosphere that would suit someone like me.” These sentences could be about any school (with a web site). To an interview panel, it translates as: “I have merely copied and pasted the same applications over and over again. I don’t even know what school this piece of paper is going to.” Be specific about why you want to work in a school. Tell them why you want to move to their school or how you admire something that they are known for. This might take time but it may pay off in the end.

9. Photocopy your applications badly

If you really feel you have the best template application and you’re going to send it to schools, you’re going to be using a photocopier if you’re posting applications. Whatever you do, make sure your application doesn’t look like it’s been photocopied. Fingerprints, coffee stains and other smudges do nothing to make your application stand out in a good way. Some people send applications on different kinds of paper, which is risky but sometimes effective. While it goes without saying a loud pink paper with glittery writing isn’t going to go down well, a muted cream or off-white good quality paper might make a panel member look twice at the application.

10. Handwrite your letter of application

For some odd reason, there was a rumour going around that teachers should handwrite their cover letter to show off their teacher writing. The problem is that it is very hard to write a handwritten letter well and conventions differ greatly from a printed letter. While that doesn’t seem to be a problem, the difficulty is that most people can’t remember the correct way to write a handwritten letter these days and this can lead to all sorts of confusions. A final reason to avoid handwriting letters is that when you’re handwriting 200 cover letters, even the best handwriting becomes scrawly eventually.

Of course, the best way not to get a job interview is not to apply for jobs! I always recommend that teachers put a lot of effort into the schools they would most prefer to work in. Five really good applications, I believe, are better than hundreds of templated photocopies.

Euro 2021 Sensory Football Match

With Euro 2021 underway, I thought I’d share a few ideas of how to bring the game into the classroom with a virtual sensory football match.

 
 
 
Re-creating a football game is an excellent way for sensory explorers to learn about the game of football and other cultures.
 

This activity can be done using any combination of teams. For the purpose of this post, I have chosen Italy vs Spain.

Gathering Props

Audio Clips/Recordings of the Italian & Spanish National Anthems and of a Football Crowd

(These can be recorded and then played back via a Talking Tile/BIGMack /Dictaphone/Phone or iPad App or through your whiteboard, you will find free donwloadable audio clips on the internet)

Smells & Tastes of Italy

Basil Leaves, Fresh Parsley, Dried Pasta, Pizza, Garlic (bulb, flakes, powder or infused in food: garlic bread/crackers) Dried coffee beans/granules (decaffeinated), Ice-Cream.

Smells & Tastes of Spain

Olives, Dried Rice/Rice Pudding (Paella), ‘Sangria’ (non-alcoholic fruit juice), Tortillas, Peppers, Spanish Omelette.

Table Football Game

Fans (Hand-held/Battery), Penne Pasta/Straws, Ping Pong Ball/Polystyrene Ball/Pom-Pom, Football ‘Net’ (this can either be drawn on the able with chalk or you could use small fishing nets held by the ‘goal keepers’ at either end of the table)

Referee

Whistle, Party Blower

Misc

Football Scarves/Shorts/Shirt, Flags (these can be printed off the internet or drawn – the students could create their won flags prior to the match) Bam Bams/Thunderstix/Boom Sticks/Horn/Drum/Clappers, Oranges/Satsumas /Juice, Trophy (Gold Coins/Stickers)

 
 
 

Activity:

 
  1. Explore the football kit with the option for the sensory explorers to wear during the match.

  2. Divide the sensory explorers into two groups of football supporters, Italian and Spanish.

  3. Present each group with their countries flag to wave as they listen to the audio recording of the National Anthem in turn. (Option to ‘play’ along to the anthem using musical instruments)

  4. Explore the smells and tastes of each country.

  5. Build anticipation skills counting backwards from 3 to 1 giving the cue for the sensory explorers to blow their whistles/party blowers to signal the start of the match.

  6. Play the audio clip of the crowd cheering.

  7. Begin your game of table football by placing the ping pong ball/polystyrene ball/pom pom in the centre of the table.

  8. Sensory explorers move the ‘ball’ by directing their fans or blowng through straws/ penne pasta. Alternatively they could flick the ‘ball’ using their fingers/hands.

  9. When a goal is scored pass the Bam Bams/Thunderstix/Boom Sticks/Horn/Drum/Clappers for exploration.

  10. Play the game either on a timer or until everyone has had a turn on the ball then break for half time to enjoy a tasty segment of orange/satsuma or drink of juice.

  11. Switch ends of the table then play the second half of the game.

  12. The winning team have their National Anthem played as they collect their ‘trophy’ (this can be made from a cardboard cut-out covered in foil or a reward such as a gold coin, sticker, certificate or other motivating/rewarding item.

 
 
 
 

For more sensory ideas and inspiration, visit the website

www.rhymingmultisensorystories.com

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

 

 

 

 

 
 
 

Journey into Space – A Rhyming Multisensory Story & Exploration of the Solar System Video

I was delighted to have been invited to present at the Sensory Festival hosted by Richard Hirstwood earlier this month.

I was asked to present a video of one of my stories and I chose one of my favourites,  ‘Journey into Space – A Rhyming Multisensory Story & Exploration of the Solar System’

I thought it might be interesting to share the link with you in this post as it will give an insight in how I like to tell my multisensory stories and tips of sourcing props, delivery and extension activities.

To celebrate this story, I am offering the story at a discounted price of 3.49 euros (normal price 5.80 euros) until 30th June 2021.

Here is the link to the story

https://mash.ie/product/journey-into-space-a-rhyming-multisensory-story-exploration-of-the-solar-system-themed-sensory-extension-activities/

Table of Contents:

Buckle Up! Story Prop 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
Q & A

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

Happy Exploring!

Victoria:)

www.rhymingmultisensorystories.com

June Teaching Calendar – Ideas and Inspiration

 

June 1st – 30th    Pride Month

June 7 – June 13 National growing for Well-being Week

Encouraging people to get growing to promote physical and mental health, connect with nature, learn new skills, reduce anxiety, acquire new skills and enjoy the outdoors.

Classroom Ideas

  • Plant a wildflower garden.

  • Plant herbs on a windowsill.

  • Make a ‘vegetable scraps’ garden.

  • Start a compost heap.

June 11th – July 11th Euro 2021

  • Learn football skills.

  • Play a football themed listening game (click the link to learn more about listening games) Suggested sounds: Referee whistle, crowd cheering, football being kicked, vuvuzela/thunderstick/horn/hand clappers.

June 12 – June 18 Drowning Prevention Week

  • Talk about the dangers of water and how to enjoy water safely

June 13th Cupcake Day to raise money for Alzheimers.

  • Enjoy making or decorating a cupcake.

  • Hold a cupcake sale.

  • Hold your own ‘Bake Off’ competition.

June 14th18th Healthy Eating Week

  • Explore new foods.

  • Themed Sensory Food Tasting Session. Theme your foods (e.g. ‘Green’ food tasting (celery, peas, lettuce, avocado, mint, cucumber, grapes)

  • Discuss the benefits of healthy eating

June 19th – 25th National School Sport Week

  • Try a new sport!

  • Hold a Sports Day

June 20th Fathers Day

  • Have you made your cards yet?

June 21st World Music Day

  • Explore instruments from around the world. (if you do not have access to these instruments then the internet has a host of free audio clips)

  • Create an orchestra. Have students taking it in turns to ‘conduct’.

  • Listen to a piece of world music.

June 21st World Yoga Day

  • Get stretching! Even 5 minutes a day is beneficial.

June 21st World Giraffe Day

  • Play an audio clip of the ‘humming’ noise a giraffe makes. Can the sensory explorer imitate the sound? Record their voice and play it back.

  • Explore Self-Expression through movement.Watch footage of a giraffe. Can the sensory explorer lope and gallop like a giraffe?

June 26th – Jul 18th Tour de France

  • Get on your bikes .

  • Explore all things French! (Music, food, dance and of course, Towers!)

June 28th – July 11th Wimbledon

  • Play tennis.

  • Enjoy strawberries and cream!

Bought to you by Rhyming Multisensory Stories

www.rhymingmultisensorystories.com

Connecting Individuals with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities to LIterature, Topic and Culture

Sensory Bags

Sensory bags are a cheap and fun way to engage the senses and develop language skills.

How to Make a Sensory Bag

  • Choose a non-see through bag that is tactile and catches the eye. (If you don’t have a bag then use a pillowcase)
  • Place a variety of items inside the bag.
  • When choosing items think of engaging all the senses: Add items that stimulate the vision, tactile items that feel nice to the touch, items to smell and taste and items that make interesting sounds.
  • Give the bag a gentle shake to gain the sensory explorer’s attention.
  • Invite the sensory explorer to place their hand into the bag and select an item.
  • Encourage the sensory explorer to use their sense of smell, touch, hearing and taste to guess what the item is. (If the sensory explorer is unsure then provide plenty of clues.)

Build functional language skills.

Ask the sensory explorer to tell you or show you what you might do with the item and where you might find it.

(If the sensory explorer is unsure, model what to do with the item and see if they can copy your action.)

Allow the sensory explorer time to explore the item and process the information then shake the bag again for them to select another item.

Keep language simple.

Focus on phrases such as ‘Choose’ or ‘Take one’ when presenting the bag to the sensory explorer.

Focus on the name of the object e.g ‘starfish’, ‘sponge‘, ‘hat’ and two-word phrases e.g. ‘little shell’, ‘red sunglasses’.

Depending on the ability of the sensory explorer you may choose to add verbs such as ‘dig’, ‘eat’, ‘swim’ etc

 

Seaside Themed Sensory Bag

Place items you may take to the beach or find at the beach into the bag e.g. bottle of sunscreen, sunglasses, sunhat, sand toys, starfish, seashells, sponge, seaweed, pebbles small container of sand (or sandpaper.)

 

Weather Themed Sensory Bag

Place weather related items into the bag, a torch (to represent the sun), a fan (to represent the wind), a water spray bottle (to represent the rain), a Joss Stick or piece of net to represent fog.

Extend the learning further by adding a hat, gloves, folded umbrella, a wellington boot and a hand warmer. Can the sensory explorer match the clothing to the weather?

 

India Themed Sensory Bag

Add items related to India into the bag. Sari or sparkly material, mirror, bangles, rice, spices e.g. turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon, poppadoms, water in a squirty bottle to represent a monsoon, a heat bag or torch to represent the sun.

Explore sounds. Play sound effects e.g. a snake hissing, a lion roaring, Indian languages, Indian music, the Indian national anthem, a busy Indian market etc (there are many free audio clips online)

 

Three Little Pigs Sensory Bag

Add items related to the story: twigs, straw, cinnamon/bread sticks, lego or duplo brick, plastic teeth or fur to represent the wolf, a fan (to re-enact the wolf blowing)

Extend learning. Can the sensory explorer retell the story using the props?

For more ideas, inspiration and FREE resources visit the website

 

Get in Touch!

Your comments, queries, and feedback are always welcome!

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