All Join In, Quentin Blake

The book All Join In by Quentin Blake for an article about sensory storytelling.

My prop suggestions to go with All Join In are all household objects; this means that you can tell the sensory story easily even during these stay-at-home times.

This is going to be the first in a series of series of suggestions for picture books that can be turned into multi-sensory stories using ordinary household objects. Like all my suggestions these are designed for reading to a child with complex additional needs, although many children will enjoy them!

All Join In by Quentin Blake is a joyful book guaranteed to cheer up even the gloomiest of days! Published by Red Fox, this book is widely available online.

It is made up of a series of rhyming poems. All of these are lovely to read aloud, and all include lots of engaging noises. Any of the noises can be improvised; be as loud and enthusiastic as possible! Clap and stamp along to the rhythm of the poems. Encourage siblings to join in!

Suggestions for props for some of the poems

Sliding

Try adding a tactile element. If you have a massage roller you could roll this down the child’s arm when you get to the ‘Wheeee!’. Or simply run your hand down their arm. The ‘bump’ can be a loud clap.

Sorting out the Kitchen Pans

Get out a selection of pots and pans and wooden spoons. Join in with some gentle ‘ding dong bangs’ and then at the end go wild!

All Join In

Cleaning up the house: use dusters or scrubbing brushes. Encourage your child to help you with the ‘dusting’ etc.

Feather duster

Catch a mouse: use a squeaky toy if you have one. If you like you can put it in a bag and ‘squeak’ it in there (so that the look of it is not distracting). Or just stamp your feet on the floor to make running sounds and mime catching a mouse.

Tins of paint: Gently brush the back of your child’s hand with a paint brush.

Granny’s going to faint: Improvise a fan from a piece of paper and use this to fan Granny!

Chocolate fudge banana cake: ‘Mix’ an imaginary cake with a wooden spoon in a bowl and mime eating it.

Remember – not all of my props recommendations are toys! The props I suggest should not be used by children unsupervised.