I’ve come across a couple more lovely books so I can’t resist giving some more seasonal sensory story suggestions…
Both of these books would be easy to transform into engaging sensory stories for children with complex additional needs.
We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt by Steve Metzger, illustrated by Miki Sakamoto would be the perfect book to accompany your own autumn leaf hunt. It’s similar to We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, with lots of repetition and simple actions to join in with. Try the following to make it more sensory:
- Cover your child(ren) with a large piece of cloth or silky scarf for the ‘dark forest’. (Children often enjoy this more if the fabric is slightly see-through.)
- Some children would enjoy a gently spray of water on the hand for the waterfall. Or use a rain stick to make the waterfall noise.
- A ice pack could be used for the ‘cold, cold lake’.
- And of course – add in lots of autumn leaves! If some of the leaves in the story are tricky to find I would just use the trees you have in your neighbourhood. (This is an American book so one or two of the trees may be rather difficult to find in the UK.)
Halloween Night by Arden Druce, with illustrations by David Wenzel is perfect for turning into a not-too-scary sensory story. It has a nice simple narrative, rhyming text and a good rhythm. It’s available as an e-book as well as a paperback.
One new character or object is introduced per. page which makes the story very suitable for children with complex additional needs. Try using a flapping black bin bag (cut open) for the witch, some bundles of raffia or straw for the scarecrow and some feathers for the owl.
Scour the shops for skeletons, ghosts, bats, spiders webs, black cats and of course, pumpkins…Halloween is a very multi-sensory time of year and you should be able to find some lovely props in the shops for for all the characters and objects in this story. Look for things that jiggle, light-up or hoot!
With luck you will be able to find tactile objects at a reasonable price so that you can make up individual packs of props for each child (necessary in these times of Covid). Some things will not need to be handled by the children and for these you can just have one copy; for example you can use the traditional ‘sheet over the head’ for the ghost!
The story ends with a group of children all in their Halloween costumes…if you’re reading the story to your class maybe you could finish by getting everyone to dress up in simple (washable) costumes as this point (cloaks are always easy to get on and off).
Any questions at all please send me a message or email: firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be happy to help!
Remember – not all of my props recommendations are toys! The props I suggest should not be used by children unsupervised.