Blog Hints and tips for sensory stories

My Top Five Intriguing Sounds for Sensory Stories

An unusual sound is great for getting people’s interest in a sensory story. There are some noises that I love to include in my stories. My feeling is that if you know a noise will help a story along shoehorn it in to your story if you can!

Here are my top five noises!

1) A Slide Whistle

It is a very funny noise! Why? I don’t know – but for some reason it makes everyone laugh. Use it for someone/something falling, jumping, flying, growing, shrinking…

Acme slide whistle

The Acme Slide Whistle is a bit more expensive than most but will last you for years and years – it’s the Rolls Royce of slide whistles!

2) Bird Song

BIrd song can be added to almost any story that takes place outside. I often use it at the beginning of a story – it’s a soft inviting noise that captures people’s attention in a gentle way. Try using the RSPB soft toy birds with real bird sounds:

Robin soft toy which makes sound when pressed.

I sometimes cut the sound-box out of these toys and put it in a little drawstring bag instead (knotted up tight). The bag is simpler to press to get the sound and also more age appropriate for older children and/or adults.

3) A ‘football’ rattle (or ratchet)

These make a good tick-tock (of a clock) if you spin them very slowly. I also use them to make the sound of drawbridges going up or down, a drip of water, knitting needles clicking and crowds celebrating.

Football or ratchet rattle

Be warned – they can be very loud! If I am handing them around for people to join in with I usually use ones that are a bit cheaper as these tend to be quieter.

4) A bicycle bell

These make such an appealing noise – I often put the hero/heroine of my story on a bike simply so that I can include some ting-tings! Who’s to say that Little Red Riding Hood didn’t visit Grandma on her bike! Or the littlest Billy Goat didn’t cross the bridge on his scooter!

Bicycle bell with 'one-touch' design.

This one-touch type of bell is much easier for a child to ‘ting’ than a traditional bicycle bell. (Especially if you hold it for them.)

5) A rain stick

Any story set in the UK can include a shower of rain! It must have rained on Jack’s magic beans to make them grow. And I bet it was raining when Cinderella waved her sisters off to the ball.

Brightly coloured rain stick musical instrument.

This Goki rain stick is one of my favourites because you can see the beads inside – there is something quite mesmerising about watching them fall – sometimes they distract me from my own story!

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