Sensory-rich activities: connecting people with the outdoors

Sensory Introduction

A Sensory Introduction can help to awaken all of our senses and get us focused on how we will be using our senses through other activities.

Explore each of your senses in turn, give enough time to get a good idea of how they work. Explore them one by one, make it suitable for your family / group. You will pass the items round each person in the group.

You will need

• Something you can taste, we like to use blueberries or other fruit, something from nature.
• A mirror, magnifying glass or binoculars.
• A natural object that has an interesting texture, we use a pine cone.
• Something that has a strong smell, we use herbs. Stems of mint, sage, something that you can feel and smell, crush a bit.

families take part in a sensory introduction activity

What to do

Gather your family / group in a place where you can be comfortable.

Touch explore the texture of a pine cone fully, how does it feel in your hands, on your cheek, on your arm, does it have the same texture all over?

Taste take a blueberry and carefully place it on your tongue, let it roll around your mouth, explore how it feels. Gently squash it in your mouth, how does it taste?

See have a good look around, use the mirror to look at yourself, look behind you.

Sound what can you hear in nature? What sounds can you make yourself? Can you make a clap, a whoop, a pop?

Smell explore the smell of the herbs, can you describe the smell? How do you feel about it?

Vestibular your vestibular sense is your awareness of balance and movement. See if you can balance, you could copy each other. Ask one person to make a move and the rest follow it.

Proprioceptive this sense shows us where our body parts are and how we move them. Where we are in relation to the world. To focus on this we like to try different movements, like closing your eyes and then putting your hand onto your nose. Or clapping your hands above your head without looking at them.

Running through your senses is a useful activity to get everyone to focus on each sense. This is helpful if you are going on to do other sensory activities such as journey mapping or nature frames. By getting a good understanding of each sense you will get more out of your exploring.

Free downloadable sensory introduction instructions pdf (1191kb)


Creative activities to do at home - get more nature based creative activities

Creative activities for carers - see how we're using activities to support carers

Sensory Nature Adventures and Play - our latest project working with children with disabilities and thier families

What is inclusive play and why is it so important to us

gofindit - our international best selling scavenger hunt game
go find it card game

Dressing for the weather

A fun card game that encourages you to consider how to best to dress for the weather. Using Widgit supported symbol language players are able to familiarise themselves with different clothing items and are encouraged to consider the weather in order to make the right choices. Be the first player to collect clothes to fit your weather.

Dressing for the weather card game