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What is Sensory Nature Adventures and Play?

Sensory Nature Adventures and Play, or SNAP, is a Sensory Trust project bringing sensory, nature-based experiences into the lives of children with disabilities and their families. Stories, games and creative activities are enabling families to spend time with each other and rediscover play and creativity in safe outdoor settings. Through a series of structured activity days, led by the experienced Sensory Trust project team, children are building confidence, improving communication skills and developing new social skills. Activity days focus not just on the disabled child but the whole family unit, whatever that might be and we’re extending the opportunities for people to be creative at home through our online resource library.. 

Why are we doing this?

We know that the freedom to play and learn outdoors has far reaching health and social benefits for children. These benefits have never been more important for children with disabilities, however they tend to be the ones with the least access to outdoor play and exploration. This is where SNAP comes in. We want to give every child the opportunity to play, explore and discover nature and the outdoors, in a safe environment and with the people who know them the best, their family. 

How are we doing this?

  • We hold all activities at fully accessible sites. No child should miss out because of an access barrier.
  • We draw on both our own experience and that of our carefully selected advisors who have a wealth of experience in working with children with disabilities and outdoor play.
  • All of our activities can be replicated at home. This isn’t just a series of one off events we are giving families the tools to build sensory, nature play into their lives. 
  • For those who can’t attend one of our activity days we are reaching out to the community and working with support groups to distribute resources throughout Devon and Cornwall. 
  • A library of activity ideas and activities are free to download enabling this project to reach beyond Devon and Cornwall.

Want to find out more?

The below film highlights some of the nature-based activities on one of our SNAP activity days. Filmed at I Love Nature, East Cornwall it features a collection of families playing together and taking part in a variety of sensory, hands on activities. 

 

Research

The Sensory Trust is currently conducting a piece of research and we would love you to be part of it!

We are asking families to share their experience of the outdoors with us. We are looking at what makes a good outdoor experience and if there are any barriers that prevent families getting out. We would appreciate you taking the time to answers these questions and letting us know your thoughts. The information we gather will be used in the project to help us create resources, advise outdoor settings and provide outdoor experiences for families.

Complete the short survey

If you would prefer a printed booklet, please contact the Sensory Trust on 01726 222900 and ask for Lynsey.

The research we are undertaking can help to make a real difference for families to access the wonderful outdoors, please help us to make your thoughts known! We really appreciate your time.

Update: We have been thrilled with the responses we have received back from participants of our survey and are so grateful for all the families that have taken time out to complete it. As we begin to sort through the data we are building up a strong picture of how families interact with their outdoor spaces and the kind of barriers that stop people getting outside. If you haven't already, please click on the link above to take part, it should only take you a few minutes and it will help us build up a valuable picture of life in the UK for families of children with disabilities.

Thank you!

If you would like to find out more information about Sensory nature adventures and play please contact Lynsey on 01726 222900 alternatively you can email lrobinson@sensorytrust.org.uk

 

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Links

Useful information books we love, practical guidance and useful advice

Sensory Nature Hubs our work with Special Schools

Our experience in inclusive play

Sensory engagement - projects, ideas and examples of how to connect with nature through the senses

Meet our SNAP advisory group

We are collaborating with a panel of advisors from play specialists to evaluation experts.

families cook bread on an open fire

Families take part in a sensory beach activity day