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a collection of natural objects with sensory properties

Sensory introduction

Learn how to awaken your senses through a series of short immersive activities. This works well as a precursor to other sensory activities, or as an activity in its own right.

A Sensory Introduction helps awaken and focus the senses. It is a good warm up exercise before other sensory activities, or as an activity in its own right.

In preparation, it is important to choose ones that are suitable for your 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.

What to do

A range of natural objects and a magnifying glass held over a pine cone

Gather your group in a place where you can be comfortable. Explore each sense in turn, give enough time to get a good idea of how they work. You will pass the items round each person in turn.

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.

Tuning in like this 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 subsequent explorations.

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