Sensory Play - Alice in Wonderland

Sensory Play – Alice in Wonderland Themed Sensory Room

Sensory Play – Alice in Wonderland Themed Sensory Room

For the theme of Alice in wonderland the sensory room was decorated with parts of different key chapters from the book including The Caterpillar, the Cheshire Cat and The Queen of Hearts. The messy play aspect focused more on The Mad Hatters Tea Party.

Sensory Play Installation

  • Alice in Wonderland. I use a theme to give a little bit of structure as a starting point. I often find that this is needed more by the adults than the children who are usually happy to explore what is there without a background story to it.
  • Down The Rabbit Hole… At the start of the book Alice follows the white rabbit down the rabbit hole and falls into Wonderland. I have used parcel wrapping paper which has great sensory qualities for climbing on and rolling around in to create a noise. I have also used a mini top which encourages motor activities which are important for a child’s early development, sense of balance (the vestibular system) and motor control.
  • Using lots of different balls in different sizes we explored the idea of going down the rabbit hole and how Alice changed in size
  • The clock is a good invitation for children to explore time by starting to ask you questions about what it is and what it means
  • The Cheshire Cat is in its own UV area with a mixture of florescent calm down jars and sensory bags. These can be a good way to help children to calm, they are nice to look at and relaxing to manipulate in their hands. The furry blanket is good for children who want an extra bit of comfort to cuddle up in too.
  • The caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland asks Alice “Who are You?” this obviously is a big area of emotional wellbeing and knowing who we are.
  • The mirrored area has been made using CDs stuck on the wall, various other mirrors, a foil blanket, bean bag and other fabrics and textures. This is a very calming area for children, some children will find looking at themselves in the mirror to be calming and helps to develop a good sense of self, even older children can enjoy doing this. The beanbag and foil blanket offer a place of solace for children who can hide under the blanket to get away from things they might be finding hard to cope with. There are also massage tools which have the same benefits in children as they do in adults, the gentle touch can help to ground and calm.
  • The light box can help to cheer a child up. it is bright and fun, there are different settings on this lightbox to change the colour or sequence of colours. I have added coloured card and sensory bags to the top to make the talking flowers from Alice in Wonderland. Eyes and faces help us to relate more to something and even a circle with a smiley face can help us to feel happier.
  • The Mad Hatters hats are available to decorate with different brightly coloured textures, feathers, sequins and playing cards. this is a good fun activity and the dress up element is a great way to help your child begin to understand their sense of self. Looking at themselves in the mirrors with the different hats on helps to develop self confidence and is also great fun.
  • The Queens Roses: all of the roses come off the rose bushes, they are made from different materials to give different textures and can open up conversations about colour, texture and planting & growing, they also offer the child a bit of autonomy and independent in being able to choose how they want the rose bush to look. For older children it is also a great opening into talking about unrealistic requests (from the queen) to paint the roses.
  • The bricks in the background can be used to build the queens castle. This is a good activity for your childs motor skills and also to learn how to balance and build things. The cards offer a sorting activity or various card games, which can then be used as an opportunity to share and take turns.

Messy Play and Art

  • A Messy Mad Hatters Tea Party – Pouring, making play dough cakes and exploring many textures is a firm favourite with boys and girls of different ages. Coaster decoration for older children at a birthday party.
  • Who Are You – exploring identity through messy play – Slime Play has been used to cover the mirror in this tray, moving the slime is great fun to reveal their face underneath. Cornflour, water and food colouring in a tray which has a mirror at the bottom. Children can move the gloop around to find their own face in the mirror. Gelli Play is another great substance to hide the mirror behind. For children who didn’t like the mess there were also mirrors available to draw on using white board markers, this is a really easy and fun activity that can be used in many different ways.

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