Sensory and Creative Play – A Celebration

Under the Sea Sensory Room

That was the beginning of what is now Kids Creative, and still the drive behind everything I do – to create spaces and opportunities for children to develop their communication and emotional skills.

As a Teacher in an Autism unit I was trained in the SCERTS educational model.

SCERTS stands for Social Communication, Emotional Regulation and Transactional Supports. The model developed by Occupational Therapists and Speech & Language Therapists should be used across school, home and any other community settings or therapies children are receiving believes that a Childs Social Communication and Emotional Regulation development should underpin every aspect of a Childs education.

This model opened my eyes to how the current education system can make this exceptionally difficult to do, and also how important it is that all children should receive an education driven by developing their social communication and emotional regulation skills.

The third part of the model ‘Transactional Supports’ refers to the supports which are put in place to allow children to develop their skills by doing things that they enjoy, by bringing the lessons to them, not expecting them to come to us all the time.

That was the beginning of what is now Kids Creative, and still the drive behind everything I do – to create spaces and opportunities for children to develop their communication and emotional skills.

The studio is a drop in space aimed at all children. I am open during the week for baby and toddler drop in but also offer 1-2-1 sessions for children with Autism which can include a structured and targeted approach following the SCERTS model and an after school drop in specifically for children with Autism.

The Sensory Story Garden Project at Wythenshawe Park will be another safe space for everyone to use to develop conversations and emotional wellbeing as well as enjoying and exploring.

There are various resources that can be used on the website including SCERTS style lesson plans and a Mr Men Emotions resource to help children better understand their emotions.

But its not enough. I keep hearing teachers talking about how they are so restricted in schools now due to league tables and OFSTED. I speak to parents who’s children are being failed by the system teachers are so tired of adhering to and think something has got to be done.

I started up The Emotional Wellbeing Project hoping to spread the word of the benefits of play and the importance of developing emotional wellbeing but to be honest, I was preaching to the converted. The people who are interested are the ones who already know it and already do it. There are so many teachers and other professionals out there battling the system and doing what they know is best for the children they are working with and this needs to be celebrated.

I have decided to change the focus of The Emotional Wellbeing Project to be a celebration. A celebration of all the good things that are happening in different settings, the ways in which different people are working on creativity and play and as a resource for other professionals to come to for ideas and support.

So, if you would like to feature on the blog or have any comments please get in touch.

This is going to be an ongoing and changing project, alongside the Wythenshawe Park Sensory Garden and the Studio aimed at providing inspiration, support and resources to young people and those working with them.

You never know, maybe one day we will change the world.

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Visual Questioning Resources for Children with Autism

Who, Why, What, When, Where

Visual Questioning Resources

for Children with Autism & Related communication difficulties.

I have been working on these questioning resources to use in my classroom, all handmade 🙂

My aim is to have an interactive wall in my room which will encourage and guide conversations and evaluations in Art.

I will use the Who, Why, What, When, Where and How to prompt the children to ask a certain type of question and then the Did, Is, Can, Might, Would and Will descriptive cards to help to expand the questions. I aim to use these questioning resources with a range of children with Autism and related communication difficulties to help to direct their questions in a visual way.

I am using the SCERTS model as a basis for this to enable developmentally appropriate expectations on the conversations we are expecting from them. My hope is that this will then transfer into other subject areas so that children are getting the same support across the board enabling them to generalise and practice their skills.

Sensory Story – Thunderstorm. Using a Sensory Installation to engage children in Play

Sensory Story - Thunderstorm.

A Sensory Story based around the experience of a Thunderstorm.

This Sensory Story and experience is in 3 different parts which would have to be delivered at different times. Once all of the parts are done it might be nice to put it all together as a performance piece, either for an audience or for the experience.

The inspiration for this came from watching a thunderstorm and seeing the blue lightening lighting up the sky. I knew I wanted to make an experience that was using light and photography so this seemed like the perfect starting point.

This experience focuses around a sensory story in the first part encouraging discussions about feeling and fears around storms and loud noises, then the second part is about the retreat from the storm & building a calming den/space. Part 3 then focuses on the physicality of the storm, of recreating the lines of light in the sky and the loud noises.

Charged – Poem

I created a simpler sensory story to use with this workshop that would be understood by the toddlers which I have also recreated into postcard format to sell for people to try out the sensory story at home. This is available to purchase this through my Etsy store 


Emotions Social Story Resource for Children with Autism – Mr Men Emotions

Emotions Social Story Resource for Children with Autism

Mr Men Emotions – How do you feel today?

Mr Men Emotions Social Story – How do you feel today? A resource to help children to talk about their emotions in a fun and relaxed way.

The Mr Men Emotions Social Story is a resource to be used with all children, but especially those with Autism to help to talk about emotions and how they feel.

Each page is written in a social story type format for children to understand and includes sections to fill in about what they look like, things that make them feel that way and what they need when they are feeling that way.

Following on from all the positive feedback on this resource I have made a few changes to it to hopefully make it work better for more people. I have added disgusted & surprised so now the 6 basic emotions feature along with other common emotions.

I like to give each child a personalised version and then use the presentation for class discussion.

For a downloadable version of this please visit my Etsy Store  and for a Playlist of all the Mr Men episodes see my Youtube channel

Expressing Emotions through Sensory Art

Expressing Emotions through Sensory Art

Expressing Emotions through Sensory Art

Anger is Bright Red

This is a lesson plan for a sensory session focusing on the emotion of anger, it aims to give a safe environment for children to discuss their feelings of anger whilst engaging in sensory activities.


Anger is a bright red (Room lit bright red)

Like a ripe tomato exploding (let students squash tomatoes or have clip of tomatoes exploding)

It sounds like shouting and screaming for no reason (allow students to try this out or again, have a clip to view)

It smells like fiery smoke (Have a cloth that smells of fire – from a BBQ/burning garden rubbish etc  – pass  it around the class)

It looks like slamming doors and running away (Use drums for the loud BANG of slamming doors)

It feels like crying and hitting everything that comes your way (ask children to remember a time when they have felt like this and discuss)

Anger is Bright Red – lesson plan and sensory poem.


Sensory Art, Messy Play for children with Autism – Painting it Yellow, A Sunny Day

Sensory Art - Messy Play

Sensory Art, Messy Play for children with Autism

Painting it Yellow, A Sunny Day

UPDATED for The Emotional Wellbeing Project

Messy painting is a great way to engage children in a sensory activity that can help them to develop their motor skills, communication and emotional regulation whilst at the same time using most of their senses in some way.

Not all children enjoy getting messy, and messy painting, like with any sensory activity should not be forced upon a child as this will then hamper any of the benefits that you would receive.

There are different paintbrushes and tools which can be used for the paint, this is a great way in for children who do not like to get their hands dirty and can still experiment with the paint.

The lesson plan I have attached details the benefits and learning opportunities for this activity and the photos below show the different painting activities and how they can help to develop your Childs emotional wellbeing.

Paint it yellow – A Sunny Day

For a kit to use at home with various tools for messy painting take a look at my Etsy Store.