Sensory stories

What is a sensory story?

Sensory stories are all about bringing a story to life using your senses. 

Telling a sensory story involves using various items to create sensory experiences that mirror what’s happening in the story. 

For example, if you’re telling a story about a character who gets caught in the rain, you might spray some water.

This gives children the opportunity to not only listen to the story, but feel it. 

Sensory stories provide sensory stimulation and develop communication in a fun way. They also make stories fully accessible. 

Benefits of sensory stories

Sensory stories are a great way to:

  • Develop listening, turn-taking and communication skills.
  • Introduce new sensory experiences in a safe space.
  • Support brain development. 
  • Make storytime accessible to everyone. 
  • Get creative and have fun!

Sensory story ideas

Here are some top tips for telling a sensory story:

  • Any book can be broken down into workable parts. 
  • Each section should be a sentence or two long, and accompanied by a sensory experience.  
  • Find an item to match each part of the story. Try to use the real thing if possible. 
  • Tell the story a number of times, with consistency. This repetition promotes cognitive development and helps your child to evolve an understanding of communication. It also encourages anticipation and allows your child to express their preferences. 
  • Consider whether published stories are relevant for your child, or whether it would be better to create a personalised story.