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sensory play in school..............??????????????

25 replies

anniebear · 06/01/2006 12:19

What exactly is the benefit of it?

Ellie goes to a SN school where the other children in her class have severe needs

she did sensory play yesterday which involved playing with, macaroni cheese!

Gave her her tea last night and Rice pud for desert and straight away she went to put her hands in it. I am presuming thats because she did it at School!

I know she has brain damage and other things, but I just don't see what this kind of sensory play does for her.

Her needs are no way near as severe as the others in her class, she can walk, run, say sentences (not always the full understanding there though), hold a pencil correctly (she is 4 and the only verbal and mobile one in her class there is 1 other little boy who can walk but is not verbal)

I find it hard at times as they do something in class and draw smiley faces on the childrens hands, Ellie then comes hme and draws on her hands and gets told off by me for doing so. Not really her fault though!

Anyway!! sorry, going off the subject slightly!!

what do you think? does this type of sensory play benefit her?

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FrannyandZooey · 06/01/2006 12:28

I think sensory play benefits all children and not just those with special needs. It can be both stimulating and relaxing for them to experience this sort of tactile and messy play. Sorry I am no expert so cannot quote studies etc., but at the group I run the children love sensory play, and it would seem sad to me if the parents wanted me to stop because they were worried about the mess.

coppertop · 06/01/2006 12:35

I think even things like sand-pits and water trays are classed as sensory play. IIRC it's about children exploring the world using different senses.

Hopefully someone else on here will be able to tell you more than I can!

anniebear · 06/01/2006 12:35

I am not worried about the mess! Come and see our house at tea time (infact come and see our house in general!)

At the same time, I would rather my child use a spoon to eat rice pudding!

It is hard for Ellie to understand the difference between playing in macaroni cheese in school and eating her rice pud properly at home, A child in mainstream, ie her twin sister, wouldn't have this problem

I just wondered if some of the things Ellie does benefit more the other children in her class and wether she actualy gets soemthing from it. Hope I am making sense, I know what I mean anyway!!

And I am defo not worried about her getting messy!

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anniebear · 06/01/2006 12:38

Thanks CT

Yes, she does sand and water play also, suppose that seems a more general thing that kids would do!

Have a lot going on in my head over School at the moment. Don't get me wrong, the staff are fantastic!

When I sort out my own head I'll bore you all with another post!!

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FrannyandZooey · 06/01/2006 12:53

Yes I do see what you mean about the food, Annie. Maybe have a search on google for sensory play and see what comes up. I am interested myself now, I might have a look later.

Hope things cool down for you soon

coppertop · 06/01/2006 13:03

When ds1 was in his last few months at pre-school the staff arranged a lot of sensory play that was mainly designed for his particular needs. They did things like filling the sand tray with things like cornflakes, porridge flakes, dry soil, damp soil etc. The main aim was to get ds1 to touch different textures or at least give him the opportunity to try. The whole group absolutely LOVED it. The staff said that they sometimes found it difficult to get the other children away from the box long enough to give ds1 a turn of his own.

I think that it can often be the case that an activity designed for one particular child can end up benefitting everyone in the class.

FWIW Anniebear, ds1 is now in Yr1 and I'm still confused about what he gets up to while he's at school.

Christie · 06/01/2006 13:08

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

anniebear · 06/01/2006 13:23

Think they have something called handclass and the smiley faces may be drawn on then

I think at the end of the day, I am concerned that the activites they do are, not sure how to put it...very SN. Which makes me sound daft as my child is SN!!

But she is so much different to the other children. I just don't know where she should really be. She has a full time place in mainsteam and goes for half a day with a helper. I know she would not benefit from going full time at the moment. But her SN school is for moderate to severe learning difficulties, and she has not got one other child in her class who can talk to her. Sadly, most of them can just about move their arms and legs whilst lying on the floor. Ellie is so sociable and friendly

I am so confused at the mo. School are great, can't praise the staff high enough, they are lovely. One even texted me and offered to have Ellie for a day in the Xmas hols!

anyway, was leaving that for another thread!!!!

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anniebear · 06/01/2006 13:26


Please feel free to say no, as I know you could have us all contacting you

would I be able to cat you? You sound just the person I ned some advice off!!

Honestly feel free to say no!! I won't be offended

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anniebear · 06/01/2006 13:28

Then again, funny thing is, if you worked in Ellies School [grin[ !!!

I am going to talk with the Teacher soon anyway, when I pluck up enough courage!

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maddiemostmerry · 06/01/2006 13:32

Anniebear,I can relate to how you feel. My ds is in a moderate placement which has recently turned into a severe placement. My ds is sort of stuck in the middle, not a severe or mainstream child. He will end up full time in mainstream in the next year but I am not sure that he will really learn anything. He can talk but still finds it hard to make a coherent sentence. He has limited comprehension, however he is along way ahead of most of his class now.

I can't suggest anything helpful but i do know how you feel.

heartinthecountry · 06/01/2006 13:33

Hi Anniebear - do you know if Ellies class always does group activities or do they also have one to one or smaller group sessions?

I totally understand where your fears must be coming from. It is one of the things I was worried about when sending dd to a specialist nursery.

I suppose we are lucky that in dd's SN nursery she is kind of in the middle, so she has 2 boys who are more able than her (probably more like Ellie), a couple about the same level and a couple who are more severe. I know that although they do group activities they do also have smaller sessions and dd gets put with the 2 more able boys quite often so they are tackling slightly more advanced things (name recognition etc). I do feel reassured that she has 'role models' to learn from so understand totally your worry that the other kids are more severe than Ellie.

Does Ellie have an IEP? Have you discussed your concerns with her teachers? Maybe they could do a bit more appropriate 1-2-1 with her? Or could she go the mainstream a bit more often? Or is there another class which might have slightly more able kids in that she could join? I am sure you have thought of all this...

It is hard when they don't quite fit with SN provision but would drown in mainstream .

anniebear · 06/01/2006 13:44


Yes, I am going to have to go and have a chat

I have always been a little unsure if it was for her. I remeber our Paed and also a salt raising an eyebrow when I suggested the School. Nothing wrong with the School of course, it is just fantastic. Obviously they couldn't say too much but I got the impression they thought the complex needs of the children there were much greater than Ellies.

Paed always though if we kept Ellie back a year (she was 4 on 31st Aug!!) that she could go to mainstream fulltime. But I didn't think that she would have been able to cope.

she does have speech sessions with another litte boy, and the class is seperated in the morning with the younger and very severe in one group and Ellie with the others. But too be honest these still have very severe complex needs.

I find it very sad that not one of them can answer her when she chats to them and feel sorry for her, although at the moment she isn't bothered!

Their are another two classes, but too be honest a lot of them also have severe needs and not many verbal

I take Grace to school of a morning and you should see Ellie! She runs off with the others in the playground. It is lovely to see!

Ellies teacher at mainstream went to meet Ellie at her SN school and I got told by another teacher who also went (I known both since we were kids) then she cried all the way home. She was very upset at seeing the needs of the children and also they felt very sorry for Ellie as she seemed a fish out of water

Obviously made me feel no better!

sorry to waffle so much

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anniebear · 06/01/2006 13:45

I mentioned about her mainstream place going to a full day but nothing more was said

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maddiemostmerry · 06/01/2006 14:11

Could you do mornings mainstream and maybe mainstream nursery(with support) in the afternoons.

I can't imagine that comment helped much, however well meant.

anniebear · 06/01/2006 14:17

I wondered about that also maddiemostmerry

I am not sure the School would say yes to it as they would have to send a carer from their school with her each afternoon. End of the day thats down to money

Maybe it's something I shall look into. I think there is a couple of places I can go to and have a chat with somebody, may do that

Plus I would have to go and collect Ellie each day from one school to take to another. I know Ellies education is more important than my time and petrol!!! but it would be another 50min round trip that I already do each day in the mornings. The morning run is usually a rushed and stresful one, don't know if I could do it again a few hours later!!!

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maddiemostmerry · 06/01/2006 14:25

Have a chat with sn school first and talk through all options. Write it all down before you go in. My mind goes blank at anything official

getbakainyourjimjams · 06/01/2006 14:31

what a silly comment to make to you. Reminds me of the "counsellor" employed to talk to a SN group I used to attent to (ASD). She said she had to go home and sit in her garden and not do anything for the rest of the day as she had been so upset by everything she had heard(!!!!).

DS1's sensory play includes things like sand and splash (big room- 1/2 sand and 1/2 shower), dark room work and white room, as well as the other types of things mentioned here.

anniebear · 06/01/2006 14:36

I have been putting off chatting with her teacher. Stupid really, I get on with her so well (she is the one who offered to have Ellie for a day over Xmas Hols)

but I'm worried I may upset her or offend her. At the end of the day I feel like I am questioning what they do with Ellie.

I just feel it is all very practical hands on things. eg, I asked about Ellie painting with a paint brush and they said "we rarely use brushes, it's all done with our hands, nice a messy!!

Again, I don't mind the mess and finger paiting is important. But Ellie can hold a brush, a pencil. Surely she should be doing these things also

At pre school when she was 3, Grace used to bring home A4 pictures of the letter A for example and a pic of an apple and we had to look for things beginning with A and colour the pic. I can't see why she can't do some things like that. Might be a little over her head but she has to start somewhere.

sorry, I have turned my "sensory" post into my long detailed wafflings about school1

Sorry and thnaks for listening!

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anniebear · 06/01/2006 14:38

I remember that jimjams!!!!

Yes it was a silly thing to tell me but she didn't mean any harm

At the end of the day, Ellie is taking up a full time place at their School and only going for half a day!!

Maybe by telling me that she thought I may use some more days!!!

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Christie · 06/01/2006 14:57

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

anniebear · 06/01/2006 15:01

Thanks, will cat you later

Her Teacher is lovely and I have known her a while.

She had seen the very young children who are very severe. Can hardly move, tubes etc They are only 3 years of age and to be honest it upsets me sometimes as it is so sad

I supose if I can get upset then somebody who has never seen a group of children like this and somebody who loves children is bound to be moved do you not think

The other teacher was wrong I suppose to have told me. Thought she was doing right. who knows!

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anniebear · 08/01/2006 10:50

Too be honest, I couldn't se Ellie becoming withdrawn or shy.

She wouldn't be affected in that way, her understanding she has, she wouldn't be aware that she was struggling or not doing as well

does that make sense?!

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Christie · 08/01/2006 13:30

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

anniebear · 08/01/2006 14:20

No need to apologise!!

Thanks and will e mail you later

Your School sounds lovely. Sounds very much like Ellies (I would be very and !!!!!!!!!!! if it were lol lol)

Thanks again

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