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Enjoy some festive family games

A family having fun at christmas

Instead of a post-Christmas lunch nap, why not encourage the family to join in some fun games?

We’ve organised these festive activities into sensory themes.

Vision: The silly drawing game

Hand out plain paper plates and pens then challenge your family to draw the best Christmas themed object – snowman, Christmas tree, elf hat, reindeer antlers and so on.

Where’s the challenge in that, you ask?

Try putting the plate on top of your head whilst drawing…

Hearing: Musical statues

An oldie but a goodie and a game that all the family can join in (seated statues can play too!). The rules are simple: when the Christmas music plays, bust out your best moves but when it stops, you stop. Last statue standing (or sitting) wins.

Touch: Festive feely game

Stuff a Christmas stocking or Santa hat with small objects found around the home (ornaments, pinecones, (clean) Christmas socks and so on). Pass the bag of objects round and take it in turns to guess what’s inside. The game needs to be played by touch alone, so use blindfolds to avoid the temptation to peep!

Smell: Guess the Christmas scent

Play in teams or individually. Fill jars or small, lidded containers with nutmeg, mint, orange peel, cocoa powder, pine needles, ginger etc. Use blindfolds and ask people to identify each fragrance. A great way to find out who has the best sense of smell in the family!

Taste: Festive tasting game

As above, only with calories!

Assemble a range of small, tasty (or not) treats on a covered platter. Blindfolded players receive a point for every item they correctly identify.

(Remember to check for food intolerances first)

Some suggestions for your platter of ‘treats’:

All: Festive scavenger hunt

  • The simplest version of this game involves finding items with a particular visual characteristic, sound, smell, taste or tactile appeal.
  • You can do this at home, in the garden or whilst out on a winter walk.
  • Make the hunt specific, by naming items to be collected, or more general by describing sensory attributes (see below).
  • Create more of a challenge by giving clues rather than a list.

Here are some ideas to get you started on your festive sensory scavenger hunt:

  • Find something sparkly (reflective, bright, stripy, shiny…)
  • Find something smooth (rough, spiky, cold, soft…)
  • Find something fruity/sweet etc (can be used for smell or taste – take care with this one if young children are involved)
  • Find something that squeaks (crunches, clicks, pops, whistles…)

Most of our learning comes from information received via our visual processing system. Children with vision impairment don’t develop special powers but they can learn to hone their other senses to take in more information from non-visual sources.

Christmas is filled with sensory delights and a child with vision impairment can enjoy the magic of the season by focusing on the sounds, smells, tastes and feelings they experience.