Sensory stories 

A sensory story partners concise text* with strong sensory stimuli to convey a narrative. The sensory stories on this page are designed to be easily resourced at home. Sensory stories are fun for everyone, but have particular benefits for individuals with profound and multiple learning disabilities, autism or sensory processing disorder, communication disorders, learning disabilities and dementia.

*Typically less than 10 sentences, although some stories on this page have more.

A free basic guide to sharing a sensory story and various summary leaflets about sensory stories are available as a downloads at the bottom of this page.

To learn more about sensory story telling please come to an eventIf you would like to keep up to date with the Sensory Projects in a more informal manner please connect via Twitter or Facebook

Sensory Stories for Children and Teens contains information about the importance of sensory stimulation and narrative, along with five new sensory stories and associated lesson/activity plans to support further engagement with the stories.


Sensory stories from the Sensory Projects
Use the paypal buttons below the story block to purchase stories.

 has a wonderful balance of sensory experiences. The story 
can be understood on two levels: as the life cycle of a butterfly, or as a meditation on the need 
for rest after decadent living. Cocoon is one of 
the most popular stories from The Sensory Project.

 tells the remarkable life story of the Dandelion. The 
sensory experiences accompanying the story relate to scientific and mathematical understanding. The story also offers the reader the opportunity to contemplate how ideas 
are spread and invites
them to listen to their story experiencer with all their senses.

Wildlife in the city
 was originally written by Coralie Oddy to be shared with a group of individuals with dementia. The story reminds us of all the
wildlife our cities have to offer if we know where to look (smell and touch). Coralie has worked with The Sensory Project to 
turn this into a story for everyone. Discover the natural world though the engagement activities accompanying this story. Coralie now runs ReminiSense - see link below.

The woods*
 is told to a beat. Beat is absolutely fundamental to the development of communication and something everyone responds to. The story is about someone walking through a woodland who thinks they hear something behind them and begins to run, imagining what might be behind. Fear not, the story ends happily with a cup of tea.

is an ideal
story for older story experiencer.
It is the story of
someone waiting for
a loved one at a tattoo parlour. Although
Tattoo does not come
with a movement
sequence there is a
lot of opportunity for movement within the
story, the story
experiencer will spin
and swing and dance.

Dream is a very intimate story intended to be read by a parent to their baby (of any age) at bedtime. Dream is accompanied by suggestions for sensory explorations appropriate to individuals at the early stages of development. 

The birth of a star*
 was written in conjunction with physicists and tells with scientific accuracy
how stars are formed in stellar nurseries. It will appeal to anyone who has seen a star. A very popular story The birth of a star has been told in nurseries, universities, adult care settings, 
special and mainstream schools, literary festivals, around dinner tables and at bedsides.

 is resourced using 
a multi sensory room (MSR). Naali follows the journey of an Arctic fox as he runs beneath the Northern lights trying to reach the stars. Once you have finished your adventures in your MSR you are invited to follow your own Naali out into the world for more sensory adventures. The Naali story booklet has insight from the research into the use of MSRs within it.

Princess Esme*
 was written by the Fantasy Realist author Gwendolen Benjamin. It is a 
children's story about a Princess looking to escape from the rigours of palace life by spending time in the palace garden strawberry patch. 

Rock hoppers*
 is a 
fun tale about the 
goings on in the lives 
of Rock hopper 
penguins, each line 
of the story ends with 
a repeating word 
making it a great 
option for readers 
who are looking to get
story experiencers
involved in telling
the story.
Boris the bumble bee
a children's story about a bee who interrupts a family's picnic. The accompanying activities give readers lots of ways of encouraging emerging communication in story experiencers.

is not a story, it is 
a sensory sequence for using to get to know each other better. 
Through sharing the sequence we find out about each others' 
sensory likes and dislikes. As the words of Like will change 
depending on who is sharing it Like does not come with a story card.

 can be told in Haiku or in plain text. It tells the story of a boy who dips his toe into a puddle on the pavement, and then dives in to have an adventure at sea. When he returns to the pavement there is a woman waiting for you. Younger story experiencers may view 
this woman as a mother figure, whilst older story experiencers may consider her a love interest. 

Toys: The once and 
future king*
 is two 
sensory stories in one booklet, each told with the same sensory stimuli. One story is about the 
toys we play with through life, and how, although we may put them away as we grow older, they 
are always there for us to play with if we want to. The other story is a retelling of the Legend of King Arthur. Telling the two stories together will give readers cause to reflect on the parallels.

The White Kite
based on the history
of Victorian feminism 
but can be read 
simply as a story 
about a girl looking 
for somewhere to fly 
her kite. It's themes 
of struggling, striving 
and sharing will 
resonate with 

Ein Wattspaziergang
is a sensory story told in English and German.. A walker crossing marsh land has their walk interrupted by a dense fog and has to rely on senses other than sight to find their way to safety.
Reminisense is a project using sensory engagement with people with dementia to support interaction, reminiscence and well being. They have sensory stories too! 

Alice in a sensory Wonderland* is a sensory retelling of the classic tale with lots and lots of scope for exploration of sensory wonders.

All of The Sensory Project stories are resourced with everyday items. If you are looking for pre-resourced stories, or for hands on story telling sessions, then visit the wonderful Bag Books site. Bag Books is a charity that specialises in multi sensory stories for individuals with profound and multiple learning disabilities.

is a sensory story based around the journey of an astronaut as he blasts off into space. Space was written on behalf of Postural Care CIC to be used in support of good postural care and is now available via Simple Stuff Works.

When you were gone is a sensory story written to help you share a memory of a loved one who has died, with a person in a sensory way.

Beauty sleeps is a retelling of the traditional sleeping beauty story. We all need our beauty sleep. Beauty Sleeps was written on behalf of Postural Care CIC to be used in support of good postural care and is now available via Simple Stuff Works.

a sensory exploration based on the game Minecraft. This is a story to be played rather than read.

The Beach House is a place near the sea where you can lie peacefully on golden sands and forget all your cares. The Beach House was written on behalf of Postural Care CIC to be used in support of good postural care and is now available via Simple Stuff Works.

Stories come with: 
  • Information about how to facilitate the stimuli.
  • Guidance on how to source or create the stimuli.
  • Ideas for activities to generate further engagement with the story. 
  • A matt laminated or 'never tear' copy of the story, for easy reference whilst sharing.
  • Stories marked with a * include a movement sequence as one of their engagement activities.
Use the paypal buttons to purchase the stories securely. Stories are normally posted within 3 working days and should arrive within 10 working days for UK purchases, global purchases will take longer. Once you have placed your order you will receive email confirmation from (please check spam folders for this message if you do not receive it within 24 hours). Receipts can be printed from paypal.  

Homework packs

Homework packs contain ten laminated or 'never tear' copies of the story, with simple instructions and resource list on the back. These are suitable for schools looking to send work home linked to a story they are sharing in class. (Homework packs are marked HWP in the drop down menus on the paypal buttons).

Purchasing sensory stories. 
To purchase a story choose it from the drop down menus on the paypal buttons below.
Stories cost £14 each, homework packs (indicated by HWP after the story title in the drop down menus) cost £20 each. 

Purchasing sensory stories from outside of the UK and Europe.
Due to increased demand for global sensory stories I am afraid I am no longer able to cover postage beyond the UK and EU, therefore if you are purchasing stories from further afield you will also need to add the 'international postage' to your cart at £5 by clicking this button:
You need only do this once per order - so postage costs will be the same to you whether you are ordering one sensory story or several.


To view the stories in your shopping cart please click here:


"I teach secondary students with SLD/ PMLD I love your stories and can't wait to use them with my students"

"I work with children with PMLD, one of the biggest challenges is when the extent of the child's learning difficulty is not fully appreciated. Sensory stories are so valuable in allowing a child to experience something that is meaningful and enjoyable."

"I've just received Cocoon, it's great, I'm ordering three more stories."

"My niece arrived 4 weeks early, we saw her for the first time today, took her the sensory story and she loved it. Thank you."

"I just wanted to say a huge thank you for the most amazing stories I have ever had the pleasure of reading. I was so overwhelmed with the level of detail in the stories. Thank you for allowing me to share your very special stories and stimuli with some very special children."

"Favourite bit so far (only got it today, so lots more to read!) is the way you explain the importance of choosing powerful sensory stimuli and making sure each one is enhancing the story. you have managed to explain something that I've known but couldn't have previously articulated! you have a beautiful, clear and easy-reading style." - Jill Goodwin - Tingly Productions

"Joanna writes from the heart, making the book easy to read and extremely interesting." Gill Townsend 

"I have been creating stimulus for sensory storytelling and trailing these ideas in my work with children with special needs. The response from the kids has been pure delight and I love the playfulness and sense of wonder and joy it provides." Kim Cooke

"Highly recommended for the easy to read theory and the practical examples of assessment, lesson plans and support." Special school teacher.

"A life-changing voyage into the sensory world for special needs parents." James Gordon - Autism advocate

"Subtitled a practical guide, it is exactly that and more. Beginning with a brief, straightforward explanation of what sensory stories actually are, she goes on to provide a five part book, the contents of which, I suggest, could become the heart of a curriculum for those with a wide range of special needs." Jill Bennett: Red Reading Hub, to read a longer review from Jill please click here .

What is The Sensory Story Project?

The Sensory Story Project recognised that great sensory stimuli do not have to be expensive. Every day items can be great experiences if you know how to use them. The Sensory Story Project was the first of the Sensory Projects and seeded all the others.The Sensory Story Project was set up to create great sensory stories that people can resource themselves, it began as a Kickstarter Project and it's success is down to the all the wonderful people and organisations appearing below. 

Thank you!

pictures show a young man experiencing the sensory story Cocoon, 
they are displayed here with the kind permission of his mother. Hearing from people who have shared the stories at home is always my favourite kind of feedback.

Jo Grace,
30 May 2015, 03:09
Jo Grace,
13 Nov 2015, 14:19
Jo Grace,
13 Nov 2015, 14:19
Jo Grace,
5 Jan 2016, 06:48
Jo Grace,
13 Nov 2015, 14:19
Jo Grace,
13 Nov 2015, 14:19
Jo Grace,
13 Nov 2015, 14:19
Jo Grace,
13 Nov 2015, 14:19
Jo Grace,
13 Nov 2015, 14:19