With parcels going as far afield as Malta, this year's first batch of Advent Sensory Calendars seem to be going down really well - what's particularly lovely is receiving unsolicited messages and emails from recipients sharing their delight at each parcel, and the ways that they've used each item.
We're now 7 days in, and here's what people have discovered so far...
A gingerbread house kit
A foil survival blanket
An angel feather
Snow-dusted fir cones
Sweet orange oil
Raw sheeps wool
Tracking down some of the items when we designed the boxes was a lot of fun! The sheeps wool, for example, came from a rare breed farmer in the Brecon Beacons; she sheered some fleece especially for us! Children have been feeling and smelling it, washing it, and some have made it into models; we also suggested that the wool is put out in the garden in spring for birds to take as nesting materials.
Each box contains 24 individually wrapped parcels, and for each parcel there's a corresponding envelope full of information about what each item is, why it's there, and suggestions for what to do with it. The box is also packed with sweet hay, for smell, feel, and cushioning; it can also be used to turn the box into a manger to role play the Nativity, or put out on Christmas Eve for any passing reindeer to nibble on!
Thanks to generous donations from B&M Homestores in Northampton, we were able to donate two boxes to schools in the town; both are being used in nurture groups with children who particularly struggle with the sensory overwhelm and stress of the Christmas build-up.
Pop back next week for more updates...