Sensory stimulation is important for everyone. Sensory stories take a bible story and present it in its simplest form whilst stimulating the senses through passing and presenting objects and quick activities. A sensory story is generally around ten sentences long and objects or activities are done in between the leader saying each phrase.
Sensory stories are a fantastic way to present a bible story for under fives and will especially help you to reach and engage children with additional needs. An example of a sensory story can be found here.
‘Zacchaeus’ Sensory Story
To present this sensory story you will need a small figure or puppet to represent Zacchaeus, some plastic, chocolate or real coins, a branch with leaves on, a tea cup or plastic toy food items and a box.
1. Zacchaeus was a very small man.
(Hold up a small figure or puppet to represent Zacchaeus)
2. People did not like Zacchaeus because he took their money.
(Pass around or show some coins depending on the group.)
3. Zacchaeus heard that Jesus was coming to town.
(Cup your ears with your hands and ask all the children to do the same.)
4. Zacchaeus climbed a tree to see Jesus.
(Show or pass around a branch with leaves on.)
5. Jesus saw him and said ‘Come down Zacchaeus.’
(Look up and ask everyone to shout ‘come down!’)
6. ‘I want to come to your house for tea.’
(Pass around a tea cup or some toy food.)
7. Zacchaeus climbed down the tree.
(Perform a ‘Climbing Down’ action)
8. Zacchaeus and Jesus became friends.
(Use the ‘Friends’ action from Makaton and/or American sign language and/or shake hands with one another)
9. Zacchaeus gave back the money he had taken.
(One leader puts coins back into a box)
10. Jesus wants to be your friend.