​So as we pass the halfway point of the advent - I thought I’d give you an update on our Sensory Advent Calendar experience. Today’s blog post comes from Firefly Garden’s Claire Smyth. Claire is mum to Daniel who is 5 and has profound and multiple learning difficulties. Daniel also has sensory processing disorder - he is both a sensory seeker and a sensory avoider.

You’ll remember that Day 1 of our Sensory Advent Calendar was a little bit of a disaster. However. we weren’t deterred, we’ve stuck at it with mixed results.

Day 1 - Best not to mention that again.

Day 2 - Fake Snow: I was very surprised that Daniel who can be very sensory defensive enjoyed running his hands through the snow in the bowl. The downside was the mess. I’m still trying to figure out how snow found its way through his clothes, lycra suit and into his nappy!

Day 3 - Red Tinsel Strings: Again I was pleasantly surprised how much Daniel enjoyed playing with these.

Day 4 - An Elf Hat: A felt elf hat is great to chew on but not much fun to wear according to Daniel.

Day 5 - Christmas Tree Branches: Not such a successful day. They were just flung from his table - oh well! I was tempted to say today’s activity was getting his hair cut but that’s a whole other blog post!

Day 6 - Snow Globe: I approached this one with caution having learnt from my Day 1 experience. I held the Globe and shook it for him - he did look but wasn’t overly impressed.

Day 7 - Daniel had his school Christingle service today. So his sensory item was the Christingle - you can see from the photo he wasn’t the slightest bit interested!

Day 8 - Christmas Books: Daniel loves books so I knew today would be a hit. His brother enjoyed pointing out the different Christmas pictures.

Day 9 - Cranberry Jelly: Daniel enjoyed eating the jelly but dipping his hand into it? - Not so much!

Day 10 - Christmas Songs: This afternoon we turned off the TV, and danced around the living room to Christmas songs. Daniel loved this, lots of laughter.

Day 11 - Soft Toys: Two penguins, two polar bears - three hit the deck and one went into the mouth.

Day 12 - Christmas Party: We had a very busy day so Daniel’s sensory activity was his school Christmas party with a visit to Santa. This is a situation that Daniel simply couldn’t have coped with a few years ago and I’m always amazed by the progress he has made.

Day 13 - Polystyrene blocks, which look a bit like ice-blocks (we’d just watched Frozen - again): Very interested, enjoyed touching and feeling them but then decided that he’d like to bite a chunk out of one!

Day 14 - Chocolate Snowballs: In the UK we have chocolate covered marshmallows with coconut. Today Daniel managed to munch his way through half of one. It’s difficult to tell from his facial expression if he enjoyed it but I’m going by the fact that he kept opening his mouth for more that he did!

Just 10 days left (phew) and we’ve lots left to get through.

If you are doing a Sensory Advent Calendar with your child - we’d love to see your photos.

Email us at [email protected] Claire x

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