When I think of an item beginning with the letter U the word umbrella immediately comes to my mind. However, how do you turn an umbrella into a sensory experience? Simple – have lots of Under the Umbrella Sensory Play fun.
We have a wonderful large rainbow golf umbrella that we have used for several years. It is perfect for brightening up a rainy day or keeping us in the shade during the summer. We discovered it was also perfect to use as an indoor canopy whilst it was wet and miserable outside.
I set about decorating our rainbow umbrella. I wanted to use items that could easily be removed so we could still use our umbrella. I also needed to be able to close the umbrella when we were not playing with it. Finally, the items had to be found around the house – there was no way I was leaving the warmth of our house today!
I used velcro cable ties to make several coloured chains. I attached these to the spokes of the umbrella so that they would hang down. I then used coloured ribbon to attach recycled CDs to the umbrella.
The CDs catch what little sunlight we had available and make small rainbows around the room as they would spin slowly. As a last minute thought I added some polystyrene stars that had been painted in neon paint.
Our Umbrella Sensory Play canopy only took a few minutes to put together. I brought it into the living room, opened it up and my son’s immediate reaction was “wow”. The rainbow umbrella instantly brightened up our living room. We placed a variety of pillows and blankets under the umbrella and both laid down. We made ourselves comfortable for the rest of the afternoon.
We spent ages laying underneath the umbrella, talking about the different colours we could see and counting the velcro cable chains. My son discovered that if he gently pushed the recycled CDs they would spin. Our umbrella blocked out the rest of the world and gave us quality time together.
I love how easily our umbrella could be adapted. Over the coming weeks, I envisage adding cellophane, foil and bubble wrap to our umbrella sensory experience.