I love making Sensory Stories, because I can be really creative.
When I'm making a Sensory Story I try to pick stories that will lend themselves to the senses - with opportunities for touch, sound, taste and smell being top of my list.
I always start with the story - or theme - and brainstorm my sensory experiences.
What opportunities are there for TOUCH?
How will I bring SMELL into the tale?
In which ways can I feature SOUND?
What TASTES will work with this story?
How can I stimulate SIGHT?
I break the story down into a set of SENSORY EXPERIENCES, making sure I cover all the above. For me TOUCH is the most important sense to include, then SOUND. I make sure I have at least one SMELL and one TASTE and I try to cover SIGHT by combining it with the other senses - for example a colourful material, or a beautiful object that makes a sound.
Once I know what my experiences are, I practise the story. Making sure I know the tale inside out and can pare it back to the bare bones or embellish it depending on the needs of my audience.
Then it's a case of going out and performing it. Your audience will soon let you know what works and what doesn't. Once you have your story, remember it's all about the audience member - don't be afraid to drop something or change something, Sensory Stories are supposed to be enjoyable for all involved.
Vicky McFarland is a storyteller and writer based in Northern Ireland. She tells stories all around the country as well as providing story and creative writing resources. Visit her website www.taletime.co.uk to find out more about Vicky's Sensory Stories.