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Sensory Splash - Messy Play for all Abilities

Updated: Jun 1

Dive into a world of inclusive sensory exploration with Sensory Splash messy play for all abilities, designed to cater to the unique needs of disabled children! Our inclusive approach ensures that every child can participate fully and enjoyably, regardless of their abilities or challenges. From tactile experiences to auditory stimulation, our activities are carefully crafted to engage all the senses in a safe and supportive environment. Our trained facilitators are experienced in working with children of diverse abilities, providing individualised support and accommodations as needed. Whether it's exploring different textures or creating colourful masterpieces, every child can experience the joy and benefits of messy play at Sensory Splash. Join us for an inclusive adventure where everyone is welcome to laugh, learn, and make unforgettable memories!

What is Sensory Splash?

Sensory Splash is an accessible messy play group running on the third Saturday of the month 1300-1500 at New Springs City Church (130 Fulwell Rd, Roker, Sunderland SR6 9QR).

The aim of Sensory Splash is to enable children with additional needs to access messy play, create lasting friendships and to engage with accessible crafts and fitness.

Each sensory splash will be themed, with the theme announced online when bookings open on our website. The themes will align with the seasons and holidays that occur in that month (for example, an Christmas Themed Sensory Splash held in December).

This is a pilot programme that we hope to continue in the future. It will run for six sessions (June-December).

Who is Sensory Splash for?

Sensory Splash welcomes up to 20 children per session, creating a vibrant and engaging environment for all participants. Best of all, attendance is completely free!

Should you feel inclined, you have the option to contribute to our group through donations, either in person with cash or conveniently online via our website. Every contribution, no matter the size, helps support our mission and ensures the continuation of our activities. We sincerely appreciate your generosity and support in helping us make a positive impact in our community.

This service will be for children with SEN disabilities, physical disabilities, children with complex disabilities and disabled children who are at high risk of exclusion from school. The group also welcomes children who are at the pre-diagnosis stage.

Sensory Splash's Protective Measures

The sessions will be delivered by qualified Advance DBS staff, volunteers and trainers with a variety of certifications including Safeguarding Children, Safeguarding in a Learning Environment, Autism Awareness and ADHD Awareness.

It will be a safe space for parents to choose if they want to stay or to drop off their children.

All messy play items that we make will not be created using any of the 14 primary allergens. All messy play items will also have a list of ingredients available for parents and guardians to read. However, because we do not own the site that we run out of, we cannot guarantee that there will be no cross contamination. Staff handling materials have both their Food Safety Level 2 qualification and their Food Allergy awareness certificate - they are trained to handle food items in a way that reduces the likelihood of cross contamination. Although some materials will be made from food items, those materials are not intended to be eaten and children will be monitored throughout messy play.

Outside of made-materials, we will predominantly use natural and recycled materials.

The preference for using natural and recycled materials in crafts stems from several factors:

Environmental Awareness: Our thoughtfully selected natural and recycled materials, curated to inspire creativity and environmental stewardship! Our commitment to using eco-friendly materials stems from a deep understanding of their impact on our planet. By choosing natural and recycled materials, we reduce the demand for new resources, conserving energy and minimising pollution.

Sustainability: Embrace sustainability as you explore textures, colours, and patterns found in nature, transforming ordinary messy play into extraordinary experiences. Natural and recycled materials are more sustainable options because they can be replenished or reused without causing significant harm to the environment, unlike many synthetic materials which are derived from fossil fuels and may not be biodegradable.

Creativity: Let your imagination run wild as you navigate the challenges of working with unconventional materials, sparking innovation and fostering a sense of resourcefulness. Revel in the beauty of imperfections and irregularities, as they add character and charm to every creation.

What happens at Sensory Splash?

The two hour period will be broken up into four activities:

Activity 1

40 minute Inclusive Child-Focused Fitness

After being welcomed and oriented, children will be invited to participate in fitness activities and games using accessible equipment and sensory materials. If a child is not feeling up to this activity, a member of staff will be manning the creative craft station for the duration of this activity.

Activity 2

20 minute Healthy Snacks and Drinks

Food and drink will be available to children and adults present.

Activity 3

45 minute messy play

The children will be read a story before being invited to partake in a range of messy play activities.

Activity 4

15 minute sensory circuit

The sensory circuit will help reduce overstimulation at home post-club.

Activity One

The fitness options available will vary from accessible sports, to active games, to dancing depending on the available trainer. The activity will always be announced at the time bookings open so you and your children know exactly what to expect.

We often work with the wonderful Ashe from Danceversity who has an excellent community reputation for her inclusive dance programmes and events.

There will be a crafting station that will open 10 minutes into the activity so children who become overwhelmed or overstimulated will have the ability to choose a quite task instead.

Activity Two

Water, fruits and vegetables will be available to all people who attend, adult and child, free of charge.

Juice, teas, coffees and other foods will be available for a small fee to help fund the group.

Alternatively, if you'd like us to provide a healthy pack-lunch for your child, this will available to add to your booking for £5.00.

Activity Three

There will be a combination of two dry and two wet messy play options for children across four tables with an additional messy play station on the floor (five messy play stations total - four children to each station). A messy play station on the floor has been included for neuro divergent children who engage best when they are grounding.

We have a number of dry messy play activities themed for each session. An example of this is our rice-sand, coloured with safe and edible food dye. This unique blend offers all the tactile enjoyment of traditional messy play without the worry of transfer stains. Let your children explore, scoop, and create to their heart's content, immersing themselves in a world of imaginative play without the mess.

We have several wet messy play activities themed for each session. An example of this is our homemade playdough, a classic favourite for wet messy play! Crafted with care and coloured with safe, edible food dye, our playdough promises hours of squishy, sensory fun for children of all ages. Watch as imaginations soar and little hands mould, shape, and sculpt delightful creations in a rainbow of vibrant hues. Our non-toxic recipe ensures worry-free play, allowing kids to explore and experiment with confidence.

Join us in promoting environmental awareness and creative exploration through the magic of messy play with natural and recycled materials!

Activity Four

A sensory circuit is a form of sensory integration intervention. It involves a sequence of physical activities that are designed to alert, organise and calm children with SEN disabilities. The sensory circuit aims to facilitate sensory processing to help children regulate and organise their senses in order to achieve the ‘just right’ or optimum level of alertness.

Sensory circuits are designed to start with alerting activities, move to an organising phase and then finally to a calming phase. Doing the activities in the recommended order is vital. The right order results in a well-regulated, happy child. The wrong order may well result in a dysregulated, upset or irritable child and have the opposite effect.


The aim of this section is to provide vestibular and proprioceptive stimulation within a controlled setting.

Example activities: Jumping/bouncing on a trampoline, skipping, running, rolling and bouncing on a yoga ball, animal walks, step ups, star jumps etc.


This section includes activities that require motor sensory processing, balance and timing. These activities help improve focus and attention. The child needs to organise their body, plan their approach and do more than one thing at a time in sequential order.

Example activities: Balancing, climbing, log rolls, throwing to a target, wobble boards, weaving in and out of cones, throwing and catching, jumping through hoops etc.


The calming activities are very important as they provide input to ensure that children leave the circuit and return to their homes calm, centred and ready for the day ahead.

Example activities: Proprioceptive and deep pressure e.g. yoga ball squashes, lying under a weighted blanket, linear swinging or rocking, heavy muscle work e.g. crawling through a tunnel, press ups etc.

Accessibility Features

The site has ramped access, level floors, wide doors and an accessible toilet.

All our crafts, messy play, and activities are designed with accessibility in mind - with adaptations and specific provisions so it is inclusive for all.

We will also have a sensory tent available in a quite space for children to use as they require throughout the session. The sensory tent is used at all our groups, programmes and events for children with additional needs.

Book your place!

Dates will be announced on our social media - keep an eye out for our next available day!

Come join us for a delightful experience filled with exploration, creativity, and fun, where every child is valued and encouraged to unleash their imagination. Don't miss out on this exciting opportunity – reserve your spot today!

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