Activity cards

Sensory garden

Sensory garden face

This activity explores the common love for gardens, gardening, flowers, plants, ponds, trees all nature great and small. Think of the smells, textures, colours and experiences that come from such places. As a group, depending on size you should aim to make one garden between 3 or 4 residents. If it’s a planter for the garden at the home then make one per resident *described below

With this activity start with a window shaped piece of card. This is decorated in artificial flowers or painted flowers by yourself or with residents at a previous activity. 

Using this window each resident holds it in front of their face, looks through and smiles. They then describe their perfect garden or a part of a garden/place they remember fondly. 

This initial activity allows for the imagination to revisit such a place and helps inspire the resident to create something for the miniature garden, as they have a reference in mind.

With the various materials on the table begin to make aspects of the garden. Paint up lolly pop sticks for a fence maybe and use the hand clay to sculpt objects. 

With the polystyrene physically push artificial flowers, branches into it and your gardens begin to take shape.

The aim is to create a miniature garden or plant something for the home to enjoy. Put it somewhere communal for all to enjoy and feel free to keep adding to the garden.

Other suggestions are finding things from dolls houses such as a bench or swing. Let your imaginations lead you.

*alternatively, with planters at the home, design hanging baskets of pansies and other such spring flowers or make herb gardens with rosemary and thyme or lavender.

The smells and colours of working with actual herbs and flowers is a great way to open up conversation.

Materials Required:

  • artificial flowers
  • real herbs/real potting flowers
  • cardboard and paints
  • crafty bits such a lolly pop sticks for fences
  • Hand modelling clay to create benches or pond structure
  • A tray/polystyrene
  • a cardboard cut-out of a window
  • shells
  • pebbles
  • glass stones

For planters

  • fertilised soil
  • hanging baskets or planters
  • earth
  • A selection of plants, flowers and herbs.

Step by Step Guide:

  1. using the frame, allow each participant to share a garden experience with the group. Something that makes you smile
  2. in groups of three build individual elements of this gardening, painting lollipop sticks, modelling with hand clay
  3. on the polystyrene block begin to add these elements and build your garden
  4. add water to the pond if you have one. Paint up bits and tweak till your happy
  5. alternatively use planters and create hanging baskets or herb pots
  6. display somewhere for all to see the lovely colours. With hangers and herbs place in the garden and allow to bloom

Ideas for Further Activities with This Idea:

Using the frame/window of flowers concept. Think of another object as your starting point. For example, holding a white circular balloon as if stood on the moon. What do the residents imagine is out in space. Could you make a sci-fi garden or world?


Ways to adapt for less able residents:

Some of the elements within the garden maybe easier to achieve. Hand clay and moulding elements to go into the garden has proved popular or painting elements once they are sculptured or drawn.

Ways to adapt from group to individual and vice versa: 

As a one on one activity, the planter is a great activity. Giving the resident full reign over their design. If possible, maybe a walk around the garden at the home and a chat.

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