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Living Paintings

Multi-sensory autumn activities and books

A tactile image of Millais' Autumn Leaves next to a copy of the painting on the right showing 4 young girls around a tall pile of leaves.

Autumn is a wonderful season for the senses

From the smell of rain-wet mud, to the crunch of leaves underfoot and feel and sound of the rain, there’s really no better time to enjoy the great outdoors.

To make the most of autumn with your children, we have a few ideas to encourage young blind and partially sighted explorers to head outside and get creative and a few reading ideas too!

Colourful leaf prints in green and purple.

Leaf prints

First collect freshly fallen leaves. Then squeeze out a few autumnal coloured paints such as yellow, orange and brown. Gently brush or use a sponge to paint the leaves, then press the leaves onto paper and lift off to make leaf-print patterns. Borrow Nature Detectives for an evocative wildlife guide to woodland and hedgerows. You could also try bark rubbing too.

A painted tactile picture of Kipper the dog alongside a grey dog surrounded by autumn items including a pumpkin, leaf, acorn and chestnut.

Autumn collage, songs and poems

Inspired by the autumnal feely picture in One Year With Kipper make a tactile collage or object box by collecting fallen leaves, sticks, conkers, acorns and pumpkin seeds, and gluing them onto coloured paper or arranging in a shoebox.

Come up with autumn-inspired songs and poems.  Introduce instruments like triangles, tambourines or drums (pots and pans will do!) to make the song or poem come to life!

Take a walk in the woods, nearby field or park and make a note of sounds (if you have a phone in your pocket you could record them), smells and textures and collect interesting objects such leaves, sticks, stones, feathers as you go.

  • Guidance notes booklet, tactile picture showing spider in a web, front cover of picture book with colourful illustrations of insects

Discover creepy crawlies!

You’ll find that Mad About Minibeasts is a great starting point to introduce little ones to hunting for tiny creatures that live in wild spaces, under rocks, on bark, leaves and in log piles. Each tactile and audio guide is accompanied by music and song on a bug and beastly theme and the accompanying book is actually lots of short poems about each creature.

Autumn inspired reads

A mobile phone sitting on a wooden table top and wrapped in earphones displays the Living Paintings website.

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