Project Description

Ailie Finlay – Bringing Stories to Life

Online Events

Ailie Finlay is director of My Kind of Book. My Kind of Book creates and promotes books for children with complex additional needs and campaigns for greater inclusivity in the children’s book world. Ailie has worked as a multi-sensory storyteller and performer with people with complex additional needs for many years; she believes that everyone has the right to hear a good story well told. (

Join Ailie to hear the stories “Robert and his Sleigh”  and “The Flea and the Louse” – fun for everyone but particularly suitable for children with additional needs.


Robert and His Sleigh by Ailie Finlay

The Flea and the Louse by Ailie Finlay

Sensory prop ideas to use with the online story: Robert and his Sleigh

This is a very tactile story. Everyone can join in with the actions, or you can carry out the actions on the shoulders, arms and hands of the person you are telling the story to (if they enjoy this kind of tactile input). 

If you wish you could also add in sensory props – here are some suggestions:

All the adults in the room might like to put on woolly hats and scarves for this story – to help make an Alpine atmosphere!

Confetti is a great prop to use for the snow. Either make your own by cutting up white tissue paper or buy some wedding confetti online. 

The mayor and the policeman could both wear wellies or other boots. You can put your hands in these and make them ‘stomp’ on wheelchair trays or tables. Or clap them against each other sole-to-sole to make a good stomping noise.

 A whistle makes a good noise for the whistling wind if you blow in it gently. 

You might want to use some empty food packages (cereal boxes etc.) and pile these up high to show how Robert piled up the food on his sledge.

For extra party atmosphere try adding party blowers and flags or bunting at the end to celebrate Robert’s success. 

It could be nice to finish off with some footage of bob sleighs at the end of the story. There should be plenty of this amongst the current Winter Olympics coverage. 

Sensory prop ideas to use with the online story: The Flea and the Louse

Gather these props together and then use them as they occur in the story video. However, you may find you do not want to use every prop each time it is mentioned – use your judgement as to what works best for the flow of the story. 

Feel free also to make additions or exchanges according to what you have to hand and what you think will be enjoyed by the people you are telling the story to. 

Sheets: pillowcase or dish towel.

Porridge pot: pot with a wooden spoon for stirring.

Tea caddy: any kind of tin (or Tupperware) with tea – or something similar – inside. (It might be a good idea to tape the lid shut to avoid spills.) The important thing with this prop is that it makes a nice noise when you shake it. 

Pegs: any kind of pegs in a drawstring fabric bag – or something similar.

Sheep: wool or fleece for the feel of the sheep, and lots of baaing!

Boggy loch: a large piece of light fabric to waft around and over the people who are listening. 

Watch now
Ailie Finlay