Lessons and materials

Sensory Ideas: People as Helpers: The Cleaner

Multi-sensory ideas for children who are blind or visually impaired

Many skills can be taught through a single theme or activity.  Here is a multi-sensory curriculum focusing on People as Helpers: The Cleaner.  There is much for children with visual impairements to explore and learn through each of the sensory channels.



  • Feel brushes – sweeping, washing up brush, soft brush, hard bristle brush (with care), mop, pan scourer – plastic, green pan scrubs, white/yellow pan scrubs , feather duster, duster, glasses cleaning cloth, towel, sponge, wet cloth, dry cloth.
  • Warm water, cool water, cold water – cloth wrung out, cloth full of water. 
  • Squeeze water out of sponges and cloths. 
  • Play at filling bucket with water, pouring water out again, (use seaside bucket)
  • Use mop and mop floor, wear wellingtons and rubber gloves, aprons.
  • Add (with Velcro) some of the items used for cleaning to the front of the child’s apron for them to feel.
  • Play with bubbles created by washing up liquid
  • Wash cloths in soap powder.  Peg on line to dry, feel cloth when wet and when dry. What is the weight difference? Does the cloth cold or warm when it is  hanging on the line. How does the wind help to dry the clothes? 
  • Stroke feather duster on child’s hand.



(Some of these ideas could also be used in the tactile section also)

  • Wear apron, overalls, wellington boots, rubber gloves, peaked cap. 
  • Make mobile with cleaning cloths and sponges.
  • Make tactile collage with cloths and sponges. 
  • Role play cleaning at home, brushing leaves.



  • Water making splashing noise, water being wrung from a cloth, water being poured into bucket – noise of water running from the tap. 
  • Sound of Vacuum, sound of brush, sound of mop being squeezed out. Sound of cloth whilst dusting, does it make a sound?



  • Smell – washing up liquid, washing powder, polish, detergents (with care)



  • Up, down, side to side, push, pull, smooth, rough, hard, soft, splish, splosh, splash, wet, cold, hot, warm, cool
  • Pictures and names of people who do cleaning that the children know e.g. mum and dad, school cleaner, street cleaner, window cleaner, car washer
  • Sing some songs about cleaning, see examples below:
cleaning supplies
I’m the shoe brush 
I’m the shoe 
Polish one and polish two 
Brush, brush, brush. 
I’m the dustpan 
I’m the broom 
We can see a dusty room 
Sweep, sweep, sweep 
It’s Time To Cleanup
(Tune:  Frere Jacques) 
Are you helping,
are you helping?
Pick up toys, Pick up toys!
Let us all be helpers, 
Let us all be helpers. 
Girls and boys, girls and boys.


  • Fill different size buckets with water,  fill buckets with sand, use different size buckets and make sand  moulds. 
  • Feel shape of bucket, straight handle of brush.
  • Sort cleaning articles by purpose, shape, texture, size, by one, two or three attributes
cleaning collage