December (Virtual) Sensory Friendly Night

Welcome to Virtual Sensory Night, brought to you by the Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum and Valley Health, sponsored by Continental /O’Sullivan Films.

We are so glad you are able to join us online and look forward to being able to welcome you back for LIVE Sensory Friendly Nights in our building once the pandemic subsides. Tonight, our sensory friendly fun is focused around the idea of your fabulous five senses and winter holiday fun. Go at your own pace. Try what interests you. Come back to it again and again. This is a time for you to explore, to discover, and to learn through play.

Caregivers’ Corner: Mindfulness and Grounding

Join Molly Connor-Hall (MS, OTR/L) from Valley Health Rehabilitation in this video designed to help caregivers learn more about mindfulness and grounding. Grounding activities are a great way to bring ourselves into the present moment. In this video we will go over a quick and easy grounding activity that both caregivers and children can do!

Exhibit with an Educator:

Friction and Sock Skating

Join Dr. Diane as we take a closer look at the sock skating in the sky pop up exhibit, now at the Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum through the end of January. Learn about and experience the power of friction in sock skating — and in real life. Special thanks to GIS intern Mason Heustis for his work on preparing the script for this segment..

Science Storytime: Little Red Gliding Hood

Snow Day! As part of December Virtual Sensory Friendly activities, join Dr. Diane for this read aloud of Little Red Gliding Hood by Tara Lazar, illustrated by Troy Cummings. You can visit the museum and go on a story walk of Little Red Gliding Hood while the pop up sock skating exhibit is on the roof, thanks to our friends at Handley Regional Library.

Please visit the library or your local bookstore to obtain a copy of Little Red Gliding Hood. Music Credit: Christmas Magic by Frank Schröter Link: License:

Grounding Activity:

Make a Winter Calm Down Bottle

Materials Needed:

  • clear bottle/jar with lid
  • water
  • glue/glycerin
  • sequins/confetti
  • glitter
  • food coloring


  • Place glitter and confetti into the bottle.
  • Fill bottle 1/4 of the way with glycerin or glue
  • Add water to fill 3/4 of the way.
  • Place old on bottle and shake up. Check to see if you like the fall time.
  • Fill bottle to the top. Add more glycerin to slow it down, add more water to speed it up.
  • Add any additional glitter or confetti as necessary. 
  • Glue lid on to ensure bottle doesn’t accidentally get opened.

*To make things flow more slowly, add more glue/glycerin. To make things move faster, add more water.

Winter Mindfulness Practice Using All of Your Fabulous Five Senses

We all need space for mindfulness and grounding during the holiday season. Join Dr. Diane for a five senses mindfulness exercise they believe you’re feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world again. Music credit: Christmas Magic by Frank Schröter Link: License:

Five Senses Fun:

Make a Cinnamon Ornament


  • 1/2 cup cinnamon (you can add additional warming spices such as nutmeg or ground cloves)
  • 1/3 cup applesauce 
  • 2 tbsp white glue
  • Rolling pin
  • Baking tray


  • Turn oven on to 200°F.
  • Mix all ingredients together. If dough is too wet, add additional cinnamon. If too dry, add additional glue or applesauce. 
  • Once a dough forms, flatten into a disk and place on a cinnamon dusted counter.
  • Use rolling pin or fingers to flatten until just under 1/2 inch thick.
  • Use cookie cutters to cut desired shapes. Place on try to dry/bake. Reroll scraps.
  • Dry in oven 2 hours or air dry 3-5 days. Paint or decorate as desired. 
  • Share and enjoy!

Sensory Fun:

Make a Winter Wonderland Sensory Bin

Join Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum Executive Director Dawn Devine for some winter five senses sensory fun. For this activity, you will be creating a sensory bin for hours and hours of fun.

Five Senses Read Aloud with Handley Regional Library

Join the Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum for a special five senses read aloud with Katie Moss, the Youth Services Supervisor at Handley Library. Katie will be sharing FIVE FOR A LITTLE ONE by Chris Raschka. After you hear the read aloud, visit Five Senses – Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum for more five senses detective activities.

Thank you for joining us for December’s Virtual Sensory Friendly Night, sponsored by Continental. Please share the link with your friends and other families who might enjoy the activities. We hope you will join us at the museum for some sock skating in the sky fun before the end of January. Plus, we look forward to announcing dates for our 2021 Sensory Friendly Nights in early January. We wish you a safe and healthy holiday season!