Brushes Here Brushes There - Sensory Level Activity

Brushes Here Brushes There - Sensory Level Activity

  • 10
  • 30


  • Find Calm
  • Bring Joy

What you need

  1. A cloth bag
  2. A selection of brushes e.g. hairbrush, nail brush, paint brush (art and decorating), pastry brush, make-up brush, shaving brush


This bag of brushes may take you back to a time when you were using a make up brush/hairbrush/shaving brush to get ready for an exciting evening out or maybe wanting to look your best when going to work!

Or perhaps the pastry brush will stir memories of making a pie for the family!

Touching the brushes can provide an opportunity to explore texture and can help the person respond to sensory stimulation. The brushes used in this activity may feel familiar and will be enjoyable and interesting to touch. This can aid in reminiscence chats.

The Activity

  1. Before the activity put the brushes into the cloth bag.
  2. Before the activity, make sure that you have a surface that the brushes can be laid out on next to where the person is sitting.
  3. Hold/touch the person’s hand and say their name to introduce the activity.
  4. Support the person to feel the cloth bag. Perhaps they would like to have the bag on their lap or on the table.
  5. Support the person by gently guiding their hand into the bag.
  6. Suggest to them to pull out a brush.
  7. Encourage them to touch and explore the brush and talk about what the brush is used for.
  8. Describe in simple words the feel of the brush they have picked, for example ‘that feels soft, bristly, hard, spikey' etc. Ask the person if they like the feel of the brush.
  9. Ask the person if they have used a brush like this before. This question may encourage reminiscence conversations. For example 'Did you use a make-up brush like this when you were getting ready to go out? Did you ever do decorating and paint a room in your home. I wonder what colour paint you would have used? Did you use a brush like this to brush your children’s hair? Did you use a pastry brush when you were cooking for the family?'
  10. Ask the person if they would like to pull out another brush. Gently support them to do this.
  11. When all the brushes have been taken out of the bag, ask if they have a favourite brush.
  12. When the activity is complete, ask ‘Would you like to help me put the brushes back into the bag now?’

Written by Sophie Jopling and Sarah Mousley from Kent Occupational Therapy_