Introducing new sensory resources to the Dylan Thomas Centre

We’re excited to introduce in this blog the fantastic new sensory bags we’re developing for use in our Exhibition, and the sensory zone we’re creating for our learning and activity space. We hope they will enhance the experience of our exhibitions and collections for visitors who find benefit and enjoyment from sensory interaction.

The bags include story cubes, which are a great resource for both creative writing and non-language based stories.

The stimulus for creating sensory resources came about through partnership working with the National Autistic Society’s Neath Port Talbot branch during lockdown. While sensory elements are already built in to our permanent Dylan Thomas exhibition, working with NAS highlighted opportunities to offer a range of tailored sensory activities and resources. Over the coming months we will be trialling and developing these further with families, young people, and adults, and we are really excited to see how the resources evolve though this collaborative process.

‘By scummed, starfish sands’: ‘Prologue’ – Dylan Thomas
Glowing tactile starfish are one of a number of sensory items that are available at the Dylan Thomas Centre and inspired by his writing.

We’ve been lucky enough to receive funding from the Museum Association’s Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund, and the Welsh Museums Federation’s Winter of Wellbeing fund. This has allowed us to purchase some specialist resources, work with a variety of groups and organisations, and design and write tailored content. And thanks to further funding from the Welsh Museums Federation, we’ve been able to work with Kids in Museums, an organisation that supports museums and cultural organisations to create a better welcome for families, children and young people.

We have sound reducing ear defenders in a range of adult, teen and child sizes

Initially, we have put together some bags with a selection of sensory items for February 2022 half term. These will be available to book free of charge, for visitors to use whilst exploring our permanent ‘Love the Words’ exhibition. All the items relate to our Exhibition and Dylan Thomas’ writing, and they include wave fidgets, fibre optic torches, and a calming lap pillow. We also have some larger resources like a sensory den, which we’ll introduce to our activity and learning space later in the year.

We’d love to hear from you if you’re interested in taking part in trialling our sensory resources, or would like to find out more about this project!

You can get in contact with Nicola our Development Officer on or on 01792 463980 on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

This post is also available in: Welsh