Posted on

‘Phoebe’s Green Christmas’ – A Digital Show Featuring TomTag

What is Phoebe’s Green Christmas?

If you have a neurodivergent, SEND or child with complex needs, you’ll know how Christmas can often be an isolating and stressful time. Accessing special seasonal activities such as a pantomime or show can be difficult.  

Christmas for Kids is the annual festive project delivered by Embracing Arts, which aims to bring accessible, inclusive arts to ALL during the festive season.

This year, they are back with a new free digital sensory show: ‘Phoebe’s Green Christmas’. It is specially designed for SEND, PMLD and neurodivergent children. The show includes sensory elements and a downloadable resource pack to enable children with complex needs to participate in Christmas activities and allow them to create special shared memories with their loved ones. It incorporates keyword signing and is available in captioned and BSL formats.

‘Phoebe’s Green Christmas’ tells the story of Phoebe, the puppet and her footprint – not just the one she leaves in the snow! Inspired to do her bit for the planet in as many magically inventive ways as possible. Follow Phoebe as she makes unique gifts and decorations from everyday items to give her friends the best (and kindest) Christmas.

Watch a trailer for the show here.

How is TomTag involved? 

Two downloadable resource packs accompany this show:








  • The Setting The Scene pack includes resources to help familiarise your child with the show’s story, characters, and activities, alongside a social story and story massage. To help them enjoy and understand the show.
  • The Resource Pack & Guide features festive craft and play activities linked to the story. For example, you can make a visual gingerbread recipe together, just like Phoebe does in the show and resources for making Christmas decorations.

We are delighted to contribute to the resources accompanying the show for a second year alongside other leading SEND organisations.

In the setting of the scene pack, you’ll find printable TomTags that can be used to:

  • Create a daily routine to show your child what is going to happen on show day
  • Familiarise your child with the show characters and activities before the show
  • Communicate how they want to participate in the activities in the show
  • Share their wants, needs and any sensory overload during the show
  • Choose a self-calming strategy if they become overwhelmed during the show
  • Share their feelings after the show
  • Choose which activities they want to do after the show

There was some fabulous feedback on last year’s resources:

“The resources were incredibly useful because they made the story and the show less of an unknown for children who struggle with new things.”

“The resource packs made the shows more interactive and had lots of choice for different needs and ways of accessing the story.”

How can I access this free digital SEND sensory Christmas show?

 Phoebe’s Green Christmas is offered entirely free to children’s hospice services, SEND schools, families and community groups UK-wide throughout December and January.

Watch the film multiple times in family groups, large Christmas parties, School classrooms, or with you and your child.

As a digital show, the ability to rewatch/repeat certain sections allows you to tailor the experience to your child’s needs so they can enjoy the show at their own pace.

Register for the show and download the resource packs at

We have also created a unique ‘Phoebe’s Green Christmas’ kit with our TomTag system. You can use this versatile kit for other Christmas shows and events to help your child understand and manage their sensory and emotional needs.

Order your kit here.



Posted on

Feelings thermometer and diary

It’s often the simplest things that have the biggest impact.

A seemingly simple thing that gets forgotten, ignored or left unnoticed can cause a big problem down the line. Simple ideas, simple tools, simple changes might be all that’s needed to solve a problem or do a better job than a complex solution.

A Share how I feel tag, with its thermometer-style colour faces scale, has to be one of the simplest uses for the TomTag system but since introducing it less than nine months ago has become our best selling product.  It can be used in lots of different ways which is perhaps one of the keys to it’s success – we’ve given some ideas in this free download guide.

Having recommended in our guide that using a feelings diary can help to identify patterns of emotions or behaviour and the triggers that could be causing them, we decided to make our own! 

My TomTag Feelings Notebook

Keeping a diary gets you into the habit of noticing and naming how you feel in different situations throughout the day or at times when you feel most anxious or worried.

There’s a scale for rating the strength of your feelings and a guide to help build up a vocabulary to describe your different feelings and emotions.

By making notes about what happened during the day or at key points you can start to build up a picture over time  which helps you to see patterns and identify the common triggers or stressors. Quite often these might be simple things that go unnoticed day to day but are easier to spot once patterns emerge. 

It’s often the simplest things that have the biggest impact.

Posted on 1 Comment

Sensory strategies for personal care

Our lives are full of sensory experiences. We take in information about the world around us through our senses – we touch, move, see, hear, taste and smell.

Many people with autism have difficulties interpreting this sensory information. Sensory sensitivity can significantly impact an individual’s behaviour and ability to develop independence in life skills.

Here are a few of the personal care strategies that have helped me to better manage my son’s sensory-driven behaviours.


  • Use comfortable clothes – consider particularly the type of fabric and length of sleeve
  • Cut off care labels from inside clothes
  • If seams cannot be tolerated try wearing undergarments (eg leggings under trousers) to reduce friction
  • Wash and dry clothes in unscented products
  • Dressing in front of a mirror can help provide visual cues to improve sequencing and body awareness


  • Use non-perfumed soap
  • Apply firm pressure when shampooing or drying with a towel
  • Be aware of bathroom lighting levels and reduce any loud noises e.g. run the bath before the young person goes into the bathroom
  • Provide deep touch using a towel to head, hands and feet


  • Use a firm stroke or pressure as you comb or wash their hair
  • Count or have the young person count as you comb, wash or cut their hair
  • Give a definite time limit to the task e.g. brush or cut until you or they count to 10



  • Use moist toilet roll if the young person is sensitive to toilet tissue
  • If feet don’t reach the ground when sitting, using a stepping stool to rest feet on will help the child feel safer
  • Try a padded seat insert if the young person doesn’t like how the toilet seat feels

It’s important to talk to the young person to try and understand their individual issues and to explain each step of what you are doing to help them.

Visual aids can also be used to help the young person understand the activity and remember the order or sequence of actions. Our TomTag self care pack is designed to help guide self care tasks such as dressing, washing, toileting etc.

We also recommend Little Grippers socks which use “stay on technology” to help them to stick rather than grip the skin so they don’t fall down or move around. 

For more tips, this friendshipcircle blog has some really useful information.

Please feel free to share and let us know which strategies have worked well for you.