In this activity you can listen along to a story about the HMS Implacable. We have also provided some suggestions for a sensory tray to help you explore and play with water in your home. These sensory activities have been developed to support individuals with PMLD, SLD and sensory processing difficulties. 

You could add your own items to the tray too. 


You will need

a tray of water with different objects including a toy boat, keys and corks nearby.

This is a guide and will depend which activities you decide to try. You may also want to switch out some of these for other items you have at home. 

  • Shallow dish
  • Water
  • Toy boat, or try making your own origami boat. Click here to have a go
  • Materials to try floating and sinking: coins, corks, rubber, plastic bottle (filled or empty), tea-bags etc

Make sure to do this activity somewhere where water won't cause any damage!

Listen along to this story by Olivia Armstrong.

Depending on your child, you could watch the images in the video, just listen along, or even download the transcript and read it for yourself. 

Scroll through the below activities and try some of them out as you listen to the story. Or, make up some of your own activities. 

Explore a ship at sea

Start by placing your hands in the dish of water. Moving your hands around, create ripples and waves. How does the water feel? If you move your hands faster, or slower, does your 'sea' get rougher or smoother?

Place your toy boat, or your origami boat, in your 'sea'. Play with the water and try to move your boat around the dish without touching it. What is the quickest way to get your ship from one side of the dish to the other?

With your ship in the water, try and create some big waves using your hands. What happens to your ship? Will it continue to float with your homemade stormy sea around it?

Someone is making ripples in the water with a toy boat floating nearby.
Discover different types of ship

HMS Implacable had many different roles during its lifetime. From battle ship, to cargo ship, to training ship! What will your ship carry at sea?

Perhaps your ship is a cargo ship. Try adding coins to your ship. How many coins can your ship carry? If you add too many coins does your ship start to sink? Maybe your ship isn't strong enough to carry something as heavy as a coin. What could it carry instead? Perhaps your ship is built to be a fast ship, like Cutty Sark, a tea clipper. Explore what happens to a tea bag when it gets wet. Have a smell of the tea bag and imagine what it would be like to be surrounded by tea on a ship like Cutty Sark

A toy boat is floating in a tray of water with a cork on the back. Another boat has been made from tin fil and has things like lego and buttons inside it.
Explore floating and sinking

Place your hands on the surface of the water in your dish. Do you feel the water gently moving under your hands? Try plunging your hands into the water. Do you feel the water rush up and over your hands and arms?  Place your hands on the bottom of the dish. How long do you have to leave your hands there before the water stops moving? 

Explore different objects and materials by placing them on the surface of the surface of the water. You could try a pebble, a coin, or a cork. Which objects float and which sink? Pick an object that floats and try to push it to the bottom of the dish. Is it easy to make this object sink or is it difficult? Try doing the same with different materials. 

Someone is plunging their hand into a tray of water. Also in the water are a toy boat, some corks and keys, and other miscellaneous objects.

Did you enjoy this story?

You can listen to this story again and again and try different activities each time. 

You could create your own sensory experiences for the story, or perhaps next time you will just listen to the story and watch the pictures. There is no right or wrong way to enjoy this story!