Please DO Touch Trail at Southampton City Art Gallery

As a stay at home mum I often find myself slipping into the same routines with Darcie. We have park days and soft play days, play dates and family time. We also have our Longdown and Paulton’s Park annual passes which get a hell of a lot of use and always make for really good days out. As much as I know that I do a lot with Darcie (we hardly ever actually spend time at home!), sometimes it can all begin to feel a bit samey and I’m constantly thinking of different things we can do that will help her grow into a well rounded little person. So for this reason, I was really pleased when I heard about the Please DO Touch Trail that is currently running at Southampton City Art Gallery.

The Please DO Touch Trail is a series of sensory activities for under 5’s that opened a few days ago. The activities are all based around sculpture, art and sensory play. There are activities focused on exploring different textures, building, drawing, dressing up and even curating¬† a mini art gallery. I’ve always thought the Art Gallery is a fantastic place within our city as it is free to look around and they often run different exhibitions to cater to all tastes. I’m arty at heart and so I’m really trying to raise Darcie to enjoy being creative and taking part in arty activities.

The trail goes around the whole Art Gallery and is mapped out with colourful footsteps on the floor for you to follow. We spent a good hour following the trail, we went round all of the activities and then ended up revisiting Darcie’s favourites again. Her favourite stations were building towers (of course!) and the colours section where there were tinted plastic windows to look through. She was amazed by how everything turned red, or blue, or green when she looked through the little windows.

I’ve listed some of the main activities below:


An assortment of shiny building blocks and cork shapes to build imaginative and interesting towers and strustures.

Colours & Threading

Colourful windows to see the world in a different colour and threading toys for co ordination.

Fancy Dress

A selection of fancy dress to find out more about the portrait collection.


Draw your own masterpiece. You can ask to have it displayed too.

Curating A Mini Art Gallery

Curate your own mini art gallery from a selection of paintings and frames in this miniature room.

Reading Corner

Sit and read a book for a while.


Learn about the different textures of the objects in front of you.

Be A Portrait

If you can stay still for longer than two seconds, get a nice picture in this picture frame.

If you’re local to Southampton, I would really recommend paying this sensory trail a visit. I’m unsure as to how long it will be running for but I’m hoping that we’ll make it back again. It really was an excellent way to spend the morning before an afternoon of shopping in town and a trip to the park.

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