“I’m in heaven!” was 7 year old Ellie’s response to Sensory Story Time. She entered a room filled with calming sounds of the ocean and figit toys to play with while she waited for the class to begin.
Sensory Story Time: A private Library Experience is a new Elementary Enrichment Class the Library offers to children of all abilities and their families. Modifications are made, such as offering the class when the library is closed to the public, to allow maximum enjoyment to the kids and their families. The class uses a visual story board which allows the children to see the sequencing of class events and what to expect when, which helps to ease their transition from activity to activity. A visual timer is placed at the front of the room which enables children to see for themselves how much class time remains.
“Child inclusion throughout the program paired with smooth transitions from activity to activity are two of the key components to a successful Sensory Story Time,” remarked Gina Vaccaro, Youth Librarian and creator of the new program. For example, Gina had the participants actively engaged by asking for feedback about the songs they sang, about the details in the pictures of the book she read and by having the class place the flannel pieces on the story board. “We didn’t just sing songs I had planned, we sang the child’s favorite songs, and then talked about why she liked that song. We didn’t just play with the scarves, we talked about the colors of the scarves, the different ways they move through the air, and practiced moving them up & down, left to right, etc. to practice gross motor skills. And when we were done with the scarves, we thanked them and said good-bye to let the class know it was time to move on to the next activity.”
Keep an eye out for the next Sensory Story Time Class coming up March 16.
-Gina Vaccaro, Youth Services Librarian