Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Virtual Sensory Story Time: Bath Time!

Book cover for How Do You Take a Bath by Kate McMullan with image of a mama and baby hippo
Book cover for Dog's Colorful Day by Emma Dodd with image of white dog with one black spot on his ear lunging forward toward colorful bone

It feels good to blog on a cold, snowy evening in January....2021. I have been recording monthly sensory story time videos since August of last year, including a few on Zoom with Ed, which were more geared to all ages in an effort to reach Wing Lake Developmental Center students (ages 3 - 26 with multiple disabilities). We also assembled sensory story time supply bags to go along with these videos, which our patrons could pick up via curbside. 

This past fall was also a time for reflection and some much needed evaluation of personal time. As a result, I may not be blogging here as often, but will certainly still be sharing new accessibility service highlights and some adaptive program favorites here and on Twitter. 

Bath time has always been one of my favorite themes for story time. There are so many wonderful opportunities for sensory engagement, including the use of my favorite sensory tool, bubbles! And don't forget to check the read-aloud permissions on publisher sites for recorded story times. Both of the stories I read were published by imprints of Penguin Random House. Here's their permissions page: 

Story time plan:

Looking at a chair next to a white board with visual activity schedule images and flannel board attachment. A cushion with small laptop is facing the chair and two smaller cushions with story time supplies are on either side of chair

1. Hello and talk about bath time. What do you like about bath time? Do you put bubbles in your bath? Rubber duckies? Toy boats? Show materials in sensory story time supply kit.

Closeup of small brown paper bag with Bath Time Sensory Story Time Supply Kit label attached. A list of supplies and images of a bathtub and laptop are on the label.
Closeup of various story time supplies in front of small paper bag with label, including bubbles, a scarf, hot cocoa mix, and bags of cornmeal and pipe cleaners

Rhyme/song supplies: bubbles and scarf

Supplies for story with sensory experiences: small piece of fine sand paper, pipette/eye dropper, bags of cornmeal and small black pipe cleaners, hot cocoa mix

Supplies needed from home: small ball and bowl of snow or artificial snow

2. Story Time Ball Song 
(Using small ball, roll back and forth on floor or on table with caregiver or family members - I rolled mine back and forth with our large plush Big Bird again!)

tune: "Wheels on the Bus"
(Rolling ball back and forth to each other)
The story time ball rolls back and forth,
back and forth, back and forth.
The story time ball rolls back and forth,
Let's see who it found. Hi ______!
Now roll it back to me.
(Keep rolling back and forth until each person has said their name.)

3. Yoga pose: "Boat pose" (Adapted pose: For people who cannot lift their legs off the floor, they can keep feet on the floor or stay seated and gently rock back and forth -- "rocking the boat on the water.")

4. Sensory tool rhyme: "Bubbles" (using bubbles supplied in kit)
tune: "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
Bubbles floating all around 
Bubbles fat and bubbles round (look at all those bubbles!)
Bubbles on my toes and nose
Blow a bubble, up it goes! (blow bubbles and look up!)
Bubbles floating all around
B..u..b..b..l..e..s f..a..l..l..i..n..g ... to....the....ground (follow bubbles as they slowly fall to the ground)
(source unknown)

5. Flannel story and book: Dog's Colorful Day by Emma Dodd

Closeup of white flannel dog covered in colorful flannel circles on flannel board

6. Sensory tool song: "Washing Song" (using scarf in kit)
tune: "Here We Go 'Round the Mulberry Bush"
This is the way we wash our face,
wash our face, wash our face.
This is the way we wash our face,
so early in the morning.
Additional verses with hands, hair, shoulders (upper body parts that can be seen in the limited screen view)

7. Story with sensory experiences: How Do You Take a Bath? by Kate McMullan
Kit supplies used during this story:
fine sand paper (cat's rough pink tongue)
pipette/ eye dropper and bowl of water (elephant's shower)
hot cocoa mix in a bowl with a bit of water (pig's mud)
black pipe cleaners (honeybee's hairy legs)
bag of cornmeal (chicken dust)

8. Goodbye stretch: "Tickle the Clouds"
Tickle the clouds.
Tickle your toes.
Turn around and tickle your nose.
Reach down low.
Reach up high.
Story time's over.
Wave goodbye!

9. Goodbye! and supply suggestions for animal bath follow-up activity: 
  • 1 bin of dirt or mud (can also be chocolate pudding)
  • 1 bin of clean water
  • scrub brush
  • small plastic animal toys

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Virtual Sensory Story Time: Look Up!

Before going over what I did in my virtual story time, I thought I would share a "behind-the-scenes" video of my set-up (thanks to a suggestion from my coworker, Ms. Liz!).

My theme for this story time is "Look Up!" This is a variation on a previous sensory story time done in person. Here's the plan:

1. Hello and talk about things we see when we look up (birds, trees, the clouds in the sky, balloons, etc.).

2. List supplies needed for story time and show contents of Sensory Story Time supply bags, which can be requested for curbside pickup or placed on our hold shelves to pick up when visiting the Library in person. Here are the sensory items provided in this kit: scarf, feather, pipe cleaner, plastic egg, and bubbles.

3. Welcome Song: "Story Time Ball Song" (I recorded this separately, on the floor with our large, plush Big Bird!) Viewers can do this with any ball they have at home (which is noted on the supply bag and at the beginning of story time. They can roll the ball back and forth with their grownup(s), siblings, or stuffed friend on the floor or over a table to each other.

tune: "Wheels on the Bus"
(Roll ball back and forth to each other)
The story time ball rolls back and forth,
back and forth, back and forth.
The story time ball rolls back and forth,
Let's see who it found. Hi ______!
Now roll it back to me.
(Keep rolling back and forth until each child has said their name.)

4. Mindfulness exercise: "Balloon breath" (This breathing exercise can be down while seated or lying down.)

5. Story with sensory experiences: Hooray for Birds! by Lucy Cousins
Before reading, I thanked Candlewick Press for allowing me to share this story with our community in an unlisted video that families could view at a time convenient for them. Please see the SLJ Covid-19 Publisher Information Directory to find out the latest on publishers' shared reading guidelines.

As I read the story, I prompted viewers to join me in these sensory experiences:

Page spread with rooster - say "Cock-a-doodle-doo!
Next page spread with two birds flying - flap your arm "wings" like the birds are flapping their wings
Page with bird hopping - stand up and hop or bounce up and down in your seat
Page with woodpecker - make pecking noise by knocking on seat or table
Page with duck (or swan?) - look up as you stretch your neck nice and tall
Page with parrot - say "hello darling."
Page spread with starlings - grab your scarf from the supply bag and swoop it up, down, and around, just like the starlings
Page with bird scratching its feet - use your fingers to scratch the ground or the air
Page with bird catching fly - open your mouth and try to catch the fly
Page with flamingo - stand up on one leg or lift one foot while seated
Page with hen - say "cluck, cluck" and pull out your plastic egg from the supply egg - how does the egg feel?
Page with bird and snake - pull out your pipe cleaner from the supply bag (which they were instructed beforehand to bend/curve like a snake), set it down on the floor or table, catch up the snake and stretch our your wings
Page spread with birds singing - repeating various bird songs and sounds
Page with penguins - let's waddle side to side in our seats
Page with ostrich running - let's pat our hands on our laps to make a running sound
Page spread with peacock - reach into supply bag and pull out your feather (how does it feel?). Hold it up as you puff out your chest like the peacock
Page with birds cuddling - cuddle up with your grownup or reach around to your back with both arms criss-crossing and give yourself a big cuddle hug!
And of course, don't forget to whoo along with the owl at the end!

6. Flannel rhyme: "Five Little Birds"
There was one little bird in the one little tree.
He was so alone and didn't want to be,
So he flew far away, over the sea
And brought back a friend to live in the tree.

Now there are two little birds in the one little tree...
Now there are three little birds...
Now there are four little birds...

Now there are five little birds in the one little tree.
They were not alone anymore, they were family!
(source unknown)

7. Sensory tool rhyme: "Bubbles" (using bubbles supplied in kit)
tune: "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
Bubbles floating all around 
Bubbles fat and bubbles round (look at all those bubbles!)
Bubbles on my toes and nose
Blow a bubble, up it goes! (blow bubbles and look up!)
Bubbles floating all around
B..u..b..b..l..e..s f..a..l..l..i..n..g ... to....the....ground (follow bubbles as they slowly fall to the ground)
(source unknown)

8. Goodbye stretch: "Tickle the clouds"
Tickle the clouds.
Tickle your toes.
Turn around and tickle your nose.
Reach down low.
Reach up high.
Story time's over.
Wave goodbye!

9. Goodbye and supply suggestions to make discovery bin at home with bird seed, sticks and leaves from the backyard, and cutting up the pipe cleaner from the kit to make "worms" to find in the bin, pulling them out with large tweezers at home (or making these craft stick tweezers) like a bird might with its beak.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Adaptive Umbrella Workshop: Virtual Edition!

Advertising banner for Adaptive Umbrella: An Accessibility Workshop on September 23, 2020, which is written in a box on the right with a umbrella outline inside of a green circle and an image of a young, black woman in a wheelchair reaching for a book from a bookcase with the quote "Accessibility allows us to tap into everyone's potential" - Debra Ruh in a box to the left

It's an honor to host our 6th Adaptive Umbrella accessibility workshop in the same year as the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. There is still so much work to be done in the accessibility field, and we must listen and amplify the voices of the disability community to set new goals. You cannot have a workshop or conference about accessibility without including self-advocates on your stage, whether it's in the building or a virtual platform. Originally scheduled for April, our workshop was put on hold until fall. The possibility of postponing until an in-person event could safely be held in 2022 was considered, but this is not the time to remove sources of support. During the months of quarantine and working from home, many of us have found ways to adapt our programs, classrooms, and services to a virtual format, going beyond ADA to engage people of all ages and abilities. In an effort to support this ongoing learning process, we are taking the Adaptive Umbrella workshop virtual on September 23rd! The day is geared to librarians, educators, and caregivers working with the disability community and features presentations/discussions with disability self-advocates and professionals in the field developing adaptive services.

This September, we look forward to virtually welcoming:

Keynote speaker:

Morénike Giwa Onaiwu
“Forged by Fire: The Intersection of Race, Disability, and Gender”

close-up head shot of a smiling black woman
Morénike Giwa Onaiwu, Ed.D(c), M.A., is an Autistic woman of color, educator, public speaker,
a parent of Autistic children, and advocate. She is involved in various social justice activism
endeavors and is a contributing author/editor of several publications, abstracts, and books
focusing on community engagement, HIV, research, disability, diversity, self-advocacy, and
nontraditional leadership.

Morénike has spoken at the White House, the United Nations, the AIDS Clinical Trials Group Network plenary, and several national conferences. Her board membership includes Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, Autism in Adulthood Journal, Ethical Autism Research Expert Group, the National Disability Parenting Research Center and other entities. She has written for or been featured in Salon, Huffington Post, NPR, POZ, Atlantic, and Conde Nast (Iris).

Morénike, a full-time college faculty member, Co-Chair of the Women’s HIV Research Collaborative of the NIH, and Co-Director of the Autistic Women and Nonbinary Network, is (along with Lydia X. Z. Brown and E. Ashkenazy), an editor of the first anthology of Autistic people of color, All the Weight of Our Dreams: On Living Racialized Autism and co-coordinator of a grassroots microgrant program that supports people of color on the autism spectrum.

More information about Morénike can be found on her website:

Featured Speakers:

Ashley Grady
"Sensory-Friendly Programming & Services for Families" 
close-up of smiling Caucasian woman standing in front of wall with hands pressed against wall
Ashley Grady is the Senior Program Specialist at the Smithsonian Institution in the Access Smithsonian office where she manages programs for families of children with disabilities, adults with dementia, and young adults with intellectual disabilities seeking employment. Prior to working at the Smithsonian, Ashley was a special education teacher in Washington, DC and Nashville, TN. 

Glenna Godinsky
"Dementia-Friendly Programming & Services" 
close-up head shot of smiling Caucasian woman
Glenna Godinsky is a Certified Dementia Practitioner and the Life Enrichment Liaison at the Gail Borden Public Library District (IL) where she and her team of 22 volunteers have previously traveled to locations across Elgin, IL, every month to bring programming to seniors and developmentally disabled youth and adults. She has recently converted the Elgin Memory Cafe into a monthly virtual cafe and is also running programs for people with dementia through pre-recorded videos.

Disability Advocacy Panel of Self-Advocates & Caregivers
Interactive discussion with disability self-advocates & caregivers
(Names withheld by request to protect anonymity)
  • Teen with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and parent
  • Young adult with schizophrenia and caregiver
  • Adult with intellectual disability and caregiver - Update! Our previous panelist is unable to join us. We will now have a young adult with Down syndrome and his caregiver joining us.
    (Did you know -- Down syndrome is the most common genetic cause of intellectual disability?)

Adaptive Virtual Programs: An Interactive Discussion and Tips Share
Ed and I will be sharing how we are taking our adaptive, multisensory story times to a virtual platform.
Caroline Braden, Accessibility Specialist at The Henry Ford and Chair of the Michigan Alliance for Cultural Accessibility (MACA), will be sharing how they are converting their programs geared to disability groups to a virtual format. 
We will also invite attendees to share how they are creating or adapting programs with accessibility in mind during this interactive discussion.

Join us on September 23, 2020! You can register (free!) here:

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Adaptive Literacy Resources Online

girl with excited expression holding hands up over line of books with words "Never Stop Learning" on the spines

Updated from original post on 3/16/20

Looking for adaptive literacy resources online for youth and/or emerging readers with disabilities to engage with virtually? Families might not be able to attend an adaptive story time at the library right now, but here are some wonderful resources in the meantime.

Multicultural children's hands reaching up to open book with the words Children's Stories in ASL above book

American Society for Deaf Children's directory of Children's Stories in ASL is a very comprehensive list, organized by grade and also title.

logo for Deaf-Hearing Communication Centre with lowercase dhcc letters that have circle outlines inside each letter

Check out this ongoing compilation of ASL stories, eBooks, and other ASL educational resources for #OperationASLStorytime from the Deaf-Hearing Communication Centre.

Logo for DPAN.TV with capital D above a single line

DPAN.TV: The Sign Language Channel is offering Kids Stories in ASL!

logo images of bee, cat, and AASD under words Center for Accessible Technology in Sign

The Center for Accessible Technology in Sign (CATS), a joint project between the Atlanta Area School for the Deaf and the Georgia Institute of Technology, has a video library of songs, rhymes, reference sources, poetry, stories and more in American Sign Language.

image of a worm with glasses on top of a book with words Tar Heel Reader in text box above

The Tar Heel Reader is a fantastic open source digital library of accessible, easy-to-read books online. These speech enabled stories geared to emerging readers are accessible on multiple interfaces and the site is available in 9 languages.

Unite for Literacy provides a free library of engaging digital picture books geared to emerging readers, complete with audio narration options in a variety of languages. 

OverDrive logo with large O in blue squareBook jacket cover for Ruby's Sleepover with two girls in tent holding a flashlight under the nighttime sky
Check to see if your library's OverDrive collection has any of the new ASL Signed Stories on eVideo, in addition to titles on eAudio for youth who are blind or have low vision. OverDrive also offers accessibility options, such as dyslexia font.

Bookshare offers the world’s largest collection of accessible titles. People with dyslexia, blindness, cerebral palsy, and other reading barriers can customize their experience to suit their learning style and find virtually any book they need for school, work, or the joy of reading.

National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled NLS logo

If your child is eligible, check out the many downloadable books in braille and audio from BARD. Be  sure to also check with your local/state Braille and Talking Book Library.

logo image of black and white maze next to words Paths to Literacy

Check out some recent posts about virtual services and multisensory literacy activities for youth with multiple disabilities on the Paths to Literacy blog.

While this is a good start, it is by no means a complete list. Let me know if you have any free adaptive literacy resources online to add to the list.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Accessible Virtual Programming: Close-up on DIY Captioning Editors

As I write this post at the start of our fourth week in a stay-at-home order during the COVID-19 pandemic, I have become even more aware of the inequity of online content. For this particular post, I am focusing on the need for more captioned video content. Please take a moment to go to the the accessibility settings on your device and enable the Closed Captioning option, when available. On an iPhone, select Accessibility from the main Settings menu, choose Subtitles & Captioning, and select Closed Captions + SDH (when available). 

screenshot of iPhone settings and Accessibility setting option
screenshot of iPhone accessibility options in settings with circle around Subtitles and Captioning
screenshot of iPhone Subtitles and Captioning option in settings

Now try going to social media. We'll use Facebook, as that is one of the most popular social media platforms for engagement with patrons. Go to the the video watchlist area or search your favorite organization and look at some of the videos. Before being in isolation, I admit to mostly just occasionally skimming through these videos without the sound. Unless the video had captioning, which would then pique my interest enough to stop and read... and maybe even choose to activate the sound to engage more, I kept skimming by. Upon doing a little research, it turns out I am not alone. According to research, 85 percent of Facebook video is viewed without sound. 

Now imagine what happens when we are also eliminating a portion of our community who are unable to select the option of turning up the sound on a video to engage with it. If over 5% of the world's population, or roughly 466 million people, have disabling hearing loss (World Heath Organization), we are excluding many members of our community. Additionally, we also know that captioning and subtitles can also benefit people who have cognitive disabilities and have difficulties with speech comprehension. People with sensory processing difficulties may also have difficulty with background noise or sounds, necessitating viewing without sound, in addition to better engagement with non-native speakers who may need the additional language support on the screen. 

As with other libraries during this time, our library also recognizes the need to create virtual programming such as story times, book discussions, and/or simple virtual connection activities to engage our families at home now and possibly into the coming months of uncertainty that covers Summer Reading and later fall programming. While we are looking to avoid public sharing sites that offer Closed Captioning support, such as YouTube, to honor the fair use guidelines by many publishers, we also want to ensure accuracy, therefore avoiding the use of Facebook automatic captioning that can certainly be amusing at best (  

I began my trial of caption/subtitle editors to add captioning to our virtual programming videos to ensure we are being inclusive of all abilities at a time when our disability community members are feeling even more isolated. This is certainly not an exhaustive list, but a good start. This blog post takes a more comprehensive look at options to consider:

In an effort to connect with our weekly story time kiddos who are missing their time with their beloved librarians each week during this time, I asked our weekly story time staff members (if they were feeling up to it) to send me a quick video of a "hello" or a fun "singalong" to add captioning to and share with viewers on our social media and website for families not on social media. 

Video captioning resources:

  • Free version
  • Can use the auto-generate captions feature or add captions/subtitles manually
  • Easy-to-use editor allows you to edit each segment

Cons of free version:
  • Videos edited using free version go on Kapwing's public share space
  • Workspace projects are deleted after 7 days
  • Published videos can only be up to 10 minutes long

Kapwing Pro is $20/month
    image of youth librarian, Ms. Nicole with a colorful scarf on and colorful painting in the background
  • allows stored content
  • private assets option
  • priority support
  • faster processing time
  • Publish videos up to 40 minutes long
I used Kapwing to edit Ms. Nicole's sing-along video:


  • 1st video upload is free
  • Very accurate auto-generated captions
  • Can also edit caption style (font, colors) and caption position
  • Optional headline addition
  • Supports several languages for speech-text transcription
  • Does not require .SRT file
  • Easy-to-use editor allows editing of each segment
  • Only allows 1 free upload and then you have to subscribe (See: Zubtitle pricing)

I used Zubtitle to edit Ms. Liz's video message:

Unfortunately, I did not try Amara, as videos have to be uploaded to a URL/video sharing site first (Vimeo, YouTube, WebM, etc.), which we were not using at the time. (We now use Vimeo. )

Of the three, I really liked Zubtitle the best for its versatility, ease of use, and options.

Note: We now also use for videos longer than 5 minutes. (See captioning pricing

Some other options and additional tips to consider:

Lastly, remember to be kind to yourself and to your fellow staff during this time. Things to remember: 
  • Not everyone is comfortable in front of a camera. 
  • Staff might not have the resources needed at home to do a virtual program or have to focus on taking care of young children at home, making work from home very difficult.
  • Some prefer busy work to work through the stress and anxiety of this time, and others are having a great deal of difficulty trying to focus on just the daily tasks right now. Both are okay.
  • It's okay to just keep it simple for now: sing-alongs, recommendations, a simple craft activity demo, or a hello message to connect is a great start.
Wishing wellness and safety to all of you!

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Book 'N Play: "In My Heart"

Cover of book In My Heart by Jo Witek with little girl jumping over colorful heart shape dicuts in the center going from large to small

This month's Book 'N Play explored the many feelings we feel inside our heart. Here's the plan:

Visual schedule with images for each story time activity

1. Hello!

2. Welcome Song (“The Story Time Ball”)
tune: "Wheels on the Bus"
(Roll ball back and forth to each child)
The story time ball rolls back and forth,
back and forth, back and forth.
The story time ball rolls back and forth,
Let's see who it found. Hi ______!
Now roll it back to me.
(Keep rolling back and forth until each child has said their name.)

3. Yoga poses: "The gifts of love"
We did a combination of 3 different poses here. 
1. "Gift" (child's pose)
2. "Heart" (butterfly pose)
3. "Flowers" (flower pose)

4. Sensory tool rhyme: "I Look in the Mirror"
I loved using our adorable story time set of mirrors for the first time so we could practice facial expressions and identifying those expressions.

plastic bin full of handheld colorful mirrors
I look in the mirror and what do I see?
I see a happy face smiling at me.
I look in the mirror and what do I see?
I see a surprised face looking at me.

Other faces: sad, mad, scared, silly

5. Multisensory experience story: In My Heart by Jo Witek

large 2-tiered cart with flashlight, bowls of batting, green balloons, flannel hearts, bandages, and stuffed elephant on top tier. 2 weighted lap pads on 2nd tier.
 flannel board with flannel pieces in the shapes of a large house, star, burst, heart, earth, elephant, small beast, plant, balloon, small tree, bandage, and magic hat

Our wonderful Clerical Assistant, Amy, made these flannel pieces for each child to add to the board as we read the story.

Place pink house on the board.
Hold out arms for big feelings and close arms on small feelings, LOUD feelings and quiet feelings.

Place big yellow star on board.
Hold up shining flashlight and smile wide while twirling around in place (or twirling arms if seated).

Place planet earth with clouds on board.
Reach up and stretch to the clouds (touching bowls with white cotton batting).

Place orange burst on board.
Make "Boom!" sound by clapping hands together.

Place green balloon on board.
Hold green balloons up and watch them gently fall "as quiet as snowfall."

Place bandage on board.
Each child is given a band-aid to help heal our stuffed friend's broken heart. Babar was feeling much better after!

Babar the elephant stuffed toy with bandages

Place elephant on board.
Place small weighted lap pad in the lap of each child so they can feel a "heavy heart."

Place plant on the board.
Reach toward the sky with our arms out like stems and branches.

Place scary beast on board.
Turn on small fan and face toward everyone so they can feel that scared feeling like a "chilly breeze has crawled up my neck."

Place magic hat on board.
Hop in place like a bouncy bunny.

Place small tree on board.
Give each child and caregiver a heart and ask them to tell us how their heart is feeling today as they place it on the board. This was so much fun! Many kids said their hearts were happy and a few mentioned hungry hearts and hearts that were feeling all of the feelings today!

6: Sensory play stations:

Discovery bin: "Rainbow of Feelings" bin filled with rainbow colored rice and plastic eggs with feelings visuals inside. (source:

bin of rainbow colored rice and plastic eggs filled with emotion visual cutouts

Light table play: colorful stackable shapes to build your "house of feelings"

hand reaching over light panel with colorful pyramid shapes

colorful square shapes on top of light panels

Toy play: making heart shapes with cookie cutters and gluten-free play dough

child playing with play dough, making heart shapes

Craft: make squishy hearts with ziplock bags (with a heart outline drawn in black sharpie), finger-paints, and duct tape to seal

child's hands pressing on paint filled ziplock bag with heart shape     child's hands pressing on paint inside heart drawn on ziploc bag

table with finger paints and hands sealing ziplock bags filled with paint

ziplock bag with heart shape filled with red and blue paint on table with popsicle sticks and duct tape

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Book 'N Play

Book 'N Play flyer with Book 'N Play in large green box and covers of three books: We're Going on a Bear Hunt, LMNO Peas, and In My Heart

We are trying something new! Attendance for our monthly sensory story times exclusively targeted to children with developmental disabilities was consistently low this past fall. Many factors are involved, including a wonderful abundance of new adaptive therapies and recreational opportunities in our community on Saturdays. I am truly so very excited to see all of these new opportunities available to children with disabilities and their families. Yeah! With these new opportunities in the community, though, comes the time for us to once again reevaluate our community's needs and how we can continue to meet and enrich those needs with our programming. Even though we might not be able to offer exclusive adaptive programs, all library events and programs can be made inclusive with adaptive tools (e.g. visuals, availability of sound cancelling headphones, inexpensive sunglasses to filter bright florescent lighting, alternative handouts in large font). Libraries can also have these accessibility services listed on their website to welcome people before their visit.

So what did we decide, you ask? We have moved the original adaptive Saturday morning story time (SENSEational Story Time) to Thursday afternoons after surveying some of our local special education directors to determine the best time (12:30 pm) and are opening this up to visiting school groups. Stay tuned for an update! These will be very similar to our multisensory outreach story times for the Wing Lake Developmental Center. We are also offering an adaptive and inclusive multisensory story exploration for children of all abilities, ages 3 - 7, once a month on a Saturday morning at 11 am. A much larger scale version of this program was welcomed by many of our young story explorers this past summer at our Book & Play: How to Catch a Star program.

Our first monthly Book 'N Play was held last month. Families explored the story We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen. Here's a peek at some of the fun:

We're Going on a Bear Hunt visuals on board: long wavy grass, deep cold river, thick oozy mud, a big dark forest, a swirling whirling snowstorm, and a narrow gloomy cave

view from behind of child touching bags with blue water, mud, and sticks in bags on light panels

kids coloring and adding sensory paint and cotton balls to We're Going on a Bear Hunt sensory map outline

This month's story was LMNO Peas by Keith Baker.

Book cover for LMNO Peas by Keith Baker with large letters LMNO and word peas with tiny "pea persons" surrounding letters

Here's the plan:

visual schedule board with activity visuals

1. Hello (Welcome families and talk about what Book 'N Play is)

2. Welcome Song (“The Story Time Ball”)
tune: "Wheels on the Bus"
(Roll ball back and forth to each child)
The story time ball rolls back and forth,
back and forth, back and forth.
The story time ball rolls back and forth,
Let's see who it found. Hi ______!
Now roll it back to me.
(Keep rolling back and forth until each child has said their name.)

3. Yoga pose: Alphabet letter poses (A, B, C) I really like this set ABC Yoga Cards for Kids by Christine Ristuccia, which is also in our Alphabet Discovery Skills Kit.

ABC yoga card set

4. Action Rhyme:  “Alphabet Beat”
First clap your hands.
Then stomp your feet.
Everybody do the alphabet beat!

Apple, Apple, Apple - a- a- a.
Apple, Apple, Apple - a- a- a.
Wave your arms high.
Swing your arms low.
The alphabet beat is the way to go.

Blue, Blue, Blue - b- b- b.
Blue, Blue, Blue - b- b- b.
Move to the left.
Move to the right.
The alphabet beat is way out of sight.

Car, Car, Car - c- c- c.
Car, Car, Car - c- c- c.
Shout it out loud.
Whisper down low.
Now give a high five to a nearby friend.
This alphabet beat has come to an end.

5. Multisensory experience story: LMNO Peas

large plastic bin with large cardboard blocks, circular bean bags, large bag of star finger puppets, and bag of wrist ribbon flags

actions / sensory experiences

A: Astronauts – make arms in A-shape and “blast off”

B: Builders – each child add a block to the “building” (use large blocks)

C: Climbers – pretend to climb

D: Drivers – “drive" with circle bean bag steering wheels

E: Eaters – “pretend to chew”

F: Flaggers – wave ribbon “flags”

hand holding up colorful wrist ribbon flag

G: Gigglers – giggle and laugh

H: Hikers – walk or wheel around the room 

I: Investigators – look around holding up hand "binoculars"

J: Jugglers – "juggle" imaginary balls

K: Kickers – kick feet in place

L: Listeners – listen with hand over ear

M: Miners – “dig” with hands

N: Neighbors – wave to “neighbor” next to us

O: Officers – hold up star badge (star finger puppets)

P: Peas – touch dried peas in bowl

Q: Quilters – touch quilt square

R: Readers – Read the letter “R”

S: Swimmers – make swimming motions

T: Truckers – honk “horn”

U: Underwater Divers – hand "goggles"

V: Voters – board with yes box or no box – kids can place a check on the yes or no

W: Weavers – weave yarn or string through loop

X: X-ray Doctors – look at x-ray overlays on light table (I finally got to use our cool "X-ray" overlays from Lakeshore Learning on the light table, and the kids loved these!)

chest x-ray on light panel

Y: Yogis (do “Y” pose)

Z: Zoologists - brush wild animal puppet

soft lion puppet sitting on floor

6. Sensory play stations: 

Discovery bin: find the foam letters in the dried peas (using strainers, large tweezers, and scoopers)

large sensory bin filled with dried peas and foam letters with tray of tweezers and strainers

Light table play: colorful acrylic letters on light panels

light panel with colorful acrylic letters spelling SUNDAY

Toy play: gluten-free playdough with letter stamps

child sitting at table pressing letter stampers into play dough

tubs of play dough and letter stampers on top of table

Craft: make a tactile letter (first letter of name) – with large letter outline, foam shapes, pompoms, and googly eyes

letter c outline with googly eyes and foam triangle shapes for spikes and teeth
(letter outline source: The Measured Mom)

And of course we had some of our alphabet puzzles, tactile braille letters, alphabet discovery skills kit, and toys from our Accessibility Support Collection available in the room to check out and continue the multisensory fun at home.

LMNO Peas book, Alphabet Discovery Skills Kit backpack, Braille tactile letter pieces, multi sensory alphabet card set on table display