Loud noises and large crowds might prove to be bothersome for your little with special needs, which is why several local libraries are adapting their story times for all abilities. Keeping story time crowds small, dimming lights, incorporating sensory toys and weighted blankets in the typically hour-long programming, are just some of the amenities at these Dallas-Fort Worth libraries. Mark your calendar for the next story time nearest you.
As part of its “Born to Stand Out” programming, Arlington’s downtown library hosts a story time for kids with special needs every Thursday morning. Story time incorporates calming songs and a range of activities that kids can choose from. Each session is different at the Special Needs Story Time, adapting to the kids’ needs. For instance, in some sessions two or three books are read, while on other occasions, only one book is read and more songs are incorporated. Lights are dimmed and music is turned down for littles who experience sensory overload. Special needs served range from kids on the autism spectrum to Down syndrome. Additionally, the library has a children’s book collection in Braille for littles who have low vision, and hearing loops for those who have hearing impairments.
Bookmark: Story time Thursday at 11:30 am
100 S. Center St., Arlington, 817/459-6900
Unlike regular story time, sensory story time at the Carrollton Public Library is held in a less decorative and smaller room, giving kiddos ages 3 and up a more calming space. Toys and knick knacks such as scarves, fidgets in addition to a “quiet” tent are available in the room. Story time usually lasts about 20 minutes, followed by an additional 20 minutes of free play and socialization. Groups are limited to 10 kids per session. Call to register.
Bookmark: Story time Wednesday at 4:30pm (except for May)
1700 Keller Spring Road, Carrollton, 972/466-4800
Story time at this local Coppell library incorporates a kid favorite––bubbles! Plus, there are sensory toys such as blocks and balls with varying textures, kinetic sand kids can run their fingers through and visual timelines guiding the audience through the 30-minute-long programming. Little tents with weighted blankets are set up nearby should your child wish to have a cozy space. Parents are encouraged to join in on the fun and play with the kiddos, too. Story times typically have about 10 kids per session––all ages are welcome. Siblings are also welcome. Registration is required in advance. Sign up online.
Bookmark: Story time on March 13, April 10 and May 8 at 9:45am
177 N. Heartz Road, Coppell, 972/304-3658
Kiddos ages 8 and younger are welcome at Frisco Public Library’s 30-minute Sensory Story Time, taking place on select Saturdays once a month. Geared toward kids who are on the autism spectrum or who are sensory-sensitive, story time incorporates activities that engage the senses. Running their hands through sand and Play-Doh, singing along to songs and hearing sounds that go along with the story are just a few examples of the sensory-engaging activities kids can do. Typically, there are anywhere from 10-15 kids in each story time. Registration is not required in advance.
Bookmark: Story time on March 9 and April 13 at 11am
6101 Frisco Square Blvd., Frisco, 972/292-5669
Lights are dimmed and sound levels are lower during the Davis Library story time for littles age 3 and older on the autism spectrum. The 45-minute story time, held in the library’s story time castle, begins with about 20 minutes of storytelling followed by play time, engaging kids through toys such as a sensory board and blocks with different textures. There’s also a tent nearby should your kid wish to have a little alone time. Story time takes place every Wednesday at 4pm, and activities usually are the same every week, providing kids consistency. Sensory story time also takes place at Parr Library, where kiddos also participate in activities that engage the senses. Story time at Parr Library takes place every Thursday morning at 9:30am. Register for story time at both locations in person.
Bookmark: Davis Library story time is Wednesday at 4pm; Parr Library story time is Thursday at 9:30am
Davis Library: 7501-B Independence Parkway, Plano, 972/208-8000
Parr Library: 6200 Windhaven Parkway, Plano, 972/769-4300
The hour-long story time at Smith Public Library includes adapted activities and toys for kids such as bean-bag chairs, squishy balls and silky fabrics––all playthings that ignite the senses. Two books are typically read during the story time, in addition to a dance time and sensory crafts that relate to the stories’ themes. Past crafts have included glitter-filled snowflakes and watercolor painting. Groups are usually kept to no more than 20 guests. Littles in pre-K through second grade are welcome. Registration is required in advance; email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot or for more information.
Bookmark: Story time on the first Saturday of the month from September through April at 10am
300 Country Club Road, Wylie, 972/516-6250