Free Readers Ensemble

Sensory Storytimes for Kids Now Offer Exploration Stations at Oak Park Public Library

Oak Park, IL – Sensory Storytimes at Oak Park Public Library are geared for children with special needs, especially kids who may have a hard time sitting still or focusing in big groups. Starting this fall, each Sensory Storytime will be followed by a brand new playgroup with sensory activity stations for kids and caregivers to explore together. These free storytimes, best for ages 2 to 6, will be offered on Tuesdays starting October 30 at 4 pm at the Main Library, 834 Lake Street. No advanced registration is required.

Sensory Storytimes include stories and songs as well as large and small movement activities. A picture schedule is used in the front of the room, and individual schedules, fidget toys, and bean bag lap weights are available. Caregivers are required to be in attendance. Sensory Storytimes are 20 to 30 minutes long, and the sensory activities will be open for 30 minutes after the storytime ends. Families can prepare for library visits by sharing our “This is My Library” social story, found through the link at or at the Children's Desk at the Main Library. Parents and caregivers can direct questions and comments to Shelley at

Following Sensory Storytimes, participants are invited to explore sensory activity stations. Every week, there will be rotating themed sensory bins for kids to investigate as well as new activities such as lacing, games or art projects. Adapted materials will be available as needed.

“Our Sensory Storytimes have helped make the library a welcoming space for all Oak Park kids. This was especially exciting for me as a special sibling and someone who has worked with kids with special needs for over a decade through speech therapy, ABA therapy, and as a 1-to-1 paraprofessional,” explains children’s librarian Shelley Harris. "Because of the success of Sensory Storytimes, we were ready to take them to the next level. The playgroup will give the kids a chance to play and interact in a structured format and parents the chance to talk and network. We think this is going to be a great addition to our schedule."

Oak Park Public Library offers free storytimes for specific age groups from babies through second graders. Built around age-appropriate books and songs, library storytimes serve as an important step in developing literacy skills. The schedule of upcoming storytimes is available at the library and online at

After having fun and singing along at any library storytime, participants are urged to check out some books, movies, and music to take home. Library cards are available to all Oak Park residents free of charge. Children under the age of 18 must have their parent or guardian sign for their card.

Find library resources and more events for kids at

Established in 1902, Oak Park Public Library has served its community for more than a century. Today the library reaches more than 50,000 residents in Oak Park, IL, with four locations: Main Library, Dole Branch Library, Maze Branch Library, and The large collection includes fiction and nonfiction titles, ebooks, audiobooks, movies, CDs, video games, magazines, newspapers, reference materials, online resources, and local history and author information. In addition, the Main Library is known for its impressive collection of permanent artwork, including pieces by local artists. For more information, visit or call 708-383-8200.

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