In storytime, we often serve groups of participants with widely varying physical abilities. This may or may not be obvious; a wheelchair is visible, but many other variables, such as Juvenile Arthritis, aren’t. Offering options and adaptations for physical movement accompanying songs and games is key to ensuring accessibility for all participants.
One of my favorite preschool storytime songs is Tick-Tock; many participants stand up, hold their arms out at their sides, and rock back and forth as we sing. I introduce the song this way: “Some people like to stand during this song. Others like to sit on the floor or in a chair! You choose where you’d like your clock to be today. Grown-ups, you might like to hold your child and rock him or her back and forth as we sing.” By providing options, we’ve made it possible for everyone to participate in the activity. We’ve also made it possible for babies, who may be attending with older siblings, to participate in the song, by having caregivers rock them. I vary my demonstration of this song. Sometimes I stand, and other times, I sit on the floor or on a chair, showing a variety of methods of moving to this song. By doing this, I’m demonstrating that there isn’t just one correct method.
What are some of your favorite adaptations for storytime activities?
Amanda Moss Struckmeyer is a Youth Services Librarian at the Middleton Public Library in Middleton, Wisconsin. She is a member of the ALSC Services to Special Populations and Their Caregivers Committee.