DIY Sensory Storytime

written by: AUDREY CHANEY

Spring called for another partnership with our local children's librarian, Loraine Walker from the Starkville, MS Public Library. All the kiddos know her as ‘Miss Rainey’ — and let me tell you, to know her is to love her! We had a magical time filling sensory jars which created a whimsical atmosphere while listening to Miss Rainey read In a Jar by Deborah Marcero. We used items like heart shaped stones, sparkly snow, flower sequins and colorful stars that went along with the book, and everyone’s jars ended up being so charming! Don’t forget to take a look at the bottom of this post for a specially curated booklist that will be sure to satisfy the most imaginative little mind.

Sensory Storytime is an opportunity for kids to not have to sit still and are instead encouraged to move around and play while they listen to books being read. In some cases, different sensory stations are set up around the room giving kids the chance to keep their hands busy while staying engaged with the story. Dimming the lights and playing soft music can help accommodate children who may become overstimulated in bright, loud, and upbeat environments.

After reading In a Jar, Miss Rainey read a few different books off of our booklist while the kiddos rotated around our different enchanting sensory stations. While filling their sensory jars and playing, the kids were encouraged to dress up in fairy wings and paper crowns.

The first set up was a DIY canopy/tent area with fabric draped from the ceiling to the floor! Since the Sensory Jar lights up with water, this was a great spot for the children to see their Jars come to life!

The second area we set up was a coloring station that included whimsical printables and Glo Pals Characters to play with while at work on their colorful creations.

Lastly, we had a magical sensory table set up that included our Sensory Tools, Glo Pals Characters, Cubes + a variety of Fun Fillers.

This type of storytime setup is easy to emulate at home and is a great chance for you to connect with your child through reading and play. Because your little ones are keeping their hands busy, you will be able to extend the duration of your normal storytime because they won’t lose interest as quickly. Kids are so much more capable of what we often give them credit for, and as I’m sure you already know, their minds are sponges that absorb everything they see, hear, smell, taste and touch in the world around them. While this type of multitasking might seem counterproductive, it is actually giving them significant stimulation as they simultaneously encounter the senses of sight, sound and touch.

As promised, we have put together a compilation of books that will transport your kids on exciting adventures outdoors to the stars, clouds and beyond:


  • In a Jar by Deborah Marcero
  • Day Dreamers - A Journey of Imagination by Emily Winfield Martin
  • A Cloud in a Jar by Aaron Lewis Krol and Carlos Velez Aguilera
  • Little Cloud by Eric Carle
  • Star in the Jar by Sam Hay and Sarah Massini
  • The Fairy Garden by Georgia Buckthorn and Isabella Mazzanti
  • Fairy Science by Ashley Spires
  • Circus in the Sky by Nancy Guettier
  • Mary and the Magic Bed by William Sorrese III and Lola Svetlova
  • Tomorrow I’ll Be Brave by Jessica Hische



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