NMPL has a new addition to the Children's Department playroom... A BALL PIT!!!
"One of NMPL's Long-Range Goals is to make the children's department a great place for neurodiverse kiddos," says Sarah Morbitzer, Children's Department Manager. "Thanks to the Anne Garber Memorial funds we received late last year, we were able to install this ball pit in the playroom!"
Why a ball pit? Especialneeds.com states: "Ball pits are great places for children to have fun, learn to relax and are well known for their therapeutic effects when added to a special needs multi-sensory environment. Ball pits have been awakening people who are developmentally delayed, neurologically involved or living with birth disorders such as autism. They are also known to have the opposite effect on those who require relaxation.
The balls massage the entire body, provide buoyant support, deep-pressure sensation and encourage relaxation. The visual, auditory and tactile sensory stimuli and the proprioceptive feedback build confidence and strengthen sensory motor skills."
The ball pit will be open to children of all abilities ages 10 and under (the age limit in the playroom). The ball pit will be cleaned and sanitized each night with Concept 256, a hospital grade cleaner.
"Our target audience are the young patrons who cope with social situations fairly well but have some challenges that benefit from sensory input," says Morbitzer. "We also have a long term goal to convert one of our nooks into a sensory station for the especial use of our young patrons who need breaks from people/overstimulating situations."
Much like accessible curbs and wheelchair buttons have benefited everyone - from parents with strollers, to kids healing from a broken leg, to wheelchair users - NMPL anticipates these additions will benefit a wide range of kids including those simply having a rough day, a meltdown, etc. While the purpose is to have spaces in our library for neurodiverse kids, NMPL is excited to see all our users benefit from these areas!
The mission of the North Manchester Public Library is to provide materials, programs, and services necessary to meet the recreational and educational needs of the community in an easily-accessible facility, which is a community center of activity and information.