isitors to Chelmsford’s Central Library are now able to enjoy a sensory room and wall situated in the children’s section of the library. The sensory room and wall is an innovation for Essex Libraries and is believed to be quite unique in any UK library or public building. It was developed in conjunction with Essex County Council’s Inclusive Communication Essex (ICE) as a result of direct feedback from parents of children with disabilities that they wanted an area where children could have fun, play together and learn.
Research shows that sensory and interactive experiences are necessary for all aspects of child development and learning. Sensory equipment can help children develop an understanding of cause and effect, promote gross and fine motor skills, improve hand and eye co-ordination and can help early learning skills such as concentration, listening and turn taking.
Features of the wall include an LED light panel which reacts to touch and noise, animal sounds, mirrors and an interactive video floor which can be used for both learning and games. All features of the wall are suitable for children of all ages and abilities and can equally be enjoyed by adults.
The sensory wall/room can be booked in advance for exclusive use by groups and will be used during baby and toddler story times and activities. It will also be available for everyone to use at times allocated for the public.
County Councillor Jeremy Lucas, Cabinet Member for Customer Services, Environment and Culture said: “We are absolutely delighted with the new sensory wall and room and have already been inundated with enquiries from children’s groups wishing to book a session. Once again Essex Libraries are leading the way in transforming public libraries, making them fun and exciting places to learn.”