Sensory Toys Success at Harbury Village Library

Harbury Village Library has shared with us their recent success in securing funding from their local WI to purchase a collection of sensory toys to support young library users who are neurodiverse.

The library was already welcoming a number of neurodivergent children who were using the library services, but were thrilled to be asked by a group of residents and parents if they could use the library for regular child and parent sessions. They discovered that one of the WI’s current national campaigns was to support people with Autism and ADHD, so approached their local branch to apply for funding – successfully receiving just over £100!

Thinking Differently: Autistic and ADHD Women and Girls | National Federation of Women’s Institutes (


What to buy?

With such a variety of toys available from many suppliers (and a wide variety of costs), it can be hard to choose which items are going to be the best to purchase.

The toys which Harbury Village Library selected are designed to stimulate four of a child’s five senses: sight, sound, touch and smell (taste shouldn’t be encouraged with shared toys). Good choices include bright, contrasting colours, sounds, and different textures. The library also wanted to supply ear defenders for children to use if sensitivity to noise prevented them from accessing the library. Ear defenders act to reduce the amount of auditory information the brain needs to process, and thus help to avoid the stress and anxiety that some autistic children can feel if their sensory system becomes overloaded.

There are lots of choices out there and if you are considering putting together a similar collection of sensory toys for your library, you will no doubt have lots of questions about where to purchase, which toys are appropriate and, of course, the cost. Harbury Village Library certainly succeeded in putting together a wonderful collection which addresses lots of sensory needs.

If your library would like to explore the idea of a similar scheme and you would like some guidance on the options available, please contact your Regional Coordinator who will support you with ideas for funding and putting together a wish-list of suitable items.