Reading a Good Book is Like a Walk in the Park
by Shana Morales
I was introduced to the concept of a StoryWalk® several years ago at the Ecotarium in Worcester, MA thanks to the Race to the Top — Early Learning Challenge grant awarded to the state and put into action by the Boston Children’s Museum. Our guest speaker was Anna Ferguson of Montpelier, VT. She created the StoryWalk Project in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library (also in Montpelier) to bring the activities of walking and reading together.
Since hearing about the idea of a StoryWalk, I have championed the concept in multiple library settings. While the Windsor Public Library is pleased to be offering two StoryWalk programs in the month of April in partnership with Northwest Park (also located in Windsor), here are some book and activity recommendations to host a storytelling adventure in your own backyard!
Gossie is an adorable yellow duck who LOVES her bright red boots. But one day Gossie can’t find her boots until she sees them on feet that aren’t hers! Olivier Dunrea’s story and illustrations are a delight. This is a great title to take out on a sunny spring day when the ground is still wet with your rain boots on.
There are so many versions of The Teddy Bears’ Picnic I recommend picking up whichever edition strikes your fancy. If your child is a fan of costumes, picnics and/or teddy bears there’s so much fun to be had with this story. Pack a snack or a full picnic spread and enjoy this story in your backyard or a local park.
If your child loves to sing and dance and you don’t mind embarrassing yourself in the comfort of your own backyard, Down by the Bay by Raffi and illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott continues to be a classic. Music is an essential part of building early literacy skills and illustrated editions of tried and true nursery rhymes are a great way to share them with your child.
Consider bringing a book apple picking! Ten Red Apples by Virginia Miller is just one of many delightful seasonal titles you can share before, during or after this classic autumn experience. The title provides counting prompts and some good dos (put the apples in the basket) and don’ts (shake the apple tree) to share with your child.
A Hop Is Up by Kristy Dempsey is a newer title that is perfect for learning concept words and observing people and activity in your neighborhood. The word count is low, with an emphasis on rhymes and actions. The ink and watercolor illustrations allow the characters to pop against the city background. Use this title to prompt a discussion about what you observe while walking around your own neighborhood.
Events at the Windsor Public Library
On Saturday, April 8 at 10:30 a.m., we welcome you to join Windsor Public Library staff as we enjoy a very special Barnyard StoryWalk. We will be kicking off at the animal barn at Northwest Park, enjoy a barnyard tale and get to see real barnyard animals! This drop-in family event is free!
On Tuesday, April 11 at 7 p.m., library staff will be back at Northwest Park for a very special Night Time StoryWalk. Meet us again at the animal barn, but this time bring your flashlights or headlamps! This night time stroll and story is perfect for the entire family. Just stop by, and again it’s completely free!
Other events we have happening in April:
Wednesday, April 12 at 1 p.m., the Windsor Public Library Kidspace will host “Animals on the Go,” an animal rescue organization that has been providing a loving home for unwanted pets for over 15 years. This program is free, but registration is required. This family program is recommended for ages 4 to 12.
Thursday, April 13 children, ages 3 to 5, can sign up for Little Picassos, an art, science and sensory storytime from 10:30-11:30 a.m. This messy art experience is a great opportunity to spark creativity! Registration is required, and space is limited!
On Saturday, April 22, the Windsor Public Library Kidspace will be having an Earth Day Celebration at 10:30 a.m.! April showers bring May flowers, so now is the time to create your own bird feeder or plant some flower seeds to take home to your garden. This family program is recommended for ages 4 to 12, registration is required as supplies are limited.
You can find out more about Windsor Public Library programs at our website www.windsorlibrary.com or by visiting our Kidspace Facebook page. You can register for our programs by calling us at 860-285-1914.
The Windsor Public Library is located at 323 Broad Street.
Shana Morales is the Head of Children’s Services at the Windsor Public Library.