Combine the Joy of Reading with an Outing in the Woods
PopUp StoryWalk is a fun, educational activity for kids that places a children’s story book—deconstructed page by page—along a family-friendly trail.
The first-ever Seattle-area StoryWalk happens this weekend at St. Edward State Park in Kenmore.
Update, July 5: A new PopUp StoryWalk is under way. A course has been set up in Brightwater Park in Woodinville to celebrate David Litchfield's book, "The Bear and the Piano." It's a half-mile trail featuring storyboards from the book and will be available through July 15. The park is open dawn to dusk.
Combining the joy of reading with an adventurous outing exploring local trails, PopUp Story Walk places a children's book along a family-friendly trail. Walkers move through the story, take in the natural beauty and stretch those legs as they go.
The StoryWalk Project was created by Anne Ferguson in 2007 in collaboration with the Vermont Bicycle and Pedestrian Coalition and the Kellogg-Hubbard Library. Today, there are StoryWalk installations across the country.
This past spring marked the first PopUp StoryWalk in Seattle, and we were there for the inaugural run — or should we say, reading.
Both entertaining and educational, the event is geared towards kids ages 2-10, but is probably best appreciated by those 4 and up. The walk was very doable — mostly flat and no more than a half-mile — great for those with short legs.
Signs clearly marked the way to the next book page, and the kids raced between them to see what the next few pages held. In between, they stopped to pick up sticks and flowers and look for bugs — they were somehow both completely engaged in seeing what happened on the next page of the book and fully enjoying exploring the trail and surroundings. Many families could be heard discussing what was happening in the story and how the characters felt, as they moved down the path — walking between pages gives you the perfect opportunity to really talk about the story and get your kids perspective on it.
Pop Up StoryWalk is designed to rotate a variety of children’s books as it travels to different destinations. Books that are chosen illustrate the themes of nature and the seasons, combined with lessons of kindness, empathy, creativity and more. When possible, books by local authors and/or illustrators are featured. For their opening event in Seattle, StoryWalk featured local author and illustrator Kevan Atteberry and his book "Bunnies!!!"