Little Hikers Discover the Wonders of Nature and Books on a Popup Storywalk
Photo Courtesy Popup Storybook
Combine the joy of discovering nature while exploring a woodsy park trail with the joy of discovering a good storybook. and you have the ideal outdoor outing with kids. PopUp Story Walk places a children's book along a family-friendly trail in a city park. Little (and big) walkers find the pages of the book as they walk the trail.
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.
In spring 2018 the first PopUp StoryWalk was initiated in Seattle, and we were there for the inaugural run — or should we say, reading.
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.
Find a PopUp Storywalk at these Seattle-area parks:
Note: this storywalk follows a 1-mile loop over a steep hill, and the trail has many roots, rocks and some narrow bridges. Wear good shoes, and leave the stroller behind.
Editor's Note: A version of this article was first published in May 2018.