Storywalk®

Have you heard of Storywalk®?  This is an opportunity for children and adults to read a story together entering an imaginary world while walking along a pathway or trail.  The pages of the picture book are made into laminated signs that are hung in trees or attached to signposts.  In our town, on Vancouver Island, B.C. we can borrow these from the public library but it would also be possible to make your own.  The cost of colour photocopying and laminating all those pages gets expensive so borrowing them is much more do-able plus there are copyright issues.  The other alternative would be to buy two books and take them apart to make the posters.

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Velcro and grommets provide two options for posting.

I was so excited to borrow my first Storywalk® last week!  I got the story Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers which is such a cute story and perfect as it is about a journey. There were 31 signs to hang up for our walk.  So many signs that I couldn’t fit them all on our preschool property so I had them going down the street for about half a block and then on the property of our local library.

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We took our preschool class in small groups to really enjoy the walk.  I thought about 3-4 children was ideal for a group size.

And, as expected, it was a wonderful experience.  We journeyed with penguin and the boy as we read each page of the book.

Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction because at the end of the morning when I went to collect the signs, there were 7 missing!  Now I had tied them securely in place and it was not a windy day so although I’m not certain, someone seemed to have taken them away as they were nowhere to be found!  Have you caught the irony yet?  The story “Lost and Found” is now lost.  Will it be found?  I do not know yet.  Each sign has a label on the back of the library it came from so perhaps if it is someone kind who removed/found the signs, they that person will return them.

As I drove to the library to return the Storywalk®, I wasn’t sure what the response would be.  I was pretty sure I would be charged for the missing pages but in another odd turn of events, the library had no record of me ever checking out the story in the first place. The Storywalk® Lost and Found was labelled as “missing”.  I found this very odd as I was even given a printout with the return date.  So it seems perhaps I won’t be charged?

I thought the library would never let me have another one but I did have another on hold and they agreed to let me take it.  Here it is!Unknown-1

I guess this time I better hold on to my teddy bear; and all other teddy bears in the vicinity!  Believe me, I will be keeping a close eye on those signs this time!

“You have to get lost before you can be found.” -Jeff Rasley

All my blog posts are done during my free time so if you appreciate what you’re reading here, please visit and like my Facebook page.  Thank you so much!

Fernwood Art Stroll

We will be at the Fernwood Art Stroll in Victoria, B.C. on Saturday, June the 10th! There will be an opportunity to get signed copies of our new picture book, Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker.   You can also see Paula’s artwork displayed and she will have her art cards available as well.

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The Fernwood Art Stroll features local artists and artisans who invite the public into their studios to view their work. You can take a leisurely stroll through the tree lined streets of Fernwood with an opportunity to enjoy refreshments at the many local coffee shops, bistros and the local pub.

You will find Paula and I at 2018 Chambers Street between 11 am and 4 pm on Saturday, June the 10th. Paula will also be there on Sunday, June 11th as well.

This is a great way to introduce your child to the art world, get some fresh air and pick up a wonderful new picture book that will inspire your child’s creativity and interest in cooking.

 

 

Exploring the Laws of Motion

Here’s another stellar example that makes the case for learning through play and the value of making available loose parts children can use and manipulate in ways of their own choosing!
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This child, age 5, is testing out gravity and Isaac Newton’s Laws of Motion.  She is learning about simple machines like the lever and the inclined plane.  She may not be able to tell you about them but she is experiencing them here firsthand.  Ducksters is a website that explains science in simple terms for kids.

Our preschoolers have used the boards to make their own seesaws which is super fun but they have also discovered how to make a catapult and I will admit, I do like to be nearby to help guide which type of items are sent flying.  The inclined plane has helped them move some pretty heavy objects on their own with great feelings of satisfaction! You can read about the inclined plane solution here: That Time When a Little Frustration Was a Good Thing.

These boards are made of cedar and are normally used for decking. I had them cut into lengths of about 2-3 ft which seems about right for our purposes. They stand up very well in all kinds of weather but we do bring them indoors each day in the hopes of making them last as long as we possibly can.

If you do not have any boards for children to use in your outdoor play area, I highly recommend you go out and get some… they have provided so many excellent learning opportunities!

“Any fool can know.  The point is to understand.”  -Albert Einstein

All of my blog posts are written during my free time.  If you appreciate what you’re reading here, please like my Facebook page.  Thank you so much and have a wonderful day!

Picture Book Gem: Not Quite Narwhal

As part of the 12×12 picture book challenge, I have been trying to read as many new picture books as I possibly can.  The best part about that is I’m making some really great new discoveries.  One of these is Not Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima.
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Kelp finds he is a little different from the Narwhals he lives with.  He feels very loved but knows there is something amiss.  One day he discovers unicorns and realizes there is a whole other world above the ocean where unicorns who are exactly like him are living.  The problem for Kelp becomes how to merge the two worlds of land and ocean.

The illustrations are delightful and the characters are engaging.  My preschool class loved the story and you will too.  This picture book takes you on a journey to other worlds with some unique and creative ideas about how narwhals and unicorns live.  Jessica Sima creates two magical worlds in this book and children will be transported.

I’m surprised there aren’t more books about unicorns and narwhals as they are such unique and magical creatures.