Storybook Trail to get kids reading and moving

HUMBOLDT — An upcoming feature at Water Ridge Park organized by the Reid-Thompson Public Library will have local children reading and moving at the same time.

The Storybook Trail will see eight parts of a children’s book spread at stations placed all over the park. Children will move from station to station to read the entire book.

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“We hope to incorporate activities for them to do at each station, whether it’s, ‘can you see a bird?’ or ‘run like a lion’ or ‘jump around like a monkey’. We’re hoping to incorporate a little bit more physical activity as well,” said Kate Lucyshyn, Reid-Thompson’s branch librarian.

“We are hoping that we'll get grandchildren up here with their grandparents walking around. It's a very good park for it.”

There was a test Storybook Trail, also known as a Story Walk, done by the city’s leisure service department in the winter that saw some success. The goal is to have this version of the trail ready by the beginning of June. Once set up, the plan is to change the book featured from time to time.

Contributions to make the trail possible have come from SaskLotteries, Sask Parks and Recreation, and the Humboldt Co-op.

“I think this project that the library is doing is just an awesome addition to the park,” Brent Walker, the general manager of the co-op said on April 30 after presenting the library with a $1,000 cheque. “Having the Storybook Trail is going to be amazing, and give another option for something for kids to do.”

Storybook Trails as a concept trace their beginnings to Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, Vermont back in 2007. Ferguson, who was a chronic disease prevention specialist at the time, came up with the idea as she tried to come up with an activity that would get children and parents alike physically active.

The idea caught on and she partnered with her local library. From there, Storybook Trails have been spreading across the continent.

“It’s going on all over the world,” Lucyshyn said. “There's a lot of places doing this sort of thing.”

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