Looking for something super-fun yet sneakily educational these school holidays?
Sunshine Coast Libraries and Maroochy Bushland Botanic Gardens have joined forces to create a Story Walk for kids and families to enjoy this summer.
Celebrating the annual Summer Reading Club and promoting the First 5 Forever early literacy initiative, the Story Walk is an innovative way to experience a children’s picture book and support those critical early literacy skills.
“The pages of a picture book are enlarged and spread across a large space,” explains Karen Gawen, Young People’s Services Supervisor from Sunshine Coast Council. “Children and their families move through the space, from one page to another, to read the book. So, it’s a really fun and active way to read – for kids of all ages!”
The Story Walk features 'Koalas eat gum leaves' by Sunshine Coast author/illustrator duo Laura and Philip Bunting. The title is published by Scholastic. This hysterical story tells the tale of one Koala who has had enough of gum leaves and is on the lookout for some tastier tucker.
“The Story Walk is a wonderful way to help parents keep their kids reading over summer, whilst getting out and about in the beautiful botanic gardens,” says Karen.
Numerous studies have found that daily summer reading is critical to ensuring a child maintains the literacy skills they have learnt in the past year. Regular reading during the long break means that children will avoid the well-known summer learning loss, often coined as the ‘Summer Slide’.
“As well as supporting school-aged children with their reading, the story walk is a great way to spark early literacy skills in children under five,” Karen explains. “With the words and pictures laid out at their feet, little learners can truly immerse themselves in the story and start to make literacy connections that are so critical in the first five years.”
The Story Walk launches on 15 December and runs until 25 January at Maroochy Bushland Botanic Gardens.
If you have time, why not make a day of it and check out the children’s school holiday program Curious Creatures? Kids can learn what kinds of curious creatures live in our forests through a range of craft workshops such as card making, ceramic and woven sculpture, watercolour and ink painting.