Our parks and recreation department contacted us over the winter inquiring about ways in which we, the library, could partner with their department. One of the ideas we came up with was installing a story walk type program in three of the local county parks during the upcoming months -- May, July and August. Each program would run for just over a week (10 days).
I took a tour of all the parks in the county to select which ones would work best for this program. High on my list of priorities was that the park have paved trails to be accessible by all (wheelchairs, walkers and strollers). Some county parks did not have paved trails. Additionally, I wanted to be sure the parks selected had manageable enough loops for the story trail to work. Considering our target age was 5 and under I didn't want any looped trail to be more than a mile since that would be too long for 3-and-4-year-olds.
Then I selected the books that we would display on these three story trails (three separate books). Again, I took into consideration the population and dynamic of each individual park.
For this story walk I selected "From Head to Toe" by Eric Carle.
This book was then purchased in big book format. I purchased three copies, two for the actual program and one held in reserve in case repairs were necessary.
I then took the book apart (literally) with a staple remover and cut each page down the middle, save the center page which was kept intact for that page spread of the story. All other pages were then matched up and carefully trimmed and taped together to create the pages of the book for the program.
My library system has a large laminating machine so I put the pages through the laminator to make them more durable (paper alone would shred and disintegrate during hard rain, something inevitable during the month of May). I also created numbers to place with the book indicating the progression through the story walk page-by-page. I also made sure to laminate the cover of the book, giving credit to the author/illustrator (in this case, Eric Carle) and publisher (HarperCollins).
Then it was on to the sign holders.
I did not have a ton of money so had to come up with a design that was portable and removable (for the other two sites) yet strong enough to last for the duration of the story trail (11 days for May).
The design I finally came up with was one involving a trip to Home Depot.
I purchased five large pieces of plywood and had staff cut them down into the size I needed for my signs (in this case, 36"x18", to meet the needs of all three of the books I had selected). I also purchased 1"x3" pieces of wood for the stakes as well as reinforcements in the way of metal stake holders.
|I went with the green metal|
stake, purchased from
|Another stake option,|
not nearly as strong
as the green metal.
|Oops ... crooked sign|
needing some tlc.
|Rain storm whipped one|
page completely into the
|The perfect photo -- Mama Goose|
and her goslings enjoying
the Story Trail!