Workshop #2: Reflection on Story Walks
The benefits of story walks to child development
Story walks allow children to have a story from a book turn into a fun indoor or outdoor adventure, as they are looking for the next page, reading the story, and following the instructions provided at each page. They may fly to the next page, or look around for animal prints. This wonderful activity cultivates children’s four foundations in several ways. It contributes to their sense of belonging as they are able to be creative and show their uniqueness while collaborating with one another to finish the story. It helps support their well-being by adding to their physical activity, and by potentially being placed outdoors it helps increase their outdoor play time in a fun way. For engagement, storywalks use the environment as a third teacher, and it “plays a role in the quality of children’s exploration and play” (Ontario Ministry of Education, 2014, p.36). Finally, it encourages their ability to express themselves in various ways as there is no exact way to “buzz like a bee” or “act like you are building a fort”, they are able to dive into themselves and learn to express their imagination into physical movement, sound, etc.
In my experience with the story walk, I had a lot of fun and felt as if I developed a greater connection with my classmate Catrina, as we both decided to just be wild and have fun while we did the story walk. It contributed to my sense of belonging and well-being as I felt like it was a great way to form a fun connection with a classmate.
Here are some photos of us participating in the story walk set up by our professor:
Finding evidence of birds was a great activity to do as well, as it helped connect and engage with the environment around us.
The making of our ownstory walk
In the making of our story walk, it was an adventure in itself to find activities to do throughout the story. Which songs to sing, if we wanted finger play, onomatopeias, movement, etc. Two challenges we had were, first, we did not have enough room to have children “run” from one page to the next, and two, we had underestimated the noise our steps would have people making in the hallway.
It was, however, a lot of fun to create, and I am sure that these challenges would not be challenges outdoors. Here are some of the pages from our story walk:
Our classmates’ story walks
Participating in the other story walks, it was so interesting to see the different placements of the stories, and how it could impact the fun in the steps between the pages. It was also interesting to see how different the ideas were, like in one group where they asked to think of what else looks like the moon. It made us wonder, and think, hmm.. maybe a rock? Maybe the sun? Maybe an orange?
Overall, the story walk was amazing to learn about and I cannot wait for the days I will be able to set this up for children at my daycare.
Ontario Ministry of Education. (2014). How does learning happen? Ontario’s pedagogy for the early years: A resource about learning through relationships for those who work with young children and their families. Toronto, ON: Ministry of Education. https://files.ontario.ca/edu-how-does-learning-happen-en-2021–03–23.pdf