Enjoy a StoryWalk in Downtown Lakeland

Can you and your young children WALK and READ at the same time???  Of course you can, on a special StoryWalk™.   I’m setting one up in Downtown Lakeland for the month of June, for your family’s enjoyment.  Since it is in the store windows, it costs nothing, and you can even go when the stores aren’t even open.   Try some of the activity ideas on each page, then head to the next store.

Every month, since before my son was born, I read the Family Fun magazine cover to cover, and we are often inspired to create some family fun !  The May issue inspired me to create a StoryWalk™ for downtown Lakeland with one of my Kindermusik books.  

The original StoryWalk™ Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT and developed in collaboration with the Vermont Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition and the Kellogg-Hubbard Library.  Find out more at http://kellogghubbard.org/storywalk.html

The idea is that separate pages of a children’s book are posted along a path.  To promote a healthy exercise activity, and the fun of reading, families can accompany their young children along the path, walking and reading along. 

For the month of June, we will feature Pete and PJ, a fun story about a boy and his dog who get dirty playing in the mud, BUT are HAPPY to enjoy a bath to clean up.   Each page of the story ends with the fun phrase “Wishy Washy, Wishy Washy, Wishy Washy, Weee!”, and while chanting it, the readers swish their hands together to the beat, then raise their hands up in the air on Wheee!  There are also some fun activity ideas for the story part on each page that the readers can enjoy on the spot.

There are 8 pages of the book which are located at some fabulous downtown businesses.   The list below has them in order, and includes a link to their website (if they have one) and a brief point of fact.

Click HERE for a map of Downtown Lakeland.

Start at The General Store.  Go in and get a bookmark guide.  This bookmark will include ALL the locations, and some contact information.  Or copy and print the following information:

KI logo

    StoryWalk  featuring Pete & PJ

1)       The General Store,      125 S. Kentucky Ave.      Groceries, Sundries, and Memories.    Make sure and say HI to Ms. Terisa and Sparky when you get your bookmark !    IBC Cream Soda …  Mmmmm !

2)      Paint Along Studios,     123 S. Kentucky Ave.     Their  Kids Kamps this summer looks like a lot of fun !

3)      Tougie Baby  (NEW)     121 S. Kentucky Ave.      A new store featuring specialty clothes and items for your babies  (She’s only been open 3 weeks !)

4)      Nathan’s Men’s Store   221 E. Main Street         A classic traditional men’s (as well as the best local Cub Scout & Boy Scout) store

5)      Black and Brew              205 E. Main Street         Coffee House and Bistro  (I LOVE their Ginsing Peppermint Tea – ICED !)

6)      Main Street Creamery  128 E. Main Street         Old fashioned ice cream shop (a great lunch too).

7)      Explorations V                109 N. Kentucky Ave.     Three floors of hands-on Children’s Museum FUN.  I got an annual membership when I moved here 12 years ago, and have renewed every year since.  It is THAT worth it !

8)      Palace Pizza   (last page)   114 S. Kentucky Ave.         The best pizza in town (in my opinion) !       

If you are reading this posting before you go, you may want to bring a few things just to make it a more concrete experience(optional, of course), a washcloth, a bath towel, maybe a bubble jar, and possibly a stuffed (or real) pet dog.  Walk, read, talk, sing, pretend, move, and have a good time together. 

This book, “Pete and PJ” by Cindy Bousman and Susan James,  is featured in several of our upcoming Kindermusik programs.

  • a Kindermusik Playdate called Tub Tunes,
  • our Music and Art Family Classes called “Splash” this June,
  • and our Fall Semester of Our Time called “Wiggles and Giggles” includes the book in the home materials.

On each of the story pages posted in the store windows, there will be:

  • Which page it is, out of the total number of pages
  • Fun activities to enjoy while reading that page,
  • Creative ideas to make it musical !
  • Which store will have the next page, and a suggested way to move to get there. 

It may look silly as you enjoy the activities, but your children will LOVE it, and may want to do this repeatedly.  The cool part is that the stores don’t have to be open to enjoy this StoryWalk, it is ALL in the windows.  It’s like a literary treasure hunt.

To enhance THIS StoryWalk with music, go to www.play.kindermusik.com  and download the song called “Wishy Washy Wee!” off of the Bake, Build, Sing and Scrub album.  It is a fun song to sing along with the repetitive phrase in the book .  You may also want to download “Sailor Scrub”, which is perfect music for marching, or gliding, or stomping, to the next location.  If you are new to this site, you get 10 free credits to use, making these FREE downloads !

Upon completing the StoryWalk, contact us at InTune Studios and you will receive a coupon for a FREE music, art, or Kindermusik class.

We are loaded with fun, creative ways to enjoy your family time.  Check out our Music and Art Summer Camps and Workshops.  Some are for families, some are for big kids.   Our #1 focus is to provide such a quality experiences that the creative juices just START to flow, letting open the flood gates, and you will see your children riding the tide long after classes are over.

Once you’ve enjoyed the STORYWALK, please share your thoughts!   Do you like it downtown?  Do you have other suggested locations?  Is it the right distance for walking with your family?   Are you enjoying the book and activities?   I’m here listening, to my comments here, on Facebook, and on Twitter.  I look forward to hearing from you.

A Shell Full of Stories

In a African folk tale, “Where Stories Come From” (part of the Kindermusik Tell Me A Tale summer camp),  a mother searches for stories for her children.  Finally, she finds the spirit people, who give the mother a SHELL with which she can just LISTEN for new stories.  Honestly, I have found such a shell. 

If you have a smart phone that runs applications, look for “Tales2Go”.  There are THOUSANDS of recorded stories available for children of all ages, with absolutely FANTASTIC story tellers that really make the stories come alive.  You can look for stories all different ways: by age group, story type, series of books, storytellers, or search for specific topics. 

There are very simple short stories for the youngest listeners; classics like The Three Billy Goats Gruff at 5 min.   AND there are more complex and longer stories for the older children (How to Train Your Dragon is 4 hrs. 25 min.)  Keep your charger handy, and expect to complete it in intervals.

My daughter LOVES to listen to the series of short stories, for example, the many stories of Clifford, the big red dog, and the African folk tales about Ananzi, the spider.   These would absolutely delight the children from our recent summer camp.  (We had a lot of interesting personal stories about spiders during class, and they would relate so well to this unique character).  Hearing different stories about the same characters is excellent for building neural pathways, as they have the familiar foundation of the characters to relate to, and the new adventures that can occur with those characters to build pathways for new ideas and concepts.

Holding my phone (it’s even white), and listening to these stories is exactly like being given a shell of unlimited stories !!!  There is a free 30 day introductory period, then it is about $25 for the YEAR to hear as many stories as you could even imagine, and new stories are being added all the time.

This is EXCELLENT for long car rides, esp. if you get a good set of headphones for your child.  (Our family doesn’t do videos in the car.) 

But my favorite way to use this “story shell” – as a wake up tool.  My daughter doesn’t do well getting up earlier than her usual time.  During the school year, I started having my phone at the table, ready for her to listen to a new story during breakfast.  She was much happier to get up, dressed, and ready when she knew there was a story waiting for her, esp. if she gets to pick out the story the night before.

OTHER than the Tales2Go application, there really isn’t a SHELL that contains stories.  We must gather them like berries on a vine, and preserve them like jelly, then spread them thoroughly for all to enjoy.  We must hunt for them in books and learn to digest their meanings.  We must create them from our own personal experiences and share them with our family to provide a robust sense of self, and of belonging to an integral family unit. 

EVERY Kindermusik class includes stories !!!  AND they are integrated into many different learning activities, through singing, movement, instrument play, and more.  Listening to stories is a treasure.  Living IN and exploring stories with all of your senses makes learning easy and fun for people of all ages.  Come see for yourself and try out a Kindermusik class near you.  www.kindermusik.com