Outdoor Reading Just Got a Whole Lot More Exciting

If you’re a parent like me, and the rest of America, you’re looking for safe, fun activities outside to help your kids burn some energy. Being cooped up inside is hard enough as it is, without a looming pandemic trying to ruin all the fun.

And, I have enough trouble getting my 18 month old son to sit still for anything nowadays, let alone a book. Enter, the Albany Public Library’s StoryWalks® installations around Albany.

The Albany Public Library, last week, finished the installation of a number of books posted outdoors in area parks and green spaces for children and families to read and enjoy the outdoors, while remaining socially distant, of course. The library has partnered with several community and city organizations, and the Upper Hudson Library System, to bring StoryWalks® to seven Albany neighborhoods.

Pages from each book are laminated and posted at regular intervals along a walking path or sidewalk, making it super fun for the kiddos to read as you stroll. There are even some interactive questions posted with the pages to help engage the children even more.

I love it for the education, the interaction with my son, and the safety it provides, while being able to enjoy the outdoors. And if you go to Buckingham Pond Conservancy, I love it for the ducks and the playground. Again, to tire out my kid. I mean, er, to learn about nature.

To find a StoryWalks® near you, here’s a list. There’s more information on the APL website as well.

● Downtown Albany | Bedtime for Sweet Creatures by NikiGrimes (author) and Elizabeth Zunion (illustrator) | Partner: Downtown BID
● Lark Street | Ogilvy by Deborah Underwood (author) and T.L. McBeth (illustrator) | Partner: Lark Street BID
● South End | Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena (author) and Christian Robinson (illustrator) | Partner: City of Albany
● Delaware Avenue | Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o (author) and Vashti Harrison (illustrator) | Partners: City of Albany and Delaware Area Neighborhood Association
● Sage College/Opalka Gallery | The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh by Supriya Kelkar (author) and Alea Marley (illustrator) | Partners: Russell Sage College and Opalka Gallery
● Washington Park | Moth by Isabel Thomas (author) and Daniel Egneus (illustrator) | Partners: City of Albany and Washington Park Conservancy
● Buckingham Pond | Ruby’s Birds by Mya Thompson (author) and Claudia Davila (illustrator) | Partners: City of Albany and Buckingham Pond Conservancy

It looks as though if you live on the other side of the river, you can enjoy the StoryWalks® as well. The Troy Public Library has put one together in Prospect Park. They feature Monster Trouble! By Lane Fredrickson.

The Albany StoryWalks® will be around until the end of September. And if you’d like to play along on your favorite social channel, feel free to take a pic of your tot enjoying the sun and a book, using #UHLSStoryWalk.

The StoryWalk® Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT and developed in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library. Storywalk® is a registered service mark owned by Ferguson.

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