Nature and literacy go hand in hand

Nature and literacy go hand in hand

written by: Bailey Shrewsbury, Youth Services Programming Specialist II, Muncie Public Library- Kennedy

Children can practice some of the most important literacy skills outdoors. Little ones can make real world connections between concepts such as shapes and the world around them, further cementing those in their minds. A child using their imagination to think up how a goose spends their day or what a tree sees uses their imagination and helps build some of the groundwork for storytelling and reading comprehension. Talking about changes in the seasons or in a plant’s life cycle can help with sequencing, an important skill to make reading easier for a child. Parents and caregivers can make learning exciting while also enjoying being active and connecting with the great outdoors.

Muncie Public Library (MPL) is a great place to find out more about the world around you. Through the library’s curbside service and online resources, you can check out books or movies about animals, the weather, or the habitats of different animals. Through online programs, you can also learn about nature from librarians and other experts. Have you ever wondered why a chameleon changes color? What would it be like to be a lion? How does a plant grow? Visit the library’s website to find the answers.

Once the school year begins, it doesn’t mean the discovery of our natural world has to end! There’s plenty of fun to be had with MPL, both in your home and outside in nature. To celebrate International Literacy Day on September 8, 2020, MPL has partnered with Red-tail Land Conservancy to bring a storywalk to Dutro-Ernst Woods, a 33 acre nature preserve on Kilgore Ave. Your family can stroll along the gravel pathway to visit each page of an original story written and illustrated by MPL employee Amanda Kaufman and her son Luc. By the end of the walk, your family will have read a book and spent time in the fresh air surrounded by trees. The storywalk can be experienced dawn to dusk from Thursday, September 3 through Thursday, September 10.  

MPL also offers a wide variety of take-home kits that can help you explore nature and more. The kits include everything you’ll need to participate in learning activities. The kits are created for different age ranges. Kits for ages 0-5 have crafts, early literacy games, and fine motor activities. Kits for children ages 6-10 have themed crafts, activities, and art. Teens and tweens, ages 10-18, can check out kits that have art, sewing, and food activities.  Reserve a kit through the MPL To Go curbside service and take it home to see the fun activities we have planned for you!

Other activities will include online story times. Watch the MPL online calendar to see when we’re offering virtual story times. We can’t wait to read, sing, and dance with all of you again. 

If you’re worried about having enough books to keep your family occupied, we’ve got you covered! MPL cardholders can access Hoopla and Overdrive for a variety of free online resources, from ebooks and comics, to audiobooks, TV shows, and more.  If you prefer to read traditional books, use the MPL To Go curbside service to check out books and more.

To find out more about any of the featured activities, go online to the library website at www.munciepubliclibrary.org or call the Kennedy Library Youth Services Department at (765) 741-7333.

Bailey Shrewsbury is a Youth Services Programming Specialist at Muncie Public Library.