3 min read

Don’t let the pigeon do what?

Reading in The Park and the antics of a very cheeky pigeon are proving a big hit in Bowness Park this summer.

Every Wednesday families and kids up to the age of 9 gather on blankets in the playground area of the park to read, sing, rhyme and play between 10am and 12noon and it’s totally free to join in.

Ready 4 Learning Program Facilitator Chelsea McLean explains what it’s all about and why the kids can’t get enough of one particular book…

“Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus by Mo Willems is the book all the kids go crazy for.  It’s a really interactive read for them as they have to respond to parts of the story and they get to shout out and be noisy together.  It also teaches them about emotions as the pigeon in the book experiences lots of different moods and emotions in the story. It’s a really fun book and it’s always in demand!”

But Reading in the Park isn’t just about playtime and noisy fun, it’s also about promoting healthy brain development for little ones.

“People see what we’re doing in the park and they think it’s just play time but when we’re reading to kids and interacting with them, there’s so much new healthy wiring going on in their brains.  Reading sets them up for a lifetime of learning and it’s never too young to start.  That can be a really tough message to get across.”

And parents get something into the bargain too.

“We try to teach parents how to be silly with their kids by putting on funny voices and acting out parts of the stories.  It’s a lot easier for them to shake off their inhibitions when everyone’s doing it together.  It’s these voices and actions that will really bring the books to life for their kids.

And the parents are making connections with other families in their community too which is also really important”

Want to join in?  Head along to the playground at Bowness Park every Wednesday from 10am – 12noon until August 19th.

Can’t make it?  Why not join in the Calgary Public Library Summer Reading Challenge to keep your kids and yourself reading all summer long.

And to get you started, here’s some of Chelsea’s top picks for summer reading with little ones:

  • Press Here – Herve Tullet
  • Dear Zoo – Rod Campbell
  • Do Not Open This Book – Adam Lehrhaupt
  • Where’s Spot? – Eric Hill
  • Angela’s Airplane or Mortimer – Robert Munsch
  • The Gruffalo – Julia Donaldson

Reading in The Park, Bowness is run in partnership with Ready 4 LearningReady, Set, Go Preschools and Bowness Public Library.

Ready 4 Learning is a Community Collaboration with Carya.

Reading in The Park, Bowness supports early literacy, healthy brain development, family connections and parenting skills.