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Physical Literacy

Library Walking and Running Clubs

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Library's running team

This year the LP Fisher Public Library teamed up with our local run club, the River Valley Runners. They got a place to have their monthly meetings, access to awesome running books (and periodicals, thanks to the generous donation of a member), and we got to particpate in their fun runs and help plan their events. It has turned out to be a true win-win.

Kinetic Literacy

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Mother and son run in a race.

We spend a lot of time in libraryland talking about literacy. And there are an awful lot of literacy skills to learn and teach: pre-literacy skills, visual literacy, numeracy, cultural literacy, information and computer or digital literacy…whew! But one of the most overlooked and underappreciated literacy skills is the one we use almost constantly from the time we are born: kinetic literacy, also known as physical literacy.  Boy climbs on tightrope.</body></html>

Middle Earth Walking Challenge

Three women walking in the woods

The Middle Earth Walking Challenge was a fitness program that we tied to literature. Since the summer reading theme was Build a Better World, I chose J.R.R. Tolkien’s series “The Lord of the Rings,” giving participants the fantasy challenge of saving Middle Earth by walking from the Shire to Mt. Doom, with the goal of destroying the One Ring.

Participants kept track of the miles they walked from June until August. The winner received a copy of “The Lord of the Rings,” and runners-up received a copy of “The Hobbit.”

Outdoor Water Party

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Kids sitting in a circle. Photo credit: Craig Scott

At the height of Summer Reading Club (SRC) or during an autumn back-to-school heat wave, sometimes the best thing to do is take the kids outside and hose them down — that will get the fidgets out! (Kidding!)

But seriously, throwing water balloons at people or targets is extremely therapeutic. I asked my SRC leader, Ebony Scott, to come up with a program called Water Games. My only stipulations were (1) that it not wet any of the books and (2) that it have a reasonable budget. (If only we could afford giant Nerf Super Soakers for everyone.)

Literary Costume Party

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A group of children show off their costumes.

The staff at the LP Fisher Public Library in Woodstock, N.B., wanted to do something really unique this year to celebrate Canadian Library Month in October. We also wanted to do a Halloween activity, while being mindful of the many families in our community that don’t celebrate it, or are newcomers to the country and might be uncomfortable with some of our more macabre traditions.

Library Mini-Golf

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Boy playing mini-golf in the library

For our Summer Reading Club end party this year we wanted to include physical literacy elements that got the kids moving and shaking as well as reading and listening. So in addition to our usual storytime/pizza party with cake (and healthy veggies!), we also created an outdoor fun zone of giant board games in the parking lot (blocked off to cars of course by orange pylons).  

Tactile Tactics for Learning History

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Boy carrying water with a yoke

When we hear the words "kinesthetic" or "physical" linked with literacy, we often think of sports, gym class, dance, yoga and other gross-motor-type programs. What we often overlook is how we are already incorporating much physical literacy in our library programs by adding tactile, hands-on activities to storytimes or events. And this is awesome — not only are we appealing to tactile learners (those than learn best by doing, not just seeing or hearing) but we are enhacing everyone's literacy skills, even the parents!

Prevent Bullying through Exercise

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Kid in child's pose

Every day, thousands of children and teens all over the country and the world are bullied by their peers. These victims — who have been judged to have some weakness, perceived as somehow abnormal or lacking, or who are just a tiny bit different — are vulnerable to not Children in downward dog poseonly day-to-day torment but life-changing and decades-long repercussions.

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