On My Walk Family Activities

          June 10th, 2016

          Welcome!  We are thrilled that you have decided to bring your family to Carousel Theatre for Young People!  We hope the activities and resources on this page will be helpful to you before and after your adventure to the theatre.


          Explore Outdoors

          In On My Walk, Sonny and his dog Breeze team up for exciting adventures in their backyard during each of the four seasons. As they explore, they discover new things to see, touch, smell, taste, and hear, like a cool ice cream cone in summer, the colourful crackling leaves in autumn, and the “frop frop” of a green frog in spring.

          Take your own walk outside with your little one. Find a spot where you can sit and observe the season. Perhaps it is a park, a stoop, or even your own backyard. Ask your child questions like these: What does the air feel like? What sounds can you hear? What colours can you see? Can you smell flowers, grass, or leaves? Feel the textures of the sand, the grass, or the log you’re sitting on. Perhaps there is a special treat to taste.

          If your child is too young to describe her observations, tell her what you are experiencing. Or, try to remember what a past season feels, smells, tastes, sounds, and looks like.


          I Spy With My Little Eye

          Sonny and Breeze love to start their day with the guessing game “I Spy.”

          To play, one person chooses an object to describe, and says “I spy with my little eye something that is _____” and then offers a clue. It could be a colour, a sound, a shape, a location. If the person guessing is stumped, add another hint to the clue. Once the guesser finds the answer, or the answer is revealed, it’s his turn to I Spy!

          For a fun clue, try offering a rhyme for what the answer sounds like. So if the object is a cat, try a clue like “I spy with my little eye something that rhymes with hat.”


          Suggested Books for Further Reading

          Once you’ve enjoyed reading On My Walk by Kari-Lynn Winters and illustrated by Christina Leist published by Tradewind Books, look for more books about exploring the seasons and friendship. Book list kindly supplied by Tradewind Books.

          Sidewalk Flowers / JonArno Lawson & Sydney Smith
          In this wordless picture book, a little girl collects wildflowers while her distracted father pays her little attention. Each flower becomes a gift, and whether the gift is noticed or ignored, both giver and recipient are transformed by their encounter.

          Where are You Little Red Ball / Patricia Côté and illustrated by Yayo
          Where Are You Little Red Ball? Is a board book following the adventures of a little red ball. Charming illustrations by Yayo will be a delight for young children and parents alike.

          The Snowy Day / Ezra Jack Keats
          No book has captured the magic and sense of possibility of the first snowfall better than The Snowy Day. Universal in its appeal, the story has become a favorite of millions, as it reveals a child’s wonder at a new world, and the hope of capturing and keeping that wonder forever. The adventures of a little boy in the city on a very snowy day.

          We’re Going on a Bear Hunt / Michael Rosen and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury
          “We’re going on a bear hunt. We’re going to catch a big one.” Will you come too? For twenty-five years, readers have been swishy swashing and splash sploshing through this award-winning favourite. Follow and join in the family’s excitement as they wade through the grass, splash through the river and squelch through the mud in search of a bear. What a surprise awaits them in the cave on the other side of the dark forest!

          Wild Berries / Julie Flett
          “Tch, tch, sh, sh, tup, tup.” Spend the day picking wild blueberries with Clarence and his grandmother. Meet ant, spider, and fox in a beautiful woodland landscape, the ancestral home of author and illustrator Julie Flett. This book is written in both Enlglish and Cree, in particular the n-dialect, also known as Swampy Cree from the Cumberland House area.

          After watching Sonny and Breeze’s friendship blossom, explore these books about our friendship with dogs. Book list kindly provided by BC SPCA. 

          Before You Were Mine / Maribeth Boelts and David Walker
          Before You Were Mine follows a young boy as he speculates on his adopted dog’s previous life. When all his speculation is done, the boy remembers finding his dog at the animal shelter – and thinks that maybe it doesn’t matter what happened in the past, because now his four-legged friend has a loving, permanent home. (K-2 reading level)

          The Bookshop Dog / Cynthia Rylant
          Martha Jane is a bookshop dog who is loved by everyone she meets. When Martha Jane’s guardian becomes ill, she must find someone to care for her pet for a week. This doesn’t prove difficult. Everyone in town clamours to become Martha Jane’s sitter, with some over-the-top results! (K-2 reading level)

          The Stray Dog / Marc Simont
          This Caldecott Honor Book is about a family that encounters a stray dog at a park and is based on a true story. After playing with a dog, whom they fondly name Willy, all day at a park, the family leaves him behind thinking he must belong to someone. But as the days go by they can’t stop thinking about him. The next week they see Willy at the park, but he is being chased by the dog catcher. Quick thinking and talking convinces the dog catcher that Willy is their dog. This time Willy goes home with them and becomes part of the family.

          Are You Ready for Me? / Claire Buchwald and Amelia Hansen
          Written from a dog’s point of view, Are You Ready for Me? illustrates the responsibilities and joys of adopting a dog into your family.

          Max Talks to Me / Claire Buchwald and Karen Ritz
          The bond between a human and an animal can be quite amazing. Max Talks to Me explores how a boy and his dog communicate with each other and the bond that is created. Max does not speak but, through observation and the relationship that is established, the young narrator can predict Max’s behaviour and appreciate his companion as a real friend.


          Connect Online

          We love to catch up on photos from after the show and hear stories and impressions from our littlest audience members! If your children would like to tell us what they thought of the show, please mail us letters and pictures – we love to receive mail and will do our best to answer any questions they may have.

          Send photos, letters, and artwork to info@carouseltheatre.ca or tag #BeeStage on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to create some buzzzz. You can also send snail mail to:

          Carousel Theatre for Young People
          1411 Cartwright Street
          Vancouver, BC  V6H 3R7

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