Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
Simon says chase your tail. Simon says hop like a bunny. Simon says stand like a flamingo. Simon says party like an animal.
These commands were included in the Combined Arms Research Library’s animal-themed activity course drawn in chalk on the sidewalk outside the library.
The activity course was CARL’s contribution to the Combined Arms Center
Window Walk Wednesdays “Furry Friends” theme April 15.
“I originally wanted to make decorations to put out on the library windows and have chalk activities to encourage people to walk by the library, but all of our windows are tinted, and there aren’t a ton of windows in areas easy to walk by, so I embraced the chalk idea,” said Sierra Hochstatter, CARL circulation library technician. “I used Pinterest to get some ideas on how to make interactive chalk designs.
The Combined Arms Research Library has a “Go Green!” activity course chalked onto the sidewalk in front of the library that starts at the book/audio-visual drop box. The environmentally-themed sidewalk chalk art corresponds with the April 22 “Go Green!” Window Walk Wednesday, an initiative encouraging post residents to display themed artwork each week for their neighbors to see. Upcoming Window Walk Wednesdays include “Home Sweet Home” April 29, “Under the Sea” May 6 and “School Spirit” May 13. See the kick-off story at https://www.ftleavenworthlamp.com/community/2020/04/09/window-walks-encourage-resident-creativity/.
“It is an interactive course where participants can exercise their bodies and minds. Imagination is very important for these activities,” she said. “Since we have been unable to host events inside the library, we have been looking for ways to connect with our community in other ways.”
The course begins on the sidewalk by the book/audio-video drop box near Smith Lake. Along the route, participants make animal sounds corresponding with the animals drawn; play Simon Says; get across the “alligator-infested river” by walking across logs and hopping on lily pads and rocks without stepping on turtles; move like different animals including sloths, fish and penguins; and rest and listen to the sounds of nature.
“This is meant to be a fun outing. If participants don’t want to do a part of the course, it is not a big deal. It can also be educational,” Hochstatter said. “We are asking participants to identify animals, noises and actions. Parents can supplement the course by asking questions that dig deeper than just what is drawn on the path … to build critical thinking skills.
“My hope is that people will just have a lot of fun getting out of the house,” she said. “CARL has always been a place where our patrons go to escape, learn and have fun. This obstacle course will hopefully provide all of these as well.”
Sections of the activity course are spaced six feet apart so multiple families can participate at the same time while practicing social distancing. Use of face coverings is advised when participating in the course.
“If weather permits, we want to do a course every week for Window Walk Wednesdays,” Hochstatter said. “I have a lot more ideas to make future courses.”
The “Go Green’ activity course is now available. To read the CAC Window Walk Wednesdays kick-off story, visit https://www.ftleavenworthlamp.com/c ommunity/2020/04/09/window-walks-encourage-resident-creativity/.