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My Path - interactive activities for pathway play.
My Path:
Literature Connections
Children’s literature is a meaningful way children and families can form deep connections before, during, and after their outdoor trail journey. These favorites can encourage dramatic play, reinforce environmental learning, and further promote conversations about their outdoor experiences.
My Path Links Literature Connections Sharing Your Experiences Engaging With Nature Planning Your Journey Playing Along the Way
  • Who’s in the Garden / Phillis Gershator
    A peek-a-boo book for very young children with cheerful illustrations of garden creatures coming to see the garden grow!
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar / Eric Carle
    The story of a hungry caterpillar from birth to metamorphosis, with the beautiful collage illustrations of Eric Carle.
  • The Very Busy Spider / Eric Carle
    Farm animals try to get the spider to play, but she is too busy spinning her web!
1st-2nd grades
  • The Ugly Duckling / Hans Christian Andersen
    The classic fairy tale of a baby swan hatching in a duck’s nest. He is ostracized until he matures into a beautiful swan.
  • The Classic Tales of Brer Rabbit / Joel Chandler Harris
    Traditional stories of the trickster, Rabbit, who survives by his wits. The stories have been linked to traditional African and Cherokee cultures.
  • City Dog Country Frog / Mo Willems
    A sweet book about friendship and life cycles. The city dog has splashes and plays all summer with his friend Frog. Frog disappears in winter, but City Dog makes a new friend in spring, keeping Frog’s friendship alive in his froggy smile.
  • Are You Ready to Play Outside? / Mo Willems
    Will wet weather ruin the day? Or will Gerald the elephant and Piggie find a way to play outside in the rain!
  • Little White Rabbit / Kevin Henkes
    This book is about a small bunny with a big imagination, who wonders what it would be like to be green.
  • The Classic Treasury of Childhood Wonders / Susan H. Magsamen
    Short stories, poems, and songs that give parents and children plenty of ideas for adventuring outdoors and creating life long memories.
3rd-6th grades
  • The Lorax / Dr. Seuss, Theodor Seuss Geisel
    Classic Seuss. The Once-ler destroys the land for profit. The only way to save the Truffula Tree from extinction, is the last seed in the hands of a child.
  • Gooseberry Park / Cynthia Rylant
    A city squirrel loses her tree in a storm, and gets unlikely help from a Labrador, a bat, and a hermit crab to save her babies.
  • The Secret River / Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
    Exquisitely story about Calpurnia, a girl living in Florida, who helps her family survive hard times. An enchanting story of a girl who brings home enough fish from the river to feed her family.
  • The Secret Garden / Frances Hodgson Burnett
    A beautifully illustrated version of the classic tale of the healing power of a garden.
  • The Wind in the Willows / Kenneth Grahame
    The pleasant tales of Mole, Mr. Toad, Rat and Badger who spend their days in the English countryside “simply messing about in boats”. Sweet tales of adventure and friendship.
  • Nature Girl / Jane Kelley
    Story of a New York City middle school aged girl who is forced to spend a summer in Vermont. She sets out on the Appalachian Trail to escape her parents and find her friend.
  • Middle World / Voelkel
    An adventure story that takes place in the tropical rainforest of Central America. Fourteen year old Max must unlock Ancient Mayan Secrets to save his parents.
  • Project Mulberry / Linda Sue Park
    Young friends work on a science project to raise silkworms. This book is about biology, friendship, and overcoming obstacles.
Program developed in partnership with:
PlayCore Natural Learning Initiative
© 2010 PlayCore, Inc. and Natural Learning Initiative,College of Design,
NC State University.
All rights reserved.
Pathways for Play is a trademark of PlayCore.
Spontaneous play (children playing together without direct adult intervention) is recognized by child development experts as a crucial aspect of healthy childhood.
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