Primrose Farm in St. Charles is known to many families as a local summer destination to meet animals, participate in a farming activity or simply enjoy the grounds. But to some, it’s the perfect location for story hour.
While the Friday morning Coffee & Cows story hour is one of its most popular programs, Primrose is taking the art of storytelling to a whole new level with its new series Storybooks Alive.
Held on three consecutive Saturdays in August, Storybooks Alive will give children of all ages the opportunity to not just listen to a book, but to experience a story through interactive activities, games, crafts and snacks.
Children will help cows go back to work in “Click Clack Moo, Cows that Type”; find the missing cupcakes in “Pete the Cat and the Missing Cupcakes”; and participate in a monster bash in “Where the Wild Things Are.”
Farm Program Supervisor Emily Lambillotte will bring these books to life igniting a new love of reading in children.
“We hope by connecting the story to the activities, children are inspired to start reading or to further their reading, not only in school but for leisure,” she said.
During the first book in the series from 10-11am on Saturday, August 4, children will help cows go back to work in “Click Clack Moo, Cows that Type.”
In this farm book, the cows that type leave Farmer Brown notes with suggestions for improving their conditions. And when Farmer Brown refuses their requests, the cows go on strike.
Therefore, once the book is read, little ones will participate in a scavenger hunt around the farm to find notes from the cows and items to make them happy again. For instance, the cows in the book are cold at night, so children will have to follow the clues to find blankets to give to Primrose Farm’s own Jersey Cows.
Once they’ve completed the scavenger hunt, participants will enjoy a Rice Krispies hay bale snack, play games such as Pin the Tail on the Donkey, and make a cow ear headband.
Then from 10-11am on Saturday, August 11, children will become detectives as they follow a riddle of clues around the farm to help track down the cupcakes from “Pete the Cate and the Missing Cupcakes.”
Once all the cupcakes are found, it wouldn’t be fair to deny children the chance to eat those delicious desserts. And then what better way to burn off the sugar than with some engaging activities? Just like the illustrations in “Pete the Cat,” the activities will be colorful, and include ring toss, Pin the Socks on the Cat and a photo opportunity. Additionally, children can transform into Pete the Cate as they make their best colorful and “groovy” mask.
The last program in the series from 10-11am on Saturday, August 18, will feature the classic tale of “Where the Wild Things Are,” where brave families will participate in a monster bash.
Families will take a tractor ride to where the wild things are, located in the second pavilion along the Primrose walking trail. And there, the wild rumpus will begin!
Following the reading, the party will include musical chairs, monster limbo, a photo opportunity with Max’s boat and a craft to make Max’s crown. A snack also will be served. The tractor will then bring families back to the parking lot.
“I hope Storybooks Alive is a fun, family experience, and parents and children alike can share the connection to a book, whether it’s a new story or a classic tale,” Lambillotte said.
The fee for each for Storybooks Alive is $10 per resident and $15 for nonresidents. Advance registration is required via www.stcparks.org.
Another way Primrose has been connecting children to books is through the regular Coffee & Cows program, with the next scheduled event at 9-10:30am on Friday, August 10. This playgroup is geared toward young children and features a tour of the barnyard, a farm-themed story and a play-based activity. Snacks and beverages are provided. Coffee & Cows is $5 for residents and $8 for nonresidents.
Primrose Farm is located at 5N726 Crane Road, St. Charles. For more information about Primrose Farm and its programs, call Emily Lambillotte at 630-513-4382.