Katy Steele, a mother living in Devon, UK, has kicked off a new craze which sees children and their parents getting outside and hunting down books to read. The hunt has proved to be a big hit and her newly created Facebook page has gained over 3,000 new members in just over a week.
“Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine this would go so far,” she said, responding to the amount of interest from other, like-minded, parents. As DevonLive reports, the group asks participants to seal their book of choice, along with a note, into a plastic bag and then hide it. The person who finds the book can then read it and hide it again for another child to find.
Katy revealed she was inspired to create the group when she was looking online for ways to entertain her three children. She found a similar group called ‘Look 4 a Book UK,’ which was founded by Cambridgeshire dad David Judge. With David’s blessing, Katy began her own group in Devon.
”I saw David’s group and thought ‘why can’t we do that in Devon?’ He’s a member of Devon Hidden Books too, he’s thrilled to bits and said ‘the more the merrier,”’ said Katy.
She added: ”It’s amazing how my group has taken off so fast. When I started it, I thought ‘if I get 100 people in Newton Abbot to join, I’ll have done well.’ It’s so wonderful, I’m getting hundreds of new members a day.”
Discussing the key to her page’s popularity, Katy said: ”It’s the thrill of the treasure hunt. Every child loves finding something tangible that they can hold in their hands. They’re making memories, getting fresh air and exploring new areas.”
Katy has received plenty of positive feedback from other parents, many of whom are noticing a positive impact on their children. “One parent said their children struggle to get outside due to their autism and anxiety, but they have taken part. As a parent of a child with additional needs I’m so proud,” she said.
Katy has received several messages from others she’s inspired who want permission to begin their own book hunts, something Katy fully supports. “Children are getting out there reading and even writing stories. If we can instill imagination in them at this age, then we’re doing well.”