learning in the spirit of wonder and joy

Month: October 2020

Jolly Ghost!

Join me in a story about Jolly Ghost.

Click HERE to see what happens to Jolly Ghost.



Guess who?  It’s me, Ms. Elizabeth!

Some of you will be joining me back in our StrongStart classroom soon.  I am so excited to be seeing you again.  I will be wearing a mask to keep you safe.  All of the parents and caregivers in the classroom will be wearing one too!  Things will look different but we are still going to have fun!

Here is the link to the registration if you’re interested in coming back.  All new and returning families will need to register on-line.


See you soon!

Ms. Elizabeth

There Was an Old Witch…

Put on your witches hat and sing-a-long with me.

Click HERE 


There was an old witch, sat stirring her pot.

Oooooh, oooooh, oooooh, oooooh.

Three little ghosts, asked, “What has she got?”

Oooooh, oooooh, oooooh, oooooh.

Tip toe, tip toe, tip toe………BOO!




I would also like to introduce you to Ashley Dunne from the Bob Prettie Metrotown Library.  Some of you may recognize her from her monthly visits to our StrongStart centre last year for our circle time.


The Burnaby Public Library is open and ready to help parents find the right books to read with their kids! We’ve missed talking to parents and helping them support their child’s early literacy skills. All four Burnaby Public Library locations are open 7 days a week, and there is always someone ready to help with whatever you need. Our services over the pandemic occasionally change, so the best place to check for our updated hours and services is https://www.bpl.bc.ca/news/covid19.

Parents who don’t feel comfortable spending time in the library can call us or use our website to put books on hold, so you only need to come in to pick up what we’ve put aside for you. We love getting questions from parents by phone (604-436-5400) and email, and we have lists of great books on our website as well (including a bunch of great ones for each age from 0 to 5). If you and your child don’t have your free library cards yet, just give us a call at 604-436-5400 and we can make one for you over the phone. We also have a new No Late Fees policy: we do not charge fines if you return items late anymore! We know busy families will drop off their books when they find time.

Even though we are not doing storytime programs right now, we can help you find free storytimes and other things to do with young ones in Burnaby this fall. We are here to support you and your little ones through this strange time. I hope you contact us soon!

I’ll sign off on this blog post with a recommendation for a fun story with lots of repetition about a cat who feels grumpy and learns to find the good in every day: Pete the Cat and his Magic Sunglasses. The story teaches kids how to change their mood if they don’t like how they are feeling, and the repetition is great for preparing your child to be a reader!

More recommendations and reading tips are just a call/email/library visit away 🙂

Burnaby is located on the ancestral and unceded homelands of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh speaking peoples, and we are grateful for the opportunity to provide library services to everyone on this territory.


Ashley Dunne
Children’s Librarian

Burnaby Public Library | Bob Prittie Metrotown Branch

t: 604.436.5420 | e: ashley.dunne@bpl.bc.ca

6100 Willingdon Avenue, Burnaby, BC V5H 4N5


Burnaby is located on the ancestral and unceded homelands of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh speaking peoples. We are grateful for the opportunity to be on this territory.


What can we do with Pumpkins other than carving them into Jack-o-lanterns?

Pumpkins come in so many different shapes, sizes and colours.  Some are meant only for decoration like “gourds”, some are great for baking and of course, ones for carving.


If you have a pumpkin/pumpkins, consider these activities before carving them: 

Painting and drawing on the pumpkins

Drawing/sketching pumpkins using them as inspiration

Use stickers to decorate the pumpkins

Hammering golf pegs into pumpkins, great for eye-hand coordination

Guessing game of the weight of the pumpkin.  Measuring the diameter, height and width

Will it sink or will it float?


Once it’s carved:

Counting and sorting all the seeds

Roasting the seeds

Using the seeds for art collage

Planting the seeds


I wonder what you’ll do with your pumpkin?  Please share any ideas you may have.  I love hearing from you all.  Have fun exploring Pumpkins!

Five Little Pumpkins

Today we will be singing:

Wheels on the Bus

Banana’s Unite!

Five Little Pumpkins

Click HERE to sing-a-long.



I love seeing photos of your children singing along too.  Thank you for all those who send me updates and photos of your children.

Have a great week everyone!

Homemade Playdough

Making play dough with your children is an activity that encourages and supports learning in math, science, sensory, social/emotional, creativity, language and vocabulary.  Let you child get their hands messy and busy making play dough.

You will need:

2 cups flour

1 cup salt

2 tablespoons Cream of Tarter (found in the spice aisle)

2-3 tablespoons Vegetable oil

food colouring (I use a food grade Icing colour paste)

2 cups boiling water

***depending on the brand of flour you use, you may need a little more or less.


Mix the flour, salt and cream of tarter together in a large boil.

Add in the food colouring, oil and boiling water. (add 1 3/4 cups of water first, hold off the the last 1/4 cup, depending on the brand of flour you use, you may need less water or more flour depending on the texture you want for your playdough)  Here, I mixed yellow and a bit of red to make an orange (although it’s showing up yellow.

Stir all together until everything is well combined.

Start kneading the mixture into a dough.  If the dough is too wet, add some more flour.  Knead some more.  Knead until a ball forms and everything is well combined including the colour.


Let your child participate in making the play dough by measuring out the ingredients, stirring or whisking the dry ingredients and putting the ingredients into the bowl.  For safety, adults should pour in the boiling water and do the initial stirring of it.  

Other things to try adding to your play dough before the kneading stage, cocoa powder, Instant coffee to the boiling water for both the scent and colour, lavender buds/essential oils or glitter!  There are so many options you can experiment with.

Tools to consider: rolling pin, butter knife, scissors, garlic press or cookie cutters

Some Fun additions:  Googly eyes, buttons, rocks, animals, sticks, pipe cleaners


Store the play dough for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container.



Fun with Letters

Here is an easy homemade ABC activity made out of  large popsicle sticks and clothes pins (items from the “Learning Materials,” Dollar Store post).  This is a great activity for fostering letter recognition, vocabulary, eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills.

I wrote the “Lower” case alphabet on one side of the clothes pin and the “Upper” case on the other side.

I made two sets so there are extra letters to build words from.  Consider making extra vowels, “a-e-i-o-u” to build longer words.




On the large popsicle sticks, you can print simple words that your child can easily connect with, for example:   your child’s name, cat, dog, car, tree etc.  I used a Black Sharpie marker for this.  Make sure to space out the letters on the popsicle sticks so there’s enough room to clip OVER the existing letters (see photo).  I also added toys/props  to further support the learning.   These props help make that connection in recognizing the word and the item, making it a more concrete experience.





Also, please take a look at the Fall-winter programming for Burnaby provided by Anita Olson, our Early Childhood Community Consultant (click on the link):

FREE EDITED Programs fall-winter 2020 Master Burnaby


Anita Olson – Early Childhood Community Consultant (ECCC) – supporting parents/caregivers with children ages 0-5 years old. Questions/concerns about behaviour, development, needing strategies or other resources call/text/email for a free virtual or socially distanced consultation.

604-723-9548 or email aolson@fsgv.ca


Join Monday’s Coffee and Chat parenting support group to get connected with other parents, learn some helpful tips about parenting and discuss your own parental celebrations and challenges. Meetings are via MS Teams – email aolson@fsgv.ca, subject line JOIN COFFEE AND CHAT, and an invite will be emailed to you. For assistance in MS Teams installation click here.

If you are interested in joining the ECCC Resource Newsletter please email aolson@fsgv.ca, subject line ADD TO RESOURCE NEWSLETTER and you will begin to receive children’s activity ideas, family resources offered in Burnaby and so much more.