learning in the spirit of wonder and joy

Category: Activities (Page 1 of 3)

Create a City with Toilet Paper Rolls

Fun with Toilet Paper Rolls    

You can make all sorts of things using toilet paper rolls. Here is one project you can try with your children. Thanks to Ms. Minhas’s kindergarten students for drawing these wonderful pictures for this project!



Gather some supplies: Paper, felts, crayons, glue or tape and scissors. You can also use photographs of the people in your family.


Use these for role playing, making up stories and retelling past events. This is a simple activity to encourage story telling and fostering your child’s imagination. Have fun with it!



Baking Soda & Vinegar

Here’s a simple science experiment using baking soda and vinegar. Use that old box in your refrigerator instead of throwing it out.

Pour out 1/4 cup of vinegar into little containers. Add a few drops of food colouring to the vinegar. I saved medicine droppers from used-up children’s medicine. Make sure to give them a good wash before using. If you don’t have droppers, you can use a small spoon to scoop out the coloured vinegar.

Pour out the baking soda into a tray.  Before exploring with vinegar and baking soda, let your child feel the baking soda between their fingers, what does it feel like, smell the vinegar, does it smell good?

What does the vinegar taste like?

“What do you think will happen when we add the vinegar to the baking soda?”

“Do you see any new colours as they mix together?”

“Why are there bubbles? What’s happening to the bubbles?”

Switch it up…”What will happen if we add the baking soda to the jars of vinegar? ”

“Can you pop the bubbles? What does the bakingsoda/vinegar mixture feel like now?”

Capture what your child says, sees and does. We learn so much by observing and listening to them as they explore.


Make Playdough with ME!

Let’s make playdough together. Gather your ingredients and supplies :

1 medium sized mixing bowl

measuring cups & spoons

1 spoon for stirring



1 cup flour

1/2 cup salt

1 tablespoon cream of tarter (found in the spice aisle)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

food colouring

1 cup boiling water


Once you have everything gathered:

Click HERE to follow along with me in making playdough together!

Let me know if you try making this and how it turned out. Have fun!

Blowing Bubbles and Community Resources

I am so excited to share a creative and fun way to make your own bubble wand. Teacher Beth, the wonderful StrongStart Educator from Second Street Community School made a video about these bubble wands.


Click on this link for Blowing bubbles with Teacher Beth.

Supplies to make this special bubble wand:

Two sticks or dowels ( purchased dowels from Dollarama – package of 6)

Two eye hooks – attach to the end of the dowel to tie the strings through.

One metal washer – to use as a weight




I hope you try making this bubble wand and blow some giant bubbles!



Community Resources from Anita Olson, an Early Childhood Community Consultant:

I wanted to share more information about the feelingsfirst.ca social emotional development campaign. Social and emotional development starts early. From recognizing emotions to just talking and hugging, small things make a big difference. You can follow this incredible group and gain such amazing information by following their social media;

·       Instagram: @feelingsfirst.ca here http://instagram.com/feelingsfirst.ca 

·       Facebook: @feelingsfirst.ca here https://www.facebook.com/feelingsfirst.ca 

·       Twitter: @feelingsfirst.ca here https://twitter.com/feelingsfirstca/ 

·       YouTube: Feelings First here https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHmEbd76aF4HjAVmzSb97TQ 

·       LinkedIn: Feelings First here https://www.linkedin.com/company/feelingsfirstca/   


Check out the attachment for the New Neighbours Podcast facilitated by Burnaby Neighbourhood House and Immigration Canada. This is a new project focusing on community voices including newcomers who have stories and cultural knowledge, music, information, concerns or life lessons they would like to share – no experience required! If you have something you’d like to contribute, contact duyt@burnabynh.ca or phone (604)-396-6955 and see how you can be a guest on the New Neighbours Podcast.

For More parenting information, children’s activities and self care ideas, make sure to check out The Parenting Place Blog below!


parentingplace – Medium

A resource for families focusing on activities for children, parent education and self-care. Our goal is to help strengthen the parent child relationship & ensure children are nurtured, youth find optimism, adults feel empowered and parents make choices that build strong families.


Anita Olson (she/her) ECE, BA, MEd

Early Childhood Community Consultant

T 604 525 9144

M 604 723 9548

3rd Floor – 321 Sixth Street, New Westminster BC V3L 3A7



Fun with Shaving Cream!

Here are three ways to explore with shaving cream.

Let’s start with the messiest and most fun one: shaving cream with tempura paint.

Spray the shaving cream onto a tray to contain the mess. Let your child explore the shaving cream and paint with their hands. It is silky soft and mesmerizing as you watch the colours mix and swirl. You can add a paintbrush, fork, or a stick to mix it all up as well.



If you want a mess-free way, try putting the shaving cream into a large ziplock bag. Add some food colour or tempura paints and zip up the bag, making sure to gently press out most of the air. Your child can press into the bag and mix the colours without the mess. This is a great one for toddlers.

Lastly, fill a jar with water, leaving a few inches from the top free. Spray in the shaving cream. It will sit on top of the water. Let your child add food colouring with droppers. I save all the droppers from children’s medicine, just make sure to wash them clean before using. As you add colour, watch how the colour slowly makes its way down through the shaving cream and then into the water. The colouring will dance down and sometimes bounce back up.

Here’s what it looks like from the top of the jar. See how the food colour sits on top of the shaving cream.  How long will it take for all the colour to sink down through the shaving cream? Why does the colour bounce back up? What’s happening to each colour?  Will new colours appear? Why does the shaving cream sit on top of the water like that?

Have fun exploring shaving cream with your child!



Community Resources: Burnaby Family Life

Burnaby Family Life offers a variety of parent and child online group activities, from Playful Learning (now offered in Korean) , Healthy Families, Healthy Minds, Creative learning for Preschool children and so much more. Check out the attached Spring schedule or visit Burnaby Family Life (bflgrowscommunity.org) to register.


Fun with Egg Cartons

Reuse, recycle and create with egg cartons. Save your egg cartons and try some of these projects with your children.

Egg cartons for sorting and counting:


This is a perfect time to start planting seedlings in an egg carton.


Gather some art supplies:  paints, glue, felts, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, toothpick, buttons and some paper. See what kinds of creatures, insects, monsters or even flowers can be created out of egg cartons.


Lastly, get out some paints and cut up those egg cartons for “Stamp Painting.”

These are just some ideas using egg cartons. Start collecting them, add supplies such tape, glue, paints, felts, buttons and paper, whatever you may have on hand and see what your child can create using their imagination.


Growing Popcorn Kernels!

Popcorn Kernels can be planted! Use the plain, loose popcorn kernels. These ones pictured are the no name brand from the grocery store. I used a clear container to plant the corn so that you can see the roots growing on the sides. I added a good few inches of soil and sprinkled the corn all over the soil. I planted the kernels quite close together so that it can look like grass as it comes up.

I placed the containter by a sunny window and made sure to water it. I gently placed the container lid on top to create a greenhouse effect, but this is not necessary. After 3-4 days, you can see the corn starting to root.

After a full week, you will see the blades of corn push through the soil.

After two full weeks of growing, I added some animals and bugs to use as a playscape. Add a pair of scissors for your child to practice cutting each stalk. Try pulling an individual stalk out to measure the roots and height of the plant. What will happen if you continue to let it grow?


How tall will it get? Maybe you can have your child draw the different stages of what they are seeing. Just brushing your hands over the growth feels cool too.

I hope you try this out and have fun taking care of your popcorn plant.



Where Happiness Begins and a Project!

Hello Spring Break!

Can you believe it’s been a year since the restrictions due to Covid started? We made it through a whole year together doing our best to keeping safe during the pandemic.

Over the next few weeks, I invite you to take the time to pause and celebrate little moments of happiness and joy. It can be simply noticing the smile on your child’s face as they enjoy their favourite food. It can be a moment of cuddly time as you read to your child. The more we pay attention to all the good things happening around us….the better we’ll be for it.

Here’s a photo my sister captured of me, taking a photo of the frost on the log at the beach. I am grateful she took this because it was a moment of peace and doing something that brings me joy…and that is taking photos. The frost was exceptionally beautiful with the sun shining on it and of course…having my cup of tea with me helped on this cold morning. Also, I love that my son is there in the background enjoying sounds of the waves and the view.

So I need your help! Please join me for this Spring break project! I would like to compile a collection of stories to make a “Moments of Happiness” book for our StrongStart centre. As I collect these stories from you, I will add it to our book. This book of happy stories will stay in our classroom for everyone to enjoy.


How you can participate:

Send me a photo of your child or you with your child doing something that makes you/your child happy. Capture these spontaneous moments, no need to make your child pose or say “Cheese” for these photos. Challenge yourself to observe and capture. Click away!

Give me a brief description of what is happening in the photo and why it brings you/your child joy. You can even share your child’s voice, what were they saying?

That’s it. Keep it simple. There are little golden nuggets of joy in our everyday. Let’s find them and celebrate them together!

Email me your photos at: Elizabeth.jung-liu@burnabyschools.ca


To get you started on the path of finding Happy and joyful moments…

Join me in reading “Where Happiness Begins”.

Please click HERE to read-a-long with me.

Written and Illustrated by: Eva Eland

Published by Random House New York

***This video will no longer be available after April 30th




Magic with Tape!

Here are a few activities to try with TAPE.  I used masking tape with these activities. It’s easy to rip apart and remove from surfaces.

Making roads or tracks: You can make the roads as big or small as you like depending on the size of the toy cars you have. You can make these roads on the floor or even on a table top.  To extend the play, you can make signs for stores, buildings and businesses that are in your community. Additions of animals, rocks, boxes or greenery are other ideas to support the play.







Tape resist art: Gently tape a pattern, lines, or even letters on paper. Let your child paint over the entire paper.  When it is dry, slowly remove the tape to see what appears.








Making lines: Tape lines, zig zags or curves for your child to jump from line to line or follow along the curves/zig zags. This is a great activity for gross motor play, balance and coordination skills. These lines can also be used to place “loose parts” such as rocks, pinecones, toy cars, animals, buttons, sticks and lids, just to name a few.




Stick and Remove: Tape down a bunch of toys on a table top, wall or floor. Let your child try and take the tape off and free the toys. This is a great one for young toddlers to practice their fine motor skills.




Free Art: Give your child a roll of tape, paper, toilet paper rolls and other art supplies you may have and see what your child can create.  Tape is a great alternative to glue. It encourages children to take their time to peel and stick and use their imagination to create 3-D art.



Cloud Dough

Two ingredients are all you need to make this wonderful cloud dough (scented oil is optional).  I used a few drops of Rosemary oil in this recipe.  This is a great recipe to get your children involved in measuring and stirring. Simply add the 1/2 cup of vegetable oil to the 4 cups of flour. Stir together until the oil is mixed in well. Once the oil is absorbed, start using your hands to finish blending in the flour and oil until there are no more lumps.  You will end up with silky, soft and airy dough.  This dough is different from the regular play dough.  Yes, it is a bit more messy but the texture is worth it.  You will love running your fingers though it.  This dough will hold its shape when squished together or using moulds and can easily break apart.

Cloud dough is great on its own just for sensory, hands on play or you can also add other elements to it such as small animals, cars, rocks, twigs, little cups, spoons and so much more.  Store the dough in an airtight container and keep for up to 2 weeks.  You can also turn this mixture into playdough by adding boiling water, salt, cream of tarter and colouring (playdough recipe found in past blog posts).

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