As we come to the end of another school year, I’d just like to thank all families who attended our StrongStart program in the Fall and Winter. Due to the closure, we were not able to have proper goodbyes with you all, but know that you are missed.
Please note that the StrongStart blog will not be updated, but you can still check out posts you may have missed. While we are saying goodbyes to the Lochdale StrongStart blogs for now, but we will reconnect again in the Fall.
Please go to Burnaby School District website for all updates pertaining to StrongStart program in the 2020-2021 school year. https://burnabyschools.ca/strongstart/
Wishing you all a safe and wonderful summer. Take care!
While our local public libraries are still closed, remember that our public libraries and their staff members are still hard at work, providing support to everyone in the community. Do check their website at https://www.bpl.bc.ca/
Burnaby Public Libraries are adapting their services during the challenging times, there are many great services and resources available. For more information about the services offered during Covid-19, please go to https://www.bpl.bc.ca/news/covid19
There is Paper Bag Pickup services where you can check out your favourite library resources online and safely pick up the resources at your preferred library branch. Furthermore, there are many online resources that can be access with valid library card and pin number, such E-books, audiobooks, and many more great online resources. And if you do not h ave library card yet, you can still get your library card so you can access the online services and resources available.
With summer approaching, time to register for Burnaby Public Library’s 2020 Summer Reading Club. While this year’s summer reading club might be different, families can still join and reap the benefit of reading by signing up online. For more information, https://www.bpl.bc.ca/kids/kids-events-and-programs/summer-reading-club
As local playgrounds are starting to open up, it is important for families to be prepared to ensure safety and fun for everyone. While there are many social and health benefits for our children, there are several protective measures we need to be mindful of to protect ourselves and our community.
- Keep children at home if they show any cold and flu symptoms, such as coughing, fever or running nose.
- Check to make sure the facilities are open, such as the playground and restroom facilities.
- Talk to children about rules and expectations in the playground prior to arrival, such as avoid touching their face, avoid sharing toys or snacks on the playground, and avoid direct contact with other children in the playground.
- If the playground is very busy, find alternative activities to do and go back at another time when the playground is less busy.
- Upon arrival, quickly check around the playground, making sure there are no broken equipment or dangerous objects such as broken glass.
- Avoid sun related injuries by regularly applying sunscreen, wearing hat and sunglasses, and avoid playing during peak hours of the sun ray.
- Remember to always bring your own water bottle, healthy snacks, sunscreen, sanitizing wipes, tissues, extra sets of changing clothes, diapers, and first aid kit.
- For everyone’s safety, practice social distancing, put away cellphones or other distractions, and focus on supervising the children.
- Besides playground equipment, have a picnic by the playground, fly kites, play with rocks and sticks, kick balls, or blow bubbles, and so much more.
With a little of preparation, playground etiquette, patience and respect for everyone, playgrounds are great ways to spend time with children.
As our schools opening on June 1st, StrongStart centres will remain closed. During the opening up of schools, parents will not be entering the school buildings thus making it difficult for StrongStart to run.
Until we hear further direction and guidance from the Ministry on how to make StrongStart work, we will remain closed. As soon as we receive more information, we will update you. For now, please know that even though we are apart, you are all in my heart. I think of you and miss you all very much. It has been so hard not being in my classroom and being with you all.
I will continue to do zoom sessions with families, as well as blogging. Please continue to let me know how you are doing and how I can support you virtually. Sending light and love to all our StrongStart families. Stay safe and take care!
Have some chalk on hands? Why not create obstacle course at home with some chalk?
Obstacle course with chalk often has different obstacles, such as zigzag lines to walk on, lines to jump over, running in place, spin, hopscotch, and endless possibilities with one’s own creativity. Best part is, it does not cost much and everyone in family can participate and have a great time and keep fit.
Obstacle course is a very way to incorporate some fun physical activities with no equipment required. It can be done on most pavement or drive way. One can incorporate literacy by writing words such as start, end, hop, jump, and twirl, as well as drawings and numbers.
The obstacle course can be customized to children’s age and developmental level. Invite children to help design the obstacle course and contribute to the making of obstacle course! The possibilities are endless with a bit of creativity, enthusiasm, some chalk, and walkway or driveway. Get ready, set, go!
With playground, community centres and sport programs closed, many families’ physical activity level may be drastically reduced. It is crucial that we stay motivated and make exercise a family bonding time, and be physically active.
Find something to do that is socially distance appropriate that everyone in the family can enjoy. It can be as simple and affordable as hiking, walking, or running. Other activities include biking, rollerblading, dancing, stretching and yoga. We can also be creative and incorporate physical activities in games, such as DIY obstacle course, playing with bubbles,skipping ropes or hula hoops.
While outdoor, encourage children to respect and appreciate nature. Play a game of count how many fire hydrants or squirrels they see, identify the birds or other wild animals in the nature; Look for and try to identify numbers and letters on traffic signs, street name signs or car license plate.
Keep in mind health and safety by always make sure that you and your children are protected from the hot sun by putting on sunscreen regularly, stay in shaded areas as much as possible, and limit the amount of outdoor time to avoid heat stroke. Lastly, remember to warm up before exercising to minimize potential muscle strain and encourage children to drink water throughout the day to stay hydrated. Keep fit and have fun.
As the weather warms up, one activity that can be fun to do is soapy water play. Water and soap play is always a hit for the children of all ages. Please keep in mind the importance of supervising children and to reminding them about safety rules when playing with bubbles.
Get out your large size buckets, household cleaning brush, old toothbrush, or sponge, some water and soap, and something for children to wash. It can be as simple as washing dolls, plastic toy car, or even the patio and backyard fence. For extra bubbly fun, whip up the soapy solution with hand blender.
Last but not least, make some bubble solutions for children to make some cool bubble experiments. My go-to recipe is using equal part Dawn® dishwashing liquid (blue) and water, to make my fail-proof bubble solutions. However, there are many other great bubble recipes out there that you can experiment with as well. Bring out bubble wands or make your own bubble wands using craft pipe cleaner, straws, or wire hangers. And you will have hours of fun with bubbles with your families.
Singing songs and reciting rhymes is one of my favourite activities to do with children of all ages. It can be done anywhere and anytime. From singing birthday songs, to singing lullabies to put your child to sleep, there are many opportunities to sing to children. All it requires is your voice. It is free and fun!
Children love to listen to their parents’ voice, especially parents’ singing. Best part is, you do not have to be a professional singer to entertain your children. All you need is to start with repertoire of a few simple songs that your child responds to, and sing these songs regularly.
It can be favourite childhood rhymes, or new songs that you make upIf you only know the tune to some songs, consider humming the tune or clapping/tapping the beats to favourite songs. Make up your own songs and be creative.
Singing songs and rhymes is a wonderful way to interact, sooth, and play with your children. Regardless of how well you sing, your voice is your child’s favourite voice. Happy singing.
Many families are making daily walks as part of their family routine. Walks are great way for families to connect with nature and get some physical activities.
While walking is fun by itself, it might be fun to add some activities to daily walks.
- Play a game of I-Spy and look for particular objects on walks. Encourage children to look for certain colours, alphabets or numbers that they can find during walks. See who can spot the most squirrels, raccoons or butterfly while on walks.
- Encourage children to do some bird watching or listening to the beautiful music birds made. Learn about the types of birds that are in our neighbourhood and the characteristics of the birds.
- Go for scavenger hunt and find some nature materials available on our walks. From flowers to pine cones, sticks and stones, there are many beautiful materials to collect while on walks.
- Encourage children to use camera to take toy or actual camera, binocular or magnifying glass for walks, so children can take photos or use their magnifying glasses to closely examine the nature while on walks.
- Incorporate different moves during walks, such as interval skipping, hopping, running. Encourage children to come up with different moves they can do while going on walks.
Cooking for families can be more challenging than ever during uncertain times. But it is also a great opportunities to everyone to venture out and try new recipes and cooking techniques.
Cooking together can be a great way to connect with each other. Families can explore the different culture and food through finding simple and healthy recipes, shopping for the ingredients, preparing the food, and eating the delicious creation together.
Children learn about healthy eating, science, and even math in the kitchen. They are more likely to try the different food if they helped to make it. More importantly, by preparing the food yourselves, you can select the quality of ingredients in your recipes.
Cooking together with children can be fun and interactive with a little bit of planning and preparation. Embrace this challenge and enjoy the process learning to cook new and healthy food together. Remember that food prepared by you always taste better because it has a special ingredient: your love.