Stride StrongStart

Learning in the Spirit of Wonder and Joy!

Bug house!

Every day when we play in the Kindergarten playground, we find a bug or two.  Sometimes, we find worms digging in the dirt, or a spider on the fence, or a wasp on the tree.  A big part of the playground is covered in asphalt.  Although there are some ants who use it as a highway (a much faster way to get around than grassy ground cover), most of the time bugs on the paved ground are not in a safe place.  We talked about this as we gathered one day.

Some bugs like to be in trees. Here, we can see where one has eaten a leaf and another has laid some eggs.  Sometimes, bugs like to rest in trees.

Some bugs live under rocks. Roly poly bugs eat rocks!

We had a structure to move bugs to when they were in danger.  It had been a fence before and a cedar tree growing in a forest before that.

”Where should we put it?” asked Ms. Jenny.

“On the grass,” responded one child.
“Behind the climber,” said another.

“Under the tree,” said another child.
“So it’s protected,” said a teacher.

With all of that in mind, the bug house came to be on the grass, behind the climber, under the tree.
The next step was about making it comfy for bugs.

“A living room!”

“And, to bed!”

“You okay, buddy?”
“Don’t forget a TV!”

“We need a blanket for the couch.”

“We need the worm to be straight so he can be on the couch.”

“Don’t worry, I can get a leaf.”

“And a mom!  You can be the mom.”

And the tree became a home for bugs and worms and children’s imaginations.

To be continued…


Once again,

Hych’ka, Tree!


Ms. Jenny

Trees are a gift!

Once upon a time there were some teachers who wanted to share their love of trees with the children.

“Trees are a gift,” Ms. Thomas said.

One teacher showed the children their new “sit spots”.  “Do you remember when Ryan came with his loud chainsaw and cut the log into these for us? “


”The logs were from a tree that was leaning too much and needed to come down so that it was safe.  These are a gift from Ryan and that tree.”

The children looked closely and what did they see?

”Saw dust! Circles!”  the children exclaimed and they learned to make rubbings of the tree’s growth rings.  We counted the rings and learned that the tree had lived in the city for 31 years.  The same age as Ms. Orologio! 😉


Ms. Jenny brought helicopter seeds, another gift from a tree and we walked across the street to visit some maple trees.

What gifts do you see?


How can we give back?  Help the seeds to fly?  How can we do that?  “Like this,” one child said and showed us how she throws it up into the air.  We ran to try it for ourselves!  But, wait!  Look!  What does he see?


A worm, and it’s hurt!  What can we do?

And the tree became a blanket (those help us feel better).

Trees are a gift.

Hych’ka, Trees!

And Hych’ka to David and Ryan at Dynamic Tree for sharing trees with us!

Ms. Jenny




Autumn is apple season!  Together with the Kindergarten children we thought we would take a closer look at this common, nutritious treat!  Literally!  Ha!

Let’s bring out the magnifying glasses!  What does the apple flower look like now?  How did the apple hang from the tree?  Does an apple have a smell?  What colours do you see?


“It looks like a pineapple.”                               “It doesn’t feel like anything.”                                        “I see an ‘N’!”

“I see two teeth for to eat.”                                                “I’m seeing if there’s germs on it.”


When we cut the apples open, what is there inside?

Children:  “There’s seeds in here!”          “I need a knife to get it out.”     “I’ll get you one and then you can give it to me.”

”My hands are all sticky!”  Me: “Why are they sticky?”   Child: “The juice for the bees to stick so they can get the honey.”

Remember this rhyme for StrongStart last Autumn?

Let’s sing it together: click here!


Ms. Jenny

Pineapple Weed!

I went for a walk in the neighbour hood surrounding Stride School looking for a particular plant.  This plant has been growing around me my whole life, but I never knew much about it until I went for a walk with Lori Snyder.  Lori is Métis and a herbalist.  She is teaching me about the plants that grow on Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh territories and can help take care of us.

Pineapple Weed is edible (they’re in the same family as chamomile!)  The little flowers smell like pineapples!  (Hint: Rub one between your finger tips and smell your fingers 🙂   The little flower buds can be harvested and put in a sachet to help us fall asleep at night.  There are lots of plants that can help us in our day to day lives, if we know how to invite them.

On my walk I found only one pineapple weed growing in Poplar Park, but I knew where to find more.   There are some growing in the Kindergarten Playground at Stride, but they are in the middle of the space where we run and play.  I decided I would ask the children to help me move them where they will be safe and hopefully bloom and grow even more.

They obliged and we got to work!

These little plants grow in sidewalk cracks in urban areas and like dry soil.  So, we’ll water them a little, make sure they get lots of sunshine and wait until spring for them to grow some more.  The plants will wither into the soil for the winter, and with them, their seeds.  The seeds will sleep until it warms up again and they start to grow into new plants.  In June, we’ll harvest some of the flowers and make sweet smelling sachets that will help us get a good night’s sleep.  Taking care of each other, people and plants alike!

Hych’ka, Pineapple Weeds!

Ms. Jenny

P.S. I left the little one I found just inside the gate of Poplar Park if you want to go on Pineapple Weed hunt?!  Poplar Park is  on 18th Ave. and Leeside St., about a 10 minute walk from Stride (with current construction detours).


Let’s get started connecting again!

The Kindergarten children at Stride spent lots of time outside this past week.  We sat together and sang “good morning” and we played around the school yard.  One of the first things we noticed were the bees!  They were flying around us and visiting all the flowers growing in the grass.  One child recognized a flower that he had seen before.  Do you know this flower?

Dandelions are everywhere!  They are not poisonous (Yes! You can eat them!) and there are lots of different ways to play with them.

Some children wanted to play with the seeds.  They had different ways of removing them from the flower.

One child blew the seeds from the flower.

Another child waved her hand through it quietly.

And another held a bunch in her hands and waved them through the air.


We wondered together what we could do with these tiny seeds…

Planting them seemed like the best idea!

I wonder what we will do with dandelions next time we encounter them?

Megan Zeni teaches outdoor education and posted some great ideas in her blog.  Take a look!

click here: playful-learning-with-dandelions

What ways will you play with dandelions?  I’m curious to know!  Send me some photos of your creations!



Hello Again!! Yay!!

Hello StrongStart Families!
I hope you all had a summer full of sunshine with your loved ones! My family and I spent lots of time outside, sometimes venturing into the mountains for a hike or staying closer to home enjoying a meal together in the great outdoors. While StrongStart remains closed for the time being, I have been spending time with the Kindergarten children at Stride in their outdoor and indoor classrooms. It’s always fun to welcome the children who attended StrongStart into Kindergarten. Having that connection with some children helps everyone feel more excited and comfortable to start school again!
To keep that connection with you all this year, we will be starting with the StrongStart Blog. There will be blog posts throughout the week with songs and stories, art ideas and community connections.
If you would like to be emailed when there is a new blog post, please “subscribe” to the blog by filling out the information on the blog homepage on a computer. Look for the word “subscribe” on the right side on the computer screen. ***Please note: the subscribe option won’t appear on a phone screen, you have to do this on a larger computer!
Have fun with it and send me any message or ideas you and your child(ren) have to explore on the blog!  Leave a comment (only seen by me) or email me at:
Also, you can go here for the latest updates on StrongStart in Burnaby:

Jenny Lee

See You Next Time!

Hello, and see you next time!

As we head into summer, I wanted to pass along links to a couple youtube channels and even other StrongStart BLOGS as they will be up all summer for you and your child(ren) to visit and explore.  (We do have to remove any stories we have read aloud, however, at the publishing companies’ requests.)

Burnaby StrongStart BLOGS:

Cascade Heights


Edmonds Community School

Forest Grove Elementary


Lochdale Community School

Maywood Elementary

Morley Elementary

Second Street

Stoney Creek Elementary

Twelfth Avenue

Windsor Elementary

More fun links for children of all ages:

Jack Hartmann is a Kindergarten favourite.  He creates songs to encourage children to be active and use sign language while they learn their numbers, letters, and so on.  Lately he has created songs to help children understand social distancing.

Click here to sing “Greeters from Two Meters” along with Jack Hartmann


Click here to sing “Gotta Be Patient” with Michael Bublé, The Barenaked Ladies and Sofia Reyes

To all of you, a huge thank you for being a part of StrongStart this past school year.  It has been a very different year, indeed!  Thank you for coming to play at the centre and joining me for Circle Time.  Getting to know you and your children is a true joy for me and I thank you for making me a part of your time together.  Good luck to the children moving onto Kindergarten!  I hope you all spend lots of time outside connecting to nature and making new friends.  Creating this blog has been fun for me too and I hope you have enjoyed it.  Remember, you can come back to this BLOG anytime to reconnect and sing together!  Enjoy the sunshine this summer and check back to the Burnaby StrongStart website for updates on what StrongStart will look like in the fall.  Here is the link for that too 😉

StrongStart BC Early Learning Centres

To all of you, hych’ka!

Ms. Jenny


Fun and Bubbles!

So!  As we near the end of the school year and break for summer, I wanted to share with you a few videos that make me smile, and hopefully will be fun for you and your child to share together.

First, a couple music videos from Stride Ave. Community School’s music teacher.  She is a lively and vibrant presence around the school and if your children are coming to Stride in the future, she will become even more of a familiar face having practiced some singing with her.

To Sing The Grand Old Duke of York with Ms. Bulanowski, click here

To sing The Alphabet Song with Ms. Bulanowski, click here

Second, a story with me and my dog, Maizie.  This is a favorite story because it demonstrates how capable our children are and how they can often participate in household tasks (sometimes even while we adults have other tasks to do).  The video is a bit of a “blooper”, but, hey, I took Maizie for a walk afterwards and all was forgiven.

To listen to “My Dog Rosie” by Isabelle Harper and Barry Moser, click here

Third, a post about Bubbles!  Ms. Beth (Teacher Beth) is the StrongStart Educator at Second Street Community School in Burnaby.   She created a blog post about bubbles that she wanted to share with you all.

To make some GIANT bubbles with Teacher Beth, click here

Recipe for Giant Bubbles:   

  • 6 cups of warm water
  • 1/2 cup of blue Dawn original dishwashing detergent
  • 1 TBSP of corn syrup (or glycerin, if you happen to have some)

Mix all of the ingredients gently. Here is the secret: The bubble liquid gets better the longer it sits! It should marinate overnight at least.  This solution gets better with age and should last awhile! Tip: Just dip wands into the solution don’t stir or swish. It creates small bubbles and stops working. Enjoy!

For instructions to make a GIANT bubble wand, click here

I have been thinking of what I will be playing with over the summer…what new things to try?  Maybe I’ll take a ukelele lesson from Maizie so I can play with Ms. Bulanowski and Ms. Chubb?!

For Maizie’s encore, click here


Ms. Jenny

Konichiwa! こんにちは!

An email was sent to me that I would like to share with you all.  A mom who attends StrongStart at Stride has put together some Circle Time videos in her language and wanted to share them with you.  You might recognize her from StrongStart!  Domo arigato, Ms. Kinjo!
Here is the Japanese message to Japanese speaking families:
Here are some direct links to Ms. Kinjo’s circle times, songs and stories!
Ms. Jenny and Ms. Kinjo!

Check-In! (with local Librarians and our School Counsellor)

Check-In! With our favorite Librarians and one School Counsellor 🙂

To Read-aloud with Stride Ave. Community School Librarian, Ms. Pang, and special guest, Mr. Marquis (shot on Zoom in one take!),
To Read-Aloud a collection of Ms. Pang’s favorite stories for social-emotional learning,

From Jamie at Tommy Douglas Library!


Two dogs drive a spacecraft and the words Explore our universe, Summer Reading Club 2020

Summer Reading Club sign-up begins this Friday, June 12th!  For more information:

click here


Book Picks:


The Burnaby Public Library’s Children and Youth Services team have also made virtual book recommendations for sharing with your colleagues, students, and families. Here is the video for Preschoolers, Kindergarteners, and Grade 1s: . We hope this encourages kids to continue reading for fun this summer! As a side note, this video doesn’t have the capability to be embedded into any websites or blogs, however, anyone who has the link may watch it.


We have also created grade specific online booklists for great e-books here: . Additionally, we have a Summer Reading Club themed list with print books and eBooks for Preschoolers: .


Paper Bag Pickup:


On June 1st, Burnaby Public Library launched our curbside Paper Bag Pickup program: . Patrons can now place holds on Print materials, including books and magazines, and also DVDs, audiobooks, and CDs. More information on all of our services can be found here:



Ms. Jenny

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