Monthly Archives

August 2015

Preventing Picky Eating

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More on the theme of healthy eating for children, toddlers can be quite picky when it comes to food. This may seem fine at their young age but as they get older if they don’t kick some of their picky eating habits it may be hard to feed them nutritious foods that they like.

Here are a few tips for promoting healthy, non-picky eating in your child:

  • Provide your children with plenty of opportunities to interact with new food by smelling, touching and tasting
  • Provide food with a variety of textures early on so that children adjust to and accept textures and learn how to move foods of different kinds around in their mouths
  • Don’t rush your child’s eating habits, let them eat at their own pace
  • Pair new or different foods with ones that your child already enjoys
  • Let your child “help cook”, get them involved in preparing meals so that they are excited about the food and are more likely to eat it

Fun Fact: Toddler can sometimes require seeing a new food 12-30 times before they accept it! So don’t give up on exposing them to something new that can be beneficial for them!




Adjusting to Kindergarten: How to Make the Process Easier

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Making the transition from preschool or daycare to Kindergarten can sometimes be difficult, especially for children who are very attached to their caregivers. Here are a few suggestions for making the transition easier if you are worried your child will have a rocky start:

  • Go over what the first day will be like with them: make sure your child knows how they will get to and from school, how long school will be and that the teacher is available to help them if they get concerned
  • Give your child a security item: if you like, you can place a small item of theirs that they favour in their backpack
  • Keep your own emotions in check: If you are nervous and you show this to your child they may feed off of this emotional response and in turn become nervous too. Keep calm and be reassuring so that your child feels comfortable
  • Be available the first few days: if you can’t physically be present for pick up and/or drop off, be sure to be available by phone
  • Avoid grilling your child about their day: if your child does not want to go into detail when you ask them how their day was and what they did, its okay, don’t push them too hard, wait for them to become more comfortable with their school setting
  • If your child does not want to attend school, stay the course




Low Maintenance Indoor Activities

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The new school year is approaching and with it comes fall, colder weather and more time indoors! Here is a list of some fun activities that aren’t costly or complicated to keep children busy on snowy or rainy days:

  • Roll out butcher paper for drawing sessions on the floor. Children can make their own scenery on which to play with action figures, trains, lego and other toys.
  • Put a bar of soap in the microwave and make a soap cloud for a great sensory activity
  • On a snow day, fill a bin with snow and let children paint it
  • Burlap (can be obtained from a gardening centre) can be used for age 4 appropriate sewing. This activity can be great for developing fine motor skills. (Shown in picture above)
  • Cut a pool noodle in half to make a race track for marbles
  • Pencil erasers and a marble can make a fun miniature bowling game. This activity can be good for hand eye coordination.
  • Play balloon ping-pong by blowing up a balloon, and taping popsicle sticks to two paper plates.


For more detail on how to carry out these activites, images, and more activities like these visit (source):


Packing Healthier Lunches

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Nutritious lunches are very important for children’s focus and energy throughout the day. Children with healthier lunches are engaged better in school activities and get more out of their learning opportunities.

Here are some tips for packing a healthier lunch that your child will eat:

  • Think about what your child likes to eat at home and try to replicate it in their lunchbox, even put in last night’s leftovers if it was a hit at home
  • Veggies are fantastic! Cut up carrot sticks or put in cherry tomatoes, veggies that are easy to snack on and can replace things like chips.
  • Cut up fruits! Children are more likely to eat a sliced apple than a whole one and many fruits travel just fine cut up
  • Dairy can be difficult to send in warmer weather, include an ice pack to keep dairy (like yogurt) cold
  • If your child is a picky sandwich eater, try packing the fixings separately so children can assemble their sandwich to their liking and so vegetables (like tomatoes) don’t make the sandwich soggy by the time lunch rolls around
  • STICK TO WATER! This tip is key! Juices can be very high in sugar and should not be used in replacement of actual fruits and vegetables! Water is always the best way to go

For more tips on healthier lunches visit (source): This is a great site for recipes and further educating yourself on nutritious choices.


Family Activities in the Lower Mainland

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Summer is rapidly coming to a close, here are some suggestions for family friendly activities in the Lower Mainland that are great to do before the end of the summer!

  1. Take the Grouse Mountain Skyride
  2. Explore Kitsilano’s Vanier Park
  3. Head to Science World for educational fun
  4. Visit the Kid’s Market on Granville Island
  5. Visit the Capilano Suspension Bridge (and look into the Treetops Adventure)
  6. Visit Maplewood Farms if your child is into animals
  7. Head to the Greater Vancouver Zoo or the Vancouver Aquarium
  8. For historic experiences visit the Burnaby Village Musuem and Fort Langley National Historic Site
  9. Go to Playland!
  10. And in the winter: visit Grouse Mountain, Cypress Mountain or Mount Seymour for skiing, snowboarding and other fun activities.

Be a tourist in your own city!





Preschool: Learning How to Learn

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At Parkland Players Preschool is an important program focused on preparing children for the many years of school life they have ahead of them.

Preschool is beneficial as it exposes children to numbers, letters and shapes, which can give them a leg up in kindergarten, but more importantly, preschool plays an important role in socialization. Preschool teaches children key skills for interacting with others, listening to instructions from teachers, and contributing positively to a group atmosphere. These skills are central for children being ready and willing to learn once they enter Kindergarten.

The main goal of preschool is to encourage children’s natural sense of curiosity and focus it so that it is a tool they can use in their educational life. In preschool children build their sense of self and confidence in social settings, they learn to explore their environments, to play with their peers and make friends, and practice independence. Children also learn their ABCs, shapes and colours and other pre-reading and pre-math skills.

All these things positively contribute to a child’s transition to Kindergarten. They aid children in adjusting and make the change a much smoother process. Children who have attended preschool are often shown to adapt to Kindergarten life much quicker than children who have not attended preschool.


For information on our Preschool Program visit:



Keeping Kids Active: 10 Summer Hikes

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Physical activity is an important thing to promote for your children, and hiking with them is one way to do that! BC has many great hiking trails to take your children on.

Some General Tips Before Going Hiking:

  • Research the trails you choose before taking children to be sure they are age appropriate
  • Bring plenty of water and food
  • Plan hikes that have good spots for children to stop, explore, take a break or have a snack.
  • Don’t push too hard, if they children are not enjoying the hike, you can always turn around and go back
  • Keep your children close by

Here are some good places to go hiking:

  • Capilano Regional Park (shown in photos)
  • Brandywine Falls
  • Gold Creek Falls
  • Lighthouse Park
  • Mystery Lake
  • Nairn Falls
  • Othello Tunnels
  • Rice Lake
  • Shoreline Trail (this is just in Port Moody!)
  • Whytecliff Park

For more information on each hike visit: (source):


Benefits of Reggio Emilia Approach to Childcare

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As discussed in previous posts, the Reggio Emilia Approach to childcare is an educational philosophy that is centered on the unique needs and curiosities of children as individuals. The role of the teacher or caregiver is to facilitate and provide opportunities for children to explore their natural interests and define their own learning processes.


This approach to childcare has a number of benefits for children including:

  • environmental stimulation: children benefit from having the natural and social environment as a resource at their fingertips. They are encouraged to engage with their environment and learn through the natural world
  • community and parental involvement: communication between educators and parents is a key aspect of Reggio Emilia, and allows for children to have a number of adults aware of, and ready to assist them in their learning processes
  • hundred languages of expression: children are not expected to learn or express themselves in any one way. Reggio Emilia recognizes that different children have different needs and are best educated in different forms. This is incredibly beneficial as fosters a love of learning in children and does not discourage them from activities when they do not feel their skills are well suited to the task.
  • Getting involved in long-term projects: because learning is based on children’s own unique interests children can be given the opportunity to take on long-term projects that explore their open-ended questions and curiosities


Altogether, Reggio Emilia is an educational approach that focuses on the individual and differing interests of children and attempts to nourish educational inclinations and natural learning so that children can build a strong sense of self and a love of learning.




Featured Book: Goodnight Moon

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Goodnight Moon by: Margaret Wise Brown Pictures by: Clement Hurd


Goodnight Moon, is a great bedtime story for kids, but it is much more than that. Its use of rhyme is good for language development in children. It also provides educational opportunities in its use of colour and number language. Additionally, its search and find nature encourages children to connect text to imagery in a very direct way. It provides readers with opportunities to ask children questions about where things are in the “great green room”.


For a visually engaging video reading of the book visit: