Monthly Archives

April 2017

Chromatography Butterflies

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This is a wonderful activity we did at the centre a couple weeks ago and thought we would share here. It is great for Spring and for incorporating into a metamorphosis educational theme.

Materials Needed:

  1. Coffee filters
  2. Non-permanent markers
  3. Small jars
  4. Water
  5. Pipe cleaners
  6. Pencil


  • Draw a thick circle with your marker around the middle of the coffe filter (make sure to do it on top of another surface like newspaper to protect the table).
  • Write the colour of the marker in pencil in the centre.
  • Fold the coffee filter in half and then in half again.
  • Get a short glass of water or water in a jar, balance the coffee filter so that only the tip is touching the centre, not the part with the marker.
  • Let it sit and watch what happens as the water begins to flow up the paper.
  • Once satisfied with the spread of the colour take the filters out and let dry.
  • To turn these into butterflies, wrap the centres with a piece of pipe cleaner.

And there you have it! Chromatography butterflies! Include a discussion of metamorphosis and of colour mixing to take the activity a step further.



Children’s Books For Spring

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It appears that Spring is finally upon us in the Lower Mainland! The days are getting longer and a little bit warmer, and the sun is peaking through here and there! So, we thought we would share some great Spring themed children’s book! These books are awesome for their simple stories, colourful illustrations and learning about Spring weather and creatures!

  1. “Ten Little Caterpillars” by Bill Martin, illustrated by Lois Ehlert. This is a fun one about, you guessed it, 10 caterpillars! They are preparing to turn into butterflies! This is also a great counting book for younger kiddos. The last page of the book also provides names and descriptions of the different types of caterpillars for those children who are scientifically inclined. Check out a video reading here: But, as always, we recommend the real deal!
  2. “Click, Clack, Peep” by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin. This one is great for farm animal sounds! One of our themes for next month is agriculture and we will be taking a look at this book! If you like “Click Clack, Peep” you can also check out “Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type” also by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin. For a video reading check out:
  3. “The Tiny Seed” by Eric Carle. If you think you recognize this authors name you are probably correct! Eric Carle is a wonderful children’s book author and illustrator famous for “The Hungry Caterpillar”, “The Grouchy Ladybug” and others! “The Tiny Seed” is great for learning about planting and gardening and for practicing cognitive sequencing skills. For a video reading check out this link: BUT, for this book we especially recommend the real version as the book is quite large and the illustrations are very beautiful.
  4. “Bear Wants More” by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Jane Chapman. This is an endearing tale of a Bear who wakes up from his winter hibernation at the beginning of Spring and is very hungry! We like this read because of its rhythm and rhyming words, and its cute depictions of familiar forest animals. For a video reading visit:

So there you have it! Four exciting children’s books for Spring. We have provided the links for video readings but we will say it one more time, holding the real book in your hands and reading it to your child is ALWAYS much better! So, visit your local library to take a look at these titles and get the best reading experience!

For more Spring books visit (source):


Hands-On Learning: What Does it Mean and Why is it Important?

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Today for our post we thought we would talk about an important aspect of early childhood education (and arguably education throughout your entire life): hands-on learning. Hands-on learning is one of those terms that get thrown around very easily. It is emphasized often, especially in early childhood education and for good reason. But in order to understand why hands-on learning is so important we first need to establish a solid definition of hands-on learning. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “hands-on” as “relating to, being, or providing direct practical experience in the operation or function of something; involving or allowing use of or touching with the hands; characterized by active personal involvement; gained by actually doing something rather than learning about it from books, lectures, etc.” (Source: Basically, hands-on learning is learning by doing. This definition might sound quite broad in scope, but in this case, that is appropriate. Hands-on learning can happen in a multitude of ways, with many materials, in a variety of spaces, and through various activities. And children are natural hands-on learners! From the day you are born experiences are key to developing understandings of the world around you. Babies don’t learn from worksheets, babies learn by exploring their environment, and so do older children. So do adults in a lot of ways!

So how do we encourage and facilitate hands-on learning for our children? Well this article from community playthings has a couple of suggestions (source at bottom).

  1. Blocks, Blocks, Blocks: building blocks like lego, wooden block sets, and other open-ended building toys are great. They have endless possibilities, they teach children problem-solving skills. The essentially encourage the process of having an idea, planning how to create it, implementing that plan, correcting where necessary, and implementing again. They get children to learn about geometry and physics. And when playing together blocks facilitate development of essential social and collaborative skills.
  2. Garden, Kitchen, Woodshop: get children involved in what feels like the everyday. For you making dinner might feel like a tired old chore, but for them it is an opportunity to use new tools learn about measurements and math, and more! The same can be said of gardening. And don’t be afraid to let your children do things like woodworking and sewing, you may be worried that the tools involved in some of these tasks are dangerous for them but you can always manage the activities so that harm is avoided and they are learning new skills. When taught properly, children can surprise you what they can do!
  3. Art: this is a common category of hands-on learning but a good one! Art is where the creativity is expressed. Create an art space for your child that is always accessible with various art implements. Bring in recycled materials too. Let them create!

Hopefully this article has given you some practical knowledge about hands-on learning and its benefits. For more information visit the source site below!