April Book Club

Take advantage of some of our April showers to cuddle up with your kid and a good book. This month we also celebrate Easter and Earth Day. Hope you and your littles enjoy this month’s book club picks. And don’t forget to leave a comment with your favourite books for next month.

1. The Tale of Peter Rabbit, by Beatrix Potter

The Tale of Peter Rabbit is a classic story originally published in 1902. What better time to introduce your littles to this beloved tale than Easter. The book tells the story of a mischievous rabbit and the trouble he gets into when he disobeys his mother and ventures into Mr. McGregor’s vegetable garden. 

2. The Honeybee, by Kirsten Hall

Honeybees are a vital part of our ecosystem. This beautifully illustrated picture-book with equally enchanting wordplay follows a little bee in its day-to-day activities. The Honeybee will soon become a favourite in your house!

3. We are the Gardeners, by Joanna Gaines and Kids

The well-known TV personality Joanna Gaines recently published this adorable story about a family learning how to garden. The story shows that trying something new isn’t always easy, but if you work hard at it, you will reap the rewards. A cute and endearing book for budding gardeners.

4. This Little Environmentalist, by Joan Holub

This brand new book published in March 2021 invites young readers to learn all about leaders and their quest to protect the earth. This book is a great introduction to the environment and how we can all make a difference. 

5. My Friend Earth, by Patricia MacLachlan

This adorable book personifies the earth as a young girl. Die-cut pages and poetic text take young readers through a celebration of all the wonderful things our friend Earth does. This interactive story will engage young readers and get the conversation started about the environment and climate change.

6. The Hike, by Alison Farrell

The Hike is a delightful story about the three little girls and their adventure in the great outdoors. They experience the highs and the lows of a hike including picnics and tough terrain. Your little one will enjoy spotting all the animals throughout the book and learning a bit more about the science of the environment. This book will leave you all wanting to embark on a hike to explore more.


What books should be featured in May’s Book Club?

Spring Break Activities on the North Shore

With spring break just around the corner, it’s time to start planning some new adventures to fill your days. The North Shore offers some great amenities and activities for you to take advantage no matter what spring weather we are treated to. Here’s a round up some of our favourite local spring break activities for you and your little one.

1. Go for a swim at Karen Magnussen Recreation Centre

Kids love going to the pool and they always seem to sleep better after a good swim. Another great reason to head over to your local swimming pool is that it’s an activity that can be done rain or shine. To book a swim session at Karen Magnussen or another North Vancouver pool, visit the NVRC website.

2. Learn about nature at the Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre

Learn all about our local plants, animals and human history at the Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre. Kids can get a closer look at everything from bird eggs to snake skin and they can discover the world of bears through the black bear exhibit. The centre is booking 30-minute visits daily between noon and 4 p.m. They are also hosting a virtual storytime on Friday, March 19 about bugs. For more information and to book a visit, go to the Ecology Centre website.

3. Visit the farm animals at Maplewood Farm

Horses and pigs and goats, oh my! Maplewood Farm is a great space to let the kids run around and get up close to some of their favourite farm animals. The rabbits and the ducks tend to be fan favourites. To book your visit, go to the farm website.

4. Explore a bird habitat at Maplewood Flats

The Maplewood Flats Conservation Area is a North Shore hidden gem and a bird watcher’s paradise! More than 250 types of birds are have been spotted in the area. Families can enjoy the 5 kilometres of accessible trail 7 days a week. Access to the park is free. For Covid guidelines for trail use, visit the WildBird Trust website.

What activities are you planning during spring break?

French fun

It’s never too early (or too late!) to start learning another language. In honour of National French Language Day on March 20, we’ve compiled some games and resources to start learning and practicing French together at home.

What’s the weather like today?

No matter where you are or how old you are, the topic of weather is likely to come up in conversation. These weather printable are a great way to learn the different types of weather and practice the phrases in a practical way on a daily basis.


Learn the colours in French

Colours are another practical part of language that can be used in daily life. This fun colouring activity will have your little one learning 12 of the most common colours in French.


French alphabet colouring pages

Learning French can be as easy as A, B, C. Literally. Learn a new French word with every colouring page as your little one makes their way through the alphabet.


The human body

Once your little has mastered the names of body parts in English, why not try to learn them in French as well. This worksheet will take you from head to toe, or should I say, de la tête jusqu’aux orteils.


Sing in French Music is a great way to learn a new language. Search YouTube for classic French nursery songs like “Allouette”, “Frère Jacques”, “Au Claire de la Lune” and “Une Souris Verte.”

Cray Cray for Crayons

March 31 is National Crayon Day and we’ve compiled some fun activities for you to do with your littles. So bust out your crayons and let’s draw this month to a close in style.

DIY Crayons

Give new life to old and broken crayons by melting them down into cute shapes. All you need are a pile of broken crayons and some inexpensive ice cube moulds and you’ll be back to colouring with like new crayons in no time.

Crayon Watercolour Art

This craft involves using a bit of heat, but the result is really pretty! Create a watercolour look on canvas by melting crayons and watch your artwork come to life. Just make sure to keep tiny fingers away from the heat source.


Crayon Wax Transfer Art

For this craft, you simply completely colour a piece of paper using different colours of crayon. Next, you flip the coloured paper face down onto another piece of blank paper. Using a pencil or a ballpoint pen, draw on the paper. When you are done, separate the two pieces of paper to reveal your new colourful sketch.


Crayon Resist Space Art

For this activity all you need is crayons, black watercolour paint, a paintbrush, cardstock and a few paper towels. Using your crayons, colour a space scene on the cardstock. Then paint over the entire piece of paper with your black paint. The paint will not adhere to the crayon, leaving you with a piece of art that is out of this world!


Which of these activities would you like to try?

Saint Patrick’s Day Recipes

Celebrate all that is Irish by cooking up a rainbow storm in the kitchen with your little leprechaun. It won’t take the luck of the Irish to get your kid to eat these Saint Patrick’s Day recipes!


1. Rainbow Fruit Parfait

While there may not be a pot of gold at the end of this rainbow fruit parfait, the time you’ll spend together making and eating these will be better than gold! These parfaits are easily customizable based on fruit you have on hand or your child’s preferences.


2. Green Smoothie Pancakes

Which kid doesn’t like pancakes? Not only is this recipe super easy to make and the pancakes turn out delicious, but they are good for you! No green food colouring in sight- these pancakes are chalk full of spinach!


3. Saint Patrick’s Day Popcorn

Popcorn is always a fun snack for the littles. Add a festive, sweet and green spin to a classic with this Saint Patrick’s Day recipe.


4. Leprechaun Hats

These little cucumber leprechaun hats make an adorable and healthy snack. This recipe can be made with your kid or you can surprise them with the snack and a story about little leprechauns who left their hats behind.


5. Rainbow Bell Pepper Pizza

Your kid will definitely fall for this fun, colourful and healthy rainbow pizza. Made with yellow, orange, red and green peppers, putting this pizza together can also be a fun colour arranging activity too.


What will you be cooking in the kitchen for Saint Patrick’s Day?

March Book Club

In March, we welcome spring, the time of year when the weather begins to warm, leaves begin to grow on trees and plants flower. This month we also celebrate Saint Patrick’s day and International Women’s Day. Hope you and your littles enjoy this month’s book club picks. And don’t forget to leave a comment with your favourite books for next month.

1. Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt, by Kate Messner

This story follows a young girl and her grandmother throughout the year as they work in the garden. Young readers will discover what happens in the dirt to help a garden grow. The bright illustrations are sure to inspire little nature-lovers. 

2. Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring, by Kenar Pak

Say goodbye to winter and welcome the new season with a young boy and his dog as they take a walk through the countryside. As the snow melts and the animals begin to wake from their winter slumbers, say hello to all the new things that come with the changing seasons. 

3. The Night Before Saint Patrick’s Day, by Natasha Wing

’Twas the night before Saint Patrick’s Day and two little kids are out setting traps to catch a leprechaun! But what will they do when they find out their trap worked? Join Tim and Maureen as they try to track down the leprechaun’s pot of gold. 

4. The Crayon’s Book of Feelings, by Drew Daywalt

Celebrate National Crayon Day on March 31 by reading The Crayon’s Book of Feelings. This book explores emotions and helps young readers understand and express their feelings. 

5. Mel Fell, by Corey R. Tabor

Sometimes you might fall before you fly! This interactive and beautifully illustrated book will have you and your little turning the book every which way as you follow Mel’s journey down and then back up again. 

6. A is for Awesome: 23 Iconic Women who Changed the World, by Eva Chen

Practicing ABC’s can also be an opportunity to learn about some amazing women who’ve changed the world. This board book takes young readers through all the letters of the alphabet and introduces them to the world’s great women including Amelia Earhart, Malala and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. This book is a great primer for International Women’s Day on March 8. 

What books should be featured in April’s Book Club?

Who is in charge? Why adults need to lead.

Join us for a virtual educational meeting with Dr. Deborah MacNamara

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2021, 7:30 pm

A growing number of children are presenting as demanding, prescriptive, bossy and controlling. A disturbing number of these alpha children are turning into bullies as well. Alpha children tend to have difficulties letting themselves be parented or taught. This is making the child-adult dance much more difficult than it used to be or needs to be, despite the plethora of advice-giving and strategies available today. The surprising roots of the alpha complex will be examined, opening the doors for lasting change in the family, classroom, and society.

Dr. Deborah MacNamara provides counselling and educational services to parents and professionals based on the relational-developmental approach of Dr. Gordon Neufeld. She is on Faculty at the Neufeld Institute and presents on all of the Neufeld material. She is also the director of Kid’s Best Bet, a Counselling and Family Resource Center. 

This talk is part of Lynn Valley Parent Participation Preschool’s parent education series. Current families, alumni and the public are welcome to attend this free webinar.

Please RSVP to infolvppp@gmail.com to receive your Zoom invitation.

5 Easy Valentine’s Day Activities for Toddlers

Get crafty with your kids this Valentine’s Day with these three easy activities you can do with supplies you already have at home. 

1. Cardboard tube heart stamps

Make a beautiful art print or handmade Valentine’s day cards with your own heart-shaped stamp. Simply reshape a toilet paper roll into a heart using a bit of tape, dip into some paint, and stamp away! 

2. Baking cup flower bouquet

Make your own bouquet using items around the house including baking cups, green masking tape, thin wire, and a lollipop. How sweet would a bouquet of these flowers be?

3. Fingerprint heart rocks

All you need to make these adorable keepsakes are rocks, red paint and a black marker. You can even go on a rock hunt outside to find the perfect rocks to paint. 

4. Valentine’s playdough

This playdough recipe looks pretty and smells great! The classic homemade playdough recipe is kicked up a notch by adding colourful koolaid packets and glitter. Have fun mixing the ingredients together and using heart shaped cookie cutters to make pretty Valentine’s Day creations. 

5. Heart stickers activity

This easy activity is easy to pull together and will keep your toddler busy. Draw coloured hearts on paper and tape them to the wall. Then get your child to match up coloured dot stickers to the same colour heart. This activity is great for practicing sorting, hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. 

What are your favourite Valentine’s Day activities?

International Nutella Day Brownie Recipe

February 5 is international Nutella Day! And if your household is anything like ours, this holiday is one that calls for celebration. While the hazelnut chocolate spread is (a little too) easily eaten by the spoonful, it’s also a delicious flavour in many baked goods. This three-ingredient recipe is perfect to make with your little one to enjoy on Nutella day or as a Valentine’s Day treat.

Three Ingredient Nutella Brownies

*Recipe via BiggerBolderBaking.com.

Ingredients:

1 cup Nutella
2 eggs (or egg substitutes)
10 Tbs All Purpose Flour

Directions:

Step 1 Put the Nutella, eggs and flour in a large bowl and mix until all ingredients are combines. The batter should be thick and shiny.

Step 2 Line a 2 inch deep 8 x 12 in the baking tray with parchment paper. Pour the batter into your tray. Bake at 350F (175C) for 20-25 minutes.

Step 3 
Remove from the oven and allow to cool fully before slicing. Enjoy!

February Book Club

February is mostly closely associated with Valentine’s day, but during this month we also celebrate groundhog day, black history and the Chinese New year. Our book picks this month reflect all of those themes. So curl up with your little loves and dive in to our February book club selection.

1. Grumpy Groundhog, by Maureen Wright

Full of rhyming and repetition, this book is a fun read to learn about Groundhog Day on February 2. The book tells the story of a rather grumpy groundhog who finds every excuse not to stay in bed on Groundhog Day, but can the townspeople coax him to come out?

2. The Day it Rained Hearts, by Felicia Bond

One day, there was something unusual about the rain – it was raining hearts! Little Cornelia Augusta decides to catch them and give each special one to a friend. This adorable rainy-day story teaches kids about friendship and giving, making it a great segue to seasonal crafts such as making Valentine’s Day Cards. 

3. Lunar New Year, by Hannah Elliot

Learn about the Lunar New Year, also known as the Chinese New Year, by flipping through this beautifully illustrated board book. Happiness and harmony for the New Year is celebrated with family and friends, fireworks, lanterns and dances with dragons.

4. Tiny T. Rex and the Perfect Valentine, by Johnathan Stutzman

Tiny T. Rex is looking to make the perfect Valentine for his friend, but soon realizes it’s not as easy as it seems. All about overcoming obstacles, this story is perfect for Valentine’s day and any dino-loving kid out there.

5. Dream Big, Little One, by Vashti Harrison

This illustrated board book showcases 18 black women in American history who changed the world. This book is a great read to celebrate big dreams and black history month. 

What are your family’s favourite books this month?