The 93 Best Days of Your Life

If you’re from the Lower Mainland of BC, Canada and you need some ideas for outings this summer, check out this fellow instagrammer and mommy blogger’s list of 33 things to do in and around Vancouver! I’m looking forward to checking out the Fairy Garden in Redwood Park!

happy blurry beautiful

Summer Smile by CrisSummer Smile by Cris, CC BY 2.0

I’m technically not a summer person – I prefer the fall, with its cool days and changing leaves.  Over here in Vancouver we have grey skies and rain, rain, rain all through the fall.  Doesn’t that sound like a great time to just curl up with a book and cup of hot cocoa? *sigh*

But until we get to September, I anticipate the start of fall by doing the exact opposite and spending countless hours outside and soaking in every bit of sunshine I can get (well protected by sunblock, of course!).  Little Bear is 2 now, and when he wakes up at 6 AM and sees the sun pouring through our windows, he insists that it is time to play in the backyard! Breakfast? Gosh, no! Change out of your pyjamas? Wouldn’t dream of it! If Little Bear had his way, he…

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Tools of the Trade


R was 16 months old at the time of this activity


Three Little Pigs by Sheryl Bone – R loves the board book version of the Three Little Pigs.  I started reading this book to her back when she was 11 months old and she would love to do the “huff and puff” part with me.  She still loves doing it now!  Repeated readings are so important for kids since they help kids to develop the concept of print and develop reading-like behaviour.  Reading like behaviours include holding a book in the correct orientation, flipping pages, and “telling” the story.   The child does not need to read the words when s/he is beginning to read, instead, encourage young children who can speak to “read” the pictures.


1. Gearing Up!

IMG_8238I pulled out our tub of Gears Gears Gears and added some play tools from Home Depot.  R thought it was necessary to include her mega blocks princess with the activity.  She enjoyed watching all the gears work together, and especially enjoyed hammering, sawing, screwing and plier(ing)?!?  R got a lot of fine motor practice during this activity.  She put the plastic screw drivers into the centre of the gear and used it as a crank to turn the gears.  She had a tough time putting the gears on the board so that they would interconnect, so for the mean time, I made the interconnecting board for her.  The construction portion of this activity is more developmentally appropriate for older children, but lots of learning and discovering still went on!

Extension Activities:
a. Work on colours.  Ask the child to build a yellow (or whatever colour) gear construction.
b. Problem solve.  Place one gear at one end of the board.  Place a second gear away from the first gear (do not make them interconnect).  Ask the child to figure out how to add more gears to the board in order to make the second gear move.  Using the different connectors in the gears bin, you can build vertically also.  This way, you can create more and more challenging tasks for the child.

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A Bubbling Build


R was 16 months old at the time of this activity


The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton – The Little House is a wonderful story about a small town house that wanted to be a part of the big city but becomes sad once a busy city is developed around it.  This story was identified as one of the top 100 best books for children by the National Education Association!


1. Bubbly Blocks

IMG_8148I scooped off some suds I made in a pot of soapy water and popped them onto R’s mega blocks table.  She enjoyed washing the characters and her own arms.  I added a tub of warm water beside her mega blocks table when she was finished playing, and she helped me wash the soap off the blocks.

To easily make lots of suds, blend up one part dish soap and two parts water on high using an electric hand blender.

Extension Activities:
a. Introduce the vocabulary words, “tall” and “short”. Demonstrate what a tall and short tower might look like and use the vocabulary works to describe your constructions. Encourage the child to build a tall tower and a short tower.
b. Count the number of blocks in each tower. Ask older children the following open-ended questions: what is the most number of blocks in a short tower? What is the least number of blocks in a tall tower?
c. Practice patterning with older children. In the beginning stages, have the child replicate simple “AB” patterns. As his/her skills develop, as him/her to build patterned towers using two or more colours.

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A Latespring Night’s Dream


Lonsdale Quay Shipyards Night Market

Our weekend was jam-packed with outdoor activities and visits with friends and family.  Friday night saw us at the Lonsdale Quay enjoying delicious savoury treats at the Shipyards Night Market in North Vancouver.  The live music captured R’s attention as she rocked out without a care.  Other highlights of the Night Market included face painting, balloon artistry and hula-hoops to play with.  There were tons of food trucks lining the square with a great number of meal options; unfortunately, there weren’t many options in the way of desserts.

I’ve never seen the Quay so packed before – we were but a speck amongst the massive crowds.  The Night Market is on every Friday from 5-10pm and is worth the trip!

Deep Cove

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Learning Through Play

“In playing, children express, explore, combine, and extend what they have learned about the sights, sounds, smells, and textures of the world around them; about the words, signs, symbols, and customs of their language and culture; and about their own and other people’s thoughts, feelings, ideas, and sensations. In the play scenarios children invent and explore by themselves and with other children, they bring together everything they have learned and are wondering about. In play, children represent and transform the world around them, providing other children and adults with a window into their thoughts and perceptions, and often helping adults to see the world in new ways.”

– British Columbia Early Learning Framework, 2008

Early Learning Framework

The Scent of the Forest

Outdoor play time was spent exploring the forest in order to enrich our camping activity week.  For the exploration, we came armed with a magnifying glass and R’s favourite pink bucket so that we could collect fallen leaves for an activity we had planned for later.  All was going wonderfully, or so I thought!  After a short while, a strange odour erupted and I realized that we needed to go home.  Sh*t happens!!  Although it would have been a great “camping experience” to wipe her butt with a leaf, I thought it unwise. LOL!  Luckily, we were close to home, so it was a quick trip back. Continue reading

Glowing Fire


R was 17 months old at the time of this activity


A Ram Sam Sam – Boom, Boom Ain’t it Great to be Crazy is a song on the album  by Countdown Kids with lots of silly lyrics that older kids will surely appreciate!  R enjoyed the beat and had fun dancing along to the music.


1. Catching Glow Bugs

IMG_9775I cut a glow stick up and poured the contents into a mason jar.  I added some of the plastic pieces of the glow stick so that the jar would make noise while R shook it.  R was more interested in trying to open the jar than checking out it’s glowing properties.  My husband and I had fun with it, though!

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