Circle of Friends at James Park Elementary School in Port Coquitlam

Program: Circle of Friends

Location: 1761 Westminster Avenue, Port Coquitlam, BC V3B 1E5

Cost: drop-in free

When: Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays 9:00 am-12:00 pm

Parking available: yes

Last week we went on to check a new drop-in program available, this time at James Park Elementary school. The program is called Circle of Friends and it’s completely free, as part of YMCA Family Resource program. We parked in the school parking lot, I didn’t see another parking area specific for this drop-in. The actual activity is held in an annex outside the school, next to some playground.

The room is not as spacious as other locations, but the good part is they provide with different playing stations (drawing, play-doh, painting, mats where you can play, crawl, a larger area with different toys, kitchen station). Because the space is somewhat limited, there isn’t room for running. I am not sure what the maximum occupancy is, but for sure it’s not a lot. So if your child needs room to run, move more, maybe search for a different place to go.

You can borrow or read books, you can play with puzzles, they have a large variety of toys, for different age groups, the room is clean, well lit and the space, although not very generous, is well divided.

The daily program includes free play, snack, art time, circle time, active time and of course clean-up time. Somewhere halfway thru, there is circle time, a time for stories and songs and some movement, which is held in a room next to this one. One of the ladies in charge goes there with the group that wants to participate while the other remains in the main room, so you have a choice.

They offer coffee and a little snack, just make sure to bring a travel mug with a lid. The two ladies in charge are very nice and inclusive, when we got there they welcomed us, and explained how the program works, gave me some hand-outs with information on the program. If your child shows any sign of sickness, of course don’t bring him/her in. The rule applies pretty much everywhere.

What I liked a lot was the diversity of toys, very well maintained and clean. Everyone wants to take their kid to a safe and clean environment, of course kids are happy with any kind of toy, but this place really stood out in this regard.

Because it felt more of a private place, I asked if pictures can be taken. I was told no, unless they are pictures of my child, so here are a few pictures.



I hope you enjoyed this review and don’t forget to leave your shoes at the entrance!

Happy playing!

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Also, share your experience if you happen to visit this location!



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