Franc Depart- the French StrongStart in Poco

Program: Franc Depart or the Strong Start in French.

Location: 1618 Patricia Ave Port Coquitlam, BC V3B 4A8 and other schools in BC; see here for details

Cost: free, parent participation required

When: 9am-12pm, Mon-Fri

Parking: yes, limited

This is one post I wanted to put out there for a while, I remember some moms asking at some point if there is a version of the StrongStart in French, and yes there is. It is called Franc Depart and it takes place at Ecole des Pionniers-de-Maillardville in Port Coquitlam. I went with my kids there once at their temporary location. They were in the process of being relocated to a more final place, but shortly after we went they informed us by email that the program will be closed until the relocation is complete. And they are still closed. I believe we were supposed to receive an update on an estimate opening date somewhere beginning of May.

This time I don’t have any pictures to attach unfortunately, for some reason I can’t find them anymore, they would have been from the old location anyway. Nevertheless, once they re-open I will add some.

As for the program overall, it is indeed similar to Strong Start. The children need to be accompanied by an adult, age group is 0 to 5 years old. Activity wise they have free play in the beginning of the day, followed by snack and circle time. That time we went, they had no gym, but I am not sure if that was because of the location, or because in general Franc Depart doesn’t offer gym. I guess we will find out with our next visit.

The onsite educator welcomed us, she was very nice, took the time to explain to us what the program is about and handed us the form to fill out and some flyers. We need to get the form ready for next time I suppose.

Go if you have the chance. Good opportunity to practice your French!

I hope you enjoyed this post and like always, happy playing!

If you have any comments, please feel free to add them. If you like this post and would like to be notified by email about similar articles, don’t forget to subscribe.

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

Sorina

 

River Market in New Westminster

This time we decided to check the River Market in New Westminster. We’ve been there before, but as you probably know, every place you visit is different when you visit with kids. So having no other plan for that morning, I put the kids in the car and we headed to New West. Pretty close for us, a 20 minute drive the most, if the traffic is good.

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Paid parking is available, in the downtown parkade. We usually park near 4th street, but you can enter it at 6th street as well. We choose to park closer to the exit, for some reason it makes it easier when we go home and the children are tired and not as cooperative as when we arrived. This one is closer to the elevator which takes you down to the quay. It was very sunny that day, beautiful weather, perfect to go out and play. Astrid loves elevators, going up and down, checking all  those buttons, she is fascinated by them. Just as you climb down, there is an ice-cream store/ convenience store, it was closed this time, but on busier days it is open.

And the walk starts here. I remember this place from 3 years ago, this area wasn’t finished. 2 years ago though, when I came with Astrid as a baby, to stroll around it was still not 100% finished but now it is and it looks great. Great place to walk, waterfront view, seating area, lounges.

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As we head towards the market, there are two playgrounds.  I couldn’t really tell what age are they for, but my 2 year old did just fine in both. I guess 0-12 could play, there are different types of slides, swings, sand pit, climbing structures, wood chips. It wasn’t very crowded for the time of the day, a few mothers with children, some grandparents with their grandchildren. After a while, I manage to convince Astrid to go check what else is there. As it happens I forgot my baby carrier in the car, which made things complicated when having to run around after one toddler, with one infant in the stroller. Jamie was napping on and off, and as most babies, he loves to be held so he can see the surroundings.

Once you pass the playground, there is another lovely viewpoint and seating area, not suitable for young kids, but still a nice spot.

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Next on our list was the boat. All those buttons and control panels, can definitely hold a toddler focused for a while. We made friends and Astrid started running around with another toddler. The boat offers enough space to go with the stroller as well, so there you go, it fits everyone’s needs. It took some time to convince her to leave but in the end, we headed to the food court, inside the actual market and we snacked, we made another friend, check the washroom and slowly headed home.

Time flies with toddlers, we just got there and next thing you know, it is time to go home. Listened to some whining, but exhaustion took over and it was a quiet trip back home.

I hope you enjoyed this post and like always, happy playing!

If you have any comments, please feel free to add them. If you like this post and would like to be notified by email about similar articles, don’t forget to subscribe.

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

Sorina

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