Pop up play July Coquitlam

Program: Pop up play

Location: Westwood Alliance Church (In the gym downstairs) 3129 Ozada Ave, Coquitlam, BC

Cost: free

When: Every Monday, Wednesday & Friday from July 16th to July 27th, 2018 from 10- 11:30

For all the mommis looking for an indoor playground, there is a free drop in program available for the summer, three days a week, for the next two weeks in Coquitlam. For more information, click here. This is the July session, there is another one announced fr August.

We will check it out this coming Monday and see what it has to offer. If you want to get away from the heat a little bit, this is a good opportunity. I am not saying that sun and summer aren’t cool, but keeping your toddler (and your baby) in the heat for too long, it isn’t probably the best idea, hats and sunblock lotions considered.

Enjoy and see you around!

Sorina

 

 

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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

 

Strong Start Riverview School District 43 in Coquitlam

Program: Strong Start

Location: various schools in BC

Cost: free, parent participation required

When: mornings or afternoons, depending on the school

Parking available: yes, limited

This is probably the most complete program for 0-5 years olds that exists at the moment and it is completely free. It is more of a 360 program and I will explain why. It requires parent/ caretaker participation.

The program runs in the morning from 8:45am to 11:45am or in the afternoon, depending on the school you go to. Some schools offer it in the morning, some in the afternoon. Here’s a schedule that I found, some may have changed, it’s been a while since I found this, actually it was handed to me by a representative some time ago.

It starts with a 1h 30 m of free play, then they do clean up and head out to the gym, 15 minutes later, they come back for snack and then circle time. There are a large variety of toys and activities, every day is different, and entertaining. My daughter goes here almost daily, and she is never bored, neither am I, just by watching her. You get to network with the other parents as well.

The only downsize I see is that there are kids of different ages so sometimes the older ones will take the toys from the little ones, or some toys are not suitable for all children and so on. But the parent is there to watch the child. There is of course a coordinator as well, that makes sure things happen as they should; Jennifer Benoit is this person at Riverview Elementary and she is very nice, and helpful, my daughter loves her very much. She is definitely a good influence on her.

There is a washroom, for children mainly of course.

That’s it for now!

I hope you enjoyed this post!

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 any of their locations!

Sorina

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Tri City Family Place in Port Coquitlam

Program: Tri City Family Place drop-in

Location: 2062 Manning Avenue Port Coquitlam, BC V3B 1L6

Cost: donation

When: Wednesday – Saturday 9:00-13:00 am

Parking available: yes

Tri City Family Place in Port Coquitlam is yet another parent participation drop-in you can check out with your little one. With a family-oriented feel when you walk in, this drop in is an indoor playground, offering several interesting options, varying from drawing to building blocks, a little slide, play dough and lots and lots of toys to choose from for children 0-5 years old.

Washrooms are available and so is parking. Not a very spacious playroom inside, but enough to keep your little one busy on a rainy day for sure. Take off your shoes and you’re ready to play. Some snack is provided, and the offer is based on donation, just like the cost of the actual drop-in.

Also, moms can enjoy a good chat and a good coffee while they’re there and what can be better now that the rainy season is coming. Last time we went, there weren’t a lot of kids, so not very crowded, which was nice. Apparently the season has just started, which means it will get busier with time. The children varied in age and my daughter was the youngest I think.

Clean, quiet, well-lit, this place is definitely a good alternative to check out.

You can find more information on the program here.

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

You can find some pictures below.

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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Toys toys toys

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Toys toys toys

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Gotta check your pulse once in a while.

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Conquering the slide!

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Toys toys toys

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Toys toys toys

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And toys toys toys

 

Time for Gym at Hyde Creek Rec Centre Port Coquitlam

Program: Time for Gym

Location: Hyde Creek Rec Centre

Cost: $3/each drop in fee , $5/2 children

When: Friday 9:30-11:30 am

Parking available: yes

Tricities area is full of drop-ins, this time at Hyde Creek Rec Centre in Port Coquitlam. Very similar to the Wilson Centre programs, this one is focused on movement and running around as well. They have a huge gym, specially adjusted to satisfy a toddler’s needs for running around and get those red cheeks out. The program is for children with ages between 0 and 6 years old. For more info, please click here.

Your little one will be able to choose from a number of stations, including, soccer, floor hockey, bowling and other active stations, a small ball pit, and fun ride on toys. They can check the climbing structures and slides available too.

It is a drop-in program, $3 per child, $5 if you have two, which you pay at the reception.

The location is easy to access and there is plenty of space for your stroller inside if you need to bring one, in my case Astrid walked and I brought Jamie in his car seat, he is still spending lots of time sleeping. We will use a baby carrier as of next time, but while my mom is with us, we can split tasks, one is watching Astrid, the other one Jamie. Good to have someone around, right?

There is seating area available on the side as well. You can catch your breath a while your little one keeps playing, or you and him/her can enjoy a snack.

Everything and everyone is on the move, kids are running around, a lot of action going on, so watch out for your little one, other kids may run into him/her very easily. It’s been a fun place to check out and for sure we will go there again.

That is all from here for now. Hope you enjoyed this post!

Happy playing around!

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

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.

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

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, please use the subscribe option on the side.

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

Sorina

Tree-tots at Pinetree Community Centre in Coquitlam

Program: Tree-tots

Location: Pinetree Community Centre

Cost: $2 drop in fee

When: Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:15-11:15 am

Parking available: yes, $1.25 / hour

Tuesday the same week we headed towards a new location and this time at Pinetree Community centre. We had been there the previous year, but for a spinning class held by Fit4Two, but about that in a different post.

Pinetree Community Centre is located at 1260 Pinetree Way,

Coquitlam, BC V3B 7Z4. Tree tots is the name of the program they have available on Tuesdays and Thursdays and it is a drop-in for $2, which you pay at the reception when you walk in. The location is next to Douglas College and Pinetree Secondary School, therefore you will notice a lot of people coming and going around, everything seems pretty noisy and crowded, and very downtown let’s say. It is also next to Lafarge Lake and Town Centre park, if you feel like connecting multiple activities in the summer time. Not sure about the rainy season. Here is the link if you need to know more.

There is limited pay-parking in front, $1.25 per hour. The pay machines inside are pretty slow, so make sure to take that into account when you get there. This first time we went, the program was held in room #3, which is right on the right side when you enter the building. I assume it is there all the time. It looked to me that it wasn’t the final location, but who knows. We will go there again for sure and will find out.

Now coming back to the program, the kick-off day on Tuesday didn’t promise much when we walked in. The room is not very big, apparently they allow 20 kids + 20 adults only, and they didn’t have a lot of toys and hence options. My daughter was a bit disappointed. But shortly after, Lisa, the lady in charge, told us the program wasn’t supposed to start until 2 days later, so that explained the set up. More to follow at the next session. Since Astrid, my daughter, was the youngest, and not a lot of the toys they had there matched her age, the coordinator brought some other toys that might appeal to her, which was nice and appreciated. She introduced herself, told us about the program and helped create an engaging atmosphere while we were there.

All that considered, probably next time, more people should show up. I mentioned that the maximum capacity anticipated would be 20 kids and 20 adults. We were only 5 adults and 4 kids this time. Honestly, I don’t really see much space left after 20 + 20 in there, but again, I only went once. I couldn’t really capture the full potential of the room.

The program is all free-play, no story time or circle time if that is what you are looking for.

There is washroom available, the main play area is well lit, clean, with a space to leave your luggage and some chairs if you need one to breastfeed, like in my case, with my son.

This time I am adding some pictures. This is what you see when you walk in, clean, well-lit room.

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Astrid enjoying a huge truck she had found.

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Huge LEGO available. I found out they make a lot of noise when they crash.

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An IKEA type of kitchen is always a good source of inspiration. Let’s cook some veggies!

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Discovering dinosaurs

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Trucks again. You can see a painting station at the back. Painting sunflowers is for sure fun.

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What else?

That is it for now. Hope you found this article useful.

Happy playing around!

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

Peek-a-boo at Recreational Centre in Port Coquitlam

Program: Peek-a-boo and Play-mania

Location: Port Coquitlam Recreational Centre Mabbett room

Cost: $3/ each drop in fee, $5/2 children

When: Monday 10-12 am

Parking available: yes and free

Last week of unofficial summer vacation for my daughter- I say unofficial, as she is on vacation full time, not registered to any daycare program. Having had my second child just a month ago, we haven’t really been able to check the local toddler programs in Tricities, therefore now, equipped with two babies, not just one, we start to wander around and check all the community centres around and see what they have to offer.

First and foremost, I made sure I have all the recent brochures and activities guides, online or hardcopies. Good enough, we found lots of options now starting September. As of this year, apparently they don’t distribute the guides by mail anymore, they can only be found online, or if you really want a hardcopy, you will need to check with your local community centre or library. I got mine for Coquitlam from the Central Public Library by the way.

My intention here is to just give a short review of the kids friendly places we visit, add in some pictures and hopefully other moms will feel inspired in making their decisions.

The first one on my list is Port Coquitlam Recreation Centre or REC Centre. Full address is 2150 Wilson Avenue Port Coquitlam, BC  V3C 6J5. And in case you find it strange that the entire location is surrounded by a construction site, do not worry, the centre is fully functional inside and they have parking available as well. The centre is under renovation for the following 3 years it seems. Here is the link in case you want to know more about the location or whether you want to check more about the program.

The program they have available on Mondays from 10- 12 am is called Peek-a-boo and it’s located in a very large and generous location, with a lot of options for the kids, aged 1-6 years. You will find everything from open gym time with mats to run around, balls, ride in cars and wagons, drawing/ painting stations, craft area

It is a drop-in program, $3 per child, $5 if you have two. You pay at the reception, where there are also volunteers helping around, probably due to the construction going on.

The coordinator, a very nice lady, introduced herself and told us what we can do and how the program runs. Basically, free play for an hour and a half, and story time at the end. The free play time can include craft, drawing, a lot of movement if they want to, my daughter decided she wanted to try out all the kids ride in cars and bicycles they had. There were a few and separated from the rest of the activities, this way you wouldn’t disturb the others. Trying may be a bit too much for her, she is only 18-months old, mommy helped her ride them and even try one herself.

There is washroom available, the main play area is well lit, clean, with a space to leave your luggage and lots of chairs if you need one to breastfeed, like in my case, with my son.

One thing I didn’t like was that although the room was large and suitable for kids play, getting there from the main hall in the centre was a bit challenging. There are some stairs that separate the spaces and you can’t really get the stroller with you. You need to leave it outside, before you take the stairs, which for me can be a bit challenging if I were alone. This time I had my mom with me, helping me with the kids, but on my own, dragging two babies and the diaper bag, backpack in my case, would have been a bit too much.

All in all good place to bring your child if walking. I wouldn’t recommend the place for crawlers, although with a bit of creativity, you can find things to do.

Some pictures below.

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The stairs I mentioned earlier, again not very stroller friendly, unless you have some help.

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Look at me mom, I have this little car and I am going to place it on the slide. Watch this

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Perfect place to draw, hidden from everyone. Someone may copy my idea you see.

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Lots of tables and sitting area, usually here there are crafting sessions organized as well.

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The princess in the tower. The tower with a slide of course.

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Some toys are pretty cool, I decided to try some myself.

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Mommy, I think it’s nap time.

That is all from here for now. Hope you enjoyed it!

Happy playing around!

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