Fire Drills-something to think about!!

Fire Drills-something to think about!!

Having StrongStart and Preschool as part of an elementary school, fire drills occur several times throughout the year.  The experience can be a confusing and frightening to any child-the fire alarm is loud, it is sudden and often unexpected, and can bring up many anxieties for children.  Even with warning many reactions are that of tears and fear!

It is required that I do fire drill practice monthly with the preschool class.  This usually is me calling out “Fire alarm, fire alarm, fire alarm”.  The children stop what they are doing line up and we proceed out of the school if the weather permits or to the boot room and discuss what we would do in the event of a real fire.  We also have many discussions at circle time with picture cards about the steps of a fire drill and why we practice them.  Even without the bell and lots of discussion, many children continue to react with tears or comments that they don’t want the loud bell, what will happen to their shoes/boots and backpacks left behind and that it is scary!

Children handle anticipation and experiences best if they first know what to expect and first hear about it and practice with their parents/families.

So I wonder…

*Do you have a fire safety plan?

*Do you practice at home?

*Has your child ever heard your smoke detector at home???


Dumping bins!!!

Dumping bins!!!

For the last couple weeks, O.C. (1 1/2yr) has gone over to the art shelf upon arrival at StrongStart.  He pulls out a bin of misc materials (pompoms, tissue paper pieces, foam letters and numbers, ect…) and dumps the entire bin on the floor.  His mom would encourage him to help pick up the items…she has tried different approaches…do not dump it, let’s pick it up, redirection from the art shelf!  Many times when the bin was almost filled he would grab it and tip it over again.

The first couple times, I just giggled and carried on.  Then as it continued, I began to take the time to watch him, try to get in his head as to why!

Most often O.C. ends up sitting and picking up one object at a time and feeling them.  I noticed he would rub the foam letters between his fingers, he put some up to his face which appeared to be smelling them, and sometimes just picking an item up and placing it in the bin.

Mom is nearing the end of her pregnancy and finds it hard to get up and move quickly and bending and getting to the floor is rather challenging!  So I wonder a few things:

-is he continuing this “activity” because he can stay a step ahead of his mom?  Is it her reaction he seeks?  Or a game?

-is he exploring his environment?  Feeling the different textures?  Smelling the objects?

-is it just fun!?!?

What I found very fascinating was the fact that it was the same bin of items and that the activity of dumping, feeling, smelling, picking up and re-dumping would continue from several minutes up to 1 hour!!!

Windmills and Filters

Windmills and Filters



CB was playing at the sensory table with the “Tinker Toys”, He showed me proudly that he had built a “windmill”. I asked him “how does it work.

He told me clearly that the wind goes in the ends of the green sticks, then into the yellow filter then down the purple thing. …. Filter!! Wait, what!  He knows what a filter is ?

Clearly I was a little astonished. The mechanical thinking that it would have taken clearly shows that he has seen a filter and possible is hanging around dad or someone who is working on parts.

Around ten minutes later CB came back over to me (I have now left the sensory table and was helping in the room) and asked if I could get the sticks out of his of his filter… I said “ are they stuck?”  CB said “No they are rusted”.

 Minutes later I see what I think is him washing his hands at the sink when I notice he walked away with the water still running. I was just about to announce that he should come over and turn off the water when I see he has wet the ends of each stick and is proceeding to put the sticks back in the filter.

“This makes it easier, Teacher Pam” , he tell me.

Huh, Is he ‘greasing” them?

This is all things that I assume he has seen somewhere on his travels.

He is not only working through what he has experienced and figuring it all out but he is using so many other skill:

  • Problem solving ( if the pieces were rusty then water might make them loosen up )
  • Physics (How the wind went in one way and through the filter and out the end)
  • Fine motor skills (Using his hands to hold and manipulate the objects)
  • Language skills (talking to me about what and why he is doing things)
  • Pre Math skills (which piece fits where)

Now do You think that I  insisted the water get turned off or sit and watch the wonder of learning…

Lets just say I’m glad I am not paying the water bill. 



2017 Early Years Community Survey

2017 Early Years Community Survey


The Fort St. John Early years Centre, in partnership with the Family Friendly Coalition, wants to learn about the experiences of families raising children in our community. The information collected will be used to improve access and information to services, or potentially create new services where they may be missing.

If you would like to provide feedback you can access the survey online at

There is also be a link on and FSJ’s Family Friendly Early Years Facebook Page.

If you have any questions regarding this survey please contact Crystal at or 250-785-3200 ext. 230.

SD60 wants you to know … you are your child’s first and best teacher

SD60 wants you to know … you are your child’s first and best teacher

Tip of the month for November – Words. Tips can also be heard on either SunFM – 98.5 and MooseFM -100.1 daily. To download and print, click 3 Early Learning Tip Nov Words or click on the image below to enlarge:

Robert Ogilvie StrongStart – November 2017 Calendar

Robert Ogilvie StrongStart – November 2017 Calendar

Robert Ogilvie – November 2017 Calendar.  Just a reminder, Pam has changed her schedule this year and is offering StrongStart to families on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 13:30 – 3:30.  Monday, Wednesday and Friday will continue to be open from 8:30 – 11:30.  To download and print, click RO SS nov Calendar 2017 or click on the image below to enlarge: