October 2019

October 1, 2019

Hello QPP families! Happy fall!

I love this time of year. The falling leaves, the crispness in the air, a new harvest of pumpkins, squashes and apples, and dishes like warm soups and stews with crusty bread. There’s something so cozy about a warm hearty meal that sticks to your ribs on a cool day…and if we’re dreaming here, pumpkin pie is always my autumnal dessert. And while I’m dreaming of the culinary treasures of the season, my kids are dreaming about an entirely different culinary experience! You guessed it, Halloween! Halloween is so much fun for our kids – carving pumpkins, dressing up and trick-or-treating. I love watching the joy on their faces. It is truly a magical time of childhood. But ghosts and goblins aside, some of us struggle with the pillowcases of candy and the sugar overload after the trick-or-treating has come to an end for another year. Is there a way to preserve the joy of the season while teaching self-regulation and control? More on that, as well as my favourite pumpkin pie recipe after an important message from our teachers and executive!

Message from our Executive Board

What a fun first month at preschool! Big thank you to all the parents taking initiative to help set up and work together to make Queens Park Preschool amazing for the children. 

A reminder that the password for the online portal at www.qpps.ca is: Play2018. You can locate the parent handbook, bylaws, reimbursement forms etc. on there. Please follow along on our social media accounts and like, comment, share us on Instagram: @qppsnewwest, Facebook: Queens Park Preschool, Twitter: @qppsnewwest.

The class reps have been busy organizing a social for your class this month. We encourage you to attend and connect with the families in your class. It makes for a fun year ahead! If you haven’t already, pickup a lawn sign for your front yard or balcony before Halloween and trick or treaters come around. Help us spread the word about our amazing school.


Your Executive Board

Message From Our Teachers


A whirlwind of fabulous moments have happened in the month of September as our three-year-old classes settled in and settled down. Everyone has done remarkably well getting comfortable with one another and it has been a rather smooth transition for all! It makes sense that the past month has been mostly about getting comfortable with the teachers and the play space. We are forming connections and begun gravitating towards preferred peers. Our 3’s have been busy with block building, manipulating galaxy, playdough and spending a great deal of time in our play loft and play house. These little ones are turning out to be prolific artists! It seems the messier and the splashier we can get the better! If the teachers had to pick the most popular activity however, at the moment it seems to be the water table. Ocean animals made a huge splash and then our turtles did too! It feels so magical when the water is a different colour every day! The felt story SLIPPERY FISH was a great compliment to our fascination with the water table and the creatures inside! Expect your 3’s to bring home lots of arts and crafts and lots of wet laundry! Trains, dinosaurs, playdough and the light table have been favoured activities. Our play yard is very popular too, especially our sandbox and rain barrel! In the weeks ahead our 3’s will continue exploring the play room together. Watch for the transformation of our stairs and loft to slowly but surely turn into a rocket ship! Autumn is a perfect inspiration for learning about fall, colours, forest, pumpkins, apples, park wildlife and changing weather! “What is the weather like. weather like, weather like? What is the weather like, today?”

Important dates to remember:

  • Class photos are being taken (group and individual) on Thursday October 3rd for our threes and Friday October 4th for our fours.
  • Statutory holiday Monday October 14th. Thanksgiving. Preschool closed.
  • Art Gallery visits will be on Wednesday October 16th and Thursday October 17th.
  • Preschool is closed for teachers pro d day on Friday October 25th.
  • Fire drills will happen on Monday October 28th and Tuesday October 29th.
  • Costume dress up (optional) will happen on Wednesday October 30th and Thursday October 31st.

Thanks for a great start to the year everyone!


Your QPP teachers


It is always a bit of a surprise how quickly the month of September goes by! Are you curious to know what we have been up to in our 4’s classes this past month? Wonderfully all of our four-year-olds seemed to jump right into preschool very comfortably with the natural focus in the month of September being getting to know one another and settling in. Quickly we kicked off the month with a mutual interest in construction vehicles, babies, dinosaurs and trains. Our new colourful big blocks have been a resounding hit with the children and a great way to simultaneously test our large motor skills and stretching our imaginations at the same time. The blocks have become boats, bridges, castles, rocket ships, houses and such. We had our first visit to The Gallery In The Park to view acrylic paintings by artist Marnie-Rose Edge. Our preschool seems to attract a variety of spiders both indoor and out. This discovery and investigation of our eight legged friends has become a spring board to a natural curiosity about spiders, webs and then further, an interest in insects. In the month ahead watch for more spider inspired activities! In September we recognised ORANGE SHIRT DAY. We marked the day by wearing an orange shirt (if we wanted to) and creating a chain of love and acceptance with orange construction paper and the slogan “all children matter.” For more information visit www.orangeshirtday.org. Looking ahead to the month of October you can expect building on our interest in spiders, outer space, dinosaurs and vehicles. We will also be creating some autumnal discovery opportunities at our light and water tables. Pumpkins will make an appearance as well as dressing up in costumes as the influence and celebration of Halloween makes an impact on the children. Naturally, children can’t help but notice the theme while out and about in the neighbourhood. We are continuing to collect paper towel tubes that will eventually be transformed into a dino or two. Stay tuned for that ongoing project which will last as long as the children are interested. First we are in the collection of materials stage, then the planning and then the implementation of our collective inspirations! ” Three dinosaurs walking down the street, walking down the street, and the t-rex says, you sure look good! I think I’m going to eat you, I think I’m going to eat you! One, two three, chomp, chomp, chomp!”

Important dates to remember:

  • Class photos are being taken (group and individual) on Thursday October 3rd for our threes and Friday October 4th for our fours.
  • Costume dress up (optional) will happen on Wednesday October 30th and Thursday October 31st.
  • Statutory holiday Monday October 14th. Thanksgiving. Preschool closed.
  • Art Gallery visits will be on Wednesday October 16th and Thursday October 17th.
  • Preschool is closed for teachers pro d day on Friday October 25th.
  • Fire drills will happen on Monday October 28th and Tuesday October 29th.
  • Statutory holiday Monday November 11th. Remembrance Day.

What a wonderful start to the preschool year! Thank you everyone!


Your QPP teachers!

October Nutrition Column

When my daughter attended QPP in 2016, a fellow mother and dietician, Rolande Barbon, wrote little nutrition columns each month. On the topic of Halloween she quoted dietician and feeding expert Ellyn Satter, who wrote “treat candy the same way you do other sweets. Your child needs to learn to manage sweets and to keep sweets in proportion to the other food he eats.” After reading Rolande’s article, I started implementing the ideas at home with my kids, so I thought I’d expand and share for this month’s nutrition column. Research shows that treat-deprived kids load up on forbidden foods when they aren’t hungry, which could lead to the start of unhealthy eating habits. Being overly concerned about the sugar takes away the joy, but there are ways to make it a learning experience that could help teach your child self-regulation and control now and in the future…and perhaps spare some belly and toothaches along the way!

So how do you do this? Satter suggests keeping your interference to a minimum while they dump out their candy and start eyeing up their stash. After your child has sorted through their candy as much as they like, Satter suggests have them put it away and relegate it to a dessert or snack time. Good idea….but come on, it’s Halloween! They worked hard for that booty! Maybe a few favourites before they put it away?

Rolande suggested when including Halloween loot as a dessert or snack, offer some nutritious foods as well, such as fruit and veggies. This teaches your children to eat candy in an ordinary way, rather than view it as ‘bad’, which may later cause an unhealthy relationship to food. If you are concerned about sugar-spikes, pair the candy with a protein or healthy fat to prevent high rises in blood glucose. An example of this would be to pair chocolate with a small handful of nuts or a piece of cheese. A little snack plate with Halloween candy could look like this: few pieces of candy, carrot sticks, avocado smashed on a cracker.

Have you heard of the Switch Witch?

I assure you the Switch Witch is a good witch, and can be a parent’s best friend after the big candy haul. After the stash has been sorted and the favourites have been determined, allow your child to pick however many you decide is fair, and that night when the child is sleeping, the Switch Witch comes and replaces the castaways with such things as small toys, games, books, etc. Here are some ideas:

So enjoy this magical time of year. Enjoy watching the delight on your children’s faces as they knock on those haunted houses, and take comfort in knowing you can teach your kids how to make healthy choices while also allowing them to take part in the treats and sweets of the season.

Lastly, I’ll share my favourite pumpkin pie recipe with Thanksgiving also around the corner!

Mama’s Pumpkin Pie

1 cup unsalted grass-fed butter
1/2 cup boiling water
3 cups sprouted spelt flour, plus 1/2 reserve flour
1 teaspoon sea salt

1 can of pumpkin puree
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
2 large organic pastured eggs
2 to 4 tablespoons arrowroot or tapioca flour
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

Instructions for pastry

  • To make the pie crust, cut the butter into cubes and mix in boiling water – stir until melted.
  • Add salt and 3 cups spelt flour and mix until the dough starts to pulls away from the sides and form a bit of a ball. If the dough is too sticky, slowly add a bit of the reserve flour, a few tablespoons at a time. A rule of thumb for me, is that when you touch it, it should be soft, but not stick to your hands.
  • Chill for 30 minutes before rolling out.
  • Once chilled, preheat oven to 350 F, roll out dough and place into a 9-inch pie plate. Pre-bake for 10 to 12 minutes (this is optional – I actually rarely do this, but I know a lot of people like to).

Important note: this recipe is enough for two pies with just a bottom crust like this one, or one pie with both a bottom and top, such as an apple pie. When I make pumpkin pie, I usually make two because they go so quickly in my house, but if you don’t need the dough right away it will keep in the fridge for up to a week or freezer for 3 months. Or simply half the recipe. This is my go-to pastry recipe for everything pie whether sweet or savoury and it is seriously so good – I mean, it’s full of butter! But why butter? Not just any butter – grass-fed butter! Not only does grass-fed butter better support sustainable farming, but it is also much higher in healthy fatty acids (such as omega 3 and conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA), and your fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K2.

Instructions for filling

  • Place all of the ingredients for the filling into a blender and blend until smooth.
  • Pour filling into crust and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the filling is no longer ‘jiggly’ and does not stick to your fingers when you touch it.
  • Chill at room temperature for about an hour, then place pie into the refrigerator and chill until set – about 3 hours.

Happy Thanksgiving and Halloween!



  1. Rolande Barbon, Registered Dietitian at Fraser Health Authority
  2. http://www.llynsatterinstitute.org/fmf/fmf30english.php

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