little bug

The Very Busy Big Kids!

November 13, 2016
Written by Christa

Oh Eric Carle, you sure have quite the collection of work! So many books, so little time…

Over the past month, the Big Kids and I have somehow managed to cover over six of Eric Carle’s beautifully designed and magical storybooks, each with corresponding games, lessons, artwork and field trips! And I say over six, because even when we aren’t in Big Kid’s Club, we still find ourselves drawn to his stories and reading his books on a constant basis.

This month we officially covered:













Week 5 Began with a Buddings favourite, Little Cloud. The story is about a little cloud, much smaller than all his other cloud friends, who is drifting across the sky. But unlike his friends who are simply just floating, this little cloud is having so much fun along the way! He’s checking out the views, he is changing shapes and transforming into airplanes, sheep and even turns into a silly little clown wearing a hat! The kids and I needed to check this out for ourselves. We ran over to the window…looked up…but alas, no clouds to be seen! Seriously, this must have been the only cloud-free day in Vancouver!

No problem though! We decided just to make our own clouds. We made clouds out of felt, clouds out of shaving foam, and we even made our own clouds in a jar!







Week 6 Some tortoises can be so silly! Eric Carle’s The Foolish Tortoise, is about a curious little tortoise that is tired of carrying his heavy shell around. I asked the kids if they thought it would be a good idea for the tortoise to take of his shell so he could run faster, and most of them thought it would be a good idea. But oh no, turned out not to be such a good idea after all! Once he crawled out of his shell, all kinds of animals tried to snatch him up! Thankfully he was able to return to his shell and once again feel safe and cozy in his own body. We ended up talking about how we are all different and all have different bodies and that we are all special and unique and perfect in our own way!

We also decided we could make our own tortoises, with shells, and have a tortoise race to prove that no shell was going to hold us back! In the style of Eric Carle, we created out own foolish tortoises…







Week 7 No Big Kids Club is complete without a field trip or two! After reading A House For Hermit Crab and talking all about tortoises, chameleons, caterpillars and fish in the past few weeks, a trip to Aquariums West seemed in order. We took the old #17 bus downtown to Beatty and Cambie and made our way up… or should I say down… the lengthy staircase at Aquariums West! (Sorry Isa!) Inside we saw all kinds of animals and insects: fish, frogs, bunnies and snakes… they’ve got it all. Sylvie and Emily liked the giant, I mean ENORMOUS brown frog the best, while Mattis and Gracie preferred the hamsters.

We ate our snack outside at the Terry Fox Memorial by BC Place and the kids and I raced around and climbed the huge steal letters and practiced our jumps. Isa, the saint with the injured knee, kept a watchful eye on not only us, but our precious grubs we bought for our Gecko at Buddings. I’m sure we had a dozen when we left, but when we got back I only counted 11… Isa??






Week 8 and 9 We read The Very Busy Spider and The Grouchy Ladybug, both Eric Carle classics! The Very Busy Spider is about a spider who has no time to talk or play with her friends, she is way too busy spinning her web so she can catch something for dinner. The kids loved this book! All the pages were textured so they all patiently took turns feeling the silky web. Afterwards we made our own spiders and spiderwebs, so the kids realized just how busy that spider was!

In The Grouchy Ladybug, a little tiny ladybug wakes up in a BAD MOOD! And I mean GROUCHY! It’s breakfast time, but this ladybug is not about to share any aphids with his other ladybug friend. In fact, he challenges her to a fight! When his friend agrees, he appears to get a little afraid and ends up saying “well you’re not big enough”, and for the rest of the day he looks for someone bigger to fight… until he meets a gigantic whale that, well lets just say, knocks some sense into him.

The kids and I talked about all the things that make us feel grumpy sometimes, and then came up with a list of things we could do instead of challenging our friends to a fight. “We could share” said Sylvie, Arianna nodded in agreement! Gracie said we could “smile.” Great suggestions if you ask me! We spent the rest of the day making our own ladybugs and playing a ladybug board game…


Week 10 Can you believe it, 10 weeks have gone by already! This season of Big Kids Club will be wrapping up by the end of the month. New clubs with new adventures lie ahead, so exciting! Almost as exciting as the GIANT book I brought into Big Kids Club last week! Seriously, if you want to have your kids actively engaged in something, buy a giant book!

Eric Carle’s The Tiny Seed is about a little seed blowing along in the wind with all the other bigger seeds. Along the way, some of the bigger seeds float way up into mountains and freeze, some are too heavy and drop into the ocean and drown, some even get eaten by birds and mice! But the tiny seed just floats along and eventually lands in a nice plot of soil. It turns out that this very tiny seeds, given the right conditions, will grow into the most beautiful, humongous, flower the world has ever seen!

In the spirit of the book, we investigated and sampled a variety of seeds… sesame, poppy, pumpkin and sunflower. Sunflower were the favourite… maybe because they were salted, but who really knows?! Check out our beautiful hand crafted flowers!









Thanks so much for reading this lengthy blog post, hopefully some of you made it through the whole thing! The kids and I just covered so much ground these past few weeks and I was dying to share it with all of you!

We still have a few classes left before the season ends, and next week we’re headed to the library in search of some more Eric Carle gems. Hope to see you then!


Big Kids, Big Kids, What Do You See?

October 2, 2016
Written by Christa

Wow! What a great kick off to the Fall Season! The Big Kids and I have been keeping ourselves busy studying the works of Eric Carle and creating beautiful artwork inspired by the man himself. So far we’ve been able to sink ourselves into a few of his classics including The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, 10 Little Rubber Ducks and Mister Seahorse, but with a collection of over 70 books, we’ve still got a ways to go!


Week 1 We started off the class by reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar and learning all about the life cycle of the butterfly. We now know that a butterfly begins as a tiny little egg, only the size of a pinhead, and out pops a tiny little caterpillar. The caterpillars only job is to eat and eat and eat, and the kids and I all decided that that would be a pretty fun job to have! After the caterpillar is finished eating and growing, he hangs himself upside down on a twig in a “J” shape and builds a chrysalis out of silk around himself, he will remain in this stage as a pupa for a period of 2 weeks up to a year… depending on the species. Finally, a beautiful butterfly emerges from the chrysalis and the cycle is complete!

We also learned a lot of interesting facts about butterflies; like how the Monarch flies all the way down to the same specific area in Mexico each winter, or how the Queen Alexandra Butterfly has a wing span of 27 cm! Did you know that butterflies taste with their feet?

Besides learning all these cool facts about butterflies, we actually painted a body for our mascot Carle and played a game where we had to throw a ton of food into his huge hungry mouth, which we then counted and sorted into food groups. We played this Very Hungry Caterpillar game for a very long time!!!

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Week 2 We dove into the classic Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Although our Big Kids knew this one off by heart, that certainly didn’t stop the fun! As we read the story each child got to shout out the name and colour of the felt animal they were holding and take turns putting it up on the giant felt board. We talked about all sorts of animals and played charades.

The highlight of the day would have to have been our group collaboration project where we created our very own version of the Brown Bear book ourselves! We collaged pictures of animals with construction and tissue paper and put together our own book tiltled Big Kids, Big Kids, What Do You See? Be sure to check it out next time you are in Buddings! Our artists are so proud! We ended our day with an Eric Carle board game titled Brown Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See? We had to patiently take turns collecting pictures of various animals to see who could complete their list first. We ended up playing this game five times because it was so fun!

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Week 3 I know what your thinking: How could we make this class even more exciting?! Well let me tell you… with a field trip of course! Luckily we had the most beautiful, cool, sunny day as we trekked down to Charleston Park just a few blocks from Buddings. When we arrived, the kids ate their snacks and opened a secret package that happened to arrive at Buddings that very morning. Inside the mysterious package was another one of Eric Carle’s award-winning books, 10 Little Rubber Ducks. Based on real events, the story is about a crate of rubber ducks that went overboard during a storm while being transported across the ocean! When we finished our story, a note from the Captain fell out of the back of the book. His note asked us to go down to the shores and see if we could locate his 10 missing rubber ducks!

After vigorously searching all over the park, we somehow managed to find all the missing ducks! Not only that, we also stumbled upon a family of real live ducks including a mother, a father and 6 little ducklings! They swam right up to us in the nearby pond! We were all so excited!

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Week 4 We wrapped up the end of the month with a tale about the life of Mister Seahorse. Mister Seahorse has a very interesting life. Male seahorses have little pouches, like a kangaroo, on the front of their abdomens. The female seahorse lays her eggs in it and it is the male seahorse who carries the eggs around until they are ready to hatch. We learned a ton about seahorses like how they don’t have stomachs or teeth, and how some species can change the colour of their skin to blend into their environments. Their eyes work independently of each other and they are actually not very good at swimming, they use their prehensile tail to latch on to coral and rocks to prevent them from drifting away.

After studying the seahorse we decided we better take a look at some other interesting fish in the ocean. We watched a few little videos of the coolest looking fish we could find, sang our slippery fish song, and then set out to construct our very own aquarium.

In the style of Eric Carle, the kids collaged some cute little seahorses and fish, then used pipe cleaners to create seaweed. We added rocks and shells and some little plastic sea animals we found around Buddings. These kids demonstrated not only their amazing fine motor skills, but their creativity, commitment and team spirit. They sure know how to work together!

So that wraps up our first month of Carle Class and honestly, it really has been a ton of fun!! Each week we will continue to uncover another amazing book from Eric Carle’s creative imagination and we will continue collaborating, creating and celebrating the beauty and wonders of this amazing world we live in!

Wednesdays: The Wonderful World of Eric Carle

September 5, 2016
Written by Christa


With our seemingly short Summer coming to a way-to-fast close, and Fall peeking just around the corner, changes and new beginnings are happening everywhere!

The weather is changing, vacations are over, parents are back to work and children are heading off to school or daycare… some for the very first time!

Although change can be exciting and fun, for some of our little friends it can also be difficult and even a little scary. But no need to fear, Carle Club is here!

In my experience, there’s no better way to cope with change than to create a warm, safe, reliable and happy place to have fun in – a home away from home! Carle Club is a class designed not only to read awesome books, explore a ton of different topics, play games, have fun and build friendships, but also to promote and develop healthy social-emotional skills that will last forever.

For those of you who may be unfamiliar with his work, Eric Carle is a children’s author and illustrator who is best-known for his unique style of collage artwork and his famous book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Eric Carle reads The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Carle knows children; how they work, how they learn, what they like, what they dislike, and what engages them. His work is taught in schools all over the world and because of his diverse topics, his easy approach to storytelling, and his visually appealing books, he is a favourite amongst children and educators everywhere!

For the next 3 months we will be exploring all things Eric Carle! With topics ranging from bugs, baking and bears, to colours, chameleons and cocoons… we will be counting, painting, snacking, stretching, colouring, storytelling and adventuring all the way through, not only his wonderful imagination, but our own as well! Carle Class is guaranteed fun for both new Big Kids to Buddings, as well as our seasoned vets!

I’m SO excited to explore one of my favourite children’s authors with all you Big Kids out there! See you on Wednesday!


Carle Class

August 23, 2016
Written by Talia

Christa joins the Big Kids Club teachers this season with an exploration that’s been eating away at her. 🙂

From The Very Hungry Caterpillar, to all the animals, and to the moon and back, Eric Carle has been creating beautiful stories and art work for kids and families since 1967. This Fall, we’re going to learn all about them!

Christa’s excited about the topic, and we know the kids will love it too. Her Carle Class is happening every Wednesday, from 1 – 4pm.

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