Learning about the world we live in; what better way to do this but experience it!
What We’re All About
Urban Adventures is a unique outdoor education program for preschoolers in Vancouver BC. There is no licensed for this type of program as yet as Vancouver Coastal Health, at this time, does not have any options to license this type of program. We however do follow a lot of regulations, safety requirement and other high quality procedures set by us, Extra Steps Learning Centres, and other outside programs. When we started this program we put in place a network group which involved a committee of individuals that were made up of individuals from UBC, other outside learning schools, daycare staff/owners, and much more. We then looked at what would make this type of program run smoothly and safely for all involved. We took the current regulation standards that Vancouver Coastal Health has in place and made adaptations to them which was then submitted to Victoria childcare regulations in hopes to help form a new set of regulations for this type of program, which we hope in time they will come up with, so that it can be put in place for all of these outside programs. Until that time we will continue to operate our unlicensed Urban Adventures program with high safety standards and wonderful learning outcomes for the children.
Our main goals are to help children connect with nature, learn about creating a community around them, and to become socially responsible citizens. We connect to nature both in the forest (Pacific Spirit Park) and within the city limits via community gardens, local parks and simple walks through neighborhoods’ noticing the variety of home gardens. We have many friends and volunteers who spend time with us each month assisting in creating a loving community where the children feel heard and understood at all times. We aim to assist children in becoming socially responsible citizens who learn to think of others first by giving our time, donating our art and performing random acts of kindness.
How Do We Do That?
Our program is strictly focused on learning about our world and the beautiful city of Vancouver BC! This is not a licensed daycare, not a licensed preschool, not a play date; it is a total nature learning experience! With our 2/12 adult to child ratio, each child will get the attention and support they need to stay safe, learn and have fun! The learning opportunities flow like rivers to the sea and brings us all together!
We don’t have a permanent ‘home base’ other than the map you see here. (general locations)
We have parks that we meet in but we’re not defined by those perimeters. We are in constant motion throughout the city. Some days we get on the bus, some weeks we meet at the sky train Station and other days, we stick close to our favorite park and simply play.
We pre plan selected locations around the city in advance which will be emailed to each child’s family in a monthly email. The parents will drop off and pick up their children at these locations within Vancouver from False Creek to 49th Ave, Fraser St. to UBC. Generally, we will stay in one location for 2 weeks at a time. When we do change locations, we always send an email out the Sunday before as a friendly reminder. The class is 3 hours long in the morning.
We have been developing friendships with a few different non-profits and community members and work with them at times.
Help Change My City Alliance
We have developed a warm friendship with the founders of Help Change My City Alliance. This wonderful non-profit does a lot of outreach work in the Downtown East Side, works with at risk youth and hosts an event called ‘Eats on the Streets’ every two months where they hand out over 600 bagged lunches to residents of the DTES. Christine and Alpha join us in the mornings and play alongside the children. They’ve become an invaluable part of our program and the children always look forward to their time with them. We also donate all of our art to HCMCA which they give out during the Eats on the Streets.
Environmental Youth Alliance
Environmental Youth Alliance assists our children in learning more about the life cycle of bees. Sometimes we do workshops with them, learning all about the life cycle of a bee as well as hatching mason bees and placing them in a pollinator house that we, as a program, build or going to the Strathcona Community Gardens where EYA, giving us a tour of the honey bee hives they have there.
A few Parks we use and things we do:
Pacific Spirit: We meet at the W16th Ave entrance just past Blanca Street. We’ll be enjoying the fresh air of the natural forest creating structures, looking for birds and climbing everything we can!
Queen Elizabeth Park: Queen E Park offers so many wonderful experiences for our children! We explore the beautiful gardens, build structures with ropes beside the fountains, have snack by the duck pond or visit the amazing plants and birds at Bloedel Conservatory.
Mount Pleasant Park: While here we’ll either be doing big messy art after hitting up Urban Source, looking for fairy doors in the neighbourhood and exploring the neighbourhood. Lots to see and do in this area!
Kits Beach: BEACH! We’ll spend our mornings digging and playing in the surf.
Tatlow/Volunteer Park: We’ll spend our morning combing the beach for shells and hermit crabs, looking at the local bird life and generally enjoying the spectacular view that this park has to offer.