Family Ties: Make + Play offers fun for small folk

Here’s one for the crafty types out there.

Make + Play, a new crafty drop-in class for kids, is starting up at River Market on Wednesday, Oct. 7.

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The classes are geared for kids aged two to five. Each class will start with a story (a couple of children’s authors are even lined up to drop in and read their stories), followed by a craft inspired by the book.

“We will have special guests coming by the classes (kids yoga teacher, violinist and more) who will add a unique element and connection to the book we are reading,” Laura Kloet wrote in a message about the classes.

Kids will get their hands on all kinds of activities from painting to pottery, screen printing to string art.

“Whether you’re seeking a rainy-day alternative or inspiring the next Picasso, Make + Play welcomes you and your little ones,” Kloet wrote.

Classes will take place on the second floor of River Market. There’s a drop-in fee of $10, and there’s a limit of 15 kids per class. Registration is required.

Check out for more, or see to sign up for the first session.



While we’re on the subject of River Market, I have to issue a little reminder about their ongoing baking classes for your little foodies.

River Critters baking classes run every Tuesday morning from 10 to 11 a.m. in the main food hall.

The classes are for kids aged five and under, and they’re led by Katia Mayo of Pamola Bakery.

Kids get a chance to get messy in the name of baking as they create some sweet treats under Katia’s watchful eye, with the help of their parent or caregiver.

You must register ahead for $5 – if any spaces are available, you can also drop in for $8.

Check out for all the details.




As an orchestra nerd from way back, I couldn’t be more excited about this one! (Special thanks to Allison of the New West Moms Group for posting this on Facebook, where I spotted it.)

The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra has long held a popular series of Tiny Tots concerts for toddlers and preschoolers – but parents have always had to venture out of town to enjoy them.

Now, the concerts are coming to town: the four-concert series will be presented on Saturday mornings at the Anvil Centre.

The concerts feature Let Your Music Shine With Lisa and Linda, an introduction to orchestral music geared specially at the under-five set.

On Saturday, Oct. 31, families can enjoy Folk and Fiddlin’ Time. On Saturday, Dec. 5, it’s Holiday Hooray!, while Feb. 20 sees Jumpin’ Jazz Time and May 14 sees the Shine-Time Music Olympics.

All the concerts run at both 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. in the Anvil Centre Theatre.

Check out for more information.



Got a budding reader in the house?

All the storytime fun is starting up again soon at the New Westminster Public Library.

There’s something on offer for all ages, from newborns on up.

The popular Babytime sessions, for kids from newborn to 23 months, are on Fridays at 10:15 a.m. at the main branch, starting Oct. 2. In Queensborough, you can check them out Mondays at 11 a.m.

Preschool storytime, for ages two to five, is on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10:15 a.m. at the main branch, and Wednesdays at 11 a.m. in Queensborough.

Family storytime for all ages runs Tuesday evenings at 7 p.m. at the main branch.

For kids who are reading on their own and ready to practise their reading skills with teen volunteers, there’s also Reading Buddies. The program for ages six to nine runs in English on Tuesdays at 3:30 p.m., and in French on Wednesdays at 3:30 p.m.

The library also offers a number of other programs for kids, including Creative Tweens and a Young Readers Book Club, plus upcoming special events including a Halloween Hullabaloo on Friday, Oct. 30.

The main library is uptown at 716 Sixth Ave., while the Queensborough branch is at the Queensborough Community Centre, 920 Ewen Ave.

Check out www.nwpl.cafor all the happenings at the library.



 In my last column I brought you some information about Baby Talk sessions at Centennial Community Centre and totally forgot to include the time – the sessions for parents and their babies up to nine months old run 1 to 2:45 p.m. every Wednesday.

It’s a free drop-in group, and each session features a guest speaker on a different baby-related topic, plus a chance for parents to socialize and weigh their babies.

Call 604-777-6740 for information – or just drop in.

And while I’m at it, if you’re a new parent or the parent of a young child, and you’re really looking for some other adults to hang out with, here’s a cool idea.

Queensborough Community Centre hosts a Coffee Chat for Caregivers session every Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. You can enjoy complimentary coffee or tea while socializing and hearing from guest speakers.

It’s designed for people with kids from infant to age three, and it’s free to drop in. Call 604-525-7388 for information.



Do you have an item for Family Ties? Send ideas to Julie,, or find her on Twitter, @juliemaclellan.

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