WorkSafe Staff Policies

Daily Health Assessment

Staff are not to come to work if you:

  • Have travelled outside of Canada within the last 14 days.
  • Have been identified by Public Health as a close contact of someone with COVID-19
  • Have been told to isolate by Public Health
  • Are displaying any of the following new or worsening symptoms:
    • Fever or chills
    • cough
    • loss of sense of smell or taste
    • difficulty breathing
    • sore throat
    • loss of appetite
    • extreme fatigue or tiredness
    • headache
    • body aches
    • nausea or vomiting
    • diarrhea

Areas of Transmission: Risk Assessment

Pick up and Drop Off – staff potentially in close contact with parents outdoors
Be mindful to maintain distance.

Snack Time & Tent – confined indoor/outdoor space

Toys and touch items – sign-in clipboard, pencil, art materials, nature museum, children’s toys (mud kitchen, ropes, fabric, etc.)

End of day meeting – extended conversation, outdoors
Be mindful to maintain distance.

Encounters with other park users – staff potentially in close contact with strangers outdoors
Be mindful to maintain distance.

Transportation to work – close contact in confined space.
Staff travelling in a vehicle together must wear masks while in the vehicle.

Home Office – confined indoor space
Must run HEPA filters continuously. Staff will work on separate floors whenever possible.
Staff will wear masks when working together indoors.
team meetings will take place outdoors.

Home office touch items – keyboard, mouse, binders, pencils, scissors, etc
These items must be sanitized with alcohol sanitizer twice daily. At change of hands: 1pm and 5pm.

Office bathroom – touch items, handles & switches
Bathroom must be wiped down with fresh bleach solution at change of hands: 1pm and 5pm.
The toilet lid MUST be closed when flushing.

Cleaning & Disinfecting Policies

The following items must be disinfected with a fresh bleach solution at the end of each session:

  • Art materials: scissors, pencils, felts, crayons
  • Mud kitchen items: all metal scoops & plastic buckets
  • Clipboard: sign-in sheet is only to be handled by one person each day
  • Backpacks: staff are responsible for packing and maintaining their own gear. Staff are not to use each other’s backpacks to minimize common touch points.

Risk of Violence from Public

Due to our working in a very public setting there is always a risk of a member of the public becoming aggressive or violent. Kindness is king and most incidents are simple misunderstandings that can be diffused by remaining friendly and smiling.

Staff should direct an aggressive park user to discuss their issue with Krystal who is always on site. In the rare event she is ill and not on site, staff are encouraged to NOT ENGAGE an angry park user and to give them a Sprouting Knowledge business card should they wish to complain to someone.

Animal Dens & Playground

Now that you have built some different kinds of dens do you think you can make a home for some of your friends?

All done. Clara thinks it looks good!

Do you have some stuffed animals or maybe some animal figures you could bring out into the yard to play with?

Where might they like to live?

Do they need a big house or a small one?

Will all your animals have the same kind of house or will you build different ones?

You will need:

  • long straight sticks
  • pipe cleaners or wire
  • mallet for tapping
  • small blankets/napkins/tea towel

We are going to build a teepee fort for one of your animals.
An A Frame shelter for another and whatever kind of house you’d like to make.

When you are done making their houses maybe you could make them some invitations to ask them over for a backyard tea party.

Tips and Tricks for Art at Home

Yes Space

If you are going to set your child loose with glue and paint and other messy things you are probably going to want to prepare for the inevitable mess that will ensue. I call this creating a “Yes space” because it helps me get into a more open frame of mind that invites the spills, drips, drops and messes that come with the creative process.

In our house there is a clear plastic vinyl table cloth on our dining room table at all times!
This is because my teenage daughter is a painter and is known to get paint on everything.

We also have an abundance of drop cloths which are actually her old canvas paintings from when she was a child. These go under chairs where they are sitting or under fresh canvases if they are working on the floor.

Having a damp face cloth handy helps keep clothes clean because your little one will have somewhere to wipe their fingers that isn’t on their pants or shirt! This one takes a little bit of training and reminders at first and requires you to make it an important part of your set up.

While we don’t often use them in our house an apron or a smock can also help save clothes from paint messes. We opt for a paint t-shirt instead….

If my little is going to be doing art I generally insist on a t-shirt so that sleeves don’t get in the way. I’ve very often seen a dragging sleeve ruin a child’s hard work much to their disappointment. So roll up those sleeves, take off the sweater or ditch them all together and swap it for a t-shirt.

White Glue

I always water down glue when offering it to preschoolers and kindergarteners. About 1 part water to 3 parts glue keeps the glue sticky enough to work quickly but fluid enough that children can spread it with a little more ease than pure white glue.

Using a big fluffy paint brush for glue projects is just plain fun and is another opportunity for your child to learn how to properly use a paint brush.

White glue is water soluble so if your brush gets wrecked and dries out don’t panic! Just leave it in a cup of water for a few hours and then wash as normal.

Glue Sponge

This is an idea that made the rounds a few years back and was wildly popular, for good reason.
It’s super simple. Take a clean sponge and put it in a small container that seals well. Fill the bottom of the container with about 0.5cm of glue. Dampen the sponge and put it in the container. Pour more glue on top of the sponge. Close the lid and let sit overnight. Done.

No more glue messes.

If your sponge gets a little dry just spray with water. Add more glue as needed and keep it on the damp side.

Check out this super helpful video from Kindergarten Smorgasboard for more tips.

April Butterflies

A few years ago the Nicola Naturalist Society posted a wonderful series of articles and resources about some of the butterflies in the Thompson Okanagan area which you should definitely check out.

I thought it would be fun to post a quick list of what they deem the butterflies you are most likely to see in April.

Camberwell Beauty / Mourning Cloak

Mourning Cloak
Wingspan – 5-10cm
Habitat – almost anywhere
Eats – mostly tree sap
Caterpillars eat – willow, cottonwood, aspen, paper birch


Sara Orangetip

Stella Orange Tip
Wingspan – 3.5-4.8cm
Habitat – deserts, open woods, orchards, waterways
Eats – flower nectar
Caterpillars eat – plants in the mustard family


Satyr Comma | Project Noah

Satyr Comma
Wingspan – 4.5-6.4cm
Habitat –
Eats –
Caterpillars eat –


Green Comma | Green Comma butterfly feeding on goldenrod at … | Flickr

Green Comma
Wingspan –
Habitat –
Eats –
Caterpillars eat –



Spring Azure Butterfly (Butterflies and Moths of Floracliff Nature ...

Spring Azure
Wingspan –
Habitat –
Eats –
Caterpillars eat –


Nymphalis - Wikipedia

Compton’s Tortiseshell
Wingspan –
Habitat –
Eats –
Caterpillars eat –


California tortoiseshell | Project Noah

California Tortiseshell
Wingspan –
Habitat –
Eats –
Caterpillars eat –


Milbert's Tortoiseshell

Milbert’s Tortiseshell
Wingspan –
Habitat –
Eats –
Caterpillars eat –


Margined white | Project Noah

Margined White
Wingspan –
Habitat –
Eats –
Caterpillars eat –


Alaska Butterflies: Pictures and Butterfly Identification Help

Spring White
Wingspan –
Habitat –
Eats –
Caterpillars eat –


Sheridan's Green Hairstreak | Project Noah

Sheridan’s Green Hairstreak
Wingspan –
Habitat –
Eats –
Caterpillars eat –


Replacement Kit List

One good thing that has come of this unfortunate event is that I’ve been shown what a kind and supportive community of families surrounds Sprouting Knowledge.

Thank you. Matthia and I are so very grateful.
Many people have asked what was in our bags so they could see if they have things that would be helpful to donate.

Below is a list of items that were in our packs.
I will update it as donations come in.

  • 2 wool blankets (Thank you Claudia)
  • 2 medium-large backpacks (Thank you Erin & Elaine)
  • 2 family size first aid kits (Thank you Brent & Christina)
  • Lightweight fabric for building forts
  • Brightly coloured paracord – various lengths (Thank you Erin)
  • 3 metal ice cream scoops (ordered – thank you Wendy)
  • 3 metal bulk scoops (ordered – thank you Wendy)
  • 6 metal bowls (thrifted – thank you VV)
  • 2 mini muffin tins
  • 4 pulleys (Thank you Erin)
  • Field guides
    • 4 Animal Tracks
    • 4 Bugs & Slugs
    • 4 Desert Plants
  • Forest stuffed animals
    • beaver (thank you Jenn)
    • bear (thrifted)
    • raccoon
    • skunk
  • Back up lothes
    • base layer (thank you Jenn & Erin)
    • rain pants (Thank you Facebook Marketplace 🙂
    • fleece layer (thank you Jenn, Erin & VV)
    • mittens (thank you Jenn, Erin & I had some more spares)
    • hats (thank you Jenn)
  • 12-16 pairs wool snack mittens (maybe sewn by Maggie’s Mom & me?)
  • Hand washing spray bottle
  • medium thermos
  • 6-8 reflective arm bands
  • towel

And many other small items I’m probably forgetting like our birthday kit and spare bags, elastics, etc.
Most of these things were in lightweight bags to help keep them sorted, if you have simple stuff sacks you are not using we’d find them very helpful!

Thank you so much to Michael & Beth, Jesse, Remy, Jessica, Faith, Wendy and Amy who all donated cash that we can put toward purchasing new items.

ParticipACTION 2015 Health Report Card

“As Dr. Mark Tremblay, the chief scientific officer of the ParticipACTION Report Card says, we have lost the balance between short-term safety and long-term health.  In outdoor play, risk doesnt mean courting danger, but rather giving kids the freedom to assess their surroundings and make decisions, allowing them to build confidence, develop skills, solve problems and learn limits.  Not only will kids move more if theyre outside, playing freely, but theyll be set up to be more resilient and less likely to develop chronic diseases in the long run.

What many adults recall from their childhood as thrilling and exciting play that tested boundaries such as exploring the woods, rough housing, moving fast or playing at heights is often called risky play these days. While these activities could lead to injuries, the vast majority are minor.”

Read the whole media release here > 

You can also download the full report from the ParticipACTION website.

How ditching the classroom boosts children’s mental health

The WWF sponsored a green schools series in the Guardian Newspaper Online. Written by Matthew Jenkin this lovely article outlines how “Getting outdoors can pay dividends in academic performance – but it also improves pupils’ concentration and confidence.”

An Excerpt of the article is posted below….

Three years ago teacher Simon Poote spotted a disused strip of land on the grounds of Long Crendon school in Aylesbury. Instead of giving over the 15-metre square lawn to recreational use, or simply ignoring it, Poote saw potential for creating an outdoor learning space for the primary’s year 1 to 6 students. The only snag was how to pay for the plot’s transformation.

“We have lots of space but not much money,” says headteacher Sue Stamp. The school therefore appealed to parents, local businesses and the community to donate everything from landfill material to create small hills, to unwanted play equipment to build a trim trail and tunnels for the children to explore. Help came thick and fast, and the area now boasts a fully equipped thatched mud kitchen and a system of pipes and pulleys to transport water around the site.

Stamp insists outdoor learning has become more than just a project for the school, “it’s a way of life” she explains. The whole ethos of the school is to be outdoors as much as possible, rain or shine, so that students of all ages also take part in forest school activities in a wooded area alongside the playing field two days a week, learning skills such as fire lighting and making charcoal, as well as being allowed to climb trees, all under supervision.

“We have seen an amazing difference in some children,” she says. “Children who just didn’t engage in the classroom suddenly come into their own when they get outside.” Students who are less academically inclined gain in confidence and Stamp claims she has seen them step up as leaders in practical group activities for the first time.

Read full article here >>

What the Outdoors Does to Your Brain

According to a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a 90-minute walk through a natural environment has a remarkably positive impact on people. In a survey taken afterwards, those who took the natural walk showed far lower levels of anxiety or obsessive worry. The control group who spent 90 minutes walking through a city did not share the nature groups up-beat mood.


Read Full Article Here >>