Families from Hobby Hill Parent Participation Preschool sing and dance during the school’s parking lot party on Wednesday, May 6, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Preschoolers party in parking lot with their pals during pandemic in Chilliwack

Families at Hobby Hill preschool gathered for a tailgate party while physically distancing

It was the typical circle time songs that a group of little kids always sing, but Five Little Speckled Frogs and Alice the Camel rang out in the parking lot of one Chilliwack preschool this week instead of inside the classroom.

Thirteen of the 15 families at Hobby Hill Parent Participation Preschool gathered Wednesday morning, with physical distancing measures in place, for a preschooler parking lot tailgate party.

Kids and parents set up lawn chairs and blankets outside their minivans and SUVs parked in a horseshoe, as stuffies and snacks sat an arm’s reach away in the open trunks.

Janice Scott, instructor/manager and “hokey pokey specialist” at Hobby Hill, walked around the circle as she played counting games with the children. There was also music and movement making for a great cardio workout for both kids and adults.

“There’s lots of spirit at the school,” Scott said.

She’s been an early childhood educator at the school for more than 30 years and said it’s important not just for the kids to see each other, but for the teachers as well.

“It’s just as much for me as it is for the kids,” Scott said. “Parents and teachers, we like our routine.”

Scott and her fellow teacher, Monique Welsh, have been sending out emails with videos, stories and science experiments to keep the children entertained and to stay in touch with them. Additionally, Scott has gone to some of the kids’ homes and done circle time in their driveways.

The kids and their parents have been returning the favour by sending them video clips of themselves singing and they even had a parade through her cul-de-sac for her, Scott said almost tearing up.

RELATED: Teachers send ‘we miss you’ message to students via school parade in Chilliwack

Unlike daycares, preschools follow the school district’s schedule – they were closed for spring break and then stayed shut afterwards due to COVID-19 – so the three- to five-year-olds have not seen their friends for nearly two months.

This was one way for them all to see each other while keeping a safe distance.

“One of the things that attracted us to Hobby Hill was that community feel where everyone is invested in their kid’s education and we were missing that,” said Stacey Pearce, whose three-year-old son attends Hobby Hill.

“It’s important for the kids to see their friends,” she said. “Playing with their siblings is one thing, but seeing people outside the family is also important.”


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on?
Email: jenna.hauck@theprogress.com
Twitter: @PhotoJennalism

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Janice Scott, instructor with Hobby Hill Parent Participation Preschool, leads her students and their parents through songs and dance during the school’s parking lot party on Wednesday, May 6, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Families from Hobby Hill Parent Participation Preschool sing and dance during the school’s parking lot party on Wednesday, May 6, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Just Posted

Chilliwack school board chair running in provincial election

Dan Coulter will run against incumbent John Martin and former school trustee Diane Janzen

Chilliwack man hoping to restore ‘59 Chevy with big lottery win

Hervey Blois, a retired veteran, says he’s ‘dumbstruck’ by $500,000 win on lottery website

Flash bangs and police chopper were part of ERT operation in Chilliwack

Police say Lewis Avenue incident last Thursday night was part of ‘ongoing RCMP investigation’

Defence in Fraser Valley chicken abuse cases asks BC Supreme Court to drop the charges

Sofina Foods and Chilliwack company say undercover video by ‘vigilante group’ violates Charter rights

European fire ants infesting area of Chilliwack near Jinkerson Stairs

Crews from City of Chilliwack will be working to clear section near the top the stairs Monday

Weekend sees 267 cases, 3 deaths in B.C.; Dr. Henry says events leading to COVID spread

There are currently 1,302 active cases in B.C., while 3,372 people are under public health monitoring

Lightning strike: Tampa Bay blanks Dallas 2-0 to win Stanley Cup

Hedman wins Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP

Liberals seek to fast track new COVID-19 aid bill after CERB expires

Government secured NDP support for legislation by hiking amount of benefits by $100 to $500 per week

Police investigating shooting in North Delta

Police say occupants of two vehicles exchanged gunfire near 120th Street and 82nd Avenue

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. VOTES 2020: Echoes of HST in B.C. debate over sales tax

Cannabis, tobacco, luxury cars still taxed in B.C. Liberal plan

TransLink CEO asks riders not to enforce mask rules after Surrey bus punch-up

A fight broke out on a bus at 96 Avenue and Scott Road involving a man who refused to wear a mask

She warned her son about toxic drugs, then he was dead

Donna Bridgman’s son died at the age of 38 in Vancouver

Most Read