Island Parent April 2019

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islandparent APRIL 2019

Vancouver Island’s Parenting Resource for 31 Years

Special   Needs   Issue

Summer Camp Fun

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April 2019  3

Table of C o ntents

Features 10

Literacy & Special Needs Kids

How to help special needs kids develop reading and writing skills. Yvonne Blomer


The Joy of an Unfinished To-do List

The importance of prioritization, self-discipline and self-kindness.



Special Feature: Businesses You Need To Know


Lora McKay

Taxes with Toddlers A three-step guide to filing taxes.


Special Needs Resources Programs and services for kids with special needs.

Lindsay Plumb


What Our Children Teach Us

How kids are the sculptors and we are the clay. Susan Gnucci



Summer Camp Fun

Go Outside!

Day camps, overnight camps and tons of summer fun.


36 5

In Every Issue


Editor’s Note

Family Calendar

Sue Fast


Parents helping parents.

Cooking With Kids


For the love of lasagna.



Need to Know


Nature Notes

Emillie Parrish

Is There an App for This?

Finding lost words in nature. Amira Maddison


My first “I H 8 U” note.

When kids hit the double digits.

Serena Beck

Greg Pratt



Party Directory

Things to do once you get there.

Family Services Directory


Maternity & Beyond

The importance of downtime and alone time—every day.


Laura Trunkey


Book Nook

7 Funny Stories.


Cut It Out!

Conversation, not coercion. Allison Rees

Christina Van Starkenburg


Healthy Families, Happy Families

Choosing the best sippy cups. Dawn Moon

52 On the Cover

Gabriel M (7) Photo by Sophie Cavalier Sophie Cavalier Photography

islandparent APRIL 2019

Vancouver Island’s Parenting Resource for 31 Years

Special Needs Issue

Summer Camp Fun

4  Island Parent Magazine



Preschool & Child Care Directory

Jim Schneider  Publisher Sue Fast  Editor Linda Frear  Office Manager & Sales Island Parent Magazine, published by Island Parent Group Enterprises Ltd., is a monthly publication that honours and supports parents by providing information on resources and businesses for Vancouver Island families. Views expressed are not necessarily those of the publisher. No material herein may be reproduced without the permission of the publisher. Annual mail subscriptions (12 issues) are available for $35 (GST included). Canadian Publication Mail Product Sales Agreement 40051398. ISSN 0838-5505.

Island Parent Magazine 830–A Pembroke St Victoria, BC V8T 1H9 250-388-6905

What We All Can Do


ow can parents of typical kids help parents of special needs kids?” Two Island Parent writers— Laura Trunkey and Yvonne Blomer—both have children with special needs: Angus has autism; Colwyn has Prader-Willi Syndrome and autism. When asked how other parents can help, Trunkey and Blomer came up with the following suggestions: Talk to your kids about their peers with special needs and don’t be afraid to ask the parents questions about their kids. “Sometimes kids have questions about why their peers act a certain way,” says Trunkey. “I think it’s a parent’s job to field those questions, and to ask questions themselves if they don’t know the answer.” Open up conversation, so instead of asking your kids what they learned at school, we should ask them: Who did you include today? What did you do that was kind? What do you and X have in common? And approach parents with special needs kids to just talk, says Blomer. “They may be feeling more isolated than you think. Don’t make assumptions. Take for example,

the label “High Functioning,” says Trunkey. “There is sometimes a belief that kids who are ‘high functioning’ in some areas, will be ‘high functioning’ in all areas, that they should be able to ‘deal’ with sensory stimulus: loud noises, chaos in the classroom, changes to routine, etc,” says Trunkey. “For Angus this is certainly not the case. He has strengths and he has struggles—just like every kid.” Teach kids not to fear anyone who is different—which is easier when they are young, says Blomer. “As kids grow up, the differences might become more visible, more strange— and even a little scary. If kids can get past that and say hi, or give a high five, that means the world to my kid and to me.” Blomer says what has helped over the years has been “when a parent of a typical kid fights the battle for me. Like takes on something at school or in the community that they know is wrong for my kid, and raises their voice.” “Any kids who are different, by religion or race or special needs, can benefit from kids and parents asking the school how they include those kids’ culture, religion, or needs as part of the whole school.”

Consider accessibility, says Trunkey. “For instance, while my kid could come to a summer day camp just like yours, I would need to find, and pay for, a support worker for him. Same for after-school programs. Kids with special needs face a lot of barriers to inclusion, more than I think most people are aware of.” Lead by example and be kind.

Sue Fast Editor’s Note

“If you make a point of saying hello to a child—every day—and ask them about their weekend, comment on their cool t-shirt, treat them like an important, interesting person, that rubs off,” says Trunkey. “The kids who are kindest to Angus are, in most cases, kids of parents who are equally kind, and welcoming.” And remember, she adds, “your kid befriending a kid with special needs isn’t doing that kid a favour. They will gain just as much from that relationship.”

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April 2019  5

NEEDTOKNoW Sing, Talk & Clap Along with Raffi Raffi turns 70 this year, and he is celebrating with a new album and a series of #belugagrads concerts. On Sunday April 14, he will perform two shows (1pm, 4pm) at Victoria’s Royal McPherson Theatre. Raffi is known for his work as a children’s entertainer and advocate whose gold and platinumselling recordings includes his iconic song, “Baby Beluga.” For tickets and to find out more, visit

SOUPER BOWLS OF HOPE Dine on delicious soup from the kitchens of Victoria’s most celebrated chefs at Souper Bowls of Hope on April 4 from 11am-1:30pm. Funds raised support Youth Empowerment Society serving Victoria’s Youth at Risk. Be inspired by the rhythms of the Vic High R&B Band, bid on auction items or try your luck on the raffle prizes. Take home a handcrafted bowl by local artisans. At Crystal Gardens, 713 Douglas Street. Tickets: $50. For information, visit

Five Activities for Earth Day On April 22—and year round—do your part to protect the planet. Here from Earth Day Network are some ideas. For more, visit 1 Join a local park, river or beach clean-up. 2 Use environmentally-friendly, non-toxic cleaning products. 3 Replace inefficient incandescent light bulbs with efficient CFLs or LEDs. 4 Carpool, ride your bike, use public transportation or drive an electric or hybrid car. Reduce your carbon footprint by one pound for every mile you do not drive. 5 Donate your old clothes and home goods instead of throwing them out. When you need something, consider buying used items.


Island Parent Magazine


Family Sport & Recreation Festival drop by Pacific Institute for Sport excellence (PISe) on Saturday, may 4 from 11am-3pm for the Family Sport & recreation Festival. this free event is your pre-summer destination for introducing kids to new activities and sports, and for parents to learn more about keeping kids engaged in healthy activity. Brought to you by the Greater victoria Sports hall of Fame and PISe, this festival features over 30 activities for kids and families to try, including rock climbing, tennis, obstacle courses, adapted sports, golf and more. PISe is located at 4371 Interurban rd. visit for more information.

COMPREHENSIVE FAMILY DENTISTRY family centered practice extended hours evenings and weekends the latest equipment and caring staff request an appointment online 119–1591 McKenzie Ave, Victoria

250 477 7321

Victoria’s favourite dentists believe a healthy smile starts early. Free first visit for children under 5.

Charlie & The Chocolate Factory The Candy Man is coming back to town April 12 to 20 at the Ridge Theatre in Victoria, thanks to Four Seasons Musical Theatre (FSMT). Experience the delicious adventures of Charlie Bucket on his visit to Willy Wonka’s mysterious chocolate factory and watch the stage light up the stage in this captivating adaptation of Roald Dahl’s fantastical tale. Four Seasons Musical Theatre is a local, non-profit registered charity committed to providing opportunities for children and adults to take part in creating quality theatre suited to all audiences. For more information, visit

April 2019


Daffodil Month

SUMMER ACTING & FILM CAMPS Fo r C r e a t i v e K i d s a n d Te e n s ! Have fun with the craft of acting for stage & screen. No experience necessary

In April, the Canadian Cancer Society asks British Columbians to join the fight against cancer by making a donation and wearing the symbolic daffodil pin. The mighty daffodil pin lets people fighting the disease know that they are not alone on their cancer journey and that they are supported by friends, family and the Canadian Cancer Society through its support services and commitment to cancer research. Buy a pin or make a donation and show those affected by cancer that they are not alone and we are all fighting with them. Visit daffodil for more information.

Produced by Jacqui Kaese

KIDS (Ages 8-12 yrs): 2 CAMPS July 15-19 & Aug 12-16 M/T/W 10-1 pm T/F 10-3 pm Cost per camp $225 plus tax TEENS (Ages 13-17 yrs): 2 CAMPS July 22-26 & Aug 19-23 M-F 10-3 pm Cost per camp $250 plus tax

KIDS (Ages 8-12 yrs): 2 CAMPS Act and Crew your own movie. July 22-26 & Aug 19-23 M/T/W 10-1 pm T/F 10-3 pm Cost per camp $225 plus tax

TEENS (Ages 13-17 yrs): 2 CAMPS

Acting Camp with Promo Reel. July 15-19 & Aug 12-16 • M-F 10-3 pm Cost per camp $275 plus tax 8  Island Parent Magazine

Easter at the Market Drop by Victoria Public Market at the Hudson on April 19 from 11am-2pm for a fun-filled family Easter event featuring a chocolate egg Easter Egg Hunt, live music by Vinyl Wave, Balloon Twisting, and a free Photobooth by Mr. Booth Photo Experiences. The Easter Egg Hunt will be in the style of Halloween Trick or Treating where kids bring their own Easter baskets and collect chocolate eggs from each of the market vendors. For information, visit

Behind the Scenes at Wonder Sunday

The Royal BC Museum’s (RBCM) mammoth, nicknamed “Woolly,” has caught the eyes of many over the years, but how exactly did he appear in our museum? On Sundays throughout April, from 1–3pm, RBCM recognizes the effort put into the galleries and invites you to join in behind-the-scenes to get the hands-on experience that visitors dream of. Join the Wonder Sunday staff in an unforgettable experience and see what it is like to establish a world class exhibit. Free with admission. Visit

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Thaiss Psychological Services Providing Psychoeducational, Emotional / Behavioural & Neuropsychological Assessments.

Nobody’s Perfect Parenting It’s no secret that every parent wants their child to be happy, healthy and safe. But it’s easy to forget that none of us come fully prepared for the job. Families are complex and full of challenges, especially for young parents, single parents or parents who find themselves isolated socially, geographically or linguistically. BC Council for Families’ Nobody’s Perfect Parenting Program provides parents of children from birth to age 5 with: a safe place to build on their parenting skills, an opportunity to learn new skills and concepts, and a place to interact with other parents who have children the same age. To find out more, visit

To help you understand your child’s developmental needs and support their success. Laila Thaiss, Ph.D Registered Psychologist (1583) 209-2186 Oak Bay Ave. Victoria 250.516.6692 • April 2019


Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch by Axis Theatre Company

Saturday, April 13 at 1pm VIU’s Malaspina Theatre

Tickets: $12 or 2 for $20 Mid Island

Bleiddyn del Villar Bellis Artistic Director Fellow & Examiner CC-CICB Enrico Cecchetti Final Diploma

Kinder Camp Ages 4-6 July 2-5 Mornings Junior Summer Intensive Ages 7-13 Full day two week program in ballet, jazz, contemporary and pre-pointe

2019 Children’s Summer Ballet Camps

Photo credit: David Cooper

July 8-19



Island Parent Magazine

Literacy &

Special Needs Kids S

aturday morning is coffee, cookies and books in bed time. This is known throughout the Blomer-Gadd clan. When the cousins visit, even though they are getting older and bigger, they come with their books and we squeeze into our not-huge bed. Husband, son, mom, cousin, cousin, dog, cousin’s dog, etc. We have tea or coffee and ginger snaps or homemade cookies and we each have a book. Colwyn, our 12-year-old son, has a pile of well-read Robert Munsch books. Often my husband gets up mumbling about a kingsized bed. Sometimes Colwyn speed-reads through his books, especially if waffles have been mentioned. Other times he reads at a leisurely pace. On occasion, I am in charge of reading, so we get to hear favourite books again, or new books he’s not let us get near because they are, after all, his. Colwyn has Prader-Willi Syndrome and Autism. He is developmentally delayed and nonverbal, possibly due to apraxia, or difficulty planning and coordinating movements necessary for speech. In other words, it takes more effort to vocalise and the more he vocalizes the harder it is to plan for it. Nonetheless, he loves books and reading, however he might define that for himself. His Robert Munsch books have been read and reread since he was born. We started with the feminist literary masterpiece The Paper Bag Princess. He has two copies of Just One Goal, his Sandcastle Contest is dog-eared and duct-taped and I get a look if I forget to do the voices. He has a regular and mini version of Stephanie’s Pony Tail, a

book that reminds us to embrace our differences and hold to our beliefs. Does my son read them to himself? I’m pretty sure he has them memorized and that the characters are as real to him as Harry Potter is to most neurotypical kids. Reading is a tricky thing when your child is nonverbal because he can’t easily demonstrate his ability and we can’t test

Soaring Eagle Nature Science camp

Yvonne Blomer it. When he reads aloud, due to apraxia and anxiety about getting it wrong, he gets quieter and less clear. Colwyn’s speaking is very quiet and unvoiced. The word “mom” is clear, but “book” sounds like “bu-k” and there is often a pause between the beginning of the word and the end. It’s important to not fill-in for him. So, when Colwyn says “bu-,” I wait. Then I sign the letter “k”, and he says “k”. Of course, we all forget to wait because neurotypicals aren’t always patient. Research ranging from the Reading Recovery program to intervention for adults with early-onset dementia shows that the brain does better when movement and music are added. With this in mind, we have incorporated play or music into everything from singing the alphabet song while on the trampoline to enacting stories with stuffed animals. Colwyn loves hide-and-seek, so Easter is a perfect time to hide Easter treasures and give short, written clues for him to read and figure out. My mom did this for my sister and me, so it is also a great family tradition to carry forward. A few years ago, in music therapy, Colwyn with his music therapist, Dr. Johanne Brodeur, recorded the book I Know a Shy Fellow Who Swallowed a Cello. I read the passages, while Colwyn and Johanne chose musical instruments to match the story from varied musical choices in Garage Band. “There was much laughter and certainly tons of choices and discussion on how to proceed with the story to make it a musical story version,” says Dr. Brodeur. “Colwyn worked very hard at making choices and assisting in narrating

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Youth & Teen Musical Theatre Academic Canada Camp Debate Camp CANADA Rowing Camp Rock Band Camp Soccer Camp

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Action Plan Update

the story. He took great pride as his musical recording project evolved.” He also memorized the book. Colwyn is an attentive listener and we often follow up by asking about setting, main characters and the kick off. When I homeschooled Colwyn from grades 3 to 5, we read a lot of

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early chapter books such as The Magic Tree House series and Dragon Master series. From these books, we created all manner of art projects to help Colwyn engage with the books. For example, we created a file folder book about the Arctic after reading Polar Bears Past Bedtime and a large red dragon after reading Power of the Fire Dragon. Mo Willems’ Elephant and Piggie books are accessible and Can I Play Too, a great one for exploring inclusion, when Snake wants to join Gerald the

July 2nd to 5th “Mad Scientist” July 8th to 12th “World Explorers” July 15th to 19th “Goin’ Green” July 22nd to 26th “Wacky & Wonderful”

Active Arts Camps

Join us for a summer of creative, active fun! Exciting camps will engage children in music, art, crafts and lots of fun and games. ❖ New activities to explore every week ❖ Outdoor fun every day ❖ Field trips to local parks Camps for age groups 3 to 5 and 6 to 9

July 29th to August 2nd “Action & Adventure” August 6th to 9th “Magic & Monsters” August 12th to 16th “World at Our Fingertips”

Register Online at: For more information: 250.382.3533 12

Island Parent Magazine

Elephant and Piggie’s game of catch, “But don’t you need arms to play catch?” Nowadays I wonder what we will read next as Colwyn gets older, but is still developing his skills. I also wonder how to normalize my son’s reading level at middle school. The low-incidence class room has superb resources, but how does it feel to be reading a book at his level in the larger school? A few years ago, my husband, as a Grade 4 teacher, had a class of very low readers. Because most of the kids were reading below their age, he was able to create a climate of acceptance around reading picture books and early chapter books. The kids seemed to move from shame and embarrassment paired with a total disinterest in reading, to reading whatever they could without shame. As an adult, I rarely worry if I’m reading a picture book with gorgeous illustrations, a graphic novel, a youth novel or adult novel. My age doesn’t matter. As we continue with our reading life, I’ve begun noticing my son’s expanding ability to find things on YouTube. I’m starting to wonder if he’s reading at a higher level than we give him credit for.

More than this, because of his ability to follow patterns, he can find a well-buried song through several openings and closings of other songs until the one he wants pops up. He has the names and order of songs on most CDs in our house memorized and finds it frankly frustrating that I do not. He picks up on or creates patterns to help him find things when he’s highly motivated. This is a skill that will help him with reading, speaking and writing. In addition to YouTube, Colwyn can independently read a book through his iPad. Apple never imagined when they created the iPad how immense it would be for people with special needs, especially on the Autism spectrum. Colwyn’s teacher uses the Raz Kids app and Colwyn loves Moonbot Books’ Billy’s Booger, A Memoir and The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore both by William Joyce, whose paper books are also superb. If you don’t know the app Pictello, check it out. Colwyn can take pictures, write stories or journals, and they are then read back to him. He can share his knowledge and abilities through Pictello.

Since September, Colwyn and I have taken to writing Haiku together, in the morning, after cookies and coffee, instead of books in bed. We look out the window and I say a few words or ask a question, he chooses or makes changes until we have a short poem. We’ve now created 23 haiku, which I’ve written in a notebook that sits on my night stand. I write it and he then reads it back to me before we get up and get on with our day. I’m trying to figure out how to get me more and more out of this process. For now, it’s a collaborative process, one word or choice at a time. From March 1: Thinking of a swing, last month’s snow on the garden. Spring is coming. by Colwyn Gadd (with permission!)

Yvonne Blomer is a Victoria writer and the past Poet Laureate of Victoria. Her most recent books are Sugar Ride: Cycling from Hanoi to Kuala Lumpur and Refugium: Poems for the Pacific.

Come spend your summer with the Vikes! Develop skills, meet new friends, explore creativity and experience exciting activities in a fun, safe and positive environment.


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Registration opens Apr. 1 April 2019  13

The Freya-Sophia Waldorf Store

Natural Childhood

Beautiful selection of books, organic wool clothing, wooden toys, silks, dolls, cards, prints, painting and handwork supplies. STEINER BOOKSTORE: Extensive Selection of Inspiring Books and Resources for Children, Parents, Teachers, Carers and Homeschoolers 250-597-4763 Located in the Sol-Centre, 5380 Hwy 1, Duncan Hours: Monday – Saturday 10 – 3; Closed Sundays. Find us on Facebook@freyasophiawaldorfstore – Follow us on Instagram

14  Island Parent Magazine

BUSINESSESyOUNEEDTOKNoW welcome to our focus on Businesses You need to know, featuring some of vancouver Island’s key family-focused businesses and organizations. run by people in your community— your neighbours, maybe, your family, your friends—local businesses enhance Island life. In these pages, you’ll find the stories behind the businesses and organizations, the people behind the products, and the reasons why they are committed to serving families in our community. we all know it is important to support local business and strengthen Island communities. we hope you enjoy our focus on Businesses You need to know and come away knowing more about businesses in our community.

April 2019



16  Island Parent Magazine


A Vision of Educational Excellence Do you ever wonder what’s happening under the orange roof as you drive by Pacific Christian School on the Pat Bay Highway? Do you know that there is another school building on the same property with great things happening under its roof as well? Perhaps you’ve seen the new construction taking shape and wondered what is emerging. For Pacific Christian School, this new facility is just the most recent development in a nearly sixtyyear story of a school that has, from the beginning, aimed to be a place of formation for the hearts, minds and bodies of all of our students. The vision of Pacific Christian School is Educational Excellence - to the glory of God. This vision of excellence is a holistic vision and one that is inclusive of learners with diverse abilities, talents, and interests. The inclusive culture is underpinned by the school’s pillars: Respect, Accept, Care, Engage - captured in the motto “Pacers RACE together.”

900+ Students 100+ Staff 58 Years 1 Vision 1 Mission AP Academics, Outdoor Ed, Athletics, Mucial Theatre, Fine Arts, Tech Ed, and more. view our story at:

Serving the CRD since 1960

As students, staff, and parents put these pillars into practice, it creates a learning community in which each person can flourish - and a community in which we each contribute to the flourishing of the other. This environment is a natural outflow of Pacific Christian School’s mission: to nurture students in Christ-like living, critical thinking, and joyful service to be faithful citizens in God’s world. This mission captures the holistic nature of an excellent Christian education. We engage the mind (critical thinking), and also the character (Christ-like living) of each learner. And, practicing joyful service engages our actual physical bodies in a way that orients us to be people who love and serve. When we put this mission into practice as we engage subject matter, participate in athletics, create and perform art, plan schedules, set policies, and carry out the full breadth of activities involved in being a school, we embark on an educational project that is truly formative of hearts, minds and bodies – the essence of Educational Excellence – to the glory of God.

Call & visit today to explore Educational Excellence to the Glory of God at PCS

April 2019  17


Island Montessori


n 2009, after over 35 years in public schools in Victoria, Island Montessori moved to our current location in beautiful rural West Saanich. We are surrounded by a magical forest with a lovely walk up to a wooden yurt perched on moss-covered ground. From our classroom windows we can see swans gliding in the wetlands across the road. Deer wander the large lawn in front of the school, rabbits and frogs hop about, and an owl hoots in the early morning hours. We have a large fenced play area and plenty of opportunities for nature walks. We have a small garden where we plant seasonal vegetables and flowers and enjoy watching the apple trees blossom and bear fruit. It is a special place connecting children to nature and their surrounding community. Island Montessori is a non-profit daycare and preschool that has been serving Victoria children and their families for over 40 years. We offer an enriched, inclusive preschool program based on Montessori principles

and practices that meet the needs of the individual child, no matter their developmental level. Our flexible full-time (2, 3 and 5 days/week) preschool programs, a morning-only preschool program, as well as Before- and After-school Care are designed to offer convenience to all families. Our staff provide a warm, nurturing and supportive atmosphere in the classroom and each child is seen as an individual with

their own unique learning style and needs. Our inclusive programs ensure that every child is included and given the support they need and deserve. Our Pre-k program includes additional guided learning for reading, printing, as well as number recognition and competency. Special activities both at school and in the community support learning outcomes and build school spirit providing for a family-type environment where everyone knows everyone. We look forward to welcoming you to our school family.

Space is available for 2019–20

• before and after

Open House

• small class sizes

Sat, May 4 from 10am–1pm

school care

• supportive and

caring staff

• excellent academic


• Kodaly music

A local non-profit for all children (Since 1973) 5575 West Saanich Rd 250 592 4411


• lovely rural location

connecting children to nature

Programs for Kids!


SUMMER ACADEMY Piano - Junior Program

VCM Summer Academy June 19 - August 3

July 1 - 12 | RCM Grade 1 - 4, Age 10+

Vocal | Piano | Strings Theory | Guitar | Choral Baroque for Instrumentalists

July 2 - 6 and/or July 8 -12 | RCM Grade 3 - 6

Strings - Junior Program

Guitar - Young Learners Program

July 23 - 27 | Age 8+

At least one year guitar study is recommended

For more information or to register:

VCM Funding Partners:

250.386.5311, or online:

VCM.BC.CA/SUMMER-ACADEMY 18  Island Parent Magazine


Momease Baby Boutique


regnancy and new parenthood can be an overwhelming time. It can be a period of uncertainty, worry, excitement, exhaustion and sometimes even isolation. At Momease Baby Boutique we believe that the old adage is true: it really does take a village—and we want to be a part of YOUR VILLAGE at Momease! Whether it’s building your dream baby registry, planning the perfect nursery, finding the ideal stroller for your lifestyle, or tackling the sometimes-challenging art of feeding a new baby, we’re here to help lend a hand every step of the way. Our small, close-knit team takes pride in offering the very best products for you and

your baby, backed by exceptional customer service every time you visit. We believe there are NO silly questions, and we love taking the time to connect with new or expectant parents on a deeper level. We strive to always listen carefully in an effort to provide thoughtful recommendations and connect you with products that are uniquely suited to your individual needs and lifestyle. When planning your baby shower or gift registry, Momease Baby Boutique offers personalized consultations with a knowledgable staff member who can help guide you with product suggestions to add to your baby wish list.

It takes a village...and we’re here to help be a part of YOUR VILLAGE at Momease Baby Boutique! From strollers to swaddles, car seats to carriers and cribs, you’ll find everything you need for your baby or toddler at Momease Baby Boutique.

From strollers to swaddles, car seats to carriers and cribs, we’ve got everything you need for your baby and beyond, in-store at Momease Baby Boutique and online too at

Visit us at our locally-owned and operated boutique at 1581 Hillside Ave (across from Hillside Mall), or shop online at with free local pick up or free shipping on most orders over $150!









April 2019  19


Saanich Commonwealth Place


aanich Commonwealth Place is your ‘Place’ for fun! We are Victoria’s only wave pool complete with a 10m waterslide, diving boards, the Wibit inflatable obstacle course, 4 ozone treated pools, steamroom, sauna and swirlpool. We have family change rooms and a family admission rate of $13.50. This world class facility is a must-visit attraction for out of town guests. Come make a memory with us this summer!

Did you know we offer summer daycamps in the water? Splash Camp for ages 5½ -8 year olds includes daily swim lessons and fun swims along with games, crafts, and lots of fun. It’s offered each week from 9am-4pm. Aqua Adventure Camp offers a week of water activities such as kayaking, snorkeling, and springboard diving for ages 9-12 years. The Wibit inflatable and fun swims are all part of the adventure. This week-long camp is offered 5 times throughout the summer. Bike & Swim Camp has 9-14 year olds exploring local parks and trails while learning cycling skills from experienced riders. Each day finishes in the pool to cool down! There are 9 weekly options available for this one. Advanced Aquatic programs including Junior Lifeguarding Camp, Bronze Star, Bronze Medallion & Bronze Cross, National Lifeguard Pool Option, Water Park Option and Recerts can be completed here as well as Water Safety Instructor Level 1.

Our Child Summer Swim Pass is just $35 and valid for unlimited Fun Swims and Family Swim times for ages 5-12. The Wibit inflatable obstacle course adds adventure to your Fun Swim as you run, jump, climb and slide across! Tween Swims every Friday night from 7-9pm, ages 10+ can stay until 10pm. Mermaid Swim: bring your own tail and join us during the weekend Family Swims. Birthday packages available. We teach swimming lessons to every age and ability from babies to seniors! Choose group lessons, private or semi-private sessions. Summer lesson sets for children are offered mornings or afternoons and have swimmers attending daily for two weeks at a time. Teen lessons are available for all levels. Family Lessons, one adult must be in There’s so much going on in the pools the water with up to 3 children. this summer! Adult and Senior sets are offered at Daily Fun Swims daily from 1-4pm all quieter times in the pool and let you work 4636 Elk Lake Drive Victoria, BC V8Z 5M1 summer long! Evening times also offered at your own pace to meet your goals. 250-475-7600 Monday through Friday.

! ! ! ! ! ! ! !


Your Community’s Best Source of Child Care Information & Resources Child care information & referrals ! Consultations in person or by phone Affordable Child Care Benefit information & assistance ! Referrals Lending libraries ! Lending libraries and resources Workshops & training ! Workshops & training Drop-in programs ! Networking Newsletters ! Drop-in programs Computer access ! Newsletters ! Computer access ! Laminating & photocopying ! Job postings ! Start-up resources


Child Care Resource & Referral

1.888.338.6622 1.888.338.6622 • •

by the Province Check Local CCRR for Availability Funded by Funded the Province of BCof BC  Check Local CCRR for Availability

*Check out our regional CCRR website to connect with your local CCRR office for more information:

20  Island Parent Magazine

Community Board


feel so special.” I said to my husband. “I am so loved.” I held up my very first “I hate you note” from our son. He is five and in kindergarten, so it was spelled “I H 8 U.” My husband and I often think that we can either laugh or cry during these parenting moments and both often choose to laugh. Laughter, we’ve learned, can keep you sane amongst the chaos of parenting. I don’t take these notes personally. I really do feel special and proud to see him expressing his emotions through writing. Since I was five years old, I have kept a diary and I still keep it up today—electronically. It is a great way to vent. I’ve often written notes to express to someone how I feel, especially when talking just lead to more fighting. The reason for my son’s note began when he was supposed to be getting dressed for school. Instead, he got distracted watching YouTube on TV. Our rule is that everyone has to get ready for school before they are allowed play time in the morning. Since my son wasn’t dressed, I turned off YouTube.

Instead of my son’s usual reaction of lashing out verbally or trying to hit me—which would have resulted in a loss of screen time for the day—he silently skulked away. He got ready for school and then, without saying anything, handed me the note. “I H 8 U.”

Later in the day we discussed his note, and his feelings. We also brainstormed ideas to improve our morning routine. I’ve always encouraged our kids to talk about their emotions, but they might not always want to talk, so it’s important to respect that too and let them express themselves in their own time. When my oldest daughter was in kindergarten, she drew pictures to express how she felt. My favourite is a picture of my husband and me with Xs over our mouths and all around us. We were having an argument and she didn’t like our heated debate.

Serena Beck Is There an App for This? It’s important for kids to see how parents express their emotions and see them make up too. She would also draw our entire family and then place an X over the family member who she was not getting along with (usually her brother or sister). My oldest daughter went so far as to write a note to me that said “You are so mean” when I said no to sugary snacks before bed. I’m looking forward to seeing what will transpire with our youngest daughter as she gets older. For now, we just get arms crossed and pouting from our three-year-old. I have placed both my kids’ notes into their scrapbooks and I know that one day we’ll look back fondly at these notes. What makes the negative notes so special is that they are rare. I have tons of positive emotion notes from my kids stating how much they love us or that we are the best parents. I feel appreciated each time I receive an “I love you” note from my kids, especially, when they are written for no particular reason. And I will continue to laugh on the rare occasion that I receive an “I hate you” note. Serena Beck works full-time as a Technical Writer. She loves to write, travel, and swim with her three children.

Making our Community a Better Place to Live Art Gallery of Greater Victoria Child Care Resource & Referral The Civic Orchestra of Victoria Lindsay Trowell, Counsellor & Parenting Specialist Lori Frank Mediation & Consulting Phoenix Theatre Royal BC Museum Victoria Children’s Choir Victoria Conservatory of Music Enquire about non-profit brochure or magazine distribution in Greater Victoria: April 2019  21

The Joy of an Unfinished To-do List A

s a single, full-time working parent, I often feel caught up in a juggling act. The balls in the air represent my various identities—mother, friend, daughter, employee, community member—and each of them demands time, effort and attention. More often that not, a ball or two drops and I am left scrambling to get it back into the air. Then the act starts up all over again. Life is busy and time is finite. As I walk along this parenting path, I realize more and more the importance of prioritization, self-discipline and self-kindness. I simply cannot do it all. Some things need to be set aside and let go. The question then becomes “What is most important to my family and me; what do I need to live my best life?” Recently I took time to evaluate my jam-packed weekend routine. After a full work week, I jumped right into a schedule of to-do’s on my precious days off. It left little time for being fully present and engaged with my daughter. I finished each weekend

depleted and without rest, and my child was often asking for more of my attention. The worst part is there was no end to it all. As a wise friend once told me: “You will die with an unfinished to-do list.” Amen. So I asked myself, “Why am I doing this? What is most important to me?” After some reflection, I identified the following: 1. To be an engaged and loving mom 2. To ensure that we are eating healthy and well 3. To keep us safe and protected 4. To savour the time that I have with my daughter while she is young (and still wants to spend time with me) 5. To cultivate more joy and fun Then I reviewed the activities I did most weekends and it turned I spent a lot of time on chores. I considered my list and decided other than laundry, budgeting and keeping the house generally tidy (for example, changing sheets), much of it could wait.

Ongoing Kids Classes

Acting for the Camera: 8–11 years

Saturdays 10am–12pm | April 6–May 25 | Instructor: Julia Dillon-Davis This introductory class offers young people a chance to explore the craft of film acting. Students will work on audition scenes, partner scenes and group projects. Each class will include drama and improv games to inspire creativity and scene creation. We’ll also learn about audition and on-set etiquette, and what it is to be a professional in the film industry (even when you’re not full grown!). The class will conclude with a family and friends screening showcasing the students’ work.

Acting for the Camera: 12–15 years

Saturdays 12:30–3pm | April 6–May 25 | Instructor: Julia Dillon-Davis

This class offers teens an introduction to the craft of film acting. Participants work on audition scenes, partner scenes and group projects. Assignments focus on character exploration and scene study and use improvisation to explore characters, dynamics and story. We’ll also learn about audition and on-set etiquette, and what it is to be a professional in the film industry. The class will conclude with a family and friends screening showcasing the students’ work.

Summer Camp Registration Opening Soon

202–734 Aldebury St 250.580.2588

22  Island Parent Magazine

03/06/19 After deciding what chores to prioritize, I decided to create a standard two-week, rotating meal plan. While not as exciting as providing new meals on a weekly basis, it removes the guesswork, and it saves creative cooking for special occasions like when we host friends and family. I picked healthy meals both my daughter and I enjoy. I also tried to choose ones that produce multiple servings and allow for

Lora McKay portion freezing. When I take the time to cook more labour-intensive meals, maybe Shepherd’s Pie, I also save time and money in the long run (ending up with two to three dinners). On a busy weekday, there is nothing better than pulling a well-balanced meal out of the freezer and putting it right into the oven. I also started to online grocery shop, rather than drive to the store. Many stores offer this option now. Not only can you shop in the comfort of your own home, you can set a time to pick up the groceries for free, or have them delivered to your home for a small charge. I place my order mid-week and I track the grocery bill costs as I shop. It is much more efficient than walking up and down the aisles of a store and my monthly grocery bills have decreased since I started. Lastly, I asked my daughter to help me identify more fun activities that we can enjoy together over the weekend. She likes to play school, build forts and dance to “Just Dance” videos on YouTube. I enjoy taking her on walks with our dog to Mt. Doug Park, Thetis Lake and through our neighbourhood. Although weekends are still busy at our house, we talk, share and laugh a lot more now. The same is true for those weekday evenings when I am not scrambling to cook a meal. Even though it is still a juggle, my life is also a work in progress; and I am doing my best to evaluate, streamline and adjust as I go.

Thank you for your support By donating $10 for every new patient we saw over the months of Jan and Feb, we raised a total of $1,480 for the BC SPCA. Give us a call at 778.425.4140 to book your next appointment. Alphie, our rescue puppy

6689 Sooke Road Sooke, BC


Lora McKay is a Victoria writer and mother to an amazing nine-year-old daughter and a rescue dog named Lucky. You can read more of her work at

April 2019  23

PartyDirectory birthday parties for all ages!

ctoria Gymnastics

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Henderson Recreation Centre Call 250-370-7200 Oak Bay Recreation Centre Call 250-595-SWIM (7946)

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Circus Birthday Parties for ages 4 and up • party size up to 14 participants • 60 min FUN circus class in circus warehouse • Beautiful Circus Tent Party Room available for cake/presents • aerial silk, hoop, trapeze, and more! • circus treat for all kids

At The Rising: The Westshore’s first circus school and company, 140–1047 Langford Pkwy

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778-265-6414 24  Island Parent Magazine


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emember back to the simple days when you had a whopping ONE T4 to file? Oh those days seem so long ago, don’t they? Now life as a parent is anything but simple when it comes to taxes. Not only do we have receipts coming out our ears, but we also need to keep them out of sight for fear of inspiring a paper maché party. Then you sit down after the bedtime routine is finished to sort, add, subtract, and translate jargon. What could go wrong? Tax season is exhausting and downright stressful for most parents. But it doesn’t have to be! What would it be like if you felt a sense of calm when you opened your files to get ready for your tax return? This is a task that comes around as regularly as your birthday, so if you start treating it that way it will get easier. Think of this as an opportunity to reflect on the previous year, find areas to change that will improve your future, and, if all goes well, celebrate with a gift to yourself when you receive a tax refund. Your mindset makes a huge difference in the experience you have during tax season. But happy thoughts aren’t going to file your return for you, so I suggest to my clients that they plan three, one-hour sessions in a quiet area with a cup of tea and a checklist and follow this simple routine: 1st session: Gather the slips and receipts from the checklist. Be prepared with sticky notes and paper clips. 2nd session: Start to tally either on paper or excel to add up the receipts in each category. 3rd session: Enter the amounts into the software if you are doing it yourself, or send copies of your slips and summary to your tax professional. Doesn’t that sound simple? It is! Now to prepare for your three, onehour sessions the first thing you’ll need is a checklist. If you are using a tax professional to complete your return, ask them if they have a preferred list. If not, you can find one here:

You will save yourself time and energy by keeping your checklist handy throughout the year. Use the list to organize your paper, or digital, file to eliminate the 1st session next year.

Lindsay Plumb

Parent’s Checklist Childcare, up to $8000 per year per child Child/Spousal support received or paid Adoption related expenses Medical intervention for conception related expenses RESP withdraw slips Medical receipts, including private health care premiums and required travel Disability Tax Credit, if child is approved What not to include: RESP contributions Child fitness and arts receipts Canada Child Benefit Important! The deadline to file Income Tax is Tuesday, April 30. Returns must be filled on time in order to receive your July Canada Child Benefit.

Lindsay Plumb is a financial coach and founder of MOOLA Financial Coaches & Advisors. Disclosure: Lindsay is not an accountant. Please consult a professional or do your own research before making tax decisions. April 2019  25

Summer Camp Fun

Day camps and overnight summer camps offer children and teens a chance to take a step toward independence in a safe, fun-filled setting. For more information, please refer to the advertising in this issue. Arts Calibre Academy Active Arts Camps. Join us for a summer of creative, active fun! Exciting camps will engage children in music, art, crafts, and lots of fun and games. New activities to explore every week; outdoor fun every day; field trips to local parks. Camps for age groups 3 to 5 and 6 to 9. Register online at ArtsCalibre. ca. For more information: summercamps@ 250-382-3533. Nestled on the pristine oceanfront of Mill Bay, Brentwood College School summer camps offer a wide range of day and overnight options this year. This July and August, Brentwood is hosting 9 diverse and fun camps offering a summer experience rich in fun, friendship, learning and adventure for kids from 7 to 17. These camps range from half and full-day to overnight, and are designed to cover everything from academics to arts and athletics. Campers can pick from: Academics Camp Canada, Debate Camp Canada, Kingswood Study Camp Canada, Musical Theatre, Rowing, Rock Band and Soccer! For more information visit The Boulders Climbing Gym. Team Boulders is lead by world class coaches and athletes determined to make climbing fun, fundamental, and competitive. We design all our programs and camps with these principles in mind: risk management, respect and fair play; fundamental skills and technical mastery before performance and results; fun, friendship and community; inclusivity. 1627 Stelly’s Cross Rd. info@ 250-544-0310. Byte Camp—Creative Tech Camps for Kids! In our Claymation and Tablet Animation camps, kids create their own quirky animated movies. They learn to edit their own songs and videos in Music and Video Production. Our Intro to Coding, 2D Game Design and Build an App camps teaches kids the joys of coding! And our 3D Animation camp introduces the next generation of PIXAR artists to the amazing world of 3D character modelling and animation. $250/ 26  Island Parent Magazine

camps provide a mixture of water and land-based camps including: kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddle-boarding, surfing, backpacking and nature exploration as main focuses, with an assortment of exciting afternoon activities. Register early: programs fill up quickly. Program ages 9-12 and 13-16. Visit cowichanbaykayaking. com or phone 250-597-3031.

wk, 9-14yrs,, 1-888-808BYTE for more info. A day immersed in nature is hard to beat, and that’s why we developed a five-day Discover fully accesnature immersion on the shores of the sible, Camp Pringle sea at the Cowichan Estuary Nature at Shawnigan Lake. Centre. Campers of our Soaring Eagles Explore a safe, excitSummer Nature Camp will explore the life ing, outdoor commuof pollinators, shoreline plants, intertidal nity where active and species and coastal birds, conduct mud healthy children have fun! digs and plankton tows, practice their Experiential adventure-based activities, discovery skills, expression of gratitude develop greater self -awareness and build and respect for self and others through confidence. Join our Leadership Program or play. 250-597-2288. our teen week for an Ultimate Adventure. General Co-Ed, Family Camp and more. Learn to build positive relationships with Emmanuel Baptist Church is offering the environment and your peers. Delicious seven day camps this summer. They are food. Overnight or Day Camps. New filled with fun, friends, and outside acor experienced campers, ALL families tivities, gym times, stories, crafts, and in welcome, for a week that lasts a lifetime! our full day camps we do outings each afternoon. Please see the ad in this month’s Island Parent. They are reasonably priced Camp Qwanoes is a youth-oriented high- and are led by competent adults as well as adventure Christian camp celebrating 53 youth volunteers. Contact the church office years of adventure on Vancouver Island. 250-592Built from the ground up for kids to ex- 2418 for more details. perience an unforgettable life-changing week, we seek to encourage, challenge, The Glenlyon Norfolk School Marine and develop the entire person. Sun-soaked Adventure Program offers: day camps days are filled with new friendships, over for ages 11 to 12; combination day and 75 activities, tasty food, great music and overnight camps for ages 13 to 14; and a singing, Bible study, firesides, and of course full five-day kayak and camping adventure pure fun—all in a spectacular setting with to Barkley Sound for ages 15 to 17. Small amazing staff from around the world who groups and experienced leaders create an all love kids. We are fully accredited and ideal and safe opportunity to experience sea maintain standards of the highest quality. kayaking and the marine environment, to Choose from week-long co-ed camps for gain skills in paddling and to explore some Juniors (ages 8-11), Junior Highs (ages of our spectacular BC coastline. Call: 25011-13 and 12-14), and Senior Highs (ages 370-6852 Email Visit: 15-18), plus Family Retreats. Qwanoes is an ideal place for fun-filled, life-changing adventure. Watch our video at Life Dances Counselling. Empower Me: summer/media. Order a free brochure at Girls’ Empowerment Camp (Aug 19-23) 1-888-997-9266 or Life like offers teens the opportunity to disrupt no other awaits! their self-doubt, negative self-talk, and unhealthy emotional reactions and learn selfCoastal Bliss Adventure summer camps acceptance, self-compassion, and healthy have been running since 2012 in the connection, through positive psychology, Cowichan valley, with inspired children art-based activities, and mindfulness. Life returning annually, or progressing onto Dances Counselling is a Private Practice leadership rolls as junior instructors. Our specializing in helping teens and their

Royal Soccer Club. With over 100 locations, we’re celebrating our 27th year of running the #1 grassroots soccer day camps in Canada. Operating all weeks in July/ August, we offer a soccer focused morning and swim and camp games for afternoons. Join Island Circus Space this summer for Boys and girls aged 5 to 13 can register for a one of a kind experience! Learn a variety full day, morning and afternoon sessions of circus disciplines including aerials, group with early drop off times available at no acrobatics, juggling and more. Weekly full extra charge. Call 1-800-427-0536 or visit day Summer Camps will run through July for more information. and August from 9am-3pm. This is a great way for kids (ages 6-15) to develop new skills, make new friends, and leave inspired. No experience necessary, registration begins March 15. For more information visit us at families thrive. See the ad in this issue for a discount code toward online sessions, workshop registrations, and online parent course. Website: Email:

Every scientist was once a child! Mad Science Vancouver Island spark children’s interest in science, encourage their curiosity and build their confidence and skills as they create a variety of take-home science projects. Our camps explore topics that allow children to participate in scientific explorations from bugs to the vastness of space, launching rockets, building weird machines and more. Join in any of the SMUS Summer Music Academies. Join variety of our Camps, Parties and Shows students from across North America in this unique summer program with a solid arts and have fun. pedigree. Youth age 11-17 can spend a week PISE Summer Camps focus on fun ways to of intensive, hands-on learning with expert develop fundamental movement skills and instructors exploring and enhancing their patterns that enable children to be active for skills in a specific area of the performing life! PISE uses a combination of structured arts. Program areas include: Band (concert and unstructured play to help children learn band, jazz band, and switch band), and to move to the best of their ability and PLAY Musical Theatre. For details, visit us at: their way to confidence, skill development, or call 250-370-6120. fun, team work, cooperation, respect and inclusivity! Camps are for ages 3-18 and Join Thriving Roots summer camps for run throughout July and August. kids 5-14 and awaken your true nature. We will build fires, harvest wild plants, build summer-camps. shelters, make survival tools and crafts, sing songs, play games, and go on wild adventures. Some camps include an epic sleep-out where we’ll eat dinner around a fire, play night games and sleep outside in Powerful Youth’s Global Leadership Acad- primitive shelters or tents. Come make new emies offer an award-winning experience- friends, embrace your inner wildness and based leadership programs for Junior (ages have fun. Learn more at 12-14) and Senior (ages 15-18) youth here in Victoria and England. Hundreds of youth Come spend your summer with the Vikes. from 18+ different countries come to engage Join our amazing summer staff for a week in 60+ hours of service leadership to build of fun! Develop skills, meet new friends, their confidence, skills, friendships and explore creativity and experience exciting impact every summer. Two-week programs activities in a safe and positive environment run June, July and August. Special local on the UVic campus. Half day and full day scholarships for BC residents! Application camps are available. A variety of camps deadline May 31, 2019. To learn more visit: ranging in ages from 5-17 are offered in four categories: Recreation, Sport

opment, High Performance, and Climbing & Outdoor. Registration opens April 1: Victoria Children’s Choir Summer Sings Day Camp. This fun-filled camp experience will delight any budding young singer! Learn essential vocal skills and music basics through interactive activities and games. Ages 7-11. Dates: July 8-12. Time: 9am3pm. Location St. Aidan’s United Church.

Fee: $189/child. Led by: Teodora Georgieva. Learn more and register: 250-721-0856. Victoria Synchro Synchronized Swimming Summer Camp. July 8-12 or Aug 19-23, 9am -4pm at Saanich Commonwealth Place. Boys and Girls ages 8-12, no synchro experience necessary just swimming skills. Water and land activities. Fun, fitness, friends and teamwork! This sport combines swimming, music, dance, gymnastics, drama and team skills. Includes camp t-shirt and club swim cap. Give synchronized swimming a try! victoriasynchro. com look under ‘camp’ tab! Contact Whether your child randomly bursts into song and dance or is shy and needs to find his or her voice, the VOS Musical Theatre Summer Camps are the perfect activity. Beyond the practical application in theatre, students will learn to work in teams, solve problems, build self-confidence, and gain respect for the talents and opinions of others while exploring their own creativity and making new friends. Camps conclude with a performance for family and friends. For more information visit or call 250-381-1021. April 2019  27

AprilFamilyCalendar For more information and calendar updates throughout the month visit

2 Tuesday DivorceCare 6pm at Central Baptist Church 833 Pandora Ave, Victoria A friendly, caring group of people who will walk alongside you through one of life’s most difficult experiences. | 250-385-7786

3 WeDnesday Emergency Preparedness Workshop 1pm at Victoria City Hall, Antechamber Douglas St and Pandora Ave, Victoria Learn about hazards that can affect Victoria, what to include in your emergency kits, what you can do to protect your home from an earthquake, and how to reunite with loved ones after a disaster. | 250-920-3373

4 Thursday Souper Bowls of Hope 11am at Crystal Gardens/Victoria Convention Centre, 713 Douglas St Eat Soup, have fun, keep the bowl at Victoria’s iconic Souper Bowls of Hope fundraiser for Victoria Youth Empowerment Society. $50/person.

5 Friday DigiLab: Advisory Group

and start planning a program, all while logging volunteer hours and developing leadership skills. The DigiLab Advisory Group meets once a month, ages 13-18.

6 Saturday Esquimalt 5K 9:30am–12:30pm at Archie Browning Sports Centre, 1151 Esquimalt Rd A community-minded 5K open to all ages and abilities. Touted as one of the nicest 5K routes, come and enjoy a beautiful course that takes you through some gorgeous Esquimalt Parks.

7 Sunday Family Drumming Discovery 11am at Gordon Head Recreation Centre 4100 Lambrick Way Explore rhythm and drumming together. Combines listening, hands-on bucket drumming and a relay course incorporating varied instruments. Try a range of percussion instruments and beats. $10. | 250-475-7107

Cougar Capers 1pm at Sooke Potholes Regional Park Investigate the life of a cougar on this informative walk and talk with a CRD Regional Parks naturalist. Meet at CRD Parking Lot #2. 5+ years. Free | 250-478-3344

4pm at Esquimalt Branch Library Recommend new equipment for the DigiLab

8 Monday Pro D Day Swim & Skate 1pm at Panorama Recreation Come for a fun-filled Pro D Day swim or skate. skate: 1pm; Swim: 1:30pm. $2/person. | 250-656-7271

9 Tuesday DivorceCare 6pm at Central Baptist Church 833 Pandora Ave, Victoria A friendly, caring group of people who will walk alongside you through one of life’s most difficult experiences. | 250-385-7786

Middle & Senior School Admissions Info Session 6pm at Glenlyon Norfolk School, 801 Bank St Meet with members of the GNS Admissions Office to learn all about GNS, the IB curriculum, our cocurricular offerings and other key features of the GNS experience. | 250-370-6801

10 Wednesday RDN Hiking Information Session 6:30–8:30pm at Oceanside Place Arena 830 Island Hwy W, Parksville A local alpine guide shares tips and resources for family adventures and avid hikers. Ask questions before heading out on our guided hikes or selfguided exploration in Nanaimo Regional Parks. | 250-248-3252


Summer camps are where we make friends, be inspired and shape who we become. This summer it’s time to grow.

Re�is��� �r�� A���� 4�� 28  Island Parent Magazine

250-478-8384 |

11 Thursday

13 Saturday

Junior School Admissions Info Session

Busy Beavers

6pm at Glenlyon Norfolk School 1701 Beach Dr, Victoria Meet with members of the GNS Admissions Office to learn all about GNS, the IB curriculum, our cocurricular offerings and other key features of the GNS experience. | 250-370-6801

10am at Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park Bring your young ones to the shores of Beaver Lake Ponds to see an active beaver lodge. Children will have a chance to learn more about this amazing mammal and its marvellous adaptations. Meet at the Beaver Lake Ponds parking lot off Beaver Lake Rd. 5+ years. | 250-478-3344

parks and trails, and develop confidence hiking as a group. Piper’s Lagoon is a popular hiking spot, and offers incredible scenic views in an 8-hectare park. Easy hiking along groomed trails, the lagoon also provides an opportunity for tide pool viewing and bird watching. | 250-248-3252

Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch

12 Friday DigiLab: Craft Café 4pm at Saanich Centennial Branch Library Classic crafts, including fandom Perler Beads, Rainbow Loom, colouring and more. Or bring your own project if you’re working on something. Supplies provided. Drop-in. For ages 13-18.

Movie Night 7pm at Cowichan Aquatic Centre 2653 James St Come relax at the pool with a movie on the big screen. Slides and diving boards will be open too. 250-746-7665

Sarah Beckett Memorial Run 8am–1pm at Belmont Secondary School 3041 Langford Lake Rd, Westshore The is a 5km family run and walk starting at Belmont Secondary School. This event is in memory of Cst. Sarah Beckett who was killed in the line of duty on April 5, 2016. The money raised will be donated to the Constable Sarah Beckett Memorial Scholarship. 519-200-4039

She’s in Nature Guided Hike 10am–1pm at Piper’s Lagoon 900 Fifth St, Nanaimo Learn the skills needed to safely explore our

Shop online.

VIU’s Malaspina Theatre 900 Fifth St, Nanaimo TheatreOne’s Just Kidding for Kids proudly presents the award-winning, heart-warming puppet play Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch. It is a heartwarming puppet play that examines the effect that kindness can have on a dreary existence. | 250-754-7587

13/14 Saturday/Sunday Annual Native Plant Sale 9am-3pm at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary, 3873 Swan Lake Rd Over 4,000 plants and more than a hundred species. Limited parking, please carpool if possible.

April 2019  29

16 Tuesday

what to include in your emergency kits, how to protect your home from an earthquake, and how to reunite with loved ones after a disaster. DivorceCare 6pm at Central Baptist Church, 833 Pandora Ave | 250-920-3373 A friendly, caring group of people who will walk alongside you through one of life’s most difficult Wednesday experiences. | 250-385-7786 Teen Writing Contest Reception 7pm at Central Branch Library, Victoria A showcase of original creative writing by teens. Emergency Preparedness Workshop Winners of the Teen Writing Contest will read from 1pm at Victoria City Hall, Antechamber their short stories and poems, receive prizes and Douglas St and Pandora Ave Learn about the hazards that can affect Victoria,


passion. process. p l a y. it’s that simple.



Family Storytime

Greater Victoria Public Libraries Fun-filled stories, songs, rhymes and puppets. For young children and their families; children under 3 must be accompanied by an adult. Drop-in.

Stay & Play

Greater Victoria Public Libraries Enjoy social time and free play following Family Storytime. For young children and their families; children under 3 must be accompanied by an adult. Drop-in.

Baby Time

Greater Victoria Public Libraries Learn songs, rhymes and fingerplays to use with your baby every day. For babies 0-15 months and parent or caregiver. Drop-in.

Kindergym Drop-In

10am at Gordon Head Recreation Centre, 4100 Lambrick Way Tuesday, Thursdays & Saturdays. A movement program designed for children and their caregiver to play together. Balls, hoops, ride-on toys, climbers and mats allow children to creatively explore. Songs and circle time. Get active together for life. $3/child.

Awaken Your True Nature Register now for Summer Camps and Year-long Programs!

Wilderness Skills and Nature Connection programs for Youth and Adults. Victoria and Cowichan Valley. Ages 5–99.

Good Morning Storytime

Thursdays 10:30am until March 7 at Sidney All Care, 2269 Mills Rd Bring your littlest ones to this library program for stories, songs, rhymes, and lots of movement. Ages 0-5. Drop-in program. 250-656-0944

Sea Squirts

Imagine you or your child feeling completely at home in Nature, learning ancient wilderness skills like friction fire and plant foraging, while finding a sense of belonging in like-minded community...

11am–noon at Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre, Cowichan Bay A drop-in nature program where parents and their preschool children and infants can come together to connect with each other, learn about nature in fun and engaging ways, and support the development of early literacy skills. 250-597-2288

Learn more and register at Contact: 778-554-4741,

Mondays 9:30am–noon at Aggie Hall, Ladysmith Play-based learning stations to explore and enjoy, including a reading centre, craft area, Brio train table, snack table and more. Meet other parents, health and social service providers. 250-210-0870

LaFF Mornings

30  Island Parent Magazine

be celebrated as new writers. Everyone welcome.

Easter Craft Workshop 3:30–5:30pm at Oceanside Place Arena 830 Island Hwy W, Parksville Hop on over and create some springtime crafts with your child. This is a family program and parent participation is required. | 250-248-3252

Parks 101 Tour 3–5pm at Englishman River Regional Park 830 Island Hwy W, Parksville An RLC Park Naturalist will show you the trails, unique aspects, and opportunities in some of the region’s best natural areas. This tour is great for both newcomers and those who are familiar but maybe haven’t fully explored our local RDN Parks and Trails. | 250-248-3252

18 THURSDAY Greater Victoria Performing Arts Festival Choral Highlights Concert 7pm at Dave Dunnet Theatre 2121 Cadboro Bay Rd, Victoria A night of amazing music, as choirs from around

Victoria take the stage. $12/adult; $8/senior and student. Child 5 and under free. | 250-386-9223

Easter Egg Hunt at Kindergym 9:30am at Greenglade Community Centre, Sidney Come out for a hopping good time. Limited spaces. Regular admission. | 250-656-7271

20 SATURDAY Extreme Easter Scavenger Hunt 6pm at Greenglade Teen Lounge, Sidney Includes plenty of egg-citing treats and prizes. Be sure to bring a jacket as eggs will be hidden inside and out. For grades 6-9. | 250-656-7271

Connecting to Nature 1pm at Devonian Regional Park, Metchosin Celebrate Earth Day weekend with a CRD Regional Parks naturalist on a guided walk. Make connections to nature while walking from the forest to the wetland to the beach. Meet at the kiosk in the parking lot off William Head Rd. 8+ years. | 250-478-3344

21 SUnDAY Easter Egg Hunt 1pm at Dominion Brook Park, Sidney Hop on over to the park for some egg-citing children's activities and face painting. Parents and grandparents are welcome to take part in the fun. | 250-656-7271

Child Friendly Celebrate Easter Service 2:30 pm at St. Luke Cedar Hill Anglican Church Cedar Hill Cross Rd. at Cedar Hill Rd A short Easter Service followed by an Easter Egg Hunt especially for children and people of all ages. Everyone Welcome. | 250-477-6741

23 TUESDAY DivorceCare 6pm at Central Baptist Church 833 Pandora Ave, Victoria A friendly, caring group of people who will walk alongside you through one of life’s most difficult experiences. | 250-385-7786

Here at Sutubra Naturals & Organics, we bring you nothing but the best quality baby and child products for every day use. We carry many external remedies that can help calm restlessness and soothe common skin irritations. We also have many products for all ages including water based nail polish for little ones and relaxing natural bath and spa products for mom and dad. Come into our store today and grab your favourite brands for the whole family!

To celebrate Sutubra’s 1st birthday, we’re giving away 2 mini O’Canada Soaps to the first 100 customers on April 27th and 28th!

Located at Hillside Shopping Centre (N. Dairy Rd. Entrance) | 250-999-8038 |

April 2019


28 Sunday Spring Sensory Snoop 10am at Francis/King Regional Park Wake up your senses on a wander through the forest. Look for spring colours, listen for birds calling, smell forest perfume and more. | 250-478-3344

Wildflower Wanderings

26 Friday Family Paint 4–5:30pm at Oceanside Art Studio 124 Harlech Rd, Qualicum Beach Let’s create art and memories together. Family members will paint their own canvas with the guidance of our experienced art instructor. No experience necessary. All supplies included. | 250-248-3252

27 Saturday DigiLab: Gamers Unite 2:30pm at Oak Bay Branch Library Gather ’round an old-fashioned board game or play computer games among friends. Ages 13-18.

Kids Corner at St. Luke’s Spring Fair 10am at St. Luke’s Hall Cedar Hill Cross Road at Cedar Hill Rd A place for kids to work on crafts and play while you shop at St. Luke’s Spring Fair. Free. | 250-477-6741

Spring Fling 11am at Francis/King Regional Park Come and explore the sights, sounds and smells of spring. Join in this spring celebration with CRD Regional Parks naturalists for exhibits, crafts, activities—fun for the entire family. | 250-478-3344

1pm at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary, 3873 Swan Lake Rd Celebrate the wonderful world of wildflowers with guided tours of our native plant garden, a hike up Christmas Hill, crafts and games for the kids, and native plants for sale. | 250-479-0211

Greater Victoria Performing Arts Festival Piano Highlights Concert 2:30pm at Philip T Young Recital Hall B125, MacLaurin Building, University of Victoria An afternoon of amazing music as Senior and Intermediate pianists from around Victoria take the stage. Showcases musicians from the Greater Victoria Performing Arts Festival. | 250-386-9223

Do you experience teenagehood as confusing, frustrating, or stressful? LIFE DANCES COUNSELLING

specializes in helping teens and their parents navigate the struggles: from surviving to thriving!

Summer Camp: Empower Me Girls’ Empowerment Workshop Aug 19–23 “Grow confidence through self-awareness, friendship, and emotional intelligence”

Receive 15% off summer camp, 4 online sessions and/ our online parent course by emailing us by June 30th 2019 and use code: Spring2019


32  Island Parent Magazine



Garry Oak Meadow Marathon Sundays 1-3pm at Cattle Point 1 Scenic Dr, Victoria Rip out those invasive aliens to help the 11 struggling rare plants on Cattle Point. 250-595-8084

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Support Circles

A safe, supportive place to meet others in a similar situation and to share information and resources. | 250-384-8042

Parent Support Circles

Parenting isn’t always easy. Sometimes it helps to talk things through with other parents. At the Parent Support Services Society of BC, they believe that every parent is the expert of her/his own family. | 250-384-8042

Emmanuel Summer Camps 2019 Please register according to your child’s grade in September 2019. Children must be 4 years old by December 31, 2019 to attend the camps.


Camp Theme



July 2–5 (4 days)

Fun with Water & Sand 9:00–Noon



July 15–19

Beaches, Parks & Water 9:00–3:00

Gr 1–5


July 22–26

Vacation Bible School: Roar 9:00–Noon

4 yrs–Gr 5


July 29 – Aug 2

Forests, Lakes & Skies 9:00–3:00

Gr 1–5


Aug 6–9 (4 days)

Sports, Sports & More Sports 9:00–3:00

Gr 1–5


Aug 12–16

Construction 101 Revisited 9:00–3:00

Gr 1–5


Aug 19–23

Crafts & Gym 9:00–Noon

4–7 yrs


REGISTER: 2121 Cedar Hill Cross Road

at the Cedar Hill Cross Road & Henderson entrance to UVic

Phone 250-592-2418 | Fax 250-592-4646 |

Vancouver Island’s Largest Independent Toy Store

Drop-In Science Studio

Tuesdays 3–4:30pm at NS3 Science Studio #101–4355 Jingle Pot Rd, Nanaimo Build Lego creations, then program them to move using drag and drop software. Students can also explore the many hands-on science exhibits and experiments.

Kool Toys & Teaching Tools

#102 – 2517 Bowen Rd, Nanaimo 888.390.1775


Family Frolics


5:45pm at Frank Jameson Community Centre 810 6th Ave, Ladysmith Drop in right after work to burn off some energy and get ready for bed. Play with balls and tunnels, run around and meet a new friend. For children 0-6 years 250-210-0870

Parksville Lions & Save-On-Foods Family Skate Sundays 12:15–1:45pm at Oceanside Place Arena, Parksville This popular skate session is a great way to stay active as a family. Children must be accompanied by an adult. | 250-248-3252


April 2019


Greater Victoria Performing Arts Festival Studio Dance Highlights Concert 7pm Dave Dunnet Theatre 2121 Cadboro Bay Rd A night of dance as studios from around Victoria take the stage. This concert showcases dancers from the Greater Victoria Performing Arts Festival. | 250-386-9223

She’s in Nature Guided Hike

Where Students Choose To Be

12–3pm at Little Mountain, Parksville Learn the skills needed to safely explore our parks and trails, and develop confidence hiking as a group. Little Mountain is a 30-minute hike, approximately 3km, at a leisurely pace brings you to a series of trails that circle around the top of the mountain. Spectacular views and an extensive arbutus strand are the reward after some steep elevation gains. | 250-248-3252

30 Tuesday DivorceCare 6pm at Central Baptist Church 833 Pandora Ave. Victoria A friendly, caring group of people who will walk alongside you through one of life’s most difficult experiences. | 250-385-7786



Museum Tots

Brentwood's Grade 8 day student program is now accepting applications! Space is limited. To find out more contact or call (250) 743.5521

Unique Tripartite Program: Academics, Arts, Athletics. 100% University Acceptance Co-ed | Day | Boarding | Grades 8-12 | British Columbia | Canada 34  Island Parent Magazine

Saturdays 11am at Maritime Museum 634 Humboldt St , Victoria A weekly program introducing children 2-5 to the fun world of museum learning. New theme each week, allowing children to learn through crafts, play, games, song, and dance. 250-385-4222

Lego Exhibition

10am–4pm at Sidney Museum 2423 Beacon Ave, Sidney Dozens of Star Wars themed Lego models, plus hundreds of other Lego models including Hogwarts Castle, and a Lego model of the Bugatti Chiron. Learn about the history of many models on display, guess how many bricks comprise the giant Lego Pyramid. 250-655-6355

Special Needs Resources BeConnected Support Services. BeConnected supports children, youth and adults with diverse abilities to lead rich lives in community. BeConnected’s services have expanded over the years, and include options for Employment, Residential Services, Shared Living, Respite, Community Inclusion, and other individual-centred options for children, youth and adults. Also, BeConnected is a Host Agency which means we will work in partnership with individuals and families who receive Individualized Funding (IF) through CLBC to help you create the future you desire. BeConnected serves the communities of Greater Victoria, Sidney, Sooke, Salt Spring Island, the Cowichan Valley, Nanaimo, the Comox Valley, and Campbell River. Contact BeConnected in Victoria at 250-727-3891; and BeConnected in Duncan at 250-748-3858. Visit BeConnected on the web at Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram! BeConnected: the supports you need for the life you want.

The Canucks Autism Network (CAN) provides year-round sports and recreation programs for children, youth, young adults, and families living with autism, while increasing awareness and providing training in communities across BC. Stay up-to-date on programs, registration dates and events in Nanaimo, Cowichan Valley, and Victoria by signing up for CAN’s Vancouver Island newsletter at CAN also provides training and accessibility resources for many sectors, including sport, recreation, first responders, schools, and a range of community spaces. Learn about customized training solutions:

Discovery School. Is your child bright, yet struggling in school? Would your child work best in a classroom of 10 students with a 1:3 staff to student support ratio? Perhaps your child requires an individual program with adaptations/modifications. Are you looking for a quiet, nurturing school with a Christian atmosphere that encourages academic development, perseverance, responsibility, and organizational skills? Look no further. For 40 years, Discovery School has been providing these services for struggling students. Discovery follows B.C. curriculum, is Ministry inspected, and provides this special education from the early grades to graduation. More information found at or call 250-595-7765. At Hands-On Home-Learning, we believe in an education that nurtures the whole child. We support children to learn at their own pace, in their own way. Our Special Education team applies this philosophy to help meet your child’s unique learning and developmental needs. We offer a flexible program with a desire to work collaboratively with you; as a parent, you are your child’s best advocate. We can work with any existing professionals as well as help locate additional services to support your goals. 250-383-6619; 1-888-383-6619; Island Montessori offers individualized programs for all children, including those with special needs and/or behavioural challenges, in an integrated, inclusive setting. Our highly trained and experienced staff work closely with the child’s family and involved professionals to develop and deliver a program designed to meet the develop and deliver a program designed to meet the developmental needs of the child. We believe that every child has a natural desire to learn, and that they do so best in atmosphere of warmth, caring and respect. 5575 West Saanich Rd (across from Red Barn Market). 250-592-4411,,•

April 2019  35

What Our Children Teach Us W

hen my two sons were born, only 21 months apart, I was eager to embark on the journey of parenthood. Although I was young at the time, I felt confident about all that I was going to impart on those two virtually blank slates. Little did I know back then that all children are born with their own unique personalities and attempting to change those to fit my preconceived notions, well, let’s just say I wasted a lot of time spinning my wheels. I had to learn the hard way to accept who they were and nurture their strengths and talents instead of create dreams for them. That was a long road for me, possibly because I harboured regrets from my own childhood. I never had the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, so when I sensed musical ability in my older son, I enrolled him in music lessons—at a very young age. We bought a piano, and for six years, I battled with him over daily practices and weekly lessons. I finally threw in the towel when he was 11 and grudgingly accepted the fact that he was more into sports and computers. Any parent who has slogged through sleepless nights, soiled diapers, colic, teething, and tantrums has had to learn to dig deep. Young children have no appreciation whatsoever that a parent is running on four hours sleep, or has a work deadline, or isn’t feeling well. They are only aware of their own needs being met. Because they are selfish little creatures, parents must be selfless. They must find those hidden reserves of strength they never even knew they possessed just to get through the day. Parenthood teaches us to put others first, to temporarily set aside our own wants and needs for the sake of our children. 36

Island Parent Magazine

I don’t mean to imply that being a parent is nothing but a school of hard knocks because children are the greatest teachers of one of life’s most precious gifts: unconditional love. The love one has for their parents, siblings, or a spouse is special, each in its own way, but nothing can compare to the love a parent feels for their child. Our children have the power to bring us to our knees with one look, one hug, or one simple word or gesture. We would sacrifice our very life if need be without a moment’s hesitation if it meant their safety or wellbeing. And this unconditional love is there for each child, no matter how many you have. When I was pregnant with my second child, I remember confessing to my mother that I didn’t know how I was possibly going to love that child as much as my firstborn. Little did I know my love would not be divided, but rather, it would multiply. This love drives parents to go to any lengths for their children, especially when their child is hurt or afraid. The desire to make things right for them, the sheer intensity of that desire, is overpowering. Along with unconditional love, our children and their perspective give us a profound understanding of what is important

in life. Children teach us an appreciation of the simple things; they force us to “stop and smell the roses.” We are able to see the world through their eyes and even the most jaded learn to find joy in simple pleasures whether it be the luxurious feeling of toes in warm sand, the harmony of a chorus of crickets, or the refreshing sensation of a cool rain on an upturned face. Sure children place demands on our time, but when we give them that, the rewards are endless.

O’Brien School of Irish !ancing Registration Open!

Susan Gnucci

24 years of teaching beginners to champions I never thought about human frailty or mortality until I had children. When I was young, I figured I had my whole life ahead of me; I didn’t dwell on the future. But once I had children, I began to worry over my own well-being as well as theirs. No one wants to think about leaving their children motherless, or worse yet, having to watch a child suffer a debilitating illness or disease. For the first time, I began to experience real fear. And that humbles even the best of us. In the face of what could possibly happen, you learn to take nothing for granted and you consider each day as a gift. I vividly remember praying I wouldn’t be taken from my young children when they were babies, then praying to make it through their school years, then praying to be able to help them get a start in life and so on and so on. I was always greedily bargaining for more time with them. Whereas I once thought I was the potter and my children were the clay, I have since learned that the reverse is true. My sons have been the ones to shape and mould me into a better version of the person I would have been had they not been in my life. Ironically, they have been the teachers, and I, the pupil. The life lessons I have learned from them have enriched my own journey in a way I could never have predicted or fathomed. And for that, I am truly grateful. Susan Gnucci is a local author and a proud “nonna” to an adorable four-year-old grandson. She enjoys sharing her experiences as a first-time grandparent.

Henderson Park Par 3 Golf Course

Great Family Course Rates!

Children & Adult Lessons Summer Camps Daily Specials

2291 Cedar Hill X Road • 250-370-7200 •

We are happy to offer adventurous, inclusive and quality programs for the community. We welcome landlubbers, Olympic dreamers and everyone in between! Our classes start at 4 years old all the way through to adults! Join us on the water!


250 592 6113 - - April 2019


La-La-La-La-La Lasagne


asagne is my kids’ favourite dinner. And who can blame them? It’s full of flavour, cheese and pasta! Though it isn’t a quick 30-minute weeknight meal, it is perfect for the weekend. Lasagne is perfect for getting creative with cooking. Use seasonal vegetables and have fun with the flavours.

1. Melt butter in a saucepan. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. 2. Whisk in flour, until fully mixed and browning. 3. Gradually pour in milk, whisking so that the flour and milk mix together. Bring the milk to a low boil, whisking constantly. After about 3 minutes it will have thickened. 4. Add the salt and pepper, taste and adjust as necessary.

1 large onion 2 cloves of garlic 1 can of crushed tomatoes 1 Tbsp of Italian seasoning 1 tsp salt 1⁄2 tsp black pepper 1. Chop the onion and dice the garlic. 2. Sauté the onion until soft (if using Spinach & Ricotta Filling ground beef, sauté until browned.) The spinach isn’t required in the layer 3. Add all the remaining ingredients and of ricotta, but it’s a great way to get some Sauces & Fillings extra leafy greens into your meal. Here are some recipes to kick-start your continue to cook for 15 minutes. 4. Taste and adjust the salt as needed. lasagnes. Pick and choose the layers to make 2 packages of frozen spinach your own favourite combination or follow White Sauce. White sauce is perfect for 1 container of ricotta (about 500g) one of the suggestions below. a creamy lasagne or as a dairy-free alterna- 1 egg Quick Tomato Sauce. It’s worth mak- tive to ricotta cheese. If you are making a 1⁄2 tsp salt ing homemade tomato sauce because you dairy-free white sauce, replace the butter 1. Defrost the spinach and squeeze out can avoid the added sugar and salt in the and milk with dairy-free options. any extra water. You want the spinach to bottled version. be as dry as possible. This recipe is for a plain tomato sauce; if 1⁄2 cup butter 2. Mix the spinach, ricotta, egg and salt you want to make a meat sauce, brown 1 lb 2 cloves garlic, minced together. It’s now ready to use. of ground beef with the onions. For a hearty 1⁄2 cup flour vegetarian option, add 2 cups of cooked 5 cups whole milk Broccoli & Cauliflower Filling brown lentils to the finished tomato sauce. 2 tsp salt This filling is perfect for kids that don’t 1⁄2 tsp black pepper like to see their vegetables. It’s also delicious.

Serving the Families of Vancouver Island for Over 23 Years The Kiddies Store

1 bunch of cauliflower 1 bunch of broccoli 6 cloves of garlic olive oil 1⁄2 tsp salt 1. Grate the cauliflower and broccoli. You can even grate the stems. 2. Saute the grated vegetables with diced garlic until fully cooked, about 5–6 minutes. 3. Salt to taste.

Roasted Vegetables Original


Yumbox Original (6 compartments) • Five 1/2 cup portions • Dip portion Yumbox Panino (4 compartments) • One 2 cup portion • Two 1/2 cup portions • Dip portion • Leakproof silicone lid individually seals all compartments • Illustrated trays help you pack a balanced and healthy meal • New colours available


38  Island Parent Magazine

Larch St.


1 medium zucchini 1 medium eggplant 4 coloured peppers olive oil 1. Slice the zucchini and eggplant into thin slices. 2. Cut the peppers in half and remove the core. 3. Toss the vegetables in olive oil, then roast at 425˚F for 20 minutes.

Layering Lasagne

Finlayson St. Douglas

3045–C Douglas St., Victoria, BC V8T 4N2 250-386-2229

A layer of roasted vegetables is a delicious addition to lasagne.

Entrance off Larch St.

When buying lasagne noodles, it’s easiest to use no-cook noodles, which are thinner and will cook in the liquid of the pasta

sauces. Pre-boiling noodles does require a bit more work. However, it is necessary for certain brands of pasta, particularly glutenfree pasta. One option is simply soaking the noodles in a pot of boiling water, rather than actually cooking them. They will soften, without falling apart and sticking together. If your fillings are already prepared, then you can put your lasagne together after about 10 minutes of soaking the noodles.

Emillie Parrish Cooking With Kids

Matinees for KIDS! Saturdays & Sundays All Seats $4.75 Apr 6 & 7 – 12:45 PM   Paddington 2

Apr 13 & 14 – 12:45 pm   The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part Apr 20 & 21 – 12:15 pm   Mary Poppins Returns Apr 27 & 28 – 12:45 pm   How to Train Your Dragon:   The Hidden World

.com Student Union Building, UVIC | 250-721-8365

Layer, in order, with: 1. A small amount of sauce on the bottom of the pan. 2. A layer of noodles. 3. Alternating layers of filling, sauce, cheese and noodles for a total of 3–4 layers of noodles. 4. Top the final layer of noodles with a bit more sauce and grated cheese. 5. Bake at 375˚F. Have the lasagne covered for the first 25 minutes, then cook it uncovered for another 25 minutes, until the cheese is browning and the sauce is bubbling. 6. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. The easiest lasagne can be made with store-bought tomato sauce and a layer of ricotta cheese and spinach. A traditional meat lasagne has meat sauce with ricotta cheese. Try adding in a layer of vegetables, or mixing spinach into the ricotta cheese. Vegetarian lasagne is perfect for the summer months, with layers of roasted vegetables, ricotta and tomato sauce. White sauce lasagne uses white sauce with ricotta cheese. It’s delicious mixed with layers of the cauliflower and broccoli filling. Red and white lasagne is a classic lasagne where the ricotta cheese layer is replaced by white sauce. It is perfect for anyone who needs to avoid dairy. Finish with a layer of white sauce over the top noodles, which will bubble and brown nicely.

Emillie Parrish loves having adventures with her two busy children. She lives in Victoria and is the author of the fermentation-based blog

Summer Kids Camps 2019 In Cowichan Bay

Day Programs & Overnight Camps

Register online now at 250-597-3031 April 2019  39

Smells Like Pre-teen Spirit


’ve been writing this column for around six years; in a way, it’s been an interesting opportunity for me to keep track of things as my kids grow up. I’ve sort of been creating the road map as the journey goes on through my musings here, and I see that I’m now entering that rocky, pothole-filled area that the municipal authorities don’t want to deal with: the pre-teen years. Yeah, my girl is 10 and a half now, and I couldn’t help but notice I’m getting a lot of scowls, lots of sarcastic inflections that weren’t there a couple years ago, lots of attitude. The interesting thing is how put on a lot of it seems; given that we’re horrible, near-Amish parents, and she gets just 30 minutes of screen time a day—the horror—this probably doesn’t come from media as much as it does from peers (who are, of course, getting it from media).

40  Island Parent Magazine

Sometimes I’m tempted to think it’s actually a natural thing: when kids hit double digits and the pre-teen years start, they just have a natural inkling to turn into sullen, attitude-ridden explorers of wild mood swings previously only dreamed of. But then I think, hmm, were pre-teens like this 100 years ago? Was little Laura Ingalls a terror at this stage? Or what about societies where there is little or no media? Those untouched tribes we occasionally read stories about with a passionate, detached curiosity; are their 12-year-olds talking back to mom and dad while we fly over and gawk and snap pictures for our websites? Doubt it. So here’s where I get torn. I kinda like the pre-teen attitude. I find it funny and for me it means the kid is getting closer to being a teenager, which is sort of cool. I don’t remember

being six, really, but I remember being 16, so there’s a sort of connection there that I look forward to exploring. On the other hand, I’m your dad, don’t talk to me like that or that 30 minutes a day of Netflix is going down to 20. And maybe that’s worth talking about: I hear a lot (can I emphasize that? A LOT) of people saying things these days about how they can’t get their kids off their phones or laptops.

Greg Pratt Dadspeak Are you kidding me? You “can’t” get them off their devices? The kid is half your height and still mopes when you put raisins in their lunch (I do that too; horrible dad victories all over the place here, LOL). What’s with this culture of the kids having control over the parents? Take the phone away from them. There. Done. (Heck, buy me a six-pack and I’ll come to your house and do it for you.) It’s easy! All of which is, somehow, to say that the good thing about taking the time to do this column is that it’s forced me to take the time to stop every once in a while and reflect on things, and to look ahead and see where things are going. It’s easy to get caught in the chaos and to be plowing always ever forward; I’m lucky to have a reason to stop now and again and take stock and to at least use this space to remind you to do the same. And to not be afraid to take away their screens. We can do that, and as the kids get older, they need to remember that we are the parents, after all. We set the rules, and we are the bosses, and we damn sure can and do say “no.” And, also, go ahead and give them raisins in their lunch once in awhile—that’s kinda funny, and we can do that, too. Sometimes it’s those little joys that make the endless black clouds of the pre-teen era just a bit easier.

Greg Pratt is the father of two children and a local journalist and editor. His writing has appeared in, among other places, Today’s Parent, Wired, Revolver and Douglas.

Summer Camps for Girls!

Camp themes include tennis, golf, dance, computer science, learn to sew, musical theatre as well as specialty camps like CoderGirl and Self.I.E girls’ empowerment camp. REGISTER TODAY! VANCOUVER ISLAND’S ONLY ALL-GIRLS, INDEPENDENT DAY AND BOARDING SCHOOL • VICTORIA, BC, CA

April 2019  41

FamilyServicesDirectory The Family Services Directory features not for profit agencies and organizations serving children, youth and families

1Up, Victoria Single Parent Resource Centre ( provides support, education and resources for parents in the Greater Victoria area through free counselling, volunteer training, a mentoring program for single moms, and a support group for dads, as well as a variety of integrated life skills and parenting courses which are open to the whole community, with fees on a sliding scale. For single parent members, the Centre provides free toys and books, a clothing room and bread pantry. Donations of gently-used clothing, small household items, and toys are welcome. Hours: Mon., Tue., Thu., Fri.: 9–4, & Wednesdays: 12–7. Location: 602 Gorge Road East. Phone: 250-385-1114. Beacon Community Services is a communitybased, non-profit agency dedicated to helping people and improving lives on southern Vancouver Island and the southern Gulf Islands. Beacon thrift shops fund important LOCAL community services and programs. Beacon also offers: child, youth and family services (including the Peninsula Early Years Centre and child care); counselling; employment services and training for people of all ages; home support care; volunteer services and opportunities; affordable housing/care/supports for seniors and people with disabilities. For Home Support, please call 250-658-6407. For other programs: 250-6560134.

while increasing awareness and providing training in communities across BC. Stay up-to-date on programs, registration dates and events in Nanaimo, Cowichan Valley, and Victoria by signing up for

CAN’s Vancouver Island newsletter: canucksautism. ca/newsletter. CAN also provides training and accessibility resources for many sectors, including sport, recreation, first responders, schools, and community spaces. Learn about customized training solutions:

Dialogue and Resolution Services (DRS) helps people improve relationships through facilitating empathic communication in a safe, impartial and collaborative manner. We work with individuals, families, parents, co-workers, neighbours, community organizations, governments and those leaving incarceration. We continue to strive for equity and Beacon Community Services Employment increased cultural competency, through life-long Programs. Beacon Community Services offers a learning. DRS assists diverse clients to create lasting, full menu of employment services on the Saanich effective solutions that support healthy connecPeninsula and Gulf Islands. We’ve been helping tion and build community. For affordable, ethical, people find work since 1982! Our programs build on professional service, find us at 250-383-4412 or a person’s strengths and resolve barriers to finding and keeping employment. We also work with our employer network to support job seekers. Need help finding a job? Need employees? Contact us for FREE assistance! 9860 Third St. Sidney. 250656-0134. Boys & Girls Club Services offer after-school and evening social, educational and recreational programming for children and youth at 5 locations (Colwood, Langford, VicWest, Central Saanich and Esquimalt) and summer camps both in Esquimalt and at our Outdoor Centre in Metchosin. We also offer support to parents through our Parents Together program and parent workshops. For more information on all programs and services visit or call 250-384-9133. Canucks Autism Network (CAN) provides yearround sports and recreation programs for children, youth, young adults, and families living with autism, 42  Island Parent Magazine

HappyBaby Sleep Solutions helps families create healthy sleep habits in babies and children so everyone is well rested and happy. Sukkie Sandhu, M.Ed., has worked with hundreds of families locally in Victoria and worldwide. Sukkie is a Registered Clinical Counsellor so the cost of a sleep consultation may be covered under your extended medical plan. For more information visit or call 250-857-1408 for a FREE evaluation. Let’s get started! Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA) is a registered charity and nonprofit helping individuals and organizations to connect across cultures. Programs offered include immigrant and refugee services, parenting programs, employment services, interpretation and translation, diversity workshops and training, English language training, volunteer placements, youth programs and tutoring, seniors groups, and inter-cultural arts programming. Located at 930 Balmoral Road, 250-388-4728, LDABC The Learning Curve (previously The Learning Disabilities Assn.) supports, educates and advocates for children with learning and behavior challenges. Individual and group support, education and consultation is available for children, youth, parents, caregivers and professionals. Please visit our website or call us for more information 250-370-9513.

Sooke-West Shore Early Years Centres provide information to families about children and family services, supports, child development and parenting. The Early Years Navigator will assist families with referral information for local early years programming, child care, public health, special needs intervention services, and social supports. The Sooke-West Shore Early Years Centres are hosted by Sooke Family Resource Society and located at the Child, Youth, and Family Centres in both Sooke Family Services and the West Shore and can be reached at 250of Greater Victoria 217-9243. Additional information can be accessed Family Services of Greater Victoria helps chil- at dren, youth, and adults manage the challenges of separation, divorce, or transition to a new family Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society structure. Our highly qualified staff, working with (VIRCS) supports immigrants and refugees living in other community agencies, provide information Greater Victoria. Services are free and include oneand practical or emotional support so people facing on-one counselling, parent education workshops, these challenges can make the decisions that are youth life skills classes, a preschool program, art best for everyone. FSGV believes all individuals can therapy, language classes and academic support, find ways to move forward in their lives when family employment help, computer classes and fun comrelationships have changed or are changing. Call munity events like free yoga, tai chi, dance and us at 250-386-4331 or visit We can help. cooking classes. Visit us online at or phone 250-361-9433.

Go outside!

If the spring sunshine and blue skies aren’t enough to get your kids outside, here are a few ideas that might help give them a shove:

1 2

Visit a Farmer’s Market. For a list, visit

Plan a weekend away. It doesn’t have to be far, but a change of scene is as refreshing as spring showers.


Indoor & Outdoor Summer Climbing Camps

3 4

Dig in the dirt then plant something green.

5 6 7 8

Feed the ducks, build a birdhouse, or set up a bird bath in your backyard.

Full-day and half-day programs

Climb a tree. While you’re up there, attach a rope swing.

Ages 6–14

Skip stones at the beach or at a lake. While you’re there, take off your shoes and socks and go wading.

Blow bubbles, roll downhill on a grassy slope, watch the clouds.

Visit Beacon Hill Children’s Farm and make sure you’re there for the goat stampede at 10:10am and 4:10pm.


Make and then fly a newspaper kite (


Break out the sidewalk chalk and play a game of hopscotch.

Details and registration at

The Boulders Climbing Gym 1627 Stelly’s Cross Road | Saanichton, BC | 250.544.0310 April 2019


7 Funny Stories


hen I was growing up, I was never good at practical jokes. April Fools’ Day was lost on me. But that doesn’t mean the fun is lost on you or your child. Your family may get a kick out of short-sheeting beds, taping silhouettes of bugs to the inside of lamps, or whatever sort of jokes people play on each other. Regardless of how you feel about April Fools’ Day, you don’t need to limit your humour enjoyment to one day, because April is National Humour Month. Even if you aren’t into practical jokes, there are so many different reasons to laugh. Here are four: 1. Laughter helps lower your pain and stress levels. 2. Laughter helps boost your immune system and heart health. 3. Laughter helps you relax and recharge. 4. Laughter helps you sleep better. To help make your quest for funny stories a little easier, here are seven books that made me—and my children—giggle.

It’s a classic battle between the beloved pet and the new baby in Rosco vs. The Baby by Lindsay Ward (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2016). Rosco was the heavyweight champ of his home and he knew it. He was the loudest around and had something to say about everything, including the new baby. But the baby is not going to take this quietly. He tries to drown out Rosco’s barking, and the battle between baby and dog is born. The two go though many rounds as they try to find new ways to defeat and get rid of the other: Rosco chews bottles and blankets, while the baby makes mud pies on the dog and throws out his favourite ball. Read along with the entertaining competition to find out when and if the battle ends. For ages 4 to 8. 44

Island Parent Magazine

The cows are at it again in Click, Clack, Surprise! by Doreen Cronin and illustrated by Betsy Lewin (Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, 2016). In this sequel to Click, Click, Moo, the animals are getting ready to celebrate Little Duck’s first birthday. They all want to look their best at the party and set about cleaning themselves off in their own special way. Little Duck wants to look good, too. She decides the best way to be extra clean is to copy everyone else’s cleaning habits, including the pigs. For ages 4 to 8.

In A Horse Named Steve, Kelly Collier (Kids Can Press, 2017), Steve doesn’t want to be a normal horse. He wants to be exceptional, and that means he needs to wear ribbons like the other exceptional horses. At least that’s what he thinks until he finds a gold horn. Steve just knows that wearing it will make him exceptional. So he ties it to his head and runs off to show his gold horn to all of his friends. Everything is going exceptionally, until Bob tells him that the horn is missing. The story, and all of the narrative side notes are hilarious. For ages 4 to 8.

If your child liked A Horse Named Steve there is a good chance they will also enjoy Mo’s Mustache by Ben Clayton (Tundra Books, 2013). This tale begins with Mo’s super-duper, epic mustache arriving in a box. He pulls it out and shows it off to the other monsters. Soon, to Mo’s dismay, all of the other monsters follow suit. Clayton’s drawings bring this story to life. For ages 3 to 7. The next book on my list is Bad Kitty: The next one is Hello, My Name is Octicorn by Kevin Diller and illustrated by Justin Puppy’s Big Day by Nick Bruel (Square Lowe (Brazer and Bray, 2016). While the story is fairly silly and light-hearted, because the main character is half-unicorn and halfoctopus, who has no idea how his parents would have even met, it still deals with a pretty important topic: belonging. Octicorn doesn’t feel like he belongs anywhere. But he still wants to be your friend, and he’s really good at juggling so you should definitely consider it. For ages 4 to 8.

Fish, 2016). In this hilarious adventure Uncle Murray has to come swoop in and pull puppy out of the house, because Bad Kitty is in a very, very bad mood and Puppy isn’t helping. But Puppy’s outdoor adventure does not go as planned. Uncle Murray is nearly arrested and Puppy is sent to the pound. I was laughing out loud the entire time I was reading this book and I hope you do too. For ages 8 to 11.

Christina Van Starkenburg

Victoria City Rowing Club

excels in providing high quality rowing experiences for all ages and abilities. Here is your chance to learn to row and enjoy the beautiful outdoors of Elk Lake this spring (break) and summer. Youth Programs 11-17 Half day beginner and intermediate camps during spring break and summer and full day camps during the summer. Adult Programs 18+ Beginner - Intermediate - Novice - Club - Competitive Challenge your collegues and friend in the Community Corporate Rowing Challenge and raise funds for KidSport Victoria

website: email:

Book Nook The final selection is Judy Moody: Mood Martian by Megan McDonald and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds (Candlewick, 2014). For backwards day, Judy Moody decides to not be moody for the whole day. That evening on the bus ride home she dares herself to do it for a whole week! First she takes notes on how her friends stay in good moods, and then she begins. As you can imagine, things do not go as planned. In fact, her friends think she has been replaced by an alien. For those of you who already know and love the Judy Moody books, you will not be disappointed by this one. For ages 6 to 9. I hope you find this list of funny books helpful this month. And remember, laughing is supposed to help your kids sleep, so you can go ahead and add these to your bedtime stories.

I belong here, loving summer. SUMMER ACTIVE LIVING GUIDE Don’t miss out!

Registration opens at 6 am April 3, online, phone and in-person Available online and in centres April 1 Christina Van Starkenburg is a freelance writer and mother of two young boys. You can read about their adventures at thebookandbaby. com.


April 2019


Sippy Cups & Kids Healthy Families, Happy Families

Child, Youth & Family Public Health South Island Health Units Esquimalt Gulf Islands

250-519-5311 250-539-3099

(toll-free number for office in Saanichton)

Peninsula 250-544-2400 Saanich 250-519-5100 Saltspring Island 250-538-4880 Sooke 250-642-5464 Victoria 250-388-2200 West Shore 250-519-3490


arents can start teaching their child to drink out of a regular cup as early as 6 months old. It takes practice and may be a little messy at first but this is an important skill for children to learn! Choosing the right cup will help infants and toddlers develop the correct way to talk and swallow, lower their risk of cavities, and help them gain independence. If you start early, children are able to drink from a regular cup by 12 months of age. Teaching a child to go from breast or bottle feeding to drinking out of a cup takes time and practice. Figuring out which cup to use can add to the confusion. Choosing a regular cup helps your child learn to sip rather than suck. Many sippy cups are created for convenience and to reduce spills and may cause problems with learning to swallow or increase the risk of developing cavities.

a cup can be unsafe for a toddler as they are more likely to fall, which can cause injury to their teeth and face. As well, parents and caregivers can show their child how to drink from a cup—children will copy what you do.

The best cup to choose is a regular, lidless cup. Choosing a lidless cup with two handles can help a child hold on to the cup and may make learning to drink easier. Fill the cup with a small amount of water to reduce spills while the child is learning. It’s best to teach children to drink out of a cup while they are seated. Walking around with

or snap-on lids that allow the child to sip the liquid. There are also cups made with a heavier base which can help avoid spills. Sippy cups alone do not put children at risk of cavities; it is what goes in the cup that causes risk. To lower the risk of cavities, offer milk with meals and only water in between for thirst. If a child drinks from a

Dawn Moon Child Youth & Family Public H ealth

Happy Families, Healthy Families

Avoid using sippy cups that have antispill valves. Although these cups reduce messes, they may affect the way a child’s mouth develops as they require the child to suck instead of sip. For traveling, look for cups without valves that have screw-on

Central Island Health Units Duncan Ladysmith Lake Cowichan Nanaimo Nanaimo Princess Royal Parksville/ Qualicum

250-709-3050 250-755-3342 250-749-6878 250-755-3342 250-755-3342

Port Alberni Tofino

250-731-1315 250-725-4020


North Island Health Units Campbell River 250-850-2110 Courtenay 250-331-8520 Kyuquot Health Ctr 250-332-5289 ‘Namgis Health Ctr 250-974-5522 Port Hardy 250-902-6071 46  Island Parent Magazine

sippy cup filled with liquid other than water throughout the day, their teeth will be at higher risk of getting cavities. Drinks like fruit juice and pop not only have sugar in them, but they are acidic which can damage teeth. Milk and formula also have sugar in them and are not a safe choice for a child sip on all day or right before bed.

If parents choose to use a sippy cup, they can still encourage their child to start learning how to drink with a lidless cup by offering opportunities to use one. Regular, lidless cups help children figure out the right pace to drink at and with practice, they also will learn how to drink independently. Parents can help their child practice this skill by starting with a small amount of water in the cup while the child is sitting in a high chair so any spills will end up on the tray. Other places to practice could be while sitting up in the bathtub, at outdoor picnics, the backyard or sitting on a bench in a park. It’s important to understand the risks of using sippy cups and the benefits of teaching children to drink out of lidless cups. It’s never too late to start learning; if your child is over six months old and has not started using a regular cup, start introducing one at mealtimes. • Children can start learning to drink out of a cup at 6 months. • Aim to use a regular cup for all beverages by 12-18 months of age. • Choose a regular cup without a lid. • Have child sit down to drink. • Fill cup with a small amount of water while they are learning this skill. Dawn Moon is an Island Health Dental Hygienist.

Send Us Your Stories! Island Parent is looking for articles for upcoming issues. Some of our best content comes from people just like you— Vancouver Island parents who are passionate about their families and are dealing with the day-to-day issues of raising children in our community. Share your experiences, your thoughts on a particular issue, your ideas on places to see or projects to do— anything related to parenting. Check our Writer’s Guidelines at for specific information on submissions. We’d love to hear from you.

Please email submissions to April 2019  47

Preschool&ChildcareDirectory Central Saanich

• one of the few parent participation preschools on the Peninsula • learning through play philosophy • a large, beautiful indoor and outdoor space • offering flexible 4 hour programs 1–4 days a week • a great community to join • visit us at

CORDOVA BAY Cordova Bay Preschool......................250-658-3441 A bright and cheerful parent participation preschool with a philosophy of learning through play. 4 yr olds - M/W/F 9:151:15; 3 yr olds - T/Th 9:15-12:15.

ESQUIMALT Ciara Early Childhood Centre............. 250-386-7369 Education and Fun Hand in Hand! Exceptional care for ages 1-5yrs. Inclusive nature inspired kindergarten readiness program with Christian values. CiaraEarlyChildhoodCentre. Island Kids Academy Esquimalt..........250-381-2929 High quality child care (ages 1-5). Enriched Curriculum. Includes Music Classes and Character Development using the Virtues Project. Wait list being taken. La Pré-Maternelle Appletree Preschool.............................250-479-0292 A French Immersion Preschool Program. 30 months to school age. Licensed Christian centre.

West-Mont Montessori School........... 250-474-2626 Exceptional preschool Montessori instruction in a beautiful natural environment. Ages 30 months and up. Providing a balanced approach to incorporating French, Music, Art and Nature. Stop by and experience what it is like to be part of a community devoted to the development of the whole child. Open House: Thursdays 9-11 am.

North SAANICH In The Garden Childcare Centre.........250-654-0306 A GREAT PLACE TO GROW. Offering preschool, full day care, before and after school care for children aged 2.5 to 12 years old. Open all year. Now offering Infant and Toddler Care.


If you’d like to be listed in the Preschool & Child Care Directory, please email

Carrot Seed Preschool........................250-658-2331 Where children can discover, imagine, construct and learn through play. Wondrous natural playground.

• Licensed 3 hr and 4 hr programs, flexible part-time classes • Qualified ECEs offer play-based programs that stimulate curiosity and imagination and support optimum growth and development. Supported spaces available. • Indoor and outdoor programming, community visitors and special activities provide opportunities for learning through play and exploration. 250-360-1148

Gonzales Co-op Preschool..................250-727-1003 Children use imaginations in a Learning through Play classroom and natural playground. Reggio-Emilia inspired, focus is on art, nature and music. Nurturing, highly qualified ECE and ECE assistant. Parent participation options. Allergy aware.

Island Montessori House................250-592-4411 Inclusive, integrated and nurturing Preschool and Before/After School Care programs. Lovely rural setting with a focus on nature and outdoor environmental activities.

Oak Bay Preschool.............................250-592-1922 Oak Bay Preschool is a co-op preschool, using a play-based curriculum with qualified ECE and ECEA. We use a balance of indoor and outdoor classrooms to enrich your child’s preschool experience. Learn more at

Lambrick Park Preschool & Childcare...250-477-8131 Gordon Head’s parent-participation preschool and childcare center. Flexible hours M-F 9am-3pm & drop-ins offered. Play based learning and outdoor play. Allergy friendly. Celebrating 40 years.

Recreation Oak Bay........................... 250-370-7200 Fully licensed, ECE Daycare, Preschool and Nature Preschool. Play based, child led learning. Afterschool care available.

Oakcrest Preschool........................... 250-472-0668 A welcoming, nurturing environment with a large, bright facility. Learn through play with 2 caring ECEs.


METCHOSIN Metchosin Cooperative Preschool............................ Play Explore Learn and Grow in beautiful rural Metchosin. Morning programs available for 3 and 4 year olds. Contact our ECEs at

Camosun College Child Care Services.. 250-370-4880 Quality licensed facilities on both campuses providing children, newborn to 5 years, with rich early learning experiences in a learn through play environment.

• Half day and Full day Preschool Programs • Children’s learning is nurtured and supported through exploration, discovery, play and creative expression 3905 Haro Road, Victoria BC

Ready Set Grow Preschool..................250-472-1530 Inside Hillcrest Elm. in Gordon Head, we help children transition to Kindergarten. Licensed Preschool with highly qualified, warm ECE.

Pre-School Junior Kindergarten 250-479-4532


Educational Excellence to the Glory of God

Looking for child care? Need help with the Affordable Child Care Benefit? Taking care of children? Need child care training?

Child Care

Resource & Referral Funded by the Province of BC

Your community’s best source of child care information and resources.

48  Island Parent Magazine

Call your local Child Care Resource & Referral for free referrals and resources. Victoria & Gulf Islands: 250-382-7000 or 1-800-750-1868 Sooke: 250-642-5152  West Shore: 250-940-4882 Cowichan Valley: 250-746-4135 local 231 PacificCare (Ladysmith north): 250-756-2022 or 1-888-480-2273

St. Joseph’s Early Learning Centre ....... 250-479-1237 A Christian childcare centre offering daycare and preschool programs for 3-5 year olds. Children learn through play-based and emergent curriculum in a warm and nurturing environment.

Victoria Montessori ..........................250-380-0534 unique, innovative learning environment combining the best of Montessori and Learning Through Play. open yr. round. 30mths–K.


Wiseways Child Care Centre.......... 250-477-1312 Established, quality, licensed, Christian centre for 3-5 year olds. Experienced ECEs, cheerful spacious facilities, large playground. Subsidized fees welcome. Call for a tour.

Island Kids Academy View Royal ...... 250-727-2929 High quality child care (ages 1-5). Enriched Curriculum. Includes Music Classes and Character Development using the Virtues Project. Wait list being taken.


View Royal Childcare ........................ 250-479-8067 Preschool structured, high quality childcare. Victoria Conservatory of Music classes. Part time spaces available. 2.5-5year olds.

❖ Comprehensive programs for Preschool through Grade 9 ❖ Delivering academic excellence through music, dance, drama and visual arts ❖ Outstanding educators, locations and facilities

View Royal Preschool ....................... 250-479-8067 Exciting inclusive program in a safe and exceptional care environment. 3-5 year olds. outside play and themes enrich this program. Full/part-time spaces available. 250.382.3533

Queen of Angels Early Learning Centre 250-701-0433 our Centre is a lively, happy place for 3-5 year olds where children are encouraged to be confident, independent learners in a nurturing and safe environment. Sunrise Waldorf School Preschool ....... 250-743-7253 In a warm environment, this nature and play-based program enlivens and nurtures the growing child.

CHEMAInUS St. Joseph’s Preschool ....................... 250-246-3191 An enriching preschool program allowing children to grow as individuals in a safe and nurturing Christian environment.




Castleview Child Care.......................250-595-5355 Learning Through Play & Discovery. Licensed non-profit, ECE staff. Since 1958. Morning or full-time care. Centennial Day Care ......................... 250-386-6832 Exceptional childcare and education 35+ years. Nature inspired, play based program. NEW central, “green” building. Christ Church Cathedral Childcare and Junior Kindergarten ....................250-383-5132 ECE and Specialist teachers provide an outstanding all-day, licensed program for 3–5 year olds. Spacious, renovated facility with a huge backyard in Fairfield. Nightingale Preschool and Junior Kindergarten Ltd................250-595-7544 We offer education through creativity and play, providing rich learning experiences through a well sourced and stimulating indoor and outdoor environment. Early years reading programme. Arts/Drama programme.

Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12

The first steps in your child’s education

N A N A I M O ’ S J K -12 I N T E R N AT I O N A L B ACC A L AU R E AT E W O R L D S C H O O L

QUALICUM BEACH Call for more information today: 250.746.3654

International Montessori Academy of Canada ........................................... 250-737-1119 Elementary K–12. offers an enriching environment for preschool children 2-4.9 years with potty training. Nurturing young minds, keeping the spirit free. Parkside Academy ............................... 250-746-1711 Providing high quality early learning and care from infancy to 12 years of age, in a stimulating, respectful, nurturing, nature based environment with fully educated and passionate early childhood educators. Visit or find us on Facebook.

The Sir James Douglas Playschool ....250-389-0500 Fun, creative and educational ECE program for 3-5 year olds to grow and develop life long skills. Come play and learn in our bright and modern centre in Fairfield.

Learn more today! 250-390-2201

Queen Margaret’s School ....................250-746-4185 Early Childhood Education Program. Co-ed nurturing curriculum to develop the whole child. Healthy snacks and lunch provided.

Children’s Discovery Centre.............. 250-752-4343 A nurturing, safe and creative learning environment. Licensed preschool, group care and out of school care. Early Childhood Educators. childrensdiscovery Little Star Children’s Centre .............. 250-752-4554 Little Gems Infant and Toddler Care .. 250-228-5437 Mother, Daughter owned and operated. Earth friendly preschool education inspired by nature. Infused with fun and creative daily yoga practices! Licensed group care. Enthusiastic ECE instructors.

PORT ALBERnI John Paul II Catholic School .............. 250-723-0637 “Where children grow and learn through play.” We provide a program that will inspire development physically, socially, emotionally, cognitively, creatively and spiritually.

Nestled on 4 acres of lush west Coast forest, our Award winning, Nature based program will not disappoint! While firmly embracing the Reggio-Emila (Italy) Philosophy our dedicated team of educators use the environment as the third teacher as we encourage your child throughout their day. Our purpose built facilities have been handmade using the trees from our forest. We have recently expanded to our new Spirit Bear Lodge located right next door! Programs for Infants/Toddlers and Pre-Kindergarten children. Photo: Cheryl Cameron, Atelierista

Award of Excellence in Child Care 250-590-3603

April 2019


Sign up for one of our

Summer Art Camps and come draw for the fun of it with us!

We’ve got three camps for kids ages 7-12years to choose from: · Comics & Flipbook Animation · Drawing & Art Making · Nature Drawing & Journalling

From Acorn to Wren The Lost Words


pring. A time for new growth and sunshine—albeit through breaks in the rain. Constellations that have been hidden for months reappear in the clear night sky. Vancouver Island is beginning to bloom and I’m feeling grateful for the lengthening days ahead. For some, the longer days means more hours outside with family, but is this true for all of us? During the winter holidays I was given the book The Lost Words, illustrated by Jackie Morris and written by Robert Macfarlane. It’s beautifully illustrated, with meticulous wordcraft, large pages, and its inspiration comes from what is becoming lost to us. In

Among the words taking their place were attachment, blog, broadband, bullet point, cut and paste, and voicemail. This substitution—the outdoor and natural being displaced by the indoor and virtual—is being seen as a powerful sign of the gulf between childhood and the natural world. Why does this matter? In Macfarlane’s words, “a place for literacy is leaving us. A language in common, a language of the commons, is declining.” Unless we have a word for something, we are unable to conceive of it. There is a direct relationship between our imagination, our ability to have ideas about things and our vocabulary.

2007, when a new edition of the Oxford Junior Dictionary—widely used in schools around the world—was published, it was missing around forty common words related to nature. Apparently these words were not being used enough by children to merit their place in the new version of the dictionary. The list of these “lost words” included acorn, adder, bluebell, bramble, dandelion, fern, heather, heron, kingfisher, newt, otter, raven, willow and wren.

In response to the Oxford Junior Dictionary’s (OJD’s) omissions, naturalists, artists and writers, including Margaret Atwood, illustrator Jackie Morris and wordsmith Robert Macfarlane wrote an open letter to OJD. “There is a shocking, proven connection between the decline in natural play and the decline in children’s wellbeing,” the letter said. To me, this is a wakeup call. For many

2325 Central Avenue, Victoria



• A great selection of books • Dress-up for girls and boys • Shoes…Pedipeds, Stride Rite…and More • Rainwear and rainboots…TUFFO – MUDDYBUDDY, now up to size 5 • Children’s clothing up to age 12

Car Seats, Cribs, Play-n-Pak, High Chairs available for short term rentals Now Accepting Consignment New & Used Toys, Clothing & Furniture Visit our new location: 2005 Oak Bay Ave • 778 265 5430 50  Island Parent Magazine

of us who grew up in an age before smartphones, who spent our weekends wandering unsupervised through parks and neighbourhoods, who use lines like “kids these days” in reference to youth on devices, this mass migration of children moving indoors is painful to watch. But for kids, the price is much higher: a steep rise in health problems, heightened social pressures and a frightening set of new addictions around technology. “Playtime—especially unstructured, imaginative, exploratory play—is increasingly recognized as an essential component of wholesome child development,” says Richard Louv, bestselling author of Last Child in the Woods, which links lack of nature to disturbing childhood trends like a rise in depression.

Amira Maddison Nature Notes There’s no better time than spring for doing a little cleaning, so why not tidy up our habits? It’s time we helped our children by increasing our own eco-literacy and deepening our nature connections. I encourage you to take the time to unplug and join your children in spending at least five unstructured hours outside a week. Maybe you’ll hike a trail, maybe you’ll run through a grassy field, maybe you’ll go to the beach. Maybe you’ll go on a wilderness vacation, but maybe, and perhaps this is even more essential than a deep wilderness experience, you and your little ones will just sit in the front yard and watch the clouds go by. The goal is to normalize time spent outside, unplugged. It’s time to rewild our children, and make childhood an adventure again. Kids deserve the chance to explore nature without an agenda or a chaperone, to take risks and learn to get themselves out of trouble, and to fall in love with nature so they become stewards of the earth. Find The Lost Words online or at your local library or bookstore and conjure back what is becoming lost before it slips away forever. You can download The Lost Words Challenge Cards at products/The_Lost_Words_Challenge_ Cards.pdf. Amira Maddison is an Environmental Educator with Sierra Club BC.

April 2019  51

Great Company

Then summer comes, and I’m reminded of one of Angus’s greatest talents: he’s pretty excellent at entertaining himself. I don’t mean that Angus thrives on ith spring break behind us and exciting or terrifying? I waiver on that. Sum- neglect, and that I can sit at my computer summer approaching, I start to mer is wonderful, but also long, and—for and he will tiptoe around me. Absolutely get worried about productivity. me, working from home—a balancing act. not. Angus is very quick to slam my laptop Every year I worry about how I’ll get shut when he feels my attention should be How many things can I fit into a day? Can otherwise focused. I earn my work time by running him ragged before I attempt to get anything done. But a morning of activity and solid attention can generally guarantee at least an hour of clacking at the keyboard. These quiet times are good for both of us, because as much as Angus appreciates parent participation, he needs time left to his own devices. He disappears inside his imagination or the stack of books beside him on the couch, and if I want his attention I need to clap my hands in front of his face to bring him back down to earth. I understand this. I also enjoyed being alone as a kid. There was the tree in the yard I escaped under and a basement where I housed my collections. There was also my I push it a little harder? Chances are when anything done. How can I entertain my child bedroom with the door closed and a book you pick up this magazine there are about and also not arrive at September buried in a in my hands. Oftentimes I would head into as many weeks left of the school year as heap of dropped balls and missed deadlines? my room as soon as I got home from school there are weeks of summer holidays. Is this It’s impossible, I declare. It can’t be done. and read until I was called to do something


Summer FUN at GNS Glenlyon Norfolk School is offering a variety of fun summer camps for students age 4½ to 17. Arts, soccer, field hockey, day camps, kayaking, magic and more—our summer programs offer something for everyone! Registration now open. IB CONTINUUM CONTINUUM DE L’IB CONTINUO DEL IB

52  Island Parent Magazine

else. Homework, maybe. Dinner. Being a communicative member of my family. Of course there was a reason to shut my door besides my need for solitude. For my entire Grade 3 year, my books of choice were gifted to me by my cousins, deemed “inappropriate� by my mother, then hidden very poorly in a box in the laundry room: the entire Sweet Valley High series. Angus rarely spends time in his bedroom. He likes to be around his family. He reads with his legs flung over the dog, or on the

Laura Trunkey Maternity & Beyond floor of the kitchen while I’m cooking dinner. He enjoys an audience for his solitary activities: when he recites his poetry books, or sings show tunes, or turns the text of his trivia books into a rock opera while strutting on the coffee table with the unusual costume fusion of a Mexican wrestling mask, a Harry Potter cape and a feather boa. I had a friend whose mother quit her job as an elementary teacher when she and her twin brother were born. Every day after school there were scheduled activities: prepared crafts, educational outings, supplementary lessons. It takes a short browse on Pinterest to see that this type of extreme engagement isn’t an anomaly. In some cases, it’s a point of pride. When there aren’t extra curriculars outside the home—music lessons, tutors, organized sports—there are scheduled activities organized by mom and dad. It’s true, Angus and I do Math at the kitchen table. We’re cowriting an epic adventure about Googlebunk and Googlefunk (look for it in a bookstore near you in a decade or two). But we make sure to have downtime, alone time, every day, also. It’s important, in this world of overstimulation, to have quiet. It’s even more important to learn to appreciate your own company. Angus has mastered that. When he lists the people he loves, he always makes sure to include himself. It’s no wonder. He’s pretty great company.

Laura Trunkey is the mother of the amazing Angus, and the author of the story collection Double Dutch (House of Anansi, 2016). Find her at

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April 2019  53

child’s point of view, experience and feelings, developing trust and closeness. This helps children develop a sense of self and nurtures growth. When they trust us, they learn that we have their best interest at heart so when we state a concern or make a request, they don’t rebel. When people say, effective communication doesn’t work with kids, they are missing the big-

Conversation or Coercion


he command-and-control approach to parenting works until it doesn’t. There comes a point when most children—if they are healthy—rebel against this. Or, if they don’t rebel, they just learn to go underground so that they can get their needs met. Many parents are shocked when their well-behaved child suddenly declares “You can’t tell me what to do!” Shocked and fearful, the parent might respond with an idle threat. “Do as I say or…” Have you ever noticed that when you use idle threats with kids, they do it back to you? “Yeah, well if you do that, I’ll do this…” Sometimes parents turn an idle threat into an actual punishment. Many parents believe that if they bark out that threat then, in order to keep respect, they have to follow through. This leads to re-

sentment and more negativity, not respect. So how does this help? Your control forces your child to be obedient, to conform. This does not build a child’s sense of self, self-discipline or an ability to embrace responsibility. It might only work in the moment to get obedience but the cost will be devastating. Punishment and reward actually keep kids stuck at a lower level of moral development. If a child does something wrong and you issue a punishment, especially one that isn’t fair and done with anger, the child is not left to think about his behaviour. Instead, the negative experience takes over any learning or caring. The punishment evens the score. No need to reflect or feel any healthy remorse. The higher road is being able to have conversations, ones that listen to the

Allison Rees Cut It out! ger picture. It teaches kids social skills, it helps them understand their feelings and yours. It takes them to a higher level of moral development where they consider their feelings, other people’s feelings and why limits exist. Take the higher road with parenting and you will see cooperation, harmony and a self-disciplined child. LIFE Seminars has two books available, Sidestepping the Power Struggle and The Parent Child Connection. See

Cover Photo Contest Send us your most memorable photo of your kids or family enjoying summer on Vancouver Island. It may be featured on this years Family Summer Guide or Kids’ Guide. Grand Prize: A Flying Squirrel Bounce Party for 10 ($335 value). Includes 2 hours of jumping, pizza, water and a reserved table for 10. Honourable Mentions: 2 IMAX Tickets • Only digital submissions will be accepted. • Send a maximum of three photos, medium or high resolution (preferably 2–3MB). • Photos must be colour shots of children or families in Vancouver Island locations. • Contest is open to Vancouver Island residents only.

• No professional photographers, please. • Entry deadline is Friday, April 19, 2019. • Winners will be notified by email by Wednesday, May 15. • Winning photos become the property of Island Parent Magazine.

Send entries to 54

Island Parent Magazine

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