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Island Parent Celebrating

29 Years

The Resource Publication for Vancouver Island Parents

August 2017

10 things to do Before Summer Ends


Schools & Educational Services

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Experience the precision of customized vision

Dr. Joslin, Dr. Morin & Associates Doctors of Optometry


1581 Hillside Ave, Victoria


Across the street from Hillside Centre Call to schedule your personalized baby registry consultation

Langford: #105–814 Goldstream Ave 250-474-4567 Sooke: #5–6726 West Coast Rd 250-642-4311

New Patients Welcome

Your Children and UV Light Just as the sun causes sunburn, UV light is also absorbed by the tissue of the eye and can cause serious eye damage. Children are more vulnerable to UV in the summer than adults, in fact the World Health Organization estimates 50% of lifetime exposure to UV happens before the age of 18. Protecting your child now from UV light will decrease the potential for serious eye problems later in life. And remember, sunglasses aren’t just for summer months. Doctors of Optometry recommend wearing sunglasses to reduce the glare from snow and the winter sunshine.



Curiosity • Diversity Exploration • Nature Play-Oriented Learning

OPEN HOUSE Thurs, August 31, 1–4 pm


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250-477-3731 250-888-9421 Home Studio: 734 Aldebury # 207 Join the fun of Irish dance classes!


I belong here, feeling inspired. The Fall Active Living Guide will be viewable online on Monday August 7th. Online and in-person registration opens Wednesday, August 9th at 6:00 a.m. Cedar Hill Recreation Centre G. R. Pearkes Recreation Centre Gordon Head Recreation Centre Saanich Commonwealth Place

250-475-7121 250-475-5400 250-475-7100 250-475-7600

Join us on Social Media

August 2017  3

46 Planning a Vacation

HELP YOUR CHILD with developmental, behavioural, learning or sensory processing difficulties reach their potential. Learn how to help your child with our in-home neuroscience based music programs in just minutes a day! “The Listening Program has restored harmony in our home and we all agree that it was the best purchase I’ve ever made. Thank you to all the people who developed this miracle program— you saved my son!” – Lacey, Lance’s Mom

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  12 10 Things to Do     Before Summer Ends 16 Back-to-School      Buying Guide    18 Schools &    Educational Services 30 Susan Gnucci:   Camping Fun?   42 Elise Velazquez:      Screen-Time Reset 46 Serena Beck:   Planning a Vacation In Every Issue Island Parent Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Party Directory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Family Calendar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Around the Island. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Family Services Directory. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54, 55 Preschool & Child Care Directory . . . . . . . . . . . 56, 57 Business & Professional Directory. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59

2017 Fall Children’s Classes Photo credit: David Cooper

Ballet Classes for ages 3 - Teen Registration now open online. Outstanding dance training by award winning faculty. 250-590-6752

4  Island Parent Magazine

Sue Fast


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

Linda Frear

Columns 5 Sue Fast: Editor’s Note 10 Erin Skillen:

Post-Married Mommy 41 Ashley Degraaf: Is There an App for This?    44 Emillie Parrish:       Cooking With Kids 48 Daniel Griffin:        Dadspeak   50 Janelle Hatch:   Healthy Families, Happy Families 52 Diana Hurschler:    New Parent Pages 58 Laura Trunkey:    Maternity & Beyond   60 Tracey Moss:        Nature Notes   62 Allison Rees:       Cut It Out!

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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.

On the Cover

Photo by Ashley Marston, Ashley Marston Birth Photography,

Babies, Boyhood & Bachelor Parties


t’s a crazy day when two friends, Adam and Abi, drop by with their two-year-old daughter, Stella, for a quick visit. My husband, Barry, and I are in the midst of preparing for our middle son’s wedding, taking place at our house in just over a week, and barely notice them until Stella is toddling down the front hall. Adam has agreed to bartend at the wedding and has come over to take a quick look at the space and to get a sense of the task. Instead of showing him around and discussing the details, though, Barry and I start playing with Stella, bringing her toys and watching her patter from room to room. She is irresistible and easily turns our conversation from renting linens and tablewear to the joys of raising two-year-olds and the exhaustion of expecting another baby. Abi is due with their second child in less than three months and is happy for the chance to sit down and rest while Barry and I keep Stella entertained. Watching his daughter play, Adam marvels at how quickly the past two years have gone

and how much Stella has grown. He remembers his own dad telling him on the day Stella was born that from then on, Adam’s new daughter would never leave Adam’s thoughts. And his dad was right, he confirms—she hasn’t. As Adam talks, one of our son’s friends, Mitch, pops in looking for the groom-to-be. He, my eldest son, Kohl, and a bunch of their friends—all hiding outside—have rented a camper and are planning to abduct Luc for the weekend, their last road trip together before he becomes a married man. But Luc’s not here. We walk Mitch outside to the camper where five young men, my eldest included, are crammed into the tiny bathroom, waiting to ambush Luc. When they find out it’s only us at the camper door, they spill out of the bathroom and take their seats. It’s rush hour on a Friday afternoon and they’ve still got a couple others to pick up along the way—not to mention find Luc—so they’re eager to get going. As I hug my eldest son, Kohl, and tell him

to watch out for his younger brother, I notice traces of the same feeling I had when my children were young and going off, say, to their first day of school, or to summer camp, or on a trip too far away for me to be of any use if something went wrong.

Sue Fast Editor’s Note

“Be careful,” I say, trying to push aside my clichéd notions of bachelor parties gone wrong. I close the camper door and join Adam and Stella on the sidewalk. The motorhome pulls away from the curb and the boys are on their way. “My heart just drove off with that camper,” I say, watching them go. Adam scoops Stella up and holds her tightly in his arms. I can almost hear him thinking ahead to his daughter at that age. “Mine too,” he says, pulling her close. We watch until the camper rounds the corner and disappears.

August 2017  5

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Saanich Dental Group Free Consultation: 250-477-7321 (for children under 12)

6  Island Parent Magazine

Island Parent Notes Entitled: Understanding Impulsivity and Motor Activity in Children

Would your child like to participate in a University of Victoria study? If so, consider “Entitled: Understanding impulsivity and motor activity in children with and without ADHD.” Many children experience difficulties with impulsivity and motor activity which interfere with their ability to focus, selfregulate and achieve goals. UVic’s Clinical Psychology department is seeking children, ages 6-13 years old with a diagnosis of ADHD, and children who do not have ADHD or any other known neurological or learning difficulties. The study will provide a better understanding of impulsivity and motor activity in children to help inform the challenges faced by children with ADHD, and to provide more effective services/treatments. This study has been approved by the University of Victoria Human Ethics Committee and is being conducted through the Psychology Department at the University of Victoria. Children will complete some activities on the computer and paper and pencil tasks at UVic, and will be provided with a small thank you prize for their participation. For more information, contact Dr. Sarah Macoun at or phone 250-472-4195.

Aboriginal Communities: Active for Life

Aboriginal Sport Circle and its partner the Sport for Life Society launched a new resource for communities on National Aboriginal Day. Aboriginal Communities: Active for Life is a culturally-tailored resource that is designed for Aboriginal community members, such as parents, Elders, educators, recreation leaders and coaches, who value physical activity and healthy living as a vehicle to the holistic development of both the individual and the community. Over 260 sport and physical activity leaders from across the country contributed to the publication, which received financial support from the Government of Canada through Sport Canada, a branch of the Department of Canadian Heritage. Among many important partners in the development of the resource are the Cowichan 2008 North American Indigenous Games Legacy, the Aboriginal Sport and

Wellness Council of Ontario, and the Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity & Recreation Council (I-SPARC). The nearly 40-page document and its accompanying workshop supports and empowers members of the communities who seek to develop quality sport and physical activity programs. Aboriginal Communities: Active for Life is available in both English and French at: aboriginal-communities-active-for-life or

The Yellow Wolf Powwow

The Yellow Wolf Powwow is in honour of the late Alice Sampson, born into the Nez Perce tribe in Idaho. Her family traditions included powwow dancing, which merits the right to do the powwow in Coast Salish territory. Sampson’s family is of Coast Salish/Nez Perce descent. This year the 24th annual Yellow Wolf Intertribal Powwow is on August 4-6. The event happens every year on the BC Day long weekend and will be at 7449 West Saanich Road on the LauWelnew Tribal School grounds. Everyone is invited to participate, either as an arts and craft vendor, a dancer, or as a visitor. The powwow is open to all ages and it is a drug- and alcohol-free event. The festivities begin on Friday August 4 at 7pm and run until 11pm. They continue on Saturday August 5 from 1-5pm and 7-11pm. The final grand entry will be on Sunday August 6 from 1-6pm. Come and see powwow singing, drumming and dancing along with a variety of wares. Taste some of the Coast Salish/ Nez Perce cultural foods. There will be a special-guest presentation, which may involve joining the powwow dancing circuit, changing dance style, or doing a dance competition. In previous years, participants have come from all over BC, Washington state, Idaho, Alberta, Saskatchewan and from around the world. The Yellow Wolf Powwow is a fun family event. For more information contact Angel Sampson at 250-665-7777 or email at

Gulf Islands. The free Learn to Fish sessions take place at locations in regional parks and urban lakes for local and visiting youth and their families. This month’s Learn to Fish locations include: Lake Ida Anne, Langford (August 9, 6-8pm), and Colliery Dam Park, Nanaimo (August 20, 10:30am-12:30pm). Learn to Fish events are hosted on a drop-in basis for kids ages 5 and older, with accompanying adults, at provincial park locations. Participants are asked to arrive on time for the sessions as fishing techniques and ethics are taught in advance of the hands-on portion. Pre-registration is required. Children under 16 do not require a freshwater fishing licence to participate. Learn to Fish events teach fish identification and biology; habitat and conservation; proper fish handling; ethics, safety, and fishing regulations. Instructors explain fishing tackle (rods, reels, lines, and lures) and knot-tying. Participants get hands-on experience while learning about casting and retrieving and tips and techniques for catching fish. All equipment is provided and two-hour programs run rain or shine. There is no cost to participate, thanks to support from the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, Rapala, BC Ram Deal-

ers, and Province of British Columbia and BC Parks. For a complete listing of Learn to Fish programs throughout Vancouver Island, visit

Victoria Conservatory of Music Open House

More live music, more free treats and two instrument petting zoos! This year’s Victoria Conservatory of Music (VCM) Open House Party, on September 9, is going to be out of this world. Get ready to rock, because VCM is bringing the music to the street. The annual open house is bigger and louder than ever before with instrument petting zoos, mini lessons, fun for families, outstanding concerts, food and much more. Guests will be invited to make music on all kinds of instruments at the instrument petting zoo hosted by Tom Lee Music. You can also try free mini lessons in all genres and on lots of different instruments. Families can play musical games, stop by the Westhills Candy Buffet, and chat with VCM faculty to learn about music classes and lessons offered at both downtown and Langford locations. And no VCM party would be complete without some facepainting and a take away musical goody

Learn to Fish Program

The Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC is continuing the summer Learn to Fish programs for Vancouver Island and the

August 2017  7

A Natural Way to Spend Summer

bag. The day will also feature hourly live performances on the Alix Goolden Hall stage. Conservatory faculty and students will entertain and inspire on a range of instruments in both classical and contemporary styles. The Open House Party takes place Saturday, September 9, from 10am-2pm at 900 Johnson Street (VCM is home to Alix Goolden Performance Hall). This is a free family event. For information, visit

Family-friendly Rifflandia

Regional Parks Campgrounds Capital Regional District’s campgrounds offer affordable, selfcontained RV and tent camping in nature with fabulous water views. Island View Beach Regional Park on the Saanich Peninsula Jordan River Regional Park along the Strait of Juan de Fuca Sooke Potholes Regional Park at the Sooke River

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8  Island Parent Magazine

Rifflandia loves kids and has always welcomed and encouraged parents to bring their children to the festival. Picture this: you and your child barefoot in the grass, getting your boogie on under the sun—with sunscreen and a hat, of course. To that end, organizers created Kidlandia: an area in Royal Athletic Park made specifically for families, complete with comfortable couches and chairs, baby changing stations, art classes for children, and games galore. In the past, Rifflandia has partnered with organizations such as Shyness and Bloom, Mothering Touch, UsedVictoria, and The Makehouse to bring you exactly what you need to enjoy the festival with your family—a relaxed space for both children and parents. Give Rifflandia a try. It’ll be at Royal Athletic Park from Thursday, September 14-Sunday, September 17, and for Rifflandia’s tenth year (this baby’s growing up!) the more the merrier. Children 10 and under get into Rifflandia’s general admission area for free, so register your kiddo online, pack a hat, and prepare to get your groove on. For information, visit

The Little Fox Run

The Terry Fox Foundation is looking for daycares and preschools to host their very own Little Fox Run. This fun filled event teaches children the value of giving, raises cancer awareness, and provides them with the opportunity to be a part of the Marathon of Hope. As a Little Fox Run host, you will have the creativity to plan a route and determine how you would like to fundraise. The children could make a wish and throw their donations into a “Wishing Well” or participate in a “Loonie Parade” as you map out Terry’s route with loonies on a giant map of Canada. Foundation staff will be happy to provide you with free promotional material—stickers, tat-

toos, pledge forms, and posters. Join in continuing Terry’s battle against cancer and be a part of his dream of finding a cure. If you are interested in registering your preschool or daycare for the 2017 Little Fox Run, please call 1-888-836-9786 or email

Discover Boating

Whether on vacation or staycation, these insider tips from Discover Boating provide fun, stress-free ways to get on the water this summer. Take a class. Sign up for a boating lesson to hone your powerboating, sailing or watersports skills by mastering the basics while having fun along the way. Popular options around Canada include boating classes, on-water training courses, watersports camps, youth boating programs and more. Rent a boat. Rental options are available on most waterways and provide hourly or daily access to a variety of boat types. Rental outfitters should provide tutorials on operating a boat, share safety instructions and offer suggestions on destinations. Please note that a Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC) is required to operate a boat. New to the mix are peer-to-peer rentals, allowing you to rent someone else’s boat, which usually includes insurance coverage and captains for hire. Share the fun. You don’t need to own a boat to join a boat club. Clubs and shared ownership programs allow you to share a boat with others, split the costs and book your time on the boat online. These clubs and programs also maintain, clean, insure and store the boats and many provide on-water training. Float your own boat. Chart your own course to boat ownership by visiting where you’ll find a boat selector and loan calculator to help you determine your boating budget and identify the different types of boats that fit your lifestyle and interests. Once you’ve narrowed down your search, the site can connect you with manufacturers whose boats best fit your needs and wants. Find ways to get on the water by using Discover Boating’s Get on the Water tool at Just enter your postal code to find rentals, classes, boat clubs and more close to home.•

Registration for 2017/2018 Season September 5, 6 & 7 | 3:30–6:30 pm For more information and to pre-register: 250·595·3107 Classes and registration are held at: St. Matthias Anglican Church Hall (Richmond Ave. & Richardson St.)

Find us on

Summer Intensive August 21–25

August 2017  9

Community Board Making our Community a Better Place to Live

1Up Victoria Single Parent Resource Centre Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

Flying Without a Rock


ou let go and suddenly you’re flying through the air, uncertain how or where you’ll land. And apparently this is normal, and you’ll be okay, and it will all be better than you ever could have imagined before you know it. But then you look down and remember that your Rock is gone. Your capital “R” Rock that prioritized you above all others and was there the other times you took a risk. And now it’s gone. And while you pretend to be an independent woman who doesn’t need a Rock in her life, and who can do anything without a Rock by her side, you know it’s all B.S. and without a Rock you are terrified.

experienced instructor, swinging above a scratchy but otherwise safe net. I was thrilled to soar, partly because of the adrenaline, but mostly because I could clearly see the objective, the process and the ending—bouncing happily on a net, safe and sound. That isn’t what letting go is like in life. Letting go of solid ground and choosing to fly solo is terrifying. The process and the ending (other than the eventual death part) are totally unknown. My friends and family are my safety rope, keeping me from flying too high or too low, but when it comes right down to it, I am soaring through my life as no one’s number one. I gave up my priority status when I gave up my Rock.

Any break-up can mess with your selfesteem, but a separation has a particularly deep wounding ability. Someone agreed to spend their life with you. And you agreed to spend yours with them. And now that’s not happening anymore. But that chapter is done, your Rock is not yours any longer and you are technically alone. But you’re not truly alone because now you share little people that you brought along on the journey. And because of these little people you have to be a good caregiver and role model, no matter how crappy you feel. You want to show them that you don’t need a Rock to be happy and fulfilled. And you continue to pretend that’s the case even when you don’t believe it yourself. I have actually taken up the flying trapeze on multiple amazing occasions in my life. And I loved it. But in those circumstances I was wearing a safety belt, attached to an

And while I know that was the decision that had to be made, my knees are most definitely shaking and my stomach is in knots. Just about everyone around me has a Rock. And without one I’m worried I’ll drift and never land. I am fortunate to have many people in my life that I love, and who love me back. They encourage me as I fly. They remind me that I should embrace my freedom, including: • Making spontaneous plans without having to notify anyone • Binge watching anything I want on Netflix without having to negotiate with, or wait on, anyone else • Decorating my place any way I like with no compromises • Buying shoes without anyone counting how many pairs I already have • Reading a book as late as I want without disrupting anyone else’s sleep

Child Care Resource & Referral Kaleidoscope Theatre Royal BC Museum Victoria Children’s Choir Victoria Conservatory of Music Enquire about non-profit brochure or magazine distribution in Greater Victoria: 10  Island Parent Magazine

Photo: Charly Caproff

• Traveling anywhere I want I try to listen to these loved ones, try to allow their voices to overcome the anxiety radiating throughout my body. Sometimes my loved ones win. And sometimes the fear wins when:

Erin Skillen Post-Married Mommy • The only way coffee gets into my system in the morning is if I make it or buy it • It’s mid-afternoon and I realize I haven’t actually spoken out loud all day • I walk into my home after something really great or really bad has happened and no one is there to hear about it • I remember just how terrible a cook I am, usually while eating something burnt And then there is the fear that creeps in when I go out into the world without a Rock. There is a stigma—some of it is just in my head, but some of it is very real. The friends I’m close with don’t judge, but it’s when I’m introducing myself to new colleagues, friends of friends, parents at school and beyond that causes my stomach to flip every time I attend Rock-less. When you have a Rock people don’t question “Why are you married?” But when you don’t have a Rock, you can see the natural curiousity on people’s faces, wondering why I don’t have one, how I got to this point and what is it about me that caused the marriage to fail. And yes, I know, people are generally more fixated on themselves than others and I’m exaggerating how much any new acquaintance actually cares, but there is still a wave of questions and gossip that I do my best to manage or ignore. It infuriates me knowing that conversations have been had about my Rock-lessness. Fury and a bit of embarrassment. But still I fly. It’s the best option for me and for our family. And somehow, through all of the fear and anxiety and anger I know that even if no one ever catches me, and I continue life without a Rock, I will be still be loved and safe and a brave mom to my kids. Erin Skillen is a coffee-addicted mom and media producer in Victoria. To ditch stress she shakes her booty to Beyoncé, spins around in a giant metal hoop and writes romantic comedies with another mom.

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August 2017  11



things to do

Before Summer Ends

With more than a month of summer to go, there’s still plenty of time to tackle this “10 Things to Do” list. Now there’s no excuse for lazing around as the balmy days pass idly by— unless, of course, that’s your idea of perfect summer fun!

Great summer camps with science!

Hands-on Science Book on-line



Visit a Festival

There’s no shortage of festivals this month. For starters, there’s the Filberg Festival (, a celebration of all things arts, crafts, and music from August 4-7 where, along with artisans’ wares, you’ll find a kids’ interactive area that includes circus shows, circus workshops, face painting, a Lego tent, an arts and crafts table, painting easels and more. Then there’s the Victoria Dragon Boat Festival ( from August 18-20 where you can cheer on the paddlers and enjoy live multicultural entertainment, crafts for kids, the Forbidden City Food Court and even a paddlers’ airband competion. Don’t miss FringeKids Fest ( in Market Square on Saturday, August 26 from 11am-4pm. This completely free one-day family festival in Market Square introduces young children to the magic of theatre, with live performances, craft activities including puppet making, an inflatable bouncy bunny, life-sized puppets and a cardboard castle for small artists to paint.

Catch a show

Nanaimo Unique Kids Organization Now offering a variety programs for children and youth with neurological disabilities aged 3–18. Early Intervention, Primary Learning and School Aged: providing support academically, recreationally, socially and behaviorally. Visit to see which program is the right fit for your child!

Hand in Hand, Together We Can A non-profit Registered Canadian Charity

250-585-6856 Serving our community since 2005 12

Island Parent Magazine


Chemainus Theatre (, 9737 Chemainus Road, presents its 25th anniversary special, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, running Wednesdays to Sundays until August 13. Step through the wardrobe and into a land where imagination and magic conquer all. Follow four curious children from the English countryside to Narnia where peculiar talking animals, an evil White Witch, a spectacular rescue mission, and destiny awaits. To book your tickets, visit tickets.chemainustheatrefestival. ca. For rainy day entertainment, check out the IMAX productions Guardians of the Galaxy, as old foes become new allies and fan-favourite characters from the classic comics will come to the heroes’ aid as the Marvel cinematic universe continues to expand, Walking with Dinosaurs: Prehistoric Planet, an exciting adventure that transports audiences back to Cretaceous Alaska. There’s also Rocky Mountain Express, Dream Big and Amazon Adventure 3D. For showtimes and information, or phone 250-480-4887.


see a Movie Under the stars

If you feel like seeing a show, but don’t feel like being cooped up indoors, why not drop by one of Victoria’s outdoor venues? The Victoria Film Festival ( is once again presenting the FreeB Film screenings on Friday and Saturday nights in August at Cameron Bandshell in Beacon Hill Park (except Jumanji which is on the Legislature Lawn). The line-up includes Rush Hour, Spice World, The Outsiders, Dirty Dancing and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Movies start at 9pm and are free. Just bring your own snacks, flashlights and blankets. For the show times and other details, visit

Embark on a Fossil Tour


Visit the Courtenay and District Museum and Palaeontology Centre to learn about the famous discoveries made in the local area. You’ll see an actual specimen and reconstructed cast of an Elasmosaur found in the Puntledge river. You’ll also see other vertebrate fossils, such as mosasaurs, turtles, and fish—along with the invertebrate fossils of shelled creatures that lived in the warm, shallow ocean surrounding Vancouver Island 80 million years ago. A 10-minute drive and a short walk brings you to one of the many fossil sites along local rivers. After a brief discussion about the history of the site and proper collection techniques, you will have a chance to find your own fossil. A limited number of hammers, chisels and goggles will be supplied. You can keep any fossils that you find on the tour. If the species is of scientific value, you may be asked to donate the fossil to the museum collection, with the finder’s name attached. Pre-booking and your own transportation to the fossil site are required. August tours run from 9am-noon and from 1-4pm. Adults, $30; children (4-16), $20; children under 4, free; family rate (2 adults and up to three children), $85. To book a fossil tour, phone 250-334-0686 ext. 5, or email


Concoct Oneingredient Banana Ice Cream

Banana Ice Cream: You’ll need one banana (for two servings). Peel and cut the banana into even-sized coins; put bananas in airtight container or freezer bag. Freeze the banana pieces for at least two hours, ideally overnight. Blend frozen banana pieces in a small food processor or blender, scraping sides and blending until the banana is gooey. Blend even longer until smooth and the mixture becomes creamy, like soft-serve ice cream. Blend for a few more seconds. Add any extra ingredients—peanut butter, honey, Nutella, cookie batter, or cocoa powder, among others. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze until solid. Seek shade and enjoy!

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August 2017


Watch Whales


Ask most locals whether or not they’ve ever gone whale watching and chances are they’ll tell you that the closest they’ve come to watching whales is during a voyage across the strait on BC Ferries. Considered by many Islanders to be a tourist-only activity, whale watching is often left off a local’s “to do” list. This summer, when your out-of-town guests sign up for a day of whale watching, tag along—it’s an experience that shouldn’t be missed. With a host of whale watching tour companies listed online, choosing a tour operator will probably be the most difficult step. Most whale watching tours leave from Victoria’s Inner Harbour, though some depart from outlying areas such as Sooke and Sidney. Tours range in price from around $120 for adults, $95 for youth, and $85 for kids (riding in a Zodiac or open boat) to $100 and $80 (riding in a covered boat). Depending upon the company’s policy, children under 8 might be required to tour in the covered boat.


Visit the Ucluelet Aquarium and experience the marine life that inhabits the waters of Barkley and Clayoquot Sounds. Starfish, clams, green surf anenomes, Californian sea cucumbers, rock fish, jelly fish, even the occasional octopus, are just a few examples. Knowledgeable interpreters explain the mysteries of the sea and how specimens are released back into the wild at the end of each season. Enjoy an up-close encounter with a diversity of local marine life. The touch tanks provide an interactive and fun hands-on learning environment for children and adults. Open daily from 10am-5pm, located along the Main Street Waterfront Promenade at 180 Main Street. For more information visit


Tickets $9/$11

3 P T UST 1 E S UG

– AL 2 3 ON S








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Explore newcastle Island







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Island Parent Magazine

Rayola Creative 2017


Visit the Ucluelet Aquarium


Beaches swept by the tides. Forest touched only by nature. Rocks that silently witness the cycles of land and sea. Newcastle Island is a place of natural discovery. Take a walk through history on part of the 22km trail system, stop by the Pavilion for a snack, bike or kayak around

the island for a unique way to tour, or escape and spend a night or two in seclusion at one of the island’s camp sites. After exploring all day, camp under the stars in one of the 18 individual campsites or 5 group campsites. The Newcastle Island Café is open daily from 10am-8pm until early September and serves burgers, wraps, and more. If it’s a hot day, go for a swim in one of the island’s many protected bays. Dogs are permitted on the island but must be onleash. Newcastle Island Provincial Marine Park is located a short boat ride across the Nanaimo Harbour, leaving from Maffeo Sutton Park near downtown Nanaimo. For information, visit

Hop Aboard for a Ladysmith Harbour Tour


The Ladysmith Maritime Society offers daily harbour tours until August 31 in its restored lifeboat, the Maritimer. Enjoy a 90-minute cruise (leaving at 10:30am and 2pm) through the area’s history, viewing eagles, seals, otters, cormorants, starfish, jellyfish and other wildlife along the way. The Maritimer holds up to 10 people. $15 per person, $40 for family of 4 or more. Skippers are Transport Canada certified. While you’re on the docks, check out the award-winning floating museum, take kids to the Sea Life Centre, next to the blue boathouse where the heritage vessels, Kirkegaard and Saravan are moored. Discover sea creatures below the glass floor and explore ocean fascinations in the touch tanks. If you’re hungry, stop for a snack at Oyster Bay Cafe, open 8am to 2pm, Fridays to Mondays. For tour reservations, phone 250-245-1146.


Take a stand-Up Paddle Tour of the Inner Harbour

Learn the basics of standup paddle-boarding in the Inner Harbour during a 3-hour introductory course at Ocean River Adventures ( that will teach you the Hawaiian cultural history of stand-up paddle-boarding, the differences between board and equipment styles, and how to manoeuvre your paddle-board using different strokes. Tours run on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays until Sept 15. For times and costs, visit

Preschool to Grade 7…and beyond.

Imagine a School…where music, dance, theatre and visual arts are infused into all aspects of an outstanding curriculum. v Junior K and Half/Full-day Kindergarten options also available v Comprehensive K–7 program consistently exceeds BC Curriculum v Excellent facilities, convenient Cedar Hill and Gordon Head locations v Highly qualified, dedicated staff and low student/teacher ratios

Visit our website, come to one of our Open Houses, or call us!  250.382.3533

Your Natural Sleep Shop Summer Mattress Giveway Enter in store to win big

Our Summer Pillow Promotion is On Ends Sept. 3rd Buy 1 get 15% OFF • Buy 2 get 20% OFF • Buy 3 get 25% OFF Includes Body Pillows • 1-844-855-REST (7378) 126 Station St, Duncan •

August 2017


Back-to-School Buying Guide

The following recommendations come from some of our local merchants and businesses. To find out more about any of the businesses listed below, please refer to the ads in this issue. From Kool & Child

Preschool and School-Aged: Clifford the Big Red Dog Science Kits by The Young Scientists Club. Clifford and his friends love exploring the world around them with these exciting science kits. A colourful 20-page manual, guides young scientists through versatile experiments. Ages 3+ School-Aged: Möbi Math Game. Möbi is a simple, quick and addictive number game that can go anywhere and be played in as little as five minutes. No pencil, paper, board or elaborate scoring is required… all you need is a flat surface. No matter how old you are or how many number games you’ve played, this little blue whale is bound to enchant. Introduce your little ones to numbers or challenge your friends to numerical combat—this game is made for absolutely everyone. Find out why Möbi is becoming an instant classic. Pre-teen and Youth: Professor Noggins Games. Professor Noggin’s card games are a fun way to learn about many of your favourite subjects. With two levels of play on each card, children and adults can learn together. From nature to history to science, there is bound to be a card game to entertain any child. Ages 7+

16  Island Parent Magazine

Classics also have a wider upper leg opening that increases freedom of movement, as well as helping to make the putting-on and taking-off process more user-friendly for daycare, school and your kids too. Available in a variety of vibrant or neutral colours. Preschool and School-Aged: Herschel Pop Quiz Lunch Boxes. The durable Herschel Pop Quiz Lunch Box features a soft and insulated main snack compartment that easily wipes clean, making it the perfect lunch time companion. Boasting a reinforced and padded handle, an external storage sleeve with waterproof zipper, and a handy woven name label, the Herschel Pop Quiz Lunch Box is made to last and stylish too.

From The Mothering Touch Centre

From Momease Baby Boutique

Preschool and School-Aged: Yumbox Bento Food Trays. Yumbox is a kid-friendly, bento-style lunch container designed for kids and adults. Yumbox is made with high quality, easy-to-clean, super durable and BPA-free food-safe materials. Perfect for even the pickiest of eaters, the leak-proof Yumbox is ideal for kids that like variety in their meals. The Yumbox is available in 4 different sizes and configurations, plus 8 great colour options. Preschool and School-Aged: SoYoung Toddler Backpacks. Designed to please not only the toddler but also their parents, the machine-washable SoYoung Toddler Backpack is roomy enough for all the things a preschooler needs: a pair of shoes, a change of clothes, and of course, something for Show and Tell! For a perfect match, get the coordinating lunch box or cooler bag for snack time. Also available in a larger Grade School size for the big kids too. All SoYoung products are designed right here in Canada and are available in a variety of adorable prints. Preschool and School-Aged: Hunter Rain Boots. The Kids First Classic Hunter Boots are a specialized rain boot designed for growing feet. Featuring a flatter sole and a rounder foot to ensure this style is easier to walk in, the natural rubber Kids First

Preschool: Muddy Buddy. Don’t let the rain keep you cooped up indoors. The Muddy Buddy is perfect for our wet West Coast weather. These wonderful nylon, PVC-free, one-piece rainsuits can tackle whatever the weather throws at you. Great for puddle jumping, playing in the park, exploring the beach, all your favourite out door pursuits. These unique waterproof coveralls offer toddlers full-body coverage with a generous fit that allows for layering of clothing and easy movement. 12 months-4T

Preschool: Jack and Lily Shoes. New shoes are always a lovely way to start September. Jack and Lily is a local Vancouver brand that is recognized for its whimsically stylish and fun footwear for toddlers, and babies. Jack and Lily shoes are lovingly designed with a baby’s sense of touch in mind, their footwear uses the best “Lamb Touch” genuine leather that stretch with your child’s feet, making them healthier for your child’s little feet as they grow. 6-30 months

totes perfect for school, play and travel. Preschool: Tuffo Muddy Buddy one-piece waterproof rainsuit for baby and toddlers from size 12 months to size 5. Preschool and School-Aged: Herschel for kids backpacks and lunchboxes. Insulated Herschel Pop Quiz Lunchbox is the perfect size for storing food for lunches and travel in a fun Aloha Blue print. Limited Lifetime warranty. Preschool and School-Aged: Hatley Heavy Duty Machines all over print 100 per cent rubber rain boots for kids are perfect for puddle jumping. Sturdy handles, soft jersey lining, waterproof.•

Toddler to Adult: We are very excited to be carrying the Yumbox this fall. The Yumbox is a leak-proof bento box that offers food variety and promotes healthy eating habits. The pre-portioned trays guide you to packing healthy and hassle-free lunches. Perfect for picky eaters Yumbox encourages variety and healthy eating habits. Pack small portions of your child’s favorite foods or small sandwiches. Yumbox’s unique single lid seals all food wells individually. Applesauce next to crackers? No worries.

From Oyaco

Preschool and School-Aged: Pearhead First and Last Day Signs Create photo memories for every first and last day of your child’s school year with Pearhead’s first and last day chalk signs. This chalk sign set includes two chalkboard signs, the perfect size for your little one to hold in pictures. As with all bottles in the Pura offering, our 550 ml bottle is 100 per cent plastic-free and can be used with any of our silicone lids including our nipples, spouts, straws, and flat lids. With Pura you can rest assured that you are always using the safest and most eco-progressive bottle on the market.

Preschool and School-Aged: LittleLife Animal Kids Daysack Send the kids back to school in style. These big kids backpacks have two inside pockets, adjustable shoulder straps and a chest strap. A long zip opens easily and there’s a name label inside.

Pumpkin Pie Kids

Preschool and School-Aged: Yumbox leak-proof bento lunch box with several compartments and a removable tray for easy cleaning. This lunch box fits into most lunch

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With our daughters, Nicolia, Rhea & Alexis!

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a rd

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o: 250.592.4422 e: w: August 2017  17

Schools & Educational Services

In the following pages you will find a range of educational resources from preschool to postsecondary. For more information about these programs, please refer to the advertising in this issue. Preschools

Arbutus Grove Children’s Centre (formerly Goosey Gander Kindergarten) has a long history of providing outstanding early learning programs to the Greater Victoria community. Our centre is a bright and engaging purpose-built preschool with a large, natural playground surrounded by C M Y K urban forest. We offer half and full day 68 35 2 2 programs for 3 and 4 year olds and an after 8 95 55 16 school program for kindergarten/grade 1 students attending Frank Hobbs. Our educators facilitate stimulating and engaging experiences that nurture each child’s sense of wonder, curiosity and innate desire to learn through play, exploration, discovery and creative expression. UVIC/Cadboro Bay area. or 250 477-3731.

ArtsCalibre Academy. There’s a reason why the first years of a child’s life are considered “formative”—they truly form the person, and profoundly influence the path and quality of the rest of their life. We believe that Fine Arts are the perfect vehicle for this formative process. Through our structured but fun program of music, dance, theatre and visual arts, children not only absorb these and all academic subjects with enthusiasm and ease, but they also develop the creativity, confidence and social skills to successfully apply them throughout their future. It’s this philosophy and comprehensive program that sets us apart from every other preschool. It’s the Art of Preschool. 250-382-3533.

Babies to Big Kids Childcare. Licenced group childcare for children ages 1 to 12 years old. Offering before and after school care for Vic West Elementary school. Open 6:30am-5:30pm. 949 Fullerton Ave. info@ 250-590-2722. Emmanuel Preschool is a welcoming and inclusive Christian preschool, where students with special needs have the support of an additional teacher. Our morning classes are offered either two or three days per week. Both programs are for 3 and 4 year olds and include stories, games, singing, arts and crafts, science activities, free play (indoors and outdoors) and some field trips. Each class is licensed for a maximum of 20 children and has two licensed and experienced Early Childhood Educators. Our staff strive to teach and model Christian attitudes and values, and to maintain a warm, caring and safe environment.

Transforming disability into ability. At Discovery School, learning disabilities are transformed into valuable skills and abilities. Students work at their own pace in small classes, with focused, individualized instruction. • Experienced, highly-qualified teachers • Ongoing assessment, evaluation & feedback • Improves organizational & study skills • Boost confidence, independence & responsibility • Nurturing environment based on Christian values • For students aged 7 – 18 in grades 1 – 12 • Individual Education Plans • Low student/teacher ratio

Enrolment is limited. For more information or to arrange a tour, visit, call Sherri Ko at 250-595-7765 or email 18  Island Parent Magazine

Get a Fall Academic CHECKUP Is your child ready for the new school year? Get our Fall Academic Checkup and find out! Get your checkup today!


Regular retail price is $150. Cannot be used with any other offer or coupon. At participating centres only. Expires 09/15/2017.

Sylvan of Vancouver Island


August 2017  19

Building future leaders

Currently accepting applications for Kindergarten thru Grade 9. Please check our website: for an application form and/or call our school at 250-746-5919 to arrange a tour. Queen of Angels – where students learn to love, and love to learn. 2085 Maple Bay Rd, Duncan, BC V9L 5L9

O’Brien School of Irish Dance

Cadboro Bay, Esquimalt, Downtown Victoria and Duncan Recreational, performance and competitive classes Dance, dance wherever you may be….


Island Parent Magazine

Full o’ Beans Preschool, operated by Saanich Neighbourhood Place (at Pearkes Rec. Centre), offers flexible and accessible early learning programs for children aged 3 and 4. Qualified Early Childhood Educators offer activities that encourage learning, exploration and growth through play. Our ‘Classic’ program offers classes on either Mon/Wed/Fri or Tues/Thurs, from 9am to 11:30am, while our ‘Flex’ program offers more flexible classes from 9am to 1pm Monday through Friday. Offering an outdoor learning experience in the park and woods nearby. Snacks included. Call 250360-1148 for information and registration. Lexie’s Little Bears. Only seconds past luxurious Bear Mountain, our highly respected outdoor program will not disappoint. Our “Nurture through Nature” facility is rooted from the Reggio-Emilia philosophies, allowing the children to use their environment as the “third teacher”. Located on 2 acres of forest land, your child will learn and grow in a natural surrounding of trees and wildlife. Newly expanded, we now have more spaces available for your Infant/Toddlers and Pre-Kindergarten aged children. We use the trees from our own property to build the furniture and some of the toys in all three centres. The children enjoy yoga, music, Spanish, sign language and an outdoor classroom. In 2016, Lexie Biegun won the BC Provincial Gov’t award of Excellence for Child Care Providers. Please visit our facebook page for current info and pics. Visit us at and call for our wait list at 250-590-3603. Victoria Montessori. Twenty-first century children are growing up in a crazy-paced world, with the stresses of busy home life and over-stimulating media and toys. At Victoria Montessori, we create harmony and the right balance. We try to cultivate self-awareness, confidence, and clam amid the “moving sea of chaos.” At Victoria Montessori, we build a strong foundation and strong values. The directoresses model respect for the environment, respect for others, and respect for oneself. These values build confidence, self-esteem and selfexpression, vital for emotional and mental health. 250-380-0534. victoriamontessori@

West Shore Parks and Recreation’s Licensed preschool offers a variety of programs including Kinderprep, Nature Preschool, and multi-age classes with both small and larger class sizes. With flexible registration options and a play-based curriculum, our program is designed to help little ones grow and learn in a fun and safe environment. Visit westshorerecreation. ca or call 250-478-8384 for information. Follow us on Facebook; westshorerecreation.


ArtsCalibre Academy. Imagine a school… where music, dance, theatre and visual arts are infused into all aspects of an outstanding curriculum. The result is a learning process in which students experience, explore, exercise, and express themselves in order to truly

understand and remember. Our structured but dynamic program consistently exceeds the B.C. Ministry of Education’s Curricula for Kindergarten to Grade 7. Dedicated, highly qualified educators, excellent facilities and safe Gordon Head location, which is also home to our Junior Kindergarten. We also offer Preschool for 3 and 4 year olds within the Cedar Hill Recreation Centre’s beautiful Fine Arts wing. 250-382-3533.

The Conseil scolair francophone de la Colombie-Britannique (CSF), also known as BC’s Francophone School District (SD No 93) was created in 1995 to serve Francophones across the province. Since its creation in 1995, the CSF offers educational programs and services geared towards the growth and cultural promotion of the province’s Francophone learners. An active partner in the development of British Columbia’s francophone community, the Conseil has presently in its system, and Christ Church Cathedral School (CCCS) distributed across 78 communities in the is Victoria’s Anglican JK, Elementary and province, over 5,700 students in 40 schools, Middle School, welcoming students from all which includes 23 homogeneous schools backgrounds. CCCS offers before and after For more information visit, call school care, a wide range of extra-curricular (604)-214-2600 or 1-888-715-2200, or programs, small class sizes, high calibre email learning in math, science and technology, a strong focus on fine arts and progressive ath- Discovery School. Is your child bright, yet letics programs. Weekly chapel service and struggling in school? Would your child work seasonal performances are held in beautiful best in a classroom of 10 students with a Christ Church Cathedral just a few steps 1:3 staff to student support ratio? Perhaps away. Through focused encouragement of your child requires an individual program personal responsibility, self-discipline, com- with adaptations/modifications. Are you munity service and engaging learning op- looking for a quiet, nurturing school with portunities with dedicated teachers, CCCS a Christian atmosphere that encourages helps children realize their true potential. academic development, perseverance, responsibility, and organizational skills? Look 250-383-5125.

Also Playing


Parental Warning: Some scenes of creature action and peril may be alarming for small children.

Located inside the Royal BC Museum 250-480-4887 •

August 2017  21

no further! For over 39 years Discovery School has been providing these services for struggling students. Discovery follows B.C. curriculum, is Ministry inspected, and is providing this special education from the early grades to graduation. More information found at or call 250-595-7765.

Does your child have difficulty reading? • can’t read words just read earlier • letter reversal • symptoms of dyslexia • “sounds out” words but can not blend them correctly • confuses similar sounding words • avoids reading/poor speller I offer an effective program that works! Call for more information or to arrange your individualized one-on-one tutoring solution.

Brenda Osadchy 778-440-0997

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As a 3rd generation Realtor, born and raised in Victoria, I am dedicated to providing the highest level of service and look forward to assisting you with all your Real Estate needs.

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Office: 250-388-5882 Cell: 778-678-7387 22  Island Parent Magazine

collaboratively, and act boldly—a skill set for the 21st century. Maria Montessori Academy 250-479-4746. Oak and Orca Bioregional School and Oak and Orca PrePrimary School offer BC-certified PrePrimary and K-12 education in a child-directed environment. This ungraded program provides students with structure, opportunities, and choice, allowing them to learn at their own pace and in their own way. As part of a community of learners students are able to practice effective communication, think and act creatively, and develop into responsible ecological citizens. Regular field trips encourage connections with the natural and cultural heritage of the larger community. Blended learning opportunities are available (space-permitting) to students in the Hands-On Home-Learning (DL) program.,, 250-383-6609.

Island Montessori House School. Dr. Maria Montessori developed the Montessori method of education with the understanding that each child has a natural desire and ability to learn. The staff of Island Montessori is committed to providing a rich, safe, developmentally appropriate and caring environment, and to establishing rapport with each and every child. Our child-centred program promotes a sense of well-being, confidence and independence. Individual and group activities foster growth in all areas of development. We are proud to have children in our school from a variety of economic, ethnic and religious backgrounds, as well as a whole host of abilities and special needs. Our rural location at 5575 West Saanich Rd is beautiful. Pacific Christian School For more information call 250-592-4411 nur tur e s s tude nts in Christ-like living, critical or visit thinking and joyful serLakeview Christian School (LCS) is a vice to be faithful citizens Christ-centred environment where children in God’s world. PCS is a are encouraged to know Jesus, serve others pre-school through grade and succeed academically. Located in Saa- 12 Class 1 independent school serving the nich on a beautiful property overlooking Greater Victoria region. With over 900 Elk Lake, students are in close proximity students, it is a dynamic learning community to the wonders of nature. Our school is exploring the full provincial curriculum open to all families who desire a Christian from a Christian worldview perspective. education and safe environment for their Students regularly excel in arts, athletics and children. LCS offers kindergarten to grade academics. You are invited to come by our 8 in multi-aged classrooms. At LCS we Agnes Street campus and see what it’s all nurture the whole child in heart, soul, mind about. 250-479-4532. and strength helping them to discover who they are and how they can change the world. Come grow with us at LCS! Register online at or come visit us at 729 Cordova Bay Road, Victoria BC. At St. Margaret’s School, we seek to Tel. 250-658-5082. empower each girl to set her own course Maria Montessori Academy. Montessori and shape her own dreams. Tucked away education offers our children opportuni- on 22-acres in the Blenkinsop Valley in ties to develop their potential as they step Victoria, SMS is an all-girls school where out into the world as engaged, competent, your daughter can be herself, build confiresponsible, and respectful citizens with an dence, and be a leader. SMS teachers and understanding and appreciation that learn- our unique environment offer rich resources ing is for life. Given the freedom and support and challenges to support each girl’s develto question, to probe deeply, and to make opment as a student, an individual and a connections, Montessori students become citizen of the world. Our rigorous academic confident, enthusiastic, self-directed learn- program emphasizes STEM learning and ers. They are able to think critically, work leadership at all levels from Junior Kinder-

garten to Grade 12, and is supported by experiential programs designed to engage students in learning beyond the classroom. Enjoy the benefits of a small school from high participation in athletics, to extensive extracurricular opportunities, to our tight-knit community where each girl is known and driven to achieve. or 250-479-7171. Victoria school for Ideal Education. If you’ve felt that something was missing from your child’s education, you were probably right. This one-of-akind little school offers holistic education from Kindergarten to Grade 8 in a nurturing, stress-free environment. The twice daily children’s meditation, coupled with the study of nature and the laws that keep us in tune with the natural world, have attracted families from all over the Victoria area. Within this framework we cover the BC curriculum and all our teachers are BC certified. The Oct. 2013 Ministry of Education inspection report states, “The depth of care for each student, the level of personal support provided, and the degree of empathy displayed, all contribute to a family-like atmosphere and encouraging school setting for students.” Phone 250-383-6654 to arrange a tour. Website: or find us on Facebook.

Imagine a school where students are encouraged to challenge themselves across all their abilities, where they can find their balance and push their boundaries however they choose. Westmont Montessori school is a local community minded independent school committed to academic excellence in a caring, learning environment. Our family oriented environment takes an individual approach to learning where students are challenged to be the best they can be from early primary through Grade 8. At the heart of the Montessori philosophy is the belief that each person is a unique individual with strengths to contribute to society. It is a method designed to engage a child’s natural curiosity within an environment that is specially prepared to maximize learning opportunities.

Inspired to Learn Guided by Character Empowered to Lead


Girls University-Prep High School Grades 8-12 • Co-ed Preschool-Grade 7 Visual & Performing Arts • Outdoor Education • Global Studies French & Japanese • On-Campus Equestrian Program | T 250 746-4185 660 Brownsey Avenue, Duncan, BC

Toys, Games & Puzzles for All Ages Kool Toys & Teaching Tools

#102 – 2517 Bowen Road Nanaimo 888.390.1775 August 2017


staff ensure our students are provided with excellent academic and fine arts programs, an inclusive support model, and opportunities to participate on athletic teams, work experiences, and much more. Students can look forward to the Grade 7 Leadership Retreat campout, Grade 11 West Coast Trail hike, and Grade 12 Mexico Mission Trip. DCS is about preparing youth for life beyond the school’s doors. At DCS staff strive to support all students as they discover their talents and develop those talents so that they can become positive difference-makers in our world. Call for a tour: 250-746-3654,

mont is open for tours every Thursday morning. Book a visit. 4075 Metchosin Rd. Victoria, BC V9C 4A4. 250.474.2626.

Navigate offers fully funded K-12 online learning programs for students on Vancouver Island and throughout BC. (Tuition Distributed Learning fees apply for graduated adults.) Self-paced learning at home is a great option for stuUnder the new BC curricdents who don’t prefer a brick and mortar ulum, inquiry and personschool environment, have busy schedules, alization are key to 21st or want to continue attending their current century learning. Handshigh school with more options for course On Home-Learning (DL) selection. Choose from 30 international at Oak and Orca (K-12) offers an experience-based, individualized, language courses through Rosetta Stone and child-led approach. Families are sup- Foundations Gold. All Navigate courses are ported in providing engaging opportuni- instructed by certified BC teachers. For more Kool & Child is your ties so each student can follow their own information, please visit complete resource store for educational toys learning path and build on their strengths and games. We carry and interests. All learning experiences are a wide assortment of acknowledged and tied to BC learning Mid-Island Schools/ educational games, standards or high school courses by a certi- Education Services homework helper workbooks, brain teasfied teacher. Original, multi-age, hands-on ers, science kits, jewelry, and much more! learning activities are provided to inspire Teachers love our Kool School House full inquiry. Blended learning opportunities are of everything they need to outfit their classavailable (space-permitting) at Oak and Orca Bioregional School and Forest School. Duncan Christian School. The DCS expe- room in style, including an amazing selecSpecial Education inquiries are welcome. rience encompasses faith, community and tion of stickers. For homeschooling families,,, 250- family with a Christ-centred, community we carry grade appropriate resources for 383-6619. 1-888-383-6619. focused education. The passions of DCS the elementary level. Preview some of our

STAGES Su m mer Pro g ra ms Running This July & August

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Come Dance With Us Call (250) 384-3267, email: or visit us at 24  Island Parent Magazine

products online at or come in and explore our store for a much greater selection. We are always happy to answer questions, please call us at 1-888390-1775. Nanaimo Unique Kids Organization (NUKO). NUKO’s Learning Centre has a program for every type of learner, please visit our website for more information: nuko. ca. NUKO’s Early Intervention Program supports students under six years of age on the Autism Spectrum through skill development 1:1 support. NUKO’s Early Learning Program is a special program designed for those on the autism spectrum who are older than 6, but would benefit from 2:1 learning ratios. Nanaimo Learning Centre offers learning for intermediate and advanced students in small classrooms and a low 3:1 student to adult ratio. 250-585-6856.

Register your child in our school where children learn to love and love to learn. Queen of Angels is a faith based Catholic school with affordable tuition, and a safe, family atmosphere. Maximize your child’s education with specialist teachers in PE, Band and French. Our students strive for excellence in all areas. We are accepting applications for September 2017 for levels K thru Grade 9. If your child is 3 or 4 years old, then register them in the Early Learning Centre. Visit to learn more. Queen of Angels‌building our future leaders!

Pick up your copy of Island Parent at any Serious Coffee cafÊ 5PÜOEPOFOFBSZPVHPUPTFSJPVTDPòFFDPN

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

Reinventing the Womb Dockatot is a multifunctional, portable, Scandinavian Baby Dock. Suitable for: • Lounging • Supervised sleeping • Tummy time • Play Time • Changing & Dressing • Massaging, Cuddling, Bonding 3045–C Douglas St., Victoria, BC V8T 4N2 250-386-2229

Finlayson St.




At Queen Margaret’s School we offer a university-preparatory education to 325 students in our co-ed Early Childhood Education Program, co-ed Junior School (Kindergarten-Grade 8) and all girls Senior School (9-12, boarding and day). Our picturesque 27-acre campus in the Cowichan Valley is also home to Canada’s only fullyintegrated optional on-campus equestrian program. The equestrian centre provides training opportunities for recreational riders and elite equestrian athletes alike. The school’s rigorous academic program and extensive extra-curricular offerings provide opportunities for achievement and personal growth... empowering students to think critically, lead confidently and live honourably. Discover at QMS. Call 250746-4185 or visit

a e d T I ce

Larch St.

Entrance off Larch St.


August 2017  25

St. Joseph’s Elementary School - CHEMAINUS

Presentingacademic the first Providing Independent School excellence, independence, Montessori High School andGraduates the love of in learning Canada! in a caring and supportive Come and discover the benefits environment in Victoria Montessori Education for 30 years. can over offer your child. Our Students: are valued as unique individuals. are part of a close, caring community. are enthusiastic, self-directed learners. think critically. work collaboratively.

confident, enthusiastic, self-directed learners. They are ableo think critical-

1841 Fairburn Drive | Victoria | 250.479.4746 Pre-School to High School Education Tours available upon request.

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

Nestled in a wooded landscape, st. Joseph’s school in Chemainus offers faith-enriched education to children from preschool through Grade 7. Skilled educators provide a safe and caring environment, and nourish each student academically, physically, spiritually and artistically. St. Joseph’s offers music and band programming, specialist teachers for PE, and K-7 French instruction. On-site preschool and before and after school care is available. St. Joseph’s is an inclusive school, welcoming students of all backgrounds and abilities. Affordable tuition. Financial assistance is available. Please call 250-246-3191 for more information or to arrange for a tour.

EDUCATIOnAL sERVICEs & PROGRAMs 1Up single Parent. Our Parenting and Life Skills courses support you in raising happy healthy families by deepening your connections with your children, building family resilience and confidence, and offering practical solutions.” Courses include: Lighthouse Parent, Dads With Dads, Anatomy Of Anger, Navigating Systems, How to Talk So Kids Will Listen, Relationships & Boundaries, and more… To register or for course details, email, visit, or call 250-385-1114. Founded in 1883 in Paris, l’Alliance Française is a worldwide network of over 1000 independently run non-profit associations. L’Alliance Française de Victoria, dedicated to the promotion of the French language and culture, has been in operation in Victoria since 1910. We offer a variety of French language courses, for groups and individuals, adapted to the needs of learners. Group courses take place in community centres, or in the workplace for government or corporate clients. We also organize numerous cultural events for the Francophone community. Phone: 250-389-2962. Email: Website: At Canucks Autism network (CAn), we strive to inspire, teach and motivate others to be inclusive and accepting. In the school environment, we work to increase understanding and awareness of autism

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


Island Parent Magazine

through We CAN Be Friends (WCBF). This curriculum-based program teaches students the values of friendship, empathy and inclusion by providing teachers with grade-appropriate lesson plans, autismspecific resources, and awareness-raising activities for the entire school. In addition to WCBF, we also provide autism training to teachers, special education assistants, administrators and any interested school staff members. To learn more about WCBF or our training opportunities, please visit Journeys of the Heart Cultural Learning Program (JOH) is a 10-month program for Aboriginal children aged two to five years old and their families. The program nurtures a child’s cultural identity while preparing them for the education system. JOH will provide children and their caregivers the necessary skills and tools to promote a positive transition into the public school system. There are no other cultural learning programs in the Victoria area that address the needs of urban Aboriginal children ages 2, 3, 4, and 5 years and their families. Journeys of the Heart prepares Aboriginal children for kindergarten while fostering a strong sense of cultural identity. School readiness: fulfilling requirements for kindergarten participation using cultural curriculum designed specifically for Journeys of the Heart; Parent Support, for example: Role modeling, positive parenting techniques, discipline strategies and importance of establishing a routine; Socialization skills: Taking turns and sharing, respecting each other; Seeds of empathy teaching verbalize thoughts and feelings; Moe the Mouse speech and language program. Hulitan Family and Community Services Society. There are spaces available this coming Fall at Ruth King and Craigflower Elementary Schools. For more information call Sarah McDonald 250-384-9466 ex 251.

Fall Course Schedule

Our Parenting and Life Skills courses support you in raising happy healthy families by deepening your connections with your children, building family resilience and confidence, and offering practical solutions. • Lighthouse Parent • Dads with Dads • Anatomy of Anger • Navigating Systems • How to Talk So Kids Will Listen • Relationships and Boundaries • and more! Our courses are open to everyone in the community and fees are on a sliding scale.

To register or for course details, email or call 250 385 1114 Generously Westmont funded by

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Sidney Mineral World’s Education Program offers earth science education for school and non-school groups. In alignment with BC’s New School Curriculum it provides a balance of hands-on experience and information. We offer three programs for you to choose from, with the flexibility of adaptations. Our newest Flexible Program offers individualized earth science or archaeology-based lessons. The Rock Cycle talk has an abundance of hands-on mineral and fossil specimens and

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August 2017  27

participants also learn about minerals of BC while collecting samples to take home. Our Earth Processes program covers the connection between plate tectonics, earthquakes and tsunamis and also involves collecting gems to take home. 250-6560791.;

tests and quizzes come around. Sylvan has been serving Vancouver Island families for 35 years. Let Sylvan help your child build a strong foundation and have a successful school year. 1-800-Educate. Total Learning Services (TLS) is a unique tutoring service in Victoria. TLS is dedicated to improving quality of life through effective clinical reading programs for children, teens and adults (age of clients: 5-50). The reading process can be a frustrating struggle for my clients; most times it is affecting their daily lives. As a reading specialist, I use strategies that make the reading process fun and easy. Achievement testing is done to determine the areas of the reading process which are of the greatest concern. My programs have changed the lives of many. Pediatrician recommendation. For your free consultation, contact Brenda Osadchy, B.Ed. M.SpEd. 778440-0997 or totallearningservices2014@

Oak and Orca Bioregional Forest School is an outdoor, nature-based program at PKOLS and Mount Douglas Park. The program fosters an inclusive, caring community in which students learn by doing. Through an emergent curriculum, we offer students the opportunity to connect with plants and animals in the temperate rainforest and on the beach. Outdoor experiences include stories and drama, wood carving and sculptures, beach art, shelter-building, learning about wild edibles, hiking, and active games. This unique program is available to all students, including those in our Hands-On Home-Learning (DL) program. Tours are available by request.,, The Victoria German School has provided meaningful German language and cultural 250-383-6619. 1-888-383-6619. education in the Victoria area for over 30 What makes Smart Tutor Referrals unique years. VGS offers a wide range of classes, in Victoria? Firstly, we were founded in including German language introduction 2002 in Victoria. Since then, we have for pre-school and elementary levels, protutored over 1,000 local students. Being vincial high school credits, assistance in local, we are familiar with the challenges meeting German university requirements, local students face. Secondly our service and various adult classes. VGS fosters a is student-focused. Only the best matched community spirit, and family and friends tutor is selected; it’s always about suitability are welcomed at many special events such not availability. Thirdly, all our tutors have as Laternenfest, Weihnachtsfest Osterfest, both experience and at least a Bachelor de- and more. Our dedicated teachers actively gree to work with us. Many have Masters participate in regular German language as well as experience and qualifications in professional development opportunities, learning challenges. We are proud of our and are involved in a variety of German commitment to Victoria and our many, culture activities in the greater community. successful, long-term relationships with 250-886-1420. students and their families. Start the school year off strong with Sylvan Learning! Transitioning to a new grade is made easier by Sylvan’s individualized programs in reading, writing and math. Sylvan can pinpoint and develop the skills your child needs for success. Staffed entirely by teachers, we know how to motivate and empower your child to confidently tackle the demands of the new academic year. We can help your child study more effectively and be better prepared when

28  Island Parent Magazine

Victoria Literacy Connection. Previously READ Society and Literacy Victoria, we continue to provide nationally recognized Literacy Assessments, individually designed Remedial Tutoring to reinforce school work

and stimulate learning, sponsored literacy after school programming called Noisy Kids Reading Club, as well as our 1:1 Adult Literacy Tutoring. Proceeds from our remedial program subsidize our free programming. 250-385-0014.

Other Artistic Statement Gallery & School Of Fine Art offers classes in drawing, painting, sculpture and cartooning for children & adults. We design portfolios for students ages 14 and up to prepare them for entrance into degree and diploma programs in a variety of disciplines. Younger children also benefit from our unique approach, learning specific techniques to further their skill and creativity. Our annual student art exhibit showcases the students’ mastery of art at a level far above that produced by their peers.

The Listening Program is a music listening method, which is personalized to improve brain function at any age or level of ability. It is commonly used to facilitate changes in a wide range or areas to help with success in family, school, work and life. “I like to do my listening because the music is so pretty and it helps me not be so anxious. It helps me relax and keep calm.” Max, Age 8. 418-951-9018.

School House Teaching Supplies. For tots to teens and the parents and teachers who lovingly raise them, we are your one-stop shopping experience for educational materials to enhance and support child’s learning development. Language and math games, workbooks and posters, fiction and nonfiction books in English and French, fidgets and incentive charts, and resources for learning many different languages. Planning a trip or child’s birthday? Our knowledgeable staff will help you find a science kit, game, toy or puzzle. 2014 Douglas Street. 250-3859030.•

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Camping Fun? W

hen our children were young and money was tight, camping was our only affordable vacation option. While other families we knew jetted off to exotic destinations, went on cruises, or escaped to some tropical sandy beach, we loaded up our trusty Volvo wagon, stuffed to the brim with a myriad of camping supplies—tents, sleeping bags, coolers, backpacks, etc. And despite years of trips and our best attempts at organization, inevitably, we would forget to pack something. Not only that, we usually never noticed that missing ‘something’ until we went to pull it out, and by that time, it was too late to purchase another. Who forgot to pack the air mattresses? Where’s your pillow? No, that’s not bug repellant; that’s deodorant! Our kids never noticed or cared, of course. To them, our camping trips were an opportunity for carefree adventures during which they could run with abandon, stay up long past their bedtime, and get dirty without being scolded for it.

30  Island Parent Magazine

Looking back, I’m afraid I was never much of an enthusiastic camper—give me a condo any day—but I did my best to make our camping weekends a memorable time for our sons, and I bet if you were to ask them today what some of their favourite childhood memories were, they would list camping as one of them. In planning our trips, we always attempted to camp near water, whether it was a lake or the ocean. What is it with water and kids? Put them together and it’s a magical combination. I can still remember the laughter and shrieks as our sons caroused in the lake, their splashing and dunking hijinks a source of endless amusement. Let’s face it though, camping isn’t exactly a relaxing vacation for parents. There’s the packing for one thing. I used to write out long lists of supplies and equipment, all of which had to be located, cleaned and re-packed. Sometimes, I’d dig up stuff that had been packed away the year before only to discover it had been tossed into storage

dirty, wet—and thus, now mouldy—or worse, broken. Then there were all the groceries that had to be bought and all the food that had to be prepared, pre-cooked, and packaged. I don’t

Susan Gnucci know about other families, but the fresh air and exercise always seemed to stimulate my young sons’ appetites. They were forever rooting through our food bins on the hunt for something to munch on at all hours of the day. If unsupervised, they would have mowed through our food stores in no time. And finally there was the setting up of the tent. Let’s just say there were a few choice words expressed in attempting that task. Our tent was so large, our friends jokingly dubbed it “the condo,” and in truth, it was a beast to set up. It always riled me that those friends were able to enjoy a coffee by the camp stove long before we finished driving in that last stake.

Despite the work involved, I loved the fact that our camping trips allowed our sons the freedom to play without restraint. They always managed to find things to do and other children to befriend. Even chores weren’t tedious; they eagerly collected twigs and branches for the fire or helped to fill the ► water container. (How was it that chores at home were always met with such resistance?) With more space to run around in, the boys got along better—well, for the first day anyway—slept like logs, and actually sat down to enjoy a meal rather than wolf down what they were served and plead to be excused. Although we camped for years and managed to get pretty adept at it, it wasn’t always smooth sailing—there were the times when we were rained out. There’s nothing worse than having to make that decision to abort a trip and witness the stark disappointment on your children’s faces as you call it day. Not only that, but you then had to pack up soggy camping equipment and stuff it back into the car. It made for an uncomfortable ride home with all of us silently brooding while the windows kept steaming up, and the car smelled like wet dog for days afterwards. Then there were the times when one or more of us were sick. One such incident has gone down in Our services include mediation, arbitration our family history. Unbeknownst to Our the services include elder law, mediation, separation and divorce rest of us, my older son gorged himself and parenting coordination silly on a whole bag of marshmallows just before bedtime only to wake in the middle of the night and throw up all over himself and the sleeping bag he shared with his little brother. Thank goodness we were in a provincial campground where there were • • 217 217--2187 2187 Oak Oak Bay Bay Avenue, 595 2220 full washroom facilities, but trying to rinse Avenue,Victoria Victoria • •Phone Phone250 250•595•2220 • 217 - 2187 Oak Bay Avenue, Victoria • Phone 250•595•2220 off both a messy sleeping bag and a howling child at 2 a.m. in a shower stall was • 217 - 2187 Oak Bay Avenue, Victoria • Phone 250•595•2220 not exactly my idea of fun. Frankly, I was amazed none of the other campers came to investigate what I am sure sounded like a • Daily meditation torture session. I may have grumbled over the years that • Nature based learning camping was a lot of work, but in hindsight, I look back with nostalgia and I treasure such • Small class sizes simple family times. Nothing can compare to cuddling your child, their eyelids heavy • BC curriculum K – Gr. 8 with sleep, while sitting beside a campfire watching the sparks drift lazily up into a cloudless sky strewn with twinkling stars. 2820 Belmont Avenue Camping fun? You bet.

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Susan Gnucci is a local author and a proud “nonna” to an adorable two-year-old grandson. She enjoys sharing her experiences as a first-time grandparent.


A few spaces still available for September August 2017


Family Calendar

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Once Upon a StoryWalk™ at Bruce Hutchison Branch Library. Come for a StoryWalk™, where individual pages of a storybook, mounted on sign posts, are placed outdoors in a circuit. Children follow the narrative by visiting each sign post in sequence. After the StoryWalk™, come to the library for nature-inspired activities. Rain or shine; please dress appropriately. 10:30am-12:30pm drop in. Everyone welcome; children must be accompanied by an adult. Visit or call 250-940-GVPL (4875) for more info. Microscopy in the Library at Sidney/North Saanich Branch Library. Walk on the wild side where you need a microscope. Dr. Elaine Humphrey of the Advanced Miscrosopy Facility at the University of Victoria presents “Miscroscopy in the Library” with 10 different microscopy activities. Ages 6-96 years. 1:30-3pm. Register by email at or phone 250-656-0944. StoryWalk™ Wednesday at Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park. Get outside and experience a nature walk along your favourite user-friendly trail while stopping to enjoy an illustrated children’s book. A CRD Regional Parks naturalist will be there to bring the story to life. It begins at the West-Mont Montessori School and continues to the Witty’s Lagoon Teaching Shelter and Sitting Lady Falls. Meet at the West-Mont Montessori School parking lot off Metchosin Rd at 6pm. All ages. 250-478-3344.

32  Island Parent Magazine




Snake Day at Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park. CRD Regional Parks has teamed up with Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary for this slithery event. Watch snake shows, hold a snake, play a snake game and more. Drop by the tents at the main Beaver Beach any time between 11am and 2pm. All ages. BC Transit #70 or #72. 250-478-3344.


admission is by ticket only. Tickets will be available at the week before. Free-B Rush Hour at Cameron Bandshell, Beacon Hill Park. Bring the family down to Beacon Hill Park for a free movie night under the stars. Bring your blanket, flashlight & snacks. Free. 9pm.








Victoria’s Largest Little Airshow at Michell Airpark, Saanich. R/C pilots from all over BC and the USA will Free-B Jumanji on the Legislature Lawn. Come for entertain you with their scale models. WWI, WWII, the season opener of the Free-B Film Festival with giant scale 3-D aerobatics and even turbine jets. a screening of the 1995 classic “Jumanji”. Bring Free, but donations gratefully accepted. All money your blanket, flashlight and snacks. Free. 9pm. raised this year will be donated to Santa’s Anonymous. 10am-4:30pm daily. Lochside Dr between Martindale Rd and Island View Rd.




Sandy Shore Explore at Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park. Join a CRD Regional Parks naturalist for an intertidal exploration and discover the strange and wonderful creatures that appear between the tides. Be prepared to get your feet wet (bring sandals or beach shoes). Meet at the kiosk near the main beach off Metchosin Rd at 10am. All ages. BC Transit #54 or #55. 250-478-3344.




Feeling Crabby at Island View Beach Regional Park. Red, green, purple, hairy and hermit crabs. This bustling marine habitat has them all. Drop by any time between 10am and 1pm to meet some of these crabs and their cousins up close and personal. There will be an aquarium, games, and lots of opportunities to explore the beach with buckets and dip nets. Be prepared to get your feet wet (bring Summer Star Party at Dominion Astrophysical sandals or beach shoes). Look for the blue tent on Observatory. Rain or shine. 7:30-11pm. Free, but the beach off Homathko Rd. All ages. 250-478-3344.

Victoria Symphony Splash in the Inner Harbour. Musical entertainment, food, souvenirs, and a live performance by the Victoria Symphony ending with a grand finale performance of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture—with fireworks of course. Entertainment begins at 1pm in the Family Zone and spreads to the Legislature grounds before culminating on the barge at 7:30pm with new Music Director Christian Kluxen. 1-10pm. 250-385-6515.

Predators of the Sky at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary. Birds of prey have amazing adaptations from keen eyesight to stealth and speed. Come find out more during this fabulous feathered event. Play games, make crafts, and even get the chance to examine an owl pellet. Noon-3pm. Admission by donation. 3873 Swan Lake Rd. 250-479-0211.

Wild Paint Workshop at Sidney/North Saanich Branch Library. Are you ready to get wildly creative and have some outdoor fun? Local artist Nicola TUESDAY TH Furlong will help your create your own colourful, Between the Tides at Coles Bay Regional Park. abstract and textured masterpiece to take home. Join a CRD Regional Parks naturalist for an intertidal Be prepared for something messy, informative and exploration and discover the strange and wonder- fun, fun, fun. Ages 6-12. 1:30-2:30pm. Register by ful creatures that appear between the tides. Be email at or phone 250-656-0944. program, but you must pre-register by August 9 as space is limited. 10-11am. BC Transit #70 or #72. prepared to get your feet wet (bring sandals or 250-478-3344. beach shoes). Meet at the kiosk in the parking lot off Inverness Rd at 10:30am. All ages. 250-478-3344. FRIDAY TH Summer Star Party at Dominion Astrophysical Evening Campground Program at Island View Observatory. Rain or shine. 7:30-11pm. Free, but Campfire Storytime at Sidney/North Saanich Branch Beach Regional Park. Join a CRD Regional Parks admission is by ticket only. Tickets will be available Library. Gather ‘round the (fake) campfire for slightly naturalist for an evening of nature-inspired activities at the week before. spooky stories, campfire songs, campfire snacks and and stories. Bring a beach chair and meet at the a campfire craft. Don’t forget to bring your flashlight. campfire ring at Island View Beach campground, Free-B The Outsiders at Cameron Bandshell, Nancy Dobbs will be our special musical guest. All off Homathko Rd at 7pm. All ages. 250-478-3344. Beacon Hill Park. Bring the family down to Beacon Hill Park for a free movie night under the stars. ages welcome. 6:30-7:15pm. Please register by Bring your blanket, flashlight & snacks. Free. 9pm. email at or phone 250-656-0944. Free-B Spice World at Cameron Bandshell, Beacon Hill Park. Bring the family down to Beacon Hill Park for a free movie night under the stars. Bring your blanket, WEDNESDAY TH flashlight and snacks. Free. 9pm. SUNDAY TH Sensational Seaweeds at Island View Beach Regional Park. A CRD Regional Parks naturalist will Cadboro Bay Festival at Cadboro Gyro Park. help you discover how important marine algae is for SATURDAY Hands-on activities, bouncy castles, face painting, TH you and me and the creatures that call them home. band performances, information displays, interactive Seaweed tasting optional. Be prepared to get your Bug Buddies at Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park. games, kids treasure map, arts and craft stations, feet wet (bring sandals or beach shoes). Meet at What’s that bug? Bring your preschooler to ex- food and fun for the entire family. World-class sand the grassy area adjacent to the picnic shelter off plore the wonderful world of insects. Join a CRD sculptors will create giant works of art from just Homathko Rd at 10:30am. 5+ years. 250-478-3344. Parks naturalist on this bug safari as we search for sand, water, and a lot of imagination. Free. grasshoppers, wood bugs and other not so creepy 3pm. 250-475-5522. crawlies. 5 years and under. There is no fee for this






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Island Catholic Schools Care for Everyone in Our Common Home Call today for registration information K to 12, Pre-school, Day Care, Out of School Care for September 2017 250-727-6893 or visit

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Island Parent Magazine




Booksmack at Beacon Park Amphitheatre, Sidney. Don’t miss this hilarious event. Come watch library staff and community members as they race against the clock to tell you about their favourite books. 10:30-11:30am. For more info, visit




Meet the Mammoths at Sidney/North Saanich Branch Library. What is a mammoth? Where did they live? How did they die? Explore these questions and this fascinating species with objects, stories and hands-on activity. Presented by the Royal BC Museum. Ages 7-10 years. 1:30-2:30pm. Register by email at or phone 250-656-0944. storywalk™ wednesday at Francis/King Regional Park. See WED Aug 2 for details. Meet at the Nature Centre off Munn Rd at 6pm. All ages. 250-478-3344.




Puppet show: Raven Goes Berrypicking at Sidney/ North Saanich Branch Library. Flap your wings and soar down to the library for a puppet show full of feathers and fun. Let the librarians entertain you with a puppet show based on Anne Cameron’s Raven Goes Berrypicking. Stories, songs and crafts included. Suitable for all ages. 10:30-11:15am drop in. People, Plants and Places at Island View Beach Regional Park. Enjoy this beautiful park with CRD Parks naturalists and guest nature walkers and ethnobotanists Earl Claxton Jr. and John-Bradley Williams. Play the plant challenge and see why Island View Beach is so special. Guided walks offered at 11:15am and 1pm. Look for the blue tent by the picnic area off Homathko Rd. 11am-2pm drop-in. All ages. 250-478-3344.




Free-B Dirty Dancing at Cameron Bandshell, Beacon Hill Park. Bring the family down to Beacon Hill Park for a free movie night under the stars. Bring your blanket, flashlight and snacks. Free. 9pm.





22nd Annual Victoria Dragon Boat Festival in Victoria’s Inner Harbour. Dragon boat races, entertainment, food, activities for kids and families. Friday 1pm: Eye-Dotting ceremony; Saturday: 8am-9pm; Sunday: 8am-1:30pm.


Summer Reading Club Wrap-Up Party: Magician Free-B Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory at

TH David Leif at Sidney/North Saanich Branch Library. Cameron Bandshell, Beacon Hill Park. Bring the



Saanichton Family Festival at Saanichton Fairgrounds. Family-oriented event with lots of games, prizes, inflatable obstacle course and vendors from the Peninsula Country Market. Free. 9am-2pm. 250-656-7271. Bountiful Berries at East Sooke Regional Park. Join a CRD Regional Parks naturalist on a walk to explore for blackberries, Oregon grape berries, salal berries and more. There will also be an opportunity to taste jams made from some of these natural delights. We will look at and taste berries, but will not be collecting them to take home. Meet at the kiosk in the Aylard Farm parking lot off Becher Bay Rd at 1pm. 5+ years. 250-478-3344.

You’re invited to the Summer Reading Club Wrap-Up Party. David Leif will entertain with magic, storytelling, comedy, music, and tons of audience participation as we celebrate a summer full of reading. Prizes, cake and lots of fun for everyone. All ages welcome. 2:30-4pm. Please register by email at sidney@virl. or phone 250-656-0944.

Summer Reading Club Extravaganza at Central Branch Library. Celebrate the end of Summer Reading Club with a puppet show, an easy obstacle course, and a cupcake. Dress up like your favourite book character to be entered into a draw for a gift certificate to a local bookstore. Activities provided by Heroes, Inc and the Pacific Institute for Sports Excellence. Drop in: Puppet Show: 1-2pm; obstacle course: 2-3:30pm. For ages 12 and under. Visit or call 250-940-GVPL (4875) for more info. Summer Star Party at Dominion Astrophysical Observatory. Rain or shine. 7:30-11pm. Free, but admission is by ticket only. Tickets will be available at the week before.

Island Swimming

family down to Beacon Hill Park for a free movie night under the stars. Bring your blanket, flashlight and snacks. Free. 9pm.




The Beach Rocks at Island View Beach Regional Park. The tide is out. Join a CRD Regional Parks naturalist and get a glimpse of the creatures that live beneath the rocks. Be prepared to get you feet wet (bring sandals or beach shoes). Meet at the grassy area adjacent to the picnic shelter off Homathko Rd at 10am. All ages. 250-478-3344.




Beach Seine at Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park. Join CRD Regional Parks naturalists on a beach seine and see what creatures live in the underwater forest. Be prepared to get your feet wet (bring sandals or beach shoes). Meet at the kiosk near the main beach off Metchosin Rd at 10am. 5+ years. BC Transit #54 or #55. 250-478-3344.

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August 2017  35

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Wondrous Wetlands at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary. What makes a wetland such a great place to enjoy and protect? Find out with hands-on exploration, pond dipping for live wetland creatures, crafts, songs and games. Noon-3pm. Admission by donation. 3873 Swan Lake. Rd. 250479-0211.




Evening Bat Exploration at Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park. As the day draws to a close, it is a magical time to be out in the park. The daytime creatures are preparing for a night of rest and the nighttime creatures are starting to stir. Join a CRD Regional Parks naturalist and Habitat Acquisition Trust staff to explore the weird and wonderful world of bats and hopefully get a chance to see them in action as they swoop through the air feeding on flying insects that are found at this time of year. Meet at the grassy area adjacent to the picnic shelter at the Filter Beds parking lot off Beaver lake Rd at 7:30pm. 8+ years. BC Transit #70 or #72. 250-478-3344.




Creatures of the Summer Night at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary. Check out the nightlife of Swan Lake. Sharpen your senses to look for owls, bats and other nighttime creatures. Using a grab bag of tricks we’ll discover how these animals are adapted to their nocturnal life. 8-9:30pm. Suitable for families with children over 6 years. $4 each for members/$6 each non-members. Pre-registration required by calling 250-479-0211. 3873 Swan Lake Rd.




Summer Star Party at Dominion Astrophysical Observatory. Rain or shine. 7:30-11pm. Free, but admission is by ticket only. Tickets will be available at the week before.


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36  Island Parent Magazine



Forest to Seashore at Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park. Join a CRD Regional Parks naturalist and follow the water course of Bilston Creek to the shoreline of Witty’s Lagoon. Learn about Sitting Lady Falls, watch for herons feeding in the saltmarsh, and learn a few edible summer plants as we follow the path to the sea. Meet at the Nature Centre off Metchosin Rd at 1pm. 5+ years. BC Transit #54 or #55. 250-478-3344.




Read Down Your Fines at Sidney/North Saanich Creatures of the Summer Night at Swan Lake Branch Library. Hey kids, join Summer Reading Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary. Check out the Club for your chance to Read Down Your Fines. For nightlife of Swan Lake. Sharpen your senses to every reading record page you complete, the library look for owls, bats and other nighttime creatures. will waive up to $5 in fines from your library card Using a grab bag of tricks, discover how these account. Ages 0-12 years. Until August 22. Visit virl. animals are adapted to their nocturnal life. Suitable for more information. for families with children over 6 years. 8-9:30pm. $4/members; $6/non-members. Pre-registration Children’s Entertainment in the Park at Cameron required by calling 250-479-0211. 3873 Swan Lake Bandshell, Beacon Hill Park. Features a different children’s show, from juggling and story time, to music Rd. and princesses. Bring sunscreen, a picnic, and get ready to laugh. Wednesdays 11am-noon, until August 16. For details, visit THURSDAY ST


Family Fun Night at Mansfield Park, Nanaimo. FAMILIES Games, crafts and much more. 4-7pm. 250-7565200. Summer Challenge for Kids, Teens & Families at the Greater Victoria Public Library. Make the library part of your summer story. From July 6-August 31, choose from 18 library-related challenges, submit your completed challenge on one of the GVPL’s social media pages, and earn an entry into weekly BABIES, TODDLERS & PRESCHOOL prize draws. You can take part anywhere you find yourself with a book this summer. For rules and a Family Storytimes and Baby Times at the Greater list of challenges, visit Victoria Public Library. Parents and caregivers are welcome and encouraged to participate with their Open Air Library at Beacon Park, Sidney. Come children. Drop in; space is limited. Admission is enjoy the fresh ocean air and free books this summer. on a first-come, first-served basis. For a complete Everyone is welcome to select from a wide range of schedule of programs, visit or call 250-940- reading materials, and relax with a good book on cozy blankets. Reading materials are available for all GVPL (4875) for more information. ages; there is no need to register. For information, Summer Storytime at Sidney/North Saanich Branch including special event dates, visit southislandlitLibrary. Bring your littlest ones to the library for 10am-noon, weather permitting. stories, songs, rhymes and lots of movement. Ages 0-5 years. Drop in. 10:30-11:15am, until August 10. Play in the Park in Sidney. Every weekday evening in July and August, join Panorama staff for some free summer fun for the whole family that includes CHILDREN interactive play, face painting, group games, and Summer Reading Club 2017 at the Greater Victoria inflatable fun on the giant 50’ obstacle course. Public Library. For every week of reading, receive an Featured activities will include bike maintenance incentive—temporary tattoos, a swim pass, a new workshops, story walks, portable skate park, and book and more. Program is self-paced, so is suitable family yoga. 5:30-8:30pm. Call 250-656-7271 or for readers of all levels, even babies and toddlers check for park locations. are welcome to participate. For kids 12 and under. For info about the club, or to register for programs, Folk Music Evening Series at Cameron Bandshell, Beacon Hill Park. A wide genre of folk music, from check out, or call 250-940-GVPL (4875). traditional to fusion and contemporary. Tuesdays All that and a Bag of Chips at the Greater Victoria 6-8pm. For schedule information, visit Public Library. Visit any branch to sign up, and kick concertsinthepark. off the summer with a free book and a bag of chips. Participants who write a short review of their book Afternoon Concerts in the Park Cameron Bandwill receive an entry into a grand prize draw. They shell, Beacon Hill Park. Spread out a picnic blanket can return to the library for free refills on books on the lawn, or relax on bench seating while enjoying throughout the summer (chips with the first book the performances. Whether you like jazz or blues, only). For tweens and teens 10-18. For more infor- classical or swing, there’s something for everyone. mation, visit or call 250-940-GVPL (4875).

O n g oin g

Friday-Monday, 1:30-3:20pm July 7-September 11. Free. For schedule information, visit concertsinthepark. Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Support Circles. A safe, supportive place to meet others in a similar situation and to share information and resources. For information about groups near you, please call 250-384-8042. Province-wide toll free information and support line at 1-855-474-9777 or email 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. For more information about groups near year, call 250-384-8042, or 1-877-345-9444, or visit Summer in the Square in Centennial Square. Lunchtime concerts Tuesday-Thursday until September 14. Noon-1pm. Free. Oaklands Sunset Market at Oaklands Community Centre, Victoria. Local food growers and producers, artisans, crafters, food trucks, live music, and more. Wednesdays 4:30-8:30pm. Geocaching on Sidney, Pender, Saturna, and Vancouver Island. Try a geocaching program and embark on a self-guided adventure to experience the park reserve’s cultural and natural hotspots. Choose from two routes: a family-friendly treasure hunt or a more strenuous quest to see the top ten places in the park reserve. Free. For more info, call 1-866-944-1744 or visit Moss Street Market at Moss Street and Fairfield Rd. Farmer’s Market, over 75 craft and food vendors. Local musicians, great coffee, special event days and more. Saturdays, 10am-2pm until October. Water Ballet in the Victoria Inner Harbour. Performed with five ferry boats and is inspired by a combination of military marching and the RCMP Musical Ride. Every year, the “dance steps” become more complex. Meet the Ballet Captains at the Causeway Marine (Empress Dock) following the performance. They’ll be wearing special red shirts. Saturdays and Sundays 10:45-11am. Board Games in the Square in Centennial Square, Victoria. Drop by to play giant-sized chess and scrabble. Sundays 1-5pm until September 4.•

August 2017  37


The Island A u g u s t

Visit for these and other events and resources for families from Cowichan Valley north to Campbell River and west to Tofino




are welcome. Free. 5-8pm. 1035 Maple Lane Dr, San Pareil. 250-248-3252.




Coast Salish Clam Garden Campfire at McDonald Campground, Sidney. Curious about what a Clam Garden is? Similar to caring for a vegetable garden in your backyard, Coast Salish Nations tend beaches to make clams grow better. Come to the campfire to learn more about clam gardens, the local restoration project, listen to Coast Salish traditional singing and taste clams. Please park at the adjacent Blue Heron Park and follow the signs to the campground. 7-8pm. 1-866-944-1744.

FAMILY Drop-In Science Studio at NS3 Science Studio. Children can explore the many features of the Science Studio including KEVA blocks, marble wall, air field, wind tunnel, and a variety of discovery boxes. $4/child; adults free. Thursdays and Saturdays 10amnoon. Schedule subject to change, so please check for most current schedule. 4355 Jingle Pot Rd. 778-971-6893. Bowen Park Kin Outdoor Pool in Nanaimo. Open Monday-Friday noon-3pm until September 1, and Saturday & Sunday 1-3pm until August 27, for everyone welcome swims. or 250-753-8176.

Glow in the Dark Skate at Nanaimo Ice Centre. Canadian Cartoons under the Stars at East Point, Saturna Island. Spend an evening outdoors and watch award-winning animation from the National Film Board. Suitable for the whole family. Bring a chair or a blanket. 9-10pm.

Beat the Heat Everyone Welcome Skate at Oceanside Arena, Parksville. Beat the heat and go for a refreshing skate. Everyone welcome. Wednesdays 6:45-8:15pm July 26-August 30. 250-248-3252. rdn.

Hawaiian Holidaze at Westwood Lake, Nanaimo. Who needs a tropical getaway when we have our THURSDAY ST very own Westwood Lake. Enjoy a wide variety of tropical-themed games and activities for the whole Family Fun Night at Mansfield Park, Nanaimo. family. 1-3pm. 250-756-5200. Games, crafts and much more. 4-7pm. 250-7565200.

Sunset Wildlife Watch at East Point, Saturna Island. Discover the wildlife of the Salish Sea and relax into the peacefulness of an East Point sunset. Dress warmly and bring blankets, chairs and flashlights. Enjoy the talents of Island musicians and storytellers. Fridays 8-9pm in July and August. Free. For more info 1-866-944-1744 or visit

Skate in an atmosphere of dimmed lighting and special effects. Regular admission. 6:30-8pm. 250-756-5200.








Canadian Cartoons under the Stars at East Point, Saturna Island. Spend an evening outdoors and watch award-winning animation from the National Film Board. Suitable for the whole family. Bring a chair or a blanket. 9-10pm.




Learn to Fish at Colliery Dam Park, Nanaimo. Join the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC and learn the basics of freshwater fishing at one of Nanaimo’s local lakes. Rapala fishing rods are provided, and program runs rain or shine. Parent participation required. For 5-15 year olds. 10:30am-12:30pm. Free. 250-756-5200. Starlight Skate at Nanaimo Ice Centre. Come out and enjoy the soft “stars” and passive LED glow lights. A great time for families before dinner. Regular admission rates. 3-4:30pm. 250-756-5200.




O n g oin g Preschool Monday Munchkinland Drop In at Munchkinland Exploration Centre, Parksville. Bring your family and come play this summer. Free drop-in program for children 6 and under and a caregiver. Mondays 9:30-11:30am July 10, 17, 24, 31 and August 14 and 21. 250-248-3252.

CHILDREN Playground Programs in Nanaimo. Arts, crafts and sports. Drop in for free family fun. Activities could include games, arts & crafts, and spots. MondayFriday, until August 30, 10am-3:30pm at Harewood Centennial Park & Mansfield Park. August 2-30, Daynes Park & Country Hills Park. August, Coal Tyee School & Chase River School. For children 5 to 12 years old. 250-756-5200.

Totally Tubular Tuesdays at Nanaimo Aquatic Centre. Looking for a new way to have fun this summer? Family Picnic and Play at Maple Lane Community Come out for fun games 1-3pm every Tuesday until Park, San Pareil. Kids, bring your adults and your August 29. 250-756-5200. dinner to the park. Games and activities provided by RDN Recreation and Parks leader. Propane BBQs 38  Island Parent Magazine

S’mores n’ More at McDonald Campground, Sidney. Share the magic of a traditional Canadian campfire with your family. Join an interpreter and guest presenters for songs, park stories, s’mores and more. Bring a flashlight and a mug for hot chocolate. Saturdays 7-8pm in July and August. Call 1-866-9441744 or visit for more info. Good-bye Granny! An Orca Tribute at East Point, Saturna Island. Join a park interpreter for a funny and warm-hearted look at the life of J2 Granny, the beloved matriarch of the endangered southern resident killer whales. Come early and fly giant kites shaped like marine animals. Bring a blanket or a chair. Saturdays 2:30-3pm July 8-August 26. For more info, call 1-866-944-1744 or visit parkscanada. Family Fun for Canada’s 150th at Winter Cove, Saturna Island. Celebrate Canada’s 150th Birthday with family fun. Blow giant bubbles. Roast solar oven s’mores. Make a nature craft. Bring a phone or camera and go off on a Nature Photography GPS Adventure. Sundays 10am-1pm in July and August. Free. For more info, call 1-866-944-1744 or visit•

Saturday, September 9th 900 Johnson Street 10am - 2pm Sample lessons and kid’s classes Concerts all day long

Instrument Petting Zoos Treats and fun for the whole family!


Call 250. 386.5311

VCM.BC.CA/OPEN-HOUSE Registration is now open for September classes. Go online to register or give us a call today!

August 2017  39

40  Island Parent Magazine

Birthday Party Burnout


ummer is in full swing. Somewhere there’s a mom or two scrolling through Pinterest, saving anything watermelon or beach-themed, for example, for their kid’s birthday party. Then in a mad panic as the date draws near, they’re running out buying pink and green balloons, fumbling together cupcakes that resemble a chunk of watermelon. They’re buying anything and everything that looks like a watermelon. Even some actual watermelons. Ok, that was me last summer. I still recall sitting on my bed after the last guests left, the last sticky surface wiped, reeling from the aftermath, which I have done after every party I’ve thrown for my kids. I recount the moments where it went wrong and think back to what went well. The night after my son’s recent skating party, however, I told myself “I’m over this nonsense.” Children’s birthday parties are out of control. Through generations they’ve morphed from a simple cake and candles with Ma and Pa, to McDonald’s parties in the early 90s, to what is now known as Pinterest parties. If you’re not familiar, they always involve a theme, a ton of décor to fit that theme, party games, expensive cakes, goody bags, all based around said theme. Pinterest theme or not, kid’s parties typically don’t go smoothly, or without too much work or stress. But no matter how much planning is involved there are always glitches. There’s always someone offended they didn’t get the invite. There’s that friend that is one of the only few who forgets to get back to you nor provide a legitimate reason for not being able to attend. Someone usually shows up last minute. Or doesn’t show at all. It’s life, I guess. Then there are people who show up early. Or linger too long. There’s often way too much sugar for tiny human beings. Too much sugar typically results in a lot of noise, some tantrums. You usually, well I know I do, make enough food to feed an army, although leftovers aren’t that bad. It’s not usually the best time for the parents of the guest either. Typically they are non-stop running around checking in on their kids, making

sure they don’t wreck something as they burn off their sugar high. If it’s a home party, your home usually gets turned upside down. If it’s a park party, there’s a lot of loading and unloading items from your home and cleanup to do. If you’re renting a space, that’s a really great idea and highly recommended however, it’s normally $100+.

Ashley Degraaf Is There an App for This? This leads me to the cost of parties, especially if it’s a Pinterest-themed shindig. Usually you’re paying triple the price for napkins just because they fit the theme. The cost of food, bevvies and cake adds up as well. My hubby and I have calculated the amount spent at our kids’ past parties and we’ve easily spent more than $300 per party. The biggest and most important factor is that your child probably won’t notice or care how nice the decorations are or how much money you spent. They won’t notice if someone is late or doesn’t show up. They might be too young to appreciate the hours you spent making cupcakes the day before. They are probably feeling just as overwhelmed as you are. I’ve put in five years. I feel like I’ve done my part and have learned a tremendous amount from the work/stress involved in those years. To avoid yet another late night, oh-sotired strategy session on my bed, I’ve decided to treat my children to a fun activity with one or two of their closest friends to celebrate their special day. For Audrey’s birthday in June I treated her and her best friend to princess pedicures. She was over the moon. So was I.

Summer Programs July-August • Only in Nanaimo (Drop-in) Wednesdays, 1:30-3:30pm

• Canada 150 (Drop-in) Fridays, 1:30-3:30pm

• Pioneer Cemetery Tours

Thursdays, July 6 & Aug 3 10-10:45am, Registration $10

Make a Discovery! • 250.753.1821

If You Are

Moving Expecting a Baby Planning a Wedding A Grandparent A New Business/Executive Interested In a New Career

Contact Welcome Wagon Today! Victoria & Vancouver Island 1-866-518-7287 Nanaimo 250-756-9794 Or online at:

Ashley Degraaf is a freelance writer based out of the Cowichan Valley. She enjoys channeling her inner momma while chronicling her daily adventures with her children. August 2017  41

Performing Arts School since 1980

Screen-Time Reset

For parents, not kids ch o o l S e r P r e S umm C l a s spe s never have enough time to fit in all of the & s p m a C u Da n c e nths and Ipieces of each day, yet I inevitably find s 18 mo

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42  Island Parent Magazine

recurring sticky stains on our floors and walls. In my case, my undisciplined use of myself sitting on a little stool in my kitchen my devices means that I am using my time binging on my Instagram or Facebook feed inefficiently, to my detriment. Despite the negative impact that my every evening. What started as a way to cope with the loneliness and isolation of the unbridled use of devices has had on me and months of breastfeeding on the couch and my family, social media has been a valuable taking three hours to get ready to leave the part of my experience as a parent. Whenever house for a playdate, only to get spit up on I was in need of information, support, and in the elevator, has turned into something even cheerleading, my virtual community was there for me. When I experienced more closely resembling an addiction. I have carefully ensured that my three- problems with breastfeeding at 2 a.m. in year-old son has only minimal, age-appro- the first month of my son’s life, I turned priate amounts of screen time his whole life, to kellymom. but I have not extended the same caution com and and discipline to myself. Like me, many realized parents find it hard to control their screen time, often to the point of causing damage to themselves and their relationships with their families. A recent tally of the time I spent on my device during a normal evening at home revealed how serious my problem has become. A quick scan of likes and comments while the water boiled for my tea, a quick email response between bites of dinner, a one-thumbed response to a text message while walking to the park, added up to roughly two hours of time spent on a screen between 5:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. Not only did this mean that I was multi-tasking and providing divided attention to my son and husband, it also meant that I had less time for self-care or that a simple adjustment to the position fun things. By 11 p.m., I was still folding that I was holding my son in would alleviate laundry, and I didn’t end up having time our problem. As my son grew older and I for the pre-bedtime yoga practice that I experimented with different baby carriers, used to do quite regularly. local and international babywearing groups Much has been said about the dangers of became my source for information and unchecked screen time for children. Much camaraderie. This week, after a failed athas also been said about the impact that a tempt at weaning my three-year-old, I found parent’s focus on their device can have on advice and solidarity in a local parenting children, but my experience has led me to group hosted on Facebook. also explore the effect my reliance on my As I reflect on the balancing act that device has on me. screen time and social media use are for Parents of young children already have me as a parent, I am impressed by the many demands on our time from lengthy simplicity of the solution: parent yourself. breastfeeding sessions, to load after load I consult multiple trusted sources and creof laundry, tying little shoelaces, betimes ate appropriate screen time restrictions for routines, endless meal prep, and those my son at each stage of his development.

Then, I enforce them firmly and clearly at all times. When my son whined for a show while we were getting ready for preschool and work the other morning, I was able to say, “no my love, you can never watch TV in the morning.” He let out a last little whine but had to assent. He knows that he can only watch a limited amount of TV in

Elise Velazquez the evenings because I have been clear and consistent in setting that limit. Along with setting clear and consistent limits, I realize that I will have to make space for more self-care in my life. My screen time has become a substitute for real face-to-face conversations with other adults, reading grown-up books, and doing things that allow me to feel like an autonomous and independent adult. If I add up all of the time I spend on my cellphone every evening, I could fit in a lot of glasses of wine with friends, date nights with my husband, and yoga classes. Heck, I might even be able to get back to the gym if I cut my screen time down by as little as a quarter. Creating good screen habits can be simple, with a little bit of self-discipline. I am not ready or able to completely cut my screen time, but even the exercise of tracking the amount of time I was spending on my device during the precious hours I have with my family each evening helped reduce my urge to binge. I have also set a few new ground rules for myself: I won’t spend more than five minutes at a time on my device in the evenings; I won’t interrupt a game, conversation, or meal to check or respond to my device; I won’t multi-task when using my device, recognizing that it is actually more efficient to just get digital and real life tasks done separately; and I will set healthy limits ahead of time and adhere to them. I have written these guidelines down and taped them to my fridge, close to that little kitchen stool. Wish me luck, and maybe I’ll see you around at a yoga class or the gym.

Emmanuel Preschool 2121 Cedar Hill Cross Road (by entrance to UVic) Children learn through play in our all inclusive, non-denominational Christian preschool. Great facility; outdoor play area and a gym for rainy day play! Two teachers with ECE certifi cation plus an assistant teacher to help with special needs children. A competent and caring teaching team!

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Elise Velazquez is a communications professional, mother, feminist, and over-thinker of all things. She lives in Gordon Head.

August 2017


Pass the Pasta


etting kids to help out in the kitchen is important. The ability to cook healthy food and feed ourselves is as fundamental and important as anything else they need to learn, whether it’s how to swim or how to read. Yet, the basic skills required for cooking are often neglected due to busy schedules and life’s various distractions. Still, parents are ultimately responsible for ensuring that our children become competent and selfreliant adults. When they eventually move out on their own, they will probably figure out to use the washing machine and clean a toilet (hopefully!), but cooking skills aren’t so straight forward. A recent Stats Canada survey found that 25 per cent of Canadians were unable to make a soup, stew or casserole from scratch and 33 per cent were unable to bake a cake or muffins from scratch. People who don’t have basic cooking skills are forced to rely on processed foods for their daily meals, which are an expensive and unhealthy alternative. Cooking doesn’t have to be hard or

complicated. Pasta is a great place to start. There are so many different ways to prepare pasta. It is a dish that is bound to appeal to your kids. And it’s quick enough to fit into a busy schedule! Don’t expect kids to be able to cook from scratch simply because you hand them a recipe. There is a lot of intuition that’s required to make something good to eat. Make cooking an activity that you do together. One of you can make a salad, while the other one cooks pasta. It’s important to give your kids the freedom to try, while still being available for questions.

Pizza Pasta

Everyone loves pizza! This pasta recipe basically involves taking all your favourite pizza toppings and throwing them into a pasta dish. Top with some mozzarella and you’ve got a quick, easy and delicious meal that didn’t require dialing for take out. 1 box of pasta (454g) 2 Tbsp olive oil 1 cup of tomato sauce

2 cups of your favourite pizza toppings (I like olives, peppers and mushrooms) 1 cup of grated cheese (mozzarella) salt to taste (about 2 tsp)

Emillie Parrish Cooking With Kids 1. Cook pasta following the instructions on the package. Drain, put into a large casserole dish and toss with olive oil and salt (to taste). 2. Fry up any of the toppings that need cooking ahead of time, like meat or vegetables. 3. Toss the pasta with the tomato sauce and pizza toppings. 4. Cover with a layer of grated cheese and put under the broiler for 2–5 minutes so that the cheese melts.

Macaroni and Cheese

A homemade pot of Mac ’n’ Cheese is surprisingly quick to make up; it only takes about 5–10 minutes more than the bright

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44  Island Parent Magazine

orange instant version, and you end up with a meal that won’t leave you feeling hungry. 1 box of pasta (454g) 1⁄2 cup butter 1⁄2 flour 5 cups whole milk 1 Tbsp mustard powder 6 cups grated cheddar cheese 2 tsp salt 1⁄2 tsp black pepper Optional: hotdog slices, chopped tomato, green onion 1. Cook pasta following the instructions on the package. 2. Meanwhile make your sauce. Melt butter in a sauce pan. Whisk in flour, until fully mixed, then add in mustard powder. 3. Gradually pour in milk, whisking so that the flour and milk blend. Bring the milk to a low boil, whisking constantly. After about 3 minutes it will have thickend. 4. Slowly stir in the cheese, making sure that it melts fully. Then add in the salt and pepper. 5. Mix the pasta with the sauce. Add any of the optional ingredients that you want. 6. You can serve it right away, or you can put it in the oven and broil for 3–5 minutes until the top starts to become crispy.

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Olio e Aglio

This is basically a fancy way to say oil and garlic pasta. This is the easiest version of pasta out there, and it’s my favourite because I can basically add anything I want to the pasta and it will still taste good! 1 box of pasta (454g) 1⁄4 cup butter 1⁄4 olive oil 6 cloves of garlic, diced Parmesan cheese salt to taste (about 2 tsp) Optional additions: pepperoni or sausages, kale, chard, broccoli, mushrooms. 1. Cook pasta following the instructions on the package. 2. Combine butter, olive oil and garlic in a sauce pan. 3. (If you wanted to add in one of the optional ingredients, then cook it with the garlic). 4. Fry until the garlic is cooked. 5. Toss in the pasta with the salt and top with cheese.

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

August 2017  45

Planning a



hen I was a little girl, I looked forward to our annual road trip from Edmonton to Kelowna. There was the excitement of car gifts (more on this later), getting to visit my best friend, and most important of all, spending quality time with my parents and brother. My dad taught me to waterski, my mom and I shopped in Peachland, and my brother and I made music videos with our best friends. Now I’m excited to plan our own family road trips and vacations.


In January, we began vacation planning for the year. We planned a road trip to Edmonton in the summer to attend weddings and visit family and friends. We also wanted a tropical beach vacation. I asked our oldest daughter, 6, where she wanted to go and she said “Mexi-ho.” After correcting her pronunciation, I declared I wanted to travel somewhere we have never been. My husband had his usual require-

Serena Beck ment of getting to read a newspaper and have a coffee. My youngest daughter, not yet 2 at the time, wanted to swim and my son, 4, wanted sand. We decided that Kauai, Hawaii met all our vacation goals. Next, we researched the following: the cheapest time of the year to fly and visit, kid-friendly activities, and accommodation. Our requirements were to be walking distance to a beach and have a kitchen so we could save money by cooking most of our meals.


Our kids chose their own outfits—favourite clothes equals less meltdowns—and packed their own suitcases. They can count out days and outfits and even write out or draw their packing lists. If you’re lucky enough to have accommodations with a washer and dryer then you can pack half as much and pop dirty clothes in the laundry during siesta time.

Car Gifts

During my childhood road trips, my parents gave us car gifts. These can be used as a reward for good behaviour or to entertain everyone when you are delayed on, say, the Coquihalla highway for two hours. Some ideas for car gifts include: • Sticker books • Letter and number writing practice books • Reusable water colouring books • Tiny toys such as cars, dolls or Shopkins • Games: Connect Four, a deck of cards, I Spy, Bingo, Tic-Tac-Toe • Fidget Spinners

A word of caution, some of these gifts may cause non-stop sibling arguments. I suggest similar gifts or even the same gift in different colors to keep the peace. To prevent the toys from falling or being thrown out of reach, hang a zippered cosmetic bag over the back of the seat, so everything is easily accessible. During plane travel, to save your sanity, I highly recommend a tablet loaded with games or movies. We rented one during our five-hour flight and the kids took turns using it.

they did and sent postcards to friends. We also took the kids for private one-on-one waterslide time. My husband took the kids for individual mocktail dates. Then he had a day of motorcycle touring and I went snorkeling. This balance improved everyone’s mood and helped us appreciate each other.

Culture Education

One of my favourite things to do while traveling is observing cultures and customs. For example, at our garden luau we discovered a tree similar to our Arbutus trees. A Rainbow Eucalyptus tree has bark that peels off to reveal many colours on its trunk. We Alone Time We had one rough day where the kids ate local food including roast pig and poi were not into driving around and touring. (cooked and mashed stem of a taro plant). Just as we have deer on Vancouver Island, However, we compromised by promising that they could decide our itinerary the next there are wild chickens on Kauai. They day. In the end, the kids fell asleep and my used to be in coops, but years ago during a hurricane the chickens escaped. While we were there, a chicken stared down my oldest daughter and then ran at her. She was terrified and screamed so loud that the chicken retreated. At the time, it wasn’t funny to her, but we laugh about it today.

Plan for the Unexpected

While we were all stuck in customs for an hour, playing Go Fish with our mini-deck of cards was a lifesaver. This was also a great way to teach our kids patience. We were delayed on our way home and ended up spending the night in Seattle. While we waited for a shuttle to our hotel at midnight, having clean clothes in the outer pockets of our suitcase and light jackets was handy. No matter what your mode of transportation, small gifts can be a real treat. Remember to schedule down time during your vacation, too. I once scheduled three playdates in one day and it was too much for all of us. If you’re visiting people, try to have all your guests come to you or meet in one central location. If you can, stick to husband and I enjoyed a quiet and scenic your usual bed time routine. To help you afternoon drive. The next day we visited two wind down, do yoga before bed or read playgrounds and a beach with a breakwater a book. Wherever your travel adventures lead you, try to stay positive, safe and calm and a calm swimming area. We learned that spending too much time and enjoy your time together. A situation together led to constant bickering in our may not be funny in the moment, but it condo. So my husband brilliantly suggested will usually be a great memory for your that we all take time to ourselves. This gave children down the road. everyone the opportunity to do what we wanted. My oldest daughter and I attended a private yoga class on the beach and went shopping while everyone napped. During nap time, our two older kids journaled Serena Beck enjoys writing and collecting our vacation by drawing pictures of what rubber duckies.

August 2017  47

Victoria Montessori Preschool and Childcare Building a foundation for the rest of their lives

The Best of Montessori and “Learn through Play” Combined

• beautiful, bright classroom • open between 8am–5pm • open year round • licensed for children 21⁄2–5

Art Classes Drawing • Painting Sculpture • Cartooning Portfolio Preparation • Day and Evening Classes • One or Two hour sessions • Technique Oriented • Ages 5 and Up


Now Registering for Fall Artistic Statement Gallery & School of Fine Art Call Joan at 250-383-0566 or 250-885-7353 Check out student work on our new website

48  Island Parent Magazine

Mexico Dreaming


t took months of argument to convince our three daughters to leave school early, give up their summer holidays and come to Mexico to attend language school. I’m not sure my wife and I ever truly convinced them—sheer force of parental will power is what got our family down here. Part of the attraction to Mexico is the fact I’m working on a book set in Latin America, but we also wanted our kids to see more of the world, wanted to give them a new perspective on the life of privilege we lead in Victoria. Along with attending Spanish classes for three months, we insisted each of the kids volunteer. The week we arrived, our two youngest daughters, Vivian and Tessa, started helping at a shelter for street dogs and our eldest daughter, Evelyn, along with my wife, began to help at a nearby orphanage. In the weeks since then, Vivian and Tessa have continued working with the strays, but soon enough they started going over to the orphanage as well, playing with the kids there, helping with homework. Over the past month, everyone but me has been getting to know the kids at the orphanage. I have been working from home while we’re here, spending my days glued to a computer screen. Last week though, my wife proposed we bring a few kids from the orphanage over to our house and then take them to the nearby beach. Sunday came and Kim brought the six kids back to our place. We live in a block of houses mostly occupied by expat retirees. The complex has a swimming pool. Given that only two of the six kids knew how to swim, the pool seemed the right place to start before hitting the beach. My wife, daughters and I took turns helping the four non-swimmers. Vivian took hold of Dani, the youngest of the orphans, and carried her end to end in the swimming pool. I passed out our goggles and snorkeling masks. We all splashed around, a water fight broke out. Every one of the non-swimmers tried dunking their heads and eventually tried to swim on their own. There were eleven of us in total and I’m sure we raised a racket. A five-year-old boy named Osbaldo kept jumping in and out of the shallow end. After about 20 minutes of fun, a sunbaked Englishwoman who lives in a pink house next to the pool came out to announce that guests aren’t allowed to swim here. She leads a water exercise class for expats in

town in the same pool, but she nonetheless explained to Kim that while she appreciated we were trying to do a nice thing, they didn’t want anyone peeing in the pool. We could have stayed on, we could have argued with her, but the fun had gone. None of the orphans speak English, but they all knew what had happened, they sensed it. Ten minutes of subdued paddling and we left for the beach.

Daniel Griffin Dadspeak The beach by our house is relatively calm, but the waves are rough for non swimmers, and so again the five in our family did our best to hold onto the younger kids. We had one life jacket and a pair of water wings. Every minute or two Kim and I counted heads, made sure we had everyone, but we also managed to get in the water and play. The waves knocked us about, carried us up onto the sand then back out into the water. We sang songs, we splashed and swam, steered clear of the rocks. The kids from the orphanage made fun of my Spanish, corrected my pronunciation, laughed at me. After an hour we stopped for drinks and homemade cake. We made up silly songs in Spanish. While we’ve been in Mexico, we’ve had plenty of trips to the beach—it’s only a five-minute walk from our house. But most days we just sit in the sand. I usually read a bit, swim in the shallows, some days I write or rent a surf board. That Sunday though was a better beach day than all the others combined. A lot of the time here in Mexico I’ve been tethered to a computer. I suppose the real reason Kim and I had to force the kids to come here was that learning Spanish and seeing the world, getting involved in a community so far from home—that dream belonged to the two of us more than to the kids. Last Sunday I had a chance to step into the dream and spend some time enjoying it. Daniel Griffin is the father of three children and the author of Stopping for Strangers (Vehicule Press, 2012). His new novel, Two Roads Home, is coming out this fall.



School Year

In our play-based preschools children have fun, build relationships and explore the world in which they live. Activities include arts & crafts, storytelling, music, cooking, indoor and outdoor play. We participate in a variety of off-site field trips, use of the library and kindergym, and activities such as dance, sports, yoga and skating. Our Licensed programs are led by certified Early Childhood Educators who are also trained in (NCCP) Fundamental Movement Skills. Children must turn the minimum age for the program by Dec 31, 2017. The * indicates programs that require children be the minimum age on the first day.


Nature Preschool

For children entering kindergarten the following year. In addition to play-based learning, time is dedicated each day to kindergarten preparation such as numbers, literacy and structured activity. JDF KIDS COTTAGE Friday 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM (Monday - Thursday Currently FULL) ROYAL BAY SCHOOL Tuesday - Friday 9:30 AM – 1:30 PM KinderPrep at Royal Bay includes Nature-Based learning and daily outside time rain or shine.

Each class is spent outdoors where children will deepen their understanding of the natural world and their place within it. Drop off and pick up locations vary, and include the Juan de Fuca Rec Centre, Esquimalt Lagoon, Goldstream Park, and Fort Rodd Hill. JDF PICNIC SHELTER Monday - Friday 9:00-11:30 AM * Children must turn 3 by the first day in program.

4 Years

3-5 Years*

Play & Learn Preschool

Discover Preschool

This introductory class is designed to ease children’s transition to West Shore Parks & Recreation’s Year Long Preschool. Children build friendships and independence through play and hands-on learning. JDF PLAYROOM Tuesday, 9:00-11:30AM Thursday, 9:00-11:30AM

Spend the day creating, exploring, and having fun with cooperative play and learning. In a mixed age setting, children are able to act as mentors and take leadership roles according to their abilities and interests. JDF PLAYROOM Wednesday, 12:30-3:00 PM

3-4 Years

We accept families receiving Child Care Subsidy. If your child requires extra support or qualifies for funding through Supported Child Development contact the program supervisor prior to registration. Space is limited to one support staff per class.

3-5 Years

Have questions? Book a classroom tour! Alexandra Matthew 250-474-8619


August 2017  49

Healthy Schools 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

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 50  Island Parent Magazine


s a parent, have you ever wondered how you can best support your child’s school to be a healthy place where kids and school staff feel comfortable, confident and happy in making healthy choices? One way to look at this is to ask yourself: “what does a healthy school look like, feel like, sound like, and smell like? I have asked this question of many people and every answer has been unique. Some people focus on the social relationships (friends, teachers, parties and field trips) and connections within the school community whereas others focus on the physical structures such as playgrounds, gardens and hallways of a school. What comes to mind for you when you think of a healthy school? It might help to think back to your own school days and the things about school that created [or caused] your happiest memories. “A healthy school is a place where students have many opportunities—in the classroom, and in every aspect of their school experience—to foster their healthy physical, mental, social and intellectual development.” (DASH BC) A healthy school is essential for kids to learn. Young people will be able to reach their full potential as learners when they are healthy and feel part of a healthy school community. In a healthy school they also learn about making healthy choices for themselves and others. All of this contributes to a healthy lifestyle in the short and long term. School staff have many responsibilities and they are doing so much to support the health and learning of our children. As a first step, find out all of the ways that your school is already supporting healthy students and school staff. Acknowledge all that your school is already doing and then ask how to assist in strengthening a specific health aspect that may be an area of passion for you such as student mental health, healthy eating or outdoor learning. Ask school staff, teachers or through the Parent Advisory Council. I’ve heard from schools that they often don’t want to burden parents by asking too much of them. From my perspective as a parent, I don’t want to ask anything more

of the teachers or school either. But I’ve also heard from both schools and parents that when they do ask for help, they often receive more than they could have imagined and it can lead to healthier and happier school environments where parents are actively engaged within the school. It’s important to approach school staff and other parents in a helpful and respectful manner. Here are some concrete suggestions of ways you may be able to engage with your school for a healthier school community:

Current Programs & Initiatives

• The BC School Fruit and Vegetable Nutritional Program provides fresh fruit and vegetables for all students. Schools often need volunteers to assist in getting the snacks to the classrooms. • Walking and Wheel to School are active transportation programs for children and adults. You can support these programs by becoming a champion at your school. • School events. Parent volunteers are always needed and you may be able to assist in providing healthy food options and

opportunities to support active living and school connectedness. • Parent education nights. The Parent Advisory Council may already be planning parent education or you could suggest an evening presentation on a topic that would

Janelle Hatch CH I LD YO UT H & FA MILY P U B L IC H E A LT H

Happy Families, Healthy Families

resonate with parents in your school community such as media literacy and navigating the digital age, or tools for parents in supporting mental health and well-being. • Before and after school playground activities. Is activity equipment available on the playground for children to be active and to have fun with their friends? Sometimes it’s a matter of a parent overseeing the equipment to make sure it gets cleaned up and put back inside the school. Other schools have had parents trained to facilitate some active games for children on the playground. • School gardens. Does your school have a school garden? If so, chances are that maintaining the garden through the summer months is a challenge. Could you and your family offer to help in watering and weeding over the summer or could you organize a schedule of a few families that could take turns in overseeing the garden over the summer? These are just a few ideas, I’m sure that if you speak with other parents and school staff there may be many opportunities for you to get involved in a small or big way to help contribute to a healthy school for your children and community. What does a healthy school look like, feel like, sound like and smell like? Again, consider these questions and take a look around as you step foot in your child’s school this September. Then figure out how you can engage in a small way this school year to improve the health of your child’s school environment. If you are looking for inspirational stories from schools across BC, look no further than the Healthy Schools BC website at Janelle Hatch is a parent of two children, a Registered Dietitian and works with the Healthy Schools program with Island Health.

The Ultimate Hair Salon, Shoppe & Party Place! Haircuts for Girls & Boys Fun Spa Services Theme Parties Ear Piercing DIY Spa Products Bead Bar Unique Gifts/Products Day Camps & Special Events 250.590.5568

Mini-Golf Mattick’s Farm

CHALLENGING 18 HOLE COURSE Fun for All Ages • Groups Welcome

 Birthday Parties  Family Reunions  Church Groups  Clubs/Teams

For more info see: 5325 Cordova Bay Road • 250-658-4053 August 2017


Don’t Lose Yourself


xperiencing birth and the miracle of life is unforgettable. Life as you know it changes and, once you have that little bundle in your arms, will never be the same again. It’s so easy to lose yourself in your new role and can start a process of slowly fading away from yourself, your interests and your passions without even realizing that it is happening. Upon becoming pregnant, we can be so focused on preparing for the new baby that we don’t consider how to navigate this transition and affect our own personal growth once baby is born. When we come up for air we realize that we can’t answer questions like: When is the last time you read a book and finished it? What is your favourite place to shop for clothing? What are your hobbies? When is the last time you had fun doing something that you love? Becoming a parent instantly changes your identity, whether you are prepared for it or not. You are no longer independent because your life is instantly intertwined with someone who is completely dependent on you. Your decisions are made with someone else in mind, and your lifestyle shifts to accommodate this change. We must redefine who we are once we become a mother—all with less sleep, clarity and with the greatest responsibility that we have ever had. We forget the most important rule of self-preservation: you cannot give long-term what you do not have. Also, you share more of who you are with your children as you connect with the woman you once were. Be careful not to give up hobbies and interests that will what makes you happy—that happiness will spill over into your role as a mother. Continue to seek out doing things that you love will help to preserve your self- identity.

Trade perfectionism for self-compasdrive to the beach and stare out into the sion. Self-judgement is a destructive, but all waves in those early, sleep-deprived days. too common, new-mom activity. Part of the problem is that we see so many images of Return to your “normal.” I made getting how others do their mothering and we can some of my “normal” back a priority as feel like we don’t measure up. Not only is soon as I could after having my babies. In the early weeks of postpartum, just going to the store by myself helped me feel better. Going familiar places and getting back to some routine helps provide reassurance that you still have a life. Even taking a New Parent shower, getting dressed, and putting on a Pages bit of makeup can make you feel like a real adult person again this new role hard, it feels like we can royally mess it up. It’s important to remember we are all different. No one else lives our lives with our particular babies in our particular families. Have compassion for yourself and understand that it is hard and you can do it your way. Not everyone needs to have a Pinterest-worthy nursery. Focus on what’s important to you and your family. Love is the key ingredient. Common sense doesn’t hurt either. Focus on these and cut yourself some slack.

Diana Hurschler

Be proactive. Talk to your doctor about your concerns. Seek out counseling, before you are suffering. Asking for help is wise and loving. Taking care of yourself is key to being a healthy mom.

Ask yourself, “What can I do right now to make myself happier?” I was under the false impression that becoming a mom meant life had to be all about my kids now. Yes, we do become more selfless—a good thing—when we become parents. However, it is important and healthy to remember what makes you tick and allow yourself the freedom to pursue those things.

Remember it is wise to ask for help. Your physical and emotional well-being is tied to your baby’s well-being. If you’ve 5 Ways to Reconnect with had any other recent life changes, it beWho You Are After Becoming comes even more challenging. It’s helpful a Mom: for women who have had big life changes Create a weekly ritual that allows you such as moving, changing, or suspending some time alone. Select the same day and their careers, a major loss, or a key financial time of the week and schedule this time on change to know they are particularly vulan ongoing basis. It is important to have nerable to anxiety and depression. Women time and space to clear your thoughts and who’ve suffered from mental health issues in to be able to tune in to your feelings. In the past are also more at risk. Be proactive. the early days of parenting, this might look Talk to your doctor about your concerns. like a stroll around your neighbourhood or Seek out counseling, before you are sufgoing to a peaceful place to reflect. I would fering. Asking for help is wise and loving. 52  Island Parent Magazine

Taking care of yourself is key to being a healthy mom.

While in pursuit of being a good mother we can forget to be kind to ourselves. A wise woman once told me to take care of my own needs first because the best gift that I could give my family is a whole mom, a woman that liked herself, knew herself and respected herself enough to experience her own life. This translated to weekly “me dates” where I learned to take a short break from all of my roles as wife, mom, and professional, to name a few. It meant that I had time and space to get to know “me” and to think about my life. I am not who I was before my kids, but I am some version of her. I would like to think that in allowing myself to pursue my own interests, and spending time on my own getting to know this “new me,” I can be better for myself and my partner and kids. In making myself a priority, I hope I am a more improved version—one lost not only in being a mom, but in being me. Diana Hurschler, RN BscN, childbirth educator, certified breastfeeding counselor, has been helping families in their childbearing years and beyond since 1998. Diana is the proud mama of four little ones. Email

GIVE-A-$HEET You Can “Bridge People to Nature”

DID YOU KNOW... Your donation to Phase II of the

“Bridges to Nature” Floating Boardwalk Campaign Will ~ no matter the size ~

* Each $heet of fiberglass decking will cost aprox $500 * Each $ection of the Phase II floating Boardwalk Project will cost aprox $5,000 $800,000 is required to span the lake

Make a Difference

Call 250.479.0211 or visit to donate

“Give-a-$HEET” and help Bridge People to Nature Today!

August 2017  53

Family Services Directory

Community Options for Children and Families offers recreational support groups for Children and Youth age 6-18 who have a brother or sister with a disability. The Sibshop Program allows children and youth to connect with peers who understand what This directory, sponsored by Thrifty Foods, features not for profit it is like to be a Sib. Sibkids (age 6-12) and Sibteens agencies and organizations serving children, youth and families. (age 13-18) are play and activity based designed to provide opportunity for participants to share in a comfortable and safe environment. For further 1Up, Victoria Single Parent Resource Centre (1- help finding a job? Need employees? Contact us info call 250-380-6363 or provides support, education and resources for FREE assistance! 9860 Third St. Sidney. 250for parents in the Greater Victoria area through 656-0134. End Dyslexia. Does your child have trouble reading free counselling, volunteer training, a mentoring or is behind in reading? Is your child bright, but is program for single moms, and a support group for Boys & Girls Club Services offer after-school not learning as quickly as you would like? Get ready dads, as well as a variety of integrated life skills and evening social, educational and recreational for September now with Summer Reading Camps and parenting courses which are open to the whole programming for children and youth at 5 locations from the convenience of your own home! Use community, with fees on a sliding scale. For single (Colwood, Langford, VicWest, Central Saanich and research-based programs with fast, lasting results parent members, the Centre provides free toys and Esquimalt) and summer camps both in Esquimalt while working with award-winning speech-language books, a clothing room and bread pantry. Donations and at our Outdoor Centre in Metchosin. We also of- pathologist, Marlene Lewis, who brings many years of gently-used clothing, small household items, and fer support to parents through our Parents Together of experience and proven results in improving readtoys are welcome. Hours: Mon., Tue., Thu., Fri.: 9–4, program and parent workshops. For more informa- ing for children, teens and adults. To learn more & Wednesdays: 12–7. Location: 602 Gorge Road tion on all programs and services visit or please visit or call 250-474-6368. East. Phone: 250-385-1114. call 250-384-9133. Family Services of Greater Victoria (formerly BC Beacon Community Services is a community- Canucks Autism Network (CAN) provides high- Families in Transition) is a non profit agency that has based, non-profit agency dedicated to helping quality, adapted sports, recreational and social been serving families since 1978. We provide a full people and improving lives on southern Vancouver programs for kids, teens and young adults living range of services to the whole family in supportIsland and the southern Gulf Islands. Beacon thrift with autism on Vancouver Island. Shawnigan Lake: ing their relationship and through separation and shops fund important LOCAL community services Multisport day camp, bike clinics and family camp. divorce. Counseling, mediation, legal information and programs. Beacon also offers: child, youth and Victoria: Swim, soccer, skate and physical literacy. and a range of group programs are available for family services (including the Peninsula Early Years Nanaimo: Swim and physical literacy. Family events children, youth and adults on a sliding fee scale. Call Centre and child care); counselling; employment take place throughout the year! Become a member us at 250-386-4331 or visit We can help. services and training for people of all ages; home for only $25/year at Call support care; volunteer services and opportunities; 604-685-4049, email or HappyBaby Sleep Solutions helps families creaffordable housing/care/supports for seniors and visit for more ate healthy sleep habits in babies and children so people with disabilities. For Home Support, please information. everyone is well rested and happy. Sukkie Sandhu, call 250-658-6407. For other programs: 250-656M.Ed., has worked with hundreds of families locally 0134. CHOICES Adoption & Counselling is a licensed, in Victoria and worldwide. Sukkie is a Registered professional, non-profit agency that provides Clinical Counsellor so the cost of a sleep consultaBeacon Community Services Employment services to adoptive parents, birth-parents, and tion may be covered under your extended medical Programs. Beacon Community Services offers a adoptees. CHOICES arranges adoptions domesti- plan. For more information visit happybabysleepfull menu of employment services on the Saanich cally and internationally. We are committed to pro- or call 250-857-1408 for a FREE Peninsula and Gulf Islands. We’ve been helping viding a comprehensive, client-centered adoption evaluation. Let’s get started! people find work since 1982! Our programs build on service which best meets the needs of everyone a person’s strengths and resolve barriers to finding in the adoption constellation. Please contact us at HeadWay Victoria Epilepsy & Parkinson’s Centre and keeping employment. We also work with our, or call 250-479-9811 supports families living with seizures by offering employer network to support job seekers. Need for further information. parent workshops three times a year, educational

54  Island Parent Magazine

presentations in schools and community groups as well as providing tutoring sessions and one-to-one professional consultations to help your child live up to their highest potential. Keep up to date with the latest research about treatments, lifestyle, and safety issues for your child. We can be reached at, or you can reach the Epilepsy Program Coordinator directly at 250-475-6677. 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 info@,

Year-round Getaway on Mayne Island with direct daily ferries from Swartz Bay

9 housekeeping cottages perfect for family getways 250-539-2463 • 1-877-535-2424 •

LDABC The Learning Curve (previously The Learning Disabilities Assn.) supports, educates and advocates for children with learning disabilities and related 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 or to book an appointment: 250 370 9513. Power To Be inspires people living with barriers or disabilities to explore their limitless abilities through inclusive adventures rooted in nature. With programs for children, youth and adults, year-round adventures include kayaking, canoeing, camping, hiking and more. Visit or call 250385-2363 to learn more. 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 and the West Shore and can be reached at 250217-9243. Additional information can be accessed at Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society (VIRCS) supports immigrants and refugees living in Greater Victoria. Services are free and include oneon-one counselling, parent education workshops, youth life skills classes, a preschool program, art therapy, language classes and academic support, employment help, computer classes and fun community events like free yoga, tai chi, dance and cooking classes. Visit us online at or phone 250-361-9433.

August 2017


PresCHool & CHIlD Care Directory Central saanICH



Chrysalis Child Care ...............................250-652-0815 A nurturing and stimulating environment for a small group of 21⁄2–5 year old children . Qualified ECE promotes learning through play . chrysalischildcare .ca .


Licenced group childcare for children ages 12 months to 5 years old. Open 6:30am-5:30pm. Leap Forward Dance School offers weekday and Saturday dance classes for children ages 2 and up. 2758 Peatt Road, Langford


Miles of Smiles Nature Junior Kindergarten .......................................... 778-265-4374 Come See Why Learning In Nature Rocks! Reggio Influenced Philosophy ages 3-5 . Have Your Child Become a Nature Detective Today! Email mosnjk@hotmail .com .

CorDova Bay Carrot Seed Preschool ............................250-658-2331 Where children can discover, imagine, construct and learn through play . Wondrous natural playground . carrotseedpreschool .com . 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 . cordovabaypreschool .org .

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 . Facebook .com/ 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 . Part -time spaces available . Islandkids .ca . La Pré-Maternelle Appletree Preschool .....250-479-0292 A French Immersion Program. 30 months to school age . Licensed Christian centre . prematernelleappletree .com .

Child Care

Resource & Referral 56

Island Parent Magazine

Only seconds past luxurious Bear Mountain our highly respected outdoor program will not disappoint! Our “Nurture through Nature” facility is rooted from the Reggio-Emilia philosophies, allowing the children to use their environment as the “third teacher.” Located on 2 acres of forest land, your child will learn and grow in a natural surrounding of tress and wildlife! Newly expanded, we NOW have more spaces available for your Infant/ Toddlers and Pre-Kindergarten aged children. We use the trees from our own property to build the furniture and some of the toys in all three centres. The children enjoy yoga, music, Spanish, signlanguage and an outdoor classroom. In 2016, Lexie Biegun won the BC Provincial Gov’t award of Excellence for Child Care Providers. Please visit our Facebook page for current info and pics.

250-590-3603 Cub House waitlist: 778-432-3600

metCHosIn 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 . west-mont .ca .

• 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

250-477-3731 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 . camosun .ca/childcare . Full o’ Beans Preschool .............................. 250-360-1148 We offer ‘learn through play’ programming designed to foster your child’s natural curiosity and imagination . Flexible scheduling, 2 .5 and 4 hour programs, qualified staff . Registration is ongoing! saanichneighbourhoodplace .com . Island Montessori House ....................250-592-4411 Inclusive, integrated and nurturing Preschool and After School Care programs . Lovely rural setting with a focus on nature and outdoor environmental activities . islandmontessori .com . 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 . lambrickparkpreschool .ca .

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 .

oaK Bay Emmanuel Preschool ............................. 250-598-0573 Children learn through play in our non-denominational Christian preschool near UVic . Bright attractive setting . emmanuelpreschool .ca . Gonzales Co-op Preschool ...................... 250-727-1003 An imaginative Reggio Emilia inspired Learning-Through-Play community that focuses on nature, music, and arts . gonzalescooppreschool .com . Recreation Oak Bay ................................250-370-7200 Fully licensed, ECE Daycare, Preschool and Nature Preschool . Play based, child led learning . Afterschool care available .

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul has opened a brand new licensed child care facility in Royal Oak at 4353 West Saanich Road. We currently have openings in our over 36 months program operating Monday to Friday. For more information call 250-727-0007 and ask for Maureen Hall, Manager or email us at

Looking for child care? Need help with subsidy forms? Taking care of children? Need child care training? Your community’s best source of child care information and resources. Victoria & Gulf Islands: 250-382-7000 or 1-800-750-1868 Sooke: 250-642-5152 Westshore: 250-391-4324 Cowichan Valley: 250-746-4135 local 231 PacificCare (Ladysmith north): 250-756-2022 or 1-888-480-2273 Funded by the Province of BC

Montessori Educare.................................250-881-8666 Beautiful learning environment in Broadmead and Saanichton. 30 months to 5 years. All year round.

Licenced group childcare for children ages 1 to 12 years old

Neighbourhood Junior Kindergarten....... 250-479-4410 Welcoming, culturally sensitive parent participation program in Lakehill School. Morning and afternoon. For 3s and 4s. See website for details. neighbourhood

Open 6:30am–5:30pm

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

Pre-School Junior Kindergarten 250-479-4532 Educational Excellence to the Glory of God Rainbows & Dreams Preschool................ 250-479-1966 Small classes for 3-5 yr olds in a safe nurturing environment. Children learn through play and fun–developing a sense of confidence, independence and creativity. Highly qualified ECE teacher. 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. St. Joseph’s Catholic Preschool................... 250-479-1237 • A Christian child centre for 3–5 year olds. • A warm nurturing and challenging program • Offered by St. Joseph’s Catholic School. Wiseways Preschool & Daycare................ 250-477-1312 Quality, fully licensed, Christian preschool/daycare for 3–4 year olds. Experienced team of ECEs. Spacious facilities include large playground and indoor gym. Subsidized fees welcome. Call for a tour.

SIDNEY Positive Path Early Learning....................250-655-7244 Located near the library and Sidney School, our program has earned a stellar reputation for quality child care and is growing as fast as the children we care for. Space is available for your child to embark on a journey of active exploration and discovery, enjoying a natural outdoor playground and an expansive indoor learning space. Experienced educators foster a lifelong quest for knowledge and guide children with Christian values and virtues. Storyoga Preschool................................. 778-679-4004 Embracing and empowering children exactly as they are. Storyoga Preschool is a nature and yoga based program located in Sidney, BC.


v Comprehensive programs for Preschool through Grade 8 v Delivering academic excellence through music, dance, drama and visual arts v Outstanding educators, locations and facilities 250.382.3533

Offering Before & After school care for Vic West Elementary School 250-590-2722

949 Fullerton Ave

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. Little Paws Preschool...............................250-384-3211 A program designed to enhance children’s creativity, interdependence, independence and to expand self-expression. Website:

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.

DUNCAN International Montessori Academy of Canada................................................. 250-737-1119 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. 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. Queen of Angels Early Learning Centre...... 250-701-0433 We believe that the development of the whole child (physically, socially, emotionally, cognitively, and spiritually) encourages each individual to develop to their full potential. We offer an enriched full day program for 3–5 year olds based on Kindergarten readiness.

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.

Sunrise Waldorf School Preschool..............250-743-7253 In a warm environment, this nature and play-based program enlivens and nurtures the growing child.

Rainbow Express Daycare....................... 250-382-2314 A nurturing environment for children to learn through play and discovery in a natural setting. ECEs and specialist teachers. Close to city centre.

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



Positive and supportive program motivating children to learn, discover and grow through play. Kindness Curriculum, Jolly Phonics and Active Outdoor Play!

250-383-7445 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. Victoria Montessori................................ 250-380-0534 Unique, innovative learning environment combining the best of Montessori and Learning Through Play. Open yr. round. 30mths–K.

VIEW ROYAL Island Kids Academy View Royal.............250-727-2929 High quality child care (ages 1-5). Preschool curriculum offered within a warm, caring child care environment. Character development using the Virtues Project. Access to community programs including swimming, skating, Victoria Conservatory of Music. Part-time spaces available. View Royal Childcare...............................250-479-8067 Preschool structured, high quality childcare. Victoria Conservatory of Music classes. Part time spaces available. 2.5-5year olds.

Aspengrove School.................................. 250-618-2201 Aspengrove School in Nanaimo, an independent school offering Junior Kindergarten for 3 & 4 year olds. Play-based learning, rooted in the same International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum taught in our Kindergarten-Grade 12 classes.

Qualicum Beach Children’s Discovery Centre.....................250-752-4343 Our program recognizes the uniqueness of each child and provides 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 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.

August 2017  57

2016 Child Care Award of Excellence for Leadership: Lexie Biegun

We are expanding!

W Photo: Mary-Jane Howland Photography

We Offer: • A unique Reggio-Emilia Influenced program in a natural Forest setting • 4 acre forest play space! • Spanish classes twice a week! • Yoga, drumming, ART and dance!

“Celebrate what you accomplish, but raise the bar each time you succeed!” – Mia Hamm


Weather Boy

Inquiries: 250-590-3603

Little Steps Therapy Services offers the following services for all children: Little Learners therapeutic program for school readiness. Connections therapeutic groups for school-aged children. Connections therapeutic groups for children who are homeschooled. Clinical services including behaviour consulting, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech-language therapy, art therapy and feeding therapy.

hen Angus told our neighbour that he would be a meteorologist when he grew up, she said: “You want to be a weather man?” “Not a weather man,” he corrected. “A weather scientist.” Angus’s future career plans have gone through a number of transitions in his six years. He has wanted to be a judge, based on his favourite picture in a Dr. Seuss book. He has wanted to be a musician, based on his toddler-hood devotion to Raffi. He has wanted to be a scuba diver, based on a character from our window sticker collection. Never mind the fact that he has always been unwilling to put his head under water. Meteorologist had an unlikely beginning also. In the spring we were given IMAX tickets, and I pulled up the page of previews so Angus could choose which show we’d watch. He found the 60-second synopsis of Extreme Weather so captivating that he watched it on repeat until I took the computer away. Then he proceeded to act out the preview for the rest of the week, wreaking havoc on our living room as a living tornado. Like most kids with autism, Angus has sensory issues. There was a reason we hadn’t attempted IMAX before. He can’t handle loud noises and gets dizzy driving on windy roads. Yet he was certain that watching Extreme Weather would be the best experience of his life. When the big day arrived—with great trepidation—we equipped him with popcorn and his noisecancelling headphones. From my lap, he watched the previews with his eyes closed and his head pressed into my chest. When he erupted we left. I assumed this would be the end of his weather obsession, but it wasn’t at all. First, he needed to know what Mike had seen in the two minutes he spent collecting our belongings before he joined us into the hallway. A wild fire? A hurricane? How many types of extreme weather were there anyway? At home he continued to act

Contact our offices at 250-386-1171 or by emailing 58

Island Parent Magazine

out the Extreme Weather preview until I took him to the library for more material. We found the shelf of children’s weather books and I let him check out as many as he could carry. Months later, Angus is only more weather obsessed. His favourite possessions are the weather books gifted to him for his birthday. His particular favourites among them shift daily, and will be carried with

Laura Trunkey Maternity & Beyond him everywhere he goes. He will retrieve them from the living room as soon as it is 5:30 a.m. and he is officially allowed to leave his bed. At 6:30 p.m., he’ll carry them upstairs to our room. They will go in the car. They will go in the bathroom. “Leave those in the hall,” I say, when I see his free hand on the bathroom doorknob. “You don’t need books to pee.” Begrudgingly he drops them, but the rush is on. How many steps can be shaved off the hand-washing routine without me noticing so he can go back to his studies? Outside, Angus inspects the sky for clouds. Are they altostratus today? Cirrocumulus? Are there signs of impending rain? And the wind—see how it’s moving the branches of the tree in our yard? That’s a three on the Beaufort Scale. Maybe even a four. Last week, we drove past a car doing donuts in a gravel parking lot, kicking up a huge cloud of dust. “Look at the dust storm,” I told him. “A real dust storm!” he cried. “Today is going to be a wonderful day!” The last time we had a real storm, Angus ran outside and danced when he heard a clap of thunder, his body turning and swaying, his arms in the air, a look of complete bliss on his face. The world is a wonderful place when you have a passion to devote yourself to. For now, at least, our kid has found his.

Laura Trunkey is mother to the amazing Angus and the author of a forthcoming short fiction collection from House of Anansi. Email

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1Up Single Parent............................27 Alliance Francaise.........................IBC Arabesque Dance............................ 9 Arbutus Grove............................... IFC Artistic Statement.......................... 48 Arts Calibre Academy..................... 15 Ballet Victoria................................IBC Blue Vista....................................... 55 Brown Henderson Melbye.............. 31 Browne Associates.......................... 8 Bumble & Hive................................ 61 Camp Pringle.................................. 13 Canucks Autism.............................. 31 Cash Advantage..............................34 Chemainus Theatre....................... 55 Christ Church Cathedral.................34 Conseil Scolair...............................BC CRD.................................................. 8 Discovery School............................ 18 Dr. Joslin, Dr. Morin & Assoc......... IFC Emmanuel Preschool......................43 Foster Parent Support Services..... 14 Gordon Head Recreation............... 42

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Hulitan............................................ 62 IMAX................................................ 21 Intrepid Theatre.............................. 14 Island Catholic................................34 Island Montessori............................11 Island Swimming............................ 35 Jost Health Worx...............................4 Kool & Child.................................... 23 Lakeview Christian School............ 55 Lexie’s Little Bears......................... 58 Lifestyles......................................... 21 Little Steps..................................... 58 Lizzy Lee & Me................................ 51 MacDonald Realty.......................... 22 Mad Science................................... 12 Maria Montessori........................... 26 Mattick’s Farm Mini Golf................. 51 Maxine Fisher.................................44 Mineral World................................. 60 Momease...................................... IFC Mothering Touch...............................7 Nanaimo Conservatory.................. 36 Nanaimo Museum........................... 41

Nanaimo Unique Kids..................... 12 Navigate......................................... 45 O’Brien........................................... 20 Oak & Orca......................... 32, 44, 54 Oyaco............................................. 40 Pacific Christian............................IBC Pacific Coast Swimming..................11 Pivot Point....................................... 61 Pumpkin Pie.................................... 61 Queen Margaret’s.......................... 23 Queen of Angels............................ 20 Resthouse....................................... 15 Rosemarie Colterman..................... 17 Royal BC Museum............................ 9 Saanich Dental........................... 6, 26 Saanich Recreation...........................3 School House Teaching Supplies...................IBC Scouts Canada............................... 36 Serious Coffee............................... 25 Smart Tutor Referrals......................27 St. Joseph’s Chemainus................ 45 St. Margaret’s................................... 5

Stages...................................... 24, 42 Swan Lake...................................... 53 Sylvan Learning.............................. 19 Thrifty Foods.................................. 33 TJ’s The Kiddie Store..................... 25 Tom Lee Music............................... 45 Total Learning................................ 22 Vancouver Island Baby Fair........... 30 Victoria Academy of Ballet...............4 Victoria Bug Zoo.............................43 Victoria City Rowing......................... 6 Victoria Conservatory of Music..... 39 Victoria German School................. 60 Victoria Literacy Connection.......... 13 Victoria Montessori........................ 48 Victoria School for Ideal Education......................... 31 Victoria School of Irish Dance...... IFC Victoria Sport Synchro....................43 VIHA............................................... 50 Welcome Wagon............................. 41 Westmont Montessori.....................27 Westshore Parks & Recreation...... 49

August 2017  59

Mineral World and the Scratch Patch Come and visit us for a unique and family-friendly experience. Collect gemstones in the Scratch Patch area, browse through our amazing fossils, minerals, jewellery and gifts or book an entertaining and informative educational excursion. Please see our website for more!

Go On a Story Walk “J

ust one more book, please! Actually two more, or 10!” These are common requests in my house as my three-year-old settles into bed. It is our end-of-day bedtime ritual. After the request for her favourite pajamas—“the ones with the blue stars, please!”—and after we have both tackled tooth brushing with vigour, we finally settle in for a bedtime story. This is usually the time at the end of my long day where I fight falling asleep, yawning with every turn of the page. For my daughter,

a good book can bring. At the same time, I know I have lunches to pack, laundry to do, and I am downright exhausted. Despite my best efforts, the sleepy dust finds its way to me and I start to turn the pages more slowly. This is our bedtime routine. It is always the same, even when she sleeps over at her grandparents’ house. This is just how bedtime goes—except for last summer when I took her on her first evening StoryWalk®. Started by Anne Ferguson in Montpelier, Vermont, StoryWalks® are a fun way for

bedtime sometimes means time to be silly, to squirm, and to refuse to let the sleepy dust settle on her. She just wants two (or 10) more books read to her. It is simultaneously my favourite and most difficult time of the day. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy for snuggles, and I love watching her spellbound by the magic that

children—and adults!—to enjoy reading and the outdoors at the same time. Large pages from a children’s book are installed on posts along an outdoor path so that you can stroll down the path and read along. The story we went to read that first night at Francis/King Regional Park was The Salamander Room by Anne Mazer. My

Classes for Children of All Ages Victoria German School 250-886-1420

VGS is a non-profit organization providing German language education since 1987 60  Island Parent Magazine

daughter loved learning about salamanders, skipping along the accessible Elsie King Trail, looking at the pages, and discovering the different activities that CRD Parks naturalists had set up along the way. She was especially proud of the salamander craft she made—it was her favourite colour and it had glitter, of course.

Tracey Moss Now, anything that combines early childhood literacy, immersion in nature, and outdoor physical activity, and can lead to a better night’s sleep is a huge win in my book. I am happy to report that after her first StoryWalk® at Francis/King Regional Park, my daughter had no problem going to sleep that night. In fact, her eyes were heavy on the drive home. Sometimes a break from the regular routine is just what we all need. This is especially true in the summer when daylight lasts longer and it can be hard to get those busy little ones to sleep. Doing a special activity after dinner can be a fun way to bring families together at the end of the day. Whether you have a picnic dinner at your local park, set up a tent in your backyard, attend a StoryWalk®, or have an after-dinner campfire with s’mores, it is fun to change things up a bit and enjoy this beautiful region we live in. This summer there will be more StoryWalks® happening on user-friendly trails in the Capital Region. CRD Parks has teamed up with Westshore Parks and Recreation to offer more Wednesday Night StoryWalks® in our regional parks and in the Westshore area. For more information about where and when they are happening, check out the events listings on the CRD website (crd. or the Westshore Parks and Recreation website ( Make a date with your favourite kids to go to a StoryWalk® near you. Watching them run from page to page is so much fun; you will enjoy being out in the fresh air and maybe, just maybe, you will all sleep a little better that night!

Family Growth Centre Inc.

Phone: 778.410.2319 Visit:

Learning Centres Inc.

Pivot Point provides behavioural, educational and mental health services to children, youth and adults with autism and other diverse abilities from Victoria to Nanaimo...and throughout B.C. We also offer Community Classrooms as an alternative to traditional large public and private schools! Very small classes mean lots of one-to-one and great small group teaching. Enrollment is open now for the upcoming school year!

Call our local line 778.410.2319 or visit us online today! Check out our exciting new Fall programs at


Mini Bumble Gymnastics Classes! Offering classes for kids 6 months to 4 years. Fostering confidence, coordination, agility and fun! Focusing on simple circuits, basic skills, movement, balances and landings. Small class sizes, qualified instructor, safe environment.


Tracey Moss is the Coordinator of Environmental Interpretation at CRD Regional Parks.

August 2017  61

Benefits of Boredom


here did boredom go? It used to hang around for hours, forcing us to do something creative like make a car out of an empty toilet paper roll. Boredom pushed us around until we read that book—again—or climbed a tree. It wasn’t so bad. While engaging with our children and having time together is very important, we are not meant to be a one-person entertainment centre. It’s okay for our kids to experience a little time on their hands when they don’t know what to do. Of course age is an important consideration, but an indulgent parent may try to provide everything for her child—the best toys, clothes, you name it—along with all the time the child wants. This parent often becomes the entertainer, not taking any time for herself because that wouldn’t be fair to her child. She makes a full-time career out of attending to the child’s every need and whim. But this eagerness to please may turn into resentment and a short fuse. Secure attachment is a good thing, but if it is truly secure, it will promote a child’s exploring beyond the initial limits of closeness to the parent. It is insecurely (anxiously) attached children who cling to their parents and won’t venture out, and insecurely attached parents who won’t allow them to. The indulgent parent constantly provides for her child and in so doing deprives him of the opportunity to think for himself, make decisions, and develop his own ideas and preferences. An indulged child never

has to struggle or take the initiative to get something for himself. He never has to work for anything. He doesn’t have to entertain himself (perhaps with creative, imaginative play) when his parents are busy and he’s

Allison Rees Cut It Out! already tired of all the toys in the house and the screens are off. This can contribute to a long-term expectation that people provide for the child and read his mind. While this is normal with young kids, it isn’t desirable in an adult. We can give empathy to a child who is bored, but feeling sorry for her will give her the message that she can’t handle it. Boredom is the waiting room to creativity, resiliency and developing a relationships with oneself! LIFE Seminars has two books available, Sidestepping the Power Struggle and The Parent Child Connection. See

Journeys of the Heart is a “free-of-charge” 10 month (30 week) cultural early learning program for Aboriginal children ages 2–5 years and their families. Program structure and delivery is designed to provide opportunities to empower and contribute to positive cultural identity within Aboriginal children and their families. There are spaces available this coming fall at Ruth King and Craigflower Elementary Schools. For more information call

Sarah McDonald 250-384-9466 ex 251 62  Island Parent Magazine

AllianceFrançaise The Alliance Française is a worldwide organization based in Paris, offering language instruction by certified teachers, adapted to the needs of learners. Classes at various skill levels are offered though community centres in Victoria, BC. Private instruction is tailored to individuals, business and government agencies.

Email us: Visit us: Facebook: alliancefrvictoria


School House

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Island Parent August 2017  

Schools & Education Services

Island Parent August 2017  

Schools & Education Services