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20 19

Vancouver Island’s Parenting Resource for 31 Years

How to Beat Back-to-School   Stress

Get Ready! Schools & Educational Services

Everything you need for back to school!

Curiosity • Diversity Exploration • Nature Play-Oriented Learning


3905 Haro Road, Victoria BC 1581 Hillside Ave, Victoria  778•265•5651 Across the street from Hillside Centre









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August 2019  3


Features 10


How to Beat Back-to-School Stress

Serve & Return

Balancing the fun of summer with getting ready for the start of school.

The importance of baby’s first relationship. ESTELLE PAGET



The Small Steps of Self Care

Making time on your never-ending to-do list. KATE BORSATO



Lazy Crazy Last Days of Summer 5 tips to enjoy what’s left of summer. KELLY CLEEVE


Schools & Educational Services

10 Ways to Build Community

From block parties to toy swaps, ways to bring the neighbours together.


A Weekend Away A summer escape to Seattle.



Fast Forward

Summer—it aint over yet! SUE FAST

Nature Notes

Tips and ideas for an amazing day at the beach..

In Every Issue





Need to Know

Preschool & Child Care Directory

Party Directory



Family Calendar




A new column.

What’s for Dinner


Great grab-and-go grub.

Cut It Out!



Family Services Directory



On the Cover Matthew S (2) & Rooper (goat) Photo by Gypsy Siegner


20 19

Vancouver Island’s Parenting Resource for 31 Years

How to Beat Back-to-School Stress

Get Ready! Schools & Educational Services

4  Island Parent Magazine


The not-so-great outdoors.





Kids’ Reads

You be the judge.

Mom’s POV

Forget being on the same page, get in the same chapter.


Happy Families, Healthy Families

When your nest is a mess; learning not to stress.

Physical literacy fun.



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

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


Things to Do Before Summer Ends

With more than a month of summer holidays 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.

q Get Wet at a Water Park. Possibilities: Victoria’s Carnarvon

q Set Sail for Saltspring. Don’t miss the seaside Saturday Mar-

Water Park, Esquimalt’s Adventure Water Park, Langford’s Centennial Spray Park, Sidney’s Rotary Club Spray Park, Ladysmith’s Transfer Beach Spray Park, and Parksville’s Lion’s Venture Land Water Park.

ket from 8am-4pm, rain or shine, in Centennial Park. When kids get tired of all there is to see and do, the nearby playground awaits.

q Plan a Picnic. For an easy-to-make—and eat—picnic idea, see

q Enlist in the Water Gun War. Storm the Fort—Fort Rodd Hill, that is—at the Island’s biggest water gun battle on August 17 from noon-4pm. BYOWG and prepare to get soaked.

the wrap recipes in What’s For Dinner on page 36.

q Watch Whales. Considered by many Islanders to be a touristonly activity, whale watching is often left off a local’s “to do” list. 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.

q Learn to Surf. Don’t let the chilly 10˚C waters put you off learn-

q Kid Around at KidFest in Parksville. Drop by for KidFest and the Quality Foods Children’s Sandcastle Competition on August 18 from 10am-3pm. The $5 wristband covers the many bouncy castles and train ride.

q Attend a Star Party. The Centre of the Universe on West Saa-

ing how to surf. A wetsuit and a lesson or two will help you Hang 10. For learn-to-surf options in Tofino, visit

nich Road hosts star parties Saturdays at 7:30pm in August. You’ll find make-and-take craft tables, a family scavenger hunt, iPad interactives and night sky viewing.

q Seek Shade Spelunking. Stay cool by caving at Horne Lake

q Look Up! The Fireworks at Butchart Gardens (every Saturday

Caves Provincial Park in the 1.5-hour Family Interpretive tour. Designed to teach the geology and history of the caves, this tour starts with a 25-minute hike and is perfect for beginners.

night through August) is not your standard high-in-the-sky shower of stars—although there’s lots of those—it’s a full on pyrotechnic extravaganza set to music.

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August 2019  5


The Big Squeeze On August 23 and 24, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Victoria will host a city-wide lemonade stand competition. Teams come together, sell lemonade, and compete for trophies and prizes. Some trophies include: Best Decorated Stand, Most Creative Recipe, and Best Tasting Lemonade. Participation is easy peasy lemon squeezy. For details and to register, visit

Tofino     Lantern       Festival If you’re in Tofino on August 11, don’t miss one of the most beloved and magical festivals, rain or shine, at the Tofino Botanical Garden. The Lantern Festival is the Raincoast Education Society’s signature community event and fundraiser, drawing the young and young-at-heart with a variety of handmade lanterns, live music, dance performance, food vendors, and other entertainment. Make your own lantern in the week before the Festival at a Lantern-Making Workshop. For details, visit


Summer Challenge Choose from 12 challenges, and earn an entry into GVPL’s weekly prize draws for every one you complete. Finish the challenges in any order, and repeat as many as you like. Participate on your own or as a family. Contest runs until August 31. For every challenge you complete, you’ll be entered into a weekly draw to win a gift certificate to a local bookstore (one prize per person). For a complete list of Challenges, visit

6  Island Parent Magazine

Window & Balcony Safety BC Children’s Hospital has treated six children who have fallen from windows or balconies so far this year. Last year, a total of 15 children were treated for these same types of falls. Sixty six per cent of falls from windows or balconies involve children aged six and under, with 85 per cent occurring between April and September, and 77 per cent occurring at home. Tips to prevent falls from windows and balconies: • Don’t leave children unattended on balconies or decks. • Move furniture and planters—or anything that can be climbed on— away from windows, balcony railings and balcony door handles. Lock balcony doors. • Remember: window screens keep bugs out. They don’t keep children in. • Install window guards on windows above the ground level. Fasten windows so that they cannot open more than 10 centimetres wide. Children can fit through spaces as small as 12 centimetres wide. Just make sure there’s a safety release in case of fire. • Talk to your children about the dangers of opening or playing near windows, particularly on upper floors of the home or in a high-rise dwelling. • If a child has fallen over five feet from a window or balcony and has lost consciousness or is vomiting, this could be the result of a head injury. Call 911 immediately and get them assessed by a health-care provider. Most head injures require urgent medical attention and the Emergency Department is a good first step to seek treatment. For more information, visit BC Children’s Hospital, or on Twitter @BCChildrensHosp.

975 Fort Street, Victoria - 250-595-4905

August 2019  7

8  Island Parent Magazine

Play in the Park Every weekday evening through August, join Panorama staff from 5:30-8:30pm for some free summer fun for the whole family including interactive play, face painting, group games and a 50' obstacle course. For locations, visit

Celebrate Comox Nautical Days’ 61st Anniversary This free, family nauticalthemed festival takes place in Marina Park in Comox on August 3-5 and features the Bullhead Derby, Build Bail and Sail competition, rides, games and crafts for the kids, and the Rotary Splash Park and Playground.

Don’t miss the 100+ craft booths, the food trucks and the Quality Foods Festival of Lights Fireworks Extravaganza on Monday night at 10:15. For information and to download a festival map, visit

August 2019  9

How to Beat Back-to-School Stress A

ugust can be a stressful time as you try to balance the fun of what’s left of summer while also getting your kids ready to go back to school. It’s hectic, but here are 8 ways to set yourself—and your family—up to succeed:


Get Your Child Ready Now.

Backpack, lunch kit, school supplies, nice outfit picked out for the first day. This isn’t all your responsibility. Encourage your child to think ahead about what they need, make a list and then choose as much of it as possible. Giving your child choice helps them develop a sense of agency as they grow older, and can also help them feel more in control if they’re anxious about school.

Create Simple Organization Systems.


Help your child create as many consistent routines as possible, like always putting their house keys in the same pocket of their backpack so they’re easy to find. Baskets and hooks near the door are great tools. Having specific spots for shoes, jackets, etc., rather than a pile on the floor, makes finding what’s needed easy during the hustle to get out the door each morning.


Put It All on One Calendar.

Have a big family calendar in a space everyone

shares to keep schedules straight. Pick a different colour pen or marker and use it consistently for each person in the family. Encourage your child to write their homework down on it, including deadlines. Review this together each school night to ensure nothing is getting missed or forgotten.

Communicate in One Place.


Create a family communications journal to ensure there are no gaps in communication and everyone is up to speed. Check it daily when you check the calendar. You can even have everyone sign the entries to show they have read them. This helps everyone stay on the same page through the week.


Review (or Create) Your Social Media Plan.

Talk to your child about what social media they are using, or want to use, and what they need to consider to be safe and be a good digital citizen. Determine whether there are any new privileges for the new school year. Create the parameters for your family’s social media use—a

social media plan—so everyone starts the school year with a clear understanding of expectations and rules. If you need some help, we’ve included an example social media plan for you.


Pick ExtraCurricular(s).

Encourage your child to pick their activities if they haven’t done so already. Reinforce the importance of sticking with things. Ensure a balanced approach, so your child is not overcommitted and still has time for free play. An option is to have one athletic and one creative activity. If you have more than one child, try enrolling them in different activities if possible to allow each child to develop a unique identity and to reduce comparisons and sibling rivalry.


Encourage New Friendships.

The start of the school year is a great opportunity to make new friends. Talk with your child about the importance of reaching out in friendship to other kids, particularly those who are lonely or marginalized. Discuss what makes a for good influences and not-so-good influences.

Family Social Media Plan • Only post things/photos if you have permission from others involved.

• Only “like” or “share” positibe content—not gossip, rumours or anything mean.

• Only post things that will make people smile.

• Always ask before “Googling” anything. Parents can help ensure spelling is correct and results are appropriate.

• Only post things you would be comfortable with everybody seeing (grandparents, teacher, strangers, etc). You never know who will see it, even if you think your settings are private.

10  Island Parent Magazine

• Never click links, pop-ups, ads or offers without showing them to parents first.

Reinforce the number one friendship rule: to have friends, you must first be a good friend. This is valuable for you to demonstrate when you’re meeting new parents of your child’s new friends.

Get Involved.


The start of the school year is an opportunity for you to get engaged in your child’s life. Yes, we are all juggling a million things, but if you can make the time for this it will allow you to stay current and connected to your child. Volunteer at school. Join the Parent Advisory Council (PAC). If structured school

activities aren’t your thing, try throwing a back to school barbecue for your child’s class so everyone gets a chance to meet and connect. If your child is showing signs of significant worry about going back to school, you may need to reach out to a therapist or child psychologist. Your child may be struggling with anxiety and need a medical professional to help. This may also be relevant if your child has had experiences with a bully at their school and is fearful about seeing them again. Starting back to school preparations as soon as possible will help you enjoy the last of summer with your children. No one wants to start the school year with a panicked sprint to get it all done right before school starts. Save yourself and your family the stress and hassle, and work together to each do you part to start the school year off right. Dr. Jillian Roberts is a child psychologist, UVic professor and mother. She is the CEO and Founder of FamilySparks and the author of Kids, Sex and Screens: Raising Strong, Resilient Children in the Sexualized Digital Age.



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August 2019  11

Lazy Crazy Last Days of Summer


t feels like yesterday when the final school bell rang and kids pushed each other, trying to get to the door and on with their summer holidays. When they exited the school that day, it felt like summer would stretch on forever—to their parents, too, eyes wide in panic as they saw the swarm of manic children racing towards them. “Summer time is here. Oh jeez.” Now it’s half over. As the season proceeds, many parents are checking their intentions, their “This summer will be different” promises: “I will be the smiling, energetic, loving parent whose children giggle as they run through the sprinkler as I am making organic strawberry pie to feed my darling family. I will keep my patience and entertain my children. They will be having so much fun that they won’t even remember that they have an iPad. This summer is going to be great.” Inevitably, and despite our best intentions, two weeks into summer our kids are bickering and begging to watch TV, while we, looking haggard and exhausted, desperately try to devise some brilliant plan to entertain the masses again. I’ve been there. I get it. A few years ago, I read that we are only blessed with 18 summers with our children, before they drift away from us. If your children are young, you may not feel the pressure of this statement. Yet. You may be drowning in playdough, playgrounds and swim diapers as you try to pin your children down long enough to slather a decent amount of sunscreen on them. Eighteen summers may seem like a lot to you, at this moment. My oldest son is a teenager, now, beginning to venture into the world without me. There are many days when he chooses to skateboard with his friends or ride his bike to the 7-11 instead of hanging out at the pool with mom. I miss him, but that’s okay because he’s living his best life. He still loves our family trip to the lake and sincerely looks forward to them. When we are there, his connection to the family is strong and I am grateful. I soak up these moments because I know 12  Island Parent Magazine

that they won’t last forever. Each passing summer, he will be less available to me. He will have to get a job. He may become wrapped up in the arms of his first love. Our summers are numbered, and I feel it.

So, while your children are small and they still want to play with you, here are a few ways to help you enjoy these lazy, crazy last summer days. 1. Be outside in nature. Kids of all ages thrive when they are outdoors. There is so much to explore on a beach shoreline or in a forest. They can climb and balance, testing their physical limits. They can pick up sticks and sea shells, getting to know different textures. They can discover new and interesting creatures and learn about plant life. They can get dirty and be loud, letting their imaginations run free. And, best of all, the fresh air will be invigorating for you,

while simultaneously expending your child’s energy, tiring them out. 2. Try something new together. Some of my favourite days have been when my children and I have stepped out of routine and experienced a new adventure together. This has been especially enjoyable as my children have gotten older, for it forms a bond when we are all learning something new for the first time. Perhaps go on a hike that you have not walked before, venture to a climb-

ing gym, take an art class. While parents always enjoy watching their child experience something new, it’s also very cool for kids to see their mom or dad acting like a fish out of water! It inspires many moments of connection and hilarious conversation. 3. Make a bucket list. It’s always surprising to look at the calendar and discover that the last week of August has arrived and that we have not done many of the things we said we would. Responsibility and distraction tend to pull us away, quietly eating one day at a time. My kids and I have developed the habit of making a wish list during the first

week of summer. Then, on each Monday that follows, we choose one activity to experience to have that week. As the summer progresses, we get immense satisfaction from checking our adventures off the list. It’s not too late to write your own August wish list. 4. Let them be bored. I may have given you the impression that all Super Moms schedule each day to the fullest. How exhausting! That hectic pace would be impossible to keep and is sure to result in grouchy, tired children and parents. I love to balance my summer days, spending many mornings drinking coffee in my pajamas while my children play. However, as I try to indulge in summer reading, my children inevitably complain about boredom. That’s okay. It’s good for them. Boredom is the mother of invention, of creativity. When left to their own devices, it’s wonderful to see what children come up with, in terms of entertainment. Parents shouldn’t be the sole source of all things fun. Children need time that is unsupervised and unstructured. It’s actually good for their development.

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5. Keep a consistent bed time. Staying up late, once in a while, is part of the joy of summer. I can remember playing outside, as a child, watching the sun fade and being thrilled to stay up past my bed time. But, it was a treat, a special occasion, not a regular occurrence. Children function best when kept to a routine. They need sleep, in terms of brain development, body rest and recovery and general happy disposition. Bed time arguments are kept to a minimum when children know what is expected and morning routines are much easier with well rested, content kids. Putting your children to bed on time also allows you time to recharge and practice self-care. Use that time to read a book, enjoy a glass of wine or do whatever it is that lifts your heart and allows you to continue being a happy, present parent the next day. Enjoy the rest of the summer with your children. In truth, it’s tough to treasure every moment, but I hope that you look back on these days with fondness and nostalgia. It’s still summer time. Have fun! Kelly Cleeve is a passionate educator with 14 years experience. She is a graduate student at the University of British Columbia, a wife and a mother of two beautiful boys.

August 2019  13


A Naturalist’s Guide to Beach Exploration S

ummer is the perfect time to visit the beach with your family thanks to warm weather and daytime low tides. The intertidal zone, the exposed area between high and low tide, is a fun and dynamic place to explore. If you know what to look for this can be a wonderful opportunity to connect with nature and observe fascinating sea creatures. As visitors to the beach, there are many ways we can both enjoy and protect these natural areas. Here are some tips for respectful beach exploration, ideas for amazing animals to look for, and suggestions on regional parks to visit.

Beach Explorer’s Code

1. If you pick it up, put it back. The rocks at the beach are homes for animals. If you are looking under rocks to see who lives there, it’s like taking the roof off someone’s home. When you are done looking, make sure to put the roof back on so the animal can continue living there, otherwise you’ll leave them exposed to the hot sun and hungry predators. 2. Handle creatures gently. Touch or hold animals with care and walk carefully so you don’t step on or disturb shoreline animals. If you want to observe an animal for a few minutes, make sure to keep it in a container full of sea water and try not to drop them from up high. Release animals promptly to minimize stress. 3. Leave it at the beach. Everything at the beach plays a role there even if it looks unused. For example, empty shells can provide homes for many animals, like the hermit crab who can’t grow its own shell. Hermit crabs tuck themselves into empty shells they find at the beach. As they grow they need to upgrade to bigger and bigger shells.

14  Island Parent Magazine

Island View Beach Regional Park

Island View Beach overlooks Haro Strait, the San Juan Islands, and Mount Baker. Located in Central Saanich along the eastern shore of the Saanich Peninsula, this rocky beach is rich in intertidal life. In the rocks you are likely to find many different kinds of crabs, barnacles, limpets, chitons, and isopods, who are related to the terrestrial pill bug (also called “roly-poly”). In the seaweed near the waterline you might find clingfish (who have a special fin under their body that acts like a suction cup), gunnels (a small fish that looks like an eel), or nudibranchs (also called sea slugs).

Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park

Offering one of the only open-expanses of sandy beach south of Parksville, this regional park is perfect for a long stroll in the sand. Located in Metchosin, the beach overlooks the Olympic Peninsula and has large tide pools at low tide, home to fish like the tidepool sculpin and flatfish. Keep an eye out for clam holes, piles of sand left behind by worms, bubble shell snails, crabs of all shapes and sizes, and shore birds or great blue herons. Please do not disturb these birds as they have limited time to catch enough food for themselves and their babies because of the tides.

East Sooke Regional Park

Classified as a wilderness park, East Sooke Regional Park offers access to several beaches and many seaside views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic Mountains across the water in Washington. Visit the small pocket beach, a short 300 m one-way from the Aylard Farm parking lot, to explore for crabs, sculpins, barnacles, and other animals who live on the rocks. If your family enjoys longer, more challenging outings, try hiking to Beechey Head for incredible views and a chance to look for whales, sea lions, and harbour seals swimming in the water below. You can also try driving a bit further to the Pike Road entrance for a beautiful stroll along an accessible trail through a lush coastal Douglas-fir ecosystem to Iron Mine Bay. Here you might find gooseneck barnacles, sea stars, periwinkle snails and sea anemones. Want to learn more about the many interesting and wonderful animals you find in CRD regional parks? Join CRD Park Naturalists for free guided walks and drop-in events for all ages. For more information, visit Please remember that dogs are not permitted to stay in beach and picnic areas until September 15. Emma Jane Vignola is a Park Naturalist with the Capital Regional District.



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Island Catholic Schools

Committed to educating the “whole” child in a Christcentered community of learning. Island Catholic Schools: with schools located in Victoria, Duncan and Port Alberni. For more information call 250-727-6893 or visit

August 2019  15

Swan Lake christmas hill n a t u r e

s a n c t u a r y


3873 Swan Lake Road, Victoria, B.C. Canada, V8X 3W1 | | 250-479-0211

16  Island Parent Magazine

Schools & Educational Services

In the following pages you will find a range of educational resources from preschool to post-secondary. 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 urban C M Y We K forest. offer half and full day programs 68 353 2and 2 for 4 year olds and an after school 8 95 55 16 for kindergarten/grade 1 students program 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.

Victoria Montessori. Twenty-first century children are growing up in a crazypaced 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 calm 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 self-expression, vital for emotional and mental health. 250-380-0534.

August 2019  17

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.

understand and remember. Our structured but dynamic program consistently exceeds the B.C. Ministry of Education’s Curricula for Kindergarten to Grade 9. 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.

Christ Church Cathedral School (CCCS) is Victoria’s Anglican JK, Elementary and Middle School, welcoming students from all backgrounds. CCCS offers before and after school care, a wide range of extra-curricular programs, high calibre learning in math, SCHOOLS science and technology, a strong focus on fine arts, including a world-class Chorister program, and progressive athletics programs. Weekly chapel service and seasonal performances are held in Christ Church ArtsCalibre Academy. Imagine a school… Cathedral, just a few steps away. Through where music, dance, theatre and visual arts focused encouragement of personal responare infused into all aspects of an outstanding sibility, self-discipline, community service curriculum. The result is a learning process and engaging learning opportunities, CCCS in which students experience, explore, exer- helps children realize their true potential. cise, and express themselves in order to truly 250-383-5125.

Oak and Orca Bioregional School and Oak and Orca Pre-Primary offer BCcertified Pre-Primary and K-12 education in a child-directed, inquiry-based, and non-judgemental environment. Our ungraded programming provides students with structure, opportunities, and choice, allowing them to follow the BC curriculum at their own pace using their interests as a guide. As part of our multi-age community of learners and teachers, students are able to practice effective communication, comfortably explore leadership, and develop responsible ecological citizenship. Regular field trips encourage connections with the natural and cultural heritage of our wider community. Blended learning opportunities are available (space-permitting) to students in the Hands-On Home-Learning (DL) program., info@, 250-383-6609

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

Yo u t h

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Are se 18 m tho

Come Dance With Us Call (250) 384-3267, email: or visit us at 18  Island Parent Magazine

Pacific Christian School nurtures students in Christ-like living, critical thinking and joyful service to be faithful citizens in God’s world. PCS is a pre-school through grade 12 Class 1 independent school serving the Greater Victoria region. With over 900 students, it is a dynamic learning community exploring the full provincial curriculum from a Christian worldview perspective. Students regularly excel in arts, athletics and academics. You are invited to come by our Agnes Street campus and see what it’s all about. 250-479-4532.

and challenges to support each girl’s development as a student, an individual and a citizen of the world. Our rigorous academic program emphasizes STEM learning and leadership at all levels from Junior Kindergarten 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.

Imagine a school where students are encouraged to challenge themselves across all their At St. Margaret’s School, we seek to abilities, where they can find their balance empower each girl to set her own course and push their boundaries however they and shape her own dreams. Tucked away choose. Westmont Montessori School on 22-acres in the Blenkinsop Valley in is a local community minded independent Victoria, SMS is an all-girls school where school committed to academic excellence in your daughter can be herself, build confi- a caring, learning environment. Our family dence, and be a leader. SMS teachers and oriented environment takes an individual our unique environment offer rich resources 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. Westmont is open for tours every Thursday morning. Book a visit. 4075 Metchosin Rd. 250-474-2626. or

DISTRIBUTED LEARNING Under the new BC curriculum, inquiry and personalization are key to 21st century learning. Hands-On HomeLearning at Oak and Orca (DL K-12) offers an experience-based, individualized, and student-led approach to learning at home. Families are supported in providing engaging opportunities so each student can follow their own learning path and build on their strengths and interests. All learning experiences are acknowledged

Vancouver Island’s Only Coding School For Kids! Coding is a new fundamental skill. Under The GUI is Vancouver Island’s first Coding school for kids 7 to 17. No experience necessary. GUI (gooey) is the Graphical User Interface—getting under it kids learn valuable skills as they express their imagination and creativity.

3 reasons why KIDS love Under the GUI:

3 reasons why PARENTS love Under the GUI:

Coding their own video games and apps

Changing kids’ Screen-Time into a productive learning experience

Learning through problem solving and creativity

Giving kids real job skills for the 21st Century

Small classes of friends the same age!

Our teachers are Tech professionals 778-967-2150

August 2019  19

and tied to BC learning standards and/or high school courses by a certified teacher. Original, multi-age, hands-on learning activities are provided to inspire inquiry. Special Education inquiries are welcome and blended learning opportunities are available (space-permitting) at Oak and Orca Bioregional School and Forest School., info@oakandorca. ca, 250-383-6619/1-888-383-6619.


Duncan Christian School partners with families to provide a welcoming educational environment. Here, students experience the support and guidance of caring Christian teachers, dedicated to preparing them for life beyond the school doors. Our classes start at preschool-grade 12. Excellent academic, athletic, and fine arts programs. Serving a diverse student body. We offer trades programs and hands-on apprenticeships, project based learning, international

Performing Arts School since 1980

e -S ch o o l r P r e m m Su C l a s spe s & s p m a Da n c e C 8 months and u for ages


Even the littlest angel can dance For more information call 250-384-3267 or email us at or visit us at 20  Island Parent Magazine

program, Grade 7 Leadership Retreat, Grade 11 West Coast Trail Hike, Grade 12 Missions trip, extensive student support program. We welcome the opportunity to take you on a tour of our school, please contact: office@ 495 Beech Avenue Duncan BC V9L 3J8. 250-746-3654.

science kits, jewelry, and much more! Teachers love our Kool School House full of everything they need to outfit their classroom in style, including an amazing selection of stickers. For homeschooling families, we carry grade appropriate resources for the elementary level. Preview some of our products online at or come in and explore our store for a much greater At Evergreen Independent School in selection. We are always happy to answer Cobble Hill, we value academic excel- questions, please call us at 1-888-390-1775. lence and individual development in an educational community that nurtures the joy of learning. We offer small class sizes, vibrant multiage groupings, and individualized learning plans. Children develop Register your child in our school where in unique ways, at different rates, and in children learn to love and love to learn. different directions, and that development Queen of Angels is a faith based Catholic is best accomplished in an atmosphere school with affordable tuition, and a safe, of mutual trust and respect. We strive to family atmosphere. Maximize your child’s instruct children in ways that best fit their education with specialist teachers in PE, unique learning styles. Our graduates are Band and French. Our students strive for self-motivated, curious people engaged in excellence in all areas. We are accepting aptheir community and in life-long learning. plications for September 2019 for grades K Evergreen welcomes students from Junior thru Grade 9. Limited space in some grades. Kindergarten through grade 8. If your child is 3 or 4 years old, then register them in the Early Learning Centre. Visit International Christian Montessori to learn more. Queen of Academy (ICMA). Inayat Unissa Bergum Angels…building our future leaders! was born in Nice, France. After obtaining comprehensive Montessori training in Paris, she started the first Montessori school in EDUCATIONAL SERVICES 1962 in Southern California named the & PROGRAMS Sophia Montessori of Santa Monica. In 1964, she opened the first Montessori Navigate is an award-winning school, school in Costa Mesa, California known recognized nationally and internationally as the Montessori Centre School. Through for our innovative approach to blended the years she has trained numerous teach- learning. We’ve implemented the new BC ers using Montessori methodologies and curriculum and built unique, flexible learnopened many Montessori schools through- ing options for every student. This allows out California. In 1989, she launched the us to meet a diverse range of student needs, International Montessori Academy (ICMA) abilities, and learning styles. Discover more of Canada in Duncan for the expressed at purpose of having children learn to appreciate and understand the importance Oak and Orca Bioreof tolerance of different religions with gional Forest School is an attitude of love, harmony and beauty. an outdoor, nature-based Recently, she founded the International program near Elk/Beaver Christian Montessori Academy in Duncan, Lake offering an incluBC, whose primary function is to include sive, caring community pre-school and elementary academic and in which students learn French immersion programs. through respectful, hands-on exploration. Led by certified teachers and skilled nature Kool & Child is your educators, the program fosters connection complete resource store to the plants and animals of our bioregion for educational toys and and offers students the opportunity to games. We carry a wide develop passion and care for their world. assortment of educational Outdoor experiences include stories and games, homework helper drama, wood carving and sculpting, beach workbooks, brain teasers, art, shelter-building, investigating 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.,, 250-383-6619

Nurturing young minds. Keeping the spirit free.

International Montessori Academies of Canada

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 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. Under The GUI Academy­—Coding for Kids! is the first coding school for kids on Vancouver Island (pronounced ‘Gooey’). Kids 7-17 attend 1hr weekend classes that engage imagination and creativity—taking them from screen-time consumers to content creators. With hundreds of grads at our mainland schools, parents love Under The GUI because kids get practical 21st Century job skills. Kids love coding their own games, apps, and learning through problem solving, as they develop critical thinking in small classes. BC Labour Report: In Computer systems, 88% of jobs appear on the BC High-Demand list. We’re preparing Island kids for a bright future!

Kindergarten to Grade 6 BC Curriculum Strong Montessori academics/small classes French immersion/art and science

IMAC Montessori Academy

2375 Koksilah Road, Duncan 250-737-1119

Summer-to-School Sleep Tips Gradually Adjust Bedtimes.

Slowly start making bedtime earlier about two weeks before the first day (try pushing it forward five to 15 minutes each day). This will help your child’s circadian rhythm adjust to the new schedule. Not sure what time to set bedtime? Kids aged seven to 12 need 10 to 11 hours of sleep, while older kids need eight to nine hours.

Create a Nighttime Routine.

If your kid doesn’t already have a set bedtime routine, now’s the time to create one, especially if your child is younger. Calming activities like reading a book or taking a bath can help your child wind down for bedtime. Plus, if you repeat the same process nightly, the routine will eventually cue her brain and body that it’s time to sleep.

Take Tech Out of the Bedroom.

To get back on a regular sleep schedule, keep electronics out of the bedroom, since they can lead to poor sleep. Not only can the “dings” of text messages wake your kid up, but the blue light that many devices emit may promote wakefulness (not what you want at 8:30pm). Make a rule that all devices need to be turned off one hour before bed. For more ideas and tips, visit

August 2019  21

Serve & Return

Support for new parents is crucial to the well-being of both the new baby and the new parents. This month, in the third of a three-part series, Estelle Paget, KidCareCanada’s Executive Director and Founder, offers suggestions on how to help children develop strong relationships—starting at birth. For more ideas, visit “Relationships are all there is.” – Margaret J. Wheatley lose your eyes and imagine that magical feeling of falling in love. Think of the hours spent talking, eyes glued on the other, and that incredible feeling of being understood and valued. When that attention is focused on us we feel connected and capable of any challenges that come our way.

caregiver—it puts them on a trajectory for lifelong learning, behaviour and health. Research on lifelong mental, emotional and physical health tells us that a key indicator is social and emotional health from early in life. We can promote this in our children by being “a responsive caregiver.” One easy-to-learn strategy that we can use with our children, from birth to

might be looking at your face or moving their arms and legs or crying. This is the “serve.” To “return the serve” and support and encourage your baby, you can use facial expressions, words or comforting actions. You might engage in face-toface eye contact or use caring touch to respond. With an older infant you might pick up an object they are looking or pointing at. Smiling and nodding at your child lets

We can help our children, from the very beginning of life, develop the confidence and resilience they will need to face whatever comes their way. It used to be thought that babies were “a blank slate” when they were born. Today we know that children are born expecting a relationship. “A baby’s first relationships shape all future relationships,” says Dr. Kim Schonert-Reichl, Director of the Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP). With that in mind, it makes sense to ensure children experience a positive first relationship. All it takes are ordinary, everyday actions. The pay-off is extraordinary. When children feel strongly connected to a parent—or another loving

adulthood (!) is often referred to as Serve and Return. The terminology comes from the game of tennis. It involves paying close attention to our children and their interests. The Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University breaks down the method into five steps: 1. Notice the serve and share the child’s focus of attention. 2. Return the serve by supporting and encouraging. 3. Give it a name! 4. Take turns…and wait. Keep the interaction going back and forth. 5. Practice endings and beginnings. No matter the age of the child, the child takes the lead. A newborn infant

them know you are noticing what they are noticing. This helps your child to feel understood. When you name what your child is seeing, feeling or doing, you are contributing to your child’s brain development, language acquisition and social and emotional health. With a child of any age you are showing that you are attuned to them and their interests. This builds the relationship with you. Anyone who has taught—at any level—or been a radio or TV interviewer knows the value of “wait time.” In Serve and Return, waiting is an ideal way to encourage your child to “keep the turns going.” When you patiently wait for your child to respond, your child has time to


22  Island Parent Magazine

come up with their own ideas and a response. When your child waits for you to respond your child is learning self-control and how to get along with others. Let your child lead again when they are ready to end their activity and move on to something else. In this way you are supporting their burgeoning independence. You can use Serve and Return throughout the day, anytime and anywhere. You might want to use it when grocery shopping or when waiting at an appointment or in a line-up. Being responsive to a child’s interests and needs helps them to build trust and empathy. Showing respect for their feelings, and naming their feelings, encourages the child to express their feelings. Using caring touch teaches them what healthy touch looks and feels like, and helps with brain development. Paying attention to your child and their interests helps them to feel valued and loved. Babies and young children often need to learn how to interact with other children. Parent-baby groups provide an ideal safe place for babies and young children to learn these skills with a par-

ent there to guide them. Children who learn how to get along with others have a tremendous advantage throughout life. They will know how to get along with classmates, teachers and later, with colleagues and bosses. Chances are we know people for whom making and keeping friends seems second nature. Most likely they had at least one loving and consistent relationship when they were an infant. All of us struggle with relationships sometimes, especially with our reliance on technology. Occasional miscommunications are hard to avoid. For some people, however, their relationship problems are never-ending. It may be that their very first relationship was chaotic. No one provided consistent and responsive care to them when they were an infant or toddler. Others who struggle with relationships may have a medical reason for this, possibly a condition that interferes with “reading” others. Early recognition of these conditions and early intervention can change the life course of a child. In all instances, a child’s first relationship is critically important. All children

need to be cared for by someone who is emotionally present, who looks into their child’s eyes rather than into their cell phone, and engages in nurturing behaviours. Nurturing seems instinctive, but it is learned, most often in our parents’ arms. If parents did not benefit from early nurture it can be difficult for them to provide the nurturance essential for their child’s social and emotional health. It is helpful for these parents to seek support. Often, once they can make meaning of the reasons for their challenges, they can overcome them and become loving and nurturing parents. Serve and Return is an ideal way to build your child’s brain, their language skills, social and emotional health and their loving relationship with you—a relationship that will last a lifetime.

Estelle Paget is the Founder and Executive Director of KIDCARECANADA Society. A life-long educator, Estelle taught in universities in France and Canada for over 30 years and created university-wide programs.

Sample lessons Saturday, September 7 Concerts and 900 Johnson Street and kid’s classes activities for the 10am-2pm whole family! Instrument Petting Zoo

New Music Tech Lab


VCM.BC.CA/OPEN-HOUSE | 250.356.5311

August 2019  23

10 Ways to Build Community These little things can help us slow down, even just a little, to check in on the quality of our relationships with family, friends and community. 1. Host a block party

Slow down, even just a little, and meet the neighbours. Most cities will issue roadclosure permits and many offer grants, too. Synchronize your event with things like the annual Car-Free Day and maybe add a garage sale, potluck, plant swap, battery recycling drop-off and music. Tap into the local skills and interests of residents. Canvass interest in helping with invites, food, activities and cleanup. A week or two before the big day, drop off invita-

tions in mailboxes, put up a few signs and prepare to meet your neighbours.

2. Host a clothing swap

Invite friends and co-workers. You can even swap kids’ clothing. Donate leftover items.

24  Island Parent Magazine

3. Host a skill swap

Share your skills and get services you need while saving money, reducing consumption and building community. People donate a skill, set a minimum bid and post a sheet—paper or online. The diversity of skills makes it fun: bike tune-ups, dog-walking, salsa dance lessons, hemming pants, songwriting… It’s great for workplaces, schools and neighbourhoods. It could even be a birthday party theme.

4. Host or join a repair café or “fix it” event

want to keep items out of the landfill. Fixers can repair computers, toasters, lamps, chairs, clothes, jewellery, books and more. Search for one in your city or download the startup package by Repair Café Foundation ( to host your own.

5. Start a food sharing club

Gather co-workers or friends for meals and enjoy waste-free, home-cooked food.  A food circle can help a family member, coworker or neighbour. It’s the best baby

shower gift ever and a kindness for someone going through a difficult time.

Repair cafés may help fix our throwaway society. Skilled volunteers fix your 6. Host a green cleaning or household items, so you don’t have to toss nontoxic cosmetics workshop them and buy new ones. Most of the fixers Tried DIY recipes? Plan your “make and are hobbyists who enjoy helping others and take” as part of an evening with friends,


baby shower or lunch ’n’ learn at the office. Invite your family, neighbours, friends. Supply the ingredients (buy bulk), and ask people to bring jars or containers to fill.

birthday parties

7. Organize a toy swap

Drowning in a wave of toys? Toy lending prevents clutter, curbs consumption, builds community and entertains the kids. Enlist families you know and choose toys that are age-appropriate and easily washed. (Exclude your favourites and delicates.) Choose a theme like musical instruments, wooden blocks or dress-up. Label toys, take a picture or attach an inventory list to the cloth bag. Set a loan period and write a thank-you note. It’s that easy.

for all ages!

ctoria Gymnastics

2 Great Locations!

Swim bounce , cook golf, create & more!

Henderson Recreation Centre 8. Become a citizen scientist Call 250-370-7200 Find meaningful ways to contribute to fun Oak Bay Recreation Centre projects that help restore and reclaim local Call 250-595-SWIM (7946) biodiversity. Join backyard bird counts, find a bioblitz near you, remove invasive species (like English ivy), plant trees or clean up shorelines, etc. Find groups active in the community or start your own. Many cities offer grants for citizen stewardship projects.

9. Hang a tree swing

Kids need to play outside. Choose a healthy branch (200 millimetres or more in diameter and at least 1.8 metres long) of a hardwood tree. Ensure the rope, carabiners and hardware are rated for the maximum weight. Reuse a tire, buy a used option or create your own wooden seat. When properly installed you won’t damage the tree. Note: Backyards are a great location but to meet the neighbours and add to local social capital, put it on the front boulevard.



GYMNASTICS Birthday Parties

Reprinted with permission from David Suzuki Foundation,


N Celebrate your birthday with us!


Come Fly With Us!

Our great instructors will treat you to an action packed two hours of fun and fitness in our great facility!


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r Annive 2018 1973–

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• Free T-shirt for birthday child, invitations for up to 10 children



• The ONLY Inflatable Climbing Mountain with trampoline in town



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(Broadmead & Royal Oak Area)

10. Write love letters to express gratitude to nature

What do you love most about nature? Hide your note or letter for someone to find—around the house or at your local library, community centre or school. Enlist your kids or pitch the idea to your daycare or school. (Share the child art you’re hoarding!) Provide markers and paper, then showcase the letters for everyone to enjoy. Create a gratitude tree on the front boulevard or in a public park. Find more inspiration at The Love Lettering Project at

Birthday Parties


We supply table top cover, napkins, hats, streamers and balloons Optional character

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August 2019  25


Seattle Far enough away that going there feels like getting away, and close enought to home that getting there is easy, Seattle is a family-friendly sightseeing paradise.

Downtown… Kids love Pike Place Market because there’s so much to see and do. Watch the salmon toss at the Pike Place Fish Market, put a penny in Rachel the Piggybank (proceeds benefit services such as the childcare centre and the food bank), or go “Down Under” to the four-level labyrinth of funky shops below. Don’t miss the Gum Wall, a wall of gum that’s been called everything from “tacky and offensive” to a “collective work of art.” To find it, head down the ramp to the left of the main entrance of Pike Place Market and follow it to the left. Then follow your nose and the smell of Juicy Fruit and Double Bubble! Not far from Pike Place, located at Pier 59, is the recently refurbished Seattle Aquarium. Here you’ll find an underwater world of the Pacific Northwest and tropical Pacific Coral Reef. There are touch tanks and, if you time it right, animal feeding times. See the daily Diver Show on at 10am, 11:30am and 12:15pm, (also at 3pm on weekends only). To catch your breath—and have your breath taken away!— climb aboard the Seattle Great Wheel at Pier 57, overlooking the waterfront and Puget Sound. Each gondola is fully enclosed so this is a great rainyday fall-back. Avoid the ticket line-up by buying online (but bring your paper ticket). Summer hours: Sun-Thurs from 10am-11pm; Friday-Saturday from 10am-midnight.

Seattle Center… Check out Museum of Pop Culture Seattle, or MoPOP to locals, a one-of-a-kind music museum combining interactive and interpretive exhibits that tell the story of the creative, innovative and rebellious expression that defines popular music. Don’t miss Artists at Play, an imaginative, artists-created playground located just west of MoPOP. Featuring a 30-foot climbing tower and 50-foot tube slide, the park has musical play sculptures, a carousel, listening stations, sound swings, and play mounds. seattlecenter. com/explore/attractions/artists-at-play. 26  Island Parent Magazine

Steps away, the Children’s Museum is designed for exploratory play where kids can take the lead in selecting the next place to explore.. With exhibits stretching over 18,000 square feet of space, kids will find imaginative adventure around every corner. Cool off under the International Fountain at Seattle Center and be mesmerized by both the spraying water jets and blasting music, also known as the synchronized “water programs” lasting 12 minutes at a time and set to an international music mix. You’ll have no problem finding the Space Needle. Towering above Seattle Center, the new two-level observation decks offers a 360˚ view from 520' above the city—from an all-glass floor! If that’s not enough, you can even do a virtual reality bungee jump. Close by is Pacific Science Center where you’ll find hands-on science exhibits, a planetarium, laser light shows,

a tropical butterfly house and an IMAX theatre.

Further afield… Worth going out of your way for, Seattle’s Museum of Flight hosts a special exhibit, Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission until September 2. See rare Smithsonian artifacts along with a collection of aircraft, spacecraft, galleries, exhibits, facts and stories of the past, present and future of flight. Accessible by bus (or plane!). 9404 E. Marginal Way S. The Woodland Park Zoo is an awardwinning zoo that’s an easy bus ride from downtown Seattle. Save a good part of the day to explore this sprawling park. You’ll see Komodo dragons, giraffes, monkeys and gorillas, among other animals. 5500 Phinney Avenue N. visit Photos:

The Seattle CityPASS includes admission to Space Needle, Seattle Aquarium, Argosy Cruises Harbour Tour, Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) OR Woodland Park Zoo, Chihuly Garden and Glass OR Pacific Science Center. Adults, C$135.49; kids C$108.12. Getting around downtown Seattle on foot is easy, as is traveling on public transit. Hop aboard a Metro Bus (allday passes are $8 for adults, $4 for youth 6-18, free for children 5 and under.) Available at all Bartell Drugs. Getting to Seattle: An easy, quick and car-free way to get to Seattle is aboard the Victoria Clipper. Departing from Victoria’s Inner Harbour twice daily (Thur-Mon) and once daily (Tue-Wed), this passenger-only ferry will have you in downtown Seattle in less than 3 hours. The BC Appreciation Fare (for Island residents) is $129 for adults, $64.50 for kids. For information and reservations visit•

August 2019  27

AUGUSTFAMILYCALENDAR For more information and calendar updates throughout the month visit

V Victoria & Area P Peninsula W Westshore

D Duncan & Area N Nanaimo & Area C Courtenay/Comox

1 THURSDAY Giggles and Wiggles


10:30am at Bruce Hutchison Branch Library See MON JULY 8 for details. For young children and their families; children under 3 must be accompanied by an adult. Free.

Evening Campground Program


7pm at Island View Beach Regional Park An evening of activities and games to learn about what critters are up to this time of day. Bring a beach chair and meet at the campfire ring at Island View Beach campground, off Homathko Rd. All ages. Free.


Creatures of the Summer Night


8pm at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary, 3873 Swan Lake Road Sharpen your senses to look for owls, bats and other nighttime creatures. Using a grab bag of tricks, you’ll discover how these animals are adapted to their nocturnal life. Pre-registration required. $9/members; $10/non-members.

Going Crabby


12:30pm at Island View Beach Regional Park Meet some of the crabs and their cousins that make Island View Beach their special home. Intertidal exploration to discover these creatures up close and personal. Meet at the grassy area adjacent to the picnic shelter off Homathko Rd. All ages. Free.

3 SATURDAY Moon Walk

4 SUNDAY Victoria Symphony Splash


In Victoria Inner Harbour From a floating stage in the Inner Harbour, the Victoria Symphony Orchestra and special guests will perform, ending with a grand finale performance of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture—with fireworks of course. Free.

Seals! Seals!


1pm at Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park See Tower Point’s most avid sun worshippers and swimming enthusiasts—the harbour seal. Binoculars and spotting scopes provided. Meet at Tower Point parking lot off Olympic View Dr. All ages. Free.


1pm at Coles Bay Regional Park Did you know one of North America’s largest Once Upon a StoryWalk V marine snails live at this regional park? Look for 10:30am at Juan de Fuca Branch Library marine creatures like crabs, sea stars and the Individual pages of a storybook, mounted on sign elusive moon snail. Includes wading in the water, posts, are placed outdoors in a circuit. Children so be prepared to get your feet and clothes wet follow the narrative by visiting each sign post in (wear shorts and sandals or beach shoes). Meet sequence. After the StoryWalk, come to the library at the information kiosk in the parking lot off Infor a craft. Everyone welcome; children must be verness Rd. 5+ years. Free. accompanied by an adult. Rain or shine; please dress appropriately. Free.

Busy Beavers


10am at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary, 3873 Swan Lake Road Includes hands-on discovery, an outside still, story and craft. Fee.

Open Air Library


10am at Iroquois Park 2295 Ocean Ave Read books, visit with others and enjoy the outdoor park facilities with your family. Take one book home with you when you leave. Free.


It is time to do something, get involved, learn to invest in your future and grow habits that will reward you.

Re�is��� �r�� Au�us� 8�� 28  Island Parent Magazine

250-478-8384 |

7 WEDNESDAY Birds of Prey


Noon at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary, 3873 Swan Lake Rd 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. Donation.

Story Walk Wednesday


6pm at Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park Get outside and experience a nature walk while stopping to enjoy an illustrated children’s book along the Lagoon Trail to Sitting Lady Falls. Free.

Starlight Skate


6:30pm at Nanaimo Ice Centre Come out and enjoy the soft light “stars” and passive LED glow lights. A great time for families after dinner. Regular admission.

9 FRIDAY Hawaiian Holidaze


1pm at Westwood Lake Enjoy a wide variety of tropical-themed games and activities for the whole family. Regular admission.

11 SUNDAY Early Evening Bat Exploration


7pm at Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park Explore the weird and wonderful world of bats. Hopefully you will 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. Free.

Heritage Day and Family Picnic


10:30am at Elsie Miles/Dougan Park, Shawnigan Lake Old-timey races, carnival games, and get dressed up for a vintage photo in the photo studio. Bring a picnic. Free.

Learn to Fish


10:30am at Westwood Lake Jetty Join the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC and learn the basics of freshwater fishing. Fishing rods provided. Rain or shine. Parent participation required. 5-15 years. Free.

13 TUESDAY Wild Woodpeckers


10am at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary, 3873 Swan Lake Road Includes hands-on discovery, an outside still, story and craft. Fee.

Open Air Library


10am at Iroquois Park 2295 Ocean Ave Read books, visit with others and enjoy the outdoor park facilities with your family. Take one book home with you when you leave. Free.

Stuffie Campout


6:30pm at Sidney/North Saanich Branch Library Bring your own stuffie and gather outside ’round our (fake) campfire for stories, songs then leave your stuffie for an overnight adventure. Pick up anytime after 2pm the next day. Special musical guest Nancy Dobbs. Ages 4-9 years. Please register.

Maya: The Great Jaguar Rises


1:30pm at Sidney/North Saanich Branch Library Imagine a day in the life of the ancient Maya through storytelling and a hands-on activity with the Royal BC Museum. Ages 6-12 years. Please register.

16 FRIDAY Family Nature Sketch


10am at Witty’s Lagoon Regional Parks Learn the basics of nature journaling as you explore the beach at low tide. Materials provided. 5+ years. Fee.

17 SATURDAY Zine Daze: A Zine and Art Fair


11am at Central Branch Library Zinesters, artists, printmakers and publishers will come together in a showcase of local creativity. Art and zine workshops will take place throughout the day. Everyone welcome. Free. August 2019  29

Saanichton Family Festival


9am at Saanichton Fairgrounds Games, prizes, inflatable obstacle course and vendors from the Peninsula Country Market. Free.

18 SUNDAY Bejewelled Dragons of the Pond


1pm at Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park An up close and personal look at the amazing world of dragonflies as they zig and zag in search of their prey across the wetlands. Nets and field guides will be available for use. Free.

COMPREHENSIVE FAMILY DENTISTRY family centered practice extended hours evenings and weekends the latest equipment and caring staff request an appointment online

Glow in the Dark Skate


3pm at Nanaimo Ice Centre Skate in an atmosphere of dimmed lighting and special effects. Regular admission.

19 MONDAY Bear Necessities 119–1591 McKenzie Ave, Victoria  250 477 7321 Victoria’s favourite dentists believe a healthy smile starts early. Free first visit for children under 5.


10am at East Sooke Regional Park We can co-exist with these magnificent forest dwellers. Learn about the life of the black bear. Meet at the kiosk in the Aylard Farm parking lot off Beecher Bay Rd. 5+ years. Free.

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

PREMIERE MODEL Features • 360 degree swivel • Retractable side wall with lock • 2 generous storage pockets • Soothing Centre: 3 Lullabies, 3 Soothing Sounds, 2 levels of vibration, nightlight and nursing timer • Stable base adjusts to fit beds 24" to 34" high • Includes coordinating fitted sheet • Recommended for babies up to 5 months or 20 lbs (9.1 kg) * Also available in Essentia and Luxe Plus models *


30  Island Parent Magazine

Finlayson St. Douglas

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

Larch St.

Slithering Snakes


10am at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary, 3873 Swan Lake Road Includes hands-on discovery, an outside still, story and craft. Fee.

Open Air Library


10am at Iroquois Park 2295 Ocean Ave Read books, visit with others and enjoy the outdoor park facilities with your family. Take one book home with you when you leave. Free.

21 WEDNESDAY Wild for Wetlands


Noon at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary, 3873 Swan lake Road 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 and games. All ages event. Donation.

Entrance off Larch St.





Stay & Play

Greater Victoria Public Libraries Enjoy social time and free play following Family Storytime. For young children and their families; children under 3 must be accompanied by an adult. Drop-in until July 24.


Baby Time Greater Victoria Public Libraries Learn songs, rhymes and fingerplays to use with your baby every day. For babies 0-15 months and parent or caregiver. Drop-in until July 27.


Kindergym Drop-In

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


Family Storytime Greater Victoria Public Libraries Fun-filled stories, songs, rhymes and puppets. For young children and their families; children under 3 must be accompanied by an adult. Drop-in until July 26.


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

Here at Sutubra Naturals & Organics, we bring you nothing but the best quality baby and child products for every day use.

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

August 2019  31

Story Walk Wednesday


6pm at Francis/King 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. Meet at the Francis/ King Nature Centre off Munn Rd. All ages. Free.

Make Your Own Lantern


1:30pm at Sidney/North Saanich Branch Library Join artist Jennifer Witvliet and create beautiful lanterns that you can carry in the Salish Sea Lantern Festival. All materials provided. Thanks to ArtSEA. Ages 6-12 years. Please register.


Family W

Vic West Toy Library

9:30am at HighPoint Community Church 949 Fullerton Ave Every other Saturday. Borrow toys, games and play materials on a regular basis. Current stock for ages 6 mos-12 yrs. Fee. 250-383-6290 |

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

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


Drop-In Science Studio

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


Family Frolics

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


Play in the Park 4pm at Oswald Park 3051 Cedar Hill Rd. Bring the whole family for some fun in the sun. Get active and connect with your neighbours. Tuesdays in July & August. May be cancelled due to weather.


Concerts in the Park 12:30pm at Maffeo Sutton Park & Bowen Park Amphitheatre, Nanaimo Bring a lawn chair, and picnic and enjoy some awesome musical entertainment. Free.

22 THURSDAY Leif David—SRC Wrap-Up Party


2:30pm at Sidney/North Saanich Branch Library You’re invited to the Summer Reading Club Wrap-Up Party! Leif David entertains with a world of imagination where the impossible is possible! Watch as drawings come to life and pictures leap off the page. There will be prizes, cake and lots of fun for everyone. All ages welcome. Please register. 32  Island Parent Magazine

Play in the Park


5:30pm at Various Parks in Sidney Interactive play, face painting, group games, inflatable fun. Every evening through July & August.

Preschool to Grade 9… and beyond.

23 FRIDAY Cougar Capers


1pm at Francis/King Regional Park They leap, they climb, and they even purr. Come investigate the mysterious life of a cougar on this informative walk and talk with a CRD Regional Parks naturalist. Meet at the Francis/King Nature Centre off Munn Rd. All ages. Free.

Creatures of the Summer Night


8pm at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary, 3873 Swan Lake Road Sharpen your senses to look for owls, bats and other nighttime creatures. Using a grab bag of tricks, you’ll discover how these animals are adapted to their nocturnal life. Fee.

Coast Capital Free Skate


4:15pm at Cliff McNabb Arena Skate and helmet rentals included. Free.

Imagine a School…where music, dance, theatre and visual arts are infused into all aspects of an outstanding curriculum. v Comprehensive K to 9 program consistently exceeds BC Curriculum v Junior K, Half/Full-day Kindergarten and Preschool options also available receiving more thanconvenient an education v Excellent facilities, Gordon Head and Cedar Hill locations v Highly qualified, dedicated staff and low student/teacher ratios

receiving more than an education Visit our website, come to one of our Open Houses, or call us!  250.382.3533

receiving more than an education

Preschool – Grade 12


Christ centred, community focused education.

Integrating new educational technologies. Giving back through service learning projects.


1pm at Devonian Regional Park Unlock the mysteries of trees on a fun forest adventure with a CRD Regional Parks naturalist. Follow clues and riddles along the trails to meet Devonian’s giants. 5+ years. Free.

Serving a diverse student body with extensive support programs, academics, athletic teams, trades and hands on apprenticeships for those near graduation.


25 SUNDAY Community Water Battle


Uncovering God-given talents in everyone.

24 SATURDAY Tree-mendous Trees



2pm at Panorama Recreation Grab your super soakers and beat the heat. Water fights and games for all ages. Plunge into the dunk tank, take a turn on the slip and slide, and cool down with some cool treats. Bring your buckets, water guns, neighbours and friends.

sportsart art sports academics music music academics Get Connected!

sports art academics music Get Connected!

Learn more and stay informed Learn more and

These are just a few of the reasons you may want to join the DCS family

Preparing youth for life beyond the school doors . . .

CALL FOR A TOUR TODAY! 250.746.3654 495 Beech Avenue l Duncan, BC, V9L 3J8

stay informed

Get Connected!

August 2019  33


Community Board Camp Pringle

GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon

Lindsay Trowell, Counsellor & Parenting Specialist

Mothering Touch

Phoenix Theatre

Royal BC Museum

Via Choralis

Victoria Children’s Choir

Victoria Conservatory of Music Enquire about brochure or magazine distribution in Greater Victoria:

Children V

Sketchy Thursdays

Thursdays, 6:30-8:30pm at Central Branch Library Victoria Bring your sketchbook, pencils and pens and join Nate Davis for an evening of sketching. Open to all ages and abilities. Drop-in. Until June 27.


BC Summer Reading Club

All Greater Victoria Public Libraries Imagine the possibilities with a free, self-paced program that encourages children to read (or be read to) throughout the summer. Whether you’re reading at home or on holidays, you can track your daily reading on your reading record and enjoy weekly incentives along the way. Beginning June 27, drop by your local library to pick up a reading record. For ages 12 and under.


Oaklands Outdoor Playgroup

9:30am at Oaklands Park Free play, snack, crafts, and circle time. Coffee, tea and snack provided. 0-5 years. Monday & Thursday in July & August. $3/suggested donation.


Museum Tots

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


Summer Storytime

10:30 at Sidney/North Saanich Branch Library Bring your littlest ones to the library for stories, songs, rhymes and lots of movement. All ages welcome. Drop in. Thursdays, July 4—August 15.


Everyone Welcome Swims At Bowen Park Kin Outdoor Pool Saturdays & Sundays 1-3pm June 1-September 1. Come swim in the heated pool. $3.


Silly Summer Saturdays 3-5pm at Nanaimo Aquatic Centre Bring your silly and funny side to the pool for summer-themed games and other silly and funny events. July 6-August 24.

Super Summer Sundays


3-5pm at Nanaimo Aquatic Centre Superior summertime swimming. Come and have a blast. July 7-August 25.

Playground Program


In Various Neighbourhood Playgrounds, Nanaimo Drop in to a neighbourhood park for games, arts, crafts and sports. 10am-3:30pm. Monday-Friday, Harewood Centennial & Mansfield Park; Monday-Wednesday, Groveland & Country Hills Park; Thursday & Friday, Westdale/Leslie & Hawthorne Park. 34  Island Parent Magazine

Evening Campground Program


7pm at Island View Beach Regional Park Join a CRD Regional Parks naturalist for stories and a beach stroll. Bring a beach chair and meet at the campfire ring at Island View Beach campground, off Homathko Rd. All ages. Free.

27 TUESDAY Bug Buddies


10am at Mill Hill Regional Park What’s that bug? Bring your preschooler to explore the wonderful world of insects. Search for grasshoppers, wood bugs and other not-socreepy crawlies. Free.

29 THURSDAY Crab-tastik!


10am 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. All ages. Free.

30 FRIDAY Sandy Shore Explore


10am at Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park Discover the strange and wonderful creatures that appear between the tides. Be prepared to get your feet wet (bring sandals or beach shoes). Park at the main entrance off Metchosin Rd. Meet at the Witty’s Beach kiosk at the end of the Beach Trail. All ages. Free.

31 SATURDAY The Beach Rocks


10am at Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park The tide is out. Get a glimpse of the creatures that live beneath the rocks. Be prepared to get your feet wet (bring sandals or beach shoes). Park at the main entrance off Metchosin Rd. Meet at the Witty’s Beach kiosk at the end of the Beach Trail. All ages. Free.

Coast Capital Free Swim


7pm at Kin Pool Admission to pool only; weight room not included. Free.

August 2019  35

Wrap for Dinner on the Go


ooking for an easy dinner to take on a road trip or for a picnic in the park? Why not make a wrap?! Wraps are perfect for meals on the go. Here’s why: • They can be eaten right away or wrapped up and saved for later. • No need for a fork and a plate; a wrap can be eaten with just a napkin. • If you are making wraps ahead of time, don’t use too much sauce because it will make the tortilla soggy. • Vegetarian wraps will last for up to 2 days in the fridge. • If you use tinfoil or wax paper around the outside, they can be peeled away as you eat. • They make a healthy dinner with wholewheat tortillas and lots of vegetables. • Everyone can put together their own wraps. It makes the meal prep quicker, and everyone gets exactly what they like. Here are three simple wraps that are quick to put together. Feel free to mix and match ingredients to suit your taste.

Mexican Wrap (Total prep time: 20 minutes)

4. Add in the peppers and the spices and continue to cook for another 5 minThis Mexican wrap is delicious when utes. eaten hot and fresh, like a burrito. It can 5. Open the can of black beans. Drain also be put together in advance and eaten and rinse the beans, then add them to the cold. It has all the flavour it needs in the cooking vegetables and heat for a final 5 mix of vegetables. However, if you are minutes. eating this at home, I recommend serving 6. lice the tomatoes in half. Remove it with a side of salsa and sour cream. the seeds the dice the tomatoes. 7. Wash and chop the cilantro. 2 cups of cooked rice (about 3⁄4 cup dried) 8. Mix the cooked rice into the bean 2 tbsp oil and vegetable mixture. 1 medium-size onion 9. Divide the filling between the torti1 sweet red pepper llas. Add a layer of cheese, tomatoes and 1 sweet green pepper cilantro. Add some hot sauce for anyone 2 tbsp chili powder who likes spicy flavours. Roll the wraps 1⁄2 tsp ground cumin and serve hot or cold. 1⁄2 tsp salt 1⁄4 tsp pepper Mediterranean Wrap 1 can black beans (Prep time: 15 minutes) 3 roma tomatoes This delicious, Greek-inspired wrap is 1 bunch of cilantro perfect in the summer when tomatoes and 1 cup of grated cheese basil are fresh and full of flavour. If you 6–8 flour tortillas want to add more vegetables, then add diced cucumber and lettuce to this wrap. 1. Cook the rice while you prepare the rest of the filling. Feta Sauce: 1⁄2 cup plain yogurt 2. Finely dice the onion and peppers. 3. Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the 1⁄4 cup finely crumbled feta cheese onions and fry until starting to soften, 2 tsps extra-virgin olive oil about 5 minutes.

Asian Peanut Wrap (Total Time: 20 minutes)


tsp white wine vinegar tsp salt 1⁄2 tsp freshly ground black pepper 1⁄2

This wrap starts with a hot filling to ensure that the vegetables and rice are well coated in a delicious thickened sauce. It can be served hot or cold. If you want to add a bit more protein to this wrap add in strips of deep fried tofu or scrambled egg.

Wrap Filling: 1⁄2 red onion (optional) 4 roma tomatoes 1 bunch of fresh basil 1 cup hummus 2 cups cooked rice 4 wholewheat tortillas 1. Start by cooking the rice. About 3⁄4 cup of white rice should equal 2 cup of cooked rice. 2. To make the feta sauce, mix the yogurt, feta, oil, and vinegar in a blender. Process on high speed until smooth. Add the salt and pepper. 3. Chop the onion into thin slices. 4. Slice the roma tomatoes in half. Scoop out the core and seeds, then dice the tomato. 5. Prepare the wraps by spreading a layer of humus, then fill with rice. Drizzle 2 Tbsp of feta sauce over the rice. Add roma tomato to each wrap, top with a handful of fresh basil and red onion slices (for everyone who likes raw onion.)

1. Start by cooking the rice. About cup of white rice will equal 2 cups cooked rice. 2. In a small bowl, combine all of the sauce ingredients. 3. Dice all of the vegetables into bitesized pieces. 4. Finely chop the peanuts. 5. Heat the cooking oil in a large frying pan on medium heat. 6. Fry the mushrooms for 2 minutes, then add the pepper and stir fry for another 3 minutes. 7. Push all the vegetables to the sides of the pan, and pour the sauce into the centre of the pan. Stir quickly as it thickens. 8. When it has thickened, add in the spring onions, snow peas. rice and cashews. 9. Fill the tortillas and serve either hot or cold. 3⁄4

Sauce: 1⁄4 cup rice vinegar 1 tbsp dry mustard 2 tsp sesame oil 2 tbsp soy sauce 2 tbsp hoisin sauce 2 tsp cornstarch 2 tbsp water Filling: 2 tbsp cooking oil 1 lbs mushroom 1 red pepper 1 bunch spring onions 1 cup snow peas 4 tbsp roasted peanuts 2 cups cooked rice 6–8 flour tortillas

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

ISLAND SWIMMING Swimming is a Life Skill! Let us teach your child how to be a great swimmer

Programs for 6 - 12 year olds Available at:

Register Now for Fall 2019

Juan de Fuca Recreation &

Saanich Commonwealth Place

Fun, Fitness, and Friendship for Life! For more information on our Island Swim Skills programs: Email: Phone: (250) 744 5536

August 2019  37


It’s Not Your Call


or the past three summers, ever since he was 11, our son has worked as a baseball umpire. As a job, it’s a step up from his early lemonade stands and Pokémon card trading. It comes with a uniform, a mini-broom to sweep home plate and a lot of responsibility. He has taken umpiring courses and he gears up like a SWAT officer before every game so he’s protected from wild pitches and foul balls. For an hour or two, he leans over the catcher’s shoulder and passes judgement in a very public manner: “Ball! Strike! Out! Safe!” On the diamond, his word is the law. Or at least it should be. Alas, we live in world where umpires of every sort are held in low regard. Go to a sporting event and you’re more likely to hear

fans shout, “Ump, you suck!” than “Huzzah, what a well-considered call, dear sir!” Sadly, that antagonistic attitude has seeped down to the littlest of little leagues. Our son has been lucky. His umping has been a rewarding experience filled with the occasional tough call but not much controversy. That’s not the case for every junior judge. There’s a YouTube sub-genre of “Sports Parents Behaving Badly.” It features shaky iPhone footage of grown men (and women) losing their minds and their dignity, shouting and swearing and even brawling over decisions that didn’t go their team’s way. It’s hard to know if these viral classics should be filed under comedy or tragedy. Verbal abuse—and worse—of umps and refs has become so common that many youth leagues have mandated signed codes of conducts, online re-education courses and orangevested “field marshals” to pre-emptively tone down parents’ behaviour. Almost every diamond, rink and pitch posts sideline reminders to potential boo-birds that, hey, this is a kids’ game, with young referees, so let’s all just chill and enjoy ourselves and not freak out about how losing this match might affect our 10-year-old’s draft prospects. American author Michael Lewis, who writes about sports and finance, recently launched an excellent podcast, called

“Against the Rules,” that explores just this issue: the troubling decline in respect for referees in almost every sector of our society. Authority figures tasked with impartial judgement and neutral oversight are being undermined from all sides. Lewis was inspired to do his podcast in part from living under a U.S. President who bullies anyone who tries to enforce the rules against him, as well as from the personal experience of witnessing a young umpire nearly brought to tears by a parent-coach at a girls’ softball match. The assault on the integrity of referees might begin on our playing fields, but if left unchecked it can lead all the way to the White House. It’s a reminder that one of the toughest, most important roles we inherit as parents is umpiring. Often we must put away our flashy home jersey as Fun Dad and instead pull out the whistle and send one of our kids (or even the whole team) to the penalty box. Explaining clearly and calmly the broken rule and resulting punishment

Island Show Choir

is a community glee club providing performance opportunity and song/dance instruction for ages 4+ Registration now open for the 2019–2020 season

Building future leaders teaches our kids the value of fair and consistent judges in their lives. Then they begin to take responsibility for their own mistakes rather than blaming it on the ump. Throwing a tantrum or shouting at referees (on TV or, worse, at a live event) because we believe they’re biased against us (or the team we root for) sends the exact opposite message. Especially when we’re a red-faced adult berating a kid in blue for potentially blowing a call. As parents, we can all learn something from the grace under pressure demonstrated by youth umpires: Stay cool. Know the rules. Tune out the fools. It’s only a game after all. But how we play— on and off the field—will determine whether we all feel safe at home. David Leach is a professor in UVic’s Department of Writing and the head coach of the Carnarvon Red Pandas.

We are accepting applications for September 2019 for grades K thru 9. Limited space in some grades.

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 August 2019  39

M O M ’ S P OV

My Nest Is a Mess Learning not to stress


40  Island Parent Magazine

feel like stainless steel appliances were created solely to torture parents. The “faux” stainless we had in our last house was manageable, because you could simply wipe down the surfaces; however, now we have the real deal, and I would give it up in a heartbeat. Not only is it inconveniently non-magnetic, but cleaning it—as anyone with stainless knows—is an exercise in frustration: washing with soapy water, rubbing oil into the grain to make all the stains van-

shhhhhlurp” and turned to witness our 8-month-old Great Pyrenees puppy leaving giant tongue marks all over the dishwasher door. Apparently, she likes olive oil. In this moment I well and truly gave up the dream of having a clean and presentable house while also raising a preschooler, teenager, and a very large (and, apparently, hungry) puppy. My defeated sigh echoed for miles (or at least, throughout the house).

ish, and then buffing to a shine. There is no such thing as a spot touch-up—it just smears everything. Our kitchen looks terrible, all the time, covered in hand prints, smudges, and lick marks. Yes, you read that correctly: lick marks. Recently, I spent a sweaty half-hour trying to restore some semblance of acceptability to our kitchen appliances. Because we try to minimize the use of chemicals in our house, I used olive oil. As I stood, admiring the once-again shiny surfaces, I heard: “Slurp, slurp,

And then, I shrugged it off. In the grand scheme of things, this is not the hill I’m willing to lose my sanity on. I need that for more important struggles, like keeping everyone fed, healthy, and safe. For a long time, the chaos of scattered books, toys, and dog hair that is our daily environment used to ramp up my anxiety. I constantly felt like, no matter what I did, the mess only ever disappeared momentarily. In a blink, everything fall apart again. Well, I’ve realized this wasn’t anxiety speaking—it’s the truth! This is our reality right now.

I could burn myself out cleaning all day, finally sinking down onto the couch in satisfied exhaustion. But then my stepson will decide it’s time to make mac and cheese—from scratch—and the kitchen is a disaster once again. Or the dog will brush against the couch, leaving behind a swath of her gorgeous white, highly visible, fur. Or my preschooler will just… cross the room, dropping a trail of toys and scattered cushions in his wake.

‘Good enough,’ ‘Oh “well,’ and ‘Whatever’ have now become daily utterances.

The endless mess could lead to and endless cleaning obsession for me (and it’s tempting). But at what cost? If I focus on the mess, I won’t get to notice the glee in my son’s face as he finally discovers how to wrangle the scissors and cut a piece of paper into eensie weensie bits for the first time, or how my stepson stands a little taller when he’s cooked a meal for himself and managed to get the cheese sauce “just right.” Our dog sidles up against the couch because she loves us and wants to be as close as possible. I’m not going to break her heart by banishing her to her bed because I’m worried about a bit of dog hair. Wise people say that if you can’t change your circumstances, then you need to change your attitude. Hence my new habit of shrugging it off. “Good enough,” “Oh well,” and “Whatever” have now become daily utterances. Coming from someone who has struggled her whole life with anxiety and perfectionism, this is a big deal for me. It’s actually really empowering. This is not to say that we live in squalor. Not at all. It just means that, apart from designated cleaning days (or in the case of a particularly messy explosion), I am trying not to sweat the mess. Our house is a home, and I’m learning to be more proud of the vibrant love, learning, and bonding activities that happen here than whether a guest leaves with some extra fur attached to their pants. Kelly McQuillian is a writer, musician, teacher and fledgling mother living in Comox, BC.

August 2019  41

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

1Up, Victoria Single Parent Resource Centre ( provides support, education and resources for parents in the Greater Victoria area through free counselling, volunteer training, a mentoring program for single moms, and a support group for dads, as well as a variety of integrated life skills and parenting courses which are open to the whole community, with fees on a sliding scale. For single parent members, the Centre provides free toys and books, a clothing room and bread pantry. Donations of gently-used clothing, small household items, and toys are welcome. Hours: Mon., Tue., Thu., Fri.: 9–4, & Wednesdays: 12–7. Location: 602 Gorge Road East. Phone: 250-385-1114.

people with disabilities. For Home Support, please call 250-658-6407. For other programs: 250-6560134. Beacon Community Services Employment Programs. Beacon Community Services offers a full menu of employment services on the Saanich Peninsula and Gulf Islands. We’ve been helping people find work since 1982! Our programs build on a person’s strengths and resolve barriers to finding and keeping employment. We also work with our employer network to support job seekers. Need help finding a job? Need employees? Contact us for FREE assistance! 9860 Third St. Sidney. 250656-0134.

Canucks Autism Network (CAN) provides yearround sports and recreation programs for children, youth, young adults, and families living with autism, while increasing awareness and providing training in communities across BC. Stay up-to-date on programs, registration dates and events in Nanaimo, Cowichan Valley, and Victoria by signing up for CAN’s Vancouver Island newsletter: canucksautism. ca/newsletter. CAN also provides training and accessibility resources for many sectors, including sport, recreation, first responders, schools, and Beacon Community Services is a communitybased, non-profit agency dedicated to helping Boys & Girls Club Services offer after-school community spaces. Learn about customized training people and improving lives on southern Vancouver and evening social, educational and recreational solutions: Island and the southern Gulf Islands. Beacon thrift programming for children and youth at 5 locations shops fund important LOCAL community services (Colwood, Langford, VicWest, Central Saanich and and programs. Beacon also offers: child, youth and Esquimalt) and summer camps both in Esquimalt family services (including the Peninsula Early Years and at our Outdoor Centre in Metchosin. We also ofCentre and child care); counselling; employment fer support to parents through our Parents Together services and training for people of all ages; home program and parent workshops. For more informasupport care; volunteer services and opportunities; tion on all programs and services visit or Dialogue and Resolution Services (DRS) helps affordable housing/care/supports for seniors and call 250-384-9133. people improve relationships through facilitating empathic communication in a safe, impartial and FAMILYSERVICESPROFILE collaborative manner. We work with individuals, families, parents, co-workers, neighbours, community organizations, governments and those leaving incarceration. We continue to strive for equity and increased cultural competency, through life-long learning. DRS assists diverse clients to create lasting, effective solutions that support healthy connecUp Victoria Single Parent Resource Centre is a registered tion and build community. For affordable, ethical, non-profit charity that has been committed to serving the professional service, find us at 250-383-4412 or varied and changing needs of single parent families in the

1Up Victoria Single Parent Resource Centre


Greater Victoria area since 1978. We provide practical support, opportunities for growth and a sense of hope to one-parent families across Greater Victoria. Guided by skilled and committed staff and trained volunteers, 1Up offers important services to create foundations for personal and community growth in a welcoming and non-judgmental environment. We are committed to offering effective services that accommodate individual differences and respond to changing needs. Currently we are serving over 1,800 families in the Greater Victoria community. Our work transforms lives by creating stronger families and healthier children. It provides hope and the promise of a brighter future for parents and children, not just today, but well into tomorrow creating a stronger and more vibrant community in the process. 1Up believes in offering effective services that accommodate individual differences and that are responsive to the rapidly changing needs of our growing one-parent families. Daily, we see parents’ fierce determination to raise happy, healthy kids and we offer the strength-based, trauma-informed programs and services they need to succeed. All this in a welcoming atmosphere where friendships develop and community thrives.

42  Island Parent Magazine


Family Services of Greater Victoria helps children, youth, and adults manage the challenges of separation, divorce, or transition to a new family structure. Our highly qualified staff, working with other community agencies, provide information and practical or emotional support so people facing these challenges can make the decisions that are best for everyone. FSGV believes all individuals can find ways to move forward in their lives when family relationships have changed or are changing. Call us at 250-386-4331 or visit We can help.

Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA) is a registered charity and nonprofit helping individuals and organizations to connect across cultures. Programs offered include immigrant and refugee services, parenting programs, employment services, interpretation and translation, diversity workshops and training, English language training, volunteer placements, youth programs and tutoring, seniors groups, and inter-cultural arts programming. Located at 930 Balmoral Road, 250-388-4728, LDABC The Learning Curve (previously The Learning Disabilities Assn.) supports, educates and advocates for children with learning and behavior challenges. Individual and group support, education and consultation is available for children, youth, parents, caregivers and professionals. Please visit our website or call us for more information 250-370-9513. Linday Trowell—Creating Calm Within the Chaos. 18+ years experience as a behaviour support professional for caregivers and parents of children and adults with special needs. I understand the struggle that families face just to get out the door in the morning. I am trained in working with individuals with FASD, attachment difficulties, anxiety, trauma, autism, and much more. Individual and family counselling. Relaxed, non-judgmental support tailored for your individual needs. I help strengthen families and empower individuals. #1023212 Jacklin Rd (located in Stillpoint Acupuncture Clinic). 250-217-4536. Sooke Family Resource Society (SFRS) provides Family Resource Programs including: Prenatal Education and Outreach, Parent-Tot Drop-In Groups, Parent Discussion Groups, Family Support Groups and Outreach, a Toy and Book Lending Library, and Kingfisher Preschool. Sooke-Westshore Child Care Resource and Referral services, as well as all-ages counselling services are also provided by SFRS. Services are provided from the Child, Youth and Family Centres in both Sooke and the Westshore. Call 250-642-5152 for more information or visit our website 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.


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STEINER BOOKSTORE: Extensive Selection of Inspiring Books and Resources ~ For Children, Parents, Teachers, Carers , Homeschoolers and Students of Life (SOL) 250-597-4763 ~ Located in the Sol-Centre, 5380 Hwy. 1, Duncan, BC CALL OR CHECK ONLINE FOR OUR SUMMER HOURS Find us on Facebook@freyasophiawaldorfstore - Follow us on Instagram

August 2019  43


The Not-So-Great Outdoors and other summer stories


ne of the reasons outside play is so important is it gives children a chance to learn their limits. When they swing upside-down from the monkey bars, climb trees, or run around barefoot through the sand, they are learning all sorts of skills—like how to run without watching their feet, how to sit still, and how to stand next to a person without standing on top of them. But not everyone likes going outside. Some would rather curl up on the couch and read or play video games on their TV or tablet. If your kids fall into the latter categories, or if they come to you after playing outside for a whopping two minutes, here are some stories they can read to get inspiration for different outdoor activities they could try. Fair warning, one involves a shovel and digging up a lot of dirt. You’ve been warned.

In The Magic Boat, by both Kit Pearson and Katherine Farris and illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard (Orca, 2019), Ellie likes to go to the beach with her Nonna. While they are there they set up their umbrella and sit in the sand reading their books. Sometimes Ellie wants to play with the other kids, but she’s too shy to introduce herself to them. One day an older girl named Piper asks Ellie if she wants to see her magic boat. Together the two girls sail the ocean, fly high in the sky and dive down to the bottom of the sea. Ellie loves spending time with her new friend, but, far too soon, her new friend goes home 44  Island Parent Magazine

and Ellie is left wondering what to do with herself once again.This beautifully illustrated book will help you and your child see the magic in the ordinary objects near you, so like Ellie you can travel the world. For ages 4 to 8.

Sun by Sam Usher (Candlewick Press, 2018) is another wonderful book about the beauty of a child’s imagination. It’s a super-hot day when a young boy and his grandfather go for a walk to find the perfect place for a picnic. They walk and they walk and they walk and they finally find the perfect place for a picnic. But they are not the only ones there. For ages 3 to 7. In The Not-So Great Outdoors by Madeline Kloepper (Tundra, 2019), a young girl and her family pack up from their city home and go camping in the “great outdoors.” But she isn’t buying it: there’s nothing to do, nothing to see, and no one to talk to. However, if your child spends time looking at the pictures behind her, they

are sure to notice that her younger brother is having a blast. They’ll see animals, a playground, and the beauty of the night skies. It’s not until they’re driving to the next stop on their adventure when they see a family of bears that the girl becomes aware that there is more to the forest than silence and trees. For ages 3 to 7. If you are looking for adventures close to our home, then A West Coast Summer by Carol Evans and Caroline Woodward (Harbour, 2018) is a find. The narrative echoes the call “To the sea, to the sea, who or what waits here for me?”

Carol Evan’s stunningly lifelike watercolour paintings show you and your child exactly what might be waiting for you at the sea from berries and tiny sea creatures to a native totem raising ceremony. For ages 3 to 7. In Judy Moody and Friends: Searching for Stinkodon by Megan McDonald and illustrated by Erwin Madrid (Candlewick Press, 2019), Stink has decided he wants to find a Smilodon Tooth (aka SaberToothed Tiger tooth). To find this awesome treasure he is digging up his entire backyard. Stink knows his chances are slim, but he’s positive he will find the tooth if he searches enough. So he doesn’t want to spend his summer doing anything else until he finds that tooth. After he misses karate—which he wouldn’t miss for anything—Judy and Stink’s friend Sophie concoct a plan to help him out. Unlike other Judy Moody books, this book is part of a series that is aimed at

Christ Church Cathedral School Kindergarten – Grade 8

newly independent readers. The words are easy to read and the adorable and bright illustrations will help your child figure out what is going on in the story. For ages 4 to 6. Leaf it to Dot written by Andera Cascardi based on the character Dot by Randi Zuckerberg (Candlewick Entertainment, 2019). Dot, Hal and Dad are on a scavenger hunt in the forest to earn their Rangeroo badges. But they need to use their tablet to identify and capture images of the different items on their list to show their leader what they found. But while they’re out-there they find that it might not be as easy to spot things in the forest when they are staring at their screen. For ages 5 to 8.

A few spots available for Fall 2019. Call for a personal tour! 250-383-5125 | 912 Vancouver Street |


Now that summer is here, I hope you and your children find some time to play outside. You never know what you might find on your adventures. Christina Van Starkenburg lives in Victoria with her husband, their two little boys and their cat Phillip. Her first children’s book One Tiny Turtle: A Story You Can Colour was published recently and quickly rose to its spot as a #1 new release on Amazon.

August 2019  45


Putting the Fun in Physical Literacy

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 250-519-3487 Victoria 250-388-2200 West Shore 250-519-3490


t’s a typical chaotic morning leading Kindergym. Fifty children under the age of five arrive at a gym full of scooters, hula hoops, teeter totters and other fun options The grand finale is the highly anticipated parachute time. Playing with the parachute with the rest of the group gives the little ones a chance to put both their teamwork skills and their muscles to work. They develop social skills, gain physical strength, and improve their rhythm, all the while being encouraged by their equally-excited parents. Kindergym is just one example of places where children have the chance to gain skills that contribute to their physical health. This is also known as Physical Literacy. Physical Literacy is having the skills, confidence and the love of movement to be active for life. We can encourage physical development in almost any environment. Par-

weeks, children can go from watching their parent throw a ball to being able to grip the ball and toss it back. These accomplishments make both children and parents happy. Developing physical literacy doesn’t have to be difficult, competitive or time consuming. It can be incorporated into daily activities that the whole family can enjoy. There are many organizations across Vancouver Island—from preschools and daycares to organized sports and recreation programs—that provide opportunities to develop physical literacy skills. Despite their benefits, these programs can be costly, not fit into your schedule, or be targeted to an age group that might be either too young or too old for your child. That’s why it’s important build these skills at home as well as through community programs. As parents, you can incorporate physical literacy skills into your daily routine with your children.

ents don’t need to be Serena Williams or Usain Bolt to teach physical literacy skills. And your child doesn’t need to be the next David Beckham or a Sedin twin to develop physical literacy skills. All movement skills—like running, stomping, jumping and passing—contribute to a child’s physical literacy. Children who form healthy lifestyle patterns from a young age are shown to have increased confidence, ability to cooperate and better overall health. Leading Kindergym has shown me how easy it is to make positive changes. In just

Below is a list of three everyday situations where you can incorporate physical literacy. These activities use very little or no equipment, and can be fun for both parents and children. While your family may already be doing some of these activities, the main takeaway is that it doesn’t matter what your child is doing, as long as they are excited to move and play. 1. Encourage free outdoor play. With so many parks, fields and beaches around Vancouver Island, it’s easy to let your child explore nature from a young age. Whether it’s jumping in puddles, throw-

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 250-739-5845

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 health-unit-locations 46  Island Parent Magazine

ing rocks into the ocean or climbing the monkey bars at the local park, outdoor unstructured play improves physical fitness and also impacts social, emotional and cognitive development. 2. Make household tasks fun. Even young children can help around the house. This allows them to move their bodies in many different ways—and may even help you out with chores! Children can help to water the plants, pull weeds in the garden, play “Pick Up 5,” a game in which everyone picks up and puts away five toys to a set time. Play “Find the Biggest Dust Bunny” or take a walk outside to take out the garbage. These are just a few examples of chores that help young children develop muscle strength, hand-eye coordination and motor skills.



• For children’s activities, indoors and outdoors, visit the Active for Life website at • For a comprehensive list of physical activity benefits and age-group specific guidelines, visit the ParticipACTION website at 3. Plan family activities. Children don’t miss a thing. They watch very closely and will follow the actions of those around them. I encourage you as parents to demonstrate fun physical literacy and to take on activities and games as a family. If you have the opportunity to head outdoors, try after dinner walks, play catch in the backyard or hold a family relay that includes moves like the bear walk, crab walk, three-legged race. If you’re staying indoors, play some music and have a family dance party or follow a yoga tutorial for families on YouTube. Physical, emotional, social and cognitive development come at different times for all children. Physical activity benefits the whole child and provides valuable skills for a lifetime. Regular encouragement will help them do their best and reach their full potential. Children model the behaviour of the adults in their lives—so parents, you lead the way! Erin Davidson is a recent graduate of the University of Victoria’s School of Public Health & Social Policy. She wrote this article while on practicum with Island Health’s Healthy Schools Program. C HI LD YO UT H & FAMI LY

Join us and experience the new Family Zone at Westhills Stadium Aug 24 - Saturday 3:00 pm vs. Valour FC

Sep 14 - Saturday 12:00 pm vs. FC Edmonton

Sep 4 - Wednesday 7:00 pm vs. Forge FC

Oct 2 - Wednesday 7:00 pm vs. HFX Wanderers

Sep 11 - Wednesday 7:00 pm vs. York9 FC

Oct 19 - Saturday 3:30 pm vs. Valour FC

*grand opening

Get tickets at #ForTheIsle


August 2019  47


Music, Art and Nature. Stop by and experience what it is like to be part of a community devoted to the development of the whole child. Open House: Thursdays 9-11 am.

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


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.


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

ESQUIMALT Ciara Early Childhood Centre............. 250-386-7369 Education and Fun Hand in Hand! Exceptional care for ages 1-5yrs. Inclusive nature inspired kindergarten readiness program with Christian values. CiaraEarlyChildhoodCentre.

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

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

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

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

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

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


Island Kids Academy Esquimalt..........250-381-2929 High quality child care (ages 1-5). Enriched Curriculum. Includes Music Classes and Character Development using the Virtues Project. Wait list being taken. La Pré-Maternelle Appletree Preschool.............................250-479-0292 A French Immersion Preschool Program. 30 months to school age. Licensed Christian centre.

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

Pre-School Junior Kindergarten 250-479-4532

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

Educational Excellence to the Glory of God 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 Early Learning Centre........ 250-479-1237 A Christian childcare centre offering daycare and preschool programs for 3-5 year olds. Children learn through play-based and emergent curriculum in a warm and nurturing environment. St. Margaret’s School Jr. Kindergarten... 250-479-7171 Apply now for our Early Learning (JK and Kindergarten) Programs. Early learning at SMS is a curriculum-based program for 3 and 4 year olds.

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

Child Care

Resource & Referral Funded by the Province of BC

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

48  Island Parent Magazine

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

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

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.

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

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

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......250-383-5132 ECE and specialist teachers provide an outstanding all day licensed program for 2.5–5 year olds at our Fairfield and NEW Gordon Head (Fall 2019) locations. 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.

The River Preschool

JLC Victoria Japanese Preschool The only Japanese Immersion Preschool on the Island opens at Craigflower Schoolhouse. Offering the best environment for preschoolers to learn Japanese language and culture as natural as possible.

Please visit our website at or email us at

You are welcome to visit us at The River Drop-in Playgroup on Wednesdays 10–11:30am at St. Barnabas Church Hall.

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




Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12 Learn more today! 250-390-2201

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

The first steps in your child’s education

QUALICUM BEACH Call for more information today: 250.746.3654

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

at St. Barnabas Church is accepting registrations for September 2019. We are a Waldorf inspired and faith based new preschool in Victoria.

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


VIEW ROYAL 250.382.3533

Queen of Angels Early Learning Centre.250-701-0433 Our Centre is a lively, happy place for 3-5 year olds where children are encouraged to be confident, independent learners in a nurturing and safe environment.

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

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

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

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

Award of Excellence in Child Care 250-590-3603

August 2019  49

The Small Steps of Self Care


ou know that self-care is important, and in fact, a necessary part of a healthy and balanced life. In your role as a parent, you’re likely glaringly aware that your self-care needs are the first to drop off the priority list when life gets hectic. Self-care is not extravagant. It’s not frilly and luxurious. It’s not even expensive—well, it doesn’t have to be. Somehow our understanding of self-care got tangled up with indulgent pampering, and right away many (or most) parents

But here’s the challenge: especially during those early years with your kids, your needs take the back seat. And honestly, I think this is natural and not necessarily a bad thing. Your life feels out of balance because it is out of balance. Never in your life will another little human need you to the extent that a new baby does! And remember—it’s temporary. I understand this first hand and I certainly won’t tell you flippantly that you need to focus more energy on you. If a therapist told me that during those baby

figured self-care simply couldn’t be for them. So first of all, can we all reset our understanding of what self-care really is? Ask yourself the simple question: what do I need in order to feel cared for and comforted, and how can I do this for myself? For parents, this often comes down to the most basic needs, like eating nutritious food, moving the body, sleeping well, stimulating the mind, processing emotions, and finding some quality interpersonal connections—that aren’t the kids! Self-care is about tending to all parts of you, including your mind, body, spirit, and relationships. It’s about checking in with yourself on each of those levels, understanding which areas need more energy, and how to actually meet those needs.

days, I’m not sure I would have given the advice much thought. In my mind, there was absolutely no way that was possible. I use to view self care as another item on the to-do list that I just didn’t have time for. Somehow I had this idea that I could make self-care a central part of my life, but all this did was brought me more stress knowing how poorly I was taking care of myself. Why can’t I take these vitamins? How hard is 30 minutes of exercise a day? Why do I keep staying up so late? Why do I drink so much coffee? What’s wrong with me? We often set the bar too high, expecting monumental change to happen almost overnight and then loathe ourselves when we fail “yet again.” And if we equate self-care to another chore on the to-do list (like I had been doing) then it’s unlikely to get done. We might even

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 50  Island Parent Magazine

actively avoid it just like that laundry pile in the corner. Are chores motivating? Exciting? Calming and fulfilling? Do they let you recharge your energy, calm your system, and feel better? Maybe…but probably not. So here are some suggestions to help you make self-care part of your everyday life: Stop setting such lofty goals that make you feel badly about yourself. Now this might be strange to read and certainly counter to what you’ve learned in this society, but what if you lower your standards? Could you consider creating small and do-able goals rather than shooting so high and ultimately setting yourself up for disappointment? Reduce coffee instead of cutting it out. Workout twice a week rather than think somehow six days a week is realistic. Write for just a few minutes in your journal each day. Eat something, anything, green every day. Ask yourself, “What is simple and doable?” The other key to easily weave self-care into your life as a busy parents is to double dip with your time rather than add more to your plate. In other words, is there a way that you can do some self-care while you are going about your normal day? For example, maybe you put on your favourite music when cooking dinner and give your ears a break from the kid-tunes you’ve so kindly rocked all day for your little ones. Let’s say you’ve been wanting to start a gratitude journal. What if you got into the habit of writing a few things down every morning at the breakfast table while you sit with the kids? You could even make gratitude more of a family practice or ritual during dinner time. What if you learned a simple visualization that you could do every day in the shower? My favourite is to imagine the water rinsing off everything that I don’t want or need to be carrying around with me that day. It might be frustration, self-judgement, worry, regret—just imagine the water taking it all away. JOIN A CHAMPION Then, focusing on what you want to carry with you throughout GORGE SOCCER ASSOCIATION the day (like ease, calm, positivity) washing over every inch of you. Registration is currently open for fall And my personal favourite for moms of younger kiddos: • Youth soccer: 4 – 17 years old hang on to naps or quiet time as long as you can. Teaching • Senior soccer: 17 – 70+ years old your kids the value of resting the body and mind for an hour in We are a community based soccer club providing all of its members with developme the afternoon is a beautiful lesson, and then see if you can take fun and a lifelong passion for the beautiful game. that time to dive into a book or do something just for you. We pride ourselves on being the oldest full service soccer club in Victoria, offering wi Self-care doesn’t have to be a huge monumental gesture of play, free academies, winter futsal, and more! We are innovative, playe 4 –spring 17league, years old self-love, and it doesn’t have to cause stress or take up time that to our JOIN members’ community-minded, and accepting of all players A CHAMPION Aneeds, CHAMPION you certainly don’t have. Be creative and find ways that you JOINresponsive will never be turned away due to lack of fees (external and internal grants available). GORGE ASSOCIATION SOCCER ASSOCIATION can sneak self-care into to your daily family routine so that it GORGE SOCCER Online registration Available at: doesn’t cost you even more time and energy. 17 –Registration 70+ years In-person Registration: Hampton Park Clubhouse Registration is currently open for is currently fall oldopen for fall Re-learning how to prioritize yourself takes practice. By (240 Hampton Road) Saturdays 9am-11am • Youth soccer: 4 •– Youth 17 years soccer: old 4 – 17 years old becoming a parent, you shifted your focus and finite energy to Questions? We are community based soccer club providing all • Senior soccer: 17 • Senior – 70+ years soccer: old17 – 70+ years old your children and this inevitably leaves less for you. Your job of its members with development, fun and a lifelong now is to renegotiate how you fit into the equation. Start right based We are a community Wesoccer are a community club providing based all of soccer its members club providing with development, all of its members with development, passion for the beautiful game. fun and a some lifelongof passionfun forand the abeautiful lifelong game. passion for the beautiful game. now by thinking of just one small way to send yourself Weoldest pride onoldest being the oldest fullwinter service We pride ourselves on being We pride the ourselves fullourselves service on being soccer the club infull Victoria, service offering soccer club inleague Victoria, offering wint the love you so rightfully deserve. play, free academies, spring play, league, free academies, winterin futsal, spring andleague, more! We winter arewinter innovative, futsal, and more! player-centric, We are innovative, player-c soccer club Victoria, offering league play, free responsive to our members’ responsive needs, community-minded, to our members’ needs, and community-minded, accepting all players. andAmore! accepting player of all players. A academies, spring league, winter of futsal, and will never be turned awaywill duenever to lack be of turned fees (external away dueand to lack internal of fees grants (external available). and internal grants available). Kate Borsato is a mental health counsellor on Vancouver Island. Online registration Available Online at: registration Available at: With her online counselling practice, she supports women during their In-person Registration:In-person HamptonRegistration: Park Clubhouse Hampton Park Clubhouse transitions into motherhood and postpartum stages. Learn more at (240 Hampton Road) Saturdays (240 Hampton 9am-11am Road) Saturdays 9am-11am Questions? Questions?

Registration is currently open for fall • Youth soccer:

• Senior soccer:

August 2019  51

Great Kids WANTED! Join our learning community to experience all the advantages of an International Baccalaureate education at Glenlyon Norfolk School—an IB school since 1996. Admission for Fall 2020 is now open. Contact us today at



Maternity  & Beyond

Introducing Diversabilities


ADVERTISERSDIRECTORY Arbutus Grove............................... IFC Arts Calibre Academy..................... 33 Ballet Victoria................................IBC Be Connected................................. 45 Camp Pringle...................................13 Cathedral School............................ 45 Duncan Christian School................ 33 Evergreen School............................15 Falcon Gymnastics..........................15 Freya Sofia Waldorf Store.............. 43 Glenlyon Norfolk............................ 52 Gorge Soccer...................................51 International Montessori.................21 Intrepid Theatre............................... 7 Island Catholic Schools...................15 Island Circus...................................50 Island Show Choir.......................... 39 Island Swimming............................ 37 Kool & Child.................................... 43 LIFE Seminars................................. 53 Lifestyles.......................................... 8 Momease....................................... IFC Mothering Touch.............................. 7 NIDES..............................................16 NIL TU,O..........................................13 Oak & Orca............................ 8, 21, 51 Pacific Christian............................. IFC Pacific Coast Swimming................. 54

Pacific FC........................................ 47 Queen of Angels............................. 39 Saanich Dental............................... 30 Saanich Fair...................................IBC Saanich Recreation..........................11 Serious Coffee................................ 53 St. Margaret’s................................... 9 Stages....................................... 18, 20 Sutubra............................................31 Swan Lake....................................... 17 Sylvan Learning................................ 3 Theatre Skam...................................11 Tj’s The Kiddie Store...................... 30 Tom Lee...........................................41 Under the GUI.................................19 Vic Synchro..................................... 47 Victoria Academy of Ballet.............BC Victoria Bug Zoo..............................41 Victoria Conservatory of Music...... 23 Victoria Gymnastics........................ 43 Victoria Montessori........................50 Victoria Reign................................. 40 VIHA................................................ 46 Westcoast Academy of Performing Arts........................... 35 Westmont Montessori.....................41 Westshore Dental............................. 5 Westshore Parks & Recreation....... 28

52  Island Parent Magazine

hen I began Maternity and Beyond, I always assumed I would end the column once Angus was able to read it—once he realized I was writing about him and wanted me to stop. Angus has been able to read my column for at least a year now, but he doesn’t want me to stop at all. He loves being the focus of a column. He claims to be famous because his mom writes about him in Island Parent. Also, he is quite certain that everyone he meets has read this magazine. While I’m always surprised when someone recognizes us—in the grocery story, in the library line-up—Angus fully expects to be known. I began the Maternity and Beyond column two months before Angus was born, in April 2011. The title was fitting then. In the beginning I covered all the firsts that Angus experienced and that I experienced alongside him: first teeth, first steps, first words, first sickness. In those early years I often had people tell me how much they related to what I wrote, how it was exactly their experience also. As Angus has grown up, the focus has become a lot more personal. I’ve written about our decision not to have more children. I’ve written about how I worried my anxiety was rubbing off on my kid. I’ve written about Angus’s autism diagnosis. These stories were less about common experiences and more about specific ones. And because autism is an experience that shapes our son, and shapes our shared world, it has gotten a lot of play: columns about his assessment, about the stranger who suggested we “cure” him with chelation therapy, about telling Angus about his diagnosis, about meltdowns and sensory issues and bullying and the struggle to find a school that fits. Every anniversary mark I ask Sue, Island Parent’s editor, if it would make more sense for me to end the column. This is not what you asked for, I remind her. Not these diatribes on inclusion, not these whinging about the world not being set up to accommodate kids like mine. And every year she tells me to keep going. I have decided to keep going, but to keep going differently, fully embracing the path I can’t help myself from veering down. This new column is called Diversabilities, named after a word on a T-shirt I saw at the Inclusion BC

Conference. Superman symbol on the front, “diversability� on the back. If you think about it, trying to navigate a world that has been built for people with different needs and abilities than yours is a superhuman feat. Diversabilities is about Angus and kids like him, who sometimes struggle to fit in, or to find their place. Maybe it’s also about your kid. Though Angus loves to have a column about him, and though I certainly intend to write about him and our personal experiences, I want to include other stories. If you have a kid with a difference and a story to share, I’d love to talk to you about it. Rant about your challenges, but also tell me about your successes.

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“If you think about

it, trying to navigate a world that has been built for people with

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different needs and abilities than yours is


a superhuman feat.

But I don’t want “Diversabilities� to just be about individual kids. It will also be about changes happening—in our neighbourhoods and little leagues and school playgrounds—to make our community more inclusive and accessible to all kids. If you know of such a change, have plans to implement one, or even just fantasies, let me know. Thanks to those of you who have read some, or all, of the 80+ Maternity and Beyond columns I have written over the years. 80+! Admittedly many of those columns squeaked in well past deadline. Coming up with a new topic each month was a struggle. I’m looking forward to your help this time. And grateful in advance.

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August 2019  53


Get in the Same Chapter


f course you and your partner were raised differently. You may never get on the same page, but what if thinking you should be is the problem? Typically, when conflict between co-parents sets in, it is when challenging behaviours surface in the kids. The most common scenario is that the parent who is the primary caregiver (usually mom) gets the worst behaviour: whining, defiance, clinginess, and whatever else kids throw our way. When this starts, the other parent notices that they don’t experience the same kind of behaviour. Then, this parent decides there need to be more limits and sees the other parent as wishy-washy. And so it starts. One parent becomes a little more rigid and the other parent, a little more protective. Break this pattern as soon as you can. The kids feel the tension, and the tension is what you should be concerned with. Sometimes, kids can feel responsible for the conflict and try hard to please you. Good, you might think. Nope, it isn’t. When this happens, children put their very important needs aside. It also undermines the authority that you both have; after all, kids need to see you being in the same chapter. Approach parent education together, no matter what course you take or book you read, do it together. It doesn’t work when one parent grows, and the other stays stuck. Partners don’t make great parent educators; it just isn’t sexy.

54  Island Parent Magazine

What to Do

Step One: Agree to be open rather than defensive and discuss the following points. Remember, you both love your kids. Step Two: Think of five limits that you both agree should have top priority. Go beyond the obvious and discuss those things that make you bicker. Bedtime routine? Screen time? Mealtime expectations? This agreement is to get in the same chapter. The strict parent should take the lead on this to get some reassurance and to ultimately relax. Step Three: Agree on an approach. A harsh approach is more likely to pull you apart. How does a loving follow through approach look? What are the don’ts? What are the do’s? Stick to Step two and three for one month. Items that aren’t on the list are not up for discussion. These are same page items. Leave your partner alone and mind your own business. Step Four: After one month, review how things are going. Does your relationship feel closer? Are the challenges decreasing? What works? What doesn’t? Revise. Repeat for another month. To see a video clip on this subject, go to Life Seminars Parenting Courses Facebook page. Allison Rees has two LIFE Seminars books available: Sidestepping the Power Struggle and The Parent Child Connection. See

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August 2019 Island Parent  

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August 2019 Island Parent  

Schools & Educational Services