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Island Parent Celebrating

29 Years

The Resource Publication for Vancouver Island Parents

December 2016

Holiday Happenings Alternative Ways of Giving

Gift & Book Recommendations


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16 Holiday Happenings

Moss St. Market’s 22nd annual Features

HOLIDAY MARKET Moss St. Market

Saturday and Sunday Dec 10+ 11, 10am to 4pm Over 80 vendors! Cards, crafts, clothing, jewelry, bags, toys, glass works, pottery, bath products, preserves, chocolates, baked goods, hot food, winter veggies, meats, fish, beer, cider, and much, much more... Sir James Douglas School & Fairfield Community Centre 1330 Fairfield Rd MossStreetMarket.com 4  Island Parent Magazine

12 Christmas   Goodies   14 Holiday Gift & Book     Recommendations    16 Holiday       Happenings  20 Words Around Town   22 Tamara MacNeil:      Falling In Love 26 Fabulous  Finds In Every Issue

Island Parent Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Party Directory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Family Calendar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Around the Island. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Family Services Directory. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46, 47 Preschool & Child Care Directory . . . . . . . . . . . 48, 49

Sue Fast

Linda Frear

Columns 5 Sue Fast: Editor’s Note

10 Rachel Dunstan Muller:

  A Lighter Footstep 34 Emillie Parrish:      Cooking With Kids 36 Sarah Milligan: Is There an App for This?    38 David Leach: Dadspeak 40 Carla Kane:     Healthy Families, Happy Families   42 Diana Hurschler:    New Parent Pages 44 Sara Cassidy: Book Nook    50 Laura Trunkey:    Maternity & Beyond  52 Renee Cenerini:      Nature Notes     54 Allison Rees: Cut It Out!

RaeLeigh Buchanan

Mark Warner

Editor editor@islandparent.ca

Office Manager & Sales sales@islandparent.ca

Advertising Consultant raeleigh@islandparent.ca

Publisher/Owner publisher@islandparent.ca

Design & Layout Eacrett Graphic Design

Distribution Ray Cutts & Ted Dawe

Printed by Black Press

ISSN 0838-5505

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

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Advertising Booking Deadline: December 14

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

On the Cover

Cole (2). Photo by Michelle Cervo, michellecervo.com

IslandParent.ca


25 Days to Make Merry Dec 1. Marvel at the Magic of Christmas light-up at Butchart Gardens. Enjoy carousel rides (complimentary, tonight only) along with thousands of coloured lights, seasonal decorations, and children’s activities. On until Jan 6, 2017. Visit butchartgardens.com. Dec 2. Salute the Sea of Lights Boat Parade, leaving Royal Victoria Yacht Club at 6:30pm, passing Cattle Point around 7pm, Willows Beach at 7:15pm, then back past Gyro Park at 7:45pm. Visit rvyc.bc.ca. Dec 3. Enjoy the Ogden Point Light Up (2-6pm), a fun family event supporting the Mustard Seed Food Bank, with music, kids crafts and Santa. Stay for the lighted Truck Convoy, leaving Ogden Point at 5:45pm. Dec 4. See the Sidney Sparkles Christmas Parade at 5pm along Beacon Avenue and then walk to the waterfront for the Sailpast immediately following the parade. This two-for-one treat is a seasonal Sidney highlight. Dec 5. Sing along with the Choirs in the Courtyard (Dec 1-12) at the Greater Victoria Public Library Central Branch’s acoustical courtyard where various choirs will perform their favourite Christmas carols from noon-2pm. Visit gvpl.ca. Dec 6. Attend the Naden Band Christmas Concert at the Royal Theatre (Dec 5, 6, 7) at 7:30pm and help support the annual Salvation Army Toy Drive. $10, plus an unwrapped toy at the door. Visit rmts.bc.ca. Dec 7. Visit the 16th Annual Bear Wear display (on until Jan 2, 2017) at Hotel Grand Pacific and vote for your favourite best-dressed bear. Proceeds benefit Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island. Dec 8. Celebrate Christmas Lights Across Canada, the annual cross-country light-up at 6pm. See the giant sequoia sparkle when it is lit up with thousands of lights in front of the Parliament Buildings. Stay for hot cocoa and seasonal treats. Dec 9. Bundle up for a Free Horse-Drawn Trolley Ride downtown. Saturdays and Sundays 11am3pm (until Dec 24). Visit downtownvictoria.ca.

IslandParent.ca

Dec 10. Make a wreath with a CRD Parks naturalist at the Beaver Lake nature centre from 11am-2pm. Materials supplied. Bring a mug for hot apple cider, and clippers if you have them. Visit crd.bc.ca/parks. Dec 11. Celebrate the season at Royal BC Museum’s Wonder Sunday: A Season of Celebration from 1-3pm. Included with admission. Dec 12. Be entertained at CBC Radio and Our Place’s Christmas Carol featuring Shelagh Rogers, Arthur Black and more. Then join in a Christmas Carol sing-a-long. 7-9pm, First Metropolitan Church. Dec 13. See a sweet and tuneful musical written specifically for Victoria and Fernwood at the Belfry Theatre’s 7:30pm showing of This Little Light (Dec 10-23), a production about community and social responsibility. Visit belfry.bc.ca. Dec 14. Bake and decorate a batch of cranberry and white chocolate shortbread cookies (see recipe on page 12). Dec 15. Belt out Christmas tunes at the Christmas Carol Sing-Along from noon-1:15pm at St. Andrew’s Church, 680 Courtney Street. Free admission. Dec 16. Be spellbound at Milner Christmas Magic, a family-oriented festival of lights and music from 5-8:30pm at Milner Garden (Dec 2-4, 9-11, 16-21) in Qualicum Beach. Dec 17. Enjoy the sights and sounds of Christmas in Old Town at the Royal BC Museum and visit Santa (Fri-Sun only, from Dec 2-4, 9-11, 16-18, 11am-3pm) to have your photo taken (by donation) and share your holiday wishes. Museum hours: 10am-5pm. Visit royalbcmuseum.bc.ca. Dec 18. Get creative at Family Sunday from 2-4pm at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria with hands-on artmaking inspired by the current gallery exhibit, It’s in the Making, a study of ideas, materials and things. Visit aggv.ca. Dec 19. Rediscover the magic of Christmas with a visit to Candy Wonderland (Dec 18-22) at the

Fairmont Empress. Visit the life-sized gingerbread house and decorate your own gingerbread man. $25/family.

Sue Fast Editor’s Note Dec 20. Bundle up and head for the Inner Harbour to watch Polar Express outside the Delta Ocean Pointe Hotel at 6pm. Movies are free but bring a donation for Santas Anonymous. Bring your own lawn chair and blankets to keep warm. Dec 21. Support Habitat for Humanity during the 9th annual Gingerbread Build at the Inn at Laurel Point from 9am-9pm (until Jan 2). Vote for your favourite bear and make a donation. Visit downtownvictoria.ca. Dec 22. Discover the Christmas traditions of early Victorians at the Helmcken House OldFashioned Christmas, Dec 17-31 from noon-4pm. By donation. Visit royalbcmuseum.bc.ca. Dec 23. See the Live Nativity Scene, running four times nightly on Dec 21-23 at 6:30, 7, 7:30 and 8pm at Topaz Park. Free. Dec 24. Take a 90-minute Christmas in Old Victoria walk and learn how Christmas was celebrated during the days of Fort Victoria and the gold-rush era. Meet outside 26 Bastion Square at 2pm. For dates and times, visit discoverthepast. com. And Happy first day of Hanukkah. Dec 25. Have a Merry Christmas! This month, we bid a fond farewell to Rachel Dunstan Muller, who for seven years has penned the much-loved environmental column, A Lighter Footstep. Featuring Rachel’s writing—and her earth-conscious convictions—in the pages of Island Parent Magazine has been an honour. We will miss Rachel and her invaluable contribution to the magazine and we wish her well. Look for Rachel’s writing in the upcoming issue of Island Grandparent (out in June 2017).

December 2016  5


Island Parent Notes

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6  Island Parent Magazine

arrives on Dec 1 and chugs along the track until Dec 24. Push the train’s control button and watch Santa wave to his friends and spread Christmas cheer. Pass It Around Come and experience over 1,000 years The children’s party room allows kids (up of combined history and unique stories that to 11 yrs) to celebrate their special day in a make up the robust cultural heritage of miniature-themed environment. Enjoy time Victoria. For one single discounted admis- exploring the 85 dioramas, then zoom to sion of $30 you can visit 10 of Victoria’s the party room to celebrate with friends. For information, phone 250-385-9731. cultural and heritage sights. For a limited time this holiday season (until Dec 15), with each $30 purchase of Eagle Extravaganza Pass It Around, you will receive an extra free The end of the salmon run is a signal to admission to your choice of 10 attractions, the Bald Eagles that it is time to return to including Abkhazi Gardens, Art Gallery of Goldstream Provincial Park for their anGreater Victoria, CFB Esquimalt Naval and nual salmon feast. Record numbers of Bald Military Museum, Craigdarroch Castle, Eagles have been returning to the park—up Emily Carr House, Maritime Museum of to 276 in one day—for the past five winters. BC, Point Ellice House, Robert Bateman This winter, from early December 6-FebCentre, St. Ann’s Academy, Wentworth ruary 29, Goldstream’s Visitor Centre will Villa. be celebrating the return of the Bald Eagles The $30 discount pass saves more than with special programs and exhibits focusing $20 in adult admissions, even more if you on birds of prey. Keeping the Visitor Centre buy the pass before December 15. So don’t open at this time of year is due entirely to pass it up, Pass It Around. public support from donations at the door. Passes are available through the TourSchool programs by donation occur on ism Greater Victoria Visitor Informa- weekdays (teachers must book ahead). tion Centre. For more information, visit Check out the weekend and holiday acpassitaroundvictoria.ca. tivities, too—something for the kids when school is out. Don’t forget to make a card or wrapping Miniature World Miniature World’s Annual 2017 Christ- paper to take home for Christmas. Hot mas Pass sale runs from Dec 1-24. Explore coffee and baked goods are available at the land of smallness all year long for only the Visitor Centre, and the fire is usually $15.75—that’s 50 per cent off the regular lit for you to warm up by after a nice brisk cost of an Annual Pass. Passes make a walk along the river. Open 9am-4:30pm perfect stocking stuffer and can be pur- daily (closed Christmas day). For more chased either in person at 649 Humboldt information, phone 250-478-9414 or visit goldstreampark.com/bald_eagles.htm. St or by phone. Miniature World’s “Find 6 Santas” contest is another well-loved Christmas Nanaimo Theatre Group’s tradition for children ages 5-11 and runs Christmas Pantomime from Dec 1-24. Kids can pick up an entry Ahoy, all ye magic-loving, entertainmentform at the front desk, find six Santas hidden seeking, dwellers of the Mid-Island region. in the exhibits, and win a 2017 Children’s Whether you be seafarers or landlubbers or Annual Pass for themselves. just like a good laugh, this year’s pantomime The Miniature train carrying Santa Claus presentation by Nanaimo Theatre Group is

Blue Bridge Christmas

Blue Bridge Theatre presents two perennial favourites, It’s A Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th St—The Radio Plays. Featuring some of Victoria’s most beloved performers, Blue Bridge present these two classics as if they were old time radio plays, complete with the versatile Foley sound creating all the sound effects—live. Miracle on 34th St runs Dec 15 and 17 at 8pm, and on Dec 18 at 2pm. It’s A Wonderful Life runs Dec 16 and 18 at 8pm and on Dec 17 at 2pm. Tickets start at $25 with a special youth price of $15. Buy tickets to both shows and get 20 per cent off the regular price. If you have or buy a Blue Bridge subscription to 2017 People’s Choice Season, you’ll receive 40 per cent off both performances. Call 250-382-3370. IslandParent.ca


a must see—or should we say “sea.” This year, Nanaimo Theatre Group presents Aladdin and the Pirates which combines the well-known fairy tale with some modern upgrades and just a hint of piracy. It is, of course, performed in the traditional

magician (you get to boo him). Finally there is the traditional pantomime animal who you would think might be a camel or a parrot. But no, it’s a penguin. There is singing, dancing and all forms of silliness performed by a talented cast. There will be something for all ages to enjoy at this delightful theatrical journey. Shows are at the Bailey Studio, 2373 Rosstown Road, Nanaimo, December 17-19 and 26-30 and a special New Years Eve show which begins at 9pm. There are only four matinees (December 17, 18 and 26, 27) which begin at 1:30pm and evening shows at 7:30pm. For tickets and more information visit nanaimotheatregroup.ca or 250-758-7224. Get your tickets soon as these shows are sure to sell out.

will receive 100 per cent of the profits. Stop by the mistletoe in Centre Court for a chance to win a $100 Bay Centre gift card. And make sure to visit the C-FAX Santas Anonymous Society’s Tree of Wishes (until December 15) at Centre Court. Special holiday wish cards, created by local children in need, adorn the tree. Choose a gift, shop for the child’s wish, and bring the gift back to the tree so it can be transported to the workshop for delivery to local children in need. Other Tree of Wishes mall locations include Hillside Mall, Mayfair Mall, WalMart at Uptown, Westshore Town Centre. For information, visit cfaxsantas.com.

18th Annual Spirit of Giving

Victoria Children’s Choir presents its annual Classical Christmas Concert on Monday, Dec 5 at 7pm at Christ Church Cathedral, 930 Burdett Ave. The crunch of snow, twinkle of lights, and whisper of the wind come alive in song at the Classical Christmas Concert. Hear the gentle nature of midwinter and celebrate the holiday season with a festive performance. Ninety singers perform a variety of yuletide songs from around the world—this season singing

Step into a winter wonderland set under a canopy of twinkling lights surrounded by beautiful live fir trees for Christmas time format of a British pantomime with all of in Centre Court at the Bay Centre. While the ingredients that you have come to expect you are there, help spread the holiday spirit from this genre of theatre. There is Aladdin, to families supported by the Mustard Seed our hero (you get to cheer for him), Dame Food Bank. Drop off your financial or nonTwanky, his mother (although she looks perishable food donations, or have your more like his father), Princess Eugenie, his gifts wrapped at the by-donation wrapping love interest, and Abanazer, an evil pirate station (until Dec 24). The Mustard Seed

Annual Classical Christmas Concert

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For babies and parents, and those who love them 975 Fort street, Victoria BC - 250-595-4905 - www.motheringtouch.ca IslandParent.ca

December 2016  7


Schubert’s Mass in G major, winter carols, traditional music, new compositions, and sing-a-long songs from Canada and around the world. The Choir is joined by special guests: Victoria Children’s Choir alumni singers; the Victoria Baroque Players; gentlemen from the St. Christopher Singers. Tickets are $20, general seating. Children age seven and younger are free. Purchase tickets online (eventbrite.ca), or by phone at 250-721-0856. The Victoria Children’s Choir is made up of girls and boys aged eight to 18. The choir sings a wideranging repertoire, with music from many countries, centuries and styles. For more information, phone 250-721-0856 or visit victoriachildrenschoir.ca.

Family Christmas Carol Sing-Along

Hot Chocolate for Children’s Snowflakes

Sometimes it just takes a memorable moment to give a child a lifelong love of music. The Victoria Philharmonic Choir (VPC) 8th annual Christmas concert on Wednesday, December 21 at 7pm gives children a taste of choral experience, singing traditional carols like Silent Night, backed up by four-part harmony from the 70-voice VPC, conducted by Peter Butterfield. Adults are welcome to sing along as well—and listen to the choir’s performance of other seasonal works. The front benches are reserved for those with small children, first come, first served. The concert will be at St. Mary’s Church (1701 Elgin Road) in Oak Bay. Doors open by 6:30pm, the concert starts at 7pm. Tickets are $20 regular, $10 student, and free for accompanied children 12 and under, available from Ivy’s Bookshop, The Shieling, Tanner’s Books, Long & McQuade, online at vpchoir.ca, and possibly at the door.

butchartgardens.com/christmas or call 250-652-5256

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8  Island Parent Magazine

By becoming a mentor you can help a child succeed. Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) is seeking volunteers who are committed and consistent, willing to serve at least a year, but hopefully until a child graduates high school. Studies show that by doing so, the mentoring services help kids stay in school, avoid risky behaviour, and experience first-hand the importance of helping others in their community. Professional staff will work with you, the child and the family throughout the course of the mentoring relationship to provide necessary training and support. Funding allows BBBS to carefully make and support more matches. Sometimes, the supply IslandParent.ca


of volunteers and kids is greater than the necessary agency funding. If you would like to volunteer as a Community Mentor (Big Brother or Big Sister), you can attend this month’s orientation session on Thursday December 15 from 6-8pm at Uptown Shopping Centre (on the Douglas Street side between Forever 21 and Charming Charlie’s). To confirm your seat in advance, phone 250-475-1117, ext. 40. To find out if mentoring is for you, to use the self-assessment checklist, to fill out the application form, or for more information, visit bbbsvictoria.com.

Pleistocene Meets Touchscreen at the Royal BC Museum

Thousands of years ago mammoths roamed Southern Vancouver Island, and now visitors to the Royal BC Museum can experience an animated slice of Pleistocene life, including the illusion of mammoths in motion. The Royal BC Museum recently launched a new downloadable interactive for iPhone and iPad users, featuring augmented reality (AR). The interactive, called “Woolly’s World,” created by Vancouverbased tech firm NGX Interactive, allows visitors to see a variety of Ice Age animals animated in the diorama that is home to the museum’s iconic Woolly Mammoth. The interactive allows visitors to view a Short-faced bear, a pair of Mammoths, a Western Heather Vole and a White-tailed Ptarmigan, all animals that would have coexisted with “Woolly” in the Pleistocene era. Just as importantly, the app provides visitors with rich, accurate and entertaining textual information about the animals’ lives. The app is geared for kids between the ages of three and seven years old. Parents can share the content with non-readers, and even very young children will be able to manipulate the app to see the animals. The Royal BC Museum is exploring other uses for AR throughout the galleries and exhibitions, as it allows staff members to update and add new content to permanent displays without changing the physical features. To download the “Woolly’s World” interactive app before your visit to the Royal BC Museum, go to royalbcmuseum .bc.ca/woolly. To see how the interactive app works, visit youtube.com/ watch?v=WAANdkY8ulI. • IslandParent.ca

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December 2016  9


Imagination. Creativity. Joy

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10  Island Parent Magazine

Green Gift Ideas E arth-conscious parents are under a lot of pressure during the holiday season. We want happy kids, but we know that everything we put under the tree or beside the Hanukkah lights has an environmental footprint. The lead-up to the great unwrapping can turn into an extended self-cross-examination: did I get too little, or too much? Who made these gifts, and under what conditions? What play or other value will they bring my children? From cradle to grave, what’s their impact on the planet? I’m always looking for green gift ideas— gifts that have minimal resource and carbon footprints, or whose quality and value make their footprints worthwhile. Here are a few ideas I’ll be using this year: Handmade. When you make a gift from scratch, you give a little bit of yourself to your recipient. And if you rely on found, salvaged or leftover materials, you can minimize the footprint of your finished gift. Always check what you have in your stash before choosing a project. Beautiful bookmarks can be made with paper or fabric scraps for teacher gifts or stocking stuffers. Rice bags for heating or icing injuries or for lap or bed-warming are a practical gift for almost anyone, and can be sewn in fun shapes or designs using leftover or reclaimed fabrics. Pinterest has all kinds of inspiration for simple dolls or stuffed animals for younger children. Searching “twig art” or “wood crafts” will also generate some very cool, low-impact gift ideas. Gently Used. Quality toys and books never go out of style, and can be passed on and enjoyed again and again. Facebook, shop-and-swap sites and consignment stores are a great source for pre-cherished gifts. If you’re searching for a particular picture book or novel from your own childhood, abebooks.com is the place to look. Young children couldn’t care less if a toy arrives in its original box, and older kids can learn to appreciate the economic and environmental value of embracing second-hand. Connect with Nature. I’m a big fan of gifts that encourage my kids to explore and connect with the natural world. This year’s possibilities include binoculars, magnifying

glasses, plant and animal field guides, LED headlamps and sketchbooks. Survival and backpacking gear would be great for your older, more experienced adventurers. If your budget allows it, a canoe would make an excellent whole-family gift.

Rachel Dunstan Muller A Lighter Footstep Encourage Creativity. I’m also a fan of anything that encourages my children to be creators rather than simply consumers, so age-appropriate tools and open-ended craft materials are always high on my list. It’s easy to put together a simple hand-sewing or woodworking kit. Add some fabric to the former gift and some wood scraps to the latter, and your child is set for their first project. Green Living. For the adults on your list, consider gifts that encourage low-impact living. Useful bike gear is great for those who cycle as transportation. At the more modest end of the spectrum, think reusable grocery and produce bags, reusable containers, or even a few LED bulbs for your spouse’s stocking. A vegetarian cookbook or dryer rack would be good for an ecoconscious friend. Wool socks, slippers, and cozy sweaters are great family gifts if your goal is to turn down the thermostat. Experiences. When it comes to longterm happiness, psychologists agree that investing in experiences is better than investing in stuff. In other words, your kids are more likely to remember a great family adventure (for example, snowshoeing at Mount Washington, caving at Horne Lake, or trail riding almost anywhere on the Island) than whether they got the trendy plastic toy they wanted this year. Gift cards or certificates for your local pool, skating rink, bowling alley, mini-golf course, zipline park, theatre, or fun restaurant also make excellent green gifts.

IslandParent.ca


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Santa Bus is Coming to Town!

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BC Transit’s

th 30

Friday, December 16 7:00am–3:00pm

Saturday, December 17 9:00am–3:45pm

Santa Shopping Shuttle

Downtown  Mayfair  Uptown Uptown  Mayfair  Downtown

Join us and meet Santa!  Schedule at bctransit.com

6236

I have never liked goodbyes, and this one is no exception. After seven years with Island Parent Magazine, this will be my last column. Writing for IPM has been an immensely rewarding experience, and the decision to move on was not an easy one. But there are other writing projects calling my name, projects that require for more of my time and mental space. I hope this column has been of some value to you as a reader. It’s certainly been invaluable to me. Writing about environmental issues and how families can respond to them has forced me to do a great deal of self-reflection. It’s encouraged me to examine every aspect of how my family lives, from our food and transportation choices, to where we vacation. We haven’t been the perfect green family but we have been a conscious one, and that’s a good place to start. When I started writing for this magazine, I had three teenagers and two toddlers. My teens gamely put up with the family “eco-challenges” that provided the material for my first columns, but overall I think my sudden green preoccupation amused them. Fast forward seven years. Two of my daughters are now married, one with a child of her own. They could have rebelled against my green ways, but I’m gratified to say that instead all three of my young adult daughters are resourceful and creative, frugal energy users, and mindful consumers. The two eldest have vegetable gardens and are both proponents of local food. One married into a family of food-producers, while the second works in a greenhouse and is raising meat goats in her backyard. My youngest two are now in grades three and five, and are my companions on frequent outdoor adventures. They both have a deep sense of connection to the natural world, which I hope will provide the foundation for a lifetime of ecological consciousness. On a more global level, we’re not moving away from carbon and towards a more sustainable path as quickly as I hoped we would. But I believe in the power of small victories, so I’ll continue to put my energy into the things I can influence. I hope you will too.

Victoria Regional Transit Commission Transit Info 250·382·6161 www.bctransit.com 6236 VIC BC Transit

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Size: 4.75” x 6.75” Insertion Date: December 2016 Reber Creative for BC Transit 250-383-5255

Celebrating 20 years of creativity and theatre Rachel Dunstan Muller is the mother of five, and a children’s author. Her previous articles can be found at islandparent.ca. IslandParent.ca

Register for Ongoing Programs Today 250-386-8593 December 2016  11


Considering your first home purchase? Four secrets you need to know! What to do and what not to do.

christmas goodies Thank you to everyone who entered the Christmas Goody Contest. The winning entry— Gingerbread Cookies—in the draw for a $50 gift certificate is printed below, along with a few other sweet treats. To become a VIP member of the Island Parent newsletter subscribers’ list and be eligible for special contests and coupons, please visit islandparent.ca.

Cranberry & White Chocolate Shortbread Cookies Aka: Holly & Snow Cookies) 1 cup flour 1⁄2 cup butter 1⁄4 cup of cran-raisins

Coast Capital Realty INDEPENDENTLY OWNED AND OPERATED

1⁄2 1⁄4

cup white sugar cup white chocolate chips (or pieces)

chocolate chips Combine and cream together first three ingredients. Stir in white or until minutes 15–20 for and cran-raisins and mix until combined. Bake at 275˚F the edges of the cookies turn light brown. Sarah T.

Call now to discuss a step-by-step approach to buying your first home.

250-891-6776 ConnieLebeau.ca ConnieLebeau@RoyalLePage.ca

Gingerbread Cookies 1⁄2 cup plus 2 Tbsp unsalted butter 2 tsp ginger 1⁄4 tsp cloves 1 large egg 3 cups all purpose flour 1⁄2 tsp baking powder

1⁄3 cup firmly packed brown sugar 1 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp salt 1⁄4 cup black molasses 1 tsp baking soda

Cream together butter and sugar. Add spices, salt, egg and molasse s and beat well. Sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Add to the butter mixture and beat again. Chill dough for several hours. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Roll out dough to 1⁄2" thick and cut into shapes. Bake for 8–10 minutes. Remove to wire rack and cool. Katie G.

Santa Brownie Hats 1 pkg Homestyle Two-bite Brownies (the round ones) 1 can spray whipping cream strawberries for Kids! Saturday, January 28 at 1pm VIU’s Malaspina Theatre TICKETS $12 each or 2 for $20

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plate.Wash, dry Place brownies upside down on a work surface, cookie sheet or side up. Spray pointy rry, strawbe a with and hull strawberries. Top each brownie ), like the brownie the meets it (where rry strawbe of base whipping cream around rry, too, like strawbe the of tip the at cream g whippin Spray hat. Santa’s fur edging s in an airtight the pom pom at the top of Santa’s hat. Voila! Place the Santa brownie days. container and refrigerate for up to three Gemma K.

Mid Island

12

Island Parent Magazine

IslandParent.ca


IslandParent.ca

December 2016  13


Holiday

Gift & Book

Recommendations The following gift ideas come from some of our local merchants and businesses. To find out more about any of the businesses listed below, please refer to the ads in this issue. From Baggins Shoes

Baby/Preschool: Soft Sole Spicoli Slip Ons. Nostalgic for parents and adorable for little ones. $35. Children: Toy Story Vans. Fun vans featuring iconic characters. Hats and backpacks available too. $55. Juvenile/Teen: Herschel Backpacks. The must have at school this year—in fun patterns, colours or classics. $65+ Adult: Custom printed Vans or Converse. Let your imagination run wild and design your own unique shoes. $120.

From Kool & Child (Nanaimo)

Baby/Preschool: SpinAgain. The first ever stacking and twirling toy. This colourful action toy comes with 6 discs, a reversible wobble base, and a corkscrew pole. $44.99. Children: Mini Plus-Plus Construction Toy. A great new construction toy. Often referred to as the “hashtag” construction system, this new building system from Denmark has been a huge hit. Starting at $9.99. Juvenile/Teen: Watchitude. Fashionable and fun. The slapstyle band adjusts comfortably to any wrist size. The colourful designs make them fun to collect. $24.99. Adult: Mysterium. A cooperative game of deduction and teamwork for two to seven 14  Island Parent Magazine

players. One player takes on the role of the ghost and tries to lead the psychics to the correct culprit. $72.99.

pieces that won’t go missing. Oombeecube is a colourful, soft, smart twist on a classic toy. 10m+ 26.99. Children: Bilibo moluk. Bilibo can be a rocking chair, a spinning top or a turtle From Momease Baby: Minimoc Baby Moccasins. Hand- shell…anything. The possibilities are endmade in BC from durable, quality leather. less, totally fueled by the child’s imaginaDesigned with elastic at the opening for tion. Ages 2+. $34.99. Adult: Nursing Scarves. Stylish,soft and an easy slip-on fit. Soft-soled suede bottoms for a non-slip surface to help baby lightweight, this infinity breastfeeding scarf undertake those first few steps safely and from Bebe au Lait is a beautiful, versatile option for the mom on the go. $36.99. comfortably. $47.99. Baby: Skip Hop Camping Cubs Activity Gym. With more than 17 From National Geographic developmental activities, the Camping Store—IMAX Theatre Cubs Activity Gym helps to stimulate & Baby/Preschool: Meiya & Alvin Coldevelop baby’s sensory skills. $109.99. lection: Natural Baby Toys. Easy-to-grip, Baby/Toddler: Hazel Village Organic machine washable toys, safe for newborns Woodland Doll. Each animal is hand- and toddlers. Made from natural materials, made with care from organic cotton. Meiya the Mouse and Alvin the Elephant With many adorable characters, plus provide emotional reassurance and are ideal beautiful dress-up outfits to share, for teething. $24.99. they’re fun for big kids, too. $64.99. Children: Wikki Stix. These twisty playAdult: Herschel Supply Strand Duffle things adhere to almost any surface and can Diaper Bag. Inspired by classic carryalls, be easily lifted off and reshaped again and the fashionable and unisex Strand Duffle again. Ideal for forming letters, numbers, Diaper Bag from Herschel Supply makes shapes. $6.99. a great gift for any new or expectant Juvenile/Teen: Snap Circuits Electronics parent. $69.99. Discovery Kits. Snap Circuits make learning electronics easy and fun. Build flying saucers, alarms, radios, and more. All parts From The Mothering Touch mounted on plastic module and snap toCentre Baby: Spin again from Fat Brain Toys. gether with ease. No tools required. $49.99. Adult: Ionizing Himalayan Salt Lamps. Stack the vibrantly coloured smooth and chunky pieces onto the corkscrew Himalayan Salt Lamps emanate a soothing pole. ZOOM! Down they go whirling glow, providing beautiful ambient light in and twirling, faster and faster. Ages 12 any room. USB adaptor allows users to reap ionizing benefits while working at the months + $44.99. Baby/Preschool: Ooombeecube from computer. $25-$35. Fat Brain Toys. A shape sorting toy with IslandParent.ca


From Oyaco

Baby/Preschool: Baby’s Little Organizer. The perfect way to store all of baby’s special documents. Durable, plastic folders store baby’s birth certificate, hospital records, and more. SRP: $34.95. Baby/Preschool: Bumbo Suction Toys. Designed for playtime and teething, these suction cup toys attach to any smooth surface, including the famous Bumbo Floor Seat’s Play Tray. SRP: $19.95. Adult: Weeks until Grandparents Chalkboard Sign. Let the countdown begin. Our weeks until grandparents chalkboard sign is the perfect way to countdown the special day of becoming grandparents. SRP: $11.95. Adult: Peas in a Pod Mom-to-be Survival Kit. Skin Tight Belly Butter, Skin Tight Stretch Mark Oil, Mother Nurture Nipple Butter and Five Minutes Peace Bath Soak; all in one convenient set. SRP: $39.95.

From Pumpkin Pie Kids (Nanaimo)

Baby/Preschool: KicKee Pants Bamboo blankets. Bay Sandpiper print bamboo single layer blanket is light weight and stretchy and a great fashionable all-purpose blanket. Measures 40" x 29". Assortment of seasonal prints. Baby/Preschool: Tuffo Muddy Buddy. One piece waterproof rain suit for baby and toddlers from size 12 months to 5 years. Comes in blue, pink, yellow and camo. Baby/Preschool: Jack & Lily My Mocs. Amber gold fringe My Mocs leather shoes by Jack & Lily are perfect for baby and first walkers. Soft flexible hand crafted leather shoes with rubber soles. Children: Iwako Japanese puzzle erasers. Iwako Japanese puzzle erasers. Can be taken apart and reassembled. Eco-friendly authentic Japanese Erasers made in Japan. Every corner of IWAKO eraser can be used as real eraser. Ages 3+ years.

From Punctuation Tips

Children: Punctuation Tips, by Deborah Wright. “House of Commons, Ottawa, Ontario. Thank you so much for the signed books. I look forward to working with you to get these little jewels into our schools. Signed: Keith Martin former MP, Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca.

From the Royal BC Museum Shop

Children: Aliens Among Us: Invasive Animals and Plants in British Columbia by Alex Van Tol, Illustrated by Mike Deas. Would you know Dalmatian Toadflax if you saw it? This informative book arms young people with the tools to stop invasive species in British Columbia. $19.95. PB. 128 pgs. Adults: The Sustainability Dilemma: Essays on British Columbia Forest and Environmental History by Robert Griffin and Richard A. Rajala. Delve into two of the more controversial issues British Columbians have faced over the past 60 years—the management of our forest industry and its impact on our freshwater ecosystems.

From School House Teaching Supplies

Children: Granny’s House. This co-operative adventure game requires everyone’s help to pass obstacles in order to reach Granny’s country home. With lots of discussion, decision making and brainstorming, everyone can be a winner. Children: Chemistry Plus Science Kit. Learn how to do over 30 different activities from splitting water into rocket fuel to popping hydrogen, hunting for protons, growing huge crystals and much more. Juvenile/Teen: DaVinci Medieval Trebuchet. Trebuchets were the most powerful weapon of the Medieval Times. This working model will throw a soft clay ball (included) well over 6 metres. A great kit for beginner to intermediate model makers. Adult: Hoberman Mini Sphere. Fun for the whole family—composed of six circles, it is fascinating to watch contract and expand to three times its size, to play games, to improve breathing, and as a stress-releaser.

From St. Margaret’s School

Children: Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty; Illustrated by David Roberts. A story about the power of curiosity in the hands of a child who is on a mission to use science to understand her world. A celebration of STEM, perseverance, and passion. Ages K-3. $14.39+ HC. IslandParent.ca

Children: For the Right to Learn: Malala Yousafzai’s Story by Rebecca Langston-George; illustrated by Janna Bock. Growing up in a world where women were supposed to be quiet, Malala Yousafzai refused to be silent. See how one brave girl changed the world. Ages 3-6. $15.75+ HC. Children: Stepping Stones: a Refugee Family’s Journey by Margriet Ruurs; illustrated by Nizam Ali Badr. A unique picture book inspired by the stone artwork of Syrian artist Nizar Ali Badr, this is the story of Rama and her family, who are forced to flee their once-peaceful village in Syria to escape the ravages of the civil war raging ever closer to their home. Ages 3-6. Children: Frog Girl by Paul Owen Lewis. Follows the rich mythic traditions of the Haida, Tlingit and other Native peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast, whose stories often tell of individuals cast mysteriously into parallel worlds inhabited by animals in human form. Ages K-3. $10.95+ PB.

From Victoria Bug Zoo

Baby/Preschool: Finger and hand puppets. From one-finger ladybug puppets to whole-hand hermit crabs, our arthropod puppets will make you wish you had more fingers. $4-35. Children: Bug Collecting Kits. Inspire a future field biologist. Various collection kits include nets and other collecting devices, binoculars, magnifying glasses and viewing containers. $5-10. Juvenile/Teen: Starter microscope sets. For the budding young scientist, a first glimpse through a microscope can reveal a world of wonder. $15.99. Adult: Attracting Beneficial Bugs to your Garden by Jessica Walliser. This refreshing book delves into the fascinating relationships between insects and plants and will help you make your own insect-friendly garden. $31.95. 240pgs.•

December 2016  15


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

afvictoria.ca EXPLORING OUR WORLD LICENSED PRESCHOOL

CHILDREN AGED 3-5YRS

at the Gordon Head Rec Centre

Come explore with us! Themes that are inspired by your child's interests, with a focus on outdoor play, stories, science, arts and crafts, music, drama and dance. We offer a developmentally appropriate, play-based program with an emphasis on the whole child's development. This fosters growth in each child's emotional, social and physical well-being. Register for M/W or Tu/Th. Contact Jen Poitras at 250-475-7113 for more information

16  Island Parent Magazine

Holiday Happenings Butchart Gardens presents the 29th annual Magic of Christmas from Dec 1-Jan 6, 2017. The Gardens sparkle with tens of thousands of coloured lights and seasonal decorations. Miles of fresh evergreen swags and wreaths, holly, ivy and winter berries adorn the walkways and lamp posts. See the Twelve Days of Christmas displays tucked into the landscape. Get into the Christmas mood with traditional carollers and festive brass music from 5-9pm. Whirl around the outdoor ice skating rink. Skate times run on the hour during admission hours and are 40 minutes. Skate rentals available; children’s helmets on loan. Garden hours from Dec 1-Jan 6, 9am-9pm, except Christmas Day when the hours are 1-9pm. Kids 12 years old and younger are invited to bring a paper snowflake they’ve made and exchange it for a cup of hot chocolate in the Coffee Shop. (Limit of one per day). Visit butchartgardens .com or phone 250-652-4422.

tree, meet Santa, and snap a picture with the Polar Bear and the Ferris Wheel photo backdrop. Rides are $3 each or $2 for 5 rides. New this year, spend $10 or more at a participating downtown business and receive a voucher to ride the Ferris Wheel for $1 (while supplies last). Height restrictions may apply. Ferris Wheel will not operate in inclement weather. For information, visit downtownvictoria.ca.

Canada’s National Gingerbread Showcase at the Inn at Laurel Point. Feast your eyes and nose on creative inspirations constructed out of gingerbread. More than houses, they are sculptures and unique works of art created by professional and amateur chefs. This year’s theme is “Around the World” and bakers are encouraged to let their creativity lead the way, whether it is finding inspiration in travel, traditions and cultures, or adventures with friends. Vote for your favourite—if you can choose Father Christmas in Old Town at Royal just one! All funds raised support Habitat BC Museum from Dec 2-4, 9-11, 16-18 for Humanity Victoria, helping make (Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from affordable homeownership possible for 11am-3pm). Visit with Father Christmas low-income families living in the Victoria in Old Town, have your photo taken, region. Until Jan 2, 2017 from 9am-9pm. and share your holiday wishes. Photos Visit laurelpoint.com/christmas. by donation. Then take in the sights and Celebrate the 25th annual Victoria Fessounds of Christmas long ago in Old Town. Marvel at the huge Christmas tree, visit tival of Trees in support of BC Children’s the wood-cobbled streets lined with festive Hospital Foundation. This year, the Festival garlands, and see the shops decorated with has ‘branched’ out across downtown, deckChristmas finery (until January 9, 2017). ing the halls of The Bay Centre and returning to their ‘roots’ at The Fairmont Empress. Visit royalbcmuseum.bc.ca. As sponsors of this event, local businesses, The Ferris Wheel will be back in Centen- organizations and individuals decorate the nial Square Fridays (4-9pm), Saturdays trees—in a sometimes wacky, often irrev(noon-9pm) and Sundays (from noon-5pm) erent and always beautiful fashion. This this month. From December 19-23, the season, trees are on display throughout the Ferris Wheel will also run Monday, Tues- Empress until Jan 3, 2017. Come browse day and Wednesday (noon-8pm) and on through a holiday wonderland and cast a Thursday (noon-9pm). Come and see the ballot for your favourite tree. Admission is lights of Centennial Square and downtown free, though a $2 donation is suggested for from 20 metres up! Grab a snack from every vote. Sooke hosts its seventh annual local food vendors, enjoy holiday enter- Festival of Trees at the Prestige Oceanfront tainment courtesy of the City of Victoria Resort and SEAPARC Leisure Complex and the DVBA, try out the audio-reactive from Dec 4-Jan 4, 2017. Visit bcchf.ca. IslandParent.ca


Enjoy a classic downtown tradition with your family this holiday season. Free Horse-Drawn Trolley Rides starting Nov 27 and running Saturdays and Sundays (11am-3pm) until Dec 24, horse-drawn trolleys will circulate throughout downtown, making it easy to take in all of the sights and sounds of the Christmas celebrations. The trolleys are free of charge, compliments of the Downtown Victoria Business Association. Two trolleys will circulate on a pre-set route throughout the downtown with four stops at: Store St. and Chatham St. (in front of Capital Iron); Johnson St. near Wharf St. (in front of Willie’s Bakery); Langley St. at Bastion Square (across from Re-Bar); and Government St. at Fisgard St. (in front of CDR Plaza). For more information on entertainment in the downtown area, visit downtownvictoria.ca. 2nd Annual Parkside Snow Globe at the Parkside Hotel & Spa is shaking things up again this year with a journey through a living snow globe, all within the hotel’s atrium until January 6, 2017. Catch a snowflake to take home with you. The Parkside Hotel & Spa will feature beautifully decorated trees with all snowflake ornaments available for purchase by donation. All proceeds raised go to The Cridge Centre for the Family. All donors will be entered in a draw for a chance to win a complimentary night’s stay at the hotel in the New Year. The Parkside Hotel & Spa has worked with The Cridge Centre for several years and the holiday season is the perfect time to help this organization a little more. To participate, snowflake ornaments will be available for purchase by donation (minimum donation $15). For information, visit parksidevictoria.com.

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Holiday Events at Market Square. Enjoy Music in Market Square on Saturday Dec 3 from 1-3pm. The Greater Victoria Concert Band presents their gift to you; a free admission concert of favourite holiday tunes. Celebrate Tuba Christmas on Saturday Dec 10 from 1-3pm. Tuba players from all over BC and the Pacific Northwest come together to play much loved Christmas songs in a big way. It only happens once a year. Don’t miss it. See Santa ride a scooter at Santa Scoot on Saturday Dec 17 from 1-4pm. A parade of Vespas and vintage scooters make their way through city streets collecting donations, then rally at Market Square for a pizza party. $1 from every IslandParent.ca

December 2016  17


Is Your Child’s Face Developing Well? Does your child breathe through his/her mouth? Does your child suffer from allergies? Does your child have any oral habit such as thumb or finger sucking? Does your child have an untreated tongue tie? Does your child have crowded teeth? Does your child have jaws that seem too far forward or back?

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pizza sold at Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria goes to charity. For more information, visit marketsquare.ca. Bundle up and bring your family down to Christmas Starlight Cinema at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe to enjoy one of Victoria’s great Christmas traditions—Christmas movies under the stars on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 6pm in December. The line-up: Dec 6, A Christmas Story; Dec 7, Ice Age; Dec 13, Elf; Dec 14, Home Alone; Dec 20, Polar Express; Dec 21, It’s a Wonderful Life. Movies are free, but donations to Santas Anonymous are appreciated. BYO lawn chair and extra blankets, the hotel will supply heaters. If raining, movies will be held inside. 45 Songhees Road. For information, phone 250-360-2999. 16th Annual Bear Wear in the lobby of the Hotel Grand Pacific in Victoria until Jan 2, 2017. Visit the best dressed bears in town at this annual fundraiser, helping children and youth in need and their families on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. All funds raised support the programs of Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island. Admission is free, but for a suggested $2 donation, you can enter a draw to win your favourite bear. Vote as many times as you like—the more times you vote, the better your chances. Phone 250-519-6935 or visit childrenshealthvi.org. The Christmas Express at the BC Forest Discovery Centre in Duncan, running 14 nights over three weekends, Dec 2-4, Dec 9-11, and Dec 16-23 from 4-9pm (train leaves every 20 minutes from 4:30-8:30pm). Ride behind Samson, the museum’s 1910 steam locomotive, through festive light displays and exhibits in the forest and on the trestle. Visit Santa Claus, dance to live Christmas music, make a Christmas tree craft in the schoolhouse, watch the model train, and warm up with hot chocolate in Train Station Treats. Santa will ride the first train, leaving at 4:30pm and then will be in the main museum for pictures and visits. 2892 Drinkwater Road. Visit bcforestdiscoverycentre.com or call 250715-1113. Live Nativity Scene. The First Christmas, an outdoor Nativity pageant, features Wise Men from the east, the Angel Gabriel, shepherds with flocks, an innkeeper, King Harrod with his soldiers, townspeople,

18  Island Parent Magazine

IslandParent.ca


Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus. This outdoor depiction of the Christmas story runs four times nightly on Dec 21, 22 and 23 at 6:30, 7, 7:30 and 8pm at Topaz Park, between Quadra and Blanshard. Parking is available at S.J. Willis school and the park’s lot off Quadra. Free. christmasnativity.ca.

At the Royal Theatre December 27, 2pm December 28, 2pm

Helmcken House Old-Fashioned Christmas at Royal BC Museum from Dec 17-31 (noon-4pm). Step through the doors of the oldest house in B.C., still on its original site, and experience what Christmas would have been like in Victoria over 100 years ago. Decorations, music, and first-hand accounts will take you back to Christmas past. Free with museum admission or by donation. For information, visit royalbcmuseum.bc.ca. The holiday’s are alive with quintessential Victorian spirit at Craigdarroch Castle. Travel back in time to a Christmas season 125 years past when you step into the National Historic Site during the month of December. See Jason Steven’s popular one-man production of Charles Dickens’ 1843 classic, A Christmas Carol, set in the Castle’s Dance Hall. Performance will be held December 16 and 17 at 7pm and December 20 to 23 at 6pm and 8pm, and is suitable for ages 13 and up. Patrons are invited to arrive early and tour the Castle. Premiering at Castle this December is Radio, Mistletoe and My Man Godfrey by Launch Pad Theatre. Fun for the whole family and only at the Castle, the show runs December 27 to 30 at 6:30pm. Doors open at pm for a short tour to the dance hall in which the performance takes place. Patrons are invited to arrive early and tour the Castle. Tickets for all performances are just $20 for adults ($18 for members) and available at thecastle.ca or by calling (250) 592-5323. For event tickets or more information, visit thecastle.ca. Milner Christmas Magic at Milner Gardens and Woodland in Qualicum Beach. Stroll through tens of thousands of lights, enjoy local musicians and storytellers, stop by Santa’s shop for a visit, pop into the Teddy Bear Cottage and try to count all of the old bears, and enjoy tea or hot chocolate in the tea room. Dec 2-4, Dec 9-11, and Dec 16-21 from 5-8:30pm (recommended entry by 8pm). Adults $5, children $2.50, families $12. For more information and the entertainment schedule, visit www2. viu.ca/milnergardens or call 250-752-6153.

IslandParent.ca

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December 2016  19


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20

Island Parent Magazine

C

onfession time: I am a 41-year-old woman who loves to read YA books (I Googled this phenomenon and found out 51 per cent of YA readers are adults, so apparently I’m not alone). So as you’d expect, I jumped at the opportunity to read Save Me, Kurt Cobain by Jenny Manzer. The book’s title grabbed my attention immediately, as did the chapter titles, each one named after one of the band’s famous songs—a nice touch, one of many that invoke Kurt Cobain, Nirvana and all the songs. That said, you don’t need to be a huge Nirvana fan to read this novel even though it is filled with references. Personally, I didn’t grow up obsessed with this particular band, but I certainly understand that level of obsession (Did anyone else decorate the walls of their bedroom with photos of movie stars ripped out of Teen Beat magazine?). My very real warning to you is this: don’t read this book when your to-do list is already a mile-long because you won’t get anything done. This book is unputdownable—I devoured it page by page. But don’t be fooled into thinking this is “just” a YA novel. Even with its quirky narrative, it’s a beautifully written book with a truly sad undertone that goes far beyond a simple story. – Jennifer Roberts-Hall

ocal Victoria author Sara Cassidy has written six books for young readers. Her novel Double Play was selected for the Junior Library Guild. She also won a National Magazine Award (Gold) for a feature about new urbanism in Today’s Parent. In her latest novel, A Boy Named Queen, Evelyn is intrigued by the new boy in her grade 5 class named Queen. She is the only student who is kind to Queen, telling him to ignore the mean kids in their class and becomes his friend. Queen has a unique way of dealing with mean kids. He puts up a force field around himself so that the things that kids say or even think will bounce off it. When Evelyn attends Queen’s birthday party, she gets to know the real Queen including the history of his peculiar name. She also learns what makes his family unique. I love how Cassidy gives the reader insight into the characters’ personalities through their rituals and mannerisms. Evelyn’s yearly routine of buying shoes with her mom for back to school is “as sure as Christmas.” Cassidy’s use of similes aids the reader’s ability to visualize the characters. The soles of the running shoes Evelyn chooses “are like licorice instead of breadboards.” Another one of my favourite similes is when Evelyn’s father breaks up crackers to put in his tomato soup, so they “float like icebergs on a red sea.” My five-year-old daughter enjoyed the book just as much as I did and was excited to add this book to our collection. Even though there were no pictures, she was easily able to imagine the characters and their families. We enjoyed getting to be part of Evelyn’s and Queen’s world. – Serena Beck


IslandParent.ca

December 2016  21


Falling In Love

P

arenting has not come easy to me. I’ve never been good with kids. For a while during my late teenage life every time I looked at a baby they would start to cry, which made me more anxious around kids, which just made the matter worse. Like bees and dogs, I firmly believe babies can sense fear, and they knew I was afraid of them. When members of my family started having babies, and I got a little more time learning how to not make babies cry, things improved, and then, eight years after the first baby in the family, I had my own. I’m not a natural. Friends of mine are naturals. They always wanted a big family, and, now with number four fresh in arms, they look comfortable and content every time I see them. Whenever I think of those friends, I think of them standing in their big, sun-filled living room, holding mugs of coffee and telling stories while the older kids romp and the new baby snoozes in arms. Me? I think of the dishes that need to be put away and what’s in

lots of long, intense looks, like he’s trying to figure out how to do this bipedal thing that everyone else does. Afterward, full of coffee and cake, we left with a bag of excellent hand-me-down toys,

the fridge for dinner, and the laundry that needs doing, and the tightness of money, and what we are going to do tomorrow to keep the little guy entertained. I think of these things despairingly. I’m not a natural parent; I’m not good at it. I had to build a great, slogging routine to fill up my week. Monday and Friday is walk-nap-pool-nap-chores-nap-dinnerbed. Tuesday and Thursday is the same but with playgroup instead of pool. Wednesday is a half day of childcare, when I keep up and maintain my writing business, by doing contracts for clients, and essays like this one. Saturday is a full day of childcare, wherein all the rest of my work for clients gets completed. Sunday is a crapshoot. Yesterday was Sunday, crapshoot day, and out of the blue we wound up going over to the friends with the sun-filled living room, and the coffee, and the four little ones. We drank coffee, told stories, watched the kids romp. James is too little to join in the games, but there was lots of cooing, and

Tamara MacNeil and James fell asleep in the carseat before we got home. My partner looked at me and said, “Should we just keep driving?” We did. It was the first spontaneous thing we had done since James was born. We got out of town, and the cobalt sky gave way to clouds the colour of tarnished silver, and the maples and the poplars were shimmering. On a whim, we stopped at the Red Barn and had lunch, then we drove back into town with a scenic-route detour before we made it back home. I remember, vividly, looking at the stretch of golden-boughed trees hanging over the road, standing out sharply against the nearly-black sky, and

Happy Holidays! From all the Educators at Lexie’s Little Bears Child Care

Mary Jane Howland Photography

2016 Award Winner

“It came without ribbons, it came without tags. It came without packages boxes or bags!” ~ The Grinch www.lexieslittlebears.com 22

Island Parent Magazine

Waitlist: 250-590-3603 IslandParent.ca


suddenly feeling good for the first time in recent memory. I have probably been a little depressed. And a friend of mine once said that new parents need to mourn the loss of their old life before they can embrace their new one. Maybe I’ve been in mourning all this time. I’ve struggled with the way parenting is done. I’ve struggled with the loneliness and the isolation of it. I’ve struggled with the way no one thinks it’s bad that my partner goes off to work five days out of seven, but my day-and-half of childcare is sometimes met with frowning disapproval. I’ve had people in positions of power over me tell me, “You shouldn’t be working,” which felt a little like a threat. I have resented breastfeeding, first as unbearably painful due to tongue-tie, and then as merely uncomfortable (and this in spite of all manner of professional assistance, from doctors to doulas to lactation consultants). Someone at a playgroup once asked me, in an confiding and exhausted voice, if I cooked dinner. I said, “Look, we’re all just trying to survive.” I’ve been surviving. Maybe I’ve been mourning. And I’ve been fighting the way we demand that new mothers give up everything, from their work to their sleep to their

EAT GR T

GIFEA ID

(always my favourite), and the unexpected delight of it all, that this was a pivot in the year. I suddenly didn’t feel as if I was being dragged down by the unwashed laundry and the tedious weekly slog. Suddenly I remembered that we put routines in place to help us, not to cage us, and we could break them if we wanted. And there would be plenty of time to work, in the small hours of the morning, or during naps, or on childcare days, and then I’d be back to full-time work soon anyway. Instead of mourning my pre-baby life, I’d be mourning this. The little guy dozing in the carseat, the sweeping expanse of the farmland, the winding ribbon of the road, catching up I’m doing. But nobody has any idea what with my partner while the yellow autumn they’re doing.” And that felt marvelous. To rolled by. For the first time in a long time, heck with people who take exception to my I felt good. I felt great. I fell in love with my family on Sunday. stance on naptimes or soothers or my day I hear this is a thing that happens when and a half of work. What difference does you have a kid. it make to me? And then, 10 days on from that, we saw some friends, went for a drive to take in a glorious autumn day, made an afternoon Tamara MacNeil attended UVic and afterward of it. It was the first time I have felt nor- ran away to become a full-time freelance writer. mal for more than six months. And I had She’s the author of Salt and Iron (as Tam Macthis sensation, along with the pleasure of Neil), A Fine Romance (as T Neilson) and many the drive, and the weather, and the season other books, short stories, and articles. mental health, as if female deprivation could somehow make a happier, healthier baby. And parenting has not come easily to me. But when James turned six months exactly I had this thought: “I have no idea what

With Laser Focus Unlimited 2D & 3D films $ 5 Hollywood Films See it all on the incredible new, IMAX 4K Laser system. $ .25*

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December 2016  23


Come on out to our outdoor ice rink!

FREE SKATE WITH

SANTA

December 4th 3:00PM - 4:30PM

City Centre Park

Live the Lifestyle

Visit from Santa 3:15 - 4:15PM

Bring a can of food and skate for free!

B wl in the

ear Y w e N At Langford Lanes

December 31st, 9:00PM - 1:00AM

Unlimited Bowling! $10.00 per person, includes shoes

Or join us for our 8TH ANNUAL FAMILY

NEW YEAR’S PARTY Hosted By Playzone

• crafts • face painting • snacks

December 31st, 7:30 PM - 10:30 PM Countdown at 10PM!

OUTDOOR ICE RINK

• ice skating • party favours • mini golf

$3.10 Admission | $3.00 Skate Rentals

DEC 19TH - JAN 2ND

Monday - Friday Saturday Sunday Friday Teen Skate

Monday - Saturday 12:00PM - 7:30PM Sunday 12:00PM - 6:00PM Friday Teen Skate 7:30PM - 10:00PM

*Between 3:00 -4:20 PM on Sundays ice river is opened during Public Skate & Public Skate Prices apply.

24  Island Parent Magazine

• door prizes • playzone • and much more!

Call for Ticket Information 250-391-1738

DEC 1ST - DEC 18TH 4:30PM - 7:30PM 12:00PM - 7:30PM 12:00PM - 6:00PM 7:30PM - 10:00PM

* some conditions may apply

City Centre Park

Live the Lifestyle

www.citycentrepark.ca IslandParent.ca


partY Directory Book your Par-T-Pet Party! Adorable AND affordable.

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Birthday Parties

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Come Fly With Us! Party sizes up to 18 kids We supply table top cover, napkins, hats, streamers and balloons

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victoriagymnastics.com December 2016

25


Fabulous

Finds Musical Rainbow Railway

Roominate Mansion

Can you say “rotating swimming pool” and “elevator?” Those are just two of the imaginative features you can include when you build your Roominate mansion using snap-together building pieces. Interesting shapes and endless possibilities boost STEM* learning and promote creative thinking. Ages 6+

Great music will be rolling right along. Sort crazy shapes and put the music makers in place before you send your train tinkling across the musical tracks. You’re on track for good times and lots of fun. Ages 18 months+

Peaceful Panda

Ahhh, a relaxing night’s sleep at last. Ultra soft and cuddly, Peaceful Panda will become a favourite bedtime buddy. Who won’t love his plush exterior and a removable speaker box that plays eight different soothing sounds? Ages 0+

My First Set: Ice World

Shapes and magnets equal frosty building fun. You’ll be able to build at least 10 coldweather creations, including a polar bear, a whale, a seal, a snowman and an igloo, with this 30-piece set of magnetic squares and triangles. Ages 18 months+

30th Anniversary Pound & Tap Bench

Redesigned to celebrate Hape’s 30th Anniversary. Pound the balls to send them tinkling over the xylophone, or remove the keyboard to play it on its own. Promotes fine motor and problem-solving skills—and making music, too. 12 months+

Neighbourhood Toy Stores of Canada’s Gold Star Toys and Games of 2016 26  Island Parent Magazine

IslandParent.ca


Snap Circuits 3D Illumination

Take Snap Circuits to a whole new dimension. With mirrors, reflecting circuits and light effects, you can build over 150 projects from this set alone or combine with other Snap Circuit sets to create even more unique 3D structures. Ages 8+

Wee Baby Stella Sleepy Time Scents Set

It’s bedtime for Wee Baby Stella. Tuck her in with cozy, lavender-scented jammies, a snuggly bear, a bottle and a book. This soft and adorable30 cm (12 in.) Wee BabyStella doll will become a favourite in no time. Sweet dreams. Ages 12 months+

Snap Circuits Beginner

Learning about electronics can be a snap. With colourful and easyto-follow pictorial instructions, you will have hours of fun experimenting with electricity, problem solving and building over 20 amazing electronic devices. Ages 5+

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Ride the Wild Cave Slide!

Jeopardy Deluxe Edition

Here’s your chance to be a Jeopardy contestant. Play the game at home—any time. This deluxe edition features extra content and a metal ringer. Whether you’re the host or player, there’s no question you’ll have fun! Ages 8+, Players 4+

Rock & Roll It Piano

Take your roll-up music makers everywhere. These flexible, portable instruments feature amazing sound quality, record and playback functions, multiple sound styles, audio input and output and much, much more! Perfect for all aspiring musicians. Ages 6+

- fossil hike - self-guided caving - cave tours – mild to wild Ranked #1 Attraction Open Year Round

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December 2016  27


Family Calendar

For calendar updates throughout the month visit IslandParent.ca

D e c e m b e r Our Generous Sponsors

FRIDAY

2

nd

Friends of the Library Open House at Sidney/ North Saanich Branch Library. Celebrate the good work of the Friends of the Library, who raise funds for special projects and help make the library a great place to be. Music and refreshments. The mascot “Tales the Whale” will be there for photos and cuddles too. 2-3pm.

Lego Stories, Holiday Edition at Sidney/North Saanich Branch Library. Use the library’s Lego and listen to seasonal stories while you build a festive masterpiece. Creations go on display in the library windows. Ages 5-12. 3:30-4:30pm drop in. Email sidney@virl.bc.ca or phone 250-656-0944 to 4th Annual Ogden Point Light Up at Ogden Point, Pier A Warehouse. Enjoy an afternoon filled with register. holiday activities for the whole family. Music; kid’s crafts; local vendors; food trucks; face painting, SATURDAY rd popcorn and pictures with Santa by donation. Stay Santa’s Pancake Breakfast at Burnside Gorge until dusk and watch the truck convoy as they light Community Centre. Come for a delicious pancake up with thousands of Christmas lights and head breakfast with craft activities, toddler play area, out for the start on their city-wide journey. Bring musical entertainment for the whole family, and a non-perishable food item and cash donations to the opportunity to have your photo taken with support the Mustard Seed and local food banks. Santa. This fun event is a great way to kick off the 2-6pm. gvha.ca holiday season and celebrate with community. $10/ family (up to four immediate family members); $5/ SUNDAY th person or additional family member. 9-11:30am. burnsidegorge.ca. Going Squirrelly at Francis/King Regional Park. What does it take to survive as a squirrel? With a Christmas Paper-printing at Francis/King Regional CRD Regional Parks naturalist, discover what keeps Park. Join in the spirit of the special time of year these furry creatures busy at this time of year. Meet with a CRD Regional Parks naturalist at the Francis/ at the Nature Centre off Munn Rd at 1pm. 5+ years. King Nature Centre. Sip hot apple cider and make 250-478-3344. crd.bc.ca/parks. gorgeous (and green) paper creations. Make cards, one-of-a-kind paper, and spend some winter wonder Movie Night in the Pool: Home Alone at Panorama time with your wee ones, family and friends. Meet at Recreation. Come for a movie night swim and watch the Nature Centre off Munn Rd. 11am-2pm. All ages. the movie on the big inflatable screen while enjoying 250-478-3344. crd.bc.ca/parks. some popcorn. 7:30-9:30pm. 1885 Forest Park Dr. 250-656-7271. panoramarecreation.ca.

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28  Island Parent Magazine

MonDAY

5

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Tis the Season at Saanich Centennial Branch Library. Sit back and relax with a cup of hot apple cider, two professional storytellers and a night of traditional and comical stories for the holiday season. Andrea Brimmell and Moira Walker will warm your heart and make you smile. 7:30pm. Doors open at 7. Members free; Drop-in $7.

THURSDAY

8

th

Breakfast with Santa at Kindergym at Greenglade Community Centre. Enjoy breakfast with Santa and have some rockin’ fun around the Christmas tree. For 1-5 years with parent. Pancakes and fruit will be served from 9:30-10:30am. 1885 Forest Park Dr. 250-656-7271. panoramarecreation.ca.

FRIDAY

9

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The Comedy of Music at Mary Winspear Centre. A one-man show with song, dance, improvisation and many instruments. Tickets available online or in person. 7:30pm. thecomedyofmusic.com.

SATURDAY

10

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Wreathmaking at Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park. Join CRD Regional Parks naturalists in the spirit of the season to make a festive wreath. We’ll supply the materials and instructions—you supply the creativity. Drop in any time and bring a mug for hot apple cider, and clippers if you have them. Meet at the Nature Centre off the main parking lot. 11am-2pm. All ages. 250-478-3344. crd.bc.ca/parks.

IslandParent.ca


Cookies and Crafts Open House at all Greater Victoria Public Library Branches. To celebrate the holidays and to thank you for supporting your library, each branch will have free, festive refreshments for all, and crafts for the kids. Everyone welcome. 2-4pm.

your picture taken underwater with Scuba Santa. Free with admission. 1:30-3:30pm. 1885 Forest Park Dr. 250-656-7271. panoramarecreation.ca.

Holiday Movie Night at Greenglade Community Centre. The giant inflatable screen will be set up at the teen lounge playing your favourite holiday flicks. Pizza and popcorn included. 6-8pm. 1885 Forest Park Dr. 250-656-7271. panoramarecreation.ca.

Stories on Fern The Victoria Storytellers Guild TM welcomes you to hear and tell stories. Tea and goodies. Doors open at 7:15pm, stories start at 7:30pm. 1831 Fern St (park on Begbie). $5; $3/students. the ice for the whole family. Hot chocolate, kids’ victoriastorytellers.org. games, painting on the ice, and a special visit from Santa. 6-8pm. 1885 Forest Park Dr. 250-656-7271. Fieldtrippers: In-Seine Sailfins, Shrimps and Sea panoramarecreation.ca. Slugs at Willows Beach. Join the Royal BC Museum and Friends of Uplands Parks for a seine net explore. SUNDAY th More than 20 species of fish, crabs and shrimp and other invertebrates will be brought in with a large Winter at Witty’s at Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park. seine net so that people can see what lives beneath Where does the wildlife go during the winter? Take a the waves. Wear boots and dress for the weather. walk with a CRD Regional Parks naturalist from forest Bring a flashlight or wear a headlamp. Meet at the to seashore and wonder at the amazing creatures north end of Willows Beach, near the large white that call this park home. Meet at the Nature Centre RBC Museum van. 7:30-9:30pm. mlidkea@shaw.ca. off Metchosin Rd at 1pm. 8+ years. BC Transit #54 or #55. 250-478-3344. crd.bc.ca/parks.

SATURDAY

10

th to SUNDAY

11

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23rd Annual Moss Street Holiday Market at Sir James Douglas School & Fairfield Community Centre. Over 80 vendors selling toys, clothing, baked goods, art and so much more. 10am-4pm. 1330 Fairfield Rd.

SUNDAY

11

th

Wee Winter Ones at Francis/King Regional Park. Bring your little one to celebrate winter with a CRD Regional Parks naturalist. Your child will explore the winter woods using their senses and look for creatures enjoying the winter season. We will visit the Nature Centre for story time, puppets, and exploration. There is no fee for this program, but you must pre-register by December 8 as space is limited. 10-11am. 5 years and under. 250-478-3344. crd.bc.ca/parks. Christmas Theme Skate at Panorama Recreation. Reindeer, elves, snowmen and more will accompany Santa and Mrs. Claus on the ice. Victoria Costumes will be giving out special magnets and candy canes. Bring a non-perishable food item for the Sidney Food Bank and have your name entered to win prizes. 1-2:20pm. 1885 Forest Park Dr. 250-656-7271. panoramarecreation.ca.

MONDAY

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FRIDAY

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Christmas Crafts at Esquimalt Branch Library. ’Tis the season of sparkle and trim. Make holiday-themed crafts and spread your Christmas spirit. Supplies provided. 10:30-11:30am drop in; space is limited. Everyone welcome; children under three must be accompanied by an adult. For more information, visit gvpl.ca or call 250-940-GVPL (4875).

WEDNESDAY

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Solstice Stroll at Devonian Regional Park. As the longest night of the year approaches, enjoy the quiet of the forest with a CRD Regional Parks naturalist. Discover the plants and animals that call Devonian home at this time of year. Meet at the information kiosk in the parking lot off William Head Rd at 1pm. 8+ years. BC Transit #54 or #55. 250-478-3344. crd.bc.ca/parks.

Holiday Movie Night & Extreme Gingerbread House Building at Brentwood Teen Lounge. An evening full of holiday cheer that will include extreme FRIDAY RD gingerbread house building, plus your favourite festive holiday flicks. Popcorn and pizza will be served. Winter Holiday Storytime at Sidney/North Saanich 6-8pm. 1233 Clark Rd. 250-656-7271. Branch Library. Join Virginia for stories, rhymes and songs that celebrate the season. Stay and make a simple winter-themed craft. All ages welcome. SATURDAY th 10:30-11:15am. Please register by email: sidney@ Santa Swim at Panorama Recreation. Looking for Winter Wonderland Family Carnival at Pan- virl.bc.ca or phone 250-656-0944. a unique picture for the family Christmas card? Get orama Recreation. Enjoy some holiday fun on

IslandParent.ca

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December 2016  29


saturDaY

31

st

First Night New Year’s Eve Family Celebration at Panorama Recreation. Enjoy an evening of live family entertainment that is topped off with a spectacular fireworks display. Other event activities will include swimming, skating, face painting, and fun on the inflatable obstacle course. 4:45-9pm. 1885 Forest Park Dr. 250-656-7271. panoramarecreation.ca.

Pfeffernusse

spirit of 150 Victoria First Night Celebration in the Inner Harbour. A family-friendly multi-cultural, live stage show complete with food vendors and spectacular fireworks timed with those across the country. Large screens will simulcast Canada 150 First Night Festivities. 5pm.

Latte Cookie &

Nov 12, 2016 -Jan 1, 2017

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Family storytimes and Baby Times at the Greater Victoria Public Library. Parents and caregivers are welcome and encouraged to participate with their children. Drop in; space is limited. Admission is on a first-come, first-served basis. For a complete schedule of drop-in programs, visit gvpl.ca or call 250-940-GVPL (4875) for more information. Good Morning storytime at Sidney/North Saanich Branch Library. Bring your littlest ones to the library for stories, songs, rhymes and movement. Ages 0-5. Thursdays 10:15-11am, November 24-December 15. 250-656-0944.

ChIlDren Christmas storytime at the Greater Victoria Public Library. Ho, ho, ho! Enjoy a festive storytime, a craft, and a tasty holiday treat in anticipation of Christmas Day. Drop in; space is limited. For young children and their families; children under 3 must be accompanied by an adult. December 7-10. For more information, visit gvpl.ca or call 250-940-GVPL (4875).

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

FamIlIes

saanichdentalgroup.com 119–1591 McKenzie Ave, Victoria

250 477 7321

info@saanichdentalgroup.com

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

30

Island Parent Magazine

Christmas Hours at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary. Drop by to say hello to Wrinkles the Turtle, check out the buzzing bees, and feed the ducks. Regular hours December 19-January 6 are 8:30am-4pm, Monday to Friday. Closed December 24, 25, 26, 31 and January 1 & 2. 3873 Swan Lake Rd. swanlake.bc.ca.

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren support Circles in Victoria. Every second Tuesday morning from 9:30-11:30am or every second Wednesday evening IslandParent.ca


from 6:30-8:30pm. A safe supportive place to meet others in a similar situation and to share information and resources. Call 250-384-8042 for more information, or visit parentsupportbc.ca. Province-wide toll free information and support line at 1-855-474-9777 or email grgline@parentsupportbc.ca. Young Parent Drop-In at the Downtown Y. Free breakfast and drop-in for young parents in the community. Socialize with other young parents, enjoy a kids’ craft, let your little one explore the fully-equiped playroom, or have a look in the ‘free store’ for gently used children’s items and household supplies. Information available for local resources, advocacy and counselling support. The Y Young Moms Program also runs groups such as Mother Goose, Nobody’s Perfect, and Food Skills for Families. Thursdays 10am-noon. 250-382-1004. Monthly Dyslexia Information Sessions. Ending dyslexia is now possible. Learn about the latest developments in neuroscience and programs to end dyslexia quickly and with lasting results. Free information sessions held monthly with Marlene Lewis, award-winning registered speech pathologist. Please phone 250-474-6368 for details, or visit end-dyslexia.com.•

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

Monbebé Everston Glider • Triple function glider with rotating swivel function, smooth gliding motion and easy recline • Low profile trigger release • Linen look, fabric upholstery • Beautiful two-tone welting that highlights the glider’s shape • Thickly padded seat cushions and backrest • Tight seat cushions with pocket coils • Available in two colour options Finlayson St. Larch St.

s St.

Dougla

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

S T A G E S Performing Art School

Entrance off Larch St.

T.J.’S

since1980

Come Dance With Us

ses Clas l o o S ch ls... Pre- le ange e t im itt • Offering classes for Teens and Pre-Teens in Jazz, Day or the l f Ballet, Lyrical, Tap. Musical Theatre, Acrobatics

& Hip Hop, in a non-competitive atmosphere.

• Not sure which class to take? Try a Drop-In: No hassle, No Obligation.

Even the littlest angel can dance IslandParent.ca

Call 250-384-3267 Email us at: stagesdance@shaw.ca Or visit our website: www.stagesdance.com December 2016  31


Give them real superpowers

Around The Island December

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

6

th

Nanaimo Community Home Learners Monthly Meet-up at Oliver Woods Community Centre. Resource library, gym time, parent support, special events throughout the year. 1-4pm. $5/drop-in fee per family or $20 year-long membership. nanaimocommunityhomelearners.org.

Sunday

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Winter Wonderland Family Skate at Oceanside Place Arena. Free. 12:15-1:45pm. 250-248-3252. rdn.bc.ca/recreation. Dunk with Santa at Nanaimo Aquatic Centre. Bring in the holidays and swim with Santa…or show him how naughty you can be by trying to dunk him in the dunk tank. 1-3pm. 250-756-5200.

Dad’s Night Out Skate Night at Oceanside Place Arena. Dads, bring the kids out and enjoy a free skate together on the pond. 6:30-7:30pm. Spon- MONDAY th sored by Building Learning Together. 250-248-3252. rdn.bc.ca/recreation. Frozen Skate at Oceanside Place Arena. Join the “Frozen” magic in a special themed skate on beautiGlow in the Dark Skate at Frank Crane Arena. Skate ful Winter Wonderland. Skate through the tunnel, sit in the atmosphere of dimmed lighting and special by the waterfall, and see if you can catch the elves at effects. 6:30-8pm. work in the cabin. Come dressed as your favourite “Frozen” character. There will be crafts, games and much more. Regular admission. 2-3:30pm. 250-248SATURDAY th 3252. rdn.bc.ca/recreation. Handmade for the Holidays Craft Market at Nanaimo District Secondary School. Handcrafted items Tuesday th made by Vancouver Island locals. 10am-4pm. $2 suggested donation at the door. Proceeds go to the Winter Wonderland on Ice Teen Skate at Oceanside Nanaimo-Ladysmith Schools Foundation to support Place Arena. Grab a friend and head to the arena. local students in need. 355 Wakesiah Ave. nlsf.ca. 7-8:30pm. Admission and skate rentals are free. 250-248-3252. rdn.bc.ca/recreation. Visit the Santa Bus at Oceanside Place Arena. From 1:30-3:30pm, parents and children will have a chance Wednesday st to say hi to Santa & his helper, get a candy cane, and have a walk through the bus. After your visit, stay Holiday Swim at Ravensong Aquatic Centre. Join in and skate during the Everyone Welcome Skate from reindeer pool games and a visit with Santa. Drop the 2-3:30pm. 250-248-3252. rdn.bc.ca/recreation. children off (8 years of age or older if unaccompanied by and adult) and take the afternoon off or relax in the pool with your children. Regular admission. 1:30SATURDAY th 4pm. 250-752-5014. rdn.bc.ca/recreation. Winter Wonderland on Ice Toy Drive at Oceanside Place Arena. Everyone Welcome. Free. 12:45- SATURDAY th 3:15pm. 250-248-3252. rdn.bc.ca/recreation. Winter Wonderland Everyone Welcome Skate at Starlight Skate at Nanaimo Ice Centre. An oppor- Oceanside Place Arena. 1-3:30pm. 250-248-3252. tunity to come out and enjoy the soft light “stars” rdn.bc.ca/recreation. and passive LED glow lights. This is a great night out for families after dinner. Regular admission rates. Monday th to 7-9pm. 250-756-5200. FRIDAY th

19

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GIVE THE GIFT OF MUSIC

21

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250.386.5311 VCM.BC.CA/GIFT

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Winter Wonderland at Frank Crane Arena. The arena will be transformed into a fantasy theme.

32  Island Parent Magazine

IslandParent.ca


This is a “loonie” skate session with all skate and helmet rentals free. Drop in during any of the public times. 250-756-5200.

Saturday

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New Year’s Eve Family Celebration at Oceanside Place Arena. Includes skating on winter wonderland, playing pond hockey, craft making, selfie station, special guests and live music. End the evening with a balloon drop and countdown at 8pm. Food will be available to purchase. Admission tickets and skate rentals are free. Tickets are required and are available starting December 1 at either Oceanside Place Arena or Ravensong Aquatic Centre. 5-8pm. 250-248-3252. rdn.bc.ca/recreation.

Looking for a way to support Syrian refugees on Vancouver Island? in the As seen lonist Times Co

O n g oin g preschool Family Storytime at Cowichan Library, Duncan. Bring the whole family for stories, songs, rhymes and fun. For ages 0-5. Tuesdays 10:30-11:30am. 2687 James St. krumohr@virl.bc.ca.

FAMILY Drop-In Science Studio at Departure Bay Eco School. At Nanaimo Science and Sustainability Society’s Science studio, kids are encouraged to explore the many interactive displays and activities. Activities include: 8-foot marble wall, 2,000 KEVA blocks, kid-friendly microscopes, wind tunnels, a high-powered air field, math puzzles, sign-out activities and more. For safety purposes, children under 16 must be accompanied by and adult. $4/ child; adults free. Tuesday-Thursday 10am-noon; Thursdays 3-5pm; Saturdays 9am-noon. Schedule subject to change, so please check nanaimoscience. org for most current schedule. Family Pool Party at Beban Pool. End the hard work week with a party at the pool. Fridays 7-9pm until December 9. 250-756-5200. Lions Free Skate at Frank Crane Arena. Every Sunday noon-1:30pm. 250-756-5200. Parksville Lions and Save-On-Foods Family Skate at Oceanside Place Arena. This popular session is back. Pond hockey is not available. Children must be accompanied by and adult 19+ years. Free. December 4, 11 and 18 12:15-1:45pm. 250-248-3252. rdn.bc.ca/recreation.•

IslandParent.ca

“A n a stonishing book that allows the humanity of refugees to speak louder than politics and introduces readers to one of Syria’s incredible artists.” —K IR K US R EV I EWS , starred review

Inspired by the stone artwork of Syrian artist Nizar Ali Badr, Saltspring Island author Margriet Ruurs has created a story for all ages about the Syrian refugee crisis. Partial proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to Syrian resettlement.

www.steppingstonesthebook.com

December 2016  33


N

ow that I have kids, the holiday season has turned into a greedy gift fest that is far from its roots as a celebration of winter. This is amplified for us by the fact that my daughter has an almost-Christmas birthday (clearly I dropped the ball on planning that). Last year, after I cleared through the Mount Everest sized pile of toys that we received, I declared to my family that we would spend a year giving and receiving alternative gifts. In the beginning it wasn’t a popular idea with the Grandparents or my children. Experience gifts don’t feel like a proper gift. They don’t come in a bag with tissue paper, or in a giant box with a big red bow on top... and they don’t have the wow factor of ripping open the plastic packaging to discover giggling plastic doll inside. Homemade gifts can seem, well, homemade. However, I staunchly urged my family to switch to alternative ways of giving, and it has been great. We got a spring cleaning for our house, concert tickets, a well packed picnic basket, and a chance to try out rock climbing.

Alternative Ways of

Giving My Reasons for Switching to Alternative Ways of Giving:

1. Excessive gifts create excessive waste. They come with packaging and usually contain a gift that is seldom used (like the pasta maker that I’ve received twice). 2. We don’t have room for any extra stuff. 3. We don’t really have the money to indulge ourselves on fancy “experiences,” but that doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate them. 4. Homemade gifts really are special, especially if it comes from a child. So what does an experience gift look like? Well, for adults it’s fairly obvious. Who wouldn’t want tickets to a show, dinner out or a trip to the spa? It’s harder to ween kids off of their addiction to toys, but here’s a list of experience gifts that my kids were happy to receive. 1. Ticket to an event: a movie, concert, children’s theatre, sports game. 2. Passes to local attractions: museums, galleries, playzones. 3. Have a grandparent take your kid to a special meal out as a gift. 4. Classes: think of specialty classes like art, music, gymnastics, horseback riding or sailing. 5. Special activities: rock climbing, mini-golf, bowling, skating, playing at the board game shop. As you can see, the options are endless. So if you find yourself overwhelmed by gifts, then start giving homemade gifts and experience gifts, then maybe you can gently ask to receive alternative gifts as well. Here are a few recipes for delicious homemade gifts that you can make with your children.

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Homemade Chocolates

Cookies, candy canes and chocolates are a well established part of the holiday season. Instead of buying a box of grocery store chocolates for your inlaws, get together with your kids to make them something special. These chocolates are made with honey which makes them creamy and rich tasting.

Emillie Parrish Cooking With Kids 1 cup cocoa butter (wafers) 1 cup cocoa powder 1⁄2 cup honey Pinch of salt Optional Additions: toasted nuts, dried fruit, chopped candy canes, crispy rice cereal 1. Melt the cocoa butter in a double boiler. 2. When the cocoa butter is completely melted, remove from heat. Mix in cocoa powder honey and salt, and mix until com-

pletely smooth. Make sure that no liquids touch the chocolate or it could separate. 3. Make chocolate bark by pouring chocolate on a parchment lined cookie sheet and mix in roasted nuts. 4. Alternatively, make individual chocolates by filling a chocolate mold or muffin tin. Add the additional ingredients into the chocolates after you’ve filled the mold and mix them in with a teaspoon. Bang the molds on the counter-top several times to make sure that there aren’t any air bubbles. 5. Allow to harden for several hours at room temperature before unmolding. The chocolates will last for 1 week on the counter, or several weeks in the refrigerator. Young children can stir the cocoa butter and mix in the ingredients. You will need to help with filling the molds, but they certainly can put in the additional ingredients and help with cleaning up.

Sprigs of fresh herbs: thyme, rosemary, bay, oregano, basil (1–2 sprigs per jar) Glass jars with lids 1. Cut your cheese into bite sized chunks or make balls out of a soft cheese. 2. Lay them on a plate and allow them to dry out for 3 hours in the fridge. 3. Sterilize the jars and lids by putting them into a pot of boiling water for 5 minutes. 4. Allow the jars to air dry. They don’t have to be perfectly dry, just don’t use a towel to dry them. 5. Fill the jars with cheese. Add in your sprigs of herbs and cover with oil. 6. Allow to marinate for at least 24 hours in the fridge. 7. These will last for up to 1 month in the fridge. This is a great project for young children. They can help by cutting the cheese with a butter knife, or making balls. They can fill the jars and screw on the lids. Just make sure that they wash their hands well before Marinated Cheese Marinated cheese is a fancy treat that handling the food. is sure to please everyone on your gift list. You can use any kind of cheese you want, Emillie Parrish loves having adventures with even vegan cheese will work. her two busy children. She lives in Victoria and Cheese (feta style, soft cheese or hard cheese) is the author of the fermentation-based blog Olive oil, enough to cover fermentingforfoodies.com.

Working Together for Greater Impact

Think Learning…Think READ

Since 1976 the READ Society has been supporting children and youth in the Greater Victoria community to reach their potential. We offer nationally recognized academic assessments to pinpoint your child’s academic needs. We then develop an individualized learning program for your child that is delivered in small or private after school classes by BC Certified Teachers.

Learning skills, confidence and potential

Nationally Recognized Level B Assessments • Remedial Sessions in Language, Arts, Math, Sciences Noisy Kids Reading Club after-school sponsored program • Adult Literacy Tutoring

Now Seeking Learners & Tutors We acknowledge the financial assistance of the Province of British Columbia and thank our generous community supporters:

Locations: Victoria, Westshore and Saanich   To learn more about our programs and to register:

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778-676-3652

info@readsociety.bc.ca

www.readsociety.bc.ca

Celebrating 40 Years of Remedial Learning!

December 2016  35


Grrr… ATTITUDE

T

is the season of abundance and gifts, the time of year when, typically, we reflect with gratitude on the happiness and comforts in our lives. It’s also the time of year when I become convinced that my kids are the most ungrateful beings on earth. They do not understand, can not understand, how blessed they are. And every year around this time, it starts to bother me.

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Ensure a bright future! 36  Island Parent Magazine

As I consider possible new Christmas toys, clothes, and books while literally tripping over the ones they already have, it begins to sink in that they do not fully appreciate their life. And so every December, without fail, I find myself revisiting this question: How do I cultivate an attitude of gratitude in my children? It seems like a simple enough thing to do, but in practice is much harder. These are kids who have been raised in a privileged part of North America. According to them, life is hard if they have to dry the dishes twice in one day. Being warm, safe, and fed are blessings they take for granted. And that makes sense. Having only ever known abundance, they have no frame of reference for anything else. But as a similarly privileged parent, I feel it is my duty to produce upstanding, grateful citizens, to raise kids who are aware of

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our gifts, of the sheer luxury of comfort in which we live every day. But how do we teach someone to feel gratitude? By definition, gratitude is simply a feeling of thankfulness. And my kids know how to say thank you. But there is a difference between good manners and truly appreciating the fact that we have clean water and safe streets, let alone the latest Lego set. They need gratitude.

Sarah Milligan Is There an App for This? So I try to nurture it, with various tactics, and with varying degrees of success and failure. Encouraging my kids to be grateful. Reminding them to be grateful. And, admittedly, some dodgier methods too: lecturing, first of all, the old “you really need to appreciate your things more because lots of kids in the world don’t have blah blah blah…” And the classic guilt trip “Children are starving in Third World countries and you are whining about not having a blah blah blah…” is always a good one. And finally, threats: “If you don’t start appreciating your blah blah blah I will have to send it to some kid who will appreciate blah blah blah…” And on it goes. In the end, all my words result in the same thing: kids who still have no idea how lucky they are, with a mother who nags them a lot. And somewhere along the way I begin to question the point of the entire mission. If I have resorted to lectures, guilt trips and threats, surely I am over-riding any potential benefits of a grateful attitude? And if I get this cranky trying to adjust my kids’ attitude, is there something wrong with mine? But beyond that, is it fair of me, in the first place, to expect my children to feel gratitude in the way I think they should? In fact, the gratitude I want them to feel is actually the gratitude I myself feel. Gratitude on their behalf. And that is really all about me. So I will concentrate on my own attitude and leave it at that, leading by example, speaking my gratitude every day. Hopefully, they’ll grow into theirs.

Something for everyone! 5 8 0 J O H N S O N S T. V I C T O R I A , B C . 2 5 0 - 3 8 8 - 7 0 2 2 . B A G G I N S S H O E S . C O M

Christmas Eve Family Services Dec. 24 (Saturday) 4:30 pm:

Early family celebration with carols, nativity story, drama and a real llama. Kids can dress up as an angel, shepherd or Magi! Don’t have your own costume? We’ll supply one for you.

First Met United Church 932 Balmoral Road (Quadra & Balmoral) www.firstmetvictoria.com facebook.com/FirstMetKids 250-388-5188 ext 221

7:30 pm:

Carols in the Candlelight

11:00 pm:

Candlelight Service

Kids’ Dentist

Dr. Anita Gadzinska-Myers

is a Board Certified Specialist in Pediatric Dentistry and has a Fellowship in Special Needs Dentistry for children • Accepting new patients now (infants to teenagers) • Referral not needed • Member of Cleft Lip and Palate Team

Special Services:

short wait list • intravenous sedation • hospital dentistry • nitrous oxide

Victoria Pediatric Dental Centre Sarah Milligan lives on Vancouver Island. She is grateful to her children for the joy they inspire, not to mention the endless writing fodder. IslandParent.ca

206–1830 Oak Bay Ave

www.victoriapediatricdentalcentre.ca

250-383-2133 December 2016  37


Love Trumps Hate

H Independence. Flexibility. Reward. 

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SMALL CLASSES. BIG POSSIBILITIES.

38  Island Parent Magazine

alloween can be an anxious time for parents, who must manage kids’ high hopes for costumes and parties—and then the hard crash after a night-long sugar rush. This year added a new fright for our family: our 10-year-old son wanted to dress up as Donald Trump. And that was a scare too far. As I write, it’s just a week before the cantankerous campaign in the United States finally ends in a vote. While it’s risky to make predictions, I’m hopeful our kids will witness the inauguration of the first female U.S. president. (If I’m wrong, rather than reading this magazine, you’re likely using it to heat up an old can of beans in whatever post-apocalyptic future follows a Trump win.) Up North, we often look across our long border as though we are living next door to a brash neighbour in a monster home, with a Humvee in the driveway and a stash of hunting rifles in the attic. When they visit, we act polite and try not to talk politics. This year, the quarrelling of our American neighbours started to scare the kids. At first, Donald Trump seemed like a cartoon distraction from reality TV. Then his rants against different groups became amplified through a media megaphone and found echoes amongst angry voters. Our children didn’t need to watch the evening news or read a newspaper to learn about Trump. He became part of playground gossip. Even if he lost, psychologists have warned about a possible “Trump effect”—a coarsening of language and behavior, spread like the toxic memes shared by his online fans. American schools have felt the fallout. Highschool basketball fans chanting, “Build that wall!” at a visiting team with Latino players. Boys talking about “Trumping” their female classmates. The candidate’s caught-on-tape comments about sexual harassment and assault dismissed as “locker-room talk.” It makes a parent cringe. As a father with kids still a few years from frontiers of teenage-hood, I worry IslandParent.ca


about what lessons they will absorb from the media-saturated culture around us. How can my son grow to be a young man who treats others with respect and compassion? How will my daughter negotiate the prejudices and dangers of a Trumped-up world? The Republican nominee rose in popularity by preaching fear. Now, as a parent in Canada, I feel a rising panic, too. The silver lining has been how the U.S. election has provided excuses to talk with our kids about difficult subjects. Every

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Dadspeak news cycle brought another “teachable moment” for parents to discuss lessons about lying, bullying, racism, sexism and general boorishness. In Canada, we can feel lucky that most leaders across our political spectrum aspire to higher ideals. We have a Prime Minister who proudly calls himself a feminist. MLA Andrew Weaver wrote a law to get B.C. universities to implement sexual misconduct policies. Victoria mayor Lisa Helps has made empathy a cornerstone of her administration. M.P. Elizabeth May has worked for decades to leave a better world for future generations. So that’s why we balked when our son hoped to walk the streets of Victoria as Donald Trump. Yes, we knew it was a gag. Yes, we knew thousands of kids around the globe might don Donald masks or apply tanin-a-can to become mini-megalomaniacs for a night. But after months of his hate speech, we weren’t laughing anymore. We talked to our son about why a Donald costume was a non-starter. He understood and agreed to alter his plans. On Halloween, he trick-or-treated as a zombie banana instead. That’s 2016 for you. There’s something a little rotten in our state when a giant undead fruit seems less scary to parents than a presidential candidate. I hope one of these monsters will be tossed onto the compost heap of history before we all ring in the new year. David Leach is the author of Chasing Utopia (ECW Press) and the assistant coach of the Carnarvon Red Pandas. IslandParent.ca

BRIAN LUFF

WINTER HOLIDAY PROGRAMS A wide range of full and half-day programs for all kids in Victoria ages 5–15, including:

Passion Sports Winter Elite Camp Five days of intensive basketball skill development

Winter Lights & Sights

Gymnastics, carpet bowling and festive sightseeing are all part of this action-packed camp

Holiday Baking (Beginners & Advanced) Get busy in the kitchen making treats to delight your friends and family Visit our website for information on these and other programs: www.smus.ca/winter, or call the Education Extension office at 250-370-6120

FOR ALL KIDS IN VICTORIA AGES 5-15

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39


Heads Up Healthy Families, Happy Families

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

250-519-5311 250-539-3099

(toll-free number for office in Saanichton)

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

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

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

Port Alberni Tofino

250-731-1315 250-725-4020

250-947-8242

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

viha.ca/prevention_services/ 40  Island Parent Magazine

S

nowboarding, skating, tobogganing, snowshoeing, curling, snowmobiling, downhill and cross country skiing are just some of the many sports and activities you can participate in to stay happy and healthy this winter. No biggie if you get knocked in the head—just “shake it off” right? Wrong. This might be a good song title, but it’s really bad advice! You may have a concussion. A concussion is a brain injury that cannot be seen on routine X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs. A concussion can cause a number of symptoms that affect the way you think or act. If your brain is still healing from a previous concussion, you may be looking at life-changing, long-term problems if you have a repeat concussion during the recovery.

Can concussions be prevented or the severity reduced?

• Concussions can often be prevented or the effects reduced by protecting the brain. A hockey helmet is made to safeguard your head when you are playing hockey or ice skating. A ski or snowboard helmet helps to make skiing and snowboarding safer and they can also be used when tobogganing. Keep your brain as safe as possible by wearing a snow sport helmet matched to the activity. Bicycle helmets are designed to take impact differently and these helmets focus on different areas of protection for your head compared to alpine helmets. Use your bicycle helmet when you are biking. • The helmet you choose should have one of the four approved safety standards: CSA, ASTM, EN or SNELL. Check the safety sticker on your helmet. • Fit is everything. Just like a bike helmet, your snow sport helmet needs to be fitted properly so that it can do the job it was intended for—to protect your head. • More information on choosing and fitting a snow sport helmet can be found at injuryresearch.bc.ca/quick-facts/concussion/

What else do I need to know?

• Most concussions do not include a loss of consciousness. • Any blow to the head, face or neck, or a blow to the body which causes a sudden jarring of the head that causes the brain to bounce around in the skull may cause a concussion. • Signs of a concussion may not appear immediately after the blow. • How a concussion is handled in the minutes, hours and days following the injury can significantly influence the extent of damage and length of recovery time. When in doubt sit out.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Concussion? Thinking Problems

Person May Be Complaining Of...

Other Problems

• General confusion • Cannot remember things that happened before and after the injury • Knocked out • Does not know time, date, place, period of game, opposing team, score of game

• Headache • Dizziness • Feels dazed • Feels “dinged” or stunned; “having my bell rung” • Sees stars, flashing lights • Ringing in the ears • Sleepiness • Loss of vision • Sees double or blurry • Stomach-ache, stomach pain, nausea

• Poor coordination or balance • Blank stare/glassy eyed • Vomiting • Slurred speech • Slow to answer questions or follow directions • Easily distracted • Poor concentration • Strange or inappropriate emotions (i.e. laughing, crying, getting mad easily) • Not playing as well

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Why is a “knock to the head” a big deal?

• Brain injuries are the leading cause of death among skiers and snowboarders of all ages; helmet use reduces the severity of injury by up to 60 per cent. • In 2010-11, there were 2,776 hospitalizations related to concussions in Canada,

Carla Kane Child Yo ut h & Fa mily P u blic H e a lt h

Happy Families, Healthy Families

with over 45 per cent of those concussions occurring in those 19 and under. • Young people are more likely to get a concussion, and it takes longer for them to recover than it does for an adult. Unlike adults, their brains are still undergoing maturation and change. • In 2010, $2.4 million was spent on hospitalization for concussion across B.C.

What do I do if I suspect a concussion?

• Stop yourself or the person that you

IslandParent.ca

suspect has had a concussion from continuing the activity or sport. • Assess the person or yourself for any visible cues, signs or symptoms like those set out in the table (opposite). • Get medical help; medical professionals should evaluate even possible concussions. • Rest is the best way to recover from a concussion. The brain needs both physical and mental rest—this is not the time to hit the gym or have a Super Mario marathon. • Make a full recovery by following the Guidelines for Return to Learn and Return to Play: parachutecanada.org/downloads/ resources/return-to-play-guidelines.pdf

How can I help spread the word?

• Help spread awareness and understanding about preventing and managing concussions by talking to everyone you know about concussions. See the 2015 movie Concussion. • Call out any friends who aren’t wearing a snow sport helmet. Friends don’t let friends play without a helmet. • Check out the free apps on concussion that are available at the App Store, including one by Hockey Canada. Download one today.

• Encourage the people you know to visit cattonline.com/ for up-to-date and free concussion information, training and resources for teens, parents, athletes, coaches, medical professionals and educators. Get out and enjoy our seasons. Be and stay active. Whatever outdoor activity you choose to do, remember to keep your winter and summer play fun, safe and injury free by protecting your head. Injuries can be avoided but if they do happen, you can reduce the severity by getting medical advice.

Resources:

Parachute Canada, a national charitable organization dedicated to preventing injuries and saving lives: parachutecanada. org/concussion BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit, a leader in the production and transfer of injury prevention knowledge, supporting the integration of prevention practice into the daily lives of British Columbians. Visit injuryresearch.bc.ca/

Carla Kane, RN, BScN, is a Practice Consultant with the Island Health Community Care Facilities Licensing Program 250-519-3445

December 2016  41


Flight Travel with Baby

I

f you are planning flight travel with your baby this holiday season, rest assured that the baby years are actually among the best to travel with your child, mainly because they are much more portable when they are so young. While babies are definitely easier travelers than toddlers, preschoolers and perhaps even some teens, they may cry on planes, need their diapers changed in strange places and might not like having their routines disrupted if they are accustomed to a regular eating and sleeping schedule at home. But, there are plenty of things you can do to help ease the way and keep everyone smiling. Bring new toys and offer special items. Clip-on toys can easily connect to a baby’s outfit, making it easy to keep infants distracted while waiting in line or sitting at the gate. Soft, crinkly books, a new teething toy, or something that lights up will keep your baby busy. And when you really need baby distracted, offer a special item that they don’t normally get to play with, such as your cell phone.

42  Island Parent Magazine

Luggage. A child or infant’s baggage allowance is over and above that of the parent(s). Spread baby’s belongings/necessities among all your checked luggage. If luggage is lost, you do not want it to be the one bag in which you packed all of baby’s gear. Remember though, you can buy diapers and wipes almost anywhere, so do not panic if you find yourself without some of your necessities for a little while. It may be more to carry, but being extra prepared for delays during air travel will go a long way. Be sure to pack your carry-on with enough diapers, baby wipes, snacks, bottles, pacifiers and toys. A change of clothes for your little one and you is always a good idea. The key is to be prepared but not overpacked. Liquid allowance. When it comes to airplane security, no one passes through with any liquid of more than 100ml (3.4 ounces), unless you have an infant. Additional screening is required, but you will be able to bring your little one pumped breastmilk or formula on a cross-country flight. The 100ml rule, however, still exists

on medicines, lotions or anything else you may typically carry with you for your baby. Diaper creams, lotions or other items are available in travel sizes, and if you have a

Diana Hurschler New Parent Pages liquid medication you must carry, pour it into 100ml containers. Give baby something to suck during take-off and landing. The changes in air pressure during take-off and landing can cause pressure in baby’s ears. Let your little one suck on a bottle or pacifier during these times. Both will help baby to swallow continuously, which helps to clear the ears. A bottle or pacifier will also help keep baby busy and quiet during the flight. As any parent who has flown with children knows, take-offs and landings can be uncomfortable for little ears. If your child has a cold or ear infection, you may want to contact your doctor to make sure it is safe for them

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to travel, as the pressure felt in the ears increases when congested. Seat for baby. It is true that children younger than two years old can be “lap babies” on airplanes for free, but if you have a long flight you may want to purchase their own seat and have the car seat rear facing just as you would in your car. Having baby in her own seat allows you to spread out in your own seat—hands fully free while baby sleeps. If you do not want the expense of the extra seat, consider asking for a bulkhead seat for extra room, and/or a bassinet. Bassinets are assigned on a first come, first served basis, subject to availability at time of flight departure. For safety reasons, bassinets can be used only for infants weighing less than 12 kg (25 lb) who are unable to sit upright. Book flights with as few connections as possible. If you do need to book a flight with a layover, choose one with a layover that is not so short you have to run through the airport with your child and all your baby gear. Keep your stroller with you until you board. Manoeuvring through a crowded airport loaded with bags and your little one is tough enough, so bring your stroller and use it to hold everything, just as you would on any outing with baby. Airlines will allow you to gate check your stroller, so you will have it up to until you depart and immediately upon landing. Board last/deplane last. I have found that, although travelers with babies are invited to board first, it is not pleasant to be cooped up in the stuffy airplane cabin to wait while everyone else boards. If you feel like you need the extra time to get to your seat, by all means go ahead. It is fairly easy to maneuver the stroller right up to the door of the plane and grab a carry-on bag to board. Once landed, you might want to get off the flight if your baby is uncomfortable and crying. However, with all of baby’s toys, snacks and necessities, you do not want to risk leaving something behind. Use the time to gather all of your belongings. There will be more room to make it off the plane quickly and easily with baby. Above all, safe travels and enjoy your holiday season!

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

Class Options for 2016–2017: Mon/Wed/Fri morning class Tues/Thurs morning class 5 mornings a week

Phone 250-598-0573 preschool@emmanuelvictoria.ca

www.emmanuelpreschool.ca

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Family Law

Mediator and Arbitrator Over 32 years as a family law lawyer “A better way to get things done” William Murphy-Dyson, B.A., LL.B. BARRISTER AND SOLICITOR

Diana Hurschler, RN BscN, childbirth educator, certified breastfeeding counselor, has been helping families in their childbearing years and beyond since 1998. Diana is the proud mama of four little ones. Email diana@hurschler.com. IslandParent.ca

3rd Floor, Burnes House 26 Bastion Square, Victoria 250-388-4457 baristerbill@coxtaylor.ca

December 2016

43


Books as Gifts

M

y son recently turned 13. For his birthday gift, I gave him A Drifting Life, a memoir in manga form by mangaka (manga artist) Yokishiro Tatsuma. My son is an avid reader, the type that is pale at the height of summer. He reads all things hungrily, including manga, yet he hasn’t touched A Drifting Life, though it has sat stolidly on the coffee table for weeks, inches from where he reads. That “stolidly” may explain things. The book is, after all, 850 pages thick. Reviewers describe it as “gargantuan,” “mammoth,” “monstrous.” One Goodreads reviewer suggests “using it to press the water out of tofu when you get done reading it.” Is my boy overwhelmed? Perhaps. But there’s something more, I think. What 13-year-old kid wants to be told what to read—by his mother, no less? Being “prescribed” a novel in high school made me sullen and contrary: let me choose what will forever alter the shape of my soul. Besides, a novel approved by school isn’t going to rock the world! (I’ve grown up some since then). The wait now is for my son’s birthday tome to lose the gleam of my implicit benediction. He will forget its provenance and absent-mindedly open it, and tumble in (as I did one day when he was at school, gobbling down 40 pages before worrying I had cracked the spine or had in some less identifiable way sullied its generous spirit). I try not to fret about the $40 I spent. After all, that money supported a writer, a publishing company, and an independent bookstore, and I can eventually donate the book to the library for its shelves or fundraising book sale. December is the season of gift giving, and books, while not often on our children’s lists, are on parents’ lists. We want the traditions of Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa to augment our children’s minds not just their Lego collections. I’ve bought hundreds of books for three children, now

teens. I’ve failed lots, but there have been some successes. First, know your child. To honour such a rich time of year, it is tempting to give ennobling books, “special” books. Perhaps books that have endured, or a beautiful edition of a classic, or a book with deep family connections—maybe a book that rocked your world when you were a kid, or a book that your parents gave you for Hanukkah. If your child is interested in books, in family reading traditions, go for it! A book with resonance can give a child roots. But the holidays also allow for lots of light, fun reading, too. There’s something for every reader. Alongside serious fiction and non-fiction, don’t forget the joy of a comic book, or a trivia-filled almanac, or cookbooks, or magazines (a magazine subscription is a gift that gives for a year), even a book of crossword puzzles. Graphic novels make excellent, low pressure reads for reluctant and serious readers alike. Take stock of your children’s interests. Does she like hockey? Is she interested in gender? Dogs? For any subject, there are likely fiction and non-fiction options—how about one of each? December is an opportunity to start traditions. Maybe your family can spend the evening of the longest night of the year— winter solstice—reading an entire novel aloud to each other. Maybe the family outing on Boxing Day is to a local bookstore to spend the gift certificate that always comes rolled up in the Christmas morning stocking, followed by an hour in a café, reading together over hot chocolates. Maybe you can build up a collection of holiday-themed books for the end table for the month. Or, after all gifts are opened, you can start a tradition of pulling a blanket off a huge box of library books checked out a few days earlier; make some cider and settle in. A tradition in my family was a gift, when we were about 10 years old, of an early edition of a classic novel. My mother’s intent was to seed a lifelong collection: we were now tasked with the mission of finding every edition of that classic, and thereby always have a reason to enter a secondhand bookshop and paw its beautiful vintage books. My sister, for example, received an ancient copy of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women,

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and today has an enormous, beautiful collection of Alcott titles. I still have the 1898 copy of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden, which my mother gave me one Christmas morning. It was awesome

Sara Cassidy Book Nook to hold something so old—that smell! The brittle pages! The lithograph illustrations! I have only found a few other editions over the years, but I am always looking. If you decide to start your child on a collection, be careful not to choose a book that has a million editions—the number of editions of Harry Potter or The Hobbit would be overwhelming. As for holiday season 2016, we are all in luck. There has been a boon of excellent children’s books this year. Your best bet is to talk with the experts, the people who stock the shelves of your local, independent bookstores. The webpage links below list some of the best in recent Canadian children’s books. I’d like to, in these shocking days regarding what is happening south of the border, specifically shout out to Pride: Celebrating Diversity and Community (Orca Book Publishers, 2016) by local author Robin Stevenson. The lively, inviting non-fiction book is a terrific, celebratory yet realistic history of Pride parades, Pride month, and the Pride movement. For young gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people and their many supporters. The finalists for the Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s many literary awards: bookcentre.ca/2016-ccbc-awards-finalists/ The Canadian Children’s Literature Roundtables finalists for the (non-fiction) Information Book Award: vclr.ca/2016information-book-award-shortlist/ Governor General’s Literary Awards finalists and winner in the picture book category: ggbooks.ca/books/young-peoplesliterature-illustrated-books

Sara Cassidy’s seventh book for children, A Boy Named Queen, is on shelves now. “A small eloquent book with a powerful message.”

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www.fsmtheatre.ca December 2016  45


Family Services Directory This directory, sponsored by Thrifty Foods, features not for profit agencies and organizations serving children, youth and families.

TM

End Dyslexia provides a qualified speaker to share information about advances in neuroscience and technology that are now making it possible to end dyslexia relatively quickly, affordably and with lasting results. Award-winning speech language pathologist Marlene Lewis is donating her time and expertise to deliver research-based presentations that clearly show what steps need to be taken to do this. If you would like Marlene to speak to your group, find out when her next free public talk is or learn more, please visit end-dyslexia.com or call 250-474-6368.

1Up, Victoria Single Parent Resource Centre (1-up.ca) provides support, education and resources for parents in the Greater Victoria area through free counselling, volunteer training for peer helper positions, a mentoring program for single moms and a support group for dads. The Centre also offers a variety of integrated life skills and parenting courses which are open to the whole community (fees are on a sliding scale). The Centre provides free toys and books, a clothing room and bread pantry for single parents. Donations of gently-used clothing, small household items, books and toys are welcome. Hours are Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri: 9-4, Wed: 12-7. 602 Gorge Rd. East; call 250-385-1114 or info@1-up.ca

more information on all programs and services visit bgcvic. org or call 250-384-9133.

Beacon Community Services is a community-based non-profit agency providing social, employment, and health services to Saanich Peninsula, Greater Victoria, and Southern Gulf Islands residents. Beacon offers: child, youth, and family services; a drop-in family resource centre; counselling; employment services for adults, youth, and people with disabilities; home support; volunteer services and opportunities; community events; affordable assisted living for seniors; referrals, information, and resources; thrift shops. For Home Support information call 250-6586407; for all other inquiries call 250-656-0134, or visit beaconcs.ca.

CHOICES Adoption & Counselling is a licensed, professional, non-profit agency that provides services to adoptive parents, birth-parents, and adoptees. CHOICES arranges adoptions domestically and internationally. We are committed to providing a comprehensive, clientcentered adoption service which best meets the needs of everyone in the adoption constellation. Please contact us at choices@choicesadoption.ca, or call 250-479-9811 for further information.

HappyBaby Sleep Solutions helps families create healthy sleep habits in babies and children so everyone is well rested and happy. Sukkie Sandhu, M.Ed., has worked with hundreds of families locally in Victoria and worldwide. Sukkie is a Registered Clinical Counsellor so the cost of a sleep consultation may be covered under your extended medical plan. For more information visit happybabysleepsolutions.com or call 250-857-1408 for a FREE evaluation. Let’s get started!

Community Living Victoria’s Autism Services offers dynamic community-based programs for children and youth (6 – 18 yrs) with Autism. We offer 1:1 Behaviour Intervention, Social Skills Groups and spring, summer and winter Day Camps. Our skilled and caring team draws from various behaviour support models to customize programming for each youth. Fun programming within safe, supportive environments motivate youth to expand their interests, gain confidence, strengthen social and communication skills, and build friendships. 250-477-7231. communitylivingvictoria.ca.

HeadWay Victoria Epilepsy & Parkinson’s Centre supports families living with seizures by offering parent workshops three times a year, educational presentations in schools and community groups as well as providing tutoring sessions and one-to-one professional consultations to help your child live up to their highest potential. Keep up to date with the latest research about treatments, lifestyle, and safety issues for your child. We can be reached at headwayvictoria.com, or you can reach the Epilepsy Program Coordinator directly at 250-475-6677.

Beacon Community’s Employment Services. Beacon Community Services provides a full menu of employment services to the Saanich Peninsula, Southern Gulf Islands. We have been helping people find work since 1982! Our programs build on a client’s strengths and resolve barriers to securing and maintaining employment. Furthermore, we work in tandem with our employer network to support those residents looking for work. If you need help finding a job or need employees please pay us a visit! It’s FREE. 9860 Third St, Sidney, 250-656-0134, beaconcs.ca. Boys & Girls Club Services offer after-school and evening social, educational and recreational programming for children and youth at 5 locations (Colwood, Langford, VicWest, Central Saanich and Esquimalt) and summer camps both in Esquimalt and at our Outdoor Centre in Metchosin. We also offer support to parents through our Parents Together program and parent workshops. For

Canucks Autism Network (CAN) provides high-quality, adapted sports, recreational and social programs for kids, teens and young adults living with autism on Vancouver Island. Shawnigan Lake: Multisport day camp, bike clinics and family camp. Victoria: Swim, soccer, skate and physical literacy. Nanaimo: Swim and physical literacy. Family events take place throughout the year! Become a member for only $25/year at canucksautism.ca/join. Call 604-685-4049, email info@canucksautism.ca or visit canucksautism.ca/VancouverIsland for more information.

Community Options for Children and Families offers recreational support groups for Children and Youth age 6-18 who have a brother or sister with a disability. The Sibshop Program allows children and youth to connect with peers who understand what it is like to be a Sib. Sibkids (age 6-12) and Sibteens (age 13-18) are play and activity based designed to provide opportunity for participants to share in a comfortable and safe environment. For further info call 250-380-6363 or communityoptions.bc.ca.

Family Services of Greater Victoria (formerly BC Families in Transition) is a non profit agency that has been serving families since 1978. We provide a full range of services to the whole family in supporting their relationship and through separation and divorce. Counseling, mediation, legal information and a range of group programs are available for children, youth and adults on a sliding fee scale. Call us at 250-386-4331 or visit fsgv.org. We can help.

Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA) is a service agency for immigrants and refugees. Programs offered include cross-cultural counseling, parenting programs (child care available), family violence programs, employment services, interpretation and translation, diversity workshops and training, ESL instruction, volunteering, youth programs and tutoring, as well as intercultural arts programming. 930 Balmoral Rd, 250-388-4728, info@ icavictoria.org, icavictoria.org.

Maxine Fisher M.Ed., RCC, MTA

Counselling for Children, Families & Adults Over 20 Years Experience (Music Therapy Also Available)

Stress & Trauma (Acting Out) • Parenting • Family Transitions Physical & Learning Disabilities • Relationships • Individuals Skype & Phone Sessions Available M.Ed. | Registered Clinical Counsellor | Accredited Music Therapist

Call Today for a Complimentary 10 minute phone consultation Call 250-686-7582  maxinefisher@shaw.ca  victoriafamilycounselling.com 46  Island Parent Magazine

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Learning Disabilities Association of BC, SVI Chapter, educates, supports and advocates for children and youth with learning disabilities and related conditions. Services include a public lending library, individual/group support for parents and children, professional/educational workshops for parents and professionals. Child and youth programs include: reading/writing, academic skills, social/ emotional skill development and Fast ForWord. 1562 Fort St, Victoria, BC V8S 5J2. Ph 250-370-9513. Fax. 250-370-9421. ldasvi.bc.ca. knowyourrights.ca.

The Victoria School for Ideal Education • Daily meditation • Nature based learning • Small class sizes

Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC) provides programs and services to the military family community including: 24-Hour Information Line; Deployment Information and Workshops; Short Term Counselling, Crisis Support or Intervention; Welcome/Relocation Services; Childcare and Family Support Services; Assistance for Families with Special Needs and Responsibilities. Call the MFRC: 250-363-2640 (1-800-353-3329) for information or visit esquimaltmfrc.com.

• BC curriculum K – Gr. 8 2820 Belmont Avenue

250-383-6654 vsie.ca vsie@shaw.ca

Power To Be provides inclusive nature-based activity programs for youth and families living with a barrier or disability who need support to access recreation and their community. We create year-round programs to fit participant needs through activities such as kayaking, rock climbing, hiking, canoeing and more. Visit powertobe.ca or call 250-385-2363 to get involved.

A few spaces still available

“it glows with sepia-toned nostalgia”

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. SookeWestshore 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 250642-5152 for more information or visit our website at sfrs.ca.

NOV 18 - DEC 31

Philip Grecian By

Josh W. David Cooper Photography

SFRS’s Welcome Home Program is looking for homes that can support adults diagnosed with a disability looking to gain further independence. The livingsituations are varied and unique and can include living within a family home or a suite in the family home. The needs of the individuals are varied, dependent on the disability, but can include relationship building, life skills, meal prep, etc. For more information, please call 778-433-2023 or go tosfrs.ca.

New York Times

Tickets from $25

chemainustheatre.ca | 1.800.565.7738

Sooke-Westshore Early Years Centres provide information to families about children and family services, supports, child development and parenting. The Early Years Navigator will assist families with referral information for local early years programming, child care, public health, special needs intervention services, and social supports. The Sooke-Westshore Early Years Centres are hosted by Sooke Family Resource Society and located at the Child, Youth, and Family Centres in both Sooke and the Westshore and can be reached at 250-217-9243. Additional information can be accessed at sfrs.ca/early-years-centre. Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society (VIRCS) supports immigrants and refugees living in Greater Victoria. Services are free and include one-onone 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 vircs. bc.ca or phone 250-361-9433.

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December 2016  47


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

Colwood/LANGFORD Goldstream Co-op Preschool....................250-474-3011 Learning Through Play for 3 and 4yr olds! For registration information go to our website: goldstreampreschool.com.

Island Kids Academy Esquimalt...............250-381-2929 High quality child care (ages 1-5). Preschool curriculum offered within a warm, caring all-day program. Character development using the Virtues Project. Access to community programs including swimming, skating, Victoria Conservatory of Music. Part-time spaces available. islandkids.ca. La Pré-Maternelle Appletree Preschool......250-479-0292 A French Immersion Program. 30 months to school age. Licensed Christian centre. prematernelleappletree.com.

Highlands

RIA Early Learning Centre........................ 250-590-0781 Reggio Program—for Preschool aged children. A unique learning environment—encourages each child’s development. reggiopreschool.ca.

Lexie’s Little Bears Child Care Inc........... 250-590-3603 Only seconds past luxurious Bear Mountain our highly respected outdoor program will not disappoint! Our “Nurture through Nature” facility is rooted from the Reggio-Emilia philosophies, allowing the children to use their environment as the “third teacher.” Located on 2 acres of forest land, your child will learn and grow in a natural surrounding of tress and wildlife! Newly expanded, we NOW have more spaces available for your Infant/Toddlers and Pre-Kindergarten aged children. We use the trees from our own property to build the furniture and some of the toys in all three centres. The children enjoy yoga, music, Spanish, sign-language and an outdoor classroom. In 2016, Lexie Biegun won the BC Provincial Gov’t award of Excellence for Child Care Providers. Please visit our Facebook page for current info. And pics, as well as our website at lexieslittlebears.com. Cub House waitlist: 778-432-3600.

CORDOVA BAY

METCHOSIN

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

Metchosin Co-op Preschool..................... 250-478-9241 Est. 1960. Our school provides a beautiful natural play space and inclusive child led learning through play emergent curriculum. Two excellent ECEs per class provide loving and enriching family support. Half-day programs for 2.5-5 yrs. metchosinpreschool.com.

Leap Forward Childcare...........................250-818-9225 2758 Peatt RD. Licenced group childcare for children ages 6 months to 5 years old. Offering full-time and parttime care. Open 6:30am-5:30pm. For more information please contact Amber: info@leapforwardlangford.com, leapforwardlangford.com. Miles of Smiles Nature Junior Kindergarten................... 778-265-4374 Come See Why Learning In Nature Rocks! Reggio Influenced Philosophy ages 3-5. Have Your Child Become a Nature Detective Today! Email mosnjk@hotmail.com.

Cordova Bay Preschool........................... 250-658-3441 A bright and cheerful parent participation preschool with a philosophy of learning through play. 4 yr olds - M/W/F 9:151:15; 3 yr olds - T/Th 9:15-12:15. cordovabaypreschool.org. Lakeview Christian Preschool/Daycare..... 250-658-5082 30 mths to Kindergarten entry. Small group. Experienced teacher. Full time and part time spaces. Mornings only or full day. Monthly DROP IN STORY HOUR. For information please email lakeviewschol@shaw.ca.

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

West-Mont Montessori School.................250-474-2626 Preschool Montessori instruction in a beautiful natural environment in Metchosin. Ages 30 months and up. Providing a balanced approach to incorporating Nature, French, Music and Art into a complete educational program. Be a part of a community devoted to the development of the whole child. Open House: Thursdays 9-11 am. west-mont.ca.

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

OAK BAY

Gonzales Co-op Preschool....................... 250-727-1003 Children explore their imaginations in our learning-throughplay environments and large natural playground. Our Reggio Emilia inspired program focuses on art, nature, music and friendship. Over 50 years serving Victoria’s families. Nuturing and highly qualified ECE and ECE Assistant. Parent participation level options available, nut-free and allergy-aware. Join us! gonzalescooppreschool.com. Recreation Oak Bay.................................250-370-7200 Fully licensed, ECE Daycare, Preschool and Nature Preschool. Play based, child led learning. Afterschool care available.

SAANICH Arbutus Grove Children’s Centre..............250-477-3731 Formerly known as Goosey Gander Kindergarten. Half Day and Full Day Preschool Programs. Children’s learning is supported and nurtured through inquiry, exploration, play and creative expression. arbutusgrove.ca. Camosun College Child Care Services........250-370-4880 Quality licensed facilities on both campuses providing children, newborn to 5 years, with rich early learning experiences in a learn through play environment. camosun.ca/childcare. Carrot Seed Preschool.............................250-658-2331 Where children can discover, imagine, construct and learn through play. Wondrous natural playground. Extended hours starting Sept. carrotseedpreschool.com. Cloverdale Child Care................................. 250-995-1766 Register now for preschool 4 year olds Mon/Wed/Fri 9:00–1:00 & 3 & 4 year olds Tue/Thur 9:00–1:00. Full time Early Learning Centre 7:00am – 6:00 pm 3–5 year olds. Before and after school care. cloverdalechildcare@shawbiz. ca, cloverdalechildcare.com. Full o’ Beans Preschool............................... 250-360-1148 We offer ‘learn through play’ programming designed to foster your child’s natural curiosity and imagination. Flexible scheduling, 2.5 and 4 hour programs, qualified staff. Registration is ongoing! saanichneighbourhoodplace.com. Island Montessori House......................... 250-592-4411 Inclusive, integrated and nurturing Preschool and Kindergarten programs. Located in a lovely rural setting with a focus on nature and outdoor environmental activities such as gardening and composting. islandmontessori.com. Lakehill Co-op Preschool.......................... 250-477-4141 Where children’s development is nurtured through a child centered inclusive, play based program. Come visit our natural outdoor playground and meet our loving qualified ECE team. Multiple Levels of participation available, please enquire. lakehillpreschool.org.

Emmanuel Preschool.............................. 250-598-0573 Children learn through play in our non-denominational Christian preschool near UVic. Bright attractive setting. emmanuelpreschool.ca.

Child Care

Resource & Referral islandfamilyinfo.ca ccrr.bc.ca 48  Island Parent Magazine

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

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Lambrick Park Preschool & Childcare........ 250-477-8131 Gordon Head’s only parent-participation preschool and childcare centre. Flexible options, play-based learning and outdoor play. Allergy friendly. Celebrating 40+ years. lambrickparkpreschool.ca.

Babies to Big Kids Childcare.......................250-590-2722 949 Fullerton Ave. Licenced group childcare for children ages 6 months to 11 years old. Offering full-time and part-time care. Open 6:30am-5:30pm. info@babies tobigkids.com, babiestobigkids.com.

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

Castleview Child Care............................. 250-595-5355 Learning Through Play & Discovery. Licensed non-profit, qual. ECE staff. Since 1958. Preschool and full-time care. castleviewchildcarecentre.com.

Oakcrest Preschool................................ 250-472-0668 A welcoming, nurturing environment with a large, bright facility. Learn through play with 2 caring ECEs. oakcrestpreschool.org. Pacific Christian School – Pre-School.......250-479-4532 Your child will love the playful, safe environment and caring staff at PCS Pre-School. Come and explore Educational Excellence to the Glory of God. PacificChristian.ca Rainbows & Dreams Preschool................ 250-479-1966 Small classes for 3-5 yr olds in a safe nurturing environment. Children learn through play and fun–developing a sense of confidence, independence and creativity. Highly qualified ECE teacher. Ready Set Grow Preschool....................... 250-472-1530 Inside Hillcrest Elm. in Gordon Head, we help children transition to Kindergarten. Licensed Preschool with highly qualified, warm ECE. heoscmanager@gmail.com. Rogers Child Care Centre........................250-744-2343 Trusted High Quality Non Profit Care since 1991. Year Round Early Learning and Out of School Care. For more info go to rogerschildcare.com. St. Joseph’s Catholic Preschool................... 250-479-1237 • A Christian child centre for 3–5 year olds. • A warm nurturing and challenging program • Offered by St. Joseph’s Catholic School. Wiseways Preschool & Daycare................ 250-477-1312 Quality, fully licensed, Christian preschool/daycare for 3–4 year olds. Experienced team of ECEs. Spacious facilities include large playground and indoor gym. Subsidized fees welcome. Call for a tour. wisewaysvictoria.com.

SIDNEY Acorntree Preschool................................250-686-1408 Balanced indoor/outdoor program, designed to stimulate natural curiosity and foster empathy and compassion towards others. We believe in the importance of both child and teacher directed activities. acorntreepreschool.ca. Positive Path Early Learning....................250-655-7244 Located near the library and Sidney School, our program has earned a stellar reputation for quality child care and is growing as fast as the children we care for. Space is available for your child to embark on a journey of active exploration and discovery, enjoying a natural outdoor playground and an expansive indoor learning space. Experienced educators foster a lifelong quest for knowledge and guide children with Christian values and virtues. positivepath@shaw.ca. Storyoga Preschool................................. 778-679-4004 Embracing and empowering children exactly as they are. Storyoga Preschool is a nature and yoga based program located in Sidney, BC. storyoga.com.

VICTORIA ArtsCalibre Academy.............................. 250-382-3533 Comprehensive programs for Preschool through Grade 6, delivering academic excellence through music, dance, drama and visual arts. Outstanding educators, locations and facilities. ArtsCalibre.ca

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Centennial Day Care............................... 250-386-6832 Exceptional childcare and education 35+ years. Nature inspired, play based program. NEW central, “green” building. centennialdaycare.ca. Christ Church Cathedral Childcare and Junior Kindergarten.......................... 250-383-5132 ECE and Specialist teachers provide an outstanding all-day, licensed program for 3–5 year olds. Spacious, renovated facility with a huge backyard in Fairfield. cathedralschool.ca. 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. nightingalepreschool.com. Arts/Drama programme. kidsworks.ca. Parkdale Early Childhood Centre.............250-382-0512 ECEs offer the highest quality care and positive learning experiences in our daycare and preschool. Full time or part time. Call for a tour or visit us at parkdalechildcare.ca. Rainbow Express Daycare....................... 250-382-2314 A nurturing environment for children to learn through play and discovery in a natural setting. ECEs and specialist teachers. rainbowexpressdaycare.com. Close to city centre. Ross Bay Preschool.................................250-383-7445 Positive/supportive program motivating children to learn, discover and grow through play. Daily outdoor time, special guests and community events! rossbaypreschool @shaw.ca. 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. victoriamontessori.com. YMCA-YWCA Child Care Centres...............250-386-7511 Enriched programs for children 10 months – 5 years. Our programs support healthy child development and future school success. victoriay.com.

VIEW ROYAL Island Kids Academy View Royal.............250-727-2929 High quality child care (ages 1-5). Preschool curriculum offered within a warm, caring child care environment. Character development using the Virtues Project. Access to community programs including swimming, skating, Victoria Conservatory of Music. Part-time spaces available. islandkids.ca. Little Wonders Preschool (View Royal OSC)..................................... 250-744-2718 A creative and supportive program that will prepare your child for a lifetime of learning! Out of School Care is also available for school aged children. viewroyalosc.com. A Secret Garden Preschool..................... 250-380-8293 Program built on Christian values. Monthly themes, weekly topics and daily activities. asecretgardenpreschool@shaw. ca.

View Royal Childcare...............................250-479-8067 Preschool structured, high quality childcare. Victoria Conservatory of Music classes. Part time spaces available. 2.5-5year olds. viewroyalpreschool@live.com. View Royal Preschool..............................250-479-8067 Exciting inclusive program in a safe and exceptional care environment. 3-5 year olds. Outside play and themes enrich this program. Full/part-time spaces available. viewroyalpreschool.com.

Mill Bay / Cobble Hill Cedar Montessori..................................... 250-710-9007 A beautiful rural setting where children are lovingly supported to learn at their own pace within a stimulating Montessori environment.

DUNCAN International Montessori Academy of Canada................................................. 250-737-1119 Offers an enriching environment for preschool children 2-4.9 years with potty training. Nurturing young minds, keeping the spirit free. intmontessori.ca. 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 parksideacademy.ca or find us on Facebook. Queen Margaret’s School.......................... 250-746-4185 Early Childhood Education Program. Co-ed nurturing curriculum to develop the whole child. Healthy snacks and lunch provided. qms.bc.ca. Queen of Angels Early Learning Centre...... 250-701-0433 We believe that the development of the whole child (physically, socially, emotionally, cognitively, and spiritually) encourages each individual to develop to their full potential. We offer an enriched full day program for 3–5 year olds based on Kindergarten readiness. Sunrise Waldorf School Preschool..............250-743-7253 A warm, nature-based Waldorf rhythm where wonder is nurtured. Led by Waldorf trained ECE teachers. sunrisewaldorfschool.org.

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

Qualicum Beach Children’s Discovery Centre.....................250-752-4343 Our program recognizes the uniqueness of each child and provides a nurturing, safe and creative learning environment. Licensed preschool, group care and out of school care. Early Childhood Educators. childrensdiscovery centre.ca. childrensdiscoverycentre@hotmail.com. Little Star Children’s Centre.....................250-752-4554 Mother, Daughter owned and operated. Earth friendly preschool education inspired by nature. Infused with fun and creative daily yoga practices! Licensed group care. Enthusiastic ECE instructors. littlestardaycare.ca

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.

December 2016  49


Talking About the Day Y esterday, while driving Angus home from kindergarten, he told me about his day. In detail. He told me where he sat during carpet calendar. He told me what other kids had for snack, and who he played with at recess. He told me what he drew in art class. He told me what book they acted out in drama. He explained the rules of the game they played in gym. This might not seem like a big deal for a lot of parents, but for me it was monumental. I had to remind myself to focus on the road, rather than turn around and inspect the communicative child in the backseat. Who was he, and what had he done with my son? Angus is by no means a quiet kid. He talks constantly—about his favourite

50  Island Parent Magazine

Roald Dahl books: which ones have movies based on them and how the movies and books are different; about whether it would be better to be Ratty or Badger in The Wind in the Willows. He talks about Amelia Bedelia—which order we’ve read the books in the series, which books we have yet to read, why she and Pippi Longstocking would be friends. He talks about The Wizard of Oz—how the Scarecrow is the best character. Angus has a wonderful capacity to remember, and describe, his favourite events from every book he’s read. This capacity does not extend to events he’s actually experienced. This has long been the case, but for years it didn’t really bother me. Angus was slow to talk, and when he started I was happy for him to say anything, even

if it was a sentence repeated verbatim from the bedtime story I read him the night before. In preschool his teachers told me about his day—either in person, or through notes written in a binder we lugged to and from school. Mostly I asked him yes or no questions, since there was less chance he’d ignore me. If I got lucky with an open-ended question, his answer would rarely exceed a single word. Most

Laura Trunkey Maternity & Beyond often, however, it was “I don’t know”—his default response for everything—which later evolved into “it’s a secret.” And yet there were children in his preschool class who chattered non-stop once their parents arrived to pick them up, who went into extensive detail about what they did and who they played with. These same children would sometimes tell me stories about Angus’s day—unrequested and

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unprompted—that I would never have gleaned from him. It amazed me that it was possible to have a back and forth conversation with a three-year-old. Was this something other parents experienced on a daily basis? Did they realize how lucky they were? It was about a year ago, when Angus was four, that his Behaviour Intervention workers began the “Talks about Day” program with Angus. It started with a sheet of visuals: cartoons with labels like spent time with mom, spent time with dad, ate breakfast, played with friends. Angus’s initial goal was to be able to point to the pictures that were true, and provide a single detail for each. What did you do with dad? What did you eat for breakfast? Progress was slow. Coming up with details was excruciatingly difficult for Angus. When he managed one, and received praise, he would repeat it the next session, whether or not it was accurate. Sometimes he would claim that he had not engaged in a single item on the sheet. I started to provide the intervention workers with an outline of the day’s schedule, so that I didn’t have to call from upstairs: “Yes, I did feed you lunch, Angus!” or “No, you did not go swimming!” Angus has evolved from the visuals. Now, his job is to engage in conversation. Provide details without prompting. The goal is for this to translate into real life so that when kids at school talk to Angus, he’ll talk back rather than walk away. So that when I want to know how he is and what he did when I wasn’t present, he’ll tell me. Yesterday’s conversation in the car, when Angus told me about his day, wasn’t without assistance. I had read the detailed write-up from Angus’s assistant in his communication book, and knew what questions to ask and what hints to give when he lost his train of thought. But this support was minimal. My hope is that soon it won’t be needed, that a typical experience for most parents—a conversation with their kid about school—will be a typical experience for me as well. Because as amazing as Pippi Longstocking is, she doesn’t hold a candle to the fascinating child I live with in the real world.

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

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December 2016  51


Island Catholic Schools surprising Keep Christ in Christmas

and Care of our Common Home

seeds

A nature lover’s gift

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h, the seed. What mightiness hides in such a small object? Though they may be as small as the head of a pin, to bigger than a fist, all seeds share one great secret—the potential to become a full grown plant! During the season of gift giving, I like to think of seeds as one of nature’s gifts, waiting to open and be enjoyed by all. During the dark of winter, seeds slumber beneath the ground or in leaf litter, simply awaiting to emerge in spring.

At Island Catholic Schools, we are Christ-centered communities of learning. Dedicated staff are committed to educating the “whole” child, helping each student to develop to their full potential spiritually, intellectually, physically, culturally, socially and emotionally.

250-727-6893 ~ www.cisdv.bc.ca St. Andrew’s Regional High School, Victoria St. Joseph’s Elementary School, Victoria St. Patrick’s Elementary School, Victoria Queen of Angels Elementary/Middle, Duncan St. Joseph’s Elementary School, Chemainus John Paul II Elementary School, Port Alberni

Licenced group childcare for children 6 months to 5 years Open 6:30am – 5:30pm 2758 Peatt Road, Langford 250-818-9225 or 778-265-5955 www.leapforwardlangford.com info@leapforwardlangford.com 52

Island Parent Magazine

Here at Swan Lake during the fall, one of our popular activities with children is a seed scavenger hunt. During the hunt children get to search for seeds that are able to fly, that would be eaten by a bird, that stick to clothing, that roll, that are camouflaged and much more. The exploration of the resulting find is to tease out the amazing variety of adaptations displayed by seeds. It turns out that plants are like people in one important aspect: they too want to send their offspring off into the world! The method by which this is achieved however, varies greatly. The Garry oak is content to drop its acorns and hope they hit the ground and roll off to a sufficiently good spot to grow. Of course, the acorn gets a little help from foraging squirrels who bury acorns (and IslandParent.ca


other nuts) in various locations and hopefully forget a few along the way. These seeds then have the advantage of actually having been planted in the ground! Small, dark, camas seeds are trapped in the dried remnants of the flowers on the adult plants until the wind, or a child, rattles the shaker and the little black gems are spread far and wide. Parachute seeds, such as that of the dandelion or thistle also rely on the wind to carry off their little darlings to new grounds.

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Renee Cenerini

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O O K E

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Renee Cenerini is the Program Manager at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary. IslandParent.ca

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Some plants rely on more explosive means such as violets and our infamous invasive plant, Scotch broom. Their pods swell, dry, twist and burst, sending their seeds in multiple directions. Another ingenious means of transportation is hitchhiking on an animal. Seeds covered in burs and spikes easily attach to an animals fur (or your pants) in the hope that they will be removed later on in a hospitable place to grow. Others such as the coconut, rely on water for their transportation to new lands. The outer covering of a coconut acts like a life jacket and helps it float to an exotic destination. Of course, here in Victoria we are unlikely to find a coconut floating around but you never know! Whatever their means of travel, seeds must eventually find enough soil, water and sunlight to survive. Thankfully, their immense numbers almost guarantees that eventually, a seed will thrive and grow to become an adult plant and start the whole life cycle in motion once again. If you are looking for a perfect gift for a nature lover, consider some lovely seeds. While it may not be enjoyed immediately, it holds the promise of gifts to come once spring arrives. Whether it be for flowers, veggies or even a tree, with a little love, sunshine, water and a good place to grow, that small gift may give some great returns.

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Nature Notes

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Send Us Your Stories! Island Parent is looking for articles for upcoming issues. Some of our best content comes from people just like you—Vancouver Island parents who are passionate about their families and are dealing with the day to day issues of raising children in our community. Share your experiences, your thoughts on a particular issue, your ideas on places to see or projects to do—anything related to parenting. Check our Writer’s Guidelines at islandparent.ca for specific information on submissions. We’d love to hear from you. Please email submissions to editor@islandparent.ca. December 2016  53


Interference

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hen parents who live together are in a battle for control, one parent interferes with the other when he or she is interacting with the children. Mary interrupts with “John, you’re being too hard on him,” as John imposes a consequence on their son. John interrupts with “Mary, he should be asleep by now,” as Mary reads his son a lengthy story. Each parent undermines the other’s authority, and then John and Mary wonder why their children don’t accept their discipline. If you are interfering with each other’s parenting, you really need to Cut It Out! The children in this situation learn to play the parents off against each other. “But Mom said I could go over to Andrew’s house.” If one parent is more lenient than the other, the kids will ask for a privilege from that parent first. If one parent is acknowledged to have greater power than the other, the less powerful parent may be asked “What would Dad say?” For two adults to work together effectively, they must have an agreement that each

54  Island Parent Magazine

is to be respected in their interactions with the children as long as there is no abusive behaviour. If mom disagrees with the way dad disciplines their child, she should not interfere at the time. She may speak with dad afterwards about it, out of the child’s hearing. Similarly, if dad thinks mom is being too lenient, he is not to interfere in the child’s presence. This kind of interference undermines the authority of both parents in the child’s eyes. Many parental disagreements stem from the fact that the parents had different upbringings and consequently different ideas about appropriate limits and how to enforce them. Often one parent sees the other as being either too harsh or too lenient. Perhaps one parent develops knowledge and

skills (for example, a new sense of good boundaries) and can no longer tolerate their partner’s old methods. It’s important for partners to discuss these issues and, whenever possible, read the same parenting books or take the same courses so they can come to a consensus. But this should be done privately, not in the hearing of the children, and certainly not by interfering with one another’s parenting, unless genuine abuse is occurring. There should be a boundary

Allison Rees Cut It Out! around each parent’s relationship with the child, and a boundary around the parents’ relationship with one another as they try to work out their parenting philosophy.

LIFE Seminars has two books available, Sidestepping the Power Struggle and The Parent Child Connection. See lifeseminars.com.

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liday s giving his o h s i h T il i h a S her , n f o t i a seaso r por t kid - and a m o m our ite v a f y r ve ther. o r b s i h

Looking for something to do over the Holiday Season?

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Holiday Skate with Anna + Elsa Winter Break Adventure Camp Extreme Gingerbread House Workshop Crystal Pool and Fitness Centre

For more information: 250.361.0732

Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre

Register online at: victoria.ca/recreation


Calling all

Island Parents Celebrating

for 108 years

with daughters!

Top Reasons to Choose an All-Girl School Raising Courageous Girls Girls’ School Grads Report Higher Self-Confidence

Empowering Education For girls from Jr Kindergarten to Grade 12

Leaders in Early Learning

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ST. MARGARET’S SCHOOL | 1080 Lucas Ave, Victoria

STEM learning happens naturally on our 22-acre campus

Not just equal opportunity; every opportunity Girls thrive in small classes in our safe, supportive environment

UPCOMING OPEN HOUSES • January 25 • February 24 WWW.STMARG.CA

Island Parent December 2016  

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