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Healthy Resolutions Make-Your-Own Sushi Party
Winter Programs Guide
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28 Make-Your-Own-Sushi Party
Have you registered your child yet for CanSkate? Register at Juan de Fuca Skating Club for the best learn-to-skate program with certified coaches. No matter if your child wants to play hockey, speed skate or figure skate; Canskate or CanPowerSkate will start them off on the right foot!
FEATURES 10 Christina Van Starkenburg:
Make the Most of a Visit to the Museum
12 Amy Williams Kuta:
Taking Out the ‘Nots’ 13 Wakanna Takai-MacLean: It Can’t Be Helped 14 Winter Programs 17 Literacy & Brain Development 18 Tim Collins: The Last Time 20 Learn at Play Every Day 22 Sharon Selby: Kids & Anxiety In Every ISSUE
THE BEST COACHES Nationally certified coaches trained specifically in teaching the mechanics and proper technique of skating
Island Parent Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Party Directory. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Family Calendar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Family Services Directory. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38, 39 Preschool & Child Care Directory . . . . . . . . . . . 40, 41 Business & Professional Directory. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
COLUMNS 5 Sue Fast: Editor’s Note 8 Erin Skillen:
Post-Married Mommy 28 Emillie Parrish: Cooking With Kids 30 Ashley Degraaf: Is There an App for This? 32 David Leach: Dadspeak 34 Morgan Fankboner & Areli Hermanson: Healthy Families, Happy Families 36 Diana Hurschler: New Parent Pages 42 Kirsten Dallimore: Nature Notes 44 Laura Trunkey: Maternity & Beyond 46 Allison Rees: Cut It Out!
Coaches are assisted by trained program assistants Ensures a 1:10 coach/program assistant to skater ratio or lower
Island Parent Magazine
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Island Parent Magazine, published by Island Parent Group Enterprises Ltd., is a monthly publication that honours and supports parents by providing information on resources and businesses for Vancouver Island families. Views expressed are not necessarily those of the publisher. No material herein may be reproduced without the permission of the publisher. Annual mail subscriptions (12 issues) are available for $35 (GST included). Canadian Publication Mail Product Sales Agreement 40051398.
On the COVER
Charlie L (4). Photo by Erin Wallis, Erin Wallis Photography, erinwallis.com
The Kindness Curriculum
hat if kindness and compassion were taught in schools just like math and reading? That’s the question posed by the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a research centre that studies the science of well-being and how it can be nurtured. “What if kids were taught how to pay attention not only to lessons, but also to their own emotions?” The Kindness Curriculum incorporates mindfulness through a variety of stories, songs and sensory games like “Belly Buddy Breathing,” where kids place a light object such as a stuffed animal on their bellies and then focus on how it moves when they breathe. There’s the “mind jar” where jars of glitter, like snow globes, inspire kids to notice how tiny particles settle, just like their minds settle after being angry or upset. According to the New York Times article, “Can Kindness be Taught?” by Richard
While kindness to others is important, says Brooke Jones, founder of the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation in the Times, kindness to oneself is key. Especially as parents. “When, let’s say you fail a test, do you say to yourself ‘I’m stupid,’ or do you say
Schiffman, the Kindness Curriculum gives kids the tools that help them not only cope with their emotions, but also be compassionate with others. The theory is that the more aware children are of their own emotions, the better able they are to empathize with the feelings of others and to try to help. Since the curriculum was introduced last August, more than 15,000 educators, parents and others from around the world have signed up for it. All this stemming from a challenge to Center founder Richard Davidson—from the Dalai Lama. His hope: to teach kindness. In an informal survey, the children’s program “Sesame Street” asked parents about the state of kindness in the U.S. Seventy per cent of parents surveyed believe “the world is an unkind place for my child” and nearly 80 per cent agreed with the statement that “it’s more important that my children are kind to others” than “academically successful.”
Sue Fast Editor’s Note
to yourself, ‘I have more to learn?’, asks Jones. “Parents and educators need to focus on the importance of kids believing in themselves.” And us, in turn, believing in ourselves. As Schiffman writes in “Can Kindness Be Taught?”, we must practice what we preach: we must become examples of the kindness that we are trying to teach. The Kindness Curriculum is available for free by signing up at centerhealthyminds. org. To take the Sesame Street kindness survey, visit kindness.sesamestreet.org. Here’s to a kind and Happy New Year!
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January 2018 5
Pregnant? Pregnancy is a state of health. Midwives recognize what an extraordinary time this is in your life and we are available to support you through your childbearing year. COVERED BY YOUR BC HEALTH CARE BC’s Medical Services Plan pays for midwifery care, including in-home check-ups in labour and after you’ve had your baby. You can self-refer to a midwife.
QUALITY CARE Studies show that midwifery clients have lower rates of episiotomies, infection, Caesarean sections, forceps and vacuum deliveries and newborns that require resuscitation.
CHOICE OF HOSPITAL OR HOME BIRTH
Island Parent NOTES Letter Writing Week at Royal BC Museum
Help revive the lost art of letter writing. Stop by Royal BC Museum’s letter writing station during Universal Letter Writing Week from January 2-8 and sit down to pen a note. The New Year is a great time to make a resolution to slow down and what better way to do that than to put away your Smartphone, sit down and write a letter at the letter writing booth. RBCM will provide the paper, pens, envelopes and even stamps—no parcels to South Africa please! Who knows, the letter you write could one day become part of RBCM’s future archives. For more information, visit royalbcmuseum.bc.ca.
Family Sundays at AGGV
information on baby care and breastfeeding than fit into most childbirth preparation courses. So, in addition to its pre-natal classes, Mothering Touch offers a Parenting The Newborn course, taught by experienced childbirth and breastfeeding educators and postpartum doulas, to help new parents confident in caring for their new babies. The classes approach the issue of baby care from the perspective of the baby. What does this little mammal need from us? How can we meet those needs? How can we enjoy our baby and develop a connection? The classes look in depth at breastfeeding and what we can do to facilitate good practices from the very beginning. And you’ll learn how to keep our babies safe. Topics include: • Baby Care: crying and comforting, sleeping arrangements, diapering, bathing, baby wearing • Breastfeeding beyond the first weeks: the stages of breastfeeding, normal breastfedbaby behaviour challenges, how to avoid them and overcome them, pumping and saving breastmilk • Infant First Aid: infant choking procedures, infant CPR, infant seizures, poisoning, allergic reactions, prevention of childhood related injuries The three consecutive Thursday evening workshops (7-9pm) fill up quickly so get a jump on the March classes (Mar 8-22) by registering now. The classes run at Mothering Touch Centre, 975 Fort Street. For information visit motheringtouch.ca.
Enjoy a fun-filled family afternoon of exploring hands-on art-making and ideas connected to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria’s current exhibitions and programming. This month it’s Form as Meaning: First Nations Prints from the Pacific Northwest. Drop by on Sunday January 21 from 2-4pm for activities for all ages which take place throughout the Gallery, including the gardens in warmer months. This recurring program often features special guests like storytellers, artists, performers or musicians and runs every third Sunday of the month (Oct-June from 2-4pm). Program is included with admission or purchase a The Library’s Toy Collection family membership for $75 and receive unGreater Victoria Public Library’s toy collimited Gallery admission, Family Sundays lection offers a box full of fun—everything and other discounts. Visit aggv.ca. from giant foam blocks to talking brix—to support a child’s learning journey. Parenting the Newborn The Skill Builders Adaptive Toy collecMany parents feel that they want more tion provides families with young children
CONTINUITY OF CARE COMPREHENSIVE CARE BREASTFEEDING EDUCATION & SUPPORT We would be pleased to schedule an appointment to answer your questions about midwifery care.
midwivesinvictoria.ca 6 Island Parent Magazine
$20,000 Prize for 10 Eco-focused Schools
Every year, Staples awards 10 schools across Canada with $20,000 in new technology each. Given the speed of technological advancements, the age of equipment in many Canadian schools is quite outdated. This is where Superpower Your School Contest can help. Staples and Earth Day Canada have teamed up to provide publicly-funded schools the chance to win $20,000-worth of new technology, giving students the opportunity to learn, discover and enhance their education through leading-edge technology. Through the Superpower Your School Contest, a total of 10 prizes (each for $20,000-worth of tech products) are up for grabs. To win, publicly-funded schools must simply share what they’re doing to help our environment at staples.ca/powereco. Maintaining a sustainable green house, creating planting areas in local parks and building a Geodome are just some of the projects that helped previous winning schools stand out. To help schools prepare their entries, Staples has assembled a series of resources, including excerpts from the 2017 winning school entries, a step-by-step entry guide and a list of frenquently asked questions. For links, visit staples.ca/powereco. Applications will be accepted until January 31. IslandParent.ca
who have cognitive, physical, sensory, or communicative challenges with the opportunity to borrow adaptive and accessible toys from the public library. The collection was developed with the assistance of the Island Health, Early Intervention Program located at the Queen Alexandra Centre for Children’s Health. There is an array of mainstream and specialty toys, all sourced locally or from Canadian distributors. Each of the more than 70 toy boxes contains three to five toys, a fidget sensory and self-regulation toy, a book or CD, and an activity sheet with information and ideas on how to use the toys, as well as resources for parents who may have developmental concerns about their child. The boxes come in three sizes, the smallest size is the same as GVPL’s Stories to Go Boxes. To find a list of the available boxes, search the GVPL catalogue using the term “skill builders” or view a complete list of toys with pictures at gvpl.ca/skillbuilders GVPL patrons can borrow one box per adult card for 21 days (14 days with holds). Greater Victoria Public Library aims to inspire literacy, lifelong learning and community enrichment for all. GVPL provides services and collections in 10 libraries and online at gvpl.ca to more than 300,000 residents in 10 municipalities.
300,000 books into homes 12,000+ families who donate 13 municipalities in which 1000X5 operates 23 Strong Start Centres (in elementary schools) distributing books 42 other agencies distributing books 20–30 books received per child per year Priceless, the difference these books make in a child’s life. January 27 is National Literacy Day. Enjoy a book with your child. Make a dif-
ference to another child. Take a few picture books for babies and preschoolers to your nearest elementary school. Visit 1000x5.ca for information or to make a charitable donation. Contacts: Eileen Eby in Victoria School District at firstname.lastname@example.org, Daphne Macnaughton in Saanich School District at dlmvictoria@ shaw.ca, or Denise Brown in Sooke School District at email@example.com.
Share Some Warmth with Big Brothers Big Sisters
It’s time to clean out your closet. For 39 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of Victoria and area has been helping children and youth in communities from Sooke to Salt Spring. BBBS’s mentoring programs support youth in reaching their full potential. Generous donors help BBBS to reach its goals—your donations are needed. Please consider giving your time, your financial support and your re-usable clothing and linens. Each of these gifts moves BBBS closer to reaching their goal of providing a mentor for every child who needs one. BBBS volunteers mentor children and youth on a one-to-one basis, meeting weekly with their “little brother” or “little sister.” The goal is to create a connection that meets the specific needs of the child, offers support and potentially lasts a lifetime. Mentoring fosters confidence and self-esteem, and as a result youth who have been mentored are less likely to allow themselves to be victimized or bullied by their peers. Mentored youth simply do better. With your support, Big Brothers Big Sisters will continue to improve our community, one relationship at a time. Drop off your clothing donations at the main office at 230 Bay Street (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm), Tillicum Mall parking lot outside Old Navy (Mon-Fri, 8:30am-6pm, and Sat and Sun, 9:30am-5pm), at Value Village at 1810 Store Street (10am9pm), or call to arrange a free pick up at 250-385-7226. For more information, visit bbbsvictoria.com.
1000X5: 1000 Books by Age Five Children’s Book Recycling Project
In your home, how many baby and preschooler books sit on shelves, tables and under the bed? More than 50? 100? How many times have you read the same story to your little one? More than 10? 25? 50? Congratulations—you are building a love of reading that will last a lifetime. Sadly, many babies and preschoolers in our communities do not have books in their homes and do not build this essential habit in the early years. 1000X5 Children’s Book Recycling Project is changing that reality, one book at a time. Families at most elementary schools in Victoria, Saanich, and Sooke School districts donate gently used picture books for babies and preschoolers. Retired teachers and administrators donate time to sort, label, and gift bag those books. The gift bags are delivered to Strong Start Centres and community agencies where families monthly take home three quality books for each child. The numbers tell a powerful story: IslandParent.ca
January 2018 7
Should I Stay or Should I Go?
hen it comes to life’s big decisions—like whether or not to get married or have kids—there will always be at least one person in your life who has an opinion on whether or not you’re ready for it. Truth is, it’s none of their damn business. No one knows but you, and even you probably aren’t completely sure. Choosing whether or not you should separate or divorce from your partner is one of those big decisions. Others may have a lot to say about your situation, but ultimately, it’s up to you. Yes, there are exceptions. Maybe your partner has chosen to end it and you may or may not have a say in the matter. In that case, the decision is mostly out of your hands. But when the choice is yours to make, and you’re considering it with all
• Stay if you feel there is still work that can be done between you and your partner to attempt to make things better. • Take your time and don’t make a rushed decision, unless the immediate safety of you and/or your kids is at stake. • Listen to your intuition. When you sit
of the focused time and energy it deserves, this big life decision is absolutely your call. While I can’t tell you what to do and what is right or wrong for you, I can share some things I have learned from my own journey, as well as from those of friends and family who have been through this as well.
• Stay in your relationship out of fear or just “for the kids.” No one wants to live in a household full of anger, negativity or indifference. Ask yourself if you are staying in the marriage for yourself and your partner, or are just too scared to make a change. • Stay if you are being verbally, emotionally or physically abused. • Leave if you’re doing it to get attention and don’t actually want the relationship to end.
Erin Skillen Post-Married Mommy and think deeply about your marriage and your life together, what does that voice in your head say you should do? • Imagine your life if you stay and then if you leave. What do you see? How does it make you feel? Choosing whether to stay or to leave is rarely a choice that’s made once and immediately acted on. You may have considered it several times before and even taken steps toward it at some point. So, if you do choose to stay this time, frame that
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choice as an action, rather than accepting the status quo and continuing as you have been. Make it a dedicated choice to make your relationship with your partner work. If you choose to stay, try to: • See a therapist if you can afford one. Consider doing both individual and couples’ counselling. • Hear your partner, empathize with them and respect them. That’s the best way to get them to do the same. • Prioritize your relationship and take action to make improvements. Try hard to see your partner as the man or woman you fell in love with, and not just the other parent of your kids. Make time to connect as those two people, without kids in tow. If you choose to leave, it will obviously create a major change in your life, and the lives of your children. You need to prepare yourself for that, and do all you can to be ready for uncertain times. If you choose to leave, try to: • Get on top of your finances. Splitting one home into two is pricey and you need to understand what your budget will be, and whether you need to earn or access additional income to make it possible. • Activate your network. Help and support from friends, family, babysitters, etc. Our Academy Programs are the will be necessary for you to process what’s perfect combination of outdoor fun happening, manage the logistics of your and professional instruction. From new life and maintain as much stability as private instruction to group camps, possible for your children. our programs are tailor-made for • Get a therapist. Money will likely be all-ages and abilities. tight, but it’s essential to do this if you can. Your support network is a fantastic Choose from golf, tennis, or cycling. resource, but having a non-biased set of experienced ears available can help make the transition a bit less bumpy. B E A R M O U N TA I N . C A | 2 5 0 . 7 4 4 . 2 3 2 7 You may never know 100 per cent if you’re making the right choice or not. Life will play out according to the path you’ve 1 9 9 9 CO U N T RY C L U B WAY, V I C TO R I A B C selected and you can’t ever see where the other choice would have led. Listen to your gut, try to stay calm and do what you truly believe is best for you and your family. Speak BMR_Island Parent_Winter 2017.indd 1 with others if you need to, but know that the only opinion that matters at the end of the day is your own. It is your life, and whether you stay or go is your decision to make. Whichever path you choose, know that you are not alone. Others have made these choices too and created the path that led them to the happiness they deserve.
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Erin Skillen is the co-founder and COO of FamilySparks.com, an education company that helps parents navigate the toughest job in the world. She’s also a mom and a bucket list slayer. IslandParent.ca
Register for our Winter/Spring Terms Today! (250) 386-7526 www.skam.ca
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2017-12-20 4:24 PM
January 2018 9
Make the Most of a Visit to the Museum
he sun is not yet up as my three-yearold runs into my room. He hands me Little Bear and Marshall to give me the false hope that this morning he might actually fall back to asleep then climbs up into the bed and takes over my pillow before bouncing up and down. “What we doing today, Mommy?” I look up at him and admit defeat. “I was thinking we could go to the museum.” “Yay!” He hops back off the bed and b-lines for the door. “Ready!” he calls as he bounds down the stairs.
For example, I pack a lot of snacks. My boys get hungry after running or crawling through the exhibits. Food isn’t usually allowed in most museums, so if we’re at, for example, Royal BC Museum (RBCM), we take advantage of the café area. We like to break for food twice: once right when we arrive, and then again after we’ve explored, in this case, the second floor of the RBCM. We also take some time to go over the ground rules, like no yelling, being careful with the exhibits they’re allowed to touch, and sticking together as a group. Finally, I take a few moments to plan
ruining someone else’s enjoyment of the museum, and anything that prevents extra mom guilt is a plus.
3. Tour at a Toddler’s Pace
You will be exploring the museum at a toddler’s pace, so plan to be there a while (hence all the snacks). But that doesn’t mean
Christina Van Starkenburg
they’ll toddle slowly from one place to the next letting you read every sign you pass. Sometimes they will stop when there are things to play with, but other times they’ll simply rush from one thing to the next. Side note, if you actually do want to read something or look closely at one exhibit that your kids have decided isn’t worth their time, remind your children that they agreed to stay close to you. Just remember to stay close to them if they want to spend more time than you would like in a different exhibit.
4. Don’t Outstay Your Welcome
Sometimes, it’s just not a good day to be there. The last time we went my youngest did not nap on my back like I hoped he would, and he desperately needed a nap. We were also with a small group of other toddlers and preschoolers and we knew we were quickly approaching their naptime too, which meant no amount of snacks would stop the crying once it started. So we hurried through the last exhibit to get Photo: Royal BC Museum them out and on the way home before the tears began to fall. When I first had a child I was pretty our route when we get there. When we’re It might not always be the perfect experinervous about taking him to art galleries or at RBCM, we have to tour the second floor ence you’re hoping for, but it probably won’t museums or anything that involved walking where we make sure to visit my eldest son’s be the horror story you’re imagining either. around the halls and staring at exhibits. But buddy, the Woolly Mammoth. After that Just remember, with a bit of prep work you I loved going to them and I didn’t want to we head downstairs for our second snack, really can enjoy a trip to the museum with give that up. and then we finish off our visit with the your young children. So the next time they Now that I’m two kids and countless third floor. wake you up far too early to ask what you’re museum and art gallery trips in, I thought doing that day, why not say “I was thinking I’d share what I’ve learned to make the 2. Go When It’s Quieter we could go to the museum”? experience enjoyable for everyone. It’s not always possible, but if you can, try to go when it’s a bit quieter. It’s easier to keep track of roaming children when Christina Van Starkenburg is a freelance writer 1. Be Prepared My son is usually happy to run out the there are less people milling about. You and mother of two young boys. You can read door in his pajamas, but I like to take some also won’t have to worry about feeling about their adventures at thebookandbaby. time to get ready so we can set ourselves like your children are being disruptive and com. up for a good day. 10 Island Parent Magazine
GIVE-A-$HEET You Can “Bridge People to Nature”
DID YOU KNOW... Your donation to Phase II of the
“Bridges to Nature” Floating Boardwalk Campaign Will ~ no matter the size ~
* Each $heet of ﬁberglass decking will cost aprox $500 * Each $ection of the Phase II ﬂoating Boardwalk Project will cost aprox $5,000 $800,000 is required to span the lake
Make a Difference
Call 250.479.0211 or visit swanlake.bc.ca to donate
“Give-a-$HEET” and help Bridge People to Nature Today! IslandParent.ca
January 2018 11
Taking Out the ‘Nots’
on’t touch that! Don’t run across the street! Don’t bug your sister. Don’t leave your Lego on the floor.”…“Why did you just do that? I told you not too!” “Do Not.” Two words that cancel each other out. The subtle oxymoron, like: I like your pants—not! This is really fun—not! Run across the street—not! Our minds have to process that “do” is cancelled out by “not” and then decipher what it is we’re not supposed to do. That sounds like a lot of work for a three-yearold or a five-year-old and some days for this 41-year-old. Instead of “do not,” this is what they hear: Touch that! Run across the street! Bug your sister! Leave your Lego on the floor. The old self-help theory is to think about what you do want in your life not what you don’t want. What you focus on is what you get. And then there is just the fact that no one really likes being told not to do something. It makes them defensive or makes them want to do it.
“Don’t leave the toilet seat up (How many times do I have to tell you?)” Arguments can arise, denial (I didn’t leave it up!), purposefully left up toilet seats to piss you off. So it helps for us to do a little translating. This means you have to stop and think about what it is you do want them to do. You’re giving a clear direction they are more likely to understand. They still may not listen to you but you will be speaking the same language. In my exercise class when my arms are under my body and my ass is in the air and sweat is pouring down my face, my instructor yells “don’t give up. Don’t give up on yourself.” I am barely hanging on and when I hear this my reptile brain wants to lay down and give up. When the class is over he tells everyone to “please leave quietly and don’t slam the door.” Someone always slams the door. Maybe if he left it at “please leave quietly” or “please gently close the door,” it might make a difference.
Try it with your kids, take out a few “nots.” Please put the toilet seat down. (That’s harder to argue with, don’t you feel calmer?)
Amy Williams Kuta Please walk across the street. Remember to keep your hands off the stove. Leave your sister alone. Please pick up your Lego. I don’t know about you but when my arms are under my body, my ass is in the air and there is sweat pouring down my face all I want to hear is “You can do it! You can do it!” Damn right I can.
Amy Williams Kuta is lucky to live, play and parent in the warmth of the Cowichan Valley.
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12 Island Parent Magazine
Ana Vieira, Coordinator Ana.Vieira@viu.ca
It Can’t Be Helped
hated being pregnant. Don’t get me wrong. It was a planned pregnancy, and I was happy to soon have a baby. But I wasn’t “glowing” as many people say pregnant women do. If I had to describe myself with one word, it would be, at best, “calm.” My pregnancy was uneventful, with only a few minor issues. Morning sickness, sleepless nights and difficulty breathing are minor if at the end of nine months you have a healthy baby and mother. That’s not to say that minor issues don’t feel major. When I complained about my lack of sleep and was told it prepares a mother’s body for the upcoming sleepless nights with her newborn, I wanted to scream. Human beings need about seven hours of uninterrupted sleep every night to keep health and sanity. It’s a scientific fact. Period. Luckily the happy pregnant hormone held me in check. Some say that envisioning an adorable baby can help to endure the nine months. In my case, it was the Japanese attitude: “Shikataganai/It can’t be helped.” “It can’t be helped” on the surface seems to carry negative connotations. It is often mis-translated as “giving up.” You are giving up because there is nothing you can do to change the situation. I never liked the phrase when I was younger, as it made me feel like I was defeated. I’m an overachiever. I went, and still go, at things full strength believing I can conquer. Pregnancy altered this attitude. Unless I gave up my baby, and that wasn’t an option, there was nothing I could do to stop the pregnancy. I had to go along with whatever it would bring. At one point in the second trimester, I had a burning sensation in my thigh, and couldn’t sleep lying on my left side. This meant I only had one position to sleep in: not on my back, not on my belly, just on my right side. One night I sat up in the dark room, and the phrase popped out of my mouth: “shikataganai.” It can’t be helped. Beneath this frequently used Japanese phrase lies the Buddhism concept of Teikan/ Taikan. The Chinese characters represent “to see things clearly.” When you pay attention to what’s happening, connect yourself, breath in the situation deeply, you are not
giving up. You are accepting it. Although this quintessence is often forgotten by young Japanese generations, the phrase remains in Japanese society. It is said that with this attitude Japanese immigrants endured their hardships during the war.
Wakana TakaiMacLean Pregnancy brought constant change in my body. It made me give up small things one by one such as wearing certain clothes, riding a bicycle and eating certain foods. I hate changes. I hate transitions. Gradually it brought a change in my mind to accept what was happening. Now my daughter, Akane, is three and in a full blast terrible/horrible stage. I remember the exact date when she had her first tantrum—March 18, 2016—when she was just over two years old. First she cried on the kitchen floor for more than half an hour. The second time was in bed for another half an hour just before going to sleep. At first, I was shocked. I didn’t realize until a few days later that it was the beginning of her tantrum stage. I thought she was overwhelmed by a social day with visitors. It was difficult to keep calm, but I managed. It can’t be helped. Akane was simply being a two-year old. Shikataganai is easier said than done. I’m not good at stress, and tend to react to emotions. Sometimes watching Akane being unreasonable makes me feel upset. And she is always changing. I sometimes struggle with these changes and find myself fighting against them, but usually after a couple of days I come to peace with them. It can’t be helped. She is a child. So I try to take a deep breath, say “shikataganai/it can’t be helped” and carry on. Wakana Takai-MacLean is a certified translator who occasionally writes. She lives in Victoria with her husband and daughter, Akane. English is her second language. You can contact her at email@example.com
Check out our Winter 2018 parenting courses! 1Up Lighthouse Parent is a strength-based program designed to support you in developing trust in your own parenting intuition, and confidence to parent the unique child you have. Through supported group work and practice you will explore conscious parenting, communication, setting boundaries and identify your own strengths and parenting style. The skills you gain will enhance your family’s daily life. Check our website www.1-up.ca for more details about this and many other 1Up courses To register, or for more information call 250-385-1114 or email firstname.lastname@example.org January 2018 13
rom art classes to wellness programs—and everything in between—our community offers an array of programs, resources and services for families. To find out what’s available, read on. (For more details on the following listings, please refer to the ads in this issue of Island Parent).
As the premiere school for young actors in Victoria, Kaleidoscope focuses on a single mission: Training the best and brightest students to become highly skilled, confident, and well-rounded young performers. Kaleidoscope’s innovative training inspires creativity and imagination while exploring respected techniques under the guidance of our esteemed faculty, directors, and industry experts. Discover our classes in Musical Theatre, Acting, Drama, Improvisation, Comedy, Acting for the Camera, plus Pro-D Day Camps, Spring Break and Summer Programs. 250-383-8124. kaleidoscope.bc.ca. SKAM School of Performing Arts offers young people from 3-18 years who have a dramatic interest or passion, the opportunity to creatively explore and develop their skills. Staff are all trained and experienced
theatre artists and teachers. Students are encouraged to develop individual skills in movement, voice, dramatic techniques and performance skills. Benefits include improved acting skills, confidence, creative thinking, public speaking, creative collaboration, and versatility in physical, vocal and emotional expression. 250-386-7526. skam.ca. facebook.com/skamschoolofpa. Since 1980 STAGES Performing Arts School has offered professional instruction in jazz, ballet, lyrical, tap, musical theatre and hip hop for all ages and levels of experience. We believe that all students should have an equal opportunity to learn in a safe, non-competitive environment, which fosters self-expression, a healthy body, confidence, and encourages responsibility, discipline, inspiration, creativity and pride in their accomplishments. For
more information, please call STAGES at 250-384-3267 or visit stagesdance.com.
Victoria Academy of Ballet (VAB) was established in 1990 and is under the ownership and direction of Bleiddyn Del Villar Bellis, PCSC-CICB. VAB offers specialized dance instruction to children ages 3 to Professional level. VAB is a registered Vocational Institution with its two-year, full-time Bridge Program for high school graduates designated with the BC Private Training Institutions Branch. 716 Johnson Street. 250590-6752. victoriaacademnyofballet.ca.
Which road will take you to your masters’ in Education Leadership at VIU? Weekends/Summer Option:
Six Friday evenings and six Saturdays per semester and one July residency.
Study online and enjoy two brief summer residencies.
Study full-time at VIU for one year. Complete your degree in three semesters.
For more information contact Dr. Rachel Moll, Chair, Graduate Programs Rachel.Moll@viu.ca
viu.ca/medl 14 Island Parent Magazine
Donna Nelson, Donna.Nelson@viu.ca 250.753.3245 local 2530 IslandParent.ca
Victoria Gymnastics is celebrating its 39th year and enjoying the success of its two locations—downtown and the newest location near Royal Roads University in Colwood. We continue to provide quality artistic gymnastics for boys and girls ages two through adult, beginner through advanced. Our non-competitive achievement programs provide children with a skill set advantage for all activities. We guarantee our 8 to 1 ratio, offer convenient class times and ensure certified instruction so that your child will excel in a well-structured, fun and safe environment. Visit victoriagymnastics.com.
The Tom Lee Music Academy at Millstream Village offers lessons for all ages in piano, guitar, keyboard, bass, drums, voice, theory, strings, brass and woodwinds. Learning to play music is a life-changing skill that is also great fun. From ages 3 beginners to the advanced student, we strive to make music education accessible and enjoyable with a sense of accomplishment at every level. Please call 250-383-5222 for more information.
to make health and wellness a focus. Try it Free invites you to sample over 120 programs at no charge. Register online at victoria.ca/recreation for a complete list of the participating facilities and programs, or call 250-361-0732. Cedar Hill Recreation and Arts Centre provides unique state-of-the-art spaces, studios and programs. We offer a wide range of classes and drop-ins for all ages, including sports, arts, pottery, dance, fitness, tennis, squash, badminton, table tennis and rehabilitation. Enjoy the Gallery Café, free of charge art exhibitions, and Golf Course chip trails while using the facility. Give Cedar Hill Recreation Centre a call today for details on classes and how to register 250475-7121 or visit recreation.saanich.ca. Gordon Head Recreation Centre. Facility highlights include our pool, dance/ fitness studio, weight room, multi-purpose spaces, wellness annex, dedicated preschool space and more. If you’re looking for a quality preschool experience, we still have space available in our very popular “ECO Recreation (Educating Children Outdoors)” program. City of Victoria. Start off 2018 with Sessions are offered at Swan Lake and active, fun and healthy activities for you Beaver Lake. Call 250-475-7100 for more and your family! January is a perfect time information. 1Up Single Parent Resource Centre courses covering a range of parenting and personal development topics begin again in January 2018. Courses include 1Up Lighthouse Parent, Understanding Anger, Mindfulness & Conscious Parenting, Time Management and Goal-setting. We are excited to announce two ongoing, drop-in groups: Dads with Dads & Moms with Moms. Our courses are low cost and open to all parents. Visit 1-up.ca or call 250-385-1114. LIFE Seminars parenting courses have made a huge, positive impact on families in Victoria for over 30 years. Dr. Allison Rees offers courses, Sidestepping the Power Struggle and Parenting Children and Teens. Dr. Rees also provides individual coaching and education. For more information about the courses, go to the website, lifeseminars. com or call 250-595-2649. These courses are in book form and available on Kindle, or at Bolen Books.
S T A G E S Performing Art School since1980
Come Dance With Us
ses Clas l o ho .. e -S c angels. r P e e l 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: email@example.com Or visit our website: www.stagesdance.com January 2018 15
GR Pearkes Recreation Centre partners with Colquitz School, Saanich Neighbourhood Place, The Centennial Public Library, Tillicum Centre and others. The facility houses a huge trade show facility, two ice rinks, classrooms, dance studio, weight room, and a teen lounge. We offer classes in dance, skating, woodworking, preschool, spin and aerobics. Come for a visit at 3100 Tillicum Road behind Tillicum Mall. Lots of free parking, or we are bus routes #21, #22, and #26. Saanich Commonwealth Place offers Parent and Tot, as well as preschool age programs ranging from French, science, dance, karate, swim lessons and soccer. There are some fantastic new preschool programs to check out including; Stepping up to Kindergarten, and Intro to ABC123’s. Call us at 250-475-7600 or online at saanichrec.ca.
Science & Nature
Mad Science® offers a variety of programs with fun science content. Birthday Parties, Camps and After-school programs—they all offer an opportunity to immerse children in an experimental, hands-on environment of exploration and learning. We bring exciting science to your home, to your school, to your community. Our new program Tech & Nature is sure to impress. Check our website madscience.org/ vancouverisland or call 1-888-954-6237 for more information. Mineral World and the Scratch Patch is a unique and family-friendly attraction located in charming, Sidney, BC. Come in to collect semi-precious gemstones in the Scratch Patch area, browse our store for fossils, minerals, jewellery, gifts and toys or book an Earth Science education class. Call us at 250-656-0791 or visit our website at sidneymineralworld.com for details.
Licenced group childcare for children 1 to 5 years Open 6:30am – 5:30pm
Everyone is welcome at Cinecenta. Cinecenta is a cozy 300-seat cinema that is a division of the non-profit University of Victoria Students’ Society, located in the Student Union Building at UVic. From September to April we offer Matinees for Kids on Saturdays and Sundays. All seats: $4.75. Cinecenta has a terrific Munchie Bar with baked goods and espresso drinks. Damn fine popcorn, too, with real butter at no extra cost! See you at the show!•
2758 Peatt Road, Langford 250-818-9225 or 778-265-5955 www.leapforwardlangford.com firstname.lastname@example.org 16 Island Parent Magazine
Literacy & Brain Development
hildren begin developing language skills from the moment they are born and the main source for those early learning experiences is their parents. Research shows that hearing a variety of words consistently helps prepare young children for reading later in life and builds their vocabulary. What’s more, children’s levels of literacy often reflect those of their parents. This means that keeping your own literacy skills sharp by continued ongoing learning in adulthood is an important part of getting your child off to the right start so they too can be lifelong learners. Here are some activities that can benefit both your child’s development and provide valuable bonding moments and learning opportunities for caregivers:
1. Have a sing-along
Research shows that singing together helps children increase their language
development, math ability and overall school grades.
2. Play pretend
Participating in children’s symbolic play—where an object is used as a stand-in for another object, such as a wooden block representing a car—is associated with cognitive and language development.
3. Make reading a regular part of your day
While talking to your child is great, reading to them is even better, because it exposes them to new words. And remember, kids who see their parents reading, tend to become avid readers, too.
For more activity ideas, free downloadable resources and to check for local Family Literacy Day events, visit FamilyLiteracyDay.ca
January 2018 17
Saanich Schools (SD63) Kindergarten Information Evening for Fall 2018 January 24, 2018 Please join us for an evening of information about SD63 Kindergarten programs. January 24, 2018 7 - 8:30 pm Sidney Elementary School 2281 Henry Avenue, Sidney BC V8L 2A8
Kindergarten Registration for Fall 2018
January 29— February 2, 2018
All Children born in 2013 are eligible to register for Full Day Kindergarten at your neighbourhood school. Register January 29 - February 2, 2018 at your neighbourhood school. Brentwood Elementary ḰELSET Elementary Cordova Bay Elementary Lochside Elementary Prospect Lake Elementary Deep Cove Elementary Keating Elementary Sidney Elementary
French Immersion registrations:
Deep Cove Elementary (North Zone) Keating Elementary (South & Central Zone)
To register at your neighbourhood school please bring: Proof of your address (resident driver’s license, utility bill, etc). Proof of your child’s age (birth certificate). Your child’s BC Care Card. After February 2, all K-5 registrations will be done at:
Saanich School Board Office 2125 Keating Cross Road, Saanichton 8am to 4pm
18 Island Parent Magazine
The Last Time
he other day my granddaughter, Randi, informed me that she was no longer “into princesses” and that future gifts should avoid any princess-themed material and instead, focus on any of a whole series of new interests that had captured her eight-year-old imagination. The rational side of me realized that this was just a natural part of growing up and a perfectly healthy part of her development. I smiled and told her I got the message. No princess-themed gifts—ever again. Still, it made me a little sad and got me thinking. I recalled her vast collection of princess dolls, complete with the outfits and accessories, including the princess castles that were critical to successful princess play. I recalled how I’d bought her a series of princess play dresses so she could emulate her favourite princess of the day in flights of imagination that would occupy her for hours. I would often sit with her until my legs cramped, sometimes wearing a plastic tiara that made her laugh. I became a part of those fantastic adventures and employed my best falsetto to give voice to a princess or two. Randi would respond in kind with a character of her own and we’d laugh—a lot. It was fun. Strange, then, that when I tried to recall the last time we’d played that game, I couldn’t. It left me wondering how many other “last times” I had missed, never realizing that something so precious was being experienced for the very last time, and would be lost forever without my even realizing the loss. I’ve tried to think of other moments like that. When was the last time I lifted Randi into the seat of a baby-swing and watched her grin as I gave her that first push? She swings like a pro now and doesn’t need my help. When was the last time I watched as she jumped into a puddle with both feet, laughing as the splash got my shoes wet? Life as a parent or grandparent is full of those special moments and there’s a certain bittersweet element to the memories when we realize that we sailed on from those waters without ever realizing they were passing away forever. IslandParent.ca
I suppose it comes down to being too darn busy with the minutia of life to honestly cherish those things that are truly important. We all do it, and shouldn’t feel too bad about it, I suppose. And, I realize that these aren’t new thoughts. Joni Mitchell was singing about
Tim Collins how we don’t know what we got ’til it’s gone when I still had a full head of hair and my own children were still more than a decade away from being born. It’s funny that, as a young man, I only peripherally got the message and I wish I had paid more attention. A truth I’ve learned in the four decades since Big Yellow Taxi hit the charts, is that we don’t tend to appreciate what we have until we look back and realize how wonderful those little moments of life are. Or were. We never consider, as we do something we love, that we may never do that particular thing again. But then, just as I was in danger of getting truly depressed about the ephemeral nature of raising children, Randi came up to me with a favourite book I hadn’t seen for a long time. It was a classic hard cover version of The Night Before Christmas. It’s a book I’ve read aloud to her since she was two years old, and it’s became a bit of a tradition that every December I read that book to her, often adding asides about the illustrations. Sometimes she recites the words with me, and I do my best Santa imitation when the jolly elf is described. “Can we read this Grandpa?” she asked. I’d been watching the news, but looked at her smiling face for only a moment before I turned off the TV and patted the couch, inviting her to climb up beside me. We read. And we laughed. Then we read it again. Later, I realized that, at least for that moment, I had savoured the experience and that, if it was the last time we ever read that book, it would be okay. At least I’d realized how precious the time was and would never forget the gift she’d given me that night. Tim Collins is a writer and freelance journalist living and working in Victoria. IslandParent.ca
Saturday, January 27, 10am–1pm Now accepting applications for 2018/19
• before and after
• small class sizes • supportive and
• excellent academic
• Kodaly music
A local non-profit for all children (Since 1973) 5575 West Saanich Rd email@example.com 250 592 4411 www.islandmontessori.com
• lovely rural location
connecting children to nature
January 2018 19
Mon, Jan 8: Ruth King Mon, Jan 22: Colwood Wed, Jan 31: John Stubbs, Rm 1151 Mon, Feb 5: Willway Wed, Feb 7: Poirier Mon, Feb 19: Crystal View Wed, March 7: Hans Helgesen Mon, March 12: Savory Wed, March 14: Lakewood Mon, April 9: Saseenos Wed, April 11: Millstream
JOIN US! 6 – 7 PM Ready, Set, Read Children ages 0 to 5 years
Join us for pre-bedtime fun! We will be playing games, enjoying snacks, and listening to a few delightful stories and songs. This FREE evening is for children aged 0 to 5 years and their parents/caregivers. Running shoes suggested, wear pajamas if you like. For more info contact
Excited to Welcome a new addition to the family. We are very pleased to have Crystal Buchan joining us this New Year. Crystal is expertly skilled in Family Law with Advanced Civil Mediation training that she uses to help guide people through their family struggles.
browne associates Full Service Law Firm Crystal Buchan
#109–1633 Hillside Ave 250-598-1888 firstname.lastname@example.org www.browneassociates.ca
20 Island Parent Magazine
Learn at Play Every Day Family Literacy Day comes once a year, on January 27, but there are lots of ways to get kids involved in learning every day. One of the best tools in a parent’s toolbox is play! Why not try one of these activities and see how much fun learning can be. Play With Your Food
Get toothpicks and small pieces of apple, cheese, grapes, or whatever snack you want (marshmallows, yum). Now build a house, tower or circle by attaching your snacks with toothpicks. Best part is you can eat it (not the toothpicks, of course)!
Favourite Food Find
Create a grocery store scavenger hunt with your weekly shopping list. Maybe add a few special items you don’t get all the time for a special treat (and an extra challenge for scavengers).
Draw Me A Home
Get large sheets of paper and draw the rooms of your dream home. Add in the rooms you always wanted (trampoline in your bedroom and pool in the basement!) Get some of your favourite toys and play with them in the house.
Letter Model It
With modeling clay, make the letters of your name using all the colours of the rainbow.
The Punch Line Is
Swap your favourite jokes with your friends. See if your parents know them! (What’s a ninja’s favorite drink? WATAAAAA!!!!)
For more literacy and learning ideas, free downloadable resources and to check for local Family Literacy Day events visit FamilyLiteracyDay.ca. IslandParent.ca
PARTY Directory MAD SCIENCE VANCOUVER ISLAND
The best birthday party ever!
Advertise YOUR Party Services Here
for all ages!
GYMNASTICS Birthday Parties
2 Great Locations!
G Y M N
Our great instructors will treat you to an action packed two hours of fun and fitness in our great facility!
r Annive 2016 1973–
Swim bounce , cook golf, create & more!
HASSLE FREE PARTIES for kids & families You provide the space and food…
• Free T-shirt for birthday child, invitations for up to 10 children
• The ONLY Inflatable Climbing Mountain with trampoline in town
We’ll provide an hour of fun with puppet shows and play
250 472 3546
#208 – 721 Vanalman Ave
(Broadmead & Royal Oak Area)
Two certified instructors and a host Optional character
Gymnastics games and music
Free t-shirt Foam landing pit and 40' long trampoline
Book Early: 250-479-6424
• 2 large decorated birthday rooms
We supply table top cover, napkins, hats, streamers and balloons
Henderson Recreation Centre Call 250-370-7200 Oak Bay Recreation Centre Call 250-595-SWIM (7946) recreation.oakbay.ca
N Celebrate your birthday with us! A
Come Fly With Us! Party sizes up to 18 kids
Call 250-388-6905 G
Party participants can win a FREE month
Available Saturday & Sunday Afternoons Optional character
TWO GREAT LOCATIONS
2051 Store St, Victoria
520 Mt View Ave, Colwood
victoriagymnastics.com January 2018 21
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 certification plus an assistant teacher to help with special needs children. A competent and caring teaching team!
Class Options for 2017–2018: Mon/Wed/Fri morning class Tues/Thurs morning class 5 mornings a week
Phone 250-598-0573 email@example.com
“lt’s the very best toyshop in the whole wide world!” • • • • • • • •
Toys, Games, Puzzles We ek ly Craft & Science Kits Fac eb oo k Eco-friendly Toys Giv eaway Draws Visi t Puppets, Kits, Lego @Th eRe dBa lloo nToy sho p Educational Toys and chec k out the late st awe som e give awa y Playmobil & More item . Toys for Special Needs Dolls, Dinosaurs, Dress Up 158 Craig Street Tel: 250.748.5545
22 Island Parent Magazine
Kids & Anxiety
ordan refuses to get out of the car as he arrives at his soccer game. Emma arrives for the school concert, but refuses to go up on stage. What do these children have in common? Anxiety. This generation is experiencing high rates of anxiety. To stop it from getting worse or becoming depression, we need to address it early. By teaching our children proactive strategies, we can empower them to understand anxiety and have tools for overpowering it. We all have a negative voice inside our heads. It’s important to be aware of this worry voice and externalize it as something outside of our identity, something we can manage. I call this worry voice the Worry Imp. It plays tricks on our minds and bodies, telling us to be worried about things in the future that may or may not happen. We tend to listen to our bodies when we, for example, yawn—we know we’re tired and need to sleep. If we’re in a burning building, we need to trust our instincts and exit the building as quickly as possible. But there’s an important exception to when we should listen to our bodies, and this occurs when we are given false alarms. Taking a test can cause us to freeze, but this is not true danger; this is a false alarm and one of those times when we shouldn’t listen to our body and mind. It’s as though the Worry Imp is playing tricks on us and setting off a false alarm, telling us to fight, flee or freeze unnecessarily. When this happens, we need to ask ourselves: “When I feel scared or worried, is this a true alarm? If so, I do need to fight/ flee/freeze?” If this a false alarm, we need to learn to settle ourselves and ignore what our bodies and minds are telling us to do.” The second essential mind shift is to realize the power of our thoughts. Everything begins with a thought. Therefore, we need to understand that our thoughts create our feelings and our feelings create our actions. Two people can experience the same situation, but can have completely different feelings and reactions. For example, if you like dogs and an unleashed, unaccompanied dog approaches you, you might wonder where the owner is. You might worry that the dog is lost, and then then look for some IslandParent.ca
contact information. On the other hand, if you are uncomfortable around dogs, you might perceive the dog as aggressive and be afraid. Transforming your fear-based thoughts to positive ones can help you stay calm. In both cases, it’s the same dog, but the
Sharon Selby thoughts are different which leads to different feelings and actions. If we see life through a fear-based lens, we will always be in survival mode. Our ancestors lived this way out of necessity, but we don’t need to. We all have anxiety which is important for keeping us alert for danger when true fear is upon us, but worrying all the time does not keep us safe. The idea that worrying keeps us safe is an illusion. It actually restricts us, it stops us from living our lives to the fullest. We need to be aware of our thoughts and recognize when they are getting us to worry about something in the future which hasn’t happened yet and may never happen. The third important strategy is to realize that even when we’re experiencing big uncomfortable feelings, we don’t have to react to them. Research shows that an emotion only lasts for 90 seconds, if we don’t feed it. A self-regulated response involves noticing the uncomfortable feelings and instead of reacting and going into fight, flight or freeze, we take deep breaths, observe our anxious thoughts and feelings, slowly noticing them dissipate and fade away. It’s as though our emotions are a wave that peaks and passes. If we get caught up in our emotions, we get tossed around, we react and perhaps say things that we later regret. If we stay in the present, focus on taking deep breaths and just notice our thoughts and uncomfortable feelings, we can surf the wave of emotion. These powerful mind shifts are crucial to helping our children be in control of anxiety rather than the other way around. Sharon Selby is a registered clinical counsellor and author of Surfing the Worry Imp’s Wave, a children’s book that teaches 10 strategies for overpowering anxiety, available in February. For information, visit SharonSelby.com. IslandParent.ca
January 2018 23
For calendar updates throughout the month visit IslandParent.ca
J A N U A R Y Our Generous Sponsors
Victoria & CRD
Nanaimo & Area
Victoria & CRD
New Year’s Day Events 11am at Recreation Oak Bay 1975 Bee Street Mayor Nils Jensen and the Oak Bay Council invite everyone to help them bring in the New Year. Free activities at Recreation Oak Bay including: Everyone welcome skate, noon-1:30pm; Leisure & Lengths in the Pool: noon-2pm; Kid’s Fun Swim: 2-4:30pm. The Mayor will lead a community walk leaving from Oak Bay Recreation Centre at 12:30pm. Coffee & tea provided from 1:30-2:30pm. Visit the website for a full list of times and activities. Free. recreation. oakbay.ca. 250-370-7121.
Dad’s Night Out Skate 6:30pm at Oceanside Place Arena 830 W. Island Hwy Dads, bring the kids and enjoy a skate together on the pond. Sponsored by Building Learning Together. Free. rdn.bc.ca/recreation. 250-248-3252.
Facility Tour & Info Session 10:30am at Panorama Recreation 1885 Forest Park Drive New to the area? Looking to participate in programs or drop-in activities? Join Panorama staff for a tour and learn about the different programs and services offered. Those who attend the tour will receive one free pass. Free. panoramarecreation. ca. 250-656-7271.
Nanaimo & Area
Nanaimo & Area Home Learners Monthly Meetup 1pm at Oliver Woods Community Centre Resource library, gym time, parent support, special events throughout the year. $5/family drop in fee; $20/year-long membership. nanaimocommunityhomelearners.org
28th Annual Polar Bear Splash Noon at Parksville Beach A great way to start the New Year. Come as a par- SATURDAY ticipant, spectator, or volunteer. Register onsite at 11:30am. Free. rdn.bc.ca/recreation. 250-752-5014. Victoria & CRD
Nanaimo & Area Glow in the Dark Skate 6:30pm at Frank Crane Arena Skate in an atmosphere of dimmed lighting and special effects. Regular admission. 250-756-5200.
24 Island Parent Magazine
Stop, Look, Listen 10am at Francis/King Regional Park Use your senses to appreciate the wonders of the forest. Join a CRD Regional Parks naturalist and find what’s hidden on the trail, meet a tree, and more. This is a great way for kids and adults to share nature together. There is no fee for this program, but you must pre-register by January 10 as space is limited. 5 years and under. Free. crd.bc.ca/parks. 250-478-3344. Nanaimo & Area
Tree-mendous Trees 10am at Devonian Regional Park Unlock the mysteries of trees on a fun forest adventure with a CRD Regional Parks naturalist. Follow clues and riddles along the trail to meet Devonian’s giants. Meet at the information kiosk in the parking lot off William Head Rd. 5 + years. BC Transit #54 or #55. Free. crd.bc.ca/parks. 250-478-3344.
Super Hero Fun 1:30-3:30pm at Beban Pool Bring your super hero powers to the pool and help save “Planet Beban” from the enemy. Regular admission. 250-756-5200.
Victoria & CRD
Victoria & CRD Little Lego at the Library Facility Tour & Info Session 3:30pm at Bruce Hutchison Branch Library 10:30am at Greenglade Community Centre Listen to stories and have fun with the library’s Lego. New to the area? Looking to participate in programs For ages 4-6; parents and caregivers are encouraged or drop-in activities? Join Panorama staff for a to attend. Register online or call for more information. tour and learn about the different programs and Free. gvpl.ca. 250-940-GVPL (4875). services offered. Those who attend the tour will receive one free pass. Free. panoramarecreation. SATURDAY TH ca. 250-656-7271. Victoria & CRD
Mystery Creature 1pm at Coles Bay Regional Park Solve the riddles to find the clues hidden along the Story Club trail with a CRD Regional Parks naturalist. Then piece 3:30pm at Bruce Hutchison Branch Library the puzzle together to discover who the mystery Join Story Club and engage with other kids over creature is. Meet at the information kiosk in the books, games and crafts. Listen to stories, share parking lot off Inverness Rd. 5+ years. Free. crd. thoughts and experiences, and enjoy group activi- bc.ca/parks. 250-478-3344. ties and snacks. For ages 6-9. Register online or call for more information. Free. gvpl.ca. 250-940- Nanaimo & Area GVPL (4875). Disco Light Skate THURSDAY TH 7:30pm at Oceanside Place Arena 830 W. Island Hwy Victoria & CRD Catch dance fever under the disco lights. The flashing lights and pumping music will take you back Story Club in time. Regular admission. rdn.bc.ca/recreation. 3:30pm at Central Branch Library 250-248-3252. See WED 17 for details. Register online or call for more information. Free. gvpl.ca. 250-940-GVPL (4875) Starlight Skate 7pm at Nanaimo Ice Centre Seaside Splash & Kindergym An opportunity to come out and enjoy soft light 9:30am at Greenglade Community Centre “stars” and passive LED glow lights. A great time Come for some under-the-sea themed fun at Kinder- for couples and families before dinner or that “night gym. Face painting and some sea creature crafting. out” with friends. Regular Admission. 250-756-5200. For 1-5 year olds with parents. Regular drop-in rates. panoramarecreation.ca. 250-656-7271 Victoria & CRD
Victoria & CRD Family Literacy Week: Make Your Own Storyglove 10:30am at Saanich Centennial Branch Library Would you like to make your very own storyglove? Come for a storytime and make a simple storyglove to take home. For young children and their families; children under 3 must be accompanied by an adult. Register online or call for more information. Free. gvpl.ca. 250-940-GVPL (4875).
Victoria & CRD Discovery Lab 10:30am at Oak Bay Branch Library Imagine, create and build using STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) learning. Listen to stories and apply your knowledge in hands-on activities. For ages 3-5. Register online or call for more information. Free. gvpl.ca. 250940-GVPL (4875).
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26 Island Parent Magazine
Family Literacy Week: Once Upon a StoryWalk 10am at Juan de Fuca Branch Library Victoria & CRD Come for a StoryWalk, where individual pages of a storybook, mounted on sign posts, are placed Family Literacy Week: Fun with ABCs outdoors in a circuit. Children follow the narrative 10:30am at Nellie McClung Branch Library by visiting each sign post in sequence. After the A is for apple, alligator and astronaut—how awe- StoryWalk, come to the library for nature-inspired some. Practice your ABCs with alphabet stories, activities. Rain or shine; please dress appropriately. then create alphabet art with an ABC-inspired Everyone welcome; children must be accompanied collage. Supplies provided. For young children and by an adult. Drop-in. Free. gvpl.ca. 250-940-GVPL. accompanying adult. Register online or call for more information. Free. gvpl.ca. 250-940-GVPL (4875). Tech Time 3:30pm at Central Branch Stuffed Animal Storytime and Sleepover Create and innovate with DigiLab’s tech toolkit, 6:30pm at Esquimalt Branch Library including Alienware laptops and Spheros. For ages Bring your favourite stuffed animal to the library for 13-18. Register online or call for more information. a storytime, then leave the stuffie at the library for a Free. gvpl.ca. 250-940-GVPL (4875). sleepover. There will be cameras set up to record any monkey business. Return the following day after 1pm Nanaimo & Area to pick up your furry friend and see the pictures. For ages 4-6. Register online or call for more information. Super Hero Skate Free. gvpl.ca. 250-940-GVPL (4875). 2pm at Oceanside Place Arena, 830 W. Island Hwy Super heros unite. Make a cape, wear your cosNanaimo & Area tume and apply your superpowers to games and crafts. Regular admission. rdn.bc.ca/recreation. Coast Capital Free Swim 250-248-3252. 7-9pm at Beban Pool Admission to pool only; weight room not included. SUNDAY TH Free. 250-756-5200. Victoria & CRD
Tracks and Traces 12:30pm at Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park Become a nature super sleuth. Join a CRD Regional Family Literacy Week: Owl Tell You a Story Parks naturalist to explore the evidence and inves10:30am at Langford Heritage Branch Library tigate clues left behind by animals. Meet at Beaver Wrap up Family Literacy Week at the library. This Lake Nature Centre off main parking lot. 5+ years. owl-themed storytime and craft promises to be a BC Transit #70 or #75. Free. crd.bc.ca/parks. 250hoot. For young children and their families; children 478-3344. under 3 must be accompanied by an adult. Register online or call for more information. Free. gvpl.ca. Winter Wildlife 250-940-GVPL (4875). Noon at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary 3873 Swan Lake Rd. Japanese and English Picture Card Theatre When the cold winds blow and you’re knee deep in 10:30am at Oak Bay Branch Library snow, critters have a warm place to go. Join us as Enjoy a bilingual Japanese/English storytime using we discover how our winter wildlife deal with this the “picture theatre” format from Japan. After listen- challenging time of year through games, crafts, ing to traditional folktales with certified translator and hands-on exploration. Fun for the whole family. Wakana Takai-MacLean, create an art project. For Event sponsored by VNHS. By donation. swanlake. ages 3-5. Register online or call for more information. bc.ca. 250-479-0211. Free. gvpl.ca. 250-940-GVPL (4875). Victoria & CRD
Who’s Hooting 10am at Mill Hill Regional Park Join a CRD Regional Parks naturalist to learn some owl calls, find out about these excellent night hunters, and get to know our BC owls. Meet at the information kiosk in the parking lot off Atkins Avenue. All ages. BC Transit #53. Free. crd.bc.ca/ parks. 250-478-3344.
Victoria & CRD Family Literacy Week: Make Your Own Storyglove 1:30pm at Oak Bay Branch Library Would you like to make your very own storyglove? Come for a storytime and make a simple storyglove to take home. For young children and their families; IslandParent.ca
children under 3 must be accompanied by an adult. Learn songs, rhymes and fingerplays to use with your learning and playing together. Everyone welcome. Register online or call for more information. Free. baby every day. Drop in. Starts January 15. Check January 21-27. 250-656-0944. virl.bc.ca. gvpl.ca. 250-940-GVPL (4875). gvpl.ca for dates, times and locations. Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Support Circles School’s Out Skate & Swim Family Storytime A safe, supportive place to meet others in a similar 1pm at Panorama Recreation At Greater Victoria Public Library Locations situation and to share information and resources. 1885 Forest Park Drive Fun-filled stories, songs, rhymes and puppets. For information about groups near you, call 250Come for a Pro-D Day Skate or Swim. Skate: Drop-in. Starts January 15. Check gvpl.ca for dates, 384-8042. Province-wide toll free information and 1-2:20pm; swim: 1:30-3:30pm. $2. panoramarec- times and locations. support line at 1-855-474-9777 or email grgline@ reation.ca. 250-656-7271. parentsupportbc.ca. parentsupportbc.ca. Good Morning Storytime TUESDAY TH Thursdays 10:30-11:15am at Sidney/North Saanich Parent Support Circles Branch Library. Bring you littlest ones to the library Parenting isn’t always easy. Sometimes it helps to talk Victoria & CRD for stories, songs, rhymes and movement. January things through with other parents. At the Parent Sup11-March 1. Ages 0-5. port Services Society of BC, they believe that every Family Literacy Week: Make Your Own Storyglove parent is the expert of her/his own family. For more 10:30am at Esquimalt Branch Library Young Parent Weekly Drop-in information about groups near you, call 250-384Would you like to make your very own storyglove? Thursdays 10am-noon at Kiwanis Family Centre. 8042 or 1-877-345-9444 or visit parentsupportbc.ca. Come for a storytime and make a simple storyglove Come and enjoy a hot meal, socialize with other to take home. For young children and their families; young parents, enjoy a kids’ craft, let your little one Cowichan Valley children under 3 must be accompanied by an adult. explore the fully equipped playroom, or have a look Register online or call for more information. Free. in the “free” store for gently used children’s items Family Cooking Classes gvpl.ca. 250-940-GVPL (4875). and household supplies. Staff available to help with 4-6:30pm at Cowichan Green Community. information about relevant local resources, advo- Geared to families who face challenges accessing WEDNESDAY ST cacy and counselling support, help with paperwork, or preparing healthy foods, or who are recent imand parenting support. 250-382-1004. migrants and would like to connect with their comVictoria & CRD munity. These classes aim to share inexpensive meal Cowichan Valley plans that yield high nutritional value while offering Family Literacy Week: Create Your Own Felt Story participants the opportunity to gain confidence in 10:30am at Central Branch Library Family Storytime at Cowichan Library, Duncan. the kitchen and to connect with other families in Come for a storytime and make a simple felt story to Bring the whole family for stories, songs, rhymes the Cowichan region. Pre-registration required. take home. For young children and accompanying and fun. For ages 0-5. Tuesdays 10:30-11:30am. Mondays. cgcf.ca/projects/chow-cooking-classes adult. Register online or call for more information. 2687 James St. email@example.com. or contact Jennifer at 250-748-8506. Free. gvpl.ca. 250-940-GVPL (4875). Nanaimo & Area Nanaimo & Area Giggles and Wiggles 10:30am at Juan de Fuca Branch Library Saturday Breakfast Club Drop-In Science Studio Little listeners with extra energy will enjoy action- 9:30-11:30am at Munchkinland Family Place, Parks- Thursdays and Saturdays 10am-noon at NS3 filled stories, songs and rhymes followed by free play ville. Enjoy a parent and tot exploration and a Mother Science Studio. and stations. For young children and their families; Goose circle time, plus songs, stories and breakfast. Children can explore the many features of the Scichildren under 3 must be accompanied by an adult. Saturdays except November 11. Free. Suitable for ence Studio including KEVA blocks, marble wall, air Drop in. Free. gvpl.ca. 250-940-GVPL (4875). families with children 6 years and younger. 250- field, wind tunnel and a variety of discovery boxes. 248-3252. rdn.bc.ca/recreation. $4/child; adults free. Schedule subject to change, Open House: St. Margaret’s School so please check nanaimoscience.org for most cur6:30pm at St. Margaret’s School CHILDREN rent schedule. 4355 Jingle Pot Rd. 778-971-6893. 1080 Lucas Avenue (Near Quadra and McKenzie) Free. stmarg.ca/news-events/event/evening-open- Cowichan Valley Lions Free Skate house. 250-479-7171. firstname.lastname@example.org. Sundays noon-1:30pm at Frank Crane Arena, Family Storytime at Cowichan Library, Duncan. Nanaimo. Bring the whole family for stories, songs, rhymes Until March 25. 250-756-5200. and fun. For ages 0-5. Tuesdays 10:30-11:30am. 2687 James St. email@example.com. Parksville Lion’s and Save-On-Foods Family Skate 12:15-1:45pm at Oceanside Place Arena FAMILY A great way to stay active as a family. Children must PRESCHOOL be accompanied by an adult 19+. Pond hockey Victoria & CRD is not available. Free. 250-248-3252. rdn.bc.ca/ Victoria & CRD recreation.• Family Literacy Week Baby Time Celebrate Family Literacy Week. Bring the family At Greater Victoria Public Library locations for special events and activities. Have fun reading,
January 2018 27
hase away the doldrums of winter by throwing a make-your-own-sushi party! I love making homemade sushi be-
cause everyone in our family gets to be involved. It’s a relaxing family event where everyone takes a turn to make creative sushi flavour concoctions. Then we all get to try each others’ rolls. Starting a sushi party with a cup of simple miso soup and some edamame will round out the meal and prevent any hunger-induced impatience. The goal is to let everyone take a turn making sushi rolls, so put on some music and relax while your kids get their hands messy making you something to eat.
28 Island Parent Magazine
Making Sushi Rolls Be creative with the fillings. Just be sure Sushi rolls can be as simple or complex to slice everything into long and very thin as you want. I recommend leaving the raw sticks so that it’s easy to roll. Here are fish for the experts, but you can try smoked some ideas: salmon or canned fish in your rolls. The Mayonnaise: either Japanese mayononly specialty ingredient that you need is the naise or regular mayo is a nice addition nori sheets, however, if you end up making to most rolls sushi frequently, you may want to invest in Fresh Vegetables: red peppers, carrots, rice vinegar, Japanese mayonnaise, wasabi cucumber, lettuce, sprouts, spring onions, powder and sushi rice. avocado, radishes Cooked Vegetables: yam, broccoli, roasted red pepper, mushrooms, spinach Fish: smoked salmon, canned tuna, can- 4 cups water 1⁄2 cup of tofu, cut into cubes died salmon, imitation crab Other ideas: Cream cheese, pickled gin- 3 Tbsp miso paste 1⁄4 cup chopped spring onions ger, cooked egg, mango, tofu Cooking Optional: 1⁄2 cup bonito flakes, 1 large piece With Kids 1. Lay out a nori sheet on the sushi mat. of dashi kombu, 1 tsp dried wakame 2. Wet your fingers and take about 1⁄4 If you don’t have a sushi mat, then use cup of cooked sushi rice and spread it out 1. Bring the water and kombu to a simmer, a tea towel folded in the shape or a sheet on the bottom two-thirds of the nori sheet. stir in the bonito flakes and dried wakame, of nori. Regardless as to whether you are and remove from heat and allow to sit for using a sushi mat or a folded tea towel, I 5 minutes. recommend wrapping it in plastic cling-film 2. Strain the water then return to the heat to prevent the rice from sticking. with the tofu and warm the soup until it’s just starting to simmer (you don’t want to Sushi Rice boil your soup). 2 cups of short grain rice (sushi rice is ideal) 3. Remove from heat. 3 cups of water 4. Take 1 cup of liquid from the soup 1⁄2 cup rice vinegar (or cider vinegar) and mix the miso paste into that cup until 1 Tbsp vegetable oil it’s well dissolved. Then stir it back into 1⁄4 cup of sugar the cooling soup (you don’t need to boil 1 tsp salt the miso paste). 5.Garnish with spring onions and serve. 1. Rinse the rice in a colander until the 3. Lay your choice of ingredients out in starch is washed out and water runs clear. the middle of the flattened rice. I recom2. Combine the water and rice in a pot, mend using a little mayo on every roll and Easy Edamame bring to a boil and simmer until rice is avoid over-filling. cooked (about 20 minutes). 4. Starting with the rice end of the nori My kids LOVE edamame, so they often 3. Remove the cooked rice from the heat sheet, roll the rice over the fillings. Then make this protein packed pod as an after and add in the vinegar, oil, sugar and salt. use water to wet the bit of nori sheet that school snack. Stir until well mixed. doesn’t have rice on it, and wrap it tightly 4. Allow to fully cool with the lid on to around the roll. That bit of extra nori sheet Fresh or frozen edamame in the pod. prevent the rice from drying out. will stick to the wrapped nori, which is how Salt and pepper to taste the sushi roll holds its shape. 5. Put the sushi roll on a cutting board and 1. Fill a glass bowl with edamame pods. use a sharp knife to slice the roll into 6 or Add in 1⁄4 cup of water and a pinch of salt. 8 pieces.Enjoy with soy sauce and wasabi. 2. Cover and microwave on high until bright green (2–5 minutes depending on your microwave). Simple Miso Soup 3. Sprinkle on salt and black pepper to taste. Eat by pinching the edamame beans Simple miso soup is quick to make. You out of the pods. could easily let an older child prepare the miso soup on their own while you prep the sushi ingredients. The three different types Emillie Parrish loves having adventures with of seaweed are traditional, but you can use her two busy children. She lives in Victoria and just one type of seaweed or none at all and is the author of the fermentation-based blog the soup will still taste good. fermentingforfoodies.com.
January 2018 29
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ust before Christmas, my mom phoned and offered to watch my children for the day so I could do some Christmas shopping. Cue an exaggerated fist pump, as if I just scored the winning goal of the gold medal game. Cue a happy little jig. Cue a a big, silly grin. My mom arrived and I was out the door. “This calls for celebration,” I thought as I jumped in my car, stopping for an Americano, which in my books is a perfect celebratory treat. As I shopped that day, kid-less, I rejoiced as I walked through the stores without Jack and Audrey pulling at my legs, asking a million questions, or hiding under clothing racks. I smiled at everyone that day. I looked with pity at other parents shopping with kids. But I offered them smiles, too, even though I was gloating thanks to my temporary kid-free status. I was relieved I wasn’t the mom in one store whose voice kept getting louder and louder each time her kid asked for the Star Wars shirt until she screamed, “I told you NO!” I have never been a fan of shopping with toddlers. I’m sure most parents aren’t. But it’s tough to avoid—even when it’s not Christmas shopping. Imagine if you’d been the parent of the child that recently made headlines: “Child allegedly destroys $1,300 of Sephora Makeup…uses it as ‘finger paint.’” This headline made my Facebook feed and inspired debate and criticism, some defending the mother of the curious, artist child. That is exactly why I avoid taking my kids shopping, why I will go to great lengths to keep them out of stores. What was this mom thinking? I can totally see my daughter Audrey doing this. What would I do if she did? Would I sneak out of the store as this mom and child apparently did? Or would I suck it up, take the blame and pay the bill?
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30 Island Parent Magazine
I can see how it happened. It probably took less than a minute while the mom, say, tried on a shade of lipstick. But what is she doing browsing lipsticks with a toddler in tow? The more I thought about it, the more I started to feel for the mom in question. A lot of times parents don’t have anyone to fall back on to watch their kids and have
Little girls with dreams become women of vision.
Ashley Degraaf Is There an App for This? to bring them shopping all the time, even when they’re buying makeup. I know there are times I don’t want to push the limits and ask my parents to watch my kids while I grocery shop or pick up a kid’s birthday gift, even though going into a toy store is a risky place to take your children, especially, if you’re not going to cave in and buy them a toy while you’re there. I think over time, children do become better shoppers if you work on it with them and teach them etiquette, which includes things like not ramming people’s heels with those mini shopping carts, it will become more enjoyable. But let me say, you must have patience and you must be calm before entering the store. If you’ve already had a bit of a rough day, I wouldn’t dare try it. Don’t push your luck. When you receive an offer from your spouse, your partner, your mom or a friend to watch your kids while you get your shopping on, start the car. And if you’ve being brave, with the kids by your side, when your trip starts going sideways, abort the mission as soon as possible. Also remember most of us parents won’t judge you, even ones looking on with pity as you hustle out with your kicking and screaming child. We’ve all been there. We know what it’s like. I hope you all survived your holiday shopping and lived to tell the tale.
Ashley Degraaf is a freelance writer based out of the Cowichan Valley. She enjoys channeling her inner momma while chronicling her daily adventures with her children.
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n mid-November, we finally gave up on our family whiteboard. For a year or two, it had been the perfect solution: a small frame, magnetically affixed to our fridge door, holding a pure white writing surface for erasable markers. I listed a column of the seven days so we could keep a running tab—with the emphasis on “running”—of the times and locations of our kids’ appointments, playdates, lessons, practices and other activities. The board became our North Star to navigate the maze of each new week. Eventually, though, its surface became blurry from erasing and revising schedules.
It hadn’t always been this frantic. For a dozen years (and eight as parents), my wife and I had managed to live without owning a car, relying on public transit, bike trailers, a car-share co-op and the kindness of neighbours, and by choosing activities close to home. Then our son’s and daughter’s interests—sports and music and friends—pulled them too far afield to manage without wheels of our own. Today I feel like Uber Dad, the perpetual chauffeur, racking up the miles. Even with one car now, we need to arrange lifts with fellow parents when schedules misalign and our kids need to be at differ-
Falls off the fridge dented its corners. My son scrawled caricatures of me in the remaining white spaces…until the holes in the calendar retreated like glaciers and vanished entirely. I wrote in an ever-smaller font until even I couldn’t decipher my own hieroglyphs. Our kids’ activities had ballooned until we struggled to track who had to be where and when and how to get them there. We needed a whiteboard the size of the fridge.
ent places. As a famous mom once wrote, with almost-presidential wisdom, it takes a village to raise a child—and perhaps another village to get them to soccer practice on time. Some weeks I wish we had a family concierge to manage our lives, a professional who could make sense of our schedules. That’s the allure of Internet-enabled appliances and driver-less vehicles. Instead of
32 Island Parent Magazine
messy whiteboards, we could upload our fallible memories (and our kids) into the artificial intelligence of a Robot Butler. Silicon Valley engineers are happy to redesign our obsolescence as parents—for a price. “Siri, tell me the schedule for today…” “Alexa, make some eggs and toast…” “Tesla, take the kids to basketball…”
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David Leach Dadspeak (Of course, given our society’s fixation with new gadgets, Siri, Alexa and Tesla may soon become popular baby names—which will cause more confusion for parents trying to maintain domestic order.) I’ve seen the Terminator movies, though. I don’t trust Skynet to babysit. Maybe our family will buy a bigger whiteboard instead. Or maybe we will revive our small board and preserve the blank spaces—those wild, unmapped swatches of free time—in our kids’ hectic lives. “Simplify, simplify…” Words of wisdom from Henry David Thoreau, one of my favourite authors. He could find enough stimulation watching the loons on Walden Pond or a battle between ants in front of his cabin. Of course, he never faced the wrath of a hungry softball team if he forgot to hit the drive-thru at Tim Horton’s. In the end, our children rarely complain about their spin cycle of after-school sports and music and playdates. They can opt out of any activity, as long as they’ve given it a fair shake. They usually demand more instead. As parents, we’re not ready either to be replaced by our robot overlords. We’ll become redundant as chaperones and chauffeurs soon enough—not wanted on the independent voyage of teenaged lives. We should enjoy the busyness of being a family while it lasts. Better a full board than a bored child. And so we will keep filling their white spaces with memories. Time has a way of erasing the ones that don’t matter anyway.
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Keeping Your Family Well All Winter Long Healthy Families, Happy Families
Child, Youth & Family Public Health South Island Health Units Esquimalt Gulf Islands
(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
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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/ 34 Island Parent Magazine
hile there is no one way to stay healthy during the winter months, here are a couple of basic rules that will go a long way to protecting and promoting your health and the health of your family.
Wash Well, Wash Often
Washing your hands is a simple and powerful approach to keeping germs at bay. Viruses like influenza can live on hard surfaces for up to two days and germs can live on hands and be transmitted from hand-to-hand for up to five minutes—yuck! Use soap and water to lather up and rub all surfaces of your hands for 20 seconds (don’t forget the backs of your hands!). Dry hands using air dryers or single-use towels to avoid spreading or catching disease when out. At home, consider different-coloured hand towels for each person in your family during cold and flu season. Carry a small amount of hand sanitizer with you for when you are out and not able to wash your hands often.
Safeguard Your Saliva
Bacteria and viruses such as influenza, meningitis, pneumonia, measles, mumps, rubella, mononucleosis and tuberculosis can all be transmitted from one person to another through saliva. Sure, a mild chest cold is one thing but a meningitis complication is quite another. Avoid sharing food or drinks with people, including your kids, and tell them not to share with friends or relatives. Although occasionally shared in social situations, don’t pass around cigarettes or vaporizers as this puts you and others at risk for disease. If you need to sneeze or cough, do so away from those nearby and cough or sneeze into the crock of your arm or into a tissue (then, throw the tissue away and wash your hands).
Protect Yourself and Your Herd
Getting the flu vaccine significantly decreases your chance of getting the flu and minimizes flu symptoms if you do get sick. Even if you never get the flu, get immunized so you won’t carry or transmit the disease to someone else. Many people can get the flu
vaccine free and babies can be immunized once they are six months of age. Now is also a good time to check whether your family’s immunizations are up-to-date.
CH ILD YOUTH & FAMILY PUBLIC H E ALTH
Morgan Fankboner & Areli Hermanson Happy Families, Healthy Families
It is easy to forget to drink enough fluids in the winter because it isn’t hot outside. If you’re not a water drinker, try having protein and veggie soups, stews, fruit and veggie smoothies, green tea and small amounts of decaffeinated coffee, all of which will contain hydrating liquids and antioxidants, properties that fight infection. Proteins like beef, chicken, fish, beans and legumes help the body fight infections. Enjoying two servings of fish a week is a great way to ensure your family is getting healthy fat and a dose of vitamin D. Unless you are eating foods like salmon, mackerel and sardines or fortified dairy products (which contain added vitamin D) like yogurt, milk and non-dairy alternatives like soy milk, take a daily supplement of 400IU vitamin D between October and April. A body at rest is a body that can restore. Getting adequate sleep is essential for positive health and well-being. Requirements vary between individuals and may include naps. Nightly sleep recommendation averages for infants is 12 to 15 hours, toddlers 11 to 14 hours, preschoolers 10 to 13 hours, younger children 10 to 12 hours, teenagers eight and a half to nine hours and adults seven to nine hours. The biggest hindrance to slumber is using screens before bed so turn off screens at least one
Did You Know? â€˘ Hosting or sending your child to a â€œgerm partyâ€? in order to be exposed to bacteria or viruses can be dangerous! Itâ€™s never better to get an infection from another person; in fact, it is significantly safer to be vaccinated. With vaccination, children can be exposed so that their body can build up immunity. Note: it takes two weeks to build up immunity post immunization.
More than Great CoďŹ€ee...
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â€˘ Immunity to chickenpox, measles, mumps, rubella and much more can be offered through immunization. Children and youth who contract select infections are at higher risk for severe and even fatal complications including meningitis. â€˘ Even if your child is behind schedule for immunizations, their vaccinations can be safely brought up to date. Contact your Nurse Practitioner, doctor, pharmacist or public health unit. â€˘ Common bacteria or viruses can spread through coughing, sneezing, kissing, or sharing.
hour before going to bed. Itâ€™s recommended that children under the age of two not have any screen time. Children ages two to four should have one hour maximum and any older child should have no more than two hours of screen time daily.
Pick up your copy of Island Parent at any Serious Coffee cafĂŠ 5PĂśOEPOFOFBSZPVHPUPTFSJPVTDPĂ˛FFDPN
Serving the Families of Vancouver Island for Over 23 Years The Kiddies Store
PINE RIDGE COLLECTION
A Good Time for Balance
The winter season offers challenges to oneâ€™s health and well-being. Adopting a relaxed attitude and giving yourself a break is a good way to start the new year. Be a role model and demonstrate making healthy decisions in terms of what you eat and drink and how you sleep and play. Itâ€™s good for you and your family.
â€˘ Transitional design that grows with your child
â€˘ 3 height-adjustable mattress support settings â€˘ Case pieces feature English dovetailed drawer boxes and steel ball bearing drawer glides
3045â€“C Douglas St., Victoria, BC V8T 4N2 250-386-2229â€ƒ www.tjskids.com
â€˘ Crib converts to toddler bed, daybed and full-size bed
Morgan Fankboner is a Public Health Nurse with the Comprehensive School Health team in District 61 and mother to a wild and dynamic 7-year-old girl who may rule the universe someday. Areli Hermanson is a Public Health Dietitian and mother of two active boys who she plans to annihilate at their annual snowball fight this year.
â€˘ Made from 100% solid hardwood
Entrance off Larch St.
January 2018â€ƒ 35
t the start of a new year, many of us make resolutions around weight loss and fitness. For some women, that joyful time when a warm and snuggly newborn has finally arrived can be mixed with emotions about the changes in our own bodies, and many of us have questions about how to lose the weight put on over the past nine-plus months. The key is to be gentle with yourself and focus on health versus numbers on the scale. During pregnancy, gaining weight steadily is healthy, encouraged and normal for you and your baby. If you gained between 25 to 35 pounds, you will have, on average, 5 to 12 pounds of maternal fat stores. Ten pounds is the average amount of weight lost immediately following the birth of a child: the weight of the baby, the placenta, and the amniotic fluid accounts for this initial weight loss. For up to two weeks after giving birth, a new mother will continue to lose weight due to do loss of body fluids; however, extra body fat is retained fat in preparation to feed her baby. The larger the maternal fat stores
at the end of the pregnancy, the longer it will take to lose those extra pounds. The first four to six weeks, the priority should be on repair and recovery. This is especially true if you experienced a caesarean delivery, an episiotomy, or tearing during delivery. If you had a caesarian delivery or a complicated birth, talk with your health care provider about when to start an exercise program. Regular walks with baby can make a difference. It is important to exercise while trying to lose weight to ensure that you are losing fat instead of muscle. Early in recovery, start small with 10 minutes at a time and work your way to a minimum of 30 minutes. Exercise provides many health benefits over and above losing weight—it can help with depression, sleep issues and it can ease stress. Once you are ready to begin losing weight and you have been given the green light from your health care provider, start by paying attention to portion sizes along with getting more active. It is important to eat protein-rich foods so your body can heal and repair and ward off any potential infections. It is equally
important to consume adequate calories so that your body can use the protein you eat to repair your body, instead of using the protein as an energy source. If you are breastfeeding, wait until your baby is at least two months old. Starting a diet too soon after delivery can delay your recovery, add to your stress and make you feel more tired just when you need as much energy as you can get as you adjust to life with a newborn. Cutting calories right after baby is born will actually have a negative effect on your metabolism. When you eat too little, especially during times that your body requires more energy, such as recovering from birth or breastfeeding, your body will perceive it is starving. Regardless of whether it is a perceived or real starvation, your body will respond by slowing your metabolism. This slower metabolism can sabotage your weight loss efforts in the weeks ahead. You may be pleasantly surprised at how much weight you lose naturally by eating a healthy and varied diet.
Here are a few more simple tips to get you started:
• Pre-plan meals and snacks. It can be tough to find time to eat or plan healthy snacks when you have a new baby and schedule. Take time
Writing for Island Parent Many of the articles in Island Parent are written by people just like you: parents who want to share their experiences, knowledge and ideas with other parents. We’re always happy to consider your submission, whether you’re a published writer or not. If you’re itching to express yourself but need a few pointers or a friendly nudge, come out for an evening of inspiration. We’re holding a Writing for Island Parent workshop on Tuesday, February 20, 7:30–9pm, at 830–A Pembroke Street (across from the north side of Save-On-Foods Memorial Arena). The workshop is free, but space is limited. If you’d like to attend, please email Sue Fast at email@example.com.
36 Island Parent Magazine
to prepare snacks ahead and divide food up into single portions that you can grab quickly instead of loading up on pastries and coffee from the local bakery.
Diana Hurschler New Parent Pages Snack/small meal ideas include: chopped veggies with hummus, small handful of almonds and an apple, whole wheat crackers with nut butter and a piece of fruit, half a sandwich and veggie sticks, fruit and veggie smoothies. Many moms find that having five to six small meals a day rather than three large meals fits their appetite and schedule better. • Do not skip meals in an attempt to lose weight, as this will decrease your energy and likely make you grab for quick fixes to stabilize your blood sugar. Keep in mind that eating breakfast can help you from feeling famished and tired later in the morning and will also curb those sugar cravings. • Drink plenty of water throughout the day to prevent dehydration. Water also fills you up so that you don’t eat as much and some research has shown that it may help speed up your metabolism. What about weight loss and breastfeeding? Maternal fat stores that you gained in pregnancy are a perfect energy source to ensure that your body can produce enough milk for your baby. Breastfeeding is the most efficient way to use up those maternal fat stores. The key to weight loss during the post-natal period is to do it slowly so you can maintain your milk supply and keep your energy up so you can care for your baby. Weight loss of about pound and a half per week is considered safe and should not affect your milk supply. Be patient with yourself—your body changed steadily over nine months to support a pregnancy, and it can take at least nine months to get back to your pre-pregnant weight. Be gentle with yourself as you maintain your healthy lifestyle and trust that your body will respond as it should in good time. Best wishes for a healthy 2018!
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
January 2018 37
FAMILY SERVICES Directory
Community Options for Children and Families offers recreational support groups for Children and Youth age 6-18 who have a brother or sister with a disability. The Sibshop Program allows children and youth to connect with peers who understand what This directory, sponsored by Thrifty Foods, features not for profit it is like to be a Sib. Sibkids (age 6-12) and Sibteens agencies and organizations serving children, youth and families. (age 13-18) are play and activity based designed to provide opportunity for participants to share in a comfortable and safe environment. For further 1Up, Victoria Single Parent Resource Centre (1- help finding a job? Need employees? Contact us info call 250-380-6363 or communityoptions.bc.ca. up.ca) provides support, education and resources for FREE assistance! 9860 Third St. Sidney. 250End Dyslexia. Does your child have trouble reading for parents in the Greater Victoria area through 656-0134. beaconcs.ca. or is behind in reading? Is your child bright, but is free counselling, volunteer training, a mentoring program for single moms, and a support group for Boys & Girls Club Services offer after-school not learning as quickly as you would like? Get ready dads, as well as a variety of integrated life skills and evening social, educational and recreational for September now with Summer Reading Camps and parenting courses which are open to the whole programming for children and youth at 5 locations from the convenience of your own home! Use community, with fees on a sliding scale. For single (Colwood, Langford, VicWest, Central Saanich and research-based programs with fast, lasting results parent members, the Centre provides free toys and Esquimalt) and summer camps both in Esquimalt while working with award-winning speech-language books, a clothing room and bread pantry. Donations and at our Outdoor Centre in Metchosin. We also of- pathologist, Marlene Lewis, who brings many years of gently-used clothing, small household items, and fer support to parents through our Parents Together of experience and proven results in improving readtoys are welcome. Hours: Mon., Tue., Thu., Fri.: 9–4, program and parent workshops. For more informa- ing for children, teens and adults. To learn more & Wednesdays: 12–7. Location: 602 Gorge Road tion on all programs and services visit bgcvic.org or please visit end-dyslexia.com or call 250-474-6368. East. Phone: 250-385-1114. call 250-384-9133. Family Services of Greater Victoria (formerly BC Beacon Community Services is a community- Canucks Autism Network (CAN) provides high- Families in Transition) is a non profit agency that has based, non-profit agency dedicated to helping quality, adapted sports, recreational and social been serving families since 1978. We provide a full people and improving lives on southern Vancouver programs for kids, teens and young adults living range of services to the whole family in supportIsland and the southern Gulf Islands. Beacon thrift with autism on Vancouver Island. Shawnigan Lake: ing their relationship and through separation and shops fund important LOCAL community services Multisport day camp, bike clinics and family camp. divorce. Counseling, mediation, legal information and programs. Beacon also offers: child, youth and Victoria: Swim, soccer, skate and physical literacy. and a range of group programs are available for family services (including the Peninsula Early Years Nanaimo: Swim and physical literacy. Family events children, youth and adults on a sliding fee scale. Call Centre and child care); counselling; employment take place throughout the year! Become a member us at 250-386-4331 or visit fsgv.org. We can help. services and training for people of all ages; home for only $25/year at canucksautism.ca/join. Call support care; volunteer services and opportunities; 604-685-4049, email email@example.com or HappyBaby Sleep Solutions helps families creaffordable housing/care/supports for seniors and visit canucksautism.ca/VancouverIsland for more ate healthy sleep habits in babies and children so everyone is well rested and happy. Sukkie Sandhu, people with disabilities. For Home Support, please information. M.Ed., has worked with hundreds of families locally call 250-658-6407. For other programs: 250-6560134. beaconcs.ca. CHOICES Adoption & Counselling is a licensed, in Victoria and worldwide. Sukkie is a Registered professional, non-profit agency that provides Clinical Counsellor so the cost of a sleep consultaBeacon Community Services Employment services to adoptive parents, birth-parents, and tion may be covered under your extended medical Programs. Beacon Community Services offers a adoptees. CHOICES arranges adoptions domesti- plan. For more information visit happybabysleepfull menu of employment services on the Saanich cally and internationally. We are committed to pro- solutions.com or call 250-857-1408 for a FREE Peninsula and Gulf Islands. We’ve been helping viding a comprehensive, client-centered adoption evaluation. Let’s get started! people find work since 1982! Our programs build on service which best meets the needs of everyone a person’s strengths and resolve barriers to finding in the adoption constellation. Please contact us at HeadWay Victoria Epilepsy & Parkinson’s Centre and keeping employment. We also work with our firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 250-479-9811 supports families living with seizures by offering parent workshops three times a year, educational employer network to support job seekers. Need for further information.
38 Island Parent Magazine
presentations in schools and community groups as well as providing tutoring sessions and one-to-one professional consultations to help your child live up to their highest potential. Keep up to date with the latest research about treatments, lifestyle, and safety issues for your child. We can be reached at headwayvictoria.com, or you can reach the Epilepsy Program Coordinator directly at 250-475-6677.
ST. JOSEPH’S Elementary School
Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA) is a registered charity and nonprofit helping individuals and organizations to connect across cultures. Programs offered include immigrant and refugee services, parenting programs, employment services, interpretation and translation, diversity workshops and training, English language training, volunteer placements, youth programs and tutoring, seniors groups, and inter-cultural arts programming. Located at 930 Balmoral Road, 250-388-4728 info@ icavictoria.org, icavictoria.org. LDABC The Learning Curve (previously The Learning Disabilities Assn.) supports, educates and advocates for children with learning disabilities and related challenges. Individual and group support, education and consultation is available for children, youth, parents, caregivers and professionals. Please visit our website @ ldasvi.bc.ca or call us for more information or to book an appointment: 250 370 9513.
St. Joseph’s TRADITIONAL VALUES Elementary School - CHEMAINUS
Matinees for KIDS! Saturdays & Sundays
JAN 13 & 14 – 12:45 PM THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE JAN 20 & 21 – 12:30 PM WONDER JAN 27 & 28 – 12:30 PM WONDERSTRUCK
Sooke-West Shore Early Years Centres provide information to families about children and family services, supports, child development and parenting. The Early Years Navigator will assist families with referral information for local early years programming, child care, public health, special needs intervention services, and social supports. The Sooke-West Shore Early Years Centres are hosted by Sooke Family Resource Society and located at the Child, Youth, and Family Centres in both Sooke and the West Shore and can be reached at 250217-9243. Additional information can be accessed at sfrs.ca/early-years-centre.
JAN 6 & 7 – 12:45 PM MY LITTLE PONY: THE MOVIE
Power To Be inspires people living with barriers or disabilities to explore their limitless abilities through inclusive adventures rooted in nature. With programs for children, youth and adults, year-round adventures include kayaking, canoeing, camping, hiking and more. Visit powertobe.ca or call 250385-2363 to learn more.
Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society (VIRCS) supports immigrants and refugees living in Greater Victoria. Services are free and include oneon-one counselling, parent education workshops, youth life skills classes, a preschool program, art therapy, language classes and academic support, employment help, computer classes and fun community events like free yoga, tai chi, dance and cooking classes. Visit us online at vircs.bc.ca or phone 250-361-9433.
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PRESCHOOL & CHILD CARE Directory CENTRAL SAANICH
Chrysalis Child Care................................250-652-0815 A nurturing and stimulating environment for a small group of 21⁄2–5 year old children. Qualified ECE promotes learning through play. chrysalischildcare.ca.
Licenced group childcare for children ages 12 months to 5 years old. Open 6:30am-5:30pm. Leap Forward Dance School offers weekday and Saturday dance classes for children ages 2 and up. 2758 Peatt Road, Langford
Miles of Smiles Nature Junior Kindergarten........................................... 778-265-4374 Come See Why Learning In Nature Rocks! Reggio Influenced Philosophy ages 3-5. Have Your Child Become a Nature Detective Today! Email email@example.com.
CORDOVA BAY Carrot Seed Preschool.............................250-658-2331 Where children can discover, imagine, construct and learn through play. Wondrous natural playground. carrotseedpreschool.com. Cordova Bay Preschool........................... 250-658-3441 A bright and cheerful parent participation preschool with a philosophy of learning through play. 4 yr olds - M/W/F 9:151:15; 3 yr olds - T/Th 9:15-12:15. cordovabaypreschool.org.
ESQUIMALT Ciara Early Childhood Centre...................250-386-7369 Education and Fun Hand in Hand! Exceptional care for ages 1-5yrs. Inclusive nature inspired kindergarten readiness program with Christian values. Facebook.com/ CiaraEarlyChildhoodCentre. Island Kids Academy Esquimalt...............250-381-2929 High quality child care (ages 1-5). Enriched Curriculum Includes Music Classes and Character Development using the Virtues Project. Part -time spaces available. Islandkids.ca. La Pré-Maternelle Appletree Preschool......250-479-0292 A French Immersion Program. 30 months to school age. Licensed Christian centre. prematernelleappletree.com.
Only seconds past luxurious Bear Mountain our highly respected outdoor program will not disappoint! Our “Nurture through Nature” facility is rooted from the Reggio-Emilia philosophies, allowing the children to use their environment as the “third teacher.” Located on 2 acres of forest land, your child will learn and grow in a natural surrounding of tress and wildlife! Newly expanded, we NOW have more spaces available for your Infant/ Toddlers and Pre-Kindergarten aged children. We use the trees from our own property to build the furniture and some of the toys in all three centres. The children enjoy yoga, music, Spanish, signlanguage and an outdoor classroom. In 2016, Lexie Biegun won the BC Provincial Gov’t award of Excellence for Child Care Providers. Please visit our Facebook page for current info and pics.
250-590-3603 Cub House waitlist: 778-432-3600
METCHOSIN Metchosin Cooperative Preschool........... 250-478-9241 Gorgeous forested playground. Half day play based nature programs. Exploration, self discovery, child centered learning nurtured by our wonderful ECCEs. West-Mont Montessori School.................250-474-2626 Exceptional preschool Montessori instruction in a beautiful natural environment. Ages 30 months and up. Providing a balanced approach to incorporating French, Music, Art and Nature. Stop by and experience what it is like to be part of a community devoted to the development of the whole child. Open House: Thursdays 9-11 am. west-mont.ca.
Resource & Referral
40 Island Parent Magazine
Camosun College Child Care Services........250-370-4880 Quality licensed facilities on both campuses providing children, newborn to 5 years, with rich early learning experiences in a learn through play environment. camosun.ca/childcare. Full o’ Beans Preschool............................... 250-360-1148 We offer ‘learn through play’ programming designed to foster your child’s natural curiosity and imagination. Flexible scheduling, 2.5 and 4 hour programs, qualified staff. Registration is ongoing! saanichneighbourhoodplace.com. Island Montessori House.....................250-592-4411 Inclusive, integrated and nurturing Preschool and After School Care programs. Lovely rural setting with a focus on nature and outdoor environmental activities. islandmontessori.com. Lambrick Park Preschool & Childcare........ 250-477-8131 Gordon Head’s parent-participation preschool and childcare center. Flexible hours M-F 9am-3pm & drop-ins offered. Play based learning and outdoor play. Allergy friendly. Celebrating 40 years. lambrickparkpreschool.ca.
In The Garden Childcare Centre.............. 250-654-0306 A GREAT PLACE TO GROW. Offering preschool, full day care, before and after school care for children aged 2.5 to 12 years old. Open all year. Now offering Infant and Toddler Care.
OAK BAY Emmanuel Preschool.............................. 250-598-0573 Children learn through play in our non-denominational Christian preschool near UVic. Bright attractive setting. emmanuelpreschool.ca.
Recreation Oak Bay.................................250-370-7200 Fully licensed, ECE Daycare, Preschool and Nature Preschool. Play based, child led learning. Afterschool care available.
Gonzales Co-op Preschool....................... 250-727-1003 An imaginative Reggio Emilia inspired Learning-Through-Play community that focuses on nature, music, and arts. gonzalescooppreschool.com.
• Half day and Full day Preschool Programs • Children’s learning is nurtured and supported through exploration, discovery, play and creative expression 3905 Haro Road, Victoria BC
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul has opened a brand new licensed child care facility in Royal Oak at 4353 West Saanich Road. We currently have openings in our over 36 months program operating Monday to Friday. For more information call 250-727-0007 and ask for Maureen Hall, Manager or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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 West Shore: 250-391-4324 Cowichan Valley: 250-746-4135 local 231 PacificCare (Ladysmith north): 250-756-2022 or 1-888-480-2273 Funded by the Province of BC
Montessori Educare.................................250-881-8666 Beautiful learning environment in Broadmead and Saanichton. 30 months to 5 years. All year round. email@example.com. montessorieducare.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 Oakcrest Preschool................................ 250-472-0668 A welcoming, nurturing environment with a large, bright facility. Learn through play with 2 caring ECEs. oakcrestpreschool.org.
Pre-School Junior Kindergarten PaciﬁcChristian.ca 250-479-4532 Educational Excellence to the Glory of God Rainbows & Dreams Preschool................ 250-479-1966 Small classes for 3-5 yr olds in a safe nurturing environment. Children learn through play and fun–developing a sense of confidence, independence and creativity. Highly qualified ECE teacher. Ready Set Grow Preschool....................... 250-472-1530 Inside Hillcrest Elm. in Gordon Head, we help children transition to Kindergarten. Licensed Preschool with highly qualified, warm ECE. firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
Licenced group childcare for children ages 1 to 12 years old Offering Before & After school care for Vic West Elementary School Open 6:30am–5:30pm
babiestobigkids.com 250-590-2722 email@example.com
949 Fullerton Ave
Castleview Child Care............................. 250-595-5355 Learning Through Play & Discovery. Licensed non-profit, ECE staff. Since 1958. Morning or full-time care. castleviewchildcarecentre.com. 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. Little Paws Preschool...............................250-384-3211 A program designed to enhance children’s creativity, interdependence, independence and to expand self-expression. Website: vnfc.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. 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.
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.
Positive and supportive program motivating children to learn, discover and grow through play. Kindness Curriculum, Jolly Phonics and Active Outdoor Play!
250-383-7445 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
v Comprehensive programs for Preschool through Grade 8 v Delivering academic excellence through music, dance, drama and visual arts v Outstanding educators, locations and facilities
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.
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 In a warm environment, this nature and play-based program enlivens and nurtures the growing child. 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.
SIDNEY Positive Path Early Learning....................250-655-7244 Located near the library and Sidney School, our program has earned a stellar reputation for quality child care and is growing as fast as the children we care for. Space is available for your child to embark on a journey of active exploration and discovery, enjoying a natural outdoor playground and an expansive indoor learning space. Experienced educators foster a lifelong quest for knowledge and guide children with Christian values and virtues. email@example.com.
View Royal Childcare...............................250-479-8067 Preschool structured, high quality childcare. Victoria Conservatory of Music classes. Part time spaces available. 2.5-5year olds. firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Aspengrove School.................................. 250-618-2201 Aspengrove School in Nanaimo, an independent school offering Junior Kindergarten for 3 & 4 year olds. Play-based learning, rooted in the same International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum taught in our Kindergarten-Grade 12 classes.
QUALICUM BEACH Children’s Discovery Centre.....................250-752-4343 Our program recognizes the uniqueness of each child and provides a nurturing, safe and creative learning environment. Licensed preschool, group care and out of school care. Early Childhood Educators. childrensdiscovery centre.ca. email@example.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.
January 2018 41
Connect with Nature …all winter long
he beginning of the new year is a fresh start, full of a variety of possibilities for outdoor adventure and exploration with kids. And it’s the perfect chance to make the resolution to spend more time outdoors with the children in your life. Now’s the time to carve out a path for this years’ adventures. As you start to make plans for your family this year, I encourage you to look at where your family spends the majority of its time. Ask yourself, how will I provide opportunities for my family to spend more time in nature? How can I get started right away this winter? Kids and winter get along just great. Kids love splashing in mud puddles.
42 Island Parent Magazine
They dream about snowflakes that have potential to be made into snowmen. They crave the loud, crashing winter waves at the beach. Most of all, kids are amazed when they discover signs of wildlife in the forest. So get out there and explore the beach after a big winter storm. Examine the diverse varieties of seaweed that have arrived on shore. Embrace the first snowfall with a walk in the forest to look at animal tracks or go sledding. Go for walks in the forest and look for multi-coloured mushrooms popping up. Take this opportunity to look, listen and smell the variety of life that is alive and thriving during the winter season.
Try taking your kids outside on a rainy day. Just remember to bundle everyone up with proper rain gear and gumboots. A fun thing to bring along on your adventure is
Kirsten Dallimore Nature Notes some hot nature tea. This will to help keep you warm on your journey. Set tasks, for example: splash in the puddles. How many puddles can you find? What does it feel like to just stand in a mud puddle? How deep are the puddles? What wildlife also enjoys the puddles? Are there any animals or birds you can see that need the rain for their survival? Try suggesting that your child pretends they are an animal living in the local ecosys-
Chestnut-backed chickadees, Steller’s jays, dark-eyed juncos and spotted towhees are common winter birds that will help you get started on your own bird-watching journey. Listening to recordings online and looking at pictures of birds before you head into the forest will help you train your senses to spot them. As you are looking and listening for birds, take the time to smell the trees and touch the bark. A great activity to do with kids is called “Greet a Tree.” With their eyes closed, carefully guide them to a tree in the forest. Get them to touch and smell the tree. Then slowly guide them back, away from the tree. When they open up their eyes, they must go back and see if they can find the tree that they originally greeted. They will accomplish this task if they can successfully identify their tree by touch and smell. A fun artistic project to do together as a family is to make your own backyard bird feeder. You can make bird feeders from pinecones or recycled plastic juice or milk
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tem. Maybe they can become a black-tailed deer. As you continue on your walk, find places where the deer might go to find water to drink and find protection from the rain throughout the winter months. If possible, gather everyone together underneath a cedar tree. Find one that has low-lying boughs that provide refuge from the rain drops. This may also give you an opportunity to stay dry for a while. Under these big branches is a great location to enjoy your hot tea. Encouraging kids to use their “deer ears” to listen, “coyote nose” to smell, and “eagle eyes” to look for things outdoors helps expand their senses and knowledge about nature. Developing your bird language and sensory skills is rewarding and fun. IslandParent.ca
containers. Throw a tea party for the birds by picking up some fancy cups and saucers from your local thrift shop and filling them with bird seed to attract local birds to your backyard. Watch and listen as they become your daily visitors. Winter is meant for rejuvenation and discovery. Enjoying the changing seasons is part of forming a deeper connection to a place. Repeat visits to the same place throughout all of the seasons will enable your kids to gain a greater understanding of that place and to sharpen their senses. So get out and discover something new together this year. Kirsten Dallimore is an Environmental Educator with Sierra Club B.C.
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January 2018 43
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ne of the dangerous genetic traits in my family is our predilection for the sweeter things in life—literally. Take my grandmother, who considered three mouthfuls of chicken and two steamed beans a filling dinner but who insisted that if there were four people and one pie, the most reasonable thing was to cut it into quarters. Or my brother, who has an
fills large plastic eggs with stickers and bunny shaped graham crackers, she hides some chocolate also. Angus has grandparents, so even if I wanted to outlaw all sugar, I’d have a hard time. While I can confiscate the jumbo bags of marshmallow strawberries that arrive from Alberta, I can’t do much about the cookies and gummy worms that seem to be
annual tradition of consuming a box of Halloween candy in 24 hours, and then feeling ill enough that he makes a hollow promise to restrain himself the following year. I’m definitely more moderate, but I share the trait. While Mike is content with a single-course meal, I believe a dinner party without dessert is unacceptable. Sugar is bad for you, though. Sugar is toxic. And when Angus was born I was determined he wouldn’t follow in my family’s footsteps. No slab cake free-for-all on his first birthday. He got whole wheat “cupcakes” sweetened with maple syrup. The Halloween fairy comes each year and takes the majority of Angus’s candy in exchange for a book. But I’m not extreme. I still have nightmares of the Easter my brother and I joined the egg hunt at my mom’s “healthy” friend’s house. I gagged on my first—and only—carob egg. While our Easter bunny
consumed every time Angus has a visit with his granny. But still, I try to limit Angus’s sugar intake to the best of my abilities, which is why I felt extremely guilty when I filled a glass canister in our kitchen up to the brim with jellybeans. First some backstory: In Angus’s Grade 1 class the kids are reading sight words. Angus is exempt from this task because he can read the entire list. Instead he sits with a white board and markers and tries to print them. I say try because Angus struggles with fine motor skills: buttons, zippers, scissors are all exceedingly difficult but pens and pencils are the hardest. Angus can barely form any of his letters, nor does he particularly want to. When your writing is illegible even when exerting maximum effort, why not just make some chicken scratches and announce that you’re done. At home, the only thing I usually make
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44 Island Parent Magazine
Angus print is “Love Angus” on birthday cards, this performed under duress, and with my hand on his wrist preventing the legs of his “A” from dangling down past the bottom of the page.
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Maternity & Beyond Angus can’t print, but my assumption always was that if he could form the letters—or if we resorted to a keyboard—he’d be totally fine. Don’t reading and writing go hand in hand? Apparently not. When Phone: 250-590-4460 the sight word list was sent home, I asked Grooming: 250-590-5803 Angus how to spell the first 10 (mostly two#106–751 Goldstream Avenue letter) words. He got eight of them wrong. islandpetsource.com We should work on these, I said, and to intercept the temper tantrum that I could | | see brewing, I added the words that always AFFORDABLE PROFESSIONAL EFFECTIVE worked on my brother and me when we were kids, but that I swore I’d never use: for treats! Angus’s “spelling practice” is a bribery with our bonanza. There are points for effort and PROUDLY CANADIAN QUALITY TUTORING extra points for correct spelling. Enough Now 15+ Locations to serve you! points accrued means he can pull a piece of All academic subjects! paper from the mega prize jar, an assortment $8–$15/hr | Grades K to 12 of prizes Angus devised himself. These mega firstname.lastname@example.org prizes give a pretty good idea of my son’s main interest: A new book! A trip to the library for five books! A trip to the book section of Value Village! But let’s be hon95 CALL est—the promise of future prizes simply is 89-99Cent 250-5Shop TODAY: re ping Oak l Roya not adequate. So there are also jellybeans. BC V8Z 6L8 #104–4475 Viewmont Ave, Victoria, I feel guilty for bribing my kid with candy. math4me.ca Guiltier still when instead of asking him if he’s up for spelling practice, I ask if he’s up for some jellybeans. (Though predictably the latter phrasing is more successful). My 1Up Single Parent............... 13 Leap Forward only saving grace is that Angus is so used Arbutus Grove.................. IFC Childcare....................... 16 to me limiting his sugar intake that he Aspengrove School...........37 Life Seminars.................... 30 doesn’t require much to be satisfied. Three Bear Mountain.....................9 Lifestyles........................... 36 jellybeans is a windfall around our house. At Browne Associates........... 20 Lions Baseball.................... 31 least it is for Angus. Last night Mike took Cinecenta.......................... 39 MacDonald Realty..............43 the canister from my hand and put it on the City of Victoria.................. IBC Mad Science..................... 26 top shelf. You’re going to make yourself sick, Discovery School............. IFC Mineral World.................... 26 he said. Perhaps, but if the candy disappears Emmanuel Preschool........ 22 Momease......................... IFC I plan to blame it on genetics. Erin Wallis Photography.... 22 Mothering Touch..................7
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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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January 2018 45
ime out was meant to replace spanking. The idea is that if a child is emotionally charged, or not backing down from making a demand, he take a time out. Once he calms down, the timer starts to tick, with the standard time being one minute per year of age. There are various challenges with time out, along with concerns that the child is experiencing love withdrawal from the parent. Some kids panic and don’t know how to calm down on their own. Many kids experience a sense of being ostracized or
46 Island Parent Magazine
rejected. I don’t want to be with you when you act like this. That message is harmful because kids don’t have the maturity to act differently when their emotions are charged. We reject a child’s immaturity and basic nature when we give those messages. Many kids experience a sense of shame because of their behaviour and this can lower their self-esteem. Lecturing a child after time out or forcing an apology only adds to that shame. Instead, show acceptance and understanding with a message that says: we all have times when our feelings get the best of us. You can role model timing yourself out, explaining that you don’t want to lose your temper and that you need a moment to breathe. In fact, taking time away from a heated discussion is a life skill that everyone should practice, not just kids. Chilling out makes sense. It can also eliminate using other consequences which often make things worse. Can you imagine removing your partner’s cell phone for a day if he lost his temper?
Every child is different, some kids do not want to talk and want to be alone when they are upset. Leave them to it and give them their space. It isn’t an act of disrespect when
Allison Rees Cut It Out! they want to be left alone. For the kids who struggle with time out or being alone, find ways to practice time out at a neutral time. You can say: What can you do to help you feel calm? What else? Here is how long a couple of minutes is, let’s sit and experience it. I will be right here for you. There are three A’s that nurture our child’s self-esteem, always keep them present: Acceptance: I take you as you are. Affection: I give you myself. Affirmation: I’m glad you exist. LIFE Seminars has two books available, Sidestepping the Power Struggle and The Parent Child Connection. See lifeseminars.com.
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