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Island Parent Vancouver Island’s Parenting Resource for 31 Years

March 2019


Things to Do

Spring Break Programs

Curiosity • Diversity Exploration • Nature Play-Oriented Learning

September 2019 Now Registering for Out of School Care for Frank Hobbs Kindergarten Students


3905 Haro Road, Victoria BC

250-477-3731 arbutusgrove.ca

Educational Excellence to the Glory of God


1581 Hillside Ave, Victoria


Across the street from Hillside Centre


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


Enrolment is limited. For more information or to arrange a tour, visit www.discoveryschool.ca, call Sherri Ko at 250-595-7765 or email principal@ discoveryschool.ca Come and See. Facebook.com/YourPCS

Tab l e of C o ntents

Features 10

Thumbsucking Confessions


What’s so bad about a self-soothing habit?


Sarah Seitz


Moms Who Mean Business


Living My Best Life

Motherhood: Am I Doing this Right?

Kelly Cleeve

Natasha Mills

Finding balance in your life and make yourself a priority.

Being the parent our children need us to be.

How being a mompreneur is like running a marathon while juggling water balloons. Candace Negm


Spring Break Programs



In Every Issue 36

Family Services Directory


Healthy Families, Happy Families

The Canada Food Guide 4-1-1. Areli Hermanson






Editor’s Note

Make the most of Spring Break with these kid-friendly events. Sue Fast


Need to Know

Enjoying the beauty of nature in spring.


Asta Mail


Maternity & Beyond

The adventure of getting a good night’s sleep.

Book Nook

Island Parent Vancouver Island’s Parenting Resource for 31 Years

March 2019


Things to Do

Spring Break Programs


4  Island Parent Magazine

Laura Trunkey



Christina Van Starkenburg

Photo by Ashley Marston Photography

The importance of listening to our most vulnerable kids.

Emillie Parrish

How to play Spring Break Book Bingo.

Sarah Milligan

Tate (7) & Sofie (6)


Family Calendar

Making a Mediterranean-inspired meal.

Is There an App for This?


Nature Notes

Party Directory

Cooking With Kids


On the Cover

Preschool & Child Care Directory

Cut It Out!


Dealing with the seductive nature of screen time. Allison Rees

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

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



Spring Fling Things To Do

Meander to Mystic Beach. The 2 km trail features small stream crossings, a suspension bridge, and a descent down a felled and notched tree to the beach. Once there, cool off under a waterfall, cascading from the sandstone cliffs, or swing on the rope swing. Visit the Raptors. Get up close with these birds of prey as you wander through the forested trails at The Raptors Centre in Duncan, reopening for the season on March 9. pnwraptors.com. Gaze Up at the Goats. Open for the season from 9am-6pm, Coombs Old Country Market is in full swing. Say hi to the goats on the roof and then duck inside to explore the eclectic mix of curios. Hungry? Grab an ice cream cone and stroll the surrounding grounds. oldcountrymarket.com.

Chase Waterfalls. For a list of the Island’s Top 10, visit discovervancouverisland.com/ blog/waterfalls/.

Commandeer a Kayak. Victoria Kayak Tours offers two halfday family-friendly tours—one to Seal Island, the other through the Gorge Waterway. Book online at victoriakayak.com.

Sue Fast Editor’s Note

Cross the Kinsol Trestle. By bike or on foot, traversing this 187-metre long, 44-metre high trestle—one of Play in the Snow. With Mt. the tallest free-standing trestles in the Washington’s tubing time slots, world—will take your breath away. cvrd. riders can reserve online and bc.ca or kinsoltrestle.ca. go. This means low traffic, less line ups and more tubing. One Explore Underground. Caving hour pass: $18/adult; $14/child. at Horne Lake Caves offers both Riders under 42" ride free with an adult self-exploring and guided tour opin their snow tube. mountwashington.ca. portunities. hornelake.com. Hang 10 in Tofino. As beauPlay a Round of FootGolf. Played tiful in spring as winter—with in groups up to 6 players, FootGolf is water temperatures that vary only part soccer, part golf. Play the perfect between 1-2˚—Tofino is the perfect place nine-hole course at Cedar Hill Golf Course, to learn to surf. For a list of lessons, visit Saturdays and Sundays after 2pm. saanich.ca. tofino-bc.com/surfing-surf-lessons.php.

Creating beautiful smiles New patients always welcome Call or email us today and our dental team would be happy to assist you with an appointment

Westshore Dental Centre

Mon – Thurs: 7:30 am – 7:30 pm Fri: 7:30 am – 5:00 pm Sat: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

152 – 2945 Jacklin Road  •  250-474-2296  •  www.westshoredental.com IslandParent.ca

March 2019  5

NEEDTOKNoW Festival Nanaimo Festival Nanaimo is a multi-dimensional community festival that takes place in Nanaimo throughout the month of March each year. This year marks the 5th Annual Festival Nanaimo—a festival about exploring Nanaimo, through a variety of activities that include shows, dance, theatre, visual art, heritage and mystery events, the 5th Annual PirateFest, culinary art with whiskey, bacon and bevy tastings and of course Nanaimo Bars galore. Walk off the Nanaimo Bars with a walk down a trail of one of the many parks or picturesque waterfront walkway. This year’s Festival includes 10 Signature Events and other activities that showcase this Harbour City. For more information, visit festivalnanaimo.com.

Ideafest at UVic Ideafest is the University of Victoria’s week-long festival of research, art and innovation. Browse the 2019 schedule to discover 40 events on campus and beyond. There’s “Great Expectations: Pregnancy and Childbirth Across Time and Cultures,” “Planting the Future” on reclamation and reconciliation, and “Youth and Cannabis,” among other presentations. All events are free and open to the public, no registration required unless otherwise specified. Come and be inspired by ideas that can change everything. For more information, visit uvic.ca/ideafest.

The Buzz About Bees

a honey of a program fit for the royalty of the insect world. buzz by on Wednesday, march 20 between 11am–2pm at Crd Parks’ buzz about bees, a drop-in event for all ages. the event takes place at Francis/King regional Park in Saanich and features bee crafts, guided walks and buzzing activities. you can even get a glimpse of live bees up close. you’ll bee amazed, bee enchanted and bee happy. meet at the Francis/King nature Centre off munn road. to find out more about this and other Crd Spring break events, visit crd.bc.ca (link to Spring nature outings brochure). 6

Island Parent Magazine

Moms & Mentors 1 Up Victoria Single Parent Resource Centre’s Moms and Mentors program matches volunteer mentors with isolated single moms who would like extra support, guidance, information, and friendship. The Mentors volunteer a few hours of their time each week; the Moms are women with children of any age. To volunteer as a mentor or to be matched with a mentor, phone 250-385-1114 or visit singleparentvictoria.ca.

St. Patrick’s Day Family Fun Day Grab the kids, your Lucky Leprechaun outfit and head down to Market Square on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, from noon to 5pm for the 2nd annual Family Fun Day. This free community event features Irish dancers, music, Irish-themed food vendors, an Irish crafting station, Irish vendors, balloon art, face painting and a bouncy castle. Visit facebook.com/ GreaterVictoriaFestivalSociety/ IslandParent.ca

We’re Off to See the Wizard…

The Victoria Symphony celebrates the 80th anniversary of the Academy Award-winning classic, The Wizard of Oz, with a presentation of the film accompanied by live orchestra. Re-mastered by Warner Bros., the vibrant restored film is projected on a giant screen and accompanied by the full orchestra, playing new transcriptions of Harold Arlen’s lost score. Conducted by Victoria Symphony Principal Pops Conductor, Sean O’Loughlin, The Wizard of Oz: Film with Orchestra is presented Friday, March 8, at 8pm and Saturday, March 9 at 2pm and 8pm. All performances are at the Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton Street, Victoria. The Wizard of Oz was a technical marvel for MGM Studios in 1939. With a brilliant score by Harold Arlen and a legendary performance by the famed Judy Garland, the film earned multiple Oscars including Best Music, Original Score; Best Music, Original Song for Over the Rainbow, and the Academy Juvenile Award for Judy’s performance as Dorothy. Hearing Judy Garland’s original studio recordings, backed by lush, live orchestration will be a treat for adults and children alike. This presentation provides film buffs with an opportunity to see The Wizard of Oz as it has never been seen before. Tickets for Wizard of Oz: Film with Orchestra are $31–$83 and available from the Victoria Symphony Box Office at 250-385-6815 or victoriasymphony.ca For more information about the Victoria Symphony visit victoriasymphony.ca


Join us this spring for inspiring art classes and camps in the AGGV Art Studio! Connect with cool new ideas, techniques and experiment with the creative process. Classes and camps are for a wide range of ages and are inspired by current Gallery exhibitions.

REGISTER TODAY AT: aggv.ca/learn/aggv-studio 250.384.4171 or in person at 1040 Moss Street For more information about art classes and camps, contact: studio@aggv.ca aggv.ca

March 2019  7

Photo: Ian McAllister/Pacific Wild

SPRING BREAK CAMPS March 18 - 29, 2019 Acting, improv, film & more Professional teaching artists Ages 5 & up Full-day and half-day options!

250-386-7526 skam.ca

Great Bear Rainforest Documentary Journey to a land of grizzlies, coastal wolves, sea otters and the all-white spirit bear—the rarest bear on earth—in the film Great Bear Rainforest. Hidden from the outside world, the Great Bear Rainforest is one of the wildest places left on earth. Found on Canada’s remote Pacific coast, it is the last intact temperate rainforest in the world—a place protected by the region’s indigenous people for millennia. Now, for the first time ever, experience this magical world in IMAX and discover the land of the spirit bear. Now playing at IMAX Victoria. For showtimes and tickets, visit imaxvictoria.com.

turn Off the Lights on earth Hour

On Saturday March 30, from 8:309:30pm, hundreds of millions of people around the world will turn off their lights for an hour to demand action on climate change. But that’s just the beginning. Every hour, Canadians are taking small steps to lessen their impact on the environment. From hanging your clothes to dry to taking transit to work, those small steps add up to huge changes for the better. Earth Hour is about more than just turning off the lights. It’s also an opportunity to turn on young minds. Visit schools.wwf.ca/ to find out how to help students understand Earth Hour and the importance of taking action against climate change. There are many ways to mark and celebrate Earth Hour at your child’s school, from outdoor activities to lights-out events. Before you start planning for Earth Hour, remember to register your child’s school on EarthHourCanada.org so the school’s participation can be counted towards the Canadian total.


Island Parent Magazine


Wensley Family Realtors® Trusted from Generation to Generation

Opening day at Ucluelet Aquarium


f you’re in Ucluelet on March 1, drop by for the first day of the Ucluelet Aquarium’s 2019 season. As is tradition, the aquarium will be celebrating the first day back with free admission. The Aquarium’s pass and admission fees will be increasing this year—for the first time ever—however, to honour local families, seasons passes will remain at the old price for all of March. So, if you want

to get a seasons pass this year, be sure to get it in March. Each season runs from March until November. For information, visit uclueletaquarium.org.

For a fresh approach to your Real Estate needs, contact me today!

Paula Wensley

Office: 250-388-5882 Cell: 778-678-7387 Pwensley@macrealty.com Paulawensley.com

Bowl for Kids’ Sake Bowl for Kids’ Sake (BFKS) is the signature fundraising event for Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of Victoria and Area, taking place April 26–28 at Langford Lanes in the Westshore. Start collecting pledges today to help BBBS support mentoring programs that create and support positive healthy relationships for young people and, in turn, help them succeed in life.


1. Create a team of up to 8 players. 2. Sign up your team online. 3. Raise $100/person minimum. 4. Bowl for 11⁄2 hours on one of three event days. For more information, phone Hannah Putnam, event coordinator, at 250-471-1117 ext. 52, email imagine.victoria@bigbrothersbigsisters.ca or visit victoria.bigbrothersbigsisters.ca.


Come join The Rising! The Westshore’s first Circus School

Aerial Silk • Lyra • Trapeze & more! Spring & Summer Camps Classes Performances All Ages All Abilities


140–1047 Langford Pkwy • 250-857-1785 March 2019


Thumbsucking Confessions

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


’m a parent who traded a good night’s sleep for my children’s self-soothing habit—thumbsucking. I got them started but it took a worm to get them to stop. Who wants to wake up at all hours of the night to repeatedly replace a soother into an infant’s mouth? I didn’t. Thumbsucking seemed more natural, a form of self-soothing that was supposed to translate into a calmer baby and more sleep for me. So I encouraged it. What I didn’t realize was that breaking the thumb-sucking habit would take years and push all of us to our limits. Hungry for help to undo my mistake, I searched the Internet. “How much do braces cost?”…“Does restricting self-soothing cause childhood anxiety?” Friends told us our kids would grow out of it. Once they reached school age and became self-

went five days without sucking her thumb, I bought her a pair of heeled white shoes that she wanted. My value for sleep was clearly higher than my values for age-appropriate footwear. When I caught her sucking her thumb a week later, she told me she didn’t want the shoes anymore and I could take them back. Apparently her self-soothing addiction was stronger than her desire for high heels. I bought a book called David Decides About Thumb-sucking, about a boy who decides that he no longer wants to suck his thumb. But my kids “decided” that quitting wasn’t for them. We tried hypnosis and counselling. We spent hundreds of dollars replacing the oral habit with fidgets. We tried gum to give Julia the oral stimulation that thumb sucking gave. I convinced her Grade 2 teacher to

conscious, the habit would naturally end, they said. Other people recalled reading about children who sucked their thumbs well into their forties. So, we tried everything to break the habit. We used the paint-on varnish that makes Buckley’s cough syrup taste like a Pina Colada. We taped socks onto my daughter’s hands with duct tape in the evenings. It seemed like a good idea, but proved problematic when she had to use the washroom during the night and couldn’t use her hands. More precious sleep lost. Sticker charts? You bet. Rewards? We did that too. In fact, once after my daughter

allow Julia to chew gum in class. It kept her thumb out of her mouth, but wrecked her social life. The other kids resented her special privileges. After the first week, the teacher requested that she be able to manage the gum consumption because Julia had blown through a whole pack before recess. Our last-ditch attempt was a dental appliance called “the crib.” A friend told me this was “the” solution to our oral stimulation situation. An appliance gets cemented to the child’s teeth and gives the thumb a stab every time it’s inserted into the mouth. After consulting with an orthodontist I was crestfallen to learn that children find

Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch by Axis Theatre Company

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

Tickets: $12 or 2 for $20

theatreone.org Mid Island

10  Island Parent Magazine


ways to suck their thumb even with the crib in place and, worse, once it is removed, they continue thumb sucking. My kids were 5 and 7. I was sleeping at night, but I was still exhausted and out of ideas.

An experience that lasts a lifetime!

Out of School Care • Programs & Events • Crew and Leader-in-Training Programs

Sarah Seitz The cure came late one night when my son cried out and I was unable to calm him. He complained of an itchy bum. I remembered the notice from his teacher that someone in his class had pinworms. Back to the Internet I went. I learned that the female worms crawl out of the anus at night and lay their eggs on the outer skin. The infected child then scratches his bum and because the eggs can live on surfaces for 14 days, they then get transferred to toys, shared crayons in the classroom, door handles and if you are a thumb-sucker, into your mouth. Was that too much information? It gets worse. With my head lamp strapped on, I went exploring. I found a tiny white worm crawling out of my son’s rear, and that was it. I was officially done with thumb sucking. In the morning, I told my children that Nathan got worms because he sucked his thumb and we were no longer going to suck thumbs in our house. Period. We all took deworming pills, washed our hands fastidiously and laundered every stuffy, blanket and piece of clothing. We made a 30-day chart with a reward at the end. I didn’t care about the price. It was going to be worth every penny if it worked. At night, we wrapped their thumbs in medical tape and after three weeks, we didn’t need the tape again. I am proud to say we are now 90 days thumb-sucking free. I can tell you that out of all of the things we tried, the most effective solution was simply my determination to break the habit. That tiny worm who came out at night and interrupted my sleep was my personal wake-up call.

Leadership • Summer Camp • Rentals

Register or Call Today! CampPringle.com • 250-743-2189 • info@camppringle.com

Sarah Seitz is a working mother, wife and writer. She spends her free time cutting off crusts and uses good coffee and humour to get through the day. IslandParent.ca

March 2019  11


Book on-line

Moms Who Mean Business mom.pre.neur

Essentially, the mental load means women are constantly thinking of responsibilities and cognitively reviewing never-ending checklists, while also conducting their daily life. While it isn’t physically exhausting, it can be mentally exhausting. For the working mom, this also means balancing work deadlines and all associated work-related tasks, in conjunction with family needs. This isn’t to suggest that alancing professional growth concur- partners don’t contribute, or support their rently with the role of motherhood is spouses or children. This is just one example of how the mental load may impact some hard. Full stop. Being a mompreneur is like running a women and their families some of the time. The struggle to balance all of those areas marathon while juggling water balloons: home management, work expectations, in life isn’t a new one. What is new is the motherhood, relationships, and a term relatively recent word “Mompreneur.” Mompreneur has picked up colloquial coined, “the mental load.” Noun 1. a woman who sets up and runs her own business in addition to caring for her young child or children: “it’s no coincidence that the rise of the mompreneurs comes as more highly educated women are choosing to stay at home with young children.”

B 250-391-1814

Fun with science every day

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

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

2019 Children’s Summer Ballet Camps

Photo credit: David Cooper

July 8-19

250-590-6752 admin@victoriaacademyofballet.ca victoriaacademyofballet.ca

12  Island Parent Magazine

In the comic strip, You Should’ve Asked, cartoonist, Emma, explains the concept of “mental load.” In a nutshell, it conveys the responsibility of having to constantly remember the particulars of your family’s needs as well as ensuring the smooth operation of the household. These tasks range from seemingly insignificant, like purchasing bread, to incredibly important like paying the mortgage.

speed and landed a flashy definition in the dictionary, while simultaneously falling on the lips of our everyday conversations. The lens through which today’s society is viewing mompreneurs is shifting our societal norms. This new normal finds mompreneurs, in some capacity, working from home while concurrently providing care for their children some, if not all, of the time. IslandParent.ca

Moms are finding their niche in the new business world of mompreneurs. From blogging to creating clothing lines, opening brick and mortar shops, operating e-commerce shops—often with the bulk of the work happening from home, during captured moments of time.

Candace Negm

Victoria City Rowing Club

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

website: www.vcrc.bc.ca email: vcrcprograms@gmail.com

This new grassroot model of business in North America is also generating an economic boost in the Canadian business world. The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service stated that, “Majority womenowned Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) represented over $117 billion per annum of economic activity in Canada and there were 950,000 self-employed women in Canada in 2012, accounting for 35.6 per cent of all self-employed persons.” While self employment for Canadian women is on the rise, the question remains, how do Mompreneurs juggle all of these responsibilities? According to Jessica N. Turner, author of Stretched Too Thin, practicing selfawareness is one of the principle keys to achieving balance. From that balance stems natural opportunities for success. In daily life this means setting and practicing firm boundaries between work time ACE THE NEXT REPORT CARD WITH SYLVAN ACE THE NEXT REPORT CARD WITH SYLVAN and family time, prioritizing self care, and accepting personal imperfections. Turner academic results are important suggests choosing one We “painknow point” in We know academic results are important to We're celebrating We know academic results areto We're celebrating 40 years of40 years of your life and focusing on making a positive delivering results withresults Initial with Initial delivering you. Sylvan students typically see up to two you. Sylvan students typically see up to two important to you. Sylvan students Diagnostic Assessments change in that area. Whether it’s having Diagnostic Assessments for just for just ACE THE NEXT REPORT CARD WITH SYLVAN $40 in of theMarch. monthCall of March. Call $40 in the month to three times more growth in their math more organization in your home, taking ACE THE NEXT REPORT CARD WITH SYLVAN to three times more growth in their math typically see up to two to three see how Sylvan's proven now to see now how to Sylvan's proven time for friends, making quality time with canchild help see your child see process canprocess help your and reading scores than if they hadn't come and reading scores than if they hadn't come We know academic results are important to times more growthresults in their success at school. your spouse or focusing on self care, Turner at school. We're celebrating 40 years of We know academic aremath important to success We're celebrating years of delivering results 40 with Initial you. Sylvan students typically see up to two to Sylvan*. suggests that by makingto positive changes, Sylvan*. delivering results with Initial Diagnostic Assessments for just and Sylvan reading scorestypically than if see theyup to two you. students Call TODAY: 1-800-Educate Call TODAY: 1-800-Educate Diagnostic Assessments forCall justonly. Cannot be Offer valid at participating locations $40 in the month of March. a few at a time, and practicing realistic Offer valid at participating locations only. Cannot be to three times more growth in math combined with any other offer or coupon. $40 in month of March. Call Expires 03/31/19. to the see Sylvan's to three timescontrol more growth in their their mathcombined withnow any other offer how or coupon. Expires proven 03/31/19. Act now to take ofif this school year. hadn’t come tothis Sylvan*. now to see proven goal setting, mompreneurs thrive in take Actwillnow to control of school year. process canhow helpSylvan's your child see and reading scores than they hadn't come can help child see at your school. and reading scores than if they hadn't come processsuccess their daily life. success at school. to Call TODAY: 1-800-Educate to Sylvan*. Sylvan*. At the end of the day, regardless of labels, Call TODAY:year. 1-800-Educate Act now to take control of this school Mompreneurs are moms—and that’s a label Act Act now now to to take take control control of of this this school school year. year. that never goes out of fashion.

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March 2019  13

Spring Break Programs

Ah, spring—a time of blossoms, breezes and Spring Break. There’s lots to do during the break as you’ll see from the following listing. For more information on any of these programs, please refer to the ads in this issue (Ad Index on page 45). Have fun in the—dare we say it—sun! on all our programs and services, as well as ages 5 and up the opportunity to creatively drop-in schedules, at victoria.ca/recreation explore and develop their dramatic skills or by calling 250-361-0732. and passions. Groups are small for quality instruction, and staff are trained and Winner of BC’s Remarkable Experience experienced theatre artists. To register and Award, the Horne Lake Caves is a natural for info: 250-386-7526 kathleen@skam. jewel and one of the coolest family ad- ca skam.ca. ventures on Vancouver Island. This park has wild adventure both above and below Poppet Creative. Looking for fun, creative ground. Start with a video in Canada’s only camps for your kids over the March break? Cave Theater and then hike and explore the We focus on processed-based art allowing crystal-filled caverns. Tours depart every children to explore art in a creative, safe day, year-round. Prefer your adventures space. Check out our various half day above-ground? Try a rock rappelling session camps on our website: poppetcreative.com. designed for beginners. Lakefront camping You’ll also find more information on how Christ Church Cathedral School’s Sum- and canoe rentals are also available within to register. If you have any questions. you mer Program provides a safe and exciting walking distance. Visit us for Spring Break! can call Suusa Kim at 250-818-8182. All camps will be held at 1508 Haultain Avenue. summer for your child. We have a high hornelake.com. supervision ratio, experienced staff, excursions every day, plus all the facilities of Mad Science® offers a variety of programs Recreation Oak Bay is your headquarters Cathedral School. This program runs from with fun science content. Birthday Parties, for Spring Break Camp fun! Join us for June 24-August 23 and is suitable for ages Camps and After-school programs—they all themed activities, crafts, out-trips, swim5-10. Friends, fun, adventure! Minecraft offer an opportunity to immerse children in ming and more. There are so many different Camps are also running for 4 weeks. Call an experimental, hands-on environment of camps to choose from including Outdoor 250-383-5125 for availability. See cathe- exploration and learning. We bring exciting Adventure, School of Art, Spy vs. Spy Camp, dralschool.ca. science to your home, to your school, to Science Camp and Preschool Camps. Have your community. Our new program Tech a blast at Oak Bay Recreation Centre with This spring the City of Victoria offers a & Nature is sure to impress. Check our daily theme swims, fun on the ice or enjoy range of programs for everyone. Looking for website madscience.org/vancouverisland or Aquatic and Sports camps. Check recreways to keep the kids busy and active over call 1-888-954-6237 for more information. ation.oakbay.ca or call 250-595-7946 to find the right camp for you. Spring Break? Try Horseback Riding Camp or World Cup Soccer Camp. There will be Join SKAM School of Performing Arts Spring Break Fun Swims daily March 12-27 this Spring Break for full-day and half-day Looking for Spring Break fun? Then try one from 1pm to 3:30pm. Mom and Dad why drama camps. Camps this year include of our great programs at Saanich Parks not hire a personal trainer while the kids are courses in acting, film, improv, mask, move- and Recreation. We have a large selecin the pool? You can find more information ment and more. The school offers students tion to choose from, including computers, dance, arts and crafts, martial arts, sports and daycamps for kids 5-15 years of age. Also, don’t forget about our fantastic fun swims in the pool or Everyone Welcome skates. Whatever you’re looking for, you will probably find it at one of our four recreation centres. Check out saanich.ca/ recreation for more information. Join us this Spring for inspiring art classes and camps in the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria’s (AGGV) Studio! Connect with cool new ideas, techniques and experiment with the creative process. Classes and camps are for a wide range of ages and are led by passionate and encouraging instructors. The AGGV Studio is the ideal place to explore visual culture and express your creative vision. Register online: aggv.ca/ learn/aggv-studio, in person at 1040 Moss Street or by phone: 250-384-4171. For more information email: studio@aggv.ca. See you in the Studio.

St. Michaels University School. A break from school does not have to mean a break from learning. When students want to tackle something new and exciting, our Spring Break programs offer plenty of ways young people can stay entertained. From baking to sports to animation, holiday 14  Island Parent Magazine


programs are diverse and engaging. The Passion Sports team also returns with more sell-out elite basketball camps. The Spring Break Programs at St. Michaels University School are open to all children in Victoria ages 5 to 15 and appeal to a wide range of interests. For information on any of these exciting programs, visit our website at smus. ca/spring or call (250) 370-6120.

~ Traditional Irish dancing classes for ages 4 to adult including ceil and step dancing ~ Cadboro Bay, Esquimalt, Victoria and Duncan

Spring is all about new beginnings…so don’t wait a moment longer to learn to play music! Playing an instrument is a richly rewarding lifetime asset. Now is the time to begin your musical journey at Tom Lee Music Academy, where music is fun and learning is easy for all ages. tomleemusic. ca/academy.

~ Recreational and competitive classes


Register now for Spring & Summer Children and Adult

Victoria Academy of Dramatic Arts Spring Break Camp Monday-Friday, 9am12pm, March 18th-22nd. Participants are introduced to acting for camera, auditioning for film and TV, and what it’s like to be on set. Ages 9-14. Spring Break Workshops. Mon, Thurs and Fri, 12:30-3:30pm, March 18th-22nd. Monday ages 8-10; Thursday ages 10-13; Friday ages 13-16. Join one of our daily afternoon workshops in film acting and auditioning for young actors. These singular classes offer participants a chance to explore scenes and practice auditioning skills in a tight timeframe. 202-734 Aldebury St. 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. West Shore Parks & Recreation is the place to do, learn and grow. Preschoolers will “Spring in to Action” with camps for little chefs, little sports stars and so much more. School age kids can try something new from pottery to sports, science to outdoor adventures. Visit westshorerecreation.ca for more information or call 250-478-8384 to register.•


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March 2019  15




y children are getting older and are evolving into exactly the type of people I hoped they would be: passionate, adventurous, kind, confident, independent and self-sufficient. As a parent, it is an absolute joy to see them grow. However, it is also a double edged sword.

As my kids become increasingly independent and self-sufficient, they need me less and less. As they began to venture out, into the world, I found myself sitting around, waiting, just in case they needed me. I began to feel lonely and without purpose. For a long time, I was the centre of their world. Now, I felt as if I were on the periphery. And, although I understood that they were exactly who I raised them to be and the periphery was exactly where I should be, it was a difficult transition. During that time, my husband urged me to find some hobbies. He reminded me that I was responsible for creating my own happiness. I knew he was right, however the process of discovering what made me happy and of giving myself permission to engage in self-care was a surprisingly bumpy road. When I found a pasttime that I could engage in—at home—such as baking and painting, I felt at peace (for although I was indulging in my passions, I was still available when needed). When a hobby took me out of the house, I felt guilty and selfish. Instead of reveling in the joy of a yoga class, I would rush to class and rush out afterwards, assuring my husband that I would only be gone an hour or two. Consequently, I would return home feeling as frazzled as when I had left. At home, I would find my husband and my boys perfectly happy and having a great time. The house was still intact. The children were not emotionally distraught. My husband was not pulling out his hair. In fact, they all seemed to enjoy their time together, not at all worried that I was not there. While, at first, their lack of concern over my absence was a blow to my ego, it eventually lead to freedom. It began with countless questions about my own identity and purpose. What is my new role in this family? Do I truly want sit around and wait to be needed? How do I want to spend my time? Is it selfish to make myself happy? What type of example do I want to show my children? After much reflection, I realized that the example I want to set for my children is one of someone who follows their passions and is true to themselves. So, I went back to school and gave myself the gift of a Master’s degree. Doing so has truly invigorated me. I am excited about my learning and my career. I have found a new purpose—in addition to being wife and mother. Yes, I am busy. No, I am not always available and I sometimes need to rely on others to drive my boys to soccer practice or to pick them up from school. But I am happy and my children can sense that. I often share with them my hopes that one day, they will find something that excites them and inspires them to work hard. 16  Island Parent Magazine


Even though I still feel guilty every now and then, I find peace in the idea that I am offering my family moments of quality instead of quantity. I am not constantly available. However, when I am home, I am mindful to set aside my work. I put away my phone and make sure that I am truly present for them. I engage them in meaningful conversation, shower them in affection and find time to play with them.

Kelly Cleeve

The Freya-Sophia Waldorf Store

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

It is true that I miss some practices and am not always around to pick them up from school. Instead, I make it a priority to attend every game and I still find time to help with their homework. I may miss dinner, but I am there to tuck them into bed, talk about their day and fill them with love as they drift off to sleep. When my children grow up, I hope they say, “My mom was passionate. She loved her family and she loved her work.” I understand that this approach may not be for everyone. You may be shocked that I am not home every night to have dinner with my family. Regardless of your thoughts on my choices, I hope that my message to you still shines through: Find balance in your life and make yourself a priority. As your children grow older, remember that you are allowed to live your own life, whatever that looks like. Take time to care for yourself, fulfill your needs and follow your passions. You are worth it. You can be a wonderful mother, a loving wife and an inspired woman. Think about what truly makes you happy. For me, this has created a powerful shift in my mentality and has changed the way I see myself, my role and my purpose. While I raise my children, encouraging them live their best lives, I give myself permission to do the same.

Kelly Cleeve is a passionate educator with 14 years experience. She is a graduate student at the University of British Columbia, a wife and a mother of two beautiful boys. IslandParent.ca

March 2019  17

A Good Night’s Sleep A

s a parent, achieving a good night’s sleep continues to be an adventure. Although my children are no longer babies, it seems they still find an astonishing variety of reasons to wake me up in the night. It usually goes something like this: It is 2:01 a.m. I am asleep. I am awakened by a series of familiar sounds: the creak of a door opening, then small footsteps coming down the hallway, then footsteps leading to my bedside. I open one eye to see a child in cat pajamas, hair askew, standing one inch from my nose. Child states her problems in loud whisper-shout: she needs a drink, and she has to go pee. Furthermore, she urgently needs to tell me a funny story about a snail getting a speeding ticket. A rustle, followed by an indistinguishable “grumph” from my husband’s side of the bed indicates clearly that he is not conscious enough to deal with the situation at hand. So I get up. Shuffle to bathroom. Put child on toilet. Listen to rambling story about the speed-demon snail. Get child off toilet. Give drink to child. Try to stay as asleep as possible. Shuffle down hallway to child’s bedroom. Put child back in bed. Find essential sleep accessories: the small stuffed dog, the giant stuffed dog, the small stuffed kitty, the favourite blanket. Fluff child’s pillow just so. Adjust child’s socks. Kiss child, Dog, Big Dog, and Kitty, tiptoe out the door. Cross fingers. Return to bed. It is 2:17 a.m. I am just barely asleep. I hear the creak of a door opening, then small footsteps coming down the hallway, then footsteps leading to my bedside. Child is back with a new problem: suddenly, out of nowhere, she has a hangnail! Clearly, this is a crisis which absolutely cannot wait until morning to be resolved. Perceiving only another indistinguishable “grumph” from her father’s side of the bed, I get up. Shuffle to bathroom. Open drawer and locate nail clippers by feel. Attempt, unsuccessfully, to trim hangnail without opening my eyes.

18  Island Parent Magazine


Realize my mothering skills have not yet reached this level. Retrieve iPhone flashlight to assist. Ponder briefly how bizarre it is that a tiny bit of fingernail is responsible for keeping us both awake at this hour. Child uses this time to ask me deep questions about where I think snails go when they die. Shuffle back to child’s bedroom. Put child back in bed. Locate the small dog, the big dog, the cat, and the blanket; adjust the socks and fluff the pillows. Kiss child, Dog, Big Dog, and Kitty; tiptoe out. Hope for the best. Return to bed.

Spring Break Registration on Now! Summer Camp Registration begins April 1st

Sarah Milligan Is There an App for This? It is 2:27 a.m. Child has returned. It seems that now, a sock crisis is occurring. Apparently her toe was itchy, and so she removed one sock to scratch it. However, now she can’t locate the missing sock to put it back on. And, even worse, Kitty is nowhere to be found. Faint snoring from her father’s side of the bed. I get up. Shuffle back down hallway. Still trying to keep eyes as closed as possible, pat down blankets, sheets, animals, and pillows. Successfully locate two dogs, the blanket, and the missing sock, but no cat. Repeat search to no avail. Resort to removing all blankets, pillows, and sheets from bed. At last, discover the rascally cat has been under the bed the whole time. Re-make bed while child sternly lectures Kitty about not pulling such stunts in the night. Put child in bed. Replace errant sock. Adjust the other sock. Arrange all required animals, blankets, socks, and pillows. Kiss child, dogs, and cat. Child stifles a distinct yawn. Creep out the door. It is 7:03 a.m. I am awakened by a series of familiar sounds: the creak of a door opening, small footsteps coming down the hallway, then footsteps leading to my bedside. I open one eye to see a child in cat pajamas, hair askew, smiling sweetly in the early morning light. She wishes me a good morning and snuggles into bed with me. This, I think, is worth it. This represents a good night’s sleep. Sarah Milligan lives on Vancouver Island. She is grateful to her children for the joy they inspire, not to mention the endless writing fodder. IslandParent.ca

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Are you a superstar? Island Parent has been a trusted resource for Vancouver Island parents for over 30 years, providing informative, educational and compelling information for parents like you! We are looking for someone to join our team. If you are good at building relationships, this may be the role for you. Island Parent is seeking one creative, optimistic, organized and tenacious partnership sales executive. If you have this magical combination of skills, then you may be the perfect individual to join Island Parent’s extraordinary team. We’re growing and looking for you to join our great family-friendly company!

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Please send your resume to publisher@islandparent.ca 20

Island Parent Magazine

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


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victoriagymnastics.com March 2019  21

Motherhood: Am I Doing this Right? I

am no expert when it comes to parenting or motherhood, although I often wish I could be. My son, Hudson, is almost three years old, bouncing with energy, chatting in full sentences, and now almost threeand-a-half feet tall. What I can conclude so far is that parenthood is a ride filled with highs and lows, where moments of pure joy and contentment can plummet into irrational meltdowns. In the beginning, being a new mom was just about getting enough sleep to function.

it all figured out: they keep an immaculate house, have eliminated screen-time entirely, serve only wholesome snacks and are always punctual…all with their multiple children. But then there are the rest of us, some who have moved on to having a second child, and are sleepily juggling what is, in my opinion, a whole new level of skill and seniority. I only have one child, so how do my efforts and experiences measure up to the mom-of-three who has all her kids

parents when the reality falls short of our expectations. And usually, our expectations come from comparing ourselves to others. While it can help to seek reassurance from those sharing similar experiences, it can also make us doubt our own intuition as mothers. We’re living in an era consumed by technology where texting is one of our primary forms of interaction, online mom-groups are our support systems, and the idealism surrounding

Then came managing day-to-day survival, errands, a social life, and maybe the odd date night out. Now we’re in the thick of toddlerhood, and somewhere between the potty training, the YouTube binging, and the food-striking/throwing, motherhood has become a challenge, leaving me feeling more inexperienced than I’d like to admit. What makes it more difficult though, is noticing those moms who seem to have

potty trained and the full week of meals planned on a Sunday night? How do my frustrations surrounding the terrible, er, terrific twos compare to the resiliencies of the generation before me—you know, the ones raising five children without the advantage of technology? I shouldn’t be complaining, right? Wrong. Too often we doubt our capability as

motherhood is accepted as the norm. Instead of comparing ourselves to others, we need to be kinder to each other—and ourselves—and learn to listen to and trust our inner voice. Comparing myself to other moms around me and always internalizing what I could or should have done better only makes me more critical and self-sabotaging. Instead of embracing my unique

22  Island Parent Magazine


journey and individual decisions, my inner critic tells me I should have potty trained differently, that I could have tried harder to get my son into swim lessons before they filled up, and that I’m a mean, authoritative parent. It tells me that I could have handled a grocery-store tantrum more gracefully, or that I was selfish for putting on Paw Patrol to get some work done. I need to get a grip on that internal hater because the reality is that kid(s) are delightfully chaotic. There is no rulebook for parenting; we all start learning from the moment we become responsible for another human being.

Natasha Mills Another reason to stop drawing parallels with others is that you never know what kind of support they may—or may not—be receiving. In our situation, my partner and I have amazing grandparents to help, but unfortunately none of them live close by, so that has been a challenge— even with only one child. I am grateful for the support I have from Hudson’s dad, my forever love, and our strength as a team raising our son. When thoughts creep in to tell me I could have done things better, I remind myself of the nine months of pregnancy, when I developed a spiritual connection and awareness through each passing trimester. I reminisce about holding that baby for the first time with unfathomable, unbreakable and immediate love. I recollect the sweet moments of silence, the 18 months of breastfeeding, and the flashes of sacrifice, sleep deprivation, and tears—all contributing to the trusting bond we have today. I remind myself that my goal isn’t to compete with other moms or to be as good as anyone else; my goal is to be the mother my child needs me to be. And that, without question, is doing motherhood right.

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Natasha Mills, an Islander of 25 years, enjoys sharing the journey of parenthood and all Vancouver Island has to offer on her lifestyle blog. @mommamillsblog, mommamillsblog.com.

Serving the Families of Vancouver Island for Over 23 Years

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March 2019  23

Family Calendar

For calendar updates throughout the month visit IslandParent.ca

M arch Our Generous Sponsors





to the beach. Look for birds, plants and other early TUESDAY th signs of spring along the way. Meet at the Witty’s Lagoon Nature Centre off Metchosin Rd. 5+ years. Victoria & CRD Victoria & CRD BC Transit #54 or #55. Free. crd.bc.ca/parks. 250478-3344. Fantastic Fridays at St. Luke’s Cedar Hill Emergency Preparedness Workshop 4:30 pm at St. Luke’s Hall 1pm at Silver Threads Senior Centre Vancouver Island Parent Conference Cedar Hill X-Rd at Cedar Hill Rd 2340 Richmond Rd Featuring Messy Church. A family-friendly time of 8:30am at Belmont Secondary School Are you and your family prepared for an emergency fun, games, food, crafts, music, and stories. Dinner 3041 Langford Lake Rd such as a power outage, winter storm, earthquake is provided. Come when you can, come as you are. “Change: It’s Here to Stay” will feature keynotes by or tsunami? Learn about the hazards that can afFor info, call 250-477-6741 or e-mail st.lukes@shaw. Alyson Schafer and Ann Douglas. Come enjoy a day fect Victoria, what to include in your emergency of connecting with other parents over important, kits, what you can do to protect your home from ca. stlukesvictoria.ca. of-the-moment issues. Learn useful tools and hear an earthquake, and how to reunite with your loved fresh perspectives from leading experts. $75 early ones after a disaster. Free. VictoriaReady.ca. 250FRIDAY st TO SUNDAY rd bird. vipc.ca. info@vipc.ca. 920-3373. emvic@victoria.ca. Victoria & CRD Museum Tots DivorceCare 11am at Royal BC Musuem 6pm at Central Baptist Church Be a Tourist in Your Own Hometown 634 Humboldt St 833 Pandora Ave. Downtown Victoria You have plenty of time to take advantage of the This program, geared toward children ages 2–5, A friendly, caring group of people who will walk 50 amazing offers from Greater Victoria’s best at- explores the museum world of learning through alongside you through one of life’s most difficult tractions, activities, food and drink tastings, tours, play, crafts, dance, and games. Each week is a experiences. Free. Cost for workbook. centralbapoutdoor adventure, and more. Buy your Be A Tourist new theme and new fun. mmbc.bc.ca/programs-2/ tistchurch.ca. 250-385-7786. office@centralbaptistchurch.ca. VIP Card for $15 at Save on Foods, The Bay Centre, museum-tots/. Destination Greater Victoria Information Centre or Middle and Senior School Admissions Info Session online now at BeATourist.ca. MONDAY th 6pm at Glenlyon Norfolk School 801 Bank Street SATURDAY nd Victoria & CRD Meet with members of the GNS Admissions Office to learn all about GNS, the IB curriculum, the coVictoria & CRD Pro D Day Skate & Swim curricular offerings and other key features of the GNS At Panorama Recreation Early Signs of Spring Come for a full-filled skate or swim. Skate: 1pm; swim: experience. RSVP to admissions@mygns.ca. mygns. 1pm at Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park 1:30pm. $2. panoramarecreation.ca. 250-656-7271. ca/admissions/admissions-events. 250-370-6801. Join a CRD Regional Parks naturalist on a walk down





Mon to Fri • March 18-29 Are your kids looking for something fun and different to do this spring break? We have camps from creativity to adventure and everything in between!

Re�is��� a� 250-478-8384 | westshorerecreation.ca 24  Island Parent Magazine


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. recreation. nanaimo.ca. 250-756-5200.

anxiety. Free. ericfoundation.com. 250-888-5735. karenpalmer@shaw.ca. Good Morning Storytime 10:30am at Sidney All Care Bring your littlest ones to this library program at Sidney All Care (2269 Mills Rd.) for stories, songs, rhymes and lots of movement. Ages 0-5. Drop in.

Dad’s Night Out Skate Nanaimo & Area 6:45pm at Oceanside Place Arena Dads, bring the kids and enjoy a skate together on the pond. Sponsored by Building Learning Together. Canvas Art for Teens 4pm at Oceanside Art Studio Free. rdn.bc.ca/recreation. 250-248-3252. Jenny Hughes will guide you through how to paint a fantastic yet surprisingly simple acrylic painting. WEDNESDAY th No experience necessary. All supplies provided. $20/person. rdn.bc.ca/recreation. 250-248-3252. Victoria & CRD


Animal Adventures 10am at Francis/King Regional Park Join a CRD Regional Parks naturalist on a family adventure as you learn animal skills. Creep like a deer, jump like a cougar and feel like a racoon as you wind your way through the forest. Pre-register by March 4 as space is limited. 5 years and under. Free. crd.bc.ca/parks. 250-478-3344.




Cowichan Valley

cancer care centre. Through generous community support, all InspireHealth programs are offered at no cost. Help support cancer patients and their loved ones in your community and reach by registering for the Rain Walk today.


Movie Night SATURDAY th AND 7pm at Cowichan Aquatic Centre, 2653 James St SUNDAY th Come relax at the pool with a movie on the big Victoria & CRD screen. Slides and diving boards will be open too. Regular admission. 250-746-7665. Juan de Fuca Skating Club Ice Show ‘Imagine...’ Saturday: 2pm & 7pm; Sunday: 1pm thursday th at Juan de Fuca Arena, 1767 Island Hwy SATURDAY th Watch skaters of all ages and levels perform. $12/ Victoria & CRD adult; $8/child/Senior; $10/Reserved Ice Level. Victoria & CRD j u a n d e f u c a s k a t i g c l u b.c a . 2 5 0 - 8 1 8 - 7 1 5 1 . Junior School Admissions Info Session juandefucasc@gmail.com. Magnificent Mosses 6pm at Glenlyon Norfolk School 10am at Francis/King Regional Park 1701 Beach Drive Meet with members of the GNS Admissions Office Spend your morning in the forest with a CRD Regional TUESDAY th to learn all about GNS, the IB curriculum, the co- Parks naturalist to discover the wonderful world of curricular offerings and other key features of the GNS mosses and what makes them so magnificent. Meet Victoria & CRD experience. RSVP to admissions@mygns.ca. mygns. at the Francis/King Nature Centre off Munn Rd. 5 + ca/admissions/admissions-events. 250-370-6801. years. Free. crd.bc.ca/parks. 250-478-3344. DivorceCare 6pm at Central Baptist Church InspireHealth 3rd Annual Rain Walk Childhood Stress & Anxiety: Building Resilience 833 Pandora Ave At Glenlyon Norfolk Middle and Senior School 6pm at Tillicum Elementary See TUES 5 for details. Free. Cost for workbook. For parents and educators supporting children ages A 5km walk to raise money to support British Colum- centralbaptistchurch.ca. 250-385-7786. office@ 5-11 (K-Grade 5) who are experiencing stress and bians living with cancer. InspireHealth is a non-profit centralbaptistchurch.ca.





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March 2019  25

Matinees for KIDS! MAR 2 & 3 – 1:00 PM


Saturdays & Sundays

MAR 9 & 10  12:45 PM

All Seats

MAR 16 & 17  12:45 PM




MAR 19, 20, 21, 23 & 24  12:30 PM


MAR 26, 27, 28, 30 & 31  12:30 PM



Student Union Building, UVIC 250-721-8365

Add a little whimsy to your toy box

Pyjama Storytime 6:30pm at Sooke Branch Library Get snuggly in your jammies and join us at the Sooke branch Tuesday evenings for a storytime before bed. Suitable for ages 3-5 years.



#102 – 2517 Bowen Rd, Nanaimo 888.390.1775

Youth Life Skills Cooking Class—Beef Stew and Biscuits 6pm at Gordon Head Recreation Centre 4100 Lambrick Way Each course will cover safe knife skills and meal planning as youth gain hands-on experience cooking with fresh, local ingredients creating mealtime favourites. $10. saanich.ca. 250-475-7111. loryn. anderson@saanich.ca.


March 18 – 29

Summer: June 24 – August 23 7:30am - 6:00pm

A field trip every day, sports, arts & crafts, and much more! 250250-383383-5125 | 912 Vancouver Street | www.cathedralschool.ca


Island Parent Magazine



Victoria & CrD Ugh! A Slug! 10:30am at Devonian Regional Park Be it a banana or a licorice slug, stroll with a CRD Regional Parks naturalist to peek under fallen logs and leaves in search of these giant gastropods that are one of nature’s best recyclers. Meet at the kiosk in the parking lot off William Head Rd. All ages. BC Transit #54 or #55. Free. crd.bc.ca/parks. 250-478-3344.



Victoria & CrD Explore Island View Beach 11am at Island View Beach Regional Park Come with your curiosity to explore. Fun activities and a guided walk as you explore the fascinating creatures that live here. Look for the CRD tent by the picnic area off Homathko Rd. 11am-2pm dropin. All ages. Free. crd.bc.ca/parks. 250-478-3344.

TUESDay Spring Break:


Victoria & CrD


Kool Toys & Teaching Tools




Victoria & CrD DivorceCare 6pm at Central Baptist Church 833 Pandora Ave See TUES 5 for details. Free. Cost for workbook. centralbaptistchurch.ca. 250-385-7786. office@ centralbaptistchurch.ca. Pyjama Storytime 6:30pm at Sooke Branch Library Get snuggly in your jammies and join us at the Sooke IslandParent.ca

branch Tuesday evenings for a storytime before bed. Nanaimo & area Suitable for ages 3-5 years. Coast Capital Free Skate 3:45pm at Nanaimo Ice Centre WEDNESDay Th Skate and helmet rentals included. Free. recreation. nanaimo.ca. 250-756-5200. Victoria & CrD


Buzz About Bees 11am at Francis/King Regional Park A honey of a program fit for the royalty of the insect world. What’s the buzz about bees—are they really good dancers: Come for bee crafts, guided walks, and buzzing activities. You can even get a glimpse of live bees up close. You’ll bee amazed, bee enchanted, and bee happy. Meet at the Francis/King Nature Centre off Munn Rd. 11am-2pm drop in. All ages. Free. crd.bc.ca/parks. 250-478-3344.








Nanaimo & area



Victoria & CrD

Starlight Skate 7pm at Nanaimo Ice Centre Come out and enjoy the soft light “stars” and passive LED glow lights. This is a great time for families after dinner, or that “night out” with friends. Regular admission. recreation.nanaimo.ca. 250-756-5200.



Victoria & CrD Bear Necessities 10am at East Sooke Regional Park We can co-exist with these magnificent forest dwellers. Join a CRD Regional Parks naturalist to learn about the natural history of the black bear. Meet at the kiosk in the Aylard Farm parking lot off Beecher Bay Rd. 5+ years. Free. crd.bc.ca/parks. 250-478-3344.

tologists will share their personal fossil discoveries including many from this past year. Bring your family and your own fossils for identification. Kids can follow a scavenger hunt, or make fossil and dinosaur rubbings. 10am-3pm drop in. $5/person. suggested donation. swanlake.bc.ca. 250-479-0211.


Mystery Creature 1pm at Mount Work Regional Park Solve the riddles to find the clues hidden along the trail with a CRD Regional Parks naturist to discover who the mystery creature is. Learn fascinating facts and enjoy the beauty of Durrance Lake along the way. Meet in the Durrance Lake parking lot off Durrance Rd, off Willis Point Rd. 5+ years. Free. crd. Th bc.ca/parks. 250-478-3344.



Victoria & CrD


Fossil Fair 10am at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary Who lived here millions of years ago? Dinosaurs, trilobites, ammonites, enormous clams and sharks lived in the ancient tropical coral seas and palm tree forests that covered Vancouver Island. Paleon-

Nanaimo & area


Water to Earth Month Swim Day Swim 1:30pm at Ravensong Aquatic Centre Join the swim leaders to celebrate Water to Earth Month Everyone Welcome Swim. Take part in games

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

Located at Hillside Shopping Centre (N. Dairy Rd. Entrance)

www.sutubrabeauty.com | 250-999-8038 | naturalbeautyvic@gmail.com IslandParent.ca

March 2019


and activities to celebrate the ocean and learn about the ecosystem. The rope swing, diving board, and an inflatable toy will also be available. Regular admission. rdn.bc.ca/recreation. 250-752-5104. At Vancouver Island Regional Libraries Teens, submit your awesome creative fiction in any genre, including poetry! Finalists will be published in an In Our Own Voice anthology and winners will receive cash prizes. No entry fee required! This contest is a partnership between Vancouver Island Regional Library and Rebel Mountain Press.




Victoria & CRD Bug Buddies 10am at Mill Hill Regional Park What’s that bug? Bring your preschooler to explore the wonderful world of insects. Join a CRD Regional Parks naturalist on this bug safari and search for grasshoppers, wood bugs and other not-so-creepy crawlies. You must pre-register by March 20 as space is limited. 5 years and under. Free. crd.bc.ca/parks. 250-478-3344.

Bird Bonanza Noon at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary Games, crafts, songs, and hands-on activities. Fun for the whole family. $5/person suggested donation. swanlake.bc.ca. 250-479-0211.

themselves and the world around them. Meet at the kiosk in the parking lot off Atkins Ave. 8+ years. BC Transit #53. Free. crd.bc.ca/parks. 250-478-3344. Emergency Preparedness Workshop 7pm at Burnside Gorge Community Centre 471 Cecelia Rd See TUES 5 for details. Free. VictoriaReady.ca. 250920-3373. emvic@victoria.ca.

DivorceCare 6pm at Central Baptist Church 833 Pandora Ave See TUES 5 for details. Free. Cost for workbook. centralbaptistchurch.ca. 250-385-7786. office@ Swan Lake Trails Discovery centralbaptistchurch.ca. Noon at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary Games, crafts, songs, and hands-on activities. Fun Pyjama Storytime for the whole family. Outdoor guided walk on uneven 6:30pm at Sooke Branch Library terrain; be sure to wear sturdy shoes. Bring a water Get snuggly in your jammies and join us at the Sooke bottle and snack if desired. $5/person suggested branch Tuesday evenings for a storytime before bed. donation. swanlake.bc.ca. 250-479-0211. Suitable for ages 3-5 years.







Victoria & CRD

Victoria & CRD Brilliant Butterflies 1pm at Mill Hill Regional Park Spring has sprung and the butterflies will come. Join a CRD Regional Parks naturalist to discover the fascinating life of the butterfly, as they transform

Snake Spectacular Noon at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary Games, crafts, songs, and hands-on activities. Fun for the whole family. Live snakes will be featured. $5/person suggested donation. swanlake.bc.ca. 250-479-0211.

Looking for something to do with the kids?

Now Playing

Located inside the Royal BC Museum • 250-480-4887 • imaxvictoria.com IMAX® is a registered trademark of IMAX Corporation.

28  Island Parent Magazine


190114 SMUS_Ed_Ext-IslandParent_ad-4.75x3.pdf 1 1/16/2019 9:57:28 AM





Victoria & CRD Christmas Hill Wildflower Walk Noon at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary Games, crafts, songs, and hands-on activities. Fun for the whole family. Outdoor guided walk on uneven terrain; be sure to wear sturdy shoes. Bring a water bottle and snack if desired. Walk leaves the Nature House at 12:15pm. $5/person suggested donation. swanlake.bc.ca. 250-479-0211.




Victoria & CRD Salmon Saturday 11am at Charters Interpretive Centre 2895 Sooke River Rd. There’s something fishy going on. Drop by between 11am and 2pm to check out the demonstration hatchery, see salmon fry, enjoy displays at the interpretive centre, and explore along the river. Meet at Charters Interpretive Centre. All ages. Free. crd.bc.ca/parks. 250-478-3344.






250-370-6120 www.smus.ca/spring

On g o in g PRESCHOOL Victoria & CRD Family Storytime At Greater Victoria Public Libraries Fun-filled stories, songs, rhymes and puppets. For young children and their families; children under 3 must be accompanied by an adult. Drop-in. Visit gvpl.ca for locations and times. Stay and Play At Greater Victoria Public Libraries Enjoy social time and free play following Family Storytime. For young children and their families; children under 3 must be accompanied by an adult. Drop-in. Visit gvpl.ca for locations and times. Baby Time At Greater Victoria Public Libraries Learn songs, rhymes and fingerplays to use with your baby every day. For babies 0-15 months and parent or caregiver. Drop-in. Visit gvpl.ca for locations and times. Kindergym Drop-In 10am at Gordon Head Recreation Centre 4100 Lambrick Way


March 2019  29

Space is available for 2019–20

• before and after

Open House

• small class sizes

Sat, May 4 from 10am–1pm

school care

• supportive and

caring staff

• excellent academic


• Kodaly music

A local non-profit for all children (Since 1973) 5575 West Saanich Rd info@islandmontessori.com 250 592 4411 www.islandmontessori.com


• lovely rural location

connecting children to nature

Nanaimo & District Celebrates Schedule of arth M E o Events o r t 2019 h nt

Wa te

* Please register in advance

2019 Water Day March 22, 2019

Focusing on Endangered Species & Ecosystems Saturday/Sunday, March 16 & 17

• Streamkeepers Course (NALT) Friday, March 22

• Nanaimo River Watershed & Water Treatment Plant Tour * Sunday, March 24

• Little Qualicum Streamwalk * Monday, March 25

• Everyone Welcome Swim (Ravensong Pool) Tuesday, March 26

• VIU Water Film Night Saturday, March 30

• Earth Hour Starlight Skate (Nanaimo Ice Centre) Tuesday to Thursday, April 2 to 4

• Tour, Workshop & Symposium * "Water Stewardship in a Changing Climate" Saturday, April 6

• Departure Creek Streamwalk * Sunday, April 14

• WaterSmart Workshop Day (Beban Park) *

For more details on the listed events & to register: getinvolved.rdn.ca/team-watersmart #water2earth


Drinking Water & Watershed Protection Program

Thursday, April 25

• Nanaimo Rafting: Estuary (am) & River (pm) * Saturday, April 27


• Earth Day Community Celebration (John Barsby Community School) • Dive-in Movie (Nanaimo Aquatic Centre)


2019 Earth Day April 22, 2019

30  Island Parent Magazine

Tuesday, Thursdays & Saturdays. A movement program designed for children and their caregiver to play together. Balls, hoops, ride-on toys, climbers and mats allow children to creatively explore. Songs and circle time. Get active together for life. $3/child. saanich.ca. jen.poitras@saanich.ca. Good Morning Storytime Thursdays 10:30am until March 7 at Sidney All Care 2269 Mills Rd Bring your littlest ones to this library program for stories, songs, rhymes, and lots of movement. Ages 0-5. Drop-in program. 250-656-0944. Young Parent Weekly Drop-in Thursdays 10am-noon at Kiwanis Family Centre. Come and enjoy a hot meal, socialize with other young parents, enjoy a kids’ craft, let your little one explore the fully equipped playroom, or have a look in the ‘free’ store for gently used children’s items and household supplies. Staff available to help with information about relevant local resources, advocacy and counselling support, help with paperwork, and parenting support. 250-382-1004. Cowichan Valley Sea Squirts 11am-noon at Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre A drop-in nature program where parents and their preschool children and infants can come together to connect with each other, learn about nature in fun and engaging ways, and support the development of early literacy skills. 250-597-2288. Nanaimo & Area LaFF Mornings Mondays 9:30am-noon at Aggie Hall, Ladysmith 1110 1st Ave Play-based learning stations to explore and enjoy, including a reading centre, craft area, Brio train table, snack table and more. Bring food to share, wash your hands, and make a healthy snack together while making new friends. Meet other parents, health and social service providers. $2/family suggested donation for each activity. 250-210-0870.

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


Pyramid, and view a special film on the origin and Rip out those invasive aliens to help the 11 struggling development of the Lego building system. February rare plants on Cattle Point. Tools, instruction and refreshments provided. Meet at the Cattle Point 1-March 31. 250-655-6355. kiosks in Uplands Park. 250-595-8084. Museum Tots Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Support Circles Saturdays 11am at Maritime Museum A weekly program introducing children 2-5 to the A safe, supportive place to meet others in a similar fun world of museum learning. New theme each situation and to share information and resources. week, allowing children to learn through crafts, play, For information about groups near you, call 250games, song, and dance. $5/child. 250-385-4222. 384-8042. Province-wide toll free information and support line at 1-855-474-9777 or email grgline@ parentsupportbc.ca. parentsupportbc.ca. Teens

explore the many hands-on science exhibits and experiments including: making boats for the water table, building KEVA block towers, designing marble wall tracks and pulleys, discovering the force of air in the air field, creating flying creations to test in the wind tunnels, and more. $10/child. Ages 6+. No pre-registration necessary. Schedule subject to change, so please check nanaimoscience.org for most current schedule.

Family Frolics 5:45pm at Frank Jameson Community Centre 810 6th Ave, Ladysmith Drop in right after work to burn off some energy Parent Support Circles Nanaimo & Area Parenting isn’t always easy. Sometimes it helps to talk and get ready for bed. Play with balls and tunnels, things through with other parents. At the Parent Sup- run around, and meet a new friend. For children 0-6 Stop Worrying About Stress & Anxiety Tuesdays February 5-26 at Nanaimo Aquatic Centre port Services Society of BC, they believe that every years. 250-210-0870. Learn cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and other parent is the expert of her/his own family. For more stress coping strategies. Uses media to teach key information about groups near you, call 250-384- Parksville Lions and Save-On-Foods Family Skate concepts. Drop-in after school and check it out. 8042 or 1-877-345-9444 or visit parentsupportbc.ca. Sundays 12:15-1:45pm March 3-31 at Oceanside Place Arena Please pre-register. 3:30-4:30pm. Free. recreation. Pond hockey is not available during this session. Nanaimo & Area nanaimo.ca. 250-756-5200. Children must be accompanied by an adult 19+. rdn.bc.ca/recreation. 250-248-3252.• Drop-In Science Studio FAMILY Tuesdays 3-4:30pm at NS3 Science Studio. #101-4355 Jingle Pot Rd Victoria & CRD Build Lego creations, then program them to move using drag and drop software. Students can also Garry Oak Meadow Marathon Sundays 1-3pm at Cattle Point

Saturday S at ur day M a y 25, May 2 5 , 2019 2 01 9

T he E ssen c e o f Pl ay Oc ean Po inte Reso rt Victo ria, BC

2 50.893.6804 www w.. m a k i n g t o m o r r o w c o n f e r e n c e . c o m p resen t ed b y


March 2019  31

Eating Made Easy


he new Canada Food Guide builds on the 1980’s version by using a science-based approach for its recommendations, replacing the complex calculations of serving sizes with simple suggestions for healthy eating: • Half of your diet should be made up of fruits and vegetables. • Protein foods (vegetarian and meat) should make up a quarter of your diet. • Whole grains make up the remaining quarter of your diet. • Drink water instead of sweet beverages (and even 100 per cent juice is a sweet drink).

• Take time to cook and eat with others. You can find a full description of the new food guide at food-guide.canada.ca. Involving your children in planning and preparing meals is the best way to teach them how to make healthy food choices. Eating meals as a family is important for modelling good eating habits as well as forming strong social connections with your children. Here are three dishes that work together for a Mediterranean-inspired meal that also satisfy some of the new Food Guide recommendations. The focus is on fresh vegetables and flavourful dishes. Each of the recipes includes suggestions as to how you can get your children involved in the 32  Island Parent Magazine

meal prep. Cook together, eat together and enjoy delicious and nutritious food.


Hummus is a cheap and easy protein that kids usually love. Making your own hummus means that you can flavour it in whatever way you want. So skip the garlic if your kids are sensitive to strong flavours. Hummus is so easy to make that any child old enough to work a hand blender or food processor can pretty much make it all on their own.

1. Combine the chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, garlic and salt. Purée with a hand blender or in a food processor. 2. Add a 1⁄4 cup of water. Then add more water 1 Tbsp at a time until you have a smooth dip. 3. Top with olive oil. 4. Serve the hummus with vegetable sticks and triangles of whole grain pita bread.

Easy Spanakopita

This spanakopita is made with lasagne noodles rather than filo. It’s really easy to make and just as delicious as the more traditional version. Have your children help you with mixing the ingredients and layering the spanakopita. 2 Tbsp olive Oil 2 packages of frozen spinach 6 spring onions 1 medium red onion 1 box of lasagne noodles 3⁄4 cup fresh dill 3⁄4 lbs feta cheese 3 eggs 1⁄2 cup of mozzarella

1. Defrost the spinach and drain the extra liquid. 2. Finely slice the spring onions and the red onions. 3. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and saute the onions until translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Add the spinach and saute until any remaining liquid has cooked off, about 8-10 minutes. 4. Remove the pan from the heat and leave it to allow to cool while you boil your lasagne noodles. You only need enough to make two layers of noodles in your pan, so around 6 sheets. 5. When the spinach mix has cooled, stir 1 can of chickpeas 1⁄2 cup tahini light paste in the dill, feta and eggs. Add salt and pepper 1⁄4 cup lemon juice to taste. Exactly how much salt you need will depend on the saltiness of the feta, but 2 cloves of garlic you probably only need 1⁄4 tsp. 11⁄2 tsp salt 1⁄4 cup cold water 6. Cover the bottom of a small square pan (around 8"x 8") with a drizzle of olive oil, 2 Tbsp olive oil then cover it with a layer of lasagne noodles. 7. Cover the noodles with all of the Optional flavour additions that can be blended into the hummus or sprinkled spinach and feta mixture. Then cover with a second layer of lasagne noodles. on top: 8. Top the noodles with the grated mozRoasted red peppers zarella. Pesto 9. Bake at 350˚F for 30–45 min. Mixed chopped olives Roasted pine nuts Za’atar spice mix


Mediterranean Salad

Greek Salad is perfect for a Mediterranean meal. The list of ingredients in the recipe is longer than usual, so you can let your children pick and choose their favourite vegetables. The best type of salad is one that everyone will enjoy. Even young children can help with coarsely chopping the vegetables for this salad. While a sharp knife is needed to chop the carrots and onions, even a dull knife can slice cucumbers and peppers.

Emillie Parrish Cooking With Kids Dressing 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard 1⁄2 cup of olive oil 1⁄4 cup of balsamic vinegar 1 Tbsp dried oregano 1 Tbsp dried basil Salad 1 cucumber 1 red pepper 1 orange pepper 2 field tomatoes 1 carrot 1 small red onion 1 head of lettuce 1⁄2 cup of black olives 1⁄2 cup of feta cheese


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1. Mix all of the salad dressing ingredients in a large bowl. 2. Coarsely chop the cucumber, peppers and tomatoes. 3. Grate the carrot. 4. Finely slice the red onion. (Don’t include the red onion if your children find the flavour too strong.) 5. Mix all the vegetables in the dressing and leave them to marinate. 6. Wash and dry the lettuce. Rip it up and put it on top of the marinating vegetables. 7. Top the lettuce with the black olives and feta cheese. 8. Toss everything just before serving.

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Saanich Commonwealth Place Emillie Parrish loves having adventures with her two busy children. She lives in Victoria and is the author of the fermentation-based blog fermentingforfoodies.com. IslandParent.ca

victoriasynchro.com jennifervicsynchro@gmail.com March 2019  33

Spring Break Book Bingo


f you are looking for something fun and both of which are coming out this year. inexpensive to do with your child, you For ages 3 to 5. can always play Book Bingo. There are different versions of Book Bingo online, but the basic idea is you read lots of different books in lots of different locations like under a tree or while flipped upside-down in a chair, because, well, kids sit in weird positions. The best part of book bingo is you can play it anywhere. Even if you and your family are going on a trip, you can play book bingo. If your child intends to play Spring Break Book Bingo, they might need a few ideas. So here are a few books that will encourage your child to read, discover their own interests, and maybe even learn Perhaps money and bunnies aren’t somesomething new. thing that strikes your child’s fancy. Maybe they prefer flowers and machines like Mr. King in Mr. King’s Machine by Geneviève Côté (Kids Can Press, 2016). One day when Mr. King is out enjoying the flowers he notices a caterpillar eating one. Mr. King will not let this stand so he creates a caterpillar catcher and chases the caterpillar up and down hills. But what he doesn’t realize is his machine is puffing lots and lots of smoke into the sky and making it all grey and hard to breathe. That is, not until he catches the caterpillar and his friends catch up to him and tell him about it. So he uses his love of machines to try and fix the mess he made. For ages 3 to 7. Maybe your child has an entrepreneurial spirit, in that case they might like Duck Gets The first one is Earn It! A Moneybunny a Job by Sonny Ross (Templar Books, 2018). Duck’s friends all work in the city, and Book by Cinders McLeod (Nancy Paulsen Books, 2017). Bun wants to be Rich and they all love it and encourage him to come Famous. Her mother doesn’t discourage join them. Duck decides to get a job of his her dreams of becoming a famous singer, own. However, he quickly learned that but she does encourage her to work hard to spreadsheets are not filled with things he earn carrots and practice singing so when she releases her own song she will get the joy of knowing she earned it. As your child reads this book they will learn about math and the intrinsic reward that comes with saving up for their own things (like Bun’s singing lessons) and knowing that they truly earned their reward. Earn It! is the first book in a series aimed at teaching young children about money. The other two are Spend It! and Save It! 34

Island Parent Magazine

enjoys, so he quit. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to work at all. He still wants to work in the city like his friends, even if he’s not working with spreadsheets like them. So he spends some time thinking about what he likes to do and then chases those dreams. This cute little book introduces children to the idea that all jobs have value, and it’s important for people to try and find one that brings them joy. For ages 3 to 7.

Christina Van Starkenburg Book Nook It might even be that your child loves reading and acting and sword fighting. If that’s the case they may appreciate Stink: Hamlet and Cheese by Megan McDonald and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds (Candlewick Press, 2018). Stink joins Shakespeare Sprites, a spring break camp with his best friend Sophie after she tells him they learn all about Shakespeare as well as how to swordfight, die dramatically, and sling sweet Shakespearean insults at each other. Unfortunately, after he gets there for the first day he learns that he’s the only boy in Shakespeare Sprites. And, to make matters worse, Riley Rottenberger is there, and she definitely has kissing on the brain. But before he can leave the camp begins, besides, where else is he going to get to fight with a sword or call people “toad-spotted bum bailey.” For ages 6 to 9. If none of the above books suits your child’s fancy, but they think monsters and science are cool, then they’ll probably like Monster Science: Could Monsters Survive (and Thrive) in the Real World? By Helaine Becker and illustrated by Phil McAndrew (Kids Can Press, 2016). IslandParent.ca

Becker starts by letting the kids know what kind of book they are getting into. It will not tell you that “monsters are definitely, no-doubt-about-it-real…” Instead, it will give you information to help you decide for yourself what is fact and what is fiction. The book covers many different monsters like Frankenstein, Zombies, and Bigfoot and what inspired these myths. For ages 9 to 12. Finally, 42 Is Not Just a Number by Doreen Rappaport (Candlewick Press, 2017) may appeal to your sports loving child. This biography breathes life into the legacy of Jackie Robinson, the man whose achievements in sports helped change a segregated nation. For ages 9 to 12. Regardless of what your child’s interests are, I hope something on this list inspires them to pick up a book and read for the sheer enjoyment of it (or to beat their sibling at Book Bingo) this Spring Break.

Christina Van Starkenburg is a freelance writer and mother of two young boys. You can read about their adventures at thebookandbaby. com. IslandParent.ca

March 2019


Family Services Directory The Family Services Directory features not for profit agencies and organizations serving children, youth and families. 1Up, Victoria Single Parent Resource Centre (1-up.ca) provides support, education and resources for parents in the Greater Victoria area through free counselling, volunteer training, a mentoring program for single moms, and a support group for dads, as well as a variety of integrated life skills and parenting courses which are open to the whole community, with fees on a sliding scale. For single parent members, the Centre provides free toys and books, a clothing room and bread pantry. Donations of gently-used clothing, small household items, and toys are welcome. Hours: Mon., Tue., Thu., Fri.: 9–4, & Wednesdays: 12–7. Location: 602 Gorge Road East. Phone: 250-385-1114. Beacon Community Services is a communitybased, non-profit agency dedicated to helping people and improving lives on southern Vancouver Island and the southern Gulf Islands. Beacon thrift shops fund important LOCAL community services and programs. Beacon also offers: child, youth and family services (including the Peninsula Early Years Centre and child care); counselling; employment services and training for people of all ages; home support care; volunteer services and opportunities; affordable housing/care/supports for seniors and people with disabilities. For Home Support, please call 250-658-6407. For other programs: 250-6560134. beaconcs.ca. Beacon Community Services Employment Programs. Beacon Community Services offers a full menu of employment services on the Saanich Peninsula and Gulf Islands. We’ve been helping people find work since 1982! Our programs build on a person’s strengths and resolve barriers to finding and keeping employment. We also work with our employer network to support job seekers. Need help finding a job? Need employees? Contact us for FREE assistance! 9860 Third St. Sidney. 250656-0134. beaconcs.ca. Boys & Girls Club Services offer after-school and evening social, educational and recreational programming for children and youth at 5 locations (Colwood, Langford, VicWest, Central Saanich and Esquimalt) and summer camps both in Esquimalt and at our Outdoor Centre in Metchosin. We also offer support to parents through our Parents Together program and parent workshops. For more information on all programs and services visit bgcvic.org or call 250-384-9133. 36  Island Parent Magazine

children, youth and adults on a sliding fee scale. Call us at 250-386-4331 or visit fsgv.org. We can help. HappyBaby Sleep Solutions helps families create healthy sleep habits in babies and children so everyone is well rested and happy. Sukkie Sandhu, M.Ed., has worked with hundreds of families locally in Victoria and worldwide. Sukkie is a Registered Clinical Counsellor so the cost of a sleep consultation may be covered under your extended medical plan. For more information visit happybabysleepsolutions.com or call 250-857-1408 for a FREE evaluation. Let’s get started!

Canucks Autism Network (CAN) provides yearround sports and recreation programs for children, youth, young adults and families living with autism. Programs in Victoria, Nanaimo and Cowichan Valley include Intro to Physical Activity, Intro to Soccer & Basketball, Swim, Skate, Social Events (fall, winter and spring), Overnight Camp (summer), and Family Events (year-round). For more information, visit canucksautism.ca.

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. CHOICES Adoption & Counselling is a licensed, Located at 930 Balmoral Road, 250-388-4728 info@ professional, non-profit agency that provides icavictoria.org, icavictoria.org. services to adoptive parents, birth-parents, and adoptees. CHOICES arranges adoptions domesti- LDABC The Learning Curve (previously The cally and internationally. We are committed to pro- Learning Disabilities Assn.) supports, educates and viding a comprehensive, client-centered adoption advocates for children with learning disabilities and service which best meets the needs of everyone related challenges. Individual and group support, in the adoption constellation. Please contact us at education and consultation is available for children, choices@choicesadoption.ca, or call 250-479-9811 youth, parents, caregivers and professionals. Please visit our website @ ldasvi.bc.ca or call us for more infor further information. formation or to book an appointment: 250-370-9513. Dialogue and Resolution Services (DRS) is the South Island’s only non-profit specializing in alter- Sooke-West Shore Early Years Centres provide native conflict resolution for both civil and family information to families about children and family matters. Offering quality, professional mediation, services, supports, child development and parentcoaching and parent coordination in a supportive ing. The Early Years Navigator will assist families environment for families, co-parents, co-workers with referral information for local early years proand neighbours, DRS works with clients to help gramming, child care, public health, special needs them create lasting, effective solutions. DRS also intervention services, and social supports. The offers its flagship “Communicating through Conflict” Sooke-West Shore Early Years Centres are hosted workshop series quarterly both days and evenings by Sooke Family Resource Society and located at throughout the year. Find us at 250-383-4412 or the Child, Youth, and Family Centres in both Sooke and the West Shore and can be reached at 250dialogueandresolutionservices.ca. 217-9243. Additional information can be accessed at sfrs.ca/early-years-centre.

Family Services of Greater Victoria

Family Services of Greater Victoria (formerly BC Families in Transition) is a non profit agency that has been serving families since 1978. We provide a full range of services to the whole family in supporting their relationship and through separation and divorce. Counseling, mediation, legal information and a range of group programs are available for

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.


Swan Lake christmas hill n a t u r e

s a n c t u a r y

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


March 2019  37

Move Over Rainbow There’s a new Food Guide in town Healthy Families, Happy Families

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

250-519-5311 250-539-3099


f you’ve turned on the TV, listened to the radio, chimed in on Facebook or followed any other media in the past few weeks, you’ll know that Canadians—the public, health professionals, educators, farmers, policy makers, industry advocates, journalists and news anchors—have something to say about Health Canada’s new Food Guide. From, “where’s the beef” to “no dairy?” and everything in between, there’s been a lot of talk around town about the new Food Guide. In fact, the Food Guide is the second-most downloaded government document behind tax forms. This, dear readers, makes it a surprisingly big deal.

(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

Food Guide 4-1-1

different food group—is a plate containing a wide variety of colourful real foods, all of which can be grown and produced in Canada. • Gone are the four food groups and serving sizes. In their place are veggies and fruit, protein foods and grain foods. • Included in the Food Guide is actionable advice on healthy food choices and healthy eating habits, like cooking more often, eating with others, being mindful of eating habits and recognizing the influences of marketing. Health Canada has replaced the single one-size-fits-all Food Guide with a suite of online resources to better meet the needs of all Canadians, including the public, policy makers and health professionals

• Visually, it is unrecognizable to previous versions of the Guide. Replacing the rainbow image—with each colour representing a

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

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

Port Alberni Tofino

250-731-1315 250-725-4020


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

viha.ca/prevention_services/ 38  Island Parent Magazine


Key Messages

There are two fundamental key messages: eat a variety of healthy foods each day; and, healthy eating is more than the foods you eat. Eat a variety of healthy foods each day. Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits, whole grain foods and protein foods. Choose protein foods that come from plants more often and choose foods with healthy fats instead of saturated fat.

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

Happy Families, Healthy Families

What about the “meat and dairy” question—can we still eat it? The answer is yes, you can still eat meat and dairy. Although meat and dairy are now collapsed into a protein category that includes lentils, pulses, beans, peas, legumes, nuts, seeds, tofu, fortified soy beverage, fish, shellfish, and eggs—meat and dairy are still recognized (and rightfully so) as nutrient-rich, important sources of protein and key minerals like calcium, magnesium and vitamin D, iron, zinc, and vitamin B12. Even though they don’t have their own group, they still are part of everyday good food choices. Healthy eating is more than the foods you eat. Highlighting the other aspects of eating, that is, the social, emotional, cultural and environmental side of food, has not had a presence like this in previous versions. This Guide encourages all Canadians to: • Be mindful of their eating habits. Take time to eat and notice when you are hungry and when you are full, an innate skill that can get “lost” over time. • Cook more often. Plan what you’re going to eat and involve others in planning and preparing meals. • Enjoy their food. Make culture and food tradition a part of healthy eating and eat meals with others. • Be aware that food marketing can influence their food and beverage choices. • Use food labels to compare similar products and to make informed choices. There are other recommendations around limiting highly processed foods, preparing meals and snacks using ingredients that have little to no added sodium, sugars or saturated fat, choosing healthier IslandParent.ca

menu options when eating out and replacing sugary drinks with water. Not rocket science, but a good reminder, as these things sometimes fall in the “easier-saidthan-done” category.

What’s Next?

Health Canada is working with First Nations, Inuit and Métis partners to support the development of healthy eating tools for First Nations. Health Canada will be releasing its guidance document, Canada’s Healthy Eating Pattern for health professionals and policy makers, later this year. It will be in this document where more specific guidance on amounts and types of foods as well as life stage guidance is provided. Hmmm, might something similar to serving size make a comeback? Time will tell.

The Bottom Line

The new Food Guide is a great improvement over previous versions. Eat well. Live well. Those are really good words to live by. Now, the real work begins. Dietitians are not alone in seeing the importance and potential of these new guidelines. We know that one in five children live in conditions of poverty and one in three food bank users in Canada are children. We know that food security does not equal nutrition security but they both rely heavily on adequate income. We also know that Canadian farmers and local food producers hit roadblocks on the “Food System Highway”. As I say, now the real work begins. But that’s another article altogether. In the meantime, go to Canada.ca/FoodGuide and discover the Guide for yourself, access recipes and explore ways of being mindful, eating together and enjoying your food. Also, you can visit Dietitians of Canada’s website at dietitians.ca/Media/ Nutrition-Month/Nutrition-Month.aspx to access resources for Nutrition Month 2019 and unlock the potential of food to enhance lives, improve health, inspire children, fuel activities and bring people together.

Areli Hermanson is a Registered Dietitian and Public Health Nutritionist with Island Health. She has (and loves) two very active, button-pushing and somewhat-picky boys at home and has high-hopes for the new Food Guide.

Island Parent Vancouver Island’s

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for 31 Years

March 2019

1Th0 ings to Do

Spring Break Programs

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Preschool & Child Care Directory Central Saanich

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

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

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.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


La Pré-Maternelle Appletree Preschool.............................250-479-0292 A French Immersion Preschool Program. 30 months to school age. Licensed Christian centre. prematernelleappletree.com.


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

250-477-3731  arbutusgrove.ca Camosun College Child Care Services.. 250-370-4880 Quality licensed facilities on both campuses providing children, newborn to 5 years, with rich early learning experiences in a learn through play environment. camosun.ca/childcare.

Ready Set Grow Preschool..................250-472-1530 Inside Hillcrest Elm. in Gordon Head, we help children transition to Kindergarten. Licensed Preschool with highly qualified, warm ECE. heoscmanager@gmail.com. St. Joseph’s Early Learning Centre........ 250-479-1237 A Christian childcare centre offering daycare and preschool programs for 3-5 year olds. Children learn through play-based and emergent curriculum in a warm and nurturing environment.

Pre-School Junior Kindergarten PacificChristian.ca 250-479-4532 Educational Excellence to the Glory of God

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

Child Care

Resource & Referral Funded by the Province of BC

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

40  Island Parent Magazine

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

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

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


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

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

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

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.


www.ArtsCalibre.ca 250.382.3533 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. 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.



Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12

The first steps in your child’s education

Call for more information today: 250.746.3654

International Montessori Academy of Canada ........................................... 250-737-1119 Elementary K–12. Offers an enriching environment for preschool children 2-4.9 years with potty training. Nurturing young minds, keeping the spirit free. 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.

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. sjdoutofschoolclub.com. 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.

Learn more today! 250-390-2201 AspengroveSchool.ca

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.

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

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

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

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


Award of Excellence in Child Care

If you’d like to be listed in the Preschool & Child Care Directory, please email sales@islandparent.ca

lexieslittlebears.ca 250-590-3603

March 2019


the group to the cache location using the phone or GPS. Once there, everyone in your group should participate in searching for the cache. Once you find it, don’t forget to sign the logbook, search through the swag, and perhaps add a piece of your own swag for the next family to find. One special note, caches are sometimes located off trail and some parks and Nature Sanctuaries (like fter a long, wet winter, most adults can’t wait to get outside to Swan Lake) ask that you remain on the observe the blossoming of a new season. Kids, however, might trails to protect the ecosystem. Please do have a tougher time coming out of hibernation. Video games, respect these rules.

Put a Spring in Your Step


good books and screen time can be hard to get away from, but spring is a great time to start spending more quality time outdoors. It’s also a great time to learn and bond together as a family. You can make almost any seasonal change into an engaging and exciting way to learn and discover the natural world. All it takes is a little curiosity and the willingness to dive into a project together as a team. Here are some great ways that you and your family can engage your own curiosity and enjoy the beauty of this glorious spring to its fullest.


the GPS location of hundreds of hidden Geocaching is an activity that turns any “caches” located all over Vancouver Island. hike or outdoor walk into an exciting search The caches vary by size and difficulty, so prepare yourself to search high and low for hidden treasure. How to do it: Download the Geocaching around the given coordinates—and maybe app on your smartphone to get started, or even get a little dirty! Tips and tricks: This activity is great for go to geocache.com to create a free account. Once completed, open the app and input group and family outings. Have the kids your location. The app will guide you to alternate on the responsibility of guiding 42  Island Parent Magazine

Trash Tally

Plastic pollution is one of the most pressing environmental issues our society faces today. A great way to teach children about this issue is by conducting a trash tally. As a family, collect pieces of garbage and plastic from your local park, playground or beach. Record the number of pieces, sizes and types of plastic found. You could also take part in a beach clean-up, like the ones conducted monthly by organizations like the Surfrider Foundation. Observing how and why plastics end up in our public spaces can help kids understand the seriousness of plastic pollution, and allows them to contribute towards keeping their own communities cleaner and healthier. What you need: It’s a good idea to bring bags to put your trash in, as well as rubber gloves or trash pickers to get at some of the more tricky pieces. Bring along a notebook and pencil to keep track of what you find. Make sure you find a safe way to dispose of what you find once you’re finished. Tips and Tricks: Not everyone gets excited about the idea of picking up trash, but if you frame it like a treasure hunt, kids can usually get pretty excited about it. Plus, nothing feels better than knowing that you did something truly heroic for the natural spaces around you. A short talk on safety is important too and may vary depending on the age of the children involved in your activity. A rule of thumb is that if it looks unsafe, ask an adult before picking up.

Flower Power in your Pocket

You’ve probably heard “What’s that, Mom/Dad?” more times than you’d care to remember, and been stumped by the question more than you’d care to admit. Plants can be especially tricky to identify at first glance unless you’ve got a background in botany. The next time this question comes up, try enlisting the help of Apps like PictureThis, IslandParent.ca

FlowerChecker or Plantify. These apps allow you to snap a photo and use it to identify most species of plants, moss, fungus and even lichens using a visual recognition software. Using this App, you and the family can start learning to ID the plants growing in your own backyard and neighbourhood.

Asta Mail Nature Notes Tips and Tricks: Once you’ve identified a couple of common plants, start tracking their growth process. Ask kids to take a picture of the same outdoor plants each day, or plant some seeds at home and track their progress daily. This is a great way to get kids to think about what factors might affect the growth of plants.

Citizen Science

You don’t have a PhD to contribute to the world of real research. In fact, there are plenty of local organizations that are

actively looking for young or budding scientists to help them collect and analyze real world data. The best part is, you won’t even need any fancy scientific equipment to take part! Oceans Network Canada has a citizen science program called Digital Fishers which allows young scientists to analyze footage from underwater webcams, identify animals and describe environmental conditions. Nature Kids BC also runs a Pollinator Citizen Science Program in which kids are asked to conduct an outdoor pollinator survey. The program also teaches young scientists about how to become active stewards of the pollinator’s environment. Tips and Tricks: The most important parts of a scientist’s job are to be curious and to make observations. You can stoke your child’s curiosity for science by recording their nature questions, making regular observations of the plants and animals around you, and measuring how these observations change over time. These projects require committed time and effort, but the results are well worth it. Keep following your child’s line of inquiry, and you may end up raising a future scientist!


Spring is a great season to observe birds at Swan Lake and elsewhere in our region. Not only are water birds using the lake as a stopover in their return migrations up north, many birds are attracting mates, and preparing nests to house their young. Grab a pair of binoculars and your hiking boots, hop on the trails, and see how many different species you can identify. Tips and Tricks: If your birding skills are limited, you’re welcome to join Swan Lake’s Sunday morning Bird Walk (9:0010:30 am), led by volunteers from the Victoria Natural History Society. The group meets at the parking lot, and children are welcome. There is also a Swan Lake birding checklist, available online and at the Nature House. All of us Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary wish you an active and exhilarating spring.

Asta Mail is a Program Naturalist at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary. She loves seeing kids and families exploring the natural environment.

Spring Break Camp

Monday–Friday | 9am–12pm | March 18–22 Ages 9-14 | with Instructor: Julia Dillon-Davis

Each day actors will explore their creativity through improv games, scene creation and characterization. Friday’s class concludes with a short screening of the week’s work.

Spring Break Workshops

Mon, Thurs & Fri | 12:30–3:30pm | March 18–22

Monday ages 8–10 | Thursday ages 10–13 | Friday ages 13–16 with Instructor: Julia Dillon-Davis

Actors will receive feedback on their work and get to practice applying direction and new approaches. Each workshop will also include games and scene creation.

Also check out our ongoing

Kids Classes

Saturdays 12:30pm–3pm Jan 12 – May 9 | April 6 – May 25 with Instructor: Julia Dillon-Davis 202–734 Aldebury St


250.580.2588 IslandParent.ca

March 2019  43

Community Board Making our Community a Better Place to Live Art Gallery of Greater Victoria aggv.ca Child Care Resource & Referral childcarevictoria.ca The Civic Orchestra of Victoria civicorchestraofvictoria.org



don’t remember the last time I was so upset I had no control of my emotions. One of the benefits of being an adult is that we can generally keep things bottled up until the time and place is appropriate for a meltdown. I don’t throw myself down in the grocery store aisle and start kicking my feet at everyone who comes near me when I’m having a bad day. Angus, however, is a different case. Last year, at Angus’s little oasis school, we saw such a decrease of meltdowns I naïvely believed that he had simply grown up. He had become more flexible, more adaptable. He knew himself—and what he wanted and needed—better than ever before. And there was evidence of this: at home, Angus could tell me when he was starting to feel “red.” He could use words like “frustrated” and “annoyed” to describe his feelings and he could number that frustration—he was a

are recounted to me at pick-up, and while I do think: that must be difficult for his teachers, or, that must make it hard for his classmates, mostly what I think is, man, that must be a nightmare for my kid. Because while I don’t often lose control of my emotions, I can recall precisely what that feels like: agony. Last month Angus and I did an autism presentation for his class, which was a little bit about autism and a big bit about how our brains react to stressors. We started off talking about Dr. Daniel Siegel’s hand model of the brain (the limbic area as our thumb folded across our palm, and the fingers wrapped over it forming a fist-shaped cortex). We talked about how sometimes when things happen that cause big emotions, they fill our limbic area until we “flip our lids,” and we’re no longer using the thinking part of our brain at all.

“5,” or a “6.” He knew when he was on the edge and could often warn us before he fell. Then we lost the school, and the growth started to fade. It is difficult—when you are already stressed and anxious—to be adaptable. And when your starting place is a “7,” getting to a “10” doesn’t take much of a push. There are days when multiple meltdowns

Then we grabbed our jars of different coloured water—our stressors: biological, social, sensory and cognitive—and ran through a day in the life of “Bob.” We filled a vase (Bob’s limbic area) with stressors as he encountered them. After we watched “Amazing Things Happen,” a five-minute cartoon about autism, we did the vase activity again, focusing on “Sam” with

Joe Music joemusic.ca Lori Frank Mediation & Consulting lorifrankmediation.com Phoenix Theatre phoenixtheatres.ca Royal BC Museum royalbcmuseum.bc.ca Victoria Children’s Choir VictoriaChildrensChoir.ca Victoria Conservatory of Music vcm.bc.ca Enquire about non-profit brochure or magazine distribution in Greater Victoria:

publisher@islandparent.ca 44  Island Parent Magazine


autism, running into more stressors, and adding a little bit more water with each one Sam faced. We talked about how many kids with autism have larger reactions to stressors, but also find things stressful that don’t bother their friends: noises that might be imperceptible to others, bright lights, smells. Sam’s vase overflowed of course. It was our hope to share in a small way what is going on for Angus, and what might be going on for them sometimes as well.

Laura Trunkey Maternity & Beyond School is a stressful place, and it is a particularly stressful place for kids who are sensitive—whether that sensitivity is attached to a diagnosis or not. While some children seem made for school, there will always be square-pegged kids who have a harder time “fitting,� and that need accommodations in order to succeed: a little more time, a little more support, a little more flexibility of expectations. How can we provide this? Today, many schools are bursting at the seams: crowded, their fields lined with portables. Recently the Times Colonist gave frontpage coverage to kids with special needs asked by their schools to stay home, a practice that is in no way “news� in the traditional sense, as it’s been happening for years. There are simply not enough qualified EAs to support all of them—nor is there enough money to supply all kids with the supports they need. I think about these kids—the ones who need something a little different than their peers. How full are their vases? I think about the lack of EAs—the kids told to stay home or who are kept home by choice—either for part days or entire ones. They’re prevented from learning with their classmates, but how much learning are they realistically doing when the water is nearing the brim? Our most vulnerable children are our canaries, and it might serve us well to lower our ears towards them. To listen.

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



From Feb. 5 to Mar 3




Advertisers Directory Arbutus Grove.................................................... IFC Art Gallery.................................................................7 Ashley Marston Photography...........................15 Camp Pringle.......................................................... 11 Camp Qwanoes..................................................BC Cathedral School.................................................26 Cinecenta..............................................................26 City of Victoria....................................................IBC Discovery School.............................................. IFC Four Seasons........................................................14 Freya Sofia Waldorf Store.................................. 17 Horne Lake Caves...............................................15 IMAX........................................................................28 Island Circus Space............................................35 Island Montessori................................................30 Kaleidoscope......................................................IBC Kool & Child..........................................................26 Lifestyles.................................................................31 MacDonald Realty................................................. 9 Mad Science..........................................................12 Making Tomorrow................................................31 Momease............................................................. IFC Mothering Touch....................................................7 NIL TU,O................................................................... 11 Oak and Orca............................................... 28, 43 O’Brien Irish Dance..............................................15 Pacific Christian.................................................. IFC Poppet Creative....................................................10 RDN Nanaimo.......................................................30

Rec Oak Bay..........................................................19 The Rising Circus.................................................. 9 Royal BC Museum........................................... 8, 17 Saanich Dental......................................................19 Serious Coffee.....................................................45 Spotlight Academy.............................................35 St. Margaret’s School........................................... 3 St. Michael’s University School.......................29 Sunrise Waldorf..................................................IBC Sutubra...................................................................27 Swan Lake............................................................. 37 Sylvan Learning....................................................13 Theatre One..........................................................10 Theatre Skam......................................................... 8 Thrifty Foods.........................................................25 Tigh Na Mara........................................................23 TJ’s The Kiddie Store.........................................23 Tom Lee..................................................................29 Victoria Academy of Ballet................................12 Victoria Academy of Dramatic Arts...............43 Victoria Bug Zoo..................................................33 Victoria City Rowing............................................13 Victoria Gymnastics............................................33 Victoria Synchro..................................................33 VIHA........................................................................38 Westmont Montessori........................................29 Westshore Dental.................................................. 5 Westshore Parks and Recreation...................25

March 2019  45

To equip our kids, we need to help them be more mindful. But how? Have a family protocol for communication that you can all work on together. You is the loser food and dessert is the winner. have to learn this protocol too because you We do this with screen time; activities most likely didn’t grow up with this. We like socializing, being in nature, working are all learning about managing screen use through difficult feelings, problem solving together as well. and developing social skills become the loser. Screen time is the winner. So if we practice a model of, “take responsibility first before you can have freedom to use your screen,” what does that responsibility entail: doing homework, Cut It out! chores, feeding the dog? Maybe. But what is the actual responsibility that our kids Take an approach that is to disciple, not to need to learn? They need to learn how to have a dif- discipline. Discipling means demonstrating ficult conversation and problem solve, a and practicing self-discipline (think smart life skill for healthy relationships. And how phones). It means speaking in a way that to understand their feelings and needs, an models respect, taking turns, hearing each anecdote to addiction. They need to learn other’s feelings and inviting ideas rather how to come up with personal strategies than demanding conformity. Empower and create confidence that they have what kids and work against the negative impact it takes to deal with the seductive issue of of screen use. screen time. They need self-efficacy and the confidence to do the right thing. If we make LIFE Seminars has two books available, Sideall the decisions around screen time, we take stepping the Power Struggle and The Parent all of those potential lessons away for them. Child Connection. See lifeseminars.com.

Mindfulness & Screens


hen it comes to topics like screen time, we have to manage our fears and watch that we don’t catastrophize. Yes, there are some real concerns—screen addiction, cyber bullying, self-esteem issues due to social media, poor face-to-face relationship skills—but we can counter these concerns by being an effective influence. Many approaches to screen time involve using it as a reward or taking it away as a punishment. That makes some sense to a degree but it doesn’t really deal with the bigger picture. Think about eating your dinner just so you can get to dessert. Dinner

Allison Rees

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

• No professional photographers, please. • Entry deadline is Monday, April 2, 2018. • Winners will be notified by email by Wednesday, May 15. • Winning photos become the property of Island Parent Magazine.

Send entries to photos@islandparent.ca 46

Island Parent Magazine


Waldorf education is imbued with life and joy. Call and book a tour of our beautiful seven acre campus today.

Now accepting applications for September 2019 Grades 1–8 | Kindergarten | Preschool

Waldorf education is imbued with life and joy. Offering a full enhanced program with French, Call and book a Ptour Strings, Woodwork, Handwork, .E. and Eurythmy of our beautiful seven acre campus today. www.sunrisewaldorfschool.org  250-243-7253

Now accepting applications SPRING 2019 for+ SUMMER September 2018

Active Living Guide

Grades 1 – 8 Kindergarten | Preschool Offering a full enhanced program with French, Strings, Woodwork, Handwork, P.E. & Eurythmy

www.sunrisewaldorfschool.org 250-743-7253

Registration starts March 1, 2019 Check out camps, arts, sports and drop-in programs, community events and more happening in the City of Victoria!

Online registration has never been easier: victoria.ca/recreation

a su m mer “Give them forever!� that lasts

Sum mer r ca m ps fo ! all ages


ACTIV & co ITIES u nt ing!

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SUMMEeoR 2019 vid

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Life Like No Other

Profile for Island Parent Group

March Island Parent 2019  

Spring Break Programs

March Island Parent 2019  

Spring Break Programs