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M a RC H


Vancouver Island’s Parenting Resource for 32 Years

Get Moving!

Families, Physical Activity & Fun

Spring Break Programs Confessions of a Clumsy Mom

strollers • car seats • furniture • maternity • baby carriers high chairs • diaper bags • toys • books • sleep aids Visit THE MEET UP Indoor Playground & Event Space!

1581 Hillside Ave, Victoria  778•265•5651 Across the street from Hillside Centre


2  Island Parent Magazine



March 2020  3

I n Ev e r y I ss u e


Fast Forward Sue Fast


Need to Know


Family Calendar


Kids’ Reads christine van starkenburg


Family Services Directory

Ta b l e o f C ont e nts



Get Moving!

Confessions of a Clumsy Mom

Ryan Rhodes & Stina Grant

Sarah Seitz

Families, physical activity and fun.

Mom’s POV


The Actual Reality About Virtual Reality Dadspeak

Bud Ridout


Happy Families, Healthy Families Jane barclay


Preschool & Child Care Directory


Nature Notes erica Van Dyk



Spring Break Programs

Laura Trunkey

What’s for Dinner

Cut It Out!

Emillie Parrish



Vancouver Island’s Parenting Resource for 32 Years

Sarah B (2) & Gurty (the Shetland pony) from Ponies & Pipsqueaks, offering Pony Programs for ages 3+. 250-812-2008, poniesandpipsqueaks.com

Photo by Jennifer Callioux Jennifer Callioux Photography instagram.com/ calli_o_photo

Get Moving!

Families, Physical Activity & Fun

Spring Break Programs Confessions of a Clumsy Mom

4  Island Parent Magazine




Cornmeal, Polenta & Grits

O n th e C o v e r

Party Directory

Jim Schneider  Publisher  publisher@islandparent.ca Sue Fast  Editor  editor@islandparent.ca Linda Frear  Account Manager/Office Manager  linda@islandparent.ca Kristine Wickheim  Account Manager  kristine@islandparent.ca Katie Derion  Account Manager  katie@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.


Allison Rees

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


10 Spring Fling Things To Do Hop Over to Hot Springs Cove.

Soak in the natural hot mineral spring pools at Maquinna Marine Provincial Park, located northwest of Tofino, in Clayoquot Sound. Accessible by boat or air—and then a half-hour hike along a boardwalk. env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks.

Explore the Aquarium.

If you’re in Ucluelet, attend the Aquarium’s free opening day on March 1, 10am-5pm. uclueletaquarium.org.

Fear Not the Falls.

The Elk Falls suspension bridge provides stunning views of the Falls and is an easy walk from the parking lot. Extend the hike to Deer Falls and check out the viewing platforms along the way.

Go Go-karting.

Show off your inner Andretti at All Fun’s Go Kart Raceway. The course features safety guards, an over and under bridge and enough curves to challenge any driver’s skill. Open for Spring Break, from March 14-29, weather permitting. allfun.bc.ca.


For some of the best beach glass on the Island, head to Glass Beach (as it is informally known), at the foot of Beacon Avenue in Sidney. Bring a bucket.


Watch Wildlife.

Visit North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre in Errington and learn how the Centre helps injured wildlife recover before being released back into the wild. niwra.org.

Stay Up Late & Play in the Dark

…before the clock springs ahead on March 8 and the days get longer. Play flashlight tag, glow-in-the-dark Frisbee, or stargaze. The next morning: sleep in.

Plant Flowers.

What better time to plant flowers than on National Plant a Flower Day, March 12? For seeds, visit GVPL’s drop-in Seed Swap on March 7, 14, 21 and 28 from 10am-1pm. gvpl.ca.

Have Fun Foam Blasting.

The Victoria Foam Blaster Association hosts weekly Nerf-style foam-flinging fun at the Quadra Village Neighbourhood Gym. Families welcome. victoriafba.com.

Hop on a Harbour Ferry.

Take a 45-minute Harbour Tour, a 75-minute historic Gorge Tour, or a quick trip on a water taxi. Stops include the Empress Dock, Chinatown and Fisherman’s Wharf. victoriaharbourferry.com.

March 2020  5

N e e dto Know

UVic’s Ideafest

Ideafest is the University of Victoria’s week-long festival of research, art and innovation from March 2–7. Over 35 events set to capture your imagination, including: Healthy Family Living; Should I Call 911? Youth, Overdose and Police; Your UVic Library of the Future (with a tech petting zoo, 3-D printing demos, all-ages story time, button making and tours of the new “Retro Computing Lab”). All events are free. Tickets not required unless otherwise stated in the event description. For the Ideafest 2020 schedule, visit uvic.ca/ideafest2020.

Mount Washington’s Kids’ Slopestyle Event Build a custom slopestyle course for little rippers between 6 and 12 years old. Participants get a few warm-up laps before they complete two judged runs of the course. This is an event that’s all about fun—everyone walks away with a prize. Kids can register for free (with their parent or guardian present) beside the outdoor ticket kiosk from 10–11am on Saturday, March 14 and the event takes place at noon. mountwashington.ca.

Parallel Play For select adult-focused events, the Royal BC Museum provides childminding as a support for families. The childminding is hosted in the RBCM’s Learning Centre, and the activities are related in an age-appropriate way to the theme of the adult event. Registration required. Designed for kids 3–10. This month, Parallel Play is available from 5–7pm during the following activities for adults: Strike a Pose on March 12; and Trans Visibility on March 25. royalbcmuseum.bc.ca.

Mothering Touch’s DONA-Approved Birth Doula Workshop This 28-hour workshop runs four consecutive days—Friday March 6 to Monday March 9 from 9am to 5:30pm—and includes three of the requirements for Birth Doula Certification by DONA International: • Introduction to Childbirth for Doulas (7 hours) • Birth Doula Workshop (18 hours) • Breastfeeding Workshop (3 hours) Topics range from The Anatomy and Physiology of Childbirth to How to achieve certification with DONA International. motheringtouch.ca.

6  Island Parent Magazine


Shed Your Threads Collection boxes have been set up around Nanaimo to gather gently used sports equipment and clothing for a community Swap Meet and Fun Fair that will be held on Saturday,

The Kiddies Store Dedicated to providing Vancouver Island families with high-quality infant and toddler products at affordable prices for over 25 years

Th u le Sp ring Enjoy each moment with the Thule Spring, a lightweight and compact stroller that lets you discover the world with ease. SINCE


The easy one-hand fast fold, selfstanding design and compact footprint make it the perfect companion for urban adventures.



Finlayson St.


March 21 at Vancouver Island University (VIU) to level the playing field for youth. Donate your unused soccer balls, basketballs, lacrosse equipment, ice skates, roller skates, baseballs and bats, tennis racquets, rain jackets, runners, soccer cleats and other kinds of sporting equipment to help families in need. VIU students will collect and sort the gear for the Swap Meet and Fun Fair on Saturday, March 21 from 9am–3pm at the Windsor Plywood Trades Discovery Centre (Building 108 at VIU’s Nanaimo campus). Donations can also be brought to the swap meet. viu.ca.



3045–C Douglas St. Victoria, BC

Larch St.

Entrance off Larch St.


Classes, Community & More! Classes Ÿ Childbirth Preparation & Refreshers Ÿ Baby Care & Infant First Aid Ÿ Siblings - Grandparents

Groups Ÿ Baby Groups Ÿ Pregnancy Happy Hour

Yoga & Fitness Ÿ Prenatal & Postnatal Ÿ Yoga for Toddlers


Retail Store Nursing bras and tops Breastpump sales & rentals Baby Carriers Baby Clothes, Books and Toys 975 Fort Street, Victoria motheringtouch.ca - 250-595-4905

March 2020  7

Fossil Fair

at Swan Lake Christmas Hill 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. Paleontologists will share their personal fossil discoveries including many from this past year. March 28-29 from 10am-3pm. Bring your own fossils for identification. Kids can follow a scavenger hunt, or make fossil and dinosaur rubbings. swanlake.bc.ca.

SPRING STUDIO Join the AGGV Studio for an inspiring art camp this spring! Connect with cool new ideas, techniques and experiment with the creative process. A week of artful adventures awaits — come join the fun!


aggv.ca/learn/aggv-studio 250.384.4171 or at 1040 Moss St

8  Island Parent Magazine





Make Your Kids’ Superhero Dreams Come True You don’t need to jet to Disneyland to see the look of wonder on your kids face when they “meet” Batman or Elsa. Capital City Comic Con from March 20–22 is an event for kids and adults—who are still kids at heart! No longer just for super comic book fans, Comic Cons are an event for the entire family. Whether you and your kids love Star Wars, Guardian of the Galaxy, the world of professional wrestling, Cosplay or Star Trek, this is a weekend for magic and memories. No matter what your family looks like, everyone is welcome. With activities for kids of any age; watch comic book artists battle it out as they take suggestions from the audience and sketch live, take your photo as you blast a star trooper, attend an improv show or test your—or your kids’—knowledge at video game trivia. It’s all included in your ticket price. Family Ticket Prices include admission for 2 adults and up to 4 children (6–12 years old, children under 5 are free). For more information, visit capitalcitycomiccon.ca.

Pacific Rim Whale Festival Celebrate the 33rd annual Pacific Rim Whale Fest throughout the coastal towns of Tofino and Ucluelet and around the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve from March 20–28. It’s about grey whales and marine life education, inspirational talks and interpretive walks, children’s fun for the small and culinary events for the tall, First Nations cultural workshops and more. pacificrimwhalefestival.com

Loads of LEGO Visit Sidney Mseum’s LEGO exhibition open daily from 10am–4pm until March 31. This year’s display features themes including Star Wars, Minecraft, Friends, Harry Potter, Batman and vintage sets. Learn about the history of the many Lego models on display, a special opportunity to guess how many bricks comprise the giant Lego Tower. Challenge yourself with a scavenger hunt with three levels of difficulty for all ages. Admission by donation. sidneymuseum.ca

Go behind the scenes at the Wild ARC facility in Metchosin on March 28–29, accompanied by an experienced volunteer guide. Reservations are required. The event is free but cash and in-kind (food, supplies) donations are welcome and will go towards the work at Wild ARC. spca.bc.ca. IslandParent.ca

March 2020  9

Get Moving!

Families, physical activity and fun


arents know that physical activity is beneficial to the health of their children: it positively affects physical health, cognition, and brain function. Physical activity also supports mental health, improves self-esteem, contributes to social development, and enhances overall wellbeing. Unsurprisingly, research shows that physical activity ranks close to homework in terms of importance and priority. Yet only 39 per cent of children aged 5 and up are getting the recommended 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day. Clearly, despite the best of intentions to support physical activity, the majority of parents struggle with how to make this happen. One commonly overlooked type of parental support for physical activity is parent-child co-activity. Co-activity is when parents facilitate opportunities for

10  Island Parent Magazine

their children to be active by being active with their kids. Co-activity is especially relevant for young children and often starts as active play. As children grow and develop and preferences in activities change, co-activities can evolve to family walks, hikes, or bike rides (among many others). Not only does this form of support model an active lifestyle, it facilitates healthy family dynamics through quality time. It also gets parents moving! In spite of these appealing benefits, adopting coactivity is easier said than done. For some parents, the idea of participating in co-activity can seem daunting. How does one find activities they can do with their child? How does one find the time or energy? What about bad weather? These reasons were cited as major barriers in a national survey on parentchild co-activity. Rest assured, research in the field of

physical activity promotion can provide some clues. For the best chances of success, consider activities that are close to home and fun for you and your child. By focusing on co-activities that are simple to carry out and are genuinely enjoyable, you are more likely to follow through. Co-activity does not need to be timeconsuming or complicated. It can be as simple as a walk or bike around the block after school. Maybe it looks like an impromptu dance party on a rainy afternoon. Perhaps you engage at the playground rather than watch from the sidelines. It can even be an active game or obstacle course after dinner. Despite parents being some of the busiest people around, if you start looking for opportunities, there are small ways to get active together, even just for a few minutes! With spring right around the corner, this time of year provides the perfect op-


portunity to get active together. If parentchild co-activity sounds like something you would like to embrace, consider trying the following evidence-based strategies:

1. Think about some activities you and your

child already enjoy doing together and brainstorm some new activities you might like to try. Focusing on activities that are fun for everyone involved will increase your chances of success.

2. Be sure to jot down your ideas and ensure

Victoria City Rowing Club

excels in providing high quality rowing experiences for all ages and abilities. Here is your chance to learn to row, get back into rowing and enjoy the beautiful outdoors of Elk Lake this summer. Youth Programs 11-17 Full day week long camps and half day beginner, intermediate and experienced camps. Adult Programs 18+ Evening Classes: Beginner, Intermediate and Novice Morning and Evening: Club and Competitive

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

you have everything you need to do these activities on the fly. Doing some preparatory legwork beforehand will help make co-activity an easy option in the moment.

3. Set a specific, short-term goal for coactivity that is measurable and meaningful for your family. A goal that is aligned with your values will get you started, motivate you, and keep you working towards an aim. 4. Decide when and where you will carry out the activities and add it to your calendar. This type of planning is one of the most effective strategies to facilitate follow-through.

5. Start thinking about yourselves as an “active family.” By embracing an active family identity, you will be more likely to choose co-activity over the couch. 6. Tag co-activities on to your existing routine to facilitate habit formation. Engaging in co-activities at the same time in the week will build a routine that can be initiated without too much thought or effort. Families can get discouraged when they don’t immediately succeed in incorporating copious amounts of co-activity. It is important to remember that co-activity, or any physical activity for that matter, does not need to be all-or-nothing. It is likely you and your child are already active together in many ways and every minute you can add to what you are already doing can make a difference to health and well-being. Dr. Ryan Rhodes is the director of the Behavioural Medicine Lab at the University of Victoria where Stina Grant is a Research Coordinator and MSc Candidate. Both are passionate about active living and health promotion. IslandParent.ca

March 2020  11

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

12  Island Parent Magazine


M o m ’ s P OV

Confessions of a

Clumsy Mom


ome people say that the most dangerous place to stand is between a mother and her child. But in my case possibly the most dangerous place to be is in my arms. The first few ‘incidents’ when I was new to motherhood were benign enough: a chubby baby leg wedged between the slats of the crib, snipping a tiny fingernail too close, forgetting to buckle baby into the car seat. My friends assured me they had done similar things. My missteps seemed universal. Then I dropped my daughter. That didn’t seem so common. She was just a 20-pound baby and I was walking down some stairs at a friend’s house. In hindsight, it was the perfect storm for a fall, slick wood stairs, my socked feet and the 20 lbs I was carrying. I slipped, my hands let go and I dropped my daughter as I fell. I landed on my tailbone and slid down the remaining steps to my wailing child. Once we were sure the baby and I were okay, my husband expressed his confusion with my reaction. He thought my instinct would be to hold on tighter to our daughter as I fell. A reasonable assumption. I didn’t know how to make sense of my reaction. Dropping my daughter had been a survival instinct. It just wasn’t the right one. I felt embarrassed and defective. What kind of mother saves herself before her own child? What was wrong with me? They say that the impulse to love and protect a child is hard-wired into a mother’s brain. There are stories of mothers developing superhero strengths and abilities in order to protect their children from danger. Mothers have fought off cougars and polar bears. Mothers have lifted cars off a crushed child. I knew that my desire to protect and love my children was fierce but I wondered if my wiring was right. My reaction wasn’t from lack of love or that I didn’t


value her safety. Could my own survival instincts have been stronger? A few years later we were camping with friends on Quadra Island. It was a hot summer day and I was walking with my infant son on the beach. As I stepped down some driftwood stairs, a step shifted and I lost my balance. I dropped my son into the rocks and sand below as I fell. This time, my son hit his head on both the wooden stairs and the rocks. Luckily, we were camping with a few paramedics who examined my son and assured me that he was fine. Once again, baby and I were okay, but my ego was not. Did I lack a real Mother’s Instinct? My son has had the worst of it. In addition to being dropped, I’ve whacked his head with a toilet lid, knocked his head on the top bunk bed and pinched the skin of his neck in his bike helmet. But the real whoopsie—the one that actually left a scar—was the incident that my daughter refers to as The Time My Mom Snipped My Brothers Finger In Half. Yes, I accidentally snipped the tip of my son’s finger with my pruning shears. That required 10 stitches and a humbling visit to the emergency room where a kind and empathetic doctor assured me that despite the injury to my child, he could tell that I was a great mom and advised me to cut myself some slack. And I am a great mom. A little clumsy perhaps, but a loving, thoughtful mother. Apart from possibly wrecking them, I hope to give my kids a childhood that will send them out into the world feeling loved, accepted and empowered to live a fulfilling life. Often when I lay down at night, I wonder about all of the ways in which I haven’t done enough (vegetable intake, physical activity, undivided attention). I

worry about the things I did too much (yelling, screen time, checking my phone). And while I would never consciously choose to cause harm to anyone, I am only human and I make mistakes. I know the wounds will heal, perhaps their physical ones sooner than my guilt. Their bruises will fade and someday their scars will make for great stories about our adventures together. Maybe then I can view my Mother’s Instinct from the perspective of an entire life’s work of raising humans. 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. March 2020  13


The Actual Reality About Virtual Reality


creen time is one of the biggest concerns/struggles/dieon-the-hill battles faced by modern parents. How much is too much? How can I cut it down? Why is it such a fight? On that last one, in the case of phones, it’s because games and apps are designed to hold our attention and bring us back with notifications. Validation, fear of missing out, dopamine, etc. It sucks, yet is the reality of technology we’re living with. You’d probably fight if someone wanted to take your phone away, too. Problem is, our kids are using many of the same apps which have a stranglehold on us. And, sadly, there’s no one solution. Like many things in life: it depends. It depends on if your kid responds to “five more minutes” (and if you hold them to that), if you can fill your day with other activities away from the screens, or if there are alternative stimuli you can offer (and which they will take to). Every family is different. For me, it’s not the phone. It’s the Nintendo Switch and DS. My kidlet loves them as much as I do, and sometimes, it’s boggling to see how much time can pass in play while I do a few dishes or reply to a few e-mails, not being present. While, again, I don’t have the solution, I discovered something recently which has, at least, somewhat reduced the sedentary default of most gaming experiences: virtual reality. Coming far from the cheezy VR you may or may not remember from the ’80s, today’s virtual reality can be a downright workout, depending on the game. First, if you own a Switch, the Nintendo Labo sets have been a joy, and the VR kit they released last year has been a boon. While the games are still meant to be played in a sitting position (a bit of a liability from Nintendo, a company

14  Island Parent Magazine

which saw many people get so into digital bowling that they sent their controllers flying in to their TVs in the mid-2000s), playtime only takes place after building time. The program takes you through very clear and detailed animated instructions on building the cardboard pieces which create a handheld 3D visor into which the console is inserted. From there, more and more pieces are built, each taking anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes, and the game is very good

at explaining how each of the pieces work with regards to the infrared cameras, gyroscopes, and accelerometers built into the console and its controllers, which are inserted into cardboard creations resembling a bird, an elephant, a rifle-like blaster, a camera which clickclick-clicks when you turn the lens, and more. The longform nature of the construction, the fact that learning is part of the process, and the active nature of the games themselves are all unique facets of the Labo kits, which is a stark contrast to the slouched controller-in-lap pose of most other games. If it’s time to get serious, there’s a little gem of a place hidden away on Nanaimo Street called Vic VR. It’s run by an under-20 local, is kitted out with the serious headset-and-hand-controllers VR rigs like the HTC Vive, and boasts an impressive array of games for kids eight and up. And what are patrons doing while playing these VR games? Standing. There’s a surprising amount of upper body movement involved in many of the

offerings. My kidlet chose “Job Simulator” as her first foray into serious VR. Cue Papa scoffing at the ludicrousness of a child choosing work as a game. Cue Papa eating his words as he spent half an hour serving robot patrons in a robot restaurant in Job Simulator after she was done. Using my arms, which were being tracked by cameras to replicate the movement in-game, I blended, toasted, fried, baked, and washed up, all to serve my computer-screened overlords as the only human in the place. I got the arm workout of my week with a game called Longbow, a tower defense game in which your weapon is a bow and arrow, necessitating the need for bow-and-arrow-like movements (along with precise aim) to stop animated stick figures from storming the castle. But my favourite experience was the one I was champing at the bit to try in person after having watched many a video of: Beat Saber. In the game world, your hands are each holding a laser sword, and you use these to slice through blocks, on the

beat, while they rush at you accompanied to music of varying thumpiness. Not only are arm swipes constant throughout each of the sessions, but occasionally, you have to duck down or sidestep to avoid larger walls coming at you. While I was slicing away, I had my friend take some video of me from his vantage point in The Real World™, and I looked ridiculous. VR is an amusing spectator sport, too. Sure, you pay for time at Vic VR, but you also pay for time at a gym, right? I came outta there invigorated, if not a little sore, and anxious to return and slice more blocks. My kidlet asks me every week when we’re going back. So, while it’s not a solution for everyone, virtual reality delivers on being an escape from the real world, with the added benefit of getting the blood pumping through physical activity, something your standard gaming situation is generally rubbish at providing. Webmeister Bud Ridout is the resident geek at Victoria radio stations The Zone @ 91-3 and 100.3 The Q! He’s also an avid photographer, root beer connoisseur, voice actor and Papa.


GYMNASTICS CENTRE Summer Sault Gymnastics Camps 2020 Call for more information: 250-479-6424

Weekly Camps: July 6 to September 4

School Age Recreational – Half Days morning or afternoon and Full Days, ages 5–14. For more information visit our website at www.falcongymnastics.com We also have:

• The best gymnastics and most affordable classes. • The best Birthday Parties in town.

208 – 721 Vanalman Ave, Victoria, BC V8Z 3B6 250-479-6424 info@falcongymnastics.com www.falcongymnastics.com IslandParent.ca

March 2020


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. Please refer to the Ad Index on page 43. Have fun in the—dare we say it—sun! 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. Beach Acres. Whether it’s wandering in your gumboots or exploring the tide pools with tiny toes and fingers, beach time is what the best memories are made of. At Beach Acres, we pride ourselves in making our space a home away from home. Find a perfect vacation in a cabin with full kitchen and two bedrooms. To top off hours of exploration, we offer a Kids club in the afternoons during the Summer. Everyone sleeps, everyone laughs and everyone goes home with a memory that will never fade. beachacresresort.com. The Boulders Climbing Gym. Team Boulders is lead by world class coaches and athletes determined to make climbing fun, fundamental, and competitive. We design all our programs and camps with these principles in mind: risk management, respect and fair play; fundamental skills and technical mastery before performance and results; fun, friendship and community; inclusivity. 1627 Stelly’s Cross Rd. info@climbtheboulders.com. 250-544-0310. This spring the City of Victoria offers a range of programs for everyone. Looking for ways to keep the kids busy and active over Spring Break? Try Horseback Riding Camp or World Cup Soccer Camp. There will be Spring Break Fun Swims daily March 12–27 from 1pm to 3:30pm. 16  Island Parent Magazine

Mom and Dad why not hire a personal trainer while the kids are in the pool? You can find more information on all our programs and services, as well as drop-in schedules, at victoria.ca/recreation or by calling 250-361-0732.

will work towards a performance which they will present to you, the parents, and any other family members who wish to attend. The showcase will run from 2:30–3pm on the final day of the circus camp session. ​islandcircusspace.com.

Spring Break is special, just like our watershed. The Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre is open to the public from 12–4, Thursday through Sunday and every holiday Monday. We offer activities for all ages, including wildlife watching, a microscope station, and a touch tank where you can get up close and personal with estuary creatures. Check out our fantastic spring break restoration camp March 19–20, ages 11–16. For further information contact sierra@cowichanestuary.ca or visit cowichanestuary.ca.

Pacific FC Island Training Centre will offer two weeks of spring break camps. These camps will be fun, engaging, and include multiple different soccer activities: Turf, small sided games, futsal, FIFA and more. We hope that these camps give young players 2012–2006 born an opportunity to explore and play in a controlled climate. March 16–20, March 23–27. Full day camps with early drop off and late pick up possible with an additional cost. islandtrainingcentre.ca. itcinfo@pacificfc.ca.

Fun and fitness for all levels and all ages. Falcon Gymnastics offers a full range of programs and camps, from preschoolers to teens, and through the many levels of recreational to competitive training. With ongoing registration and classes for boys and girls ages 20 months and up. Preschool drop-in and the best birthday parties in town! Spring Break and weekly Summer Camps. falcongymnastics.com. 250-479-6424. Looking for spring soccer fun? United Soccer is excited to offer our Annual Spring League for boys and girls aged 4–15. No experience needed. Spring soccer gives players a chance to play the game in a relaxed environment, with no scores kept. Games are once or twice a week—no practices! Mid April to mid June at Hampton Park, register online by April 1st. unitedsoccer.ca, victoriaspringleague@gmail.com. Looking for a fun, exciting activity for your child this spring break? Look no further, you’ve found the circus! Island Circus Space circus camps are a great way to have fun and make new friends while developing new skills. The students

Pacific Opera Victoria. Create your own opera this spring break! Empowering youth ages 9 through 13 to tell a story through music, Opera Works is a weeklong opera creation camp with Pacific Opera Victoria. Work with a singer, a composer, and a visual artist to write words, craft music, and design your own set—ending the week with a performance of your new opera! $225. Full bursaries available—contact Rebecca at 250-3821641 ext 204. rebecca@pacificopera.ca. St. Michaels University School. The Spring Holiday 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. Choose between full-day and half-day programmes that offer a range of activities such as basketball, soccer, squash, coding and plenty of outdoor activities. This year also features the 11th Annual Easter Classic 3-on-3 basketball tournament. For information visit our website at smus.ca/spring or call 250-370-6120.


Theatre SKAM’s School of Performing Arts is offering full-day and half-day camp options for Spring Break 2020. These camps are designed to encourage children to step playfully into their creative dramatic side. Collaborative group work, dramatic expression in movement and voice, creating simple costumes and props will all be part of this wonderful creative week. Camps start at $188 for a week, for more camp information and to register visit skam.ca/school/camps. Victoria City Rowing Club is a not-forprofit rowing club located at Elk Lake, offering introductory, recreational, and competitive rowing programs for athletes of all ages and skill levels. The Youth Spring Break and Summer Camps will provide a fun environment to build basic rowing skills. With two rows per day and a focus in sculling boats, the camp will be supplemented with games and activities to develop basic movements and flexibility. The YSC will keep the kids active and having fun learning about the sport of rowing! clubadmin@vcrc.bc.ca. vcrc.bc.ca.

The Future of Sport Development

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.

Indoor Training Centre

Spring break is coming up and West Shore Parks & Recreation has you covered. Weather you have a Little Chef, an athlete, Artist, musician or equestrian, they have something for every age and interest. Come swim, play, move, groove and create with their amazing staff. Plus public swim is available every afternoon from 2–4 pm. Check out the West Shore Parks & Recreation website for a full list of camp options and register today. westshorerecreation.ca.•

Spring Break Camps Trident Development Program 2888 Kettle Lake Dr, Langford Powered By

pacificfc IslandParent.ca

Learn more at islandtrainingcentre.ca March 2020  17

w H aT’ SF o r D I N N e R

Cornmeal, Polenta & Grits


hile you can find pre-cooked polenta in the grocery store, cooking cornmeal or polenta from scratch is incredibly easy. You can find ground cornmeal in most grocery stores. It comes in coarse, medium or fine varieties, and it really doesn’t matter which you choose. Coarse cornmeal will have a more crunchy cornbread-like consistency, whereas fine cornmeal is smooth and creamy. Here’s how to cook cornmeal, along with three recipes that feature this delicious grain.

Polenta Pizza (Prep time: 15 minutes; bake time: 5 minutes) Polenta makes a super simple gluten-free pizza base. While it isn’t as solid as a traditional pizza, the rich delicious flavour will certainly make up for it. I recommend making individual pizzas that can be eaten with a knife and fork. 1 batch of cooked cornmeal (fine ground is best) 1⁄2 cup of grated cheese A selection of your favourite pizza toppings 1. Spread the cooked cornmeal on two baking sheets, making several small pizza crusts about 1 cm thick. I recommend cooking the cornmeal ahead of time, if possible, then leaving the pizza crusts to cool and firm up. However, if you’re short on time, then you can cook the pizzas right away, they just won’t be as firm. 2. Prepare your pizza toppings. I like simple topping combinations like: tomatoes and onion, or sauteed mushrooms and pesto. 3. Broil the polenta pizzas in the oven until the cheese is melted (about 5 minutes). Serve immediately with a side salad.

Buttermilk Cornbread Muffins (Prep time: 10 minutes; bake time: 20 minutes)

These cornbread muffins are delicious served next to a bowl of chili or as a healthy snack. Cornbread tends to get dry as it ages, so I’ve included a few recommended mix-ins that will keep these muffins fresh and flavourful. Cornbread cup cornmeal 2 cups buttermilk 1 tsp baking powder 1 tsp baking soda 2 eggs, beaten 1 tsp salt 3⁄4

Simple Cooked s) Cornmeal (cook time: 20 minuteavoured in all sorts fl be can l mea corn ed cook le recipe for

This simp broth to add richness. Add of different ways. Replace the water with Or flavour it after cooking ing. diced onions or garlic during the cook se. chee with fresh herbs and grated 1 cup cornmeal 4 cups water 3 Tbsp butter 3⁄4 tsp salt (to taste) salt in a medium-sized sauce1. Mix the cornmeal, water, butter and pan. cornmeal has thickened, 2. Bring to a boil, and simmer until the g the cooking process to about 15 minutes. Stir a few times durin bottom of the pot. the to prevent the cornmeal from sticking es below. recip the of one in it 3. Serve immediately or use


Island Parent Magazine

Mix-ins cup of grated cheese. 2 Tbsp of finely diced sun dried tomato 1⁄4 cup of diced spring onion 1⁄4 cup of bacon bits 1 Tbsp of pickled jalapeno peppers, diced 1⁄4 cup of fresh sweet corn kernels 1⁄2

1. Preheat the oven to 450˚F. Line a muffin tin with liners. 2. Mix all of the cornbread ingredients together in a large bowl. 3. Stir in whatever mix-ins you would like to add. Don’t feel limited to using just a single mix-in, they all work well together. 4. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. 5. Bake until cooked through and starting to brown on the edges, about 15 to 20 minutes. 6. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.


Tamale Pie (Prep time: 15 minutes; bake time: 30 minutes) Vegetable Layer 2 Tbsp olive oil 2 cloves of garlic 1 small onion 1 green pepper 1 cup of mushrooms 2 tsp chili powder (or smokey paprika for a less-spicy option) 1 tsp ground cumin 1⁄2 tsp salt, to taste Remaining Layers 1 batch of cooked cornmeal 2 cans of refried beans 1⁄2 cup of grated cheese 1. Preheat the oven to 400˚C. 2. Start by preparing the cornmeal. It can cook while you make the vegetables. 3. Finely chop the onions, pepper and mush rooms. Dice the garlic. 4. Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the onio ns and sauté for 2 minutes, then add the rest of the vegetable s and spices. Sauté until well cooked, about 5 to 7 minutes. 5. Spread the refried beans out in the botto m of a baking pan. This recipe makes about 8 cups, so either a 9" square pan or a 10" pie plate.

6. Spread the cooked vegetables over top of the refried beans, then pour the freshly cooked cornmeal over top. 7. Sprinkle on the grated cheese. 8. Bake, uncovered for 30 minutes, or until the beans are bubbling and the polenta has started to brown. 9. Serve with salsa and sour cream.

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

March 2020


MarchFamilyCalendar For more information and calendar updates throughout the month visit IslandParent.ca

1 Sunday & 2 Monday

4 Wednesday

Be a Tourist in Your Own Town

V Lego Club at the Library

8am in Victoria An extended weekend of fun in Victoria, BC. Local businesses unite to offer free or discounted fun over the course of 5 days. Gardens, restaurants, boutique ice cream shops, tours, and that is not everything. $16. beatourist.ca

Parksville Lion’s & Save-On-Foods Free Family Skate


Early Years Healthy Start Fair D

3pm at Cowichan Library 2687 James St, Duncan Calling all architects. Bring your construction skills and the library will provide the Lego. Anyone old enough not to eat the Lego is welcome. Free. virl.bc.ca

5 Thursday Story Club: Flight of the Hummingbird V

12:15pm at Oceanside Place Arena A great way to stay active as a family. Children must be accompanied by an adult, 19yrs+. Pond hockey is not available during this session. Free. rdn.bc.ca/recreation

3:30 at sxweŋxw ŋ t ŋ xw James Bay Branch Library Enjoy books, games, crafts and light group discussions. During this special series, the club will listen to and read stories about courage, perseverance and resilience that are inspired by Pacific Opera’s Flight of the Hummingbird opera. Rice Tuesday crackers and fruit will be provided for a snack. Glow in the Dark Skate N This program is presented as part of the Be a Hummingbird series. For ages 9–12. Registered. 6:30pm at Frank Crane Arena gvpl.ca Skate in an atmosphere of dimmed lighting and special effects. Regular admission. recreation.nanaimo.ca Friday e e e



Dad’s Night Out Skate

N Fantastic Friday

6:45pm at Oceanside Place Arena Dads, bring the kids and enjoy a free skate together on the pond. Sponsored by Building Learning Together. Free. rdn.bc.ca/recreation

V Victoria & Area P Peninsula W Westshore

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

4:30 pm at St. Luke’s Hall Cedar Hill Cross Road at Cedar Hill Road Featuring Messy Church. Family-friendly fun, games, food, crafts, music and stories. Dinner provided. Free. stlukesvictoria.ca



9:30am at Seaview Elementary, Lantzville Lantzville School Rd Family resources and services, stories and activities, Triple P Positive Parenting Program, Nanaimo Child Development Centre, vision screening, early learning and development supports, pregnancy supports, healthy eating, snacks, games, activities, free t-shirts, giveaways and more. Free. nanaimoearlyyears.org

7 Saturday Little Hummingbird Storytime


10:30am at Bruce Hutchison Branch Library Come for a storytime based on the book The Little Hummingbird by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas and explore themes of environmentalism, kindness, and bravery. For ages 3-5. gvpl.ca


Family Movie Matinee 1pm at Cowichan Library 2687 James St, Duncan Come for a family movie. Free. virl.bc.ca

8 Sunday Mystery Creature


1pm at Coles Bay Regional Park Solve riddles and find the clues hidden along the trail with a CRD Regional Parks naturalist to discover who the mystery creature is. We’ll learn fascinating facts and enjoy the beauty of Coles Bay along the way. Meet at information kiosk in parking lot off Inverness Road. All ages. crd.bc.ca/parks

Mon to Fri • March 16-27 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 20  Island Parent Magazine



Parksville Lion’s & Save-On-Foods Free Family Skate

12:15pm at Oceanside Place Arena A great way to stay active as a family. Children must be accompanied by an adult, 19yrs+. Pond hockey is not available during this session. Free. rdn.bc.ca/recreation

11 Wednesday D

Lego Club at the Library

3pm at Cowichan Library 2687 James St, Duncan Calling all architects. Bring your construction skills and the library will provide the Lego. Anyone old enough not to eat the Lego is welcome. Free. virl.bc.ca

14 Saturday N

Disco Light Skate for all ages 7:30pm at Oceanside Place Arena Catch dance fever under the disco lights. The flashing lights and pumping music will take you back in time. Regular admission. rdn.bc.ca/recreation

Add your upcoming family events at

islandparent.ca Ongoing:


17 Tuesday V

Sketchy Thursdays

Thursdays 6:30pm at sxweŋxw ŋ t ŋ xw James Bay Branch Library Everyone welcome. Bring your sketchbook and pencils and join Nate Davis for an evening of sketching. Open to all ages, skill levels and abilities. Drop-in. gvpl.ca e e e

Museum Tots


Parksville Lion’s & Save-On-Foods Free Family Skate


1:e30pm at Oceanside Place Arena A great way to stay active as a family. Children must be accompanied by an adult, 19yrs+. Pond hockey is not available during this session. Free. rdn.bc.ca/recreation

18 Wednesday V

enough not to eat the Lego is welcome. Free. virl.bc.ca

19 Thursday Nighttime Beach Tour & Seine


7:30pm at VIU Deep Bay Marine Field Station Are you brave enough for a night tour of the beach? Explore what happens to beach critters at night and what lurks in the shadowy depths of the ocean. Come prepared with a flashlight, beach shoes or boots and venture onto the pebbly shore to find some of our exclusive intertidal critters. 8yrs+. $20/adult; $15/child. Pre-register. 250-248-3252 | rdn.bc.ca/recreation

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

Buzz About Bees

Parksville Lion’s & Save-On-Foods N Family Skate

Friday 3–9pm; Saturday 10am–6pm; Sunday 10am–5pm at Victoria Conference Centre & Crystal Garden Lego Club at the Library D ​Bring the whole family to Capital City Comic Con this spring break and experience the fun! Whether 3pm at Cowichan Library you love cosplay, comics, superheroes, wizards or 2687 James St, Duncan Calling all architects. Bring your construction skills zombies, it’s fun for all ages. capitalcitycomiccon.ca and the library will provide the Lego. Anyone old

12:15pm Sundays at Oceanside Place Arena Pond hockey not available. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Free admission and skate rentals. rdn.bc.ca/recreation


11am–2pm at Francis/King Regional Park A honey of an event fit for royalty of the insect world. What’s the buzz about bees—are they really good dancers? Join us for bee crafts, guided walks and buzzing activities. Get a glimpse of live bees up close! Meet at Francis/King Nature Centre off Munn Road. All ages. Drop-in event. crd.bc.ca/parks

20 Friday to 22 Sunday Capital City Comic Con


March 2020  21

20 Friday

22 Sunday N Busy Beavers

Nighttime Beach Tour and Seine 7:30pm at VIU Deep Bay Marine Field Station See THURS 19 for details. 8yrs+. $20/adult; $15/child. Pre-register. 250-248-3252 | rdn.bc.ca/recreation

21 Saturday N

Starlight Skate

7pm at Nanaimo Ice Centre Enjoy soft light “stars” and passive LED glow lights. Great for families after dinner. Regular admission. recreation.nanaimo.ca


23 Monday V

Snakes Spectacular Noon–3pm at Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary 3873 Swan Lake Rd


Baby Time


At Greater Victoria Public Library Locations Learn songs, rhymes and fingerplays to use with your baby every day. Drop-in. For babies 0-15 months and parent or caregiver. gvpl.ca

Family Storytime


At Greater Victoria Public Library Locations Fun-filled stories, songs, rhymes and puppets. For young children and their families; children under 3 must be accompanied by an adult. Drop-in. Check website for times and locations. gvpl.ca

Stories in the Garden


Mondays 10am at the Gardens at HCP 505 Quayle Rd Seasonal and entertaining stories and garden wanders for preschoolers. Each week a new theme and story is planned around a garden adventure to explore and discover the many wonders in our gardens. $5/participating child. hcp.ca/youth-programs

Kindergym Drop-In


Tuesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays, 10:00am at Gordon Head Recreation Centre 4100 Lambrick Way 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

Tiny Tykes Drop in Playgroup


9:30am at Oaklands Community Centre Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday. Meet your

22  Island Parent Magazine


10:30am at Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park Come see an active beaver lodge. Participants will have a chance to learn more about this amazing mammal and its marvellous adaptations. Meet at Equestrian Centre parking lot off Beaver Lake Road. 5+ years. BC Transit #70, #72 or #75. crd.bc.ca/parks

neighbours and enjoy the informal family play space. Activity tables, circle time with instruments, and large toy collection. Coffee, tea and snack provided. No playgroup on holidays. For 0-5 years. $3/suggested donation. oaklandscommunitycentre.com

Parent & Child Drop-in Art


Tuesdays 9:30am at Oaklands Community Centre Introduction to art techniques, tools and materials. Enjoy a sensory exploration into the world of art. Supplies included. Dress in clothes you can get messy in. For 2-5 year olds. $10/family. oaklandscommunitycentre.com


Parent & Baby Group

Tuesdays 9:30am at Oaklands Chapel For parents and babies up to 9 months old. Topics include nutrition, health, baby growth and development, family health and wellness and the joys and challenges of parenthood. Childcare provided for older children. Registered. Free. oaklandscommunitycentre.com

Good Morning Storytime


Thursdays, February 6 to March 5, 10:30am at Sidney/North Saanich Branch Library Bring your littlest ones to the library for stories, songs, rhymes and lots of movement. Ages 0-5. Drop in.

LaFF Mornings


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


Matinees for KIDS!

Featuring live snakes. All ages. Drop-in event. Admission by donation. swanlake.bc.ca

24 Tuesday Swan Lake Trails Discovery


Saturdays & Sundays All Seats $5.00

Noon–3pm at Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary 2873 Swan Lake Rd Guided walks leave the Nature House at 12:15 and 1:45pm. Admission by donation. Guided walk is on uneven terrain; be sure to wear sturdy shoes, bring a water bottle and snack if desired. swanlake.bc.ca

Water to Earth Month Swim

The Red Turtle 80 minutes, G

March 14 & 15 – 12:45 pm

Spies in Disguise 102 minutes, PG

March 21 & 22 – 12:30 pm

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil 119 minutes, PG

March 28 & 29 – 12:45 PM

Frozen II 104 minutes, G Spring Break Kids Matinees March 17, 18 & 19 – 12:30 PM

The Secret Life of Pets 2 86 minutes, G


1:30pm at Ravensong Aquatic Centre Celebrate Water to Earth Month. The rope swing, diving board and an inflatable toy will also be available. Regular admission. rdn.bc.ca/recreation

March 7 & 8 – 1:00 PM

.com March 24, 25 & 26 – 12:30 pm Student Union Building, UVIC | 250-721-8365 Frozen II 104 minutes, G

25 Wednesday Giggles & Wiggles


11am at Juan de Fuca Branch Library Little listeners with extra energy will enjoy actionfilled stories, songs and rhymes followed by free play and stations. Drop-in. For young children and their families; children under 3 must be accompanied by an adult. gvpl.ca

Bird Bonanza


Noon–3pm at Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary Featuring games, crafts, and hands-on activities. Drop-in event. Admission by donation. swanlake.bc.ca

Lego Club at the Library


3pm at Cowichan Library 2687 James St, Duncan Calling all architects. Bring your construction skills and the library will provide the Lego. Anyone old enough not to eat the Lego is welcome. Free. virl.bc.ca

26 Thursday Christmas Hill Wildflower Walk


Noon–3pm at Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary Guided hike leaves the Nature House at 12:15pm. Suitable for individuals and families with children over the age of 6. Guided walk is on uneven terrain; be sure to wear sturdy shoes, bring a water bottle and snack if desired. swanlake.bc.ca


UNITED SOCCER … 20 years strong! Register by SPRING LEAGUE

Re A

Girls and Boys aged 4 - years 17! No experience needed! April 1st …20 years … strong! 20 strong! Spring soccer gives players a chance to play the game in a relaxed environm Girls and Boys aged 4 - 17! No experience needed! kept. No Practices just games only (once or twice a week)! Just fun! Make Spring soccer gives players a chance to play the game in a relaxed environment, with no scores register as a single and assigned to a team of Make similar skill. Or re kept. No Practices just games onlybe (once or twice a week)! Just fun! new aged friends and … register as a single and be assigned to aat team of similar aged and skill. Or register a team of friends. Centrally located Hampton Park. friends. Centrally located at Hampton Park.

www.unitedsoccer.ca victoriaspringleague@gmail.com www.unitedsoccer.ca victoriaspringleague IslandParent.ca

March 2020  23

Conserving & Protecting Water for a Climate Resilient Future Spring Break Restoration Camp • 2 days connecting with the watershed. • Skill training in restoration techniques with expert David Polster. • Be part of a project along the Cowichan River, building a community and a resilient future for the Valley. • Get your hands dirty! Tickets at springbreakrestoration.eventbrite.ca Volunteer • Connect • Community


Ugh! A Slug!

1pm at Devonian Regional Park Be it a banana or a licorice slug, they may surprise you with their amazing abilities! 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 information kiosk in parking lot off William Head Road. All ages. BC Transit #54 or #55. crd.bc.ca/parks

Spring Break: Pico’s Puppet Palace


2:30pm at Juan de Fuca Branch Library A special guest is coming to town and he has a story to tell! Join Pico’s Puppet Palace for an interactive and fun puppet show. For ages 5–12. gvpl.ca

27 Friday V

Little Lego at the Library 3:30pm at Bruce Hutchison Branch Library Listen to stories and have fun with the library’s Lego. For ages 4–6; parents and caregivers are encouraged to attend. Registered. gvpl.ca

Coast Capital Free Swim


7pm at Beban Pool Free admission to pool; weight room not included. recreation.nanaimo.ca

28 Saturday W

Salmon Saturday

11am–2pm at Charters Interpretive Centre There’s something fishy going on! Drop by 11am– 2pm to check out the demonstration hatchery, see salmon fry, enjoy displays at the interpretive centre and explore along the river with CRD Regional Parks naturalists. Meet at Charters Interpretive Centre at 2895 Sooke River Rd. All ages. crd.bc.ca/parks

28 Saturday & 29 Sunday Fossil Fair


10am–3pm at Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary 3873 Swan Lake Rd Who lived here millions of years ago? Dinosaurs, trilobites, ammonites, enormous clams and sharks lived in the tropical coral seas and palm tree forests that covered Vancouver Island. Paleontologists share their personal fossil discoveries including many from this past year. Bring your family and your own fossils for identification. Follow a scavenger hunt, make fossil and dinosaur rubbings. Drop in. By donation. Hosted by Victoria Paleontological Society.

24  Island Parent Magazine


31 TuESDAy v

Nature Shapes

Looking for Signs of Spring?

9:30am & 11am at Francis/King Regional Park There are so many ways to look at a forest. Bring your young ones along and join a CRD Regional Parks naturalist for hands-on activities to spot different shapes and patterns hidden in nature. Free; pre-register by March 27. 5 years and under. crd.bc.ca/parks



Vic West Toy Library

Toys, games and puzzles for all ages


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

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


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For allFor kidsall in Victoria kids in ages 5-15, including Victoria ages 5–15


Parent Support Circles


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

Family Frolics

Family Storytime at the Library


2687 James St, Duncan Tuesdays 10am at Cowichan Library Bring the family for stories, songs, rhymes and fun. Ages 0–5 and their caregivers. Free. virl.bc.ca

Lions Free Skate


Sundays noon at Frank Crane Arena Come skate for free. Helmet and skates available at no cost. Until March 22. nanaimo.ca IslandParent.ca



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


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

March 23 March to April 13


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Growing Grounded Classes music + movement education 18mos–3yrs with parent/caregiver

location: 1509 Amphion St

South Island Studio (250) 592-3501

A resource book for therapists, teachers + parents who work with ages 1–7 years


(250) 888-2432 March 2020


K i DS ’ R e a DS

A World Full of Whys?


y three-year-old is firmly planted in the “why?” stage: Why is there a dog? Why are those people going that way? Why can’t I have a candy? It is annoying? Yes—in part because he can and does ask why about anything. But also because there are so many times I don’t have an answer, or at the very least, I don’t have a good enough answer. I read once that that you can sideline the questions by simply asking your child what they think the answer is. My child does not care for that type of trickery. He will stick out his bottom lip and simply wail “No. I want you tell me.” In his mind, for every question there must be an answer. And a good one, too. Even if he asks the same question seven billion times in a row. It must be answered, by someone else. So for those of you who find yourself in a similar position, read on. This month we will be looking at a bunch of books that will answer a whole lot of questions—from bugs to puberty and a lot of topics in between.

To begin, I have chosen the aptly named book Why? by Laura Vaccaro Seeger (Neal Porter Books, 2019). In this book a curious young rabbit asks her friend bear “why?” over and over again as the seasons change. Patiently he answers her question—until she asks one that he doesn’t have an answer to. 26

Island Parent Magazine

While this book covers a seemingly simple subject—kids and their unending questions—Seeger does not shy away from harder questions, such as why people die. The beautiful illustrations tell half the story and add to the emotional impact of the narrative. For ages 4 to 8.

At the end of the book there is an information sheet on Dr. Alis Kennedy, the pilot who inspired this book, who is quite possibly the first Indigenous woman to get her pilot’s license in Canada. And for anyone who wasn’t satisfied with the brief snippets of information with each letter, the back of the book also goes into a little bit more detail about the planes and other aircraft mentions. For ages 3 to 7.

Along the lines of Why? is Just Because by Mac Barnett and illustrated by isabelle Arsenault (Candlewick Press, 2019). In this story a father is putting his young child to bed when she asks him “Why is the ocean blue?” Her imaginative father, and the wonderful illustrator, bring to life a rich and concise story to go with each of her questions, until his answer becomes “just because.” But even then he feeds her imagination. For ages 4 to 8.

Another book that covers questions older children may have is Help! Why Am I Changing? The Growing-Up Guide for Pre-Teen Boys and Girls by Susan Akass (Cico Kids, 2019). This If you have a child who is fascinated by book, which is written with help from flight then you will want to grab Alis the several doctors and experts on children, doesn’t only cover the physical changes Aviator by Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail that pre-teens go through. It also talks and illustrated by Kalpna Patel (Tunabout the emotional, mental, and social dra, 2019). This alphabet book starts struggles they may deal with, such as with the Arrow, works its way through Goose, Norseman, and Renegade, before why they are always arguing with their parents now, what to do is someone they it ends with Zeppelins. For those of you care about is being bullied, and how to who don’t know, those are all names of stay safe online. For ages 9 to 12. different flying machines. Of course, children don’t just have questions about machines and sex, a lot of children also want to know about animals. And if you have an ornithophile, a.k.a. a bird-lover, in your house they’ll enjoy Falcons in the City: The Story of IslandParent.ca

The Freya-Sophia Waldorf

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250-597-4763 ~ 3, 5380 Hwy. 1 ~ in the Sol-Centre, Duncan

a Peregrine Family with photographs by Luke Massey and text by Chris Earley (Firefly, 2016). This book follows a family of falcons that took up roost on the balcony of an apartment on the 28th floor. Each page is graced with stunning photographs and amazing facts about these wonderful birds. If you or your child has ever wondered about these birds and how they feed their young, this is the book for you. For ages 8 and up.

Open Mon.— Sat. 10 - 4; Closed Sun. & Stats Extensive selection of beautiful and inspiring books; Organic wool clothing for babies, children and adults; Wooden toys, puzzles, games, silks, dolls, calendars, cards and prints; Art, painting, knitting, felting and handwork supplies. Committed to providing WaldorfInspired resources to parents, educators, carers, homeschoolers and students of life! We also carry a full line of Uriel Home Remedies & Biodynamic Preparations. Evening hours & groups visits can be accommodated by appointment.


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And finally, the promised book about bugs: Bug Lab for Kids: Family Friendly Activities for Exploring the Amazing World of Beetles, Butterflies, Spiders and Other Arthropods by John W. Guyton (Quarry, 2018). This book is filled with anything a budding bug lover could want to know. It has photographs of different bugs and the homes they create for themselves, facts about these arthropods, and instructions on how kids can study them on their own. For example, the book covers who to create a bug-catching net, a pitcher plant and fly game, and a native pollinator home. For ages 8 and up. Christina Van Starkenburg lives in Victoria with her husband, their two little boys and their cat Phillip. Her first children’s book One Tiny Turtle: A Story You Can Colour was published recently and quickly rose to its spot as a #1 new release on Amazon. IslandParent.ca

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March 2020


FaMIlySerViCeSDIReCTORy 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.

Home Support, please call 250-658-6407. For other programs: 250-656-0134. beaconcs.ca.

Beacon Community Services is a community-based, 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

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.

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. 250-656-0134. beaconcs.ca.




Babies don’t come with a manual. As a new parent, you want to do the right thing and raise your child to be socially and emotionally healthy. KidCareCanada has produced a collection of carefully-crafted, trustworthy resources that show you how to do it. KidCareCanada takes the science of Early Childhood Development and brings it to new parents in a visual format that is easy-to-understand and quick to watch. Wonderful research on Early Childhood Development takes place in Canadian universities and hospitals, yet this information is most frequently not accessible to parents and caregivers. To develop and distribute our resources, we work collaboratively with health providers, educational institutions and other organizations who support families. You can access all of our resources free on the website kidcarecanada.org. KidCareCanada supports you, with trustworthy information, so that you can relax and enjoy your baby! Our Mission: To empower all new parents to raise their children to be socially and emotionally healthy. Our Vision: KidCareCanada Society’s commitment is to contribute to society through well-informed parents and lovingly-nurtured babies who grow up to reach their full potential. We are recognized as a trustworthy portal for new parents and health and service providers for our educational resources on infant development. We collaborate with like-minded organizations to help us build and disseminate this body of knowledge. It is our goal to create a positive cycle where parents pass on healthy and safe parenting practices to the next generation. Our Values: We are guided by the following values. • Evidence-based resources • Equality of opportunity • Safety and injury prevention • Accessibility of resources (relevant, understandable, widely available, free) • Individual and societal benefit (healthier infants lead to healthier adults and a healthier society) • Support for vulnerable populations • Respectful (of all stakeholders) • Community Leadership We support you on your journey as a parent.


Island Parent Magazine

Canucks Autism Network (CAN) provides year-round sports and recreation programs for children, youth, young adults, and families living with autism, while increasing awareness and providing training in communities across BC. Stay up-to-date on programs, registration dates and events in Nanaimo, Cowichan Valley, and Victoria by signing up for CAN’s Vancouver Island newsletter: canucksautism.ca/ newsletter. CAN also provides training and accessibility resources for many sectors, including sport, recreation, first responders, schools, and community spaces. Learn about customized training solutions: canucksautism.ca/training. Dialogue and Resolution Services (DRS) helps people improve relationships through facilitating empathic communication in a safe, impartial and collaborative manner. We work with individuals, families, parents, co-workers, neighbours, community organizations, governments and those leaving incarceration. We continue to strive for equity and increased cultural competency, through life-long learning. DRS assists diverse clients to create lasting, effective solutions that support healthy connection and build community. For affordable, ethical, professional service, find us at 250-383-4412 or dialogueandresolutionservices.ca. Family Services of Greater Victoria helps children, youth, and adults manage the challenges of separation, FAMILY SERVICES OF GREATER VICTORIA divorce, or transition to a new family structure. Our highly qualified staff, working with other community agencies, provide information and practical or emotional support so people facing these challenges can make the decisions that are best for everyone. FSGV believes all individuals can find ways to move forward in their lives when family relationships have changed or are changing. Call us at 250-386-4331 or visit fsgv.org. We can help. Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA) is a registered charity and nonprofit helping individuals and organizations to connect across cultures. Programs offered include immigrant and refugee services, parenting programs, employment services, interpretation and translation, diversity workshops and training, English language training, volunteer placements, youth programs and tutoring,


seniors groups, and inter-cultural arts programming. Located at 930 Balmoral Road, 250-388-4728, icavictoria.org. KidCareCanada supports new parents and professionals with trustworthy information, videos and resources that explain the importance of early nurturing and show how to support social and emotional development in infants and toddlers. Babies don’t come with a manual. That’s why KidCareCanada has produced a collection of carefully-crafted resources that takes the science of Early Childhood Development and brings it to new parents in a visual format that is easy-to-understand and quick to watch. Access all resource for free at kidcarecanada.org.

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LDABC The Learning Curve (previously The Learning Disabilities Assn.) supports, educates and advocates for children with learning and behavior challenges. Individual and group support, education and consultation is available for children, youth, parents, caregivers and professionals. Please visit our website ldasvi. bc.ca or call us for more information 250-370-9513. Lindsay Trowell R.T.C. Counsellor and Parenting Specialist—creating calm within chaos. 18+ years experience as a behaviour support professional for caregivers and parents of children and adults with special needs. I understand the struggle that families face just to get out the door in the morning. I am trained in working with individuals with FASD, attachment difficulties, anxiety, trauma, autism, and much more. Individual and family counselling. Relaxed, nonjudgmental support tailored for your individual needs. I help strengthen families and empower individuals. lindsaytrowell.com. #102-3212 Jacklin Rd (located in Stillpoint Acupuncture Clinic). 250-217-4536.



IT'S WHAT WE'VE DOING IT'S we WHATdon't WE'VE BEEN BEEN DOING FOR FOR 40 YEARS YEARS At Sylvan, believe in 40 OFF A band-aid approach to Sylvan, we don't believe in $100 Sooke Family Resource Society (SFRS) providesaAt At Sylvan, we don't believe in At Sylvan, we don't believe in Sylvan At Sylvan, we don'twe believe in $100 Family Resource Programs including: Prenataltutoring. $100 OFF A At Sylvan, fix it. OFF A approach to $100 OFF A a band-aid approach Education and Outreach, Parent-Tot Drop-In Groups, a band-aid a band-aid approach to $100 OFF A Program awhat band-aid approach to Sylvan Sylvan Parent Discussion Groups, Family Support GroupsIt's Sylvan we've beenwe doing tutoring. At Sylvan, we fix it. tutoring. At Sylvan, fix it. Sylvan tutoring. At Sylvan, we fix it. When You Program and Outreach, a Toy and Book Lending Library and tutoring. At Sylvan, we fix it. Program Program Program what we've been doing 40 years. Reading, writing, It'sIt's what we've been doing Kingfisher Preschool. Sooke-Westshore Child Carefor Enroll In It's When You When You It's what what we've we've been been doing doing When You When You Resource and Referral services, as well as all-ages for 40 years. Reading, writing, Enroll In March math, confidence. Set writing, your 4040 years. writing, for years. Reading, Enroll In Enroll counselling services are also provided by SFRS. Ser- for for 40 years.Reading, Reading, writing, Enroll InIn March math, confidence. Set your vices are provided from the Child, Youth and Familychild March math, confidence. Set your March math, confidence. Set your up confidence. for school success. March math, Set your Centres in Sooke and Westshore. Call 250-642-5152 child up for school success. child up for school success. for more information or visit our website at sfrs.ca. child childup upfor forschool school success. success.

Offer valid at participating locations only. Must present coupon at the time of assessment.

New enrollments only. Expires 03/31/20. Offer valid at participating locations only. Must Offer validvalid at participating locations only. Must present coupon the time of assessment. Offer at at participating locations only. Must Offer valid at participating locations only. Must present coupon at the time of assessment. New enrollments only. Expires 03/31/20. present coupon at the time of assessment. present coupon at the of assessment. New enrollments only.time Expires 03/31/20. enrollments only. Expires 03/31/20. NewNew enrollments only. Expires 03/31/20.

Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society (VIRCS) supports immigrants and refugees living in Greater Victoria. Services are free and include oneon-one counselling, parent education workshops, youth life skills classes, a preschool program, art therapy, language classes and academic support, employment help, computer classes and fun community events like free yoga, tai chi, dance and cooking classes. Visit us online at vircs.bc.ca or phone 250-361-9433.

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March 2020  29

H a ppyFam i li es H e a lth yFam i li es

Healthy Families, Happy Families

Child, Youth & Family Public Health South Island Health Units

Esquimalt Gulf Islands

250-519-5311 250-539-3099

Peninsula Saanich Saltspring Island Sooke Victoria West Shore

250-544-2400 250-519-5100 250-538-4880 250-519-3487 250-388-2200 250-519-3490

(toll-free number for office in Saanichton)

Healthy Eating is About More than Food


arch is Nutrition Month and this year, Canadian dietitians are talking about how healthy eating is about so much more than food! Dietitians are encouraging Canadians to consider not only what they eat, but how they eat, too. Healthy eating habits include not just the food that we eat, but when, where, how and with whom we eat our food. This year’s Nutrition Month campaign builds on the Canada Food Guide re-

how much you eat and drink. When distracted, we may eat larger portions or lose track of how much we have already eaten. This can lead to eating more than we need. Healthy eating habits include taking the time to make eating an important part of your life. Taking time to eat can be new to some people who are used to eating meals on the fly, but it can be a rewarding experience. Try giving meals the same priority as you do other things in your life. Set

leased in early 2019, which encourages us to be mindful of our eating habits, to cook more often, to eat with others and, perhaps most importantly, to enjoy food. Being mindful means being aware of what, when, where and how much you eat. Use your senses and pay attention to the aromas, textures, flavours and taste of food. Pay attention to your likes and dislikes. Notice when you are hungry and when you are full. This can help you to create an awareness around everyday eating decisions and make healthier eating choices. Being mindful can also help you to reconnect to the eating experience by creating an awareness of your feelings, thoughts, emotions and behaviours around eating. With busy lifestyles, we often eat too quickly or while distracted or “multitasking”. Eating quickly can prevent you from knowing when you are full. Eating while distracted or doing other things, such as watching TV, can increase

aside the time to prepare and eat good food, so that you can focus on the food and your body when you are eating. Eat slowly and thoughtfully. Notice the smell, texture and taste of the food. Notice when you are hungry and when you are full. Enjoy a good conversation with your family or friends. Try to eat without distractions. Televisions, computers and cell phones take our attention away from eating and the people we are with. Make meals “electronics free.” At work, step away from your desk and eat in the lunchroom or outside with co-workers. This can have the added benefit of increasing your productivity and allowing you to connect with your co-workers. Enjoying food with family, friends, neighbours or co-workers is a great way to connect and add enjoyment to your life. It can provide many benefits and contribute to a healthy lifestyle. By eating with others, you can enjoy quality time

Central Island Health Units

Duncan Ladysmith Lake Cowichan Nanaimo Nanaimo Princess Royal Parksville/Qualicum Port Alberni Tofino

250-709-3050 250-755-3342 250-749-6878 250-755-3342 250-739-5845 250-947-8242 250-731-1315 250-725-4020

North Island Health Units

Campbell River Courtenay Kyuquot Health Ctr ‘Namgis Health Ctr Port Hardy

250-850-2110 250-331-8520 250-332-5289 250-974-5522 250-902-6071

islandhealth.ca/our-locations/ health-unit-locations Changes with BC Medical Services Plan premiums mean that families eligible for partial payment of some medical services and access to some income-based programs now must apply for Supplementary Benefits through the Government of BC. Applications can be done online and take approximately 15 minutes. Families who previously qualified for MSP Premium Assistance should not need to re-apply if taxes are completed yearly. It is advised to confirm coverage before proceeding with treatment to avoid paying out of pocket.

For more information, visit gov.bc.ca/gov/ content/health/health-drug-coverage/msp/ bc-residents/benefits/services-covered-bymsp/supplementary-benefits

30  Island Parent Magazine


together, share food traditions across generations and culture and explore new foods. Mealtime is a great opportunity to bring the family together. Eating together as a family benefits everyone. It can help the whole family to share and connect with one another. It is important to take time, enjoy, and relax over meals and to talk about events that occurred during the day. Kids especially can benefit from regular family meals as they are starting to develop their eating habits and behaviours. Eating together as a family can help kids to eat better, and develop a healthy relationship with food. As a parent or caregiver, you can be a positive role model. By practicing healthy eating habits, you can help your children to have a good relationship with food and to eat a wider variety of foods. Cooking more often can help you develop healthy eating habits. You can cook more often by planning what you eat and involving others in planning and preparing meals. Cooking and preparing food can support healthy eating habits. Cooking can help you to save money compared to eating out and purchasing prepared foods. It can reduce your reliance on highly processed foods. Having your children help with the preparation and cooking of meals helps them to learn new skills and appreciate good food. Cooking at home doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming. Simply prepared meals can be tasty and nutritious. Enjoying your food is the most important part of healthy eating. Enjoy the taste of food and the many food-related activities that go along with eating. The benefits of enjoying your food include tasting the flavours that you like, being open to trying new foods, and developing a healthy attitude about food. This can include exploring and enjoying culture and food traditions in your family or community. Food is more than just nutrition. It can be a full sensory experience that brings people together and feeds both the body and the soul. For more information on the food guide: food-guide.canada.ca. Jane Barclay is a Registered Dietitian and Public Health Nutritionist with Island Health. IslandParent.ca

is celebrating


Water to Earth 14 Month MARCH - APRIL 25 Activities and events to celebrate both World Water Day and Earth Day!



LOCALLY TAUGHT CLASSES FOR KIDS, YOUTHS, AND TEENS Acting for Drama and Film Improvisation StageCraft AND MORE!

VISIT US AT skam.ca for more information REGISTER FOR OUR SPRING TERM TODAY! Note: class times, dates and locations are subject to change


March 2020


Preschool&ChildcareDirectory ESQUIMALT


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.

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.

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.

METCHOSIN Metchosin Cooperative Preschool...................................... 250-478-9241 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 programs, for children 3–5 years • Flexible part-time schedules • Supported spaces available • 2, 3 and 4 hour morning or afternoon classes Encouraging your child’s development and learning through play and exploration Fullobeans.ca 250-360-1148 E: fullobeans@snplace.org


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.

Oak Bay Preschool........................250-592-1922 Oak Bay Preschool is a co-op preschool, using a playbased curriculum with qualified ECE and ECEA. We use a balance of indoor and outdoor classrooms to enrich your child’s preschool experience. Learn more at oakbaypreschool.com. Recreation Oak Bay.......................250-370-7200 Offers full day Daycare and half day Preschool for children ages 3-5 years old. Before and after school care for Willows Elementary and afterschool care for Campus View Elementary is also offered. Please contact childcare@oakbay.ca or call for more information.

Child Care

Resource & Referral Funded by the Province of BC

Your community’s best source of child care information and resources. 32  Island Parent Magazine

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

If you’d like to be listed in the Preschool & Child Care Directory, please email

linda@islandparent.ca Ready Set Grow Preschool............. 250-472-1530 Join our learning through play preschool located in Hillcrest Elem. Our caring ECEs offer an enriched Program for 3-4 hour, 2-5 days a week and help with kindergarten transition. 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. St. Margaret’s School Jr. Kindergarten................................. 250-479-7171 Apply now for our Early Learning (JK and Kindergarten) Programs. Early learning at SMS is a curriculum-based program for 3 and 4 year olds. admissions@stmarg.ca. 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.

Sidney Sidney Preschool............................. 250-655-3333 We are a licensed co-operative preschool with a philosophy of learning through play! Four and six hour programs available for children ages 2.5-5. Celebrating 48 years! sidneypreschool.com.

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

gov.bc.ca/ChildCareResourceReferralCentres IslandParent.ca


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

❖ Comprehensive programs for Preschool through Grade 10 ❖ Delivering academic excellence through music, dance, drama and visual arts ❖ Outstanding educators, locations and facilities


www.ArtsCalibre.ca 250.382.3533 Castleview Child Care.................. 250-595-5355 Learning Through Play & Discovery. Licensed nonprofit, 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 ......................................250-383-5132 ECE and specialist teachers provide an outstanding all day licensed program for 2.5–5 year olds at our Fairfield and NEW Gordon Head (Fall 2019) locations. 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.

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.

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

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. 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.


Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12

Learn more today! 250-390-2201 AspengroveSchool.ca N A N A I M O’ S J K–1 2 I N T E R N AT I O N A L B AC C A L AU R E AT E WO R L D S C H O O L

DunCAn Duncan Christian School Early Learning Centre.....................250-746-3654 The first step in providing your child with everything they need to become a confident, capable learner in a Christ-centered, community focussed environment. 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. 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.

QuALiCuM BEACh 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.

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/Pre-school Age.

lexieslittlebears.ca 250-590-3603

BC Award of Excellence in Childcare & Prime Minister’s Award of Excellence in Early Childhood Education.


March 2020


N aTu R e N oTeS

Tucked-in Turtles

How Western Painted Turtles survive the winter


his winter, did you feel like going into hibernation? We can deal with the cold by turning up the thermostat or putting on a sweater, but wild animals have to go to more extreme lengths to survive the chilly months. Over the winter, the Rufous hummingbird flies all the way to Mexico, while the Anna’s hummingbird stays here and adapts to the cooler temperatures. The Little Brown bat finds rock crevices or dry attics to sleep deeply all winter, while the Hoary bat flies down to southern California to find food. Barred owls stay warm in the cold with their fluffy down feathers, spending time in tree hollows to stay out of the rain and wind. Whether they migrate, hibernate, or just adapt, all animals have amazing and different ways to survive through the cold season. The Western Painted turtle has an unusual and remarkable strategy for winter survival. These reptiles are found on the south-east side of Vancouver Island and throughout southern British Columbia, and are our only native turtle species here on the west coast. Similar to other reptiles, turtles cannot generate their own heat; this is known as cold-blooded or ectothermic. These animals rely on external heat from the sun to warm up their bodies to move their muscles to catch prey, run from danger, and digest food. When the temperature drops in winter, a

turtle’s internal temperature, heartbeat and metabolism drops as well, bringing a major lifestyle change to these cold-blooded creatures. To survive the winter, reptiles must enter a hibernation-like state, called brumation. This slowed-down pace allows

island Parent Group is Looking for Busy Moms & Dads Like you!

We are looking for people who can ily find time between getting the fam , hes lunc king ready for school, pac off p dro s, form filling out permission , at school, volunteering for the PaC to ing driv ool, picking up from sch soccer and starting supper. If you have skills in advertising Sales, Social Media, Photography or Blogging, the Island Parent Group may have a family-friendly position waiting for you.

send me your resume: Jim Schneider | publisher@islandparent.ca 34

Island Parent Magazine


reptiles to survive winter without using stored body fat or losing weight. In the fall, the adult turtles swim to the bottom of lakes and ponds and bury themselves in the mud. They have air-breathing lungs and must hold their breath below the surface, but the icy temperatures slow their bodies down so dramatically, they do not require the amount of oxygen they needed in the summer. Instead of relying on their lungs, turtles actually absorb oxygen through parts of the bodies that are flushed with blood vessels—in their neck and cloaca (their bum!). Oxygen enters into the bloodstream and keeps the turtle’s incredibly slow metabolism alive. Even if the water freezes over, there is already dissolved oxygen in the lake from aquatic plants and water currents. Turtles are not the only animals that rely on dissolved oxygen in the water. Fish, insects and brumating frogs also live and breathe in the water all winter long. By the end of the season, especially if the water has frozen on the surface, oxygen levels can drop dramatically. For our turtle friends buried at the bottom, this can be particularly dangerous. Thankfully, turtles have one more trick up their shells to survive through the cold months. They can switch to an anaerobic metabolism, meaning they can survive without oxygen. Anaerobic metabolism uses solely carbohydrates for energy, rather than carbohydrates, fats and proteins as is used when oxygen is present. This turns the glucose, or sugars, in their bodies to lactic acid—essentially transforming their bodies into a giant muscle cramp. Similar to how people can take Tums to combat heartburn, turtles use the calcium from their shells to deal with the acid buildup in their bodies. When the spring sun warms the waters and melts the ice, turtles very slowly and vulnerably emerge from their muddy beds to swim to the oxygen-rich surface. This can be a particularly dangerous time for turtles, as their slow bodies take time to recover from their full-body muscle cramp. They soon begin to feed on plant materials, fish and insects to regain their body strength for the warm weather ahead. Erica Van Dyk is a Program Naturalist at the Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary and welcomes you to visit the nature house and meet our Western Painted Turtle, Wrinkles! IslandParent.ca

PaRTyDireCTory birthday parties for all ages!

ctoria Gymnastics

2 Great Locations!

bounce , create, Swim, and more!

Henderson Recreation Centre Call 250-370-7200 Oak Bay Recreation Centre Call 250-595-SWIM (7946) recreation.oakbay.ca

Birthday Parties

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

Good wholesome fun for kids of all ages!

Optional character

Two certified instructors and a host Optional character

• We specialize in family groups of 5–20 players. • Never scary or claustrophobic. • Indoor or outdoor games available.



GYMNASTICS Birthday Parties

Gymnastics games and music

Optional character


Free t-shirt Optional character

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Foam landing pit and 40' long trampoline

Optional character

Party participants can win a FREE month

N Celebrate your birthday with us!


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


Available Saturday & Sunday Afternoons





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



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victoriagymnastics.com March 2020


D i V erS a b I lITI e S

Get Ready-Do-Done


n October, Jana O’Connor, a pediatric speech-language pathologist and mom of an eight-year-old with ADHD, went viral. A series of 20 tweets she posted on her Twitter page (@sayitslp) was retweeted over 1,000 times. That week, Jana’s tweets popped up constantly in my Facebook feed, sometimes posted by friends we have in common, but often by friends who’ve never met her and don’t live in Victoria. Jana’s tweets were a result of an Autism Community Training (ACT) workshop she’d attended, given by Sarah Ward. Ward is a speech-language pathologist from Massachusetts and the co-author, with Kristen Jacobsen, of the 360 Thinking Program which aims to improve executive function skills. Those with executive function issues (including kids with ASD, Tourette’s, OCD, anxiety and ADHD like Jana’s son) have difficulty organizing themselves and controlling their behaviour. Jana took this somewhat impenetrable concept and summed it up clearly: 1. You have two broad types of memory: Long-Term Memory (LTM) and Short-Term Memory (STM). STM is often used interchangeably with Working Memory (WM), which refers to a sort of mental “scratch pad” where you can hold information in mind and use it. 2. WM also has subtypes: The 1st is Verbal Working Memory. Verbal Working Memory is what allows you to hold someone’s phone number in mind, rehearse it, and write it down when you

find a pen. It lets you remember a set of words someone said, or something short you read. 3. The 2nd kind of WM is Nonverbal Working Memory (NWM). This refers to your ability to hold images in mind. To see scenes from the past, pictures you saw, where you left your keys, etc. It also helps you imagine the future. Not words about the future, but what the future LOOKS LIKE. Now, it’s the ability to see what the future looks like that is impaired in those with poor executive functioning skills. Jana went on to explain how the brains of neurotypicals work. We imagine what “done” looks like and work backwards from there to figure out what steps to take, then backwards again to figure out what we need in order to figure out what we need to get started. And then we start. But what it you can’t imagine the end product? “You can’t identify the steps that get the end product complete. And if you can’t identify the steps, you can’t collect what you need to start. And you…can’t start.” She gave the example of making a peanut butter sandwich. “If a neurotypical person is going to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, they’re going to think about what a peanut butter and jelly sandwich looks like as a FIRST STEP. Practically instantaneously. What does done look like? Then they plan backwards from there. What are the steps to achieve the “done” image? Well, laying out the bread, spreading

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the peanut butter, spreading the jelly, putting the two sides together. BAM. What will I need to prepare to do those steps? Bread, peanut butter, jelly, knife. BAM. You plan backwards, and execute that plan forwards. Or: you “plan the work, then work the plan.� This is incredibly hard for those with executive dysfunction.� Jana offered up some solutions, ways that she is helping her own son see that “done� image. Here are some examples: 1. She took a picture of her son, ready for school with all his things. In the morning she tells him to “match the picture,� and he’s on it. 2. If he has a task to do at home, like cleaning something up, she shows him a picture of what it will look like completed, and gets him to think backwards to break the task down and identify the first step. 3. She’s taught his teacher to use the strategy, so when her son is asked to do work—for example a journal entry—he is first shown what a complete journal entry looks like, and he’s able to identify all the parts: a topic, sentences, capital letters, spaces, etc. Sure, you could simply write a checklist for your kiddo, but then it’s you who is visualizing “done.� By showing them what “done� looks like, they can create their own checklist. They can learn to think through the steps and plan themselves. This strategy also works with her son’s anxiety. She understands now that he’s anxious about birthday parties because he can’t visualize what they’ll be like. Uncertainty = anxiety. She can reduce that anxiety by making the uncertain/unknown into something he can see. They Google photos of the venue. Of kids eating cake and pizza. After they look at several photos of what it might look like his anxiety is reduced. Sometimes if feels like there is a cacophony of advice and suggestions on how to help our kids succeed. It would be impossible to attempt even a fraction of them. But I might spend spring break taking some photographs—of Angus ready for school, of Angus ready for bed, of Angus’s made bed and clean room. My neurotypical brain is picturing a future of executive function wins already!

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

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March 2020  37


healthy Families


eople who in their childhood were unable to take control of their own lives often suffer from learned helplessness. They believe that things and people outside of themselves are responsible for everything that happens to them, even when this isn’t the case. They think that their happiness relies on the outside, as it did in childhood. When they are unhappy, they believe it must be because of what someone else is doing, and then they start blaming their spouse or children. Sometimes, of course, this is true. But often it isn’t; their misery comes from inside, from unresolved issues, and from the fact that they don’t know how to create a healthy family life. There are no lines! People from a healthy family are able, for the most part, to live in the here and now and face the challenges of life. They do not feel that they are helpless. They do not feel that other people or circumstances control everything in their life, and they do not allow them to do so. They can make decisions that affect their lives. They live out the Serenity Prayer: “God give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” This prayer was developed for people suffering from learned helplessness and crisis addiction. Anyone,

no matter what their background, can recover the capacity to distinguish between what they can and cannot change, and the ability to take charge of their life. A healthy family is not a place where children are shaped to the desires of the parents, but a nurturing ground in which they can feel safe enough to develop their true selves. In this family, people can set boundaries and limits that say: “This is how far I am willing to go. This is what I will or won’t do for you. This is what I won’t tolerate.” • When we involve children in decision making in areas that concern them, we teach them that they can face the challenges of life. • When we are open to their interests, gifts and needs, we nurture the development of their true selves. • When we can set limits based on family values, we teach empathy and care of others. • When we support them to solve their problems, we give them resilience.

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

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 year’s Family Summer Guide or Kids’ Guide. Prizes include 4 tickets to a Harbour Cats game a Pacific FC team jersey and IMAX tickets. Photos may be featured on the cover of either the Family Summer Guide or Kids’ Guide. • 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 Tuesday, April 14, 2020. • Winners will be notified by email by Friday, May 15. • Winning photos become the property of Island Parent Magazine.

Send entries to photos@islandparent.ca 38

Island Parent Magazine



Active Living Guide

Registration opens March 2, 2020 Check out our spring and summer programs for all ages and abilities and all things recreation in the City of Victoria!

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

a whole world to explore PACIFIC CHRISTIAN SCHOOL 654 Agnes St, Victoria, BC 250-479-4532 www.PacificChristian.ca


Come and explore with us!

March 2020  39

Profile for Island Parent Group

March 2020 Island Parent  

Spring Break Programs

March 2020 Island Parent  

Spring Break Programs