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Island Parent Celebrating

29 Years

The Resource Publication for Vancouver Island Parents

September 2017

Outside the Box

Small But Meaningful Baby Shower Gifts

Vancouver Island Baby Fair Show Guide Inside

Fall Programs Guide

Experience the precision of customized vision

Did You Know? Often the increased visual demands of schoolwork can make greater demands on a child’s visual skills, pointing out a vision problem that was not apparent before school. The child may not realize they have a vision problem – they may simply assume everyone sees the way they do. A vision-related problem may cause some of the symptoms described below: • headaches or irritability • avoidance of near or distance work

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• omitting or confusing words when reading • performing below their potential Protect your child’s vision. If you notice any of these symptoms, book an eye exam with a Doctor of Optometry.

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September 2017  3

22 Fall Programs

Have you registered your child yet for CanSkate? Register at Juan de Fuca Skating Club for the best learn-to-skate program with certified coaches. No matter if your child wants to play hockey, speed skate or figure skate; Canskate or CanPowerSkate will start them off on the right foot!

FeaTUreS 7 Baby Fair Guide

16 Colleen Davis: Outside the Box 20 Elise Velazquez: Gender Identity

22 Fall Programs

27 Learn at Play 30 @ the Vancouver Island

Baby Fair 42 Tim Collins: Let Them Play 47 Jerri Carson: Apples & Pumpkins 52 Kelly Price: Understanding Concussion in Kids In Every ISSUe

THE BEST COACHES Nationally certified coaches trained specifically in teaching the mechanics and proper technique of skating

Island Parent Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Party Directory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Family Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Around the Island . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Family Services Directory. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54, 55 Preschool & Child Care Directory . . . . . . . . . . 56, 57 Business & Professional Directory . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59

coLUMNS 5 Sue Fast: Editor’s Note 14 Erin Skillen:

Post-Married Mommy 44 Emillie Parrish: Cooking With Kids 46 Greg Pratt: Dadspeak 49 Sarah Milligan: Is There an App for This? 50 Swati Scott, Anthea Kennelly, Christine Thomson, Hélène Dufour: Healthy Families, Happy Families 58 Laura Trunkey: Maternity & Beyond 60 Coral Forbes: Nature Notes 62 Allison Rees: Cut It Out!

Coaches are assisted by trained program assistants Ensures a 1:10 coach/program assistant to skater ratio or lower

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For more information and to register please visit or email 4

Island Parent Magazine

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

Linda Frear

RaeLeigh Buchanan

Mark Warner

Office Manager & Sales

Advertising Consultant


Design & Layout Eacrett Graphic Design

Printed by Black Press

ISSN 0838-5505



Family Resource Guide Advertising Booking Deadline: September 13

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

On the cover

Treya (10). Photo by Rebecca Wellman, Rebecca Wellman Photography,

The Back-to-School Secret of Success


o help kids succeed—at school and in life—we need to focus on their inner resources, talents and strengths. But that’s not always what we do. “Whether we want to or not, we spend more time in fix-it mode with our kids,” says Lea Waters, a professor of positive psychology at the University of Melbourne in Australia and author of The Strength Switch: How the New Science of StrengthBased Parenting Can Help Your Child and Your Teen to Flourish. “We spend more time correcting what is wrong—zeroing in on weak spots, overcoming their faults and what is lacking in them,” she said in an interview with the Washington Post. Instead, we should be switching our focus from what is missing in our kids to noticing the positive aspects of their personality— their strengths, qualities, talents, and skills.

This gives kids two vital tools, she says, optimism and resilience. Optimism helps motivate kids to create positive futures for themselves; resilience helps them bounce back when life throws them a curve ball. Strength-based parenting is not about creating an artificially positive, saccharinesweet environment where kids face no challenges, adds Waters. It’s as much about helping them use their strengths to grow during the bad times as it is about helping them thrive during the good times. Adversity, if supported in the right way, she says, helps build strength in our kids. So how can we help our kids play to their strengths? First, help them identify their strengths and talents, she says. “Think about the strengths that underpin your child’s actions and let them know what you see,” says Lea. “Spot the kindness that

underpins them sharing with their friends, their self-control to finish homework on time rather than watch TV and the persistence they’re using in sports training.” And retrain yourself to take more conscious control over what you look for—in general—and the patterns in your own brain, she adds. The more you start to look

Sue Fast Editor’s Note

first for the good in your children, the more it will spill out into other aspects of your own life. You will start find it easier to see the strengths in your partner, in your friends, in your colleagues, she says. This reset can be as simple as smiling at your children when they enter the room. It can help shift the focus from constantly trying to fix what’s “wrong” with our children to celebrating what’s “right.” Here’s to the new school year and to bringing out the best in our kids.

Free Childcare Performances We offer 8 free childcare performances each season. You see a show and we take care of your kids for free. To sign up or learn more email us at

September 2017  5

Pregnant? Pregnancy is a state of health. Midwives recognize what an extraordinary time this is in your life and we are available to support you through your childbearing year. Covered by Your BC Health Care BC’s Medical Services Plan pays for midwifery care, including in-home check-ups in labour and after you’ve had your baby. You can self-refer to a midwife.

Quality Care Studies show that midwifery clients have lower rates of episiotomies, infection, Caesarean sections, forceps and vacuum deliveries and newborns that require resuscitation.

Choice of Hospital or Home Birth Continuity of Care Comprehensive Care Breastfeeding Education & Support We would be pleased to schedule an appointment to answer your questions about midwifery care. 6  Island Parent Magazine

Island Parent Notes

and Family Resource Centre offers licensed child care, as well as programs and events. On Saturna: Along with the StrongStart progam, there are also well-developed trail Gulf Islands Early Years Early Years programming and oppor- networks to draw families outdoors. For a more complete look at the programs tunities enhance the lives of our growing children and whole families. Many benefits and resources for families with children 0-6, come from the experiences and connections watch for Gulf Islands family services in made with other families raising children the October issue of Island Parent’s Family Resource Guide. from pregnancy through age six. In the Gulf Islands, families can access various resources aimed at enhancing the Great Canadian Early Years. Strong Start BC programs (or Shoreline Cleanup Early Learning for Families, ELF) operate Kick off the school year with a handswithin elementary schools on each of the on learning activity. Teachers can sign up five Gulf Islands. their class for the Great Canadian Shoreline On Salt Spring: Parents and caregivers Cleanup taking place from now until Nocan enjoy the warm space and resources at vember 30. Students can join thousands of Family Place. The Salt Spring Island Public Canadians from coast to coast taking part Library offers camps, Story Times, and other in this annual event to remove shoreline programs for young children. In addition litter from ponds, streams, rivers, lakes to maintaining community parks, the Salt and oceans. Spring Island Parks and Recreation Service So far in 2017, volunteers have coordi(PARC) provides various recreational pro- nated 937 cleanups and collected 23,084 grams. There are also licensed child care kg of litter on 1,728 km of Canadian and early learning centres on Salt Spring. shoreline. Last year the “Dirty Dozen” list On Galiano: Recently, major funds were included 79,339 food wrappers, 445,915 granted for a new community playground cigarette butts, 31,541 plastic beverage to be developed on Galiano. The first non- bottles and 16,860 plastic grocery bags. profit daycare for the island—Galiano Ac- This year’s goal is to remove over 100,000 tivity Centre—will be opening in September. kg of harmful litter. To check out how to On Mayne: Programs including Parent- organize a cleanup for your school or how Child Mother Goose, Stay & Play, and a to register as a participant in an already Toy and Book Lending Library are available organized cleanup, visit shorelinecleanup. through the Mayne Island Early Childhood ca. You can search the online map to find Society. a cleanup near you or suggest your own On Pender: The Dragonfly Childcare site. Check for details.

Paddle for Health

The 10th annual Paddle for Health event is on September 9 at Willows Beach in Oak Bay. Paddle for Health invites people to help raise funds for Island Kids Cancer Association whose mission is to provide practical support for children with cancer and their families throughout all stages of their cancer journey. Their Care 4 Kids Program strives to strengthen family connections and let kids be kids. This event helps provide an expanded level of services and support specifically for Island-based families that have children with cancer and blood disorders. Held in Victoria each September, the event has raised over $100,000 for various charities supporting cancer care. No previous paddling experience is required. Guides and safety crews will take care of you every step of the way. Launching at Willows Beach you will paddle past Cattle Point into Cadboro Bay to Gyro Beach where you’ll have a chance to stretch your legs and take a snack break before paddling back to Willows Beach to a waiting barbecue lunch with great company for a great cause. A minimum of $350 in fundraising effort is asked of all participants, beginning with a voluntary $50 donation upon sign up. Bring your own kayak/canoe/paddleboard/ outrigger or register to paddle one generously provided by sponsors and community partners. Share a day filled with smiles, prizes, Paddle for Health T-shirt, post-paddle barbecue lunch and inspiration. Paddlers arrive at 8:30am. Launch is at 9:30am. Barbecue lunch is from noon2:30pm. To register and start collecting pledges, visit

Something big is coming!

Royal Oak Shopping Centre, Victoria September 2017  7

Visit Us at the

Vancouver Island Baby Fair! (Booth 40)

Come be part of our community at 8  Island Parent Magazine

Grow Along Babywear Made to Last! Grow Along Pants, Tops & Rompers Cute, comfortable clothing for baby featuring adjustable cuffs, versatile styles and long-lasting fit

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

Children’s Consignment Thistle & Wren is a children’s consignment boutique located in the historic Fernwood Square. Offering quality customer service and carefully selected pieces you will find your experience delightful and tranquil. Carrying sizes preemie to 12 years of age, as well as maternity. We have curated local vendors, wooden toys, shoes, baby gear and so much more! Please visit our website

10  Island Parent Magazine

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BC SPCA’s Paws for a Cause

Bring your pooch to Clover Point on Sunday September 10 for a day of family fun at the Scotiabank and BC SPCA’s Paws for a Cause Walk, supporting Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre (Wild ARC) and the Victoria BC SPCA. Registration begins at 10am, with the 2.5km walk at 11:30am. Enjoy entertainment and activities, all in support of our furry friends. The BC SPCA Wild ARC, located in Metchosin, is the only branch of the BC SPCA that specializes in wildlife rehabilitation and the only wildlife rehabilitation centre for all of southern Vancouver Island. The BC SPCA Victoria Branch provides care and protection to thousands of domestic animals each year. Your participation in this event can help give a homeless, injured or abused animal a second chance. The event features pet- and familyfriendly activities, including the Doggie Games and the Paws Parlour. For the kids there will be a a Kids’ Zone complete with a bouncy castle, crafts, face painting and more. There are also Walk Bibs. Who are you walking for? Pick up and customize your walk bib at the registration tent on event day. There will also be walks in Cowichan, and Nanaimo on September 10, and there will be a walk on Salt Spring Island on September 30 and in Port Alberni on October 1. People of all ages are asked to take up the challenge, form a team, ask family, friends, neighbours or a business to join in to support animals that need our help. Learn more and pledge online by visiting or

October 28 and 29, Greater Victoria Public Library will waive overdue fines up to $5 per cardholder when you bring in a donation of non-perishable food items. Food collected is donated to local social service agencies. Costumes welcome but not required.

Lantern Tour at Fort Rodd Hill

Grab your coats and step back in time as Fort Rodd Hill opens its doors for an exclusive, after-dark guided tour on Saturday September 23. See the gun batteries by lantern light and eavesdrop on re-enactors in uniform going about the daily activities of garrison life. Take in the sights, sounds and smells of life at Rodd Hill during the period of 18971956. There may even be a few surprises along the way. Guided tours leave every 15 minutes from 7-9:15pm. This event is a fundraiser for the Victoria-Esquimalt Military Re-enactors Association (VEMRA) volunteers. Tickets available from the main entrance kiosk during site operational hours. $10 per person, payable by cash only for VEMRA. Regular admission payable by cash, debit or credit card, or use your annual pass. For more information, visit

Vancouver Island Baby Fair

The 11th annual Vancouver Island Baby Fair takes place September 30 from10am5pm and October 1 from 10am-4pm at Pearkes Arena in Victoria. Bring your friends and family to enjoy great shopping and resources all geared to families ranging from pregnancy through preschool. You will find maternity wear, baby gear, children’s clothing, keepsakes, health information, parenting resources, gifts and more. On the Main Stage there will be a variety of parenting talks, from breastfeeding, self care and sleep support to financial tips, toddler nutrition, and pelvic floor health during and after pregnancy. Check the website for complete presentation descriptions and bios. Bring your littles to see children’s performers Bobs & Lolo on the stage twice a day, both Saturday and Sunday. The price of these concerts is included in the admission to the fair. Come early for your child’s spot in front of the camera at the popular onsite photo studio and contest with PR Photo Creations. Space is limited and proceeds of the photo contest support the ‘Y’ Young Moms Program.

Guess the Children’s Book Prize Winners

Greater Victoria Public Library invites you to guess the winners of the 2017 Bolen Books Children’s Book Prize. Review the shortlists online and make your pick. One winner for each book prize will receive a copy of the shortlisted books. Enter at From September 13-October 11. From September 19-October 29 you can enter the Tiny Story Writing Contest. Can you pack vivid descriptions, original characters and surprising plot twists into a narrative of only 420 characters? Greater Victoria Public Library wants to hear your tiny stories. Submit your entry online at Food for Fines. Don’t let your overdue fines scare you away from the library. On

September 2017  11

longer needs in one weekend. Sellers receive their proceeds transfer just days after the sale ends. The average Seller payout is $250. If you have a family-friendly business, don’t miss the chance to get your products in front of moms, dads, grandparents and kids for as low as $50. Visit the Vendor section of the website for details and to reserve your space. VKC Fall Sale schedule. October 14: 8am Volunteer Presale; 9am, Seller/VIP Presale (tickets on sale October 1); 10am-3pm, Public Sale. October 15 9am-noon, HalfVictoria Kids Consignment Price Sale (not all items will be half-price). Fall Sale The Victoria Kids Consignment (VKC) Visa, MasterCard, Debit and Cash accepted. Fall Sale will be October 14-15 at Eagle Admission and Parking are free. Let Victoria Kids Consignment help you Ridge Community Centre, 1089 Langford buy from local moms and shop with local Parkway. You will find thousands of gentlymoms. Visit used clothing, shoes, infant gear, bedding, toys, books, games, sporting equipment and so much more. VKC also offers brand new Nanaimo Child Development’s Melissa & Doug toys and Tuffo Muddy Annual Telethon Buddy’s at consignment sale prices. Stock October 1 is the Nanaimo Child Developup all in one place, in one weekend. ment Centre’s 6th Annual Telethon. Tune Sign up for a volunteer shift to earn a in live on Shaw TV Central Vancouver presale pass to shop early. One 4-hour shift Island (Channel 4), or come down to the allows you entry to the Volunteer Presale. Port Theatre in Nanaimo from noon-8pm Seller registration and item entry ends for free family entertainment. Meet some October 10. Unload the items your family no local celebrities and have some lunch at the A comfortable baby feeding area, diaper change area, café, kids corner with bouncy castle and face painting are all available so you can relax and make a day of it. Best of luck winning the Grand Prize or one of many exhibitor door prizes. Weekend passes are $6 in advance or $10/weekend pass and $8/single day pass at the door. Kids 12 and under are free. For complete details visit

12  Island Parent Magazine

Kinsmen barbecue tent outside the Theatre. Donations can be made by phone and in person with all proceeds supporting the Nanaimo Child Development Centre (NCDC). The NCDC is a non-profit organization that offers a wide range of services, programs and supports to nearly 1,800 children and youth with special needs and their families from Lantzville to Ladysmith with the Complex Developmental Behavioural Conditions assessment program reaching as far west as Tofino. Through support from parents, volunteers, businesses, and the community, the NCDC has grown from its humble beginnings to be a leader in early childhood development and children’s services in the area. It is through these partnerships that Nanaimo Child Development strives to meet the needs of the children and families it serves. For more information about how you can get involved as a sponsor, donor, or volunteer, please visit

Halloween Madness at Heritage Acres

Imagine the vintage-era village of Heritage Acres bathed in dramatic lighting and accented by glowing hand-crafted lanterns,

carved pumpkins and creative decor. This is the backdrop for costumed performers, live musicians, projections and artistic installations which enliven every beautifully weathered corner of this heritage setting for Enchanted Halloween at Heritage Acres on October 20, 21, and 22 4-8:30pm. There will be a ton of creepy things for the younger crowd that aren’t too scary: pumpkin carving, face painting, make your own scarecrow and lots of other fun things. A Haunted House, billboard painting, and several other surprises are in store for you and your family. There will also be a concession stand. Enchanted Halloween has always delivered on its promise to be a “beautifully eerie” event with enough festive fun to make it a treat for visitors of all ages. Heritage Acres is the home of the Saanich Historical Artifacts Society (SHAS) and is located in Central Saanich on Lochside Drive. Come out for a spooky-good time on October 20, 21, and 22. This is a shared event between SHAS and Vancouver Island Model Engineers (VIME). For more information, visit

Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island

Hosting an event in support of Children’s Health Foundation (CHF) is a great way to get you, your family, friends and colleagues involved in making a world of difference in the lives of Island kids. Over the years, CHF has been fortunate to be the chosen charity for numerous fundraising events. As a result, children and families throughout Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands have received muchneeded help. If you are looking for event ideas, here are a few to consider: • Establish Casual Fridays or jean days at work for a toonie. • Host a sporting event—a hockey tournament, for example, or kayak, hiking, climbing adventures, or relays. • Organize an event-a-thon, for example, a walk-a-thon, haircut-a-thon, marathon, or book and bake sales. • Hold a corporate or family barbecue, picnic, or elegant dinner. Once you have an event in mind, complete the online event application form at Or, if you prefer to mail in your event application form, print the form, fill it out, and mail it to Children’s Health Foundation, 2390 Arbutus Road, Victoria, V8N 1V7. •

Kate Rubin Theatre

at SKAM Studios!

Register for our FALL Session Today! (250) 386-7526

Classes in Stage Craft, YouTube, Film & More! September 2017  13

French Community Centre

Have fun in French! Activities to practice and learn Programs and Services francophonie.Victoria 2-1218 Langley Street, Victoria, BC T: 250-388-7350

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Ballet Classes for ages 3 - Teen Registration now open online. Outstanding dance training by award winning faculty. 250-590-6752

14  Island Parent Magazine

Breaking Little Hearts


t was bathtime. My two kids were playing with toys in the tub when my six-year-old son stopped and looked me in the eye. “Why can’t you and Daddy be married anymore?” It’s a difficult question at any time. But when you’re immersed in the evening hustle, trying to get the kids out of the bath and into bed so you can tidy up dinner and make lunches and get some work done, it’s disarming. I had no words. And in the absence of a response, he began to cry. I scooped him out of the tub, wrapped him in a towel and held him in my lap on the bathroom floor. I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t want to apologize or make it seem that not being married was bad. I was speechless as water soaked through his towel and began seeping into my clothes. So I cried with him. In classic form, my three-year-old daughter continued playing, oblivious to the painful moment occurring outside of the tub. I took a deep breath, dried our tears and found some words. I couldn’t answer his question, so instead I told him that Daddy and I love him no matter what, repeating “I love you, I love you” over and over until he calmed down and was ready for bed. I never did have to answer that question. I’ve been writing this column for some months now and have been putting off writing about the hardest part—telling my kids. I have tried and tried to put these words down each month, but always set it aside and focused on another aspect of divorce because this part is so damn hard to face. And then this past weekend I was out with a friend and his daughter. She’s 16 and her parents separated when she was five. We were talking about marriage and she said, “I think it’s better to have two happy parents that aren’t together anymore than two unhappy parents who stay together.” I froze. Hearing her say that, from her perspective, having lived it herself and knowing that she came through it all as an intelligent, well-adjusted near-adult was like a wave of relief passing over me. I almost asked her to say it again. Instead, I tucked it away in my memory and knew it was the

boost I needed to tell the tale of breaking my kids’ hearts. My separation was pretty non-traditional. We continued living in the same home for about 10 months. I stayed upstairs while he moved into the suite downstairs. We continued to share most meals and handled bedtimes and weekends with the kids together for the most part. The kids

It was bathtime. My two kids were playing with toys in the tub when my six-year-old son stopped and looked me in the eye. “Why can’t you and Daddy be married anymore?” were only two and five at the time, so the only thing they noticed was that Daddy was sleeping downstairs. I lied and told them it was because of snoring. Lying to them felt terrible, but for me it was a way to delay telling them a much more difficult truth. Even just the thought of telling them that we were separating—that their lives would be very different moving forward—made me feel ill. I didn’t know how to actually go through with it. I worked with a therapist to prepare myself to be calm during the conversation, and to be ready with the words that would explain the situation without scaring them. I delayed it as long as possible. And then it was time. We all sat together at the kitchen table and I started: “Mommy and Daddy aren’t going to be married anymore. We still love you both very much and while some things will be changing, we are still a family.” To be honest I don’t remember much more than that. It’s all a blur when I try to recall the details. Oddly, the last moment that felt that blurry was my wedding day. What I do remember is that it went better than I had feared. My son was not as emotional as I expected, and my daughter didn’t really understand but wasn’t upset

by her confusion. Soon after, we all went together to show them my new place. They were excited by having a second room and a new house to explore. Their dad and I were not nearly so excited. It was tense and awkward but we both did our best to put on a positive face for the kids. Telling your children that you are changing their lives forever in a way they won’t



Erin Skillen Post-Married Mommy want or like is heartbreaking. Realizing that you are giving up half of their childhoods by co-parenting, rather than parenting together, is the most devastating part. I’ll share more about co-parenting in a future column, but for now I will say that thinking about the fact that I will only witness 50 per cent of them growing up is so paralyzing I can’t let myself go down that path of thought anymore. It has been almost a year since that conversation with my kids. They have adjusted well to the new 50/50 living situation, in part because they’re at an adaptable age and in part because their dad and I work hard to have a positive co-parenting relationship. My work life has led me to collaborating with a child psychologist and early on she gave me a book she wrote for young children about separation and divorce. I read it with my kids and the recognition on my son’s face, followed by “That’s like us!” made me realize how he may have been feeling different from his friends, as most of them have parents who are together. It gets a little easier each time he meets someone who “has two houses too.” My daughter has moments where she cries out for the other parent when she’s upset or has a nightmare, or is just missing the other parent, but overall she and her brother have handled it all better than I imagined. Will that continue? Who knows. But for now it’s okay. And with any luck one day they too will value having happy parents who made a very tough decision.

Erin Skillen is the COO of, an education company that helps parents navigate the toughest job in the world. She’s also a mom and a bucket list slayer.




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the Box

Small but meaningful baby shower gifts


re you attending a baby shower in the coming months? Now might be a good time to start thinking about potential gifts—for the parent(s) to be. Baby showers are notoriously baby-centred. That’s great. Babies are exiting and cute and smell mostly okay. After their arrival, though, the parents are upstaged. The first few weeks—months, years!—can be trying for new parents. Helping to make this time easier is the most precious gift you can give. So, how can you help?


Here are five ideas: Cleaning service

There’s nothing quite like learning how to look after a new, fragile human being in a house you know is a complete disaster. When our daughter was born, I resolved to have the side of the room opposite the couch tickety-boo. If I was going to be spending five hours a day there, trapped under my sweet sleeping baby, I at least wanted the illusion of a clean house. What would have been better? A real-life clean house. Most cleaning services have a gift certificate option, which is great for new parents. You can prepay for a certain amount of hours or rooms and the recipients can call upon the dirt whisperers when they’re feeling particularly overwhelmed. Because a baby now lives on the premises, make sure the service you opt for uses gentle cleaning products.

16  Island Parent Magazine

Postpartum doula


A postpartum doula provides evidence-based information on parentinfant bonding, physical and emotional recovery from birth, infant soothing and general newborn care. She will guide new parents through things like swaddling, baby wearing, diapering, feeding and

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

Colleen Davis

Early Intervention can have far reaching benefits.

Straight Teeth the Natural Way

baby’s first at-home bath. Most postpartum doulas include sibling management, light housekeeping and light meal preparation in their services. If it’s just a nap, a shower and some emotional support required, a postpartum doula has it covered. Hogwarts, shmogwarts. Doulas are wizards! Depending on the person or couple you’re gifting the doula services to, you may want to look for certain credentials or specializations. Some doulas have more training or experience working with single parents, adoptions, multiples, teen moms, special needs infants and LGBTQ2+ families. If you know your gift recipient is planning to breastfeed their baby, consider a doula who is also a certified breastfeeding educator.

Myobrace® treatment focuses on addressing the underlying causes of poor facial and dental development and can unlock your child’s healthy growth and development. HOW MYOBRACE® WORKS • Promotes breathing through the nose


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September 2017  17

Let my family show your family the way home

Choosing the right Real Estate Agent just got easier!

As a 3rd generation Realtor, born and raised in Victoria, I am dedicated to providing the highest level of service and look forward to assisting you with all your Real Estate needs.

Paula Wensley

Office: 250-388-5882 Cell: 778-678-7387


Have a great time with science!


lypse is scheduled for tomorrow? They hoard lots of food. They’re clearly confused. There is no better reason to stash obscene amounts of food than the imminent arrival of a newborn! I wish I'd had the energy to make a dozen casseroles when I was pregnant. Instead I ate a dozen bags of salt and vinegar chips until I had a slew of canker sores to add to my growing roster of complaints. Pregnant women have better things to do than cook food that can’t be eaten immediately. Like eat food immediately. If you give an expectant couple the gift of a cooler chock full of nutritious and delicious frozen casseroles, they will basically have to name their kid after you. The time and energy this gift saves them will be spent bonding as a family, in whatever form that takes. If you’re not the cooking type, or you simply don’t have time to make a boat load of food, a gift certificate to a catering or meal-delivery service would be just as appreciated.


Cloth diaper service

I enjoy doing laundry. Everything is all warm and fresh and smells nice afterwards. Mind you, the dirty stuff doesn’t smell all that bad to begin with. Nobody—I repeat—nobody wants to wash stillkind-of-poopy cloth diapers. Luckily, there are professionals for that. If you know the expectant parents intend to use cloth diapers, a prepaid diaper service is an amazing gift. Many cloth diaper services will provide a set amount of diapers and covers per week based on the age of the baby. They’ll also include a spiffy bin and a waterproof bin-liner that can be left on the doorstep for pick-up and replacement once or twice a week. If the parents decide to buy their



18  Island Parent Magazine

own cloth diapers and covers, most diaper services will also launder those. Cloth diapers need to be washed with special detergent, then sun dried and sprinkled with unicorn tears. A diaper service reduces the hassle and takes the load off laundry (and the sad unicorns).



Sleep consultant

When our daughter was about a month old, I started bragging about her being a great sleeper. “I’m not even tired!” I’d boast. “It’s easier than I thought!” I’d say. Seasoned moms would just smile and do the you-have-no-idea nod. Fast forward a year and a half and I’m the one doing the “smiling” and nodding (off). Expectant parents probably won’t need a sleep consultant right away, but they’ll be grateful for the service months, maybe a year down the road. Even if the baby is a great snoozer, a sleep consultant can give parents the tools and techniques they need to prevent future sleep issues and maintain healthy sleep habits. The gifts listed above are ones I wish we’d thought to ask for. The truth is, we didn’t know what we needed until I needed it. Gift registries are useful, especially if the shower is celebrating a first baby. Babies do require a pile of stuff and parents will need help acquiring it. I’m going to go out on a limb and say this: most of the stuff can wait. Support, confidence and bonding time are the immediate essentials for any new family. Pass it on.




Colleen Davis is a mother and only child who is still learning how to share pie.

Performing Arts School since 1980

Come Dance With Us

• Offering classes in Jazz, Ballet, Lyrical, Tap, Hip Hop & Musical Theatre in a non-competitive atmosphere. • Not sure which class to take? Try a Drop-In: No hassle, No Obligation

Cl as se

s Be g i n


ber 5 th

ses Clas h l o t ho e-S c 12 r r P e e b t im ptem e S Day rt St a

STAGES Performing Arts School

#301 1551 Cedar Hill X Rd (behind the Shelbourne MacDonalds)

Even the littlest angel can dance

For more information call 250-384-3267, Email us at Or visit our website:

Preschool Spaces Available

• before and after

school care

• small class sizes • supportive and

caring staff

• excellent academic


• Kodaly music

A local non-profit for all children (Since 1973) 5575 West Saanich Rd 250 592 4411


• lovely rural location

connecting children to nature

September 2017  19

STAGES Gender Performing Arts School since 1980

s e s s a l C e nc

aonths and up D l o o h c S Pre for ages 12 m

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t C la s s e s, o T & t n e r Pa t, H ip H o p, e ll a B , z z Ja la s s e s & C o m b o C t, Ta p & Even the lit tlest angel can dance

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

z , Ba ll e (w it h J a z h e a t re ) Mu s ic a l T

For more information

Call 250-384-3267 Email us at Or visit our website:

REGISTER TODAY AT: | 250.384.4171 or in person at 1040 Moss Street For more information about art classes and camps, contact:

inspired by Gallery exhibitions.

AGGV_9929_AG028_Island_Parent_Family_Fall.indd 1

20  Island Parent Magazine

2017-08-10 2:17 PM



f you were three years old and headed to the new waterpark in Esquimalt, you might feel the urge to dress up for the occasion. On a particularly hot day recently, my son selected his favourite “carpenter shorts” and a well-worn and much-loved firetruck T-shirt. Then he applied a healthy smearing of his red lipstick and we made our way to the new park. To help build resiliency and happiness in our families and to participate in important changes that are happening at the national level, we must support and encourage our children to explore their identities beyond the confines of male or female. In doing so, we make our country a safer and more accepting place for transgender and gendervariant Canadians. Transgender and gender-variant activists fought for years to have the same rights as other Canadians. Since Bill C-16 passed, gender identity and expression are now included in Canada’s Human Rights Act and Criminal Code. This means that crimes against gendervariant Canadians are now recognized as hate crimes. Many other issues that transgender Canadians face—for example, needing ID that reflects their identities—can finally be fully addressed. As a straight, cis-gender (meaning that I identify with the gender that I was assigned at birth) parent, I am taking this as an opportunity to reaffirm my commitment to parenting my son in a way that is consciously gender-inclusive. I know that I have a long way to go, as I learn to be more inclusive of diverse gender identities. Recently, when I saw a news story about a family that fought to have genderneutral ID for their baby, I felt a pang of guilt. One of the parents affirmed that it wasn’t the place of the parent to “gender” the child, and I wondered if by deciding that my son will probably identify as male based on his genitals, I am contributing to a transexclusive society. My family and I are not quite ready to take big leaps past the male/female gender binary that my husband and I were raised in and still forms the basis for many underlying assumptions in our society. We are, however, ready to take smaller steps towards raising a child who knows that he can explore and affirm his identity beyond that binary. More

importantly, we are ready to start questioning our own assumptions about gender and engage in ongoing learning and teaching about acceptance. Over the years, we have consciously tried to offer our son a range of different toys and clothes, beyond what has been labelled

Elise Velazquez “male.” We fulfilled his curiosity with nail polish by getting him some kid-friendly polish and even letting him try painting his own nails. We offered him a baby doll, which he was never very interested in. We always allow him to pick his own clothes, although I was sad to hear him say that “only girls can wear skirts,” when I offered to follow up on his interest in skirts by buying him one. Recently, he has been interested in trying my makeup, and I have finally created his own little make-up kit with lipstick and brushes for him to play with. I have a long way to go, but I want my son to grow up in a world where gender goes beyond just male and female and is more reflective of the lived-realities of humanity that society has long suppressed. I hope that I can support and encourage him to explore his own identity and embody who he truly is, rather than trying to force him into the stereotypical male mould that our society assigns to people based on their genitals. I also hope to inspire other parents to actively accept their children and teach acceptance of others. Many of my peers are already questioning gender stereotypes and the male/female binary. From posting pictures of children’s clothes that uphold stereotypes like little girls wanting to be princesses and little boys wanting to be superheroes to questioning the gendering of children’s toys, many parents are already engaging with gender in an inquisitive way. I am encouraged to see the rights of transgender and gender-variant Canadians now explicitly mentioned in Canada’s Criminal Code and Human Rights Act, and I am inspired to raise a child who understands gender beyond the binary.

Elise Velazquez is a resident of Gorge-Tillicum, a communications professional, mother, feminist, and over-thinker of all things.

Each note, a new friend to play with Classical Roots Contemporary Reach



Inspire your child’s love for music with these fun, interactive, and educational classes. Age-specific sections embrace all facets of music education in an atmosphere of joy and discovery.

900 Johnson Street 250.386.5311


210 - 1314 Lakepoint Way 778.265.5355

Call or visit us online to discover our innovative collection of classes that will be the start of your child’s lifelong journey with music!


Presentingacademic the first Providing Independent School excellence, independence, Montessori High School andGraduates the love of in learning Canada! in a caring and supportive Come and discover the benefits environment in Victoria Montessori Education for over 30 can offer youryears. child. Our Students: are valued as unique individuals. are part of a close, caring community. are enthusiastic, self-directed learners. think critically. work collaboratively.

confident, enthusiastic, self-directed learners. They are ableo think critical-

1841 Fairburn Drive | Victoria | 250.479.4746 Pre-School to High School Education Tours available upon request.

September 2017  21

Fall Programs

visit, call 250-5953107, or email valerie@dancearabesque. ca and follow us on Facebook.

From art classes to wellness programs—and everything in between—our community offers many programs, resources and services for families. For more details on the following listings, please refer to the ads in this issue of Island Parent.

Art Join us for Fall art classes in the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria’s (AGGV) Studio to connect with cool new ideas, techniques and experiment with the creative process! Classes are for a wide range of ages inspired by Gallery exhibitions. Register online:; by phone: 250-3844171 ext 0; or in person: 1040 Moss Street. For more information email: jvandepol@ See you in the Studio! Artistic Statement Gallery & School of Fine Art offers classes in drawing, painting, sculpture and cartooning for children and adults. We design portfolios for students ages 14 and up to prepare them for entrance into degree and diploma programs in a variety of disciplines. Younger children also benefit from our unique approach, learning specific techniques to further their skill and creativity. Our annual stu-

22  Island Parent Magazine

Four Seasons Musical Theatre classes provide instruction in the skills of stage acting, singing and dancing. We will also dent art exhibit showcases the students’ cover crew responsibilities and how cast and mastery of art at a level far above that crew work together. Every child can benefit produced by their peers. 250-383-0566. from learning about expressing themselves, listening to others, moving with intention, and having fun with theatre. Classes run every Saturday from Sept 9th-Nov 4th, from 9am-noon. There is no class Oct. 7th. Visit Dance/Drama/ for more Performing Arts information and to register! Arabesque Dance Studio offers Classical ballet instruction for students aged four Kaleidoscope’s Performing Arts Studio years to advanced levels. Students develop provides exciting and comprehensive exploa sense of artistic line, musicality, grace ration of fundamental acting techniques in and agility, as well as focus and technical a fun and safe learning environment. With strength in a friendly and supportive atmo- over 40 years of experience, discover why sphere. Valerie Grant, owner and teacher, is Kaleidoscope has been Victoria’s choice in a Licentiate member of the Cecchetti Society professional theatre education for young of Canada, the Imperial Society of Teachers people since 1974. Offering classes in actof Dancing, and Cecchetti International. ing, musical theatre, film and television and Ballet examinations are available in the Cec- more. Locations include Victoria, Sidney, chetti Method. Classes begin in September Saanich, and the West Shore. More inforand finish with a few small performances mation and registration available online at and a recital in June. For more information

Kate Rubin Theatreat SKAM Studios offers young people with a dramatic interest or passion special programs. Courses and camps run fall, winter, spring and summer. The studio is highly regarded in Victoria for running quality theatre programming for youth. We offer something for all levels. At the end of each term, students have an opportunity to perform their work for an audience! Groups are small for quality instruction. For more information, call 250-386-7536 or email The O’Brien School of Irish Dance offers both recreational and competitive dance programs for children to adults. Registration is open all year for classes both in Victoria, Nanaimo, and our new location Duncan! Highly energetic classes taught with toe tapping music. Dancers are taught the basics of traditional Irish step dance and ceile dancing (group), as well as show steps similar to those seen in Riverdance and Lord of the Dance. Opportunities to perform around the community especially around St. Patrick’s Day! See for more information or email One World Children’s Performing Co.— a new and exciting community initiative for children ages 8-12 years. Rehearsals: Thursdays, 5:30-6:30pm at Saanich Commowealth Place. Award-winning instructors. Children learn important virtues, dynamic performing skills and the value of teamwork while rehearsing, and performing together for shows in the community. Music Director: Anne-Marie Brimacombe. Choreographer: Laura Lee. Term fees: $150. Phone: 250-882-4339. Email: Website: Since 1980 STAGES Performing Arts School has offered professional instruction in jazz, ballet, lyrical, tap, musical theatre and hip hop for all ages and levels of experience; preschool to professional. It is our goal to promote self-confidence, self-esteem, and fulfilment in each student. We believe that all students should have an equal opportunity to learn in a safe, non-competitive environment which fosters self-expression, a healthy body, confidence, and encourages responsibility, discipline, inspiration, creativity and pride in their accomplishments. For more information, please call STAGES at 250-384-3267 or visit our website

Toys, Games & Puzzles for All Ages Kool Toys & Teaching Tools

#102 – 2517 Bowen Road Nanaimo 888.390.1775

O’Brien School of Irish Dance

Cadboro Bay, Esquimalt, Downtown Victoria and Duncan Recreational, performance and competitive classes Dance, dance wherever you may be….

September 2017


lesson from certified instructors for Jigs, reels, and lots of fun. 250-888-9421. Victoria Academy of Ballet is widely recognized as a leading Canadian dance school. The Faculty of internationally qualified and award winning teachers are dedicated to giving children dance experiences designed to develop imagination, musicality, kin aesthetic awareness and self confidence. Students age 3 to Professional are assisted to develop to their full potential. VAB is celebrated for its sense of community and dedication to developing in students lifelong transferable skills. Like us on FB. The Victoria School of Irish Dance offers Irish dance classes in Victoria at Dance Victoria Studios, in Nanaimo, and in Cedar BC, for ages 4 years to adults, Beginners to Champion, competitive and recreational. VSID dancers compete at the world, national and regional level. VSID develops confidence/self-esteem, practical skills and lifelong friendships. The Victoria Irish Dancers perform locally year round in many community events. Receive a

Selby Street, in the heart of the Old City Quarter, the Conservatory provides music instruction to children and adults from central Vancouver Island. The Conservatory prepares students for festivals and all levels of the Royal Conservatory of Music Gymnastics and Western Board exams. All of our inVictoria Gymnastics provides Greater structors are highly qualified and dedicated; Victoria with gymnastics instruction that many are members of the Vancouver Island is safe, well structured, and most im- Symphony Orchestra. portantly, fun. Our 7,200 sq. ft. facility, which is naturally lighted and acoustically Success in music, success in life…a wininsulated, provides a learning environment ning combination for your family. The that will allow children to maximize their Tom Lee Music Academy at Millstream potential as they move through our non- Village offers professional, friendly instruccompetitive skills development program tors, state-of-the-art teaching equipment, structure. Colwood location now open! in-house performance hall with sound/ Boys and girls ages 2-17, beginner through lighting/stage, plus a wide range of private advanced, all benefit from the strength and and group programs for beginner through flexibility that gymnastics develops. Visit to advanced musicians. Lessons available on piano, guitar, drums, bass, violin, voice, flute, ukelele, trumpet and saxophone. Enrol today! 250-383-5222.


The Nanaimo Conservatory of Music was founded in 1977. Operating from its facility at 375

Victoria Conservatory of Music. Studies show that when children take part in music classes, their social and cognitive skills are impacted in extremely positive ways. Music facilitates learning, instills respect and pride, and increases self-esteem and Also Playing

AMAZON ADVENTURE 3D DREAM BIG: ENGINEERING OUR WORLD ROCKY MOUNTAIN EXPRESS 2D Unless noted films will play in both traditional and 3D format

Located inside the Royal BC Museum 250-480-4887 •

24  Island Parent Magazine

positive social interaction. Discover our wonderfully creative and innovative collection of music classes at the VCM that will be the start of your child’s lifelong journey with music. Call or visit us online today: 250-386-5311 or

Education Programs CISV is a volunteer organization based in over 200 cities worldwide. CISV’s fun and unique learn-by-doing programs create opportunities to experience the enrichment of cultural diversity, support leadership development, communications and conflict resolution skills, and empower youth to become active global citizens. CISV Victoria meets monthly, youth (10+) participate at community events and explore themes at local mini-camps. International events are available. Information Evening is Friday, September 29th at 7:15 pm at 3730 St Aidan’s Street.

Parenting Children and Teens and Sidestepping the Power Struggle. These courses are suitable for parents and professionals dealing with kids of any age. The material goes beyond some of the practical tips and into the deeper personal work around our own boundaries, our history and what lies beneath our stumbling blocks. For a life changing experience: 250-595-2649.


Crystal Pool and Fitness Centre. Back to School can mean busy schedules for the family so don’t forget to make time for fun! We’ve made sure there’s something for everyone: Preschoolers: Tiny Toes Ballet, Art, Soccer, Swimming Lessons, Skating. School Age: Ballet, Soccer, Home Alone, Music, Tennis, Swimming, Skating. Teens: Red Cross Babysitter, Lifesaving/First-Aid, Skating. Adults: Kayaking, Day Trips, Bootcamp, Dance, Swimming, Skating. You can Rendez-vous à la Société Francophone de register 24/7 with online registration for Victoria! Would you like to practice your Crystal Pool and Fitness Centre programs! French but don’t really feel like sitting in a Check it out at For classroom? Are your kids learning French more information call 250-361-0732. and need to practice? Looking for some evening activities the whole family can Voted #1 Best in the City for 3 years running, enjoy? We’ve got that je ne sais quoi! Visit Fierce Kids Martial Arts is a to sive program designed to instill confidence, know what is happening at our Community discipline and technical skills for your child. Centre downtown! Small group classes ensure safety, respect and exercise are a sure thing! Programs run Journeys of the Heart Cultural Learning Monday through Thursdays, 4:30-5:15pm, Program (JOH) is a 10-month program with two age groups: 4-8 and 9-13. Enrollfor Aboriginal children aged two to five ment is open now for Fall Semester. Join us years old and their families. The program for a free open house, Monday, September nurtures a child’s cultural identity while 11th at 4pm. Register at preparing them for the education system. JOH provides children and their caregivers Juan de Fuca Skating Club has Exciting the skills and tools to promote a positive News! We have developed a new CanSkate transition into the public school system. Program. Exciting new features include a Parent Support: Role modeling, positive fresh new look, new awards, great tools for parenting techniques, discipline strategies certified coaches and most importantly a and importance of establishing a routine; tested and proven curriculum and delivery Socialization skills: Taking turns and shar- methods that guarantee skater success in ing, respecting each other; Seeds of empathy developing stronger basic skills and develteaching verbalize thoughts and feelings; oping them faster. The new program also Moe the Mouse speech and language includes specific skills that pertain to hockey, program. Hulitan Family and Community speed skating and figure skating. For more Services Society. Spaces available this fall information visit at Ruth King and Craigflower Elementary Schools. For more information call Sarah Victoria Synchro McDonald 250-384-9466 ex 251. fall registration Synchronized swimming LIFE Seminars, Dr. Allison Rees, offers recreational classes two eight week courses in the evenings. start in October:

If You Are

Moving Expecting a Baby Planning a Wedding A Grandparent A New Business/Executive Interested In a New Career

Contact Welcome Wagon Today! Victoria & Vancouver Island 1-866-518-7287 Nanaimo 250-756-9794 Or online at:

September 2017  25

Synchro Kids ages 4-6 Wed 4:15-5:15 pm; Synchro School ages 7-11 choice of Mon, Tues or Thurs evening classes; Synchro for Teens ages 12+. All classes participate in club water shows. Saanich Commonwealth Place. It’s swimming combined with music, dance, gymnastics and drama and it’s a team sport! Fun, fitness and friends! Website: For more information and to register please email:

LIFE Seminars Parenting Courses Presented by

Dr. Allison Rees and the LIFE Team

Science Mad Science in your school means students can enjoy several weeks of exciting hands-on activities, fascinating demonstrations, inquiry based discussions, group and individual activities, and spectacular take-homes. Our new program Project Earth looks at the science of our natural environment and explores the AI technology and robotics that can help to protect it. Science with us is an adventure! Join in. Check our After-school Camps, Science Shows and Birthday Parties. Book on-line any time.•

Delivering courses to parents and professionals for over 25 years.

Check out the fall lineup: Or Call: 250-595-2649

LEARN Fall Classes PIANO! Learn ! Piano! LEARN PIANO! !

September 9 to FUN November 4 SEASONAL

WITH MARY ROGERS! BMus (Piano Performance) UBC, ARCT and BCRMT



WITH MARY ROGERS! BMus (Piano Performance) UBC, ARCT and BCRMT



LESSONS FOR FSMT musical theatre classes provide instruction in the skills of stage acting, singing and ALL, BEGINNER dancing. We will also cover crew responsibilities and how cast and crew work together. Every child can benefit from learning about expressing themselves, listening to others, TO ADVANCED! moving with intention, and having fun with theatre. Classes run every Saturday from September 9 to November 4, from 9am to 12pm. There is no class on October 7.




Visit for more information and to register! EXCELLENCE!

26  Island Parent Magazine




LESSONS! • Enthusiastic, 250-744-9049!! Flexible Lessons EXCELLENCE! MARY ROGERS PIANO STUDIO!


• STUDIO NEAR UVIC • 30+ Years of Teaching Experience

• Studio Near UVic



Learn at Play


his fall, ABC Life Literacy Canada encourages families to “Learn at play, every day.” Engaging in literacy activities as a family improves a child’s skills and also helps adults keep their skills sharp. Here are a few ideas to get your family started: Grocery Hunt. Write a grocery list with your child and let kids find all the items in the store. Play and Tell. While kids teach adults a new card game, adults share stories from their own childhood and even play a card game from when they were a kid. Home Restaurant. Spice up mealtime and have kids create a menu by drawing food items or using grocery store flyers. Where’s that Shape. Have a shapes scavenger hunt by taking turns to find shapes indoors and outdoors. Then together make each shape with your body—kids and adults work together. Game Anyone? Playing a board game is a fun way to learn together as a family. Try the Get Winston game at Happy 150. It’s Canada’s 150th birthday this year—that’s a lot of candles! What would you do for your dream birthday party and where you would go? Now parents, your turn to tell kids about your dream birthday party. Bowled Over. Make your own bowling game with 10 plastic cups and a tennis ball. Set up your cups and roll the ball to knock down the cups. Together count how many cups fall for each player, then how many cups in total fall for all players. Map it! Pretend your family is anywhere in the world—on a world map, point to a location. Find out more about that county. What language do they speak, what is the weather, what sports do they play? Animal Dance. With kids and adults in a circle, each person takes turns to move like an animal and say what they’re doing: “I hop like a bunny,” or “I stomp like a dinosaur.” After everyone has had their turn, start at the beginning again and this time together do the moves and say what you’re doing.

COMPREHENSIVE FAMILY DENTISTRY family centered practice extended hours evenings and weekends the latest equipment and caring staff request an appointment online 119–1591 McKenzie Ave, Victoria

250 477 7321

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

Reprinted with permission from ABC Life Literacy Canada. For more activities you can share with your children, visit

September 2017


28  Island Parent Magazine

Party Directory Hassle Free Parties

birthday parties for all ages!

for kids & families


You provide the space and food…


We’ll provide an hour of fun with puppet shows and play

2 Great Locations!

250 472 3546


GYMNASTICS Birthday Parties

Birthday Parties

The best birthday party ever!

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

Two certified instructors and a host Optional character


Call 250-388-6905


Henderson Recreation Centre Call 250-370-7200 Oak Bay Recreation Centre Call 250-595-SWIM (7946)


Advertise YOUR Party Services Here G

Swim bounce , cook golf, create & more!

Gymnastics games and music



Optional character

Free t-shirt Foam landing pit and 40' long trampoline

Optional character

Optional character 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


Two Great Locations



r Annive 2016 1973–

• 2 large decorated birthday rooms


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



• The ONLY Inflatable Climbing Mountain with trampoline in town



Book Early: 250-479-6424

#208 – 721 Vanalman Ave

(Broadmead & Royal Oak Area)

Optional character

2051 Store St, Victoria


520 Mt View Ave, Colwood



S September 2017  29

Island Parent @ the vancouver on for Vancouver Island


29 Years

The Resource Publicati


September 2017

Outside the Box

Small But Meaningful Baby Shower Gifts

Vancouver Island Baby Fair ide Show Guide Ins

Make a day—or two!—of the Vancouver Island Baby Fair on Saturday September 30 and Sunday October 1 and check out the following exhibitors. See your there! Fall Programs Guide

Please visit any of our valued partners to pick up your latest copy of Island Parent. GREATER VICTORIA Thrifty Foods Fairway Market Real Canadian Superstore Save-On-Foods (except Westside) Lifestyle Market Country Grocer (Esquimalt & Royal Oak) Quality Foods Market on Yates & Millstream Western Foods Recreation Centres Public Libraries Serious Coffee Victoria Gymnastics SOOKE Western Foods Village Foods Seaparc Recreation DUNCAN Thrifty Foods Save-On-Foods Real Canadian Superstore 49th Parallel Public Library

CHEMAINUS 49th Parallel Public Library SHAWNIGAN LAKE Aitken & Fraser Grocery Community Centre Kerry Park Recreation LADYSMITH Save-On-Foods 49th Parallel Public Library NANAIMO Thrifty Foods Fairway Market Quality Foods Save-On-Foods PARKSVILLE Thrifty Foods Quality Foods Parksville Centre

For a complete list of where you can find a copy of Island Parent Magazine, go to 250-388-6905 30

Island Baby Fair

Island Parent Magazine

Dr. Joslin, Dr. Morin & Associates: Doctors of Optometry specialize in comprehensive eye examinations for the whole family. The care of an Optometrist can start before a child can speak, read or respond in traditional ways. More than just a vision test, modern technology allows an Optometrist to test for nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, lazy or crossed-eyes, eye coordination and depth perception. The recommended age for the first eye exam is 6 months. Call 250-4744567 to book your appointment! Momease Baby Boutique specializes in innovative and functional baby gear and parenting accessories. Centrally located in Victoria, we offer a wide selection of items including strollers, car seats, carriers, cribs, clothing, shoes, toys, books and more. We are passionate about helping you navigate the road to parenthood and beyond, so whether it’s creating a personalized baby gift registry, or a first outing with your newborn, we love spending time with new or expectant parents. Visit us at our bright and bustling boutique at 1581 Hillside Avenue (778-265-5651), right across from Hillside Centre, or shop online at

breastfeeding accessories and much more. Drop in for a chat, nurse your baby in our lounge, and experience the warmth of the Mothering Touch. 975 Fort St. 250-5954905. For 14 years Sailor Jack Consignment has been providing high quality pre-loved clothing and gear for babies, kids, moms and moms-to-be. With over 4,000 consignors and hundreds of new items added daily, we always provide our shoppers with a fresh and fabulous selection. As a result, our store is very popular so when you consign with us your items sell. Sailor Jack Consignment. 424 Craigflower Road, Victoria BC. 250382-5225. Sugar Sandwich Design Studio makes handcrafted products for baby that are comfortable, long-lasting and cute! Grow Along Babywear features adjustable cuffs, versatile style, and long-lasting fit. Pants, tops, rompers and accessories in mini and maxi sizes fit from Newborn to 3T. Handcrafted by Ettie Catto in Sooke, BC, Canada, Grow Alongs are always stitched with love, quality, and care. Checkout my product-line at and come visit me at a Trade Show near you. Thistle & Wren is located in the heart of Fernwood square. We are a unique consignment boutique with a focus on offering a selection of local vendors as well as high quality consignment pieces. Our goal is to provide a relaxing, organized and fun shopping experience. T&W carries clothing for ages preemie to 12 years, as well as maternity clothing. You can find wooden toys, baby carriers, shoes, as well as backpacks, accessories and more! 778-265-9736. 1292 Gladstone.

Mothering Touch Centre is the comprehensive resource centre for new and expectant parents. We offer support through every stage of pregnancy and early parenthood: childbirth preparation, pre-and post-natal yoga, breastfeeding support, parenting classes, parent-and-baby groups and baby massage. Our friendly staff inform and support parents and grandparents as they select cloth Whether it’s diapers or decor, TJ’s The Kiddiapers, nursing bras, breastpumps and dies Store is the place to go for all your

baby needs. Welcoming your new baby into the world is a wonderful and challenging experience; so many decisions and so little time. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff are ready to help make your decisions as stress-free as possible. Our selection varies from car seats, strollers, safety products and everything in between. TJ’s is also a great place for gifts—with a baby registry and many wonderful gift ideas you will be able to find the right thing to make any new parent happy. We’re easy to find at 3045-c Douglas St. (enter off Larch St)‌ we’re under Sleep Country. 250-386-2229. Join us for the 11th annual Vancouver Island Baby Fair taking place Saturday September 30 and Sunday, October 1 at Pearkes Arena. Visit our 80+ exhibitors for the best shopping under one roof geared to families ranging from pregnancy through preschool. Check out great resources, informative talks on a variety of parenting topics on the Main Stage, children’s performers Bob’s & Lolo, an onsite photo contest, baby races and more! Visit VancouverIslandBabyFair. com for details.•

Monday, Sept 25 • 7pm Royal Bay High School

Teechamitsa Theatre, 3500 Ryder Hesjedal Way, Colwood

$5.00 Child/Student & $10.00 General Admission BUY at


(Limited tickets at the door)

includes some subtitles

CISV Victoria Information Night Fri, Sept 29, 7–9pm at St. Aidan’s Hall

3703 St. Aidan’s St

Licenced group childcare for children 1 to 5 years Open 6:30am – 5:30pm 2758 Peatt Road, Langford  250-818-9225 or 778-265-5955

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

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Starts Sept 4

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September 2017  31

Family Calendar

For calendar updates throughout the month visit

S ep t em b e r Our Generous Sponsors






families; children under 3 must be accompanied families. 10:30-11:15am. Visit to register, or by an adult. 10:30-11am drop in. Visit or call call 250-940-GVPL (4875). Prince and Princess at the Empress. Join Captain 250-940-GVPL (4875). Emergency Preparedness Workshop at Victoria Cook for a morning of fun and adventure. Learn City Hall Antechamber. Learn about the hazards that about the history of the harbour and the Empress can affect Victoria, what to include in your emergency Hotel through games, crafts, a scavenger hunt, and FRIDAY TH kits, what you can do to protect your home from an storytime. Recommended for children 4-7. Parent participation required. $9.95/child. Register at Welcome Back Luau at Greenglade Teen Lounge. earthquake, and how to reunite with your loved ones Kick off another terrific season at the teen lounge with after a disaster. Free. 1-3pm. Register at emvic@ a luau-themed evening of burgers, bocce and bounc-, or call 250-920-3373. ing around in the giant inflatable obstacle course. 6-8pm. 250-656-7271. SATURDAY ND



The Amazing Race at Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park. Challenge yourself on this ‘skill-testing’ and fun jaunt through the forest. Drop by any time between 11am and 2pm and get the scoop from a CRD Regional Parks naturalist. All ages. BC Transit #70 or #72. 250-478-3344.






Welcome Back Pizza Party at Bayside Teen Lounge. Kick off another awesome season with One Day at Topaz Park. An outdoor community event a fully-loaded pizza party. 6-8pm. 250-656-7271. for all ages. Musical entertainment, low-cost BBQ lunch and refreshments, organized games and activities. Children’s Fun Zone features inflatable castles, face painting, mini golf, special guests and more. 10am-3pm. Free. Saturday TH



Saanich Fire Department Open House at Saanich No. 2 Fire Station. Join your local firefighters for a day Cougar Capers at East Sooke Regional Park. In- of fun and activities. Tour the fire hall, sit in the trucks, vestigate the life of a cougar on this walk and talk try on some gear, watch firefighters demonstrate with a CRD Regional Parks naturalist. Meet at the their equipment and more. Food, refreshment, and kiosk in Aylard Farm parking lot off Becher Bay Rd a door prize too. Free. 10am-2pm. 4595 Elk Lake at 1pm. 5+ years. 250-478-3344. Dr. 250-475-5578.

Bear Necessities at Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park. We can co-exist with these magnificent forest dwellers. Join a CRD Regional Parks naturalist to learn about the natural history of the black bear. Meet at Witty’s Lagoon Nature Centre off Metchosin Rd at 10:30am. 5+ years. BC Transit #54 or #55. 250-4783344.

Summer Star Party at Dominion Astrophysical Observatory. Guest speakers, solar and nightime observing with telescopes provided by RASC Victoria Giggles and Wiggles at Oak Bay Branch Library. Family Song Circle at Oak Bay Branch Library. Try Centre volunteers, tours of the historic Plaskett teleLittle listeners with extra energy will enjoy action- your voice at familiar and new songs, learn rounds, scope, and more. Rain or shine. 7:30-11pm. Free, but filled stories, songs and rhymes followed by free call and response songs, and simple harmonies. admission is by ticket only. Tickets will be available play and stations. For young children and their Singing led by Nancy Dobbs. For children and their at the week before.




32  Island Parent Magazine







Amazing Race Sidney at Greenglade Teen Lounge. Awesome prizes to be won. Don’t forget your running Forest Buddies at Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park. shoes. Bikes, scooters and other wheely modes of Bring your little ones to be the best buddies they transportation more than welcome. 6-8pm. 250can be to the forest. Help us meet the forest, feed 656-7271. the forest and discover what animals live in the forest through inspiring sensory activities, songs Summer Star Party at Dominion Astrophysical and stories. No fee, but you must pre-register by Observatory. See SAT 16 for details. Rain or shine. September 13. 5 years and under. 11am-noon. BC 7:30-11pm. Free, but admission is by ticket only. Transit #70 or #72. 250-478-3344. Tickets will be available at daostarparties.eventbrite. ca the week before.




Giggles and Wiggles at Oak Bay Branch Library. See THURS 7 for details. For young children and their families; children under 3 must be accompanied by an adult. 10:30-11am drop in. Visit or call 250-940-GVPL (4875) for more info.




Birds of Beechey Head at East Sooke Regional Park. Join CRD guest naturalist, Geoffrey Newell, and walk to Beechey Head to observe raptors during their fall migration. Meet at the kiosk in the Aylard Farm parking lot off Beecher Bay Rd at 9am. 9+ years. 250-478-3344. Going Squirrelly at Francis/King Regional Park. What does it take to survive as a squirrel? With a CRD Regional Parks naturalist discover what keeps these furry creatures busy at this time of year. Meet at the Francis/King Nature Centre off Munn Rd at 10:30am. 5+ years. 250-478-3344. Parenting: Bringing Montessori Concepts Home at Nellie McClung Branch Library. A critical part of your child’s education happens in the home. Learn to prepare and organize your home to enrich your child’s development with Soraya Thidi, Montessori consultant. For the whole family; maximum two children per accompanying adult. 10:30-11:30am. Register at or call 250-940-GVPL (4875).




French Celebration of Nature at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary. Discover the amazing world of amphibians—en français! Games, Saturday TH displays, crafts and fun in a bilingual setting. Everyone welcome. Noon-3pm. Admission by donation. Once Upon a StoryWalk® Memorial Park. Individual 3873 Swan Lake Rd. 250-479-0211. pages of a storybook, mounted on sign posts, are placed outdoors in a circuit. At their own pace, children follow the narrative by visiting each sign post in sequence. Rain or shine; please dress appropriately. Wednesday th Everyone welcome; children must be accompanied Giggles and Wiggles at Oak Bay Branch Library. See by an adult. 10am-noon drop in. 1230 Esquimalt Rd. THURS 7 for details. For young children and their Visit, or call 250-940-GVPL (4875). families; children under 3 must be accompanied by an adult. 10:30-11am drop in. Visit or call Esquimalt Story Festival at Memorial Park. Stories, songs, drama, a StoryWalk® and more. Now in its 250-940-GVPL (4875). 14th year, the Esquimalt Story Festival promotes storytelling as a way to inspire children to use their imaginations, dream big and express themselves. Be THURSDAY TH part of the action as stories come to life. Everyone Emergency Preparedness Workshop at Victoria welcome. 10am-1pm drop in. 1230 Esquimalt Rd. Visit City Hall Antechamber. See WED 13 for details., or call 250-940-GVPL (4875). Free. 7-9pm. Register at, or call Pop Up Sale at St. Aidan’s United Church. Hal250-920-3373. loween items, retro and vintage clothing, international outfits, glam party dresses and shoes. Thrift Shop also open. 10am-2pm. 3703 St. Aidan’s St. Friday TH Amazing Race Brentwood at Bayside Teen Lounge. See SAT 23 for details. 6-8pm. 250-656-7271. Hawk Watch at East Sooke Regional Park. Have you ever seen turkey vultures kettling? Join CRD Regional





September 2017  33

Community Board Making our Community a Better Place to Live Art Gallery of Greater Victoria Child Care Resource & Referral Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon Kaleidoscope Theatre Phoenix Theatre Royal BC Museum Victoria Conservatory of Music Enquire about non-profit brochure or magazine distribution in Greater Victoria: 34  Island Parent Magazine

Parks and the Victoria Natural History Society for this annual migration event. Live raptor demonstrations and activities at Aylard Farm, which are accessible to all ages and abilities. For those who want to add in a hike, there are experts with spotting scopes at the viewpoint above Beechey Head. The hike to the viewpoint requires sturdy hiking shoes and is a 20–minute trek up a steep and rocky trail. Bring binoculars, water, and a lunch. Drop in between 11am and 2pm at Aylard Farm parking lot off Beecher Bay Road. All ages. 250-478-3344. Elephant, Piggie and Friends at Nellie McClung Branch Library. Fans of Mo Willems’ Elephant and Piggie books will enjoy this literary celebration jam-packed with stories, a craft and a puppet play. For ages 5-8. 2:30-3:30pm drop in. Visit, or call 250-940-GVPL (4875).

October SUNDAY



Arena B Grand Re-Opening at Panorama Recreation. Join Slider, Peninsula Minor Hockey Association, and the Peninsula Panthers to celebrate the re-opening of Arena B. Enjoy some fun at a tailgate party complete with an inflatable obstacle course, facepainting, road hockey, free skating and rentals (1-2:20pm), and free skate sharpening. 11am-3pm. 250-656-7271.




Artrageous at Greenglade and Bayside Teen Lounges. Let your creativity fly and have an ARTrageous time making some crafty jewellery and explosive paint-balloon paintings. 6-8pm. 250-656-7271.




Family Song Circle at Oak Bay Branch Library. Try your voice at familiar and new songs, learn rounds, call and response songs, and simple harmonies. Singing led by Nancy Dobbs. For children and their families. 10:30-11:15am. Visit to register, or call 250-940-GVPL (4875). Marvelous Mushrooms at Francis/King Regional Park. For the novice mushroom explorer. Join a CRD Regional Parks naturalist to discover more about fungi in the forest. There is no fee for this program, but you must pre-register by October 11. 5+ years. 10:30am-noon. 250-478-3344. Canada 150 Swim at Panorama Recreation. Celebrate Canada’s 150th with a free swim sponsored by the District of North Saanich. 1:30-3:30pm. 250656-7271.




Ugh! A Slug! at Devonian Regional Park. Stroll along with a CRD Regional Parks naturalist and Kristina Ovaska from the Habitat Acquisition Trust Thursday th to peek under fallen logs and leaves in search of Giggles and Wiggles at Oak Bay Branch Library. the gastropods that call Devonian Regional Park Little listeners with extra energy will enjoy action- home. Meet at information kiosk in parking lot off filled stories, songs and rhymes followed by free William Head Rd at 10am. All ages. BC Transit #54 play and stations. For young children and their or #55. 250-478-3344. families; children under 3 must be accompanied by an adult. 10:30-11am drop in. Visit or call 250-940-GVPL (4875). FRIDAY TH






Seasonal Safari at Francis/King Regional Park. The leaves are turning yellow, and the air feels crisp. Animals know if it is time to prepare for winter. Join a CRD Regional Parks naturalist as we play games, look at leaves, and explore how raccoons, squirrels, bears, and more collect food in the fall and prepare a winter spot to rest. No fee for this program, but you must pre-register by October 4. 5 years and under. 10-11am. 250-478-3344.

Pro-D Day Skate and Swim at Panorama Recreation. Bring your family and friends for skating fun, music, games and prizes. $2. Skating: 1-2:20pm; Swimming: 1-3pm. 250-656-7271.




Forest Spook-tacular at Francis/King Regional Park. Drop by any time between 11am and 2pm with family and friends for this spook-tacular afternoon of Halloween fun with CRD Regional Parks naturalists. At 11:15am and 1:15pm, join the guided walks, if you dare—we’ll fill the cauldron with spooky treasures from the natural world. Displays, Halloween crafts,

and hot ghoulish brew await. Wear a costume and win a prize. Meet at Francis/King Nature Centre off Munn Rd. All ages. 250-478-3344.




Forest Spook-tacular at Francis/King Regional Park. See SAT 21 for details. Meet at Francis/King Nature Centre off Munn Rd. 11am-2pm drop in. All ages. 250-478-3344.




Forest Spook-tacular at Francis/King Regional Park. See SAT 21 for details. Meet at Francis/King Nature Centre off Munn Rd. 11am-2pm drop in. All ages. 250-478-3344. Halloween in the Pool at Panorama Recreation. Come for some tricks and some treats. Themed crafts and games with yummy prizes, plus the Wibit and slide will be open. 1:30-3:30pm. 250-656-7271. Extreme Teen Party at Greenglade Teen Lounge. Come for an extreme Halloween party that includes scary movies, a spooky photobooth and fear factor challenges. Don’t forget your costume! 6-8pm. 250656-7271.


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

Class Options for 2017–2018:



Forest Spook-tacular at Francis/King Regional Park. See SAT 21 for details. Meet at Francis/King Nature Centre off Munn Rd. 11am-2pm drop in. All ages. 250-478-3344.

Mon/Wed/Fri morning class Tues/Thurs morning class 5 mornings a week

Phone 250-598-0573

Animal Grossology at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary. Are you oozing to learn about the disgusting science of animal grossology? Find out about slug slime, owl barf and even the scoop on poop. Check out worms, slugs, spiders and more as you learn about the secret world of the revolting. Noon-3pm. Admission by donation. 3873 Swan Lake Rd. 250-479-0211.




Cute Little Spooks Kindergym Party at Greenglade Community Centre. A fun-filled morning of ride-on toys, inflatable fun, Halloween crafts and a special visit from Slider. Don’t forget to wear your costume for a costume parade—it will be a spooktacular time. 1-5 years with a parent. 9:30-11:30am. 250-656-7271.

Synchronized Swimming FALL CLASSES

Synchro Kids ages 4-6 7-11 Synchro School ages 7 Synchro for Teens ages 12+

September 2017


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

3rd Annual Treat Street in Downtown Sidney. Downtown Sidney invites little ghosts, goblins and princesses to enjoy a family-friendly trick or treat event. Come check out the Panorama Recreation Spook Zone at Mary Winspear with a fish pond, inflatable, face paint and more. 4-6pm. 250-6567271.

• Small class sizes • BC curriculum K – Gr. 8 2820 Belmont Avenue

250-383-6654 A few spaces still available for September

ONGOING BaBIeS, ToDDLerS & PreScHooL Baby Times at the Greater Victoria Public Library. Learn songs, rhymes and fingerplays to use with your baby every day. For babies 0-15 months and their parent or caregiver. Drop in. For a complete schedule of programs, visit or call 250-940GVPL (4875) for more information. Community Connections at the Greater Victoria Public Library. Come after select Baby Times to learn about child development, nutrition, child care options, and other parenting topics. Regular guest speakers include dieticians and nurses from Island Health and referral counsellors from Child Care Resource and Referral (CCRR). Check for topics and locations or call 250-940-GVPL (4875) for more information. Toddler Time at Central Branch Library. Toddlerapproved stories, songs, rhymes and puppets. For toddlers 16-35 months and their parent or caregiver. 10:30-11am. Visit or call 250-940-GVPL (4875) for more information.

Irish Dance Classes

Offered in Victoria, Esquimalt, Langford, Sidney & Nanaimo Ages 4 years to Adults Beginners to Champions Recreational & Competitive 250-888-9421

Home Studio: 734 Aldebury # 207

Join the fun of Irish dance classes!

Young Parent Weekly Drop-in at Kiwanis Family Centre. Free breakfast and drop-in for young parents in the community. Come and enjoy a hot meal, socialize with other young parents, enjoy a kids’ craft, let your little one explore the fully equipped playroom or have a look in the ‘free store’ for gently used children’s items and household supplies. Staff can provide you with information about relevant local resources, advocacy and counselling support, help with paperwork, and parenting support. Program also runs other groups such as Mother Goose, Nobody’s Perfect, and Food Skills for Families. Thursdays 10am-noon. 250-382-1004.

FaMILIeS Family Storytime at the Greater Victoria Public Library. Fun-filled stories, songs, rhymes and puppets. For young children and their families; children under 3 must be accompanied by an adult. Drop in.

Contact Us for a Free Class Today 36

Island Parent Magazine

For a complete schedule of programs, visit or call 250-940-GVPL (4875) for more information. Afternoon Concerts in the Park at Cameron Bandshell, Beacon Hill Park. Spread out a picnic blanket on the lawn, or relax on bench seating while enjoying the performances. Whether you like jazz or blues, classical or swing, there’s something for everyone. Friday-Monday, 1:30-3:20pm until September 11. Free. For schedule information, visit concertsinthepark. Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Support Circles. A safe, supportive place to meet others in a similar situation and to share information and resources. For information about groups near you, please call 250-384-8042. Province-wide toll free information and support line at 1-855-474-9777 or email

Find Your Music! Centrally located Caring and nurturing environment Kindermusik Suzuki Program Ensemble Classes Individual Lessons RCM Exam Preparation Theory and Musicianship Award Winning Youth Choir Spring Break Musical Theatre

Over 40 usic m f o s r a ye our n i s n o s les nity! u m m o c

250 754 4611

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. For more information about groups near year, call 250-384-8042, or 1-877-345-9444, or visit Summer in the Square in Centennial Square. Lunchtime concerts Tuesday-Thursday until September 14. Noon-1pm. Free. Oaklands Sunset Market at Oaklands Community Centre, Victoria. Local food growers and producers, artisans, crafters, food trucks, live music, and more. Wednesdays 4-7:30pm September 6-27. Moss Street Market at Moss Street and Fairfield Rd. Farmer’s Market, over 75 craft and food vendors. Local musicians, great coffee, special event days and more. Saturdays, 10am-2pm until October.

Westmont Ad_SEPT2017_Island Parent_film1_OUTLINES.pdf



9:56 PM

Board Games in the Square in Centennial Square, Victoria. Drop by to play giant-sized chess and scrabble. Sundays 1-5pm until September 4. C


Monthly Dyslexia Information Session. Ending dyslexia is now possible. Learn about the latest developments in neuroscience and programs to end dyslexia quickly and with lasting results. Free information sessions held monthly with Marlene Lewis, award-winning registered speech pathologist. Phone 250-474-6368 or visit• Y






September 2017  37


Jesse Roper

The Island

Live at The Tube Shack Monday, September 4, 12–3pm Jesse Roper will be playing live to the audience that will be in a tube, floating on the river or in the beer garden. This is a FREE family friendly event open to the public. Tube rentals are available at The Tube Shack, bring your own floaty or just hang out on land to see one of the Island’s most exciting talents perform.

S ep t em b e r


TUBE SHACK Lake cowichan, BC

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

250-510-RIDE (7433)




Glow in the Dark Skate at Frank Crane Arena, Nanaimo. Skate in an atmosphere of dimmed lighting and special effects. Regular admission. 6:30-8pm. 250-756-5200.




Coast Capital Free Swim at Beban Pool, Nanaimo. 7-9pm. 250-756-5200.




Under the Surface at Neck Point, Nanaimo. Did you know that there is a mysterious world living beneath the surface of our oceans and streams? Search for these critters and learn about the life surrounding the shoreline. This is a parent-participation course and is great for home-schooled children. For 3-6 year olds. 10-11am. $8/person. 250-756-5200. Starlight Skate at Nanaimo Ice Centre. Come out and enjoy the soft “stars” and passive LED glow lights. A great time for families before dinner. Regular admission rates. 7-9pm. 250-756-5200.




Terry Fox Run at Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park. Walk, ride or run 3.3km, 5km, or 10km to support the Terry Fox Run for cancer research. Registration begins at 9am and run starts at 10am. Register and pledge online at No entry fee and no minimum pledge. Volunteers needed for the event; please call 250-248-3252.




Healthy Start Fair at Nanaimo Child Development Centre. Family resources, Island Health Dental, vision screening, public health nurses, stories, activities

38  Island Parent Magazine

and games, Triple P Positive Parenting, games, and more. 11am-2pm.


2016 Child Care Award of Excellence for Leadership: Lexie Biegun



School’s Out Everyone Welcome Skate at Oceanside Place Arena. School is out, but skating is in. 1:30-3pm. Regular admission. 250-248-3252.

“Trust our children- they are not only our future, they are our present.” – Carlina Rinaldi

Pro D Day Bubble Bonanza Swim at Ravensong Aquatic Centre. Come and create bubbles, bubbles and more bubbles. Challenge yourself to see who can create the largest bubble and see how long it takes before it goes pop. Regular admission. 250752-5014.




The Intertidal Zone Tour at Moorecroft Regional Park. Take a walk with a certified park naturalist and explore the intertidal zone of Vancouver Island’s east shores. From barnacles to the “love cycle” of the sea cucumber, you don’t want to miss this interesting session in the tide pools. 1:30-3:30pm. $15.50/ adult; $5/child. 250-248-3252.




School’s Out Everyone Welcome Skate at Oceanside Place Arena. School is out, but skating is in. 1:30-3pm. Regular admission. 250-248-3252.




Mini Golf for Youth and Adults at Paradise Adventure Mini Golf. Youth 11 to 18 and adults 55+ are invited to the annual mini golf event. Free registration courtesy Paradise Mini Golf. 4-6pm. 250-248-3252 to pre-register. Hiking Information Session at Oceanside Place Arena. Have you ever wanted to explore some of the area’s beautiful mountains? A local alpine guide shares tips and resources for family adventures and avid hikers. Ask questions before heading out on our guided hikes or self-guided exploration in Regional Parks. Get advice on clothing, equipment and route planning to help you stay safe and enjoy the outdoors. Free. 6:30-8:30pm. 250-248-3252 to pre-register.

We are expanding! NEW spaces available NOW! We Offer: • A unique Reggio-Emilia Influenced program in a natural Forest setting • 4 acre forest play space! • Spanish classes twice a week! • Yoga, drumming, ART and dance!


Inquiries: 250-590-3603

Registration for 2017/2018 Season September 5, 6 & 7 | 3:30–6:30 pm For more information and to pre-register:

250·595·3107 Classes and registration are held at: St. Matthias Anglican Church Hall (Richmond Ave. & Richardson St.)

Find us on

September 2017





and play for a couple of hours. Enjoy rhymes and songs and a visit with Mother Goose. Regular admission. 10am-noon. 250-752-5014.

Native Plants Walk at Englishman River Regional Park. Take a walk with a certified park naturalist and learn about the incredible native plants we have around us. There will be plenty of stops along the Friday th way that leave you with a greater appreciation for the wonders of the surrounding area. Children 6+ Coast Capital Free Swim at Beban Pool, Nanaimo. years can register and attend with an adult. 9:30- 7-9pm. 250-756-5200. 11:30am. $15.50/adult; $5/child. 250-248-3252 to pre-register.









School’s Out Everyone Welcome Skate at Oceanside Place Arena, Parksville. School is out, but skating is in. Regular admission. 1:30-3pm. 250-248-3252.




Pro D Day Water Fun Swim at Ravensong Aquatic Centre, Nanaimo. Come for a fun time, take a break, and be active. Regular admission. 1:30-2:30pm. 250-752-5014.

Curling Instruction at Curling Club, Nanaimo. If you are interested in trying curling, this is your chance. Meet some of the Junior Curlers and other youth who are trying it for the first time. Dress warm, carry SATURDAY WEDNESDAY th ST in a clean pair of running shoes, and bring gloves. Glow in the Dark Skate at Frank Crane Arena, Hot chocolate to follow. 10am-noon. For 9-16 year Halloween Dive-In Movie at Nanaimo Aquatic Nanaimo. Skate in an atmosphere of dimmed lighting olds. $5. 250-756-5200. Centre. Enjoy a Halloween-themed movie in the pool. 3-5pm. 250-756-5200. and special effects. Regular admission. 6:30-8pm. Disco Light Skate at Oceanside Place Arena, 250-756-5200. Parksville. Catch dance fever under the disco lights. Starlight Skate at Nanaimo Ice Centre. Come out The flashing lights and pumping music will take you and enjoy the soft “stars” and passive LED glow back in time. Regular admission. 7:30-9pm. 250- lights. A great time for families before dinner. Regular Saturday th 248-3252. admission rates. 7-9pm. 250-756-5200. Mother Goose Family Swim at Ravensong Aquatic Centre, Parksville. Bring your little ducklings to swim






Book Now

to reserve your preferred time

40  Island Parent Magazine

• Ride over a Mile of Rail! • Creek & Wildlife Tour • Corn Maze • Hayrides • Pumpkin Patch • Playground • Petting Farm




Trees and Fall Leaves at Bowen Park Upper Picnic Shelter, Nanaimo. Fall is a wonderful time to drink in the beauty of trees. Come for fall crafts and learn why trees have leaves and why they change colours in the fall. 10-11am. For 3-6 year olds. $8/person. 250-756-5200.




Halloween Howl at Beban Pool, Nanaimo. “Howl” at the moon at the Halloween extravaganza. 4-7pm. 250-756-5200. Teen Pizza Swim at Ravensong Aquatic Centre, Parksville. Enjoy the swim activities geared to the teen crowd, with an added pizza bonus. Free admission. 7-9pm. 250-752-5014.

food. $10/person. 3:30-5:30pm. 250-248-3252. FAMILY Family Cooking Classes at Cowichan Green Community Foundation. Geared to families who face challenges accessing or preparing healthy foods, sunday th or who are recent immigrants and would like to Halloween Howl Swim at Ravensong Aquatic Cen- connect with their community. Pre-registration retre, Parksville. Ghosts and goblins will be seen this quired. Mondays 4-6:30pm. 360 Duncan St. night with a few tricks and games for the children. projects/chow-cooking-classes or contact Jennifer The howl will finish off with an piñata bash. Regular at 250-748-8506. admission; parents are free when accompanied by your children. 6-8pm. 250-752-5014. Drop-In Science Studio at NS3 Science Studio. Children can explore the many features of the Scirecreation. ence Studio including KEVA blocks, marble wall, air field, wind tunnel, and a variety of discovery boxes. $4/child; adults free. Thursdays and Saturdays 10amnoon. Schedule subject to change, so please check for most current schedule. 4355 Jingle Pot Rd. 778-971-6893. Preschool


O ngoing

Mother Goose at Harewood Activity Centre and Oliver Woods Community Centre, Nanaimo. This program allows children to experience the pleasure SATURDAY th and benefits of using rhymes, songs and stories Families in the Kitchen at Qualicum Beach in their daily activities. Free. For babies birth-12 Community Hall. Orange you glad we can cook months. Harewood: Thursdays September 14-Notogether? Enjoy the colours and foods of fall as we vember 2nd; Oliver Woods: Wednesdays September cook with local seasonal ingredients. Emphasis will 20-November 8. be on family participation and healthy affordable


Lions Free Skate at Frank Crane Arena, Nanaimo. Sundays noon-1:30pm September 17-March 25. 250-756-5200. Parksville Lions and Save-On-Foods Family Skate at Oceanside Place Arena. Children must be accompanied by an adult 19+ years. Pond hockey is not available during this session. Sundays October 1-29, 12:15-1:45pm. 250-248-3252.•

A Natural Sleep Starts at the Very Beginning Join us at the Mums, Tums, Babies and Toddler Show Sept 9th & 10th in Nanaimo

Visit for show details 126 STATION STREET, DUNCAN | 1-844-855-REST (7378)

September 2017  41

Let Them Play I

won’t go so far as to say I was raised by wolves. Still, by the time I was eight years old I was painfully aware that my own parents, and the parents of most of my friends, did not conform to what television was telling us. Leave It to Beaver was not, it seemed, a documentary and my own attitudes toward parenting were probably influenced more by real life than it was by the Cleavers. My mother never wore pearls while vacuuming. From the time I was six years old, vacuuming was my job while mom worked long hours as a cleaning lady at the local university. My father worked in a steel mill, often pulling overtime hours when he could, and when finally he stumbled home exhausted, he didn’t want to deal with domestic problems. So I, along with most of the friends I’d made in the neighbourhood, were left to fend for ourselves. During the summer months, we pretty much ran wild, with the only real rule being “Come home when the street lights come on.” At that time of year, that may have been 9 p.m. During the winter months, the early onset of darkness led to that rule being relaxed. I had a paper route at eight years of age and was never home from that job before dark. But times have changed. When I had children of my own, the world was different and we tended to keep a closer eye on our children. We weren’t yet helicopter parents—the term hadn’t yet been coined—but media sensationalism had imbued a fear of abduction in our psyches that caused us to ensure that there was always an adult available should trouble arise. My children still played outdoors and went to call on friends in the neighbourhood and sometimes disappeared for hours on end as they went to the park or on some adventure in the neighbourhood, but we generally had a good idea of where they were and they knew they could come home to us or to a babysitter if there was a problem. And then, something happened. By the time my grandchildren were

42  Island Parent Magazine

born my own, children had become part of a generation that arranged “play dates” for the kids and believed that letting kids play on the block or at the park without supervision was tantamount to child endangerment. There have been a plethora of cases in recent years in both the United States and Canada where assumingly wellintentioned neighbours have called in authorities to investigate cases where children have been left to their own devices. In one case a mother was charged for letting her nine-year-old daughter play alone in a park. In 2015 a B.C. Supreme court found that an eight-year-old is too young to be left alone at home, with the trial judge going even further to observe that kids under 10 couldn’t be safely left unsupervised at home. Last year, Child and Family Services responded to a complaint against a mother who had left her two children, aged 10 and five, to play in their own backyard, unsupervised.The question that comes to mind is what has changed? Child abduction is an ever present fear and it strikes at a visceral level. I know that, for myself, even the thought of my grandkids being whisked away by some stranger leaves a knot in my stomach and gives rise to horrific images of helpless fear. But the truth is that “stranger danger” is largely a myth. The most recent statistics gathered by the RCMP show that of 41,343 reports of missing children in Canada in 2014, 29 were related to stranger abduction. Figures for sexual or physical abuse are equally telling. Your child is exponentially more likely to be harmed by a family member or someone they know than by a stranger. Over the years I’ve kept abreast of these issues and have debated a lot of this information with friends and family at various times, never really resolving what is a complex question. That’s why, when I recently went to visit my son in his new home in a military housing neighbourhood in which everyone is required to have children to qualify for the

housing, the experience was like opening a time capsule. I drove up and was greeted with a cry of “Hi Grampa!” from the bed of a Ford F-150 where my grandson was playing with what appeared to be about 10 other boys.When I went into my son’s house

Tim Collins and commented on what I’d seen, he was unconcerned. “Yeah, they have permission to play in there. He locks the truck so they can’t get in the cab,” said my son. Since moving into the neighbourhood my son has encountered a very different belief system when it comes to supervising the play of children. “There are so many kids here, and everyone living here is military, so we just kind of let them run. They know they can come and get help if something happens.” When my grandson finally came in, flushed and smiling, he had stories to tell about his new friends and how they were going to build a fort and, oh yeah, he had to take his Nerf guns out to defend the fort, and by the way, could they have a snack in case they got hungry? It got me to thinking. Somewhere along the line, our neighbourhoods have become sanitized with child play protocols in which imagination, friendships and social interaction, and generally fun are things to be programmed and supervised. In a world where parents are content to let their wee ones stare endlessly at videos and computer games, the idea of just going out to play without an approved plan has been deemed to be the real danger. I’m not sure. Maybe, just maybe, we need to allow our children a chance to play in the back of a truck or build a fort out of materials rife with potential splinters. It won’t kill them, and it may make them a wee bit stronger and better prepared for life.

Tim Collins is a writer and freelance journalist living and working in Victoria.

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September 2017  43

Pack a Pouch of Popcorn


eptember comes with the rush of new sneakers, early mornings and brisk air. At my house, school lunches are often packed in a zombie-like fashion where every Thermos and snack container is filled in a factory-style assembly line. The only thing that interrupts the regularity of this morning routine is when we discover that we don’t have anything in the fridge to fill all the containers. At that point our whole household descends into a panic mode that is fuelled by the frustration that leads me to wonder why the simple lunches that were the status-quo in my childhood are no longer good enough. When did lunches evolve from a baloney sandwich and an apple into a bento box of multiple containers and one smiling kitty face? A good lunch routine requires predictability. It allows the lunch packer to get the food they need together without too much thought. Whether it’s done in the morning

or the night before, packing lunches usually occurs at the edge of our exhaustion. In our house lunches look a bit like an airline meal (with hopefully more appetizing food). Our kids get four containers that are designed to cover all the food groups, and that can be packed without too much thought. Main dish: This varies based on what we have in the fridge. I usually try to plan lunches when we do our Saturday trip to the grocery store, but if things go sideways then I make sure that there is always something in the freezer. You can pre-freeze sandwiches in ziploc bags. Just be sure to avoid vegetables or eggs. Peanut butter works well. However, in our house frozen food lunches are usually considered to be a lucky thing because everyone ends up with a burrito. Vegetable box: This is how I make sure my kids are getting at least some of the five to 10 vegetable servings a day. We usually pack a mixture of carrots, cucumber,

coloured peppers, cherry tomatoes, and maybe some broccoli or cauliflower if my kids are feeling adventurous. I like to let the kids pack their own vegetables because then I know that they’ll eat them. Even my four-year-old can slice up her own peppers. Hungry box: I learned early on that it

Emillie Parrish Cooking With Kids was always a good idea to include a box of high-protein nuts/seeds (depending on the classroom requirements). This box usually comes home full, but at least I know that if the kids had an extra hungry day that they would have something left in their lunchbox to eat. Treat box: I know that this is probably the box that gets eaten first. I try to have home-baked cookies or muffins, but failing that, I reach for the popcorn. Popcorn is a cheap and healthy alternative to commercial snack foods (especially

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if you pop your own). We don’t have a hot 2 Tbsp oil (for the bottom of the pot) air popper so we do it over the stove-top 1⁄4 cup popcorn kernels in a lidded pot. It takes less then five min- 1⁄4 cup melted butter or olive oil (you can utes to fill a pot with popped kernels, and mix these if you want) we use a few different flavour varieties to 1⁄2 tsp salt or a flavour mix shake things up. 1. In a medium-sized pot (with a 6-cup capacity), add the oil and the popcorn kernels and put the lid on the pot. Stove-top Popcorn 2. Turn the stove on high and leave it for about one to three minutes, depending on how fast it takes for your stove top to heat up. 3. Once the oil starts sizzling, gently shake the pot to stop the kernels from burning. 4. Keep shaking the pot while the kernels pop. When you stop hearing the corn popping, turn off the stove. 5. Put popcorn in a big bowl and top with melted butter, oil and flavourings. 6. Enjoy right away or store in an airtight container as a snack for school lunches.

Flavour Ideas

Popcorn is so easy that once children are old enough to use the stove, they can safely Sweet Cinnamon make it on their own. Younger children can 1 Tbsp granulated sweetener (date sugar help with sprinkling on the flavours and or brown sugar) mixing the popcorn.

1⁄2 1⁄4

tsp cinnamon tsp ginger

Curry 2 tsp curry powder 1⁄2 tsp salt Smokey Paprika 1 tsp smoked paprika 1⁄4 tsp salt 1⁄4 cup finely grated Parmesan or nutritional yeast Rosemary Garlic 1 tsp dried garlic 2 Tbsp rosemary 1⁄4 tsp salt 1⁄4 cup of Parmesan or nutritional yeast Pesto 1 tsp dried garlic 2 Tbsp dried basil 1⁄4 tsp salt 1⁄4 cup of Parmesan or nutritional yeast Emillie Parrish loves having adventures with her two busy children. She lives in Victoria and is the author of the fermentation-based blog

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250 590 8088 46  Island Parent Magazine

ne of the strongest feelings I had when I first became a dad was the feeling that I was an imposter. I wasn’t a dad! I was basically an overgrown child. Granted, I was in my 30s, but, still… I thought about my dad, and the comparison made me cringe. He was a Dad; I wasn’t. He knew what he was doing; I didn’t. I struggled with this feeling for a while until I finally let my feelings out the way all men let their feelings out: through jokes. And, much to my relief, I found that everyone else felt the same way. It was a huge weight off my shoulders. I wasn’t alone. Then I had a strange realization: my parents probably felt the same way at first, too. It’s not that they were always parents—they once had a life before me. But all I knew of them is them as parents. It’s an odd realization, looking back on my youth and thinking that they were more or less winging it, like I am now. Sure, it was a different time. Five out of five kids weren’t diagnosed with something, and parents actually knew how to say “no” to their kids. But the general idea—big humans looking after little humans—was the same. It’s tough to not fall into a huge, extended thought process over this, thinking back on basically every second of your childhood and re-imagining your parents not as the pillars of the family as you knew them, but as real, actual, you know, human beings who weren’t always fully confident of every parenting decision, who didn’t always know what they were doing, who maybe sometimes just wanted to drop it all and have a moment alone. Just like you now. So if you ever feel like a fraud, or feel like this parenting thing isn’t really for you, just remember that few don’t have these feelings from time to time, as unpopular as they may be. It contributes to dads—to parents—feeling a bit disconnected from what’s going on, so try to fight it, try to not let it get you down. We all have those moments, and I have good news: those moments become fewer and fewer as time goes on. That’s right, with each day that passes, you become more and more comfortable in this odd position of being a parent. As

things start to make sense, as routines start to kick in, that uncomfortable awkwardness fades away. The more times you hear the word “Dad” mentioned casually, the more you realize that, yes, that’s you. You’re Dad. Your kids never knew you before they were around,

Greg Pratt Dadspeak after all. Much like your parents were nothing more and nothing less than parents, you are nothing more, and nothing less, than a parent now. Growing up, I never imagined my parents having crippling moments of paralysis when schoolyard bullies made their presence known. I never thought that they would have quiet moments fighting back tears when I was eight at the thought of me moving out 10 years later. I never thought about the struggles, the financial hardships, the tough decisions and the strains behind things like the trips to Disneyland, the new toys, the pizza and movie nights. To me, it was just being a kid, and they were parents, infallible. When you become a parent, you know you’re not infallible, and that’s the big difference. It took me about five years of doing this to realize my parents went through the same feelings as I did, and that made those feelings of being an imposter fade away even more. So don’t ever feel like you’re alone if you’ve got the imposter syndrome about being a parent. We’ve all been there. Maybe we all are imposters at first, but we get the hang of it fairly quick.

Greg Pratt is the father of two children and a local journalist and editor. His writing has appeared in, among other places, Today’s Parent, Wired, Revolver and Douglas.

Apples & Pumpkins H

arvest time is just around the corner, which means hayrides, apples, raking leaves, and visits to the pumpkin patch! There are so many fun activities to do with your family to celebrate the harvest and learn about Thanksgiving celebrations. Singing harvest songs and taking part in seasonal activities such as corn mazes and apple picking, help to keep the harvest traditions alive. Preschoolers love music and movement and there are many harvest songs to sing, with easy rhythmic actions. One fun song is “It’s Harvest Time” which has a catchy melody with simple actions. Sing this song to the tune “Here We Go ’Round the Mulberry Bush.”

Another simple rhyme with actions is “Here Are the Apples” which has the same tune as the traditional lullaby “Rock-a-Bye Baby.” Here is the tree with leaves so green, (make a tree with arms) Here are the apples that hang in between, (clench fists like apples) When the wind blows, the apples will fall, (wave arms in air) And here is a basket to gather them all. (make a round basket with both arms)

gobble-gobble sound that turkeys make is the main characteristic of all turkey songs. Encourage your kids to sing this song by fanning out their fingers to indicate the tail of a turkey. The turkey is a funny bird Its head goes bobble-bobble; And all he knows is just one word… And that is Gobble, gobble!

Jerri Carson

One popular tune to sing before visiting the pumpkin patch is “I’m a Little PumpAn excellent holiday story to read with kin” which is sung to the tune of “I’m a your kids is A Turkey for Thanksgiving by Little Teapot.” Eve Bunting. In the book, Mr. and Mrs. Moose are hosting Thanksgiving dinner for all of their animal friends. Everything is almost ready, but Mrs. Moose wants a turkey. Mr. Moose and all of their friends, Rabbit, Goat, Sheep and Porcupine, go in search of a turkey. The story has an interesting twist with a surprise ending. “The Leaves are Falling Down” is a popular autumn song. Children love this fun action song that has the same tune as “The Farmer in the Dell.” The song invites them to actively participate by pretending to rake the leaves. The leaves are falling down
 The leaves are falling down
 Red, yellow, green, and brown
 The leaves are falling down It’s time to rake them up It’s time to rake them up Take a rake and rake them up It’s time to rake them up

The farmer gathers his hay today, (swaying arms like hay) It’s harvest time It’s harvest time The farmer gathers his hay today, (swaying arms) It’s harvest time He cuts it down and stacks it high, (chopping action) Gives it a shake, then leaves it to dry, (shake arms) The farmer gathers his hay today It’s harvest time

I’m a little pumpkin Orange and round. Here is my stem, I grew in the ground. When I get all cut up, Don’t you shout! Just open me up And scoop me out! Thanksgiving would not be complete without a song about the turkey. The

No matter what activities you and your child engage in this fall, be sure to go outside and enjoy the outdoors. You’ll be making memories that will last for many seasons to come.

Jerri is a retired music teacher. She now spends her time playing the piano and cello.

September 2017  47

Back-to-School Brown Bag Ideas Quesadillas, Roll-Ups & Wraps

To switch up the sandwich, pack a quesadilla, roll-up or wrap instead. Quesadillas: Pizza Quesadillas. Place pepperoni slices, ham, mozzerella, pineapple and any other favourite pizza ingredients between two tortillas and heat both sides in a frying pan until cheese has melted. Cool, cut into wedges, and pack in a reusable container. Roll-ups: Banana Sushi. Spread nut butter on a tortilla shell then lay a peeled banana on the nut butter at the edge of the tortilla and roll it up like sushi. Slice into 1" rounds. Wraps: Soft Chicken Tacos. Pack a container with avocados mashed with lemon juice; top with a layer of shredded cheese. Fill two small whole wheat tortillas with shredded chicken and sliced romaine lettuce and store in resealable plastic bags. Assemble at lunch.


Kids love food on sticks. Keep bamboo

skewers on hand and you’re ready to go. Some good combinations include: • bite-sized waffle pieces, kiwi fruit, strawberries, orange wedges, breakfast sausage • bite-sized French toast pieces, banana, and raspberries • silver dollar pancakes, banana slices, peach pieces

Pita Pockets

Just like food on sticks, food in pockets is a hit with kids. Using whole wheat pitas, or another favourite flavour, slice pitas in half, open pocket and stuff with: • a layer of creamy cheese, roast turkey slices, baby spinach leaves and cucumber slices. • leftovers like sliced chicken breast, meatloaf, roasted vegetables, with hummus and lettuce.

Dips & Spreads

Because, to kids, almost everything tastes

better with dip—and by “dip” we’re not just talking about ketchup. Possibilities: • Hazelnut Butter and Toasted Coconut Spread/Dip: blend the two ingredients in a food processor until they reach desired consistency. Dip or spread. • hummus, tzatziki, salsa, and guacamole all make yummy dips for kale chips, veggie sticks and bread cubes. • Nutty for Dip: Nutella, cream cheese and almond milk. Combine first two ingredients in equal parts and then thin to desired consistency with almond milk.

Fruits & Veggies

An apple a day…gets boring after awhile. Here are a few twists on some old standbys: • homemade fruit leather • homemade applesauce


• Nutty Pretzel Wands. Spread nut butter on the top few inches of pretzel rods. Roll in chopped nuts, coconut and/or dried fruit. • Twisted Krispie Squares. Make Rice Krispies Treats as the box instructs, adding 1⁄4 cup sesame seeds and 1⁄2 cup each chopped dried fruit and sunflower seeds with the cereal mixture.•

Makefriends. friends.Don’t Don’tadd addthem. them. Make

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48  Island Parent Magazine

I’ll Tell You What’s for Lunch


eptember fills me with a sense of dread. It’s great that the kids are back in school; the return to routine is a welcome relief. But there is one inescapable flaw with school, and that is the issue of lunches. The children need lunches. Every. Single. Day. Factoring approximately 20 school days per month, over the next 10 months each kid will need 200 lunches—multiplied by three kids, this adds up to me packing 600 lunches. And after the first 10, I’m so over it. I don’t believe there are any parents in North America who actually enjoy making school lunches. It is such an onerous challenge to simply decide what to pack each day, not to mention the clean-up. I mean, there are only so many tiny containers and

tiny lids and bento spoons and doohickies and water bottles one person can reasonably wash in a lifetime, before simply losing their mind. There are also some very peculiar laws about lunches—forces of nature, if you will, that seem impossible to reckon with. For example, the odd certainty that if you pack your child a huge lunch, he will eat one carrot stick and claim to be full. But if, the next day, you pack a smaller lunch, she will come home without a crumb to spare,

Late at night, I find myself dreaming up creative solutions to get me out of packing lunches. A few strategies I have considered: • Hire personal chef to come to my house each morning and make lunches. Pros: all lunch-related complaints can be blamed on chef. Cons: will need second job to pay complaining bitterly of starvation. And no for chef. matter what lengths you go to in order to pack a delicious lunch, there will be some other child at school whose clever parent has packed an even more delicious lunch, and you’ll hear about it. There are also weird lunch-packing Is There an factors particular to each family. In my App for This? household, the children conspire to make the process as difficult as humanly possible. For example, Child One likes crackers and • Convert garage into commercial freezer. cheese but only certain types of crackers and Make 600 lunches now and store in freezer. certain types of cheese, and likes apples and Pros: obvious. Cons: Will still have to make cucumber but only if peeled, and will eat 600 lunches; husband will likely complain her lunch only if none of the food items are about losing garage to giant freezer; frostbittouching each other. Child Two likes crack- ten apples might not go over well. ers and cheese, but not the same types of • Convince children they simply do crackers or cheese as Child One, of course, not need to eat lunch. Pros: saves untold hours, grocery dollars, and parental sanity. Cons: will not make me popular with social services. Of course, I could get the kids to make their own lunches, but that too is only an illusion of freedom. I still have to decide what the options are, and shop for the groceries, and coax the kids through packing their lunches, and make sure to have on hand apples without peel and cucumber without peel and apples WITH peel and cucumbers WITH peel and ranch dressing of a particular kind…and at the end of the day, I will still have to wash all the tiny containers and tiny lids and bento spoons and doohickies and water bottles. There is simply no way to escape. No, the only path is to resign to the inevitable, accept the toil, and develop some Zen mantras to condition my mind as I peel the cucumbers, and supervise the selection of crackers, and separate the foods, and wash all the tiny containers and tiny lids. and prefers apples and cucumber WITH Perhaps one day the Nobel Prize people the peel, but will only actually eat the cu- will take notice and start handing out accumbers if ranch dressing is provided, but colades to those parents who can make it not just any type of ranch dressing. Child through the entire school year’s worth of Three will eat anything and everything, so packing lunches with grace and dignity. And long as there is no ranch dressing in sight, meanwhile, I’m thinking I can convince the and does not mind which food touches kids to at least cut back to three lunches a what, but has a peculiar habit of social- week. We’ll work on it. izing during lunch hour and giving away most of his lunch to his buddies, therefore ​Sarah Milligan lives on Vancouver Island. She is coming home hungry—which he somehow grateful to her children for the joy they inspire, considers to be my fault. not to mention the endless writing fodder.

Sarah Milligan

September 2017  49

Healthy Families, Happy Families

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Sustaining Breastfeeding Together


n Canada, we celebrate Breastfeeding Week annually from October 1-7. This is the 25th year. Symbolically, with New Year’s Day representing the first week of pregnancy, October represents the 40th week of gestation, when life outside the womb begins with breastfeeding, the baby’s first food and first natural vaccine against infection. Breastfeeding is an act between mother and infant/child, however, it takes our whole society to make it successful and sustainable. Everyone needs to learn and be informed about breastfeeding to help support and protect mothers and infants/children for more than just their first few days. Current rates show that mothers want to breastfeed their infants/children, however society is not always supportive enough in helping them continue and sustain breastfeeding. This year’s theme for World Breastfeeding Week, “Sustaining Breastfeeding Together,” continues to emphasize the role breastfeeding plays in building healthy vibrant communities everywhere. The United Nations has established 17 Sustainable Development Goals that have been internationally agreed upon. The goals focus on ecology, economy, and equity affecting the long-term health for all. Here’s how each of these goals fits into breastfeeding and how we can help reach these goals, both individually and as a society. Reduce Poverty. Breastfeeding contributes to poverty reduction. It is a natural and low-cost way to feed infants and children and it is affordable. It does not burden the family finances like formula. Zero Hunger. Breastfeeding provides optimal high quality nutrition and energy, and contributes to the prevention of undernutrition and obesity. Continued breastfeeding after adding complimentary foods ensures meeting nutrition and energy needs as the child grows. Health and Wellbeing. Breastfeeding contributes and improves the health, development, and survival of infants and children. It also contributes to improved health and well-being of mothers. Education. Breastfeeding and healthy

complementary foods starting at six months, contribute to mental and cognitive development, laying the foundation for learning. Gender Equality. Breastfeeding gives every child their best start in life. It is uniquely a mother’s right. Women and their infants/ children need and should be supported to help them achieve their feeding goals. This essential support empowers the mother as she is in control of how she feeds her baby. Clean Water and Sanitation. Breastfeeding provides all the water a baby needs, even in hot climates, while formula feeding requires access to clean and safe water as well as good hygiene, sanitation and proper preparation methods. Affordable and Clean Energy. Breastfeeding requires less energy when compared to formula, not just at point of use but also in the production, sourcing, packaging, and transportation processes. Decent Work and Economic Growth. Employers who support breastfeeding women can help them perform both roles— mother and employee—more effectively. Supportive workplace policies can enable women to continue with their personal, family, and career goals. Industry Innovation and Infrastructure. Given the number of women who work outside of the home, employers can allow time and space to support mothers who are breastfeeding and in turn, employers may find less staff turnover. Reduced Inequalities. Breastfeeding practices differ globally and culturally and need to be protected, promoted, and supported, especially among vulnerable groups. This means ensuring adequate services by knowledgeable and skilled health care providers are readily available and accessible. Healthy Cities and Communities. Families, mothers, and babies need to feel safe and welcomed to breastfeed in public places if we want to create and sustain healthy communities. Emergency preparedness plans need to consider how pregnant and lactating women will be supported in times of disasters or other crisis situations.

Responsible Consumption and Production. Breastfeeding provides optimal nutrition and energy to uniquely meet the infant/child’s needs, without polluting or using extra materials and resources. The amount of breastmilk produced is determined by the child’s needs. Climate Action. Breastfeeding plays a key role in guarding against global warming. It also safe guards infant health and nutriSwati Scott, Anthea Kennelly, Christine Thomson, Hélène Dufour CH I LD YO UT H & FA MILY P U BL IC H E A LT H

Happy Families, Healthy Families

tion during times of adversity and climate related disasters. Life Below Water. Breastfeeding produces almost zero waste. Formula feeding, both at point of use and especially during industrial formula production pollutes the oceans. Life On Land. Breastfeeding produces almost zero waste. Formula feeding, both at point of use and especially during industrial formula production uses many resources and thus pollutes the environment. Justice. Breastfeeding is enshrined in many human rights documents and conventions globally. In Canada, national and provincial legislation protects and supports breastfeeding mothers and babies. Partnerships. Multi-sector partnerships and collaboration are essential to help society understand everyone’s role and responsibility in supporting, protecting, and informing the importance of breastfeeding and ultimately creating healthy vibrant communities everywhere. Breastfeeding is an act between mother and infant/child, yet it takes our whole society to make it successful and sustainable. Everyone plays a role in supporting and protecting mothers and infants/children. Society needs to support them to ensure that mothers and infants/children can continue breastfeeding and reach their personal goals, whatever that may be. For further conversations, check out the rebroadcast of a discussion hosted by the Canadian Institute of Health Research’s Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health: at HealthResearchInCanada. Swati Scott, RD, IBCLC, Anthea Kennelly, RD, Christine Thomson, RD, and Hélène Dufour, RD, are Public Health Registered Dietitians with Child, Youth and Family Health.

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September 2017


Understanding Concussion in Kids


oncussions can be scary events. While they were once almost totally ignored, the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction and with the help of media, we are now becoming far more aware of the potential long-term implications of repeated concussions. A concussion is defined as a blow to the head that results in a change in awareness, ranging from being knocked out cold to a just-noticeable change in consciousness. Immediately after concussion, the person is often disoriented with attention and memory issues, has balance or vision disturbances, nausea and vomiting, and can be vulnerable to repeated injuries. When a concussion does occur, it can be difficult for parents to know what to do. After a concussion, it is important to ensure that kids are safe from repeated injury. If the concussion was sustained during a sporting

activity, the person should be sitting out the rest of the game or tournament. If there are any of the following “red flags,” a trip to the emergency department or a call to 911 is warranted. Red flags include: • Neck pain • Increased confusion or irritability • Repeated vomiting • Seizure or convulsion • Weakness in arms/legs • Tingling or burning in arms/legs • Deteriorating consciousness • Loss of consciousness • Severe or increasing headache • Unusual behaviour change • Double vision If you go to the emergency department, the injury is probably fairly severe, and you’ll get specific instructions on what to do next. Otherwise if the injury is milder, then your child should be at home, getting

some good rest in the same way that they would for any other type of injury. There are guidelines for returning to sports. The athlete that is eager to get back should be monitored to make sure that they are symptom-free before they return. For more information on the steps to take and when to return to sports, visit Keep in mind, however, that most concussions are not sustained during sports, and it can be difficult for parents to know what to do about those injuries. If your child is feeling particularly unwell after their concussion, or if there were any medical issues that took you to the emergency department, it is completely reasonable to keep them home from school for a few days. While they are home, they should be resting; however, guidelines that call for complete cognitive rest—for example, avoiding any screens, video games, text messaging, or watching TV—can be a bit over-the-top. There are guidelines on returning to school, but the important thing is not to let those guidelines prolong the return to school beyond a few days and maybe a couple more days of half-day attendance.

Journeys of the Heart is a “free-of-charge” 10 month (30 week) cultural early learning program for Aboriginal children ages 2–5 years and their families. Program structure and delivery is designed to provide opportunities to empower and contribute to positive cultural identity within Aboriginal children and their families. There are spaces available this coming fall at Ruth King and Craigflower Elementary Schools. For more information call

Sarah McDonald 250-384-9466 ex 251 52  Island Parent Magazine

Unless your doctor suggests otherwise, staying home from school shouldn’t continue for long. It can be hard to bounce back after more than three days at home. Unlike infectious illnesses, there is no reason to stay home with a concussion. You can’t wait until you’re symptom-free, because you’ll never have a day without forgetting at least one thing! Kids need to get back to school. And that can be the difficult part. When kids return to school they will be more likely to notice some of those very real concussion-related symptoms such as forgetfulness or attention problems. It’s important to acknowledge and be prepared for symptoms, and a few rocky days. Otherwise, kids sometimes panic, magnifying the symptoms, misinterpreting normal symptoms (for example, occasional forgetting, attention lapses, headaches, or sleep difficulties) as proof that they are permanently brain-damaged and will never get better. Remember that we all forget things every day, but tend to over-focus or worry about it when we’ve had a concussion. Expectations for increased symptoms after concussion causes misattribution of symptoms, and potentially a long-term vicious cycle that could have been prevented.

Teachers can help kids in those first weeks back to school by helping them identify which assignments are the most important relative to which ones they might be able to grant concessions on. Tests might be rescheduled for a couple of weeks later. If in those first couple of days kids are having severe headaches, they might need to go lie down for an hour. Teachers should expect less in those first few days. There’s a subset of kids out there who don’t enjoy school, for a wide variety of reasons. That can include anxiety or mood difficulties, learning or attention difficulties, social difficulties, or bullying—the list is long. Some kids, particularly those who are inattentive or impulsive, are more likely to sustain concussions. When a child who already doesn’t like school has a concussion and stays home, there can be negative consequences, including reinforcing and prolonging the symptoms of concussion. So after concussion, parents need to reassure their children that the symptoms of concussion are temporary, but that it is difficult to predict how long they will be present. Most people are symptom-free seven to 10 days after their concussion, 80 per cent are symptom-free at three

months, and 95 per cent are symptom-free at six months. The last five per cent of kids whose symptoms persist typically have other complicating factors, such as high anxiety or other mental health conditions or difficult life circumstances and might need some help in returning to regular life. Rarely is it that the concussion is the cause of persisting symptoms unless the injury was severe (for example, resulting in prolonged coma, associated with significant amnesia, or abnormal findings on a CT or MRI scan of the brain, at which point we’re talking about a more complicated traumatic brain injury, not a concussion). Overall, the expectation should be that for a week or two, kids won’t be at their best post-injury, and they need to be a little bit more vigilant during that time to prevent further injuries. However, beyond a few days, complete rest is not best, and gradual return to school over a few days is important. Dr. Kelly Price, R.Psych. is a Victoria-based neuropsychologist who has worked with many children with concussions through Island Health. He is now working in public policy and in private practice.

Transforming disability into ability. At Discovery School, learning disabilities are transformed into valuable skills and abilities. Students work at their own pace in small classes, with focused, individualized instruction. • Experienced, highly-qualified teachers • Ongoing assessment, evaluation & feedback • Improves organizational & study skills • Boost confidence, independence & responsibility • Nurturing environment based on Christian values • For students aged 7 – 18 in grades 1 – 12 • Individual Education Plans • Low student/teacher ratio

Enrolment is limited. For more information or to arrange a tour, visit, call Sherri Ko at 250-595-7765 or email

September 2017  53

Family Services Directory

Community Options for Children and Families offers recreational support groups for Children and Youth age 6-18 who have a brother or sister with a disability. The Sibshop Program allows children and youth to connect with peers who understand what This directory, sponsored by Thrifty Foods, features not for profit it is like to be a Sib. Sibkids (age 6-12) and Sibteens agencies and organizations serving children, youth and families. (age 13-18) are play and activity based designed to provide opportunity for participants to share in a comfortable and safe environment. For further 1Up, Victoria Single Parent Resource Centre (1- help finding a job? Need employees? Contact us info call 250-380-6363 or provides support, education and resources for FREE assistance! 9860 Third St. Sidney. 250for parents in the Greater Victoria area through 656-0134. End Dyslexia. Does your child have trouble reading free counselling, volunteer training, a mentoring or is behind in reading? Is your child bright, but is program for single moms, and a support group for Boys & Girls Club Services offer after-school not learning as quickly as you would like? Get ready dads, as well as a variety of integrated life skills and evening social, educational and recreational for September now with Summer Reading Camps and parenting courses which are open to the whole programming for children and youth at 5 locations from the convenience of your own home! Use community, with fees on a sliding scale. For single (Colwood, Langford, VicWest, Central Saanich and research-based programs with fast, lasting results parent members, the Centre provides free toys and Esquimalt) and summer camps both in Esquimalt while working with award-winning speech-language books, a clothing room and bread pantry. Donations and at our Outdoor Centre in Metchosin. We also of- pathologist, Marlene Lewis, who brings many years of gently-used clothing, small household items, and fer support to parents through our Parents Together of experience and proven results in improving readtoys are welcome. Hours: Mon., Tue., Thu., Fri.: 9–4, program and parent workshops. For more informa- ing for children, teens and adults. To learn more & Wednesdays: 12–7. Location: 602 Gorge Road tion on all programs and services visit or please visit or call 250-474-6368. East. Phone: 250-385-1114. call 250-384-9133. Family Services of Greater Victoria (formerly BC Beacon Community Services is a community- Canucks Autism Network (CAN) provides high- Families in Transition) is a non profit agency that has based, non-profit agency dedicated to helping quality, adapted sports, recreational and social been serving families since 1978. We provide a full people and improving lives on southern Vancouver programs for kids, teens and young adults living range of services to the whole family in supportIsland and the southern Gulf Islands. Beacon thrift with autism on Vancouver Island. Shawnigan Lake: ing their relationship and through separation and shops fund important LOCAL community services Multisport day camp, bike clinics and family camp. divorce. Counseling, mediation, legal information and programs. Beacon also offers: child, youth and Victoria: Swim, soccer, skate and physical literacy. and a range of group programs are available for family services (including the Peninsula Early Years Nanaimo: Swim and physical literacy. Family events children, youth and adults on a sliding fee scale. Call Centre and child care); counselling; employment take place throughout the year! Become a member us at 250-386-4331 or visit We can help. services and training for people of all ages; home for only $25/year at Call support care; volunteer services and opportunities; 604-685-4049, email or HappyBaby Sleep Solutions helps families creaffordable housing/care/supports for seniors and visit for more ate healthy sleep habits in babies and children so people with disabilities. For Home Support, please information. everyone is well rested and happy. Sukkie Sandhu, call 250-658-6407. For other programs: 250-656M.Ed., has worked with hundreds of families locally 0134. CHOICES Adoption & Counselling is a licensed, in Victoria and worldwide. Sukkie is a Registered professional, non-profit agency that provides Clinical Counsellor so the cost of a sleep consultaBeacon Community Services Employment services to adoptive parents, birth-parents, and tion may be covered under your extended medical Programs. Beacon Community Services offers a adoptees. CHOICES arranges adoptions domesti- plan. For more information visit happybabysleepfull menu of employment services on the Saanich cally and internationally. We are committed to pro- or call 250-857-1408 for a FREE Peninsula and Gulf Islands. We’ve been helping viding a comprehensive, client-centered adoption evaluation. Let’s get started! people find work since 1982! Our programs build on service which best meets the needs of everyone a person’s strengths and resolve barriers to finding in the adoption constellation. Please contact us at HeadWay Victoria Epilepsy & Parkinson’s Centre and keeping employment. We also work with our, or call 250-479-9811 supports families living with seizures by offering employer network to support job seekers. Need for further information. parent workshops three times a year, educational

Maxine Fisher M.Ed., RCC, MTA

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

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

Call Today for a Complimentary 10 minute phone consultation Call 250-686-7582 54  Island Parent Magazine

presentations in schools and community groups as well as providing tutoring sessions and one-to-one professional consultations to help your child live up to their highest potential. Keep up to date with the latest research about treatments, lifestyle, and safety issues for your child. We can be reached at, or you can reach the Epilepsy Program Coordinator directly at 250-475-6677. Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA) is a registered charity and nonprofit helping individuals and organizations to connect across cultures. Programs offered include immigrant and refugee services, parenting programs, employment services, interpretation and translation, diversity workshops and training, English language training, volunteer placements, youth programs and tutoring, seniors groups, and inter-cultural arts programming. Located at 930 Balmoral Road, 250-388-4728 info@, LDABC The Learning Curve (previously The Learning Disabilities Assn.) supports, educates and advocates for children with learning disabilities and related challenges. Individual and group support, education and consultation is available for children, youth, parents, caregivers and professionals. Please visit our website @ or call us for more information or to book an appointment: 250 370 9513. Power To Be inspires people living with barriers or disabilities to explore their limitless abilities through inclusive adventures rooted in nature. With programs for children, youth and adults, year-round adventures include kayaking, canoeing, camping, hiking and more. Visit or call 250385-2363 to learn more. Sooke-West Shore Early Years Centres provide information to families about children and family services, supports, child development and parenting. The Early Years Navigator will assist families with referral information for local early years programming, child care, public health, special needs intervention services, and social supports. The Sooke-West Shore Early Years Centres are hosted by Sooke Family Resource Society and located at the Child, Youth, and Family Centres in both Sooke and the West Shore and can be reached at 250217-9243. Additional information can be accessed at Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society (VIRCS) supports immigrants and refugees living in Greater Victoria. Services are free and include oneon-one counselling, parent education workshops, youth life skills classes, a preschool program, art therapy, language classes and academic support, employment help, computer classes and fun community events like free yoga, tai chi, dance and cooking classes. Visit us online at or phone 250-361-9433.

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September 2017


PreScHooL & cHILD care Directory ceNTraL SaaNIcH



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


Licenced group childcare for children ages 12 months to 5 years old. Open 6:30am-5:30pm. leap forward dance school offers weekday and Saturday dance classes for children ages 2 and up. 2758 Peatt Road, Langford


Miles of Smiles Nature Junior Kindergarten .......................................... 778-265-4374 Come See Why Learning In Nature Rocks! Reggio Influenced Philosophy ages 3-5. Have Your Child Become a Nature Detective Today! Email

corDova Bay Carrot Seed Preschool ............................250-658-2331 Where children can discover, imagine, construct and learn through play. Wondrous natural playground. Cordova Bay Preschool........................... 250-658-3441 A bright and cheerful parent participation preschool with a philosophy of learning through play. 4 yr olds - M/W/F 9:151:15; 3 yr olds - T/Th 9:15-12:15.

eSQUIMaLT Ciara Early Childhood Centre ..................250-386-7369 Education and Fun Hand in Hand! Exceptional care for ages 1-5yrs. Inclusive nature inspired kindergarten readiness program with Christian values. CiaraEarlyChildhoodCentre. Island Kids Academy Esquimalt ..............250-381-2929 High quality child care (ages 1-5). Enriched Curriculum Includes Music Classes and Character Development using the Virtues Project. Part -time spaces available. La Pré-Maternelle Appletree Preschool .....250-479-0292 A French Immersion Program. 30 months to school age. Licensed Christian centre.

Child Care

Resource & Referral 56

Island Parent Magazine

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

250-590-3603 Cub House waitlist: 778-432-3600

MeTcHoSIN West-Mont Montessori School ................250-474-2626 Exceptional preschool Montessori instruction in a beautiful natural environment. Ages 30 months and up. Providing a balanced approach to incorporating French, Music, Art and Nature. Stop by and experience what it is like to be part of a community devoted to the development of the whole child. Open House: Thursdays 9-11 am.

• Half day and Full day Preschool Programs • Children’s learning is nurtured and supported through exploration, discovery, play and creative expression 3905 Haro Road, Victoria BC

250-477-3731 Camosun College Child Care Services........250-370-4880 Quality licensed facilities on both campuses providing children, newborn to 5 years, with rich early learning experiences in a learn through play environment. Full o’ Beans Preschool .............................. 250-360-1148 We offer ‘learn through play’ programming designed to foster your child’s natural curiosity and imagination. Flexible scheduling, 2.5 and 4 hour programs, qualified staff. Registration is ongoing! Island Montessori House ....................250-592-4411 Inclusive, integrated and nurturing Preschool and After School Care programs. Lovely rural setting with a focus on nature and outdoor environmental activities. Lambrick Park Preschool & Childcare....... 250-477-8131 Gordon Head’s parent-participation preschool and childcare center. Flexible hours M-F 9am-3pm & drop-ins offered. Play based learning and outdoor play. Allergy friendly. Celebrating 40 years.

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

oaK Bay Emmanuel Preschool ............................. 250-598-0573 Children learn through play in our non-denominational Christian preschool near UVic. Bright attractive setting. Gonzales Co-op Preschool ...................... 250-727-1003 An imaginative Reggio Emilia inspired Learning-Through-Play community that focuses on nature, music, and arts. Recreation Oak Bay ................................250-370-7200 Fully licensed, ECE Daycare, Preschool and Nature Preschool. Play based, child led learning. Afterschool care available.

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul has opened a brand new licensed child care facility in Royal Oak at 4353 West Saanich Road. We currently have openings in our over 36 months program operating Monday to Friday. For more information call 250-727-0007 and ask for Maureen Hall, Manager or email us at

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

Montessori Educare.................................250-881-8666 Beautiful learning environment in Broadmead and Saanichton. 30 months to 5 years. All year round.

Licenced group childcare for children ages 1 to 12 years old

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

Open 6:30am–5:30pm

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

Pre-School Junior Kindergarten 250-479-4532 Educational Excellence to the Glory of God Rainbows & Dreams Preschool................ 250-479-1966 Small classes for 3-5 yr olds in a safe nurturing environment. Children learn through play and fun–developing a sense of confidence, independence and creativity. Highly qualified ECE teacher. Ready Set Grow Preschool....................... 250-472-1530 Inside Hillcrest Elm. in Gordon Head, we help children transition to Kindergarten. Licensed Preschool with highly qualified, warm ECE. St. Joseph’s Catholic Preschool................... 250-479-1237 • A Christian child centre for 3–5 year olds. • A warm nurturing and challenging program • Offered by St. Joseph’s Catholic School. Wiseways Preschool & Daycare................ 250-477-1312 Quality, fully licensed, Christian preschool/daycare for 3–4 year olds. Experienced team of ECEs. Spacious facilities include large playground and indoor gym. Subsidized fees welcome. Call for a tour.

SIDNEY Positive Path Early Learning....................250-655-7244 Located near the library and Sidney School, our program has earned a stellar reputation for quality child care and is growing as fast as the children we care for. Space is available for your child to embark on a journey of active exploration and discovery, enjoying a natural outdoor playground and an expansive indoor learning space. Experienced educators foster a lifelong quest for knowledge and guide children with Christian values and virtues. Storyoga Preschool................................. 778-679-4004 Embracing and empowering children exactly as they are. Storyoga Preschool is a nature and yoga based program located in Sidney, BC.


v Comprehensive programs for Preschool through Grade 8 v Delivering academic excellence through music, dance, drama and visual arts v Outstanding educators, locations and facilities 250.382.3533

Offering Before & After school care for Vic West Elementary School 250-590-2722

949 Fullerton Ave

Castleview Child Care............................. 250-595-5355 Learning Through Play & Discovery. Licensed non-profit, ECE staff. Since 1958. Morning or full-time care. Centennial Day Care............................... 250-386-6832 Exceptional childcare and education 35+ years. Nature inspired, play based program. NEW central, “green” building. Christ Church Cathedral Childcare and Junior Kindergarten.......................... 250-383-5132 ECE and Specialist teachers provide an outstanding all-day, licensed program for 3–5 year olds. Spacious, renovated facility with a huge backyard in Fairfield. Little Paws Preschool...............................250-384-3211 A program designed to enhance children’s creativity, interdependence, independence and to expand self-expression. Website:

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

DUNCAN International Montessori Academy of Canada................................................. 250-737-1119 Offers an enriching environment for preschool children 2-4.9 years with potty training. Nurturing young minds, keeping the spirit free. Parkside Academy..................................... 250-746-1711 Providing high quality early learning and care from infancy to 12 years of age, in a stimulating, respectful, nurturing, nature based environment with fully educated and passionate early childhood educators. Visit or find us on Facebook. 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. Queen of Angels Early Learning Centre...... 250-701-0433 We believe that the development of the whole child (physically, socially, emotionally, cognitively, and spiritually) encourages each individual to develop to their full potential. We offer an enriched full day program for 3–5 year olds based on Kindergarten readiness.

Nightingale Preschool and Junior Kindergarten Ltd....................250-595-7544 We offer education through creativity and play, providing rich learning experiences through a well sourced and stimulating indoor and outdoor environment. Early years reading programme. Arts/Drama programme.

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

Rainbow Express Daycare....................... 250-382-2314 A nurturing environment for children to learn through play and discovery in a natural setting. ECEs and specialist teachers. Close to city centre.

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



Positive and supportive program motivating children to learn, discover and grow through play. Kindness Curriculum, Jolly Phonics and Active Outdoor Play!

250-383-7445 The Sir James Douglas Playschool.......... 250-389-0500 Fun, creative and educational ECE program for 3-5 year olds to grow and develop life long skills. Come play and learn in our bright and modern centre in Fairfield. Victoria Montessori................................ 250-380-0534 Unique, innovative learning environment combining the best of Montessori and Learning Through Play. Open yr. round. 30mths–K.

VIEW ROYAL Island Kids Academy View Royal.............250-727-2929 High quality child care (ages 1-5). Preschool curriculum offered within a warm, caring child care environment. Character development using the Virtues Project. Access to community programs including swimming, skating, Victoria Conservatory of Music. Part-time spaces available. View Royal Childcare...............................250-479-8067 Preschool structured, high quality childcare. Victoria Conservatory of Music classes. Part time spaces available. 2.5-5year olds.

Aspengrove School.................................. 250-618-2201 Aspengrove School in Nanaimo, an independent school offering Junior Kindergarten for 3 & 4 year olds. Play-based learning, rooted in the same International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum taught in our Kindergarten-Grade 12 classes.

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

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.

September 2017  57

Happy New Beginnings W hen we registered Angus for kindergarten back in January of 2016, I was sure that the school dilemma was over for us. Mike and I had spent months weighing our options, talking to principals, worrying and second-guessing. Finally we made our choice and crossed “school” off the list of life-decisions we needed to make for our child. We’d found the right fit for us. And in many ways it was the right fit. We agreed with the values and principles of the school, we appreciated the style of

between schools—new kids, new teachers, new expectations—is not ideal for a kid who thrives on routine. But Angus’s kindergarten experience was not what we had hoped for. In fact, it was yet another lesson in the big truth he has been teaching us for six years: what makes sense to Mike and me isn’t always the best choice for our child. This past year, I spent a lot of time wondering what it would be like to send a neuro-typical kid to school. I imagined how much easier it would be to navigate

teaching. Angus ended up with the greatest kindergarten teacher we could have hoped for. He had classmates with kind hearts and unflappable tolerance. And yet, this September when he starts Grade 1, Angus is going elsewhere. There were so many reasons for us to leave Angus at the school we had first selected. For one thing, the transition

the school system the way my mom did when I was a kid, and the way I assume some parents still do. What if my biggest decision was between French Immersion and English? What if I could walk Angus to our neighbourhood school and drop him off, confident he’d be fine. Confident that recess would be enjoyable because

58  Island Parent Magazine

he had friends to play with and that if there was a change in routine, he’d roll with it. What if every time my cell phone rang I didn’t automatically assume it was Angus’s school, that something was wrong, and that I would need to pick him up. Most importantly: what if when I did pick him up, he was happy way more often than not. Angus’s kindergarten experience taught us what to look for. Ultimately, it doesn’t

Laura Trunkey Maternity & Beyond matter how much Mike and I agree with the values and principles of a school, or the style of teaching. What matters most are the resources available to create the bridge between Angus and those values and principles. What matters is how much training the school staff has in accommodating kids with special needs. What matters is support for the support staff. How much autonomy do they have to adapt lesson plans for different learners? Are they teachers’ assistants, or educational assistants? It might sound like only a semantic difference, but it’s a fundamental one. I am confident that Angus’s first grade class will be right for him, that a sturdy bridge will be built to facilitate his learning, and that he’ll have plenty of help getting across. Angus is confident about this too. We had a day at the new school in the middle of June. When class was dismissed, he ran out into the hallway where I was waiting: “I had a great day!” he said. May all of your children embarking on new experiences this September recount their adventures with the same exuberance Angus had that day. Happy new beginnings!

Laura Trunkey is mother to the amazing Angus and the author of a forthcoming short fiction collection from House of Anansi. Email


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September 2017


Advertisers Directory Arabesque Dance...............39 Oak & Orca.................. 32, 40 Arbutus Grove...................IFC Oyaco.............................. 12 Art Gallery.........................20 Pumpkin Pie Kids................ 61 Aspengrove.......................44 Rebecca Wellman Ballet Victoria....................27


BeConnected.....................38 Resthouse......................... 41 Belfry Theatre..................... 5 Rosemary Colterman...........45 Bellies in Bloom...............BFG Royal BC Museum............... 13 Brown Henderson Melbye.... 61 Saanich Dental...............17, 27 Browne Associates.............. 15 Saanich Recreation.............. 3 CISV................................. 31 Sailor Jack......................BFG Cridge Centre.................... 51 Scouts Canada...................48 Crystal Pool......................IBC Serious Coffee................... 31 Dance Unlimited.................55 Smart Tutor Referrals..........55 Discovery School................53 St. Margaret’s....................22 Dr. Joslin, Dr. Morin & Associates.................IFC

St Michaels University School...........IBC

Emmanuel Preschool...........35 Stages.........................19, 20 Fierce Martial Arts Studio.....25 Sugar Sandwich Flying Squirrel...................28 Foster Parent

Design Studio..............BFG Swan Lake........................43

Support Services............38 Theatre One......................46 Four Seasons

Thistle & Wren..................BFG

Musical Theatre..............26 Thrifty Foods.....................33 Franco Centre.................... 14 TJ’s The Kiddie Store...........10 Galey Farms......................40 Tom Lee Music...................35 Games2U........................BFG The Tube Shack..................38 Hulitan.............................52 Vancouver Island Baby Fair...62 IMAX................................24 Victoria Academy of Ballet.... 14 Island Montessori............... 19 Victoria Bug Zoo.................37 Juan De Fuca Skating........... 4 Victoria Conservatory Kaleidoscope Theatre.........IFC

of Music....................... 21

Kate Rubin........................ 13 Victoria Gymnastics.............BC Kool & Child.......................23 Victoria Judo Club............... 61 L.I.F.E. Seminars................26 Victoria Midwives................ 6 Leap Forward Childcare....... 31 Victoria School for Lexie’s Little Bears..............39

Ideal Education..............36

Lifestyle Markets................24 Victoria School of Local Urban Bites...............55

Irish Dance....................36

MacDonald Realty............... 18 Victoria Sport Synchro.........35 Mad Science...................... 18 VIHA.................................50 Maria Montessori............... 21 Welcome Wagon.................25 Mary Rogers Music.............26 Westmont Montessori..........37 Maxine Fisher....................54 Westcoast Reach................ 17 Momease........................IFC Westshore Motocross..........46 Mothering Touch..........BFG, 11 Westshore Parks Nanaimo Conservatory........37

and Recreation.............. 15

O’Brien Irish Dance.............23 West View Plumbing............ 51

60  Island Parent Magazine

Muskrat Musings


ook! There’s a baby beaver! Wait, no it’s an otter…no, what is THAT?!” With its stout body and short, thick brown or black fur, the Muskrat is easily confused with other semi-aquatic creatures but it definitely stands on its own two feet. The easiest way to distinguish a Muskrat from all other mammals is its long, naked, scaly black tail which is flattened vertically, rather than horizontally like a beaver, and is dragged along the ground while walking. Although originally intrigued by the Muskrat’s cute appearance, we here at Swan Lake find that the sudden observation of their rat-like tail proves a bit disconcerting for some visitors. Although found in the same wetland habitats as otters and beavers, Muskrats are much smaller—only 40 to 70 cm long— with half of that length composed of tail. They have partially webbed hind feet and are also smaller than the introduced South American Nutria (also known as a Coypu or River Rat), which has a white muzzle and white whiskers. Like all rodents, Muskrats (Ondatra zibethicus), have prominent gnawing teeth and are highly adaptable. They spend much of their time in the water and are well suited for their semiaquatic life, swimming under water for 12 to 17 minutes. Their bodies, like those of seals and whales, are less sensitive to the buildup of carbon dioxide and they can close off their ears to keep the water out. Muskrats are most closely related to voles, lemmings, and mice. However, they are the lone species in the genus Ondatra and are native to only North America although introduced in parts of Europe, Asia, and South America. The Canadian distribution of Muskrats is coast-to-coast south of the arctic tundra. The essential feature of Muskrat habitat is a body of fresh water, such as permanent marshes (like Swan Lake!) and pond margins that are shallow enough to support thick growths of plants such as cattails, bulrushes, sedges or horsetails, but deep enough to not freeze to the bottom in winter. Muskrats are active year round and crepuscular omnivores meaning that they hunt a variety of foods mostly at dawn and dusk. Plant materials, such as cattails,

horsetails, sedges, water lilies and duckweeds compose about 95 per cent of their diets but Muskrats occasionally eat animals such as clams, snails, freshwater mussels, frogs, crayfish, fish, small turtles and bird nestlings. An individual Muskrat consumes vegetation equivalent to about one-third of its body weight daily. They do not store food for the winter, but sometimes eat the insides of their shelters. Muskrats have small home ranges that rarely extend more than about 100 metres from their lodges or bank dens. The basic social unit is a breeding pair, which defend their home range territory against occupation by other adults, especially during the breeding season. Like most rodents, they are prolific breeders. Females can have two or three litters of six to eight young annually. Although the adult male remains as an occupant of the den, he does not participate in the care of the young. The babies are born small and hairless, and weigh only about 22 grams. As is typical for animals with high reproductive rates, Muskrats have high natural mortality rates and are short-lived (about three years). Many are killed by predators while others, especially when population density is high, die from disease, starvation, exposure, and wounds suffered during fighting. Muskrat families build nests to protect themselves and their young from cold and predators. In streams, ponds, or lakes, muskrats burrow into the bank and create an underwater entrance approximately 15 to 20 cm wide. They also create conical “feeding huts” or “push-ups” constructed from vegetation and mud which can stand up to a meter above the water. Muskrats also build feeding platforms out of vegetation in wetlands, which provide habitat for a variety of animals, including snakes, turtles, frogs, ducks, swans and geese to rest and nest in. They help maintain open areas in marshes by harvesting plants for food and den sites, which creates open water for ducks, geese, shorebirds, and other wildlife. Along with their positive impact on the ecology of wetlands, Muskrats are a resource of food and fur for humans. Following the same trails through the wetlands, and consistently feeding at regular sites, Muskrats are easy pickings for trappers.

They also have value beyond their pelts, serving as food for some people in northern communities and for a number of predators such as the mink, wolves, otters, bears, eagles, snakes, large owls and hawks on Vancouver Island. Despite their usefulness

Coral Forbes Nature Notes to humans, Muskrats are considered pests when their burrowing activity damages dams, docks and dikes, and when they feed on crops. Although current Muskrat populations are strong on Vancouver Island, their dependence on wetlands make them susceptible to population reductions due to habitat degradation. Lowland areas are most heavily occupied and used by humans, and wetlands continue to be lost or damaged as a result of urban, industrial, and agricultural developments. The other day while I was leading a senior’s nature education program and introducing the group to the mighty Muskrat, I was asked “What is its purpose?” I took this as a “Why should we care?” sort of question which we try to answer thoughtfully. Well, if the encouragement of other aquatic species and providing food for a number of animals, including humans doesn’t interest you, then the simple answer is what I ended up replying to the inquisitive senior, “Joy!” For some reason the Muskrats here at the sanctuary are unusually tame (perhaps contributing to their Most-Trapped Animal in History award), allowing for visitors to watch them closely. This makes for countless memorable experiences for both adults and children alike. Many a visitor to the sanctuary has watched Muskrats glide by and forage right beside the floating boardwalk. Of course excitement undoubtedly leads to curiosity and then the age-old question: “What is it?” To support the preservation of our reOur maining wetlands so that there is always a place for Muskrats and those who enjoy their company, please visit to learn more about how you can help.

Announcement The Victoria Judo Club is moving to a new location. 2780 Richmond Rd, Gymnasium Class Times: Juniors, Monday and Wednesday @ 6pm (starting Sept 13th) Seniors, Monday and Wednesday @ 7:30pm (starting Sept 6th) For further information and updates please visit our website: Judo in Victoria since 1957 Wanted: We are currently searching for a new home for the 2018/2019 season and onwards! Contact: Jeremy Grant (250) 886-0056 JudoAdPressready.indd 1

8/20/17 3:04:53 PM

We wrote the book on Family Law. We wrote the book on Family Law. WeFamily wrote the book on Family Law. Family Law. It’s ALL we do. Law. It’s ALL we do. Really. Really.

Coral Forbes is a Program Naturalist at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary.


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Determined to Win


ho are you parenting? Has your child ever been described as stubborn, strong-willed or determined? While persistence is a wonderful trait it can also play into a negative pattern of behaviour. You say “no” and your child pushes harder. You might find yourself giving in, “Fine then, get the tattoo you little six-year-old!” Or, you might get locked into power struggles that escalate. The good news is that you can turn this around. First of all, if you are going to give in, give in right away. Don’t engage in a debate, this only trains your child to argue every time there is a limit. If you aren’t sure, rather than blurting out a “no,” ask for a moment to think about it. Use this time to do a control check. Am I sweating the small stuff? Is he needing more freedom

62  Island Parent Magazine

or independence? Am I being stubborn? Is this a limit that matters? If there is a negative pattern or an ongoing issue, work it out with your child at a neutral time, not in the heat of the moment. Persistent kids are great at going along with a plan if they are a part of it. Explain your desire to be fair and considerate and why having time to think about your answer is important. What could this look like? You can also explain that you are likely to say “no” if there is a demand. This isn’t being over-controlling, it is teaching a boundary that applies to all relationships. It is respectful to give people time to think about things and hear a “no.” When there is a reasonable “no,” state the reason for the limit and give your child empathy. Persistent kids grieve the loss of their ideas. They feel the disappointment strongly. Let them know you understand they are

disappointed and why they feel that way. This can help your child change gears. You also need to know when to end the conversation. Continuing with explana-

Allison Rees Cut It Out! tions too long or getting wrapped up in the negative emotions doesn’t give your child the chance to move on. At this point you may lovingly disengage, perhaps it’s a good time to use the washroom? Now your persistent child might try to follow you so explain your need for privacy as you lock yourself in the bathroom. Once you are in there, turn on the taps, breathe and congratulate yourself as you look in the mirror. “That was a reasonable ‘No.’ Good job!”

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September 2017 Island Parent  

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