Island Parent Magazine August September 2021

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Vancouver Island’s Parenting Resource for 33 Years

Truth & ReconciliACTION

The Lazy Mom’s Back-to-School Survival Guide

7” × 4.5” 08/04/21

SHE CAN. Make a happy start.

St. Margaret’s School

Preschool for today’s child   ...and tomorrow’s inner child. FILE NAME: SMS_21-0251_Summer-Campaign_JK-to-1_Print-Ad_Island-Parent DATE: 08/04/21







Young children possess boundless imagination, perfect openness to the world and all its beauty, and the inborn idea that anything is possible. We believe that these wonderful gifts should not fade with age. With an innovative program enriched by music, dance, theatre and visual arts, our goal is to enable children to fully explore and express these gifts in an endless variety of ways. Inspiring and nurturing today’s child firmly implants their future inner child – that playfulness, creativity, vision and confidence that will enable them to realize their dreams.

Preschool to Grade 12  2  Island Parent Magazine  250-382-3533

“When I examine myself and my method of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing knowledge.” – Albert Einstein

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In Every Issue


Fast Forward

Get Set for Back-to-School Success

Creating a positive learning experience for your child at home.

Features 10

Five Ways to Enjoy Your River

Connect to and celebrate local waterways. OUTDOOR RECREATIONAL COUNCIL OF B.C.

How to take the next steps in your family’s journey of decolonization and empowerment.



Need to Know





Truth & ReconciliACTION



Tips to Slash Back-to-School Spending



Happy Families, Healthy Families

Ease the financial stress of back-to-school.





Family Calendar


Sun Safety

How to protect children from getting too much sun. CANADIAN PEDIATRIC SOCIETY


25 Best Indigenous Picture Books

From Sea to Sea to Sea, celebrate the very best Indigenous picture books.



12 simple ways to create islands of sanity.

Nature Notes

How to Create Community & Tend to a Village LINDSAY COULTER


Starting School


What’s for Dinner

I Spy…Fractals!

Ways to make life easier— right from the start.

Exploring the geometry of nature.







Businesses You Need to Know


Preschool & Child Care Directory



On the Cover Scott S (3) and Kamile S (6) Photo by Nycky-jay Vanjecek Bluetree Photography bluetreephotography



Vancouver Island’s Parenting Resource for 33 Years

Truth & ReconciliACTION

The Lazy Mom’s Back-to-School Survival Guide

4  Island Parent Magazine

Jim Schneider  Publisher Sue Fast  Editor Kristine Wickheim  Account Manager RaeLeigh Buchanan  Account Manager Island Parent Magazine, published by Island Parent Group Enterprises Ltd., is a bimonthly 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. Island Parent is distributed free in selected areas. Annual mail subscriptions (7 issues) are available for $21 (GST included). Canadian Publication Mail Product Sales Agreement 40051398. ISSN 0838-5505.

Island Parent Magazine


518 Caselton Place, Victoria, BC V8Z 7Y5

A proud member of



​​ Things to Do Before Summer 6½ Ends & School Gets Going Again


here’s something about the end of summer and the start of a new school year that, though bittersweet, brings a renewed sense of purpose and energy. With fall just around the corner, now’s the time to enjoy what’s left of summer—while also gearing up for the start of a new season. Here are some ideas and suggestions designed to help get your family off to a great start: 1. Make a list of all that’s left on your summer ‘to do’ list— and do it! Haven’t had a chance to swim at Sooke Potholes yet? Go now! Always wanted to beachcomb at Sombrio Beach? Check the tide charts and go when it’s low! Craving ice cream and a stroll along Discovery Pier in Campbell River? Prepare for brain freeze! 2. Organize a back-to-school get-together and let kids (re) unite. A great way to break the ice before the first day of school is by getting together so kids and families can get to know each other ahead of time. It can make all the difference on that first day, seeing a familiar face. 3. Walk through a ‘soft start’ to the new school year. Try getting to bed a little earlier, packing a lunch, walking the route to school—or anything else that you think might help your child adjust to the soon-to-be new routine.

4. Combine fun with getting stuff done. Shopping for school supplies? Stray from the list and let kids choose a few unconventional and more personalized items, or combine the shopping trip with an end-of-the-summer camping trip up Island! 4½. While you’re school supply shopping, consider buying one or two extra items—or fill a backpack with supplies— to donate to your child’s school. 5. Create a new ritual to mark the start of September and the new school year. Pancakes for dinner on the night before the first day of school? Have a camp-in instead of a camp-out, pop popcorn, watch a movie, talk about your favourite summer memories and what everyone’s looking forward to this fall. 6. Celebrate the small stuff. Made it through the first week? Throw a pizza party—or even a frisbee at the local park! —and celebrate the start of the new season. Social psychologists tell us that when we stop to celebrate and savour the good stuff, not only do we buffer ourselves against bad and build resilience, but we also spark joy. So slow down and savour what’s left of summer and get ready to celebrate the successes of fall!​​ – Sue Fast, Editor

Cl as se

s Be g i n



ber 7t h

Performing Arts School since 1980

sses l Cla o o S ch ls... Pre - le ange e t im itt Day or the l f

Come Dance With Us

• Offering classes for Teens & Pre-Teens in Jazz, Ballet, Lyrical, Tap. Musical Theatre, Acrobatics & Hip Hop, in a non-competitive atmosphere. • Not sure which class to take? - Try a Drop-In: No hassle, No Obligation. STAGES Performing Arts School #301 1551 Cedar Hill X Rd Call 250-384-3267 Email us at: Or visit our website:

August/September 2021  5


Murals of Chemainus

Follow the yellow footsteps to discover more than 54 murals and nine sculptures depicting Chemainus’ colourful past. See the Historical series, the Emily Carr-inspired series and the new community mural series. Play the piano in the new mural In Tune With Nature and take a stroll through the Chemainus Labyrinth. For your official mural guide, drop by the Chemainus Visitors Centre. Proceeds go to the Chemainus Festival of Murals Society.

Orange Shirt Day Buy an orange shirt at All proceeds of the sales of the orange shirts and related products go towards the annual Xe Xe Smun’ Eem Orange Shirt Day Ceremony, Residential School Survivors and the continuing year-round costs of raising awareness of the effects of Residential Schools. Or buy an orange shirt designed by Indigenous artist Carey Newman to honour the 215 Indigenous children found by the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation at a former residential school in Kamloops. Choose from the heart and hands orange shirt or the feather design, from previous years. All proceeds go to the Witness Blanket Legacy Fund ( and the Orange Shirt Day Society ( To order, email

The ABC’s of Language Development A new book co-authored by a UBC professor outlines the latest research and practical strategies to support the language development of all children—and the ebook will be available free. The ABC’s of Language Development: Discover Language With Your Child is organized in an A-B-C format, allowing busy caregivers to choose a letter to read, check out the tips on pages with yellow borders or explore the science on pages with blue borders. The second ABC’s book from KidCareCanada, The ABC’s of Language Development outlines the latest research and practical strategies to support the language development of all children. 6  Island Parent Magazine

Science in the Park

Come explore local parks and protected areas with Nanaimo Science’s outreach educators in August. Explore Nanaimo’s diverse habitats with nature


hikes, explorations of local flora and fauna, science games and art projects. 10am-noon. Dropin. Free. August 3–5 at Pipers Lagoon Park August 10–12 at Elaine Hamilton Park/Richards Marsh August 17–19 at Bowen Park (meet by the duck pond)

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Your fur babies will have additional options for play in select Saanich parks this summer. Temporary fencing will be set up for two weeks at a time rotating through different Saanich parks:

Pop-up Dog Parks

Gorge Park: Until August 9 Rudd Park: August 10 to August 23 Cadboro-Gyro Park: August 24 to September 7 Open 7am-10pm

​​Calling All Young Potterheads Make magic in the kitchen with easy, friendly recipes designed for kid chefs and inspired by the Harry Potter series. With 50 easy-to-follow, low-mess recipes, you and your kids will learn to cook all of the best wizarding world favorites. The Unofficial Hogwarts Cookbook for Kids by Alana Al-Hatlani, will have aspiring witches and wizards brewing potions, baking stellar treats, and cooking creative dishes in no time. As a family, you’ll have fun learning cooking terms and kitchen skills with recipes that range in complexity so that all kid chefs and their potions masters (or parents) can whip up something amazing.


Dreamscape is about imagining what’s possible without the confines of reality. After a year like 2020, we could all use a healthy dose of creativity, imagination and big dreams. The mural festival is designed to inspire the community and even just briefly, take us to a place where anything is possible. August 15–28 |

The Fates From August 25 to early September, SKAM Young Company (SYC) presents The Fates: There’s Always More Below the Surface. On the evening before the start of a new school year, Inez, Lottie and Nell arrive separately to a party at a lake cabin, each with their own desires for a fresh start. When the girls are drawn to a dock on the lake and all witness something slightly mystical, eerie and unexplainable, they begin to wonder if they have a real opportunity to each change one aspect of their pasts, and in turn alter their futures. Over the course of the evening, Skam Young Company dives into the girls’ pasts, unearths the secrets they’re keeping, and comes to realize that their lives aren’t what they appear to be on the surface. For information and tickets, visit

LEARN TO SKATE for ages 3-6


for ages 4 and up Email

JuandeFuca S k a t i n g C l u b ONGOING REGISTRATION AT August/September 2021  9

Truth & ReconciliACTION How to take the next step on your journey of decolonization


ike many parents, my partner Levi and I were extremely saddened to hear the number of children whose bodies have been recovered by the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Nation, then those by the Cowessess First Nation, then those by the ʔaq̓ am community in the Ktunaxa Nation, then those by the Penelakut Tribe… It has been tough announcement after tough announcement over the last few months. Then there are at least 133 more Indian Residential School System (IRSS) sites to investigate so what we have experienced so far is only a fraction of them. More sadness and discomfort will come—perhaps, so too, will feelings of rage, betrayal or shame, depending on how your family has been impacted or how aware you were previously. Levi is a member of the Gitga’at First Nation through his grandmother on his father’s side, with strong family connections to the Lamalchi People of the Gulf Islands. His nana and papa on his mother’s side are of Scottish and English ancestry. My ancestry includes Scottish, Irish, Norwegian, Swedish and English family members. Like many parents, we have had to explain to our five-yearold why we have been wearing orange shirts so often in the past few months, why she can’t take a teddy bear home from the hundreds on the stairs at the BC provincial legislature, why there are shoes just her size underneath the totem pole at her new school where she will be attending kindergarten next year. With each announcement, we can’t help but put ourselves 10  Island Parent Magazine

in the shoes of those families who lost their children forever. Each time, we try to avoid imagining the fear of imminently losing our child to a lifetime of abuse, shame, family and cultural disconnection, PTSD, addiction, substance abuse, poverty, incarceration—or death. We have also had to explain to our daughter why we have become extra sad, exhausted, irritable and/or overbearingly affectionate lately. With each announcement, we remember that without the tireless resistance, ingenuity and determination of her ancestors and some key non-Indigenous allies, the Indian Residential School System would still be in place. While we are fostering her excited anticipation of getting ready to go to “big kid school,” we can’t stop thinking that if she had been born one generation ago, we could have instead been trying to figure out how to tell her that she will need to “be brave” to survive the horror to come. Unlike some parents, we knew all too well how many thousands of children are waiting to be recovered and remembered by Canadians, because the threat of the Indian Residential School System has shaped the decisions and ongoing life circumstances of Levi’s family for generations. We have had the privilege to listen to Elders, participate in anti-racism workshops, take Indigenous history courses at university and received guidance from Indigenous educators and leaders who have been trying to change the status quo for decades. In 2015, we had the honour of reading the Truth and

ciliation Commission (TRC) of Canada’s findings, witnessing the TRC exhibit and attending workshops with survivors. We invite you to join us in taking action to cope with this historical and contemporary reality. We would like to offer ideas to support you in deciding what might be the best direction for you and your family to head in your learning and how to take the next steps in your journeys of decolonization and empowerment. We were not shocked, as many have been. However, we still share the pain that many parents feel, and will continue to feel as each of the IRSS sites are searched and more children are recovered. It is critical that we do not become desensitized to this horror, and instead come up with ways to honour each child, each family, each community that is impacted directly, so they are not left alone in their pain. When we share the pain, we can also share in the healing, and share in the determination to make sure future children do not suffer in this way. There are currently more Indigenous children in foster care than there ever were at one time in the IRSS system. This reality is one of the many intergenerational impacts and direct consequences of this genocidal system. These were not schools. They were re-education prisons, and the lessons they taught so cruelly were how not to parent, how not to learn, how not

to be a community member, how not to be a leader, all so that Indigenous people could be cleared from their land and disconnected from the resources Canadians hunger for. Despite this, so many Indigenous families have survived and are working hard to heal, grow, learn, lead and be better parents for their children’s children. Across the land and across cultural backgrounds, I think all parents do share the pain and the imperative to do something to help our children build a community where the next generation will be protected from systemic racism, colonial violence and the shameful agony of being complicit in oppression. In preparation for Orange Shirt Day on September 30, please consider how you and your family will continue to learn about the historical realities of Canada and unpack racist concepts so that you are better prepared to answer your children’s questions and guide their learning. Levi’s advice on this journey is to: Be direct; don’t shy away from uncomfortable topics. This doesn’t mean we have to beat children over the head with traumatic details. Answer children’s questions honestly, even if or especially when you don’t know the answer. Our

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introduction to residential schools for kindergarten to grade 12. Comparing the poems “I lost my talk” by Rita Joe and “I’m finding my talk” by Rebecca Thomas is a good way to start understanding the trauma, goals and long-term impacts of the IRS System without going too deep into nightmarish details with younger children. It is important to recognize that the children in our lives are being exposed to a lot of different messaging about the IRS system, Indigenous/neocolonial conflicts, systemic racism and personal prejudice right now through different forms of media. When our daughter is exposed to derogatory opinions, words or perspectives, we do not let these pass. We search for respectful ways to articulate or discuss challenging situations. I call this “interrogating our language.” It is important to notice, reflect upon and consciously choose the words you use. For example, many media articles continue to capitalize all other ethnicities of people except for Indigenous people, and some still dehumanize First Nations, Metis or Inuit people by lumping distinct nations together as “Aboriginals.” The way we talk about people is as important as learning the true history, intergenerational impacts, and consequences of colonialism. Be kind, gentle and generous with yourself and others in this journey.

default answer is, “That is an important observation. I don’t know enough about it, so let’s find out together.” When bringing up topics in decolonization or anti-racism, choose your moment. Keep in mind the emotional states of everyone involved, recognizing that this work takes energy, tact, care and compassion. In our family, for example, we do not talk about residential schools after the sun has set. Story is a great place to start with kids; they are an easy access point for all of us. A lot of European folklore tackles a lot of awful realities, especially when we read the Hans Christian Anderson or Brothers Grimm originals instead of relying on the sanitized Disney versions. For example, “Hansel and Gretel” teaches children that taking candy from strangers may lead to abduction and death. These stories aimed at kids didn’t shy away from heavy topics, but use metaphor to teach while protecting innocence; they are instructive and help prepare children for situations and dilemmas they may find themselves in. They also introduce children to character traits that enable all of us to build empathy, resilience and confidence in our ability to overcome difficulty and solve problems. In much the same way, books and poems from Indigenous authors can help children learn about the history and consequences of residential schools, serving as a starting point for important family discussions. We like to read age-appropriate selections from My name is Sapeetza by Shirley Sterling as an 12  Island Parent Magazine

Resources Find out which First Nations peoples have rights and responsibilities in the particular territory you live, work and learn in using the First Peoples Map of BC at Territories often overlap, so you may then want to check out the websites of each First Nation in your area, many of which are also linked on Once you know how to spell a Nation’s name in their own language, you can learn how to pronounce their Nation’s name, alphabet, place names etc by looking up many languages on Check with your local bookstore for local Indigenous authors; these are helpful to get an understanding of the diversity of Indigenous experiences and perspectives. Some of our favourite books are The Terror of the Coast by Chris Arnett, Conversations with Canadians by Lee Maracle, the Trickster series by Eden Robinson, The Truth about Stories and The Inconvenient Indian or really anything by Thomas King. TRC Calls to Action: pick an action based on your sector (Education, Business, Sports, Media, Child Welfare, Justice, etc). Reading the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Final Report from will make your action more effective and informed. Please read this instead of asking survivors to recount their traumatic experiences or speak in languages they have been stripped of—unless of course they offer to. MMIWG: read the report from the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls Inquiry. Write a letter in support of the Calls for Justice to your MLA, MP, local police, newspaper or employer. You can display a red dress, wear a red dress pin or join the Moosehide campaign to show your support for survivors of violence. Feb 14 is the annual Women’s Memorial March. Online Activism: Follow Idle No More—Official on Facebook or Jared Qwustenuxun Williams—become a patron! Join a group such as Moms Against Racism Canada to discuss how to become anti-racist, book a workshop or get more culturally diverse books into homes and classrooms. Access to Media Education Society also has curricular resources and shares young Indigenous filmmakers’ work, such as “Acknowledging Our Shared Territory” and “Wisdom Harvest.” Orange Shirt Day: Since 2013, September 30th is an annual day to reaffirm that “Every Child Matters—including those like Orange Shirt Society founder Phyllis Webstad, who were made to feel worthless through the IRSS. Phyllis has published “The Orange Shirt Story” for children. Please make sure you avoid non-Indigenous online retailers who have illegally copied and stolen (culturally appropriated) the design from, as the proceeds are needed to support survivors. You can wear your orange shirt any day to honour survivors and express compassion for their families, which is especially helpful when announcements are made that more children have been recovered. Donate to support the Indian Residential School Survivors Society: If you are a survivor or intergenerational survivor in crisis, you can call 1-800-721-0066 for support.

Levi Wilson is a member of the Gitga’at First Nation through his grandmother on his father’s side, with strong family connections to the Lamalchi People of the Gulf Islands through his grandfather. His nana and papa on his mother’s side are of Scottish and English ancestry. His B.A. is in First Nations Studies and History. Emily Menzies is an outdoor educator with a M.Ed. in Special Education, who focuses on how to ensure Indigenous students with exceptionalities can flourish within the public education system. They are both middle school teachers qualified through SFU’s Indigenous Perspectives program and are raising a precocious 5-year-old. Together, they have been facilitating “eco-cultural” nature walks, Indigenous book clubs, territorial acknowledgements and presentations on a variety of Indigenous Education topics for over 10 years. For more information, please visit

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Top Indigenous Picture Books This collection of 25 of the best Indigenous picture books published in Canada between 2018 and 2020 is from the latest edition of From Sea to Sea to Sea: Celebrating Indigenous Picture Books The Pencil

By Susan Avingaq, Inuit, and Maren Vsetula; Illustrated by Charlene Chua. Based on Avingaq’s memories of growing up in an iglu, this story is about three children who must amuse themselves when their anaana is called away to help deliver a baby

artist Gauthier shares a simple story that works as a rich metaphor for an Indigenous worldview.

It’s a Mitig!

By Bridget George, Anishinaabe. Take a trip through the forest while learning some basic Ojibwe nature words.

The Train

Lowanpi Mato’s Tipi

Métis Camp Circle: A Bison Culture Way of Life

When We Are Kind

By Jodie Callaghan, Mi’gmaq; Illustrated by Georgia Lesley. This gentle story introduces children to the residential school system through the eyes of Ashley, in conversation with her uncle.

By Leah Marie Dorion, Métis. Alongside colourful, full-page illustrations, Dorion outlines the traditional Métis way of life. Featuring text in both English and Michif, the story particularly focuses on the relationship between the Métis and the bison.

How the Moon Came to Be

By Leah Marie Dorion. With lyrical text and stunning illustrations, Dorion shares the traditional Métis story of Grandmother Moon’s creation, as well as how the moon and Mother Earth came to be named.


By Julie Flett, Cree/Métis. Young Katherena moves to a new home. She finds warmth and friendship after befriending Agnes, an elderly neighbour.

Sus Yoo/The Bear’s Medicine

By Clayton Gauthier, Cree/Dakelh. Told in the voice of a mother bear, this book by multimedia

Kim Soo Goodtrack, Hunkpapa Lakota, and Stan Lethbridge, Hunkpapa. Stan Lethbridge’s ancestral name is Lowanpi Mato. Through photographs and mixed media art, Stan and Kim Soo Goodtrack illustrate all the steps in building a summer tipi.

By Monique Gray Smith, Cree/Lakota; Illustrated by Nicole Neidhardt, Diné. When We Are Kind is a celebration of kindness, empathy and gratitude. The text is simple, yet powerful in conveying the importance and impact of being kind to others and ourselves.

The Eagle Mother

By Hetxw’ms Gyetxw (Brett D. Huson), Gitxsan Nation. From an unexpected storm in the Spring Salmon’s Returning Moon, Lasa ya’a, we follow an eagle mother as she protects her eggs from snow, through the Berry Moon as both parents hunt to feed their eaglets, to the babies’ time as fledglings when they “branch” and try their wings.

Awâsis and the World-Famous Bannock

By Dallas Hunt, Wapisewsipi (Swan River First Nation); Illustrated by Amanda Strong, Michif Awâsis is tasked with delivering Kôhkum’s (Grandmother’s) world-famous bannock to her relative, but as she walks, she loses it. Thankfully, she has many animal friends in the forest who help her along the way.

How I Survived: Four Nights on the Ice

By Serapio Ittusardjuat, Inuit; Illustrated by Matthew K. Hoddy. Based on real events, Serapio Ittusardjuat’s gripping story relates how he got stuck out on the ice for four nights when his snowmobile broke down. Relying on his traditional Inuit knowledge, Ittusardjuat explains what he did to survive. 14  Island Parent Magazine

I Lost My Talk

By Rita Joe, Mi’kmaq; Illustrated by Pauline Young, Mi’kmaq. In this spare, quiet poem, acclaimed Mi’kmaq poet Rita Joe speaks to the profound effect of having lost her language during her years at residential school, and her desire to find her talk again.

Meennunyakaa/Blueberry Patch

By Jennifer Leason, Saulteaux-Métis Anishinaabek, and Norman Chartrand, Saulteaux-Métis Anishinaabek; Illustrated by Jennifer Leason. It is the 1940s and a family is preparing for their annual trek by horse and wagon through the Manitoba bush to pick blueberries for a month.


By Nakota Sioux Language Keepers; Illustrated by Destry Love Roan. Featuring full-page colourful illustrations, Wahogicobi is sure to delight young readers and encourage language learning with simple kinship phrases in both English and Nakota Sioux.

Kits, Cubs and Calves: An Arctic Summer

By Suzie Napayok-Short, Inuit; Illustrated by Tamara Campeau. Akuluk is spending her summer with relatives in the Arctic. She accompanies her uncle and aunt out onto the open ocean by boat to check on their old camping grounds.

Tanna’s Owl

By Rachel Qitsualik-Tinsley, Inuit, and Sean

Qitsualik-Tinsley, Mohawk; Illustrated by Yong Ling Kang. Arctic owls belong both to the land and the sky, and the ability to bring those elements together is powerful.

Anishinabeg; Illustrated by Chief Lady Bird, Chippewa and Potawatomi. This is the story of Nibi (“water” in Anishinaabemowin). She is thirsty, but there is no clean water to drink in her community.

The Origin of Day and Night

Paula Ikuutaq Rumbolt, Inuit; Illustrated by Lenny Lishchenko. Tiri the Arctic fox prefers the dark for hunting, but Ukaliq the Arctic Hare calls for the daylight so that she can find moss to eat.

In My Anaana’s Amautik

By Nadia Sammurtok, Inuit; Illustrated by Lenny Lishchenko. In this loving story, we get a baby’s view of how comforting it is to be carried in an Inuit amautik, the pouch in the back of a woman’s parka.

Wolverine and Little Thunder: An Eel Fishing Story

By Alan Syliboy, Mi’kmaq. Mi’kmaq artist Alan Syliboy brings us a second story about Little Thunder, this time focusing on his friendship with the trickster Wolverine. While eel fishing, their favorite pastime, Wolverine awakens the legendary great eel and an exciting battle ensues.

Nibi’s Water Song

By Tenasco, Sunshine Tenasco, Kitigan Zibi

Swift Fox All Along

By Rebecca Thomas, Mi’kmaq; Illustrated by Maya McKibbin, Ojibwe, Yoeme and Irish. Based on Thomas’s own experiences, Swift Fox All Along recognizes the experiences of urban Indigenous youth connecting to their culture.

When We Had Sled Dogs: A Story from the Trapline/ ācimowin ohci wanihikīskanāhk

By Ida Tremblay, Cree/Nehiyawak, and Miriam Körner; Illustrated by Miriam Körner. Ida Tremblay’s childhood memories of travelling between her family’s summer fishing camp and winter traplines in Saskatchewan are accompanied by vibrant illustrations that bring the family’s hunting, fishing and canoeing adventures to life.

May We Have Enough to Share

Richard Van Camp, Tłıchǫ; Photographs by Tea & Bannock. Van Camp adds to his board book library with another ode to sharing, caring and family happiness.

The Girl and the Wolf

By Katherena Vermette, Métis. A little girl becomes lost in the woods. It is growing dark and she is cold and hungry. A wolf encourages her to close her eyes and breathe deeply to find food, to calm her fears and to find landmarks. IBBY Canada is one of more than 70 National Sections of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), a non-profit organization that was founded in the wake of World War II by Jella Lepman who believed in the power of children’s books to bridge cultures and, ultimately, to promote peace. ​​

Delivering RESULTS

Delivering Delivering You Don't Have to "Go RESULTS It Alone"


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Sylvan students typically see up to two to three through September 30th (regularly We know academic results are important so start the school year on $150) times moreacademic growthtoinyou, their math and reading We know results are important to CALL NOW PERSONALIZED TUTORING THAT GETS RESULTS valid at participatingSylvan Insight the right foot. Sylvan students typically see upcome toyear two to three timesOffer more scores than if they hadn't to Sylvan*. you, so start the school on the right foot. locations only. Expires Assessment $49 * Proven, personal and intensive tutoring programs, 09/30/2021. growth in their math and reading scores if they come to Sylvan*. Act nowstudents to take than control of thishadn’t school year. through September 30th Sylvan typically see up to two to three online OR in-person (regularly $150) times more growth their math and reading Act now to take control of this school year. CALL NOW Sylvan Insight * Highly customized learning plan toinensure your child


Free Assessment now academic results are important to Value $150 Sylvan of Vancouver Island Must Offer mention valid at participating o start the school on the right foot. scores than if they hadn't come $49 masters skills inyear math, reading, writing and moreto Sylvan*.Assessment locations only. Expires offer at time of 09/30/2021. through September 30th * Live online or in-person attention and learning time Act now take control this school year. n students see uptoto two toofthree Sylvantypically of Vancouver Island booking (regularly $150) with expert, caring Sylvan-certified teachers more growth in the their math and reading CALL NOW * Direct*See impact in classroom withResearch school-aligned complete Sylvan Field Results at Sylvan of Vancouver Island Offer valid at participating curriculum s than if they hadn't come to Sylvan*.


Offer valid at participating locations only. Cannot be combined with any other discount or offer. One *See the complete Sylvan Field Research Results at assessment per family. Expires 11/15/20.


ow to take control of this school year.

locations only. Expires August/September 2021  15 09/30/2021.

Sylvan of Vancouver Island

Starting School


tarting school. It’s a big step—simultaneously heart-breaking, nervewracking, exciting, and everything else along the way. There’s no mistaking it for a major milestone. Once you’re over that initial first day pride and terror; after that, comes The First Term. <pause for terror to sink in> Look I’m sure it will go smoothly and happily for you and your child, but it is a huge adjustment and even if your child isn’t having tantrums the entire way home (normal), it is very likely that you may want to make some changes to your daily schedule to keep the weeks positive, especially as the first term will likely coincide with worsening weather and darker nights. Here are my top six ways to make life easier from the outset:

1. Have a big hug

Even if the new school is a totally happy place for your child, they are navigating a lot during the day. It’s a long day out! They will be eating lunch, navigating classroom rules, playgrounds, friendships. When they come home, they need to transition back to a sense of home and calm: sometimes that first half an hour can be a bit fractious (i.e., a total fiasco). I tried a few things to improve the transition period‚ a fun activity set up, play-dates,

16  Island Parent Magazine

food—but actually, I think the most effective way to make sure your child feels comfortable and relaxed, is just to sit down immediately and have a really big hug.

2. Think across the senses

Listen to some familiar music or burn a familiar candle—in the mornings and again when they first get home from school. This can help kids feel calm and secure. In case you needed any more excuses to buy candles.

3. Eat

Kids might need an energy boost after school with an extra snack—either on the way home or after you arrive, but you will be surprised/horrified how quickly a one-off treat becomes a non-negotiable requirement, so unless you want to be completely beholden to bringing a snack to every pick-up, approach this with caution (or at least be aware of what you are letting yourself in for).

4. Be flexible

You might need to shift your evening routine forward for a while; if ever there was a moment to be flexible, this is it. If you are battling a terribly grumpy mood all evening after school this is likely pure exhaustion and an earlier bedtime might be essential.

Similarly, you might want to consider making concessions in areas you usually stand firm. For example, I wrote this with our 5-year-old asleep next to me on our bed. This wasn’t a nightly routine, but on the odd occasion, with no real danger of forming any bad habits, a bit of extra security can be helpful during the transition period.

5. Take time off

Two fold: from school, and from your usual social routines. Obviously the former might not be an option for you but if it is, then consider keeping things fluid and not expecting too much in the first term. If your child is really struggling and you are at home, or working flexibly from home, then there’s nothing wrong with keeping them off school for a day (or a morning). Being 4 or 5 and exhausted is a pretty good reason for some recuperation time. Don’t feel the pressure to keep up on play-dates either. They are socializing all day and might just need to be quietly at home

Register NOW to start in Sept 250-391-9002

after school. This news is exceptionally welcome if you, like me, are deeply antisocial.

6. Game face

This is probably the most important bit and one I remind myself of, frequently. Whatever your thoughts, worries or reservations, you need to seem totally calm, in control, and happy about the set up. Your child needs to know that you have this covered and that they are in a safe and happy place in order to be confident themselves. Have a hug, burn a candle, eat nice food, give yourself a break, take time off and above all else, fake it ’til you feel it.

Hannah Jull is a writer and mum-of-five living in Victoria. Originally from London, UK (the mum) but now on Vancouver Island (and the mom), she blogs at the Mum and the Mom:

August/September 2021  17

M O M ’ S P OV

The Lazy Mom’s Back-to-School Survival Guide


hether your children attend school in a public, private or a home setting, September marks the end of summer and the beginning of a new school year. It’s a time to buy school supplies, resume extracurricular activities and make lunches: lots and lots of lunches. Here are a few simple tips to help you adopt a more relaxed approach to your child’s school year.

this, then you aren’t thinking about your best interests. I can promise you that on those days when you wake up and realize that you don’t have to make lunches, you will thank me. If you’re one of those ambitious and hardworking parents who has trained their kids to make their own lunches, well, good for you. And also, how did you do that?

Hot Lunch: Your Weekly Free Pass

School Supply Smarts

Do you like making 140 school lunches in a calendar year? Does it feel like a good use of your time to strategically cut and place apples in such a way that they won’t brown and ultimately be rejected requiring composting? If you answered “no” to any of these questions, then I highly recommend you sign up for any or all of the Fun Lunch options offered at your school this year. Don’t worry about the nutritional content of the personal-sized pizza with the sides of a chocolate chip cookie and apple juice. If you’re concerned about 18  Island Parent Magazine

If you’re like me, when the school offers the quick and easy option for purchasing school supplies in their School Supply Kits, you opt out because you foolishly think that you will do better than last year and be more organized only to realize in August that you’re just like everyone else who opted out and find yourself in Staples, Walmart and at least three other stores whose shelves are as bare as the grocery store during the pandemic because all of the truly organized parents have already bought their school supplies and it’s no longer possible to find every item on the required-items list at

one location and if you had just said yes to this incredibly generous and thoughtful gift the school was offering you back in June you wouldn’t be in this position. My advice, buy the kit.

Trust the process

Classes are built by teachers and school administrators before they break for the summer. If you wrote to the school to request that a specific child is or isn’t in your child’s class, and didn’t get your wish, I invite you to make peace with the outcome. School is a microcosm of life and everywhere in life we encounter people with whom we agree and others with whom we don’t. But we have to find a way to work together. I don’t know about you, but anytime I’ve had a co-worker that I didn’t get along with, I couldn’t simply ask my employer to remove her from my workplace. Real life doesn’t work that way and your child’s classroom shouldn’t either. Don’t deny your child, or yourself, this free and handy way to learn some real life lessons. The classroom is a perfect environment to work through some uncomfortable stuff. And, there is a bonus: a built-in mediator, AKA, the teacher. It’s normal to want to safeguard our kids from feeling anything painful but dealing with disappointment isn’t a bad thing. Our job as parents is to set our children up to be successful in the real world and if we continue to buffer them from adversity, how will they practice problem-solving and learn resilience? A little trust goes a long way in this department -- trusting that your school has your child’s best interest at heart and trusting that your child can and will handle whatever life throws at them this year at school. (Disclaimer: I don’t have children with learning disabilities or any other diagnosis that makes school uniquely challenging. Many parents of children have to advocate for their children in school and it makes sense to do so.)

Cozy up to your child’s teacher

It took me about three weeks of homeschooling during the pandemic to realize that teachers have one of the most difficult jobs out there. In public school, they have anywhere from 23-28 students to manage for six hours a day, five days a week. The important word in that last sentence is ‘manage.’ I don’t know about you, but I only have two kids at home and when I was tasked with being their teacher, I couldn’t get past the management stage. Before teachers can even begin to educate our children, they have to manage those 20-something children, each with different personalities, energy levels and competencies. At the elementary school level, I am impressed that teachers can actually teach at all. And after the school day is done, teachers have to mark work, prepare the lesson for the next day and perhaps coach or give their time to a club or cause that they care about. Teachers, especially the good ones, can make meaningful and life-affirming impacts on our kids, so be kind to them and remember to thank them as often as you can. These tips may sound like a Mom’s way of “taking the easy way out.” Is it so wrong to want to long for the kind of parenting our parents did in the 70s and 80s? In those days we walked to and from school alone, played outside until dinner, had three items in our lunch bag, and didn’t go to tutoring at the first C on our report card. I’m not talking about returning to previously accepted behaviours, such as smoking while pregnant and spankings, I just believe in stepping back a little during the school year and letting our children develop some grit. The only way to endure making all of those lunches is to have a little of that grit yourself.

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Sarah Seitz is a working mother, writer and consumer of coffee and books—in that order. She writes about the messy and real parts of parenting and reveals her underbelly in her words. You can read more of Sarah’s writing at

August/September 2021  19


(Summer Is Like a) Heat Wave


s we begin to wrap up summer and start thinking about fall, long gone may be the memories of B.C.’s Heat Dome™, which broke records and caused many deaths, but a) summer’s gonna come around again, and b) summer weather seems to be lasting longer and longer. I reckon that, especially during this most recent heat wave, we all came away with some new ways to keep cool, and I’d like to share some of what I learned, for the comfort, health, and safety of you, your littles, and your furbabies, too. First, if you or your littles have a throbbing headache, strong pulse, red/hot/dry skin, nausea/vomiting, and aren’t sweating, these are signs of heat stroke, and folks smarter than me say that that is the time to call 9-1-1, doing what you can to keep the person cool until help arrives.

However, I received a hot tip from a friend that hydroponics shops are often underrepresented in the fan-selling lore. Indeed, after zipping out the moment the intel came in, I was surprised as all get out to see…well, not islands’ worth of fans, but many stacked boxes, sized from clip-on-your-desk size to full-on installable AC units. I got a sweet little 9" industrialstrength floor/table fan for myself, and one for my mother, who was suffering through the rising temperatures. Word got out, and they were sold out before they closed.


NOT SURE WHAT I WAS THINKING THERE. It only took ten minutes to realize that the air being dragged in by the window fan was also ridiculous degrees, so all of the windows were closed, all of the blinds drawn, and the window fan was repurposed to aim down the hallway for circulation. Lesson learned.

Shortly before temperatures spiked, a fan we keep on during the day to keep the pets cool—an old, translucent-bladed, speak-into-it-for-that-Darth-Vader-effect, enough-gathereddust-to-incapacitate-a-grown-adult-so-don’t-inhale-whileyou’re-being-ol’-Darth fan—crapped out. I wandered into my local hardware store, and was greeted with literal retail islands made up of fan boxes. Clearly, the stores were somewhat prepared, but when panicking humans (and sheistery humans; did you see some of the inflated prices on the used market?) get involved, no preparation is enough. So, I chose from a wide selection of fans, and brought a nice, new, sleek black tower fan home. Two days later, while in the same store for some bug spray, tumbleweeds were blowing by where literally hundreds of fans stood previously. 20  Island Parent Magazine


On the first day the thermometer hit ridiculous degrees, I did what I’ve long done, and set up my window fan in a half-open bedroom window, with the air blowing out. The reasoning being that the hot air would be blown out, and the cooler air would come in through other windows.

Fridge towel

If you’re lucky enough to have one of those neck cooling bandanna wrap thingies on hand, count yourself lucky. Lay that sucker on a little water in a dish, let its hungry little polymer beads suck up the water, place it around the back of your neck as you forge out into the heat, and its slow release of refreshing water is sure to help keep you going in the sun. If you’re not…my BFF introduced me to the fridge towel. Quite simply, a fridge towel is a small towel or large cloth

which you pop into a bowl of water in your fridge overnight. You can then bring it out and place them on your face, your head, your neck, your back, or wherever else you need relief. Or, roll one up and tie it around your neck to mimic a neck cooling bandanna wrap thingy. Of course, the simple pro tip is to have a number of fridge towel friends in circulation.

the evening. Not only for cooler ambient temperatures, but for cooler pavement. • Place your hand or bare foot on sun-exposed pavement for five seconds before you head out. If you can’t take the heat, it's likely the pads on your four-legged friend can’t, either. • Avoid the asphalt, and keep to grass or trails when you can. • Bring water they can drink from or, if you’re lucky enough to have water spots along your route, go there. Sunscreen • Back home, petting your pet with a fridge towel around Both internet doctors and real doctors have told me that sun- your hand is a good way to give them some moisture which will screen should be reapplied every two hours. Sooner if you’re evaporate and subsequently cool them down. Special attention active, sweating, or swimming. I made the switch to a spritzy to their paws, the backs of their necks, and their ears. Heck, for spray-on sunscreen a few years ago, and am thankful I did. cats, it's like getting a bath like when they were kittens! No more looking like a ghost if you squeeze out too much and • Place an ice pack under their bedding, or a blanket they don't feel like spending an additional 27 minutes rubbing it all like to lie on. This worked like a charm. into your skin. • And, like the warnings at the beginning of this article, if Another personal tip I'll share with you is to keep your eyes your cat is panting, vomiting, stumbling, and has a rapid pulse, on your eyebrows. Give ’em a wipe on the reg, lest your sweat work fast to cool them down and bring them to a vet or animal carry the sweet, sweet sting of sunscreen into your precious eye- hospital right away. balls. (SFX: SCREAMING) However you deal with the heat, stay safe. The big ol’ skyPets ball is great and everything, but sometimes, it doesn’t know its Finally, for those of us with four-legged children who don't own strength. speak, and who are zipped into fur coats they’re unable to extricate themselves from, The Dome™ was a doozy. Webmeister Bud Ridout is the resident geek at Instagram, of all places, was a great source of advice from Victoria radio stations The Zone @ 91-3 and 100.3 fellow furparents. Here are a few I found helpful: The Q! He’s also an avid photographer, root beer • Take walks when it’s cooler: earlier in the day, or later in connoisseur, voice actor and Papa. webmeisterBud. com;

August/September 2021  21


Healthy Families, Happy Families

Child, Youth & Family Public Health South Island Health Units

Esquimalt Gulf Islands

250-519-5311 250-539-3099

Peninsula Saanich Saltspring Island Sooke Victoria West Shore

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

(toll-free number for office in Saanichton)

Central Island Health Units

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

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

North Island Health Units

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

250-850-2110 250-331-8520 250-332-5289 250-974-5522 250-902-6071 health-unit-locations Changes with BC Medical Services Plan premiums mean that families eligible for partial payment of some medical services and access to some income-based programs now must apply for Supplementary Benefits through the Government of BC. Applications can be done online and take approximately 15 minutes. Families who previously qualified for MSP Premium Assistance should not need to re-apply if taxes are completed yearly. It is advised to confirm coverage before proceeding with treatment to avoid paying out of pocket.

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

22  Island Parent Magazine

A Positive Outlook for a New School Year


s we shift into thinking about a new school year, you may be feeling more hopeful than at this point last year. You also may be feeling uncomfortable with not knowing exactly what school will look like and how your children will cope. The word “resilience” has come up a lot in conversations about life following COVID. Resilience has been defined as “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.” Resilience is not something that we are born with. It is something that develops over time through our experiences, the world around us, our families and our own traits and skills. Would you consider yourself to be resilient? What about your children? What makes some people more resilient than others? How can I support my children to become more resilient? These are all questions that challenge us to look at our interactions and wellbeing from a different perspective. Resilience is when a person can not only bounce back following stress or change, but they have also learned from the experience and can “bounce back better.” They are then more likely able to cope with the next stressor that comes along. So how does one “build resilience?” The good news is that there are a number of ways that have been suggested, and that building one’s “toolbox” and nurturing resilience is something that can be done at any age. We know that we cannot take away challenges that our children will face and that some will face more than others, but if we can tip the scales with skills and support, then our children are more likely to flourish.

Supportive Adults

All articles about resilience point to how important it is for children to have supportive adults in their lives. This can be a parent, caregiver, grandparent or other adult. Guiding children through challenges is not always easy, and it is a daily practice in how we speak to children and help them see their own strengths.

Some of you may be familiar with Growth Mindset and it is a concept that is supported by teachers. Basically, it is the idea that brains are developing and able to grow. The language with Growth Mindset is similar to reframing, or learning to think about things in different ways. It is helping children to know that where they are today does not have to be where they are tomorrow. Abilities can grow when we work through challenges, just as how we feel about ourselves will grow through the positive stories that we collect about ourselves. Children learn this language and about their unique abilities from the caring adults around them. You can help them to reframe difficult experiences as growing and learning opportunities and not as something to halt them in their path toward a bright future.

Reduce Stress

Not all stress is bad, but too much of it can take a toll on health and wellbeing. Stress is contagious. Your children will know and feel your stress. For your children and yourself, try to reduce stress as much as possible. Children will take your lead in learning how to deal with stress in positive ways. Self care is talked about a lot but simply put, it is about taking care of yourself and giving yourself a break when you need it. Try building in caring routines during this back-to-school time for yourself and your children. Get plenty of sleep, practice gratitude, get active every day and most importantly, find fun and laughter as often as possible. It is also very important to know when to reach out for help. If the stress is too great for you to deal with on your own, reach out for support. Check to find out about mental health services.

Keep Connections

The importance of connection with family, friends and loved ones is recognized now more than ever. The ways in which we connect have been very different since the beginning of the pandemic

Cultural connections for children give them a sense of self and a knowledge of where they come from and where they belong. Nurture that connection at home and find out how you can share it in school. Language, food, arts and celebrations are all wonderful learning connections for classes of students. Ask the teachers how you can support the learning. As we move into another school year, let’s all support our children and one another so that the stamp of COVID only brings about positive change and a brighter future for all our children.


but people have found creative ways to maintain relationships. There are many ways to tell and show someone that you care. There is no end to the ideas that you can find online! Other essential connections are those with nature and with cultural practices and traditions. Research is now telling us that our connection to nature can make us happier and healthier. This is for people of all ages. For children, more teachers are building in outdoor learning and more schools have school gardens. The walk or ride to and from school can also be a chance to interact with nature, watch the changing of the seasons, notice the birds and bugs; just remember to prepare for all weather.

What You Think—and Say—is Crucial for Your Child’s Life “Reframing” could help your child become happier and more resilient: what-you-think-and-say-is-crucial-your-childs-life How to Help Families and Staff Build Resilience During the COVID-19 Outbreak: how-to-help-families-and-staff-build-resilience-during-thecovid-19-outbreak/ Raising Resilient Children and Youth: Janelle Hatch is a Registered Dietitian and works with the Healthy Schools Program, Island Health. Dr. Lise McLewin is a Registered Psychologist who works with children and youth. Janelle and Lise are sisters and also both parents of school-age children.


Back to School? Keep your pets busy with a new toy or their favourite treats! Too busy to stop by, no problem! Shop online 24/7 plus we have free delivery! Visit us online at

2019 Cadboro Bay Road OUR STORE HOURS Mon–Fri 9am–8pm Saturday 9am–6pm Sunday 10am–6pm Holidays 11am–5pm

August/September 2021  23

Tips to Slash Back-To-School Spending E

very September parents are reaching into their wallets to pay for all the costs associated with this time of year. It starts with school supplies, then indoor shoes, and a new lunch kit and backpack. But it doesn’t stop there, quickly we are moving on to soccer registration, swimming lessons, dance classes and the gear that goes along with each of those activities. When the kids are young we look forward to the years beyond expensive childcare fees. Then when they graduate to elementary school, we learn that the costs don’t stop there. This is an expensive time of year, no question about it. While many of the costs cannot be avoided, some of them can be minimized.

School Supplies

Check the inventory of what came home with your student(s) in June and only purchase the items that are missing or broken. Most PACs have an online list you can order as a package or individually.

24  Island Parent Magazine


Stock the closet by shopping at local consignment sales and stores. While you’re at it, sell the outgrown items to help pay the bill.

Sports equipment

Look online or with the sports association for used equipment. Kids grow fast and switch sports often so you’ll likely find something that is nearly brand new.

Extra-curricular activities

Consider registering at the rec centre instead of a studio. The instructors are often the same, the commitment is less, and fees are lower—win, win, win. There are some costs that simply cannot be avoided. For those ones, I have these tips to help you reduce the seasonal bleeding. These options are not immediate so you’ll be planning ahead for next year, and “Future You” will be thankful that you did.

Include it in your monthly budget

Add 1/12 of the cost to your monthly budget and begin to save each month. Open a free savings account to keep this money separate and ready for next year.

Ask grandparents to help

Many family members prefer to give experiential gifts over material ones. Christmas is right around the corner so talk to them now. I would be mistaken to leave out the biggest expense in your household after housing, food! Did you know that most local families spend well over $1,000 each month on groceries alone? That’s $10,000–$20,000 per year! If we can reduce our spending at the grocery store, we’ll have more money to use on all those expensive activities for the kids. The rule that my clients use as a guide for their grocery budget is $50 per week per person, with some exceptions for teenage appetites and dietary restrictions.

Ditch the individual packages

Buying the big bag of chips and packing a portion in a reusable container can reduce your costs by 50% (and it save our landfills too).

Plan your meals

Write down your meals before you go shopping, then stick to the plan.

Shop less

Hitting the grocery store just once per week will avoid picking up just a “few things” each time you run, which can add up to hundreds of dollars a month.

Know your numbers

Pay attention to the sale prices so you know when something is truly a good deal. My clients do their best to stick to $1.99 per pound for produce whenever possible. When you live in a high-cost-of-living area, taking steps to reduce your spending is a must for most families. By spending a small amount of time this year, you’ll not only see some instant results, you’ll also be able to enjoy the next back-to-school season with a little less financial stress.

Lindsay Plumb is coach and founder of MOOLA Financial Coaches & Advisors.

August/September 2021  25


For more information and calendar updates throughout the month visit

Victoria & Area Peninsula Westshore

CV Cowichan Valley N Nanaimo & Area CX Comox Valley


mounted on sign posts, are placed outdoors in a circuit. Children follow the narrative by visiting each sign post in sequence. Everyone welcome. SUNDAY TO SUNDAY Children must be accompanied by an adult. Rain Triumph or Tragedy Walking Tour N or shine so please dress appropriately. Drop-in. COVID-19 protocols will be in place. 2–3pm, Nanaimo Museum Do you want to hear about Captain MacDonald’s Drop-in Therapeutic Art Sessions V explosive decision, or about Josephine taking 8:30–10:30am, Bateman Gallery charge of the saloon? Decide with the group Participants will have the use of various materials which stories you want to hear, and whether the tales were triumphant, tragic, or a little bit of both! and access to the space to create what they wish, with an art therapist on site for mental wellness This 1-hour tour is fun for ages 12+, but younger insight and assistance. Free. All ages welcome. children are welcome with parental discretion and supervision.



4 WEDNESDAY RBCM@Home (Summer) What’s That? Mystery Object


RBCM@Home (Summer) O Orcas, Orcas Everywhere

11–11:30am, Online The first Wednesday of the month RBCM @ Home (Summer) looks at one of the fascinating and unusual human history objects at Royal BC Museum. You’ll go searching for clues to find out what the object is, exploring the galleries and collection areas to crack the case.

5 THURSDAY StoryWalk


6–7pm, Online RBCM and NatureKids BC partner to celebrate all things Orcas. Explore the many different ways museums try to understand this amazing animal, while wondering about the many different parts of the world they roam. Hint: it’s a lot of ways, and a lot of parts of the world.

12 THURSDAY StoryWalk


V 10am–noon, Bruce Hutchison Branch, Saanich

10am–noon, Pioneer Park Join the Greater Victoria Public Library for a StoryWalk®, where individual pages of a storybook,

Join the Greater Victoria Public Library for a StoryWalk®, where individual pages of a storybook, mounted on sign posts, are placed outdoors in

PR Pacific Rim G Gulf Islands O Online

a circuit. Children follow the narrative by visiting each sign post in sequence. Everyone welcome. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Rain or shine so please dress appropriately. Drop-in. COVID-19 protocols will be in place.


Family Trivia on Zoom

3–4pm, Vancouver Island Regional Libraries Do you and your family like trivia? Do you want the chance to prove your skills against other families in Port Alberni? Register for Saturday Family Trivia on Zoom. The theme will be Monsters and the Paranormal! Space is limited! email kparker@ to register.

29 THURSDAY The Amazing Scavenger Hunt


11:30am–5pm, Saanich Peninsula Part Amazing Race, part Scavenger Hunt, part car rally and tons of fun! Teams of up to six friends or family (same bubble) will be given socially-distanced starting points and must navigate through clues and pick up scavenger hunt points along the way. Proceeds benefit Saanich Peninsula Hospital.



The Saanich Fair

Saanich Fairgrounds The historic Saanich Fair, happening over the 2021 Labour Day weekend, may be scaled back this year, but rest assured, there will be a 2021 Saanich Fair! You can follow the progress on the Saanich Fair website and social media channels.

27 MONDAY TO 30 THURSDAY Orange Shirt Day Events


UVic and Online UVic will host in-person events the week of Sept 27 in honour of Orange Shirt Day on Sept 30. Some of the events will be livestreamed so you can view them remotely. 26  Island Parent Magazine

30 THURSDAY Orange Shirt Day Island-wide Orange Shirt Day is a day is to listen with open ears to the stories of survivors and their families, and to remember those that didn’t make it. It is also a day to create meaningful discussion about the effects of Residential Schools and the legacy they have left behind.

ONGOING Virtual Storytime


Mondays, 10:30–10:45am, Online Songs, stories, fingerplay, puppets and more. Preschoolers (and their families) are invited to join Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL) online in the Virtual Programs Portal for storytime. New content posted at 10:30 am every Monday morning. Can’t be there at 10:30? See the video, as well as videos from previous weeks, anytime.

Virtual ‘Crafternoons’


2:30–3:30 pm, Daily starting Sept 4, Online Grab your knitting project, paint brush, embroidery or anything crafty and meet other makers in this drop-in self-directed program for teens and adults. Register and receive the link to the Zoom meeting by emailing 1-877-415-8475

Winnie the Pooh Drawing Contest Until August 31, Vancouver Island Regional Libraries Did you know Winnie the Pooh is turning 100 years old on August 21? To celebrate, VIRL is offering a drawing contest for ages 12 and under. To enter, mail a drawing of your favourite Winnie the Pooh character or your illustration of a section of a story by 31 August to as a .jpeg or .png.

Lost from the Vault


Classes for all ages: | Early Childhood Music | Piano | Strings | Brass | and more! Downtown Victoria 250.386.5311 Westhills, Langford 778.265.5355


Inspire the young naturalist in your life! TLC’s Naturalist Activity Book for Kids is filled with fun activities & exercises to nurture your inner naturalist.

Receive a FREE copy of the Naturalist Activity Book for Kids by calling 1-877-485-2422 or visit


Tues–Sun, 10am–4pm, Nanaimo Museum Use your problem-solving skills to unravel the mystery of a missing artifact. Embark on a selfguided hunt to decode clues, break ciphers, and solve the mystery in this feature exhibit. Free with admission. Registration not required but prebooking your visit is recommended.

Kids at Tennis


Until October, various locations in Victoria Kids at Tennis (KATS) is a charity approved by the Canada Revenue Agency. KATS provides free tennis lessons for underserved kids.

August/September 2021  27

How to Create Community & Tend to a Village W

hen I gave birth to my first son via C-section, I was inside for 11 days. It hurt to reach for a plate to make a sandwich. I needed my village. Friends, neighbours and co-workers scheduled deliveries of delicious meals and groceries. Because I could only shuffle, a friend took my newborn on his first outdoor stroll, while another friend washed cloth diapers. We weren’t meant to do this alone. Today, many families are isolated from their extended relatives — aunties, uncles, grandparents. We need our neighbours more and “need” is the glue! Community is the answer because: Relationships are crucial for human development. Attachment tethers us together and it’s our greatest need. Adults help orient kids to the world. A village can help keep kids free from huge worries and orient them to caring. It nurtures selfless service. It creates local islands of sanity where we are with the resources and people available to us now. It builds social cohesion, the bonds that bind people together. It increases social capital, the networks of relationships in a society that enable it to function. It combats the indifference and even hostility towards caring in our society. As creatures of connection, humans experience despair if they don’t feel known or invited. This is also true if they sense they don’t matter, don’t belong, aren’t

28  Island Parent Magazine

liked or loved. We can feel caring when we’re cared for and cared about. Unfortunately, we tend to forget this when we’re stressed. “Stress, however, is one of the most powerful suppressants of our natural kindness and connectivity. When we are stressed our minds tend to “shrink,” and we have no space to think of others” says Gelong Thubten. I love to build social capital in my neighbourhood. It lifts us out of our so-called “busy” lives. For example, I enlist a few neighbours to contribute to a welcome basket for new neighbours and everyone includes a note about why they love living here. We gift homemade soap, applesauce, garden fruits and veggies, bottles of wine, jam, and more. It’s a small gesture to offer the goodness of our own lives in the moment. People will give even when they are experiencing stress in their own lives such as a sick spouse or an eviction notice. The invitation to contribute opens hearts and offers a quality of presence we all desire. To create and tend to a village takes skill and practice. Toko-pa Turner shares her two-step recipe in her book, Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home. You need someone to take the lead and some-

one willing to answer the call. (Be sure to try each role.)

Twelve simple ways to create local islands of sanity: 1. Assemble a welcome basket for new neighbours 2. Host a block party or neighbourhood BBQ 3. Start a Little Free Library or Seed Library 4. Coordinate a food share to help a family with a newborn, for someone struggling with illness or, dealing with loss

The Kiddies Store

Thrifty Thursdays

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

5. Erect a “sandwich board” with a joke of the day 6. Order mobile theatre (for example, Theatre SKAM) or telegrams 7. Host a street hockey tourney, music on the lawn or design a scavenger hunt

A different sale each week!

Mideer is a world-renowned brand that combines toys, art, games and education for the development of concentration, cognition, observation and logical thinking. Their environmentally-friendly material ensures the safety, non-toxicity and durability of the product with the strictest standards.

8. Hang a tree swing or place a bench on the boulevard 9. Create a community bulletin board to advertise skills to share, items to barter and garden bounties to trade.

12. Restore a local green space or create butterfly gardens (see David Suzuki Foundation’s Butterflyway project) Note: Write a community grant to make any of the above ideas possible. Have confidence you too can build and receive gifts of community. Take the time to start conversations with neighbours and find frequent excuses to get together! People are hungry to create a village and genuine happiness is on the other side of supporting one another.

Lindsay Coulter is a dedicated mother of two, naturalist, community catalyst, soul activist, mentor, writer and horse lover. Find her @SaneAction on Instagram and Facebook. She’s also the Director of Communications, Culture and Community of EPIC Learning Centre, a forest and nature school in Victoria, BC. 250-386-2229

Finlayson St. Larch St.


11. Look into getting a road mural or other art initiatives

3045–C Douglas St. Victoria, BC


10. Organize backyard garden tours

Now Offering Curb-Side Pickups   Current Hours: Tues–Sat 10am–5pm Entrance off Larch St.


Learn a new sport or refine your skills: come join our rock climbing teams! Registration for recreational and competitive teams open now. All levels welcome! Ages 6–18.

Details and registration at

The Boulders Climbing Gym 1627 Stelly’s Cross Road | Saanichton, BC | 250.544.0310 August/September 2021  29


Sandwich Fillings That Go Beyond Meat & Cheese


andwiches tend to be dominated by routine. If it’s not peanut butter and jam, then it’s mayonnaise and cheese or ham and mustard. Why not switch up your usual lunch options with a few simple and delicious sandwich fillings? These simple recipes are perfect for picnics, school lunches or dinner on-the-go. Here are a few reasons to switch up the traditional for one of these sandwich fillings: They are packed with veggies, perfect for getting a bit of extra vegetables into your diet. Make-ahead sandwich fillings make lunches super quick and easy. You can serve them on bread, toast, with crackers or in a wrap. Or if you want to skip the carbs, place a spoonful of filling on a piece of lettuce for a lettuce wrap. By avoiding processed meat and cheese or sweetened peanut butter and jam, you get to control how much salt and sugar goes into your food. These three simple and delicious sandwich fillings can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for up to a week. Get your kids involved with dicing, slicing, measuring and mixing—and make lunchtime a breeze!

Refried Bean Molletes Creamy Chickpea Salad This veg-packed chickpea sandwich filling is a vegan or vegetarian alternative to chicken salad. It’s easy and delicious. Chickpeas provide plenty of protein and fibre. Best of all, you don’t have to worry about keeping your sandwiches cool. Using vegan mayo means the salad won’t go off in your picnic basket. 1 can (400 g) of chickpeas 2 stalks of celery 1⁄2 red pepper 1 slice of red onion (about 1 Tbsp diced) 1 medium-sized carrot 3⁄4 cup vegan mayonnaise 3 Tbsp cucumber relish 1 Tbsp prepared mustard 1⁄2 tsp paprika Drain the chickpeas and add them to a large bowl. Mash them by hand or with a potato masher, until all the chickpeas are roughly broken. Finely dice the celery, red pepper and onion. Finely grate the carrot. Stir the vegetables into the mashed chickpeas. Add in the mayonnaise, relish, mustard and paprika. Taste the chickpea mixture and add salt, if needed.

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Mexican molletes are typically served as a grilled open-faced sandwich. The bread is toasted, the beans are warmed and the cheese is melted. If you’ve got the time, I recommend serving your molletes this way. Regardless, this sandwich filling is delicious, even if grilling isn’t part of your lunch routine. If you’re short on time, skip making the salsa and use 1 cup of storebought salsa instead. 2 Roma tomatoes 3 spring onions 1⁄2 bunch of cilantro 1 Tbsp lime juice 1⁄4 tsp salt 1 can (435g) of refried beans 2 cups of grated cheese (cheddar or mozzarella) To make the salsa, finely dice the tomatoes and spring onions. Wash the cilantro and finely chop the leaves. Mix them into the tomatoes. Stir in the lime juice and salt. Taste and adjust the salt if necessary. To make open-faced grilled sandwiches, start by toasting the bread under the broiler. When both sides are toasted, spread a layer of refried beans and top with grated cheese. Broil until the cheese is fully melted, about 3 minutes. Serve immediately with the fresh salsa. For a refried bean sandwich filling, stir salsa into the refried beans. It’s a bit messy, but delicious served in a tortilla or a sandwich topped with a few slices of cheese and a piece of lettuce.

Cheese and Coleslaw It was really My husband lived on cheese and coleslaw sandwiches while we were in Ireland. and extra options coleslaw several had his favourite “instant” lunch option. Most grocery stores es into a vegetabl raw of lot a pack to way great a It’s . old cheddar cheese was always available grilled. or cold served sandwich and it’s delicious packaged coleIf you don’t have time to finely chop or grate the vegetables, substitute with a or extra old Old cheese. the is filling slaw mix. Really, the most important part of this sandwich es. vegetabl cheddar is perfect with the tangy and crisp head of cabbage green pepper 1 Tbsp fresh parsley 1 tsp sugar 1⁄4 tsp pepper



1 medium carrot 1⁄4 cup mayonnaise 1 tsp lemon juice 1⁄4 tsp salt Cheddar cheese

in a bowl with Finely grate or chop the cabbage, carrot and green pepper. Mix the vegetables and add Taste . combine to Stir pepper. and salt sugar, juice, lemon the mayonnaise, parsley, y. necessar if salt more . Make The mayonnaise in the coleslaw provides all the necessary dressing for this sandwich . coleslaw of serving hefty a by topped cheese sandwiches with thick slices of cheddar

Emillie Parrish writes from Victoria and Saturna Island. She is the author of the Pacific Northwest lifestyle blog

Host Families Wanted! Students 13–18 years old in Parksville and Qualicum area are in need of host families at the end of August until June 30, 2022. We are also looking for short term and respite homes. Do you have a spare room? Are you interested in opening your home and your heart to a student? Can you provide a meaningful experience? Do you know of someone who can? We offer a referral fee if a student is matched and host families receive a monthly stipend of $900/mo. per student.

If you would like more information on the opportunity to be a part of and help nurture a student, please contact Jenny or Sandie at 250-951-0857 or visit

Amazing friendships and lasting memories await!

August/September 2021  31


Don’t Squish the Neighbours


y Dearest Spider Squishers and Wasp Swatters, Fear is natural. It serves a purpose in our lives, it can keep us safe and it can keep us alive. That being said, fear can also lead to the unnecessary demonization of creatures that are doing their best to survive, just like every living thing! Remember the last time you noticed a spider in your space and your first instinct was to squish it, or maybe you ran inside because a wasp was flying around your food. If either of these scenarios hits close to home, you are not alone. Often the smallest creatures are the biggest villains in media and in our heads. Don’t feel guilty for the reactions you have to these animals that are so vastly different than we are. Too many legs, too many eyes, they fly, they spin webs. They maybe bite or sting. It can be intimidating! It can feel as though these creatures are coming at us with the intent to harm us, or at the very least create a nuisance. Rest assured that these tiny friends have much more important things to worry about than spending their limited time terrorizing us pesky humans. The wasp hovering over your carefully prepared barbeque? She is likely looking for additional protein to bring home for all of her baby sisters in the hive. Or the spider who

32  Island Parent Magazine

seems to sprint so sporadically across your bathroom floor? He is looking for love in all the wrong places. By viewing these creatures with compassion, and with the understanding that they are living whole lives that we are only a passing glimpse in, it can become easier over time to let them peacefully be. ‘Peacefully’ being the operative word here! Despite our worst fears of being bitten in our sleep by spiders, these many-legged neighbours much prefer to save their minimal amounts of venom for more approachable prey items; flies, silverfish, mosquitos and the like. Their venom is specially adapted to liquefy their food, and they need it to eat. They have no reason to waste it on us scary humans unless we threaten their safety. The simplest way to avoid spider bites? Don’t actively try to hurt them! Much the same goes for our flighted friends. Whether they be the beloved bee, or the less tolerated wasp, these animals will not actively seek humans to sting. They will protect themselves and their family when threatened, but that can be said for any animal. As we continue to share spaces with nature, it is more important than ever to be cultivating seeds for healthy relationships with nature’s many inhabitants. Fear is most often a learned behaviour, and children very quickly learn to be afraid of the

same creatures that the adults in their life are scared of. Even if they have never had a negative encounter with the animal themselves! Think back to why spiders send a shiver up your spine; for most, there is no distinct event. It is often due to the fear picked up from others, often adults, when we were young. Speaking from a place of recovering from a decade’s long jelly fish phobia, we can unlearn these fears. It is worthwhile, but I would be lying if I said it wasn’t tough. It is significantly easier to instead, set a foundation of healthy respect for all of nature’s inhabitants at a young age. Something we all have the power to do with the young humans in our lives! As you interact with nature, I invite you to recognize the emotions certain creatures make you feel in the moment. Recognize them, and then challenge yourself to simply watch the creature interact with their environment for a few short moments. If you truly give yourself the chance to be an observer, you may be surprised at how quickly your fear, disgust or nervousness is replaced with awe, curiosity and respect. All very positive attributes that the young humans in your life will pick up on, and begin to mimic themselves. We all have the power to make a difference in nature, and sometimes that difference can start with one single curious moment alone a watchful spider.

Kalene Lillico is a naturalist at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary, who invites you to spend a grounding 10 minutes following a creature that makes you shudder.

August/September 2021  33

I Spy…Fractals! Explore the geometry of nature


ractals here, fractals there, fractals everywhere…but what are they? In mathematics, a fractal is a never-ending pattern at different scales. Fractals are complex patterns but they are actually made by repeating a simple process. What do ferns have to do with fractals? A fractal is an infinite pattern in mathematics, but we can also find limited fractal patterns in nature!

Head to the kitchen for a fractal-spotting warm up! Broccoli, especially the fancy Romanesco broccoflower, is a great example of a fractal pattern. Do you see repeating patterns and small parts of the broccoli that look like the whole broccoli? You’ve spotted a fractal! Don’t like broccoli? Take a peek at a pineapple—they have fractal patterns too.

Exploring Geometry in Nature Activity: Go for a “fractal hunt” in the woods! Tips: • Look for similar patterns in natural objects that repeat at different scales. • Kids’magnifying glasses add extra fun for young nature sleuths. • Phones/cameras are a great way to capture interesting subjects for reseach later. • Sketching in nature using a small notebook is another wonderful way to observe mindfully.

34  Island Parent Magazine

1. Trees are great examples of fractals in nature. • Examine the branches from the trunk to the outer tips. Look for the “Y” repetition at different scales. • If you come across the exposed roots of a fallen tree look for repeating patterns in the root system. • Now put on your x-ray glasses and look underground. Look at all the tiny fungi threads growing around the tree roots. Forgot your x-ray goggles? You can check out images of fungi threads (mycelium) online for fun.

2. Plants, leaves and pinecones Look closely at a fern frond. You’ll see that it’s made up of a series of repeating patterns. Did you notice that the whole fern has the same shape as one or more of the parts? Fern fractals! Extra challenge: Use a plant guide to see how many different kinds of ferns you can spot: Sword, Bracken, Maidenhair, Licorice, and Lady Ferns! Find a leaf. Look at the centre vein, now look at all the separate veins that branch off of it. Look EVEN closer. What’s inside? Even smaller repeating branching veins! Pick up a pinecone. Follow the repeating spiral pattern from the bottom all the way to the top. You guessed it…the pinecone spirals are similar at different scales. When we visit a local park it’s the perfect opportunity to remind everyone to tread gently and leave nature the way they found it. Encouraging kids to slow down and observe nature is a super healthy activity. It’s also a great way to nurture their understanding and appreciation of their surroundings.

Frac-tivities and Fun Facts Draw leaf fractals—trace a leaf outline onto a sheet of paper. Draw the main leaf vein on your paper. Using a different colour draw some of the leaf veins that branch away. Choose another colour and draw some of the even smaller vein patterns inside. You can look for fractals at the beach too! Seashell spirals, sea urchins and starfish. Can you think of any other fractal patterns in nature? Hint: river and animal circulatory systems, lightning, clouds, snowflake crystals, lichen and flowers like Queen Anne’s Lace “Fractal” comes from the Latin word, fractus meaning fragmented or broken. Benoit Mandelbrot, a famous mathematician came up with the word fractal. Want to see some amazing patterns—do a deeper dive into the mathematical world of fractals? Check out: The Mandelbrot Set, Koch Snowflake and Sierpinski Triangle.

Sue Macartney is an author-illustrator whose titles include Benjamin’s Blue Feet (Pajama Press). She also works with kids as a nature sketch artist at The Bateman Foundation in Victoria. @suesumac; Instagram: suemacartney.


August/September 2021  35

Get Set for Back-to-School Success R

oughly 80 per cent of classroom learning is vision based. As the new school year begins, make sure your child has the right visual tools and set-up they need to have a successful learning experience. One out of four children struggle with vision and learning due to undiagnosed vision issues or inefficiencies. Our visual system performs optimally and is less likely to experience stress under the right conditions. When your child is doing school work at home, make sure that they are set up for success. Here are some tips to create a positive learning environment for your child at home:

Desk and Chair

Let’s start with the hardware. When seated at a desk, the feet should be able to rest flat on the floor when the back is pushed to the back of the seat. This will create three 90-degree angles in the ankles, knees, and hips. If your child’s feet do not touch the floor, use books under their feet to achieve a 90-degree angle.

36  Island Parent Magazine


Using a slant board will move materials in line with the face to improve reading. Research has found this angle to be 22 degrees. I imagine that you rarely carry a protractor so instead imagine that you’ve picked up a book to skim the cover in a bookstore—how you are holding the book is likely very close to 22 degrees naturally as this is the most comfortable for our visual system.


The optimal viewing distance for reading and near work is called Harmon’s Distance. This is the distance between a closed fist resting just under the chin and the elbow. The distance will be slightly different person-to-person depending on size. This allows the eye focusing mechanism to perform optimally. Even a few centimeters closer will start to ramp up the demand on the system and increase eye strain and fatigue.


In my nine years in optometry, I have often heard the question: “Will reading in the dark hurt my eyes?” And the answer is NO…but YES? Although it will not structurally hurt an eye, it certainly will cause your child to bring the pages closer to see and increase eyestrain. A directional light (for example a desk lamp) will allow them to evenly light the page.


Our visual system was not designed for long periods of near work. Taking frequent breaks will prevent it from getting “locked” on the near task. I would recommend the 20/20/20 rule: every 20 minutes, take 20 seconds to look 20 feet away. These short breaks reduce the tendency of the focusing muscles to become cramped.


Even though the weather is about to turn sour, active outdoor play is still an important part of visual development. An hour of distance play outside has been shown to be protective against the development of near-sightedness.


Of course, all these efficiency factors are not terribly important if your child cannot see well. A comprehensive eye examination looks at not just the sharpness of letters, but the ability to sustain this during a full school day and overall eye health. Glasses can be used to optimally position visual systems for reading or help to improve sleep cycles by block blue light from screens. Keep in mind that although vision screenings are useful, they are not a replacement for an assessment with your optometrist. So good luck to us all in the new school year! I am filled with optimism for the 2021–22 school year but am prepared for any changes that may come our way.

Dr. Amber Vinge (OD, FCOVD) is a full-scope optometrist in the Comox Valley with a specialty in child development and visual rehabilitation. She has two lovely children and another on the way!

Island Catholic Schools

Musical Theatre CLASSES FOR YOUTH 7+

Committed to educating the “whole” child in a Christ-centered community of learning. Island Catholic Schools: with schools located in Victoria, Duncan and Port Alberni. For more information call 250-727-6893 or visit

250-858-1053 August/September 2021  37

Five Ways to Enjoy Your River The Outdoor Recreation Council of BC coordinates BC Rivers Day, an annual celebration of our local waterways that takes place on the fourth Sunday of September. Rivers and waterways have always been central to life in British Columbia and were the original highways relied upon by Indigenous Peoples and European explorers. With the myriad of benefits that healthy rivers provide, we should never take them for granted. Easy to love, they help us discover new places and connect us to friends and the beauty of nature. Be Curious Learning more about your local rivers will make you appreciate them even more. How have they shaped the landscape and what is their cultural significance. Visit to test you river knowledge.

Try a New Activity Raft, canoe, fish, walk, ride or watch nature. Or bring a shovel and pan and try your luck at gold panning! There is 38  Island Parent Magazine

almost no end to the number of recreation activities that you can do on, in or by a river.

Host an Event Celebrate your local river and the recreational, cultural and environmental difference it makes by hosting a community event. For BC Rivers Day, communities organize stream clean-ups, paddle trips and festivals.

BUS I N E SS E S YO U N E E DTO KN OW these times let’s be These Through local businesses are family-focused and committed to our community and helping you. careful & kind out there

S TAG E S Summer Programs Running This July & August

ams will be running (hopefully) in person, or online...

time to get back at it properly and safely! ooIt’s l Dan ASSOCIATION ce Ca mps

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ADULTS 17–70+



ance rs Hip H 6-12 yea rs op & Acro old in batic s

• Market Day – Weekly Food Support • Free Clothing Room • 1-1 Counselling & Coaching • Support Groups & Courses

250-385-1114 |


For 3

FREE services are open to ALL single parents in Greater Victoria who are caring for children at home ages 0–18


S um m er Pr og ra m s Get Registered Today! ive h s &ingup Th witis July & August teRunonn n I s d l c e i t c a s r b n a o r Da 1 ye Ac s

Virtual Workshop with

Raun K. Kaufman September 23, 2021 9am–5pm PST

Early Bird:




Child First Autism Approaches: Respectful Strategies for RelationshipBuilding, Conflict-Free Learning, Socialization and Crisis Turnaround


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From volunteering for a river clean-up to taking part Taking pictures is a great way to appreciate, remember in ecological monitoring, there is lots you can do to help and share scenery and experiences. Tips include: use the Call (250) 384-3267,,or visit usefforts. at citizen science and stewardship Your local streamcamera to help you see; pay attention to all that moves— Email:, or visit at keepers are us usually a good place to start. your paddle or the ripples on the water; and vary your spective. Reprinted with permission from the Outdoor Recreation Council of BC. Learn more at

August/September 2021  39

PRESCHOOL&CHILDCAREDIRECTORY v Comprehensive programs for Preschool through Grade 11 v Delivering academic excellence through music, dance, drama and visual arts v Outstanding educators, locations and facilities 250.382.3533

Castleview Child Care........... 250-595-5355 Learning Through Play & Discovery. Licensed non-profit, ECE staff. Since 1958. Morning or full-time care.

Nightingale Preschool & 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.

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

Christ Church Cathedral Childcare & Jr. Kindergarten..................250-383-5132 ECE and specialist teachers provide an outstanding all day licensed program for 2.5–5 year olds at our Fairfield and Gordon Head locations.

Ready Set Grow Preschool.....250-472-1530 Join our learning through play preschool located in Hillcrest Elem. Our caring ECEs offer an enriched Program for 3-4 hour, 2-5 days a week and help with kindergarten transition.

Sir James Douglas Preschool.............................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.

Island Kids Academy Esquimalt..............................250-381-2929 High quality child care (ages 1-5). Enriched Curriculum. Includes Music Classes and Character Development using the Virtues Project. Wait list being taken.

St. Margaret’s School Jr. Kindergarten

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

La Pré-Maternelle Appletree Preschool................250-479-0292 French immersion preschool. Group child care programs. 30 months to school age. Christian centre.

Apply now for our Early Learning (JK and Kindergarten) Programs. Early learning at SMS is a curriculum-based program for 3 and 4 year olds.

St. Margaret’s School 250-479-7171 |

SEEDLINGS Forest Education

Where nature becomes the Teacher! Seedlings Forest Education is a Nature based program that includes After School Care, Nature Preschool, Parent Workshops, Saturday Seedlings, Summer Camps and more!


722 Johnson St,Victoria,BC


We implement a play-based curriculum where our trained professionals develop and adapt individual programs by observing and listening to your child.

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

40  Island Parent Magazine

Victoria & Area


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

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


Cowichan Valley

Sidney Preschool We are a licensed co-operative preschool with a philosophy of learning through play! Four hour program, four days per week, for children ages 2.5-5 years. Celebrating 49 years!,

wild child

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• Licensed program for 3–5 year olds • Nature focused • 3 hour morning classes

Exciting new learn-throughplay program in Saanichton, ideal for Peninsula families

Nanaimo & Area

The first steps in your child’s education Call for more information today: 250.746.3654

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.

• Licensed programs, for children 3–5 years • Flexible part-time schedules • Supported spaces available • 3 and 4 hour morning classes Encouraging your child’s development and learning through play and exploration

Sunrise Waldorf School Preschool...............................250-743-7253 In a warm environment, this nature and play-based program enlivens and nurtures the growing child. 250-360-1148 E:

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

Metchosin Co-Op Preschool A Co-operative preschool in the heart of rural Metchosin.

The best place to be. Take a virtual tour today! 250-478-9241

Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12

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

Little Star Children’s Centre...........250-752-4554 Little Gems Infant & Toddler Care..250-228-5437 Mother, Daughter owned and operated. Earth friendly preschool education inspired by nature. Infused with fun and creative daily yoga practices! Licensed group care. Enthusiastic ECE instructors.

Nestled on 4 acres of lush west coast forest, our Award winning, Nature based program will not disappoint! While firmly embracing the Reggio-Emila (Italy) Philosophy our dedicated team of educators use the environment as the third teacher as we encourage your child throughout their day. Our purpose built facilities have been handmade using the trees from our forest. Come take a virtual tour on our website!

Waitlist: 250-590-3603 Programs for Infants/Toddlers/Pre-school Age. BC Award of Excellence in Childcare & Prime Minister’s Award of Excellence in Early Childhood Education.

August/September 2021  41

Sun Safety


rotecting children from getting too much sun is important, whether they are playing outside or are with you on an errand. The hot summer sun can be dangerous for children. A child can sunburn easily, even on a cloudy day. Bad sunburns and too much time spent in the sun without skin protection have been linked to a higher risk of skin cancer later in life. During the summer months, children can easily lose body fluid and become dehydrated. Children’s skin can also be burned by touching hot surfaces, such as pavement, metal slides or car doors.

How can I keep my child safe from the sun?

Avoid being in the sun for long periods of time at the start of the season. Gradually increase the amount of time you spend outdoors with your child over a period of several days. When possible, stay indoors or in the shade during the hottest time of the day, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. To prevent sunburn: • Always protect babies from the sun. • Limit sun exposure, especially during peak hours • Cover your baby in loose clothing and make sure they are wearing a hat • Use a stroller sunshade to cover your baby • Properly apply a small amount of sunscreen with SPF (sun protection factor) 30 on exposed areas. Note that sunscreen is not recommended for babies under 6 months old, who can rub it in their eyes and mouth. • Make sure your child’s favourite play areas have a shady spot or bring along a sun umbrella.

42  Island Parent Magazine

• Your child should wear a sun hat with a wide brim and back flap to protect the back of the neck, sunglasses with 100 per cent UV protection (“broad spectrum”) and loose cotton clothing to protect skin from the sun’s rays. • At least 30 minutes before heading outside, apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 on all areas of your child’s skin that will be exposed to the sun. Use a lip balm with SPF 15 as well. • Remember to put sunblock on ears, nose, back of neck and legs, and tops of feet. • Reapply sunscreen every few hours and after swimming or vigorous play. Encourage your child to drink plenty of fluids, especially water. Children don’t necessarily feel thirsty while at play. Be alert for signs that your child is experiencing heat illness and needs to go inside. These include thirst, fatigue, leg or stomach cramps, and cool, moist skin, which can be a sign of heat exhaustion. Bring your child inside or into a cool, shady area, and offer frequent, small sips of water. Removing extra clothing and fanning can help your child cool down slowly. Most importantly, lead by example and remember to protect yourself from the sun as well.

More information: sun_safety water_safety


September is BC Chicken Month! Join us in celebrating chicken farmers and their hard work and dedication by choosing fresh chicken from your local grocer or ordering it off the menu at your favourite restaurant. BC Chicken Month is a great time to talk about the care our farmers take when it comes to raising their birds. Our farmers all follow the mandatory Raised by a Canadian Farmer programs, which set out regulations and guidelines for the care and handling of the birds our farmers raise. All Canadian chicken farmers are certified on the Animal Care Program on the On-Farm Food Safety Assurance Program, so you can rest assured that you are providing your family with best chicken products available. All Canadian chickens are raised without the use of hormones or steroids. And thanks to its affordability, high nutritional value, versatility, and delicious taste, chicken is the most commonly consumed type of meat in Canada.

Fun Facts • Excellent low-fat source of protein, niacin, and magnesium, plus B6, riboflavin, thiamin, and phosphorous. • BC is the proud home to 328 chicken farms. • All BC chicken are allowed to roam in the barns and are considered “free run.” • No hormones or steroids are fed to BC chicken.

Family Tips Roast two whole chickens for a great dinner one night. Then use leftover chicken for sandwiches, quesadillas or chicken pasta the next day. Even better, simmer the bones and meat to make chicken soup or broth for the freezer. Check our nutritious and delicious recipe ideas, videos and events such as cooking classes at

August/September 2021  43

Kayaking in the Gulf Islands: Salt Spring Island


ayaking in the Gulf Islands is one of the most popular kayak destinations in the world. I love that we can enjoy this experience as a whole family. Salt Spring is one of the gorgeous Gulf Islands that is nestled just a 20-minute ferry ride from Vancouver Island. It is one of over 2000 islands off the coast of Vancouver Island and in the waters between Canada and the United States. Our Salt Spring kayak adventure started in Ganges, home to the impressive Saturday Summer Market. We had never

wanted one) and someone to show us the ropes. After a quick lesson on land to explain how to best hold our paddle and use it in the water, we were off to find our kayaks. Our numbers worked great. Each of our kids rode in a double kayak with an adult and was able to learn how to paddle with a stronger person behind them. We started our 4-hour Salt Spring kayak tour in the harbour, paddling around the sailboats, fishing boats, and yachts and made our way along a lane

tried kayaking as a family before, so we contacted a Salt Spring adventure company to show us how it’s done. Kayaking in the Gulf Islands is one of the top activities to do while visiting Vancouver Island or any of the Gulf Islands for that matter. People come from across Canada and all over the world to enjoy our pristine waters and lush sea life on the West Coast. There are definitely benefits to going with a guide on a trip like this. We were all outfitted with life jackets, paddles, and even spray skirts (for those of us who

of smaller islands. Just minutes into the tour, I was already in awe of the surrounding beauty. As we paddled passed various islands, our guide gave us a bit of the history of the land. There was “Dead Man’s Island” (yes, my dear boy, it’s the stuff of your nightmares), then there were the tamer islands owned by various insanely wealthy people like the island completely owned by one couple who couldn’t decide whether to build a house with a view of the sunrise or a sunset so they built two houses!

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There were even islands with some fascinating geology. That’s one of the benefits of a guide for sure, you get all your random island questions answered. You have to be careful though, with a guide. Sometimes you get one who doesn’t know when to be quiet and just let you enjoy the experience. One option if you don’t want a guided experience and you feel confident going out on your own is by going the rental route, or at the time of booking just let them know your guide preference and that works, too. Blue-er than blue water and a sun gorgeously beating down…had I not known better, I would have thought we were somewhere tropical. Our kayak journey took us to Chocolate Beach, which can be a bit misleading. Well at least to Jay, because for some reason he got in his head that eating speciality decadent chocolates was part of the tour. No chocolate here, just a pristine stark white sandy beach which definitely made up for the lack of chocolate, according to Jay. As we took a break here, staring out over the pristine cool waters, enjoying (yes, enjoying) a potty break at the cutest outhouse you’ll ever see, and swinging on a seat built for two, our guide pulled out chocolate chip cookies, juice, tea and hot chocolate! Yum. So there was chocolate after all! Just what we all needed to give us the boost to paddle on back to Ganges harbour. The journey back showed its wear on the children, but we were glad for our family adventure on the water. Though the kids continued to paddle, we could tell they were a little tuckered out. Well actually, the older two paddled just fine while the 6-year-old sat in luxury in front of Jay while Daddy did all the work! Oh, to be the youngest. This particular adventure left me wishing for more and to one day extend it to a multi-day family Gulf Islands kayak trip. I hear those day trips adventures do that to people as you get hooked for more!

For now, this day trip adventure will suffice. It was just what we needed to help us slow down and enjoy the beauty in nature together as a family.

5 Things to Know Before You Go:

1. Get ready for some exercise. You’ll want to be somewhat physically fit to go ocean kayaking. Not so fit you’re running marathons, but fit enough to spend a couple hours paddling. In our case, we had to work a bit harder as the children weren’t as strong as an adult, but we were still able to paddle no problem. 2. How old do your kids need to be? Great question, glad you asked. Kids can do this too, BUT if they are young, be prepared to do the extra paddling. Our kids were 9,7 & 6 at the time. Our 6 year old was our little non-paddling passenger, but that was okay. He still had fun. Double kayaks are great for this reason. They allow kids to still have the experience and learn how to do it, all the while having a great bonding experience with mom or dad. 3. The art of guiding. When to talk and when not to talk…that is the question. Some people love to learn all the extra information about the area, while others enjoy a more peaceful and quiet experience. Make sure you communicate your type of guide preference at the time of booking. 4. Do I need to bring anything with me? Salt Spring Adventure Company has you covered and pretty much provides everything you need. Just show up with weather appropriate attire, a water bottle and you’re ready to go! Dry bags are provided in case you are really nervous about getting something wet. Jay kept his camera out pretty much the whole time with no issues. 5. Accept the spray skirt. Who would have known my kids had such an aversion to getting drips of water on their laps while kayaking! The Traveling Islanders know Vancouver Island and they love sharing all their family travel secrets on their Vancouver Island travel blog! Jay and Gretta Kennedy, along with their three kids and their Golden Retriever, make up the Traveling Islander team. Visit them online at

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What Are You Willing & Not Willing to Do?


ogical consequences are often ineffective. Why? If the antecedents (triggers) or causes of the behaviour are strong, consequences don’t work. Antecedents can be hunger and fatigue or a life event, or simple immaturity. If a child is too young to meet your desired behaviour, then a consequence is discouraging. If an event has been stressful, such as moving, changing schools, loss or any other challenging life event, the child needs understanding and support. Yet, there are times when a followthrough is necessary. To create boundaries, we can focus on what we are willing and not willing to do. Healthy limits involve consideration, respect for privacy, things, space, bodies, and feelings, among others. “Here is the limit and what I’m willing or not willing to do.”

Put the focus on yourself, your values and what you can control. Hear the difference: “How dare you talk to me that way. You’re grounded for the weekend.” vs. “I’m not willing to be generous with my time and drive you to the mall when I experience being called names.” The value is self-respect. “If you do your homework, I’ll give you some extra screen time.” vs. “It is your responsibility to get your schoolwork done each night, and I will not step in at the last minute if you haven’t completed your tasks.” The value is taking responsibility for your own tasks. “If you don’t stop making all that noise, I’m sending you to your room.” vs. “I am going to have to go to another room because I can’t concentrate on this task while there’s so much noise.” The value is considering other

people’s need for quiet when they are working. “Stop fighting with your sister over that darn video game, or I’ll take it away.” vs. “I expect you both to figure out a plan to share the screen. If I come back in ten minutes and you are still arguing, I will keep the screens off for the rest of the day.” This approach is taking control of yourself and your boundaries, and your actions. It takes some time to think things through to know what your limits are, what is reasonable and where you stand. When you can speak with authority over yourself and a tone of seriousness rather than reactive anger, boundaries are more likely to be respected. Dr. Allison Rees is a parent educator, counsellor and coach at LIFE Seminars (Living in Families Effectively),



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Exhibition produced by the Royal BC Museum in partnership with MuseumsPartner.

Locals for Local

September 4, 5 & 6 2021

The 153rd Saanich Fair is coming back in full swing September 4, 5 and 6 at the Saanich Fair Grounds! MIDWAY, 4-H, CONCESSIONS AND MUCH, MUCH MORE!

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