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THE Local Guide for Active Urban Families November/December2011

FREE

Winter Fun, Perfect Parties & Wacky Woods

Our 3rd Annual Readers’ Choice Results Are in!

Holiday Gift Guide Jody Vance of Citytv’s

Breakfast Television

A Mother’s Cares


November/December 2011

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WestCoastFamilies.com


November/December 2011

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FREE

THE Local Guide for Active Urban Families November/December2011

November/December 2011

Winter Fun, Perfect Parties & Wacky Woods

Top Story Winter Fun

Our 3rd Annual Readers’ Choice Results Are in!

Getting outdoors, fun family events and more!

Holiday Gift Guide Jody Vance of Citytv’s

Breakfast Television

A Mother’s Cares

On Our Cover

New Citytv Breakfast Television Co-Host Jody Vance and her son Brady are ready for winter fun! Photographed by A. Vance

From the Editor 8 Editor’s Note 8 Your Thoughts 10 Contests 12 WCF News 13 WCF Presents 42 Where to Pick Up WCF 45 Community Calendar

38 39 40 40 41

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WCM Profile Shima Javadi of Lusso Baby WCM Feature A Mother’s Cares: Letting Go of Parental Anxiety WCM News WCM Finds WCM Events

More ways to connect!

www.twitter.com/wcfmag www.facebook.com/westcoastfamilies

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Features 14 17 26 27 31 32 36

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Our 3rd Annual Readers’ Choice Results Are Here! Winter Party Resource Guide 10 Great Educational Toys to Make at Home Holiday Gift Guide Winter is the New Summer Winter Fun Event Listings Local Spotlight Jody Vance of Citytv’s Breakfast Television

Columns 16 22 24 35 43 46

WestCoast Finds Party finds and ideas Health Sick or Not Sick—The Stay-Home Question Travel The Weird and Wonderful Wacky Woods Parenting Raising Kids Who Can Handle Strong Emotions Reading Corner Holiday Reads, Easy Baking and Alpaca Adventures Last Look Winter Reflections

In Our Next Issue Sign Up for Our Email Blast And get Exclusive Access to Online Contests Latest Finds & Deals Special Offers Event Listings …and much more!

Jan/Feb Our EDUCATION issue! Early Learning Resources Visual Arts Schools


November/December 2011

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No self-respecting mother would run out of intimidations on the eve of a major holiday. ~ Erma Bombeck, American humorist (1927-1996)

W

hether your holiday is Kwanzaa or Christmas, Chanukah or Winter Solstice, there are universal moments of exhaustion, exhilaration, triumph and tragedy for us all. In fact, you could say that any family gathering around a holiday is guaranteed to be a small epic of pathos, drama and occasional humour. Forget Homer or Milton, the family get-together is where it’s at. But, as my father once pointed out to me, “It’s important to remember that all this craziness is done for people who are worth it, just as you, yourself, are worth it for others.” In between all of the planning, shopping and general chaos of the next two months, it might help to keep that in mind, and view the experience as an adventure rather than an obstacle to overcome. Oddly enough, I’ve yet to meet the mom who was able to say, “I just have way too much fun and pleasure in my life. Really, it’s not good for me, I should go on a pleasure diet.” We could all use a little more happiness and fun in our lives, and if nothing else, the holidays are a great time to remind us of that. In keeping with the mantra that you can never have too much fun, we’ve put together a fabulous list of fun family events to fill up those non-shopping/baking/ cooking/cleaning hours. And just because it’s winter, doesn’t mean all that fun should be inside. Isn’t that what snow pants and hot toddies are for, after all? We have collected a great gaggle of gifts and finds to round out your not-so-little lists for family, friends,

Photographed by eclipseph otography.ca

editor’s note

and even yourself. (Hey, you deserve it, right? Besides, it’s probably on sale…) The holidays tend to bring out strong emotions in everyone, whether big or small, so check out our tips on how to help your kids cope with strong emotions—any time of the year. And for those whose celebrations run the gamut from birthdays to anniversaries to simply holiday fun for kids, our winter party guide and finds will help you plan the perfect hootenanny, throwdown, shindig or…well, you get the idea. Finally, we are announcing the results and winners of our 2011 Reader’s Choice Awards. Turn to page 14 to read up on who has garnered your top votes. A big thank you goes out to all of you for taking the time to let us know which businesses, services and attractions turn you on most! Stay tuned in the coming months for news on the launch of our 4th Annual Readers’ Choice Awards. I hope the next two months bring you and yours a season of fun, joy, adventure, renewal and some quiet time to just bask in the glow of being among those you love. See you in the new year,

your thoughts While I enjoy reading your magazine for the articles and finds—and even the ads—I would like to see more articles about alternative families, dads, queer families, and blended families. The nuclear family model may be alive, but it’s not really kicking, and perhaps more branching out is in order. I thought your May article on the two-mom couple was great, let’s see more of that! Jenna Ho

I was interested by your article on the pros and cons of circumcision in the October issue. While I’ve never had a boy, so never had to face this particular issue, I liked that you presented each side in a balanced manner. Like many choices parents make, there are two equally valid sides and we can only hope that we will each make the best decision for our own children. H. Green

Thanks for the lovely article on ways to support breast cancer in your October issue. I’m related to a survivor, and was so pleased to see you highlight such great programs like Pink Ribbon Tea. We need more programs like this to raise awareness of this very important issue for women in B.C. Thanks again. Karine D.

I have always enjoyed those articles most where you tackle the tough subjects, like circumcision, multicultural couples, etc. So what about those smart meters? Any chance you’ll tackle that sometime soon? People need to hear the facts. Lance K.

Got anything to say, rant about or praise? We want to hear it all!

Email editor@westcoastfamilies.com with your comments, questions and suggestions, and be entered to win monthly prizes! 8

WestCoastFamilies.com

1215-C56 St, PO Box 18057 Delta, BC, V4L 2M4 Tel: 604.249.2866 Fax: 604.247.1331 westcoastfamilies.com info@westcoastfamilies.com ­Publisher Andrea Vance publisher@westcoastfamilies.com Managing Editor Anya Levykh editor@westcoastfamilies.com Art Director & Layout Krysta Furioso studio@westcoastfamilies.com Accounts Receivable & Bookkeeping Jennifer Brulé finance@westcoastfamilies.com Administration / Editorial Assistant Jennifer Bruyns admin@westcoastfamilies.com Advertising Inquiries sales@westcoastfamilies.com 604.249.2866 For distribution inquiries, please contact: Andrea Vance Contributing Editor Debbie Bowman Contributors: Clare Adams, Jennifer Bruyns, Cori Howard, Rebecca Mitchell, Sharon Nolfi, Shari Pratt, Gina Spanos Photography, Mandy Fields Yokim. WestCoast Families (WCF) is an independent, regional parenting publication. As the Lower Mainland’s prime resource for happy, healthy & active families, WCF provides informative and relevant content. All contents copyrighted ©. Written permission from the publisher is required to reproduce, quote, reprint or copy any material from WestCoast Families. PUBLICATIONS MAIL 40027247 Published nine times per year in British Columbia, Canada. Total circulation: 50,000 For queries about editorial submissions, please view the contributor guidelines on our website. To submit a community calendar event or share your feedback, please email info@westcoastfamilies.com.

WestCoast Families is proud to have been selected as a mom-friendly employer for the 2010 Progressive Employers of Canada List. And congratulations to our fellow inductees!


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contests

Enter to win any of these great prizes online at www.westcoastfamilies.com!

WIN One of TWO Family 4-Packs to Polar Express at West Coast Railway Heritage Park! The WCRHP is pleased to offer the expanded Polar Express experience once again this Christmas over two weekends, November 26 and 27, and December 3 and 4. Come out to experience a magical one-hour train ride through a winter wonderland, hear the story read over the PA, enjoy the hot chocolate and chocolate-chip cookies, and see Santa and Mrs. Claus. Train departs at 10am, noon, 2pm and 4pm. (Total value $250) www.wcra.org Deadline to Enter: November 11, 2011

WIN a Customizable Collection of Personalized CDs from SongsWithMyName.com! SongsWithMyName.com’s ever-growing collection of personalized children’s music is designed to help kids learn, gain self-confidence, improve social skills and inspire imagination—all while singing and dancing along with their favourite characters. Choose from Disney to Sesame Street to nursery rhymes, lullabies and more. Win a customizable collection of CDs of your choice worth up to $200 in value! Visit the website to hear your child’s name in their very own song and view the many song collection options! www.songswithmyname.com

Deadline to Enter: December 2, 2011

WIN a Family Pack of Tickets to Alberta Ballet’s The Nutcracker!

WIN a Family Prize Pack to experience Luminescence at the Vancouver Aquarium!

Presented by Ballet BC and choreographed by Edmund Stripe, with sets and costumes designed by Emmy Award-winning designer Zack Brown, The Nutcracker is set in turn of the 20th century Imperial Russia, an era of opulent grandeur. The production offers stunning set designs and extravagant costumes, in addition to top dance talent. With scores of children, mice in the battle scene dressed as Cossack soldiers, and snowflakes dressed as Russian princesses, this amazing performance offers a perfect complement to Tchaikovsky’s glorious musical score, played live by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Win two adult and two child tickets to the December 31 matinee show (value $200). www.balletbc.com

Running now through January 2, 2012, experience Luminescence: A Celebration of Aquatic Light. Throughout the holidays, visitors can explore the fascinating ways in which marine life and other creatures create and reflect their own light through our animal exhibits, new daily shows and unique aquatic lighting displays. WIN four admission passes and a special gift package (value $150). www.visitvanaqua.org

Deadline to Enter: December 2, 2011

Deadline to Enter: December 2, 2011

Nutcracker images by Darren Makowichuk.

WIN a Family Pass Prize Package to Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge! This year, Capilano Lights is going to be better than ever, including the brand new addition to the park, CLIFFWALK. Enjoy the narrow 700-foot cliff-side walkway, stroll through the hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights strung throughout the park, including the Tree Top Adventure, plus take part in gingerbread cookie decorating, sing-a-long carols with the Christmas band, and glass ornament demonstrations. Win a family pass to Canyon Lights, two glass blowing passes and a package of festive holiday fudge from the Trading Post (value over $100). www.capbridge.com Deadline to Enter: December 10, 2011

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WIN a Two-Hour Birthday Party at Artspace Children’s Arts Centre! Choose from an Art Adventure or Drama Adventure party that includes a 45-minute age-appropriate workshop for a maximum of 12 children (including the birthday child) led by a professional artist, plus a special gift for your birthday child, and a balloon for every guest. The party is appropriate for children ages three to 12, and is valued at $250. Artspace is a brand new arts centre in Burnaby that offers inspiring dance, theatre, music and visual arts programs for children ages six months to 12 years. Now accepting registration for programs beginning January 2012. www.artspaceforchildren.com Deadline to Enter: December 31, 2011


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wcf news A New Style of Childcare and Organizations That Give Back

A New Concept in Daycare Coming Soon to Vancouver A new style of licensed daycare will soon arrive o n t h e We s t S i d e . Buddings Children’s Garden and Daycare at 950 West Broadway is offering flexible, part-time care for three to five-year-olds. The concept revolves around a flexible online booking schedule that allows you to book care for your child as you need, when you need it, up to 40 hours per month. The daycare is housed in a 2,000 square foot facility, with various activities for kids, including art, theatre, gardening, cooking, music, yoga and more. Learn more at www.buddings.ca.

Sarah McLachlan School of Music Opens New Permanent Facility In 1999, Canadian singer/songwriter Sarah McLachlan established the Sarah McLachlan Foundation, with the goal of providing free music education to Vancouver’s most vulnerable youth. In 2002, the Foundation partnered with Arts Umbrella to establish the Sarah McLachlan Music Outreach Program, eventually serving 269 students from inner city schools who wouldn’t otherwise have access to music programs. The need for a permanent home became a pressing concern, and in 2009, the program forged a partnership with the Wolverton Foundation to create the Sarah McLachlan School of Music, a public/private partnership supported by the City of Vancouver, which donated a $100,000 grant towards the new building. The state-of-the-art facility, which just opened last month, is over 16,000 square feet and is complete with soundproof studios and lesson rooms, a performance space, lunch room, and administrative space. The school will offer free music education in piano, guitar, percussion, voice, choir, songwriting, music lab and student bands. To learn more visit www.sarahschoolofmusic.com.

Canada’s First Online Micro-Volunteering Community Microvolunteering is volunteerism built for the social media generation, and gives web-savvy Canadians the opportunity to make a huge contribution to Canadian not-for-profit and charity organizations, right from their computer, in 15 minutes or less. With microvolunteering, volunteering becomes a purely online activity which can be done any time the volunteer has a spare moment: before work; during a study break; or simply on a free evening at home. Microvolunteering tasks are designed to take a short period of time, typically 15 minutes to two hours, but help not-for-profit organizations very quickly and easily crowd-source solutions through a range of high-impact challenges and questions such as disaster or emergency relief, fundraising ideas, social media strategy, copywriting, graphic design, and much more. Now, the first online, entirely not-for-profit, grassroots online volunteering community has been established, supported and powered by Koodo, the mobile service provider. Launched as a charitable, not-for-profit initiative, learn more and participate at www.koodonation.com.

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wcf presents C a n a d a ’ s

L a r g e s t

p r i v a t e

s C h o o L

e x p o s

Lower Mainland Toy and Product Fair Coast Hotel & Convention Centre, Langley November 23, 1pm-7pm

Our Kids Vancouver Private School Expo   meet top pS-12 The Westin Bayshore November 27, noon-4pm

SchoolS

Canada’s largest private school expo where you can meet top PS-12 schools and attend information  seminars on how to choose the best school, how to pay for private school, international student trips and more. “hoW to choose “hoW to pay for www.ourkids.net/expo

information SeminarS the best school”

private school”

A great way to do your Christmas shopping while supporting a local service for families! The Lower Mainland Annual Toy & Product Fair provides parents the opportunity to buy new toys, products and services for their children from more than 50 exhibitors. Admission and childminding by donation; benefits the programs and services of Langley Child Development Centre. Don’t forget to enter the Show Your Smile Contest. The winning photo will appear on the cover of WestCoast Families Magazine! www.langleycdc.com

november 27 the Westin bayshore 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

get your 50% off voucher now presented by

EX11-WestCoastFamilies-OurKids-8_375x10_75-CMYK.indd 1

14th Annual Bright Nights in Stanley ourkids.net/expo Park scan using your mobile device for quick registration

sponsored by

December 2, 2011 to January 2, 2012 Daily 3pm-10pm (closed Christmas Day) 10/25/11 11:05 AM

Take a train ride through a transformed forest glowing with two million twinkling lights, and enjoy hot chocolate and roasted chestnuts while enjoying the animated displays and holiday tunes. Mortal Koil’s fabulous creations are once again on display, and don’t forget to visit Santa in his workshop! Tickets $9 for adults; $6 for children/youth/seniors. All donations collected during the event, and partial proceeds from train ticket sales go to the B.C. Professional Firefighters’ Burn Fund to help burn survivors and their families. Donations can be made at the front gate, and the Burn Fun suggests a minimum donation of $2. www.vancouver.ca/parks/events/brightnights

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ReadersChoice awards 3rd Annual

is pleased to announce the official results of our

Our 3rd Annual Readers’ Choice Awards Results are Here!

Once again, we’ve finished tallying all of the votes and have sorted through the hundreds of suggestions and comments you all so kindly provided. Not only did we learn a lot about our readers’ preferences when it comes to products, services and outings, but we learned a lot about you, our readers—what you like, what you love, what you want to read more about, and what you could stand to see less of. It was wonderful to see the amazing response from readers about what they truly value in their community. Anything related to health and the outdoors was a major attraction, but a growing number of you are focusing on sustainability, organics, independent, local businesses and mom-based businesses. Please keep those comments coming. We value our readers’ opinions and truly want to know how we can better serve you through more relevant articles, find, contests and news. And now…[drumroll, please!]...we announce the winners of our Grand Prize and Runner-Up Prize Packages!

Congratulations to Carly Trinda, who won the Grand Prize Ultimate Family Pass, which includes the following: • Britannia Mine Museum • Greater Vancouver Zoo • Capilano Suspension Bridge • Grouse Mountain • Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden

• H.R. McMillan Planetarium • Maplewood Farm • Museum of Vancouver

• Vancouver Aquarium • Vancouver Art Gallery • VanDusen Botanical Garden

PLUS: 4 Season PlayPasses to Playland 2012 (April through September)

Also, congratulations to Liz Sopwith, winner of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra prize package, Elena Zarayskaya, winner of the Vancouver Maritime Museum prize, and Lora Delorme, winner of the Carousel Theatre Prize.

And, last, but not least, our sincere thanks to all of the prize sponsors for the 2011 Readers’ Choice Awards:

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The Votes Are In and the Results Are…

•• • •• •

Children’s Clothing Store Children’s Place Gap Old Navy

Maternity

Thyme Maternity Motherhood Maternity Room for Two Maternity & Baby

Adult/Maternity Consignment

•• • •• • •• • •• • •• • •• • •• • •• • •• • ••

Boomers & Echoes Value Village Turnabout Clothing

Children’s Consignment Wee Ones’ Reruns MacGillicuddy’s for Little People Boomers & Echoes

Shoe Store

Panda Shoes Payless Shoes The Shoe Company

Independent Bookstore Kidsbooks Chapters/Indigo The Book Warehouse

Children’s Furniture Store IKEA TJ’s The Kiddie Store (TIE) Westcoast Kids; Pottery Barn

Infant/Toddler Store Toys R Us/Babies R Us Baby’s World TJ’s the Kiddies Store

Midwives/Doulas

Mother Me The Midwifery Group Pomegranate Midwives

Nanny Agency Nannies on Call Nooks & Nannies Susan’s Nannies

Family Restaurant White Spot Red Robin Little Nest

Natural Foods Store

Whole Foods/Capers Choices Planet Organic

•• • •• •

Chain Grocery Store Real Canadian Superstore Save On Foods Safeway

Independent Grocery Store Donald’s Market Stong’s Market Kin’s Farm Market

•• • •• • •• • •• • •• • • •• •• • •• • •• • •• • •• • •• •

Grocery Delivery SPUD Stong’s Market Safeway

Ice Cream Parlour Marble Slab Dairy Queen Mario’s Gelato

Pizza

Panago Pizza Hut (TIE) Fresh Slice; Domino’s

Parents’ Night Out The Keg Milestones The Boathouse

Activity /Play Centre Go Bananas Koko’s Great Escape

Swimming Program

Vancouver Parks & Recreation Centres YMCA (TIE) Aquaventures; Canada Games

Infant/Child/Toddler Music Program Music for Young Children Gymboree n/a

Children’s Gymnastics Program Phoenix Gymnastics Queen’s Park Arenex Jump Gymnastics

Children’s Acting Program Carousel Theatre School Stagecoach Theatre Arts n/a

Children’s Dance Program Arts Umbrella (TIE) Kids in Motion; Dance Co n/a

Children’s Visual Art Program

4 Cats Arts Umbrella Shadbolt Centre for the Arts

Children’s Day Camp YMCA Sasamat UBC

Best Sleepover/Family Camp

•• •

Vancouver Aquarium Sasamat Greater Vancouver Zoo

GOLD Paediatric Dentist/Dental Clinic

•• • •• • •• •

PDG Pediatric Dental Group Child’s Play Tot to Teen

Optometrist/Optometry Clinic IRIS n/a n/a

Beauty/Health Spa Spa Utopia (TIE) Le Petit Spa; Skoah Absolute Spa

Family Fitness Program/ Facility

•• • •• • •• • •• •

YMCA Bonsor Community Centre Hastings Community Centre

Bootcamp/Gym

Steve Nash Fitness World YMCA n/a

Learning/Tutoring Centre Sylvan Kumon Oxford

Local Family Attraction Vancouver Aquarium PNE/Playland Maplewood Farms

Annual Baby or Family Show/Event/Fair

•• • •• •

Baby & Family Fair Vancouver Int’l Children’s Festival n/a

Local Daytrip

Harrison Hot Springs Stanley Park Whistler

SILVER

BRONZE

•• • •• • •• • •• • •• • •• • •• • •• •

Family-Friendly Employer City of Surrey Vancity Credit Union n/a

Children’s/Maternity Photographer Bopomo Pictures Eclipse Photography n/a

Children’s Party Venue Go Bananas Crash Crawley’s n/a

Party Supply Store Party Bazaar Turkey’s Party Makers n/a

Children’s Entertainer/ Performer Bobs & Lolo Norden the Magician n/a

Birthday Cakes/Bakery Dairy Queen Safeway (TIE) Cupcakes; Save On Foods

Parent Resource Website WestCoastFamilies.com Babycentre.ca UrbanMommies.com

Mom’s Network/Group Momcafé Yummy Mummy Club n/a

Location to Pick Up WestCoast Families

•• •

Any public library Community/recreation centres Safeway

Vacation Destination Within B.C.

•• • •• • •• • •• •

Whistler Tofino Sunshine Coast

Vacation Destination Outside B.C. Hawaii Disneyland Mexico

Family Campsite Cultus Lake Golden Ears Rathtrevor

Family Ski Area Whistler/Blackcomb Mount Seymour n/a

These are the results of all the votes that we received. Categories with less than five votes are not awarded, or where there is more than a two-way tie. Stay tuned next spring for the launch of our 2012 awards! November/December 2011

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westcoast finds Party Finds and Ideas for Holidays, Birthdays and Just Because!

Djeco Party Masks from Kippo Kids These awesome paper party masks make a nice change from standard party hats! $7.99 for a pack of 4. www.kippokids.com

Holiday Party Accessories and Piñatas from The Party Monkey In addition to their great birthday and theme items, Party Monkey also carries supplies for the holidays, including these cute designs for tableware and napkins. Various prices. And don’t forget to check out their piñatas!

www.thepartymonkey.ca

Party Idea: Santa’s Lab Station/Workshop with High Touch High Tech Science Made Fun! Forget the piñata, instead meet Santa’s new favourite elves that work in his high tech laboratory. Learn all about chemistry and cool chemical reactions as you mix together a few of Santa’s favourite concoctions. The elves will share some of their secrets, like how to make snow when the temperature is too warm and how to go ice fishing. And everyone gets an experiment to take home! Packages also available for birthday and child parties.

www.sciencemadefunbc.net

Party Idea: Get Creative at Make on Granville Island For creative kids with edge, Make offers customizable bir thday parties for up to 30 children (minimum of eight), including making buttons and artwork for t-shirts and bags. Make items with embroidery, laser etching and digital printing, as well! Learn more at

www.makevancouver.com.

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party guide listings

Your One-Stop Party Resource! • See ad in this issue. PARTY VENUES 4Cats Art Studio Multiple locations

City Centre Aquatic Complex Coquitlam 604.927.6999 www.coquitlam.ca

Cliffhanger

Artspace

Burnaby 778.989.9051 www.artspaceforchildren.com

Coquitlam 604.526.2402 Vancouver 604.874.2400 Richmond 604.276.0012 www.cliffhangerclimbing.com

Burnaby Village Museum

Collage Collage

www.4cats.com

Burnaby 604.297.4565 www.burnabyvillagemuseum.ca

Canlan Sports

Multiple locations 604.291.0626 www.icesports.com

Castle Fun Park

Abbotsford 604.850.0411 www.castlefunpark.com

Chuck E Cheese’s

Langley 604.534.9966 www.chuckecheese.com

Circus West

Vancouver 604.252.3679 www.cirkids.org

Vancouver 604.569.1929 www.collagecollage.ca

Crash Crawly’s

Coquitlam 604.526.1551 www.crash-crawlys.com

Creativ Music Centre North Vancouver 604.929.4040 www.creativ.ca

Delta Gymnastics

Delta 604.943.0460 www.deltagymnastics.com

Flip City

Walnut Grove 604.888.3366 www.flipcitygym.com

Fun4kidz

Richmond 604.279.5439 West Vancouver 604.925.0707 www.fun4kidz.ca

The Adventure Zone

Flips N’ Kicks

Vancouver 604.608.6699 www.theadventurezone.ca

Go Bananas!

Langley 604.856.6825 www.gvzoo.com

Vancouver 604.568.8862 www.flipsnkicks.ca

Greater Vancouver Zoo

Langley 604.514.7529 North Vancouver 604.982.0576 Richmond 604.204.0576 Chilliwack 604.858.9814 www.gobananasplaycenter.com

Love Those Loot Bags.pdf

Gymboree Play and Music Multiple locations www.gymboreeclasses.com

10/10/08

11:10:15 AM

Unique, fun-filled, affordable loot bags that both kids and parents will love! We offer children's birthday party loot bags, wedding favors for kids and that perfect goody bag for any children's festival, company picnic or corporate event.

Call: 604.888.6772 or visit: www.lovethoselootbags.com November/December 2011

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party guide listings Honeyland Canada— Dr. Bee Birthdays

Pitt Meadows 604.460.8889 www.honeylandcanada.com

HR MacMillan Space Centre

Vancouver 604.738.7827 www.hrmacmillanspacecentre.com

Imagine Children’s Museum

Maplewood Farm

Playland

North Vancouver 604.929.5610 www.maplewoodfarm.bc.ca

Vancouver 604.252.3663 www.pne.ca

Marpole-Oakridge Community Centre

Quantum Gymnastics Centre

Vancouver 604.257.8180 www.marpoleoakridge.org

Maple Ridge 604.465.9293 www.quantumgym.com

Richmond Go-Kart Track

Everrett, Washington 425.258.1006 www.imaginecm.org

McDonald’s Restaurants Multiple locations www.mcdonalds.ca

Richmond 604.278.6184 www.richmondgokarts.com

Jump! Gymnastics

Minoru Aquatic Centre

Safeguard Martial Arts

Richmond 604.238.8020 www.richmond.ca

Langley 604.532.0090 www.langleykarate.com

Coquitlam 604.777.7179 www.jumpstartmusicandmovement.com

My Gym Children’s Fitness Centre

Schokolade Café

KinderCafé

Omega Gymnastics Academy

Vancouver 604.568.9690 www.jumpgymnastics.ca

Jump Start Music & Movement

Port Coquitlam 604.554.0150 www.kindercafe.com

Koko’s Activity Centre Port Moody 604.469.3357 www.kokos.ca

L’Atelier

Burnaby 604.522.1100 www.latelierexploration.com

Laser Dome

North Vancouver 604.985.6033 www.laserdome.net

Making Memories with Scrapbooking

Burnaby 604.299.3601 www.makingmemorieswithscrapbooking.com

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Maple Ridge 604.465.1329

Coquitlam 604.464.1555 www.omegagymnastics.com

Phoenix Gymnastics Club

Vancouver 604.737.7693 www.phoenixgymnastics.com

Planet Lazer

Langley 604.514.2282 New Westminster 604.515.4244 Richmond 604.448.9999 www.planetlazer.net

Vancouver 604.253.9411 www.schokoladecafe.com

Science World

Vancouver 604.443.7500 www.scienceworld.ca

Splashdown Park

Tsawwassen 604.943.2251 www.splashdownpark.ca

Sugar ‘N Spice

Coquitlam 604.469.6018 www.sugarnspicecreations.ca

The Arts Connection

Richmond 604.241.0141 www.theartsconnection.ca

The Edge

North Vancouver 604.984.9080 www.edgeclimbing.com

The Great Escape Langley 604.533.1432 www.thege.ca

The Little Gym

Langley 604.539.2543 www.tlglangleybc.com

The Rock Wall

Maple Ridge 604.460.0808 www.therockwall.com

The Zone Bowling Centre

Coquitlam 604.525.2695 Richmond 604.271.2695 www.zbowl.com

Urban Chef

(Mobile) 604.603.0334 www.theurbanchef.ca

Vancouver Aquarium Vancouver 604.659.3552 www.visitvanaqua.org

Vancouver Maritime Museum

Vancouver 604.257.8310 www.vancouvermaritimemuseum.com


party guide listings Vancouver Police Museum Vancouver 604.665.3346 www.vancouverpolicemuseum.ca

Vertical Reality

Surrey 604.594.0664 www.verticalreality.ca

Watermania

Richmond 604.448.5353 www.richmond.ca

Xcalibur Bowling

BC Playthings

604.986.4111 www.bcplaythings.com

Bopomo

604.678.1411 www.bopomo.ca

Cards by Kids

604.987.4187 www.cardsbykids.ca

Carmela’s Cakes

604.295.3933 www.carmelascakes.com

Surrey 604.580.2600 www.xcaliburbowling.com

Fratelli Bakery

YMCA

Fun-in-a-Box Canada

Multiple locations www.vanymca.ca

DECORATIONS & SUPPLIES All Wrapped Up Party Supplies 604.574.6127

Balloonery

604.986.8787

Balloons-R-Fun 604.534.8844

BC Children’s Hospital (Tribute cards) www.bcchf.ca

604.255.8926 www.fratellibakery.com

604.782.4345 www.funinaboxcanada.com

Harmony Cakes

604.968.6022 www.harmonycakes.ca

It’s My Party Shop

Kaboodles Toy Store

Granville Island 604.684.0066 West Point Grey 604.224.5311 www.kaboodlestoystore.ca

Kids Market

Party Tailors

604.461.1711 www.partytailors.com

Perfect Party by Cody

877.662.5533 www.perfectpartybycody.com

604.689.8447 www.kidsmarket.ca

Sweets and Treats

Kippo Kids

Tartlets Pastry & Cake Design

Online www.kippokids.com

Love Those Loot Bags

604.888.6772 www.lovethoselootbags.com

Par-T-Perfect

North Vancouver 604.628.0100 Coquitlam 604.931.1913 www.par-t-perfect.com

The Party Monkey

Online www.thepartymonkey.ca

www.sweetsandtreats.ca

604.724.7625 www.tartlets.ca

The Balloon Shop

604.684.0959 www.theballoonshop.com

The Party Bazaar

Vancouver 604.873.5241 Langley 604.510.5585 www.thepartybazaar.com

The Party is Ready

www.thepartyisready.com

604.931.6040 www.itsmypartyshop.ca

Joyful Celebrations

604.756.1199 www.joyfulcelebrations.ca

Just Imagine

604.222.3523 www.dressups.com

November/December 2011

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party guide listings Tracycakes Bakery Cafe

Abbotsford 604.852.1904 Fort Langley 604.888.1984 White Rock 604.541.4668 www.tracycakesonline.com

Turkey’s Party Makers

604.576.1467 www.turkeyspartymakers.com

The Village Toy Shop 604.949.0444 www.villagetoyshop.ca

ENTERTAINERS & PACKAGES

Bobs & Lolo

Norden the Magician

Abracadabra Magic Productions

Bonkers the Clown

Pamper Your Soul Mobile Spa

604.800.1442 www.magicshow2go.com

Absolutely Magical

604.803.0887 www.forevermagic.com

Anderson Chow Entertainment 604.526.9643 www.andersonchow.com

Bell E Buttons the Clown 604.984.4329 www.bellebuttons.com

778.329.8644 www.bobsandlolo.com

604.576.1842 www.gobonkers.ca

Castletop Characters

Par-T-Perfect

North Vancouver 604.628.0100 Coquitlam 604.931.1913 www.par-t-perfect.com

Corycatures

Party Arts

604.813.3729 www.corycatures.com

604.318.1261 www.partyarts.ca

Gina Spanos Photography

Party Works Interactive

604.298.3611 www.ginaspanos.com

604.599.5541 www.partyworks.bc.ca

High Touch High Tech Science Made Fun Parties

604.984.6822 www.peterrookemagic.ca

John Kaplan’s Makin’ Magic 604.521.8804 www.welikemagic.com

Kellie Haines

Peter Rooke’s Fun Magic Shows

Portraits by Anita

604.376.6447 www.portraitsbyanita.com

Ray Wong Magic Entertainment 604.439.8809 www.raywongmagic.com

604.681.2329 www.kelliehaines.com

Ready Teddy Go

Kidz Craftz

Starchild & Co

604.317.9816 www.kidzcraftz.ca

Lime Girl Home Spa 604.460.1289 www.limegirl.ca

Lindsey Long Legs 604.727.7802 www.stiltwalking.net

Mad Science

604.591.9115 www.madscience.org/vancouver

Marla Rosen Custom Parties

604.460.7217 www.readyteddygo.ca 604.541.0908 www.starchild.ca

Shé

www.munchkinmusic.net

Suds N’ Scents

604.859.7837 www.sudsandscents.com

The Great Marrdini 604.803.4813 www.marrdini.com

The Magic of Yeeri 604.306.6229 www.yeeri.com

778.322.7442 www.emotionsbook.com

The Purple Pirate

Mike’s Critters

The Ta Daa Lady

604.598.3649 www.mikescritters.com

Mehndi & More (body art & face painting) 604.812.2048 www.mehndiandmore.com

Neale Bacon Ventriloquist 604.525.5089 www.baconandfriends.com

WestCoastFamilies.com

604.836.6497 www.pamperyoursoul.com

604.736.0876 604.729.4987 www.castletopcharacters.com

778.737.5277 www.sciencemadefunbc.net

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604.916.9879 www.magicshows.ca

604.805.4395 www.purplepirate.com 604-649-1979 www.angelabrown.ca

Vancouver Magic Productions 604.937.7258 www.vancouvermagic.com

Will Stroet

778.896.1476 www.willmusic.ca

Zox of the Forest

604.710.4234 www.zoxoftheforest.com


November/December 2011

21


health

Sick or Not Sick? The Stay-Home Question By Clare Adams

W

ith the wet season in full swing, parents are constantly faced with one of the biggest stressors when it comes to kids—the seasonal illness. Whether cold or flu, the battle between juggling work priorities and the health of your children can leave many parents asking, “To go to daycare or not to go to daycare? That is the question!” Often the first consideration is the amount of time available to evaluate the child and make that call. A recent incident for me occurred on a daycare day for my youngest, a work day for me—including a meeting I absolutely needed to be at later in the morning—a school day for big sister, and a Daddy who was already on his way to work by the time the “tummy ache’ was mentioned. I reckoned I had about 15 minutes max to make a call on whether he was fit, sick, or needed to see a doctor, before my whole morning routine was going to be thrown out the window. In other words, I was stuck—and I’m not alone. Megan Dunhill*, a mom and Director of Operations for a manufacturing company, notes that she struggles with the decision over whether her son should go to school because, in her case, “he sometimes gets up and slobs around and whines, and I’m thinking maybe he’s ill, but then I can’t really tell because that’s what he looks like every morning anyway.” A bigger stress for Dunhill is that she strongly feels the pressure to be at work and, if anything, admits she stresses more from work-derived guilt than from her son. “I work in a predominantly male environment, in a predominantly male role, with colleagues who have wives who stay at home and grown-up children,” says Dunhill. “And while I’ve never had a comment or complaint made about taking time off to care for a sick child, there is an old-school mentality that still airs when hiring women, voicing concerns over the impact of kids. So, whenever I’m off, I still feel the guilt—that and I know the work is piling up in wait for me.” Luckily, Dunhill’s husband Gary (a director in a large corporation), has some flexibility in his job, allowing him to work from home sometimes and share the responsibility of caring for sick kids. “We’re lucky because generally we can make it work, either taking alternate days or even doing half days. But there are times when we think he’s okay and then you get to daycare, take one look at the child and think “is he really well enough?’” It’s a line of thought that is often strictly enforced through daycare policies. Gary recalls that “at one daycare the owner could spot a sick kid at 50 paces. If she was there when you were dropping off, you were busted!” The Dunhills certainly aren’t the only parents feeling the pressure to be at work and perhaps taking the risk of hoping that their child will make it through the day. For some, a daycare’s strictly enforced policies sometimes make the parent’s job easier because you simply follow the rules. If your daughter vomited at seven p.m., you don’t have to see how she is in the morning, because there’s a clear policy: “24 hours clear of vomiting or diarrhoea before the child can return to the daycare.” Decision made. And it’s easy to appreciate that daycares clearly don’t want sick kids at their centres, because kids really are very good at sharing germs and it quickly escalates to more sick kids and more missed work for other parents. Dr. Omar Ahmad is an ER physician, as well as father to three young children and agrees that anything indicative of a contagious infection, such as fever, vomiting, diarrhoea or rash, are clear signs to keep a child away from other children and most of the time these children likely wouldn’t be feeling well enough to go. However, he also reassures parents that “kids don’t have to feel 100 percent to be able to go to school or daycare, but they need to be well enough to be able to participate in the day’s activities and if they can’t, then that’s a cue not to send them.” On the subject of “runny noses,” which many daycares seem keen to exclude, but parents can be hard-pressed to justify a day’s leave for, Ahmad

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empathizes with parents. “When kids start daycare, they often have runny noses chronically for the first year as they gradually build immunity, and parents can’t be expected to keep them off each time.” Ahmad also subscribes to the belief that exposing kids to everyday germs does offer long-term benefits in building a strong immune system. Amynah Makhani, a nurse at Eagle Ridge Hospital and mother of two, concurs. “A runny nose could be caused by allergies and you can’t expect to exclude a child because of allergies either.” As Darcy Lorden*, a sales consultant for an equipment supply company, puts it: “If I’m giving them Tylenol at three in the morning, then they’re not going anywhere, but if they’ve got a sniffle, then here’s a Kleenex, I’ve got to go to work.” For many parents, it seems that the greatest challenge is with infants who can’t tell us what’s wrong or how they feel. Once a child develops verbal communication, it certainly gets easier and many parents develop their own strategies for assessing their kids in the meanwhile. Helen Gunther*, who works in HR for a major bank, recommends a three-stage approach: “Stage one: ‘Why don’t you get dressed, then see how you feel.’ Stage 2: ‘Well you’re dressed; you might as well have some breakfast.’ Stage 3: Well you’re ready now, you might as well go to school.’ If they aren’t able to do stages one and two, then that’s my answer.” Appetite can obviously help to determine whether your child is sick, even in younger children and infants, especially if your kids usually eat well. “If mine won’t eat, I know they’re sick,” says Dunhill. Makhani agrees and says she “can tell when [the kids] are sick, because they come close and want cuddles—it’s like baby time.” Another indicator is when children show unwillingness for activities that they normally enjoy. Carmen Lee, a mother who juggles parenting with a career with a major bank, knows if her daughter “says she can’t go to dance class, then I know she’s really sick.”


Unfortunately, while improving verbal skills can mean better communication, by school-age (if not earlier!) kids have often perfected the art of feigning it as well, which makes the evaluation process even trickier. According to WebMD. com, 10% of kids will try to dupe their parents into letting them stay home at some point in their school days. So how to factor this into my 15 minute evaluation? Andrea Smith is a school counsellor and is well aware that children sometimes look to avoid school. While bullying may often come first to mind, there are other possible causes as well. “It is critical to rule bullying out, as well as look at other possibilities, such as academic concerns, and separation and social anxieties.” She encourages parents to look out for emerging patterns of wanting to stay home and possible causes, such as friendship issues, academic worries (like tests or exams) or a sudden improvement in their “illness” once the morning bell has rung and they think they’ve successfully avoided school. And while those of us that have wasted a day’s vacation entertaining a healthy child can feel hugely frustrated, Smith affirms that letting your child know calmly, matter-of-factly and positively that unless someone is ill, everybody is expected to go to school, is really the best way to handle it. “It’s very important not to over-react and to remain non-threatening because if there is an underlying issue, you want them to open up and get to the bottom of it.” At the end of the day, having a good relationship with your child and trusting your instincts seem to be the best tools for “making the call” and will most likely to help you avoid unnecessary lost work days. Lorden recommends “silent monitoring” to avoid accidentally suggesting or encouraging a plea for a day off, which also gives you the time to think it through for yourself. Dr. Ahmad suggests that some of the indicators that they use to evaluate kids in the ER can be easily used by parents and that a good overall way to assess is to ask “How does the kid look? Are they lethargic? Do they have low energy? Do they seem needy?” But he also adds that “at the end of the day, it comes down to common sense and gut instinct.” My own recent “tummy ache” incident ironically started with some pretty convincing pain showing on my son’s face, continued with ongoing clutching of the stomach, followed by a trip to the toilet and a substantial amount of flatulence, and ended with one happy little chap off to daycare and my world back on its axis for another day. Crisis averted—for now.

How to Tell When Your Child is Truly Sick Any or all of these symptoms are a good sign that your child is not just trying to get out of going to school: • Fever • Vomiting/Diarrhea • Constant coughing, sometimes accompanied by chest pain, wheezing or trouble breathing • Dehydration • Irritability (meaning they’re inconsolable and fussy) • Lethargy (meaning it’s difficult to keep them awake) • Severely decreased activity levels (if they’re running instead of jumping, that doesn’t count) • Headache or muscle pain • Pale or flushed skin, sometimes with a waxy or greenish tinge • Lack of appetite

How to Tell When He/She is Faking • He sends side glances at you while clutching his stomach • Complains of dizziness when it’s time for school, then jumps for joy when you keep him home • No fever, headache, muscle pain or persistent cough • Healthy appetite, especially for treats • Your gut tells you you’re being played

November/December 2011

23


travel

The Weird And Wonderful “Wacky Woods” Of Vancouver Island By Debbie Bowman | Photographed by Amanda and Alex Bowman

I

f you ever find yourself driving the Vancouver Island Highway towards Comox and you want a good place to stretch your legs, be sure to stop by what is lovingly called the Wacky Woods, in the community of Fanny Bay. Created by the artist George Sawchuk, the Wacky Woods (or the Fun Forest as it’s also called by the locals) is a collection of what Sawchuk calls his “yard work.” But such a humble term doesn’t adequately describe what has taken him over forty years to accumulate. Though a metal worker in the beginning, Sawchuk was involved in an industrial accident in 1968, which made it impossible for him to continue his original line of work. As a result, he decided to pursue what he really loved—art. In fact, with his first compensation cheque, he purchased a chainsaw to construct the kind of art that interested him the most—large wooden sculptures.

Like many ar tists, Sawchuk has strong opinions on many subjects, which he purposes to communicate through his art. That being said, because he tempers his opinions with a good dose of whimsy, his art is approachable by people of all ages. However, one shouldn’t be fooled by the whimsical nature of his art. Sawchuk is a serious artist. In fact, his works have been displayed in major art venues throughout Canada, including the Vancouver Art Gallery. But the Wacky Woods is no ordinary art gallery. It has an atmosphere—the sunlight streaming through the trees, the barking of seals coming from nearby Baynes Sound, the birds busy in the many birdhouses scattered about—that make this gallery-in-nature something very special. Encompassing over four acres, the Wacky Woods is a network of circular trails with something interesting around each and every corner. The sculptures of the Wacky Woods, called “white men’s totems” by Sawchuk, are mainly constructed from found materials. They’re nestled in the foliage—sometimes hidden, sometimes easy to see. Hanging from trees you’ll find folk-art fish and metal lampshades. There are mirrors placed strategically, a bus stop in the middle of nowhere, and other unexpected wonders such as pipes, spigots, and shower-heads emerging from branches and tree-trunks. The art is a source of wonderment to kids of all ages. Younger kids will be intrigued to find sculptures that beg to be pulled or turned. They’ll also enjoy surprises such as the miniature wood cutter diorama nestled inside a tree. Older kids will want to know what the sculptures mean, and some interesting conversations can ensue. And adults will enjoy the beauty of the area and the chance to see something so odd and wonderful in such an unusual place.

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Though all of the art is fun to look at and discuss, everyone’s favourite seems to be Sawchuck’s trademark wooden books. Found tucked into trees throughout the forest, one can slide the books from their nooks and open them. Most of the wooden books contain poems by famous poets like William Wallace and Ralph Waldo Emerson. However, one book simply reads “Smile.” Since this wacky art has been in the community of Fanny Bay for so long, the local citizens have grown to embrace the Wacky Woods as a permanent part of the community and a place to share with visiting friends and family. However, though the local citizens cherish Sawchuk’s outdoor art, the Crown hasn’t felt the same. In 1997, Sawchuk received a letter from the Crown telling him he had to clear the art from the areas outside the boundary of his property. When the citizenry got wind of this, they rallied around


Sawchuk and his artwork—and the matter was quietly dropped by the government. Though the sculptures seem safe for the moment from the government, they are not safe from Mother Nature. In 2007, many sculptures were damaged in a windstorm. Sawchuk felt he shouldn’t repair them, though, thinking it was best to allow the area to evolve naturally. As a result, some of the sculptures are looking worse for wear. One could argue, however, that the disarray adds to the beauty and the mystery of the place. And the Wacky Woods really are beautiful. The trees are green with moss, as is every other surface where the moss can take hold. The moss even softens the benches that have been thoughtfully placed throughout the trails, allowing one to stop, sit, and reflect. In one clearing is a picnic table—a perfect place for an al fresco lunch. The Wacky Woods gallery is definitely a quirky place that’s worth a stop. So if you’re ever in the vicinity, be sure to grab your camera, a picnic lunch—and your sense of humour—and get ready for a weird and wonderful stroll.

How to get there Take the Inland Island Highway to the Buckley Bay exit. Take the exit and head west toward the ferry to Denman and Hornby Island. Take a right at the Old Island Hwy. and head back south for a small bit. At the Fanny Bay Community Hall take a left turn at Ship’s Point Road. Take the next left at Little Way Road. Take the next left at Bates Road and stay left. Follow until the road ends. This is the main entrance to the Wacky Woods, though there are several ways to enter the area.

November/December 2011

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wcf feature

10 Great Educational Toys to Make At Home By Sharon Nolfi

W

hen Joey Kantzen opened a large present for his fourth birthday, he seized the silver, holographic wrapping paper. Ignoring the expensive gift underneath, he folded the paper into an airplane and launched it across the living room. The plane dove and crashed as Joey rushed to retrieve it for another flight. The intended gift, an expensive building set, lay untouched. Joey followed his natural instinct for finding the fun in items that are not officially toys. A closer look reveals that Joey also demonstrated a child’s natural instinct for learning. He explored principals of engineering and physics, using the wrapping paper as an educational plaything. The right playthings at home can improve learning at school, but educational toys tend to be expensive. Budget-minded families can make noor low-cost versions with just a little effort. Homemade toys delight children partly because of their novelty. Every parent knows that Joey’s reaction to his gift is a common one. The key test of any toy is whether a child will play with it. Parents can construct homemade, inexpensive toys that enchant children as well as promote learning. Anyone can transform common household items and even discards into items that kids will love. Easy instructions follow for ten types of make-it-yourself toys that rival the best educational playthings on the market.

1. Building Sets

the display often. As baby gets older, repeat the name of each object as you show him the cards to develop language skills.

6. Master a Skill Supplies you already have for cooking, sewing, woodworking and household repairs can be used to teach older children practical skills.

7. Dress Up for Social/Emotional Learning

Seal empty cardboard boxes with masking tape to create lightweight, reusable blocks. Oatmeal boxes make great silos! Very large boxes become child-sized rooms or vehicles with just a few cuts. Create design elements with paint or markers. Provide inexpensive Popsicle sticks and glue for smaller scale building.

Adult clothing and accessories (if you’re willing) provide great props for exploring self-image and learning about social conventions.

2. Creativity Kits

For a child learning to read, have her dictate a story about herself. Transcribe it to sheets of paper and fasten them together, then let her illustrate each page. She can practice reading her own words in a personalized picture book. Older children (and even parents) should try the Government of Canada Publications site for free or low-cost booklets on nearly any subject.

Images cut from old greeting cards, magazines and even advertising combine with used wrapping paper, packing materials, discarded buttons, old silk flowers and just about anything else to produce collages and other works of art. Have kids glue small pasta shapes to recycled containers and boxes, then paint to hold treasures.

3. Explore Science Purchase an inexpensive magnifying glass and teach kids to examine the details of everything. Use egg cartons to sort collections of rocks for further study. Punch holes in a plastic container with a transparent top to hold insects briefly for observation.

4. Physical Development Pile pillows and seat cushions on the floor to encourage the movement young children need to develop motor coordination. Older kids can blow up a bag of balloons for throwing, hitting and catching on a rainy day.

8. Personalized Reading

9. Do the Math Buttons, beans, containers, lids and even dried pasta are ready-made tools for counting and arithmetic activities. Actual coins work well to demonstrate financial transactions. Measuring cups and spoons teach computation as well as measurement.

10. Thinking and Speaking Encourage your children to express their thoughts as you share everyday tasks and family activities. Get them to think and talk about all kinds of things, then, listen to them and give responses that invite even more conversation. Remember, you are the ultimate educational toy for your children.

5. Infant Stimulation

The next time you admire expensive educational toys, remember that children learn just as well from homemade versions. Make your own playthings, delight your kids, and teach them a bonus lesson: how to save money.

Babies thrive on visual contrast. Paste 8.5 x 11-inch black-and-white pictures (or draw the images yourself with a marker) on pieces of light cardboard. Insert in plastic page covers. Display wherever your newborn might look, and change

Sharon Nolfi, M.A. is a writer, school psychologist, and mother of grown children. Her writing has been published worldwide.

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Gifts for the Whole Family, And Maybe Some Friends…!

holiday gift guide

Junior Folk Acoustic Guitar from Tom Lee Music Give the gift of music. Perfect for young musicians—or those who wish to start—this Yamaha 3/4 size six-string is made with a spruce top and rosewood fingerboards and bridge. $139. www.tomleemusic.ca

Janood Kitchens from Raspberry Kids Cool New PJs from Little Savages In addition to their great line of consignment clothing, Little Savages also carries brand-new merchandise, like their awesome winter PJs (and did we mention the incredible prices?). Choose from big name brands like Gap and Little Me, character jammies from Disney, and much more! $8.99-$14.99. www.littlesavages.com

This French line of children’s kitchens bring the groovy back to the playroom! Available in colours that both boys and girls will enjoy, this quality wooden toy includes accessories, stove, oven, shelves, sink and even a clock! $149.99. www.raspberrykids.com

Oversight from Griddly Games From this local game board company comes an abstract strategy game that utilizes a board of movable squares to create an increasingly challenging game. Perfect for players ages 7+. SRP $19.95. Available at Kaboodles at Granville Island Kids Market. www.griddlygames.com

November/December 2011

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holiday gift guide

TimeCommand from Stem Innovation

Give the Gift of Canadian Nature If you’re not looking to load someone with more “stuff,” consider giving a gift that gives twice—once to the receiver and once to Canada. Nature Conservancy of Canada is the country’s leading national land conservancy organization. Make a donation on a loved one’s behalf, and they receive a calendar with Canadian nature scenes, a custom gift certificate, and a letter letting your recipient know a donation has been made on their behalf. Starting at $40. www.giftsofnature.ca

For the gadget guy, this “evolutionary” alarm clock music system for iPod, iPhone and iPad allows you control your sleep/ wake environment—including your bedside lamp—with the touch of a button. Download the free Stem:Connect app on iTunes and enable additional features such as dimming for incandescent bulbs and Wakeby-Light. SRP $99.99. Available at Apple retail stores and Future Shop. www.steminnovation.com

Griffin Crayola Paint and Create with iMarker For tech-savvy kids, this new, interactive app and digital stylus allows you colour like you do with your crayons, or just make your fingers do the walking and they become your crayons! Whatever you create, you can print, email or share on Facebook. $29.99 for iMarker at Best Buy and London Drugs. $2.99 for Paint and Create app on iTunes. www.griffintechnology.com

Gift Baskets from Love Those Loot Bags Known for their wonderful custom party bags, Love Those Loot Bags also can dish up custom gift baskets for any occasion, whether it’s a birthday, holiday or just because. $19.95 and up. www.lovethoselootbags.com

Nanoblocks Micro Building Blocks Designed for building enthusiasts ages eight and up (including adults like Dad!), these extremely small and realistic building sets offer unprecedented levels of accuracy and detail, replicating world-famous landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and Taj Mahal, exotic animals and other popular items. $10-$20. At specialty toy stores and online at www.scholarschoice.ca.

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holiday gift guide

Festive Eyewear from Aya

Hello Kitty Big House from MegaBloks Girls can now create and decorate their very own Hello Kitty world using MegaBloks. Easy to rebuild and redecorate with many rooms to design and create Hello Kitty’s very own multi-level dream house! Comes with lots of choices for furniture, carpets and even flowers. Features a buildable two-level home for Hello Kitty and Mimi, over 65 pieces to create and decorate with, and cute stickers to further customize every room in the house! Ages 4+. $29.99. Available at Toys “R” Us and Walmart. www.hellokitty.megabloks.com

Designed and created in Vancouver, Aya fashion reading glasses feature First Nations artwork by Corrine Hunt, the world-renowned artist who co-designed the 2010 Olympic medals. Partial proceeds from the sale of all Aya eyewear are donated to the OneXOne First Nations Nutritious Breakfast Program. Multiple colour options available. $60 at www.claudiaalanstore.com.

Padraig Slippers from Boomers and Echoes Who doesn’t want some comfy, cozy slippers on a cold, winter’s night? Padraig Cottage uses the finest scoured and spun New Zealand wool to keep toes toasty. Dyed and crocheted by hand, and lined with high-quality sheepskin, the soft leather soles are durable and promote a stable footing on most floors—ideal for kids on the go. We love the new rainbow design, and did we mention they’re available in adult sizes, too? $40-$80. www.boomersandechoes.com

November/December 2011

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holiday gift guide Dexton Tepee from Hip Baby This tepee is great for both indoor and outdoor play. It is easy to set up and you can decorate it with any permanent latex or oil-based paint. Exterior measures 6’ high by 5’ wide. Recommended for ages 3+. $149. www.hipbaby.com

Topozoo Animals from Kippo Kids These fantastic toy puzzles with interchangeable pieces stand an impressive 25 to 38 cm tall. Now who wouldn’t love a giraffephant? Made from recycled, formaldehyde-free MDF; finished with waterbased, non-toxic stains; packaged in a recycled cardboard box. Recommended for ages 3+. $29.95. www.kippokids.com

Become a Baking Star with Crafty Cooking Kits Whether you’re celebrating Chanukah, Christmas or Solstice, these easy-touse cooking kits take care of everything from mixes and icing to decorating stencils and supplies. $11-$25. Available at www.memyselfandus.ca.

Loove and Sweet Earrings This local online store specializes in handmade items for children and women. These ladies’ earrings are embellished with pink satin flowers and mini faux pearl centers. $15. www.looveandsweet.com

Loove and Sweet Bow Tie Who says boys can’t wear pink? For holiday gettogethers or more formal occasions, this doublelayer clip-on bow is stylin’! Measures 4” across by 2.5” wide. $12. www.looveandsweet.com

Trunki from Wee Ones Reruns This personal luggage for kids doubles as a sturdy ride -on tr avel com panion. Guaranteed to add excitement to any journey, or just create fun around the house. SRP $39.99. www.weeonesvancouver.com

Capsule Collection from Anne Marie Chagnon Canadian designer Chagnon designed this limited-edition collection to benefit the Canadian Women’s Foundation, a charity dedicated to improving the lives of girls and women across Canada. Various prices. Available at Damask, Circa Ici, Giftworks and online at www.annemariechagnon.com.

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winter fun

Winter is the New Summer By Mandy Fields Yokim

D

o you miss the sunny, warm days of summer? Go ahead and put on your swimsuit (underneath your snowsuit!) and think outside the box of typical winter fun. You can still enjoy some of your family’s favourite summer activities while appreciating the beauty of the season. Here are six ways that your family can bask in the glow of the snow:

1. Have a picnic Why save picnics for warmer weather? Winter can be a great time to take your lunch outside. Instead of birds chirping and bugs biting, you can enjoy the peaceful sound of quiet while you observe the icicles and catch snow on your tongue. Try packing a thermos of warm soup with a grilled cheese and then spreading a tarp instead of a blanket. Ants are guaranteed not to crash the party.

2. Play in the water It’s too cold to swim or run through the sprinkler. The winter, however, provides a great opportunity for learning about water’s more solid state—ice. Take the kids outside and let them discover the process of freezing and melting in a fun way. Fill up different kinds and sizes of containers. Freeze leaves and sticks in the water. Make cookie cutter-shaped icicles to hang on your porch. Enjoy not having to keep lathering on the sunscreen, since you’ll be covered head to toe and won’t be out for too long (maybe a little on your face if the sun is really bright).

3. Make snow cream We all scream for snow cream. Yes, instead of making ice cream out of fresh berries, just use what’s in season—snow. Have the kids gather some fresh snow (read: white, not yellow or brown) and then add milk, sugar and vanilla to taste. It is really that simple. You can eat it right away or freeze it inside or outside in ice cream moulds or cups with Popsicle sticks. Experiment with adding flavours or ingredients.

4. Go to the playground Kids love swinging and sliding no matter what the weather outside. In fact, being the first to go down a snowcovered slide is super fun. Snow can make your regular playground seem a little different and kids may enjoy discovering it anew during the winter. Snowball fights, breaking icicles off of the play equipment, jumping off swings into piles of snow—playgrounds can be fun in all seasons.

5. Take a hike

Hiking in a winter wonderland is magical. Little kids who are all bundled up may find it challenging to walk in deep snow, but even short hikes are great fun. Pretend you are big animals making tracks through the snow, play follow the leader, or draw pictures in the snow with sticks. Try snowshoes for a change of pace. Kids love the novelty and they can be bought second-hand or even rented. Don’t forget to take along your camera to get some beautiful, redcheeked pictures of your family enjoying the snowy outdoors.

6. Plant and pick flowers While your real spring bulbs are underneath a blanket of snow until spring, the expanse of white makes a perfect background for colourful pretend flowers. Drink hot chocolate inside while you craft simple flowers from brightly coloured paper. This doesn’t have to be Martha Stewart-style, simple works just fine. Tape them onto wooden dowel rods or sticks and then place them into the snow for a pretty display. Pretend you are bees flying from flower to flower and run all around the backyard. Practice identifying colors or counting as the kids pick the flowers from the snow for a beautiful winter bouquet. Mandy Fields Yokim is a freelance writer and mom with lots of great ideas for playing around.

November/December 2011

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winter fun listings

Winter Fun for Everyone! • See ad in this issue.

Peak of Christmas Grouse Mountain Visit Santa’s Workshop, meet reindeer and have your picture taken with them, or take a sleigh ride through the mystical alpine forest. Skate on the 8,000-squarefoot mountaintop Ice Skating Pond. All complimentary with your Grouse Mountain Admission, Annual Membership, Winter Pass or Lift Ticket. Check website for dates and times. www.grousemountain.com Passport to Christmas Various locations in Abbotsford November 1-December 23 This self-guided tour around Abbotsford takes you on a Christmas adventure where you come across unique stocking stuffers, gourmet food items, home décor and Christmas greenery. There are many events for families taking place at the participating locations during the season. Please check website for details. www.passporttochristmas.ca Indoor Holiday Train & Carousel Lansdowne Centre, Richmond November 12-January 2 Ride the holiday train and carousel past the Polar Bear Circus while staying warm and dry at this indoor event. $3.50/ride 604.270.1344 Free Community Skate Canlan Burnaby 8 Rinks November 14, 1-3pm Everyone welcome! Enjoy free Tim Horton’s coffee and timbits. Great fun for the entire family. Proudly sponsored by MADD Metro Vancouver Chapter. Invite your friends and family. www.madd.ca Winterfest Canlan Burnaby 8 Rinks November 18-January 1 Come out to the Winterfest Holiday Rink and enjoy live Christmas trees, festive lights, decorations and traditional holiday season music. Public and private skates available. See website for details and schedule. icesports.com/burnaby8rinks/winterfest

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WestCoastFamilies.com

Festival of Trees Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver November 23-January 3 The Festival of Trees is a fundraising event that has become a holiday “must-see” tradition in Vancouver for thousands of people as the hotel lobby becomes transformed into a forest of beautifully decorated trees to raise funds for B.C. Children’s Hospital. Open to the public, who are invited to vote for their favourite tree by donation. www.bcchf.ca Vancouver Christmas Market Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza November 24-December 24, 11am-9pm The 2011 Vancouver Christmas Market is the perfect destination to celebrate the holiday season, whether it’s an evening out with friends and family or a festive lunch with co-workers. The warm and magical setting offers something for everyone. Adults, $2 Monday to Friday, 11am-4pm ($5 from 4-9pm and weekends); Youth (7-12 years), $2; Child (0-6 years), Free. www.vancouverchristmasmarket.com 9th Annual Santa Claus Parade Edmonds & Canada Way, Burnaby November 26, 1-4pm Come out and celebrate along Edmonds Street for the parade. Afterwards visit Santa and enjoy hot dogs, hot chocolate, crafts, games and more. www.burnaby.ca Christmas in the Country Kilby Historic Site November 26 & 27 Kick off the holiday season a little early this year with crafts for both adults and kids from the Waterloo Farm Gift Shop. The quaint gift shop offers one-of-a-kind local wares, crafts, homemade jams and jellies & local artists and authors. Santa will also be making a special appearance, so bring your cameras! 604.796.9576 | www.kilby.ca Polar Express West Coast Railway Heritage Park, Squamish November 26 & 27, December 3 & 4 The WCRHP is pleased to offer the expanded Polar Express train experience once again! Enjoy a 60-minute train ride, story read over the PA, hot chocolate, chocolate-chip cookies, Christmas music and carols, Santa’s Workshop, Mr. and Mrs. Claus, and more! See website for train schedule and prices. www.wcra.org

Carollers at Capil

ano Suspension

Christmas Tree Farm Aldor Acres November 26-December 23, daily 9am4pm Walk through the acres of land, pick and cut your Christmas tree, then relax by the fire, play with the animals and sip hot chocolate! $4 farm admission is included with the purchase of a tree. December 18 will be a special evening opening for hayrides and carolling from 4-7pm for $5/person. Trees start at $7/foot (includes HST). 604.888.4483| www.aldoracres.com Heritage Christmas Burnaby Village Museum November 26-January 1, various hours Enjoy the boughs, red bows and all the other old-fashioned ornaments and decorations throughout the village and farmhouse. The season features traditional entertainment, demonstrations, hands-on activities and exhibits from the early 1900s. The daily craft is popular with children, as is a chat with Father Christmas. Complete each visit with a whirl on the C.W. Parker Carousel. Also, look for a new scene inspired by Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. 604.297.4565 www.burnabyvillagemuseum.ca

Bridge

Christmas Countdown Calendar Surrey Museum November 29, 2-6pm Make an old-fashioned advent calendar where you’ll find a special surprise when you open each December day. For ages 6 to 12. $8.50/person. 604.592.6956 www.surrey.ca/heritage Bright Nights at Stanley Park Stanley Park December 2-January 2, 3pm-10pm (except Christmas Day) More than two million twinkling lights transform the forest, the train and children’s farmyard areas in the middle of the city’s wondrous Stanley Park. Bright Nights is enhanced by entertainment, dozens of delightful animated displays and more— carrying on the tradition started with the first Christmas Train over thirty years ago. Adult $9; Child $6. 604.257.8531 | www.vancouver.ca Canyon Lights Capilano Suspension Bridge December 2–January 1, 5pm–9pm Canyon Lights features over 250,000 twinkling lights throughout the park. Enjoy the Christmas Band performing nightly and learn to make glass icicle ornaments. This year, checkout the new Cliffwalk! Adults $25; Children (6-12) $5; Family (two adults/ two children) $50. 604.985.7474 | www.capbridge.com


winter fun listings Family Day in the Country Krause Berry Farms, Langley November 27, 10am-2pm Help build a Christmas tree, take a horsedrawn carriage ride, visit with Santa, decorate cookies and more! www.krauseberryfarms.com Light Up the Square: A Lantern Affair Place des Arts, Coquitlam December 3, 4:30-7:30pm Welcome in the light during Light up the Square’s Lantern Affair! Discover the Japanese taiko drumming tradition that lures the sun; drop in on a variety of arts and crafts activities for all ages; get into the spirit of the season with live music and song, and be entranced by a musical performance of A Child’s Christmas in Wales, staged by RA Productions. 604.664.1636 | www.placedesarts.ca Breakfast with Santa Willingdon Centre December 3, 10-11:30am Enjoy a pancake breakfast with your family, create holiday crafts and visit with the jolly fellow. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. Sorry, no drop-ins. $7.50/person. www.burnaby.ca Christmas in Cloverdale Cloverdale Fairgrounds December 2 & 3 Come out for the holiday shopping event of the year! Plus enjoy the visit from Santa, magic and balloon animals from Joseph the Magician, and face painting! See website for times and details. www.christmasincloverdale.com

Heritage Crafts: Holiday Ornaments Burnaby Village Museum December 3, 10-11:45am Take a trip down memory lane to see Christmas celebrated in style. Start with a private tour of Edwin W. and Mary Bateman’s house as it would have been decorated in the 1920s and end with working on traditional holiday crafts around the kitchen table at the Love Farmhouse. Fee includes a ride on the carousel. $15/session. Appropriate for ages five and older. www.burnaby.ca

The Christmas Carnival Coal Harbour Community Centre December 3, 10am-noon Breaking news: Santa has been seen at the Harbour! Journey with your children to meet Santa through a magical winter wonderland where holiday games and Christmas crafts await each stop along the way. Pre-registration is recommended. Parent participation required. $5/child (appropriate for ages 2-6 years). 604.718.8222 | www.coalharbourcc.ca

Breakfast with Santa Langley Golf and Banquet Centre December 3, 9am-10:30am & 11am12:30pm This annual event put on by, and in support of, the Langley Child Development Centre offers families with special needs children, as well as the entire community, a safe and supportive environment to enjoy a typical seasonal event. Enjoy pancakes and treats, and have your photo taken with Santa! Preregistration info and other details online. 604.534.1155 ext 108 www.langleycdc.com

Holiday Traditions at Kids Market Kids Market, Granville Island December 3-24, 11am-3:30pm Visit with Santa in his workshop for singing and stories, and enjoy the holiday magic show with Elfina (bring your camera and create your own holiday memories). Take advantage of the charity gift wrap station and help Santa help others with by donating an unwrapped gift before December 20. www.kidsmarket.ca

Hyack Santa Claus Parade of Lights Columbia Street, New Westminster December 3, 4pm From bands playing festive music, to floats featuring reindeer, elves, candy canes and toys, it’s a swirl of sound, colour and lights transforming downtown New Westminster into a twinkling winter fairyland. The event involves families in a fun, free activity that engages the community in a civic celebration. 604.522.6894 | www.hyack.bc.ca

Christmas Train Bear Creek Park December 3-January 1, 10am-4pm Ride the train through the Christmas forest display and Santa’s Golden Reindeer tunnel exhibit. Adults $5.50; Children $4.50. 604.501.1232 | www.bctrains.com

Here Comes Scuba Claus and the Poler Express! Vancouver Aquarium December 3, 4, 10, 11 & 17-24, 11:30am Everyone knows that Santa can fly, but did you know that he scuba dives, too? Be at the Vancouver Aquarium and wave to Scuba Claus as he swims with the animals in the Strait of Georgia exhibit. Come down and visit your favourite animals during the festive holiday season. And don’t forget to take in the unforgettable Polar Express 4D Experience! 604.659.3474 | www.visitvanaqua.org Jingle Bell Jog Coquitlam Centre December 4, 8:30am Bring out the whole family to walk or stroll in this one or five-kilometre walk for a great cause. Adults $30; Children under 12 $20. Includes a t-shirt! www.runnersden.ca Rogers Santa Clause Parade Georgia and Howe Streets, Vancouver December 4, 1pm The parade starts at Broughton and Georgia streets, moves along Georgia and turns down Howe, ending at the corner of Howe and Davie. Line up anywhere along the designated parade route to see decorated floats, performers and entertainers and all the festive fanfare you can imagine. www.rogerssantaclauseparade.com

November/December 2011

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winter fun listings Christmas in Williams Park Williams Park, Langley December 5-17 (drive thru), 6pm-9pm December 16-17 (walk thru), 6pm-9pm During the Drive Through evenings, you can view the captivating lights, decorations and displays from the comfort of your own vehicle, set amongst the natural beauty of the park’s greenery and walkways. The Walk and Celebrate evenings feature hay and pony rides, local entertainment, face painting, refreshments, and a visit with Mr. and Mrs. Claus. 604.533.6086 | www.tol.bc.ca/ciwp Festival of Lights VanDusen Botanical Garden December 9-January 2, 4:30pm-9pm every evening except Christmas Day Experience 1.4 million twinkling lights, including the Dancing Lights on Livingstone Gingerbread Wood and Candy Cane Lane. Up in the Heather Garden, be sure to support the Make-A-Wish Foundation by lighting a candle at the Candle Shrine. Visit Santa’s Living Room for stories and enjoy the community choir concerts on the deck. Adults $13.50; Youth/ Seniors $10; Children (3-12) $7.50. www.vandusengarden.org Pioneer Christmas Surrey Museum December 10, 1-3pm Explore Christmas customs from pioneer days. Do holiday crafts with your family. View a display of vintage Christmas cards. Watch short holiday films, sip some Christmas punch and nibble on treats. Please bring a donation for the Surrey Food Bank. 604.592.6956 | www.surrey.ca

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Christmas Cheer Muriel Arnason Library, Langley December 12, 3-5pm Enjoy hot apple cider and cookies while listening to seasonal music from the library’s CD collection. Santa will also be visiting! Enter a children’s Christmas book draw. No registration necessary. www.fvrl.bc.ca ‘Tis the Season! Clearbrook Library, Abbotsford December 15, 7-8pm A Christmas celebration for the whole family! Indulge in the warmth of the holiday season at the library! Join in for festive puppets, stories, crafts and goodies. Fun for the whole family! Drop-in. www.fvrl.bc.ca A Dylan Thomas Christmas: A Child’s Christmas in Wales Ryerson United Church December 16, 8pm December 18, 3pm A Dylan Thomas Christmas features the famous Welsh poet’s story “A Child’s Christmas in Wales” read by Bard-on-theBeach actor Russell Roberts and illustrated with all-new Christmas carols and songs chosen by Jon Washburn. 604.738.6822 www.vancouverchamberchoir.com

Skate with Santa Bill Copeland Sports Centre December 17, 12:30-3pm Bring family, friends and those you hold dear to enjoy crafts, games and holiday cheer. Regular admission and rental rates apply. www.burnaby.ca Kidtopia Multiple Venues December 19-23 Keep boredom at bay and have some real fun with five cool events happening this holiday season for only $45. Attend all five or pick only the ones you want. Events include Christmas carol flash mob, wreath-making, skating and more! Register early as space is limited. Appropriate for kids ages four to 14. Full details on the website. www.kidtopia.net

Heritage Holiday at the Fort Fort Langley National Historical Site December 19-31, 10am-5pm Get away from the holiday bustle and make memories with your family and friends! Enjoy a traditional holiday atmosphere, crafts, children’s activities, stories, and workshops. Regular admission fees apply, free for annual pass holders. Closed December 25 and 26. 604.513.4777 www.pc.gc.ca/fortlangley Winter Solstice West End & Coal Harbour Community Centres December 22, 6:30-9pm Worldwide, interpretation of this event has varied from culture to culture, but most cultures have held recognition of rebirth involving holidays, festivals, gatherings, rituals, or other celebrations. Come and celebrate with lanterns, music, dance and ice skating at this free event. 604.257.8333 | www.westendcc.ca www.coalharbourcc.ca


parenting

Raising Kids that Can Handle Strong Emotions By Rebecca Mitchell

W

hen you hear that newborn cry, that toddler meltdown or the preschool anger/protest, you quickly realize that emotional regulation (responses to stimuli or situations that affect a person strongly) is not present at birth and must be learned. So, of course, it is no surprise then that parents play a pivotal role in helping their children learn to how to regulate their emotions. Emotional regulation happens on three levels; neurophysiological/ bio-chemical (racing heart, red face, etc.) behavioural (e.g. actions such as trembling, crying, aggression, leaving, yelling) and cognitive (expressing feelings through words). For a young baby, the environment provides regulation. If an infant is wet/soiled, hungry or bored, a parent responds to these needs, calming the child’s state of emotional arousal. The pairing of an aroused emotional state and a soothing response is the very beginning of teaching a child to regulate their emotional state and needs to happen predictably and consistently throughout those early years. As a parent, the goal is for their child to shift from external regulation to internal regulation. This happens over a number of years and at varying points in development depending on the child. Some children will learn to regulate their emotions at the age of four, where another child may be closer to seven or eight years of age before they can adequately control their emotional responses. Other children, for various reasons, may continue to struggle beyond the expected range. There are some general first steps in guiding children through this developmental process, first of which is to monitor a child’s emotions, recognizing frustration, disappointment or fear before it escalates to fury. This is similar to how one would monitor the cues of an infant. The main difference is in the child’s cues and our potential responses. Toddlers may become whiny and clingy, or start running around the room and hitting.

Preschoolers may have difficulty shifting activities, refuse to listen or become overly emotional—springing tears for no apparent reason. Just as a nurturing response is paired with the cry of an infant, a calming or soothing activity can be paired to the cues of a young child, helping them learn emotional regulation. As we become better observers of our child’s cues, we can respond to the need whether it be acting as an external regulator or simply setting a limit. Becoming a keen observer of our own emotions as well as those of our child’s is important to being able to read the cues before they are blasting in your face. Once you have begun to recognize the cues, you can step in earlier and pair those cues with a soothing or calming strategy. The following are some general ways that help kids to calm. Physical activities that are repetitive in nature actually produce chemicals in the body that soothe and calm. These activities may include walking, running, rocking, swinging or bouncing. Deep breathing helps to soothe and calm by changing the carbon dioxide levels in the body (use a bubble wand to teach kids deep breathing or suggest metaphors such as smelling the flowers and blowing out the candles). Distractions may help to bring down the intensity by shifting the child away from the source of aggravation. A number of sensory activities also may serve to help soothe. Many children calm with a warm bath or water play in the kitchen sink, play doh or playing in a tray filled with rice, getting fresh air or listening to music. These are a few suggestions and with some exploration you may discover other possibilities. And, finally, for some children, space is needed when emotional intensity is running high. Bringing down the intensity is the first step in teaching a child how to regulate their emotional responses. A child cannot hear you or process information when his brain is flooded with neural static. This is not a teachable moment. Create a plan once you know what soothes and calms your child and help guide him toward soothing, calming activities so that he can be successful now and in the future. Rebecca Mitchell is the Co-founder of Painted Lighthouse Counselling & Consulting Inc. Painted Lighthouse delivers counselling, group and educational services to children and families. www.paintedlighthouse.com

November/December 2011

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wcf spotlight

Local Girl Jody Vance Joins Breakfast Television

C

oming home to the West Coast was always part of the plan for Jody Vance—part of the dream plan, that is. When the TV fates took this born-and-raised Vancouverite to Toronto, many feared she would be gone for good. However, this is a woman whose Vancouver roots simply could not be denied. Jody is proof that you can take the girl out of Vancouver, but you can’t take this city out of this girl. In October this year, the mother of four-year-old Brady saw her career balance out with motherhood, in the best possible way. “Being given the chance to co-host Breakfast Television on Citytv is as close to ideal as it gets, hours-wise, for my son. He sleeps the first three hours of my workday and then attends school for the remainder of it.” An early morning call-time puts Vance in a rare position for working mothers—she is able to put being a mom ahead of all else. “Let’s face it, I have to take this time while I can—the day will come when Brady doesn’t want to spend all of his time with his mom—so until then I am going to savour every second. He is the priority for me, hands-down. It’s not lost on me how fortunate we are to be able to do this.” While it might be tempting to tag Vance with the moniker of “super-mom”, she is quick to point out how without trusted childcare this job wouldn’t be an option. According to Vance the key to her household running like a well-oiled machine is a dynamic Phillipina named Lanie, “I could not do this job without the support of Brady’s ‘second mother’ Lanie. She is my sanity when the world of TV demands and deadlines take over.” Jody has only just started co-hosting Breakfast Television (airing 6:30 a.m. to nine a.m. on Citytv, Monday thru Friday) with Riaz Meghji, however the new routine is already in high gear. “Up and out the door well before dawn, my job is all about waking up our beautiful city and arming all viewers with the information they need—along with some good clean fun.” The day only begins with work, however there are many things to do before many people have had their second cup of coffee. “My wellness is key to a healthy family, so I make sure I eat well and get daily exercise. Our “first born” is a mutt named Fenway, and rain or shine this border collie-cross needs his run—so we cruise the beach an hour everyday. After that it is Brady-time. Full stop.” Thankful for the opportunity to find a balance between motherhood and career, at home on the West Coast, Jody Vance is one happy camper—well, if you can call Kitsilano living “camping.”

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A Mother’s Cares


A Mother’s Cares: Letting Go of Parental Anxiety Cool Finds, Breaking News, Events & More!

WestCoast Mom

Shima Javadi

of Lusso Baby

Photographed by Gina Spanos | AG Photography | www.ginaspanos.com

November/December 2011

37


wcm profile

Local Mom

Shima Javadi of Lusso Baby

What’s the lowdown on you? I am the proud mother of a 21-month-old boy. I am 31 years old and I have been married for almost 10 years. My husband and I met working at Future Shop. We then took our experience and blended it with our own vision and education to create a successful online business of our own, with over 100 employees. I had supported and helped my husband to establish his own business and to pursue his dreams for over six years. Becoming a mother changed my goals and passion in life. I became so mesmerized with anything baby-related. I then decided to follow my own vision as a mother. I felt the need to create a retail store that provides the customers with the most essential items that would satisfy the most common needs of any parents with a stylish and trendy selection at competitive and affordable pricing. How did your business come about? Becoming a mother and shopping around for my own needs gave me this idea that such an experience needs to be made special and easy, as it is one of the most amazing of life’s milestones. Finding what you need for your bundle of joy should be done based on knowledge and experience first and foremost, but if you can combine it with style and affordable pricing, and a high level of service; then we are talking. This was my vision in developing the store. I wanted to provide the North Shore community, which I grow up in, with a unique retail experience which offers great selection with a very high level of service. A place that would satisfy the most common needs of any parent under one roof. I am a proud supporter of mompreneurs, local and Canadian-made products. Quality and safety are one of the most important aspects of selecting a product in our store as well as being mindful of the impact that we have on our environment. We try to work with companies that are also respectful of our environment to protect our children’s future. Having the experience of supporting my husband’s online business also enabled me to implement this vision in to our online store to provide a large selection and service to homes across Canada. What would you describe as some of the biggest rewards of your work/ family? What are some of your biggest challenges in work? In life? My biggest reward is to experience the amazing feeling of motherhood and to experience life through my precious little son, who is the joy of our life. The business has been rewarding as well, and with each and every customer who leaves the store happy, I feel that I am closer to my ultimate goal, one happy customer at a time. The biggest challenge has been to find a balance between work and my personal life. Knowing when to close the laptop or if I should answer one more email.

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WestCoastFamilies.com

Do you manage to take time-out for yourself? If so, what does that entail? In the past, I did not have the luxury of taking any time off, but since I became a mother, I am making it my priority to take some time off, to unwind and relax so that I can maintain a healthy and happy lifestyle. I enjoy occasional spa treatments with my friends and family. I also enjoy taking time off for short getaways to spend more time with my family, to take a break from our busy lifestyle. Any must-haves? Having a dream and working hard to achieve your goals and not to give up when it seems like giving up is a good option. A must-have is also to have balance in your work and personal life. Taking some time away from everything to enjoy life’s most simple offerings—like the smile on your child’s face— without worrying about all the things that need to be done, is also essential. Tell us one or two of the most important life lessons you have learned through being a mom/business owner. I have learned that you need to have patience and to look at the positive aspects, and not dwell on things that are not going right. There are ups and downs in life and you need to take this journey to become a stronger and more capable person. In doing business, you need to embrace the challenges and try to overcome them one step at a time. Anything else you’d like us to know about you? Having an understanding and supporting partner is also essential. I would not be where I am today, if it was not for my husband’s love and support by my side. I think that it is so important to belive in yourself and your goals, and to work hard to be able to achieve them.


wcm feature

A Mother’s Cares Learning to Let Go of Parental Anxiety By Cori Howard

I

t’s a brilliant, sunny, autumn morning and I’m at Vancouver International Airport, sweating in the security line-up and feeling oddly bereft. The man in front of me, clearly inebriated despite the early morning hour, starts chatting me up and I am actually able to listen—uninterrupted. I have one carry-on bag, plenty of time and—for the first time in nine years—no kids. It’s not that I’m interested in what he’s saying, it’s just shocking to my system to be in this new space, this new, nonmother identity, free of their demands and needs, free of the constant worry about their well-being. And while it’s oddly liberating, it’s also disconcerting. I have the nagging feeling I’ve forgotten something. I have—my kids. It’s been nine years since I’ve been at an airport without my kids in tow. Nine years since I’ve flown alone. Nine years since I’ve been away from them for any significant length of time, aside from the odd sleepover. I know this is an outrageous confession in our culture of “me time,” but it’s true. Until very recently, I have never wanted—or “needed”—to leave them. I spend enough time away from them at work. And they spend enough time away from me at school, their activities and with friends. But the real reason I haven’t left them is because of something that happened when my first-born, now 10, was just 18 months. Back then, I left him—succumbing to heavy pressure from friends and family—for a weekend away in New York City. But visiting friends and attending swishy book launches wasn’t the fun-filled weekend I had hoped. There was no heavy partying or getting back in touch with my old pre-mom self. Nope. I was miserable and in tears, and spent most of the weekend in a hot shower relieving my aching breasts. I was both horrified and ashamed that I’d left my baby, half-weaned, with my poor husband who had to cope with three days straight of screaming. It was such a disaster I vowed never to do it again. Until now. I had waited until I felt comfortable to leave them and now that they are 10 and seven, I knew they’d survive the weekend without me, without tears. So here I am at the airport, oddly jubilant and simultaneously teary at the prospect of leaving. Having spent most of my 20s traveling solo around the world as a journalist, it is strange to feel so out of practice, so bereft of accoutrements like diaper bags and strollers and bags of toys—so completely alone. This time, I make sure to enjoy my free time, watching movies on the plane, reading, breathing and thinking without interruptions. Going out late for drinks and dinner with long-lost friends. Attending an amazingly intimate and inspiring writers’ festival in Muskoka. But what I appreciate most is the time to think—to really look at all of my parentally-induced fears and anxieties and how they are so at-odds with the person I was before becoming a mother. One of the many reasons I haven’t been ready to leave my kids is because I was afraid of dying in a plane crash. Really. I didn’t think a girls’ weekend, or leaving for work, would be worth that. Knowing it was irrational and not a good reason to stay home didn’t change the fact of it, didn’t change its constant, hovering presence in the back of my mind. And yet, leaving this time felt good, and, mostly, anxiety-free. It is interesting to watch yourself trust your instincts and stay true to yourself and to feel the bliss of that. But there have been consequences to staying in my safe, little bubble for so long. Over the years, I’ve lost many, many chances to improve

my career and travel for work. I’ve lost many opportunities to reconnect with good friends. And I’ve watched my anxiety worsen. I worry about earthquakes and being in a different part of the city and not being able to reach my kids. I worry about car accidents and kidnapping and my kids turning into nasty teenagers. I know what you’re thinking. As a close friend recently asked, “Have you ever thought of seeing someone about this?” Of course I have. But I am determined to work through it myself. I faced my fears and went on that plane and I was fine. The trip was great. I try to think positive thoughts when my children go on the school bus. I am letting go of my fears one at a time, slowly but surely, and trying to understand that it’s about my need to control things so they don’t fall apart. It’s not easy, but breathing helps. Time passing without disaster helps. Writing about it definitely helps. Cori Howard is the founder of The Momoir Project, where she teaches memoir writing to moms online around the world: www.themomoirproject.com. She’s also the editor of the best-selling anthology, Between Interruptions: Thirty Women Tell the Truth about Motherhood and an award-winning journalist. November/December 2011

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wcm news & finds

A Grown-Up Gift for the Holidays The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s Symphony Sampler is a great idea for holiday stocking stuffers, offering your choice of any four concerts from the regular season for $99. Get details online at www.vancouversymphony.ca/sampler.

Skinny Up Those Cocktails with these Tips from HealthCastle.com! Cool Find for Party Season! Canadian online store RentFrockRepeat. com offers women an easy way to dress up over the holidays. Just choose a frock, input your size (and a backup size just in case) and your frock is shipped to you in time for your next big ‘do! www.rentfrockrepeat.com

Everything seems to get a little richer during the holidays—meals, desserts, baking, and even drinks. From rum and eggnog to heavy holiday beers to mulled wine, traditional holiday drinks are fun to drink but heavy in calories—especially at holiday parties, where both food and drinks flow freely. Fortunately, according to Vancouver dietician Gloria Tsang, author of the new book Go UnDiet: 50 Small Actions for Lasting Weight Loss and founder of nutrition network HealthCastle.com, there are some easy ways to lighten up your holiday cocktails without losing out on any of the festive flair. “You’d be surprised at how elaborate and colourful a cocktail with just a few ingredients can be,” Gloria says. “The key is to focus on ingredients that maximize flavour and colour while minimizing sugar, fat, and calories.” If you’re mixing drinks for your own holiday party, use the tips below to come up with a signature cocktail that will delight your guests. If you’re not the host, use these strategies to order something simple that will have your taste buds tingling. Skip the Syrup: Many cocktails rely on sugar-sodden fruit syrups and mixes that offer none of the benefits of real fruit. Instead, use real fruit, especially citrus and berries. Try them blended as a base for mixed drinks. Kick the Cola: Cola packs a killer calorie punch, especially mixed with high-sugar spirits like rum or rye. Try a spritzer base instead for a much lighter take on carbonated drinks. Lime spritzer and rum or vodka is a great place to start. Just a Splash of Flavour: Start with a basic vodka and soda (club soda has zero calories) and add a hint of flavour with citrus peel, frozen berries, or fresh mint. The strong smells give the impression of big flavour, and the colors are great, too. Avoid High Proof: Higher alcohol levels instantly up the calorie count, so high-proof liquor bulks up your cocktail in more ways than one. Stick to the standard-proof brands to get both the calories and the drink strength you expect. Sip, Pause, Repeat: Cocktails taste best when sipped slowly—and you’ll consume less over the course of the party if you’re not throwing them back. Add lots of ice to keep your drink cold to the last drop.

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Adult Events for the Hip Mom Around Town!

Antique Expo Tradex, Abbotsford November 5 & 6 Antiquing. Treasure Hunting. Bargains galore! Get your hands on the coolest stuff ever made. Top dealers and pickers from across Canada offering very special inventory. Deluxe antiques and vintage bargains. They will bring their best! 604.316.1933 www.antiquesbydesignshows.com Portobello West Market Creekside Community Recreation Centre November 26 & 27 Created in 2006 by Carlie Smith and inspired by the famous artisan markets of Europe, Portobello West’s goal was to bring the style conscious people of Vancouver to the creative artisans and designers of Vancouver in an atmosphere of exploration, excitement and European cool. www.portobellowest.com Art Studios Winter Sale & Silent Auction Heritage Hall, 3102 Main St. November 24 The Art Studios, a Vancouver Coastal Health non-profit program, offers art classes to people with mental illness. The purpose of this sale is to raise funds, build awareness and offer great art to the community. We offer unique, original pottery, jewellery, paintings, art cards, crafts and textiles for sale, created by members of The Art Studios. 604.871.9788 Gold Medal Plates Vancouver Westin Bayshore Hotel, Vancouver November 4, 5pm Savour the dishes of 11 top B.C. chefs, including Top Chef Canada winner Dale MacKay and Rob Feenie, as they compete for a spot in the Canadian Finals of Gold Medal Plates, which raises funds for the Canadian Olympic Foundation. The evening features dozens of Canadian Olympians, music by Barney Bentall, a rare wine silent auction and live auction getaways to Tuscany, Napa Valley, Chile, Provence and Burgundy. $350/person. 604.646.3580 www.goldmedalplates.com Place des Arts Christmas Boutique Place des Arts November 7-December 16 Place des Arts’ Artisan Shop expands into a veritable Aladdin’s cave filled with glittering treasures perfect for the holiday season. Drop by the centre and browse in peace amidst beautiful, high-quality, handcrafted items made by talented local artists. 604.664.1636 | www.placedesarts.ca Speechcraft 9310 Williams St, Chilliwack November 7, 7-9pm Fraser Valley Toastmasters presents an introduction to public speaking workshop. This workshop runs six consecutive Mondays starting November 7. Participants will learn the art of effective communication while building strong listening and leadership skills. Class size is limited so register today. $30 fee covers all materials. Contact Bernie to register. 604.392.5862

Circle Craft Christmas Market Vancouver Convention Centre West November 9-13, various times This market is a Vancouver tradition! Unique handcrafted gift items direct from the artisans who make them! Adults $12. Buy your tickets online and save $2! www.circlecraft.net

Lower Mainland Toy & Product Fair Coast Hotel & Convention Centre, Langley November 23, 1-7pm Start your Christmas shopping early with over 50 exhibitors featuring unique, innovative gifts for kids of all ages. In support of Langley CDC. Admission and childminding is by donation. 604.532.8184 | www.langleycdc.com

Windebank’s Crafts and More Fair November 18, 5-9pm November 19, 9am-5pm A variety of tables for you to shop! There will be a silent auction, raffles, and concession. Tables will also be available to purchase for $40 each, plus a small donation for raffle baskets. 604.826.2213

Vancouver Private School Expo The Westin Bayshore November 27, noon-4pm Canada’s largest private school expo where you can meet top PS-12 schools and attend information seminars on how to choose the best school, how to pay for private school, international student trips and more. www.ourkids.net/expo

The 1st Annual Vancouver Men’s Show Tradex, Abbotsford November 18-20, check website for hours This premier men’s show features the hottest toys, high-end retail, spirit and beer tasting and a Tailgate party for CFL Eastern and Western Final under one roof. Outrageous custom vehicles will be unveiled for the first time, and one Strong Man will use his brute strength in a gruelling competition to become the 1st Vancouver Men’s Show Strong Man Champion. Adults (16 and up) $10; weekend pass $20. Wear your moustache in support of Movember and get $2 off admission.

Financial Divas George Mackie Library, Tsawwassen November 30 & December 28, 7-8:30pm Free financial club for women. Knowledge. Inspiration. Balance. Drop-in. www.financialdivas.ca

Gifts Galore Gizeh Shrine Center, Burnaby December 2-3, 10am-5pm December 4, 10am-4pm Come and see some of the Lower Mainland’s most talented artisans selling fine jewellery, pottery, fabulous clothing, and exquisite candles. Oak furniture, bread boards, stained glass works and garden fountains, the best in quilting, fine knits and wonderful soaps. Admission is free and there are free giveaways each day to the first five customers. 604.433.7660 The 4th Annual West Coast Christmas Show Tradex, Abbotsford December 2-4, various hours Western Canada’s leading holiday season show that brings together holiday gifts, food, personal services, decor, festive seminars and culinary presentations. Tickets $9. Buy your tickets online and save $2. www.westcoastchristmasshow.com

Want WestCoast Families at YOUR event? Call 604.249.2866 or email admin@westcoastfamilies.com to receive free delivery of our magazines to your family event!

1st Annual Christmas Craft Fair St Patrick’s Elementary School, Maple Ridge November 19, 9am-3pm If you make your own crafts or sell candles, Tupperware, or other crafty things, then this is the place for you to be! If you would like a table please email Tisha at st pa t ss ch o ol fu n dr ai si n g@ gma il. co m. Admission $2 at the door. 604.467.1571 Fort Langley’s Bloom Market Fort Langley Community Hall November 20, 11am-5pm Shop for one-of-a-kind handmade items from more than 40 independent artists, designers and crafters from around the Lower Mainland and beyond. This one-day indoor market will feature fine art, apparel, jewellery, paper goods, leather and wool accessories, housewares, baby items, and more! Also enjoy live music, prize draws and children’s art workshops. www.bloommarket.ca 8th Biennial Dance in Vancouver! Scotiabank Dance Centre November 23-26 This biennial event provides a unique opportunity to experience the energy and innovation of contemporary dance generated by local artists, with eight companies performing excerpts of new works and recent hits in four mixed programs. 604.606.6400 | www.thedancecentre.ca

November/December 2011

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Marketplace

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Where to pick up your copy of

Vancouver – East Little Nest Mabel’s Labels Mercato Mall The Party Bazaar Rocky Mountain Flatbread Room for 2 Wee Ones Reruns

Fun Magic Shows

Children love Peter Rooke’s fun-filled magic shows! To help make your party extra special, call Peter at

604-984-6822 Children’s Kingdom Montessori Centre Preschool & Kindergarten Register Now! September and January Enrollment Mandarin, Art & Music classes are included 4720 Elgin St. Vancouver (near Knight & 31st Ave.)

Tel : (604) 872-8898

Vancouver – West Aquaventures Arbutus Mall Arts Club Theatre Arts Umbrella Babes on 4th Bopomo Pictures Choices Markets Collage Collage Granville Island Kids Market Kidsbooks Vancouver – Downtown Jump Gymnastics London Drugs Science World Sinclair Centre Tourism Vancouver Vancouver Art Gallery North Shore Active Baby Boomers & Echoes Capilano Suspension Bridge Eclipse Photography Gator Pit Kuddel Muddel Kids Lonsdale Quay Lusso Baby Maplewood Farms Richmond Arts Connection Baby on Board Fun4Kidz Gateway Theatre Kumon Pinky Blue Shoppers Drug Mart Watermania Burnaby/New Westminster ABC Restaurant Burnaby Lake Sports Complex Burnaby Village Museum CEFA Canlan Ice Sports Choices Market in the Park Kids Kloset Pedagogy Toys Queen’s Park Arenex Shadbolt Centre for the Arts VanCity

A magical comedic fun-filled show, with one of 30 costumed characters. Performing: Singing, Dancing, Magic, Animaloons, Joking Puppets & Face Painting. For: Parties, Holiday Celebrations & Promotional Events.

736★0876 / 729★4987 www.castletopcharacters.com

Coquitlam/Port Coquitlam/Port Moody Baby on Board Baby’s World Big Foot 8 Kids The Clever Cupcakes Crash Crawly’s Dandelion Kids Evergreen Cultural Centre Place des Arts Toys R Us Village Toy Shop

Reach over 112,000 readers in the Lower Mainland each issue! The Children’s Party Specialists Face painting, balloon animals, arts and crafts, and more.

604-318-1261 • www.partyarts.ca 42

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Email us to advertise! sales@westcoastfamilies.com

Surrey/Delta/White Rock Buckets of Fun Buttercups Children’s Boutique Choices Markets Fancy This Gifts Kidazzles Kids in Paradise Little Critters Outfitters Sylvan Learning Centre TJ’s The Kiddies Store Whitby’s Books and Coffee Shop Langley/Abbotsford/Aldergrove Aldergrove Mall Babies R Us CEFA The Fort Toy Box Greater Vancouver Zoo The Little Gym Love Those Loot Bags Oxford Learning Pitt Meadows/Maple Ridge The Birth Place Jungle Jacs Play Centre Monkey Business Kids Boutique Trendy Tots


reading corner

Holiday Reads, Easy Baking and Alpaca Adventures

Wally Learns to Ski by Kelsey Bareham Wally, a suri alpaca, is bored of his predictable life on the farm and thinks it’s high time to go on an adventure! When fresh snow falls, an excited Wally decides it is a perfect day to learn how to ski. He sets off for the slopes of Whistler Mountain, with hilarious results! Written in rhyming verse, with tons of educational information on alpacas. $15.00 at Kidsbooks.

Fishing with Gubby by Gary Kent, illustrated by Kim La Fave Illustrated in the style of a graphic novel, this Governor General’s Literary Award Nominee follows Gubby and his cat Puss as they travel up B.C.’s West Coast to the destination of Quatsino Sound, where they settle in for a summer of fishing. Gubby and Puss face roaring rapids, rough and tumble storms, banks of fog, a pod of orcas and a tussle with a basking shark, all while trolling for spring and coho salmon and visiting other fishermen and homesteaders along the way. The book evokes the “golden age of fishing” and makes the wharfs, boats, fishermen and villages of the B.C. coast come alive with remarkable detail and humour. (Harbour Publishing, 2010) $19.95 at Kidsbooks. DVD: Secrets of the Emerald Sea narrated by Sarika Cullis-Suzuki In this Parks Canada production, discover remarkable creatures such as the Giant Pacific octopus, sea anemones, giant elephant seals, and six-gill sharks. See undersea footage of Active Pass in the Georgia Strait. Explore Haida Gwaii, the Galapagos of the north, and learn about the million-year-old glass sponge reefs of Hecate Strait, often called “Jurassic Park submerged.” $14.99 at Vancouver Aquarium.

Make a list, check it twice: As a family, write out your gift wish lists or come up with New Year’s resolutions.

Read a classic: There are so many classic holiday

‘Tis the Season for Family Learning! With Family Literacy Day around the corner on January 27, 2012, ABC Life Literacy Canada offers these ideas to encourage family literacy over the holidays and throughout the winter months:

stories to choose from! Each night before bed, curl up together as a family and read Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas or The Night Before Christmas.

Holiday scavenger hunt: Create a list of holiday and winter-related items around your home. Give the list to your family and have them find all the items on the list. Bake holiday favourites: Following a recipe is a great way to practice reading, comprehension and math skills. Bake holiday cookies, cakes or a gingerbread house as a family!

Piece of Cake! by Camilla Saulsbury Just in time for the holidays comes the baking book from heaven. These one-bowl recipes don’t require you to separate eggs, cream butter into sugar, alternate mixing with adding ingredients, use cake or other fancy flours, or own a heavy-duty stand mixer. Using natural ingredients (no mixes), you can whip together a perfect holiday cake faster than you can say “Betty Batter!” With gluten-free, vegan and health cakes, plus recipes for sauces, glazes and icings. (Robert Rose, 2011) $29.95 at Amazon.ca.

Flicka, Ricka, Dicka and Their New Skates by Maj Lindman Early one Christmas morning in Sweden, Flicka, Ricka, and Dicka opened their eyes. Soon they would have their Christmas gifts! But first the girls must save their friend Bertie after an iceskating disaster. For the first time in over thirty years, this classic holiday tale returns, in a deluxe hardcover edition. (Thomas Allen, 2011) $16.99 at Amazon.ca.

Ankylosaur Attack by Daniel Loxton This mind-blowing feast for the eyes uses photo-realistic, computer-generated images to illustrate what dinosaurs might have looked like in their natural environment. Complementing the images is an exciting, scientifically accurate story about a young ankylosaur (a plant-eating, heavy-plated dinosaur) living along the banks of a grassy lake. When he encounters an old ankylosaur, he gently endeavours to make contact, only to be rebuffed. Then a T. rex attacks, and the youngster knows the old dinosaur is in grave danger. Will the T. rex triumph? It looks that way, until the young ankylosaur comes to the rescue, tail club swinging. (Kids Can Press, 2011) $16.95 at Indigo.ca.

Sing holiday carols: Get together with your neighbours and go door-to-door singing carols. Singing encourages learning patterns of words, rhymes and rhythms, and is strongly connected to language skills. Canadians can also get into the holiday spirit by giving the gift of literacy. Donations made to ABC Life Literacy Canada will help them provide adults and families with access to the tools, resources and programs they need to improve their literacy skills. Nine million Canadian adults struggle with low literacy. For more information on Family Literacy Day, visit www.familyliteracyday.ca.

November/December 2011

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NEW

EACH CUP MADE WITH FRESHLY GROUND ESPRESSO

At participating McDonald’s® restaurants in British Columbia and Yukon. Product availability varies by restaurant. ©2011 McDonald’s.

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community calendar Music with Marnie Band Roundhouse Community Centre November 5, 11am-noon Come and Dance! Come and Rock! Come and Sing! Come and have FUN! This wildly interactive and theatrical show will be a treat for the whole family, with all of Marnie’s fun and furried characters, like Mumbu the Monkey and Tula the Kangaroo. Get ready to boogie in the musical mosh pit as Marnie and her Rock n’ Roll Band pump out tunes from all four of their albums, including her most recent CD Super Kids. Tickets $14, pre-registration required and can only be done by phone. 604.713.1800 | www.musicwithmarnie.com

Family Fuse Weekend: Love of Collecting Vancouver Art Gallery November 19 & 20, 10am-5pm From family photos and baseball cards to rubber bands and concert tickets, many people collect things. This weekend you will gather mementos, assemble experiences and share curiosities, as you delve into the Love of Collecting. Join artists, dancers, musicians, filmmakers and other creative artists for a range of innovative, fun and playful workshops, performances, tours and activities. Members and children under 12 years are free when accompanied by an adult. $19.50/adult. 604.662.4700 | www.vanartgallery.bc.ca

Yo Gabba Gabba Live: It’s Time to Dance Queen Elizabeth Theatre November 11, 2pm & 5pm Come see all your favourites like DJ Lance Rock, Brobee, Foofa, Muno, Plex and Toodee, with special guests Hip Hop Legend Biz Markie and Razzle Dazzle Superstar Leslie Hall! Tickets start at $34.25. 855.985.5000 | www.yogabbagabbalive.com

Family Day at PdA! Place des Arts, Coquitlam November 20, 1:30-3:30pm Gather up the family and tour Place des Arts’ annual Positively Petite miniature exhibition. Then participate in a variety of all-ages, drop-in style art workshops that celebrate small, and create your very own lantern in preparation for Light up the Square: A Lantern Affair on December 3. Admission by donation. 604.664.1636

Huge Kids’ Swap Meet Cloverdale Fairgrounds November 12, 9am-1pm Early admission $5 between 9am and 10am; $3 between 10am and 1pm. New and gently used kids items for sale, from baby to 10 years old. 604.588.9919 Family Day Surrey Art Gallery November 13, noon-4pm In celebration of exhibitions that investigate the art of translation. Featuring family-friendly activities inspired by the exhibitions, This drop-in event invites families to explore, enjoy and create art together. Suggested donation is $4/child. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Everyone welcome. 604.501.5566 | www.surrey.ca/arts 2nd Annual Edmonds Night of Lights Edmonds Centre November 16, 4-6pm Come watch the lighting of the huge tree at the corner of Kingsway and Edmonds Street. Hot chocolate, cookies and entertainment provided. www.burnaby.ca Surrey Kids Conference Newton Recreation Centre November 18 & 19 This FREE event includes workshops designed to support healthy lifestyles, social responsibility and personal development, plus a range of activities including ice skating, drawing, painting, swimming, and family gym. All participants receive a special package, including snack and other great items! Learn to DJ or break dance, cook a meal or create a nest, and much more! Pre-registration required. 604.501.5100 | www.surrey.ca/register

Disney on Ice: Toy Story 3 Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Centre November 18-20 Pacific Coliseum, Vancouver November 23-27 Multiple times at both venues The toys are back in town! Come see the gang from Disney Pixar’s Toy Story 3! See favourite moments from the movie, plus scenes from Toy Story and Toy Story 2. Tickets starting at $17. On opening night, buy one ticket, get one ticket free! www.disneyonice.com Luminescence: A Celebration of Aquatic Light Vancouver Aquarium November 24, 2011-January 2, 2012 Throughout the holidays, visitors can explore the fascinating ways in which marine life and other creatures create and reflect light through animal exhibits, new daily shows and aquatic lighting displays. Discover how two electric eels help to light the Aquarium’s festive tree. Create your own unique patterns of light inside hundreds of origami paper jellies suspended from the ceiling and make a jelly tree decoration to take home! Please visit online for more information. www.visitvanaqua.org Kids’ Night Out at the Y! Robert Lee YMCA, Vancouver November 26, please phone for times Let the YMCA provide a night out of fun for your kids including exciting activities such as the bouncy castle, games and a movie while you enjoy an evening without the kids! For ages 3 to 12. Members $15; Non-members $25. 604.673.6180 Will Stroet Concert Tsawwassen Arts Centre November 26, 2-4pm He knows how to make kids laugh, dance and sing! Songs about animals, the environment and active living appeal to boys and girls of all ages. See website for details, search under “Events.” www.corp.delta.bc.ca

27th Annual JCC Jewish Book Festival Jewish Community Centre November 26-December 1 The JCC Jewish Book Festival takes Vancouver by storm with an exciting roster of writers from across Canada, the U.S., and Israel. This popular cultural extravaganza attracts celebrated authors and a wide audience from across the Lower Mainland. The festival week is jampacked with innovative literary events including unique meet-the-author opportunities, literary readings and panel discussions, a literary cocktail evening, a book club event, writing and self-publishing workshops, children’s authors, film-screenings, a used bookstore, and an onsite bookstore open throughout the week. This festival offers something of interest for every age group and every literary taste. www.jewishbookfestival.ca Big & Small Live! Centennial Theatre November 28, 6:30pm A whimsical and unpredictable romp, featuring some of the funniest and most endearing characters in preschool television. Tickets $28, available at Centennial Theatre Box Office or online. 604.984.4484 | www.centennialtheatre.com 16th Annual Seasonal Celebration Shadbolt Centre for the Arts December 8, 5:30-8:30pm Celebrate with music, dance and interactive family activities. Admission is free. www.shadboltcentre.ca Reindeer Games & Goodies Willingdon Centre December 9, 3:05-5:05pm There are lots of special fun and games planned for you to enjoy with your friends. After the games you’ll help make and eat some goodies! $10/session (ages 5-12 years). www.burnaby.ca A Very Merry Mission with “Agent Story” Tsawwassen Arts Centre December 10, 2-4pm Armed with a briefcase full of props, costumes and some “explosive” mission envelopes, Agent Story will lead her Special Agents on a top-secret storytelling mission. www.corp.delta.bc.ca New Year’s Eve Sleepover: A “Whale of a Year” Vancouver Aquarium December 31 Help celebrate the New Year with over 70,000 of your closest animal friends! Join in for this special family orientated program. A “Whale of a year” is the final Aquarium event of 2011 and has proven to be one unique experience and special New Year’s Eve Sleepover. Minimum age: six years and an adult must accompany children 16 and under. Please pre-register. 604.659.3552 | www.visitvanaqua.org

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last look

Winter Reflections Suitable for ages 7-12 By Shari Pratt

Supply List • • • • • • •

Watercolour paint Water dish, paintbrushes, palette White cartridge paper (I used 11 x 17) Popsicle stick or spoon Masking tape Wax crayons Optional: photographs or books about REFLECTIONS

tape around entire paper

Preparation To help the paper from curling, tape each child’s paper to a surface (can be a table, desk, piece of cardboard from a box) like so:

Instructions 1. Talk about what a REFLECTION looks like. Show pictures or read a book about REFLECTIONS. 2. Fold your paper in half (landscape format). Unfold. 3. Draw a winter scene on the top half of the paper using pencil. Draw snowmen, mountains, trees, snowflakes... use your imagination! Hint: make sure you draw your images large....smaller images don’t transfer clearly. 4. Colour in your winter scene using crayons but do not colour in the blue sky. Press HARD with the crayons to release as much of the wax as possible. Hint: outline your images with black crayon so they really stand out. 5. Refold your paper. On the backside of the coloured image, using a spoon or popsicle stick, burnish the images. If you press/scratch hard enough, the images will transfer upside-down onto the bottom half of the paper producing a reflection. 6. Tape the paper to a hard surface. 7. Paint the sky and reflected sky with watercolour paint. The wax crayon will resist the paint. 8. Allow to dry. Then untape from surface.

Artistic Influence Robert Genn (born Feb 4, 1936) was born in Victoria, B.C. His formal training included the University of Victoria, the University of British Columbia and the Art Center School in Los Angeles, California. Robert is one of Canada’s most accomplished painters. He is best known for his work on the West Coast and in the Rocky Mountains. Title: Evening Reflection Surprise Lake Tonquin Valley, acrylic Shari Pratt is a local artist and teacher and owner of Creative Kaos School of Art and Imagineering. www.sharipratt.com

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November/December 2011

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WestCoast Families Nov/Dec 11  

WestCoast Families Nov/Dec 11

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