Grand Summer Fall 2019

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Zoom. FaceTime. Facebook Messenger. Skype. If you are like 38 per cent of grandparents surveyed for a new study, you use video chat to communicate and stay in touch with your grandkids. In this issue, you’ll find ways to stay connected with your grandchildren and the importance of kids having their grandparents as allies. Looking for some fun things to do with your grandkids? Look no further: on the following pages you’ll find 7 things to do with your grandkids, how to keep cool in regional parks and activities this summer at Swan Lake.

island

GRAND

parent

Summer/Fall 2019

Treats to Eat!

Things to

Do and See

with Your

Grandkids


Everything you need for back to school!

Making

Meaningful

Memories

CLOTHING • SHOES • STROLLERS • CAR SEATS • TOYS • BOOKS

SLEEP AIDS • FURNITURE • SKINCARE • DIAPER BAGS

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SHOP ONLINE AT MOMEASE.CA!

Toys, games and

puzzles for all ages

#102 – 2517 Bowen Road

Nanaimo 888.390.1775

koolandchild.com

STAGES

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since1980

Come Dance With Us

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for the little angels...

• Offering classes for Teens and Pre-Teens in Jazz,

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& Hip Hop, in a non-competitive atmosphere.

• Not sure which class to take?

Try a Drop-In: No hassle, No Obligation.

Even the littlest angel can dance

Call 250-384-3267 Email us at: stagesdance@shaw.ca

Or visit our website: www.stagesdance.com


Swan Lake

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n a t u r e s a n c t u a r y

science

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

IslandParent.ca

Summer/Fall 2019 3


Summer/Fall 2019

TABLEOFCONTENTS

5

Digital Grandparenting

The value of video chatting.

SUE FAST

6

7 Things to Do

with Your Grandkids

Summer fun and a fall fair.

8

Hopscotch in the Dark

An antidote to boredom.

JACQUI GRAHAM

10

Adventures in

Learning Together

Make the library part

of your family story.

11

Kids Kits to Go

Special book kits for kids and family.

12

Sometimes the Sky is Green

The importance of

grandparents as allies.

TIM COLLINS

14

Wet Feet Wet Hands

Intertidal exploration.

TINA KELLY

16

Can Praise Be Detrimental

The power of words.

KELLY CLEEVE

18

My, What Big Expectations

You Have Grandma!

The little things matter.

ELIZABETH OLSON

20

Summer Treats

Helping your grandchildren develop

a healthy relationship with food.

STÉPHANE LAHAYE

22

Keeping Cool in Regional Parks

Outdoor fun with your grandkids.

RACHAEL TANCOCK

24

Summer at Swan Lake

A sanctuary in the city.

RENEE CENERINI

26

Unicorns, Fairies &

Mermaids, Oh My!

Fantastical summer reads.

CHRISTINA VAN STARKENBURG

28

Let’s Rock…Hunt

The Sooke to Sidney Rock Hunt.

SERENA BECK

30

Family Matters

Grandparents in Canada: the stats.

On the

Cover

Noah (2 1 ⁄2), Logan (5),

Cara Stephens &

Ken Stephens

Photo by

Lorraine Stephens

island

GRAND

parent

Treats to Eat!

Things to

Do and See

with Your

Grandkids

Jim Schneider Publisher publisher@islandparent.ca

Sue Fast Editor editor@islandparent.ca

Linda Frear Account Manager/Office Manager linda@islandparent.ca

Kristine Wickheim Account Manager kristine@islandparent.ca

Island Grandparent, published by Island Parent Group Enterprises Ltd., is a bi-annual publication

that honours and supports grandparents by providing information on resources and businesses for

families, and a forum for the exchange of ideas and opinions. Views expressed are not necessarily

those of the publisher. No material herein may be reproduced without the permission of the Editor.

Island Grandparent is distributed free in selected areas. ISSN 0838-5505.

Island Parent Magazine

830–A Pembroke St

Victoria, BC V8T 1H9

250-388-6905

islandparent.ca

4 Island Grandparent IslandParent.ca


Digital Grandparenting

Skype. FaceTime. Facebook Messenger. Zoom.

When it comes to video chatting, most grandparents, I

would argue, fall into two camps: those who love it and

those who don’t. Those who love it, I’d bet, are the ones who use

it to help bridge the distance between themselves and far-flung

family. Those who don’t are likely the ones who live close to their

grandchildren and who can maintain a close relationship the oldfashioned

way, face-to-face.

If you are like 38 per cent of grandparents

surveyed for a new study by the

American Association of Retired Persons

(AARP), you use video chat to communicate

and stay in touch with your grandkids.

“Forty-five per cent of us sometimes or

often stay in touch by text,” writes Paula

Span in The New York Times. “A third

use email and 27 per cent use Facebook.

We are becoming digital grandparents.”

And that’s a good thing, she maintains.

Video chatting serves a purpose, according to Dr. Dimitri

Christakis, director of the Center for Child Health, Behavior and

Development at Seattle Children’s Hospital. “I’m bullish on video

chatting,” Christakis said in The New York Times. “It can enhance

bonding and recognition.”

Unlike watching TV and using other screens, Christakis says

video chatting “is inherently interactive and doesn’t involve the

same sped-up pace, overstimulation or passivity as, say, watching

cartoons.” And unlike a phone call, it enriches conversation when

our grandchildren are able to see our facial expressions—and us,

theirs.

“Facial expressions are incredibly important,” he adds. “It’s why

we use emojis.”

It goes without saying that video chatting

is no substitution for seeing our

grandchildren face-to-face, and being able

to reach out and give them a hug or a kiss.

But it’ll do in a pinch. And a squeeze.

No matter how you stay connected,

we hope this issue of Island Grandparent

helps you enjoy your time with your

grandchildren. You’ll find articles on

everything from the importance of being

your grandchild’s ally, whether or not

praise can be detrimental, and beach exploration,

to a grandparent’s expectations, summer treats, and 7

things to do on the Island with the grandkids.

Just like the time you spend with your grandchildren, we hope

you enjoy every minute—and every page—of Island Grandparent.

Creating

beautiful smiles

New patients always welcome

Call or email us today and our dental team would

be happy to assist you with an appointment

Westshore

Dental Centre

Mon – Thurs: 7:30 am – 7:30 pm

Fri: 7:30 am – 5:00 pm

Sat: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

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

IslandParent.ca

Summer/Fall 2019 5


7

For

Things to Do With

Your Grandkids

more ideas and a fun map of the Island, pick up a copy of the Kids Guide

to Vancouver Island at Tourist Info Centres or at your local recreation centre.

Kids’ Guide

Attractions

Activities

Family Fun

VANCOUVER ISLAND

Sidney Spit

…is a beautiful spot for a summer day trip if you want to see

sandy beaches, tidal flats, salt marshes, rolling meadows, forest

paths and various wildlife. Pack a picnic, your sunscreen,

bathing suits and towels, and take the foot-passenger ferry

from Sidney (at the bottom of Beacon Ave) to Sidney Island.

For a ferry schedule and rates, visit alpinegroup.ca.

Butchart Gardens

…awes visitors every Saturday evening (until August 31) with

a spectacular fireworks display that’ll knock your socks,

er, sandals off. Then there are gardens galore along with a

Children’s Pavillion and Rose Carousel. There’s a Living Fossils

Walk, a Family Walk, a boat tour and Night Illuminations.

You’ll also find 55 acres worth of garden paths, perfect for

exploring and expending some of your grandkids’ endless

energy. butchartgardens.com.

Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea

…is a state-of-the-art aquarium and marine learning centre in

Sidney that focuses on the ecosystem of the Salish Sea. Visit the

touch pools and learn about essential life forms such as algae,

plankton and amazing jellies. Take part in guided tours, scavenger

hunts, Tot Tuesdays, and Sea Shirt Sundays, along with other

kids’ activities. salishseacentre.org.

Chemainus Theatre

…presents its 2019 Kidzplay, The Magician’s Nephew, for

the young and young-at-heart. This prequel to The Chronicles

of Narnia series, the literary classic by C.S. Lewis, is set

in Victorian London, 100 years before The Lion, the Witch

and the Wardrobe. Running Tues–Sun until August 11.

chemainustheatrefestival.ca.

6 Island Grandparent IslandParent.ca


Saanich Fair

…is the place to “Bee” Happy on

August 31, Sept 1 and 2. Drop by the

Saanich Fairgrounds, where fun, food

and fantastic meet. There’s a variety

of things to see and do including

5,000 exhibits, dog and horse shows,

concessions, carnival games, live

entertainment and a midway. The Fair

features numerous free attractions

(with entrance). Admission is $13 for

adults, $8 for seniors and youth, kids

6 and under are free. saanichfair.ca.

Parksville

Beach Festival

…draws world class master sand sculptors

who create incredible works of art.

Sculptors have 30 hours over four days to

create their masterpieces from just sand

and water based on the theme “Myths

& Legends.” This year’s competition and

exhibition runs from 9am–9pm daily until

August 16. parksvillebeachfest.ca.

North Island

Wildlife Recovery

& Discovery Centre

…invites you to take a walk on the

wild side. See owls, bears, eagles,

hawks, falcons, turkey vultures,

ravens, a wildlife garden and more.

Stroll the 8-acre park-like setting and

see Vancouver Island wildlife in peaceful

and rustic surroundings. Open daily

for public viewing from 9am–4:30pm.

niwra.org.

IslandParent.ca

Summer/Fall 2019 7


Hopscotch

recently read an article presenting the theory that grandparents who are raising

I grandchildren tend to live longer.

I would dispute this. In the two and a half years since my husband and I moved to

the Comox Valley to be near our grandkids, we have aged noticeably.

While we are not responsible for the day-to-day care of these delightful descendants

we are frequently summoned for duty—for instance, when our daughter texts

at 2:25 p.m. to inform us that she is unavoidably detained and could we please pick

the kids up from school at 3:00 p.m., feed them a snack, and amuse them until she

can collect them at 4:30 p.m.?

The responsible and dedicated grandparents immediately abandon their plans for

the afternoon—napping, say, or scrubbing out the recycling bin, or picking aphids off

the rose bushes—to rush to the school and collect the little darlings.

This is not as easy as it sounds.

The first challenge is to survive the drive home. The two youngsters in the backseat

are fighting over whose turn it is to play games on Grandma’s laptop. The young teen

in the front seat is complaining loudly about the “old person” music on the radio,

as she changes it to her favourite pop station. The backseat argument is settled by

Grandma’s decree that today is a “no screens day” and NEITHER of them gets to use

her laptop. The kid riding shotgun is informed that she has 30 seconds to return the

radio to Grandma’s classic rock station. Furthermore, everybody better pipe down or

they can all get out and walk!

This subdues them briefly.

The seven-year-old recovers first, and regales Grandma with a blow-by-blow description

of her school day. Her memory is prodigious. In the five-minute drive home

I learn more than I ever wanted to know about the habits and social interactions of

second graders. Meanwhile, the other two quietly squabble about who gets to play

with the cat.

Snack time is complicated by the fact that the oldest is on a grain-free and dairyfree

diet, the youngest will only eat rice crackers and goat cheese, and we have run

out of Honey Nut Chex for the middle kid.

Once they have been fed and watered, however, peace reigns. The two oldest hunin

the Dark

An antidote to boredom

8 Island Grandparent IslandParent.ca


ker down with the cat and our collection of Calvin and Hobbes

cartoon anthologies. I sigh and head for the coffee pot.

Then the youngest says those three little words all grandparents

dread:

Grandma, I’m bored.”

I offer suggestions: we could draw pictures, or do a jigsaw

puzzle, or read another chapter of Winnie the Pooh, or pick

aphids off the rose bushes…?

She sighs.

None of those things are INTERESTING. Then her face

lights up.

“I know, Grandma! Let’s play Hopscotch in the Dark.”

???

I fear the worst.

“Hopscotch In the Dark,” I remark calmly. “I’m not familiar

with that game.”

“That’s because I just made it up,” she says.

In case you ever want to play Hopscotch in the Dark, here is

how it goes.

First, you need:

• One child (hereafter referred to as Player One)

• One Grandma (hereafter referred to as Player Two)

• Nine hula hoops from Grandma’s Magic Closet (a story for

another day!)

• One flashlight

• Three small projectiles: buttons, bottle caps, or (ideally) the

beanbags Grandpa uses for juggling

• A large family room

Game play:

1. Arrange hula hoops on the floor in a random pattern.

2. Turn out the light.

3. Turn on the light. The flashlight doesn’t work, and it’s

scary in the dark.

4. Find batteries for the flashlight.

5. Turn out the light.

6. Turn on the light. There are strange noises in the room.

7. Eject cat from room.

8. Turn out the light.

9. Player One shines the flashlight on the hoops, while Player

Two tosses the three objects into the hoops of her choice.

10. Player Two now hops from hoop to hoop on one foot,

collecting the objects, while Player One helpfully shines the

flashlight into her eyes.

11. Players switch roles.

12. When this gets boring, move on to a variation called

“Follow The Light,” in which the hopper navigates a series

of long jumps, sudden turns, and switchbacks devised by the

fiendish flashlight wielder.

13. Continue playing until someone gets bored, or someone

passes out, or Mommy arrives.

14. Say goodbye to Player One and her siblings.

15. Lie down.

I would like to propose a new theory.

Grandparents raising their grandchildren don’t live longer.

It just seems longer.

The Chronicles

of Narnia

by C.S. Lewis

adapted by Melissa Young

JUL 13 - AUG 11

1.800.565.7738

chemainustheatre.ca

From alpacas to miniature goats, tropical birds and

miniature pigs, we have all kinds of fuzzy, furry, feathered

creatures, including a goat petting area and the famous

goat stampedes. The farm is open seasonally. Please call

us for dates and hours. Don’t forget your camera!

Circle Drive, Beacon Hill Park 250-381-2532

beaconhillchildrensfarm.ca bhcfvictoria@gmail.com

Jacqui Graham has six grown kids and eight delightful grandkids age

6 months to 11 years. If she had known how much fun grandkids would be,

she would have had them first!

IslandParent.ca

Summer/Fall 2019 9


Adventures in Learning Together

Make the library part of your family story

The Greater Victoria Public Library has put together activities you can undertake with your grandchild to

develop your special bond and help set up the little one in your life for early-learning success. Choose from

interactive activities and prompts for interesting conversations, inspired by favourite storybook characters,

library resources and a thirst for knowledge. Take time to enjoy the magic of learning together.

Around Town and on the Road

Explore new neighbourhoods and visit

Little Free Library boxes dotted around

town (littlefreelibrary.org and victoriaplacemaking.ca/little-free-libraries).

Count the books inside and talk about

what you see including the design of the

box and the reading material.

Pop into a library branch to pick up

some great books, then head to a local

park. Find a bench in a beautiful spot

and read together in the great outdoors.

Attend a Baby Time, Storytime or

other free program at your public library.

Learn songs to sing, rhymes to perform

and stories to enact together.

Make Connections

Set up one of GVPL’s StoryWalk ® kits

in the backyard. Pages from a picture

book are placed around the yard in a

circuit. Kids and adults go from page

to page in sequence, reading the book

and discussing characters, illustrations,

themes and vocabulary.

Share books you remember from your

childhood. Tell your grandchild why you

loved each book, what you remember

about it and why you wanted to share it

with them.

Get Creative

Borrow a cookbook from the library,

and let your grandchild select one of the

desserts. Make the delicacy together; sit;

enjoy; and repeat!

Put on your bookface! Find a book

with a face on the cover, take turns holding

it in front of your faces, and take silly

photos.

Create a new set of illustrations for a

beloved picture book.

Go Digital

Borrow a movie or TV show using

Hoopla, a streaming service for library

users. Get settled with snacks, and enjoy

the show.

Explore Tumblebooks or Biblioenfants:

watch picture books come to life

with animation, sound effects and narration.

Make Believe

Dress up as characters from your

grandchild’s favourite story, then read the

book together in costume.

Have a conversation about which

book characters your grandchild would

like to spend the day with. What would

they do? Where would they go? What

would the characters say?

10 Island Grandparent IslandParent.ca


Kids Kits

to Go

GVPL staff put together special kits of books so

kids and families can explore a topic in depth.

• Books to Go • Readers to Go

• Stories to Go • Family Picks to Go

Home Sweet Home

PROFESSIONAL SOCCER LIVES HERE

Books to Go

Is there a Lego lover in your family? How

about a fairy fanatic? An adventurous astronaut?

The Kids Books to Go Bags contain 10 books on

one topic to immerse your child in an engaging

learning experience. From dragons and

dinosaurs to princesses and pirates, the mix of

non-fiction and fiction titles will appeal to kids

ages five to 10 years old.

Readers to Go

Readers to Go provide kids learning to read

in English or French with a variety of books

suited to their reading development. Each bag

contains an assortment of short books with

controlled vocabulary and related illustrations,

plus information on how you can support children

learning to read.

Stories to Go

It’s storytime in a box. GVPL’s Stories to Go

boxes are a resource for families, caregivers and

early childhood educators to use with young children.

These theme boxes have been designed

to meet a variety of interests while helping to

develop early literacy skills. Kits include books,

music CDs, a rhyme booklet and puppets.

Family Picks to Go

With a Family Picks to Go kit, you can dig

deeper into a topic with your grandchild. Choose

a light-hearted kit like camping, coding or

gardening; or one for more serious times, such

as coping with the death of a family member

or learning about truth and reconciliation. Or,

choose something in between like getting ready

for kindergarten or learning about puberty.

These kits are based on requests from library

patrons about what they’d like to see. Each kit

contains seven books, making it easy for a parent

or caregiver to thoroughly explore a topic with

their grandchildren.

For Greater Victoria Public Library’s complete

list of 100 exceptional picture books for babies,

toddlers and preschoolers, visit

gvpl.ca/100books.

Join us and experience the new

Family Zone at Westhills Stadium

Aug 24 - Saturday

3:00 pm vs. Valour FC

*grand opening

Sep 4 - Wednesday

7:00 pm vs. Forge FC

Sep 11 - Wednesday

7:00 pm vs. York9 FC

Sep 14 - Saturday

12:00 pm vs. FC Edmonton

Oct 2 - Wednesday

7:00 pm vs. HFX Wanderers

Oct 19 - Saturday

3:30 pm vs. Valour FC

Get tickets at PacificFC.ca

#ForTheIsle

IslandParent.ca

Summer/Fall 2019 11


Send Us

Your Stories!

Island Grandparent is looking for

articles for upcoming issues. Some

of our best content comes from

people just like you—Vancouver

Island grandparents who are

passionate about their families

and are dealing with the day-to-day

issues of raising grandchildren

in our community. Share your

experiences, your thoughts on a

particular issue, your ideas on

places to see or projects to do—

anything related to grandparenting.

Check our Writer’s Guidelines

at islandparent.ca for specific

information on submissions.

We’d love to hear from you.

Sometimes the

Sky is Green

I’ve never really thought about my role as a grandfather. It’s been a sort of organic

growth in approach and attitude without a whole lot of planning.

So, the other day when my now precocious granddaughter came upstairs and

asked if she could sing a song for me, I didn’t give it much thought.

I could hear my daughter calling up the stairs telling Randi that Grampa had better

things to do and to stop being a pest.

Pest?

I wondered how anyone could consider the request to be an imposition and,

turning away from my computer, I told her to go ahead.

She belted out a song with the enthusiasm of Ethel Merman and the confidence

of Beyoncé. When she finished she looked at me with a smile and I applauded.

Oh sure, there had been a few pitchy moments in the performance, but she was

happy, gave me a hug, and left.

It left me thinking about what had just happened.

Please email submissions to

editor@islandparent.ca

Randi knew that the performance hadn’t been perfect, but she also knew that

there was no way on earth that I was going to be critical of her efforts.

Now, make no mistake, I don’t hesitate to call my granddaughter on negative

behaviours. If she sulks at her mother or rolls her eyes at the suggestion that she

needs to take her school work more seriously, I will let her know, in no uncertain

terms, that it’s time to shape up. I make sure she cleans up after herself and I’d have

no patience for mean or unkind acts on her part, although those are few and far

between.

And I don’t think she should get trophies for just showing up or that she should

always win. Life’s not like that and I let her know that, too.

But when it comes to that other stuff, the sort of things where you’d expect your

friend to be in your corner, I’m going to be there for her. Always.

My approach has sometimes left my daughter frustrated and critical.

“If Randi said the sky was green, you’d agree with her,” she observed one day.

Randi was listening to this exchange and laughed.

12 Island Grandparent


“You probably would Grampa.

You’re on my side!”

Maybe I’d agree that there was probably

some green in the sky at times, I

countered, and that it really is a matter

of perception. I noted that I’d seen the

sky all kinds of colours and that those

colours always shifted.

Sometimes it’s nice to have someone

who’ll appreciate your imagination

and not be judgmental of what you

think, I added.

None of that is a criticism of my

daughter’s parenting. I know that she

does the heavy lifting of raising Randi

and has to deal with everything from

the vagaries of wardrobe and peer

pressure of what the little twerp thinks

she should be wearing, to registering

her for extra-curricular activities and

helping her with schoolwork.

This year’s theme

2019

Jul 12 - Aug 18

Parksville BC

Competition Jul 12―14 (doors open to public Jul 12 @ 2 pm)

Exhibition Jul 15―Aug 18

Tim Hortons Summer Concert Series Jul 19―Aug 17

Fri & Sat 6:30―8:30 pm

Art in the Park Jul 27 & 28

Coast Capital Savings Sculpture Light Up! Aug 16 & 17

Quality Foods Festival of Lights Aug 17

KidFest Aug 18

My role is far easier.

I’m the one person that Randi will

always be able to count on to listen to

her songs and applaud.

Sometimes, I’ll sing along.

I’m the person with whom she can

share stories without fear that I’ll be

critical of what I’ve heard and who,

sometimes, will share stories in return.

And I’m the guy who’ll agree that,

sometimes, the sky is a little green.

Tim Collins is a writer and freelance journalist

living and working in Victoria.

Summer/Fall 2019 13


Wet Feet, Wet Hands

Intertidal exploring

Lettuce, cucumber, lemons, peaches, pork, fried egg, and

bread—this may resemble a picnic ingredients shopping

list, but they are in fact local marine species. The Salish

Sea is rich with biodiversity and sea lettuce, sea cucumber, sea

lemon, sea peach, sea pork, fried-egg jelly, and bread crumb

sponge are all out there waiting to be spotted.

As residents of this island paradise we are spoiled for choice

of locations to explore. Along with some pre-planning—proper

clothing, sunscreen, tide checks, and picking a location, there

are things to consider upon arrival at the beach. A colleague in

marine education asks students if they’d head over to a friend’s

house and proceed to overturn cushions, knock over lamps,

tear up stuffed animals, and throw food wrappers on the floor;

their answer is always no. The point of course is to make a parallel

with visiting a beach countless animals call home. These

tips will help you explore while minimizing your impact on the

intertidal environment.

Be prepared. Along with the pre-planning tips noted above,

one essential piece of preparedness is footwear. Sand can suck

off flip flops, exposed toes will lose in a battle against barnacles,

and rocks are often more slippery than they appear.

Take a book, a guide book. Even experts come across surprises

and species they’re not familiar with; a good field guide

will help you identify animals and algae on the spot.

Stay low. How far down are you willing to jump or fall?

Dropping an animal from your standing position is a monumental

distance for most creatures. A quick scuttling shore crab

held in non-confident hands can result a long and dangerous

drop for the animal. Stay squatting near the ground.

14 Island Grandparent IslandParent.ca


Stay where you are. Staying where you are with feet firmly

planted in place reduces the risk you’ll slip and fall but also

prevents an animal from tumbling out of your hands. It also

avoids the question, “where did I find it?”, when it’s time to

put the animal back. Find something cool? Call others over to

you instead of moving the animal.

Hands clean and wet. Rinse the palms of your hands clean

of sunscreen and keep them wet for touching or holding animals.

Intertidal creatures without shells or other hard protective

coverings need to remain wet. Some fish have a protective

coating that can be damaged by holding them with dry hands.

Return it. Animals living under a rock are adapted differently

than animals adhering to the top of that same rock; it’s

important to pay notice to where the animal was found and

place it back in the habitat you found it in. When turning rocks

over, choose rocks small and light enough you can roll it gently

towards you and after a good look, carefully roll it back into its

original position while watching out for the creatures and your

fingers.

Be gentle. To withstand wave action and protect themselves

from predators, many rocky shore animals adhere tightly to the

shoreline. If an organism is attached after a gentle touch, leave

them be and simply observe. When holding an animal, the 10

second rule is best; count one thousand one, one thousand two,

and so on until reaching 10 which is your cue to return it.

Patience. Camouflage is one of the best ways to survive in

nature so at first glance you may see little to nothing at all; remain

still and let your eyes adjust to the location. Your incoming

movement and shadow may have sent species scurrying but

as you stay still, a tidepool can start to come alive.

Look up and out. Fascinating beach finds aren’t only at your

feet. Survey the landscape by looking up and out; there is the

chance to see seals, sea lions, whales, birds and more.

Pack it in, pack it out. Remember to take all of your belongings

with you when you leave, including garbage and recycling.

Take 3 for the sea. You’ve learned a few things, snapped

some pictures, returned everything as you found it, and left no

trace, but before you turn on your heals and head home, take

three for the sea. Take three for the sea is a new spin on the

old adage, “leave a place better than you found it.” If we all

picked up three pieces of trash from the sidewalk, park, beach,

or anywhere, we’d make a huge difference on the health of our

environment.

Write a shopping list, make a picnic and head to the beach to

explore. Perhaps you’ll find a sea lemon while sipping lemon water

or spot a sea cucumber after munching a cucumber sandwich.

Tina Kelly is the Director of Learning at the Shaw Centre for the

Salish Sea.

IslandParent.ca

Summer/Fall 2019 15


Can Praise Be Detrimental?

How can praise possibly be a bad thing? I asked

myself this question as I began my research into

the nature of praise. As a teacher and a mother, I

am constantly aware of the power of my words and

their impact upon young minds and self-esteem.

I do believe that praise needs to be earned (kids

can tell when it is unwarranted). And I am

quick to provide positive feedback when a

child puts forth great effort or has a creative

idea. However, what I am learning is that the

praise we offer our children can affect how

they feel about their ability to learn.

In my classroom, I would often offer praise

such as, “What a beautiful drawing!” or “You

did a fantastic job on your writing assignment!”

With my own children, I may have said, “What a great

goal that you scored!” or “You are so smart!” The most

common phrase in both my classroom and in my home

was, “I am proud of you.” This all sounds wonderfully

encouraging, doesn’t it? However, I was making a mistake.

Perhaps it is a mistake that many of you are unwittingly

making too.

The praise that I offered was based on a final product,

on a mastered talent or skill. It reinforced the idea that chil-

16 Island Grandparent IslandParent.ca


dren are “good” at something, and when

you are good at one thing, inevitably, you

must be “bad” at something else.

When adults praise this way, it gives

the impression that talents are fixed. If a

child struggles with something or experiences

a failure, the implication is that

they must be bad at it. For example, if a

child receives a poor score on an assignment

at school, they may not attribute

this failure to lack of effort or preparation,

but may believe it is because they

are “bad” at that subject. This leaves no

room for motivation to improve or try

again.

What I have learned is that we should

be praising effort and progress. We can

praise a child’s critical thinking or problem

solving strategies. Imagine the impact

of your words if you praised a child’s

persistence and determination in a moment

of struggle. “I admire how you keep

trying different strategies to solve that issue.”

“I notice that you never give up!” If

we praised acts of kindness and empathy,

how would this affect the behaviour of

our children? Perhaps we should shift our

focus to highlighting our children’s character,

rather than their accomplishments.

I no longer offer the statement, “I

am proud of you.” to my students or

my children. This implies that children

should strive to make me proud. It is a

source of external motivation, when what

we are truly seeking is for our grandchildren

to be intrinsically motivated to learn

and improve. Now, I offer the thought,

“You should be proud of yourself.” What

a powerful shift. Children know that

they have the ability to work hard and to

succeed. They are not in comparison to

other children, only to their own progress

and growth. They should not strive to

earn the approval of the adults around

them, but to be the best version of themselves.

So, keep praising your grandchildren,

but perhaps take a moment to be mindful

of what it is you are choosing to reward.

Accomplishments may come and go, but

the character of who our grandchildren

are becoming and their values for effort

and determination will carry them far in

life.

Kelly Cleeve is a passionate educator with

14 years experience. She is a graduate student

at the University of British Columbia, a wife and

a mother of two beautiful boys.

Island Catholic Schools

Committed to educating

the “whole” child in a Christcentered

community of learning.

Island Catholic Schools: with schools located

in Victoria, Duncan and Port Alberni.

For more information call 250-727-6893

or visit www.cisdv.bc.ca

Pick up your copy

of the Island Parent

Kids’ Guide

Attractions,

Activities

&

Family

Fun

on

Vancouver

Island

Kids’ Guide

Attractions

Activities

Family Fun

VANCOUVER ISLAND

IslandParent.ca

Summer/Fall 2019 17


My, What Big Expectations

You Have, Grandma!

Another grandchild birthday approaching. I deliberate,

flip-flop, buy the gift, experience buyer’s remorse, wrap

tenderly, write the card (sealed with a lick ’cause a kiss

won’t stick!), close eyes while paying the exorbitant parcel

postage, pocket the tracking information for future reference

and wait with baited breath for an acknowledgement.

Silence.

“Say ta,” I can still hear my own grandmother admonishing

over six decades ago.

In my day, we were sat down, given a blue Air Letter aerogramme,

a pen, and expected to come up with a thank you letter

for Grandma. (Or rather a “merci beaucoup” letter since I

spent my childhood in France!)

No wait, I’m missing a step or two. First we were given a

piece of lined paper and a pencil and pink eraser to practise,

using cursory writing.

Sometimes it could take me hours and many attempts to get

the wording right and a standard of neatness with which both

of my parents would be satisfied. Sometimes meals would be

missed and harsh words would fly across the kitchen table.

Once or twice, I even recall a friendly rap on the knuckles with

the 6-inch wooden ruler. Which is probably the reason I am

able to write a better-than-average letter and email to this day.

No word from them just yet.

I count the business days on the calendar. I check for messages

on my iPhone. Soon I give up waiting and begin pontificating.

Why is acknowledging with grace seemingly such a

lost art these days? Do parents even teach the importance of

saying or writing a simple: “thank you”? Why is saying thank

you a stretch when it should be a strength? After all, “thanks”

doesn’t need to be embellished with adjectives or superlatives

when falling on grateful grandmother ears or eyes.

I remember my dad buying my first grandson an ice cream

cone on the waterfront in Nanaimo. My grandson is 19 now

and I recall the scene like it was yesterday. “He didn’t thank

me!” my dad reprimanded me incredulously. “Sorry Greatgrandpa!,”

my grandson said, having overheard. “I was enjoying

the blackberry flavour so much that I forgot!”

I remember not having the words to express my own appreciation

when the gift was handmade with hundred of hours of

love. Like when my own mother made me a Raggedy Andy or

when both my parents constructed a puppet theatre with handsewn

curtains and paper mache Punch and Judy puppets.

To bring clarity to this quibble of mine, I determined to

18 Island Grandparent IslandParent.ca


esearch the threshold for having the

grandchildren utter a simple thanks. It

could even be under their breath. Maybe

I could even imagine it. I certainly wasn’t

holding my breath for anything stamped

and in writing to pop through the mail

slot.

Why is saying thank


you a stretch when it

should be a strength?

After all, “thanks” doesn’t

need to be embellished

with adjectives or superlatives

when falling on

grateful grandmother

ears or eyes.


If I got my grandsons a 3D printer

would it impress them sufficiently to hear

those two words? They have every electronic

device imaginable. They already fly

drones around the neighbourhood. I can’t

afford to send them on a space trip.

You know what I’ve realized? I’m

through fussing about any of this! It

doesn’t matter. Just as they don’t owe

it to me to care what I did for a living,

where their great-great-great grandparents

lived or even where I went for my

last cruise, it is not their job to thank me

for knitting them a cardigan with sleeves

way too long or getting them a hardcover

they read last year.

But hold on, I spot a lovely thick envelope

in today’s mail. Why, it’s chock full

of darling handwritten printing, crayoned

drawings and inked letters from the entire

family. They’ve all chimed in! A veritable

feast of delicious recognition of gifts

received. What on earth was I thinking.

They love me! We have the best of relationships!

My world is still spinning on

its axis! It’s a bluebird day! I shall brew a

latté and have a healthy biscuit and settle

in for a delicious read. After which I’ll

give them a telephone call to thank them.

Ta for reading!

OUR HOSPITALS ARE VITAL. OUR CAREGIVERS ARE VITAL.

OUR FAMILIES ARE VITAL. OUR DONORS ARE VITAL.

THIS EQUIPMENT IS VITAL.

Our Vancouver Island kids are vital.

Thanks to specialized caregivers and technology,

98% of pediatric cases on Vancouver Island

can be treated at Victoria General Hospital.

Right now, its NICU and PICU are in critical need of

new monitors for life-saving care.

Let’s join together so that our children can continue

to receive exceptional critical care here on the Island.

WWW.VICTORIAHF.CA/VITALKIDS

Elizabeth Olson recently retired from

Galiano Island Books and spends a lot of time

these days in bookstores in Sidney. Her own

grandfather was a pirate who spent his retirement

searching for Inca gold on Cocos Island.

IslandParent.ca

Summer/Fall 2019 19


Summer Treats

The secret ingredient of grandparent superpower

Healthy Families, Happy Families

Child, Youth

& Family

Public Health

South Island Health Units

Esquimalt 250-519-5311

Gulf Islands 250-539-3099

(toll-free number for office in Saanichton)

Peninsula 250-544-2400

Saanich 250-519-5100

Saltspring Island 250-538-4880

Sooke 250-519-3487

Victoria 250-388-2200

West Shore 250-519-3490

Central Island Health Units

Duncan 250-709-3050

Ladysmith 250-755-3342

Lake Cowichan 250-749-6878

Nanaimo 250-755-3342

Nanaimo 250-739-5845

Princess Royal

Parksville/ 250-947-8242

Qualicum

Port Alberni 250-731-1315

Tofino 250-725-4020

North Island Health Units

Campbell River 250-850-2110

Courtenay 250-331-8520

Kyuquot Health Ctr 250-332-5289

‘Namgis Health Ctr 250-974-5522

Port Hardy 250-902-6071

islandhealth.ca/our-locations/

health-unit-locations

A

little story

I’ll always remember the first

time I tried dark chocolate. Until

that day, I always thought that the only

chocolate worth eating was milk chocolate

and that dark chocolate was only

a pale imitation that grown-ups were

force-fed for health reasons.

This all changed during a summer

vacation at my grandmother’s house

in my native French Alps. On a sunny

afternoon my grandmother, forgetting

that kids don’t usually like dark chocolate,

handed me my first-ever piece of

dark chocolate. I would normally have

rejected the offer without thinking twice

about it, but since I could so vividly feel

the love and joy my grandmother had

by sharing this treat with me, I had no

other choice than giving it a try.

To my biggest surprise, it was delightful,

the intensity of the earthy, woodsy,

and nutty notes took me by surprise,

why did I ever eat milk chocolate before?

This was over 30 years ago and I

have almost never touched milk chocolate

since.

Thanks to my grandmother’s love,

which I could so clearly feel that day,

I learned to go beyond some of my

preconceptions and limitations around

food. My grandmother succeeded where

my parents often struggled; grandparents

have a superpower that parents

don’t always have.

How about using that superpower

to teach your grandchildren lifelong

skills and help them develop a healthy

relationship with food! And when it

comes to a healthy relationship with

food, small actions can go a long way.

For instance, the simple act of eating

together around a table, removing distraction

like TV, slowing down when

eating and offering small portions could

have tremendous and long-lasting health

promoting impacts on your grandkids.

They will cherish and aim to replicate

those memories once adults. The new

Canada’s Food Guide reinforces those

timeless values by encouraging us “to

cook more often, enjoy food, be mindful

of eating habits, and eat meals with others.”

A healthy relationship with food

starts now.

Food bonds us

We forget that our best food memories

are often related to a feeling, such as

20 Island Grandparent IslandParent.ca


ing recipe is taken from kristenyarker.com, a local dietitian’s

website. This recipe is nut-free, dairy-free, vegan, gluten-free,

no-sugar-added and protein-packed with lentils and pumpkin

seeds.

Ingredients:

1 ⁄2 cup cooked green lentils (or lentils from a can)

1 ⁄2 cup of puréed pumpkin seeds

1 ⁄3 cup of dry oats

1 ⁄2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 ⁄2 tsp vanilla extract

4 dates

1 ⁄4 cup of chocolate chips (optional)

1 ⁄4 cup of coconut flakes, unsweetened (to roll in)

a sense of peace, safety or love, more than a taste per se. This

may be part of what makes our memories so magical.

This idea that spoiling grandkids has more to do with undivided

attention rather than a given food is very elegantly described

by the ageless Proust’s madeleine, a sponge cake made

of flour, butter, sugar, and eggs. Marcel Proust was a French

writer who became one of the most influential authors of

the 20th century. In his novel In Search of Lost Time, Proust

shared this iconic memory that has since become known in

psychology as a Proustian Memory. As an adult Proust described

how biting into a madeleine, a simple sponge cake,

could bring him back, decades earlier, to his auntie’s kitchen

and how all of the sweet memories flood back in.

What this story tells us is that beyond a sweet treat to spoil

our beloved grandkids, we can also offer our undivided attention.

Great ways to achieve such a goal is to listen louder,

focus on the sharing rather than giving by baking together,

for instance. Food is a fantastic tool to create sweet memories

with grandparents, which is why we want to bond around

food, not with food. This will help your grandkids develop a

healthy relationship with food.

Just like a simple reusable food container may become a

grandchild’s favorite toy over some very fancy, expensive

store-bought substitutes, a simple homemade dish can become

a time-traveling machine that can connect grandchildren to

their beloved grandparents. Who knew?!

This simple act of sharing (making) instead of giving (buying)

can have such a positive and long-lasting effect on your

grandchildren. Cooking and baking together will not only

give you an unprecedented opportunity to bond with your

grandchildren, but as a bonus, you will also teach your grandchildren

lifelong, transferable skills. In a food environment

where take-out and convenience foods have made their way to

the dinner table, learning some basic cooking skills could be

one of the best long-lasting gifts a child can receive from their

grandparents.

Lentil Coconut Energy Bites

The best way to avoid giving treats with a lot of added

sugar and additives, and a great way to create memories with

your grandkids, is to make the treat yourself. The follow-

Instructions:

Cook the lentils in a pot with water for 25–30 minutes on

medium heat.

In the meantime, puree ½ cup of pumpkin seeds in a food

processor until smooth.

Add in fresh dates and continue to purée.

Once you reach a paste-like consistency, add in dry oats,

cinnamon, vanilla extract and cooked lentils.

Transfer into a bowl and add chocolate chips.

Roll into small balls (should make about 9–10).

On some parchment paper, sprinkle 1 ⁄4 cup coconut flakes

and roll in the lentil coconut bites.

Enjoy!

Take home message:

The best way to spoil your grandchildren, beyond the comforting,

holiday or celebration food, is offering them your

undivided attention. This is the secret ingredient that turns a

regular treat into a magical homemade dish worthy of a lifelong

sweet memory. So how about making treats that are a

celebration of health and create bonding with your grandchildren

around food, instead of with food.

Stéphane Lahaye is a Dietetic Intern with Island Health. Born and

raised in France’s countryside, he enjoys sharing his passion for whole

and local food.

IslandParent.ca

Summer/Fall 2019 21


Keeping Cool in

Regional Parks

Looking for some outdoor fun with

your grandchildren? With warm

weather and longer daylight, summer

is an excellent time to get outside

with the family and enjoy nature. Spending

time with your grandchildren in

natural areas enhances the whole family’s

connection to nature and improves physical

and mental health while creating lifelong

memories. From beaches to forests,

and swimming to hiking, there are many

wonderful places to stay cool on sunny

and warm days in the Capital Region.

Plan a day with the grandkids in these

spectacular regional parks!

tide—to peek under the rocks. Look for

marine critters, including shore crabs,

hermit crabs, chitons, snails, fish and

many more. Hop in the ocean for a dip

to cool off, but watch out for rocks. Or

you can explore the circle route trail.

Head north down the user-friendly beach

trail and return by way of the inland trail

through the old salt marsh and backdunes,

and end at the picnic area for a

snack.

Francis/King Regional Park

Dense forest shade can also keep you

cool on a hot day. Francis/King Regional

Sunday or holiday Mondays from noon-

4pm to check out the Nature Centre.

Sooke Potholes Regional Park

Sooke Potholes Regional Park is a popular

freshwater swimming destination for

its clear, cool waters and deep “pothole”

pools. Looking for a shallow beach wading

area? There are many beaches along

the Sooke River, including Sand Pebble

Beach, which is a short walk through the

forest from parking Lot 2. This beach is a

wonderful spot for a picnic and dip into

the river to cool off. Feeling active? Ride

the Galloping Goose Regional Trail with

the family directly to the park. Don’t forget

to pack drinking water.

Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park

Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park is a

popular recreational destination area

with opportunities for swimming, picnicking,

walking, hiking, fishing, boating

and, of course, playing! Pack a picnic

and head to Beaver Beach at Beaver Lake

to find a shady spot in the grass under

a tree and play in the shallow water or

playground. You can also check out the

Nature Centre on Saturdays, Sundays

and holiday Mondays from noon-4pm.

Walk along the forest trails looking for

butterflies, dragonflies and other insects.

Hamsterly beach at Elk Lake also offers

shaded areas, a sandy beach and playground.

Both of these beaches are great

spots to launch canoes if you’re looking

to spend time on the water.

Island View Beach Regional Park

Nothing keeps you cool like the ocean

does. Island View Beach Regional Park

offers visitors a beautiful, sandy and

rocky beach overlooking Haro Strait,

the San Juan Islands and Mount Baker.

Spend time playing in soft sand and at

low tide, explore in the intertidal zone—

the area between the high tide and low

Park offers various trail options through

dense forest ecosystems with towering

trees. Enjoy the accessible Elsie/King trail

with its maple trees, ferns and wildflowers.

Head over to Heritage Grove to find

some of the largest and oldest Douglas-fir

trees in the area. Keep your eyes and ears

open for red squirrels, eagles and woodpeckers.

Visit this park on a Saturday,

When spending time outside in warm

and sunny weather, remember to prepare

for sun and water safety. Pack sunscreen,

hats, sunglasses, snacks and plenty of water

for everyone. If you’re spending time

on the water, remember to bring your

beach shoes and water safety equipment,

such as lifejackets and a bailer. It’s always

a good idea to check park conditions

and alerts prior to your visit at www.crd.

bc.ca.

Looking for an activity to join outdoors

with the grandkids? CRD Regional

Parks offers free nature outings and

events for all ages. If you’re looking to

explore and learn about the parks with a

park naturalist, check out the nature outings

and events calendar on the website

at crd.bc.ca/parks-events.

Rachael Tancock is a park naturalist at

CRD Regional Parks.

22 Island Grandparent IslandParent.ca


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West Saanich Rd

East Saanich Rd

Craigflower Rd

Harbour Ferry

Swartz Bay - Fulford Harbour Ferry

Central Saanich Rd

Interurban Rd

Carey Rd

Victoria - Port Angeles Ferry

Victoria - Port Angeles Ferry

Mann Ave

Patricia Bay Highway

!8

Island

Gulf Islands National

Park Reserve

(Princess Margaret)

Glanford Ave

Elk Lake Dr

Swartz Bay - Ot

Water Taxi

(Seasonal)

Swartz Bay - Tsawwassen Ferry

Bay St

Victoria - Seattle Ferry

Kilometres

0 1 2 3

Patricia Bay Highway

Water Taxi

(Seasonal)

Victoria - Seattle Ferry

Blenkinsop Rd

Cook St

Finlayson St

Juan de Fuca Strait

Cook St

Moss St

Moresby

Island

Swartz Bay - Otter Bay Ferry

Cordova Bay Rd

McKenzie Ave

Dallas Rd

Shelbourne St

Majestic Dr

Fort St

Richmond Rd

Ash Rd

Torquay Dr

Foul Bay Rd

Jordan River

Campground Gonzales Hill

Regional Sandcut Park

Beach

Moresby

Island

Sidney - Anacortes Ferry

Gulf Islands

National Park

(Sidney Spit) Saturna

Island

Haro

Strait

San Juan Ave

Sidney

Island

Gulf Islands

National Park

Reserve

(D'Arcy Island)

Summer/Fall 2019 23

Beach Dr

Beach Dr

Brooks Point

Regional Park

Sidney - Anacortes Ferry

£¤ 17

National Park

(Sidney Spit)

CVRD

CRD

" 20 Sidney

Island

Sooke Hills

Wilderness

Regional Park

Gulf Islands

National Park

Reserve

(D'Arcy Island)

£¤ 17 University of

Sooke Hills

Wilderness

Regional Park CVRD

Uplands

CRD

Park

Oak Bay Islands

Ecological

Reserve

DND

" 20

Galloping Goose

COLWOOD

E&N Rail Trail -

VICTORIA

Humpback Connector

McMinn

Regional Trail

SAANICH

Beacon Park

Hill Park

METCHOSIN

À¿

Mount

Trial Island

Albert Head Lagoon

Rithet's Bog " 5 Douglas

Layritz

Conservation

Park

Ecological

HIGHLANDS

Gonzales Hill Reserve

Regional Park

Park

Area

Francis/King

Regional Park

Sooke Hills

DND

Thetis Lake Regional Park

£¤ 17 Blenkinsop

Wilderness

Regional Park

Trestle

Regional Park Goldstream

Witty's Lagoon

" 25

Provincial

Christmas

Park

Hill Nature

Sanctuary

Regional Park

Knockan

Hill Park

Matheson Lake

Swan Lake

Regional Park

LANGFORD

Brett Swan

" À¿

À¿

10

Trestle Trestle

University of

Mill Hill

VIEW

Victoria

" Cedar

Mount

Tillicum

Hill

Tolmie

Devonian À¿

5

Regional

ROYAL

" 0

Park Switch

Park

Park

Sooke Hills

Park

Bridge

" 30

Regional Park

DND

Jordan River Inset

Wilderness

À¿

À¿

Regional Park

Mount Wells

À¿

Selkirk

JUAN DE FUCA

Uplands

Regional

DND

Park

Trestle

" 15

Park

ELECTORAL AREA

OAK

BAY

Royal Roads

Juan de Fuca

À¿

Provincial Park

£¤

À¿ À¿ Oak Bay Islands

University

Ecological

Fort Rodd Hill

14 Fairgrounds

Luxton

and National Fisgard Historic Lighthouse

Reserve

Hatley Park

ESQUIMALT

National Historic Site

Sites

DND

DND

Jordan River

" 20

Regional Park

Galloping Goose

COLWOOD

E&N Rail Trail -

VICTORIA

Humpback Connector

Regional Trail

Beacon

Hill Park

METCHOSIN

Roche Cove

Regional Park

Rd

Sooke

Kangaroo Rd

Matheson Lake

Regional Park

" 30

Humpback Rd

Rocky Point Rd

Sooke Rd

Happy Valley Rd

" 25

West

William Head Rd

Shore Pky

Goldstream Ave

Latoria Rd

Metchosin Rd

Devonian

Regional Park

Millstream Rd

Wishart Rd

Duke Rd

Ross-Durrance Rd

Treanor Ave

Sooke Rd

Fulford-Ganges Rd

Trans-Canada Hwy

Metchosin Rd

Lagoon Rd

Witty's Lagoon

Regional Park

West

Lands

Saanich Rd

End Rd

Tatlow

Rd

Birch Rd

West Saanich Rd

Isabella Point Rd

Albert Head Lagoon

Regional Park

Mt Newton Cross Rd

Wallace Dr

Beaver Point Rd

Wain Rd

Benvenuto Ave

McTavish Rd

Wallace Dr

West

Saanich Rd

Burnside Rd W

Keating

Mills Rd W

Forest Park Dr

Cross Rd

Interurban Rd

East Saanich Rd

Oldfield Rd

West Saanich Rd

Beaver Point Rd

East Saanich Rd

Craigflower

" 29 " 15 " 0

Rd

Central Saanich Rd

Interurban Rd

SOUTHERN GULF

ISLANDS

ELECTORAL AREA

Mann Ave

Carey Rd

Glanford Ave

Elk Lake Dr

Bay St

Blenkinsop Rd

Cook St

Finlayson St

Cook St

Moss St

JUAN DE FUCA

ELECTORAL AREA

Cordova Bay Rd

McKenzie Ave

Dallas Rd

Shelbourne St

Majestic Dr

Fort St

Richmond Rd

Ash Rd

Torquay Dr

Foul Bay Rd

Haro

Strait

San Juan Ave

Gulf Islands Inset

Kilometres

0 2 4 6

St. John Point

Regional Park

Reserve

Beach Dr

Beach Dr

Arbutus Rd

Arbutus Rd

Trial Island

Ecological

Reserve

East Point

Regional Park

Brooks Point

Regional Park

West Coast Rd

Tudor Ave

Tudor Ave

Jordan River Inset

t

Juan de Fuca

Provincial Park


Summer

at

Summer time, and the living is easy!

It’s summer, the favorite season of ice cream vendors and pool salespeople.

It’s a time for BBQs, wearing flip flops and sitting on patios. It’s also a

time of easy, or at least easier living, for a lot of our local wildlife. Gone are the

days of winter hardship and of spring scrounging for suitable locations to have

babies! It’s summertime and now is the time of thriving and growth.

For our smaller wildlife, such as insects, food is often plentiful at this time

of year. The ever popular Ladybird beetle (or just plain Ladybug as it is better

known) is busy feeding on juicy aphids that tend to pop up uninvited on my rose

bushes and plum trees. Their bright yellow eggs show up as harbingers of the

tiny aggressive predatory larva that will emerge and tackle my aphid problem.

Many beautiful native butterflies such as Western Swallowtails, Lorquin’s

Admirals and Red Admirals are flitting about, having their last hoorahs. Many

species do not survive as adults past fall, having their larva (aka caterpillars) or

pupa (aka cocoons) go through the tough times of fall and winter.

Wasps, with their tough reputation, are busy drinking nectar and hunting

down other insects while the going is good. As their queen winds down her egg

laying, they have more and more free time on their hands, hence the partying at

our outdoor parties! None will survive past late fall other than a new queen who

will find a safe hiding place for winter and emerge in spring, ready to start a new

colony.

By summer, the ducks of Swan Lake are done with child rearing, most ducklings

have hatched anywhere from February to June, and are happily dabbling

or diving in search of food. Juvenile ducks are looking more like their parents,

having lost their downy feathers and developed proper flight feathers that are not

shed until the following summer.

24 Island Grandparent IslandParent.ca


Swan Lake

The small and mighty hummingbirds are also done having babies with the

tiny Rufus hummingbird already preparing for its amazing migration back

to Mexico for the winter. Peak sightings of this little jewel are from June to

August. Anna’s hummingbirds have decided that the living in Victoria is tolerable

given the sheer number of feeders put out by the kind hearted citizens

of our city. They too would migrate back to California but we save them the

trip!

Many mammals of Swan Lake are at their most visible during the long

summer evenings. Muskrat, beaver and especially bats love the dusk as temperatures

are cooler and in the case of bats, bugs (their food supply) are out

at their fullest! Evening programs at Swan Lake showcase some of the amazing

nocturnal adaptations of these and many other nighttime visitors to the

Sanctuary.

And as for us humans, summer is a fabulous time to go outside and enjoy

nature, at any age. I like to follow the animals lead and enjoy walks early in

the morning when it is still cool and the birds are singing, or later evening

when the sun is setting and the heat of the day is finally dissipating. Mid-day

is for sitting on the patio with a cool drink and snacks or naps!

There is no shortage of nature locations in our fair city from ocean

beaches like Gyro Park, Island View beach and Esquimalt Lagoon, cool forests

like at Francis King Park and Mt. Douglas Park, and of course soothing

wetlands such as Elk/Beaver Lake and Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary. Many

Parks and Sanctuaries offer guided walks and programs but simply showing

up and enjoying the location on your own is a great option too. Be sure to

come prepared with sun protection, water for hydration and lots of snacks if

coming with little ones, whether for a guided program or not.

Remember that summer, like all seasons, will come to an end and the easy

living shall pass all too soon. Fortunately though, nature has a rhythm of

decay and renewal that will begin again and those of us who seek time out

in nature are renewed as well. Enjoy.

Renee Cenerini is the Program Manager at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary.

For a full listing of all the great summer programs at Swan Lake please visit swanlake.bc.ca.

IslandParent.ca

Summer/Fall 2019 25


Unicorns, Fairies &

Mermaids, Oh My!

There’s something about unicorns, mermaids and fairies

that captures our collective imagination. I was at a party

recently, and there was a lady there who was painting

the children’s faces. Soon there were unicorns galloping around

everywhere you looked.

So it’s no real surprise that they turn up all the time in our

stories. But what do we really know about unicorns? Children’s

authors Cale Atkinson and Bethanie Deeney Murguia strive

to answer some of our burning questions about these illusive

creatures.

Kate Pugsley and Liz Kessler focus on mermaids and what

we can learn from these mysterious sea creatures about confidence

and self-acceptance. Finally, Sophie Kinsella helps us

learn more about the training fairies go through before they are

allowed to use their magic in our high-tech world.

Regardless of whether your grandchildren are interested

in mermaids, fairies or unicorns, here are a few stories about

finding the fantastical in the mundane that will help add some

magic to their lives this summer.

are looking at a horse in a red hat or a unicorn in disguise. The

narrator is adamant it is in fact a horse. That is, they are convinced

it is a horse until the takes off its hat and things become

much more confusing.

The fun and creative pictures will cause you to second guess

what you see—on every single page. And, like the story’s narrator,

you and your grandkids will wonder if you are looking at a

unicorn or a horse in disguise. For ages 3 to 7.

Do You Believe in Unicorns? by Bethanie Deeney Murguia

(Candlewick, 2018) is a conversation between the narrator and

an unseen and unheard companion about whether or not they

Unicorns are more than just masters of disguise, and many

children will have questions about these gorgeous creatures.

For these questions, look no further that Cale Atkinson’s book

Unicorns 101 (Tundra, 2019). Atkinson assures his readers that

unicorns are not only “magical,” “majestic,” and “better than

horses,” they are also fantastically fun on camping trips and

“30 to 67 hamsters tall.”

Filled with bold, bright, and glittery images, this scientific

book on unicorns will tell your grandchild everything they

could possibly want to know about these magnificent creatures.

For example, while you will never see one buying something

from a bake sale, you will find out what activities they use their

horns for, how they decorate their houses, and who was the

first unicorn to visit Pluto. For ages 3 to 7.

26 Island Grandparent IslandParent.ca


Half-mermaid, half-girl Emily Windsnap is back in her eighth

novel: Emily Windsnap and the Pirate Prince by Liz Kessler

(Candlewick, 2019). In her latest adventure Emily is heading

home via cruise ship with her mother and boyfriend Aaron,

while her father and best friend Shona took Neptune’s chariot.

The trip has barely begun when they’re boarded by pirates

and Aaron is kidnapped by the pirate king’s oldest son. To save

him, Emily lets herself get kidnapped by the younger son, and

they set off to find Neptune’s treasure. Along the way Emily

learns the importance of being true to herself and not letting

others define her. For ages 8 to 12.

Kate Pugsley’s Mermaid Dreams (Tundra, 2019) is a new

take on the eternal theme of making friends. Maya and her

family head to the beach for some summer fun, but when they

arrive her mother and father tell her they want to relax instead

of play. After settling into their lounge chairs they tell Maya to

go and play with the other kids.

But, Maya doesn’t know what to say. She watches the kids

from the safety of her turtle floaty as she considers how to approach

them. While she ponders this, she ends up falling asleep

and waking up in the middle of the ocean. Mermaid Maya and

her turtle dive down to the coral reef below. There among the

sea weed and coral, she plays hide-and-seek with another mermaid.

For ages 3 to 7.

Of course, magic isn’t always the best way to solve problems

as Ella discovers in Fairy in Waiting by Sophie Kinsella and illustrated

by Marta Kissi (Puffin, 2019). Ella’s mother, aunt and

grandmother are fairies. One day Ella will be one too.

Right now, she’s just a fairy in waiting, but that doesn’t stop

her from helping her mother when her mom’s spells go wrong,

or from attempting to do magic herself. These hilarious stories

are interspersed with some delightful pictures that help you see

just how wrong the spells can go sometimes. For ages 7 to 10.

So the next time your grandchildren tell you they are bored,

feel free to send them on an adventure to try and spot unicorns,

make magic, or play with mermaids. No beach or party required.

Christina Van Starkenburg is a freelance writer and mother of

two young boys. You can read about their adventures at thebookandbaby.

com.

IslandParent.ca

Summer/Fall 2019 27


A

grandma and her four-year-old granddaughter

are strolling along a trail when the girls bends

to pick something up. She squeals and holds out

her find. She has found her first painted rock. It’s

an amazing work of art, labeled to indicate that it’s

part of the Sooke to Sidney Rock Hunt on Facebook

(SSRH FB).

As part of SSRH FB, participants paint, label,

and seal rocks and then hide them wherever they

choose. It can make discovering a new trail or

beach extra fun. These rocks have also been hidden

outside of hospitals to cheer people up. Some

keep the rocks as good luck charms and then paint

and hide more rocks to replace the rocks they

kept. Others may choose to hang onto a particular

rock for a little while and then re-hide it. We have a

few rocks in our fairy garden in our front yard and

my son has his favourite in a little treasure chest.

You don’t have to be a professional artist to paint and

hide a rock. The skill levels vary and people of all ages paint

and hide rocks. Some people even sell their work or use it

as gifts. The SSRH Facebook group provides product recommendations,

tips for sealing rocks and many photos of

painted rocks. For example, the type of paint pens or sealants

that work best and tips for using them. There are dotting

tools that you can purchase to paint mandala rocks and

there is even a class offered to learn how to paint these types

of rocks.

Let’s Rock…Hunt!

28 Island Grandparent IslandParent.ca


Over 6700 members belong to the

SSRH FB group, so it’s a great way

to connect with other people in your

community and meet other members.

In July 2016, Kristi Nelson started the

group. Erin Devine teaches the mandala

class and has helped keep the group going.

They both do admin work for the

group and Susan Nelson is the group

moderator. It’s a fun treasure hunt and

you learn to always be on the lookout

for rocks. It’s neat to see rocks that

might be in a certain shape, which can

influence the drawing chosen for it.

For example, I’ve seen a kitty cat face

shaped rock, a hot dog, a chocolate

coated candy that has a bite looking

chip missing off the rock.

There are a few etiquette rules to follow

such as take only one rock per person

per hunt (so there are lots of rocks

for other to enjoy), and post a picture

of your find on the SSRH FB group.

Rocks need to be sealed, so the paint

doesn’t chip. The rocks that are hidden

need to be accessible and can’t be hidden

in cemeteries.

Recently, monthly rock challenges

were introduced. Each day of the

month you paint a new rock that fits

the daily theme and then post a picture.

There are even prizes. It’s also fun to

paint your own rocks and then post

pictures to the group to reveal where

you hid them. It’s thrilling to see someone

post a picture of a rock that you

painted and hid. We have even found

rocks from other nearby rock hunting

groups such as Tacoma Rocks in

Washington. We have a Kindness Rocks

garden in our neighbourhood too. Our

kids were excited when they found

rocks at their school that were specially

hidden by an artist who said the kids

could keep them.

Rock painting and hunting is a great

way to feel part of the community and

it’s a great activity to introduce your

grandkids to this summer. Once you get

started, you’ll never look at rocks the

same way again. You’ll be visualizing

your painting upon each rock. You’ll be

collecting buckets of rocks with your

grandkids to paint and hide yourselves.

Happy rock hunting.

Serena Beck works full-time as a technical

writer. She loves to write, travel, and swim at the

beach with family and friends.

LEARN THE JOYS OF CREATION

AGES 5 & UP

Classes in Theatre, Film,

Improv, and More!

Professional Teaching

Artists

Small Class Sizes

skam.ca 250-386-7526

Summer

Fun!

Night Illuminations

Firework Saturdays

Rose Carousel

Boat Tours

Family Discovery

Walk

butchartgardens.com

250.652.5256

Building

future leaders

We are accepting applications for September 2019

for grades K thru 9. Limited space in some grades.

Please check our website: queenofangels.ca for an application form

and/or call our school at 250-746-5919 to arrange a tour.

Queen of Angels – where students learn to love, and love to learn.

2085 Maple Bay Rd, Duncan, BC V9L 5L9 email:qa@cisdv.bc.ca

IslandParent.ca

Summer/Fall 2019 29


Famy Ma

Grandparents

in Canada

7.5 million (47%) Canadians aged

45 and over are grandparents

47%

21%

of grandparents

were born

outside of Canada

Grandmothers outnumber

grandfathers

64 years

in 1995

The average age of

grandparents has risen

68 years

in 2017

4.2 million

56%

3.3 million

44%

The average age for first-time

grandparents was 52 in 2017

The proportion of grandparents aged 85 and over

has more than doubled between 1995 and 2017

Grandparents in Canada have an

average of 4 grandchildren

Percentage of Grandparents

35

30

25

20

15

10

5

0

19.14

9.28

31.97

29.92

33.72

31.07

Note: Population includes Canadians 45 and over.

Source: General Social Survey (Families) 1995 and 2017.

14.66

19.44

1995

2017

3.16

45-54 55-64 65-74 75-84 85+

Age Cohorts

7.64

5% of grandparents live with

at least one grandchild

At 63 years old,

Indigenous grandparents

are younger than the average

grandparent in Canada

Catalogue number: 11-627-M

ISBN: 978-0-660-28845-1

Statistics

Canada

Statistique

Canada

www.statcan.gc.ca

30 Island Grandparent IslandParent.ca


Bleiddyn del Villar Bellis

Bleiddyn Artistic Director del Villar Bellis

Artistic Fellow & Director Examiner CSC-CICB

Fellow Enrico Cecchetti & Examiner Final CSC-CICB Diploma

Enrico Cecchetti Final Diploma

2018/19 2019/20

Children’s

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Classes

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Including a FREE

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class for boys

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year,

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Photo credit: David Cooper

250-590-6752

250-590-6752

admin@victoriaacademyofballet.ca

admin@victoriaacademyofballet.ca

victoriaacademyofballet.ca

victoriaacademyofballet.ca


enerations of “Educational Excellence to the Glory of God”

PacificChristian.ca 250.479.4532

Generations of “Educational Excellence of to the Glory “Educ

of God”

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Paci

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