Grand Winter 2019

One of the best parts of being a grandparent is having the time that isn’t always available when you’re raising your own children to enjoy and have fun with your grandkids. In this issue you’ll find out how to have twice the fun without any of the worry! Read about empowering our granddaughters, books about kids and their grandparents, toys that do nothing (so kids can do the rest!), grandparent sleepovers and dispatches from a working grandmother. Read about 5 fun things to do in Parksville-Qualicum, and find out how to nurture a sense of place in kids.

One of the best parts of being a grandparent is having the time that isn’t always available when you’re raising your own children to enjoy and have fun with your grandkids. In this issue you’ll find out how to have twice the fun without any of the worry! Read about empowering our granddaughters, books about kids and their grandparents, toys that do nothing (so kids can do the rest!), grandparent sleepovers and dispatches from a working grandmother. Read about 5 fun things to do in Parksville-Qualicum, and find out how to nurture a sense of place in kids.


Create successful ePaper yourself

Turn your PDF publications into a flip-book with our unique Google optimized e-Paper software.

<strong>Grand</strong>parent<br />

I S L A N D<br />

W I N T E R 2 0 1 9<br />

10<br />

THINGS<br />

to Do with Your<br />

<strong>Grand</strong>kids<br />

I Belong Here<br />

Nurturing a sense of place in kids

Making Meaningful<br />

Memories<br />

Your gift today will help kids like Emma have<br />

access to the health care they need.<br />

Kool Toys &<br />

Teaching Tools<br />

Toys, games and<br />

puzzles for all ages<br />

#102 – 2517 Bowen Road<br />

Nanaimo 888.390.1775<br />

koolandchild.com<br />

Join us as champions for the health of every<br />

Island family by donating to the Kids First Fund<br />

today!<br />

Donate at islandkidsfirst.com/donate-now or contact us at<br />

give@islandkidsfirst.com<br />

formerly<br />

Saanich Commonwealth is the PLACE for <strong>Grand</strong>parents<br />

For your health, we offer:<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

Drop-in swimming, fitness classes and sports<br />

Seniors’ day rate of $3.25 each Thursday<br />

Specialty classes for older adults<br />

Personal Training packages for all abilities<br />

Bring the grandkids for:<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

Kindergym with Swim option<br />

Leisure & Little Ones Swims<br />

Parent & Tot recreation classes<br />

Saanich Commonwealth Place 4636 Elk Lake Drive 250-475-7600 www.saanich.ca

Bleiddyn del Villar Bellis<br />

Artistic Director<br />

Fellow & Examiner CSC-CICB<br />

Enrico Bleiddyn Cecchetti del Villar Final Bellis Diploma<br />

Artistic Director<br />

Fellow & Examiner CSC-CICB<br />

Enrico Cecchetti Final Diploma<br />

2018/19<br />

Children’s 2018/19<br />

Ballet Children’s<br />

Classes Ballet<br />

Ongoing to June<br />

Classes<br />

hoto credit: Photo David credit: Cooper David Cooper<br />

Island Parent <strong>Grand</strong>parent IBC.indd 1<br />

Ongoing to June<br />

Including a FREE<br />

dance class for boys<br />

7-11.<br />

Including a FREE<br />

Now in it’s 3rd year,<br />

dance class for boys<br />


7-11.<br />

is a positive way for<br />

Now in it’s 3rd year,<br />

boys to get interested<br />


in dance!<br />

is a positive way for<br />

Register now - it’s not<br />

boys to get interested<br />

too late to join this<br />

in dance!<br />

FUN and FREE class!<br />

Register now - it’s not<br />

too late to join this<br />

FUN and FREE class!<br />

Bleiddyn del Villar Bellis<br />

250-590-6752<br />

admin@victoriaacademyofballet.ca<br />

victoriaacademyofballet.ca<br />

250-590-6752<br />

admin@victoriaacademyofballet.ca<br />

victoriaacademyofballet.ca<br />

2018-11-20 10:30:29 AM

<strong>Grand</strong>kids visiting?<br />

Make their stay easy by renting gear from<br />


Welcome................................ 5<br />

Empowering Our<br />

<strong>Grand</strong>daughters.................... 6<br />

B A B Y E Q U I P M E N T R E N T A L S<br />

Vancouver | Toronto | Victoria<br />

weetravel.ca 1.800.933.0810<br />

Rainbow................................. 8<br />

10 Things to Do.................... 10<br />

I’ve Been Meaning<br />

to Tell You............................ 12<br />

Once Upon a Time................ 14<br />

This & That.......................... 16<br />

Put a Sock in It..................... 18<br />

Toys That Do Nothing........... 20<br />

<strong>Grand</strong> Sleepovers................ 22<br />

A Working <strong>Grand</strong>mother..... 24<br />

Fun Things to Do<br />

with Your <strong>Grand</strong>kids............ 25<br />

In Defence of Homework..... 26<br />

I Belong Here....................... 28<br />

Read, Speak, Sing................ 29<br />

Day Tripper.......................... 30<br />

Island <strong>Grand</strong>parent, published by Island Parent Group Enterprises Ltd., is a biannual<br />

publication that honours and supports grandparents by providing information<br />

on resources and businesses for families, and a forum for the exchange of ideas<br />

and opinions. Views expressed are not necessarily those of the publisher. No<br />

material herein may be reproduced without the permission of the Editor. Island<br />

<strong>Grand</strong>parent is distributed free in selected areas.<br />

Island Parent Magazine<br />

830–A Pembroke St, Victoria, BC V8T 1H9<br />

250-388-6905 islandparent.ca<br />

Sue Fast<br />

Editor<br />

RaeLeigh Buchanan<br />

Advertising Consultant<br />

Design & Layout<br />

Eacrett Graphic Design<br />

ISSN 0838-5505<br />

Jim Schneider<br />

Publisher/Owner<br />

Linda Frear<br />

Office Manager & Sales<br />

Printed by<br />

Black Press<br />

On the Cover: Connor (4) and Ira Townshend<br />

(Connor’s Great <strong>Grand</strong>pa). Photo by<br />

Tara Townshend (Connor’s mom).<br />

4 Island <strong>Grand</strong>parent

The Importance<br />

of Being Silly<br />

It’s one of my favourite photos of my mom.<br />

She’s draped from head to toe in almost every<br />

item from my kids’ dress-up box: a silly<br />

hat, crazy cape, rhinestone-studded cowboy<br />

vest, sparkly beads and a feather boa. Her eyes<br />

are wide, like she’s just stepped on a mouse,<br />

and her head is cocked to one side. My fouryear-old<br />

son, Kohl, is standing next to her,<br />

wearing the few remaining dress-ups and a<br />

similar expression, both of them caught in a<br />

moment of pure joy and delight. I remember<br />

when the photo was taken, how as soon as the<br />

shutter clicked, they erupted into giggles and<br />

laughter and then fell into a heap on the floor,<br />

gleeful and happy to be each other’s partner<br />

in crime. They shared something that only<br />

a grandparent and grandchild can share: a<br />

sense of silliness and fun unmatched by even<br />

their parents.<br />

Never a disciplinarian when she raised her<br />

own three children, my mom was even less so<br />

as a grandparent. She believed in letting kids<br />

be kids, and—as often as possible—letting<br />

grandparents be kids right along with them.<br />

She never missed an opportunity to play<br />

with her grandkids or to be silly. She’d pull<br />

funny faces that would rival their own, she’d<br />

sing aloud with them, she’d compete wholeheartedly<br />

in any watermelon-seed-spitting<br />

contests, and she’d skip hand-in-hand with<br />

them down city streets.<br />

One of the best parts about being a grandparent,<br />

if you ask me, is having the time that<br />

isn’t always available when you’re raising your<br />

own children to enjoy and have fun with your<br />

grandkids. Twice the fun without any of the<br />

worrying. Or half of it, anyway.<br />

We aren’t raising the future of our country—<br />

well, some of us are—we’re cheering it on.<br />

It has been said that having grandchildren<br />

is the great reward for enduring the indignities<br />

of aging. And, I would add, it is as good a<br />

reason as any to be undignified and perhaps<br />

a little over-the-top.<br />

“And so we find that aging really does come<br />

with benefits,” writes Vikki Claflin for Scary<br />

Mommy. “We get grandchildren to love…<br />

without the constant worry we had as parents<br />

that everything we say or do will somehow<br />

scar them for life. We’ve learned to relax,<br />

knowing that somehow, with or without our<br />

inept fumbling, they will turn out to be pretty<br />

terrific adults.”<br />

Sue Fast<br />

To that end, we hope this issue of Island<br />

<strong>Grand</strong>parent helps you enjoy your time with<br />

your grandchildren. You’ll find articles on<br />

everything from the empowering our granddaughters,<br />

the magic of rainbows, and the<br />

importance of sharing our stories with our<br />

grandchildren, to sleepovers, helping kids<br />

develop a sense of place, and 10 things to do<br />

on the Island with the grandkids.<br />

Just like the time you spend with your<br />

grandchildren, we hope you enjoy every minute—and<br />

every page—of Island <strong>Grand</strong>parent.<br />

Discover the<br />



Registration for Kindergarten is Now Open<br />

All-Girls Independent Day School I JK-Grade 12 I Boarding Grades 7-12<br />

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada I 250-479-7171 I admissions@stmarg.ca<br />

IslandParent.ca<br />

<strong>Winter</strong> <strong>2019</strong> 5

4children.ca<br />

presents<br />


Author of the Explosive Child<br />

and Lost at school<br />

Empowering Our<br />

<strong>Grand</strong>daughters<br />

The #MeToo movement got me in the gut.<br />

It wasn’t a surprise—I volunteered on a<br />

sexual assault crisis line 30 years ago and<br />

was aware of the prevalence of sexual harassment<br />

and abuse even before that. But the<br />

recent wave of revelations affected me on a<br />

deeper level, and I think it’s because I now have<br />

two granddaughters. It astounds me that we’re<br />

still grappling with sexual violence and gender<br />

inequality on such a large scale, two decades<br />

into the 21st century. But as I do whenever<br />

I’m faced with an overwhelming issue I can’t<br />

judgment, and paying attention to their loves,<br />

fears and interests. Her attention was a simple<br />

gift, and yet it had a profound influence on<br />

my daughters, particularly when they were<br />

teenagers. Simply by choosing to see and hear<br />

them, my mother told her granddaughters<br />

they were loved unconditionally and that what<br />

they said mattered. My mother has been gone<br />

for five years, but I still see the power of this gift<br />

reflected in how my adult daughters honour<br />

their own voices and expect to be heard when<br />

they have something to say.<br />

www.livesinthebalance.org<br />





.... this could be a life<br />

changing gift both to<br />

you and your<br />

grandchild<br />

3-day Advanced Training<br />

Workshop in his<br />

Collaborative & Proactive<br />

Solutions Model<br />

Feb 13-15, <strong>2019</strong><br />

Vancouver Island<br />

Conference Centre<br />

101 Gordon Street<br />

Nanaimo, BC, V9R 5J8<br />

Pre-registration required<br />

Online registration, details and<br />

enquiries www.4children.ca<br />

alter, I’m searching for the areas in which I<br />

do have power. I can’t change the culture my<br />

granddaughters were born into, but I can look<br />

for ways to empower them as individuals. This<br />

is what I’ve come up with so far:<br />

We can see and hear our granddaughters.<br />

My mother, wise by inclination and<br />

a family therapist by profession, was very<br />

intentional about the time she spent with her<br />

grandchildren. She took them on dates and<br />

gave them her full presence when they were<br />

together, listening without interruption or<br />

We can tell our family stories. When we<br />

share our family stories—both the victories<br />

and the defeats—we encourage resilience in<br />

our grandchildren. This is especially true when<br />

we share the stories of the strong women in<br />

our family trees: the women who survived<br />

wars, crossed oceans, built new lives in new<br />

communities, launched businesses, challenged<br />

conventions, broke cycles of abuse<br />

or neglect, or stretched meagre resources to<br />

feed and clothe their families. These stories<br />

matter, and in passing them down we give our<br />

6 Island <strong>Grand</strong>parent

granddaughters powerful role models. We tell<br />

them they come from strong stock, and that<br />

they too have the inner resources to embrace<br />

life courageously.<br />

We can share other stories of strength.<br />

We can give our granddaughters even more<br />

role models by sharing stories of other powerful<br />

girls and women. From feisty, fictional<br />

characters like Pippi Longstocking, Anne of<br />

Green Gables or Fern Arable from Charlotte’s<br />

Web, to real-life trailblazers like Emily Carr,<br />

Jane Goodall or Malala Yousafzai, our libraries<br />

and bookstores are full of inspiring stories.<br />

The website amightygirl.com has a curated<br />

list of over 3,000 girl-empowering titles, with<br />

a detailed book menu to help you find exactly<br />

what you want. You’ll see award-winning<br />

classics and new favourites, from cultures all<br />

around the world. I gave myself half an hour<br />

on the site, and came up with a whole slew<br />

of new titles to add to “<strong>Grand</strong>ma’s library.” I<br />

can’t wait to get my hands on Storm Run: The<br />

Story of the First Woman to Win the Iditarod<br />

Sled Dog Race or Amelia to Zora: 26 Women<br />

Who Changed the World. These are important<br />

books to share with our grandsons, too!<br />

We can be intentional in our gift-giving.<br />

In 1975, only two per cent of toys in the Sears<br />

Catalogue were marketed explicitly to boys<br />

or girls. Walk into the toy department of any<br />

large store today, and you’ll be faced with a<br />

sea of “colour-coding.” This has consequences.<br />

Beyond reinforcing limiting gender stereotypes,<br />

playing exclusively with “girl toys”<br />

can actually affect our granddaughters’ brain<br />

development. According to a recent National<br />

Geographic article, “How Today’s Toys May Be<br />

Harming Your Daughter,” girls are less likely to<br />

play with complex puzzles or building toys that<br />

help develop spatial awareness—in part due<br />

to marketing. Jamie Jerout, a developmental<br />

psychologist, argues that spatial awareness is<br />

important for higher level thinking, and may<br />

be “a piece of the explanation for the underrepresentation<br />

of women in science and tech.”<br />

What can we do about this as grandparents?<br />

We can certainly be aware of this gender bias,<br />

and look for gifts that offer new experiences<br />

and creative ways to play and learn, rather<br />

than limiting our granddaughters—or our<br />

grandsons—to the toys marketers are trying to<br />

sell them. We can give the gift of experience as<br />

well, teaching our granddaughters new skills,<br />

or paying for a confidence-boosting drama<br />

workshop or rock-climbing camp—with their<br />

input, of course.<br />

We can live our own lives with grace and<br />

courage. My mother’s influence on my daugh-<br />

ters was profound in large part because of the<br />

example she set herself. She went back to<br />

school in mid-life and pursued a career that<br />

she was passionate about. She valued the contribution<br />

she had to make to the world, while<br />

respecting the contributions of other people,<br />

and this gave her a wonderful dignity. We can<br />

be role models to our granddaughters as well,<br />

finding our own voices, speaking the truth,<br />

Rachel<br />

Dunstan<br />

Muller<br />

taking new risks and trying new challenges.<br />

It’s never too late to examine our lives and to<br />

fill in the gaps or make any necessary course<br />

corrections. It’s important work in itself, and<br />

even more important when our granddaughters<br />

are watching. Empower ourselves, and<br />

we empower future generations.<br />

Rachel Dunstan Muller is a grandmother,<br />

children’s author, storyteller and<br />

personal historian. You can learn more<br />

about her work at redbirdmemoirs.com.<br />

IslandParent.ca<br />

<strong>Winter</strong> <strong>2019</strong> 7

Help Low Income<br />

Seniors in Our<br />

Community<br />

We now support<br />

Seniors, like Pearl,<br />

many whom must<br />

stretch their limited<br />

funds to cover their<br />

basic needs and<br />

struggle to afford<br />

hygiene products.<br />

Sadly, many go without.<br />


SPONSOR: Just $25 a month will provide<br />

peace of mind to a Senior knowing their<br />

ongoing hygeine needs will be supplied.<br />

DONATE: Any amount will help! With buying<br />

power, donations of cash go a long way!<br />

You can easily donate at canadahelps.org<br />

– search for Disaster Aid Canada<br />

#85592 2704 RR0002<br />

Carefully Curated for<br />

Curvaceous Women<br />


Clean • Quality • Variety<br />

New arrivals daily<br />

NEW<br />

Canadian designers<br />

Ethically Produced • Stylish • Affordable<br />


We can help you:<br />

• Find an outfit for a special occasion<br />

• Pull together a wardrobe<br />

for a vacation/cruise<br />

SIZE LARGE/12+<br />

109–751 Goldstream Ave, Langford<br />

Tues–Fri 10:30–6 Sat 10:30–5 Sun 12–4<br />

curvaliciousboutique.com<br />

250.590.2799<br />

It was a warm, sunny fall day with just a hint of rain—much too nice a day<br />

to be indoors—so the families were visiting out in the yard. Mommy was<br />

chatting with <strong>Grand</strong>ma and Auntie Sarah, Daddy was conversing with<br />

<strong>Grand</strong>pa, the brothers and their cousins were zooming up and down the<br />

long gravel driveway on bikes and scooters, and 22-month old Charlotte<br />

was bored. Nobody was paying attention to her! Furthermore, her feet hurt!<br />

“Mommy! Owwwwie!” She stamped her wee feet in their sparkly shoes.<br />

Mommy explained that although Charlotte’s feet had grown too big for<br />

her sparkly shoes, she had insisted on wearing them.<br />

“Wait here,” said Auntie Sarah. She disappeared into the garage, reappearing<br />

shortly with a large cardboard box full of her girls’ outgrown clothing.<br />

Pushing aside armfuls of frilly dresses and colourful leggings she surfaced<br />

triumphantly, waving a pair of tiny, bright pink Croc sandals.<br />

“The girls loved these,” she said. “I think they’re just the right size for<br />

Charlotte.”<br />

8 Island <strong>Grand</strong>parent

“Off,” said Charlotte, sticking one wee<br />

sparkly foot into the air.<br />

Off went the sparkly shoes. On went the<br />

Crocs. Off went Charlotte down the driveway<br />

in her new pink shoes. Off went <strong>Grand</strong>ma in<br />

hot pursuit.<br />

Charlotte paused to admire her new pink<br />

Crocs, lifting first one foot, then the other. She<br />

wiggled her toes. She hopped up and down.<br />

She walked a few steps, then ran the way all<br />

toddlers do, with impressive arm-pumping<br />

and a good deal of lateral motion but little<br />

actual forward progress.<br />

She made a beeline for a large, tempting<br />

puddle. <strong>Grand</strong>ma got there first, steering her<br />

back on course down the driveway. Charlotte<br />

veered back to the puddle, clearly determined<br />

to christen her new shoes. <strong>Grand</strong>ma knew<br />

there was no point in trying to reason with a<br />

determined toddler, so she tried a secondary<br />

tactic: distraction.<br />

“Oh look, there go the boys on their bikes!<br />

Let’s show them your new shoes.”<br />

This suggestion inspired Charlotte to<br />

abandon the puddle and charge at top toddler<br />

speed toward the public road where the boys<br />

were messing around on their bikes. <strong>Grand</strong>ma<br />

got there first.<br />

<strong>Grand</strong>ma and Charlotte walked hand in<br />

hand down the quiet rural road, trailing after<br />

the boys, who were waiting impatiently at the<br />

stop sign at the corner. Not a great distance for<br />

grown-up legs to cover, but a considerable trek<br />

for short ones. Every few yards it was necessary<br />

to pause and admire the new pink Crocs.<br />

The boys at the corner were waving and<br />

calling out “Hurry, <strong>Grand</strong>ma! Come and<br />

see what we found!” What could it be? An<br />

interesting rock? A dime? A frog?<br />

No rock, no coin, no amphibian. A rainbow!<br />

A glorious ribbon of colour, arching across the<br />

firmament and disappearing into the clouds.<br />

<strong>Grand</strong>ma lifted Charlotte into her arms<br />

and pointed skyward. “Look, sweetie—a<br />

rainbow!”<br />

A puzzled expression crossed Charlotte’s<br />

features, wrinkling her button nose. Suddenly<br />

her face lit up with delight. Her arm shot up,<br />

finger tracing the arc.<br />

“RAIN-bow!” she cried.<br />

“Yes, Charlotte! What a pretty rainbow.”<br />

“RAIN-bow! PIT-ty!” Her finger drew the<br />

rainbow again.<br />

“See? It goes right across the sky.”<br />

“RAIN-bow! Kye!” The finger sketched<br />

another arc.<br />

“Look at all the colours.”<br />

“RAIN-bow! COL-lows!”<br />

Charlotte struggled in <strong>Grand</strong>ma’s arms.<br />

“Down!” she said. <strong>Grand</strong>ma obliged, smiling<br />

Jacqui<br />

Graham<br />

fondly as her granddaughter gazed up, transfixed,<br />

at the slowly fading rainbow.<br />

“GAM-ma!” She paused dramatically.<br />

Up went the arm. “RAIN-bow! GAM-ma!”<br />

Another dramatic pause. “RAIN-bow! Kye!<br />

GAM-ma!” More drama. “RAIN-bow! COLlows!<br />

GAM-ma!” Again with the pausing.<br />

“RAIN-bow! PIT-ty!”<br />

“Yes, dear, isn’t it lovely? Now it’s time to<br />

head back. See? The rainbow’s going byebye,<br />

the boys have already gone bye-bye,<br />

and it’s starting to rain. Bye-bye, rainbow!”<br />

<strong>Grand</strong>ma waved enthusiastically. Charlotte<br />

waved—a trifle less enthusiastically—but she<br />

took <strong>Grand</strong>ma’s hand, and they started up the<br />

road. After a few steps, however, she pulled<br />

away and trotted back to the corner.<br />

Up went the arm. “GAM-ma! RAIN-bow!”<br />

“Yes, dear. But see how pale the rainbow<br />

is growing? The rainbow is tired. It needs to<br />

rest. The rainbow is going back to its home<br />

in the sky, to sleep on a fluffy white cloud.”<br />

“RAIN-bow home? RAIN-bow seep?”<br />

Charlotte gravely considered these new<br />

concepts.<br />

“You got it, sweetie. Nighty night, rainbow.<br />

Pleasant dreams.” <strong>Grand</strong>ma blew the rainbow<br />

a kiss. Charlotte threw a kiss in the general<br />

direction of the rainbow.<br />

Off they started once more. This time they<br />

made it a couple of yards further before Charlotte<br />

broke away and ran back to the corner.<br />

Up went the arm. “GAM-ma! RAIN-bow!”<br />

<strong>Grand</strong>ma picked Charlotte up and headed<br />

down the road. Little eyes gazed wistfully<br />

back over <strong>Grand</strong>ma’s shoulder.<br />

“Let’s go tell Mommy about the rainbow,”<br />

said <strong>Grand</strong>ma, brightly.<br />

Charlotte thought this over.<br />

“RAIN-bow,” she said softly, with a contemplative<br />

smile. Then the wee pink thumb<br />

went into the mouth, the wee blonde head<br />

nestled into <strong>Grand</strong>ma’s shoulder, and the new<br />

pink Crocs bumped gently against <strong>Grand</strong>ma’s<br />

leg all the way back to Auntie Sarah’s house.<br />

Jacqui Graham has six grown kids and<br />

eight delightful grandkids age 6 months<br />

to 11 years. If she had known how much<br />

fun grandkids would be, she would have<br />

had them first!<br />

Year-round Getaway on<br />

Mayne Island with direct<br />

daily ferries from Swartz Bay<br />

9 housekeeping<br />

cottages perfect for<br />

family getaways<br />

250-539-2463 • 1-877-535-2424<br />

bluevista@bluevistaresort.com<br />

www.bluevistaresort.com<br />

Wensley Family<br />

Realtors®<br />

Wishing you a wonderful<br />

holiday season!<br />

Trusted from Generation<br />

to Generation<br />

Pwensley@macrealty.com<br />

Paula Wensley<br />

Office: 250-388-5882<br />

Cell: 778-678-7387<br />

Paulawensley.com<br />

IslandParent.ca<br />

<strong>Winter</strong> <strong>2019</strong> 9

10<br />

Things to Do With Your <strong>Grand</strong>kids<br />

For more ideas and a fun map of the Island, pick up a copy of the Kids Guide to<br />

Vancouver Island at Tourist Info Centres or at your local recreation centre.<br />

Here...<br />

Bug<br />

Zoo<br />

…boasts nearly 50 fascinating species<br />

including giant walking sticks, beautiful<br />

praying mantis, and glow-in-the-dark<br />

scorpions. Tour guides will introduce you<br />

to the world of bugs, give a wealth of information<br />

about the animals on display and<br />

provide a safe bug-handling experience.<br />

victoriabugzoo.ca.<br />

Photo: The Butchart Gardens<br />

Butchart Gardens<br />

…offers 55 acres of sunken gardens, rose gardens, Japanese<br />

gardens, Italian gardens along with a Children’s Pavillion and<br />

Rose Carousel. There’s a Living Fossils Walk, a Family Walk,<br />

a boat tour, Night Illuminations, Everything Christmas<br />

(Dec 1-Jan 6). Visit the coffee shop after to re-fuel.<br />

butchartgardens.com.<br />

Royal BC Museum & IMAX<br />

…are great rainy-day destinations this winter. What better way to warm up than<br />

taking in RBCM’s exhibition, Egypt: Time of the Pharaohs, with interactive<br />

displays and 300+ original artifacts. From Feb 15-Mar 24, check out Wildlife<br />

Photographer of the Year, with a brand new selection of 100 images from<br />

around the world. At the IMAX theatre, catch Mysteries of Egypt, Our Blue<br />

Planet, The Story of Earth and more. royalbcmuseum.bc.ca, imaxvictoria.com.<br />

Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea<br />

…is a state-of-the-art aquarium and marine learning centre in<br />

Sidney that focuses on the ecosystem of the Salish Sea. Learn<br />

about, explore and conserve the Salish Sea Bioregion—its<br />

wildlife, waters, land, culture, and people. Take part in guided<br />

tours, scavenger hunts, Tot Tuesdays, and Sea Shirt Sundays,<br />

along with other kids’ activities. salishseacentre.org.<br />

Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary<br />

…is a wild oasis in the heart of the urban landscape and includes two distinct<br />

ecosystems: the beautiful marshland of Swan Lake and the rocky, oak-forested<br />

highlands of Christmas Hill. Educational programs for all ages encourage responsibility<br />

for the<br />

care and protection of<br />

the natural environment.<br />

The Nature<br />

House is open 8:30am-<br />

4pm Monday-Friday<br />

(year-round), and<br />

from noon-4pm on<br />

weekends. Visit<br />

swanlake.bc.ca.<br />

10 Island <strong>Grand</strong>parent

AGGV’s Family Sundays<br />

…are on the third Sunday of the month from 2-4pm (October-<br />

June) and inspired by the current Art Gallery of Greater Victoria<br />

exhibitions and programming. Bring your grandchild and enjoy a<br />

fun-filled afternoon of hands-on artmaking for the whole family.<br />

The program is included with admission. aggv.ca.<br />

Victoria Butterfly Gardens<br />

…invites you to enjoy a Tropical Staycation. Admire exotic butterflies<br />

while they fly free in their own tropical rainforest environment.<br />

The on-site naturalists are full of fascinating facts and will<br />

answer your questions. 1461 Benvenuto Avenue in Brentwood Bay.<br />

Open daily. For hours and information, visit butterflygardens.com.<br />

Mount Washington<br />

…has something for everyone. From downhill and<br />

cross-country skiing to snowshoeing, tubing and<br />

just old-fashioned playing in the snow, there’s no<br />

shortage of things to do at Mt. Washington Alpine<br />

Resort. Sign your grandkids up for Snow School,<br />

tackle the terrain park together, or just get outside<br />

and play in the snow. Alpine Opening Day and<br />

the starting date of Night Skiing TBA. <strong>Winter</strong><br />

Wonderland runs from Dec 20-Jan 4.<br />

Visit mountwashington.ca.<br />

Nanaimo Museum<br />

…takes visitors on a visual journey through<br />

the Museum’s permanent exhibits. Highlighting<br />

the industries that helped shape the city<br />

in addition to First Nations history and the<br />

lifestyles of city residents, a tour through the<br />

museum’s gallery is an informative and rewarding<br />

experience. nanaimomuseum.ca.<br />

CRD Regional Parks<br />

Nature Outings & Events<br />

…The Capital Regional District offers a variety of<br />

guided nature outings and activities for children<br />

and adults of all ages and abilities. These free and<br />

low-cost drop-in events, guided walks and hikes<br />

in regional parks throughout the district are engaging<br />

and interactive, to stimulate your natural<br />

curiosity and to help your grandkids develop<br />

a greater appreciation for the region’s natural<br />

environment.<br />

&<br />

Plan to join a CRD interpreter and<br />

connect with nature through a<br />

There<br />

range of events. crd.bc.ca/parks.<br />

IslandParent.ca<br />

<strong>Winter</strong> <strong>2019</strong> 11

I’ve Been Meaning<br />

to Tell You…<br />

There comes a time in life when it dawns<br />

on you that your time on this earth is not<br />

without limits.<br />

Oh sure, I have no immediate plans for departure,<br />

but the possibility has crawled its way<br />

into my mind—usually at about three o’clock<br />

in the morning, a time that’s been dubbed “the<br />

hour of the wolf.” It’s a time when defenses<br />

are down and disturbing thoughts have a way<br />

of emerging from the darkness.<br />

It’s at those times that I start to think of the<br />

many things I wanted to tell my granddaughter<br />

before I’m gone.<br />

To begin with, I want to tell her about<br />

who I am, or was, and explain that I’m not<br />

the same person now that I’ve been in the<br />

various iterations of my life. The truth is that<br />

those versions of me are long gone, and what<br />

remains is an amalgam of experiences and<br />

lessons learned. Randi doesn’t know about<br />

any of those versions of <strong>Grand</strong>pa.<br />

She knows nothing about the way I grew up<br />

aside from the odd anecdote I’ve shared with<br />

her—generally tales that involve the sort of<br />

foolishness that a largely unsupervised child in<br />

the late 1950s and early 1960s would embrace.<br />

I’ve told her about when I was seven and my<br />

friend Kenny stole his father’s bike and went<br />

careening down Dead Man’s Hill, missed the<br />

turn and went flying into the frigid, flooded,<br />

Old Man’s Creek.<br />

We never found the bike.<br />

She’s heard about how I met her grandmother,<br />

and how we first kissed at the playground<br />

one September when we were in high<br />

school. And how I knew I was in love.<br />

I’ve told her other stories as well.<br />

I’ve shared stories of her mother’s childhood<br />

and some things we did when she was<br />

Randi’s age. I’ll confess that a lot of those<br />

stories arise when her mother scolds her and<br />

says things like “Why would you do that? What<br />

were you thinking?”<br />

At those times, without drawing direct<br />

comparisons, I might wait awhile and then<br />

recount a particularly silly thing her mother<br />

did as a child. It seems to help restore some<br />

perspective.<br />

But the truth is that what I’ve shared with<br />

Randi are no more than a few snapshots in<br />

time. Sort of like those movie trailers that give<br />

you a rough idea of the film without revealing<br />

the entire story.<br />

I realized that she won’t know about the<br />

things I’ve learned and how I tried to be a<br />

good person for most of my life and how,<br />

sometimes, that wasn’t an easy thing to do<br />

and I failed miserably.<br />

I know that, in time, Randi will also learn<br />

of some of those darker times of my life, times<br />

I regret with all my heart. She’ll learn about<br />

those times without the context to understand<br />

how they happened and without knowing<br />

the lessons I learned and how hard it was to<br />

redeem myself as life moved on.<br />

Tim<br />

Collins<br />

It’s why I’ve started writing Randi a letter.<br />

Well, it started as a letter, but I suspect<br />

that, by the time it’s done, it may run several<br />

volumes.<br />

You see, I want to leave something behind<br />

for Randi so that, should she ever be curious,<br />

she can read about the <strong>Grand</strong>pa she knew as<br />

a child.<br />

It’s been an interesting exercise for me,<br />

because it’s allowed me to sneak in some<br />

thoughts about life, the sort of wisdom I<br />

always deny having but which I suppose may<br />

have collected in some back closet of my soul<br />

when I wasn’t paying attention.<br />

In my letter I explain to her that, despite the<br />

times that someone is cruel to her, or wounds<br />

her heart, or betrays her friendship, people in<br />

general are fundamentally still good.<br />

I tell her that a lot of the things we think of<br />

as important are meaningless in the end and<br />

that many of the things we sometimes scoff<br />

at in life—things like honour and virtue—are<br />

among the most important.<br />

I tell her that hope and love, real love, can<br />

never die unless you allow them to die in your<br />

own heart.<br />

I tell her that these are the things she needs<br />

to remember and believe in, despite the many<br />

times the world might rise up to make her<br />

doubt those beliefs.<br />

In the end, if she believes these things, she<br />

can make them true in her own life and, when<br />

she’s my age, she can recount those same truths<br />

to her own grandchildren.<br />

Hmm…that almost sounds wise.<br />

I’m also slipping in a few jokes, because<br />

I want her to remember that laughter is important,<br />

too, and that, sometimes, <strong>Grand</strong>pa<br />

made her laugh.<br />

Tim Collins is a writer and freelance<br />

journalist living and working in Victoria.<br />

12 Island <strong>Grand</strong>parent

The Lost Words<br />

is authored by Robert<br />

Macfarlane and illustrated<br />

by Jackie Morris. It is a<br />

book combining acrostic<br />

spell-poems with exquisite<br />

illustrations intended to<br />

restore the relevance of<br />

words from nature to ensure<br />

they are, not lost at all but<br />

instead, lovingly remain<br />

to future generations of<br />

children for years to come.<br />

newt<br />

acorn<br />

“I was at a loss for words<br />

when I learned about<br />

a beautifuly illustrated<br />

book which told the<br />

story of common nature<br />

words made extinct from<br />

the print version of the<br />

Oxford Junior Dictionary,”<br />

said Kathleen Burton,<br />

executive director of<br />

Swan Lake Christmas Hill<br />

Nature Sanctuary. “The<br />

book illustrates words<br />

that are far from being<br />

extinct - many of the<br />

plants, animals and birds<br />

described can be seen at<br />

the Sanctuary today.”<br />

Swan Lake<br />

c h rist m a s hil l<br />

n a t u r e<br />

s a n c t u a r y<br />

otter<br />

fern<br />

heron<br />

kingfisher<br />

Munro’s Books will donate<br />

$8 from the sale of every book to<br />

Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature<br />

Sanctuary Education Programs until<br />

December 31, 2018.<br />

Visit the Gift Shop or Munro’s to buy<br />

your copy today.<br />

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

IslandParent.ca<br />

<strong>Winter</strong> <strong>2019</strong> 13

Once Upon a Time…<br />

Help your grandchildren learn to read by sharing 1,000 stories<br />

Experts say children need to hear at least 1,000 stories before they begin to learn to read.<br />

<strong>Grand</strong>parents make amazing reading partners and can play a key role in helping their<br />

grandkids reach that reading goal. Plus, reading together has the added benefit of strengthening<br />

the bond grandparents have with the little ones in their lives.<br />

“Hearing your voice, sitting side by side, and holding a book together create a reading<br />

experience that will have a positive influence on a child,” says Lonestar Stone, a librarian<br />

with the Greater Victoria Public Library. “Forming positive associations with reading is a<br />

key step for children learning to read.”<br />

And, Lonestar adds, “<strong>Grand</strong>parents have had years to practice their reading skills and are<br />

experts at making reading fun, interesting and meaningful.”<br />

Stone, who specializes in children’s material, says babies also benefit from being read to.<br />

“Hearing your voice forming words and sounds is important to developing literacy skills.<br />

Let babies play with cloth or board books; it will strengthen their interest in reading.”<br />

To help caregivers and their grandchildren to reach the 1,000-book milestone, librarians<br />

at the Greater Victoria Public Library created a selection of 100 exceptional picture books<br />

to entertain, educate and inspire young children again and again.<br />

Below, GVPL shares a sample of the recommendations for babies, toddlers and preschoolers.<br />

See the complete list at gvpl.ca/100books then snuggle up and share these wonderful<br />

stories for a meaningful, memorable winter.<br />

Babies<br />

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly<br />

by Pam Adams<br />

King Baby by Kate Beaton<br />

Hello Humpback! by Roy Henry Vickers and<br />

Robert Budd<br />

When I Grow Up by Emma Dodd<br />

Orange Pear Apple Bear by Emily Gravett<br />

Where’s Spot by Eric Hill<br />

Rosie’s Walk by Pat Hutchins<br />

One Some Many by Marthe Jocelyn<br />

Sweetest Kulu by Celina Kalluk<br />

We Sang You Home by Richard Van Camp<br />

Toddlers<br />

Sometimes I Feel Like a Fox by Danielle Daniel<br />

Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! by Candace<br />

Fleming<br />

1,000<br />

14 Island <strong>Grand</strong>parent

You Hold Me Up by Monique Gray Smith<br />

Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric<br />

Litwin<br />

Scribble by Ruth Ohi<br />

Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann<br />

My Friend Rabbit by Eric Rohmann<br />

If You’re Hoppy by April Pulley Sayre<br />

Duck on a Bike by David Shannon<br />

Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard<br />

Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson<br />

How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night? By Jane<br />

Yolen<br />


Legendary Canadian<br />

Children’s Performer<br />

SUN FEB 10 | 2:30 PM<br />



performed with permission of<br />

Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved<br />

SAT MAY 4 | 7:30 PM<br />

uvic.ca/farquhar | 250-721-8480 | UVicFarq | @UVicFarquhar<br />

Preschoolers<br />

Stanley’s Party by Linda Bailey<br />

A Day With Yayah by Nicola Campbell<br />

I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato by Lauren<br />

Child<br />

Buddy and Earl by Maureen Fergus<br />

Corduroy by Don Freeman<br />

Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett<br />

Johnson<br />

The Wolf ’s Chicken Stew by Keiko Kasza<br />

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats<br />

This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen<br />

The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss<br />

The Best Pet of All by David LaRochelle<br />

The Imaginary Garden by Andrew Larsen<br />

The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf<br />

The Good Little Book by Kyo Maclear<br />

They Say Blue by Jillian Tamaki<br />

Owl Babies by Martin Waddell<br />

Chester by Mélanie Watt<br />

Photo: Amy Williams<br />

The Royal City Youth Ballet’s<br />

The Nutcracker<br />

Island Exclusive<br />

Tickets $27<br />

Family $88<br />

(2 adults and 2 children)<br />

Friday<br />

Dec. 14, 2018<br />

7pm<br />

Saturday<br />

Dec. 15, 2018<br />

1pm<br />

For Greater Victoria Public Library’s<br />

complete list of 100 exceptional picture<br />

books for babies, toddlers and preschoolers,<br />

visit gvpl.ca/100books.<br />

cowichanpac.ca<br />

Ticket Centre: 250.748.7529<br />

2687 James St. Duncan, BC<br />

IslandParent.ca<br />

<strong>Winter</strong> <strong>2019</strong> 15

This<br />

Avoid the Pitfalls of Being a <strong>Grand</strong>parent<br />

1. Respect your children’s boundaries (time, privacy, etc.) and be clear about<br />

your own.<br />

2. Keep talking—ask questions, show interest, share your own experiences or<br />

way of thinking. Don’t let misunderstandings fester and grow into resentments<br />

and grievances.<br />

3. Be open to learn. Your children have things to teach you about parenting. Show<br />

your admiration for their parenting skills.<br />

From “Four Pitfalls of Being a <strong>Grand</strong>parent,” written by Roberta Satow in Psychology Today, psychologytoday.com.<br />

& That<br />

Not talking is so profound,” says Anne Lamott,<br />

“ author of Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My<br />

Son’s First Son. “The most challenging thing [about<br />

being a grandparent] is to hold your tongue and not<br />

correct and not offer advice unless they request it. The<br />

fact that it’s their baby…is really important to me.<br />

Anne Lamott in “Some Assembly Required: ”<br />

Q&A with Anne Lamott on <strong>Grand</strong>parenting” in Time.<br />


Are you are a grandparent raising your grandchildren? You are not alone. To talk with someone about resources and programs that you may not be<br />

aware of, call the province-wide GRG Information Line toll free at 1-855-474-9777. You can also find out about programs on the Island that provide<br />

opportunities to meet with other grandparents who are raising their grandchildren, along with information, support and activities. Find out more by<br />

visiting parentsupportbc.ca.<br />

7<br />

Books About Kids &<br />

their <strong>Grand</strong>parents<br />

1. The Hello, Goodbye Window. A Caldecott<br />

Medal Winner, suitable for babies, preschoolers<br />

and grade-schoolers. Written by<br />

Norton Juster, illustrated by Chris Raschka.<br />

2. The Matchbox Diary. Good for preschoolers<br />

and grade-schoolers. Written<br />

by Paul Fleischman, illustrated by Bagram<br />

Ibatoulline.<br />

3. Coming on Home Soon. This Caldecott<br />

honour book is suitable for grade-schoolers.<br />

Written by Jaqueline Woodson, illustrated<br />

by E.B. Lewis.<br />

4. Miss Rumphius. This National Book<br />

Award-winner is good for preschoolers and<br />

grade-schoolers. Written and illustrated by<br />

Barbara Cooney.<br />

5. Nana in the City. This Caldecott honour<br />

book is good for babies and preschoolers.<br />

Written and illustrated by Lauren Castillo.<br />

6. Lucky Pennies and Hot Chocolate.<br />

Good for babies and preschoolers. Written<br />

by Carol Diggory Shields, illustrated<br />

by Hiroe Nakata.<br />

7. Bigmama’s. Good for preschoolers and<br />

grade-schoolers. Written and illustrated by<br />

Donald Crews.<br />

By Olivia Gentile for thegrandparenteffect.com.<br />

10 Ways to Connect with<br />

Long-distance <strong>Grand</strong>children<br />

1. Use Skype or FaceTime. Video calls allow you to see each other’s expressions and<br />

surroundings; they can make you feel like you’ve actually been together. Read books,<br />

sing songs and even play games—in real time.<br />

2. Read bedtime stories. Record yourself reading a favourite bedtime story. Then the<br />

parents can show the video to your grandkids as they follow along with the same book.<br />

3. Send snail mail. Staying connected doesn’t have to only be done the high-tech way.<br />

Send a package every few weeks with simple contents like a colouring book or stickers,<br />

plus a note or card.<br />

4. Have your kids display photos. A digital picture frame can showcase a variety of<br />

images. Old photos can initiate a discussion about an event like Nana’s wedding or a<br />

childhood family vacation.<br />

5. Give a house tour. Videotape yourself in your surroundings, giving a narrative tour as<br />

you wander from room to room. Not only will your grandkids love the tour, but they’ll<br />

also feel more comfortable the next time they visit.<br />

6. Share an interest. Find a website or blog you and your grandkids love, for example,<br />

or read the same book. Then you can talk about it on Skype, FaceTime, phone or email.<br />

7. Create a photo album. Ask your grandkids to take pictures of their day and then<br />

send them via text, email or mail. Print the photos and arrange them in an album then<br />

share them the next time you’re together.<br />

8. Communicate “their” way—via text, email, instant messages or Facebook (as long<br />

as the grandchild is OK having a grandparent as a Facebook “friend”) or cell phone.<br />

9. Teach something new. How to make your famous chicken soup, for example. Email<br />

the ingredients needed. Then whip it up together over Skype or FaceTime.<br />

10. Play games. Play card games, crosswords, chess and more, all online.<br />

From 10 Ways to Connect With Long-Distance <strong>Grand</strong>parents by Stacey Feintuch at healthywomen.org.<br />

16 Island <strong>Grand</strong>parent

since1980<br />

STAGES<br />

Performing Art School<br />

Call 250-384-3267 Email us at: stagesdance@shaw.ca<br />

Or visit our website: www.stagesdance.com<br />

Come Dance With Us<br />

• Offering classes for Teens and Pre-Teens in Jazz,<br />

Ballet, Lyrical, Tap. Musical Theatre, Acrobatics<br />

& Hip Hop, in a non-competitive atmosphere.<br />

• Not sure which class to take?<br />

Try a Drop-In: No hassle, No Obligation.<br />

IslandParent.ca<br />

<strong>Winter</strong> <strong>2019</strong> 17

Community<br />

Board<br />

Making our Community<br />

a Better Place to Live<br />

Art Gallery of<br />

Greater Victoria<br />

aggv.ca<br />

Child Care<br />

Resource & Referral<br />

childcarevictoria.ca<br />

Put a Sock in It!<br />

Wandering work socks, crouching<br />

crews, quivering quarter lengths and<br />

my all-time favourite: crawling calf<br />

lengths with joyfully-cartooned bandages still<br />

partially adhered.<br />

Bespoke treasures for <strong>Grand</strong>ma to enjoy.<br />

Why have funky print socks been yanked<br />

off in great haste and chucked across several<br />

rooms to land beneath furniture? Bamboo<br />

baby socks pop up everywhere and there<br />

hasn’t been a baby in this home for six years<br />

now. Have they really been footloose under<br />

the futon for six years?<br />

Admittedly, I’m not a quick study. However,<br />

even I recognize there’s a smelly plot<br />

afoot. Have I been too generous in providing<br />

bundles of socks in Christmas stockings? Am<br />

I too quick to offer them a woolly argyle pair<br />

of mine when their toes are blue? Should I<br />

be correcting them when their sock colours<br />

clash in hue or length which is pretty much<br />

all the time?<br />

Footnote #1: When a single sock is sniffed<br />

out, finding its sole mate is even more unlikely<br />

than avoiding cracked heels on the Camino<br />

pilgrimage. There just aren’t enough tools in<br />

The Civic Orchestra<br />

of Victoria<br />

civicorchestraofvictoria.org<br />

Joe Music<br />

joemusic.ca<br />

Lori Frank Mediation<br />

& Consulting<br />

lorifrankmediation.com<br />

Phoenix Theatre<br />

phoenixtheatres.ca<br />

Royal BC Museum<br />

royalbcmuseum.bc.ca<br />

Victoria<br />

Children’s Choir<br />

VictoriaChildrensChoir.ca<br />

Victoria Conservatory<br />

of Music<br />

vcm.bc.ca<br />

Enquire about non-profit<br />

brochure or magazine<br />

distribution in Greater Victoria:<br />

publisher@islandparent.ca<br />

By night I count the strays as they pussyfoot<br />

off to find their soulmates: “I had a tube sock<br />

and I left, that’s right!”<br />

Even dress socks big enough to fit Dad’s feet<br />

show up here and there. Was my son-in-law<br />

sleeping on the chesterfield again?<br />

Socks hide beneath every piece of furniture<br />

and squish themselves in alongside bed mattresses.<br />

They crouch naked behind bathroom<br />

doors. They lounge on their backs beneath<br />

the oven door trying desperately to get a tan.<br />

There are even white athletic socks halfburied<br />

in the garden.<br />

“Why haven’t any of them cottoned onto<br />

the idea of wearing matching socks?” asks<br />

<strong>Grand</strong>pa.“And why don’t they keep them on<br />

their feet? By the way, fancy a foot massage<br />

when we get home?” Seems we’re both developing<br />

PTSD (Post-Traumatic Sock Disorder).<br />

anyone’s toolkit to attempt a recovery. Even if<br />

you find the right colour, it won’t be the right<br />

size. Or it will be the right size but they won’t<br />

fit anymore and the next one won’t wear a<br />

sibling’s old socks. And there will be holes in<br />

the toe and one starting in the heel. And I’m<br />

not about to re-learn how to darn.<br />

We’ve tried, my daughter and I. Bought<br />

ankle lengths in bulk at big box stores. Invested<br />

weeks knitting lovely striped quarter lengths<br />

on the smallest of circular needles with the<br />

softest of lambswool. Sent away for honey<br />

bee socks from the cereal company. Spent<br />

hours perfecting the latest folding techniques<br />

on Youtube which promise to “save space in<br />

drawers while extending socks’ lives.” Read<br />

them cute children’s bedtime stories of single<br />

sock culture around the globe. Seems laundry<br />

equipment eats socks in any language. But in<br />

18 Island <strong>Grand</strong>parent

my world, the shoe’s on the other foot: socks<br />

are found, not missing, conundrums.<br />

Footnote #2: Find time to demonstrate<br />

proper sock folding techniques to eliminate<br />

straying whilst in the laundry and drawer<br />

cycles.<br />

Elizabeth<br />

Olson<br />

If you feel hopeless, alone, desperate, scared or<br />

overwhelmed, take action and allow<br />

Torchlight Counselling to walk with you in finding<br />

and achieving your own unique success story.<br />

“Bobby socks or knee-highs: a pair for every<br />

occasion and every pair folded in its place,”<br />

I encourage each grandchild. But heads are<br />

bent, studying their screens.<br />

Footnote #3: Reminding them is like wearing<br />

a nylon sock when you have a blister. Keep<br />

the spring in your step and a smile on your<br />

face like I do when I tell them:<br />

“Your mother is going back to school and<br />

soon won’t have time to manage your socks<br />

for you.”<br />

Book your free<br />

consultation today<br />

Torchlight Counselling<br />

321-1095 McKenzie Avenue, Victoria BC<br />

250-889-9502<br />

www.torchlightcounselling.ca<br />

“Then,” they tell me, “you’ll just have to<br />

come over more often” as they reach for their<br />

current go-to card game, Dutch Blitz.<br />

“Put your broom down and your stocking<br />

feet up for a bit <strong>Grand</strong>ma. You keep score.<br />

There’s a pencil lying there right under the<br />

credenza beside that slouching sock.”<br />

Elizabeth Olson, since retiring from<br />

Galiano Island Books, spends a lot of<br />

time these days in bookstores in Sidney.<br />

Her own grandfather was a pirate who<br />

spent his retirement searching for Inca<br />

gold on Cocos Island.<br />

IslandParent.ca<br />

<strong>Winter</strong> <strong>2019</strong> 19

Healthy Families, Happy Families<br />

Child, Youth<br />

& Family<br />

Public Health<br />

South Island Health Units<br />

Esquimalt 250-519-5311<br />

Gulf Islands 250-539-3099<br />

(toll-free number for office in Saanichton)<br />

Peninsula 250-544-2400<br />

Saanich 250-519-5100<br />

Saltspring Island 250-538-4880<br />

Sooke 250-642-5464<br />

Victoria 250-388-2200<br />

West Shore 250-519-3490<br />

Central Island Health Units<br />

Duncan 250-709-3050<br />

Ladysmith 250-755-3342<br />

Lake Cowichan 250-749-6878<br />

Nanaimo 250-755-3342<br />

Nanaimo 250-755-3342<br />

Princess Royal<br />

Parksville/ 250-947-8242<br />

Qualicum<br />

Port Alberni 250-731-1315<br />

Tofino 250-725-4020<br />

North Island Health Units<br />

Campbell River 250-850-2110<br />

Courtenay 250-331-8520<br />

Kyuquot Health Ctr 250-332-5289<br />

‘Namgis Health Ctr 250-974-5522<br />

Port Hardy 250-902-6071<br />

Toys That<br />

Do Nothing<br />

Gifts for <strong>Grand</strong>kids<br />

As a pediatric speech-language pathologist,<br />

I frequent toy stores looking for the next<br />

amazing toy. As I wander the aisles I often<br />

find myself attracted to brightly-coloured<br />

electronic toys that make lots of noises, have<br />

all sorts of buttons or moving parts, and serve<br />

some ambiguous play function. If you have<br />

ever seen these toys, I’m sure you’ve also<br />

thought to yourself, “I wonder what this one<br />

does” as you look over the pictures on the<br />

box. It’s easy to get drawn in by these flashy<br />

and visually stimulating toys. They are, after<br />

all, designed to achieve this purpose. When<br />

you are searching for the perfect toy for your<br />

grandchild, it’s understandable why you<br />

might be tempted to grab one of these busy<br />

electronic toys. However, I have a different<br />

suggestion—get your grandchild a toy that<br />

does nothing.<br />

I know this sounds underwhelming, but<br />

allow me to explain.<br />

Simply put, my definition of a toy that does<br />

nothing is one that has no batteries and that<br />

easily allows for interactive and/or pretend<br />

play. This may sound boring, but it’s these<br />

kinds of toys that allow for the most creative<br />

and active play. After all, if the toy does nothing,<br />

then the child must do everything.<br />

Generally speaking, toys that do nothing<br />

seem to be more traditional toys, such as<br />

simple farm sets, dollhouses, play kitchens,<br />

blocks, or puppets. Combined with a willing<br />

play partner, these traditional toys support responsive<br />

interactions that help build children’s<br />

language, communication, and play skills.<br />

Think about the last time someone tried<br />

to talk to you while you were watching your<br />

favourite TV show or movie. Did it take several<br />

attempts before you noticed the other person?<br />

If they launched into a conversation, did you<br />

catch everything that they said or did you<br />

need them to repeat themselves? Did you feel<br />

a little annoyed that someone was interrupting<br />

you? Do you think it would be easy to have an<br />

extended or meaningful conversation while<br />

the show was still playing?<br />

Caitlin<br />

Bittman<br />



When we are absorbed in something that<br />

is both motivating and stimulating, it can be<br />

difficult to share our attention. It is a similar<br />

situation with our children playing with many<br />

of these busy toys. All the lights, sounds, and<br />

moving parts are appealing and are great at<br />

getting children’s attention, but they can also<br />

be attention hoarders, monopolizing a child’s<br />

focus and making it difficult for them to notice<br />

you in play.<br />

Have you ever noticed how quiet children<br />

get when they become absorbed in high-tech<br />

toys? Likely that is because they are tuning<br />

out everything around them. To many, this<br />

may not seem like a big deal. After all, don’t<br />

we want our grandchildren to enjoy the toys<br />

we give them? All children should be able and<br />

expected to play on their own sometimes,<br />

however it is important to recognize all the<br />

benefits that come from active play with<br />

another person.<br />

viha.ca/prevention_services/<br />

20 Island <strong>Grand</strong>parent

An increasing amount of research is<br />

showing how important quality interactions<br />

are between caregivers and children to support<br />

optimal language development. When<br />

children have conversations with adults, they<br />

receive good language models and also have<br />

the opportunity to practice using what they’ve<br />

learned and receive natural feedback as a part<br />

of the conversation. Recent research shows<br />

that engaging in conversations with young<br />

children works to strengthen the areas in their<br />

brain associated with language. And one of the<br />

best ways to have conversations with children<br />

is to participate in their play.<br />

Regardless of how children play with toys,<br />

there are many opportunities for adults to<br />

model language and for children to practice<br />

using language as you talk about what you are<br />

doing together, or perhaps what you plan to<br />

do next. Having conversations during play is<br />

a great way to link experience to new word<br />

meanings. That way, a child learns directly<br />

through their experience—even if it is just<br />

pretend.<br />

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “Play<br />

is a child’s work.” Children learn<br />

about the world and develop<br />

all kinds of skills and traits through play,<br />

such as fine and gross motor skills, personal<br />

awareness, emotional well-being, social<br />

skills, creativity, logic, and problem solving,<br />

to name a few. But did you also know that a<br />

child’s play skills are linked to their language<br />

development?<br />

Play and language skills develop hand-inhand,<br />

and each supports the development<br />

of the other. This is especially true when<br />

children start engaging in pretend play and<br />

role playing. Here, children learn to use their<br />

imaginations, and they need language to create<br />

and enrich their play when they engage with<br />

others. This includes using language to decide<br />

what they will play (for example, race car drivers<br />

on a race track), who will play each role and<br />

what each person will do as part of their role,<br />

as well as what happens in the “story.” Think of<br />

all the endless conversation possibilities and<br />

language-learning opportunities children can<br />

engage in as they negotiate their play.<br />

Remember that like the example of someone<br />

trying to talk to you during your favourite<br />

TV show, the high level of engagement needed<br />

to maximally support language development<br />

is not likely to happen if a toy is monopolizing<br />

a child’s attention, or if the toy is doing all the<br />

playing by itself with the child as a passive<br />

observer. I am not saying that these<br />

busy toys are detrimental to children’s<br />

development. Rather, I am saying that<br />

simple, more traditional toys are better<br />

suited to support interactions that will have<br />

a positive impact on a child’s development.<br />

When we play with “toys that do nothing,”<br />

we—children and adults—are more<br />

likely to be tuned-in to one another. This sets<br />

the foundation for interactions that include<br />

more conversation and more opportunities<br />

to support language development. When<br />

the toy does less, it’s easier for kids to pay<br />

more attention to you and less attention to<br />

the toy. In that way, it is not the toys that are<br />

important, it is the interaction and conversations<br />

we have while we play with those toys<br />

that are important. So when we choose toys<br />

for our grandchildren, we should be choosing<br />

toys that don’t undermine interaction or<br />

distract from communicating with each other<br />

or engaging with what we say or how we say it.<br />

So if you are thinking about getting a young<br />

loved one something special, consider the<br />

benefits of a toy that does nothing. Try not<br />

to be drawn in by the busy toys with all the<br />

bells and whistles. Remember that the flashy,<br />

high-tech toys do not allow much space for<br />

interactions that support your grandchild’s development.<br />

Instead, look for more traditional<br />

toys—blocks, role-play/dress-ups, puppets,<br />

or pretend food, for example—that you and<br />

your grandchildren will enjoy playing with<br />

together. The best toys are simple and come<br />

with a willing and attentive play partner. I<br />

am certain that the gift that will keep on giving<br />

long after the batteries die is the toy that<br />

does nothing.<br />

Caitlin Bittman, M.Sc., R.SLP., S-LP(C),<br />

CCC-SLP, is a Speech-Language Pathologist<br />

with Island Health.<br />

<strong>Winter</strong> <strong>2019</strong> 21

Serena<br />

Beck<br />

<strong>Grand</strong> Sleepovers…<br />

When I was a kid, I loved sleeping over at my <strong>Grand</strong>ma’s. She made homemade corn fritters and French<br />

fries in a pot of oil on the stove and cinnamon toast for breakfast. After we swam in the pool in her apartment<br />

building, she would tie a plastic sandwich bag around my pony tail so it didn’t drop water all over her<br />

apartment.<br />

I was excited when each of our kids started making their first sleepover memories at my parents (<strong>Grand</strong>ma<br />

Linda and Papa) and my in-laws (<strong>Grand</strong>ma Susan and Pepere). <strong>Grand</strong>ma Linda wrote a journal entry from the<br />

perspective of each of our kids for their first sleepover. Here’s a journal entry from our oldest daughter’s perspective<br />

when she was 16 months and she had her first sleepover:<br />

“While <strong>Grand</strong>ma made lunch, I pushed my corn popper round and round the house. I laughed and then <strong>Grand</strong>ma<br />

pushed the floppy duck around too and we laughed and laughed. I helped <strong>Grand</strong>ma “dead head” her flowers, but<br />

I think I took off some good flowers too. It was fun.”<br />

What do you like best about<br />

having the grandkids sleep<br />

over?<br />

<strong>Grand</strong>ma Susan loves getting to know each<br />

child’s distinct personality—without their<br />

siblings competing for attention. “It reminds<br />

me of raising my own three children and it is<br />

a great experience for my second husband,<br />

Pepere (Brian),” says Susan. “He never had<br />

kids, but loves spending time with them and<br />

sharing my kids and our grandchildren.”<br />

<strong>Grand</strong>ma Susan loves feeling more relaxed<br />

as a grandparent. “There is no pressure with<br />

schedules and routines. They are great for<br />

me so I don’t have to worry about discipline.<br />

<strong>Grand</strong>children do no wrong and we get to<br />

spoil them. We love them so much and they<br />

love us so much.”<br />

22 Island <strong>Grand</strong>parent

Pepere loves teaching his grandchildren how to play the guitar and the<br />

drums. “It’s amazing to see their demands for technology,” says Pepere. “They<br />

commandeer my iPad and love the drawing programs on it.”<br />

Pepere enjoys seeing his grandkids move in for the weekend. They take<br />

over the guest room and their second bathroom. “The grandkids really add<br />

dimension to our living space,” he says. “It’s nice to see them comfortable in<br />

their second home.”<br />

What activities do you enjoy doing together?<br />

<strong>Grand</strong>ma and Pepere spend quite a bit of time walking to the fairy garden<br />

by their house. “Our oldest granddaughter leaves toys and notes and the fairies<br />

write her back.” <strong>Grand</strong>ma Susan said that their grandson “refers to Government<br />

house as his secret garden.” They often go for afternoon walks or tea at<br />

the Government house. They also like to let their grandkids prepare supper or<br />

dessert with them or they take them out for supper.<br />

<strong>Grand</strong>ma Linda collects heart-shaped rocks and takes the kids beachcombing<br />

with her. They collect sea glass together and make ornaments and art out<br />

of the sea glass and rocks.<br />

Papa loves building Lego and doing puzzles. He’s always patient and enjoys<br />

putting Lego sets together and playing board games with his grandchildren.<br />

He also enjoys nap time, cuddle time, and TV time on the couch with them.<br />

<strong>Grand</strong>ma Susan and Pepere are looking forward to taking their grandkids<br />

shopping for back to school clothes. <strong>Grand</strong>ma Linda also enjoys shopping at<br />

the thrift stores with her grandkids.<br />

What are some cute quotes from your grandkids?<br />

While <strong>Grand</strong>ma Linda was walking with her oldest granddaughter in the<br />

winter, her granddaughter said “That man is shaving snow off his truck just like<br />

Daddy shaves his face with a razor.”<br />

<strong>Grand</strong>ma Linda’s grandson was watering the plants with her and then said<br />

“Wait, I can’t come inside yet.” He paused and then put a straw in the flower<br />

pot he had just finished watering—“…for the bees to drink water.”<br />

<strong>Grand</strong>ma Linda knits and one evening at supper<br />

her youngest granddaughter picked up her fork and<br />

spoon that she was using to eat her spaghetti and<br />

then crossed the ends and started moving them<br />

against each other. She said “I am knitting like you<br />

<strong>Grand</strong>ma.”<br />

It’s amusing to see how different your parents<br />

can be with their grandkids than they were when<br />

you were a child. My brother had kids first and I<br />

remember going to my mom’s house and seeing<br />

crushed cereal bits by her back door and her first<br />

grandchild wandering around the carpeted living<br />

room with a Dilly Bar each hand. When we were<br />

kids we were never allowed to eat in the living<br />

room—let alone be armed with two dripping<br />

Dilly Bars. Perhaps when I have grandkids one<br />

day, some of my parenting rules will go out the<br />

window, too.<br />

Serena Beck works full-time as a technical<br />

writer. She loves to write, travel,<br />

and swim at the beach with family and<br />

friends.<br />

IslandParent.ca<br />

<strong>Winter</strong> <strong>2019</strong> 23

A Working<br />

<strong>Grand</strong>mother<br />

When I think back to when I was growing<br />

up in the 1960s and 70s, I don’t ever<br />

remember my grandparents working.<br />

For one thing, they seemed really old, but I<br />

suppose from a child’s perspective, anyone<br />

over 25 fell into that category. I also had no real<br />

appreciation that my grandparents could have<br />

any kind of life outside of being our Gramma<br />

and Grampa. After all, they were always home<br />

whenever we dropped by.<br />

When I became a first-time grandmother<br />

four years ago, I was sorely disappointed to<br />

find myself still in the workforce. In fact, I was<br />

still in a full-time job. Granted, I hadn’t started<br />

my career until after my own children were<br />

both in school, but it still bothered me that I<br />

couldn’t be the type of grandparent I wanted<br />

to be. Unfortunately, in my case, working is<br />

an economic reality, and if I am honest with<br />

myself, I like my job, but there are times when<br />

I wish I didn’t have to work.<br />

My grandson’s other grandmother is a stayat-home<br />

mom, so she is the main caregiver<br />

when my daughter-in-law goes to work. At<br />

first, I struggled with that; I had to cope with<br />

the inevitable feelings of envy and resentment,<br />

but with time, came acceptance. After all,<br />

there’s no sense in railing against what I cannot<br />

change. Instead, I simply try to make the<br />

most of the time I do have with my grandson.<br />

I am fortunate to have considerable flexibility<br />

with my job. I’m usually able to schedule<br />

days off whenever I want, so I often spend<br />

a few days a month with my grandson. I<br />

always look forward to those special days.<br />

In the beginning, I worried that at my age, I<br />

wouldn’t be up for an entire day of caring for<br />

a little one. And of course, I fretted over any<br />

bumps or falls on my watch. Athough I’m<br />

often exhausted at the end of a day, it’s a good<br />

kind of exhaustion. I wouldn’t trade our days<br />

together for anything, and I mean anything.<br />

When we’re together, I try to make the<br />

most of our time; I comb local publications<br />

and event calendars for festivals, concerts,<br />

or any other special event I think he might<br />

enjoy. More often than not though, we simply<br />

spend our days at local playgrounds, parks, and<br />

beaches, even in inclement weather—after all,<br />

puddles are for splashing!<br />

Several years ago, I opted to sell my car so<br />

now I travel everywhere by bus. Doing so has<br />

provided a “window on the world” of sorts for<br />

my little grandson. He always sees new and<br />

interesting faces, he practices his manners<br />

with the bus driver, he is proud of his budding<br />

independence handling public transport, and<br />

there’s the added bonus when it comes to the<br />

ride home after a busy day, it never fails to lull<br />

my little charge to sleep.<br />

One of my favourite things to do with my<br />

grandson is have him for sleepovers on the<br />

weekends. This gives his parents a muchneeded<br />

break and I am able to spend more<br />

than just a few hours with him. We have<br />

begun to establish routines at Nonna’s house<br />

so he knows what to expect, and I’m pleased<br />

to see how comfortable he is at my place. As<br />

he gets older, I plan to involve him more in<br />

the preparation of simple meals and baking,<br />

something I regret not teaching my own sons.<br />

Susan<br />

Gnucci<br />

Although I am not a proponent of electronics<br />

with children, I do see the value in things<br />

like Skype and Facetime as they allow working<br />

grandparents or grandparents who live away<br />

from their grandchildren to keep in touch at<br />

the click of a button. I have a colleague whose<br />

parents live out of the country, so they Skype<br />

together almost every night at dinnertime.<br />

Originally, it was used as a way to keep their<br />

toddler at the dinner table, but it soon became<br />

a nightly ritual, and although it is a commitment,<br />

it has been invaluable in nurturing their<br />

relationship despite the thousands of miles<br />

between them.<br />

Photobooks are another excellent way to<br />

strengthen relationships between grandparents<br />

and grandchildren when they are able<br />

to spend time together. Most children love<br />

books of any sort and are especially fascinated<br />

if a book is about them. My daughter-in-law<br />

lovingly creates family photobooks that<br />

prominently feature my grandson. Spending<br />

time going through these with him, pointing<br />

things out, reminiscing, and asking him questions<br />

is an excellent way to forge and reinforce<br />

our family ties.<br />

Short of winning a lottery or having a longlost,<br />

wealthy relative come out of the woodwork—not<br />

much chance of that, I’m afraid—I<br />

must face facts: I am a working grandmother.<br />

I do know my grandson appreciates the effort<br />

I make to spend ti me with him when he races<br />

to greet me and exuberantly wraps his little<br />

arms tightly around neck as only a young child<br />

can. There’s no better thank you than that.<br />

Susan Gnucci is a local author and a<br />

proud “nonna” to an adorable four-yearold<br />

grandson. She enjoys sharing her<br />

experiences as a first-time grandparent.<br />

24 Island <strong>Grand</strong>parent

Fun Things to Do<br />

with Your <strong>Grand</strong>kids<br />

Pack a Picnic. Kids love getting involved,<br />

so harness that enthusiasm to<br />

create a special picnic. Baking cookies<br />

or muffins, making sandwiches, or<br />

making lemonade, not to mention helping<br />

to clean up afterwards are fun activities<br />

that will give them ownership of<br />

their food and make it more appealing.<br />

Dance with Them. Preschoolers love<br />

dancing, so put on your favourite music<br />

(bonus if you still have a record player<br />

because they’ll be fascinated by the old<br />

technology) and show them your best<br />

moves.<br />

Revive a Forgotten Craft. If there’s an<br />

activity you used to love when you were<br />

a child, why not have a go at teaching it<br />

to them. From flower-pressing to stamp<br />

collecting, you may just discover a new<br />

convert.<br />

Share Your Passion. Whether it’s gardening,<br />

fishing, crosswords or riding<br />

a unicycle while juggling, show your<br />

grandchildren what you love doing and<br />

get them involved. It may turn out to be<br />

a way to maintain the relationship once<br />

they get older and start spending more<br />

time doing activities outside the family.<br />

Look through your Photograph Album.<br />

If you have pictures of their mom<br />

or dad, or even yourself, at the same<br />

age as your grandchild, they will be fascinated<br />

to see what they looked like and<br />

how they dressed. Talk about what life<br />

was like back then.<br />

Dress Up. Play dress ups with your<br />

grandkids. Let them pick outfits for<br />

themselves and you. If you are feeling<br />

particularly brave, you can even let<br />

them “help” you put on make-up.<br />

Write a Story. Make a book. Grab some<br />

paper and crayons and start crafting a<br />

tale. If they’re young, they can dictate<br />

the words to you as you write them<br />

down, and then they can create the pictures<br />

to match.<br />

Dig Out Those Old Toys. If you have<br />

hung on to yours or your children’s old<br />

toys and they are not too fragile, there’s<br />

still plenty of play left in them. Just be<br />

mindful of the fact that safety standards<br />

have changed a lot since then, and supervise<br />

their play. Beware of potential<br />

choking hazards. Lead-based paint was<br />

once commonly used on toys, so it’s<br />

probably best to keep old toy cars or<br />

painted wooden toys out of reach.<br />

Write a Letter. Help your grandchildren<br />

write a letter to someone, show<br />

them how to address the envelope, buy<br />

and stick on a stamp and walk it to the<br />

post box.<br />

From Caring for Kids, caring4kids.com.au.<br />

Every year, donations to the Victoria Hospitals Foundation help fund<br />

hundreds of pieces of equipment that contribute to faster diagnosis and<br />

more efficient treatment at Royal Jubilee, Victoria General and Gorge Road<br />

hospitals, in every area of care. The generosity of donors is vital, and allows<br />

our hospitals to stay on the leading edge to provide the best patient care.<br />

www.victoriahf.ca<br />

250-519-1750 Wilson Block, 1952 Bay St, Victoria, BC, V8R 1J8<br />

Island <strong>Grand</strong>parents 2018.indd 1<br />

For that, we are grateful.<br />



Join other families with children<br />

ages 8-12 who want to be on a<br />

healthy weight and healthy lifestyle path.<br />

Build skills to:<br />

• Support your family’s health and quality of life<br />

• Eat healthy and be more active<br />

• Promote positive mental and social health<br />

To find out more about this FREE 10 week program:<br />

1-888-650-3141<br />

familyhealthyliving@uvic.ca<br />

www.familyhealthyliving.ca<br />

Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/familyhealthylivingprogram<br />

Follow us on Twitter: @famhlthyliving<br />

Follow us on Instagram: @familyhealthylivingprogram<br />

2018-12-03 3:14 PM<br />


JANUARY <strong>2019</strong><br />

Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre<br />

IslandParent.ca<br />

<strong>Winter</strong> <strong>2019</strong> 25


Pools &<br />

Recreation<br />

Parks &<br />

Playgrounds<br />

Museums<br />

Historical Sites • Entertainment<br />

& Much More<br />

Pick up Your Copy of the<br />

Kids’ Guide<br />

to Vancouver Island!<br />

Great Bear Rainforest<br />

opening in early <strong>2019</strong><br />

In Defence of<br />

Homework<br />

My grandkids have informed me that<br />

there is now a “no homework” policy<br />

in their elementary school. I find that<br />

unfortunate.<br />

Parental Bonding Assisted<br />

I can remember, years ago, the fun my dad<br />

and I had studying spelling. My teacher assigned<br />

a weekly spelling list. I would study it<br />

solo, riding home on the school bus, Monday<br />

to Wednesday. Thursday was the big night. My<br />

dad would ask me all the words and “coach”<br />

me on any that I missed. I was praised if I had<br />

a perfect score. It wasn’t only homework,<br />

it was a great exercise in parental bonding.<br />

Me ol’ dad, nearly 60 years old when he<br />

had us two kids, was born on the Prairies in<br />

1892. He had little formal education, but he<br />

had learned to read well. He treasured education<br />

above all else. He knew reams of poetry,<br />

was a self-taught Biblical scholar, and knew<br />

a huge repertoire of songs.<br />

Just<br />

*<br />

$<br />

51 .25<br />

® Unlimited entrance to traditional<br />

films - both 2D & 3D<br />

® $ 6 .50 admission to Hollywood<br />

Feature Films ( $ 7 .50 3D)<br />

Includes the <strong>2019</strong> film festival and the upcoming<br />

Great Bear Rainforest, Super Power Dogs and more<br />

IMAX ® is a registered trademark of IMAX Corporation.<br />

250-480-4887<br />

imaxvictoria.com<br />

Open evenings<br />

Limited<br />

Quantities<br />

*Includes many benefits, does not include GST.<br />

So every September when we were given<br />

our textbooks, my father eagerly read them,<br />

often before we could get our hands on them.<br />

He’d quiz us on everything from the history of<br />

Canada to basic arithmetic facts. It is a shame<br />

that this opportunity for parents to bond with<br />

their children is less likely.<br />

More Basic Facts Learned<br />

I am sure that because of my assigned<br />

“homework,” particularly with spelling and<br />

math facts, I learned more. And having a<br />

parent at home drilling those facts (as well<br />

as memorized poetry and the like) into my<br />

26 Island <strong>Grand</strong>parent

head gave the teacher assistance in teaching.<br />

It also gave me an advantage in earning<br />

higher grades.<br />

Kids Constructively Occupied<br />

Over the past few decades, kids have been<br />

dismissed from school earlier and earlier. My<br />

grandkids get out at 1:17 p.m. on Mondays<br />

and 2:17 p.m. Tuesday to Friday. I understand<br />

that some high schools get out even earlier<br />

on Fridays. If the average student goes to bed<br />

around 9-ish, that gives him/her approximately<br />

seven hours to float around.<br />

Joy<br />

Glover<br />

Sheldon<br />

When<br />

Relationships<br />

Matter<br />

Professional, affordable, impartial, and ethical service.<br />

Delivered in an inclusive and culturally sensitive manner,<br />

to help build healthy connection and community.<br />

Life Skill Training<br />

Family Mediation<br />

Neighbour Disputes<br />

Parent Coaching<br />

Youth Reconnection Dialogue<br />

Discernment Counselling<br />

Rethink.<br />

Relearn.<br />

Resolve.<br />

To learn more, visit our website at<br />

dialogueandresolutionservices.ca or call 250-383-4412<br />

102–2220 Sooke Rd, Victoria BC V9B 0G9 | office@dialogueandresolutionservices.ca<br />

Funded by the Province of British Columbia, United Way, Victoria Foundation, City of Colwood, Victoria Family Court and Youth Justice Committee<br />

Structured Time<br />

They say that kids today have trouble using<br />

their time constructively. They get too much<br />

screen time. They are not good at self-regulation<br />

or personal timetabling. Homework<br />

time, which my dad always set between 7 and<br />

8 p.m. (before the Ed Sullivan Show started!),<br />

gave us needed structure. Perhaps it helped<br />

me learn how to organize my day, a crucial<br />

skill for school teachers, like me, and other<br />

professionals.<br />

Sleep Aid<br />

And finally, homework time may even aid<br />

sleep. I realize some families have their children<br />

do homework immediately after school<br />

to make sure that it gets done. Our family<br />

had snack and play time immediately after<br />

school. Homework time was relegated to that<br />

half- to one-hour span after supper. It settled<br />

us in for the night even if we were allowed to<br />

watch some TV afterwards. It gave us some<br />

downtime after the active day and afternoon<br />

of bike-riding, chores and wading in creeks.<br />

Yes, the times were different then. But I’m<br />

not sure that some of these so-called modern<br />

innovations are for the best. Removing homework<br />

from the public school system would<br />

probably makes life a little easier for both<br />

parents and teacher—in terms of assigning,<br />

regulating, and marking it—but is it better<br />

for the students?<br />

Joy Glover Sheldon is a GRG—<strong>Grand</strong>parent<br />

Raising <strong>Grand</strong>children—and worked<br />

as an elementary school teacher-librarian<br />

for 25 years.<br />


EASY TO USE,<br />


NO<br />


NEEDED<br />

For Dog Owners who<br />

want Convenience<br />

and Affordability<br />

Shampoo<br />

Condition<br />

Flea Shampoo<br />

Blow Dry<br />

602b Esquimalt Road<br />

Victoria, BC<br />

250-217-9433<br />

Open Daily 6am–11pm<br />

IslandParent.ca<br />

<strong>Winter</strong> <strong>2019</strong> 27

Photo: Capital Regional District<br />

I Belong Here<br />

Nurturing a sense of place in kids<br />

Sense of place. Have you heard this phrase?<br />

I have heard many people referring to<br />

“sense of place” recently. Teachers, early<br />

childhood educators, friends and co-workers<br />

are talking about place and its relevance<br />

to their work with children. Sense of place<br />

features strongly in classrooms throughout<br />

the province, as students work to understand<br />

their connection with local environments.<br />

Although it is new terminology to me, the<br />

concept is familiar.<br />

Dr. Thomas A. Woods, president of Making<br />

Sense of Place, Inc., provides this definition:<br />

“People develop a sense of place through<br />

experience and knowledge of a particular area.<br />

A sense of place emerges through knowledge<br />

of the history, geography and geology of an<br />

area, its flora and fauna, the legends of a place,<br />

and a growing sense of the land and its history<br />

after living there for a time.”<br />

Many adults recall places in their childhoods.<br />

Close your eyes and think of locations<br />

that were important to you growing up. Was<br />

there a little creek you loved exploring?<br />

A favourite tree or place to build a fort? A<br />

backyard where you played with friends? A<br />

grandparent’s home or school playground?<br />

What memories do you attach to these places?<br />

What significance do they hold for you?<br />

Chances are that you have strong emotional<br />

connections to special areas from your childhood.<br />

Emotional attachment associated with<br />

these experiences give places meaning. We all<br />

hold special connections to places.<br />

A sense of place does not just happen. It<br />

takes time and effort. If you have ever traveled<br />

or moved homes then you know all about this.<br />

The more time you spend in an area, the more<br />

deeply rooted you become to that region. Repeat<br />

experiences provide the opportunity to<br />

gain more familiarity and help create a history.<br />

You can look back and have fond memories of<br />

events or interactions. The way we perceive<br />

these places influences our well-being, how<br />

we describe and interact with a place, what<br />

we value in a place, our respect for nature and<br />

other species in that place.<br />

Why is sense of place important? These are<br />

just some of the reasons:<br />

• establishes knowledge of and appreciation<br />

for nature<br />

• supports the development of personal<br />

identity<br />

• inspires greater independence<br />

• inspires stewardship<br />

• nurtures empathy<br />

• nurtures connections with friends, teachers<br />

and members of the community<br />

• improves mental health<br />

• improves physical health<br />

1. Start with the nature right in your<br />

backyard.<br />

2. Inspire a sense of wonder by observing<br />

with children and asking lots of questions.<br />

Katie<br />

Turner<br />

3. Have fun with some nature crafts and<br />

activities.<br />

4. Let children explore their surrounding<br />

nature. and discover their own special places.<br />

5. Start a nature journal or scrap book.<br />

6. Make a map of your yard, street neighbourhood.<br />

7. Copy a map of your town and draw pictures<br />

of places on it.<br />

8. Write a poem about a special place.<br />

9. Talk about the significance of local places.<br />

10. Learn about the history of your town.<br />

11. Read stories about the area you live in.<br />

12. Frequent your local museum and nature<br />

centre.<br />

13. Enjoy playful experiences outside.<br />

14. Learn the names of local plants and<br />

animals.<br />

15. Find a favourite natural spot and visit it<br />

frequently throughout the seasons.<br />

Children need to foster relationships with<br />

places; specifically, relationships with places<br />

that have the complexities found in nature.<br />

These early relationships with special places<br />

create memories that adults may draw upon<br />

for a foundation and a sense of self, well-being<br />

and belonging.<br />

Helping people connect to natural places is<br />

why I love working as a CRD Regional Parks<br />

Naturalist. Whether belly laughing while doing<br />

the slug dance at Devonian Regional Park<br />

or quietly admiring the 500-year-old giant<br />

Douglas fir trees at Francis/King Regional<br />

Park, these experiences all help me and others<br />

develop a sense of place.<br />

If you are new to the Victoria area, or have<br />

yet to discover our regional parks system, take<br />

part in a nature outing or event in a regional<br />

park is a great way to initiate or deepen your<br />

sense of belonging to the place you live.<br />

Katie Turner is a Regional Parks Naturalist<br />

with the Capital Regional District.<br />

crd.bc.ca/parks.<br />

28 Island <strong>Grand</strong>parent

Read,<br />

Speak,<br />

Sing<br />

Babies need to hear and use sounds, sound<br />

patterns and spoken language. This helps<br />

prepare them to eventually learn to read<br />

printed words.<br />

Here, from Canadian Paediatric Society,<br />

are some tips on how you can help provide<br />

these opportunities for your grandchildren.<br />

Read to your grandchildren. This will<br />

help nurture a love of reading. Even very<br />

young babies love picture books.<br />

Use rhymes, games and songs. Babies<br />

respond to them almost from birth. They<br />

don’t need to understand the words for these<br />

moments to be learning experiences.<br />

Talk about what’s going on. Whether<br />

you’re just sitting together or taking a walk,<br />

use words that describe the actions and the<br />

things around you.<br />

Babies babble. It’s how they learn to make<br />

sounds with their own voices. Repeat these<br />

sounds, and turn them into real words. You’ll<br />

help your grandbaby recognize which sounds<br />

form language.<br />

Ask questions. When you say, “What’s<br />

that?” and name the picture in a book, it<br />

teaches babies that things have names.<br />

Encourage involvement. Babies like to<br />

put books in their mouths, so be sure you<br />

provide sturdy and clean board books.<br />

Sing songs. Music makes the words easier<br />

to remember, and is a fun way to make language<br />

come alive for you and your grandchild.<br />

Visit the public library. Even babies<br />

can get a library card! There are lots of free<br />

resources to encourage a baby’s love of reading.<br />

Ask a librarian for ideas.<br />

Provide face-to-face interactions. For<br />

children under two years old, screen time<br />

is not recommended. Turn off background<br />

screens (TVs, etc) so you’re not distracted.<br />

Keep books visible and accessible<br />

around your home —not just on bookshelves<br />

—so your baby can explore them anytime.<br />

Have fun. Cuddle, gaze at each other, use<br />

silly voices as you enjoy books and conversations<br />

with your baby.<br />

For more tips on how you can help<br />

promote literacy from birth, visit caringforkids.cps.ca.<br />

IslandParent.ca<br />

<strong>Winter</strong> <strong>2019</strong> 29

Day Tripper<br />

5 Fun things to do in Parksville-Qualicum<br />

With so much to do and see, Parksville-Qualicum is the perfect day-trip destination.<br />

Here are only a few grand-parent and grand-kid-approved ideas.<br />

Lighthouse Country Beaches. North of Qualicum, the beaches become narrower, the<br />

stretches of sand replaced by sprawling beds of wave-washed rock. Turn over stones and<br />

watch the crabs scuttle away. And keep your eyes peeled, these northern beaches are prime<br />

for beachcombing.<br />

Nile Creek Estuary, near Bowser offers great views of the Chrome Island lighthouse. Sea<br />

lions, seals, cruise ships and even the rare passing pod of killer whales are among the sights,<br />

and that makes binoculars and a digital camera essential.<br />

Qualicum Beach. Take a walk in the Heritage Forest of Qualicum Beach, 50 acres of rare<br />

remnant old growth forest—a mixture of Coastal Douglas fir, Western red cedar, hemlock,<br />

grand fir and Sitka spruce. Walk along the mulch trails and peer down a lush ravine into a<br />

salmon bearing stream. Only five minutes from downtown, the Qualicum Beach Heritage<br />

Forest is protected by a covenant to ensure that it remains as an ecological reserve, available<br />

to all for the purpose of observing and appreciating nature.<br />

<strong>Grand</strong>parent<br />

I S L A N D<br />

W I N T E R 2 0 1 9<br />

10<br />

THINGS<br />

to Do with Your<br />

<strong>Grand</strong>kids<br />

I Belong Here<br />

Nurturing a sense of place in kids<br />

Please visit any<br />

of our valued<br />

partners to pick up<br />

your latest copy of<br />

Island <strong>Grand</strong>parent.<br />


Thrifty Foods<br />

Fairway Market<br />

Real Canadian<br />

Superstore<br />

Save-On-Foods<br />

(except Westside)<br />

Lifestyle Market<br />

Country Grocer<br />

(Esquimalt & Royal Oak)<br />

Quality Foods<br />

Market on Yates<br />

& Millstream<br />

Western Foods<br />

Recreation Centres<br />

Public Libraries<br />

Serious Coffee<br />

Victoria Gymnastics<br />

SOOKE<br />

Western Foods<br />

Village Foods<br />

Seaparc Recreation<br />

DUNCAN<br />

Thrifty Foods<br />

Save-On-Foods<br />

Real Canadian<br />

Superstore<br />

49th Parallel<br />

Public Library<br />


49th Parallel<br />

Public Library<br />


Aitken & Fraser<br />

Grocery<br />

Community Centre<br />

Kerry Park<br />

Recreation<br />


Save-On-Foods<br />

49th Parallel<br />

Public Library<br />


Thrifty Foods<br />

Fairway Market<br />

Quality Foods<br />

Save-On-Foods<br />


Thrifty Foods<br />

Quality Foods<br />

Parksville Centre<br />

For a complete list of where you can find a copy visit<br />

islandparent.ca<br />

Ad Directory<br />

Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park. Spectacular views await at this picturesque<br />

Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park filled with waterfalls, rock cliffs and trails. Located just<br />

off Highway 4 where Cameron Lake empties into the Little Qualicum River over a series of<br />

rushing waterfalls, this park offers plenty of activities, and makes a great base while visiting<br />

Cathedral Grove, Cameron Lake or accessing the Mt. Arrowsmith CPR regional trail.<br />

Cathedral Grove-MacMillan Provincial Park. Cathedral Grove-MacMillan Provincial<br />

Park is located at the top end of Cameron Lake, only minutes from Qualicum Beach and<br />

Parksville on Highway 4 just beyond Coombs. Cathedral Grove is a BC Provincial Park<br />

preserving a section of lush old-growth forest that is unique to Vancouver Island. Plan to<br />

spend a few hours wandering the trail system and gazing up at 800-year-old giant Douglas<br />

fir trees. Cathedral Grove gives visitors a sense of what Vancouver Island and the west coast<br />

looked like long ago.<br />

Parksville & Rathtrevor Beaches. Parksville Community Park is a kid’s wonderland<br />

of swings, slides and water cannons in addition to great picnicking and beachfront options.<br />

Stroll the waterfront boardwalk or the sandy stretch of seashore where you’ll all have more<br />

than enough room to run off some steam.<br />

Rathtrevor Beach has long and wide tidal pools, making it ideal for the “puddle” jumping.<br />

At low tide, the ocean recedes almost a kilometer back from Rathtrevor’s shoreline.<br />

Reprinted with permission from Parksville Qualicum Beach Tourism. For more<br />

things to do, visitparksvillequalicumbeach.com. For a list of annual events visit<br />

mypqb.ca/events.<br />

4Children............................................................6<br />

Ballet Victoria................................................ IBC<br />

Blue Vista............................................................9<br />

Brookes.......................................................... IBC<br />

Chemainus Theatre............................................4<br />

Childhood Obesity Foundation.........................25<br />

Children’s Health Foundation of Van Isl........IFC<br />

Cowichan Theatre.............................................15<br />

Curvalicious........................................................8<br />

Dialogue and Resolution Services...................27<br />

Furever Clean...................................................27<br />

IMAX..................................................................26<br />

Kaleidoscope....................................................19<br />

Kool & Child....................................................IFC<br />

Ladysmith Rotary...............................................8<br />

MacDonald Realty..............................................9<br />

Mothering Touch.................................................7<br />

Pacific Christian............................................. BC<br />

Saanich Commonwealth................................IFC<br />

Serious Coffee..................................................29<br />

St. Joseph’s.................................................... IBC<br />

St. Margaret’s School.........................................5<br />

Stages...............................................................17<br />

Swan Lake........................................................13<br />

Torch Light Counselling...................................19<br />

UVic Farquhar...................................................15<br />

Victoria Academy of Ballet.................................3<br />

Victoria Bug Zoo...............................................27<br />

Victoria Hospital Foundation............................25<br />

Victoria Operatic Society..................................29<br />

VIHA...................................................................20<br />

Wee Travel...........................................................4<br />

Westmont Montessori......................................25<br />

30 Island <strong>Grand</strong>parent

St. Joseph’s<br />

Elementary<br />

School<br />

St. Joseph’s Elementary School offers Grades K–7,<br />

as well as licensed Group Day Care and Preschool.<br />

Applications are available on-line or from the school<br />

office. St. Joseph’s offers a rigorous academic<br />

program in a Catholic Christian atmosphere.<br />

757 West Burnside Road 250 479 1232<br />

www.stjosephschool.ca<br />

Come Grow With Us!

enerations of “Educational Excellence to the Glory of God”<br />

PacificChristian.ca 250.479.4532<br />

Generations of “Educational Excellence of to the Glory “Educ<br />

of God”<br />

PacificChristian.ca 250.479.4532<br />


Hooray! Your file is uploaded and ready to be published.

Saved successfully!

Ooh no, something went wrong!