Cool Finds for Travel!

Going away anytime soon? We have the best items for you and your families for your next getaway.

Britax Parkway Booster Seat
Safety is always top priority when it comes to little ones, and Britax’s Parkway Booster is the cream of the crop. It’s super comfortable, but designed to compress in an accident to lower the centre of gravity, ensuring your child is safe and comfy. It’s also super simple to install with just a few clicks.
www.snugglebugz.ca | $200

Pillow Fight Factory Play Date Card
Made right in Vancouver, these fun cards are like a business card for kids! Let them play grown-up by handing out their very own information card, complete with cute designs and illustrations. Kids can connect, email, and get in touch with one another the old-fashioned way! Plus, all card orders come with a mini 3×3 inch tooth fairy pillow with a perfect pouch for lost teeth.
www.pillowfightfactory.com | $40

Consonant Skincare Travel Kit
There’s nothing worse than travelling without your favourite products, stuck with the poor-quality mini bottles doled out at hotels. Thankfully, Consonant Skincare has this handy kit chock full with their bestselling and award-winning goodies: face wash, hand cream, face cream, body lotion and lip conditioner. Pick from one of three scents (or scent free!) to make the most of carry-on baggage with all the necessities tucked in an organic cotton bag.
www.consonantskincare.com | $75

Summer Infant 3Dtote Convenience Stroller
This stroller is great for on-the-go, with more room for you and baby’s things than you could ever imagine! There’s a huge basket for carrying shopping and other items, and it comes with cup holder, which is super convenient. There’s also safety brakes on wheels and it’s super easy to setup and take down, with a handy carrying strap, which is great for travel.
www.summerinfant.com | $130

Summer Infant Pop ‘n Play
Travelling with baby? Then you have to have this ingenious portable baby playpen, complete with a handy overhead cover that acts like an umbrella to protect your child from the sun in outdoor play. It’s nice and big, but folds up small, making it a perfect companion for travel, road trips, and days at the beach.
www.toysrus.ca | $150

Shore Cleanup at Kits Beach

For some, the environment is a passing interest, but for Sara Bauman, it is not only what she loves, but what drives her choices and creativity. Sara has been an avid environmentalist since the ripe age of three. “Balloons are bad,” she said to store clerks who were giving away balloons. “Don’t you know after they deflate they end up in the ocean and hurt animals?” 10 years later, her passion for cleaning up the oceans has only continued. This year, Sara is training for her Bat Mitzvah, the ritual marking a girl’s passage from childhood to adulthood in the Jewish religion. Aside from intense Hebrew and Judiac studies, she has to plan, organize, and execute a community service close to her heart. Naturally, the oceans call and she is cleaning up her favourite Vancouver Beach where she spends many summer days. Join her and her crew clean up Kits Beach and help to celebrate Sara’s fourth beach clean up. The event takes place on April 23rd, from 10am until noon, starting at 1499 Arbutus Street. Meet at the playground and prepare to get to work! Don’t worry about getting dirty either, because tongs, garbage bags, and gloves are all provided. So join the shore cleanup to keep our oceans safe and healthy while supporting Sara in her path to adulthood.

Spring Break 2017!

by Jodi Iverson

After the seemingly endless winter, spring has sprung! The kids will soon be set loose for two weeks and parents across Greater Vancouver are looking for fun, local ways to keep the kids occupied. We have compiled some terrific options for March Break to suit kids who camp and the whole family.

CircusWest
Run away to the circus! CircusWest presents a week-long camp featuring all the favourite circus skills like unicycle, juggling, trapeze, trampoline, and acrobatics. On the final afternoon, the camp culminates with a one-hour show, where the campers present their new skills for friends and family!
www.circuswest.com

TumbleTown
New kid on the block, TumbleTown offers two weeks of half or full day camps for little gymnasts aged three to eight. Expect gymnastics-based days including story, arts, and crafts, games, free play and more!
www.tumbletown.ca

Evergreen Cultural Centre
From stage to studio, Evergreen Cultural Centre is a great choice to inspire your artistic camper. Offering quality week-long camps for artists ages six-16, there’s also tons of excitement at the Spring Break Festival, with three different shows. Remember, Evergreen Cultural centre is easily accessible by the new Evergreen SkyTrain that stops right at their front door!
www.evergreenculturalcentre.ca

Europa
Espanol? Si! Did you know bilingual children have been shown to have better critical thinking skills, which can result in better academic performance? Europa Language School offers your camper the opportunity to have fun as they learn and practise the Spanish language and culture at their beautiful new Coquitlam campus.
www.europals.ca

Burnaby 8 Rinks
Have a future Canuck or Whitecap in your house? 8 Rinks Hockey and Multi Sport camps feature professional instruction and the opportunity to hone budding athletic skills in a fun and active environment.
www.icesports.com 

Jump Gymnastics
Jump Gymnastics is a leader in children’s physical literacy and offers full day spring break camps in a positive and safe environment for kids ages three to seven in both their North Vancouver and Yaletown locations. Camps include fundamental movement skills in the gym, cooking, crafts, stories, and outings!
www.jumpgymnastics.ca

Burnaby Village Museum’s Heritage Adventure Camps
“History Comes to Life” for campers at Burnaby Village Museum! This year they are offering 12 days of fun, featuring heritage games, arts and crafts, vintage toys, free carousel rides and more.
www.burnabyvillagemuseum.ca

Gulf of Georgia Cannery
In celebration of Canadas 150th anniversary, visit the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site in Steveston for free during Spring Break. There are fun activities like crafts, games, and machine demos for kids of all ages! Pick up a Parks Canada Xplorer activity booklet and learn more about Canada’s west coast fishing industry!
www.gulfofgeorgiacannery.org

Vancouver Phoenix Gymnastics
Join Vancouver Phoenix Gymnastics for two weeks of gymnastics day camps including gymnastics skills building and various themed activities. They offer camps for all ages, toddler to teen. Full and half days available with a before and after care camp option as well! Kids will love the fun tumbling and physical fun.
www.phoenixgymnastics.com

Healthy Family Expo!

Are you looking for small steps to healthier, more active, eco-friendly family living?WCF - 200 x 100 #2 for blog post

Healthy Family Expo has the answers for busy Metro Vancouver parents at the Vancouver Convention Centre on Sunday, March 26th!

THIS EVENT TURNS THE TYPICAL EXPO ON ITS HEAD! Parents can taste and shop their way around 200+ exhibitors, including the Whole Foods Market Zone, London Drugs Health Zone, Toyota Outdoor Living Zone, West Coast Kids Healthy Baby Zone, Green Living Zone and more. But it’s the kids who will be blown away by the enormous Active Kid Zone, with a giant hamster ball track, rock climbing wall, Springfree Trampolines, run bike and sportball areas, Tumblebus & TumbleTown, Science World fireball show, Vancouver Aquarium AquaVan, Bobs & LoLo and Jessie Farrell concerts and very popular meet & greets with CBC Kids favourites Daniel Tiger & Super WHY!

Mark your calendar for Sunday, March 26th and grab your 2-for-1 Expo tickets online for a limited time with promo code WCF241, and you will be entered to win the early bird Springfree Trampoline prize! First 200 adults through the door will receive an adult ticket to Science World and partial proceeds of ticket sales support the Canadian Autism Network.

WCF - 200 x 200 #1 for blog postSharing is caring, so the Healthy Family Expo is giving away thousands in pre-expo prizes leading up to the $15,000 Grand Prize Showcase to be won at the main event on March 26th, including a one-year lease on a Toyota Prius c.

To get involved in the fun:

  1. Join the Expo Facebook Event to RSVP to win thousands in prizes from Expo partners at their March 23rd Facebook Party!
  2. Grab 2-for-1 Expo tickets for a limited time using promo code WCF241 (click for tickets!).
  3. Grab VIP Expo tickets to get a loaded gift bag and skip the line at the door! Only 100 available (click for tickets!).

Lighthouse Labs Teaches Teachers Coding

By now, we’ve all heard about the benefits of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) in the classroom and beyond. This section makes up a large portion of jobs for the current and next generation, and understanding these areas of learning make for more stable futures for children. The BC curriculum has been changed as of recently, meaning all students will be learning coding skills by the end of grade nine. “Preparing our kids for their future is our most important job, and getting teachers trained to teach coding and the new curriculum is just one way we are doing that,” said Mike Bernier, Minister of Education. To help introduce these technologies to teachers, Lighthouse Labs has been called on to provide a learning opportunity for British Columbia teachers to gain insight into specialized coding. In partnership with Kids Code Jeunesse, these two-day workshops are intensive training opportunities so that teachers can pass on new digital literacy to the children in their classrooms. All Lower Mainland districts have been welcomed to the sessions, which began in November. Even for students not interested in STEM, learning these elements of education opens their minds to new possibilities and teaches analytical thinking and problem-solving.

www.lighthouselabs.ca

Choosing the Right School with Brockton

North Vancouver’s Brockton School Weighs in on this Significant Consideration 

Selecting with whom to entrust your child for their schooling is never easy and always significant. From the age of 3 through to 18, the choices we make for our children will have profound impacts on their development, their future opportunities, and to varying extents, the direction of the society within which they live.

Public or private, small or large, near or far, traditional or innovative, outcome focussed or process focussed, academically rigorous or holistically balanced… there are so many considerations.

QUESTION: In a time when it is impossible to predict the future for our children, a time when there is such uncertainty in the world, a time when knowing what is ‘best’ is not always easy, how do we choose a school that will best support our child?

ANSWER: It depends. It depends on your priorities (what do you want for your child; what is your definition of success). It depends on your child (what are his/her needs and ambitions). It depends on your options (what is available and what are the pros/cons of each option).

To be certain, in the years ahead, your child will need a toolkit on which they can rely – a toolkit that will survive (and thrive through) a myriad of circumstances. Yes – your child will need a basic education with essential knowledge and skills, but beyond this, your child will need: a sense of belonging, community, compassion; a sense of who they are and their responsibility in the world; a sense of vision and action; a sense of courage and character, and more. Your child will need a school that recognizes, values, and nurtures them as a uniquely special individual and walks with them on their journey.

Brockton School (JK-grade 12, IB Continuum, co-ed day school) invites families to converse more about the options that exist. Contact Brockton School at: brocktonschool.com

Literacy With YouTube

It’s no secret that kids love technology. With endless ways to stream content—phones, computers, tablets and televisions—it can be hard to pry kids from the screen. Thankfully, there are many educational offerings that allow kids not only to learn new and interesting information but also be entertained and engaged. YouTube Kids is especially aware of the power of video when it comes to tapping the minds of children. Since Family Literacy Day falls in January, for Literacy Month YouTube Kids will be posting a series of educational videos and tools that will feature learning language playlists and tons of fun content to keep little brains busy. Kids can cruise through the countless options that will teach the alphabet, sentences, and include immersive videos from children’s favourite online characters. In such a multicultural area like the Lower Mainland, kids can access videos on a variety of languages, from Mandarin to Japanese to Hindi and Russian! All families need to do is search for videos using the hashtag, #LearnALanguage or check out the in-app Learning tab to search. For more information check out kids.youtube.com

Local Book for Literacy Month: Chester Gets a Pet!

This is literacy month, and we’re keen to help our readers check out local books that are fun, entertaining and informative. Books don’t get much more local than Timbertown Tales: Chester Gets a Pet. 

If you live in Vancouver, you might be familiar with designer, Judson Beaumont, and his unique shop, Straight Line Design, where furniture looks ready to come to life. His creations are anything but straight lines, and this adorable tale tells the story of quirky furniture characters making friendships. For local literature lovers, this book is a find!

Deep in a forest just north, south, east, or west of where you live, there’s a small, almost-hidden town that might be a lot like yours: Timbertown. Welcome to the first title in the “Timbertown Tales” series, which features award-winning designer Judson Beaumont’s fantastic pieces as characters who definitely have lives of their own…

Chester O’Drawers Teakson wants a pet, but his parents just don’t think he’s old enough yet. So, Chester has to find a way to prove that he’s ready and responsible. Then along comes Sandy. Is she a kitten? No. Is she a goldfish? Nope. But she does have four legs, a lovely smooth finish, and a whole lot of puppy-like energy. Now Chester realizes that maybe — just maybe — his parents were right!

The book came out in November and is great for all ages, so snap up a copy for just $20! Want to buy Chester Gets a Pet? Visit the publisher’s website here or go to your local bookstore.

Play Grant for Britannia Community Services!

For some kids, the opportunity to play is limited by finances, location and safe locations. Physical literacy is vital for children to develop appropriately and learn to live healthy lifestyles as adults. Answering the call is RBC and their Learn to Play grants, which support kids and youth in sport and recreation. The grants go towards teaching children to play through jumping, swimming, skating and more, mastering movement skills and building confidence while growing physical strength.

The Britannia Community Services Centre is the latest recipient of a $9,450 grant, part of which will go to the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society’s Learn to Skate program, which will provide urban Aboriginal children, tweens, teens and youth with an opportunity to learn how to skate while also encouraging future participation in the sport. “By providing organizations with the funding and resources to teach kids basic skills, we’ve been able to empower them to feel confident and competent to move their bodies, engage in sport and create lifelong relationships with physical activity,” said Elio Antunes, President and CEO, ParticipACTION. Not only will kids benefit from the grant but so will the greater community as a whole. Congrats to the centre for their grant!

Christmas at Hycroft!

You will LOVE Christmas at Hycroft! There’s loads to see and do as you wander through all the nooks and crannies of the beautiful Edwardian mansion. Learn about this stunning building in the centre of Vancouver that has been a part of local history, and mystery too! (Word has it that the place is haunted…)

Inside you’ll find ALL THREE FLOORS decked in seasonal splendour thanks to our fabulous in-house decorators and corporate decorators, and the excellent variety of unique boutiques, crafters and over 25 local Artisans. Outside, Hycroft’s  Courtyard is a buzz of activity with entertainment, vendors, Emelle’s Catering Trailer and the traditional “Kitchen Creations” located in the Coach House. Don’t miss all those tasty snacks!

Tickets are $15 per person, but kids under 13 are free. The event runs from November 17th-20th and is open daily from 11am to 9pm and Sunday from 11am-6pm. For more information, visit Christmas at Hycroft.