Time to Write

Where do stories come from?

What shape can a story take?

Does your little one love to create? Summer camp is coming soon, so with the help of Word Wrestlers, a creative writing camp at UBC, kids explore the questions above through excursions and experiments. Writing with play in mind – using rhyme, repetition, metaphor, story-telling and the expression of sensory experiences – actively connects kids with language in fresh and unexpected ways.

Five writing experiments to get your brain moving:

  1. Anagram: An anagram is a word or phrase that uses all the letters of another word or phrase in a different order. is an anagram of Word Wrestlers. Use your full name as a way to generate phrases or words. Use these words, and only these words, to make a poem. Add a drawing, if you like, to make it a poem comic!
  1. On Complaining: Set a timer for 2 minutes. Start the timer, and make a list of things you love to complain about. Try for at least 20 things. Green beans. Socks. Bullies. Bed time. Then, re-set your timer for 5 minutes. Choose one subject and write a list of everything you know about that subject. Congratulations! You have made a list poem. (Remember: complaints are even better shared.)
  1. Object. Find a funny or strange object, small enough to fit in a pocket: a felted bunny, a star stamp, a roll of washi tape. Imagine the person who would carry this object around, and write about this character in a notebook: What do they look like? Where do they live? What do they wear, eat, dream? Why do they carry this object with them? Once your character has taken shape, write a 500-word story from their point of view.
  1. Time Machine: Choose a day in the future (20 years, or 40 or maybe only 13). Make a list of 20 detailed events that occur on this very special day. Let your imagination run wild.
  1. Neighborhood Poem: Walk your neighborhood with a notebook in hand. For every block, write a sentence. Each sentence must contain something you’ve noticed that maybe no-one else has, e.g. a neon green pylon, ruby-throated hummingbird, rain gutter full of soft pink petals, deer-hoof imprints in the sidewalk, soap suds from the daily fire-truck hose down. By the time you arrive home, you have made a bonafide poem!

Word Wrestlers is a creative writing summer camp for kids 8 – 12.


Summer Fun at Rocky Mountain Flatbread

Keeping little ones busy during the summer can be a challenge, and there’s always a million extra chores for parents and caregivers. There’s also the need to prepare regular lunches and meals to ensure kids are fed and energized for all that summer fun!

Thankfully, Rocky Mountain Flatbread heeds the call of parents who need to keep the littles busy while also eating some tasty food! Every Wednesday from 11am – 12pm, moms, dads and caregivers can register to take their little one to the restaurant for parent-child workshops! Each week will feature a different activity, be it storytelling, yoga and dance, creating healthy snacks, faceprinting, crafts and tea party dress up events! Parents will have fun with their children participating in an unique activity, while kids will have a blast.

Best of all, stay behind afterwards to have a delicious pizza, full of healthy, local and organic ingredients that keep everyone fuelled and full!

Registration is required and class size is limited so be sure to register at info@rockymountainflatbread.ca to take part in these classes at the Main Street location!


Inspiring Writing Through Play

We turn to stories and poems to be delighted, challenged, understood, transformed. Writing is a place for silliness and sadness, dread and hope, invention and exploration.

“Experience-based learning,” one of today’s education catch-phrases, aims to foster intellectual development by encouraging kids to express themselves through all their natural “languages,” including words, drawing, collage, dramatic play, music and movement. Writing with play in mind by using rhyme, rhythm, repetition, metaphor, story-telling and the expression of sensory experience actively connects kids with language in a fresh and exciting ways.

Time to write! Here’s five fun Word Wrestler drills to get your imagination moving:

  1. Pick a number between one and ten, or roll two dice. Everyone goes away and writes as many words as they can imagine which have that number of letters. E.g. Roll a four: deer, dear, feet, fart, love, … Kids can create a poem or story from these words, or use as a dictionary.
  2. Write a list poem of weird facts. Like, did you know a group of jellyfish is called a bloom? Or if Jupiter was hollowed out, Earth could fit inside it 1321 times?
  3. Take three sentences from a book you love, and use the words in those sentences (and only those words) to make your own ten sentences, repeating the words as often as you like and of course jumbling the order. Nonsense lines are okay!
  4. Write a sentence that includes a fact, and then follow this sentence with a personal statement. Alternate between fact and feeling, trying to build connections between the two, until you have a poem. Give it a title, read it to your friends! e.g. The world’s deepest postbox is 10 meters underwater. I am afraid of the ocean.
  5. Choose a colour. Make ten metaphors that blend the senses: Orange is the sound of my cat mewing in the morning. Orange is a burnt toast smell. Orange is how I feel when I get to stay up late and watch a movie. Draw on all your senses (sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell) to bring your colour to life.

Word Wrestlers is UBC Creative Writing’s new summer camp for kids ages 8-12. The camp will take place on UBC Vancouver’s stunning campus from July 25th-29th and August 8th-12th. Learn more at www.wordwrestlers.com or send an email at wordwrestlers@gmail.com.

Winners in our Summer Fun Facebook Party!

Thank you to everyone who participated in our Summer Fun Facebook Party! We had amazing prizes, great conversation and loads of fun.
Below is a full list of our winners. Thank you to all of our amazing sponsors too!

$50 Hip Baby Gift Card
Winner: Heather Noelle

4 pack of tickets to the PNE/Playland One Day PlayPasses
Winner: Kirsten Fisher

3 Family passes for Pirate Adventures
1. Francesca Murray
2. Lindsay Sutton
3. Lesley Hui Ogden

Buddy Play Package from Goose and Moose
Winner: Ruby Kyte Smith

Super Spinner from Goose and Moose
Winner: Tracy Roper

Limited Edition Camp Pack from Mabel’s Labels
Winner: Joy Logie

2 Family Day Passes to the Vancouver Maritime Museum
1. Sarah Holden Dinsdale
2. Amber Fearnley

Britannia Mine Museum, 2 Family memberships
1. Jenny Cha
2. Jenica Enquist

Vancouver Police Museum Camp for 1 youth, July 15-17
Winner: Kimber Ellie Dawn

One family pass $30 to the Vancouver Police Museum
Winner: Sunshine Hanan


Don’t Miss Our Summer Fun Facebook Party!

On 24 June from 7-8pm, join WestCoast Families for our Summer Fun Facebook Party!

We’re excited to be hosting this event so that our readers can learn all about our amazing local events, service providers and local treasures that make your summer a blast.

We’ve been slowly revealing our prizes on our event page, so check back regularly to see what you can win.

To join the party, click on our Summer Fun Facebook Party link and “attend” the event. The night of, for each prize we’ll ask a question about Summer Fun in the Lower Mainland. Participate in the conversation to be randomly selected at the end of the evening to win a prize.

We look forward to “seeing” you there!