The school year is wrapping up and summer is almost upon us. What to do? Where to go? How to spend 8 weeks of “free” time? In this issue, we’ve included our annual Summer Camp Guide to give you some tips on how to fill the days. You can also find tips on things to do while camping, and how to make sure you’re ready for a day at the beach. If you have a birthday coming up, we’ve included tips on party planning. Aside from fun things to do, make sure you read an important article from BC Children’s Hospital on how to help your children grow up cavity free!
Every Summer, we deliberate what activities will fill our children’s day. Will the activities be the usual playtime, snack time, etc. or will they be learning something new? How about something new like a skateboard and scooter camp?
If you haven’t heard of it yet, BC has a new addition to Summer Camp options with Evolve Camps. If your child is a little more adventurous and is looking for something to challenge them, Evolve is definitely a good fit! It’s also a perfect fit for children who want to skateboard or do more challenging scooter tricks, but don’t have a parent that is equally adventurous or skilled to teach them.
At an Evolve Camp, boys and girls aged 6-14 get a tour of their area and its different skateparks, with a new location every day of the week! The Evolve buses are on the road by 7:30 in the morning to pick up campers from a convenient pickup spot near you, then transport them to a skatepark for the day. Campers work side-by-side with qualified coaches to develop a strong skateboarding or scootering foundation throughout the week. Each day campers receive personalized instruction and participate in lots of other fun activities like a yoga-based warm-up to ensure the ultimate Evolve experience. And based on the parent testimonials, the Evolve experience is one that can’t be missed.
“We think Evolve has a great thing going here. That the kids are given the opportunity to try new skateparks across the city and consequently gain a huge amount of confidence is just excellent. And to be outdoors all day is the best.”
– Valerie R. (Calgary, AB)
Action Sports camps are a way forward. From Taekwondo, Mountain Biking, to now Skateboarding and Scooting, action sports camps provide an opportunity for children to get new experiences, gain confidence, and most importantly, have fun!
Evolve Camps was founded by three skateboarders who grew up skateboarding and participating in action sports so they know their stuff. Recognizing there were no camps or places to participate in skateboarding/scootering lessons, co-founder Daniel Rinzler started the camp to increase the growth of all action sports for kids in a safe environment. They started off with just 8 campers in Ontario and over the last 10 years and camps have been so popular they have brought the program to British Columbia including Richmond, Vancouver, Kamloops, Kelowna, and Whistler. They also offer courses across Alberta and, of course, throughout Ontario with future plans to expand to other Provinces and California in the future.
So as you’re contemplating what to book for your child this summer, think outside the norm and see if your child would like to give skateboarding a try. Let them try out some much needed, risky play and learn some new skills.
Jigsaw Casting Ltd. is seeking Families Across Canada that use their Nintendo Switch in Unique Ways for an Upcoming Campaign!
They are looking for families that have made Nintendo Switch a part of their everyday lives. How do you use your Nintendo Switch System to connect as a family? What exciting features help bring you closer together? Where does the console take you?
They are looking for confident, fun loving, enthusiastic, emotional families. Open to all ages, genders, and backgrounds. Must be owners and players of Nintendo Switch.
1. Parents and their young kids. Children must be 6 years or older.
2. Parents and their preteens and/or teenagers.
3. Open to a group of people (groups of 3 or 4). Siblings, friends, couples, roommates, etc.
If you know of someone, please pass this on!
If selected, this campaign pays $2,500 PER FAMILY and 1 Nintendo game of choice (*subject to availability)
No previous acting experience is required. Must be a Canadian Resident to apply.
If interested, please submit through their online application form:
Submissions are due ASAP or by April 25th, 2019 at 9am.
Easter is another one of those holidays that makes me cringe. Just like Halloween, Christmas and Valentines – our children are showered with sugary sweets. Some people believe that Easter isn’t Easter without chocolate bunnies, eggs and chicks. What are the options if you choose to try and avoid all the sugar?
Here are three ideas that we really like that won’t break the bank or the belly.
1) LEGO is always a favourite. Here are 29 LEGO kits for under $25.00 that you can fill their baskets with! ranging from the adorable Easter Chick ($12.99) to Star Wars TIE Fighter Attack (24.99).
2) Using the reusable eggs is a great way to fill their Easter with fun and not food. Here are 21 ideas of what to put in the eggs. My kids love temporary tattoos.
3) Local Dietician Kristen Yarker – has put together a collection of healthy, Easter themed snacks on her Pinterest Page. Here you’ll find bunny fruit plates, egg and bacon bunnies, and other tasty and nutritious treats.
So there you have it, a few ideas to get through Easter without one piece of chocolate.
The year is now one-quarter complete and those New Year’s resolution are long in the past, life coach and author Dannie De Novo has a few tips to help people succeed year-round with daily rituals. Dannie, the author of Get in a Good Mood & Stay There, says “Your good mood New Year’s resolution success will live and die by the habits you put into place to secure your desired goals. So, it stands to reason that the better the habit, the better the results you will see.”
But the idea of instilling new habits doesn’t usually sound like a fun thing to do. “That’s why I advocate for the adoption of rituals, which are nothing more than patterned behaviors but with a slightly more positive vibe,” Dannie continues. “When you adopt rituals, you train your brain to go through certain programming automatically. At that point, the behavior you desire is no longer ‘work’—you just do it.”
5 Good Mood Rituals
Ritual #1 Meditation
The more frequently you practice meditation, the more the effects sustain themselves throughout your day and throughout your life. Daily meditation practice equals daily sustained good mood.
You don’t have to devote more than a few minutes each day to meditation and you don’t have to be perfect in your practice. Keep it simple. Focus on your breath. Focus on a mantra or affirmation. Focus on the quiet. What your practice should be is meaningful for you. With meaning and connectedness, comes happiness.
Ritual #2 Gratitude
Gratitude is feeling or showing appreciation toward someone or something. A gratitude practice is a daily commitment to focusing your energy and thoughts on what you appreciate. There are few things you can do to build and maintain your happiness as important as exercising daily gratitude.
Gratitude shifts our thinking to the present moment. Gratitude allows us to celebrate what we have now and what we have accomplished. It also allows us to refocus our energy on our dreams and goals.
Ritual #3 Remind yourself of your why
If you don’t remind yourself each and every day why you made the decision to seek and hold on to your good mood, you won’t keep going after that goal.
Remind yourself often of why you made your decision. Take a piece of paper, write out your resolution in big letters at the top, and under your resolution list all the reasons why you are going to accomplish it. Make these statements positive. Place this paper in a visible area and make yourself read it and really reflect on the reasons why you started on this journey and why it is so important for you to continue.
Ritual #4 Be a dreamer
Your imagination is the gateway to your good mood and, ultimately, to your ideal life. You have the amazing ability to form the picture of any life you want and, by so imagining it, then living the life you desire. When your mood is dark and small, so is your world.
Carry with you the attitude of a dreamer. Never stop dreaming—even when things aren’t going your way. See yourself living life in a good mood and hold that picture in the forefront of your mind. You deserve to be happy.
Ritual #5 Something that makes you feel good
I love nature. When I am in and around it, I feel good mentally, physically and spiritually. So, I make being outside for each day one of my rituals. I also think movement is important for my good mood. Daily exercise or some kind of movement helps keep everything in balance.
You should be incorporating rituals that make you feel complete and like a better version of yourself. Whether those rituals include journaling, reading, doing affirmations, spending time with pets, spending time with loved ones, or laughing, the idea is the same. Make these good mood activities daily practices that help contribute to an overall good mood.
About Dannie De Novo: Dannie is an author, attorney, coach, entrepreneur and podcast host who loves horses, traveling and learning. Her book Get in a Good Mood & Stay There launched in 2018. She spends her days finding ways to help those who aren’t experiencing the most fulfilling version of their lives. Her greatest job and joy is serving as mom to an amazing beacon of light and hope, her daughter, Carson. To learn more visit:
As the break quickly approaches, many parents become concerned that they have missed the boat for getting a spot in Spring Break Camps. Luckily that is not the case. Here is a list of fantastic Spring Break Camps that still have spaces and will both entertain and educate your child over the two-week school hiatus.
Spring Break at Arts Umbrella
Get your creative thinking caps on, it’s time to create something new at Arts Umbrella. Spring Break at Arts Umbrella in South Surrey and on Granville Island has half-day and full-day options for kids
ages three and up. Choose from classes like Animation, Drama, Photography, Hip Hop, Musical Theatre, and more.
Visit us online to find out more and register today!
Lights Up Musical Theatre Schools
Throughout Lower Mainland,
Children and teens can sing, dance and act during school breaks at Lights Up Camps. All camps end in a performance for family and friends on the last day. Camps are open to everyone between 4–13 yrs, No prior musical theatre experience is required. Like all Lights Up programs, our camps teach children
to work in teams, build confidence, sing, dance, act, and have fun!
Place des Arts
Place des Arts Spring Break Camp. Ignite your creativity over spring break! Each Spring Break, Place des Arts offers a variety of creatively engaging visual and performing arts classes for children and teens.
Bricks 4 Kidz®
With kinetic, motorized LEGO® models, Bricks 4 Kidz® Vancouver is offering an exciting and educational lineup of Spring Break camps! From our popular Star Wars and Coding/Robotics Camps
to our new Mining & Crafting and Ninjago Camps, kids will have a blast with these STEM activities and challenges.
LEGO Robotics Spring Camps with Daedalos
March Break (2 weeks, March 18-22, 25-29) Half day and full day at UBC, University Chapel Register and more info at robocamps.ca
YoungMBA Spring Break Classes
YoungMBA is a personal development program specifically designed to introduce young minds (ages
8–14), key managerial skills that can be beneficial in their daily lives as well as in their future endeavours. The goal is to help young minds develop self-sufficiency, responsible leadership and care for others.
Gym-venture Days at TumbleTown Movement Education Centre
Ages 3–8 years
TumbleTown Gym-venture Days are off-the-charts fun where kids can get in their flips and tricks while developing fundamental movement skills in a positive and encouraging environment. Gymnastics, games, obstacle courses and more adventure packed into each day! Half and full day options available with flexible scheduling!
Looking for upcoming Spring or Summer Camp information, independent schools or health professionals? Look no further. Have a read of the current BC Parent Family Resource Guide. We’ve also provided tips on places to explore in the Lower Mainland, Plans for Perfect Parties, How to identify your child’s learning style, information on the New Canada Food Guide.
Enjoy the read!
February marks Psychology Month in British Columbia, and the BC Psychological Association (BCPA) is putting on 15 free public presentations throughout the Lower Mainland in the month of February to help raise awareness of the role psychology and mental health plays in our lives.
The BCPA has partnered with local libraries and the Centre for Mindfulness Canada to put on these presentations in support of the community to bring British Columbians information about how to sustain positive mental health.
Presentation topics include:
- Understanding and managing anxiety in children
- Mindfulness for resilient teenagers
- Gender identity in children and youth
- Sustaining healthy relationships with children and partners
These presentations, in particular, would be beneficial for parents and caregivers to learn more about how to best support their children’s mental health. However, there are also many other presentation topics that would be helpful on a more individual basis, such as stress reduction through mindfulness and enhancing well-being – parents need mental health support too.
Starting as early as 1942, Canada’s Food Guides have been part of our society working towards improving Canadians Health and Wellness. As the years went on our food guide has taken different directions to reflect the changes. This year, possibly being one of the biggest changes to that food guide format.
No longer, is Health Canada recommending serving sizes and quantities. Canadians are now encouraged to look at their plate and seek balance in their foods. Gone are the days of dairy, meat, and bread being specific dietary requirements. The emphasis has moved towards plant-based alternatives being embraced as part of the protein and whole grain portion of our plates – which should now be 50% whole fruit and vegetables.
Other big changes to the guide include the new emphasis on meal-time and not just the foods. Health Canada has acknowledged that “Healthy eating is more than the foods you eat”. They are actively encouraging people to be mindful of eating habits, cook more often, enjoy your food, and eat with your family or friends.
We spoke with Whitney Hussain, a local dietician from Loblaws to ask a few questions.
Why did Health Canada choose to focus on protein rather than dairy and meat?
Health Canada recognizes that people want to move towards more plant-based alternatives. They also saw the health benefits in reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other critical illnesses. Finally, Healthy Canada is putting emphasis on foods that help reduce our carbon footprint. There is an effort to limit processed foods and move towards “whole foods” as well as embrace cultural needs that were missing in the old food guide.
What are key things on this guide that parents should take note of?
Health Canada worked towards showing a healthy plate, a much more visual depiction to teach children the recommended proportions of each food group. They have also placed a big emphasis on eating meals together which allows parents to model good eating habits.
Are there any programs set-out with schools?
Loblaws offers field trips for schools. Children from pre-school to high school will tour around the store as the guide highlights various nutrients in each area. They will really emphasize half of the plate being fruits and vegetables, and of course, a healthy snack will be offered at the end.
With a big emphasis on whole foods, Canadians are getting even healthier. Read more about which foods are Brain Foods. If you are already very aware of foods because you have a special dietary restriction, read more tips on How to Feed a picky Gluten-Free eater.
Fashion is a tough business as, our next interviewee, Angela Saxena can attest. Angela recently launched her family-friendly loungewear line, Lav and Kush, with a design focus on comfort clothing for women but especially busy moms that are versatile enough for loungewear or running out to meetings. These stylish, locally, ethically made outfits can also be found in toddler-size so you can both be ready for the day. An outfit that is ideal for work and play is something we can all appreciate!
What was the inspiration for Lav and Kush?
My inspiration for the brand comes quite a bit from my children and their spirit ( sorry, I know its such a common answer! ) And honestly, from the crazy business of our life and the need to have super comfortable, versatile clothing that washes and wears well time after time. And of course beautiful soft sustainable fabrics in various prints and colours! We are striving to solve that challenge for women around the world. Stepping into our clothing usually feels like getting into a warm bath when you’re a little bit cold..:) It’s happy clothing! Our kids feel the same way!
How many children did you have and what were their ages when you started?
My little girl Kairo is 4.5 and my son Ryder is 6.5. I relaunched 2 years ago with our Angelwings Sleeping bag and then saw the need for mommies to have comfy clothing to run around in, so we created our bamboo rompers and matching ones for kids. My daughter LIVES in hers! Challenging, working a lot in the evening after bedtime, but making it work little by little.
Where did the company name, Lav and Kush, come from?
We are Indo Canadian, and growing up my father would teach us about Hinduism and mythology. I always loved the story of Lord Rama and his family including two twin sons called Lav and Kush. Its a long story becoming a book called the Ramayan, which is what the Indian festival Diwali is based from, and Lav and Kush were his little warrior sons that lived in the forest with their mother Sita in exile. They became the protectors of the woods. I said when I was 8 , that when I became a designer, I would call my company Lav and Kush.
What was the biggest challenge you had becoming a mompreneur?
I still have them! Biggest challenges for me are time management and “turning off” the business person and being just a mommy. Before kids, I could work 12-14 hours if needed, but now kids come first, so trying to fit everything being a solopreneur in 7 hour days is quite challenging.
What advice would you give to other mother’s looking to start their own business?
Do your research about your market, products, services, and business before launching and spending money. Set attainable goals and boundaries daily to get the work done but focus on your kids – JUST your kids- when you’re with them. Its hard but they are little for only so long, enjoy them as much as you can. Business success doesn’t need to happen immediately, be patient and enjoy the ride. ( I wish I could take my own advice!!)
If you enjoyed this interview, continue to be inspired by more mompreneurs: