Friday, August 29, 2014

Rainy Weekend Fun from A to Z

Discover 26 rainy day crafts to do with your kids this weekend. From making a paper plate apple to a zebra masks, you'll make some fun projects together and bring some sunshine (and few giggles) this weekend. 

Craft ideas and products from

It’s Here! Our Fall 2014 on Shelves, Online, and In-stores

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

B.C Teachers' Strike: Programs & Camps

If B.C. teachers remain on strike when the school year begins, parents will be looking for alternatives for about 300,000 B.C. schoolchildren aged 12 and under.

Below is a list of new programming in various communities that will take place during school hours in the event of a strike. We will add more as we receive information.


The City of Abbotsford’s
Day-camp program will continue into September if a settlement isn’t reached.
More Info:


Burnaby 8 Rinks
Offers full-day multisport and hockey camps the first two weeks of September
More Info: 604-291-026 or

Burnaby Village Museum
Fall Heritage Adventure Camp for ages 6-10
Crafts, activities, games and exploring  9 a.m.-3 p.m., with after-care available until 4:30 p.m.
More Info: Burnaby recreation centre, or

Kouri Flute Academy
Music, arts and crafts
More Info: 604-523-6683 or


Poirier Community Centre
Sport activities, entertaining games, fun and challenging outdoor adventures, and much more
More Info:

Victoria Park

Join us for a day filled with sport activities, crafts, entertaining games and challenging outdoor adventures
More Info:

Pinetree Community Centre

Various Programs
More Info:
Tri-City Taekwondo
Day camps for children
More Info: 604-939-8232


Delta Gymnastics recreation camp includes science, writing, reading, math, art, gymnastics and More Info:


Langley’s XTreme Allstar Cheer & Dance is offering day camps at its location on 204th Street.
More Info: 604-512-4840 or

Webb’s Holiday Acres offers day or overnight horse camp, swimming pool, arts and crafts, games, trampoline
More Info:  604-857-1712 or


The YMCA of Greater Vancouver is working towards providing 1,200 spaces in ‘Strike Camps’ at 34 location across the Lower Mainland and the Sunshine Coast. The day-camp cost is $15 for YMCA members, $30 for non-members. The “Just in Case” wait list number to call to register (the camps will run if teachers remain on strike) is 604.939.9622.


The North Vancouver Recreation & Culture (NVRC)
Offers special day camps in September. Parents can begin registering their kids
More Info: 604-987-Play (7529) or

Grouse Mountain
Scheduled full-week camps in September with themes like Art & Drama, Survival, Wildlife and First Nations Exploration
More Info: Register 
online, by phone at 604-980-9311 or in person at Guest Services.


Children Services Recreation Camp
More Info: 604-927-7529.
Arts and Culture Art Camps
More Info: 604-927-7529

Youth Fall Camp
Join our youth leaders in September and enjoy a fun and active out trip each day. Bring your swimsuit, towel, water, sunscreen, lunch and water each day. Transportation and entry fees
More Info: 604-927-7529.


Rocky Point Sailing Association
Offers a week-long sailing day camp
More Info:

Port Moody Recreation Complex
ffers a six-hour day camp of games, crafts active play and fresh air for kids 5-10 years
More Info: 604-469-4556


Climbing day camp
More Info:


Richmond Olympic Oval’s
Individual full-day and week-long camp options of the Richmond Olympic Oval’s most popular sport camp experience
More Info: Register online

Panther Cheer Athletics
Offering an action-packed day full of tumbling, jumping, stunt 101, crafts and more
More Info: 778-297-8437 or

Surrey Parks Recreation and Culture will be offering a variety of day camps during the week of Locations are below:

Fraser Heights Recreation Centre
Fleetwood Community Recreation Centre
Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre
Port Kells Hall
Cloverdale Recreation Centre
Clayton Hall
Newton Recreation Centre
South Surrey Recreation and Arts Centre
Surrey Sport & Leisure Complex
North Surrey Recreation Centre
Surrey Nature Centre
Guildford Recreation Centre will begin to offer camps.
Info More: Visit the 
city’s website for details on the camps, times, and cost.


In Vancouver, individual community centres will decide what camps are most applicable to their situation should the strike continue.

Kensington Community Centre
Britannia Community Centre
CoalHarbour Community Centre
Marpole-OakridgeCommunity Centre
RoundhouseCommunity Centre
KerrisdaleCommunity Centre

Offers a full-day schedule of classes for children aged 5-8 which follow the B.C. curriculum for Grades K-3
More Info:

Christianne’s Lyceum of Literature and Art
More Info:


City of Victoria
Beacon Hill Hut camp facility located near the main playground in the park, out-trips, games, activities
More Info: Register online or call 250-361-0732

Camp Qwanoes
Endless Summer’ camps
More Info:

Cooper Studios
Offering September School Hour Workshops at its Vancouver and White Rock locations.
More Info:


The B.C. Ministry of Education has a number of online educational resources for parents in the event of a continuing strike in September.

Teaching at home can go 
Open School BC, log on here.
LearnNowBC can learn more 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

ParticipACTION’S Backpack Must-Haves

ParticipACTION’S backpack must-haves to encourage active play this school year
Canadian parents look to structured activities to get their kids moving, but let’s not forget about the importance of free, unstructured play. The before-, during- and after-school periods are opportune times for spontaneous, outdoor play and getting to and from places on foot. For back-to-school, ParticipACTION provides parents with a few backpack must-haves to encourage their children to be active throughout the school day.

“Sport leagues, programs and school activities are essential, valuable components of getting our kids to more active, but kids need to do more than that, and more often,” says Elio Antunes, president and CEO of ParticipACTION.  “Our kids are missing out on opportunities for spontaneous movement—such as getting to places on foot and playing freely outdoors.  So, let’s pack our kids’ backpacks for active play!”

Pedometer: Let children log the total amount of steps they take in a day and make a game out of getting healthy.
Rubber ball/chalk/skipping rope: 63 per cent of kids’ free time is spent being sedentary, so send kids to school with something to encourage spontaneous, active games with friends.
Mobile phone: Parents worry about the safety of their kids. A phone can help them stay in touch while their kids walk to and from school, or play outside with friends.
Jacket: Weather is one barrier to active play, so make sure children are ready for rain or shine.
Sun hat and sunscreen: Kids need a sun hat and sunscreen in order to protect them from the rays and enjoy outdoor play.
Helmet: Wheeling to and from school will quickly add up to a much healthier lifestyle, as will walking or running.  With 62 per cent of parents saying their children are always driven to and from school, why not let them walk or wheel?
It’s important for parents to remember not to over-pack. Experts recommend that kids carry no more than 10-15 per cent of their total body weight.

For more information on ParticipACTION, tips to encourage active play, or to download the infographic, please visit:

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Talking to your Child about Adoption

When is the best time to talk to my child about being adopted? Many adoptive parents are apprehensive about discussing adoption with their child. They are concerned about whether their child will understand adoption, how the information will affect them emotionally and whether it will change the parent-child relationship.

As both an Adoption Consultant and an adoptive parent I am convinced that the best time to introduce adoption is right from the beginning of your relationship with your child. Whether a newborn or a teenager, it is never too soon to start talking with a child about their adoption story. I often encourage parents even before their adopted child is placed with them to begin by telling the adoption story to each other to establish a sense of ease and comfort with the information. With this approach there is no need to choose a time to tell your child about adoption because they’ve been hearing about it since you became a family.

It is important when thinking about your child’s adoption story to remember that it did not begin when he or she joined your family. Your child, no matter what their age at the time of adoption, already had some very significant experiences before you became their parent. These experiences must be acknowledged as significant to the child’s history and should be included in their story.

The story is best developed over time and with great consideration for the child’s current developmental capacity. A child at the age three can best manage the basic themes of their story, while each new stage of development will present an opportunity to provide information with greater detail. Children need to hear their adoption story at each developmental stage so they have an opportunity to ask questions that fit with their new experiences and understanding of the world. A child at the age of three will want to know whose tummy they came out of while a child at age of six may wonder why their birth mother chose an adoption plan.

Sometimes a child’s journey to adoption includes upsetting and potentially hurtful events that may be difficult for adoptive parents to discuss with their child. It is important to remember that the details of a child’s history are shared according to the child’s social and emotional development rather than all at once. Regardless of the degree of unpleasantness a child needs to know the truth about his or her story in keeping with their developmental capacity to understand and tolerate the information.

A child develops the ability to accept their own story and all of its complicating factors based in part on their perception of their parents response to the information. When I am consulting with loving and well intentioned adoptive parents who are unable to tell the story of their children from beginning to end with clarity and confidence I am immediately concerned about the well being of their child. If the adults in a child’s life are not comfortable talking about the child’s history it will be difficult for the child to make sense of it.  When an adoptive parent is missing key information about their child’s history in spite of their best efforts, these missing pieces become a part of the story. There are times when a parent must work through their own grief and loss whether historical or at present before they are able to handle the grief and loss of their adopted children have experienced.

If you have not begun to share your child’s adoption story with them it is never too late to start. It may be startling information for a child who experiences it for the first time in their middle childhood. It will require a great deal of empathy, understanding and patience for parents to support their children in understanding their story and accepting it as a part of themselves. Once the child is able to make sense of their own experiences they are better prepared to move forward with their development and engage in healthy relationships.

Article courtesy of  Andrea Chatwin, MA, CCC
Consultant, Educator and Therapist

Friday, August 15, 2014

Creating an Eco-Friendly Baby Nursery

Parents all want the absolute best for their children, including the safest and healthiest food, clothing, and nursery products. Baby will spend most of his first months sleeping in the nursery, so it's important that you keep the nursery free of any dangerous toxins or products that could harm baby. One way to ensure that your baby's nursery is healthy is to create an eco-friendly nursery.

Use low-VOC or VOC-free Paint for Healthy Walls
Volatile Organic Compounds (or VOCs) are emitted by some paints and lacquers so they create toxic emissions. When painting your nursery try to use paints that are VOC-free or have low levels of VOC.

Avoid Wall-to-Wall Carpet
The glue and backing of carpets can contain high levels of chemicals that are harmful for baby. If you must, a carpet with 100% natural fibers is a better option.  However, hardwood is always a great choice.

Look for Furniture Made with FSC-certified Wood 
Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood used in furniture indicates that the furniture is sustainable because the wood was harvested responsibly and in a way that protects the ecosystem.

The Less Plastic Toys the Better
Plastic toys made with PVC are made with vinyl chloride, which is a known carcinogen. They also tend to contain phthalates, which can adversely affect human reproduction and development. A few high-quality, eco-friendly toys in the room will make the room healthy and less cluttered.

Forego the Blinds
Forget about getting plastic blinds for the windows – the cords can strangle baby and the PVC plastic gives off gas when the sun heats it. Look for organic fabric curtains to block out the sunlight.

Use Eco-friendly Bedding 

Eco-friendly bedding for cribs are made with all natural materials like cotton and wool. Not only are they better for the environment, they’re free of harmful chemicals so they’re also the safest choice for baby. 

Invest in an Air Purifier
A good air purifier will help get rid of pollutants in the air so baby can breathe easier. A humidifier with a HEPA filter is the best choice to go with. Also, an air purifier can double as a white noise machine making it easier for baby to fall asleep.

Look for Hand-me-downs
Instead of buying all new toys and baby gear for the nursery, ask friends and family if they have any hand-me-downs you can use. Recycling and reusing products is eco-friendly and helps save money. Just check to make sure the items haven’t been recalled and are safe for baby’s use.

Use Cloth Diapers
Cloth diapers are better for the environment because they don’t get tossed out after every use like disposables do. Just wash the cloth insert after each use. Cloth diapers are also better for baby’s sensitive skin. 

Get a Natural Crib Mattress
Mattresses made with foam are required to be treated with fire-retardant chemicals, which are toxic and give off terrible fumes. A natural mattress may be more difficult to find and a little more expensive but it’s definitely worth having in baby’s room. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Summer Walking with TOMS

TOMS is the One for One company; for every pair of TOMS shoes purchased, TOMS provides a new pair of shoes to children in need.
TOMS Multi Houndstooth Bimini in Tiny $38.00
Available at and retailers across Canada

Biminis feature nautical styling and plenty of cuteness. Fuzzy Grip (hook-and-loop) closure for easy entry, an insole with cushion for comfort, and durable cupsole for flexibility and protection.

TOMS Ash Canvas Paseo in Tiny $45.00
Available at and retailers across Canada

Whether it’s taking the kids out on a casual family outing or playing around the house, nothing says laid-back comfort like Paseos. The versatile silhouette of the Paseos has a canvas upper and lining, and elastic tongue straps for optional lacing.
Features rubber cupsole for durability and flexibility, and the Tiny style has an adjustable Velcro closure.

TOMS kids shoes are available in Tiny sizes (for children 0 to 5 years of age) and Youth sizes (for children 5+ years of age).

Contest: Enter to win a pair TOMS shoes for your child by posting an answer to this question.
What is one way you and family give back to your community? 

Active Family Contest Week 6: Cedar Tree Children's Outfitter

This week is sponsored by Cedar Tree Children's Outfitter 

There is a whack of touristy things to do in Victoria, most of it is good fun, but, touristy. The following seem to be destinations that kids like best. 

1. Craigdarroch Castle
Just off Fort Street at 1050 Joan Crescent

This is a neat place to go stomp around. Don’t schedule too much time for the castle visit, as it won’t take long to buzz through it, especially if your kids are small! Keep an eye out for ghosts, rumor has it there are a couple that haunt the castle! From the Castle you can either check out Fernwood, Oak Bay or Fairfield, as those neighborhoods are within a few minutes of the Castle.

2. Harbor Ferries
Various locations and prices.

These little boats are great fun for kids! There is an assortment of tours and destinations you can choose from, ranging from around 15 minutes to well over an hour- which is great, as you can choose a short route if you are with smaller children who bore easily! They will let you fold up your stroller and take it on the boat, so you can use the ferries as a mode of transportation rather then just a tour. For instance you can hop on downtown and hop off at Fisherman’s Wharf.

3. Royal BC Museum
675 Belleville Street

The Royal BC Museum is well worth it! Depending on the age of your kids of course this can be anywhere from a hour trip to a day trip. There is ton’s to see. There are amazing exhibits and galleries of all things BC.

Walk through the rain forests and spy the moose and bear, then make your way to the wild West Coast and take in the sea lions basking in the sun. Tour wet lands, walk in an old mine, or pan for gold. Your kids can run wild in Old Town, up and down the stairs of the old hotel. Surely someone is making apple pie? How about the famous woolly mammoth who reigns large and fierce? There is a ton of First Nations artifacts and totem poles as well as a really neat pit house that depicts how our Fist People lived hundreds of years ago. It’s pretty awesome!

4. Maritime Museum
28 Bastion Sq

The Maritime Museum houses fascinating displays on pirates, heritage vessels, shipwrecks and featured exhibits. It is also home to three significant sailboats − Dorothy,Trekka and Tilikum − each with their own incredible story of adventure and enchantment. There are lots of model ships, and a really cool creaky old birdcage elevator that will take you to the top floor where there is a restored courtroom. The judge that used to preside over this court was known as ‘The Hanging Judge’, and it is rumored that the little knotted tree in Bastion Square is where the hangings took place. It’s a bit random, but kind of neat.

This is not a big museum and it doesn’t take long to breeze through. It would entertain a nautical buff for at least a short spell. It is right in Bastion Square, which is a pleasant place to have a coffee and snack afterwards. Most of the Maritime Museum is stroller friendly.

5. Miniature World
649 Humboldt Street, 250 385 9731, in the bottom of the Empress Hotel
Adult’s $12, Youth $10, Child $8- ask about the family rate

While a little cheesy and touristy, kids love Miniature World. They will be plunged into deep space upon entrance, only to come out to witness old time Canada, complete with the great Canadian railway, a miniature working train (which your kids can control with the push of a button). Then move into the Wild West and Frontier Land. After that you can marvel at Fantasy Land. Finally in the last exhibit is a room of intricate doll houses…almost each one has some sort of switch that kids love to turn off and on to see what will happen. This is also a must in my opinion (do it for the kids)! This is a stroller friendly event.

Article courtesy of Lhasa Hetherington. For more information, visit
A copy of the book can be purchased at

Special Thanks to Our Sponsor

Cedar Tree Children's Outfitter is proud to sponsor this week’s Active Family Photo Contest!

Let's get outside and play! We all know how important it is for children to be outdoors. Here on the west coast having the right children's wear for rainy day play is a must. Cedar Tree imports high quality affordable Oakiwear rain gear into Canada. Rain pants great for the soccer season available to fit 2 - 11 year olds. Rain suits, jackets, neoprene gloves and more available for babies, toddlers, and kids online at

Mention "Urbanbaby" and receive 10% off of orders placed before August 20,2014 

This Week Enter to Win: 
Oakiwear Children's Rain Suit: Winner's choice of size (12 months to 6 years) and from colours in stock. Valued at $55 shipping included. 100% waterproof and breathable. Comfortable, durable, adjustable wrists and ankles, perfect for our west coast weather! Enter at