Monday, July 30, 2012

Now Hiring Event Coordinators for momstown Victoria is an on-line network for neighbourhood moms wanting to connect for support, conversation and just plain fun! With a fantastic event calendar and lively message board, is a great way to get involved with your community while having a blast with your kids! They say it takes a village to raise a child, we say it takes a town!

Are you looking for a way to channel your creative energy? Are you a positive, outgoing person inspired by parenting, early education and community? Are you looking for a fun, part-time supplemental income? Then joining the momstown team could be the answer for you!

Job Description – Event Coordinator

momstown Victoria is currently seeking creative, self-motivated, and energetic individuals for a rolling 3-month contract position as an Event Coordinator. In this exciting role you will coordinate & execute fun and educational events and field trips for parents and young children ages 0-6 years old.

This part-time role requires approximately 8-12 hours per month. We’re currently looking for up to two Event Coordinators for our momstown Victoria chapter to run fun, family-friendly events, such as our Baby Basics, Alphabet Play, Tales for Tots, Junior Chefs, Little Scientists, Discovery Field Trips and more! This is the perfect role for a SAHM or mom on maternity leave. Where else can you run events and work with your kids in tow!


  • Event Coordination
    • Creating and customizing events from designated momstown curriculum
    • Personally running & attending a minimum of 4 events per month: prepping supplies and running activities.
    • Act as a membership ambassador and liaise with members

  • Outgoing, dynamic leader who is creative, organized, highly self-motivated
  • Strong communication & interpersonal skills
  • Vested interest in children and parenting
  • Comfort with leading circle/storytimes and craft activities for children
  • Must have a valid driver’s license & reliable vehicle
  • Must have a reliable computer and Internet access
  • Criminal record check is required
  • Event planning experience and First Aid would both be assets
Pay Structure:

  • Independent Contract work – 3-month rolling contract
  • Per Event Rate

If this sounds like the right opportunity for you, please submit your resume and cover letter by August 10, 2012 to

Saturday, July 28, 2012

3 Ways to Spread the 2012 Summer Olympics Fever to Your Kids

Has your family caught the Olympic fever yet? The Olympics are not only exciting to watch as a family, but also a great way to introduce your kids to subjects like geography, sports and history. And for the little ones, here are some great ways to get creative with the Olympics theme from

1. Gotta love this easy Olympic-themed torch craft! Simply roll construction paper into a cone and table or glue red and yellow tissue paper inside, cut ragged to resemble flames! Kids will love racing around with their own Olympic torches in the air! 
2. O my, this is a brilliant craft for teaching young children. Create the Olympics logo with your child, and you can introduce colours (which ring is blue? which is red?) counting (how many rings do you see?) shapes (it's a circle!) and letters (the letter 'O'!) Plus, cutting out the rings is great practice for fine motor skills. This is a must-do!!!
3. Finally, you can make an Olympic Rainbow Trifle together! This is an easy treat that little ones would love to help make too. Layer colourful fruit, cubes of sponge cake and whipped cream in a large bowl. What could be simpler? 
For more great ideas on how to share the Olympic spirit with your kids, check out 25 Ways to Make the Olympics a Teachable Experience. GO CANADA!!!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

momstown Victoria Tales for Tots: Clifford at the Circus!

Our theme this month is The Circus, so this month Scholastic Canada sent us a great circus book to share at our monthly momstown Victoria Tales for Tots drop-in: Clifford at the Circus! 

In this story about a circus where everything goes wrong, Emily Elizabeth and her big red dog WORK TOGETHER with the other circus acts to set everything right. This book teaches that by being kind and helping others, anyone big or small can help make the world a better place.

We had a great turnout of moms, and our kids made fun circus clowns out of the letter C. Congratulations to Bo and Sophie winning a free copy of "Clifford at the Circus" from Scholastic! Also a big thank you to Chapters Victoria for giving us a great space to run our literacy-based Tales for Tots program each month.

Most of the events that we run are exclusively for our momstown members, but our Scholastic sponsored Tales for Tots program at Chapters is a free monthly drop-in open to the public. Stop by and join us downstairs in the children's area for storytime, craft and a free book draw! This is also a wonderful opportunity to learn more about what we do and to socialize with other great parents and caregivers. See you next month!

Monday, July 23, 2012

One Thing You Really Need to Start a Business

Last week I went to my first mixer at The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce. Here I am talking with Bruce Carter, CEO of The Chamber, as a guest of my wingperson and BFF, Michelle Underdown of InFocus Rehab. I was not nervous (perhaps the fancy beer helped?) but at the time it felt weird to think that I belonged at that business event. Yet looking at this picture I realize that I was probably in my element, and I am grateful that I finally have taken the leap into owning my own business.

I have wanted to start my own business for a long time, but often figured I did not have the money to start one. I have made small investments in projects like The Victoria Stroller, and now I have started on momstown. I have come to realize that you do not need a lot of money to start your business, but you do need time.

It turns out that needing a lot of money to start a business is the number one myth about starting a business. Top 7 myths about starting a business lays out some of the excuses that may be preventing you from starting a business. In addition to not needing a lot of money, you also do not need a great idea, a catchy name or a detailed business plan to get started. The point is that starting a business is not as hard as you think. Qualities like ambition and motivation are the real necessities, and not money, location, etc. You also will need plenty of time, or, to be specific, time management...something I am learning myself, and I have made good progress on it in the last few weeks!

If you are thinking of starting a business, you should take a look at Starting a Small Business Guide from the BC government and keep up on the small business page in the Globe and Mail. And if you already have a small business in the Victoria area and would like to work with momstown, contact me and we can talk about how we can work together.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

momstown Victoria Picassos in the Park: Finger Paint Perfection

We had a beautiful day for our first momstown Victoria Picassos in the Park program! We met at Lochside Elementary School in School Disctrict 63 for some good ol' fashioned fun with finger paint! No objective except to dip our fingers into some bright, shiny colours and see what appears on the canvas. At first the children wanted paintbrushes, but we only had two, so they experimented with sticks, and soon they were swirling their hands in it. Kids can be funny that way - afraid to get a little messy, but a LOT of mess feels just right! 

After a quick clean-up, we asked all the other moms and caregivers around us to come and join us for songs and games with our 20-ft parachute! If you ever see a momstown event taking place, just come on over and join us for our activity, conversation or parachute play. More is always merrier, and momstown aims to be so much more than exclusive events! Our membership is very accessible (only $45 per year, per family) and you are always welcome to drop in and try us out for free! 

Monday, July 16, 2012

On the Road Again

When I read 10 ways to turn a drive into a road trip in MacLeans, I was reminded of all my own great road trips. My love of the road trip starts with family vacations, which may seem terrible at the time but grow into cherished memories. My passion for the road trip was entrenched when I lived in Prince George; long drives to see family and to go to events were a normal part of northern living. Now that I have kids, travelling long distances by car seems more of a pain than an opportunity for adventure, but I still love the open road and the day trip has come to replace the road trip.

I love the day trip because you can do it with little planning, explore local spots and it is a great way to spice up a boring weekend. The kids don't seem to mind since the trip is usually less than a few hours, and they get to eat out and play in strange and wonderful playgrounds. We are also lucky enough to live on Vancouver Island, a road trip paradise (we are one of the 10 best islands after all).

For my family, the day trip to Parksville is a tradition. At least once every summer we drive to Parksville for no reason other than to visit Community Park and come back that same day. But can day trips be great road trips?

Comparing our most recent trip against the Macleans checklist reveals we had a pretty good road trip. We drove through parts of Nanaimo we had never been (new road), tried Ole Mexicanos Cafe in Parksville (new food), travelled in light and dark, drove the seaside route (alternate inefficient routes), and my husband always drives just a little too fast. We even had some of the elements that make for a great road trip. The most important part is that it was shared with the whole family. And of course we had the adversity - a baby that would not stop crying through the whole Malahat drive in the dark and pouring rain. Oh sweet adversity. I can't wait for next year.

Monday, July 9, 2012

A Little Reading Does a Lot of Good

Reading at Tales for Tots
A thousand books in five years! That is the goal of the "1000 x 5" Children's Book Recycling Project by the Peninsula Connections for Early Childhood. The Times Colonist featured the group and their work this past weekend, and what a great idea! They collect gently used children's books and distribute them to families in need throughout the region. If you have any old books and would like to support them, please check out their website for more information.

And how can we get our kids to the 1000 book mark by age five? Regular bedtime reading will probably make up most it, but there are lots of other fun times and places to read.

You could register them in the summer reading club at the Greater Victoria Public Library. The program started on June 28, and the events are running until September 1st.

On a long trip road trip, you could put away the DVD player and read aloud (if you're a passenger, of course, or else use an audiobook!) Maybe try something like Peter Pan or Treasure Island, both of which are in the public domain and can be downloaded to an e-reader for free along with many other classic children's books.
Reading at Alphabet Play

And don't forget and momstown Victoria! We have reading events such as Alphabet Play and Tales for Tots. So come by and enjoy some reading with us, do a craft and maybe win a prize. Check our events page and sign up.

A thousand books in 5 years! That doesn't seem so hard with so many great resources to help you out.

momstown Victoria Little Scientists' Erupting Volcanoes!

This morning, we had our first momstown Victoria Little Scientists playdate and experiment!

First, we created our volcanoes by inverting plastic cups (bottoms removed) onto the bottoms of bowls or pie plates and securing them with playdough. Then we added baking soda (3 or 4 spoonfuls) to the 'volcano' holes. In another cup, we mixed about 1/4 cup vinegar and a few drops each of food colouring and dish soap. 

On the count of 3, we all poured the vinegar into our volcanoes and watched the colourful foamy bubbles erupt! Even the adults 'oohed' and 'ahhed' and the kids tried it over and over again with different colours until we ran out of materials! 

Be sure to check our online calendar and sign up for our next Little Scientists playdate coming up in August! Next week, we will be back at Lochside Elementary playground, playing with paint for our Picassos in the Park.

Yes, our events run almost daily all summer long, and they are included in our $45 per family annual membership! Sign up for your free 4-week trial and enjoy up to 20 events with us this summer!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The momstown Victoria Playtime Calendar

When I became a stay-at-home mom, there was no momstown in Victoria of course, so for community and connection I relied upon the many free and low-cost drop-in programs being offered by local service providers and businesses. At the time, there was no single resource that gathered all the program information into one place, which is why I created The Victoria Stroller calendar and blog. The Playtime Calendar had over one hundred listings including parent and tot playgroups, kindergyms, storytimes, stroller walks, health talks, Strongstarts, baby-friendly movies and free kids' events. Program providers included community centres, rec centres, neighbourhood houses, libraries, school districts, public health units, parks, cinemas, malls, bookstores, coffeeshops and more across 13 municipalities in the Capital Region. 

momstown Victoria is thrilled to be featuring this valuable community resource on its blog as the momstown Victoria Playtime Calendar. The calendar is a free community resource that strives to list all the free and low-cost early childhood drop-ins (ages 0 to 6) in Greater Victoria. Families can find great things to do with young children on any given day, at any given time, from Sidney to Sooke. Awesome for reducing barriers and increasing access to early childhood programming, supporting moms (and dads) and building community - it's what momstown is all about!

It is a BIG job to maintain, so a great BIG thank you to our volunteer and momstown member, Jessica Liu!