Kindergarten Shopping Guide

By DTO Staff

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The back-to-school is a big deal for kids and parents alike, regardless of what grade is coming up. But for first-timer, it’s an extra special - and daunting - few weeks. We know, because DTO’s oldest kid checked Kindergarten off her to-do list last year. And with first grade just around the corner, she’s helped us compile a list of must-haves for first-timer kids and their parents.


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We love bento-style lunch boxes! They let you pack a variety of foods for lunch, adding variety and fun to school meal time. When DTO kids Isla and Polly were in daycare, we used Sistema bento boxes, but once kindergarten started, we learned the hard way that they don’t do well tipped on their sides. Now we have leak-proof boxes, and we’ll never go back!

Shop local: Scallywags Kids

Scallywags Kids on the Pandosy strip is one of our favourite kids’ shops in Kelowna, and it always has a great selection of back-to-school accessories, including leak-proof bento boxes. We love the Yum Box, but you can find a variety of similar lunch kits on the market, including stainless steel ones.

Elsewhere: Can’t make it to Scallywags? You can also find leak-proof bento boxes at Superstore, the Independent, Indigo, Justice, and Baby and Me.



It took us a few years to find the perfect school backpack, and it was worth the wait! Parkland backpacks are made from 100% recycled plastic water bottles, plus they come in a ton of super cool patterns. Plus they come in two sizes, so your kindergartner will be carrying a bag that actually fits. This purchase was a total no-brainer, and it’s available at local stores!

Shop local: Baby and Me

Baby and Me has these amazing backpacks, and tons of other amazing back-to-school accessories. It’s one of our favourite kids’ shops in Kelowna, conveniently located right on Harvey.

Elsewhere: We’ve seen these awesome backpacks locally at several Orchard Park Mall (Kelowna) stores, including Indigo, Bentley, and SportChek.



If there’s one thing we’ve learned from kindergarten, it’s that recess happens rain or shine, and if your kid doesn’t have good quality outwear, they are going to be miserable. One of our favourite brands for keeping little ones warm and dry is Hatley. With adorable patterns and great quality product, it’s worth the splurge.

Shop local: Baby Station

Have you discovered Baby Station? Located in Kelowna in the plaza near Staples, it has a great selection of outerwear, dining gear, and baby and toddler accessories - including Hatley gear for back-to-school!

Elsewhere: Check out Baby and Me, Scallywags Kids, Carter’s, Joe and MEC for great rain gear.



One big difference between our daycare and our kindergarten (at lunch time, anyway), is that kindergarten has no way to warm up lunches. So we picked up a steel Skip Hop thermos (the unicorn one because - unicorns!), which keeps leftovers like macaroni and cheese, or chicken and rice warm right up until lunch. They are easy to open and close, and they come with a spork that attaches to the outside.

Shop local: TJ’s The Kiddies Store

Your one-stop baby and kid dining stop. TJ’s The Kiddies Store - near Banks and Baron - has it all (and not just dining gear, might I add). Grab an insulated thermos, and then shop around for other great lunchtime products.

Elsewhere: You can also find Skip Hop thermoses at Baby and Me and Carter’s. Superstore also has a great selection of kid-friendly thermoses.



We became well acquainted with the lost and found department this year, and learned the hard way that the expensive mitts, toques and coats live a longer, happier life when they are kept home. Invest in multiple pairs of these items, and if you don’t want to blow a small fortune in the process, visit your local second-hand store to pick up affordable gently-used gear without sacrificing quality.

Shop local: Little Plum Children’s Boutique

We love Little Plum Children’s Boutique! This consignment store in downtown Vernon features an amazing selection of high-quality, gently-used items for babies and kids (and mamas, too!).

Elsewhere: If you can’t make it to Little Plum, we also love Once Upon a Child and Play-it-again Sports in Kelowna (both are near Costco) for great second-hand outerwear. Once Upon a Child also sells mitten clips, which have become a life saver in keeping mittens from a lonely playground demise. You can also find mitten clips at Carter’s/Osh Kosh.



You may have noticed that these signs dominate your Facebook feed on the first week of school, and with good reason - they’re a super cool way to document your child’s first day of school each year. And what better place to start than the first day of kindergarten?

Shop local: Memory Blocks

We love Lake Country-based Memory Blocks, and they happen to make two different versions of the chalkboard back-to-school sign. Check out their signs here, and get yours in time for school!


Helping Kids Reduce School Stress This Year


Contributed by ABERDEEN HALL

PHOTO Contributed by Aberdeen Hall

PHOTO Contributed by Aberdeen Hall

It’s that time of year again: Back to School.

Those words can signal pending joy for students and parents alike. But for kids who get overwhelmed by the routine and responsibility of school life, it can signal a new year of worries.

Becca Nydr, school counsellor at Kelowna’s Aberdeen Hall, shared her thoughts on student life, school stress, and what we can do to make the transition into the upcoming school year a little bit easier on kids of all ages (and their parents).

Q. What types of problems can parents expect during the transition from summer vacation to the start of the school year?

A. For many families, summer vacation often includes an erratic schedule. Every day might look different, often later bedtimes and more sleeping in. A difficulty (especially for young children) is the change in schedule. For students in Junior school, I recommend that parents start to shift back into the "school-mode" during the second half of August. This includes having an earlier bedtime and getting in the routine of waking up earlier. This gradual transition technique can help reduce tantrums and ease the process of re-integrating into the school routine.

Another way to help your child shift into the mindset of school is asking age-appropriate questions: What are you looking forward to this year? Do you anticipate any tough parts of going back? What friends are you looking forward to seeing?

Q. How long does the transition to a new routine usually take for children?

A. Each child is different, and transitions can be very easy for some children, and very stressful and anxiety-provoking for others. The best way to help your child adjust is to communicate why the transition is happening and what it means for them. Often, students who are predisposed to being anxious are fearful about change and transitions will have lots of questions. Reminding them that you are there to support and help them is key to them feeling safe and secure within the transition back.

Q. What is your advice or tips for parents during the transition period?

A. Patience! As I said, every child is different and transitions can bring up a lot of different emotions. Parents that are patient and willing to answer their child's questions and reassure them will help them to feel grounded. Change is a part of life at every stage; if you can help your child have a positive transition in their early years they are likely to be less anxious about changes as they occur in the future.

Q. How can parents of high school-aged children support their teens as they head into September?

A. For older students, the transition back to school happens every year so hopefully they have started to learn the skill of transitioning back already. To help support high-school teens and tweens, ask how you can help them with the transition back? What do they need from you in order to be successful? This gives them choice and power over what the transition looks like. This also implicitly encourages them that you believe in their ability to handle the transition, thus acknowledging and supporting their agency and independence.

Q. What does your role at Aberdeen Hall encompass? How do you support our students?

A. I am the School Counsellor at Aberdeen Hall, which means I work with students (K-Grade 12) to help them navigate anything from daily life stress to learning coping skills for anxiety and depression. My goal is to hold a safe space for students that need time to reflect or process things within the busy-ness of daily life. I also run a number of groups and workshops each school year including Art Club, Peer-Support Training, and Study Skills workshop for Exams. (With a few more being added this year!) I am also the one stop shop for any questions about mental health and a connection point for students looking for services and agencies in the community.

Q. Are there any specific programs or techniques that Aberdeen Hall implements to make the transition easier?

Susanne Raye, Aberdeen Hall Junior School Principal, says

"At Aberdeen Hall, our teachers are thoroughly prepared to great their incoming students. Prior to the first day of school, they meet with their new students' previous teachers to discuss the children's individual strengths and opportunities and go over student files. They also send their students a personalized email or postcard prior to the start of the term which the children really enjoy getting.

"Our small class sizes ensure our teachers really get to know their students and 'homeroom' time at the start and end of the day give teachers and students extra time to connect and build relationships."

Movies in the Park

DTO Staff


It’s back! The Interior Savings Moonlight Movie Tour! Grab your friends and family (and a sweater and a blanket), and head to the park for a movie under the stars. Here's everything you’ll need to know:

By donation. Suggestion of $3 per person, or $10 per family, with all proceeds going back into the community to help support programs and services focused on youth and mental wellness.

Festivities begin at 7 pm with the opening of the concession stand, and activities for the whole family. The movie begins at dusk.

What You Should Bring
Bring some cash for admission and for the tasty snacks you'll be able to purchase at the concession stand. With anticipated cooler temperatures in the evening, you'll want to pack some warm clothes. Blankets and pillows are always a nice touch, and some people bring low beach chairs, or wagons for the kids.

Interior Savings Moonlight Movie Tour listings:

Mon. August 12 - Okanagan Falls

Movie Smallfoot

Venue Kenyon Park, 5332 Cedar St, Okanagan Falls

Partner Okanagan Boys & Girls Clubs

Tues. August 13 - Lake Country

Movie The Lego Movie 2: the Second Part

Venue Beasley Park, 3450 Woodsdale Rd

Partner Okanagan Boys & Girls Clubs

Wed. August 14 - West Kelowna

Movie How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

Venue Webber Rd Community Centre, 2829 Inverness Rd

Partner Okanagan Boys & Girls Clubs

Thurs. August 15 - Kelowna

Movie Smallfoot

Venue City Park, 1600 Abbott St

Partner Okanagan Boys & Girls Clubs

August 16 - Vernon

Movie How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

Venue DND Fields, 2950 - 15 Ave (Hwy 97)

Partner Okanagan Boys & Girls Clubs

August 19 - Chase

Movie How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

Venue Chase Secondary School, 420 Cottonwood St

Partner Chase Minor Hockey

August 20 - Kamloops

Movie How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

Venue Riverside Park, 100 Lorne St

Partner Canadian Mental Health Association - Kamloops

August 21 - Clearwater

Movie Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse

Venue Clearwater Secondary School, 440 Murtle Cres

Partner Okanagan Boys & Girls Clubs

August 22 - Barriere

Movie Smallfoot

Venue North Thompson Fall Fair Grounds, 4856 Dunn Lake Rd

Partner Barriere Smoke Eaters

August 23 - Lillooet

Movie How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

Venue Lillooet District Rec Centre, 930 Main St

Partner Lillooet District Minor Hockey Association

Psst, you might also be interested in:

7 Cool Things to Do In the North Okanagan This Summer


Add the Interior Provincial Fair to your list of must-do activities in the North OKV this summer.

Add the Interior Provincial Fair to your list of must-do activities in the North OKV this summer.

We love the North Okanagan! It’s where you go to slow down and unwind, and it also has its fair share of pretty amazing sites and attractions. Here are seven awesome North Okanagan spots we think you should check out this summer. Scroll down for a free PDF of this page, so you can keep this list handy all summer long!

  1. Starlight Drive-In

    Head to Enderby to watch a movie (or two) under the stars! More info

  2. Atlantis Waterslides

    Beat the heat with water park fun for the whole family, just north of Vernon. More info

  3. Summer Tubing at Silverstar

    Who needs snow? Grab your sunscreen and the slopes at Silverstar this summer. More info

  4. Raptors at Allan Brooks

    Get up close and personal with birds of prey at Allan Brooks Nature Centre in Vernon. Raptors are early July, only, but venue has cool stuff happening all summer More info

  5. Planet Bee

    You’ll be buzzing after visiting Planet Bee honey farm in Vernon. More info

  6. Caravan Farm Theatre

    An amazing and unique outdoor theatre experience in Armstrong. Tickets available! More info

  7. Interior Provincial Fair

    The best way to wrap up the summer is with a trip to the historic IPE in Armstrong! More info

Don’t lose this info! Print off...

Grab your free instant download here 👇

7 Cool Things in Vernon PDF

North OKV on the blog …


Own this ski-hill property at SilverStar Mountain Resort!

By Saffron Quist

*Saffron is a licensed realtor with Venture Realty Corp. This property is listed with MLS #10186067*


Perched on top of The Knoll (part of Silverstar’s top 2 most desirable locations) and overlooking giant trees and mountains, this handsome townhome is just hoping, and wishing, and waiting for you.

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In excellent condition and previously lived in by full-time residents, this is not a beaten-up vacation rental!

Boasting the larger floor plan, a BOOT ROOM OFF THE ENTRY, granite counter tops, gas stove, large fridge, private hot tub, gas fireplace, gas bbq hook-up, glass shower, heated floors and a few more features that make this stud muffin of the most attractive in the complex!

Also, there are laundry hook-ups in the Master closet should you want to use the laundry room as your private lock-off (perfect if you plan to rent it out part time).

With hardwood floors and stainless steel appliances, this guy is styling. AND with triple-pane windows, gas hot water and heat, plus a Venmar air exchanger and brand new furnace... this guy is also an environmentalist! PLUS with 3 bedrooms all on the top floor, a boot room off the front entry (a ski hill must), and a den in the basement... he is also a family-house. Win, win, win!

Side note, the next door neighbours are not a rental property.

Can you see yourself here; enjoying the fresh air, snowy slopes, biking trails, breeze through the trees and views for days?

Furniture included. No GST on this property (homes that have been vacation rentals are often subject to GST). No speculation tax in Vernon. Offered at $629,900




To arrange a date, contact your matchmaker!

And if you don’t have one of those, give your Buyer-Agent a call.

And if you don’t have either of those contact Kara Torgasows at Venture Realty Corp!


Kara Torgasows

Venture Realty Corp



1593 Ellis Street Kelowna


Cool Party Idea: Memory Blocks Party Kits

If you need a fun and unique and activity to keep kids busy for a birthday party — and one that doubles as a take-home party favour, to boot — this is it! Memory Blocks, a Lake Country-based business specializing in custom gifts and decor, sells awesome party kits that we gave it a try for our most recent kid birthday!

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