All posts by Krystal

Krystal Williams-Gardener started Kamloops Parents in 2007 and is now the owner/director of Loving Learning Preschool where they offer Waldorf & outdoor based preschool classes for children aged 3-6. She actively studies child development & anthroposophy (a philosophy of inner development & spiritual growth) and strives to inspire parents to be their best selves for the highest good of all man-kind.

Choosing an Alternative to a Conventional Preschool: A Look inside Montessori & Waldorf Education

For many parents choosing the school their child attends is a conversation that happens even before conception. It factors into where they choose to live, how much money they need to make and how many children they have.

Today I will offer an easy way to compare two alternatives to the conventional preschool model.

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SIMILARITIES: Continue reading Choosing an Alternative to a Conventional Preschool: A Look inside Montessori & Waldorf Education

Summer Hiking Series – Hiking With Kids in Kamloops

Have you ever wanted to get out on the trail with your kids but didn’t know where to go? Or maybe you wanted some company and encouragement? Hiking with a group can be one of the best distractions to minimize the “how much farther?” and the “I’m tired” comments.


This summer I am leading a series of hikes specifically oriented to Continue reading Summer Hiking Series – Hiking With Kids in Kamloops

Family Friendly Hiking Tips

Having kids is no reason to stop hiking. If you’d love to pass along your love of the outdoors (or foster a new family tradition) here are 5 quick tips to get you going.

  • Adjust your expectations – You might not finish the whole hike the first time and that’s ok. Typically a child can walk 1km for every year of their age but don’t expect a 5 year old who has never been on a hike to meet that expectation rather make it a long term goal for the season.
  • Stop LOTS – I remember a friend telling me once “I like hiking with you because you take lots of breaks for snacks.” It’s ok to stop for a bite to eat and smell the roses when you are hiking, in fact it’s encouraged! Hiking with your kids is about the journey NOT the destination.
  • Know where you are headed – Even kids are goal oriented. If there is a waterfall at the end of the trail that makes for excellent motivation to keep going. Maybe there is a huge boulder or other landmark that can give them bearing for “how much farther?”
  • Let your child bring a friend – The power of social influence and conformity should never be underestimated.
  • Be a good role model – As you are hiking talk about what you see. Ask questions for your child to ponder. Look for signs of wildlife, unique and familiar foliage.

If the hike/walk is going well, consider heading home a little early. Better to end early on a positive note then push on in the face of waning enthusiasm.

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Enjoying your time on the trail calls for the Boy Scout model of “Be Continue reading Family Friendly Hiking Tips

Family Friendly Hiking: Valleyview Nature Park

Driving Time: 10min10171001_10152305655986276_152855584_n (2)
Hiking Time: 1-2hrs
Distance Travelled: 1-3km
Stroller Friendly: no
Difficulty: easy-moderate

Here’s a little hike that’s great for preschoolers or beginners that won’t take you more than an hour…..

How do you get there?

The top of Valleyview Nature Park is a gem located off the side of the Kamloops Bike Ranch in Juniper. You can either park at the bike ranch or in the parking lot for the community playground and lacrosse boxes. Either way the start of this little walk is just behind the lacrosse box closest to the soccer field.

Are there any difficult spots?

Several parts of this trail are quite narrow and the connection to Continue reading Family Friendly Hiking: Valleyview Nature Park

Hiking at Pine Park

Driving Time: 15min
Hiking Time: 1.5hrs
Distance Travelled: 4.5km
Stroller Friendly: yes (mostly)
Difficulty: easy

Our Sunday hike this week brought us down Tranquille Rd to the Pine Park trail behind the old sanitarium. This is a really nice, easy little walk for short legs that has many different landscapes with Tranquille Creek running alongside the trail, the hoodoos across the creek, a wetland, the sagebrush of course and the many many poplar trees.

How do you get there?

The trail head is a 15min drive from downtown off Tranquille Rd past Cinnamon Ridge then stay right on Tranquille (Red Lake turn) the road winds around behind the old sanatorium and the parking lot is on your right. If you cross a little bridge you’ve just driven past it. Turn around and come back. The gate is painted orange and has an old turn style man gate.

Are there any difficult spots?

It is a well used wide trail that is 4.5km to the reservoir and back. In Continue reading Hiking at Pine Park