Playtime: From Hogwarts school to outdoor movies, ideas for staycation fun

Three families in my Facebook feed are in Europe, two in Paris. Another family we know just got back from their European adventure which included Paris as well. While we currently operate on a “Staycation” and Day Camp budget, which we are grateful for, it’s not the only reason we have yet to approach this…

Playtime: So you want (or have) a dog? Adoption and training resources

Usually when people ask you “Have you seen This Is Us?” — the TV show/tearjerker on NBC — it is about plot line revelations or to commiserate about just how hard you cried while watching. Most recently for me, it was to ask if people had seen the story line where the character Toby looks…

Playtime: Even more free summer programs aimed at keeping kids active

Those of us with school-age kids are knee deep in Field Days, end-of-the-year parties, graduations and assemblies — and with those come the multiple emails and notes home. If you’re like me, you only get a portion of the fliers sent home and therefore live by the email when it comes to setting your calendar…

Playtime: Celebrate Star Wars, get a comic book, dig archaeology at local events

“May the 4th be with you,” according to StarWars.com. started as a “pun warmly shared by fans” and has become a “full-fledged Star Wars holiday: Star Wars Day, a special once-a-year celebration of the galaxy far, far away.” For those not familiar with the franchise, the pun is based on “May the force be with…

Playtime: Free homework help, kindergarten-ready resources and YMCA open house

Last week, I was able to help my third grader with his math homework. Now, this isn’t exactly cause for celebration like for instance, when men get extra credit for doing things women are expected to do in regards to parenting. Anyhow, I’m terrible at math and have an ever-decreasing memory, so personally, I was…

Playtime: A day trip to the tulip fields, plus other spring break ideas

It’s officially spring break in the Edmonds School District. According to my dictionary, (read: Google) Spring Fever is “a feeling of restlessness and excitement felt at the beginning of spring.” I don’t know if it’s Spring Fever or the excitement of not being in school for a week, but I’ve noticed a special level of…

Playtime: Have your say on school district’s ‘non-student’ days

The calendar shows that there are nine weeks between Jan. 29 and March 30. Yet, under the Edmonds School District calendar, there are just five full weeks of school that are uninterrupted by holidays and “non-student” days. Last week had two half-days for those in elementary school and no school on Friday for all grades….

Playtime: Parenting under protest, plus fun events

Parenting feels like a mix of Groundhog Day (the movie where Bill Murray lives the same day over and over until he gets it “right”) and the lyrics to the Talking Heads song Once in a Lifetime, when he sings “And you may ask yourself, well How did I get here?” Knee deep in the…

Playtime: Parents night out Jan. 5, Kick off to Kindergarten coming up

At the beginning of the school year, the level of urgency applied to reading school and district correspondence including notes sent home, emails and my least favorite — the robo-call — is pretty high. It certainly wanes as the year progresses and the emails match the handouts and a robocall includes info about a pool…

Playtime: Winter break classes and camps

Winter break elicits a lot of feelings, many of which are panic-based. After watching Home Alone, my son actually thanked me for not forgetting to wake him up to go on our trip to see family last week. Sure, there is a break in the homework, which feels like a gift in itself, and the…

Playtime: Classes for families who bake, Santa options, more holiday fun

Christmas cookies have always been a huge deal in my family. The cookie spread my Grandma Mary put out included Russian tea cookies (I know, I know, technically they’re called “cakes”) — seven-layer cookies made only after a call to me to remind her which of the seven layers I don’t like — plus nut…

Playtime: Fun runs, tree lightings and other festive family fun

“Ham?” “Soup?” “Duck?” are some of the answers we got when we asked our kids, 8 and almost 12, what some traditional Thanksgiving foods were. My Italian-American family did in fact have ham and things like “baked macaroni” and “Italian wedding soup” at holiday meals, but we haven’t celebrated Thanksgiving back “home” since 2004 so…

Playtime: Family-friendly Halloween happenings near and far

As my oldest son picked out an astronaut costume for Halloween that has a NASA patch and a working zipper, it was hard not to compare it to the stinky plastic Barbie Bride costume I had in elementary school. To be clear, I loved this costume and its sharp mask whose veil was precariously affixed…

Playtime: Classes, events and more — straight from my inbox to you

I have over 4,500 “unread” emails in my inbox right now. It’s not that I’m super popular and ignoring emails from people so much. They are in one part the emails I get from school that are copies of flyers that get sent home anyhow, and the rest are promotional emails that my FOMO (fear…

Playtime: Kid-friendly finds as summer segues to fall

Edmonds is showing all of the signs that the school year looming; local fields are full of kids practicing for their SnoKing Youth Club soccer teams, school parking lots have enough cars to know teachers are there but not all the students, and high schools have student athletes coming and going. This move away from…

Playtime: As school year draws near, ways to help kids in need

Communities in southern Snohomish County are always pleasantly surprising me with inclusion and community support. Like the hundreds of people who rallied for our teachers, and those who called the Edmonds Police Department to share their/our frustration that the spray-painted swastikas weren’t being considered a hate crime, and the positive response in cheering for the…

Playtime: From circus camp to archery, ideas for summer fun

“They take turns,” my husband says with the authority of someone who is always right on a certain subject. My kids seem to trade off carrying the baton of “kid-with-some-level-of-turmoil,” and in this transition, when we ask ourselves “What is even happening?” the light bulb goes off as he typically puts the pieces together first….

Playtime: Flexible activity options for changing family needs

Our youngest is currently coming into his own, he’s found something he loves to do (skateboarding), not just something he did largely because his brother did (hockey), so our focus on him is now more often “what does he want to do” as opposed to “what can we do with him while.” This all made…

Playtime: Let the summer contests and games begin

At this point of the summer, my social media feed is seemingly all pictures of dashboard thermometers showing high temperatures (from people who don’t live here), vacations, and All-Star Baseball. Since both of our kids abandoned America’s pastime at the t-ball level for Canada’s pastime of hockey, I often forget how popular of a youth…

Playtime: From steel drums to improv, options galore for summer camps

Maybe it’s because the weather has looked like winter since last summer or maybe it’s just what we say each year, but it’s really hard to believe that the end of school is near. There are four weeks and a handful of make-up snow days left before school is out for summer. The older I…

Playtime: Science museum and skate park during Bellingham day trip

Using social media as a parent is like a blessing and a curse to me. Just recently, I’ve felt better to see that the son of someone I went to high school with is also losing his teeth later than most kids, like my son is. On the other hand, I run into things that…