Playtime: Let the summer contests and games begin

A past sand sculpting contest entrant.

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 sport baseball is. Some of the pictures I see are of the Pacific Little Leagues “11’s” who have a few players from my oldest son’s t-ball team and some are the children of the friends I played softball with when I was a kid.

Between all of these baseball pictures and seeing an Instagram post for the “Lego Challenge” coming at the Edmonds library, which I will detail below, I was reminded that kids competitions that end with final scores and winners don’t feel as commonplace as they were in our childhoods. Even obstacle and endurance events or races for adults celebrate those that cross the finish line with finisher’s medal. If this kind of thing bums you out, there are always games to play at home. In fact, I think children’s board games boxes would better represent their contents if at least one of the children pictured was crying. At this point in my parenting/social media tenure, I know each kid has a different need and there’s no reason to rehash the participation trophy issue as a whole, so all of this is really just to say: If you’re in the market, there are some local competition/challenge events coming up!

First up is the “Explore Summer: Angry Birds Structure Challenge” on Tuesday, July 11 at 2 p.m. at the Edmonds Library. This event is for school-age kids (the event calendar says 5-11), but I find the library isn’t a huge stickler for exact ages. Those in attendance will “learn how to build stable structures then test their stability under an Angry Birds attack!” So while this isn’t a win-or-lose situation, it is, in terms of science, a can-we-make-it-work kind of thing. These experiences, which you can watch other people do on a good re-run of “Mythbusters,” are great and are another example of kids learning without feeling like they’re in school.

The library is also having a “Super Lego Challenge” on Saturday, July 29 at 1 p.m. This challenge is “to build a structure using ALL the LEGO bricks in our collection!” It’s a collaborative effort for ages 5 and up and each Lego event we’ve attended at the Edmonds library has been fun for both of my kids.

You can find info on either event at

On to a true competition: the 2017 Edmonds Sand Sculpting Contest will be held Tuesday, July 25 at 10 a.m. on Marina Beach. This contest is for amateurs in teams or on their own and open to all ages. The judging begins at noon and the awards, which are divided by age and group size, will be handed out at 12:30 p.m.. For more info on this rain-or-shine event you can call Edmonds Parks and Recreation at 425-771-0230.

As skateboarding is becoming a large part of our lives, I am becoming aware of local competitions. Edmonds is flanked by two cities with such events — Mukilteo and Shoreline. The Muk Games, held at the Mukilteo YMCA, has both Scooter and Skateboard Games this summer on different weekends. The Scooter Games are July 15 and 16 with the Skateboard Games the following weekend on July 22 and 23. You can also come as a spectator to watch the “jaw dropping moves.” I know that seems like an exaggeration, but some of the stuff we see the other kids do when my son skates “The Muk” is pretty hard to believe. For more information on competing or attending, you can click HERE!

“Come out for hot dogs and hot tricks!” The City of Shoreline will host their skateboarding competition on Friday, Aug. 18 from 3 to 7 p.m. at Connie King Skate Park. The divisions will include 12 and under, 13 and up, sponsored and girls. For more information on the competition or other Celebrate Shoreline events, you can click HERE! While we’re on the topic, even though it’s not next door, Woodinville has a competition as well. The Woodinville Skateboard Challenge is Saturday, Aug. 12 from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Woodinville Skatepark. For more information, you can can check out their Facebook event page HERE!

As I was searching for the dates for the Edmonds Sand Sculpting event, I found another competition and I had to post about it. My kids are constantly saving boxes and bottles, sometimes that Costco apple clamshell (read: trash) to make stuff out of, so I had to mention the Seafair Milk Carton Derby. On July 15, from 8 a.m.-4 p.m., “nearly 100” boats that float on milk cartons hit the waters on Greenlake with winners getting “prizes and bragging rights.” Even when I started this paragraph and clicked on the link I saved in my notes, I thought the boats were a made-from-one-milk-jug-by-a-kid kind of thing, but I was wrong! This competition, started in 1972, feature creative, themed “milk carton watercraft.” There is no admission to watch this event, but it’s too late to register and compete. For more information and to read up for next year you can click HERE.-

By Jennifer Marx

Jen Marx, a mom of two young boys, is always looking for a fun place to take the kids that makes them tired enough to go to bed on time. You can find her on Twitter trying to make sense of begging kids to ”just eat the mac n cheese” @jen_marx.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *