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…

Playtime: May the 4th Be With You and Free Comic Book Day

Social media may be to blame, but it feels like everyday is National “Something or Other” Day. March has “Pi” Day on 3-14, when people focus more on the dessert than the math. In April alone, there is National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day, National Siblings Day, National High Five Day, and National Pigs in a…

Playtime: A night of laughs nearby, benefiting local schools

I drive past the banner over Caspers Street (you know, the one in front of the Edmonds United Methodist Church) what feels like a thousand times a week. It usually has info on a local event like The Edmonds Arts Festival, The Write on the Sound conference, and the one that always catches my eye,…

Playtime: Support a cause while meeting your fitness goals

If ever there was a time to mix your New Year health goals and supporting a cause, it feels like this particular January is it. Girls on the Run Snohomish County has a co-ed adult charity running program called SoleMates, where participants get training help while raising money for after-school running teams for girls which…

Playtime: Kid-friendly fun for those on a ‘one-less-job’ budget

It is around the holidays that I’m even more keenly aware of how different people’s holidays and traditions are for Thanksgiving. We have a lot more “together” time at home as it’s just the four of us for a semi-non traditional dinner; I mean why invest cooking all day and making a turkey if only…

Playtime: Resources for having ‘the sex talk’ with your kids

There are many things that come with parenting that aren’t the fun pregnant daydreams you have while folding little onesies. There is the new baby exhaustion which is impossible to fathom, the not being able to wait until they talk and then wanting them to maybe stop talking maybe just at least when you’re trying…

Playtime: New parent group aimed at helping moms (and dads) cope

There are many things I have forgotten about having a baby, which I am consistently reminded of as my sisters — both with infants — ask me when mine met certain milestones I have very little remembrance of. But the whole “new mom” feeling is not one of them. Despite all the classes, message boards,…

Playtime: Verdant classes aimed at keeping community healthy

Of the many great benefits of writing this column, my ability to continually learn about my community and all of the resources in the city and nearby was probably the most unexpected. Being able to share them with you feels like an exercise in paying-it-forward to all who have helped and continue to help me navigate…

Playtime: Halloween events heating up, plus day camps and overnights

If you are on social media in any form, you have likely heard and/or used the term “Adulting.” While I couldn’t find a definition in the more formal online dictionaries, it is basically doing the required tedious acts of being an adult. For instance, this week, my “Adulting” included doing a load of laundry more…

Playtime: After-school fun, from sports to drama to scouting

Back To School is no joke. In the blink of an eye, it’ll be Curriculum Night and we’ll be signed up for a parent-teacher conference. When I saw a Facebook post today about forgotten lunches and soccer games changing weekend plans, I felt such relief it wasn’t just me. The theme in my circle of…

Playtime: As back-to-school season gears up, ways to give back

There is no avoiding that we are in the back-to-school season. There are commercials showing snazzy tweens dancing to music that came out when I was in high school, pencil and ruler-decorated displays any time you shop, and the school supply lists — which are nothing like we remember them — are overwhelming and expensive….

Playtime: Family walks and conversation with Pokemon Go

You don’t need to be a parent or a kid to have heard/read/seen the words “Pokemon Go” a million times since the app’s July 6th launch. The app that has turned into a world-wide phenomenon is based on the mid-’90s video and card game, and is akin to geocaching. Users head out (yeah, like outside)…

Playtime: Local gyms launch food drive for homeless kids

Since I first covered an effort to help homeless students in the Edmonds School District, the number of students has doubled. In 2013, the district’s liaison to the homeless told me there were close to 250 children in the school district who were without permanent housing. I just spoke with Deborah Anderson, Executive Director of…