Playtime: From sports camps to a forest preschool, many choices for families this summer and fall

The Forest Preschool at Edmonds’ Yost Park begins this fall.

Earlier this month when writing about Southwest County Park, I found out that along with being the “largest single parcel of open space within the Edmonds city limits,” it is a Snohomish County Park. When I went through the list of Parks and Facilities listed on their site, SnoCoParks.org, I recognized more names than I expected, including a park where I’ve been for lacrosse practice and also the Evergreen State Fairgrounds, which I’ve been to and witnessed something called “School Bus Dominoes” and “Boat Races” — both are exactly and not at all what they sound like.

I also found out, from Rose Smith of Snohomish County Parks and Recreation, that July is Park and Recreation Month nationally. While I am nostalgic as a baseline, quarantine plus social distancing has sent my nostalgia through the roof! I have so much affection for our local Parks and Rec departments. My kids have taken classes, done sports, had swim lessons, explored the outdoors, and each of us has made long-term friends through Parks and Rec offerings in Edmonds, Lynnwood, and Mountlake Terrace.

Now is a great time to let you know what is being offered now and in the fall. Let’s start with Mountlake Terrace. Jeff Betz, recreation & parks director for Mountlake Terrace, let me know that there is still space available in their weekly day camps offered for 3- to 12 -year-olds. I found the information on the camp on page 12 of the digital version of The Craze, which you can find HERE. Betz says that while they aren’t doing field trips and the pool is closed, “a lot of really cool things happen throughout the complex, which includes the Evergreen Playfields, Terrace Park School and the Recreation Pavilion.” He also said they have increased their “arts and crafts, field use, gymnasium use and fun games all while following new protocols for safety.”

They are currently offering Skyhawks camps through August, including soccer and basketball camps. Betz says while some are full, you can find all of the details at www.cityofmlt.com/1797/Skyhawks-Sport-Camps.

I asked Betz about some of the daycare/before and after care options in the fall. He told me that Kids Krew will happen if the modified schedule is chosen and that they will have before- and after-school care at their available school sites and the Recreation Pavilion. If we end up in Continuous Learning 2.0, which is full remote learning, Betz says that they will offer a camp care similar to what they had in the spring, “There will be full access to our Wi-Fi for kids’ Zoom classes with a separate room and our staff to assist.” For more information and registration, you can visit CityofMLT.com.

Todd Court, recreation supervisor for Edmonds, sent me a long list of programs that will run in August while we are still in Phase 2, all of which can be found on RecZone.org. There are outdoor options for Skyhawks, Discovery Day Camps, Steel Soccer Camp, and Canine Obedience classes. Cort says there will be virtual options for Yoga, Kidz Love Soccer, Fine Art Camps, Play-well Camps, and Mad Science Camps – this option requires registration through MadScience.org. For a complete list you can visit EdmondsWa.gov.

A new offering for fall in Edmonds is Magnolia Forest Preschool, “play-based forest school,” held in Yost Park. “Preschool runs all year, where children learn and play in the woods in all weather: sun, rain, snow, warm and cold, (barring high winds or other extreme weather).” I remember when my oldest did co-op preschool, outdoor time was inspired by the saying ‘there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing” —  this seems to be along those lines. Their website says that  “At the Yost Park Campus children have daily adventures on the trails and open spaces tucked away in the upland area of the park.” I know that during the Discovery Camps kids learned a lot in Yost Park, and I’ve certainly seen and heard a lot of wildlife on my walks. You can find more information, and a lot of pictures of kids with the “right” clothing at magnoliaforestpreschool.com/campuses/yost-park.

My most recent update email from Lynnwood Parks and Recreation, which we get because most recently we did teen swim lessons, has some updates. They are finalizing the Fall Recreation Guide, currently booking for practices at our Meadowdale Athletic Complex, and “creating a plan on how to safely run our preschool program in the fall.” I looked through their day camp option, Kamp Kookamunga, and there are actually two spots open for the week of July 27. The remainder of the weeks have waitlists but, in the past, I’ve had luck with the Kamp Kook waitlists. The Junior Counselor Program, which is for students 12 to 17, still has availability for the remaining weeks of the summer. For more information and registration, you can visit PlayLynnwood.com.

— By Jennifer Marx

Jen Marx, an Edmonds mom of two boys, is always looking for a fun place to take the kids that makes them tired enough to go to bed on time.

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