Playtime: Mental health resources for families, sports and exercise options — and a bird count workshop

This seems to have been a particularly rough week for just about everyone I know. On social media, I have seen lots of talk of hitting the “Pandemic Wall.” In fact, there are a couple of recent articles about it — there are also articles about it from earlier, so I suppose we could all be going in waves of how well we are able to manage our current situations.

This is certainly a different kind of hard for kids. An email from the Edmonds School District about “Student wellbeing and mental health resources” was sent to families this week. The email, signed by our Superintendent, Dr. Gustavo Balderas, explains that the district is “ worried about our kids, all of them, and we want to make sure families have the resources available to support their students.” Citing the end-of-the-semester grades as an additional stressor to the now- 11 months we’ve been dealing with the pandemic, the email explains that ongoing stress and trauma can cause anxiety, stress, depression, fatigue and lack of motivation on top of many other symptoms, including heightened emotions and reactions. The email links to the Mental Health Resources page, which you can find HERE, includes tips for caregivers and resources for mental health including the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and The Trevor Project. If you need additional information or support, the email asks you to “Please reach out to your school for further information and support.” If you need help doing that, you can reach the district at 425-431-7000 and they can transfer you to your child’s school or help you find the right person to talk to.

There are also some options for activity starting next month through sports and Move 60! and a chance to do something while at home in the first two weekends of February.

Two local lacrosse clubs are planning spring seasons. Edmonds Eagles Lacrosse is currently registering boys in the Edmonds School District, grades kindergarten through eighth grade, for a “shortened spring lacrosse season.” The Edmonds Lacrosse Club — the official girls youth and high school lacrosse program for thirrd through eighth graders in Brier, Edmonds, Lynnwood, Martha Lake and Mountlake Terrace — is inviting interested players to an info night about their season.

For the Edmonds Eagles, practice starts Feb. 15 and will be at Civic Field in Edmonds. The team, which you might recognize from throwing candy during past 4th of July parades, says that they are still working out some of the details of the season that will look a bit different from seasons past. They will “follow the rules set by the state,” which limit group sizes, mandate mask wearing and practice social distancing. The cost of registration for the season is significantly reduced due to the changes in practice locations, uniforms, and tournament options. This is also the organization that provides the Meadowdale Mavericks high school lacrosse for each of the district’s home schools, so they ask that if your high school student is interested in playing, to reach out to them. For more information and registration you can visit

The Edmonds Lacrosse Club addressed interested families on their websites saying that while “many things about the 2021 season that are yet uncertain, the Edmonds Lacrosse Club is committed to providing ways for new and returning players to get outdoors, improve their skills and grow their knowledge of the game this spring.” They are holding an “important all-club meeting” on Sunday, Feb. 7 from 7 to 8 p.m. to discuss their plans for spring and answer any questions you might have. You can find more information at or by emailing

The Choose to Move 60! fall session had over 1,700 students enrolled and their next session starts Feb. 8. The district is encouraging all K-6 students to register for this FREE, online program saying “students that participate in exercise, physical activity, and movement focus better in school, sleep better, feel healthier, and have lower rates of depression.” They even share a video on the importance of physical activity. Any student who signs up gets a FREE Move 60! At-Home Equipment Bag that includes a jump rope, scarf, paddle, rubber playground ball and bean bag. After registering, you can visit any of the following options for bag pickup.

Monday, Feb. 1 – Mountlake Terrace Elementary, 4-6 p.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 2 – Hazelwood Elementary, 1-3 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 3 – College Place Elementary, 4-6 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 4 – Cedar Valley Elementary, 4-6 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 5 – Oak Heights Elementary, 1-3 p.m.

For more Move 60! information and registration, you can visit Edmonds.Wednet.Edu.

I am particularly excited about this event as every year I grow more and more into a bird enthusiast, thanks to a fairly busy bird feeder outside of our kitchen window. The 2021 annual Great Backyard Bird Count is Feb. 12-15. The bird count, which can be done in a yard, from a window, or “observing safe social distancing and masking, at your favorite park or beach,” started in 1998 as a “community-science activity that offers you and scientists a geographic snapshot of late-winter bird life locally, in the US and abroad.” On Saturday, Feb. 8 at 10 a.m. you can join the Great Backyard Bird Count Workshop with Alan Mearns at The event is open to all — “First timers, beginning birders, teachers, families and kids” or anyone who wants to brush up on their bird identification skills. You will learn what birds you are likely to see, how to spot them and record the data. Then the following weekend during the birdcount, which you can do in as little at 15 minutes, you can record the data. Find more information on the GBBC at

— 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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