On the precipice of having both of my kids officially be teenagers, my attempts at ignoring it were repeatedly interrupted by of all things, emails. I got an email from Google telling me that my almost 13-year-old would have more access to the gmail account we signed him up for — well, the one where we were honest about his age. Then I got another email from a business where we had signed up for their Kids’ Club years ago, which got us a free birthday treat each year. The email started “As a reminder” in bold, which is one part offensive and one part savvy because I have gotten so many emails in my time as a parent that I have forgotten before I was done skimming them. It continued “now that all the kids in your profile have turned 13, you will no longer be eligible…” I’ll spare you the rest of the email, but geesh. As if the adult-sized shoes and the ubiquitous Napoleon Dynamite groans aren’t proof enough of what era we’ve entered, I get the picture!
It’s not that I don’t enjoy these years; it is just that babies don’t find their shoes in the adult section or sit in the front seat of the car. So when I see a mom in Trader Joe’s tie a compostable produce bag around the cart for her toddler to play with or see an Instagram reel for applying sunscreen to tiny ones with a makeup brush — a hack I could have truly used — I feel relief that I don’t need those tricks and a teeny tiny pang for a quick fleece footie hug.
If you are in the market for a free treat/distraction while out, PCC Community Markets offer a free serving of fruit or a vegetable for kids ages 12 and under every time you’re in the store. You can also get a free cookie at Freddy’s/QFC, though I couldn’t find an official age range. My internet search for cookie age did show that in 2016, they added a “Fruit for Kids” program that offered a special area to grab a piece of fruit from. You can also sign up for a program via Barnes and Noble that gets you a free birthday treat for your child, until of course they turn 13.
This week I’ve got a few options for the under-13 crowd and one perennial favorite for a wide range of kids.
For fourth- to sixth-grade scientists looking for a local camp, Sound Salmon Solutions is offering INVEST: Salish Scientists at the Willow Creek Salmon & Watershed Education Center. INVEST: Salish Scientists (INVEST stands for Implementing Nature’s Values Empowers Stewards of Tomorrow) is a week-long, hands-on, outdoor day camp where campers will “get to explore a wetland, investigate water quality, and learn to be a steward to their environment, all while meeting new friends and growing their independence.”
This is a pilot program developed by the staff at Sound Salmon Solutions, described as “environmental educators and experts in their field.” Their vision is to “work with the youth in the area to create viable interworking communities of empowerment and stewardship for the surrounding world.” The week-long camps, scheduled for the weeks of July 18 and Aug. 1, run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can find more information at SoundSalmonSolutions.org and register for either camp using RecZone.org.
After a two-year hiatus, Edmonds Youth Basketball Camp is back at Edmonds College. Run by Coach Kyle Gray, who is the men’s basketball coach at Edmonds College and a physical education teacher at Cedar Way, this K-6 camp runs 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. from June 27-30. The goal is for players to have fun and be active, and no prior basketball experience is required. Coach Gray’s aim is to keep the camp affordable and “relieve parents of the pressure to find child care and entertainment for at least one week out of the summer.” For registration you can call Edmonds College at 425-640-1415.
While I am sharing camps that start right after school ends, which tend to help us transition out of the school year into summer, Edmonds School District Summer Music School — the district music camp for those who have had one year of music instruction — is worth mentioning again. You can read all about summer music school, which runs from June 28 through July 15, in an earlier column.
Yost Penguins Swim Team is (also) back and registration is now open for the program, held at the outdoor Yost Pool in Edmonds. Swimmers ages 5 to 18 can become a Yost Penguin as they participate in the Craze Summer Swim League. The league is a “fun, low-key swim team experience for area swimmers” and also includes teams from Snohomish, Lynnwood, and Mountlake Terrace. The practices are five mornings a week for the seven-week season with different time slots depending on the swimmer’s age. Registration includes the daily practices, meets, plus a Penguins team swim cap and a T-shirt. For more information and registration information, you can visit YostPool.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.