Edmonds Kind of Play: Spring break camp options, from Lego building to wilderness exploration

Camp photos courtesy City of Edmonds

The main focus of Edmonds Kind of Play is to share local happenings that might be relevant to those with kids in Edmonds and surrounding cities. Since starting the column in 2013, there has been a natural evolution of what has been covered as my own kids have gotten older and my perspective has shifted along with that, as well as with all of the life that happened in the nine years since then. Since the pandemic started, it has been trickier (and weirder?) to “read the room.” I never want to set a bar that is easy to write about but impossible to do, but I can imagine reading about an option for kids that is say a Zoom classes that no doubt require some level of supervision while you’re already trying to keep a toddler out of a Zoom meeting can be like handing someone who’s drowning in responsibility a (reusable) bag of bricks. Even though we’re all navigating new situations over and over — What mask is best? Do we wear them outside? What is a close contact? — our responsibilities keep coming and for many that is finding a good camp for spring break.

With the heavy world news happening on top of the waiting-for-the-other-shoe-to-drop COVID optimism we feel now, that we also felt midsummer last year  only to face delta and omicron, it didn’t feel like the right time to talk about local classes, a kid drawing contest, or spring break camps. But… one of the craziest parts of the last few years is things keep getting  crazier and we still seem to have the same expectations on us. High schoolers have finals, kids have to learn their hardest subjects, employees have deadlines, and working parents need care during spring break. So I hope these ideas land as options if you’re looking and not pressure to perform in a time where we finally took a small breath with dropping COVID numbers only to have more scary questions to answer. If this isn’t what helps today, I recently felt an abundance of happiness watching the video of the reporter Myles Harris whose mom drove by while he was trying to film a segment.

Let’s start with spring break camps at the Frances Anderson Center. While the building is currently closed to the public, it reopens on March 15 in time for Edmonds School District’s spring break, April 4-8, for two camp options. The first is Discovery Spring Break Nature Camp for those ages 7 to 11. This week-long camp will focus on “how the earth was shaped to create different environments around us” taught through the use of games, crafts, and hands-on exploration. Each day campers will explore a different park as they “explore the processes that shaped the Salish Sea and discover the plants and animals that live there.” While my kids have aged out of this option, it was a favorite of my oldest, who often came home dirty and was always happy and full of ‘fun facts.’ Camp runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day with a limited number of campers and COVID protocols in place.

The next option is Play-Well: Animal Architects w/Lego. This camp is for Lego enthusiasts ages 5 to 10 and runs each day of spring break from 1 to 4 p.m. This session includes designing and building “leaping dolphins, buzzing beehives, and towering giraffes” and campers can let their “imagination run wild with tens of thousands of Lego parts.” These camps were a big hit with my kids too. Of course the building was fun, but it seemed being around other kids and counselors into the same kind of thing added to that.

To register for either camp, you can go to RecZone.org and follow the “Programs” option to “Camps.” The spring break camps are at the top, but you’ll see that they are starting to add some of their summer options to browse through. All offerings should be posted by March 1, even though registration for summer camps won’t be open until a later date.

Quiet Heart Wilderness School workshops include carving wood spatulas and spoons. (Photo courtesy Quiet Heart)

Quiet Heart Wilderness School has a long list of upcoming spring workshops. Workshops vary in age range from 8-plus to 12-plus, with some of the younger ages requiring an adult partner. There are eight one-day spring workshops offered, all located in Edmonds with many at City Park — I have seen the weekend and summer Quiet Heart campers in Yost Park and they are always a happy crew with backpacks, tools and sometimes a whole lot of outer layers. Beginners can learn the basics of carving, with intermediate and advanced students learning about decorative spatulas or carving spoons. There are also workshops that involve food preservation, including how to make jerky and fruit leather with our local berries. For registration and a full list of workshops, you can visit QuietHeart.org.

The Edmonds Bookshop is holding a special kids contest as part of its 50th anniversary celebration. Children 12 and under are invited to create an original design, which “should be drawn/painted/sketched/colored on a 8- x 2-inch piece of paper or cardstock and must include the words ‘Edmonds Bookshop’ and the number ’50’ somewhere in the design.” Submissions will be accepted at the bookshop, 111 5th Ave. S., until Thursday, March 3 at 8 p.m. with each entrant receiving a small prize. The winning design, which will be revealed on March 4, will be printed as a special “50th Anniversary Commemorative” bookmark, which will be given to the customers during the anniversary celebration on Sunday, March 5.

— 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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