July 15, 2014

Fairview Fireweed Playground


 We visited the Fairview Fireweed playground today.  Three girls and a million boys ran, climbed and jumped for just over 2 hours.  The adults were getting hungry, but the kiddos were going strong!

 There is something to challenge every kiddo and every age at this wonderful playground.  A side note is that this has been one of the cleanest playgrounds we have visited this year.  Very little trash and minimal graffiti.
There are bugs to crawl, fireweed to climb, a rock arch and a tree with swings.  The creativity at this playground is wonderful!

  
There is a sand volleyball pit and construction vehicles to boot!





July 14, 2014

The "Play Code" in the UK




Apparently, a small UK community is getting harsh criticism on the internet for issuing a "Play Code".  This 13 point set of rules directed children not to climb over a wall, not to shout, not to play in one place too long and to use a soft ball to keep noise to a minimum.  I could not find the original list after a long internet search unfortunately.  The list came as response to a few complaints (one neighbor had some squished flowers from a poorly aimed ball and another noise complaint about a group of rowdy kids). 

I can understand the irritation of the neighboring homeowners as I live next to an elementary school.  I hear basketball games well after 10 p.m. and groups of pre-teens often use 'adult language' and throw their garbage on the ground.  Nonetheless, the article made me think!

I think that there is a basic level of respect needed at playgrounds.  Be nice to others playing, don't scream in the morning/evening hours, be respectful of the equipment and so on.  These should be policed and ingrained in their children by their parents.

I do not agree with the equipment rules.  I get many evil looks and the random comment for not making my children follow the alleged rules of the playground.  Yes, I let my children climb up the slide if others are not trying to slide down.  I allow them to twist themselves up on the swings.  They can throw rocks in a direction away from other children.  I let them climb, jump and run.  On the other hand, I am not advocating children to cause a ruckus and flaunt social rules (i.e., don't push others, don't break the equipment...).


I would not go to a park with rules not allowing such freedom.  I think creative, physical and slightly daring play is important to a child's development.  We get messy and bruised, but stay respectful of others and the area.  I think it each parent should use their own rules for their children as long as they are showing courtesy and respect.  I don't tell other parents to let their children jump and climb up the climb.  I let each person play the way they would like!

Such a balancing act!  I would love to hear your take on this current issue!

July 8, 2014

Happy Birthday Skedaddle!

 Mother Nature gave Skedaddle bright skies and warm weather for its 4th Birthday. I don't recall many times ever being at the Alaskan Beach and feeling warm.  My backpack was stuffed with warm clothing for my crew, but it stayed there.  One child got down the hill and immediately put on her bathing suit!  I love these Alaskan kiddos!



Most children had fun climbing up the hill while parents watched and hoped for the best.  There were no injuries to our brave little mountain climbers.  After the kiddos tired of that, they headed to the water.  There was lots of rock tossing and mud stomping.


The city has done a lot of work on the path down from the parking lot.  It is very smooth, hard and a bit wider.  They have done some erosion work and teenagers have helped brighten up the concrete barriers with spray paint.  



Parents brought blankets, lunch and sand toys.  Even though there are only a few strips of actual sand, castles were built and big holes were dug.  They also made a lot of big rock piles too.  It was amusing to have the children engrossed in their work and then to hear screams of delight when an airplane came in for a landing.  This is a great beach indeed!

I want to thank all of the parents for yet another year of skedaddles.  It doesn't matter if it was raining, snowing, or sunny, families always seem to come and play! 

July 2, 2014

Mt. Baldy for a Family Hike


How to get there:  Take the Glenn Highway towards Eagle River and get off at the Highland Exit and drive into Eagle River.  At the stop light near Walmart, continue straight and turn off on Skyline Drive.  Follow this twisting road (keep to the main road with the yellow line in the center) until you reach a parking lot near the big antennae.  (12900 Golden Eagle Dr)


This is the open field - perfect for a picnic and letting your child explore


Which Trail? : The gate on the right (and closer to the antennae) is shorter, but steeper while the gate at the end of the parking lot takes a little longer and has an easier path.  If I was bringing my boys (4 and 5 years old), I would take the longer path. On July 1st, 2014, a crew was making a new trail up the front.  The beginning section was flat and wound back and forth along the face.  The top still has some scrambly sections, but could be doable for an older kiddo used to climbing. 


The Hike:  On the longer path, you walk through a tree lined path.  After nearly 3/4 mile, you reach a small lake (perfect for some rock tossing) and a few abandoned buildings.  The path continues upward and eventually winds a bit to your right and up to a saddle.  The path ends in an open field and you have a choice.  Turn left towards Blacktail Rocks (I wouldn't bring the kiddos), towards the right for the actual summit (keep the kiddos close as there are some steep edges) or straight ahead for a little picnic. 

Keep your eyes open for ptarmigan, ground squirrels and eagles.  


Bring:  Bug spray (especially if you are going to stay near the pond for a while), snacks, bear spray and a camera.  You have great views and can get some wonderful pictures.

June 24, 2014

Fish Creek (through the eyes of a child)


My sons both took a turn with the camera today at skedaddle.  After a bit of cropping, there were many great images.  I am always amused at the things they choose to shoot.  

There were only a few 'posed' shots and the ones they did get are so funny.  

I did delete about thirty pictures of grass and another batch of the puddle.  


They were both so proud to explain their images to me when looking at them on the computer.  



I love the pictures!  I might let them take pictures every Tuesday!


June 20, 2014

Reflections Lake


There is the most beautiful lake right off the Glenn Highway and near the Knik River (pronounced ka-nick).  The Reflections Lake area has a one mile trail around the lake with benches and bird viewing (there is a beaver lodge close to the bridge too).  The lake has great trout fishing and is perfect for kid's water fun and family boating.  There are beautiful wildflowers and bridges.  My children loved the walkways (or runways as they used them).  It is a safe path that stays a safe distance from the lake, but there are a few spots where you can see the Knik River and are pretty close (keep the little kiddos close).  The trail starts only a short distance from the cars and both of my boys made it around the lake with no trouble. 

This would be a great stop off on your way North out of town or a great destination for a picnic (and maybe a nap for the kids on the way back home!).

One viewpoint of the Knik River - gorgeous, but keep little ones in hand!

Lovely Lupine - great place for a family portrait?




Wonderful benches along the path (bring your bug spray if you want to sit a while!)

 The pavilion looks perfect for a picnic or gathering, but bring your own chairs.  It is near the gravel beach that just screams toddler fun time!
The great fishing spot! Walk to your left out of the parking area until you see an open area close to the island.


June 11, 2014

Rain Gear (Trailside Elementary School)

Oaki suits on the kiddos laying on the ground
Muddy Buddy by Tuffo on this dapper gentleman

 It was an oddly wonderful skedaddle at Trailside Elementary School!  The weather was a bit chilly and rainy, but we had flocks of children.  While kids love the equipment, the hill is the best part of this playground.  It is perfect for sledding in the winter and great for running down in the summer. 

Much of the parent talk revolved around rain gear!  I have yet to find the perfect outfit for my kiddos - I want something 100% waterproof, even if they sit a puddle for an hour.  Where can I find something like this??  As I might be searching endlessly, I have found some great alternatives that work just fine. 

Here is an old post with links to the big hitters in the rain gear department.   You can find some rain gear at Fred Meyer, Sportsman's Warehouse or even Cabellas.  There are some on the list that require mail ordering.  Be sure to look at the sizing charts as pant size doesn't always transfer to rain pants.  Also, you can get gear a bit larger so you can layer a pair of fleece pants underneath in the spring and early winter. 

Good Luck and please tell me if you find the perfect rain gear!