Seattle’s Child “The Pet Care Issue” May/June 2024

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»What Parents Are Talking About

Don’t ‘opt-out’ of testing

For most kids, the benefits of Smarter Balance outweigh the anxiety

May is standardized testing month. Many high school students and all kids in grades 3 to 8 will soon have a battery of state tests to tackle.

As a teacher, I am expected by many to bemoan standardized testing and complain about the stress it puts on students and educators. But there will be none of that from me.

I’m in favor of testing. The productive anxiety of high-stakes testing

From Japan to Finland to Seattle, standardized testing is necessary for public education. Educators and researchers rely on the data it provides, and students benefit from practicing high-stakes academic

situations. That’s why Washington state has required public schools to administer the Smarter Balanced Assessments (SBA) since 2015.

My own kids are in elementary school. As both a teacher and a mom, I believe testing is essential and strengthens kids’ abilities and resiliency. I want my daughters to face stressors and challenges, forcing them to stretch and grow. Practicing, cop-

May/June 2024 SEATTLE’S CHILD 5
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Education, health,
„ Find more local stories for families on Don’t miss these stories on The screentime consultant: The A.I. question Oyster harvesting: ‘Crazy yummy fun’ 1 2 Preparing for ‘The Big One’: Readiness is crucial 3
Jenna Vandenberg, a teacher at Mariner High School in Everett.


May/June 2024 // Issue 505

“Seattle is my town. I know this city inside and out… or so I thought until I had kids.”

Seattle’s Child is your guide to getting to know your city all over again. Finding things to do, places to eat, and how to get around — it’s a whole new ballgame with kids in tow. We’re interested in how parents make homes in a space-challenged urban environment, how families create community, and what parents are really talking about. Seattle’s Child reflects real Washington families and their broad range of parenting experiences.

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«What Parents Are Talking About CONTINUED

ing with, and meeting challenges now, in a variety of settings, will help build their confidence.

My students also need to experience the productive anxiety of high-stakes testing. During testing week, they learn they can power through nerves and self-doubt to conquer a test. They also discover they can write an essay without AI, read for an hour straight, or complete challenging math problems. When nervous middle school students pass the 10th-grade SBA, they learn they are more intelligent than they think. The opt-out option

All families have the right to insist their child not participate in state testing, and they give many reasons for doing so. However, testing does not affect grades, so I urge parents to think again if they’re considering an opt-out.

Here’s what I have seen in the classroom: Anxiety leads to avoidance, which leads to increased anxiety and increased avoidance. Removing anxiety from kids’ lives usually compounds the problem, whereas encouraging kids to cope with anxiety-inducing situations, while they are young, helps them rise to challenges when the stakes are higher in the future.

Of course, every child and situation is different. But before you opt your child out of SBA testing, consider that doing so may inadvertently support a counterproductive avoidance spiral. Talk to your child’s counselor or therapist to gain more insights as you decide.

What is measured can be improved

Testing data gives teachers immediate feedback about students’ skills. Without it, tracking where students are improving or declining, what policies are working best for kids, and the effec-

tiveness of various teaching methods would be nearly impossible.

Standardized testing is the only way to get this data because grades are highly subjective. GPAs have risen since the pandemic, but testing and anecdotal data show academic declines. This grade inflation likely results from policies implemented during online learning (for example, giving a student 50% credit instead of a zero for missing assignments). Testing data can illuminate the issue so districts can make better grading decisions moving forward.

Prep for college admissions

Standardized tests are making a comeback in college admissions. In 2020, many colleges dropped the SAT/ ACT requirement. However, top-tier universities like Yale, MIT, and Brown are reversing course. In January 2024, David Leonhardt published a piece in the New York Times about how standardized test scores contain the most accurate information to predict success.

According to Leonhardt: “Test scores can be particularly helpful in identifying lower-income students and underrepresented minorities who will thrive.”

Prospective community college students typically take a placement test that allows them to enroll in college-level classes. A passing SBA score waives the need to take that test.

A critical life skill

University admissions are just one place where testing occurs. A standardized test is required for the military, for obtaining a driver’s license, and for job promotions in many businesses and industries. Learning how to take a highstakes test is a life skill.

It is a generous gift of life that we will typically improve at whatever we practice. Band members practice scales, and track athletes run laps. Kids heading to college or in myriad other life directions need to practice taking tests.

6 SEATTLE’S CHILD May/June 2024
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» Dad Next Door

A little encouragement from across the fence

Leader of the pack

When I was a kid, my parents only allowed us to have low-maintenance pets — the kind you don’t get too attached to. Mostly it was a succession of goldfish, whom we invariably found belly-up in their bowls after a few weeks, and flushed unceremoniously down the toilet. Once, though, we had a little turtle who liked to hang out under the plastic palm tree on the island in the middle of his tank. When he died, it took us days to realize he wasn’t just sunbathing.

My favorite temporary pets were the perch and sunfish we’d catch on fishing trips and bring home in a bucket. We’d fill up the bathtub and let them swim around for a while. Then we’d kill them and eat them.

So, years later, it was new territory for me when we got a dog. My daughters had been lobbying hard for one for a long time, but I’d resisted. Having small children was enough of a challenge already, thank you very much. I wasn’t looking for another mouth to feed, or anyone else’s poop to clean up, and I just wasn’t convinced that it would be worth all that time and effort. Eventually, though, I gave in.

We got Java when she was just a puppy. She was a standard Labradoodle: a little black ball of curls and energy and sharp little teeth. As advertised, she didn’t shed, or trigger our allergies, but she did gnaw on the furniture and poop all over the yard, and she barked at every dog who passed within a hundred yards of our house. We tried to train her, with mixed results, but after a while it didn’t seem to matter. Little by little, she became part of the family.

As she grew older, and much bigger, she developed a mischievous streak. Combined with her inherited poodle talent for standing on her hind legs, it allowed her to surreptitiously poach any food we carelessly left within her reach. Once we found an empty bag on the counter which had recently contained an entire loaf of bread. There was not so much as a crumb of evidence at the scene of the crime, but her skulking demeanor when we confronted her with the bag told us all we needed to know.

In truth, though, she was the least problematic member of our family. The rest of us, with our endless capacity for

selfishness and self-absorption, were always disappointing or wounding each other, as humans do. Java, though, was all about our pack. When we walked in the door, she’d greet us as if we were conquering heroes, and when we got out her leash for a walk, she’d shower us with unbridled gratitude and joy. Her love was pure and uncomplicated in a way that ours could never be. There were no strings attached, no simmering grudges, no unspoken disappointments to temper her devotion. In the evenings, when we were all home under one roof, she’d lie at our feet and bask in the contentment of having her pack reunited. That was all she ever wanted from this world.

Java developed bladder cancer when she was nine years old — not a pup by any means, but still in her prime. It was too soon — we weren’t prepared to let her go. When the time came to put her down, we took her to the vet, and each said goodbye to her in turn. We fed her treats, and stroked her fur, and hugged her against our chests. She was wagging her tail, clearly enjoying all the love and attention, but I’m sure she was confused by our tears. She could always read our collective emotions like a book, and our grief must have been as clear to her as the neighborhood news she read with her nose as she sniffed through her morning walk.

It’s easy to make fun of people who anthropomorphize their pets. Who really knows what a dog thinks when we dress it up in a tiny sweater, or what a cat feels when it insists on going in and out of the house a dozen times in an hour? We see ourselves in them, and we interpret their behavior in terms of our own customs and ways. But what we often forget is that they are watching us from their own perspective as well.

Java’s lifelong project was to transform us into a proper wolf pack. With patience, persistence and unshakeable faith, she kept showing us the power of unconditional love. And though we never met the standard that she set for us, I like to think she trained us well enough so that, in the end, she felt we were worth all that effort and time.


Jeff Lee is still trying to learn new tricks, in Seattle, WA

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Harvold Berry Farm

Strawberry Farm 7701 Carnation-Duvall Rd NE, Carnation, WA 98014

Raspberry and Veggie Field 5207 CarnationDuvall Rd NE, Carnation, WA 98014

Discover the joy of farm-fresh bounty at Harvold Berry Farm, a third-generation U-pick farm. Strawberries ripen in mid-June, just in time for Father’s Day celebrations. In July, indulge in the sweet juiciness of raspberries, ripe for the picking until mid-August alongside vibrant veggies and sunflowers. With a commitment to sustainable farming, we nurture the land for future generations. Join us for a fruitful adventure and taste of local goodness. Check our website for current harvest information.

Sunriver Resort


Bend, OR

Unfolding across 3,300 forested acres, just moments from Bend, Oregon, Sunriver Resort is the Pacific Northwest’s all-season playground. At Sunriver Resort it’s your time to cruise the 40 miles of paved bike paths, explore evergreen forests on horseback, make a splash at the Cove Aquatic Center, view wildlife while paddling the Deschutes River, and take a swing at one of the four award-winning golf courses. But most importantly, at Sunriver Resort it’s your time to do what you love with the people you love.

Whale Watching on Land


105 Anthes Ave, Langley, WA 98260

Learn about orcas and other marine mammals at the Langley Whale Center on Whidbey Island. It’s free! Explore exhibits, chat with knowledgeable volunteers, and check out the kids’ room featuring a beautiful undersea mural, then browse the unique gift shop. The center is great for families and fun for all ages.

Hibulb Cultural Center


6410 23rd Ave NE, Tulalip, WA 98271

The Hibulb Cultural Center & Natural History Preserve is an interactive learning center, sharing the culture of the Tulalip Tribes. We feature a main and temporary exhibit, interactive long house, two classrooms, a research library, and gift shop.

Guided tours, interactive demonstrations, group rates, and private rentals are available. We also host monthly kid’s crafts, kid’s book and author events, and storytelling events. We have something for everyone, and fun for all ages!

Woodinville Farmers Market

Downtown Woodinville’s Schoolhouse District by City Hall and the Ball Fields

Open Hours 10 a.m.–2 p.m. May–September

Come enjoy food and fun for all ages!

Explore the Woodinville Farmers Market with your family and find local farmers, producers, and artisans. The Market is where the community comes together every Saturday from May–September to also enjoy entertainment, music, and demonstrations. Your kids will love our Power of Produce (PoP) kids club with its engaging and educational activities for kids of all ages. Homegrown and handmade, in the heart of Woodinville.

8 SEATTLE’S CHILD May/June 2024 Paid Advertising
SEATTLE’S May/June 2024 Paid Advertising Section

Right under your nose ‘Avenue of the Stars’

When scanning the night sky, it can be hard to see the stars in a constellation. Is that the lion or the crab? Help your kids know what to look for with a walk along the “Avenue of Stars” — otherwise known as Constellation Park and Marine Reserve Art — in West Seattle. Created by artist Lezlie Jane, the 13 brass images embedded in the walkway represent the constellations visible in the western sky. It’s a hop and a skip to Alki Beach. 6300 block of Beach Drive SW —Cheryl Murfin


Things to do with kids

Lessons on nature

Nature centers offer interactive, hands-on learning and more

Nature centers offer valuable lessons about being responsible stewards of our land and

waterways. With their interactive exhibits, scavenger hunts, art displays, and plenty of hands-on activities, visits are a fun and informative way to spend the afternoon.

Here are some PNW favorites:

Hiram Chittenden Ballard Locks

The Ballard Locks is a fantastic, pet-friendly place to watch boats of all sizes pass

from the freshwater harbor to the tidal waters of Puget Sound. In the summer months, you can also watch salmon climb a water ladder on their epic journey to spawning grounds. The visitor center and museum explore the locks’ history through videos and installations.

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Michael Wohl, Stephanie Shephard, and son Max Wohl, hiking at Tacoma Nature Center.


3Take the trails: Stroll the paths at Carl S. English Botanical Garden to find the grassy hill facing the locks — a popular place for kids to roll down.

3Cost: FREE

3Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

3Location: 3015 NW 54th St., Seattle.

Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

Located in Olympia, Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge attracts more than 250 species of birds and other wildlife. Interactive stations and placards reveal a wealth of information about the delta, watershed, and animal habitat. Check out binoculars from the Norm Dicks Visitor Center to see wildlife up close.

3Take the trails: The refuge has four miles of mostly boardwalk trails that move through varied landscapes, from the forest to the river and pond.

3Cost: $3/four adults, 16 and under: FREE.

3Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

3Location: 100 Brown Farm Road NE, Olympia The Breazeale Interpretive Center/Padilla Bay

Located in Skagit County, the pet-friendly Breazeale Interpretive Center is a mini-aquarium that packs a punch. Exhibits

tell the tale of Padilla Bay estuary and its intertidal mudflats. Large tanks hold seastars, urchins, and various fish. Touch tanks are a plus for kids. Don’t miss the hands-on room: Sort shells and rocks, identify bones, read, play games, and more.

3Take the trails: A spiral staircase leads to a rocky beach or take the Padilla Bay Shore Trail, one mile south of the center, for grand views of the San Juan Islands, Mt. Baker, and the Cascades.

3Cost: FREE

3Hours: Wednesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

3Location: 10441 Bayview Edison Road, Mount Vernon Brightwater Environmental Education Center

Where does poop go? It’s a question that every curious child wants to know, and the answer is at this pet-friendly wastewater treatment facility and education center. Interactive stations teach kids about water conservation and how the treatment facility separates wastewater into clean and reclaimed water.

find them at this marine biology center and aquarium, where a 38-foot gray whale skeleton greets you at the door. There are more than 250 native Puget Sound marine species in the Center’s tanks of marine life and hands-on exhibits.

3Take the trails: The facility is surrounded by three miles of trails. Bonus: Brightwater Center has a PopUp StoryWalk to keep your little ones moving on the trail.

3Cost: FREE

3Hours: Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

3Location: 22505 WA-9, Woodinville

3Take the trails: Walk the beach at low tide. MaST divers often recover animals from the Sound, so be on the lookout as you walk on the shore.

3Cost: FREE

3Hours: Saturdays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

3Location: 28203 Redondo Beach Drive S, Des Moines Cedar River Watershed Education Center

This pet-friendly education center, which sits above the shores of Rattlesnake Lake, in the foothills of the Cascades, is a gateway to information about the city’s drinking water. Listen for the rhythmic beats of water hitting the collection of drumheads created by local artist Dan Corson. Grab a blue ping-pong ball and get ready to experience a day in the life of a water droplet.

3Take the trails: For an easy walk, follow the paved path from the Center to the shore of Rattlesnake Lake.

3Cost: FREE

3Hours: Thursday-Friday, Noon-5 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

3Location: 17905 Cedar Falls Road SE, North Bend

Tacoma Nature Center

The Tacoma Nature Center is on a 70-acre preserve surrounding Snake Lake and offers something for everyone. Interactive exhibits teach about local wildlife (turtles, frogs, and bugs) and wetlands. The Center includes spots for quiet reading and active play.

3Take the trails: Borrow an adventure pack and binoculars to extend learning along a 1-mile self-guided wetland walk that passes a duck habitat and reptile refuge.

3Cost: FREE

3Hours: Daily, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

3Location: 1919 S Tyler St., Tacoma

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Next stop: The petrified forest

A weekend road trip packed with history and adventure

Pack your snacks and car games — it’s time to head east on an epic road trip.

On this trip, you’ll visit the Ginkgo Petrified Forest in Vantage, Washington, learn about Ice Age floods and volcanic eruptions, take in sweeping views of the Columbia River, visit a wind and solar energy plant, visit Wild Horses Monument, and finally get some relaxation at the amazing Sagecliffe Resort. Steeped in history, adventure, and relaxation, it’s one journey you won’t want to sleep on.

Mom, we’ve entered the desert!

Crank up the air conditioner, it’s going to be hot. The drive to your first stop, the Ginkgo Petrified Forest, is about two hours from Seattle in the Wanapum Recreation Area. Goodbye lush green forests, hello dry, warm temperatures and plenty of sagebrush. You might think you’re in the desert, but what surrounds you is a shrubsteppe biome. It contains a diverse ecosystem and is home to many species of animals.

Pieces of history at the Ginkgo Petrified Forest

There’s no forest of trees at this state park, but you will find sweeping views of the Columbia River and logs of petrified wood surrounding the interpretive center. Petrification is the process by which a once-living organism is transformed into a mineral while remaining visibly similar to its original structure. Touch the wood and feel the mineral deposits. They look like milky white gems stuck in the crevices of the logs.

Don’t skip the Ginkgo museum, where docents share stories about the environment’s evolution and the history of the Columbia River. Display cases get you up close to petrified wood from various trees.

A forest of ancient wood

About three miles from the interpretive center, you’ll find the Ginkgo Trailside Museum and forest. Constructed by the Ci-

Bonus Trip

To extend your vacation, continue eastward to the Tri-Cities. Once you get there, consider a visit to the REACH Museum, a run with alpacas at a local farm, and a wagon ride through a vineyard. You can’t go wrong wrapping up your excursion with two scoops of decadent ice cream at a local market. Check out “Kid-friendly things to do in the Tri-ciites” at

vilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, the museum sits at the beginning of the Trees of Stone Interpretive Trail. The trail winds past more than 20 petrified logs in their original setting (although red grates cover them today to prevent theft). As you look through grate holes to capture a glimpse of the mineral deposits, invite your kids to imagine the dry land covered in greenery some millions of years ago.

Horses charging to the Columbia River

Across the Columbia River and about two miles east of the Vantage Bridge you’ll find a tourist attraction well worth a stop. The exhibit has two names: Wild Horses Monument and “Grandfather Cuts Loose the Ponies” by Chewelah sculptor David Govedare. To fully view the monument’s 15 horses stampeding to the hillside’s edge, you’ll need to hike a 1/4-mile steep hill.

Bonus: Amazing views.

Environmental Science: Windmill energy

Driving into Eastern Washington, you’ll notice many windmills on the horizon. Their smooth blades whip through the air, creating power for surrounding towns. If you’ve

got little engineers in the family, don’t miss the free guided tour at the Wild Horse Wind and Solar Facility.

The facility’s museum is open every day from April to October. Kids are invited to dress up like engineers and wear construction hard hats and vests while a guide shows off the vast inner workings of the windmills and shares the importance of wind power to the community. Remember to dress warmly, as it can get windy and cold.

Where to stay: An oasis in Quincy

After a full day of adventure, consider resting your weary heads at Sagecliffe Resort and Spa, located on a winery estate with beautiful views, a pool, and restaurants. The resort offers a variety of housing, from yurts to cottages. Your family can even stay in a cavern room (where the building is constructed into the side of a mountain) close to the pool. It’s the perfect spot for sunset views. If you go, enjoy a traipse through the vineyards under a warm sun. Or check out the hiking trails behind the property for an adventure through the brush.

May/June 2024 SEATTLE’S CHILD 11
story and photo by JASMIN THANKACHEN Posing in the vineyards at Sagecliffe Resort and Spa overlooking the Columbia River Gorge.

Time to Take the Plunge

Sunriver Resort is the Pacific Northwest’s all-season outpost for adventure. Whether it’s making a splash at the Cove, cruising the 40 miles of paved bike paths, playing one of our premier golf courses, or sharing a decadent meal together at one of our dining outlets, Sunriver Resort provides the time to do what you love with the people you love. Take the plunge and plan your getaway today.

It’s your time at

New in Town Mt. Joy

Opened on Capitol Hill earlier this year, Joy isn’t just another chicken sandwich shop. It’s a very tasty chicken sandwich shop with a conscience. They are all about happy chickens and sustainable, ethical use of climate-smart practices. Not to mention a kids’ meal for $9 and delicious shakes for $6. 1530 11th Ave., Suite B, Seattle


Eating with kids

„ Got kids who love boba? Check out “Bubble tea bests: Our family favorites”

Outdoor seating

These places offer outdoor light, fresh air, and great fare

Outdoor dining has always been a good option for families. As spring rolls into summer, these 10 restaurants offer it all: kid-friendliness, good food, and outside seating. Call ahead to ensure outdoor areas are open.


This place screams family, from its colorful paint job and grass awnings to its backyard-style Caribbean cuisine to its sandpit with shovels and buckets. It’s like stepping onto a beach in the city. You’re sure to find kid-pleasers among the

chicken dishes, po’boys, or burgers. The simple beans and rice is a sure bet. 6501 Aurora Ave. N, Seattle.

The Spot

Yes, you can get burgers and other tasty fare at The Spot in West Seattle. But go for the waffles, sweet or savory, served all day, and accompanied by free live all-ages music on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. This

Cheap Eats

Georgia’s Food Truck Market & Deli

It takes being a family to know how to cook for a family — and price a menu for affordability.

Georgia’s Greek Food Truck Market & Deli meets those criteria in spades. Many members of owner Laki Kazakos’ family have helped keep Georgia’s on the map of family dining for more than 30 years — even after a fire razed its Ballard location in 2021. With the pivot to food truck and deli, Georgia’s maintains great prices and great food, offering many entrees at $13. All items on the tasty kids’ menu are less than $10. And did we mention Georgia’s was once featured by Guy Fieri on FoodNetwork’s Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives? 8007 Lake City Way NE, Seattle —Cheryl Murfin

Chef Rogelio Reynoso of Agua Verda Cafe in their outdoor dining space.



“community hangout” is for all ages, so pick your family’s spot on the patio and tuck in. 2920 SW Avalon Way, Seattle.

Agua Verde Café

The burritos are big, as are the restaurant’s awesome views of Portage Bay. Kids’ fare is simple: bean and cheese burritos, quesadilla, or their famous “mangodilla,” a mango, and your choice of meat-filled quesadilla, are usually hits. Warning: it’s crowded during the summer. Grab a basket of chips and wait for your table at the adjacent waterfront park. Got time? Rent single and double kayaks and paddleboards from Agua Verde Paddle Club, just below the restaurant, March through October. 1303 NE

Boat St., Seattle.

Humble Pie

Humble Pie is an unassuming pizza joint just off Rainier Avenue. It offers outdoor dining with infrared heaters at picnic tables beneath a solar panel roof, as well as an indoor dining room. It’s wonderful in the summer but even on a cold, rainy night it’s a great place to stay cozy and enjoy some of the best pizza in town.

Half of their pizzas are

vegetarian-friendly. Kids should check out the chicken coop, which helps supply egg pies. 525 Rainier Ave. S, Seattle.

Anthony’s Beach Café

The Beach Café is a lovely spot for outdoor dining while enjoying the splendid view of boat activity on Puget Sound. There’s solid food and a large sandbox for the kiddos in the outdoor dining area in warm

weather months. Feeling adventurous? Walk on the nearby Edmonds/ Kingston ferry for a short, scenic ride. 456 Admiral Way, Edmonds.

Elemental Pizza

U-Village is a popular hangout for Seattle families: There’s shopping, a playground, fun water fountains, and outdoor dining on the patio at Elemental Pizza, where pies are made from fresh ingredients in an open wood-fired oven. The grassy play area nearby is a great place for kids to cavort before the pizza arrives. 2634 NE University Village St., Seattle.

Smarty Pants Garage

This motorcycle-themed American fare pub with “dang good sandwiches” is tucked in the alleyway behind Grand Central Bakery in Burien. There are only two items on the kids’ menu – a grilled cheese with a side and a kid-sized pancake with fresh fruit during brunch hours. But the regular menu has lots of options, and they’re plenty big to share with your littles. Kids will love the motorcycles on display and more garage-themed décor. Dogs welcome. 626 SW 152 St., Burien.

Ivar’s Salmon House and Fish Bar

There are many Ivar’s restaurants around Seattle, but the one in the Northlake/Wallingford neighborhood sits right on the water with a patio offering up-close views of Lake Union boat traffic and the downtown Seattle skyline. There are two restaurants here: inside with full-service menus and a large collection of Native American art, and the walk-up fish bar on the sidewalk. Both offer seating on the barge where kids will enjoy watching the seaplanes take off and the water taxis drop off passengers at the restaurant dock. 401 NE Northlake Way, Seattle.

Marination Ma Kai

Hawaiian food by the beach? Yes, please! Marination Ma Kai offers tasty melt-in-your-mouth Hawaiian-Korean cuisine in West Seattle. The patio offers a great view of the Seattle skyline and their popular tacos or fish-and-chips rock. Kids will love the mac salad, spam sliders, and Hawaiian shaved ice for dessert. Bonus fun: Take the kids to the restaurant via the King County Water Taxi from downtown and then check out Alki Beach after your meal. 1660 Harbor Ave. SW, Seattle.

14 SEATTLE’S CHILD May/June 2024
Machete from Agua Verda Cafe.

Pitch In

One Seattle Day of Service

Pull out the work clothes and get your family ready for a day of pitching in to improve your neighborhood and city. Mayor Bruce Harell encourages city residents young and old to participate in One Seattle Day of Service, a citywide volunteer event on Saturday, May 18. Numerous clean-ups and other service projects will take place that day, many of which welcome families. To find out where you can pitch in, email — Seattle’s Child staff


Creating communities where kids flourish

Speak with purpose

Where students are finding their voices

“On the outside, you may see that I’m not the same. I’m not the same as anyone in this room, this country, or this world.”

These are the opening words of Salea Milard’s speech.

Salea, a fifth grader at Thurgood Marshall Elementary, has spent the past school year finding her voice through an in-class public speaking program offered by the local nonprofit Speak With Purpose.

Frustrated with messages focusing only on the positive aspects of being different, Salea was inspired to use her speech to express how others’ perceptions of her differences have led to instances of bullying. She wants other kids to know they’re not alone. While it can be challenging to stand out, Salea is also quick to point out the value of being unique:

“Even though I am different, I am a part of this world — a part of this world that can never be broken. I may be frayed, but I am not afraid, because I am myself. If I cannot be that, then what am I?”

Founded in 2012, Speak With Purpose (SWP) is the only public speaking program offered as part of the regular school curriculum in King County. The organization serves 750 students, primarily from Title I schools in greater Seattle.

Known as Scholars, students participate in SWP classes for 10 weeks, a semester, or the entire year, depending on what school they attend. Scholars begin by writing original speeches and then move on to developing public speaking skills.

Founder Toyia Taylor is passionate about SWP’s Scholars. As a student, Taylor experienced the challenges of being “taught at.” She recalls being surrounded by images and stories that didn’t resonate with her own experience. She’s made

it her mission to offer a meaningful alternative to students, which she does by creating learning environments where Scholars feel empowered to use their voices, share their experiences, express innate curiosity, and become engaged in their own education.

“We let Scholars decide what they are interested in,” Taylor says. “We encourage them to talk about how they see the world, and we listen deeply to their words, demonstrating that we value their opinions —

both about history and current events.”

Salea’s speech and voice powerfully attest to the program’s success. But developing these skills hasn’t come easy. She worked so long on writing, polishing, and practicing her speech that she almost gave up several times.

“I just kept thinking and thinking about it,” Salea says. “I spent so much time correcting and rewriting it. I was overthinking, and I didn’t think

May/June 2024 SEATTLE’S CHILD 15
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Salea Milard, a fifth grader at Thurgood Marshall Elementary, delivering her Passion Piece.


people were going to like it.”

SWP staff gave Salea the support and encouragement she needed to overcome her anxiety.

“I was so nervous, I was sweating. But when I got up there and started speaking, all my fear just went away,” she says.

After preparing — which included a practice run in the school’s library in front of peers and parents — Salea took the next step: She delivered her oration to a packed crowd in a large room, at a conference hosted by the Community Center for Education Results.

Salea’s experiences have led her to consider a career in public speaking — something which was previously off her radar. For now, she’s looking forward to delivering her Passion Piece in an end-ofthe-year performance at the SWP oratory showcase.

The SWP staff is made up of teaching artists, known as Educator/Innovators, who work together with Seattle Public Schools staff and parents to support program participants. These caring adults draw upon work experiences in advocacy, history, writing, dance, theatre, and other arts. They guide and support Scholars to unapologetically use their “instruments”

— that is, their hearts, minds, bodies, facial expressions, and movements.

Speak with Purpose relies on community collaborations to ensure that young speakers have multiple venues to showcase their work. The curriculum culminates with opportunities to deliver speeches in real-world engagements outside of school.

Salea’s next opportunity to speak purposefully will be on Father’s Day at SWP’s annual Rising Voices Oratory Showcase.

The public is invited to attend the event on Sunday, June 16 at Benaroya Hall.

Program supporters point out that being able to articulate thoughts and ideas with confidence is a necessary skill, not only for leadership, but also for life. And, in the lives of young people, it’s difficult to imagine a better gift than the support of caring, interested adults who want to hear what they have to say.

“Our children have a voice,” says Taylor. “Are you prepared to listen?”

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What every parent needs to have on hand

Young athletes and eating disorders

What parents need to know

Sports are a wonderful way for children and adolescents to learn teamwork, set goals, and boost confidence. Most importantly, sports are a way for kids to connect, stay strong, and make friends.

I am a huge fan of sports for kids, but sometimes kids (and coaches) can become too focused on performance or weight. Let’s talk about kids and sports and how to get the benefits without tipping toward excessive stress and eating disorders.

What is an eating disorder?

Eating disorders are complex mental health disorders that are seen in both females and males. Simply put, patients with eating disorders have an unhealthy focus on food, weight, and body image. Common eating disorders include anorexia nervosa and bulimia. Patients with anorexia nervosa often severely restrict their caloric intake due to an intense fear of weight gain. Patients with bulimia nervosa, on the other hand, tend to binge eat and purge or use diuretics or laxatives.

Excessive exercise, beyond what is recommended for sport, can also be related to purging.

In general, people with eating disorders are in denial and deeply believe that they are making healthy choices. The irony is that athletes who lose an excessive amount of weight ultimately are less likely to achieve peak performance. They experience fatigue, muscle breakdown, dangerously low heart rates, and brain fog. They are also much more likely to have fractures, injuries, and electrolyte derangements. Unfortunately, chronic malnutrition has severe health consequences and can be fatal.

Sports culture of performance and competition can mask some of the symptoms of this mental illness. Eating disorders can be difficult to identify, so awareness, understanding of the risk factors, prevention, and early treatment is critical.

The link between eating disorders and sports

Eating disorders tend to affect female athletes more often than male athletes, but both can be impacted. Some sports are more weight-sensitive than others,

meaning that there is an intense focus on the athlete’s weight. Whether it is an endurance sport such as long-distance running, a weight-category sport such as boxing or wrestling, or an aesthetic sport such as gymnastics or diving, intense focus on an adolescent’s weight is a risk factor for eating disorders. In fact, research has found that serious athletes in all three of these types of sports (endurance, aesthetic, and those with weight categories) have increased prevalence of eating disorders.

Some sports have a culture of fasting or dehydration and frequent weight checks prior to competitions. Additionally, young athletes are congratulated on meeting weight goals. The message teens hear is that disordered eating is part of the athletic routine. Unfortunately, this is a set-up for perseveration, or continued involuntary repetition of a thought or behavior, on weight and eating disorders.

Eating disorder risk factors

Certain behaviors or beliefs can increase the risk that a young athlete will develop an eating disorder. Stay in the know so you can understand how athleticism and performance are being discussed. Risk factors associated with increased risk of eating disorders include the following:

• Coaches who focus on competition and success rather than sportsmanship.

• Athletes with low self-esteem.

• Belief in the mistaken idea that being thinner improves athleticism.

• Family pressure to be thin.

• Family member with an eating


• Dieting constantly.

Preventing eating disorders

Prevention is key — not just for our own kids but for all the kids on the team. Let’s help our kids enjoy sports and have a healthy attitude toward food. As parents and caregivers, we can support our athletes by encouraging their motivation rather than emphasizing looks or weight.

• Encourage young athletes to grow in their sport in healthy ways including strength and mindset.

• Work with coaches to encourage motivation and positivity, rather than body shape and weight.

• Stay in the loop. Is the team promoting healthy beliefs about weight, body image, and health?

• Are the coaches trained to spot eating disorders?

• Advise against frequent weigh-ins.

Early intervention

If you think your child may have an eating disorder, start with unconditional love and support. Let them know you love them for who they are, not how they look or whether they win. Visit your provider to talk about further evaluation and treatment.


Dr. Susanna Block, MD, MPH, is a pediatrician with Kaiser Permanente in Seattle and lives with her family in Queen Anne.



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crackers with slices of cheese. These combinations provide a balance of taste and nutrient-dense energy to keep kids satisfied and ready for their next summer activity.


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18 SEATTLE’S CHILD May/June 2024

Pet care with purpose

Being around animals is a wonderful way for kids to expand their connection to the wider animal kingdom and learn useful life skills like taking responsibility. But it’s also a way to foster compassion, love, pride in caring, service, and purpose. In this section, you’ll learn about a few less common ways to bring an animal into your lives: pet fostering, raising a pup for service, and 4H, a program that teaches kids animal husbandry and a whole lot more. Perhaps your family will find its next animal connection in one of these programs.

4H: Life lessons that stick

Teaching responsibility, leadership, communication

It’s 6:30 p.m. and 16-year-old Haven Loh sits at a computer deep inside a former elementary school that houses the Highline STEM Center in Burien. The main hallway looks like a robot’s parking lot, lined with builds from years past. The basketball court has been transformed into a robot playing field, with wooden posts, goals, and stations where students maneuver remote controls.

Believe it or not, this is 4H. Yes, the very same organization hailed for teaching kids the ins and outs of agriculture and animal care since 1902. We’ll get to the animals in a minute.

But in Burien, where they’re the technician for the Skunk Works Robotics team, Haven has created a pre-competition checklist to make sure that the team’s robot is in top condition before each match. No wire, motor, cable, or battery is overlooked.

The list is 85 items long, but Haven is unphased. To them, robotics equals “joy.”

Since joining the team, they’ve learned computer-assisted drawing (“I hated it — then I started really enjoying it”); critical thinking (“everything has a why”); and design, mechanics, and prototyping (“really satisfying”).

Then of course, there’s competing (“so much fun”).


May/June 2024 SEATTLE’S CHILD 19
Astrid Niemi, 12, with her rabbit.

“4H: Life lessons that stick”


Haven is not alone. At the STEM Center, they are surrounded by dozens of students coding, fundraising, operating a floor-standing drill press, and eating brownies. Together, they represent multiple robotics teams, hailing from 16 different schools — and homeschools — across greater Seattle.

4-H kids, all of them. They might not know much about the organization or what the name represents (for the record: head, heart, hands, and health), but they still embody the century-old organization’s values.

Since its founding, 4-H has involved youth in the cutting edge of science and technology.

In the 1800s, agricultural agents noticed that many farmers were unwilling to accept new research. “They were like, ‘Oh, maybe the kids will be more open to it,’” says Alyssa Bowers, 4-H faculty and director of the Washington State University King County Extension. “They started working with the farmer’s kids and the kids ended up bringing new practices and the research back to their parents.”

Those farm kids were the first members of 4-H.

Today, agriculture projects — specifically animal care — remain popular with 4-H, where most clubs are open to kids aged five to 18. The members of the Kelsey Creek Critters

20 SEATTLE’S CHILD May/June 2024
The Tekerz robotics team at a 4-H competition. Callie Weber judges an English Spot at the Evergreen Rabbit Breeder Association Spring Show. PHOTO BY CHARLENE DY

4-H Club in Bellevue meet twice a month to raise rabbits, cavies, and poultry and compete at the King County Fair. They keep meticulous records, run board meetings, and learn animal science with the support of adult volunteers.

At home in Bellevue, club member Astrid Niemi, age 12, cradles an English Spot in her arms.

Earlier that week, Astrid clipped the rabbit’s nails, gave it a bath to ensure its fur was immaculate, checked its ears for mites, and confirmed that it was healthy enough to bring for a rabbit show on Saturday at the Enumclaw Expo Center. Most important for showing, says Astrid, “No urine stains!”

Ultimately, the rabbit doesn’t win Best of Breed, but Astrid isn’t too disappointed. 4-H has brought big responsibilities: She serves as the club’s recorder during meetings, cares for two rabbits, and, in an agreement with her parents, pays for 50% of the animal costs, including vet bills. Even so, she’s in it for the fun.

Her mom, Heather Niemi, the club’s co-leader, says: “I thought that what we were getting into with 4-H was just more responsibility and education around her specific animal, right? But it was so much more than that.”





“There’s poise. The ability to interact with the public,” Niemi adds. “Our kids learn how to make eye contact. How to present well. Explain their critical thinking to an adult. Run a business meeting.”

This is all by design.

“You get them in the door with the fun animals or the cool robotics,” says Bowers, “But we’re teaching them important life skills, even if it’s hidden behind all the fun things that they get to do.”

Volunteers and partnerships are what enable 4-H to provide a wide array of programming, while still staying true to the organization’s values.

Skunk Works, for instance, is a 4-H team that competes through FIRST Robotics, an organization whose founder, Dean Kamen, famously said, “We’re not using kids to build robots — we’re using robots to build kids.” It’s a very 4-H sentiment.

PERSONALIZED PATHWAYS: We partner with families to craft an educational journey with personalized learning plans tailored to each scholar’s unique interests and strengths.

SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY: Students experience unwavering support from a dedicated team of advisors and mentors who are committed to providing guidance and fostering growth.

All 4-H programs share three things: mentorship, hands-on learning, and the opportunity to be a leader.

Those life lessons stick. In 2012, a Tufts University study showed that compared to those who did not participate, teens who took part in 4-H when they were younger were more likely to make positive contributions to their communities and abstain from risky behaviors.

In 2023, a new study followed those same kids into adulthood, and found that they were now three times more likely to participate in community service, twice as likely to help people they don’t know, and twice as likely to report leading lives of purpose.


INCLUSIVE ENVIRONMENT: Every classroom is a vibrant and inclusive community that celebrates diversity, where every student’s voice is valued, respected, and nurtured.

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PERSONALIZED PATHWAYS: We partner with families to craft an educational journey with personalized learning plans tailored to each scholar’s unique interests and strengths.


SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY: Students experience unwavering support from a dedicated team of advisors and mentors who are committed to providing guidance and fostering growth.

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REAL-WORLD PREPARATION: Our scholars a competitive edge through immersive experiences, weekly field trips, internship opportunities, and confidence-building projects.

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Animal fostering as a family

Short-term animal care has big benefits

A growing body of research indicates that caring for pets has long-term benefits for children. It can lead to more secure human relationships throughout life, better quality of life, healthier well-being, and reduced aggression. Equally important, children who care for a pet are more likely to have compassion for all animals and treat them humanely.

But what if your family is not yet ready for permanent pet ownership or is unable to make that kind of long-term and financial commitment? Or perhaps you already have a pet but your kids want more animals in their lives?

Thankfully, there’s another, muchneeded, option for connecting kids with the ethics and benefits of animal care: temporary fostering.

Homeless animals have a variety of foster needs—small space or larger, short-term or longer, on their own or with other foster animals. Have resident pets? That can work well, too, though some foster animals may require a private or protected space in your home.

Kitty Love

The Manning family of Shoreline has fostered cats and kittens for PAWS (Progressive Animal Welfare Society) for five years. The family of five includes “master fosterers” Katie Manning and her 11-yearold daughters Eliana and Ava.

The first few fosters made them a little nervous, though they had completed the PAWS foster training. But, says Manning, “we quickly learned we weren’t really on our own. The PAWS Foster staff is wonderfully supportive.”

During years of fostering, they have become accustomed to returning beloved animals to the shelter to find their “forever homes.”

Returning the first couple groups of kittens was hard, Ava says. Even so, she adds, “the family talked about it and we just said ‘Let’s do it again,’ because the fun is much more than the sadness.”

“It can be tough, especially at first,” adds Manning. “I get a little teary when I drive up to the foster office.” But, she says, three

Area shelters rely on foster volunteers to provide care for homeless animals until they are adopted. Google “animal shelters nearby” to find a list or check out one of these larger shelters: PAWS in Lynnwood, Seattle Animal Shelter in Seattle, and Seattle Humane in Bellevue.

things make that drive easier:

• “We can’t keep them all.” The family has several permanent pets.

• “When we return a current foster to the shelter, we make room in our home and hearts to take another one.”

• The family has total trust in PAWS to vet potential adopters.

The twins are heavily involved in the care of the fosters, including kittens. “We get to see the kittens being born,” Eliana says. “One time I put it on Zoom so my friend could watch, too.”

“It was a mini biology lesson,” adds Manning.

Newborn kittens require special attention, although the mama cat is wired to provide most of the care. “We weigh them every day,” Ava says. “Sometimes we need to bottle- or syringe-feed them, so we’ve learned to make up the formula. We pass

the kittens around and everyone helps.”

Even visitors. When people come to visit the Mannings, they help socialize the felines to living with humans. Sometimes, they fall in love and decide to adopt one or two. All potential adopters are interviewed and approved by PAWS staff.

Caring for Canines

Chris Korol and her 12-year-old daughter Jo Lauckhart haven’t kept a list, but they estimate they’ve fostered close to 200 dogs, beginning in Berkeley, CA when Jo was 5.

“When we returned to Seattle,” says Korol, “one of the first things we did was to look into local animal rescue organizations.”

Fostering is definitely a family affair, says Korol, although Jo’s dad and 15-yearold brother have less hands-on responsibility. Jo takes on extra responsibility by fostering small animals like rabbits and mice through Seattle Animal Shelter.

Sometimes there’s a “foster fail,” but it isn’t what you think. That happens when a family just can’t part with their foster

22 SEATTLE’S CHILD May/June 2024

Why this particular puppy? “He’s got so much personality,” says Jo. “His sibling didn’t make it, his mom got adopted and I did not want to let this puppy go.”

Korol likes fostering, and feels it has taught her kids responsibility and how to care for animals.

“And since it’s temporary, the worst-case scenario is the kids don’t pull their weight, and the family doesn’t foster again. Or you wait until the child matures a bit and asks to try it again.”

Now in middle school, Jo isn’t ready to pause caring for paws: “It’s a lot of work sometimes, but it’s really worth it. You feel good and the animals are just lots of fun!”

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animal. For example, the curly ball of fur that likes to bounce on Jo’s lap. The 3-month-old pup will be permanently joining the family. Chris Korol and daughter Josie Lauckhart with dogs Daffy (right), Cookie (middle), and Chloe (left), and Banana the bunny.

Ready for service!

Raising a puppy to guide someone in need

Flanagan is on his way to college and the Kim family couldn’t be more proud. They’ll miss him, of course, but they just want him to be successful and happy. It’s a typical family right of passage, heading off to school. Except that Flanagan is 14 months old. Oh, and he’s a dog.

The Kims — Ian, Sarah, 13-year-old Micah, and 9-year-old Noah — are one of a number of families who volunteer to raise a puppy for Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB). Welcoming an 8-weekold ball of fur and returning a grown dog a year or so later is a big commitment, but it’s one that means months of joy, learning, and growth for the entire family.

After their Golden Retriever, Sadie, died, the Kims wanted a pet in their home. They met some guide dogs being raised in the neighborhood, and talked as a family about raising a puppy. “GDB is a great program,” says Sarah, “and raising was an opportunity to volunteer to help others while enjoying the experience of having a dog again.”

“At first I wasn’t sure I wanted

to do it,” Micah admits, “because I would have to say good-bye.” Once the family talked about it, though, they decided that as long as they went into the experience knowing what the outcome would be, that would make it doable. They were all in.

Decision made and ball of fur duly delivered, the boys were excited by both the fun and the responsibility. “We took Flanagan on walks together, went to GDB training meetings, and practiced with him,” says Micah. “Sometimes we practiced with other dogs, too, so we learned a lot about raising and training.”

Noah pipes in: “We took turns feeding him and learned to measure his food just right. But the best part was coming home from school and Flanagan would rush over and be so glad to see us.”

Sometimes Flanagan accompanied the boys to their school for special events.

“So did you hear about Flanagan being elected mayor?” asks Ian. Say what?? At the boys’ school, students vote each year to elect an animal — a fish, a dog, a bird — as “mayor.” This year it was Mayor Flanagan.

“The kids really got into it,” says Ian. “When Flanagan visited the school for the last time recently,

24 SEATTLE’S CHILD May/June 2024
CONTINUED ON PAGE 26 > Interested in raising a puppy or puppy-sitting? Check out Guide Dogs for the Blind’s Seattle Puppy Raisers, Dogs for Better Lives, or Canine Companions Puget Sound.
Zoe (left) and Aya Ma walk Bengal, a Guide Dogs for the Blind puppy in training. The family previously raised Fillmore, who returned for formal training on the same puppy truck that delivered baby Bengal. As a puppy in training, Flanagan attended special events with the raisers’ sons, Micah and Noah.
May/June 2024 SEATTLE’S CHILD 25


the school gave him a send-off and explained to the students about his moving on to advanced training.”

Which mention brings the family full circle to the tough subject of saying good-bye. Asked how he is feeling as the day of departure approaches, Micah pauses a moment to consider. “Really,” he says, “I just want Flanny to be successful and be a good helper for the person who needs him.”

Will they do it again? Sarah answers for the family. “We’ve learned so much and the organization has been supportive and great to be a part of. We definitely will stay involved, volunteer to puppy-sit. Then who knows? Perhaps another puppy!”

If raising a puppy sounds interesting, but your family’s not ready to make that commitment, there’s the option to “puppy-sit” while learning about service dog training and getting to know the organization. Puppy-sitting allows family members to learn about caring for and training dogs, and to “sit” a puppy-in-training when the raiser needs a break.

The Worthington family of Anacortes—Helen and Brian and their three kids: Tommy, Kyle and Caitlin—have schedules full of sports and other activities, and they don’t feel ready to have a fulltime dog just now.

“Puppy-sitting works perfectly for us,” says Helen Worthington.. “The kids haven’t been raised with a dog around, so they are eager to learn how to care for and train a dog. And to play, of course—when these dogs aren’t training or working, they’re just like any other dogs.”

Brian Worthington enjoys “seeing the kids take initiative with the puppies’ training exercises. It’s fun to watch both the kids and the dogs be successful.”

And the kids? Caitlin sums up how they feel about sitting succinctly: “The whole thing is REALLY fun!”

As a parting thought, Helen Worthington adds that she never worries about three kids and a puppy being too much. She says the nonprofit Summit Assistance Dogs makes it easy.

“I know that if we find ourselves in a challenging situation, there’s a network of committed staff and volunteers to help out,” she says.

26 SEATTLE’S CHILD May/June 2024


pregnancy and labor

Reality Check

or a lot of people, the dream begins the moment a pregnancy is confirmed: You’ll enjoy nine months of carefree eating, your libido will go into overdrive, and your birth will happen exactly as planned, right down to your partner in tears as they cut the cord.

And for a lot of people, the dream and reality never meet.

What’s a parent to do? Here’s a reality check on some popular “dreams,” and how to cope: Dream: You’re pregnant. You’ll feel happy through these months.

Reality: One in seven people (15%) experience perinatal depression—a mild to severe depression during pregnancy.

According to March of Dimes, it’s one of the most common complications of pregnancy. If any of these symptoms during or after pregnancy last longer than two weeks, speak to your provider: feeling restless or irritable; feeling sad, hopeless, and overwhelmed; crying a lot; having no energy or motivation; eating too little or too much; sleeping too little or too much; trouble focusing, remembering or making decisions; feeling worthlessness and guilt; loss of interest or pleasure in activities; withdrawal from friends and family; having headaches, chest pains, palpitations

we didn’t expect that

Plan now for common postpartum ‘surprises’

Babies bring a lot of surprises. As a certified postpartum doula for 17 years, I’ve seen time and again how planning ahead can help navigate the waters of early parenthood. From practical to philosophical, here are some tools to help new parents stay in the driver’s seat on the postpartum road.


The first six weeks can be the hardest emotionally. From feeding to bonding, what you expected to feel or do may not match reality. Moments of grief and regret are as common as the joy a newborn can bring. Adjusting to a huge life change, while not getting adequate sleep can make it feel like you’ll never find a rhythm. Caring for yourself and your baby with little time for other tasks is sometimes lonely and anxiety-producing.

The newborn phase can bring amazing moments of love along with some of the hardest days you’ll ever face. Plans often change so be prepared to reset expectations. Once the baby starts interacting with you more, parenthood generally feels more rewarding. Remind yourself the day is coming soon when your baby will smile at your valiant efforts. It’s their way of letting you know You Are The Best Parent They Ever Had.

In the meantime, new parent support groups, perinatal therapists, and postpartum doulas can help you navigate the first months. Check out the peer support groups offered by PEPS and Families of Color Seat-

or fast and shallow breathing. To find providers with experience in perinatal depression, go to Perinatal Support Washington or call 1-888-404-7763

Dream: Your doctor or midwife will be the one to deliver your baby.

Reality: Most obstetricians and midwives (whether certified nurse midwives who work in hospitals or licensed midwives who work in homes and birth centers) work in practices with multiple providers using an on-call system. Make the effort to meet every provider in a practice

tle to reduce isolation and normalize your experience.


Birth recovery looks different for everybody and every body. Give yourself grace. Post-pregnancy, hormones continue to have a loosening effect on joints and ligaments, making it easier to injure yourself. Movement is important for recovery, but ease into exercise and protect your joints from stress.

Some pregnant people choose to begin working with a physical therapist during the third trimester to reduce pain, support childbirth, prevent pelvic floor dysfunction, and aid in general postpartum recovery. All parents are at elevated risk for repetitive stress injuries from infant care so good ergonomics are important.


Baby will pee on you, and probably not just pee. It is an initiation rite for all new parents. Wait a few minutes after your baby poops before changing them. Trust me. They’re probably not done yet. Put a clean diaper under the baby before you begin diaper changes to help contain messes.


Asking for help is the hardest when you need it the most. In our hyper-individualized society, accepting support even during huge life changes is a challenge, but it certainly makes surviving this time easier. People who offer help want to support you. Make a list of needs and plan to ask your community for help in ways that work for you.

28 SEATTLE’S CHILD May/June 2024
F I R S T Y E A R S t h e
ON PAGE 30 >

so that when the time comes you do not feel like a stranger has entered the room and the most intimate experience of your life. In my practice, the pregnant person’s named provider actually catches the baby in about 60% of births.

Dream: You’ll write the perfect birth plan, and everything will go as planned.

Reality: Very, very few births go exactly as planned. Even the most ardent hope of birthing at home can turn quite unexpectedly into a hospital birth. Suddenly the dream of a vaginal birth in a hos-

pital must give way to a necessary C-section. Reframe what this important document is: It’s your Birth Wish List. Consider hiring a birth doula to support you and your plan during labor and in making informed decisions. To find and compare doulas in your area, go to

Dream: You will remember labor with joy.

Reality: Unfortunately, traumatic labor and deliveries do happen. What is considered a traumatic birth differs widely, but multiple factors may be involved, including loss of control, loss of dignity,

hostile medical providers, stress caused by family and others in the birthing suite, prior sexual trauma, surgery, or unexpected and unwanted interventions. A traumatic birth can lead to long-term distress and anxiety. Several therapists in the Puget Sound region specialize in traumatic pregnancy and birth and can be found at Perinatal Support Washington.

Dream: You will fall in love with your baby in utero — or, at the very least, it will be love at first sight at birth.

Reality: Take This Pressure

Off Yourself Right Now. Many, many moms (and dads) do not feel the mythic rush of love as a baby grows inside or when they finally arrive. Birth is an event. It is shocking to the person giving birth and shocking to the baby stunned by the environmental change. What you are feeling is normal. Know you are not broken. You are not a bad parent. You are human, and it will come.


Cheryl Murfin is managing editor at Seattle’s Child. She is also a certified doula of 25 years.

May/June 2024 SEATTLE’S CHILD 29
Mom Elise Hirshi and newborn August Hirshi Curry

Weekly music class for children birth to age 5 & the grown-ups who LOVE them!


The Incredible Years

iden -b ed parenting ses

Learn age-appropriate parenting skills and tools in a supportive environment with other parents of kids in the same age range.


birth - 8 months 8 months - 3 years 3 - 9 years 9 - 12 years


13 weeks of 2-hour sessions with a certificate upon completion. Receive unlimited email support from the therapist leading your class.

Classes are only $25 per session.


WFWS also provides counseling for families, children, teens and adults with Licensed Mental Health Therapist, Jasmine McCarthy. Jasmine can support grief, anxiety, depression, parent separation, ADHD, ODD, gender and sexuality questioning, and the BIPOC community.



You are actually the expert. Parents are surrounded by experts — pediatricians, doulas, and so on, on almost any topic. Ultimately you are the expert on your baby because you spend the most time with them. Trust yourself.


Relationships change. From grandparents to friends to partners, things can change in ways you don’t expect. It can be challenging as your self-perception and needs shift. Clear communication is essential. Consider these classes to help protect your relationships.

• Bringing Baby Home is a workshop aimed at helping couples understand the impact of a baby on their relationship and keeping their relationship strong once baby arrives.

• Swedish Medical Center’s Grandparents Class is designed to help grandparents understand the latest research and ways they can lend support to the new family.


Your baby didn’t read that book. There isn’t a single book or Instagram page with all the tips for the “right” way to parent. There is no single right way. If there were, there would only be one book on the shelf! Your baby will have a unique temperament, personality, and other attributes. That means parenthood depends on finding your best style for raising them.


Feeding can be the biggest surprise. Despite all the information available prenatally, most new parents say feeding challenges are still the biggest postpartum surprise. Each feeding situation is unique leaving even the most prepared parents sometimes feeling overwhelmed. Informed support beginning immediately after birth can make a significant difference in developing a successful feeding plan. Consider hiring an IBCLC-certified lactation consultant or postpartum doula before the baby comes.

Here’s one practical tip: Hand express and collect colostrum before birth to be used in the first day or two if needed. Be sure to check with your care provider about when it’s safe to start expressing. And remember, there is never shame in choosing or needing to use formula.


Megan Davis is a seasoned Certified Postpartum Doula at

Capitol Hill Queen Anne
Lake Magnolia
30 SEATTLE’S CHILD May/June 2024
F I R S T Y E A R S t h e

take it or leave it

Use your paid family leave to do something wild!

Slotting a final pair of skis into an overstuffed roof box, I stepped back to admire my handiwork. The fully loaded Subaru Outback was ready for a month-long trip to the Methow Valley — an extended vacation that entailed yanking our toddler out of preschool and relocating our newborn to a cabin, sight unseen.

Fairytale or nightmare? In the end, this adventure — made possible by Washington Paid Family Leave — was far more the former.

After our older child, Lena, was born in 2021, we relished a leisurely summertime postpartum at home in Seattle, making midweek getaways to Tokeland,

Marrowstone Island, Glacier, and Orcas Island.

But as my wife and I prepared for Lena’s little brother Asa to arrive in January, we began dreaming up something different. We knew that newborn care is largely the same wherever you are, and that taking a long break from our professional responsibilities was unlikely to happen again any time soon.

In a few years, we realized, we’d be beholden to school schedules, making the prospects of spending this much wintertime away from home very dim.

To keep costs down, we rarely dined out, relying on food we prepared before Asa’s birth. We also brought dishes made by friends and family, specifically requesting easy-to-reheat meals. Taking dinner preparation out of the equation made parenting two kids with no child care far less daunting.

Timing was crucial to exe-

cuting this gambit. Fortunately, the baby came on time, so the calendar worked in our favor.

Before we hit the road, all medical appointments for Asa’s first month of life were complete, and we scheduled his two-month check-up for the first full day we were back home.

Our doctor gave us her blessing with a few caveats — seek medical attention if Asa had a high fever or his stool deviated from newborn mustard yellow.

Still, there’s no denying that we were rolling the dice. If there were birth complications, we would need to pull the plug. If something dramatic happened on the trip, we were hours instead of minutes from the closest medical institution.

We rented a well-appointed two-bedroom, two-bathroom cabin on a lovely wooded lot alongside a burbling river. The cabin cost $3,750, which breaks down to $125 per night. We calculated that by spending at least two weeks in the cabin we would break even; we stayed three weeks total.

We found the gorgeous floor-to-ceiling mountain views, breathtaking night sky, and serene quiet a more pleasant setting for midnight feedings and afternoon temper tantrums than

our cozy-but-getting-cramped Craftsman.

We also pre-purchased season passes to the Methow Trails system, so we could ski as much or as little as we wanted on any given day.

Staying in a more developed winter resort town would have offered more options for entertaining an active toddler, although it likely would have been more expensive. We did find a wonderful babysitter who provided respite for us and fun for Lena.

Other parents might choose a city break instead of an outdoor recreation destination, but for us the complete change of scenery was a prime motivation. And don’t hesitate to invite friends who can crash the party for a few days, especially those who can pull their weight by playing with a toddler or cradling a newborn.

Going away for the postpartum and new-baby leave period is not for everyone, but if you are fortunate enough to be able to use paid leave funds beyond meeting your family’s basic needs, consider an extended getaway. The luxury of time off is a uniquely precious commodity. Come next year you’ll likely be back to long weekends and a week or two here or there.

May/June 2024 SEATTLE’S CHILD 31
Yiting Lim, snowshoeing with 1-month-old baby Asa in a baby carrier, and toddler Lena in the Methow Valley.

Baby science

How (and why) to sign your baby up for UW research

Years ago, I sat with my baby on my lap in a small soundproof booth tucked in the back of a University of Washington research lab. My curiosity was what got us there.

As researchers played sounds in my 5-month-old daughter’s ears through tiny headphones, delicate equipment registered whenever she heard something. We found out her hearing was fine, and I felt a little pride in knowing she had contributed to the growing body of research on infant hearing. The experience was so enjoyable for both of us that we signed up to participate in two other infant studies.

I’m far from unique in my curiosity. About 1,800 infants and children are enrolled in UW child development research each year, and on average, 650 families of infants and toddlers are assigned to take part in studies each month.

And more participants are always needed.

“Right now, we have 15 different labs requesting infant and child participants,” says Dr. Ellen Levi, who manages the university’s study participant pool.

Infants as young as six weeks are needed for some studies, and researchers will soon be looking at newborns. Many studies are trying to understand what typical child development looks like while others seek to gain a better understanding of autism, Fragile X, Down Syndrome, speech and language delays and disorders, and deafness, says Levi.

Participating in child development research through the university’s Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences (I-LABS) has several benefits. Parents gain increased awareness about their child’s growth and behavior, learn about resources to enrich a child’s early learning environment and get paid for their participation. For most kids, it’s a fun outing.

And then there’s the element of giving back.

“The largest benefit of participating in research is undoubtedly the contribution to science itself,” says Dr. Christina Zhao, a

Research Assistant Professor at the UW’s Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences. Zhao directs the Lab for Early Auditory Perception (LEAP)housed within I-LABS.

“Our understanding of early human development is made possible by generations of children and families who participated and continue to participate in research.”

Erica Stevens, assistant director of the UW I-LABS, says UW has a vibrant research community. The labs have developed a simple way for families to volunteer for studies. Families opt into the labs’ participant pool, a database shared by research labs exploring questions about human development.

“We are constantly recruiting people of all ages and all backgrounds to join our pool,” says Stevens. “Parents can enroll their children in the pool as young as newborns by filling out an intake form. Any age is welcome.”

Interested in getting involved?

You can register your child in the Communication Studies Participant Pool at You can also call 206-616-6210 or email to learn more.

32 SEATTLE’S CHILD May/June 2024
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Researchers in the UW’s Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences need local babies to learn more about infant and child development.

Let’s go to the park

5 playgrounds good for waddlers and toddlers

Once a baby arrives, and especially when they start moving, you never look at parks the same way. Now it’s all about the playground: Is there equipment geared toward the waddler toddler crowd? Are there baby swings? Will it entertain little ones and older siblings?

These five playgrounds check most, if not all, the boxes:

Seattle PlayGarden

1745 24th Ave. S, Seattle

One of the true gems of Seattle, the Playgarden was designed as a fully inclusive space for children of all abilities. It offers safe and inclusive play structures, a climbing hill and garden, water play (no pool), and waddlers and toddlers will love the wide swing. The park is open during onsite preschool hours. Chickens and ducks roam the park during the day (please don’t feed them). Check out the park’s summer camp, staffed free play sessions, and many tot-friendly events. Restrooms available.

Yesler Terrace Park Playground

903 Yesler Way, Seattle

This playground offers colorful, all-abilities

play structures that wee ones will love and feel confident exploring, a spray park (summer beginning June 26, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.) sculptures, and a turf hill designed for safe sliding or rolling. Plus awesome water and city views. Restrooms at Yester Community Center.

Tot Lot Park

141 9th Ave., Kirkland

Better known as Turtle Park (for the large stone turtle that sits in the middle of the lawn), Tot Lot Park is a fully fenced, flat, and fabulous mini-park for toddlers. You’ll find a wellstocked sandbox, a small climbing structure with slides, ride-on toys, swings, and lots of grass. Restrooms: portable toilet.

34 SEATTLE’S CHILD May/June 2024 F I R S T Y E A R S t h e


9930 124th Ave. NE, Kirkland

The “Castle Park” playground features — you guessed it — a castle of climbing structures, secret passageways, and slides. A toddler area has smaller (but just as cool) equipment, and everyone will love the tire swing. There is tons of grass for snacktime, a few small nature trails and boardwalks. No restrooms.

Saint Edward State Park

14445 Juanita Drive NE, Kenmore

At Saint Edward State Park you’ll find a castle-themed wooden playground perfect for big kids, and an awesome fenced toddler area featuring tunnels, slides, bridges, swings, and a sandbox. There’s a large expanse of grass for picnics and lots of woodland trails to explore. Restrooms available.



need ‘toddler milk?’

Pediatricians say no

The ads about toddler milk are compelling, maybe even a little scary.

They claim that “toddler formula” is “designed to help support your little one’s growth.” They claim to provide “nutrients toddlers might not get enough of,” including those supporting crucial brain develop ment.

In reality, such products are a “complete unknown,” according to Dr. Susanna Block, a Seattle pediatrician with Kaiser Permanente. “We don’t know what’s in them,” because, unlike infant formula, these products are not regulated by the FDA.

The arrival of the costly products, with their pitches playing to parents’ concerns, prompted the American Academy of Pediatrics to issue a clinical report stating that toddler milks and formulas provide no nutritional advantage.

“Save your money. Buy food,” Dr. Block says. What to give instead of toddler milk

While we had her on the line, we asked Dr. Block to go over pediatricians’ general advice involving babies, kids, milk and food. It’s a great refresher, even if you think you already know all of it:

• Birth to one year: Give primarily breast milk or infant formula.

• Ages 1-2: Switch to whole cows’ milk. At this point, a child should be eating a variety of foods after starting with purees. Around the first birthday is also “a great time to go from bottle to sippy cup,” Dr. Block says. Continuing on a bottle for too long can raise the risk of tooth decay. Plus, “Kids want to do it anyway,” she says of the switch.

• After age 2: Switch to low-fat or nonfat milk.

• Exceptions: Kids with allergies or special nutritional needs. Those families should con sult their practitioner to determine the best alternatives.

Kids and milk: how much?

Dr. Block says 1- and 2-year-olds can have up to 16 ounces (2 cups) of milk per day. From ages 2 to 5, that can increase to 24 ounces.

Is there such a thing as “too much” milk? There can be, Dr. Block says. It’s possible that a milk-adoring child will fill up on it and then not get enough other foods. Her advice? Give them milk after the meal.

Conversely, what about a kid who turns up their nose at milk? The key is to make sure they’re staying hydrated and getting enough calcium, protein and Vitamin D. Foods such as yogurt and cheese can help.

As for juice, soda pop and other sweet drinks: These should not be given daily but perhaps reserve them for special occasions, Dr. Block says. “And never in a bottle.”

May/June 2024
Rose Hill Woodlands Park Miles Huston at Yesler Terrace Park Playgound.


Consider these options if you’re looking for a preschool program, childcare facility, support, or service for a parent, child, or family. For more choices check out our digital directories, highlighting local businesses in the Seattle area at

Cloud 9 Academy

Ages 30 months-5 years

4805 NE 45th Street, Seattle 98105


All children are welcomed at Cloud 9 Academy. They are given the opportunity to grow at their own pace with individual attention to each child’s unique needs. Our teachers embrace an emergent, project-based curriculum and provide a material-rich environment with a focus on social-emotional growth and creativity for enhancing thinking-skills, problem-solving, and learning to get along with others.

Cosmopolitan Kids

Children’s Academy

Birth–8 years old

200 1st Ave. W, Suite 100, Seattle 98119 1000 2nd Ave., Suite 204, Seattle 98104 1-888-862-6813

Cosmopolitan Kids Children’s Academy provides a warm, engaging environment that incorporates a challenging, child-centered curriculum while placing high priority on building relationships between caregivers, children and families. Our classrooms are designed to help promote hands-on learning and independent exploration. We strive to meet each child’s needs individual-

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ly and encourage families to become partners in their child’s care.

Department of Children, Youth & FamiliesStrengthening Families Washington

Prenatal to 5

1500 Jefferson St. SE, Olympia 98504


Strengthening Families Washington is a program within the Department of Children, Youth & Families whose main focus is to help families become stronger together, through a variety of tactics. These include home visiting, community outreach and partnerships, and funding opportunities with local organizations. We believe in partnering with parents and caregivers and encourage leadership and collaboration in all our work.

Diaper Stork

Ages 0-3

118 N 36th Street, Seattle 206-928-6982

At Diaper Stork, we’re committed to building a greener future by reducing waste one diaper at a time. Each week, we deliver a combination of cloth and plant-based disposable diapers to your doorstep. You leave out the used diapers, and we take care of the mess by professionally cleaning and composting dirty diapers.

Illumination Learning Studio

Ages 2-11

7720 Greenwood Ave. N, Seattle 98103

5501 8th Ave. NW, Seattle 98117 206-900-7452

ILS’s half-day Preschool program, starting from age 2, offers engaging music, drama, art, yoga, Spanish and Smart-Board learning where children explore language, social skills and cultural arts. By age 4, they transition to Pre-K, enhancing their readiness for Kindergarten. Written by an accredited early childhood educator, ILS’s curriculum exceeds Washington State’s standards, fostering creativity, confidence and a love for learning.

Oona Copperhill Photography


Oona Copperhill is an award-winning photojournalist who has been documenting families in the Seattle area for over twenty years. If you’d

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

Subscribe to our free e-newsletters for family fun around the Puget Sound! deliv ed to y r inb ! » May/June 2024 SEATTLE’S CHILD 37
Paid Advertising Section May/June 2024 37

like natural, low-stress photos of your pregnancy, baby, family, or lifestyle, look no further. Please visit www. to view galleries and reviews.

Primrose School of West Bellevue

Ages 6 weeks–5 years old

1150 114th Ave. SE, Bellevue 98004 425-315-7305

It’s so much more than a gift!

Washington State Heirloom Birth Certificate

A portion of the proceeds from each birth certificate benefits the Children’s Trust Fund of Washington, administered by the Washington State Department of Children, Youth & Families (DCYF) Strengthening Families Program.

Learning is exciting, and your child is built to learn with a natural curiosity that knows no bounds. Through a balance of play and nurturing guidance, Primrose teachers foster that curiosity and help your child feel a sense of pride and accomplishment that lays the foundation for a lifelong love of learning. Offering year-round STEAM-based programs and summer adventure activities.

Seattle Children’s Museum’s Discovery Dock

• This official birth certificate is personally signed by the Governor and State Registrar.

• Frameable keepsake.

Ages Birth-18 months

305 Harrison St., Seattle 98109 206-441-1768

• Certificate is 8 1/2 x 11 and includes the name, date and place of birth, as well as the name and birthplace of the parent(s).

• For each $45 purchase of an Heirloom Birth Certificate, $20 is tax deductible.

To find out more information on Children’s Trust, child abuse prevention and the DCYF Strengthening Families Program visit: child-developmentsupports/sfwa

To buy a certificate, visit the Department of Health or order online at: BirthDeathMarriageandDivorce/OrderCertificates/ HeirloomBirthCertificates’

Explore Discovery Dock, Seattle Children’s Museum’s newest exhibit expansion in Orca Cove, designed for infants aged from birth to 18 months. Your child will use their developing muscles to sit up and pull, gain facial recognition skills while looking in mirrors, and interact with busy boards, developing their auditory, visual and tactile senses.

Sunshine Music Together

Birth to 8 years old

Queen Anne, Magnolia, Green Lake, Capitol Hill & West Seattle 206-281-1111

Sunshine Music Together is the eighttime Golden Teddy Award Winner for Best Music Program in Seattle! A joyful, innovative, internationally recognized music and movement program for children ages newborn to five years and the grown-ups who love them. Also offering Rhythm Kids classes for children aged 5 – 8 years. Join Sunshine Music Together’s musical community today.

Women and Family Wellness Studio

In-home and online

WFWS provides counseling and parenting classes for families. Counseling services are available with Licensed Mental Health Therapist Jasmine McCarthy. Jasmine serves kids ages seven and older, including teens, adults, and family counseling. WFWS offers Incredible Years and Triple P

DCYF FS_0016 (09-19)
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parenting classes to parents with newborns up to 18 years old. The class depends on the age of your child.

Wonderland Child & Family Services

2402 NW 195th Place, Shoreline 98177


We are a nonprofit agency serving children with developmental delays, disabilities, and prenatal substance exposure. Founded in 1969, Wonderland is dedicated to helping children meet healthy developmental milestones. We reach hundreds of families every month through Early Childhood Programs & Services and Hope RISING Clinic for Prenatal Substance Exposure. Our direct service providers are uniquely trained to provide trauma- and FASD-informed care.


Preschool and Pre-K Enrollment Visit Our Website For More Information 206.900.7452 TOUR TODAY May/June 2024 SEATTLE’S CHILD 39
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Cloud 9 Academy
36 Cosmopolitan Kids Children’s Academy ................................ 36 Department of Children, Youth & Families - Strengthening Families Washington 37 Diaper Stork 37 Illumination Learning Studio 37 Oona Copperhill Photography ............ 37 Primrose School of West Bellevue 38 Seattle Children’s Museum’s Discovery Dock 38 Sunshine Music Together 38 Women and Family Wellness Studio 38 Wonderland Child & Family Services 39
Each Primrose school is a privately owned and operated franchise. Primrose Schools is a registered trademark of Primrose School Franchising SPE, LLC. ©2024 Primrose School Franchising SPE, LLC. All rights reserved. Now Enrolling Primrose School of West Bellevue 425.315.7305 | We know that children learn best when they are engaged, challenged and enjoying themselves. That’s why Primrose school teachers use a balance of purposeful play and nurturing guidance to make the most of every day. We know how young children learn best. Prego Expo is Coming to Seattle for One Day Only! June 1, 2024 Meydenbauer Center Product Demos · Parenting Seminars · Bump-Worthy Selfie Stations · Baby Shower Games · Swag Bags 50+ Grand Prize Giveaways More info & Tickets Featuring Top Brands in the Baby Space! Pregnancy & Baby Expo 40 SEATTLE’S CHILD May/June 2024 F I R S T Y E A R S t h e 40 May/June 2024 Paid Advertising Section

„ Discover new summer outings weekly with our email newsletters! Sign up at

PLAN YOUR SUMMER: Visit our online directory to find new camps and classes added daily. It’s searchable by type of activity, location, age range and camp length. »

Summer Camps & Classes

Advantage Gymnastics Academy

Ages 5-10

14103 NE 200th St, Woodinville 98072 425-485-4439

Get ready for adventure and join us for an unforgettable summer. Campers will experience skill-appropriate gymnastics sessions led by our coaches on Advantages’ Olympic-grade equipment. Our camps spark curiosity, encourage exploration, and feature crafts, games, and more. Camp Advantage is open to all, regardless of gymnastics experience. Join

with friends or make new ones for a summer to remember!

Camp Woodrich

Ages 3-18

Green Lake, Seattle 865-803-8072

Camp Woodrich exists to bring joy, adventure, and rest to families with children with special needs—at no cost to the parents. If you have a child with special needs, sign up for one of our free 2024 day camps. Our camps

are for children with special needs and their siblings so that everyone can experience the joy of camp!

Creative Dance Center

Summer Camps and Classes

All ages

12577 Densmore Ave. N, Seattle 98133 206-363-7281

Summer at CDC includes classes for all ages and multi-arts dance camps. Camps include Art in Motion, Ballet Stories, Musical Theatre (Descendants, Trolls, Willy Wonka JR.), EnviroDance, and Stories in Motion. Our Teen Intensive, for ages 13-19, provides an opportunity for creative growth. Classes include Nurturing Baby, Caregiver-Child, Creative Dance, Hip Hop, Ballet and Modern. Also, offering Adaptive BrainDance at no cost.

CYC Community Sailing Center

Ages 6-16

7755 Seaview Ave. NW, Seattle 98117 206-402-6870

All-day sailing camps in North Seattle. All

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Tennis Anyone? From beginners to tournament players, TCSP has something for all levels.

TCSP’s coaching philosophy is all about PLAY which helps kids stay engaged, make meaningful connections, and grow to love the sport of tennis.


Age determines ball color and court size:

Ages 5 - 7 Red Ball 36’ Court

Ages 8 - 10 Orange Ball 60’ Court

Ages 11+ Yellow Ball 78’ Court

Skill level or rating levels.

10 and under camps will be divided into level-appropriate groups on the first day of camp based on ratings. We will also enjoy large group activities that involve mixing all levels to promote a positive social element of our summer camps.

11 and over camps are determined by players’ current rating. If you need a TCSP rating:


New Member: Summer Camp:

Lunch/Snack Options for your campers at Willy’s Cafe (

Lisa Moholt
522-5008 or
via email CLASS LEVEL DAY TIME TIMES COST DAY WEEKS Red Ball 1, 2, or 3 Morning 9:00am - 12:00pm $360 Mon - Fri 1 - 10 Orange Ball 1, 2, or 3 Morning 9:00am - 12:00pm $420 Mon - Fri 1 - 10 Yellow Ball 1 & 2 Morning 9:00am - 12:00pm $420 Mon - Thu 1 - 10 Yellow Ball 1 & 2 Afternoon 12:30pm - 3:45pm $455 Mon - Thu 1 - 10 Yellow Ball 3, 4, & 5 Afternoon 12:30pm - 3:45pm $455 Mon - Thu 1 - 10 SUMMER SCHEDULE Week 1 June 17 - 21 Week 2 June 29 - 28 Week 3 July 1 - 3 (3-day camp) Week 4 July 8 - 12 Week 5 July 15 - 19 Week 6 July 22 -26 Week 7 July 9 - August 2 Week 8 August 5 - 9 Week 9 August 12 - 16 Week 10 August 19 - 23 7135 Sports Field Drive NE
at: (206)

skill levels are welcome! Small groups are led by U.S. Sailing certified instructors only. Our campers sail Optimists, Lasers, or FJs sailboats based on their age—easy drop-off and pick-up. Sailing is a great way to enjoy the summer, have fun, build confidence, and master new skills.

Gage Academy of Art

Summer Art Programs for Kids and Teens

Ages 6-18

1501 10th Ave. E, #101, Seattle 98102 206-323-4243

At Gage Academy of Art, we strive to ensure children and teens have a fun, safe, and creative learning environment to help them make the most of their summer. With our roster of top-notch youth instructors, we offer camps to fit your family’s needs. From traditional painting and drawing to digital storytelling and character creation, your child will have the opportunity to thrive in a Gage summer camp!

Girls Rock Math

Grades 1-8

Locations in Bellevue, Seattle and Shoreline 206-408-8078

Girls Rock Math is an empowering, arts-based math camp. Our camps offer engaging themes that capture a girl’s interest and imagination, and we use that as a catalyst for math growth through real-life, hands-on math projects. Creative and fun experiences with math help develop confidence, excitement, and joy around learning.

Neo Art School

Summer Art Camp

Ages 6-12

Good Shepherd Center

4649 Sunnyside Ave. N, #121, Seattle 98103


Founded in 1982, family owned and operated for two generations, Neo Art School offers the highest quality fine arts and pottery classes for children (and adults) in the Northwest. Summer Camp 2024 and all other School Break Camp enrollment are now open. Offering day camp during the school year and week-long camps during the summer, full-day, and half-day options are available with extended care. Camps start June 17.


Grades K-12

Locations in Bellevue, Factoria and Redmond

The Russian School of Mathematics is


Finding just got easier. summ camps

an award-winning, after-school math program for K-12 students. Recently named “among the top schools in the world” by the Johns Hopkins CTY, we help children of all levels excel in mathematics. At RSM, we believe all children can develop a solid foundation in math if taught correctly.

Samena Swim & Recreation Club

Ages 3-16

15231 Lake Hills Blvd., Bellevue 98007 425-746-1160,

Kids stay active and engaged all summer long at Samena camps, including Preschool Camp, Swim & Tennis Camp, Vanapalooza, Field Trips, Junior Counselors, Junior Lifeguard Camp, Swimming Every Day and much more.

Seattle Amistad School

Ages 1-5 years old, Kinder-8th grade 1501 10th Ave. E, Seattle 98102 206-325-3172

At Seattle Amistad School, we foster community integrity through rigorous bilingual and bicultural education. We develop our students’ academic strengths and cultural sensibilities while nurturing compassionate and engaged citizens.

Seattle Girls Choir

Grades 2-6

1300 E. Aloha St., Seattle 98122 206-526-1900

Seattle Girls Choir offers Summer Music Day Camp sessions designed for girls who love singing. Camp can help your child build choral/vocal skills, explore sound with various instruments, and find new reasons to love making music – all while meeting new friends.

Starfire Sports


Grades 1-5

14800 Starfire Way, Tukwila 98188 206-431-3232

Starfire is excited to offer two camps this summer! At Aviation & Space Camp, campers will code and fly drones, experience flight through the Museum of Flight’s Flight Simulator, and work together to solve out-ofthis-world problems! At Music & Arts Camp, campers will use music to tell stories, learn to play drums, build instruments, and craft masks!

Scan here to use our online directory to search by type of activity, location, age range or camp length.
AWARD-WINNING, OUTDOOR CHILDREN’S ART CLASSES & CAMPS! 206-632-2530 • FULL WEEK CAMPS 8 AM - 6 PM Plus extended care and half days available! Download the Summer 2024 Packet from our website! Creative and nurturing art classes for children since 1982 Find more information at Summer Program Begins June 17th Celebrating over 40 years! Schedule a FREE Math Evaluation! Math Classes Now Enrolling! Redmond (425) 616-3511 Factoria (425) 230-6452 Bellevue (425) 518-6114 3 Locations in WA RSM is “among the top 10 schools in the world.” – Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth RSM is an award-winning after-school math enrichment program. Students can choose from a variety of K-12 courses that will be taught during our 6-week summer session. ADVANCE IN MATH this Summer LEARN MORE Paid Advertising Section May/June 2024 SEATTLE’S CHILD 45 �� SUMMER CAMPS & CLASSES PAID ADVERTISING SECTION


Ages 6-16

7755 Seaview Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98117 206-402-6870

All skill levels are welcome at these all-day sailing camps in north Seattle. 80% of our families are new to sailing. Small groups are led by US Sailing certified instructors only. Based on their age and interest, our campers sail Optimists, Lasers or FJs sailboats while parents enjoy easy drop-off and pick-up.

We are a welcoming and friendly community dedicated to sailing since 1945. Discover a great way to enjoy the summer, have fun, build confidence, and master new skills.


Ages 5-12

15231 Lake Hills Boulevard, Bellevue, WA 98007 425-746-1160 ext. 117

Get ready to dive into a sea of fun! Every week at Samena, campers will be splashing, swimming, and meeting new buddies. We’ll get their heart racing with daily free swim, indoor/outdoor games, racquet sports, and more. Plus, we’ll challenge their creativity with crafts and small group games tailored to each week’s theme. Structured swim and tennis lessons are also available for an additional price. Space is limited. Sign up today!


Grades 1-6

3201 E. Republican St., Seattle 98112 206-408-8078

Girls Rock Math is an arts-based math camp focused on empowering girls in STEAM subjects. Our hands-on themes capture the imagination, ignite deeper mathematical thinking, and help campers feel confident in their abilities. As part of a community where “Girl Power” rules, our campers develop leadership skills, make friends, take on challenges, and learn together in a meaningful way. With so many curricular themes to choose among, there is truly something for everyone.


Ages 3-18

Serves the Puget Sound Region 865-803-8072

Camp Woodrich exists to bring joy, adventure, and rest to families with children with special needs—at no cost to the parents. If you have a child with special needs or are looking for volunteer opportunities, sign up for one of our FREE 2024 day camps. Our camps are for children with special needs and their siblings, so everyone can experience the joy of camp.

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May/June 2024 Paid Advertising Section

Tennis Center Sand Point

7135 Sportsfield Drive NE, Seattle 98115


Our coaching emphasis and philosophy are on PLAY at our camps. Play is a very powerful tool to help kids grow while staying engaged. Players will grow in their tennis and athletic skills and learn many valuable life lessons. TCSP has something for all ages (5 to 17), from beginners to tournament players.

Villa Ventures: The Ultimate Summer Adventure

Ages 4-17

5001 NE 50th St., Seattle 98105 206-524-8885

Villa Ventures provides the largest, most robust summer camp experience in Seattle. Located on Villa Academy’s campus, Villa Ventures Summer Camps feature high-quality, engaging outdoor and indoor experiences designed for curious and creative minds ages 4 to 17. There are activities for everyone—carpentry, coding, forest games, and more.

Wilderness Awareness School

Wilderness Awareness Summer Camp

Ages 6-18

Duvall, Issaquah, Seattle, Carnation and Kenmore 425-788-1301 youth-programs

For over 40 years, Wilderness Awareness School students have been discovering the wonders of nature, exploring the outdoors, and building friendships. Campers work together, gaining nature awareness and experiential knowledge of plants, animals, animal tracks, birds and survival skills. Storytelling and engaging activities make learning fun and nurture students’ connections to the earth.


Summer Classes

Nurturing Baby

• Caregiver-Child

Creative Dance

• Modern

• Ballet • Hip Hop

Summer Multi-Arts Camps

Ballet Stories

• Hip Hop

• Art in Motion Stories in Motion

• EnviroDance Musical Theatre

(Descendants, Trolls, and Willy Wonka JR.) Enroll now!

• Open to all students

Bilingual, Bicultural, Bilaterate

• All in Spanish

9 Toddlers (1-3.5 years)

9 PreK (3.5-5 years)

• No prior Spanish experience required

• Ages 5-12 years old

9 Kindergarten - 8th grade

Our teachers are experts at helping children learn a new language and will support children no matter their level of Spanish.

Camp days are filled with art, music, dance, outside play, science, games, and other engaging activities designed to get children moving, interacting, and learning. EMAIL SEATTLEAMISTADSCHOOL.ORG Camps offered during all

Now Enrolling Inscripciones Abiertas
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Winter, Mid-Winter, Spring & Summer
Paid Advertising Section May/June 2024 SEATTLE’S CHILD 47
Advantage Gymnastics Academy ........ 41 Camp Woodrich 41 Creative Dance Center 41 CYC Community Sailing Center 41 Gage Academy of Art 43 Girls Rock Math 43 Neo Art School 43 RSM .............................................................. 43 Samena Swim & Recreation Club 44 Seattle Amistad School .......................... 44 Seattle Girls Choir 44 Starfire ........................................................ 44 Tennis Center Sand Point 47 Villa Ventures: The Ultimate Summer Adventure 47 Wilderness Awareness School ............ 47 �� SUMMER CAMPS & CLASSES PAID ADVERTISING SECTION

The sweetest memories are made far away from any screen. With 40 years of experience, Wilderness Awareness School offers innovative avenues to connection. Games, skills, storytelling, and activities facilitated by highly trained mentors offer a new way to experience the natural world.


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