Tuesday, June 28, 2016

60 Parks of Summer

The Knight children have set a goal of going to sixty different parks between the first day of summer and the first day of autumn.  This is the best goal ever!  I love prioritizing play over other things, and I feel like the skills and confidence of these kids is growing before my eyes.  I haven't gotten pictures from all eight of the parks that we have been to so far, but here is a sampling.
We went to Grass Lawn Park to the splash pad when the 80 degree weather forecast for last Monday never materialized.  The asphalt around the splash pad here makes the day feel warmer.
 Sammy is fearless!  He has started to prefer showers at home.  He loves the water, and copies all of the water games of the older kids, as much as he understands.
 Eloise slipped on a slick spot and bruised her hip pretty badly, but she jumped up and kept on playing.  She was even up for a second trip to this splash pad later in the week.
 Jared climbed to the top of the spinning merry go round as it was moving, and B learned to hop on and off while it was in motion!
 We picked a very wet afternoon to go to Juanita Bay Park.  Apparently it isn't such a great place to look for turtles sunning themselves when it is pouring rain.  This was a fun adventure, though.  I was wise to bring the baby leash, accurately predicting that Sammy would try to climb off of the boardwalk at the first opportunity.
 Lilly pads!  The great thing about rainy days is having the park all to ourselves.
 On a friend's recommendation we checked out Forest Park in Everett. This might be better than Kelsey Creek Farm, since some of the animals run loose.  B said that this Billy Goat looked like Grandpa Knight, since it has a beard.
 If there is one thing that B loves more than animals, it is baby animals.  He was wildly excited to find baby chicks, or "Cheeps," as he calls them.
 The sign at the entrance calls for slow feet and quiet voices so that we don't startle the animals.  Fortunately the animals seemed pretty imperturbable. Slow feet and quiet voices are not things that Jared is acquainted with.
 We were there as the farm was closed up, so the ducklings were moved safely into their box for the night.  We got to pet this one.
 The leash was a good idea here, too, since Sammy takes a bit too much interest in bowls of water belonging to goats.  The kids are looking at a turkey named Marvin who gobbled away delightfully.  This may be the first time the kids have heard an actual turkey.
 Jared thought it was awesome that this goat, Isabella, stayed under the table with him.
 Forest Park also has a splash pad.  We were there on a Saturday, so the park was mobbed, but it was a little bit breezy, so the splash pad was not very crowded, for as long as we wanted to play.
 Sammy found some big kids to follow.  I give him a lot of freedom to move around, as long as he is safe and I can see him.  I frequently see people looking around to see if they can find his mom, since he obviously isn't concerned about where I am.  I do occasionally have to do long sprints to keep him out of trouble, but it is fun to watch him discover the world without interference.
 Jared didn't last long in the cold water.
 He decided to try the monkey bars for the first time ever.  He made it halfway across.  Parks are magical.
 Today we went to Log Boom Park in Kenmore.  Somehow, in the three or four times I have been to this park before, I had never discovered that it has a dock, which is the perfect place to watch planes take off from the air harbor.  B and Jared cheered when they saw a plane lift off from the water.  Sammy cheered when he saw everyone else cheering, and Eloise was having fits about people potentially falling off of the unsecured sides of the dock, so I'm not sure she noticed anything else.  She is our family's safety patrol.  She does love spinning in circles, though.
 B did not love it as much.  His favorite thing at parks right now is making temporary friends.  After we went to Rhododendron Park last week, he told me, "A person I didn't know played with me, and it was fun! I didn't even know them!"  He had such a good time with his park friends, that now he looks for park friends as soon as we are in the park.  Eloise is the life of a party of friends, but doesn't like to initiate contact with new people.  Jared does his own thing, joining others if he is invited and interested, but sometimes declining. B is very social.  He loves making friends for the duration of an activity.  He comes home from the park with tales of events and conversations that I knew nothing about.
After we played on the playground we went for a walk on the Burke Gilman Trail, an old railroad line that has been converted to a paved trail.  It runs from the east side over through Seattle, and it happens to pass through Log Boom Park on the north shore of Lake Washington.  We decided that it counts as a park, since it is maintained by King County Parks.  Sammy fell asleep on the walk.  
 B got really sweaty on his bike.  We were happy to get home for a popsicle and lunch on the front porch.  
Hurrah for the lovely warm weather.  If you are looking for us this summer, we will be outside.  52 parks to go!

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