Anchorage’s Year-round Outdoor Playgroup
Skedaddle is a playgroup that meets outdoors year round. While most children are preschool age, there are little crawlers and school-aged children, too. Each Tuesday we meet at a different playground in Anchorage. It has been wonderful exploring the neighborhood parks from Government Hill to Hillside.
Initially, I didn’t think an outdoor playgroup would actually work in Alaska. I wondered if there were other parents wanting to take their children out to play when it is below zero or raining? I soon found that I wasn’t alone. There were other parents willing to spend a half hour putting layers on their children so they can play outside in Alaska.
At Skedaddle, kids splash in the pouring rain, go sledding when it is -20 and run wild at playgrounds during the summer. I started the group almost three years ago and am still amazed other families join us week after week.
While the playgroup was created for the children, parents often benefit as well. As the children play, parents have a chance to talk to other adults. The life of a stay at home parent can be isolating. (I can’t say mother as we have many fathers and even grandparents in the group.) It makes me so happy to look out over a playground filled with laughing children and talking parents!
I arrive at 10 (unless my children have other plans!), but some people come early and others arrive after most people have left. There is no goal, focus or lesson at skedaddle–just time for kids to have fun outdoors. Parents supervise their own children and let them play as they like. I just encourage parents to bring a snack, proper clothing for the weather and a sled in the winter!
Lia Keller was born and raised in Anchorage where she now lives with her two boys. After starting Skedaddle, she and friends developed the Anchorage Outdoor Family Network into a 501(c)3 nonprofit. Lia is passionate about helping families get outside and plays in nature whenever possible.