Children Experience ‘Dog Sledding’ at 10th Annual Ikidarod

The Event Helps Teach Children About Local and National Dog Sledding Races


DULUTH, Minn.- Excited barking noises echoed from the playground of North Shore Community school.

But those sounds weren’t coming from dogs, but rather, kids playing the role of sled dogs pulling a plastic sled. On the sled was a musher, also played by a classmate.

“We go around our nature trail in some sleds, while the kids pull you on the sleds, and we practice over there by the school,” said Jericho, a student at North Shore Community School.

The students learned about dog sledding, in the classroom, and then had the chance to run a race themselves.

“We focus a lot on sled dogs, how they work together as teams, and how they help each other out, and we learn all about the terminology, sled dog commands, and a lot of history of dog sledding, and what made it pertinent to this area,” explained Anne Lampela, a 2nd grade teacher at the school.


The Ikidarod brings kids out into the elements to teach them about what happens during a sled dog race.

“We’re an environmental charter school and we are really big about hands on learning, and learning does not take place in a 4 wall classroom,” said Lampela.

Some children say they had fun playing both the musher, and the dogs, but also learned the importance of teamwork.

“You can finish faster and so you don’t fight and get mad at each other,” said Miranda, a student at the school.

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