DIY Hula Hoops – Tons of Creative + Active Fun for the Whole Family!

hulahoopsMaking Hula Hoops are a surprisingly easy DIY project for you and your kids. Once you make a hula hoop it may be hard to put it down – for both the kids and parents! Making them is very satisfying and you get to add your own creative touches to each one you make. But of course using them can be even more fun! So get going. Buy your supplies. Create your hoops. Challenge your kids!

My family has made them and we cherish these great creations. We even made ones with my son’s 4th grade class so they could have them on the playground at school. The kids loved them!

How To Make A Hula Hoop Here are a few great tutorials on DIY hula hoop creating & another DIY hula hoop creation.

Using Your Hula Hoop Of course there is the age old hula hooping where you get the hula hoop to go round and round your body. You can get fancy and move it up and down the body, up an arm, over the head, etc. This all takes some practice for kids – and adults too. Here are some ideas of things you can do with your hula hoops that are fun for the whole family and don’t necessarily require the skill to do traditional hula hooping if that is not in the cards or you just want some fun alternatives.

Kids Love Extreme Sports? Looking for a Summer Camp? Check Out Woodward at Copper!

photo copy 2Recently my family took a trip to Copper Mountain to check out Woodward at Copper. Have you heard of it? If not, you’re not alone. Their facilities blew us away! I thought of Woodward as a winter weather program, but when I found out that they have to offer this summer, well my kids were ready to sign up and move right in! We busted a move. Signed up. Here are the details… photo

At Woodward at Copper you walk into what they call – The Barn. The space is relatively unassuming until you enter. But your senses are quickly overwhelmed with this amazing space chock full of ramps, jumps, trampolines, half-pipes, pump tracks, bowls, and foam pits! Got extreme sports enthusiasts? Woodward may be the place for them!

Woodward at Copper Summer Programs

Got tweens, teens, or groms [younger kids - ages 8 - 12] with X-Games dreams or just thephoto copy interest in going big? Maybe they are just not ready to give up skiing or snowboarding OR want to take their extreme sports to the next level – this place rocks! Where else can our kids jump and flip and learn in the safety of the Woodward Barn AND get outside with professional instruction? It’s not easy to find this combo! Woodward at Copper offers week long camps for kids throughout the summer.

In the summer camps kids get an opportunity to explore and train in their favorite extreme sports. They get coaching in their sport in and out of the Barn daily, but they also get to work with pros in their field! There are also amazing sponsors for each summer camp week – a lot of them are the leaders in the extreme sports world! Have younger kids? There is also a Grom camp option which is a shorter program for kids ages 8 to 12. You can choose either the overnight or day option for your child. If you are from Boulder I’m guessing your are going for the overnight option. Copper really isn’t that far but it’s not an easy commute!

Woodward at Copper Camp Options

Details on summer camp options and costs can be found here.

  • Ski Camp – They get to ski in the terrain park with a new surface lift!
  • Snowboard Camp - They get to snowboard in the terrain park with a new surface lift!
  • Skateboard Camp – They head out to amazing local parks!
  • BMX Camp - They head out to amazing local parks!
  • Mountain Bike Camp – Take your mountain biking to new heights!
  • Scooter Camp - They head out to amazing local parks!
  • Cheer Camp - Play it safe by practicing those tough tricks in the Barn!
  • Digital Media Camp – Kids have a great opportunity to take extreme sports shots!

What Does a Woodward at Copper Camp Cost? Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 2.31.20 PMI had to take a deep breath when I saw the prices. But I still signed them up! My kids have never done an overnight camp like this so I did some research to see if the prices at Woodward were far off the mark. The deciding factor – there really is nothing like this for my skiing-crazy sons besides in Oregon and that was a lot more expensive & complicated! The camp prices start at $999 and go up.  It looks like until April 20, 2014 they are offering $100 off a bunch of different camp options. A special thanks to Copper Mountain and Woodward at Copper for letting my family review your facility. We are excited about summer camps! 

Easter + Spring Egg Crafts – Fun For The Whole Family!

 

I have gathered some family craft ideas for Easter or just to celebrate spring! 

Kid Friendly Craft Ideas Can Be Found @ Boulder Families on Pinterest.

 Use a hot glue to make really unique eggs!
Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 1.23.00 PM Glow-In-The-Dark Easter Egg Hunts Rock!

 

 Dye eggs naturally
  Create floating “eggs” with floss and dyes
  Grow seedlings in egg shells. In the ground the eggs serve as fertilizer for your seedlings

#Easter #Egghunt #outdoorfamily #getoutdoors #Boulder

Technology + Kids: 12 Must Do’s To Keep Your Children Safe on Technology

IMG_4333Technology has become ubiquitous in our lives. We use it for work, to communicate, to connect with others, and to be entertained. The units are getting smaller, more portable and more accessible. My son’s iPad finds its way into his hands as often as possible. One minute we are having a conversation, the next that darn iPad or iTouch is the most engaging thing in his life. It happens in a second. So what are parents to do?

The first thing to remember is that the use of technology is not a right, rather it is a privilege. I highly suggest making that a mantra. Say it to yourself often. Know that those tech units are there to be used by us, not to control us – especially not our kids! There are too many pitfalls!

12 Must Do’s To Keep Your Children Safe on Technology

1. Give them access to social media judiciously. Only let your children get social media accounts that are age appropriate. Don’t just let them create accounts because their friends are. Ask yourself: “Are my kids ready for this type of engagement with others and technology?”

2. Become technology literate yourself. You need to know about social media sites, gaming sites, etc… so that you can support your child’s healthy use. The top ones for kids: texting, email, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Kik, YouTube, Vine, Pinterest, + Twitter. There are more. They keep changing too. If your kids have accounts on these social media channels you should too!

3. Educate your kids about appropriate internet/social media engagement. Create a contract or have a detailed discussion about what is appropriate behavior online. They need to understand that what they say on social media/internet is public and visible. You bet employers and colleges are getting on social media to see what perspective students/employees are, or have been, doing online.

4. Keep the computer in a common area. This is especially true for younger children, but if possible try to keep all technology use in a common area where you can keep an eye on their use.

5. Educate your children about internet/social media issues. The big ones are cyber-bullying, sexting, identity theft, and even pornography. If your children are online they are likely exposed to some of these issues – or they will be soon. These are so important to discuss before they experience them. Remind them it is essential they talk with you if they see/experience any of these internet/social media issues.

6. Have ALL login info for ALL your children’s accounts. I cannot say this strongly enough. They must give you all login information and let you know when something changes.  Internet/social media accounts are not a given, rather they are a privilege.

7. Monitor your children’s internet/social media use/accounts on a regular basis. Don’t just have an account on all social media channels that your kids are on. Monitor it very regularly. “Friend” and “Like” and “Comment” and “Engage” with your children and your children’s friends. And ask other parents to do the same. It takes a village! 

8. Bookmark your child’s favorite sites. For younger kids and older ones, work together with them to find their top sites and bookmark them. It seems simple, but then they are not constantly entering the names and possibly going to an unintended site.

9. Spend time together online. Just spend some time together online. You will get a sense of how they engage online and it’s just great to do something together. If you don’t know about social media sites ask them to give you a tour and show you how they are used. Let them be your teacher – very empowering!

10. Be aware and stay involved. Notice if your child’s mood is changing when they get online. If they removing themselves from the family to get online or feeling an urgency to get online as soon as they have access. This is where being engaged yourself is priceless!

11. Have a common area where you power technology – not your children’s bedrooms! This seems simple, but your kids need a break from technology. Identify a time they turn in their technology units and have power cords in a common area.

12. Make a technology contract. This can be a document you put together and then discuss with your whole family. How much time is it okay to spend online? What are the behavior expectations? How to handle login info. And so much more. About a year ago a mom created a contract for the iPhone she gave her son and it went viral. The iPhone Contract – This offers a great framework for creating your own a contract!

#boulder #technology #socialmedia #kids #safety

Boulder Arts Week = Great Arts Opportunities for Families!

Screen Shot 2014-03-27 at 2.15.29 PMThe first annual Boulder Arts Week is shaping up to have tons of potential! The line up looks great! Here are some fun family-friendly events to check. There is plenty more where these came from in many disciplines! The ones I am highlighting are FREE – some of the others cost.

Boulder Arts Week is March 28 – April 6, 2014. Get the entire Boulder Arts Week schedule here.

March 28, 2014: Frequent Flyers® Aerial Fabric Solo
Frequent Flyers® Aerial Dance will present a solo aerial fabric performance on Friday, March 28th, 6-6:50 PM in the lobby of the Dairy Center for the Arts. The inimitable Kim Townsend will dazzle patrons with her strong, sensual, graceful and lovely performance. Free. 6 to 7pm.

March 29, 2014: Children’s Storytelling Hour
Please join JoLee Wingerson, storyteller and author, to hear three original children’s stories. All ages welcome, from birth to 100 +. 10 – 11am

March 30, 2014: Boulder Creek Balancing
Stone balancing will be executed by Andrew Davis and Michael Grab at Ebin G Fine Park. Kids of all ages love to try their hand at rock balancing! 9am – 5pm.

March 31, 2014: Pearl Street Mall: Student Banner Project People’s Choice Award
Downtown Boulder, Inc. worked with 66 budding artists from Columbine Elementary School, Casey Middle School and Boulder High School to create banner art for the 50 small banner poles that line the Pearl Street Mall. This year’s theme is “What I love about Boulder” and designs include images of local wildlife, Chautauqua Park, downtown Boulder landmarks and much more. Mediums used to create the banners range from collage to pencil art, water colors, and digital art.

April 5, 2014: BMoCA Presents FAMILY DAY: Art That Soars!
Bring the entire family for a fun afternoon of making ‘Art That Soars!’ with BMoCA’s inspiring art educators. Taking an ordinary balloon, and using assemblage techniques, we will create fanciful characters and abstractly imaginative shapes that will soar high above our heads and delight the town!! Free. 9 to 11am

 

#boulder #colorado #arts #boulderartsweek

BVSD Offers Students/Employees Seriously Cheap Refurbished Computers!

BVSD is offering students and employees refurbished desktop PC’s for seriously discounted rates – $25 for students and $50 for employees. The Adopt-a-Computer program is about to close for the year. The last date to get one of these for your home is March 20, 2014! So if you need one, time to get on it!

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More info on the computers & the process of getting one here. It seems easy from what I read…

#technology #bvsd #families #students

Foodie Kids. Where is a Boulder Family to Go?

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Enjoying sushi at Hapa Sushi on Pearl Street

Boulder has amazing food options! Recently I was asked where to go with the kids and here is what I said…

1. Wahoos. We love Wahoos for a semi-fast meal. The kids love watching the fun surf and skate videos and the overall vibe. I like the food because it is semi-healthy too. Kids Eat Free on Weds nights. 

2. Backcountry Pizza. This place is great if you have a kids who want some entertainment before or after dinner. It has a great casual and easy going vibe. They have a great arcade room that kids love!

3. Southern Sun. They have fun games, healthy-ish pub food, as well as great beer! The restaurant loud and kids feel right at home! We love playing games while waiting and when you have a beer it can be helpful. You can check out Under the Sun which is downstairs too.

4. Hapa Sushi [on Pearl]. They have a fantastic kids menu. The kids’ menu is inexpensive, healthy, and kid-friendly. Sit at the counter so the kids can enjoy watching the sushi chefs at work.

5. The Kitchen Next Door. This foodie favorite on Pearl Street offers a menu that resonated with kids – from kale chips to garlic smashers. The food is healthy and fast. And parents love the diverse and delicious food!

Interested in Kids Eat Free option in Boulder? Find a list here.

Vail Offers Families More Than Skiing and Snowboarding! Here is what Skyler and I found when we took off our skis

The crew is ready!

The crew is ready!

Recently I was asked to attend a media day at Vail. Gladly I accepted. My family has loved skiing Vail since our kids were young and we feel like the area is our second winter home. It really is. So I boldly took Skyler, my 4th grader, out of school [TCAPs happening and all] and we headed up the mountain. This was going to be a day of experiential education! 

We pulled up to the Arrabelle and valet parked our car [Thanks, Vail and yes, I would love to stay with my family at the Arrabelle one day!]. All the little touches that ensure you know you are at a high end resort were present and made this space subtly magnificent. But alas we were not checking in so we gave our keys over to parking attendant, poured ourselves some hot chocolate and coffee, and headed out to our Vail playground destination.

We made our way to the gondola [right around the corner] and met up with our media day crew. Many of these writers brought their kids along too which made it even more fun! We immediately headed up to Adventure Ridge with the intention of trying out their zipline, tubing, & snowmobiles. We wanted to know what families with kids who don’t ski, or families wanting to take a day off, can expect from the on-mountain activity center. It turns out Adventure Ridge is a great option!

Tubing

I have to be honest. I am scared of heights and going too fast. I ski fast only to keep up with my family at this point. But I was not going out there with a bunch of kids and parents and not getting on the activities. I had to save face at all costs. So Skyler and I grabbed our tubes and got on the sort of odd conveyor belt that took us to our destination at the top of the hill. The other option was walking up, so we were fine with the ride. Skyler went first. He plopped the tube down, asked the attendant a few questions [he likes to make sure he does things the right way], and off he went. So quickly I almost missed his ride.

Me on the other hand, I slowly and cautiously got in my tube trying not to make eye contact with the ride organizer. But I didn’t go unnoticed so she made her way over and gave me a gentle shove off the edge. It was really fast! So fast.  But it was exhilarating and awesome at the same time. I was sold. I jumped off my tube and ran to catch up with Skyler to take another run. This time we went together. He wanted a spin. We settled on just going down forward this time. Next time we spun. And spun. And spun. Smiles!!!!

Snowmobiling

Then we headed over to the snowmobiles because the kids were ready for the ride of their lives. The kids donned extra cool helmets and got on their steads. These snowmobiles are super cool and the kids clearly felt like rock stars as they took off around the track. At times the scene looked like bumper cars, but the Vail staff had it fully under control. Deep breath for us helicopter parents…

Ziplining

IMG_4673 To top the morning off we got back on the conveyor belt and headed up to zip down the mountain. This is a highly technical activity! You get to put on cool harnesses, weigh in, and fly over the ski slopes on a wire. On a wire! Once again I let Skyler go first. I hung back and checked this one out. I watched as Skyler happily put on the harness and was prepped for his flight. He was methodical and careful as he got ready [his style]. But then before I knew it he had his feet up on the gate, hanging in mid-air, ready to fly. Then he was off… At the end I checked in and all he could say was, “I wish it went faster!”

More Family-Friendly Vail Options

Adventure Ridge offers amazing on-mountain family-friendly things to do in Vail when you are not skiing.  But depending on how old your kids are, if they ski yet, or you just don’t want them in ski school yet, you can check out ice skating at Lionshead, the Pirate Boat Playground and the water fountain at the base of the mountain in Vail Village, head to Fuzziwigs for a sweet old fashioned treat, or downstairs to Joe’s Famous Deli and Ice Cream for some delicious ice cream. These are all things my kids still love to do in Vail when the skis are off and have for a long time!

Thanks to the Vail Communications Crew for letting us experience Adventure Ridge! We will be back to play with the whole family again. What are your favorite non-skiing/boarding family-friendly options in Vail?

#Vail #LikeNothingOnEarth #AdventureRidge #family #familyfriendly #kids

Kids Learn to Love Snowboarding at Burton’s FREE Riglet Park in Vail [Friday/Saturday]

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It turns out the Burton US Open is not only for the pros because they have brought along Riglet Park Program is a FREE program that offers kids ages 3 to 6 an opportunity to check out snowboarding. They get geared up with demos and get to mess around on small scale snow features.

For the next few days at the Vail base area of Lionshead you will find Burton’s Riglet Park. What is a Riglet you ask? A Riglet is somewhat like a Grom [skate and surf speak for beginner], but younger still. Riglet Park is a magical opportunity for your young ones [ages 3 to 6] to try out snowboarding in a really safe environment–with instructors who work with them one-on-one. Riglet Park is open and ready to have your little Riglet join them and find the joy in snowboarding!

I was invited to take a media tour of Vail’s family friendly activities and Riglet Park was one of them. Skyler got a chance to strap on a snowboard and try out the mini-park Burton created just for the little ones. Of course Skyler is 10, so he was on the large side, but the Riglet Park folks were happy to oblige and found him boots right away. They got him on a snowboard and in no time he was pulling 180s on their mini half pipe. He was in love!

Here is how Burton describes their Riglet Program:

The Burton Riglet program is a snowboard learning experience geared towards kids ages 3-6. A Riglet Park has the allure of a bouncy castle and is as safe as one too. Mellow rollers, small berms and ground level features allow young riders to feel the balance they need to ride—and they do it while they’re riding. Two feet strapped in, being pulled through a zone set up just for them with safety, fun and learning in mind. From the kids to the instructors, everyone wins.

We will have a Free Riglet park setup in Lionshead village right next to the Eagle Bahn lift. Stop in with your child to experience everything they’ll need to get started riding. We’ll provide free demos of board, boots, and bindings designed specifically for the youngest kids, as well as Burton’s specialized Riglet reel. Certified instructors will be on hand to teach kids the basics and get them having fun standing sideways. This program is free and open to the public. Sign ups will take place at the Riglet tent near the Eagle Bahn lift in Lionshead.

Details here.

Riglet Park Operating Hours:

March 7 & 8 [Fri/Sat]
10am – 12pm
1pm – 3pm
4pm – 6pm

#Vail, #Snowboard, #Burton, #BurtonUSOpen, #Snow

Free Days: What’s Happening Around Town?

Screen Shot 2014-03-03 at 10.51.18 AMThere was recently a question about finding Free Days. Free Days are great! They are specific days when some of the best museums around town are free. This means you can stay as long as you like without feeling like you just dumped down a lot of money and have to get the value. It increases the fun!

Free Days include locations such as:

  • Denver Art Museum
  • Denver Museum of Natural Science
  • Boulder History Museum
  • Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art
  • Denver Botanic Garden
  • Colorado Railroad Museum
  • Denver Zoo

Want to plan a trip or just see what Free Days are coming up? Check out the Free Days Calendar 

#getoutside #freedays #free