Summer Time/Swimming Time: What Drowning Really Looks Like

Summer is synonymous with water–oceans, pools, sprinklers–whatever it takes to keep cool. And Boulder Families are heading to the water in an effort to cool off from these ridiculously high temps. My kids and I just got back from Mexico where I was shocked by the near drowning that happened to the 3 year old child of my friend’s family friends at their rented beach house. All 3 couples had just arrived at the house. They were talking and letting the kids play together. After a bit they realized one of the 3 year olds was missing. They found him floating in the pool a distinct shade of blue. One of them was an E.R. nurse. She did CPR. He is okay. Miracle. They reported that none of the 6 adults heard anything. What really struck me was how quietly a child can drown. How is that possible? 

What Does growing look like? 

*Drowning doesn’t look like the dramatic splashing, gulping for air scene Hollywood has painted. Rather, the Instinctive Drowning Response, named by Francesco Pia, Ph.D., is a relatively quiet sequence of events that humans do in order to avoid actual or perceived suffocation in the water. You may not know:

  • drowning people are physiologically unable to call for help
  • drowning people’s mouths are not above the surface long enough to call for help
  • drowning people cannot wave for help
  • drowning people cannot voluntarily control their arm movements
  • from beginning to end of the Instinctive Drowning Response, the body remains vertical in the water

If you see these signs, you have a matter of seconds to provide assistance. Additional overt signs of drowning include:

  • head low in the water, mouth at water level
  • head titled back with mouth open
  • eyes glassy and empty, unable to focus
  • eyes closed
  • hair over forehead or eyes
  • not using legs, or vertical in the water
  • hyperventilating or gasping for air
  • trying to swim in a particular direction but not making any progress
  • trying to roll over on the back
  • appear to be climbing an invisible ladder

And just like any other time, kids make noise when they play. If they are quiet in the water, you need to investigate!

*Special thanks to for their post on Safe Swimming. I got a lot of the content for this post from her original post linked above.

Boulder Family Projects: DIY Recycled Garden Markers

The garden is finally all in the ground. It looks great, but we really needed some markers. I hate to let this opportunity slide to get the kids involved in creating something for the garden. They love to pick the plants and harvest the produce and fruit, but I wanted them to have some artistic buy in, so I wanted them to create garden markers. Here are some ideas of ways you can create markers:

1. Wood Markers: You can pick out sticks or 1×2 cedar in short 1ft lengths [more or less as you like]. The kids can carefully carve points on the ends for pushing into the ground. Then then can draw [paint or sharpies] on the wood. On sticks you could create flags with tape to draw on.

2. Rock Markers: Find rocks and have the kids paint names of the plants/veggies in the garden. These turn out super cute. Any rocks work. I like to take the kids on a walk to find the “right” ones for them.

3. Recycled CD Markers: Remember all those old CDs sitting around that you never listen to? The ones that clutter your house. Grab some of those [If you don’t have them ask a friend or neighbor!] and have your kids use sharpies to write the names of each of your plants/veggies. They can add artwork or whatever they like. They could easily embellish with gems or stickers [great for little kids!]. We then used a glue gun and some popsicle sticks to make the stake. They love them and they were so easy!

What every you decide to do consider having your kids go into the garden with you and write down a list of the different veggies/fruit you have. They can do some fun math with this one [e.g., if we have 5 tomato plants, 6 pepper plants, & 3 basil plants, how many do we have all together]. They can also get some writing practice by writing down the different types of plants for which you need markers. The ideas are endless. Whatever you do have fun with it! It always helps if you stay involved and make some markers or something else that has to do with the garden at the same time.

How do you get your kids involved in the garden?

Boulder Families Events: April 27 to May 4


Listed here are some great family events. Most are free. They are all opportunities to be together as a family and engage your kids of all ages.

Have a fantastic week!

Friday, April 27

  • Children’s Storytime at the Main Library. 10:15 to 11:00am. Free. Ongoing activity.
  • Family Game Night. Meadows Branch Library. 4:00 to 6:00pm. Fun for the whole family!
  • Lego Kids Fest @ The Colorado Convention Center. All ages. Tickets for the event are sold out for the first session Saturday. Check for ticket availability.

Saturday, April 28

  • Tulip Fairy Parade: Pearl Street Mall, Boulder. Parade starts at 3:00 p.m. at the 1300 block of Pearl Street. Pre-parade tunes courtesy of Jeff Kagan and Paige Doughty, face-painting, coloring and other children’s activities. The parade will be led by Boulder’s very own Tulip Fairy, accompanied stilt-walkers from Frequent Flyers and your tiny tulip fairies and elves. A performance of Waking the Bear courtesy of Open Space & Mountain Parks.
  • Boulder Farmer’s Market. 8:00 to 2:00pm. 13th Street between Arapahoe & Canyon Blvd. Map. Great opportunity for families to purchase locally grown produce, eat delicious food, listen to live music and so much more! A Boulder kids’ favorite.
  • The Spot (bouldering gym) Family Instructional Day. The whole family climbs for $25, including shoes. This is a great deal! Go check out this well known bouldering gym with your family & see if climbing is a sport the whole family can enjoy. Make reservations to ensure space.
  • Beatlemania Family Day at the CU Natural History Museum. Hands on exploration of our natural environment. All ages. Free. 1:00 to 4:00pm.
  • Children’s Storytime at the Main Library. All ages. Free. 10:15 to 11:00am. Ongoing activity.
  • Family Dance Party. This is a first time event but sure to be a big hit. Organized by local children’s music instructor. 2 free tickets at the website. For more info click here.

Sunday, April 29

  • Fishin’ Fun! Join Boulder’s OSMP to learn about fishing techniques, equipment, and places to go fishing in and around Boulder. They provide equipment. Ages 6+. 9:00 to 11:00am. Call for reservations 303-441-3440.
  • Walker Ranch Homestead Spring Days. All ages. Free. 10:00 to 4:00pm. A great opportunity to learn about homesteading at this historical reenactment. I love this event!!!
  • Denver Art Museum is FREE today in honor of Dia de Los Ninos. All day. Free.

Monday, April 30

Tuesday, May 1

  • Children’s Storytime @ George Reynolds Branch Library. 10:15 to 11:00am. Free. Ongoing activity.
  • Lap Babies at the Main Boulder Library. Babies up to 12 months explore books & stories with their caregivers. No older children, please! Free. Ongoing activity.

Wednesday, May 2

  • Nature Kids: Critters, Crafts, Songs & Fun for kids who love the outdoors. All ages. 10:00 to 11:30. Chautauqua Community House. Tickets are for sale–$10/adults & $5/kids up to 10.

  • Children’s Storytime @ Meadows Branch Library. 10:15 to 11:00am. Free. Ongoing activity.

    • Cruisers & Crawlers @ Main Boulder Library. 10:15 to 11:30am. 9 to 24 months. Ongoing.

    • Discovery Days at the Longmont Museum & Cultural Center. Ages 2 to 5. Low cost [$3.50 to $4.50/child]. Drop-in sessions: 9:00 to 10:15, 10:15 to 11:30, 12:30 to 2:00.

    • Barnes & Noble Storytime. Ongoing activity. 10:00am.
    • Gymboree Storytime @ Barnes and Noble. Stories, movement and more. Ongoing activity. 1:00pm.

      Thursday, May 3

      Grandrabbits Playdate. 10:30 to 11:15am. Ages 2 to 6. Free. Ongoing activity

  • Happy Earth Day! and What to do on Earth Day in Boulder…

    This is a day to focus on Mother Earth. How can we help our children become great stewards of the Earth? Great lovers of nature? Explorers & people who ask the important questions about how we will leave the Earth for their children and then next 7 generations or more?

    One year we went around our neighborhood and picked up trash and put it in our red wagon. We were all amazed at how quickly we filled the wagon in a neighborhood that didn’t appear to have much trash laying around. Another year we went on a long hike with friends. What do you do to celebrate Earth Day with your family?

    Listed below: 1) Things to do in Boulder on Earth Day, 2) Some nature blogs to check out, and 3) A link to the Osprey Webcam so you can spy on those amazing birds [2 eggs].

    What to do around Boulder on Earth Day:

    • Denver Museum of Nature & Science SCFD FREE DAY. Celebrate Earth Day all day with DMNS.

    • Denver Botanic Gardens’ SCFD FREE DAY.
    • 11th Annual Wild Earth Day sponsored by Wild Bear Mountain Ecology Center. All ages. 11:00 to 4:00pm. FREE. Scientific speakers, animal demonstrations, and much more.
    • Nature For Kids and Parents: Celebrate Earth Day!. All ages. 1:00 to 3:00pm. Free. Earth is home to billions of people and also home to millions of species of animals and plants.  We can learn to use less and share resources so that wildlife habitats aren’t decreased or disrupted. Join the OSMP for an easy hike starting at the Chautauqua Ranger Cottage.
    • Earth Day Concert: Nature & Songs. Children and parents can join OSMP’s Jeff Kagan, Mark Wesson and Paige Doughty for an Earth Day concert of children’s music, nature education and fun! Music will be appropriate for children ages 3-8 but all ages are welcome! Meet at the Sunrise Amphitheater on Flagstaff Mountain (map here).
    • Wanted: Nature Detectives. 4:00 to 5:00pm. Ages 5 and up. Can you solve a mystery? Search for clues?  Who are they, and how to they do it – the feathered, furred, 6-legged and green beings who live on Flagstaff Mountain?  Are you an investigator who can help us explore these

      Photo - Flagstaff Nature Center

      questions? Flagstaff Nature Center (map here). The Flagstaff Nature Center will be open 1:00 to 5:00pm on Earth Day.Don’t miss the exhibits, fun activities and animal mounts in the Nature Center! Follow this link to learn more about the Nature Center.

    Here are some Nature Blogs you might like.

    Boulder County Open Space’s Osprey Nest Webcam. Take a live look at these amazing birds. There are 2 eggs in the nest!

    How did you spend your Earth Day?

    Globetrotting Kids: Check Out These Kids’ Blogs About Traveling

    National Geographic Kids is supporting kids to blog about their experiences on their Around The World family trip. Way to go National Geographic. I am SO jealous! For some interesting reading check out these two kids’ blogs:

    National Geographic is such a great resource! My kids pour over it when it arrives and invariably there is an article & certainly photos that capture their curiosity. When I was researching stories about traveling with kids I found some great resources at National Geographic:

    Calling Nature Detectives: A Free, Fun, and Self-Guided Opportunity on Boulder County Open Space

    Get the kids outside and allow them to become Nature Detectives. Kids 11 and under will love becoming Nature Detectives! This program is an entertaining and engaging way to foster the love of nature in your children of all ages. You do not need special equipment or knowledge, just your children & their natural curiosity. The Boulder County Nature Detectives program includes Mystery Guides to many Boulder County Open Space properties and provides:

    Once your child has completed three [3] Nature Detective programs they receive a prize. The more programs they complete the more prizes they collect.

    The Nature Detectives program is free and available at the following trailheads. Caribou Ranch, Mud Lake, Betasso Preserve, Agricultural Heritage Center, Heil Valley Ranch, Carolyn Holmberg Preserve at Rock Creek Farm, Meyers Homestead Trail at Walker Ranch, Pella Crossing Lake, & Walden Ponds. For more information on the Nature Detectives program & downloadable click here. Or for more information you can call 303-678-6201.

    Good job, Boulder County, putting together Nature Detectives! I love the way you are engaging children in the outdoors! What other creative programs are there in Boulder like this one?

    Boulder Events for Families: March 16 to 22, 2012

    Listed here are some great family events. Most are free. They are all opportunities to be together as a family and engage your kids of all ages. Let me know what you liked. Let me know if there is something I should add. Have a great week!

    Friday, March 16, 2012

    Saturday, March 17, 2012 [Happy St. Patrick’s Day]

    • What’s for Dinner? Colorado Food Past & Present Family Day at the CU Museum of Natural History. Hands on activities for the foodies out there. All Ages. 1–4pm.

    • French/English Storytime at the Boulder Main Library. 10:15 to 11am.
    • St. Patrick’s Day at the WOW Museum. Join them for a special presentation by the McTeggart Irish Dancers. 11 to 2pm.
    • Peter Pan: The British Musical, presented by Rocky Mountain Theater for Kids. All ages. May be sold out.
    • Wings of Spring: Bird Watching. All Ages. 7:30–10am. Boulder Parks and Open Space program. Meet at Sawhill Ponds, 0.6 miles north of Valmont on 75th St. Bring binoculars, dress warmly.

    Sunday, March 18, 2012

    Monday, March 19, 2012

    • Read to the Dog. All Ages. 3:30 to 5:30pm. Bring your child to read to a this well trained and gentle dog. Reservations Required. [Boulder Meadows Branch Library]

    • Grand Rabbits Play Day. Free for kids 2 to 6 with guardian. Flatirons store. 9:30 to 10:15am.

    Tuesday, March 20, 2012

    Awesome Boulder Events for Families: March 9 to 15, 2012

    Listed here are great family events. Most are free. They are all opportunities to be together as a family and engage your kids of all ages. Let me know what you liked. Let me know if there is something I should add. Have a great week!

    Friday, March 9, 2012

    Saturday, March 10, 2012

    Sunday, March 11, 2012

    Monday, March 12, 2012

    • Read to the Dog. All Ages. 3:30 to 5:30pm. Bring your child to read to a this well trained and gentle dog. Reservations Required. [Boulder Meadows Branch Library]

    • Open Space Story Hour at Chautauqua. Nature-themed story book [1-1:30pm] & Nature Detective Scavenger Hike [1:35 to 2pm].
    • Grand Rabbits Play Day. Free for kids 2 to 6 with guardian. Flatirons store. 9:30 to 10:15am.

    Tuesday, March 13, 2012