Why I Am Getting My Kids Outdoors This Summer!

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Boulder County is a mecca of outdoor activities. Why is it that we parents find ourselves begging our kids to get off technology on a regular basis? At least I do. I love getting my kids out the door and into the backyard, on a hike, on their mountain bikes, or anywhere other than indoors as often as possible!

The summer is a great time to get the kids outside and engaged in authentic learning opportunities – the kind that present themselves all the time in the outdoors. I get the brochures for STEM and engineering focused camps and these all look amazing, but I say summer is a time to get outside, leave the traditional classroom behind, and explore a more authentic and engaging “classroom” in the outdoors. This summer I’m getting my kids out the door and learning more about themselves through outdoor experiences! It is time to get our kids out the door and into the outdoors this summer!

Authentic outdoor education programs offer our kids incredible opportunities to push themselves and develop the whole person by allowing them to:

  • Be without technology and fully engage!
  • Build confidence and grit doing things things that are fun but tough!
  • Be bold and try new things! 
  • Engage in healthy risk taking – the activities have high perceived risk, but low real danger!

The outdoors is a seriously powerful tool for personal growth and empowerment for our kids! I want my kids to face challenges and learn that they can push through them. I want my kids to have to engage fully by leaving all the distractions of technology behind. I also know with two boys they need outlets for taking risks in a healthy environment. I believe these are all best accomplished through purposeful engagement in outdoor adventures. This is why I’m turning to some engaging outdoor opportunities for my kids this summer. Let the outdoors be their teacher!

There are so many ways to get our kids going – even at really young ages! Think of the options: Rock Climbing, Kayaking, Biking, Stand Up Paddle Boarding, Hiking, Mountaineering, and many many more! Get the kids out there however you do it – on your own or with a camp program this summer. Of course it depends on how old your kids are and their innate interests, but you can find so many opportunities for authentic learning in the outdoors around Boulder County!

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Photo Credit to Avid4 Adventure

I did some research and I found Avid4 Adventure. I knew they were around but I had not really looked at outdoor camps until now. This summer my 12 year old will be rock climbing with Avid 4 – scaling walls and meeting new friends. He will be scaling walls and pushing himself beyond the limits he currently perceives. He will be getting out of his comfort zone. He will be getting scraped up. He will be exhausted when he gets home after long hikes to climbing spots. I believe he will come back each day with his cup full of life and ready for more adventures. Here’s to summer outdoor adventures! 

More details about Avid4 Adventure in case you think your kids are ready for an outdoor challenge this summer. They offer really professional programs and believe in authentic education through outdoor adventures. Avid4 offers day and overnight programs for all outdoor enthusiast kids and those who just want to dip their toes in the water so to speak. I love Avid4’s philosophy and professionalism! Check out their great general [kids try a little of everything] and sport specific outdoor programs for kids pre-K through 11th grade at their two Boulder County bases of operation:

Avid4 Adventure offers camps out of two local locations that may be interesting for Boulder Families – Boulder Camps and Lafayette Camps @ Avid4 Adventure

Are your kids going to camp this summer? Any great outdoor learning experiences to share with the rest of us?

#Kids #SummerCamp #Summer #Boulder #GetOutdoors

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Lions, Bobcats, Lynx, Oh My – Natural Selections Offers Guided Hikes for Families in and around Boulder

Lions, Bobcats, Lynx, oh my! Natural Selections is the educational arm of Boulder’s Open Space and Mountain Parks that offers hikes and activities to get the whole family outdoors and learning about our natural environment. They offer events for families at least once a month, year around – even in the snow! These events are fun, educational, entertaining, engaging, and all about the natural environment all around us.

Upcoming Hikes for Families:

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Some of these hikes require registration, so check in before hand. You can get on their email list to get advance notice of upcoming events:

https://bouldercolorado.gov/osmp/nature-hikes

Thanks to Boulder’s Open Space and Mountain Parks for engaging Boulder kids in nature!

#Getoutdoors

 

Hiking and Learning and Exploring – Oh My! Natural Selections Offers Family-Friendly Hikes and Educational Opportunities!

IMG_2813Love hiking? Enjoy learning? Want to connect your kids to nature? The City of Boulder’s Open Space and Mountain Parks department offers ongoing nature hikes and educational opportunities throughout the year. These are well run, engaging programs that offer something for everyone – some of their programs are even wheelchair accessible. These programs are family-friendly and so engaging for Boulder Families!

Here is a list of their upcoming August programs:

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These are always free and open to the public. Sometimes you do need to make a reservation, but that is the exception. I have seen many of those programs fill up, so if you like something you see reserve it! You can subscribe to Natural Selections and receive email updates on upcoming events weekly – here. Just go to the pull down menu and select – Natural Selections – and you will be in the know!

Read more about how Natural-Terrain Schoolyards Reduce Children’s Stress Levels – here. This is a great CU study!

Boulder Family Events: December 27, 2013 to January 2, 2014

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Family-Friendly Boulder area events for the next week are right here! It’s a quiet week here in Boulder. Enjoy some sweet down time!

Friday, December 27

Saturday, December 28

Sunday, December 29

  •  Check the lights on the Boulder Courthouse on the Pearl Street Mall.

Monday, December 30

  • Winter Skate in Louisville. Enjoy the old fashion fun of skating. Now through February 2014.
  • FREE Horse Drawn Carriage Rides in Downtown Louisville. Starting at the Ice Rink. Noon to 3pm.
  • Kids Eat FREE: Larkburger & Cafe Mexicali 

Tuesday, December 31

Wednesday, January 1

Happy New Year!

Thursday, January 2

  • Toddler Time at the Main Boulder Library. Children 18 to 36 months are welcome to enjoy a fun story time. 10:15am. 

#getoutside #free #parenting #boulder #colorado #thanksgiving

Boulder Family Events: December 20 to December 26, 2013

Sweet Little Library outside at BCSIS/High Peaks Elementary Schools

Sweet Little Library outside at BCSIS/High Peaks Elementary Schools

Family-Friendly Boulder area events for the next week are right here!

Friday, December 20

Saturday, December 21

Happy Winter Solstice!

  • Bilingual Spanish/English Storytime at the Main Boulder Library. Storytime in both English & Spanish. 10:15am at the Main Boulder Library.
  • ATOMS and Lego Holiday City Building Workshop. To celebrate the holiday season and share the joy of playing with ATOMS, we are turning our headquarters into a themed, open workshop space for anyone to come and build! They provide a free opportunity for anyone to come into our Boulder, CO office and build holiday creations with ATOMS. Our combined efforts will create an entire North Pole Village that moves, lights up, shakes, and pops! December 21 [10am to 4pm] & December 23 & 24 [4pm to 7pm].
  • FREE Day at BMoCA. Join them all day to delight in their exhibits or stop by during the Farmer’s Market for a fun kids craft.
  • Last Day for St. Nick on the Bricks. Head to the Pearl Street Mall if your kids would like to visit with Santa. Fridays and Saturdays from today through December 21. 11am to 2pm

Sunday, December 22

  • Celebrate the Winter Solstice at The Starhouse up Sunshine Canyon has a family-friendly celebration planned and all families are invited! They will have crafts, snacks and stories to welcome the longest day of the year. Cost is $30/family or less for individual tickets. Click link for more details.
  • ATOMS and Lego Holiday City Building Workshop. To celebrate the holiday season and share the joy of playing with ATOMS, we are turning our headquarters into a themed, open workshop space for anyone to come and build! They provide a free opportunity for anyone to come into our Boulder, CO office and build holiday creations with ATOMS. Our combined efforts will create an entire North Pole Village that moves, lights up, shakes, and pops! December 23 & 24 [4pm to 7pm]

Monday, December 23

  • ATOMS and Lego Holiday City Building Workshop. To celebrate the holiday season and share the joy of playing with ATOMS, we are turning our headquarters into a themed, open workshop space for anyone to come and build! They provide a free opportunity for anyone to come into our Boulder, CO office and build holiday creations with ATOMS. Our combined efforts will create an entire North Pole Village that moves, lights up, shakes, and pops! Today [4pm to 7pm]
  • Winter Skate in Louisville. Enjoy the old fashion fun of skating. Now through February 2014.
  • FREE Horse Drawn Carriage Rides in Downtown Louisville. Starting at the Ice Rink. Noon to 3pm.
  • Kids Eat FREE: Larkburger & Cafe Mexicali 

Tuesday, December 24

  • Lap Babies at the Main Boulder Library. Babies birth to 12 months can enjoy storytime!10:15am

Wednesday, December 25

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 26

  • Toddler Time at the Main Boulder Library. Children 18 to 36 months are welcome to enjoy a fun story time. 10:15am. 
  • Storytime at the George Reynolds Branch Library. Come one, come all to South Boulder’s branch library for a storytime. 2pm.

#getoutside #free #parenting #boulder #colorado #thanksgiving

Boulder Family Events: December 13 to December 19, 2013

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Family-Friendly Boulder area events for the next week are right here!

Friday, December 13

Saturday, December 14

Sunday, December 15

  • Nature for Kids & Parents: Oh Deer!  Hike into the forest with Debora Martin, Early Childhood Educator/Volunteer Naturalist and imagine we are a herd of deer.  Play a game, sing a song, learn a magical story, then continue to prance, stroll, and play like deer while exploring their habitat. Make an antler headband to take home! Meet at the Lehigh Street entrance to Shanahan Ridge (map search 1903 Lehigh, where Lehigh and Lafayette Streets intersect) for an easy hike.  Ages 5 and up.
  • Timberline Handbell Ensemble Holiday Concert at the Main Boulder Library. Back by popular demand! This family friendly special event that celebrates the season and ring in the new year. Timberline Handbell Ensemble strives to broaden the appreciation of the art of handbell ringing in the Denver Metro area by providing excellent concerts and education for diverse audiences. 3pm.

Monday, December 16

Tuesday, December 17

Wednesday, December 18

Thursday, December 19

#getoutside #free #parenting #boulder #colorado #thanksgiving

Boulder Family Events: December 6 to December 12, 2013

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Family-Friendly Boulder area events for the next week are right here!

Friday, November 6

Saturday, November 7

Sunday, December 8

Monday, December 9

Tuesday, December 10

Wednesday, December 11

Thursday, December 12

#getoutside #free #parenting #boulder #colorado #thanksgiving

Boulder Family Events: November 29 to December 5, 2013

IMG_3470Happy Day After Thanksgiving! Here are the Family-Friendly Boulder area events for the next week…

 

Friday, November 29

Saturday, November 30

Sunday, December 1

  • FREE Day at the Boulder History Museum

Monday, December 2

Tuesday, December 3

Wednesday, December 4

Thursday, December 5

#getoutside #free #parenting #boulder #colorado #thanksgiving

Boulder Family Events: November 22 to 28, 2013

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Looking for family-friendly events and happenings around Boulder? Check it out right here each Friday!

Friday, November 22

Saturday, November 23

  • Nature for Kids & Parents: Gobble, Gobble. Learn terrific facts about wild turkeys and why they are different from domesticated turkeys! Games and nature activities on this easy hike. Kids ages 5+. 1pm at the Chautauqua Ranger Cottage.
  • Panicking Poultry Turkey Trot at the Boulder Reservoir. 5 mile, family-friendly run. 1 mile kids’ run.
  • Bilingual Spanish/English Storytime at the Main Boulder Library. Storytime in both English & French. 10:15am at the Main Boulder Library.
  • Boulder Folders. Informal origami workshops for people aged 10 and older or experienced younger folders accompanied by an adult. Please bring your own paper if you have it. 10:15am @ the Main Boulder Library AND 1pm @ George Reynolds Branch Library.
  • Boulder Farmer’s Market. Meet your farmers, do some artwork, get some lunch. There is always so much going on at the market! 8:00am to 2:00pm. It’s still open. Head out to support these great farmers, bakers, and the rest!
  • FREE Day at BMoCA. Join them all day to delight in their exhibits or stop by during the Farmer’s Market for a fun kids craft.

Sunday, November 24

  • Switch on the Lights. Head to Downtown Boulder for a holiday performance by the Boulder Chorale as Santa counts down to the grand illumination of the Boulder County Courthouse and the Pearl Street Mall. 1300 Block of Pearl Street. 5pm. Stick around for FREE visits with Santa until 7:00 p.m.

Monday, November 25

  • No School for BVDS students
  • Take your kids on a bike ride at the Valmont Bike Park. This is a fantastic place to take kids of all ages and abilities! There is a play space, flat trails, pump tracks, and plenty to explore for all.
  • Kids Eat FREE: Larkburger & Cafe Mexicali 

Tuesday, November 26

Wednesday, November 27

  • No School for BVDS students
  • Boulder Folders. Informal origami workshops for people aged 10 and older or experienced younger folders accompanied by an adult. Please bring your own paper if you have it. 1pm @ George Reynolds Branch Library.
  • Wednesday Storytime at the Main Boulder Library. Children enjoy stories, songs and more in the Children’s Area.
  • Kids Eat FREE tonight at Wahoo’s!

Thursday, November 28

  • Happy Thanksgiving! 

#getoutside #free #parenting #boulder #colorado #thanksgiving

Boulder Family Events: November 15 to 21, 2013

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Looking for family-friendly events and happenings around Boulder? Check it out right here each Friday!

Friday, November 15

Saturday, November 16

  • FamilyDance Planet with Amazing DJ Rolf. FamilyDance Planet is transforming family time by offering your family a Saturday morning, active dance party with upbeat grooves that adults and kids can enjoy.  Our music is played live by different DJs each month!  We have a seasonal earth altar that kids help create, so ask your child to pick out an item from nature to put on the earth altar.  We throw in shakers, scarves and yoga mats to encourage creativity and movement.
  • Bilingual French/English Storytime at the Main Boulder Library. Storytime in both English & French. 10:15am at the Main Boulder Library.
  • Boulder Farmer’s Market. Meet your farmers, do some artwork, get some lunch. There is always so much going on at the market! 8:00am to 2:00pm.
  • FREE Day at BMoCA. Join them all day to delight in their exhibits or stop by during the Farmer’s Market for a fun kids craft.

Sunday, November 17

  • CU Museum of Natural History Presents the Americas Latino Festival. The festival promotes environmental awareness and unites diverse communities for a sustainable future through dialogue on the environment, health, education, culture, and small business entrepreneurship. This will be the first environmental justice Latino themed festival in the United States with novel programming components bridging the gap between academia, K-12 education, arts, policy, business and Latino and non-Latino communities

Monday, November 18

Tuesday, November 19

  • Lap Babies at the Main Boulder LibraryBabies (birth-12 months) and their caregivers explore language and books in a fun and intimate setting. Programs include rhymes, songs and books as well as time for free play and informal discussion of early childhood development. Attendance limited to babies up to 12 months of age; no older children please.

Wednesday, November 20

  • Cruisers & Crawlers at the Main Boulder LibraryCrawlers and beginning toddlers (9-24 months) explore language and books with their caregivers in a fun and intimate setting. Programs include rhymes, songs and books as well as time for free play and informal discussion of early childhood development. Attendance limited to crawlers and beginning toddlers up to 24 months of age; no older children please.
  • Wednesday Storytime at the Main Boulder Library. Children enjoy stories, songs and more in the Children’s Area.
  • Kids Eat FREE tonight at Wahoo’s!

Thursday, November 21

#getoutside #free #parenting #boulder #colorado #halloween