Enjoy Family Fun – All Summer Long With Meadow Music

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Hey Boulder Families – Don’t miss out on live, educational, engaging music at Chautauqua this summer! Meadow Music is an award winning environmental education program offered for free in Boulder, Colorado. Join Jeff & Paige for FREE concerts and a hike throughout the summer at Chautauqua. Meadow Music happens most Monday evenings in the summer from June-August.

This event is free to the public thanks to the City of Boulder’s Open Space and Mountain Parks Division!Screen Shot 2016-05-24 at 10.24.25 AM

Meadow Music Details: Meet at 5:30pm to start a short hike that’s friendly to all ages – Map Here.  The hike takes about 30 minutes because of all the little legs that join it, but all ages should be able to accomplish the task. Along the way we’ll look for our color of the week and at the end our hike we’ll sing a song to bring out our animal of the week–Coyote Bob, Ranger Paula, or The Black Bear…

After the hike you will return to the Chautauqua Green for a concert full of Jeff & Paige’s original nature and science-based music. The concert starts around 6:00pm and ends by about 7:00. Bring a blanket to sit on, a picnic and some silliness.

Read more about Meadow Music here.

For a full concert calendar and to plan your next visit to Meadow Music visit the calendar.

#Boulder #Colorado #Getoutdoors

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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

Boulder Kids Are Being Rewarded For Reading!

Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 10.00.48 PMThe Boulder Public Library Summer Reading Program is at it again – encouraging Boulder kids to read during the summer months. The fun has begun at Main Library, George Reynolds Branch Library, Meadows Branch Library, and (new this year!) the NoBo Corner Library.

Want to register your child? Head to any Boulder Public Library to register for Summer Reading, pick up your reading log and get more information about weekly events, including special performers, rewards, and much more. I just noticed that the Whole Foods on Baseline is offering a free cookie for kids [and a free coffee for parents] in the Summer Reading Program – once they read the appropriate number of books. So jump right in & get your kids reading!

This summer’s special performers include:

  • Two full Lego days with Curtis Monk at Main, with showings of Lego movies at three branches.
  • Storyteller Indiana Bones and Denise Gard.
  • Visit with live animals from Perry Conway and Canyon Critters
  • Learn about outer space with the Fiske Planetarium and SpaceTime Inc., and MORE!!

Summer Reading Program Dates:  June 9 – July 18, 2014

Family-Friendly Summer Options – Museum Free Days

Screen Shot 2014-05-16 at 2.18.42 PMThe summer is upon us. Usually I recommend getting the kids outside, but sometimes a day trip to a museum can be just the ticket. Mix it up. Get out of the heat. The listings here are all for FREE Days to some of the big museums around – I know my kids always love going!

2014 Free Days at Local Museums & Events

June

Boulder History Museum: 6/1

Denver Museum of Nature & Science: 6/2

Denver Botanic Gardens: 6/3

Denver Art Museum: 6/7

Denver Museum of Nature & Science: 6/30

July 

Denver Art Museum: 7/5

Boulder History Museum: 7/6

Denver Museum of Nature & Science: 7/20

August

Denver Art Museum: 8/2

Denver Firefighter Museum 8/2

Boulder History Museum: 8/3

Denver Botanic Gardens: 8/4

#boulder #free #freedays #outdoorfamilies #getoutside #whattodo

 

Boulder Area Summer Camps 2014

Why do I need to start thinking about summer camps? I feel this way every year. Honestly. And many years I have blown it off and figured it would all work out in the end. It has and it hasn’t. If you wait too long a lot of the really popular camps fill up. So even though there was recently snow on the ground and more is coming it is time to start thinking about summer camps.

There are lots of summer camp listings that come out every year. I like the one the Boulder County Kids pulls together. Click the image to get to the actual camp directory.

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How do you decide which camps your kids should attend. First of all what are your needs? Do you work? Do they provide the hours you need. If you are simply doing these camps as enrichment then what does your child enjoy? What are their interests? The Camp Issue above helps you to sort through these questions.

A quick shout out to some great Boulder camps:

Larger camp programs

  • CU Science Discovery: Very diverse offerings from the fields of science, math, writing, photography. Most kids can find something here they will love!
  • Avid 4 Adventure: If your child loves adventures outside this may be the camp for them. Kayaking, biking, climbing, and most other outdoor pursuits you can name are provided here.
  • Boulder Indoor Soccer: This program offers week long summer soccer camps. They are super flexible, fun, challenging and your kids come back with great skills.

Smaller camp programs

  • Feet on the Earth: Earth bound, skills oriented camps for girls and boys
  • Science Adventure Program: Very sweet farm and survival skills related summer camps for boys and girls situated on a small farm in the Cherryvale area.
  • Growing Gardens – Children’s Peace Garden: Spend a summer learning about the earth, gardening and much more through this small Boulder non-profit.

There are so many great options out there. Take a look. Get excited. All the best on your summer camp journey!

Infinite Campus: Check Out The Mobile App!

Screen Shot 2013-08-28 at 2.34.22 PMIf you have a child in BVSD [Boulder Valley School District] then you probably know about Infinite Campus. I will say that I never used it until my son went into middle school. Now it is clear that I NEED access to Infinite Campus. Like it sounds, Infinite Campus, allows you to be a helicopter parent to your children. Otherwise known as supporting them through their many classes and seemingly endless assignments. I guess I sound a little critical. I guess I am a little critical. My 11 year old has just jumped in head first into being a young adult. Ahhh, Middle School!

Anyhow, if you want to be able to support, track, encourage your child, then getting on Infinite Campus is important. It’s the main way teachers communicate with parents. You can log on to Infinite Campus via you computer or now via a new App. Here’s how:

Infinite Campus on your Computer:

  1. Go to the BVSD website.
  2. Click on the Infinite Campus Student/Parent Portal button. It’s the one on the bottom left of the screen shot below. Or the middle left of your page when you get on the website.
  3. Log in. You will need to know your access info. If you don’t have that access code yet, you need to talk with your child’s school. If you have kids at more than one school you can still just talk with one school as it is for the whole family.

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Infinite Campus on your Smart Phone: Woohoo!!!

  1. Follow ALL steps above to log on, on your computer the first time.
  2. Once you are able to log on and create a Username and Password, then you can do the fun part–get the App.
  3. Go to your mobile device and search for “Infinite Campus”. Download the FREE App. App Store or Google Play work.
  4. Put in your District ID: BVSDCO & your Username & Password. Now you are in!

Last night at my son’s middle school’s back to school event I was able to see exactly which classes he had, his schedule on a day-to-day basis, his teacher’s names and email addresses. It was handy. As I watched so many parents walking around with scraps of paper showing where their child’s classes, I was excited to have found this mobile app!

Are there mobile apps you would recommend for parents?

DIG INTO READING with the Boulder Public Library’s Summer Reading Program!

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The kids are out of school and summer if finally here in Boulder! Want to keep them motivated to read? I highly recommend kids being a part of the Boulder Public Library’s Dig Into Reading summer reading program. My kids have done it for years! They run a great program every summer and this year is no exception. Registration is open! Here is what you do to get involved:

  1. Stop into ANY Boulder Public Library and sign your child up. It’s free and easy to sign up. Pick out a book at that time.
  2. Read! Your child/you complete the tracking form.
  3. Head into your library each week to show your tracking form and get a prize
  4. It is really easy and motivating to the kids!

To keep things interesting there are a lot of programs happening throughout the summer. Attend a wide variety of programs. Including:

Get more information on Dig Into Reading here. Or Call 303-441-3099 for more information!

Tinkering and the Value of Engaging Our Kids in Building

What Tinking looks like for 10 year olds.

Kids are natural tinkerers. We all are really. But give them some wood, pvc, tape, glue, paper, markers, and when they are older power tools, and watch those kids who just moments ago said they are “bored” become engaged. Consider creating a Tinkering Kit or a place where kids know they can go to pick up scraps and create things. Encourage kids to follow their imagination! They can draw out a picture before hand or just go for it and create what they imagine along the way. I am always amazed at what my kids create!

Tinkering Kit:

  • Papertowel rolls [used]
  • Screwdriver & different size screws
  • Wood and/or balsa wood for younger kids [various sizes]
  • PVC [various sizes]
  • Hammer & different nail sizes
  • Tape [electrical & duct tape are great!]
  • Glue [non-toxic craft glue] and/or a glue gun [adult use only]
  • Recycled objects [plastic containers, corks, any item you are throwing away could be considered]
  • Art supplies [to decorate the creations]

Tinkering is messy. It is creative. It is fun. It is frustrating. But if we leave the tinkering open ended our kids come out with something they are proud of creating. Consider making a project with your child or making one of your own while they are making one. Remember as parenting we need to step back and let them make mistakes and learn from the process. If they nail something in and it cracks the wood, what can they learn from this process? If it doesn’t come out the way they want, should they have drawn out a picture first? Or could they simply change what they expected? Just help them through the process of considering how to improve next time.

For more on tinkering, watch this video on The Tinkering School and take a look at the post from OutdoorMom.com, Kids Love Plumbing.

Kids’ Summer Reading: Boulder Style!

School is out. Kids are getting settled into a new routine. How do we keep out kids reading? Check out these great programs and resources to keep our kids reading all summer long! These programs really motivate kids to read with great books, give aways and incentives. Join 1 or all 3. Which ones do you like the most?

Boulder Area Reading Programs

Boulder Public Library: Their reading program, Dream Big: Read!, started today. You can sign up at any library  and your kids can earn prizes, books, and a pool party. Join any time, but the sooner the better!

Grandrabbits: This Summer join Grandrabbit’s “Jump Into Reading”. Staring June 11th, children 3 to 13 can join their Summer Reading Program at the store. Read books, fill out a tracking sheet, then bring it in for a special prize.

Boulder Bookstore: Their summer reading program starts June 1. The program is aimed at kids K to 8. Kids go to the store, grab a tracking form, & pick up a few books to kick off the program. Kids read 6 books total and they can earn a $5 gift card to the Boulder Bookstore.

Summer Reading Resources/Lists

50 Free Things To Do This Summer!

Here is a great list of 50 FREE things to do this summer in the Denver/Boulder area. Most of them are family friendly. Some will surprise even those of us who have lived here for a long time. Others will just be a reminder of things we have been wanting to do, or places we want to revisit–maybe now with kids. No need to pay. Just go. Have an adventure. Try something new. Have fun! What else is should we add to this list?

The FREE list includes:

  • Art Fairs

  • Exhibits
  • Concerts
  • Attractions
  • Tours
  • Day Trips

I would add:

  • Boulder Farmer’s Market

  • Band on the Bricks
  • Live music at 29th Street Mall
  • Pearl Street [playing at the fountain, on the animal statues, at the rocks]

Here’s the link to 50 FREE Summer Things To Do!

A big thinks to http://www.denver.org and @iknowdenver!