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Kids and Technology: How Much is Too Much?

Nearly all forms of technology — phones, tablets, video games, TV and computers — offer programs geared toward kids, from toddlers to teenagers. With technology so readily available (regardless of if it’s educational), parents should limit their child’s access.

What’s the problem with too much technology?

Social interaction is an essential part of a child’s growth and development. The overuse of technology can disrupt this critical interaction. Studies also have linked increased technology use to an increase in childhood obesity.

Why is personal interaction so important?

Don’t Miss New Ringling Bros. Show: Dragons (with a fantastic discount)

The dragons are coming to Denver!

Well, thankfully not real ones but rest assured Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey’s new show DRAGONS is sure to impress.

Coming to the Denver Coliseum September 27 – October 7, 2012, this visual spectacle honors The Year of the Dragon and circus performers from the farthest reaches of the earth have assembled to showcase their astounding acts of bravery and astonishing athleticism. Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson presides over this fantastical celebratory tournament of circus champions that brings together mystic dragon lore with authentic circus feats. DRAGONS is a never-before-seen blend of renowned spiritual and real-life legends.

The anticipation builds with

A guide to hiking with kids in Colorado

She wasn’t there, but Maureen Keilty still shudders when she thinks about the terrified youngsters being dragged up Mount Sherman as a storm approached.

“It just haunts me,” Keilty says. “This mom called me out of the blue to tell me about it. These kids were crying, and the mom asked the adults, ‘What’s going on here?’ And they told her, well, this is in this ‘best hikes’ book, and we have to get to the top.”

Keilty loves Mount Sherman, and yes, you will find the fourteener listed as one of the 100 trails in her book, “Best Hikes with Kids Colorado,” the latest edition of the guide she first wrote more than 20 years ago.

But forcing weeping kids up a trail? That’s the fast track to turning them off hiking for good, she says.

“Praise, patience and playfulness,

Win an entry for the family-oriented Panerathon 5K & 10K to Fight Hunger (and don’t miss the free kid’s fun run)

Looking for an event for the whole family for a great cause?

Join Panera Bread Sunday, September 16th for the 6th annual Panerathon 5K & 10k to Fight Hunger. This will be an exciting event for participants of all ages and includes a family-oriented expo, free Kids Fun Run (led by the Westminster Fire Fighters & Colorado Rapids mascot!), and 5K & 10K race winding through the Westminster Trail System.

The FREE Panera Kids Fun Run will be an out-and-back DASH (approximately 1/8 mile) for aspiring Panerathon-ers 12 years and younger and kids will receive Panera sunglasses and a medal for participating (kids registration is on race day only). The Westminster Fire Department and Colorado Rapids Mascot will lead the Fun Run at 7:45 a.m. Parents will be asked to complete a participation waiver in the event registration area beginning at 7:00 a.m.

All proceeds benefit Food Bank of the Rockies. Visit www.Panerathon.com for details.

Contest

Mile High Mamas is giving away a free registration for the 5K or 10K race with two free registrations up for grabs. Go here to enter. Contest deadline is September 11, 2012.

How to survive a school pickup line

From Kindergarten to Too Cool to be Seen On a Bus (November of sophomore year,) I rode the lumbering yellow limousine to school. The driver was fond of banging a small broom on the dashboard if it got too loud and she never let us open windows. It was a mostly-miserable experience, but we assumed a bus was the only way to get to and from school. Back in the day, parents enjoyed themselves. They waved goodbye while still pajama’d, clutching a coffee mug, smiling broadly, probably waiting to go back inside and dance to the Grease soundtrack and eat our sugary cereal all day. My mom only drove us if we missed the bus. As our seething mom sped to school, we wished we were with Mean Bus Driver Lady and her broom.

Now, fewer kids are bussed. Budget cuts, high bus fees, and the ability to choose our children’s schools have led to the rise of the school pickup line. My children have never ridden school buses to and from school. I have 11 years of school pickup line experience. I’ve seen it all: The polite, the rude, the dangerous, the clueless, the ambitious. I’ve learned lessons, tips, tricks, and basic survival. The twice-a-day trip is something I’m committed to doing because my kids’ school is worth the drive. Here are tips for surviving your years and years and years dropping off and picking up children. Many of these tips are common sense, but there are some things I wish I knew when I was just starting out as a cow in the school stampede.

Blinky the Clown, Denver TV icon for more than 40 years, dead at 91

The Emmy award-winning television clown who wished Colorado children a “Happy Birf Day” every day for more than 40 years died with Russell “Blinky The Clown” Scott, who passed away Monday at age 91. His daughter said he died from complications of pneumonia.

Scott created a Colorado legend and legacy as Blinky, a red-nosed, plaid-jacketed, pouty-mouthed goof whose gentle humor made a would-be thief temporarily reform his ways and whose safety tips prompted generations of children to look both ways before crossing the street.

Events: Pop-up Picnic, Adventures Denver & Free Days!

Adventures Denver. On September 9, join REI, The North Face and Backpacker Magazine fro the 1st annual Adventures Denver, a day of outdoor adventure in Sloans Lake Park. Events will include a kid’s zone, stand-up paddling, climbing, health and fitness classes, demonstrations, live music, giveaways and dozens of exhibitors. The event is FREE and open to the public. backpackerpromos.com/denver-2012

Pop Up Picnic Denver is a one-day event open to participants city-wide starting at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, September 16, 2012. Created by Slow Food Denver, Grow Local Colorado, and Healthy Realities, the event intends to bring awareness to the value of slowing down, eating real food, and building community. Anyone in the city of Denver may create a picnic site on September 16, 2012. Businesses, community groups, friends, families, and neighborhoods are all encouraged to participate. Pop Up Picnic participants may sign up to host a picnic starting immediately and running through September 15. To sign up or learn more about hosting a Pop Up Picnic, visit www.facebook.com/PopUpPicnicDenver or email popuppicnicdenver@gmail.com.

The Great Erie Outdoor Adventure. This is the third year of The Great Erie Outdoor Adventure on September 8 and 9, 2012. This family-oriented and nature-based event is where participants enjoy overnight camping in the Erie Community Park plus other activities such as a climbing wall, kayak tanks, mountain bike course/demo and a variety of environmental education vendors. There is a community dinner, outdoor movie and many fun contests, too. Site fees apply. www.erieco.gov/specialevents.

Free Days

Saturday, September 1 – Denver Art Museum
Sunday, September 2 – Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls, and Toys 1-4 p.m.
Sunday, September 2 – Boulder History Museum
Tuesday, September 4 – Target Tuesday Nights at Children’s Museum of Denver 4-8 p.m.

Denver Deal: Free Days, Taste of Colorado, H&M, Blockbuster sale & more

When I think of comedy shows I think about f-bombs and adult humor – jokes that go over the heads of kids but land right in the funny bone of adults. That is why I was really surprised to find out that Comedy Works has several different kids shows even from famous comedians. The kids and I recently went to see Ralph Harris and the kids thought they were pretty cool because they got to go to a “night club” and order drinks (yes, they have a full page of non-alcoholic drinks). Plus, they got to meet Mr. Harris after the show and pose for a photo with him. The next all ages show is with Rocky Laporte on Friday night.

Free Days

The Denver Botanic Gardens will host a free day on August 28th and the Denver Art Museum will be free on September 1.  Take the family and enjoy our cultural facilities for FREE!

Taste of Colorado

Plan ahead for the Taste of Colorado Labor Day weekend (Aug 31 – Sept 3) at Civic Center Park. Featured acts, including Top Hogs, Magical Enchantment with Erika Sodos, Machinez Remainz Dance Crew, and Istari World Percussion, on the Comfort Dental KidzStage. Children and adults can stay busy for hours with carnival rides, games, educational exhibits, and more. The four-day, free admission, food, music, and entertainment. The fun includes Kidzone, Carnival games and rides, Festival of Mountain and Plains area.

Consignment Sales

Heading into the new school year meas heading back to the mall or even better…heading to a great consignment sale.  Visit our consignment sale page to find out great sales.

Another H&M

Yes! Yes! Yes! Denver will have yet another H&M store – opening on September 13 at Cherry Creek Shopping Center. Store Grand Openings usually mean T-shirts and gift cards, in-store specials and giveaways.

Downtown Aquarium Attraction

The Downtown Aquarium has a new aquatic themed carousel. The carousel features dolphins, seals, seahorses and other exciting animals. Just $2.00 to ride!

Blockbuster Labor Day Weekend Sale

Your neighborhood Blockbuster is kicking off their huge Labor Day sale from Tues. Aug. 28 through Mon. Sept. 3.   To help celebrate the long weekend, Blockbuster is slashing 50% off of all previously viewed movies — family favorites, action and drama films are available for as low as $4.98.

CiCi’s $5 Faves

Going on now through Oct. 14, guests can race into CiCi’s for “$5 Faves” each Monday – Thursday. During Happy Hour from 2 – 4 p.m., guests can enjoy the adult buffet, featuring CiCi’s endless selection of 28+ pizzas in rotation, pasta, soup, salad and desserts, for just $5, including a regular drink.Or, take home a large, one-topping To Go pizza for just $5 anytime Monday – Thursday- what a great way to start this school year! 

Colorado Rapids

Your Colorado Rapids take on the Seattle Timber on September 5th at 7 p.m. at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park and YOU get a deal! Buy one ticket and get a second of equal value FREE (WITH NO ADDITIONAL FEES!).

Ski Deals

Labor Day is the unofficial kick-off to ski season with two great sales on gear and lift tickets – SkiRex and Sniagrab. Our post about Ski Area Deals you can snag now includes links to Vail’s School of Shred (Vail, Keystone, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Arapahoe Basin), the 5th (and 6th) Grade Passport, the Jr. Trade in program and more! Get your deals now!

Email me if you know of any great Denver deals!

Don’t want to miss any of Mile High Mamas’ contests and events? Be sure to sign up for our weekly email newsletter so you can forward these great deals to your friends.

You can also follow me on Twitter (GeeWhy93).  If I find a great deal during the week, I’ll tweet it out.

Children’s Hospital Colorado’s Advocacy Day!

Do you want to make a HUGE difference in Colorado children’s lives and aren’t sure where to start?

Children’s Colorado will host a unique Advocacy Day event on Friday, September 7 from 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. that will offer some amazing training opportunities to anyone interested in advocating on behalf of kids.

The Schedule
9:30 – 10 a.m.: What’s at Stake: Kids’ Health and the 2012 Election – Join the Children’s Hospital Colorado Government Affairs team for a light breakfast and a nonpartisan overview of kids’ health issues and what to consider going into the upcoming election.

10 a.m. – noon: Congressional Insight: Learn What It’s Like to be a Member of Congress!

The back-to-school parent conspiracy and the glories of a “Princess Year”

On Wednesday, I posted the following status update on my personal Facebook page:

It’s my son’s first day of first grade and my first day of both kids in full-day school. Worked, hiked, baked, started a new project and napped. Why didn’t anyone tell me how FREAKIN’ AWESOME it is? #ParentConspiracy

I got 32 “likes” and 18 comments, mostly along the lines of “I’m so jealous” or others like my friend Cheryl who posted: “13 days for me. But who’s counting?”

She deservedly is. She has all six kids in school for the first time.

I consider myself fortunate to work from home while raising my family but it’s meant a lot of early mornings and late nights so I can be present for my kids. Most moms are master jugglers and I’ve had my share of dropped balls. But what surprises me the most are people’s expectations. “Are you going to get a job now?” “What on earth are you going to do to stay busy?”

Somehow people have forgotten that motherhood and managing a household are full-time jobs.

Last year, my friend Tina bucked the naysayers