Month: August 2012

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 go...

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 participa...

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 c...

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. 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...

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 c...

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&#...

Class lists and more back-to-school dramas

Whoa. The house is so quiet. Why? My daughter is back in school. This is always a busy time of year as families attempt to adjust to new schedules and expectations. There’s the new routine that includes packing lunches (is a Gold Fish cracker a healthy snack? Hmmm…Don’t think so), getting up earlier (ouch!), making sure our children are doing their homework, brushing their teeth, combing the tangles out of their hair, not putting too much emphasis on outfits, and loading up the backpack with enough time to make it to school on time. That’s all after the class list drama.

Survey: Teachers report students ‘regularly’ come to school hungry

When a handful of students consistently showed up for school lethargic and unfocused, second-grade teacher Robin Sutherland discreetly posed a question: Did you have breakfast? Soon after, she began stopping off at the grocery store to pick up nutrition-packed drinks, or peanut butter and crackers — anything that might give them a protein kick-start. “Their scores increased, their focus got better,” said Sutherland, who oversees mostly low-income students at Queen Palmer Elementary in Colorado Springs. “It really helped them academically.” Eventually, she found a church group willing to share the cost — and now a school-wide program

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