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20 April Fool’s Day Pranks You Can Do at Home!

April Fool’s Day is right around the corner! Every year, I start out with good intentions but then I get busy and don’t have time to concoct some elaborate plan of trickery. So, here are some quick, easy and most importantly, kid-friendly ideas for celebrating April Fool’s Day at your house during self-isolation.

Want to make it educational? National Geographic shares the origin of April Fool’s Day.

20 April Fool’s Day Pranks, Recipes and Ideas!

1. My kids have never forgiven me for the year when I bought some succulent strawberries and dipped them in sugar…only to find out it was salt.

2. Speaking of salt, sprinkle a bit of it on your child’s toothbrushes the night before.

3. Put a couple of very small drops of food coloring on your child’s toothpaste. They won’t notice until they start brushing and their mouth turns a different color.

sleepy4. If your kiddos are deep sleepers, carefully put them in a different bed when they are asleep. There’s nothing like waking up in a different place.

5. Lunch surprise. Open a small bag of Cheetos from the bottom and replace them with carrots before carefully taping it back up.

6. Open up the lid of your child’s shampoo and put a piece of Saran Wrap underneath. Nothing will come out when they go to wash their hair.

7. Grüß dich. For older kids, go in and change the language on their smartphone. Just make sure you know how to switch it back!

 8. Stuff some toilet paper into the toes of their shoes so they’ll think they grew overnight. PSA: Only if you have valuable TP to spare!

7. Takedown some wall hangings and replace them with your child’s shoes. Or put them in funny places.

8. Swap the cereal in the boxes so they need to track down their breakfast in the correct box.

9. The night before, pour their cereal and milk into a bowl and freeze. The next morning, they’ll have a frozen surprise when you call them down for breakfast.

10. Turn their room upside down while they’re asleep. Everything from furniture to toys to pictures to books.

11. While they’re sleeping, adjust their alarm clock a half-hour early. This one will go over splendidly well. 🙂

12. Tell your kids to clean their room. When they do it, have a co-conspirator go in and mess it up a bit again. When you go to check their work, laugh at their reaction.

13. Take a rubber band and wind it tightly around the sink’s spray nozzle and leave it aimed at the person’s face. When the water is turned out, they’ll get drenched. Note: be sure to do this one before they get dressed.
 
14. This one is for the husbands. Block the remote signal with a piece of opaque tape.
 
meatloaf cupcakes

meatloaf cupcakes

15. For a fun April Fool’s Day dinner, make meatloaf and put them in cupcake tins and wrappers and top them with colored mashed potatoes that look like frosting. 

16. Do your kids love chocolate chip cookies? Whip up a batch of mashed potatoes (emit spices and pepper) and mix in some black beans. Bake them as you would cookies and serve. Oh, the anti-climax!
 
17. Do you have someone who checks their email first thing in the morning? Put part of a post-it note over the tracking ball on a computer mouse — it won’t work!  Or, turn up the volume as high as it can go on someone’s computer or radio before they turn it on.
 
18. Hide all the utensils in the house and make the rule everyone has to eat with their hands. Kids will love the break!
 
19. Do your kids love Oreos? Scrape the filling out and carefully replace a few of them with toothpaste.
 
20. Take all their underwear and hang it in embarrassing places around their room. What a memorable way to wake up!

Deals: Free delivery, online learning and more!

COVID-19 is changing our lives in a lot of ways. I have seen neighbors “going on a bear hunt” looking for the hidden teddy bears in windows…but more to the point – my neighbors are going on walks together! We are calling loved ones! (Verizon reports phone traffic up). Some of you might even be out of a job – that is why we feel it is so important to bring you deals as we find them.

Scholastic. Scholastic has launched a “Learn at Home” website specifically designed for kids continued learning. Lessons are broken out by grade level. Kids can learn on their own, learn with the family or even with their teachers! https://classroommagazines.scholastic.com/support/learnathome.html

 Learn Something. There are several companies that are offering free online instruction in the time that you are stuck at home.

·         BluPrint is offering all kinds of classes including quilting, knitting, crochet, cooking, drawing and more. Learn individually or do it as a family. Classes are free through April 9.

·         Fender is well known as a guitar maker. Learn guitar or ukulele with easy online classes.

·         Coursera offers free online collegiate level classes (I loved the Laurie Santos Science of Well Being – which also has a great sister podcast with some special episodes speaking to Covid19).

·         Rosetta Stone. Students can learn a new language (or stay on top of what they are learning in school) with a free three months!

 VISIT DENVER, Boulder Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, Eat Denver and the Colorado Restaurant Association have collaborated to create ToGoDenver.com, a free resource for Denver and Boulder restaurants that remain open for takeout and/or delivery service during the current dine-in shut down.

Free Delivery. There are several places that are offering free delivery or pick up.

·         Chipotle is offering free delivery for any order over $10. Place your order on the app or on Chipotle.com through March 31.

·         Noodles. Now through Tuesday, April 7, 2020, get free delivery and free regular entrée for next time on orders of $15 or more placed via Noodles.com or through the Noodles app. New users who sign up for Noodles Rewards through April 7 will receive an additional 1,500 bonus rewards points, which is enough points for a free regular entrée!  

·         King Soopers offers the first three grocery pickups for free.

·         Mad Greens. You can even specify “no contact” and your items will be left at your front door (or wherever you specify). Use the online code FREEDELIVERY

·         Tattered Cover is offering free USPS delivery with any order over $10.

·         Village Inn is said to be offering free delivery. Hankering for a pie? Get your fix with free delivery!

·         Library – Did you know that Hoopla Digital can be accessed with your library card. Audiobooks, music and movies delivered to you digitally and FREE!  

Denver Zoo is reaching out to the community with a new resource to help families stay connected to its animals and stave off cabin fever during this difficult time. Zoo to You: Virtual Safari will be updated daily with new animal videos, wildlife-themed activities and other ideas that families can do at home. 

COVID-19 Resources

Children’s Hospital Colorado Answers Your Top Questions

 50 fun things to do when you’re stuck at home during the Coronavirus outbreak. 

What CAN I do during a time of social distancing? 

Incredibly helpful online resources for students and families navigating learning from home

125+ ideas for online learning and fun for kids of all ages

Hallmark Free Card Friday. I love to get a card in the mail – always – but maybe more now. Hallmark is offering to send you three cards for FREE so you can brighten someone else’s day! They are sending out 2 Million cards!  When you care enough to send the very best…

 Taco Bell Doritos Locos Taco. When you drive through Taco Bell on Tuesday, March 31 you can score a free Doritos Locos Taco! Plus, they will be donating $1 Million to No Kid Hungry.

 CBS All Access. Get one month free of CBS All Access through April 23when you use the promo code ALL at checkout.

This Drive-in, Social-distancing Cinema is Coming to Denver!

Taking the little ones into town, or for some food at a pub or restaurant, is now completely out of the equation with all of the country’s bars, pubs, cafes and other venues closing their doors for the foreseeable future. 

While it’s still okay to nip to the park and practice good social distancing for some well needed fresh air, that can get pretty boring, but a new series of events may offer you some deserved relief.

Put together by our friends at Hot Tub Cinema a string of family-friendly, Coronavirus-safe drive-in cinema shows are being brought to Denver – and they will play host to some of your kids’ favorite films.

Drive-In Cinema Club runs from July 21st – 26th, 2020, where you’ll be able to enjoy a complete cinema experience from the safety of your own vehicle.

“In light of arts spaces and cinemas across the country closing to aid with social distancing, We bring screen entertainment to families, delivering a fun time for all in a safe environment.”

We hope it triggers more events companies to put on more and more events that the family can enjoy in a capacity safe from the spread of Coronavirus.

Tickets will be $25 per car for early bird tickets and $30 per car of up to 5 people thereafter. 

Sign up here for limited tickets:

https://zip-tickets.com/event/show/drive-in-movie-club-denver-1546978

 

Broomfield teacher spreads joy by dropping off care packages at students’ homes

Twenty-seven stops: that’s how many kindergarten teacher Jean Witt made over the weekend to let all of her students know just how much she cares.

“It’s really hard not to be able to see my students and for them not to see me or their friends,” Witt told FOX31.

She has been at Aspen Creek PK-8 in Broomfield since it opened 20 years ago. It was especially difficult for her because this is the last kindergarten class she’ll teach. Witt plans to retire at the end of the school year.

The DOs and DON’Ts of a statewide stay-at-home order for Colorado families

Gov. Jared Polis issued a statewide “stay at home” order Wednesday, requiring the state’s 5.7 million residents to avoid unnecessary travel or mingling with others outside their households.

Polis, who had resisted taking the dramatic step even as cities, counties and local health departments in metro Denver issued similar orders before him, said he was persuaded that a statewide approach was necessary as the coronavirus continued to spread throughout the population.

“Now is the time to stay at home,” Polis said.

Similar to the county-level and regional orders that had been issued by others, Polis’s order will allow grocery stores, liquor stores, gas stations and other businesses considered essential to remain open. Customers may visit those as long as they maintain social distancing, staying 6 feet away from people not from their households.

The order takes effect Thursday and lasts through April 11.

According to the order, residents can leave their home to:

  • Obtain food and other household necessities for themselves and their family or household members.
  • Deliver those services or supplies to others, such as food, pet supply, other household consumer products, and products or equipment necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and critical operation of a residence.
  • To engage in outdoor activity, such as walking, hiking, nordic skiing, snowshoeing, biking or running. For purposes of outdoor activity, state parks will remain open to the public to engage in walking, hiking, biking, running, and similar outdoor activities but all playgrounds, picnic areas, other similar areas conducive to public gathering and attended areas shall be closed.
  • To perform work for critical industries.
  • To care for a family member, a vulnerable person, or pet in another household, or to care for livestock kept at a location other than an individual’s home.
  • To seek medical care

Polis has also requested a major disaster declaration for Colorado from President Donald Trump, which would allow for additional federal aid to arrive in the state.

“I call upon President Trump to grant this immediately,” Polis said.

Read More: What you can and cannot do under Gov. Polis’ official order

TikTok: The Highs and Lows

Recently I was with a teen who was jumping up and down as she exclaimed how she now had 10,000 followers and some 400,000 views on a video she had posted on TikTok. 

What does this increased chance of quickly getting a massive number of followers and views mean for our youth? Could it be that soon, 10,000 will lose its power, just like the once exciting 100 views did in the past? Or maybe not — maybe even if it is common, we will all be seduced by the high of a truly impressive sense of eyeballs on what we are doing.

Being seen does feel good. Teens tell me that being seen (getting views and likes) makes them feel appreciated. They say that if so many people see what they post, it implies that what they are doing is worth the other person’s time — and that can feel great. 

What are the upsides and downsides of striving for online attention? 

Why do some kids and teens spend so much time posting for online attention while others do not? 

Today, Screenagers is sharing two stories of teens they think will make for good conversations with young people in your lives. Both of these teens talk about the pros and cons of getting attention online.

 

 

 

Here are a few questions to get a conversation going.

  1. Do you know anyone who has made a viral video or who is famous on platforms like Instagram, TikTok, or YouTube? 

  2. What do you think are all the upsides for them?

  3. What do you think would be the upsides for you? How about the downsides?

If you want to host a screening of the movie in your community, please fill out this form.

-Delaney Ruston

Denver Zoo Launches Virtual Zoo with Daily Videos and Family Activities

Zoo to You: Virtual Safari Keeps the Community Connected to Denver Zoo and Its 3,000 Animals

 Denver Zoo may not be open to guests, but its animal care team is still busy at work caring for its nearly 3,000 animals. And now the Zoo is reaching out to the community with a new resource to help families stay connected to its animals and stave off cabin fever during this difficult time. Zoo to You: Virtual Safari will be updated daily with new animal videos, wildlife-themed activities and other ideas that families can do at home. Highlights include:

  • Live Streams and DZTV Videos: The Zoo will feature a new animal and area of the Zoo every day at 1 p.m. MST on Facebook Live, which will give viewers a chance to interact directly with animal care staff. There will also be new animal videos posted across the Zoo’s social channels—FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube—and Zoo to You: Virtual Safari throughout the week.

  • Daily Family Activity Ideas: The Zoo’s Learning Experiences team will share daily nature play and wildlife-themed activities to help parents keep their kids busy, entertained and engaged during school closures, from Giraffe Yoga to 25 Nature Play Ideas.

  • Conservation from Home: Families can become citizen scientists from the comfort of their homes by taking part in the Zoo’s Colorado Corridors Project and play a meaningful role in helping save wildlife. Users can identify local wildlife in photos captured by remote cameras along I-70 then visit Zooniverse to participate in other conservation projects around the world.

Visitors to Zoo to You: Virtual Safari are also encouraged to make a donation to the Zoo’s Emergency Support Fund during its closure to help cover the costs of caring for its nearly 3,000 animals. For more information visit DenverZoo.org/ZootoYou.

Tweens, Teens and Young Adults in the Coronavirus Crisis

In this crisis, teens and young adults sent home from college pose different challenges for families than young children who need to be occupied and reassured. For starters, families are reporting problems persuading their older children to comply with social distancing rules. Combine the teenager’s innate sense of invulnerability, their intense focus on peers, and the fact that the virus is less likely to harm them, and you may get a lot of pushback.

This week, childmind.org talked to their experts about this and other issues affecting teenagers and young adults, including those who are depressed or anxious, disappointed about missing important milestones in their lives and worried about their futures.

Supporting Teenagers and Young Adults in the Coronavirus Crisis

Tips for parents with older children at home. Read more.

Self-Care in the Time of Coronavirus

For parents, prioritizing your own well-being benefits your whole family. Read more. 

Tips for Communicating With Your Teen

Keeping the parent-child relationship strong during a tricky age. Read more. 

The Power of Positive Attention

How to use it (instead of negative attention) to change behavior. Read more. 
 
We’re all in this together and it’s OK to ask for help. For local mental health support, go to NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Colorado

Rocky Mountain PBS’ New 24/7 Kids Channel + The White House’s Cool Remote Learning Resources

 Rocky Mountain Public Media (RMPM) is providing educational resources for children across the state who have been affected by school closures through its Rocky Mountain PBS (RMPBS) stations and digital presence at rmpbs.org. In response to needs expressed by educators and caregivers, this initiative will provide all students with access to free educational resources at home, both on-air and online, regardless of their broadband access. 

RMPBS will be offering STEAM-focused content on-air from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., for ages 6 and up. These programs include History Detectives, NOVA, Nature and other quality PBS programs and documentaries focused on science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics. For children ages 2 and up, RMPBS will be offering programs like Wild Kratts, Peg + Cat and SciGirls between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. The entertaining and educational PBS KIDS programming will continue to be available all day on the 24/7 PBS KIDS subchannel or the free PBS KIDS Video or Games apps. For information about how to access channels based on location, visit http://www.rmpbs.org/channels/

Rocky Mountain PBS is partnering with Denver Public Schools, and is seeking to work with other districts statewide, to curate complementary resources for on-air programs, including lesson plans and teaching guides from accredited teachers. The resources will be available online at rmpbs.org and on the free PBS Video app. 

Rocky Mountain Public Media continues to be a trusted source for educational content and information as the community seeks resources and support related to coronavirus. For an overview of current programming, resources and initiatives, please visit http://www.rmpbs.org/covid19/

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Here’s a cool announcement from the White House Historical Association!

During this difficult time, the Rubenstein Center for White House History offers a wide variety of educational resources for learners of all ages. Content includes classroom resource packets, reading lists, virtual tours of the White House, short educational videos, historical essays, and a digital library of White House and presidential images. More content will be added in the days ahead so stay tuned

Colorado launches emergency child care for those on the front lines of coronavirus — and it’s free for now

A new effort to provide care for the children of thousands of hospital staff and emergency responders in Colorado kicked off Monday with around 900 children linked up with nearby child care providers.

The initiative covers a small slice of the tens of thousands of young children estimated to need care so their parents can work at essential jobs during the coronavirus pandemic, but leaders and participating child care providers say it represents an impressively fast response that will grow in the coming days.

State officials and more than a dozen early childhood groups spearheaded the emergency child care campaign last week after a wave of school and child care center closures set off fears that health professionals and first responders wouldn’t be able to do their jobs without a safe place to send their children.

Child care at the more than five dozen participating centers and licensed homes — most in the Denver metro area — is free for essential workers this week and next week because of funding from the state and several private companies and foundations. In future weeks, parents may be charged on a sliding-scale basis, but the details are in flux. -Ann Schimke, Chalkbeat; photo Erin Einhorn
 
 
 
 

Finding Child Care in Colorado

So, what child care options are available when I go back to work?

We all want our kids to shine and moms with young kids have been given the ultimate resource: Colorado Shines, a program from the State of Colorado which rates and monitors the quality of child care programs. This includes ensuring environments are safe for children and that programs adhere to all current health and safety regulations. The great thing about the Colorado Shines is all of the information you need is in one place, allowing you to dig into the details of a child care program’s quality and history to ensure you choose the best program for your child. The search tool for parents and primary caregivers of children age 0-5 is also geared to Spanish-dominant and bilingual families. It’s all about making informed choices!