Colorado Parent April 2022

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DOLLARS & GOOD SENSE Teach Kids Money Skills Make Your Yard Eco-friendly PLUS! 4 GREEN KIDS’ ACTIVITIES Craft Simple & Sweet SPRING LAMBS

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April Events & Ideas for Family Fun

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good to know

Porch: Lucy Beaugard.

Spruce up Your Porch This Spring Want to add some seasonal cheer to your house? Enter Spruce, a Denver-based luxury service that will bring elevated beauty to your home exterior entry. The porch stylists add decorative accents like fresh botanicals, layered outdoor rugs, lanterns and lighting sources, and seasonal wreaths. “As busy mamas ourselves, we fully understand what a treat it is to have something taken off your plate,” says Britt Herrera, co-founder of Spruce. “Curated porch designs are one of those little luxuries that make a big impact and add extra beauty to your everyday life.” The process is seamless: Send a photo of your entry and choose an installation date. On the

selected day, the team will bring all necessary tools and materials to dress up your porch, tidy up, and leave you to enjoy the design throughout the season. The team will come back to remove the decor or transition your entry for the next season. “Our designs, and especially our holiday installations, are created with the whole family in mind. We love adding a little extra magic and delighting kiddos and parents alike,” says Herrera. Spruce offers service to Denver and surrounding areas, within a 20-mile radius. Prices start at $285. Check out more of their installations on Instagram at @sprucedesigndenver. spruce-design.com —Kara Thompson

APRIL 2022 COLORADOPARENT.COM

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7 SPORTS BOOKS FOR BUDDING ATHLETES Encourage your kids’ fervor for sports with these books.

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KEEP THE THRILL OF THE HUNT ALIVE AFTER EASTER These fun activities will inspire your family to seek and search all year long.

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PREVENT YOUTH SPORTS INJURIES If you’re raising an athlete, you know that injuries are always a possibility. Use these expert tips to protect your kiddo.

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CREATIVE WAYS TO MAKE MEALS MAGICAL A therapist who specializes in treating children with feeding deficits shares her go-to, cheerful meal ideas.

EDITORIAL edit@coloradoparent.com Editor Deborah Mock Senior Associate Editor Kara Thompson Editorial Assistant Anna Sutterer Copy Editor Lydia Rueger

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COLORADO PARENT APRIL 2022

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Eggs, sports: Getty Images. Food: Kelly Caruso.

CONNECT WITH US


EXPLORE MORDECAI CHILDREN’S GARDEN Dig into nature in this special place just for kids. No two visits are the same! 10th & York Street

Get tickets today at botanicgardens.org

APRIL 2022 COLORADOPARENT.COM

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good to know

2021

2021

2021

2021

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Making Picture Books Accessible for Visually and Hearing-Impaired Kids As a person with many blind friends, Richard Rieman learned that parents of blind children couldn’t always clearly convey the rich illustrations in picture books. As an audiobook narrator himself, he also was keenly aware of audiobooks’ inaccessibility to blind children. Rieman founded the nonprofit, Imagination Videobooks, to bridge these gaps and support blind and deaf children. His team of narrators and interpreters—many of whom are visually or hearing-impaired themselves—combine digital picture books with audio descriptions of the illustrations, as well as captions, and American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation. “Today, everything can be read in a robotic voice on a device, but we are trying to give children

a performance, and teach them to love literature even at three, four, and five years old,” Rieman explains. The Lakewood-based nonprofit has adapted more than 100 picture books, including Winnie the Pooh, and other self- and independently-published books that grant permission to distribute accessible versions. “We like to select stories that normalize the fact that every child is different, and that’s OK,” Rieman says. Families can access the books for free through the Described and Captioned Media Program, Spotify and other podcast platforms, or by subscription on Vimeo. “The idea is that (the books) are for all children,” Rieman says. “And we are opening up a whole new genre.” imaginationvideobooks.org —Lydia Rueger

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good to know

Spruce up your porch this spring.

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Good Neighbors Feel The Beat makes music and dance accessible.

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Solutions Teaching kids the value of money.

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Roundup A parent's recycling guide.

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What We Love Kids running gear essentials.

play 19

Veggie-Stamped Signs of Spring Decorate your spring brunch table with these sweet lambs.

explore

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Everyone All Together Our favorite inclusive spots in Denver and beyond.

wellness

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Raise a Runner Make running a family affair with these helpful tips.

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Illustration: Denis Novikov/Getty Images. Child watching videobook: Imagination Videobooks.

contents

Imagination Videobooks creates digital picture books accompanied by sign language interpreters and audio descriptions to engage children with vision and hearing impairments.


What will happen if … ? How much money will it take to provide a quality life … ? Who will ever “fill my shoes” if I can’t take care of my child? As a special parent, I feel your concerns. As a financial professional and Chartered Special Needs Consultant with over 30 years of experience, I help you find answers to these questions and help build a sustainable strategy for your child’s future.

Melissa J. Lang, CLU, ChSNC 720-259-6070 melissalang@financialguide.com

Melissa Lang is a registered representative of and offers securities, investment advisory, and financial planning services through MML Investors Services, LLC. Member SIPC. OSJ: 4600 S. Ulster St. Suite 1200, Denver, CO 80237 (720) 259-6070. Special Needs Planning Partners is not an affiliate or subsidiary of MML Investors Services, LLC CRN202303-279789

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good to know

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home

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Green Your Yard the Eco-friendly Way How families can set up outdoor areas for climate success.

happenings

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Our Top Picks for Family Fun From a party for the planet to an evening with Mickey Mouse and friends.

ting Can Spor e Events B

DLY? N E I R F Y SENSOR

Loud sounds, bright lights, and unfamiliar surroundings at large, crowded event venues can cause extreme emotional reactions for children with sensory processing disorder, autism, and other sensitivities. KultureCity makes it possible for families to enjoy a game at the stadium together. Founded in 2013, KultureCity is a nonprofit organization creating more sensory-accessible spaces. In Colorado, 11 venues have received its Sensory Inclusive certification, including Empower Field at Mile High, Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Ball Arena, and Infinity Park. “We provide training for guest-facing staff on what sensory needs are, how

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To Do Today to approach someone with a sensory overload, and effective communication,” says Uma Srivastava, executive director of KultureCity. Each stadium has sensory bags available for check out, which include noisecanceling headphones and fidget tools. In addition, venues offer social stories for families to review before a visit with information that explains to guests what they can expect. Social stories are specific to each venue, but often include how to identify event staff, how people might behave at the event, and where to locate bathrooms. Some venues offer designated quiet areas as well; just ask at guest services. For locations that don’t have dedicated space for quiet areas, KultureCity offers a mobile sensory station. Coors Field staff is currently being trained for the certification, and hopes to have sensory bags ready for the 2022 baseball season. “We make the ‘nevers’ possible,” Srivastava says. kulturecity.org —Lydia Rueger

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Ongoing Events

fresh mindset

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Denver parents Mark and Danae Davison share the wild joy of building neurodiverse friendships.

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Colorado Parent Camp Showcase

on the cover

Photo: Getty Images. 12 19 23 35 39

Teach Kids Money Skills Craft Simple & Sweet Spring Lambs Everyone All Together Make Your Yard Eco-friendly 60 April Events & Ideas for Family Fun

Stadium: Getty Images.

contents


N OW I S T H E T I M E T O

FIND A PRESCHOOL & ENROLL YOUR CHILD FOR THE FALL

Denver Preschool Program helps every Denver family access the power of preschool. Resources to help you find a preschool that best meets your family’s needs Tuition credits to lower your monthly costs at more than 250 quality programs

Learn more at

DPP.ORG OR CALL 303-595-4DPP

Summer Is Coming!

Im a gine the Am a zing.

At Primrose Schools Summer Adventure Club, there’s so much to discover. Every week, children explore new themes- like sports, arts, robotics and more- through fun hands-on activities that encourage learning and new ways of thinking. Join us all summer long and together we’ll create Active Minds, Healthy Bodies, and Happy Hearts.

Summer Adventure Club Offered Each Week • May 31st- August 24th

Fun for children in kindergarten through fifth grade!

Primrose School of Denver Central Park 303.322.7200 2501 Syracuse St, Denver CO 80238 Primrose School of Denver North 720.405.5150 9954 E 59th Ave, Denver CO 80238

Primrose School of Thornton 303-279-0525 12899 Grant Drive, Thornton CO 80241

Scan to Register:

• Fully accredited middle and high school for grades 6–12. • Small class sizes and school community. • Serving students with learning differences. • Individualized and self-paced programs. • Enrolling year round.

www. hum anex a c a demy.co m 2700 S. Zuni Street, Englewood, CO 80110 | 303.783.0137

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good to know

Refrigerator: Liudmila Chernetska/Getty Images. Pickleball: Anna Sutterer. Eggs: Getty Images.

Pickleball Food Pub Brings Year-Round Indoor Play

Bubble gum-like pops fill the air as pickleballers of all ages and skills test out the new eight-court Pickleball Food Pub in Westminster, which opened in February. “This is what they come for,” says owner Sam Brown, stooping to touch the force-reduction (easy on the joints) tennis court-like floor. Recreation centers often set up pickleball on multipurpose wood courts, on which the whiffle ball can skip awkwardly, according to long-time player, Brown. The gym and pub, off Wadsworth Parkway and 90th Avenue, welcomes guests into a lobby complete with table tennis, corn hole, 24 beer taps, and a pro shop. There’s no kitchen on site, but players can get eats delivered from nearby partners Marco’s Pizza, CD’s Wings, and Baskin-Robbins ice cream; a handy option for families who book the party room. Find a full schedule of drop-in hours, doubles leagues, and specials online—kids ages five to 10 play free with parents on Sunday afternoons. pickleballfoodpub.com —Anna Sutterer

SPRING CLEANING

Erase Tiny Fingerprints From These 3 Surfaces

Got fingerprints all over your fridge, mirror, or doors? Clean them up quickly with these smart and earth-friendly strategies. STAINLESS STEEL APPLIANCES Pour a little white vinegar on a clean, soft microfiber cloth and wipe in the direction of the grain. Stainless steel has a definite “grain” that typically runs vertically. You want to rub in that direction to keep from scratching the surface. Start at the top and rub top to bottom, moving from the left to right side of the appliance. WOOD DOORS Dip a microfiber cleaning cloth in a mixture of 4 cups of warm water and a drop or two of Castile soap or dish soap. Wring out the cloth and wipe from top to bottom, then left to right. GLASS Combine 1½ cups of water, 1½ tablespoons of rubbing alcohol, and three drops of your favorite essential oil to make your own glass cleaner. Spray a cleaning cloth with the mixture and wipe from top to bottom and left to right. —Becky Rapinchuk, blogger behind Clean Mama and mom of three

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Egg Hunt for All Abilities

Colorful eggs, 25,000 of them to be exact, will fill the two fields surrounding the Philip S. Miller Park Amphitheater in Castle Rock on April 9. To make the Special Egg Hunt—put on each year by Front Range Church—welcoming to all families, specific times are set aside to accommodate kids with varying needs. There’s a quiet hunt for kids with heightened sensitivity, a beeper-egg hunt for kids with visual impairments, and a time for kids with mobility impairments to pick up eggs with magnetized dowel rods. Three traditional hunts are also broken down by age groups for toddlers to 12-year-olds. Games, food trucks, and face painting round out the activities, but if things get overwhelming, families with special needs can take a break from the crowd in a designated quiet area. The hunt is free, but advance online registration, which comes with a free kids meal, is recommended. specialegghunt.com


Feel the Beat: Andrews Artistry.

good neighbors

good neighbors

Feel The Beat Connects Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing People to Music and Dance By Anna Sutterer

W

hen deaf and hard-of-hearing students first get onto Feel The Beat’s floor and the music turns on, it’s apparent they are experiencing something special. Some are in pure shock, others light up and jump around, and the rest? “They sit on the floor, lie down, and are like, ‘I never want to leave,’” Jari Majewski Price, co-founder of the accessible dance organization, says. The difference is in the technology below the dancers. Majewski Price and co-founder Julia Faliano, who previously worked in special needs classrooms together, developed a patented bone conduction floor that transforms sound into vibrations. This is not like sitting in a car with the bass cranked up, Majewski Price adds. A device in their floor transforms sound waves from the music into vibrations, which travel through the body and activate the hearing system. This way, a distinction of instruments and rhythm comes through. Depending on the kind of hearing loss, Majewski Price says, individuals may even be able to hear the lyrics. Feel The Beat classes are particularly accessible to deaf and hardof-hearing communities, considering the floor technology and use of American Sign Language, but are also beneficial for folks with and without various intellectual and developmental disabilities. They provide sensory integration, balance and strength training, social interaction, and emotional expression. Since its opening in 2017, Feel The Beat has served more than 4,500 students of all ages and abilities through hip-hop, jazz, ballet, and creative movement classes. Having run successful classes at its former studio in Wheat Ridge, the organization plans to take its influence further. Through partnerships with other accessible movement programs, Feel The Beat will install its floor and curriculum in community spaces, including the Charles Whitlock Recreation Center in Lakewood and Brewability Lab inclusive restaurant and event space in Englewood, by the end of spring. feelthebeat.dance

Get started on a brighter future TODAY!

LEARN MORE!

Enroll now in Summer Camp at The Behavior Exchange, where children with autism have lots of fun, meet new friends, and make real progress through expert, caring ABA therapy. *We accept most health insurance, including Medicaid and Aetna.

720.647.8541 enroll@behaviorexchange.com

HOW YOU CAN HELP: Invest your skills and time; Feel The Beat appreciates volunteer contributions including graphic design, web design, event planning, social media management, fundraising, and teaching assistance. Scholarship fund donations help sponsor dancers with financial need. APRIL 2022 COLORADOPARENT.COM

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solutions

Sometimes, it feels like the kids just want, want, want. How can we guide them toward wise spending and saving? A parent, a financial educator, and a VP at a kids’ bank offer their two cents. Edited by Courtney Drake-McDonough

THE FINANCIAL EDUCATOR SAYS… “From very early ages, kids see parents on their devices and, with a few clicks, items show up at their doorstep. To help kids gain financial intelligence, give them very small amounts of money, starting around age two, to contribute to causes the family is involved in. This sets the habit of giving. Around kindergarten age, give allowance in the form of money, points, or stickers. The objective is to receive something tangible that can be allocated to spend, share, invest, and save (in jars, for example). Print a picture of items they want to buy, along with the price, to put in the ‘save’ jar. Allowance should not be tied to grades, discipline, or chores since we all need to take on responsibilities at home, school, work, and in the community without payment expectations.” —Alex Mazloom, co-founder, Mind Treasures, mindtreasures.com

THE MOM OF THREE SAYS…

THE VP OF A KIDS BANK SAYS…

“We do a weekly allowance based on their age ($1/year of age) for being a contributing family member. It is split into spend, save, and give jars. We let them use the ‘give’ money to support school fundraisers or other causes that are important to them. They have bank accounts and deposit some of their ‘save’ money. We buy the basic things, but if they want a soda at a restaurant instead of water, for instance, they have to use their ‘spend’ money. You have to stay steadfast in the plan. We aren’t always great at enforcing it, but it has made it easier for us to say ‘no.’ It’s hard for me to watch them use their ‘spend’ money on junk, but that’s part of the learning process of not having money to spend later.”

“Kids develop spending habits based on examples set by parents or guardians. When talking to them about spending, use relevant, tangible examples, and short- and long-term goals, geared toward their interests and age. Financial literacy books, games, and online resources can be helpful, as can letting young children handle and count cash and coins to learn their value. Allow kids to pay at the checkout line so they begin to understand that every item has a cost. Teach kids about ‘need vs. want.’ Needs are things they must have to survive like food and shelter. Wants are things they like having, but can survive without, such as toys, video games, cell phones, and brand-name clothing. Create a budget with them which includes spend, save, and share that they revisit and update regularly to help them decide how to use their money.”

—Anne Hawley, Denver, mom of an eight-year-old and six-year-old twins

—Kelly R. Oster, vice president, Young Americans Bank, yacenter.org

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Highlight, child with piggy bank, child and father: Getty Images.

Teaching Kids the Value of Money


Sensory Health Transforms Lives

Making sense of sensation is what makes us successful!

STAR Institute is the leading international clinic for the treatment of children, adolescents, and adults with differences in sensory processing and other conditions in which sensory challenges are common, e.g., attention deficit disorders, autism and social emotional differences. Our dedicated, multi-disciplinary team addresses regulation and relationships, community engagement, mental health, feeding and eating, academic/vocational success, communication and language development, through the lifespan.

Schedule your no-cost, phone consultation with a STAR Institute therapist TODAY!

www.sensoryhealth.org or call us at 303-221-7827

Summer Camps

Have fun while building self-esteem, social confidence, and communication skills! At STAR we offer a variety of summer camps and programs that support your child and family with daily activities that focus on the skills they need to succeed. We offer programs focused on motor mastery, language development, sensory and social skills for ages 3-18. School Readiness Superhero In Training Bike Camp Rebounders Imagine Adventure Club Teen Club Critical Core

ENROLL NOW AT www.sensoryhealth.org Funding available through Developmental Pathways and Rocky Mountain Human Services. Call STAR for additional information.

MAKE A WITH ROCKY MOUNTAIN SPLASH ARTISTIC SWIMMING TEAM

ASCENDIGO AUTISM SERVICES ADVENTURE CAMPS: winter | summer ADULT LIFE ENRICHMENT: employment | residential Is your child interested in swimming, g ymnastics, and dance? Ar tistic swimming might be your ticket! Tr y an Olympic spor t with us! See our website for summer camp and clinic dates.

rmsplash.org

FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT US AT OR EMAIL INFORMATION@RMSPLASH.ORG

OUTREACH: schools | homes

WE'RE HIRING! Ascendigo.org | 970-927-3143 APRIL 2022 COLORADOPARENT.COM

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roundup

Toys: Johner Images/Getty Images.

Where To Recycle Toys

Plus 6 other items they may not pick up curbside.

R

ecycling can be easy—toss paper, soda cans, glass, and newspapers into the recycle bin—but what about the endless boxes of toys, broken crayons, and outgrown baby gear sitting in the basement? If creating a healthy planet for your children (and grandchildren) is on your mind, explore the many options for diverting kid paraphernalia from the landfill. These ideas are just the beginning: Toys Have a box of ready-for-retirement toys? Here’s some good news: the international mail-in recycling organization, TerraCycle, works with manufacturers VTech, Leapfrog, Hasbro, and L.O.L. Surprise! to keep toys out of the landfills. Visit the TerraCycle website to review the program details and a list of accepted toys, then pack everything up and send it in with the downloadable free shipping label. terracycle.com Baby Gear WeeCycle, based in Aurora, accepts donations of new and gently used baby clothing and gear such as baby monitors, bassinets, breast pumps, car seats, and strollers. All gear is checked against the Consumer Product Safety Commission safety recall list to ensure items are safe, then is disinfected and matched to local organizations that share with families in need. Items can be dropped at one of 14 donation locations around metro Denver. weecycle.org

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Crayons According to the National Crayon Recycle Program, more than 12 million crayons are manufactured each day; and because they are petroleum-based, they take many years to biodegrade. Instead of tossing old crayons, send them to the Program (you will cover the shipping cost) and they will turn them into new crayons. The National Crayon Recycling Program also has suggestions for school crayon drives. crazycrayons.com/recycle-program

organization that has reclaimed nearly 1.5 million pounds of textiles—to repurpose them in new products like filling for dog beds. Add a free Take Back mail-in bag to your online cart at checkout, fill it up with any brand or style of clean used socks, and return it using a prepaid shipping label. smartwool.com

Mattresses Did you know mattresses can be broken down and the parts recycled? For a small fee, Spring Back Colorado in Commerce City and Fort Collins will disassemble and recycle mattresses, box springs, steel bed frames, and mattress toppers. Starting at $30 per mattress or box spring. Pick-up is also available for an additional fee. springbackco.org

Center for Hard-to-Recycle Materials (CHaRM) in Boulder takes a variety of household items. ecocycle.org/charm

Sneakers Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe program recycles athletic shoes at the end of their lives, turning them into new shoes, apparel, and Nike Grind sports surfaces including running tracks, turf fields, gym floors, and playgrounds. Any brand of used athletic shoes can be donated for free at participating Nike retail stores. nike.com/sustainability Socks Smartwool’s Second Cut Project keeps socks out of landfills, and works with Material Return—an

6 MORE PLACES THAT KEEP CASTOFFS OUT OF LANDFILLS

GoodBuy Gear, started by two Denver moms, accepts baby and kids gear and toys. They will help you resell or donate it. goodbuygear.com H&M Garment Collecting program allows shoppers to drop off clothing at store locations. hm.com Happy Beetle is a local subscription-based pickup service for hard-to-recycle items. thehappybeetle.com Libraries often collect gently used books, CDs, DVDs, and Blu-rays for their collection or annual book sales. Denver Public Library allows up to two boxes. denverlibrary.org/donate SustainAbility accepts a variety of hardto-recycle items, and items for reuse. sustainability-recycling.com


SP E C I AL N EED S T RUS TS ESTATE PLANNING FOR SPECIAL NEEDS BY DIEDRE BRAVERMAN FOR OVER 20 YEARS A special needs trust will allow your child to receive essential government benefits while also benefiting from their inheritance.

CALL FOR OUR FREE FAMILY ASSET PROTECTION GUIDE TO LEARN MORE! B R A V ER M AN LAW GR OUP, LLC BRAVERMAN-LAW.COM (303) 800-1588 | INFO@BRAVERMAN-LAW.COM

Feel the Beat

A DANCE PROGRAM FOR ALL.

Feel the Beat brings the expressive world of music and dance to those who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, with Special Needs, or for any child that would enjoy a non-competitive dancing environment.

JOIN US ON THE DANCE FLOOR!

Win a $2,500 grant for your favorite Colorado nonprofit, school or child care provider!

Find out how at COPinwheelsForPrevention.org #GrowingBetterTogether

REGISTER TODAY AT: info@feelthebeat.dance | 303-816-8683

WWW.FEELTHEBEAT.DANCE

NEW STUDIO LOCATION COMING SOON

1555 Dover St, Lakewood, CO 80215 | Whitlock Recreation Center

APRIL 2022 COLORADOPARENT.COM

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what we love

1

Kids’

RUNNING GEAR Support your athlete with these essentials. By Kara Thompson

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Wispy, stray hairs and dripping sweat are a pesky distraction on longer runs. That’s where the Athleta Double Trouble Headband comes into play. The double strap design helps it stay put while buttery soft material ensures a snug yet comfortable fit. $12, athleta.gap.com

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Aspiring runners (or any athlete for that matter) can pack their practice essentials in the Nike Tanjun Kids’ Tote. The durable design has spacious storage for a water bottle, sweatshirt, and snacks. A separate side pocket provides a safe space for smaller items, like lip balm or hair ties. $35, nike.com

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Kids can track everything from the length of their run to the quality of their sleep with the Garmin Vivofit Jr. 3. The watch is available in vibrant colors and select Disney and Marvel designs, making it appealing for kids. The easy-to-replace battery lasts up to one year (so you can go charger-free) and playtime unlocks educational adventures, games, and icons. $90, garmin.com

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Roll out sore muscles post-run with Bullseye’s Playground Foam Rollers. At an affordable price point, the duo can help calm inflammation while gently massaging tired legs. Young runners can also use the rollers to build their core strength and improve balance. $10, target.com

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Every runner needs a pair of quality, supportive kicks. Asics Gel-NOOSA Tri 13 Running Sneakers were designed for neutral runners who have normal arches and have even distribution from the front of the foot during push off. A mesh material improves the fit while increasing airflow to keep feet cool. $60, nordstrom.com


Summer Camps Week-long day camps for students entering 3rd through 8th grade

Build a business, rule the world, be MONEY SMART! Camps include:

Young AmeriTowne, International Towne and YouthBiz

Register Soon! Camps Fill Quickly!

register at YACENTER.ORG/summer-camps Cherry Creek: 3550 East First Avenue Denver, Colorado 80206 Belmar: 401 South Pierce Street Lakewood, Colorado 80226

APRIL 2022 COLORADOPARENT.COM

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PRESENTS

Summer Camp ROUNDUP WHEN IT COMES TO SUMMER PLANS, C O L O R A D O PA R E N T H A S Y O U C O V E R E D . Discover the best summer camps and experiences all in one place—ONLINE NOW! THANK YOU TO OUR SUPPORTING SPONSORS

Our free, weekly newsletters are your guide to MILE HIGH FAMILY FUN! SIGN UP NOW AT COLORADOPARENT.COM

Ricks Center Located on the University of Denver campus, Ricks Center is a school dedicated to gifted children. »

Preschool to eighth grade

»

Curriculum designed around the whole child

»

Flexible, differentiated curriculum

»

Active, engaged, hands on learning

»

Designated time to pursue questions and interests

»

Low student to teacher ratio

»

Teachers who know, understand, and care deeply about gifted education and each individual student

Email ricksctr@du.edu or Call 303.871.3715 to learn more!

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play VEGGIE-STAMPED

Signs of Spring

Decorate your Easter or spring brunch table with these colorful, handcrafted lambs and flowers. Crafts by Handmade Charlotte Photos by Kathleen Ballos

APRIL 2022 COLORADOPARENT.COM

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Instructions for Lambs:

1. Cut off the top (stem end) of the acorn squash and scrape out the seeds. Using a paper towel, blot dry the cut end of the acorn squash.

2. Apply a layer of white paint to the squash and press onto the paper, stamping a cloud-like shape for the lamb’s head. Let dry. Tip: Experiment with this stamping technique on scrap paper first. Depending on how evenly you’ve cut your squash, you may need to go back to smooth it out. We also found that pressing the paper onto the squash and rubbing the paper from the back made the clearest imprint.

3. Cut the potato in half. (Be sure the cut end fits within the center of the lamb’s head you’ve already stamped on your paper.) Dry the cut edge of the potato with a paper towel; apply a coat of pink paint to the cut end and press it into the center of the white lamb face.

Acorn squash Potato Carrot Cutting board Kitchen knife

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Paper towels White, pink, and black acrylic paint Paintbrushes Construction paper Scissors

Background: Pakin Songmor/Getty KImages.

You Will Need:

4. Cut an edge of the leftover acorn squash with three little bumps and use it to stamp white paint around, and slightly overlapping, the pink face—this will create a wool effect around the face. Let dry. 5. To add ears, cut two small triangle-like shapes from the unused portion of the potato, embracing the curved edge of the


spud to make the ear curvy. Apply pink paint and stamp each one above the lamb’s face. 6. For the lamb’s eyes, cut the tip off of a carrot, apply a coat of black paint, and stamp two dots. For the nose, cut a triangle shape out of a carrot to use as a stamp. For the mouth, use a fine paintbrush to draw the curved marks by hand.

7. Let dry completely and cut out the shape. Use as a place setting decoration, a gift tag, or to write a little note on the back for friends and family.

Ultimate Learning, Ultimate Fun Our “VOYAGERS” program is for ages 5-12; enroll today for the ultimate summer camp adventure!

Register Today (303) 972-0787 littlepeopleslanding.com

Find the latest issue of

COLORADO’S GO-TO PARENTING GUIDE

DID YOU SEE A FLOWER?

While stamping your lamb, you may have noticed that, at first, it looked a lot like a flower. Embrace this, and play around with different colors of paint to make bright spring florals. Use the acorn squash to stamp the petals and the potato round to stamp the center; or, cut the acorn squash in half for a more cup-like flower, and use the carrot stamps to add detail to the center. When the paint is dry, cut out the shapes and hot glue them onto green paper drinking straws. (You may also recycle plastic straws you already have on hand, just give them a quick coat of green paint.) Add hand cut green paper leaves. Arrange as a bouquet on your table or give out to friends as a fun Easter surprise.

at your neighborhood SAFEWAY! PLUS, SCAN FOR THE DIGITAL EDITION HERE

APRIL 2022 COLORADOPARENT.COM

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explore Everyone All

Together

Illustrations: Getty Images.

Best inclusive spots for families in Denver and beyond.

By Rebecca Treon

APRIL 2022 COLORADOPARENT.COM

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his family out for dinner, he’s never quite sure how it will go. His 11-year-old son is autistic, and tends to fixate on ceiling fans to the point where he needs to sit near them. Sometimes he feels overwhelmed in public, which can compel the boy to need to leave. “Some places are still struggling to understand disability—my son’s needs are very particular,” says Ritchie, a father of two and teacher at Denver South High School. “Sometimes places still can’t be accommodating or are confused by his behavior and don’t know how to handle it,” he says. Ritchie often calls places in advance to alert staff of his son’s needs. “One of the hardest things is having to essentially ‘out’ your child ahead of time in preparation to go anywhere in public, and then it is really a matter of how long he can basically last in any given situation.” However, Ritchie says, many places have gotten it right, making both his kids feel right at home. “There’s such a different vibe when you go somewhere and people aren’t only prepared to host kids with disabilities but are welcoming and excited to have you there—it’s a relief when the family can go out together and have a good time.” Jason Gruhl, founder of The Joshua School, which serves children on the autism spectrum, believes that welcoming spaces benefit all people. “We need to ask ourselves, ‘How do we create spaces that accommodate and support the diverse and beautiful people we have in our community so that all of us can share and learn from what inclusive environments bring out in us?’” says Gruhl, who is also an author of several children’s books. “At first, places weren’t sure about what accommodations would look like, and some created programs as a favor to certain communities, but the interesting thing is that thinking newly about access has ended up being beneficial and powerful for the whole community.” More spots on the Front Range are starting to build inclusivity into their culture. Here, are some of our favorite local places where families and kids of all abilities can have fun together.

Unified Teams and Classes

Pizzability: Heather M. Smith. Camp PaHa: Jill Baylis.

When Chris Ritchie takes

Finding sports teams and recreational classes suitable for kids of all abilities can be challenging, but the City of Lakewood’s Therapeutic Recreation Program offers a variety of options for families of all abilities, including a sensory-friendly family swim, social dances, and a variety of Special Olympic sports teams including, bowling, flag football, swim team, track and field, and basketball. They also offer a summer day camp called Camp Paha for children and adults. MORE UNIFIED TEAMS AND CLASSES TO CHEER FOR: Unified Champion Schools through Special Olympic Colorado, Dance Expressions at Colorado Conservatory of Dance, and Colorado Soccer Association TOPSoccer.

Inclusive Dining The brainchild of a former special education teacher, Brewability is more than another brewery in the crowded Denver beer scene. Its secret ingredient for success: hiring people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Its counterpart, Pizzability, continues the mission, offering job training and skills for adults with disabilities while creating a welcoming space for all. Oh, they also serve delicious beer and pizza, so it’s a win-win. OTHER INCLUSIVE DINING EXPERIENCES: Jack’s in Arvada, a coffee shop turned fullservice restaurant employs more than 30 people with developmental disabilities. They also have a line of jams and jellies and are currently building a deli. Dirt Coffee Bar in downtown

Kids of varying abilities, ages six to 25, play sports, do crafts, take field trips, and challenge themselves at Camp Paha, in Lakewood.

Littleton employs neurodiverse individuals through a workforce development program.

Comfortable Movie Showings Going to a movie theater can be challenging, considering the dark, high volume, loud noises, and behavioral expectations. At Alamo Drafthouse Cinema locations, all movies that start before 2 p.m. on Tuesdays, as well as select weekend shows, have lights turned up and sound reduced. Talking and noise are permitted, guests can move around, and adaptive technology is welcome, as part of its Alamo for All program. MORE BIG SCREEN OPTIONS: AMC Theatres Sensory Friendly Films and Regal My Way Matinee.

Brewability/Pizzability, in Englewood, makes family pizza night a welcoming, inclusive experience.

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COLORADO PARENT APRIL 2022


Child with wall: History Colorado Center. Children on playground: Jim Schnieder.

LEFT Families have an option to visit History Colorado Center together during accommodating sensory mornings. ABOVE With a variety of accessible features, kids of all abilities play side-by-side at Lubird Light playground.

Live Theater Experiences

Can’t wait to catch Hamilton with the whole family? For guests with visual impairments, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts offers audio descriptions plus braille or large print programs. For those who are deaf or hearing impaired, the center provides listening devices, ASL interpreters, and open or personal captioning services. Services are free but some need to be requested in advance or are only available for select shows. MORE PERFORMANCE GROUPS SET UP FOR INCLUSION: Colorado Symphony, Lone Tree Arts Center, and the Arvada Center.

Low-Sensory Mornings at Museums Several Denver area museums have opportunities for children of all abilities to visit and interact with exhibits in an accommodating environment. History Colorado hosts free, quarterly low sensory mornings. During these hours, the museum is closed to the public, sound is turned down, and attendance is limited. Reservations are required and guests and their families are welcomed by specially trained staff who can offer exhibit recommendations based on the child’s interests. MORE LOW SENSORY MORNINGS: The Children’s Museum of Denver, Butterfly Pavilion, Denver Art Museum, and WOW! Children’s Museum.

Adaptive Playgrounds Denver metro’s adaptive playgrounds are designed for kids of all abilities to swing, slide, and spin together. In Aurora, LuBird’s Light Playground offers 9,000 square feet of space for children of all ages and abilities to have fun and burn off some energy. The playground features spinners, slides, and accessible swings, wheelchair-friendly trampolines, ramps, a woodchip and sand-free surface, and a smooth play area. There are special colors and sounds incorporated for sensory feedback. Bonus: it’s adjacent to the Stanley Marketplace, which features a kid-centric outpost of the Tattered Cover, multiple restaurants, retail shops, and activities. MORE ADAPTIVE PLAYGROUNDS TO EXPLORE: City Park Playground, Carpenter Park, and Red-tailed Hawk Park.

Outdoor Adventures In the White River National Forest not far from Aspen on Independence Pass, the short Braille Trail is an accessible 0.2-mile loop that offers wilderness access for the visually and physically impaired. Started in 1967 by science teacher Bob Lewis, the trail features a guideline and signs in braille and print, and lead along the Roaring Fork River, including bridge crossings. At the same trailhead, the Discovery Trail is a 0.2-mile trail that offers wheelchair access on a heavily wooded trail along the river, with numerous picnic areas.

OTHER OUTDOOR ADVENTURES TO CHECK OUT: Track-Chair accessible trails at Staunton State Park. Sand wheelchairs for loan at Great Sand Dunes National Park. Adaptive and accessible outdoor adventures through Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center.

Destinations

Breckenridge and Colorado Springs, two of Colorado’s most popular destinations, offer an inviting travel planning tool for families with various needs. Designated spaces on their websites show visiting families the many adaptive and accessible opportunities around each of the towns. OTHER DESTINATIONS WITH DETAILED VISITOR INFORMATION: Rocky Mountain National Park’s Accessibility page outlines everything visiting families need to know about adaptive options, from wheelchairaccessible trails and restrooms to requesting a sign-language interpreter for ranger-led programs. The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum in Colorado Springs, which was designed to be universally inclusive, highlights its many accessibility features on their website. Rebecca Treon is a Denver-based freelance food and travel writer, author of the forthcoming Colorado Food Trails, and can be found at @RebeccaTreon on Instagram

APRIL 2022 COLORADOPARENT.COM

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SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Camp Guide SHOWCASE

AF Sports Camp

2169 Field House Dr. USAFA | 719-333-2116 goairforcefalcons.com/camps Welcome to Air Force Sports Camps! We will offer sports camps in the following sports: baseball, basketball, cheerleading, diving, fencing, golf, gymnastics, hockey, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, tennis, track/cross country, volleyball and wrestling.

Camp Greenwood

5801 S. Quebec Street Greenwood Village 720-838-2496 | GreenwoodCamps.com

Camp Greenwood in Greenwood Village is the place for summer fun! Offering youth ages 5-12 a way to be active and have fun. Our full-day camps include weekly themes, swimming, games, sports, arts and crafts, special events and field trip Fridays.

26 | April 2022 | Camp Guide Showcase

Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities 6901 Wadsworth Blvd 720-898-7200 | arvadacenter.org

There’s something for everyone at the Arvada Center! Students ages two to 18 engage in the arts through a variety of camps across a broad assortment of disciplines such as performing arts, visual arts, dance, ceramics, digital arts, and more.

Camp Invention

Various locations 800-968-4332 | invent.org/local

Unlock your child’s potential at Camp Invention®️! This nationally acclaimed K-6 program comes to your area with all-new, hands-on STEM adventures. Register and save today at invent.org/local.

City of Aurora Parks, Recreation & Open Space

Colorado Conservatory of Dance

The city of Aurora has a camp for every kiddo! Enjoy sports camps, cooking, nature, adventures, aquatics, art, theatre and so much more! Every age group (from 18 months to 17 years old) is invited to join the fun. Register today!

June 20 - July 30 Summer programs are offered for dancers of all ages, abilities, and aspirations, from toddler through adult. Cost: varies. Week long camps now available. Age range: 1-99.

Various Locations in Aurora 303-739-6888 | auroragov.org/daycamps

3001 Industrial Lane #12, Broomfield 303-466-5685 | ccdance.org


Denver Academy

Denver Equestrians Horse Camp

Every Child Reading

Denver Academy’s 2022 Summer Program is for DA and Non-DA students in grades 1-12 and runs June 13 to July 8. Academics, one-week camps, tutoring, and academic coaching are offered for diverse learners, including those with dyslexia and ADHD.

Daily horseback riding lessons, unmounted equine education (safety, horsemanship, horse care, etc.) and a Fun Show on Fridays! Campers are divided by (age 5-15yrs) and experience level. Our progressive Youth Riding Clubs are available year-round!

Super Stars Summer Camp is an engaging, fun, 5-week O-G reading intervention camp. Students receive high-quality 1-1 or max-4 group, individualized reading instruction along with math and writing to grow skills and self-confidence.

4400 E Iliff Avenue 303-777-5870

Four Mile Historic Park

715 S Forest St. 720-865-0800 | fourmilepark.org

Join the homespun fun at Four Mile Historic Park! Give your kids an opportunity to learn about Colorado history in an immersive and engaging outdoor environment. Designed for students 1st - 5th grade, this program will be a summertime favorite!

Littleton 303-973-0077 | denverequestrians.com

Frequent Flyers® Aerial Dance 3022 E. Sterling Cir., Ste. 150, Boulder 303-245-8272 | frequentflyers.org/camps

Has your child ever dreamed of flying? At Aerial Summer Camp, students learn aerial arts, dance, and performance skills, ending each week with an informal performance. Full & half day beginner to advanced camps for ages 5-17. 7 weeks: Jun 6-Jul 22.

Gold Crown Foundation STEAM Camps

Highlands Ranch Community Association

Youth will explore their creative side through our various “STEM + the Arts” Camps. They include LEGObotics, Podcasting, Animation, and Upcycling. We focus on the social and emotional development of youth, ages 10-18, through creative technologies.

Enjoy a summer of fun with HRCA! Keep the kids busy, entertained, and educated when they are out of school. From full day to outdoor adventure, sports to STEAM, HRCA’s camps have something for everyone!

Lakewood & Edgewater, CO 303-233-6776 | goldcrownfoundation.com

KidSpace, Inc.

6805 W. 88th Ave. Westminster 303-386-4287 | kidspacefec.com

KidSpace has full day Summer Space Camp for kids 5 – 10 years old! In-class STEM exploration, planetarium shows, virtual reality education and hands-on STEM projects they take home every day and of course an out of this world indoor playground!

Highlands Ranch & the surrounding areas 303-791-2500 | HRCAonline.org/Camps

KidzToPros STEM, Arts & Sports Summer Camps Denver, Boulder and Colorado Springs 877-202-1554 | kidztopros.com

KidzToPros is bringing the best in STEM, Arts and Sports Summer Camps to locations across Colorado! Kids ages 4-14 can build new skills, friendships and interests as they engage in hands-on learning led by expert instructors.

Great Denver Area 720-288-7396 | EveryChildReading.org

Gold Crown Foundation Sports Camps

Lakewood, CO 303-233-6776 | goldcrownfoundation.com For 30+ years, the Denver Nuggets Hanzlik Hoop Camp and Summer Volleyball Camp focus on sports skills development for 2nd-10th graders. They will help your child stay active, build confidence, gain social skills and have fun, on and off the court.

Iliff Preschool Summer Camps 4140 E. Iliff Ave. Denver 303-757-3551 | iliffpreschool.com

Est. in 1963, camps centered on outdoor play for ages 1-12 emphasize fun, creativity, and positive peer relationships. Focus is placed on adventure and a lot of play- and field trips (for ages 4 and up) which enrich weekly themes. June 6 - Aug 18.

Little People’s Landing Voyagers Summer Camp 303-972-0787 | littlepeopleslanding.com

Designed for ages 5-12, Our “Voyagers” program is all about exploring the world around us and learning about places we’ve only seen on TV. Enroll today for the ultimate summer camp adventure!

Camp Guide Showcase | April 2022 | 27


MSU Denver Roadrunners Camps Metropolitan State Univ. of Denver 303-615-0888 roadrunnersathleticscamps.com

Come play with the Roadrunners! Camps available for basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, tennis, track & cross country, golf and volleyball! Ages: K-12 Prices and dates vary.

Performing Arts Academy Highlands Ranch 303-900-7041 | paacolorado.org

Montessori Children’s House of Denver - Summer Day Camps Mayfair, Park Hill, Central Park 303-322-8324 | mchdenver.org

We live for moments when excited children discover new interests & talents. Our theme-based camps use hands-on, real-world experiences, guided by trained Montessori educators, to give children a chance to explore the world and their own unique gifts.

Primrose Schools of Denver Central Park, Denver North & Thornton

Parker Arts Enrichment Camps

20000 Pikes Peak Avenue, Parker 303-805-3374 | parkerarts.org/EDUCATION Register now! Parker Arts is excited to partner with some of the best enrichment providers in Colorado to offer a fun and educational summer for kids. Camps offered include half-day and full-day options from June 6 through August 5.

Renaissance Adventures

East & West Boulder, Denver, and Littleton 303-786-9216 | renaissanceadventures.com

Denver Metro Area 303-271-1237 | rootstowings.world

In Adventure Quest, your child is the hero of a mythic quest in an incredibly fun, award-winning outdoor experience. Campers co-create adventures with unique characters, overcome dynamic challenges, and duel with safe foam swords. Ages 6-17.

School of Rock Denver

STAR Institute

Steve and Kate’s Camp

School of Rock Denver is the local leader in performance-based music education, and our summer camps are Colorado Parent’s Family Favorite for the past two years! Each session includes a performance at the end of the week... join the band!

STAR Institute is the leading therapy center for children with differences in sensory processing and neurodivergences where sensory challenges are common. We offer camps focused on motor mastery, language development, sensory and social skills.

Campers choose from activities including sewing, coding, film, baking, music, sports & more! Buy any number of days & use them at any time. Any unused days are refunded at summer’s end. Lunch, snacks & all hours (8am–6pm) included.

Campers embark on the exciting journey of putting on a fully staged musical! Performing Arts Summer Camps and Musical Theater Shows for preschool high school. One-week and two-week, half-day or full-day camps throughout June and July.

560 S. Holly St. #15 Denver 720-221-6991 | Denver.SchoolOfRock.com

St. Mary’s Academy Wildcat Summer Camp 4545 S University Blvd. Englewood 303-762-8300 stmarys.academy/summer2022

Join St. Mary’s Academy as we dive into 8 weeks of summer fun! Live on the wild side as we adventure through our beautiful state, states of matter, and sports like soccer and dance. Register today!

28 | Camp Guide Showcase | April 2022

At Primrose Schools Summer Adventure Club, there’s so much to discover. Join us all summer long and together we’ll create Active Minds, Healthy Bodies, and Happy Hearts.

6911 S Yosemite St, Centennial 303-221-7827 | sensoryhealth.org

Storycamp Dangercamp

6500 W Dry Creek Pkwy 603-770-3358 | storycampdangercamp.com Explore the forest and bring stories to life through aerial dance and stilt-walking. With 38 acres and a cottonwood grove, we combine circus, bushcraft, art, and theater into a child-directed, nature-based program that kids love.

1800 N Pontiac St., Denver 720-439-7785 | steveandkatescamp.com

Summer Programs at the International School of Denver 7701 E First Place, Unit C | 303-340-3647 isdenver.org/summerprograms

Your child will explore the world while moving their body, expanding their mind, developing new skills, and forming new friendships. With new programs each week for your camper and flexibility to fit your summer schedule.


Summer at Ricks

Swallow Hill Music

Summer at Ricks blends fun summer activities with rich learning experiences all while enjoying the benefits of the DU campus. Campers entering PS to 8th grade will enjoy weekly themes ranging from Moose on the Loose, to Mad Scientist Jr., and more.

Swallow Hill Music hosts day camps for kids 6-18 years old during June, July, and August. Camps provide a full day of activities that include playing in a band, musical theater, learning the basics of music and instruments, and general activities.

2040 South York St, Denver 303-871-2982 | du.edu/ricks

71 E. Yale Ave, Denver 303-777-1003 | swallowhillmusic.org

TACT (Teaching the Autism Community Trades)

The Behavior Exchange

Summer at Kent Denver School Sports Camps 4000 E Quincy Ave Englewood 303-770-7660 | kentdenver.org/summer

Led by the school’s experienced varsity coaches, our sports camps are the perfect opportunity for kids to have fun and develop their skills! From soccer to lacrosse, basketball and more, all participants will have an excellent summer experience.

TIDES, Explore Our Ocean

500 Discovery Parkway, Suite 100, Superior 720-647-8541 behaviorexchange.com/boulder-hive

3015 Bluff St. Boulder 303-444-7234 | shopoceanfirst.blue/tides

At TACT we encourage, empower, educate and employ individuals living with autism. Join us this summer for exciting camps in auto mechanics, carpentry, electrical, technology, fiber arts and more! Camps available for ages 5-30. Come Build With TACT!

Our ABA therapy Summer Camp provides the perfect opportunity to learn about making friends, communicating feelings, interacting appropriately with others, and improving many other behavioral skills, all while having lots of summer-themed fun.

Uncorked Kitchen

YMCA of Northern Colorado Day Camps

YMCA Camp Santa Maria

2733 W. 8th Ave 303-295-0163 | buildwithtact.org

8171 S. Chester St. Centennial 720-907-3838 | uncorkedkitchen.com

In our kitchens your junior chef will slice, dice, and sauté their way through the summer. With a variety of themes for camp weeks we can teach your student who is brand new to cooking, and one who is ready to explore cuisines of the world!

YMCA of the Rockies - Camp Chief Ouray 1101 County Road 53, Granby 970-887-2648 | campchiefouray.org

Nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, YMCA of the Rockies - Camp Chief Ouray is the premier overnight camp and adventurous playground for youth.

Boulder, Weld and Larimer Counties 303-664-5455 | ymcanoco.org

In YMCA Summer Day Camps, campers find fun, friendship, a sense of wonder and a spark of joy. From silly games to sports, arts to outdoor adventures, science to splash pads, the Y offers a variety of day camps in Boulder, Weld and Larimer counties.

Young Americans Center for Financial Education 3550 E. 1st Avenue 303-321-2265 | yacenter.org

Summer Camps at Young Americans Center for Financial Education teach rising 3rd - 8th graders financial and entrepreneurial concepts through hands-on programs like Young AmeriTowne, International Towne, and YouthBiz.

Want to restore coral in Grand Cayman, snorkel mangroves in Key Largo, or earn a life-changing scuba certification? The time is now to join Ocean First’s TIDES Program, a multi-year marine science & scuba program for adventurous students ages 12-18.

51321 US Highway 285, Grant 303-443-4474 | ymcacampsantamaria.org

YMCA Camp Santa Maria is a traditional overnight camp near Bailey, providing kids ages 6-17 with outdoor adventure, nature skills and an inclusive community. Counselor-in-training programs and one- and two-week teen adventure camps available.

Tell Colorado Parent Readers about your Camp Contact 303.832.5280 or sales@coloradoparent.com for more information

Camp Guide Showcase | April 2022 | 29


PRESENTS

Colorado Parent Cover Kid Search Is your Child Our Next Cover Kid? THE SEARCH IS ON TO FIND FRESH-FACED COLORADO KIDS FOR OUR 2022-2023 COVERS. Two winners will be selected to ham it up for the camera in a professional photo shoot and appear on the cover of an upcoming issue. Submit an entry and photo for a chance to see your child’s smiling face on the newsstand.

Entries open March 29-April 29 Scan here or visit coloradoparentscene.com to submit your pictures.


wellness RAISE A

RUNNER

Make running a family affair with these helpful tips. By Kara Thompson

Children Sledding: Getty Images

F

rom kindergarten through high school my dad was my running coach, and those years have always been precious to me. Challenging myself alongside the support from my dad only brought us closer. Although running may seem like it's only for serious athletes (or punishment in gym class), it's a simple sport, one that you can commit to on your own level, and it's as natural for kids to run as it is for them to play. If you are looking for a new way to get active as a family, lace up your trainers and read on.

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REASONS TO RUN

Whether you want to sign up for a family 5K or simply start jogging together to get moving, there are numerous benefits to running. Aside from the physical benefits, like improved cardiovascular health and a boost in endorphins, running offers emotional and mental health perks, too. It Teaches Goal Setting Setting goals is an important part of self-awareness, self-growth, and productivity, and running inspires a focus on goals, both large and small. “One great thing about running is that it’s a literal example that if you put one foot in front of the other, you’re going to move forward,” says Lisa Johnson, executive director of Girls on the Run of the Rockies, an after-school running program for girls in third through eighth grade. Creating a goal, committing to the work it takes to achieve it, and overcoming obstacles are all part of the running experience. Johnson points out that it’s important for kids to understand that there will be setbacks along their running journey, and it’s up to them to have a positive attitude to move forward. Outside of running, having a goal-oriented mindset can translate to other elements of life, like getting homework done or learning how to play a musical instrument.

It Provides an Outlet While most of us understand that there are physical benefits to exercising, the mental health benefits are also vast. One study led by Christopher Lowry, an associate professor of integrative physiology at the University of Colorado Boulder, found that diet, nutrition, and exercise were among the most accessible and effective interventions to reduce depression in young people. Johnson believes that the Girls on the Run program teaches kids that by showing up and being physically active, they can better process their thoughts and emotions. Hitting the track or trail offers a safe space for kids to reflect on, and sort through, their feelings. Running alongside a parent can also create a comfortable space for kids to open a conversation or ask questions that they otherwise might not. It’s Highly Personalized The beauty of running is that it’s highly individualized and can be noncompetitive. “I think a lot of kids, specifically girls according to research, start to drop out of sports because they feel like they’re not good enough,” Johnson explains. Often, kids participating in a team sport feel heavy pressure, causing them to worry about letting their teammates down. With running, kids have the opportunity

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SETTING THE PACE

Dr. Rachel Brewer, who specializes in pediatric sports medicine at Rocky Mountain Pediatric OrthoONE, doesn’t recommend any specific training plan for kids ages eight to 13. Every child (and adult for that matter) has a unique threshold for the mileage they can handle. However, Brewer says that it is important for kids to have supervision through a parent or a coach, especially if you plan on running a 5K. “I caution youth runners in elementary school against running more than 15 miles a week due to the high correlation of overuse injury if running above that range,” Brewer explains. Every youth runner differs in capability and risk of injury, so you cannot apply that number to everyone. If your runner is interested in increasing his or her mileage, it should be done with the supervision of an experienced coach or parent. To keep kids interested in running and build a lifelong love for the sport, keep it light and fun. One way to do this is to allow your child to set their own goals. Do they want to compete in a 5K as a family? Do they want to race alone? Is an untimed, unstructured run in the park a better

Not a runner yourself? If you are looking for assistance in training your little runner, this app, local group, and running series will help kids of all ages get out there.

Healthy Kids Running Series is a five-week running program for kids in pre-K through eighth grade. Denver’s Spring 2022 series runs April 10 through May 22. runsignup.com

Girls on the Run of the Rockies is an after-school running program for girls in third through eighth grade. girlsontherunrockies.org

Couch to 5K is an app that has helped thousands of non-runners train gradually for their first 5K. Available for both iOS and Android. Great for the whole family. active.com/mobile/couch-to-5k-app

Mother and child, illustrations: Getty Imagets.

TRAINING HELP

to set their own goals and focus solely on their own performance.


Furry Scurry approach? Having your child create their own goal will help the process feel far less intimidating and give them a sense of control. “Running is a great way to allow your child to start controlling their input,” says Johnson. “For example, you won’t tell your child to run three miles and make them feel like they failed if they didn’t complete it,” she explains. “You have to listen to how they’re feeling.” If your child had a heavy day at school or isn’t feeling one hundred percent, their best that day might look like running a few blocks to a nearby park. The distance or pace they run shouldn’t be the priority. The focus should be on working toward a goal and staying consistent.

STAY HEALTHY

Like all sports, running comes with risk of injury. Arm yourself with knowledge of the common running injuries, as well as how to prevent them in the first place. Watch for Signs of Injury Young runners are highly prone to overuse injuries, which Brewer says are typically focused around areas of growth plates that are more easily stressed than bone or tendons. “Areas of growth plate irritation are called apophysitis, and most commonly develop in the knee and heel in young runners. In adolescent and adult runners, overuse injuries more commonly evolve in the form of tendinitis, bone stress injuries, or kneecap pain.” Talk to a physical therapist or doctor if you or your child are feeling pain from running.

Take Adequate Time Off Taking time off is a crucial step to avoiding injury. “Youth runners, in addition to any youth athlete, should strive for cycles to their training to include a preseason, competition season, and off-season,” Brewer says. Within those cycles, she explains that it’s also important to incorporate rest days in weekly training, shooting for a goal of one to two rest days each week. Rest days can include some active recovery with core strengthening or non-repetitive impact activities, such as biking or swimming. Don’t Slack on Stretching As young runners (ages eight to 13) are developing through growth stages, their flexibility has a difficult time keeping up. To avoid overuse injuries that relate to imbalance in flexibility, Brewer says there should be a focus on quad, hamstring, calf, and Achilles flexibility. The same focus applies to adult runners, as it might reduce the risk of injury in the lower extremities. Aim to stretch at least three to four days per week to maintain flexibility. At the end of the day, running is an endurance sport that not everyone will enjoy. If you’re having trouble motivating your child to try it out, remember that it’s OK to take things slow. Start by running to the end of the block, then to a stop sign, then to a big grove of trees. You and your child don’t have to sign up for a race or be involved in a formal program in order to experience the runner’s high. One motto the team behind Girls on the Run of the Rockies lives by: “Forward is a pace.”

RACE AS A FAMILY

Nothing beats the anticipation of race day. The thrill you and your child will feel as you cross the finish line will be unmatched. Sign up for one of these local races as a way to stay motivated throughout your running journey.

High Line Canal 5K/10K Race Date: May 7

Run a mostly flat course along the scenic High Line Canal, near deKoevend Park in Centennial. Choose between the 5K and 10K race distance, and enjoy a pancake breakfast after the race.

ssprd.org/0/raceseries

Furry Scurry

Race Date: May 7

Prefer to walk? The 29th Annual Furry Scurry, held in Washington Park, offers a two-mile fundraiser walk or a 0.9-mile mini march. The race is hosted by Dumb Friends League to support homeless animals across Colorado. Bring your dog along for the fun!

furryscurry.org

Into the Wild Run Race Date: June 11

Run the Jaguar Jaunt 5K Family Fun Run/Walk to support the Wild Animal Sanctuary. The course weaves between natural habitats filled with rescue animals, like lions, tigers, and bears. Kids age 12 and under can register for free. runintothewild.org

Bubble Run

Race Date: June 11

Held at the Adams County Fairgrounds, the Bubble Run is less about racing and more about having fun. Run, walk, dance, and play across a 3.1-mile course, and encounter colorful suds along the way. Once you hit the finish line, enjoy playing near the foam cannons. Furry Scurry: Dumb Friends League.

bubblerun.com

Blacklight Run

Race Date: July 30

Glow lights guide runners along this Blacklight Run race course. The event is held at night and there are no race clocks, winners, or timing chips, making it a welcoming and upbeat environment for junior racers. blacklightrun.com

APRIL 2022 COLORADOPARENT.COM

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2022

PEN! O W O N RATION

REGIST

The Highlands Ranch Community Association has over 100 camps that offer something for everyone! From half-day to full-day camps, keep your kids busy and active when they are out of school.

Serving Highlands Ranch and the surrounding communities.

Camp Backcountry: Nature • Horses • Art • Expedition • Teen Leadership Art & Education: STEM • Drama • Snapology • Art • Pottery • Creative Kids • Multimedia • Cooking • Dance • Jewelry Camp HRCA: Swimming • Field Trips • Activities Sports: Tennis • Gymnastics • Basketball • Golf • Fencing • Racquetball • Dodgeball • Kickball • Volleyball • TaeKwonDo Therapeutic Recreation: Triathlon • Lego • Bike

Explore camp possibilities online at www.HRCAonline.org/Camps

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COLORADO PARENT APRIL 2022

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home

Green Your Yard the

Children Sledding: Getty Images

Eco-friendly Way How you and the kids can set up your outdoor areas for climate success. By Anna Sutterer

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D

rought and climate change news is not new; however eco-friendly yard and gardening techniques still may be a bit of a head-scratcher, especially if you’ve got a brown thumb. The benefits are worth the effort though. Not only can using less water for your outdoor space save money on your monthly water bill, it also means more water kept in Colorado’s mountain reservoirs and rivers. According to Denver Water, an average homeowner can save 25 percent of their water use per year by switching from a lawn to a xeriscaped (requiring little to no irrigation) yard. Saving water is just the beginning, sustainable gardening techniques also support vital pollinators and divert compostable trash from landfills. Truth is, turning a grass-dominant lawn into an eco-friendly beauty takes effort and planning. If you’re ready to get started, there are actions—some just right for kids—that will help your family take a step closer to being resource-wise, and have some fun along the way. “(Kids can) make connections that hopefully will offer them the opportunity to be more healthy, involved, Earth science citizens,” says Lee Lee Newcomb, director of summer at Kent Denver School, which includes a series of environment-focused day camps. “I think as a parent, it’s the whole idea of giving back to the cycle of sustainability and to the earth so that kids are mindful and have an understanding of their individual impacts.” Dig in with these transformational ideas and kid-friendly activities.

Toss the Turf…Where It Makes Sense Grass, when well placed and maintained, can be helpful in serving as a filter for water runoff, according to horticulture experts with Colorado State University Extension. It’s also a soft surface for playful kids and dogs. However, grass requires a lot of water, and it isn’t appropriate for all areas of the yard, particularly places that are tough to keep up: along fences, on slopes where water runs off, narrow strips between cement, irregular patches of grass that don’t fit sprinkler patterns, and hot sun locations. Consider removing turf from these spots and prepare the ground for native plants that are better suited for Colorado’s semi-arid climate. If you’re attempting xeriscaping, don’t over-commit. Start with small areas and have a plan for the required upkeep. (For areas where you would like to keep something soft underfoot, consider buffalo grass, which is a native, drought-resistant and cold tolerant option.) Once you’ve decided what area you’d like to revamp with plants, start by pulling weeds, then do some light tilling or roughing up the soil with a rake. Denver soils are typically sandy and clay-filled, which is not conducive to deep root growth. Increase your ground’s water-holding and root growth capabilities by working compost into the soil, and layering mulch on the surface to shade the dirt and slow evaporation.

For the Kids:

Enrich the Play Space

If plants aren’t your thing or you want a larger lawn area repurposed, lay down mulch and set up a picnic table, or build a swingset, playhouse, or sandbox for the kids.

Soil Art

Aside from getting kids digging up grass and turning soil—set little ones up with a piece of paper, paint brushes, a sieve for sifting, and cups of water; they can paint using fine dirt mixed with water and glue (enough to form a runny paste). Coarser bits of earth, bark, and grass will add textures to their art.

Welcome Your Native Neighbors

For the Kids:

Pressed wildflower journal

Kids can preserve memories from the garden by keeping a journal full of colorful pressed flowers. Sandwich freshly picked blossoms between tissues and place them between the pages of a heavy book. Let them sit under a weighty object for two weeks. Glue the flowers on a blank journal page, then press clear contact paper over the area to protect the petals. Have your child write (or tell you what to write) about the flowers and their experiences in nature.

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COLORADO PARENT APRIL 2022

Illustrations, butterfly, yard, composting: Getty Images.

When you think about it, picking native plants to create efficient landscapes makes a whole lot of sense; they’re made to live here. Native wildflowers, most of which prefer around seven hours of sun per day, are popular for being easy to maintain, showy, and attractive to birds and insects. Sherry Fuller, curator at Gardens on Spring Creek, a botanical garden in Fort Collins, suggests planting annuals in your yard for flowers all summer long, as well as perennials that are slower to get started, but longer lived. Ready to dig in? Pick your varieties and map out where they’ll go in the yard. Group plants with similar water needs together. If there’s a spot where water collects, choose H2O-loving plants; put hardier ones uphill and in southern and western facing areas, which tend to get more sun. Elena Shtern, a horticulturist for the Denver Botanic Gardens Mordecai Children’s Garden, suggests planting the following species in April; each has a sensory characteristic for kids to enjoy: Upright prairie coneflower (Ratibida columnifera) displays deep color contrast, with petals that look like a skirt. Chocolate flower (Berlandiera lyrata) gives off a sweet, chocolaty smell. Pasqueflower (Pulsatilla patens) dons wispy, tactile seed heads. Pitcher sage (Salvia azurea) stands tall with bright and uniquely shaped flowers. Tufted evening primrose (Oenothera caespitosa) puts on a show with large flowers you can watch as they open in the evening. Low maintenance ground cover like pussytoes and fringed sage are great fillers to tuck between larger, ornamental plants. And although trees and shrubs are the most efficient at draining excess Earth-warming carbon dioxide from the air, their roots are trickier to establish, according to CSU Extension horticulturists. Denver Water offers fast facts to find the right type of plants for your yard, in the Xeriscape Resources section of their website.


Make a Pollination Station An estimated one out of every three bites of food eaten across the globe is a result of pollinators; however their populations are in decline because of habitat destruction, chemical pollution, parasites, and pathogens, according to experts at Butterfly Pavilion in Westminster. If you’ve got a relatively sunny spot, consider creating a home for bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and the “forgotten pollinators” like soldier beetles and hover flies. A garden bed or pot is suitable for nurturing blooming plants that these creatures like to snack on. If possible, plant several that bloom at different times from late spring to fall for consistent feeding—perhaps Rocky Mountain penstemon, rose milkweed, and switchgrass. Keep things simple by picking up a Native Nectar bundle that includes a design, starter plants, and fact sheet, from Resource Central, a Boulder-based conservation nonprofit. Just remember, avoid pesticides (even organic ones) as they could hurt pollinators; even herbicides can harm nectar and host plants.

For the Kids:

Build a bee house

Using a tin can, construction paper, tape, and glue, you can build a buzzworthy home for bees. Make long paper rolls (about 30) by wrapping 2-inch wide strips of paper around pencils and securing them with tape. Line the can’s inside with glue, then tightly pack the rolls upright, trimming the tops to match the height of the can; let dry. Decorate the outside of the can—knowing the home will be exposed to the elements. Secure the finished product at least three feet off the ground in a sunny spot well away from areas where the kids regularly play, then watch and wait for bees to move in. You might see the holes get plugged up with mud; that means baby bees are growing inside. Remind young kids to quietly observe the bee house, but not get too close.

Complete the Circle Remember, Denver metro area soil often needs help with water retention. You can keep moisture in flower beds, gardens, and potted plants using mulch. No need for wood chips from the store; grass clippings, straw bales, shredded paper, pine needles, and leaves will do. Sustainability, to Newcomb of Kent Denver’s summer programs, means taking a circular economy approach to resources. Ask your family what you already have that can be used to promote growth. For instance, try diverting food and yard scraps from the landfill—where they have a hard time decomposing—by creating compost, which returns nutrients to the earth. Choose between an open pile or a bin, and begin gathering carbon and nitrogen materials—the ratio should be two-thirds carbon (cardboard, cotton, dry leaves) and one-third nitrogen (fruit and vegetable peels, coffee, non-meat food scraps). Denver Urban Gardens provides a valuable beginner’s guide to composting at dug.org/composting-basics.

For the Kids:

Two-liter bottle composter

Get kids interested in the breakdown of natural materials with a simplified composting experiment. Rinse a two-liter bottle and peel off the label, then cut the top off about one to two inches below the neck. Set the top aside. Use a nail to punch eight to 10 air and drainage holes on the sides and bottom of the bottle. Add dirt, shredded newspaper, and old leaves to the bottle. Use a spray bottle to moisten. Add things like fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, eggshells, and grass clippings. Turn the scrap bottle top upside down and place it in the open top of the bottle. Place the composter in a sunny spot and cover with a kitchen towel when not in use. Have your child check the composter regularly and note the changes that they see. Every day add a little water to keep the contents damp, and every few days have kids stir the compost. As the compost breaks down, add more kitchen scraps or plant litter, plus soil from outside. Spread the resulting soil on plants for a boost of nutrients.

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BRUNCH IS BACK! Are you ready for it?

presents

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May 21, 2022 10am-1pm Hosted at

Scan to buy your tickets! Mimosas, Bloody Marys, sweet and savory treats galore— the best of Denver brunch under one roof. Plus, giveaways, photo booths, lounges and more. Thank you to our sponsors TM

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happenings Our Picks

Children: Children’s Museum of Denver Marsico Campus.

april

1

Party For Our Planet

Celebrate Earth Day by meeting some critters, trying Earth-friendly recipes, and making crafts inspired by nature. Reservations required. April 24. Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus, Denver. mychildsmuseum.org

APRIL 2022 COLORADOPARENT.COM

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happenings Our Picks

3

Tulip Fairy & Elf Festival

Disney: Disney On Ice. Fairy: Downtown Boulder. Train: Rocky Mountain Train Show. Singer: Colorado Children’s Chorale.

2

Disney On Ice: Mickey and Friends

Join Mickey and his Disney friends as favorite family stories come to life in this mashup of animated tales and ice skating performances. Watch for Moana, Anna and Elsa, and the Toy Story gang. April 7. Denver Coliseum, Denver. denvercoliseum.com

5

Head to downtown Boulder dressed in your fairy or elf best to “wake up” more than 15,000 spring tulips and enjoy special activities for little ones. April 24. Pearl Street Mall, Boulder. boulderdowntown.com

4

Hope Grows Here

Listen to a determined call for optimism from Colorado Children’s Chorale young performers as they sing songs of hope, resilience, and unity. April 9. Boettcher Concert Hall, Denver. childrenschorale.org

Rocky Mountain Train Show Visit the largest train show west of the Mississippi River with two acres of models and toys of all scales, and more than 20 operating layouts. April 2 and 3. National Western Complex, Denver. rockymountaintrainshow.com

HEADS UP! Events may change after publication deadline. Please phone ahead to confirm important information and check with locations about individual COVID rules.

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COLORADO PARENT APRIL 2022


Rodeo: National Western Stock Show. Hawk: Dawn Key. Taiko: Denver Taiko. Passover: Getty Images.

happenings Our Picks

6

7 8

Enjoy traditional Japanese Taiko drumming in a high-energy show with rhythmic grooves and heart-pounding beats. April 21. Longmont Museum, Longmont. longmontcolorado.gov

Meet and learn about a bald or golden eagle, an owl, a falcon, and a free-flying hawk. Guests will discover the importance of different raptor species. April 9. The Schoolhouse, Parker. parkerarts.org

9

See top-ranked cowboys and cowgirls compete in three rodeo performances, play interactive games, and enjoy special events for the whole family. April 15 and 16. National Western Events Center, Denver. rodeoallstar.com

Denver Taiko: Live In Concert

Family Discovery Series: Hawk Quest Birds of Prey

Family Seder

Rodeo All-Star Weekend

Join a Passover experience for the whole family. Rabbis Caryn Aviv and Amanda Schwartz will guide you through songs, stories, movement, blessings, and tastes of Seder foods. April 17. Virtual Event. judaismyourway.org

Young folklórico dancers perform outside the Denver Art Museum for El Día del Niño.

10

El Día del Niño: The Day of the Child

Children’s health and contributions to society took the global stage in 1925, when the World Conference for the Well-being of Children established June 1 as International Children’s Day. Nations worldwide went on to choose their own dates to celebrate, with Mexico and other Latin American countries observing on April 30. Numerous U.S. cities, including Denver, have adopted the late-April date as well, and host activities that engage kids, reflect cultural identity, and advocate for positive policies. The following local arts and culture centers offer free admission and family-friendly activities to celebrate El Día del Niño: Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art will host art-making, storytelling, dance, and musical performances at the Boulder Civic Area Bandshell on April 23, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Clyfford Still Museum, Denver Art Museum, History Colorado Center, and Center for Colorado Women’s History unite in a Golden Triangle Creative District celebration that includes performances and drop-in art-making activities, plus free admission to the museums all day on April 24 (location times vary). Denver Public Library’s Montbello location invites everyone on April 30, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., to watch dance performances, make art, pick up books, enjoy snacks, and take a swing at a piñata. Try making one of your own colorful candy holders at the Ross-Barnum branch on April 30, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Denver Museum of Nature & Science will share virtual programming, in addition to their May 1 free day, which will include special performances, music, and activities for the entire family. Reservation are required. WOW! Children’s Museum will celebrate with bilingual storytimes, crafts, and cold treats from a Kona Ice truck, included with free admission on April 30, 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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happenings

April

6 Wednesday

Afternoon Art School: Silly Faces

4:30-6pm. Students will be inspired by the comical ceramic portrait works of modern artist Guy Routhledge as they design and construct faces out of air-dry clay. Ages 9-14. Register online. $25. Curtis Center for the Arts, Greenwood Village. greenwoodvillage.com/art

Springtime in Paris inspires the medley of short ballets performed by Ballet Ariel artists, April 9-24.

to do today FREE

1 Friday

Motown and More April 1, 7:30-9pm; April 2, 2-3:30pm and 7:30-9pm (livestream option). From The Temptations to Lizzo, the Denver Gay Men’s Chorus celebrates a half-century of iconic African American pop music that has its roots in the sounds of the Motor City. The show will feature the Colorado premiere of “The Seven Last Words of the Unarmed” by Joel Thompson. The Cleo Parker Robinson Dance ensemble will perform three works choreographed for this event. $15-$75. Ellie Caulkins Opera House, Denver. denverchoruses.org

2 Saturday

Tween Time: Irish Dance

Noon-1:30pm. A Boulder Public Library employee and former world-traveling, competitive Irish dancer invites tweens to an introductory class in the art form.

SPECIAL NEEDS

Participants should wear comfortable activewear and shoes or socks to dance in. Boulder Public Library Main branch, Boulder. calendar.boulderlibrary.org

Autism Community Day Out

Noon-4pm. Join in a day of community celebrating Autism Acceptance Day. Enjoy beer and pizza from the inclusive Brewability Lab and activities with Autism Community Store. All ages. Brewability Lab, Englewood. autismcommunitystore.com

Spring into STEM: LEGO BuildAlong with Play-Well TEKnologies

2-3:30pm. Power up your little engineer’s skills with tens of thousands of LEGO parts. They’ll apply real world concepts in physics, engineering, and architecture through engineer-designed projects such as: tow trucks, bowlers, and battle tanks. Ages 6-11. Registration required. Boulder Public Library Main branch, Boulder. calendar.boulderlibrary.org

Constellations and Cocoa 8-10pm.

VISIT OUR DIGITAL CALENDAR FOR MORE EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES

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Take in the night sky with a cup of cocoa in hand. Bring a picnic dinner to eat around the campfire, along with a blanket or camp chairs to sit on as astronomers use their knowhow and telescope to teach about the constellations of the winter sky. Age

COLORADO PARENT APRIL 2022

SPANISH/ESPAÑOL

10 and up. Registration required. $9-$12. Highlands Ranch Backcountry Wilderness Area, Highlands Ranch. hrcaonline.org

3 Sunday

Yesheme Productions: Soul of a Drummer 3pm. This tribute to

drummers of the world features the Aurora High School Female Drumline, a Japanese taiko drummer, a Navajo Tribes hand drum player, a West African Twenshi drum artist, and others, highlighting nine cultural music practices. Proceeds benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. $39, $19 youth age 12 and under. Lone Tree Arts Center, Lone Tree. lonetreeartscenter.org

Passover Cooking Class

4-5:30pm. Join Rabbi Caryn Aviv, her daughter Sasha, and her mom Carol Abrams for some intergenerational Passover cooking. Learn how to make 18-minute matzo and Sephardic charoset. Age 4 and up. Virtual Event. judaismyourway.org

5 Tuesday

Seedlings: Cleo Parker Robinson Dance 9:30am and 11am. Drawing

Support Group for Caregivers and Parents of Transgender and Gender Expansive Youth 6pm. Join staff from Youth Seen, an organization that helps empower the social and emotional wellbeing of LGBTQ youth and their families, for a monthly support group. Share experiences, ask questions, and gather resources. Registration required. Virtual Event. youthseen.org

9 Saturday

Eggstremely Springy Festival

10am-2pm. Hunt for eggs, then stay to enjoy crafts and games plus food truck and local vendor offerings. Sensoryfriendly hunt provided by Developmental Pathways. Belleview Park, Englewood. englewoodco.gov

American In Paris April 9, 7:30pm

(Lone Tree Arts Center); April 23, 7:30pm; April 24, 2pm (Lakewood Cultural Center). Experience springtime in Paris, living vicariously through three ballets performed by Ballet Ariel. An American in Paris follows a young woman transformed by the city’s history and romance. A Tale of Molly Brown showcases the story of one of Colorado’s legends, including her ill-fated return from Europe on the Titanic. Ballet Conservatory rounds out the program with an intricate classical dance. $28. Lone Tree and Lakewood. balletariel.org

10 Sunday

Sensory-Friendly Playtime

10am-noon. Children with autism spectrum or sensory-processing disorders are welcome to enjoy the museum at limited capacity, with the sounds and lights turned down and adaptive equipment available for play. Registration required. $1. WOW! Children’s Museum, Lafayette. wowchildrensmuseum.org

American in Paris: Peter Strand.

from their diverse and colorful repertoire, members of the acclaimed Cleo Parker Robinson Dance group present an interactive, kid-friendly movement workshop and performance. $3. Lone Tree Arts Center, Lone Tree. lonetreeartscenter.org


Easter: Mile High Flea Market.Rabbit: Roger Wright/Getty Images.

happenings

Sensory-Friendly Morning at the DAM 9-11am. Kids with

neurodiversity or sensory processing disorders, and their families, can visit the museum in a safe and fun way. The museum will open early, lights will be dimmed, and tools will be provided to aid the experience. The Martin Building will open at 10am at regular capacity and lighting/audio levels. Denver Art Museum, Denver. denverartmuseum.org

Rockin’ on the River 5K 9am. Break

out the family’s trusty running shoes and head out for a community race along the Platte River, then enjoy music and entertainment. The flat and fast course will take participants through the scenic Hudson Gardens to the Mary Carter Greenway. Dogs are not permitted, but strollers are allowed. All ages and abilities. Registration required. $20 adult, $10 youth age 14 and under. The Hudson Gardens and Events Center, Littleton. ssprd.org

14 Thursday

The Perfect Pop Workshop

5:30-7pm. Attendees will learn how to make unique popcorn flavors as well as strategies to package their popcorn to entice customers and build a small business in this workshop. Ages 8-14. Registration required. $10. Young Americans Center for Financial Education, Denver. yacenter.org

16 Saturday

Easter Eggstravaganza at the Mile High Flea Market 7am-5pm. Come out for fun at the flea market; don’t

miss face painting, balloon artists, a fire truck, music, and candy bags for the kiddos. The Easter Bunny will pose for photos with guests who bring their cameras. $3, free youth age 11 and under. Mile High Flea Market, Henderson. milehighfleamarket.com

Earth Day at Rock Ledge Ranch

10am-2pm. Garden of the Gods Nature and Visitor Center and Rock Ledge Ranch invite families to celebrate Mother Earth with free admission to the Ranch. Visit the historic homes for inside tours and a history lesson. Stop by the Blacksmith Shop to test your mettle, and pop in the General Store for some old-fashioned provisions. Picnics are also welcome. All ages. Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site, Colorado Springs. rockledgeranch.com

Victorian Easter Egg Hunt and Tea 10:30am, 12:30pm, and 2:30pm

seatings. Up the elegance with this threecourse tea time and egg hunt hosted in a castle. Ages 2-12. Call 719-685-1011 for reservations. $35 adult, $25 youth. Miramont Castle, Manitou Springs. miramontcastle.org

Family Nature Club 10:30am-2pm.

Discover the history and importance of Earth Day and learn how you can help the planet at home. All ages. Register online. $14 adult, $6 youth ages 2-12; $6 adult member, $4 youth member ages 2-12. Butterfly Pavilion, Westminster. butterflies.org

Shakespeare in the Parking Lot: A Midsummer Night’s Dream 2-3pm.

Enjoy a bit of the Bard with the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. A company

of actors performs a 45-minute abridged version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in and around a pickup truck “set” parked in the library lot. Bring a camp chair for this outdoor, family-friendly performance. Green Valley Ranch Branch Library, Denver. denverlibrary.org

MHFB’s Carnival Ball 7-9pm. New

Orleans comes to you with the Mile High Freedom Band Swing group. Enjoy a night of music, dancing, Cajun food, and King Cake. All food and drink is available by donation. Live stream option available. $10 adult, $5 youth. McNichols Civic Center Building, Denver. mhfb.org

17 Sunday

Easter Sunrise Service 5:307:30am. The Colorado Council of Churches will host its annual sunrise service at Red Rocks Amphitheater. The service, which celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ in the Christian tradition, draws thousands of worshipers each year. Early arrival and warm clothing is recommended. Red Rocks Ampitheatre, Morrison. cochurches.org

18 Monday

City of Trash: Puppet Performance and Workshop

April 18 and 28, 4-5pm. The City of Trash residents need to rescue their beloved city that’s become overrun with waste. This Earth Day, puppet superheroes will help save the city. During the performance, audience members are guided through a puppet-building workshop to build their own trash superheroes using household objects. Ages 5-12. Register online. Virtual Event. arapahoelibraries.bibliocommons.com

23 Saturday

Family Spring South Platte Stewardship Day 9-11am. Give back

to a local park and the planet at South Platte River Environmental Education’s family-friendly volunteer event. Start the day with a trash pick-up, then enjoy crafts and activities that can be brought home or completed in the park. Bring closed-toe shoes and a water bottle. Registration required. Johnson-Habitat Park, Denver. thegreenwayfoundation.org

Special Easter activities will dot the Flea Market's 80-acre lot on April 16.

April

Family Friendly: Earth Day Work Day 9am-1pm. Kids ages 6-11 will enjoy educational activities led by Growing Garden’s educational staff, and youth

ages 12 and up will work alongside family members and other volunteers to tackle a number of projects on the farm. Tasks include maintaining a fine gravel trail that runs through the educational pollinator garden, installing educational signs, and reseeding the orchard. Register online. Growing Gardens, Boulder. voc.org

24 Sunday

Lift Every Voice 2:30pm. Join in a new experience from the education team at Colorado Symphony. Live symphonic music and other art disciplines celebrate the human spirit and deliver a message of unity and social justice. This familyfriendly concert features guest artists Cleo Parker Robinson Dance and Fiesta Colorado Dance Company. Arrive early for a themed craft. Boettcher Concert Hall, Denver. tickets.coloradosymphony.org

28 Thursday

Family Art Workshop 5:45-7:15pm This workshop includes sculpture, collage, printmaking, painting, mixed-media, and design projects. Families will examine the formal qualities and themes of art and will be encouraged to try new techniques to discover the art process together. Each family will take home one masterpiece. Age 5 and up. Registration required. $27, $25 resident, $15 additional participant. PACE Center, Parker. parkerarts.org

30 Saturday

The Color Wheel Project 4pm and

7pm. This production emphasizes how visual arts and dance can intersect, while also enabling community connections. It features T2 Dance Company performing choreography inspired by the visual artworks of students from Bear Creek Elementary, Coal Creek Elementary, Flatirons Elementary, Friends School, Lafayette Elementary, and Meadowlark School. $15-$25. Dairy Arts Center, Boulder. thedairy.org

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happenings

April

ongoing events Garden: All Digital Photography. Teen woodworking: T.A.C.T.

Anti-Bias Toddler Book Club

April 6-May 25. Wed, 10:30-11:15am. Little ones will learn some groundwork for breaking down biases and creating a world that is loving for all people. This class will be guided by children’s picture books celebrating similarities and differences. In addition to reading and discussion, participants create artwork, play games, and write stories. This is a drop-off class (caregivers must stay on-site) but parents will receive a resource list to continue the work at home. Ages 3-6. $36, member discount available. Jewish Community Center, Denver. jccdenver.asapconnected.com

Four Mile Historic Park will host activities this month helping kids dream about growing a garden.

Aurora Youth Options DropIn Nights Tue, 5-6:30pm. Parents

and youth, in middle and high school, are encouraged to learn about Aurora Youth Options team members and programs that provide resources—including mentorship and homework help—for individual success. Aurora Youth Options, Aurora. aurorayouthoptions.org

Morning at the Museum

First and third Wed, 10:30am. Spend the morning at the Aurora History Museum and enjoy educational stories, and activities. Ages 3-6. Aurora History Museum, Aurora. auroragov.org

Mother’s Milk Bank Baby Café

Fri. 11am-1pm. Gain support and guidance from breastfeeding specialists. Relax with refreshments, share experiences, tips, and techniques, and socialize with other parents in a child-friendly space. Free help from a certified lactation consultant and baby weight checks are available. Rocky Mountain Children’s Health Foundation, Arvada. rmchildren.org

Special Needs Hip-Hop Dance Class April 5-26. Mon, 5:45-6:45pm.

The focus of this class is a fun, constructive, and energetic dance environment. Join this group of friends and get moving. Age 5 and up. Registration required. $86, $75 HRCA member. Eastridge Recreation Center, Highlands Ranch. hrcaonline.org

TACT Workshops

April 9-May 25. Wed, 4pm; Sat, 11am. Youth on the autism

Kids on the autism spectrum gain hands-on experience in STEM fields at TACT.

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COLORADO PARENT APRIL 2022

spectrum who would love to build cool things in a fully-equipped workshop can enroll for TACT (Teaching the Autism Community Trades) courses including auto mechanics, STEM, carpentry, welding, and instrument building. Ages 8 and up depending on the program. See online for a detailed schedule and register. $25. TACT, Denver. buildwithtact.org

Bruce Randolph School: Museum of Memory Exhibit Mon-Sat, 9am-5pm. Fourteen works by students who participated in History Colorado’s Museum of Memory project, in connection to the Bruce Randolph School in the Globeville and ElyriaSwansea neighborhoods, will be on display in the CSU Spur Vida building. The works document stories of their families, the changes they have seen in their community, and life in North Denver through their eyes. CSU Spur Vida, Denver. historycolorado.org

Colorado Governor’s Art Show & Sale April 23-May 22. Sun, noon-

4pm; Tue and Wed, 10am-5pm; Thu, 10am-7pm; Sat, 10am-4pm. Stroll through one of the largest fine art shows to exclusively feature Colorado

artists. Proceeds will benefit Thompson Valley Rotary-sponsored charitable projects, the Thompson Education Foundation, and scholarships for local art students. $7, free youth age 12 and under. Loveland Museum, Loveland. governorsartshow.org

Holland House: A Hotel Famous For Food Wed-Sat, 10am-4pm. Famous

for steaks, chicken, trout, banquets, and parties, the Holland House had it all. It was the sixth hotel to occupy the space where Table Mountain Inn now resides. Learn about the hotel’s fine restaurant by entering a recreated scene and head to the play kitchen to whip up your best recipe. Golden History Museum & Park, Golden. goldenhistory.org

Jurassic World: The Exhibition

Through Sept. 5. Mon and Tue, noon7pm; Wed and Thu, noon-8pm; Fri, noon-9pm; Sat, 10am-9pm; Sun, 11am-8pm. Guests will walk through the famous Jurassic World gates, encounter life-size dinosaurs, and explore themed environments. Get an up-close look at a velociraptor, stand in awe under a towering Brachiosaurus, and encounter the mighty Tyrannosaurus rex. $30 adult, $20 youth ages 3-15. National Western Center, Denver. jurassicworldexhibition.com


Performers: Vendaro's Circus. Chatfield: Denver Botanic Gardens.

happenings

Water Wednesdays Mon-Sat, 9am-5pm. Join Denver Water at CSU Spur every Wednesday for a rotating slate of hands-on activities, including a water delivery challenge, balancing water distribution, and modeling Rocky Mountain watersheds. Programming will rotate. CSU Spur Vida, Denver. csuspur.org

Bear Cubs Wed, 10:30am-noon. Join

Wild Bear for a hands-on exploration of nature topics. Learn more about the great things nature has to offer humans and how to help the planet. These interactive presentations are designed for children and their grown ups to enjoy together. Ages 3-5 with a caregiver. Registration required. $20 per pair, $5 additional adult. Wild Bear Nature Center, Nederland. wildbear.org

Butterfly Pavilion Community Science April 10-Sept. 4. Be a citizen

scientist. Volunteer with Butterfly Pavilion Community Science programs and you may monitor butterflies and dragonflies, or assist with land restoration throughout Colorado open spaces. There is a program for any skill and all ages. Registration required. Various open spaces and trails in Colorado. butterflies.org

How Does Your Garden Grow?

April 1-30. Fri-Sun, 10am-4pm. Four Mile, a 12-acre working farm complete with a kitchen garden, has been used for growing a variety of fruits, vegetables, and herbs according to the season. Get creative and design your own dream garden collage with paper materials, and decorate a wildflower seed packet to take home. Included with admission, $8 adult, $6 youth, free age 6 and under and members. Four Mile Historic Park, Denver. fourmilepark.org

Science Smarts: Dirt, Digs and Dinos Through Sept. 1. On-demand.

Put your mind to the test with this trivia game featuring fun facts in subjects from paleontology to animals that live underground. Share the link to the video with up to 10 friends or family and play over a video call for a group experience, or have fun going solo. Age 6 and up. $20. Virtual Event. dmns.org

Choir Boy April 22-May 29. Tue-Sun;

times vary, see online for details. See a coming-of-age drama about a student who feels like an outsider because he is gay. And yet, he perseveres and gets the chance to lead a prestigious choir. The Broadway debut of Oscar-winning screenwriter Tarell Alvin McCraney

(Moonlight) comes to Denver this month. Reservations required. Age 14 and up. $30-$84. Kilstrom Theater, Denver. denvercenter.org

Freaky Friday April 29-

Spotlight

May 22. Thu-Sat, 7:30pm; Sun, 2pm. The Aurora Fox players present a musical update of this contemporary Disney classic. An overworked mother and her teenage daughter magically swap bodies; they have just one day to put things right again before mom’s big wedding. $20-$40. Aurora Fox Arts Center, Aurora. aurorafoxartscenter.org

Once on This Island: A Musical

April 8-May 8. Thu-Sun, 7:30pm; 2pm and 6pm additional showings select Sat and Sun. Based on a novel inspired by the classic Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale The Little Mermaid, this Caribbean-Calypso one-act musical tells the story of a fearless peasant girl who falls in love with a wealthy boy from the other side of the island. When divided cultures keep them apart, the Island gods assist the heroine as she embarks on a quest to reunite with the man. Age 10 and up. $37-$52. Town Hall Arts Center, Littleton. townhallartscenter.org

The Princess and the Pea

April 23-June 25. Sat, 1pm. June 11, 18 and 25; 11am and 1pm. This children’s theater adaptation follows Prince Alfred—who is looking for a “real princess”—and Angelica, who become friends and get along well… until Alfred finds out Angelica is not who he thought she was. Enjoy a story of friendship and discovery, and help Prince Alfred find what he really needs. $12. Miners Alley Playhouse, Golden. minersalley.com

Vendaro’s Circus April 14-24

Physical feats and wonders abound under the big top at Vendaro’s Circus.

April

(Littleton), April 27-May 8 (Longmont). Wed-Fri, 7pm; Sat, 1pm, 4pm and 6pm; Sun, 1pm and 4pm. Head to the striped big top where a Broadway-style, animal-free circus delights guests with acrobatic feats and theatric treats. All ages. $27 adult, $16.50 youth under age 12; one babe in arms is admitted free with each paying adult. Aspen Grove Shopping Center, Littleton. Collision Brewing Company, Longmont. venardoscircus.com

Chatfield Farms is a scenic spot for an engaging storytime.

Hike, Read, and Discover with Strolling Stories Venture around the grounds of Chatfield Farms in Littleton and nature engages your senses. Stop to read a seasonally-themed picture book with your little one and do an exploration based on the book and you experience Strolling Stories, a unique weekly storytime. “Strolling Stories offers opportunities for families to connect with nature in a positive and engaging setting,” Erin Bird, associate director of communications for Denver Botanic Gardens, says. The books chosen each week vary, from The Listening Walk by Paul Showers and Spring Thaw by Steven Schnur, to Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert. As winter turns to spring, kids and parents participating in Strolling Stories will be invited to marvel at the plants that brighten the landscape, celebrate Earth Day, watch birds along the trail, and tune in to myriad sounds of nature. NEED TO KNOW: Strolling Stories is hosted every Tuesday in April at 10 a.m. The program is offered to kids ages three to six, with caregivers. Registration required. $10 preschooler, $8 member; free one adult per child. botanicgardens.org

APRIL 2022 COLORADOPARENT.COM

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fresh mindset

We need friends with kids like [our daughter] Lydia. Not only would we feel strange and alone without them, but we would miss out on the wild joy of knowing such neurodiversity. It is like being friends with butterflies—an indescribable miracle. Maybe knowing these children is sublime precisely because it is so delicate and fleeting. Actually, maybe all of life is—we just don’t usually see it.

MARK AND DANAE DAVISON are the parents of three children, including one with unique medical and cognitive conditions. They build their neurodiverse community through Roll-and-Stroll accessible hikes, where they enjoy the Colorado blue skies. 46

COLORADO PARENT APRIL 2022

Mark, Danae and Lydia at Butterfly Pavilion: Nikki Krogh Photography.

fresh mindset


FOX31’s

ERIKA GONZALEZ

“Being a working mom

comes with its challenges... And it is also a privilege. I recognize I’m blessed to be able to do what I love and be a mom to a sweet baby boy.” – Erika

Watch Erika Gonzalez and Jeremy Hubbard Weeknights at 5, 9, & 10P.


We help kids get back to being kids. For children with asthma, allergies, respiratory and pulmonary illness, and those suffering from persistent symptoms of COVID-19, hope is right here in Denver. At National Jewish Health, the nation’s leading respiratory hospital, our pediatric specialists incorporate the latest research and treatments to help kids of any age get back to being kids. We breathe science, so you can breathe life. To book an appointment for your child, call 800.621.0505 or visit njhealth.org.


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