Colorado Parent May 2020

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May 2020

Growing Great Families Since 1986

14 Items Every New Parent Needs CANCELED! Helping Kids Cope Our First Family Road Trip

SOUTHWESTERN COLORADO New Uses for Old Toys 6 Fun Subscription Boxes for Kids



CONTENTS May 2020 features





Fresh gift ideas for Mother's Day.

Meet four families who stepped up to care for Colorado kids in need.



















What We Learned

Helping Kids Cope with Disappointment





Books About the Body




34 36 38

14 Items Every New Parent Needs

Camp Guide

What Do You See?

Ready, Set, Helmet!

Old Toys, New Tricks

Beat Quarantine Boredom

9 Canceled! Helping Kids Cope | 20 New Uses for Old Toys 34 14 Items Every New Parent Needs | 44 Our First Family Road Trip 50 6 Fun Subscription Boxes for Kids

Colorado Parent | May 2020

Education & Enrichment Guide

My Kid is a Door Slammer

New and Noteworthy for Denver-Area Families

on the cover

13 22

Ride along on one family's trip to explore Southwestern Colorado.


The latest on


Bon Appétit, Baby! A New Mom's Guide to Postpartum Depression

Zayn and Patricia photographed by Eliza Donley Nolte








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On the Web

Colorado Parent Online

Summer of fun, stay-at-home, Mother's Day, Colorado Parents Encourage cloud background: Getty Images.

What have you been doing together as a family during the stay-at-home order? Use our community hashtag #ShareColoradoParent to share your ideas with us and other Colorado parents on Instagram.

Summer of Fun Summer is right around the corner and—although we’re unsure exactly how this summer will look—we’re gathering ideas to keep the family active, entertained, and connected during the coming months, both indoors and out. Keep an eye out for our summer fun package launching later this month on Memorial Day weekend.

Colorado Parents Encourage We asked local parents to share what they’re doing as a family during social distancing, how they’re taking care of themselves, and what advice they have to give. Check out these videos to see what they had to say. Then, post your own encouraging video on social media tagging @ColoradoParent and #COParentsEncourage.

Celebrating Mother’s Day

Stay-at-Home Guide for Colorado Families

Mother’s Day is May 10, and we’re here to help with sweet crafts and homemade gifts kids can make Mom for her special day.

We compiled this guide to help you navigate this time of uncertainty, from the comfort (and safety) of your own home. You’ll find everything you need to stay busy inside, from fun activities and crafts to do with the kids to resources for virtual learning and recipes the whole family will love.




Colorado Parent | May 2020



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From the Editors

What We Learned…

EDITORIAL Editor Deborah Mock Associate Editor Christina Cook Assistant Editor Kara Thompson Editorial Assistant Anna Sutterer Copy Editor Lydia Rueger



Multitudes of lessons have risen from the new way we’ve lived our lives over the past two months. Above all, we're learning that kids are adaptable. Close their classrooms, postpone extracurricular activities and sports, and cancel playdates; yes, there will surely be disappointment, but kids will flex and adjust. They will also hold out willing hands to help others in need, whether it’s writing notes to quarantined elders, helping to make masks, or finding creative ways to reach out to each other.


Things that inspired this issue, and insights our editors discovered along the way.

ADVERTISING SALES Advertising Director Patrick Pacheco Senior Account Manager Brigette Swartz Account Manager Hilary Angel Client Services Coordinator Shundra Jackson

This exhibit created by Boulder photographer Casie Zalud and her six-year-old daughter shows that inspiration may be as close as your child’s view of the world. Page 16


PRODUCTION Art Director Heather Gott


TRENDING Stay-at-Home Orders Experts offer advice to help kids cope with the loss of end-of-school year activities and traditions. Page 9

It’s time to shed the stigma surrounding postpartum depression. Read about this mother’s experience. Page 38

CAN’T WAIT …to get back to exploring Colorado. That’s why we decided to go forward with our family road trip article this month. Last spring, editor-at-large for 5280 Home magazine Hilary Masell Oswald, her husband, and their two kids planned their first family road trip. They packed up the car in June and ventured out to an area of Colorado that many Front Range families have yet to see, the southwest. Check out their itinerary and lessons from the road on page 44.

YOU SAID IT If you are looking for all the nice people of the world, they’re right here in our community. —Melinda Sue Coburn, foster parent. Page 28. Share your feedback and ideas! Email us at


Colorado Parent | May 2020

CREATIVE SERVICES Creative Services Director Carly Lambert Lead Graphic Designer Chelsea Conrad Digital Advertising Manager Nick Stonecipher Graphic Designer Caitlin Brooks Production Coordinator D'mitrius Brewer Creative Services Intern Cole Navalta MARKETING Senior Marketing Director Carrie Horn Marketing & Events Coordiantor Piniel Simegn Marketing Coordinator Jess Mora Marketing Interns Niyat Ogbazghi, Pamela Amaya, Tiana Noble ADMINISTRATION Billing and Collections Manager Jessica McHeard DISTRIBUTION & CIRCULATION AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR Audrey Congleton Audience Development Coordinator Caitlin Kittrell Printed by Publication Printers Please recycle this magazine. 5280 PUBLISHING, INC. 1675 Larimer Street Suite 675 Denver, CO 80202 P (303) 832-5280 | F (303) 832-0470 Visit us online at PRESIDENT & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Daniel Brogan VICE PRESIDENT, STRATEGY Andrea Bott VICE PRESIDENT, REVENUE Zach Wolfel Colorado Parent is published monthly by 5280 Publishing, Inc. Please note that the advertisements in this magazine are paid for by the advertisers, which allows this magazine to be free to the consumer. Limit of one free copy per reader. Additional copies can be purchased for $5.00 per issue. Call (303) 320-1000 to request additional copies. Unless specifically noted, no advertisers, products, or services are endorsed by the Publisher. Editorial submissions are welcome. Colorado Parent (ISSN 1937-1020) ©2020 5280 Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is prohibited.

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May 2020 |




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Colorado Parent | May 2020



! D E L E C N A C

Illustration: Getty Images.

Kids are missing out on end-of-school-year milestones and activities due to COVID-19. Check out these ways to help them cope with the disappointment, sadness, and grief that comes with it. My daughter made the varsity soccer team at her high school this spring, but she hasn’t been able to play one game. Meanwhile, my neighbor has twins who are seniors in high school, and they’re just hoping the school offers some modified options for a graduation ceremony. Around the world, families are dealing with a marathon of disappointment with no finish line in sight. There are no easy answers to coping with the grief, but these mental health professionals offer some suggestions. Listen, and validate your kids’ emotions. The first step following grief should be to “spend some time sitting with them [kids] and really try to understand what they are experiencing,” says Aimee Sullivan, a child, adolescent, and young adult psychologist at the Johnson Depression Center at The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. This is important, she says, because “a lot of parents might jump to relieve the distress…

and might jump to a solution that doesn’t fit the problem.” Remember that what your child is feeling might be different from what you are feeling. Communicate even at a distance. “Diving into negative thinking, especially in isolation, is a recipe for mental health challenges,” says Ovidio Bermudez, senior medical director of child and adolescent services at Insight Behavioral Health Centers. Continue to have conversations with friends and family with whom you can express yourself and communicate your feelings, by phone, Zoom, or other methods, he suggests, and encourage your kids to do the same with their friends. Discuss best case scenarios; talk about all the selfless sacrifices people have made; take in other people’s points of view. Encourage daily creative expression. Tap into your kids’ feelings by encouraging daily art creation, journaling, listening to music, or other forms of creative expression. “Build off

their interests,” Sullivan says. “[Think about] things you can do to be creative with your time and use that time in meaningful ways to process disappointment.” Gather for family meals. Sullivan says research shows that making time for family meals helps kids develop resilience during hardship: “It doesn’t have to be elaborate or last long to become part of your family rhythm.” Write down what you are grateful for. Every day, Sullivan suggests setting aside time to write down just one thing you are grateful for. You can write it on a self-stick note, type it on a cell phone, or record your family’s answers on a calendar or memo board. “Don’t join in the catastrophic thinking," says Bermudez. "Staying hopeful is so helpful.” ­—Lydia Rueger

May 2020 |


Good to Know

HopeKids: HopeKids . Mother and child with ball: Oregon State University College of Public Health and Human Sciences. Illustration: Getty Images.

You Move, They Improve Children with developmental disabilities face challenges building motor skills, which makes it harder for them to participate in physical activities, that in turn would help them improve those motor skills. But it’s a cycle that can be broken, says a recent study from Oregon State University (OSU). The study, published in the Disability and Health Journal, found that parents of children with developmental disabilities who modeled and supported physical activity in daily life had a significant positive impact on increasing their child’s physical activity, leading to improvement in their motor skills. While parents may prioritize working on social and communication skills, physical activity may become less of a priority, says researcher Megan MacDonald in OSU’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences, who studies movement and physical activity in children. “But we’re trying to say, ‘Hey, in physical activity, you can focus on other things too,’” such as teaching social skills or reciprocal communication during a game on the playground, MacDonald says. “So, taking your kid to the park, providing these opportunities, counts on many levels. It’s fun and it’s healthy,” she says. In addition, “how you act as a parent is something all kids pick up on, including children with developmental disabilities,” MacDonald says. She suggests these simple ways parents can model physical activity for their child: • Take family walks. • Demonstrate a physical activity like yoga or playing tag in the backyard or park. • Teach a skill, or parts of a skill, that is of interest to your child, like how to catch a throw or pass in basketball. Valuing and participating in physical activities early in life helps to encourage and make this lifetime behavior habitual, says MacDonald.


Colorado Parent | May 2020

HopeKids Brings Virtual Joy to Vulnerable Families On a regular day, HopeKids connects children with life-threatening conditions and their families to accessible events where they can also build community. Social distancing has proven to be a challenge to their operations, but not an end. HopeKids chapters around the United States are hosting virtual events on Zoom and FaceTime, such as storytime with Elsa, scavenger hunts, dance parties, and meet-and-greets with professional athletes. In April, the Colorado chapter kicked off a weekly concert series on Facebook Live with local artist Sarah Slaton.

Question for Our New Normal Q: With new mask-wearing advisories in place, I’m wondering, should my toddler wear a mask? A: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), no one under the age of two should wear a mask. For instance, there’s no need for an infant to wear a mask, because their likelihood of spreading fluids is lower, says LauraAnne Cleveland, associate chief nursing officer at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children in Denver. Younger kids, or kids with sensory sensitivities, also might end up fiddling with the masks more and be constantly touching their faces, defeating the purpose. “If it is a battle, don’t have that kid wear that mask,” says Cleveland. “But you do need to try and teach them to cough into their arms and to have good handwashing hygiene.”

“HopeKids families often know better than most what it looks like to loosely hold the future and love each moment of each day,” says Howie Hutchinson, executive director of HopeKids Colorado. Isolation has already been part of their lives with extended hospital stays or precautions around immunocompromised children. Online events provide them with a powerful medicine: hope. If you’re a professional or creative who can teach a class or host an event online for these families, go to to find out more about volunteering.

Good to Know | Tech Dad

Young Voices of Colorado

Be a part of something


3D Sound on Headphones A good set of headphones can go a long way, especially during times when families are hunkered down at home together. I tested out a new headphone technology that totally changes the way your music, TV programs, and movies sound. WHAT IS CREATIVE SUPER X-FI? Super X-Fi is a chip that processes any audio from any source and promises to drastically change the way it sounds. Creative Labs has been developing audio processing chips for decades and this is their newest creation. The SXFI AMP adapter works with phones, video games, laptops, or anything you can connect with a headphone jack and USB port. Creative’s SXFI headphones have the chip built in, and the AIR models have Bluetooth connectivity. They call the technology "audio holography" because it creates 3D sound with a simple set of headphones. YOU WANT A PICTURE OF WHAT? Setting up any X-Fi headset starts with the app. This app will ask you to take a picture of your face and ear—yup, lobes and all. The app uses that information to help design the way your sound is processed specifically for your ear. The shape of your ear is part of the equation that the chip uses to create the sound of a multi-speaker high-end sound system, using only earbuds or over-the-ear headphones. SO HOW DOES IT SOUND? Pretty amazing! In my tests, it was

surprising how well this technology seems to create a 3D world of sound in what appears to be a pretty standard set of headphones. In fact, you can even use Super X-Fi with your existing headphones and still get that immersive sound. I really liked it for movies and TV shows. Music sounded cool, but I prefer to listen to my music the way the artist intended it. The nice thing is, you can simply flip the switch to turn off the 3D sound and go back to a more traditional sound, which still sounded great via the Super X-Fi chip. Overall, this is a cool experience and one of the most unique new options for headphones I’ve seen in years. For someone who watches a lot of video, movies, and TV shows using headphones, the Super X-Fi line from Creative is a good option. Kids who play a lot of games will love this too. It might not be necessary for people who primarily listen to music. Super X-Fi headphones start at $80 if you find them on sale and go up to about $200. You can buy the headphones or an adapter ($150) to convert your existing headphones. If you’re willing to spend the money, I think they’re well worth the extra cost. They may be the perfect set of high-end headphones when you need a few hours to escape.

Accepting new singers for Fall 2020 Call or go online for information

No audition for K-1st Graders - just sign up! Auditions for 2nd-9th Graders


Join Young Voices 303.797.7464

Kirk Yuhnke is a father of three, selfadmitted tech geek, and the morning news anchor weekdays on the Fox31 Morning News.

May 2020 |


Good to Know | Read to Me

by Cristina Peraboni; illustrated by Giulia De Amicis (White Star Kids, 2019)

Infographics throughout this book break up complicated information and make it easy for kids to understand. Learn about all the main body parts and the senses, plus reproduction and genetics. You’ll find facts about weird body characteristics and learn how we are similar to and different from animals.


Books About the Body

The Brain is Kind of a Big Deal

by Nick Seluk (Orchard Books/Scholastic, 2019)

Comic-style illustrations and thought bubbles add humor to factual text in the latest book from New York Times bestselling author Nick Seluk. Learn about the parts of the brain, how messages get to it, and how it works with other body systems.

By Lydia Rueger Each season brings new discoveries and questions of “why?” “how?” and “what’s that?” when you’re raising kids. This month, find answers to questions kids might have about their bodies—as well as some laughs—with these books.

Boy, Were We Wrong About the Human Body!

by Kathleen Kudlinski; illustrated by Debbie Tilley (Dial Books, 2015)

This book debunks old and silly myths about the human body and addresses what scientists and doctors know to be true today. It sends the message that making mistakes is an important part of learning and reminds readers that we still have so much more to learn about the human body.

Just Ask!


by Sonia Sotomayor; illustrated by Rafael López (Philomel Books, 2019)

Diagnosed with diabetes as a young girl, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor uses her own experiences to teach children about all sorts of physical challenges—some seen and some unseen. She describes how she measures her blood sugar, then shares stories of others and the things they must do. Each page asks a question that relates to a different physical or mental condition.

Find 14 more books about the body at


Colorado Parent | May 2020


by Lupita Nyong’o; illustrated by Vashti Harrison (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2019)

This story, written by actress Lupita Nyong’o, focuses on the body’s largest organ—the skin. Sulwe’s skin is darker than everyone else’s in her family and in her school. She tries to lighten it to no avail, until a shooting star visits her, and tells her the story of two sisters, Night and Day. She begins to see value in her dark skin and learns that “some light can only be seen in the dark.”

by Blair Thornburgh; illustrated by Scott Campbell (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2019)

This debut picture book author reminds young readers that every person has a skull inside, and “this is a good thing.” Watercolor illustrations show all the things a skull is good for, like giving your face a shape and holding your teeth in place. The book reminds readers that “skulls are not trying to be scary,” and encourages kids to love and take care of their skulls.

The Human Body at a Glance: Sterling Publishing. The Brain is Kind of a Big Deal: Scholastic. Boy, Were We Wrong About the Human Body and Just Ask!: Penguin Random House. Skulls! and Sulwe: Simon & Schuster.

The Human Body at a Glance


EDUCATION & ENRICHMENT EDUCATION AURORA CedarWood Christian Academy 11430 E. 19th Avenue, Aurora 303-361-6456 Our mission is to teach and train young people to know and serve God by building a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, nurturing godly character and developing the mind with excellent academics. K-12. Founded in 1983. Fully accredited. Montessori del Mundo 15503 E. Mississippi Ave. 720-863-8629 We are a public, dual language charter school serving diverse students from age three to sixth grade. Our model provides a respectful, developmentally appropriate, and rigorous whole child education for both Spanish and English dominant speaking children.


Ricks Center for Gifted Children 2040 S. York St. 303-871-3715 Located on the University of Denver campus, Ricks Center is a school, preschool to eighth grade, dedicated to gifted learners. Flexible, differentiated curriculum designed around the whole child. Teachers who know, understand, and care deeply about gifted education and each individual student. Low student to teacher ratio.

LONGMONT Sunflower Farm 11150 Prospect Rd., Longmont 303-774-8001 Sunflower Farm School Aged program serves children ages five to eleven. This program is a self directed learning program geared towards children who love animals, nature, creating, and building friendships while exploring the freedom of play. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.—3 p.m.


Children’s Garden Montessori School 444 Detroit St. 303-322-0972 jboes@c Using Montessori philosophy as a foundation and Reggio Emilia philosophy as inspiration, we serve children ages 18 months to six years in a community-focused environment.

New Horizon Academy Preschool and Early Education Multiple Denver area locations New Horizon Academy provides high-quality care and education to young children. While focusing on developing a healthy sense of self in each child, we strive to provide your child with the necessary skills to succeed not only in school but also in life.

International School of Denver 7701 E. First Pl., Unit C | 303-340-3647 | Multicultural, multilingual immersion school serving students age three to grade eight through accredited, authentic French, Spanish, and Chinese curricula. We offer a capstone International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme for grades six through eight.

Rocky Mountain Prep Denver (NW, SW, SE) and Aurora locations 720-464-3530 Rocky Mountain Prep (RMP) is a network of free, top-performing public elementary schools. RMP is now enrolling for pre-K through fifth grade at our Denver and Aurora schools.

Montessori Children’s House of Denver Mayfair, Stapleton, and Park Hill campuses 303-322-8324 MCHD is a private Montessori school for preschool through middle school students. We help children develop a strong academic foundation, self and community awareness, and a love of learning. MCHD is not just a school, it’s an investment in your child’s future.

ENRICHMENT ART artSPARK Creative Studio 2630 W. Belleview Avenue, Suite 160 303-795-7897 A unique art making and sewing space for ages one to adult. artSPARK teaches

you to think and work like artists through techniques, concepts, process, and play, using your own ideas. Purchase ART KITS for curbside pickup during the COVID shutdown.

MARTIAL ARTS ATAFMA (Family Martial Arts) 4510 S. Reservoir Rd, Aurora 303-690-0560 Traditional Martial Arts classes for ages four & up. We focus on teaching discipline and respect in a fun, active environment. ATAFMA has reopened and is operating under the State Safety Guidelines. Join us as we celebrate 25 years of service. Tiger Kim’s Academy Taekwondo & Tang Soo Do 1480 Steele St., Denver 303-388-1408 Our mission is to inspire each member to strengthen their mind and body through taekwondo, tang soo do, and hapkido, striving for excellence. We provide individualized attention through understanding student needs and encouraging them to attain their best.

MUSIC Young Voices of Colorado 99 Inverness Dr. E., Ste. 150, Englewood 303-797-7464 Want to be a part of something AMAZING? YVC offers age appropriate choirs where children express music with peers in a meaningful way. Each group provides skill development in vocal technique, music theory, and choral artistry. Be AMAZING: Join YVC!

VIRTUAL ENRICHMENT Renaissance Adventures Boulder, CO 303-786-9216 Join us for our Online Roleplaying (RPG) enrichment classes! All classes are on Zoom, offering kids the chance to interact with peers while stuck at home. Kids are heroes as they work together to save the kingdom in a Mythical Quest!

Tell Colorado Parent readers about your school or classes! For more information, contact May 2020 |


Good to Know | In the Neighborhood

In the Neighborhood » New and noteworthy for Denver-area families.

DENVER Connect with Nursing Home Elders Bessie’s Hope, an organization that creates relationships between elders and volunteers of all ages, launched the Staying Connected Initiative, to provide social support to elders who are not able to receive visitors due to COVID-19 safeguards. Kids and parents can send letters, drawings, cards, and photos to Bessie’s Hope (P.O. Box 12675, Denver, CO 80212) or to Families can also participate in the organization’s video challenge by creating fun videos for elder citizens on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (include #bessieshopevideochallenge). Bessie’s Hope is distributing messages in all forms to elder care facilities.

LITTLETON Virtual Creative Parties Need a social-distancing appropriate birthday idea? Red Hen Createry will throw a one-and-a-half hour virtual party during which you can create a canvas or wooden craft project from your home. They’ll create an invitation, virtual link to the party, and takehome craft kits. Call 720-598-2738.


Colorado Parent | May 2020

ARVADA Curbside Supplies for Teen Moms Hope House, a resource to help teen moms achieve self-sufficiency, is currently operating a grab-and-go curbside supply line for teen moms to pick up food, baby supplies, and other necessities. Mothers contact staff with their needs, which are fulfilled Monday through Friday by a staff of three. Members of the community can help by ordering supplies online and having them shipped directly to Hope House at 6475 Benton St., Bldg. A, Arvada, CO 80003. Supplies can also be dropped off in donation bins located outside of their building. See the list of grab-and-go needs on their website.

CHERRY CREEK Student Wins Basketball Award Cherry Creek High School senior Jana Van Gytenbeek was named Gatorade’s Colorado High School Basketball Player of the Year—the first Cherry Creek female to receive the honor. The award recognizes athletic excellence, high standards of academic achievement, and exemplary character on and off the field, according to the Gatorade Player of the Year website. Van Gytenbeek plans to play basketball for Stanford University in the fall.

EDGEWATER Cupcake Kits for Pickup and Shipping To serve customers during the shelterat-home order, My Make Studio offers decorate-your-own cupcake kits for curbside pickup and nationwide shipping. Choose from a variety of kits including Mother’s Day, flower theme, animals, and others, complete with cake mix, icing, fondant, and other candy embellishments needed to decorate six different cupcakes. Orders placed before 3 p.m. will be shipped the same day. Find tutorials for all kits on the shop’s YouTube channel.

Woman and car: Hope House Colorado. Woman videochatting: Getty Images. Cupcakes: My Make Studio.

ACROSS COLORADO Online Sexual Abuse Prevention Workshop Parenting Safe Children, an organization committed to child sexual assault prevention, now offers online workshops (previously conducted as in-person workshops). Sign up and pay for the four-hour sexual assault prevention workshop online, then finish the course at your own pace, up to 60 days from your registration date. The online option will be available through the summer months.

Illustration: Lauren Rebbeck.

Good to Know | Parenting 911


My Kid is a Door Slammer THE PROBLEM: Somehow we raised a couple of door slammers. My wife and I don’t slam doors, but when our kids get really upset, it’s off to their room and wham! A friend told me to remove the doors but that seems extreme. Can I fix this without becoming all unhinged? THE EXPERT: Kimberly Stokka Merendino, Ph.D., play therapist supervisor, Barnemat Consulting THE SOLUTION: One of the most important life skills learned in childhood is the concept of emotional regulation. In a nutshell, this means the ability to experience a wide range of emotion in a variety of settings, in an appropriate way. How can we teach kids this important skill? Instill Emotional Awareness Anger, sadness, fear, excitement. Feelings are something that we cannot control. However, we do have the ability to manage how we handle emotion. The first key to emotional regulation is emotional awareness. One must be able to understand and recognize the emotion prior to being able to handle the feeling well. Identify Emotions Parents can teach children about

their emotions at a very early age by pointing out signs that children are feeling a certain way. For example, “Lilly, I see your fists clenching, your face getting red, and your voice rising. I think you’re feeling angry.” To help children learn this even faster, label your own emotions as you feel them. Parents are the best models for their children on how to handle emotion. For example, a parent might say, “I feel angry when you don’t listen to my words.” Discuss Appropriate Behavior Once children have identified how to label their emotions, it’s time for a family meeting to discuss how your family will manage emotions. Is it OK to slam a door? If not, identify more appropriate ways to handle anger such as: Is it OK to scream into a pillow? Take a break in your room? Stomp your feet? Do some jumping jacks? The key is to identify two to three ways to handle anger appropriately in your home. Next time you see your child getting angry, remind them of the techniques that you discussed at the family meeting. Don’t forget to praise your child when they handle emotion well! —Courtney Drake-McDonough

SATURDAY AUGUST 15, 2020 Experience the LoHi neighborhood at the first installment of our Block Party Series! This FUN-FILLED Saturday afternoon will feature FOOD TRUCKS, MARKETPLACE, KID ZONE, + MORE!

Sign up for The Scene List and get early access to tickets.

5280SCENE.COM May 2020 |


Family Next Door

Photographer and daughter: C. Roese Ramp.

What Do You See? A local photographer shook up the way she sees the world—by giving her young daughter a camera and time to explore.

Boulder photographer Casie Zalud and her daughter Linnéa (above) went into the world to snap photos. They ended up creating an art exhibition.

By Hilary Masell Oswald


ocumentary family photographer Casie Zalud dusted off an old iPhone one day in the fall of 2018 and gave it to her then four-year-old daughter, Linnéa, to use as a camera. They set off into the world (their Boulder neighborhood) to see, well, whatever Linnéa wanted to see—and capture. The idea was to create art together: Linnéa would shoot whatever she wanted: grass, the dog’s fur, the land zipping by from a car window, her own reflection in a window. Zalud would later edit the photos down to those she found most compelling, and then take a photo that complemented her daughter’s in some way: in form, shape, subject, light, or movement.


Colorado Parent | May 2020

“Going through her photos and seeing what she thought was worthy of a photograph really forced me to slow down,” Zalud says. “All these things around me every day—Linnéa is finding beauty in them.” Each pair of images—called a diptych—is a kind of call-and-response between mother and daughter. Though the work began simply as a personal project for Zalud, it has grown into an art exhibition at the Frederic C. Hamilton Family Gallery at Children’s Hospital Colorado’s Aurora campus. On display through June 30, the show is named for the project: Relinquish: A Photographic Conversation Between Mother and Daughter.

“What I love about Casie’s idea is she’s weaving in the concepts of adults—parents—letting go of their grown-up perspectives and perceptions of the world and dropping into what our kids are seeing,” says Heidi Huisjen, the arts program coordinator at the hospital. When Zalud’s portfolio first crossed Huisjen’s desk, she found the work “super compelling” she says. Together, with help from a crowdfunding campaign through the hospital and printing from local photo company Reed Art & Imaging (which printed the images at cost), the women created the show. A public show, though thrilling for Zalud, was never the real goal. When she handed the

Family Next Door

Photos: ©Casie Zalud.

* The Relinquish photo collection can be viewed at under "Projects" and will return to Children's Hospital Colorado campus in March 2021 for the Month of Photography exhibit.

camera—clad in a sparkly purple case to boost its durability and appeal—to Linnéa, she was looking only for fresh inspiration. In her professional life, she captures “the everyday lives of families,” she says, which means her clients invite her into their homes to photograph the beautiful and the mundane of a normal day together. No matching outfits. No holding hands in a field of golden native grasses. “It’s not for everybody,” she laughs. “There are some people who wonder why they’d want a photo of themselves looking exhausted because they have a newborn baby, and some people who never want to forget that feeling.” The emotion connected to the image—that’s what Zalud is after, both in her professional work

and in Relinquish. The magic, she says, is in the combination of memory and feeling, and not surprisingly, that mix is what Linnéa, who is now six, loves too—in her own childlike way. “It’s really fun,” Linnéa says of taking photos. “You can look at everything around you and take pictures of anything you want and then you can remember it. It makes me happy.” Zalud hopes her daughter’s enthusiasm endures. “My pie-in-the-sky dream is that we will do this through Linnéa’s childhood and into adulthood,” she says. “I think it would be amazing to see how [the project] evolves, how our relationship evolves.” But she’ll only keep it up as long as Linnéa is willing—Zalud says she lets her daughter take the lead. After all, it’s that approach

The Relinquish diptychs (a couple shown above) each pair one photo taken by four-year-old Linnéa with one photo taken in response by Zalud.

that delivered the inspiration she sought as a photographer and reminded her of a truth parents know but often forget: “When we give kids independence,” she says, “when we give them freedom to explore the littlest things they see on the ground or the weird patterns on the sidewalk, they flourish.” And so do we. Hilary Masell Oswald is a Denver-based writer and editor-at-large for 5280 Home magazine.

May 2020 |


Health & Wellness


Is headgear for soccer effective? “With helmets, lab findings have not translated into a decrease in concussion rates,” says Susan Kirelik, a pediatric emergency physician at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children in Denver. However, a 2018 series of soccer headgear ratings from the Virginia Tech Helmet Lab showed that certain models were very effective in reducing head injuries, even though the soft helmets and headbands have been slow to catch on in the sport. “Soccer headbands may decrease forces transmitted to the head which likely decreases the risk of skull fracture, scalp laceration, and perhaps brain bleeds,” says Kirelik. “We do not have good clinical data to say that they decrease concussion risk and they certainly don’t eliminate concussion risk.”

Ready, Set, Helmet! Follow these tips to pick the best helmet for your kids. By Kate Ruder


elmets are the first order of the day for campers at Avid4 Adventure day camps. That’s true whether they attend a biking, skateboarding, rock climbing, or whitewater paddling camp. “We teach kids that helmets are directly connected to the activity that we’re doing,” says Sarah Pekala, Avid’s vice president for day camps. Helmet habits are important to instill whether at camp or in the cul-de-sac, experts say. As summer approaches and kids spend more time outdoors testing new skills, “program your kids to wear their helmets every single time,” says Susan Kirelik, a pediatric emergency physician and concussion specialist at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children in Denver. Helmets help prevent traumatic brain injuries like skull fractures, bleeding, and bruising, says Kirelik. They’re incredibly important in many sports like biking, skiing, and snowboarding, and finding the right helmet is key. Use these tips when selecting protection for all the precious noggins in your family.


Colorado Parent | May 2020

PICK SAFETY OVER STYLE Look for certification stickers when selecting the type of helmet for your child’s sport. Baseball, football, hockey, lacrosse, and skateboard helmets should meet standards from the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE). Meanwhile, ski and snowboard helmets should be certified by ASTM International. A bicycle helmet should have a label or sticker that says it meets the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) standard. “As long as the helmet has the standard, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a $10 helmet or a $40 helmet,” says Maureen McCanna, education and safety director for Bicycle Colorado in Denver. McCanna says she sometimes sees kids wearing helmets with unicorn horns, mohawks, or other toppers. They’re definitely fun, but she says they could get in the way and cause friction in the event of a crash. “Sometimes those extra appendages can prevent a helmet from doing its full job,” she says.

Should climbers wear helmets? “All kids climbing outside should wear climbing helmets. The helmet should fit snug and just above their eyebrows—no forehead exposed,” says Chris Hampson, director of operations of ABC Kids Climbing in Boulder. “Climbing helmets are typically designed for loose rocks falling on the climber, which wouldn’t happen in an indoor setting,” says Hampson. However, “it is such a gray area in the industry,” he adds. Families can opt for wearing helmets indoors. What can children wear under helmets in winter? In the winter, try a thin beanie or cap under your helmet, says McCanna. They’ll work under cycling, ski, or other helmets, too. Make sure the helmet stays secure with the added layer underneath. Every time you go from hat to hatless, readjust the helmet’s ratchet and chin strap to ensure it fits properly, she adds. Do helmets prevent concussions? “Unfortunately, there is not a lot of great data to support the use of helmets to prevent concussions,” says Kirelik. Helmets mitigate linear forces better than rotational forces. Injuries from linear forces move your brain back and forth in your skull; injuries from rotational forces twist your brain inside your skull, and they are thought to play a larger role in concussions. Parents should know that children can still get a concussion while wearing a helmet, says Kirelik. Where can I find guidelines for helmets? Check out the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) fact sheets for helmets, or download the CDC’s Heads Up Concussion app which has a “Helmet Fit 360” feature.

Father and daughter biking: Getty Images.

Summer Safety Series

Mother and daughter: Getty Images. Helmet illustrations: Lauren Rebbeck.

Use Your Head! When You Buy a Helmet, Make Sure it Fits When you take your child shopping for a helmet, test the fit with these guidelines.

Wear helmet low on your forehead, two finger widths above your eyebrow.

Helmets for myriad other sports have different standards (think equestrian and canoeing). A helpful resource for helmet standards is Which Helmet for Which Activity at WATCH NEW HELMET TECHNOLOGY Another sticker you may see as you shop for new helmets says MIPS. “A lot of work is going on to try to produce better helmet technology,” says Kirelik. One of the new technologies in helmets for a variety of sports is called Multidirectional Impact Protection System (MIPS). It’s a slip liner in the helmet designed to provide added protection from rotational forces, which are thought to play a larger role in concussions (see Noggin Questions, left). In the lab, Kirelik says, MIPS helmets seem to decrease rotational forces, but in the field, it’s not clear that MIPS helmets decrease the rate of concussions. So, the jury is still out. The takeaway for parents: MIPS helmets can’t hurt, but they can be more expensive—for example, a Bike Giro Scamp helmet on the company’s website is listed for $40 and the Bike Giro Scamp with MIPS is $60. FIND THE RIGHT FIT It may sound like a no-brainer, but bring your child shopping to find the best fitting helmet. Before you shop, measure the circumference of your child’s head using a flexible tape measure wrapped all the way around their head above the eyebrows and ears. Some kids bicycle helmets fit a range of head sizes. They’ll have a ratchet system to make the helmet more snug. For the tiniest heads of infants and toddlers, it’s often harder to find a properly fitting helmet. Look for infant and toddler models made by Giro, Schwinn, Bell, and Nutcase.

To find the right sizing, try the two-finger test. With the helmet on, put two fingers above your child’s eyebrows, right where the helmet should sit. Put two fingers in a peace sign around your child’s ear, where helmet straps should form a “Y”. Put two fingers under your child’s chin (helmet strap should rest there). Wearing a helmet is not that different than wearing a hat on your head, says McCanna. “Helmets shouldn’t be uncomfortable if they’re properly sized and fitted,” she adds. KNOW WHEN TO REPLACE When it comes to bike helmets, they “should be replaced every three to five years or immediately if they were in a crash,” says McCanna. A helmet should have a date of manufacture on it when you purchase it. Be very cautious with secondhand helmets. It’s best to buy new, says McCanna, because it’s hard to decipher a used helmet’s age or whether it was in a crash. You should also replace a snowboard, skiing, equestrian, or skateboarding helmet after a crash, according to the CDC. Lacrosse, hockey, football, and baseball helmets can be reconditioned and recertified by a licensed National Athletic Equipment Reconditioners Association (NAERA) member, based on the manufacturer’s guidelines. BUILD GOOD HABITS Most importantly, get kids in the helmet habit when they are young. Before they hop on a bike or set off on a scooter for the first time, start with the click of a helmet clip. It will set them on a path to safer sports for a lifetime. Kate Ruder is a freelance writer and editor based in Boulder.

Put two fingers under your chin, helmet strap should rest here.

Put two fingers in a peace sign around your ear, helmet straps should form a Y. Where to Wear It:

Sit the helmet evenly between your ears and flat on your head. Tighten the chin strap and adjust the pads inside so it feels snug and secure and doesn’t move up and down or from side to side.

Right way to wear your helmet

Wrong way to wear your helmet

May 2020 |


Fun & Activities

Old Toys, New Tricks

By Kara Thompson

Roll a pair of dice and add that many pieces to your stack.


Sort each piece by color, then count the number of pieces you have.

Practice basic addition and subtraction by asking questions like, “I have three pieces and you have two. How many bricks do we have?”

Background, legos, tea set, animals, doodles: Getty Images.

Pretend play is a great activity for young minds, and common toys can be used in creative ways to teach kids basic numeracy, language, and sensory skills. Try these simple ideas for an entirely new way to play.

Stack your blocks tall and pretend you’re bowling by using a ball to knock them over. Use your favorite pieces to mold salt dough or clay.

Ask your child to write the spelling of each color using the blocks.

Create shadows outside by placing a sheet of paper behind each animal, then trace them to create a piece of art.


Colorado Parent | May 2020

Expand your child’s vocabulary by asking specific questions, like “Is the lion ferocious or is he gentle?”

Build a castle for dolls or action figures.

PLASTIC ANIMAL FIGURES Match animals that are similar colors or patterns.

Fun & Activities

Flip the tea cups upside down and place a small object underneath one of them. Move them around, then ask your child if they remember which cup the object is under.


Fill the teapot with candy and ask your child to guess how many pieces are inside.

Make a new game for older kids by using bouncy balls or coins to toss into the tea cups.

Turn the tea set into a sensory tool by pouring sprinkles into a large plastic tub and adding the set as an accessory they can play with.

Ask your child to put on a play using the tea set as a prop.

Take the set into the bath or sandbox for a unique sensory experience.

Ask your child to recite the sounds each animal makes. Have your child write a story about their favorite animal from the bunch.

Teach your child the difference between herbivores, omnivores, and carnivores before asking which group each animal belongs to.

Hide pieces of the tea set around the house and create a scavenger hunt. Give clues and let kids know when they are hot or cold in their search.

Ask your child what letter each of the animals’ names start with.

May 2020 |



CAMP GUIDE ACADEMIC/STEM CodeSpire/Scholars Unlimited ONLINE CAMPS, Denver Metro locations 303-381-3741 | Code apps, games, Minecraft, robots, drones, circuits, wearable electronics, 3D printing, augmented/virtual reality. Real-world coding languages: JavaScript, Python, Arduino, C. Ages eight to 14. At UCD, DU, Lakewood, Louisville, Thornton, STEAMtacular. Code Ninjas Arvada, Broomfield, Denver, Highlands Ranch, Louisville, and Parker | Code Ninjas teaches kids ages seven to 14 to code by building video games and robotics. Students advance from white to black on the path to coding enlightenment. Programs include year-round drop-ins, weeklong camps, birthdays, parents’ night out, and more. CU Science Discovery 4001 Discovery Dr. 303-492-7188 | K-12 programs covering a range of STEM disciplines. Summer 2020 features week-long virtual programs covering a variety of interests. Designed by CU Boulder subject experts, classes will combine virtual class time with online and hands-on activities. Every Child Reading Denver/Littleton/Lakewood | 720-288-7396 Our amazing summer program helps students with dyslexia or reading issues to thrive. Using experienced, well-trained Orton-Gillingham teachers, we provide intensive reading intervention, STEAM, math and writing support in a supportive community. eXL Learning Lowry Town Center 200 Quebec St. Denver 303-364-9581 | We know what it takes to help your child succeed. We have the right tutor and supplemental educational programming to make a difference. Tutoring, Academic Coaching, Executive Functioning Skills, Social Emotional Academic Learning, Educational Evaluations, Summer Camps. HRCA Art and Education Camps 9568 S. University Blvd., Highlands Ranch 303-471-8928 | Get creative with more than 50 art and


Colorado Parent | May 2020

educational camps from science, technology and robotics to jewelry making, cooking, drama, and tumbling. Full and half day options at four recreation centers for ages three to 12. Pop Culture Classroom Summer Camps 2760 W. Fifth Ave., Denver. | 303-325-1236 Pop Culture Classroom offers camps that ignite your child’s interest in comics, movies, television, board and video games, and other pop culture topics to create one-of-a-kind learning experiences. Camps are taught by experienced educators and artists. Silicon STEM Academy 4201 E. Yale Ave 303-800-0011 | Our Summer STEM Camps are #1! Engaging camps like: Minecraft Modding, 3D Printing, Coding 101, YouTube Video Production, StopMotion Animation! Look for our new ONLINE Summer Camp options & check out our Coding Bootcamps for Teens!

with newly developed, lifelong skills including math, science, reading, and chemistry! Camps offered Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Uncorked Kitchen 8171 S. Chester St., Centennial 720-907-3838 | We offer a five-week class series starting at age six, as well as camps and birthday parties for kids. The kids get to learn the basics of kitchen safety and share their creations with their family, bringing home dinner for a family of three to four.



Adventure Quest with Renaissance Adventures Denver Metro & Boulder County 303-786-9216 Adventure abounds at our award-winning, outdoor summer camps! Through live-action roleplay, girls & boys ages six to 17 work together to solve mysteries, outwit monsters, battle foes and save the kingdom of a mythical land. Every child gets to be a hero!

Art Garage 6100 E. 23rd Ave., Denver | 303-377-2353 The Art Garage is a non-profit that offers toddler and me classes, summer/school day out camps, after school classes and birthday parties. Ceramics, drawing, painting, illustration, and more! Check out our adult classes too!

Camp Backcountry 6005 Ron King Trail, Littleton | 303-471-7052 Expand your horizons and test your limits in the Backcountry Wilderness Area. Together we will explore, hike, climb, paddle, create, lead, campout, ride horses, connect, raft, and learn to love the wild around us.

The Wonder Co. Northwest Denver/Wheat Ridge 720-772-1278 | The Wonder Co camp teaches how artists open their minds to creative possibility. Every child has opportunities to create, move, be inspired, engage in thinking about what’s possible, and be curious about the world around them! Ages five to ten.

Camp HRCA 9568 S. University Blvd., Highlands Ranch 303-471-8928 | Enjoy a summer of fun with field trips and projects based on a new theme each week. Swimming, batting cages, rock climbing, cooking, pottery, art and more are part of daily activities based on location.


Growing Gardens 1630 Hawthorn Ave., Boulder 303-443-9952 | Spend a week on our one-of-a-kind urban farm! Learn about sustainable agriculture and ecosystems through hands-on learning. We’ll engage our senses through farm-to-table cooking, art and science , and games. Visit our website for current information.

Flour Power Kids Cooking Studios 2030 E. County Line Rd., Unit E, Highlands Ranch 720-656-9405 Each day we will create a morning snack, lunch, and afternoon snack. We will supply everything needed for an amazing week filled

CAMP GUIDE Iliff Preschool, Kindergarten & School Age Summer Camps 4140 E. Iliff Ave., Denver 303-757-3551 Camps for ages one to 12 emphasize fun, creativity, and positive peer relationships. Focus is placed on adventure and a lot of play—and popular field trips which enrich weekly themes (ages four and up). Enrollment forms (post kindergarten-12) available online.

New Horizon Academy Broomfield and Denver 720-419-3353 Our summer child care program, Camp Discovery, is your child’s passport to a summer of fun, friends, and field trips. Summer at New Horizon Academy provides your child a safe environment to learn, play, and explore during those happy summer days. Enroll today!

International School of Denver Summer Camps 7701 E. First Pl., Unit C, Denver 303-340-3647 Explore a new world every week at ISDenver Summer Camps! Your child will thrive while building sports skills; learning about a new subject in French, Spanish, or Chinese; or designing an innovative STEAM project. Ages three to 14.

Outta Bounds Day Camp by Camp Timberline 10 Front Range locations | 970484-8462 A Christian sports and adventure day camp unlike any other! Featuring incredible staff, sports instruction, a portable high ropes course, climbing wall, giant inflatables, theme parties, bible studies, and more at 10 different locations along the Front Range.

Kent Denver School 4000 E. Quincy Ave., Englewood 303-770-7660 ext. 541 Spend the summer exploring our amazing 200-acre campus! We offer more than 100 outstanding camps in the visual and performing arts, athletics, technology and design, academics, and more for students ages three through 12th grade. Montessori Children’s House of Denver 1467 Birch St., Denver 303-322-8324 We offer learning-centered, fun, theme-based camps at our Mayfair, Stapleton, and Park Hill campuses for ages one to 12. Our camps are built around outdoor play and hands-on experiences and include field trips, gardening, sports, arts and crafts, and more.

Parker Arts 20000 Pikes Peak Ave., Parker | 303-805-6800 | Parker Arts camps make it fun for kids to explore their interests and try new things. We have a wide variety of camps featuring everything from theater, arts, science, dance, music, robotics, and more! Summer at Ricks 2040 S. York St., Denver 303-871-4839 | Summer at Ricks blends fun summer activities with rich learning experiences. Campers entering preschool to sixth grade will enjoy weekly themes and specialty camps ranging from Life Sized Games, Tiny Chef, Wild Wild West, Rocket Science, and more. (Continued on page 25)

Follow @ColoradoParent for tips and tricks on all things parenting!



• Marine Science Program • Dry Swim Lessons • Virtual Yoga Classes

FUN FOR EVERYONE! 3015 Bluff St. Boulder, CO | 303.444.7234

May 2020 |


Family Food

Muffins: Allergy Free Baking Company.

Better Baking at a Mile High Colorado master bakers share how they keep their cookies and cakes in shape while dealing with high altitude. By Anna Sutterer


ven the best home bakers and professionals have found that their favorite recipes don’t quite turn out the same here in Colorado. There’s a lot of careful chemistry involved in achieving the perfect pastry, especially at high altitudes. “The low air pressure at higher altitudes brings the boiling point of water down, causing your cakes and quick breads to dry out more quickly if you follow the original recipe,” Ann Marie Trent, kitchen manager at Cake Crumbs Bakery & Café, explains. “This also interferes with the way the baked goods handle the sugar content and any chemical leavening agents, leaving your cookies and cakes dull and flat. While there is a set of ‘guidelines’ to follow, there will also be quite a bit of trial and error.” If you’re an allergy-friendly kitchen, Nicole Kurland of Allergy Free Baking Company says that as long as your gluten-free blend contains a binder in it such as xanthan gum or guar gum, you can directly replace regular flour with a gluten-free blend. Most recipes are written for lower altitudes, says Mark Hill, owner of Meraki Custom Cakes. Local bakers have fiddled with the formula and found these adjustments helpful.


Colorado Parent | May 2020

TIPS: Cake, muffins, cornbread, and quick breads • Add extra liquid: For every cup of liquid in the original recipe, there should be three additional tablespoons added. Try an extra egg yolk, heavy cream, full fat yogurt, other dairy, water, or oil. • Increase the temperature: Try this for cakes and cupcakes. It should help the structure set quicker. A good starting point is 25 degrees higher. • Decrease baking time: Offset higher temperatures with lower bake times to prevent over baking. Start with 10 to 15 minutes, but keep an eye on it! • Decrease sugar: Too much weakens the structure of a baked good. Start by reducing the amount by two tablespoons for every cup in the original recipe. • Decrease (chemical) leavening: If using baking powder, decrease by ¼ to ½ teaspoon in the original recipe. If using baking soda, decrease it by just a pinch.

Cookies • Add extra liquid: For every cup of liquid in the original recipe, there should be three additional tablespoons added. Try an extra egg yolk, heavy cream, full fat yogurt, other dairy, water, or oil. • Decrease sugar: Too much weakens the structure of a baked good. Start by reducing the amount by two tablespoons for every cup in the original recipe. • Decrease (chemical) leavening: If using baking powder, decrease by ¼ to ½ teaspoon in the original recipe. If using baking soda, decrease it by just a pinch. • Chill the dough: Try rolling the dough into balls or a log and chill in the refrigerator for a few hours before baking. This can slow the dough’s spread in the oven and create a pillow in the middle of your cookie. Breads • Proof your proof time: When allowing bread dough to rise, keep an eye on it. Your proof time may decrease.


CAMP GUIDE Studio Arts Boulder 1010 Aurora Ave., Boulder | 720.379.6033 Summertime Pottery Camps at Studio Arts Boulder are packed with fun both inside and outside! Each day we spend most of the time learning techniques and creating, with a quick break in the middle for snacks, outdoor activities, and games at the nearby park. Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum Summer Camps 7711 E. Academy Blvd., Denver 303-360-5360 Your child will explore, learn, and get hands on in our weekly themed camps about aviation, robotics, and space. Scholarships and before/ after care are available! Ages seven to 18. Contact for pricing. YMCA Camp Noco 9 locations in Boulder, Larimer and Weld Counties 303-443-4474 | YMCA Camp Noco is a fun, enriching, traditional day camp experience that includes archery, sports, crafts, STEM, swimming, gaga ball and tons of field trips. Campers unplug, enjoy hands-on learning, try new activities and make new friends.




Swallow Hill Music 71 E. Yale Ave., Denver | 303-777-1003 Swallow Hill’s Summer Music Camps will have your child playing, rocking, dancing, and strumming all summer long. For kids ages six to 18.

Adam’s Camp 6767 S. Spruce St., Centennial | 303-563-8290 Therapy and adventure programs for individuals with special needs and their families. Summer programs held at Snow Mountain Ranch in Granby. Early Start programs held in the Denver-Metro area and Adventure Retreats are held in varying locations.

Queen Bee Music Association Crested Butte, CO & Santa Fe, NM Queen Bee’s Kids Bluegrass Camps in Crested Butte (July 6-10) and Santa Fe (July 13-17) provide beginning and intermediate players (ages seven to 14) with an unforgettable experience learning to play an instrument in a bluegrass band and writing songs!

OVERNIGHT CAMPS Cal-Wood 2282 Co Rd 87, Jamestown | 303-449-0603 | Located on 1200 acres of private wilderness just 30 min. from Boulder, Cal-Wood has been connecting kids to the mountains for 38 years. We celebrate wonder & adventure while fostering a respect for the outdoors, each other and oneself. Ages four to 18.

Horse Camp Chatfield Stables Chatfield State Park, Littleton 303-933-3636 Longest running Horse Camp in Colorado and voted one of the best Colorado Parent Family Favorites 2019. Campers ages 7 and older work with horses extensively: riding lessons, horse safety, grooming, saddling and care. Kids ride many hours inside Chatfield State Park. Mention ad for discount.

Camp Chief Ouray 1101 County Rd. 53, Granby 970-887-2648 | Nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Camp Chief Ouray is a premier overnight camp for boys and girls from across the globe. CCO provides a unique experience with the opportunity for independent development in a breathtaking outdoor setting.


YMCA Camp Santa Maria 51321 US Highway 285, Grant 303-443-4474 ext. 4301 YMCA Camp Santa Maria is a traditional overnight camp in the natural beauty of the Rockies, providing children ages six to 17 with outdoor adventures, countless moments of fun and exciting experiences, including climbing, paddleboarding, biking, crafts and more.

Summer Camp at SOAR 184 Uphill Rd Dubois, WY 82513 828-456-3435 | SOAR is a summer camp for youth & young adults, eight to 25, with ADHD & learning challenges. We help campers build friendships, increase self confidence, & develop life skills through outdoor adventure! Locations include WY, NC, FL, CA, NY, & Belize.

Ascendigo Autism Services 818 Industry Pl., Carbondale | 970-927-3143 | Ascendigo Adventure Camps offer rewarding, challenging outdoor experiences with positive, autism-specific support for all levels of ability, behaviors, and functioning. We also offer life enrichment and outreach services for individuals of all ages with autism. TACT 2733 W. 8th Ave., Denver | 303-295-0163 | Teaching the Autism Community Trades is a Denver-based nonprofit teaching trade and technical skills to those with autism. We invite you to discover a new talent or take your skills to the next level by joining us for a variety of hands-on, project-based learning camps!

SPORTS The First Tee of Denver 3181 E. 23rd Ave. Denver | 720-865-3415 The First Tee of Denver offers Golf Camps and Clinics for kids of all ages and abilities at locations throughout Colorado. Every class includes our 9 Core Values and Life Skill instruction. HRCA Sports Camps 9568 University Blvd., Highlands Ranch 303-471-8856 | Stay active all summer with HRCA Sports Camps! From beginners, looking to try something new, to more advanced players looking to refine their skills in tennis, fencing, golf, basketball or volleyball - we’ve got you covered! Ocean First Swim School 3015 Bluff St. | 303-444-7234 | Offering a variety of virtual materials for you and your child including marine science lessons, dry-land swim practices, and more! Created and filmed by our knowledgeable staff, your family can complete these interactive courses from your home.

May 2020 |


Family Food

HIGH ALTITUDE RECIPES FOR 3 FAMILY FAVORITES BAKERY STYLE MASTER MUFFINS Makes about 20 muffins (gluten and dairy free) Courtesy of Allergy Free Baking Company

DRY MIX INGREDIENTS: 4 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour blend 1½ teaspoons xanthan gum (leave out if flour blend already has it) ¼ cup brown sugar 1½ cups sugar 1 tablespoon baking powder ½ teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon salt Mix all dry ingredients and store in a container for continued use. Makes 6 cups, or two batches.

WET MIX INGREDIENTS: 2 eggs (room temperature) ¾ cup oil ¼ cup applesauce 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 2. Scoop 3 cups of the dry mix above into a large bowl. 3. Mix wet ingredients in a separate bowl and add to the dry. 4. Mix well and fold in flavor additions (see below). 5. Scoop batter nearly to the top of lined muffin tins and sprinkle with coarse sugar if desired. 6. Bake for about 22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Flavor Ideas • Fruit: Add 1½ cups blueberries, strawberries, peaches, or other fruit • Chocolate chip: Add 1½ cups chocolate chips • Apple cinnamon: Add 1½ cups peeled and diced apples, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and a dash of nutmeg • Lemon poppy seed: Add 2 tablespoons poppy seed and lemon extract


Colorado Parent | May 2020

Makes two 8-inch round layers or 24 cupcakes Courtesy of Meraki Custom Cakes

CAKE INGREDIENTS: 2¼ cups all-purpose flour 1½ teaspoons baking powder ½ teaspoon salt 4 ounces unsalted butter 1½ cups sugar 3 large eggs 1 egg yolk 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup full-fat milk

INSTRUCTIONS: 1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray or line with parchment two 8-inch cake pans or three 6-inch cake pans. 2. Beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy and pale in color (3 minutes).

3. Add eggs one at a time, scrape down the bowl, add vanilla, and beat until blended. 4. Add the flour mixture (flour, baking powder, salt) alternating with the milk, ending with the flour. Beat until evenly combined. 5. Pour into cake pans or lined cupcake pans. Bake for 15-20 minutes and check. Cake will be done when a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

BUTTERCREAM INGREDIENTS: 1 cup unsalted butter 4 cups powdered sugar 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 tablespoons full-fat milk


1. Beat butter with a mixer for one minute. 2. Scrape the bowl and add powdered sugar, salt, vanilla, milk, and beat until light and fluffy (5 minutes).

Cake: Meraki Custom Cakes.

1 cup room temperature milk (can be dairy-free)


Cookies: Mile High Mitts.

Family Food




½ cup white sugar 1 egg 1 teaspoon vanilla 1½ cups all-purpose or gluten-free flour 2 teaspoons cornstarch ½ teaspoon baking soda ¼ teaspoon salt 3/4 cup chocolate chips (dairy-free if necessary)


1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line two pans with parchment paper. 2. In a large mixing bowl, add the butter and sugars and cream them together with a hand mixer for a couple minutes. Add in the egg and vanilla and lightly blend it together again. 3. In a separate mixing bowl, add the dry ingredients and stir them together (flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt). 4. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir/fold them together until you have one consistent, thick cookie dough. Add chocolate chips and fold them into the batter. 5. Scoop the cookie dough onto the pans with a small cookie scoop, evenly spaced apart (at most 12 cookies per pan). 6. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies are just set and the center is still a touch underdone.


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¼ cup brown sugar



INGREDIENTS: ½ cup butter, softened (or coconut oil, for dairy-free)



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7. Let the cookies cool for about 20-30 minutes on the pan, and then transfer them to a cooling rack until they are cooled entirely. 8. Devour! Find more high-altitude recipes online at

May 2020 |


The Faces of Fostering

For years, Colorado has faced a shortage of families willing and able to care for children whose homes became unsafe for them. These four families stepped up and said yes.

Stories as told to Sarah Protzman Howlett


Colorado Parent | May 2020

More than 5,500 children around Colorado are currently in foster care.

Opener: Getty Images. Juniel Family: Juniel Family.

Living with a foster family brings much-needed stability to the lives of these children who have been abused or neglected, and ensures their basic needs are met. It’s also a step toward a potentially better future for themselves and their families. “A change in parenting [meaning entering foster care] can change the way the child heals from the trauma of abuse and neglect,” says Renee Bernhard, founder of Westminster-based Foster Source, an organization that supports foster families. However, the decision to remove a child from his or her biological family is not a simple one; in Colorado, it is a last resort. Joseph Homlar, director of the Division of Child Welfare at the Colorado Department of Human Services, says the state’s emphasis on supporting parents who need additional coaching on appropriate parenting practices meant children in Colorado were removed from their homes about 30 percent of the time throughout 2019. Still, for the 30 percent, there remains a lack of Colorado families willing to foster. Bernhard says two-thirds of foster parents quit within one to two years because the child’s needs prove to be too big a burden. “The families say it’s so hard, but that many would do it again,” she says. While reunification with the child’s biological family is the main goal, with adoption as another option, the process to establish permanency can take a year or more. This can create uncertainty for foster families who want to adopt. There are, however, many people in our community who have raised their hands to do this important work. Here are four of their stories.

Shalanda Juniel

a month. In November 2010, I adopted him. Mateo is a shaken baby survivor who I met at the hospital in October 2017. He functions like a newborn and is not even the size of a one-year-old, and is in hospice care at my home. The doctors told me Mateo will never talk or walk, bond to me, or know my voice. Whatever time he has here on earth, he needs a loving home, so in November 2018, I adopted him. People say I have a distinct laugh. Mateo’s I was a single mom who never planned on fos- eyes now follow the sound of my laugh. tering. My sister worked in child protection and When I interact with my foster kids’ biologisaw a significant need. She had talked to me cal families, I remember that none of us should about being a foster parent. You don’t underbe defined by our mistakes. Nobody grows up stand what I see, she said. We need parents like saying, “I want to be addicted to alcohol or you. She eventually got me to a training class, drugs, or be in a domestic violence relationand I was like, Where do I sign? My first foster ship.” My role is to nurture and care for a child child came to me 12 years ago; since then, I’ve until they can return home or find an amazing fostered 39 kids. adoptive home. When I started fostering, I said I would never Right now I also foster a sibling set of three adopt. JoJo, now 11, came to me at 10 and a and a 15-year-old girl, who only speaks French. half months old. His mom had used drugs and I do not speak French, so Google Translate has alcohol throughout her pregnancy, and then he become our best friend. Although I had plans to had been in a foster home that was being investravel the world as an empty nester, this foster tigated for child abuse. They asked me if I could care journey has enriched my life in ways I never do respite (temporary care for another family’s could have imagined. It has been the hardest, foster children) for one night, which turned into most rewarding experience I've ever had.

Age 42, Commerce City; CNA Biological children: daughter Jazmine, 23; son Myles, 26 Adopted children: sons JoJo, 11; Mateo, two and a half Foster children: sibling set of three (ages nine, two and a half, and five months), and a 15-year-old girl

Yes, Your Family Can Help In 2016, Renee Bernhard founded Foster Source, a Westminster-based agency that provides support and continuing-education resources to foster parents. She says many people are afraid to dip a toe into this world because they think they have to become a foster parent to make an impact. Not true,

she says. “Everyone can do something to support a foster family,” says Bernhard, who is a mom to two biological children and a foster son she later adopted. She says any foster family will appreciate and use: • Movie passes • New pajamas

• Diapers in size 4, 5, and size 6 for disposable training pants • Zoo passes • Target gift cards • Starbucks gifts cards (for the parents) • Colorado Rapids or Rockies tickets • Gift certificates to hair salons

May 2020 |


Age 33, Arvada; florist, wedding planner, and cosmetic dental practice employee Foster children: Two sisters (his nieces), ages 14 and 15 I didn’t grow up in the best family and was in foster care myself in Denver since I was three. My mother had seven biological children, my father had five, and my stepdad had 13. I don’t really know all my siblings, but I always knew I wanted to take care of kids to give them a better life than I had. About two years ago, I got a phone call from my sister Marie* who was in court. Social services had removed her kids from her home, and she wanted to know if I’d take them. She had five kids and her oldest child had a baby herself, so it was really six. I found out that Marie had a drug issue and her kids weren’t in school. I had no clue. Two weeks later, another of my sisters, Mercedes*, called me. She had six children who were removed from her home. I took them all in temporarily. All the kids’ stuff was infested with bugs; I had to buy all new things for them. I was lucky that I had a lot of savings. As a kinship caregiver, before I got certified, I wasn’t given money from the county to care for them, but was referred to Family Tree (a nonprofit human services agency) for help at Christmas, and I filed for food stamps and child support. I made everything happen and still worked my jobs. I scheduled, scheduled, scheduled. My niece Angela was 18 at the time and living with me, and she helped cook and clean. Eventually, the social workers made the decisions to transfer some of the kids to different family members or foster homes that could care for them; I just worked around what they decided. I’ve had to help my sister Mercedes realize that her mental state means she’s not going to be able to care for all of her kids. I wish I were in a position to take in her two youngest ones that are in foster care elsewhere. It (fostering) is rewarding, very rewarding. My two teenage girls were in eighth grade when they came to me and pretty much hadn’t been in school since elementary. They are now playing sports, passing their classes, and looking at colleges. They have bank accounts. They’re talking about becoming doctors. I’m gay, and Adams County made it so comfortable and easy to get certified. I was not discriminated against in the least. No matter who you are as a parent, there are children that will fit in your home. *Not their real names.


Colorado Parent | May 2020

Melinda Sue Coburn Age 34, Longmont; substitute teacher and CASA volunteer Biological children: daughter Phoenix, seven Adopted children: Adaira, six; Brec, two Foster children: Stetson, one My husband Sean and I weren’t sure we would have kids, but when we moved here from Kansas, we came to a meeting for Project 127, a Christian fostering organization. We attended one of their info sessions and left with a broken

heart. Once you know about this ugly corner of the world, you can’t unknow it. Our first child was actually a foster—a little guy named Grayson. He had 12 other siblings who had been adopted. He was with us for three months and eventually went to live with a family who had his half-sister. It was the hardest thing Sean and I have ever gone through in our marriage. Expecting to have this baby and then learn how the diligent search system really works was hard on us. We thought we weren’t cut out for this, so we got pregnant with Phoenix. When Phoenix was three months old, though, we started talking about opening our home again. We got the call for Adaira a short time later. We have been serving with child protective services for more than 10 years now and have hosted 14 children. Every call we’ve gotten, the decision has been made within minutes. If you’ve gone through the training and your home is open, you’re expecting these calls. I have these wild stories that cram nine months of nesting into one hour. Baby Brec came to us at just a couple days old, and we finalized his adoption this past Halloween. We all went to the courthouse in our Halloween costumes. Baby Stetson joined the gang last year—he’s one year old and we’re already in love. We have maintained our certification so that other children can come to stay with us in the short term. Now that Phoenix is older, we have big conversations with her. Both she and Adaira can talk to you about mental health, substance abuse, and homelessness in a way that many adults can’t even articulate. We’re not going to go into every detail, but we can talk to them in a way they can understand. Our families and friends support and love all of our children, too. They drop off meals and bring diapers and hand-me-down clothes. If you are looking for all the nice people of the world, they’re right here in our community.

Financial Help for Foster Parents Foster parents provide essentials such as food and clothing for their foster kids, for which they receive monthly reimbursements. According to, rates vary depending on a child's age and level of care needed. Medical and dental care are also generally covered by Medicaid. In the event of kinship care (caring for the child of a relative, friend, neighbor, or other significant relationship tie), foster parents do not receive reimbursement in the same way that a non-related foster parent would. Resources for kinship care are available, but they require some research

to determine the government benefits and financial help for which you qualify. Visit the Kinship Connection page of the Colorado Department of Human Services for more information.

Coburn Family: Coburn Family. Manuel Padilla: Padilla Family.

Manuel Padilla

Martin Lee: Lee Family.

Respite Care & Advocacy Adults who wish to help the foster system by caregiving, without being a full-time foster parent, can do so in a couple of ways: Respite care: Foster parents can’t just choose anyone to babysit their foster children; they must use a certified respite care worker when they need a break. Training and a background check are required for respite caretakers, and you can become one without being a foster parent. Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) volunteers: After a background check and training, CASA volunteers are paired with a child, with whom they’ll meet regularly throughout the child’s case, to form a safe and consistent relationship. The volunteers attend court and update the judge on how the child is doing, and advocate for their needs.

Martin Lee Age 48, Colorado Springs; occupational therapist and licensed realtor Foster children: 11-year-old boy and nine-year-old girl (biological siblings) I had good friends who were foster parents. I saw kids coming through their home and going back to their families, and how hard it was for them—but I also saw such a need for people to provide short-term, loving homes for these kids. So I decided to challenge myself. If not me, how could I ask my neighbor or my friend to do it? There are so many foster homes with two parents or a single mother—very few single foster dads. I’ve been married in the past, but I want to be a role model and show that it can be done with just me. My life has improved so much since I became a foster parent. These kids have given me more than I have given them. For the first two years, there was still the possibility of the kids returning to their biological mother. The father was never in the picture. There were weekly supervised visits with their mother,

Parental Rights Sometimes biological parents relinquish their rights voluntarily, but more often there comes a point that the court determines the parents are unable to safely care for their children in their home. The county then petitions the courts to terminate the rights of parents and the magistrate makes a decision. Thereafter, a child is deemed “legally free.”

but eventually, adoption became the best option and she relinquished parental rights. (After a parent’s rights are terminated, the child is deemed “legally free.”) We have no relationship with her now, which is really difficult for them, but she and I agreed it’s for the best. I have a lot of sympathy and compassion for her. She has a history of mental illness and struggles even to care for herself. The kids are doing well now. When they came to me three years ago, I called the case worker every other day asking for advice. Both had struggles including outbursts of anger, destruction of property, and theft. I had my own positive childhood to draw on, but ongoing training and workshops have been really helpful for me. (Foster parents in the state of Colorado must have 32 hours of training each year to maintain their certification.) These days, the kids snap out of things more quickly than in the past and have more positive coping skills. In the past three years, I have also been a respite provider. On some weekends, I have had three or four kids in my home. I want to stay licensed and I’m open to fostering more kids, even soon. There is such a need, and I’m thankful I can be part of all this. These kids deserve so much. Sarah Protzman Howlett is a Boulder-based journalist and editor whose work has appeared in national, local, and trade magazines.

May 2020 |


A LIFETIME OF LEARNING STARTS WITH LICENSED, QUALITY CHILD CARE As you prepare for your baby’s arrival, one of the most important things to think about is child care.

Not sure where to start? We’re here to help! Colorado Shines helps you find and research licensed, quality child care programs so you can find the best fit for your family. Search for child care using the Colorado Shines search, call 1.877.338.2273 or text ‘child care referral’ to 898-211

Opener: Unitone Vector/Getty Images.


baby Welcoming baby is an exciting (and often overwhelming) time. This special guide is filled with a collection of resources and articles to help you as you embark on this new stage of life. In the pages that follow, you’ll find helpful must-have items for new parents, tips for starting your baby on solid food, and a personal glimpse of one mom's experience with postpartum depression. 14 Items Every New Parent Needs 34 Bon AppÊtit, Baby! 36 A New Mom's Guide to Postpartum Depression 38

May 2020 |


14 Items Every New Parent Needs Your baby is on the way and you’re adding things to your registry left and right. Here, we gathered a list of 14 essentials you’ll want to grab before baby arrives—from diapering and feeding to items for bath, play, and on the go. By Christina Cook


With four carrying positions and a sleek design, the Boppy ComfyChic Baby Carrier allows for comfortable, hands-free carrying while out and about or at home. $90,

Humble Bee’s Nurse-sling is compact and easy to take on the go, and its ergonomic design lets Mom comfortably feed baby with just one hand. $40,

The Chicco fit4 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat adapts to fit your growing child, making it easy for parents to transition kids from an infant car seat to a booster (up to 100 lbs.). $350,

Catch all that drool with the multipurpose BooginHead Bandana Teether Bibs. They’re super absorbent to keep baby dry, and—bonus—there’s an attached teether for chewing. $11,

Denver-based subscription service Abby&Finn delivers a bundle of eco-friendly diapers and wipes right to your door. Feel-good perk: For each subscription purchased, they donate 30 diapers to a family in need. $50 for diapers and $60 for diapers and wipes.


Colorado Parent | May 2020

Soothe baby’s aching gums with Perry Mackin’s Simply the Best Teethers Gift Set in strawberry, watermelon, and grape. The teether trio features soft silicone and an easy-to-hold design for little hands. $30,

The overhead HD camera on the Nanit Plus smart baby monitor tracks everything from sleep patterns to room conditions and provides personalized insights—on your phone—to help your baby sleep better. $299, Play and learn together with a Lovevery Play Kits subscription. Delivered every other month, kits feature products tailored to each stage of development in your baby’s first year and into toddlerhood. $36 and up per month.

The tried and true Boppy Original Feeding and Infant Support Pillow allows for a comfortable feeding position and doubles as a cushion for tummy time or a support as baby sits up. $40,


The Nanobébé Newborn Gift Set comes with all the feeding essentials you need including four bottles with a natural, breast-like design, a warming bowl, drying rack, and microwave steam sterilizer. $95,

Easily transport all your baby’s necessities with the Humble Bee All Heart Diaper Bag, which can be worn as a backpack, a tote, or attached to a stroller. $60,

The convertible BabyZen YOYO2 stroller offers a smooth ride for your baby (infant up to 40 lbs.) thanks to fourwheel suspension, and folds down into a compact size with the ease of one hand. $550, available at Nordstrom.

Background: Getty images.

WubbaNub plush pacifiers are the perfect, cozy companion to soothe a fussy baby. Available in a variety of animals and collections, they’re easy to grip and cuddly to boot. $15 and up,

Zoey Naturals baby products are made with gentle formulas and are free of harsh chemicals, delivering baby-soft skin with everything from head-to-toe washes and body oil to diaper cream and sunscreen. $6-$15,

May 2020 |



Baby eating: Getty Images.

Bon Appétit, Baby! There’s no one right way to introduce solid foods, but these tips will help you adjust to this new stage. By Kara Thompson


ntroducing your baby to solid foods can be daunting, but just as it’s true with most things in parenting, following your intuition is key. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the conflicting information that’s out there, here’s an idea that will bring you some peace: There is no onesize-fits-all answer to what’s best for your baby. When it’s time to start serving solids, these simple tips will help you navigate this new, exciting stage in your baby’s life. WATCH FOR DEVELOPMENTAL SIGNS Before you jump into prepping, dicing, and puréeing, it’s important to watch for developmental milestones that will suggest your tot is truly ready to expand their food palate. Sara Peternell, a board certified holistic nutritionist and co-author of Little Foodie, says the first sign most parents intuitively look for is their baby’s capability to hold up their own head, but something else to consider is how much trunk and neck control they have. Proper trunk control, or the ability to sit up straight in a high chair, is vital for digestive function as it helps ensure your baby can properly swallow their food. Strong head and neck stability is also important because it can help limit choking risks and the amount of spit-up your baby has after meals.


Colorado Parent | May 2020

On average, babies start eating solid foods around six months of age, but the range can vary widely. Many babies have head, neck, and trunk control as early as four months, while others can be on the later side, like nine months. “There’s not a perfect age to start, it’s more about looking for these milestones in order to know your baby might be ready,” says Peternell. If your little one is starting to reach for your food or watch you as you eat, that may be another hint that they’re interested in solids. Following along with instinctive eating, which is often referred to as baby-led feeding, is a low-pressure way to start. So, if your baby is transfixed on your banana as you snack, break off a small piece, mash it up, and offer it, or if she’s reaching for the avocado in your salad, place a little bit of it on her high chair. “Sharing a few bites with your baby at the table and bringing them into the family dining dynamic, whether it’s in your lap or in a high chair, is a great way to foster their interest in food,” Peternell shares. If your baby isn’t showing much interest yet, try breast or bottle feeding at the dinner table instead, then slowly work toward offering some of the food that you’re enjoying.

KEEP A FOOD DIARY When you start to feed your baby any type of new food, keep track of how they react to it. “Some of the old advice is that parents should introduce one food at a time to see if there’s any type of allergic reaction, but that isn’t necessarily the best way to go about feeding for the general population,” Peternell explains. In her practice, as long as there is no family history of food allergies, Peternell encourages parents to introduce a variety of foods that they feel their baby is interested in. However, if there is a history of allergies in the family, then it’s important to go a bit slower with food introduction. Either way, it’s a good idea to write down everything you’re feeding your baby so that you can assess any type of reaction or difference in bowel movements. Keep in mind that some changes in your baby’s bowel movements are normal because of the new nutrients and fiber that they're digesting. Having a little bit of constipation should be expected, but any sort of vomiting, rash, or diarrhea is an indication that something isn’t sitting well. Talk to your pediatrician if you have any concerns while introducing new foods. In your journal, you should also consider jotting down any signals your baby might have

given you during mealtime. If you try to feed her a banana and she pushes it away with her tongue or shakes her head from side to side, she’s trying to tell you that this doesn’t feel right. It can be frustrating to prepare something that your child won’t eat, but give them a bit more credit when it comes to knowing what makes them feel good versus what might be causing some discomfort.

PLANT-BASED IS TOTALLY OK If you aren’t too enthusiastic about starting your child off with meat, there are other options for sneaking in some protein. Using bone broth rather than water to cook grains (try avoiding whole grains until baby is nine months old and able to digest better) or sauté veggies, for example, is a nice way to provide minerals, collagen, amino acids, and zinc. Scrambled egg yolks, which

offer high levels of zinc and protein, are another hearty option. Something else to consider is that your baby’s diet doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing situation. Many people are showing interest in a more plant-based diet. “I’m a fan of the plant-focused approach, but I think it’s a smart choice to eat plant-based 80 percent or so of the time and then supplement with animal products when needed,” Peternell says. The takeaway is that while you don’t have to eat meat every single day to reap the benefits, it’s helpful to fill in any vitamin gaps or deficiencies by offering an occasional source of animal-based protein. THERE’S NO ONE RIGHT WAY Starting your baby on solid foods is a big step, and there are many ethical, religious, cultural, and convenience factors that can come into play. As a parent, you can find peace in knowing that you have all of the necessary tools to give your child healthy options as they grow and change. No one knows your baby better than you do, so trust your instincts. If your baby isn’t too keen on a specific food—don’t get discouraged—there are a variety of ways to feed your little one in a healthy, wholesome way.

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May 2020 |



REACH FOR PROTEIN Although choosing which foods to start with is a personal choice, Peternell suggests animal products as one of the most beneficial for babies. “What I did with my own children, and what I consult my clients to do when they start their baby on solids, is to serve animal products, which are often the most nutrient-dense, easy to digest options,” Peternell explains. Animal-based foods are important to offer your baby because the growth rate for a newborn up to their first birthday is exponential, and the nutrient needs that they have can be nicely met by incorporating meat into their diet. Animal products have hefty amino acid profiles, which help foster your baby’s development, making it important to serve protein-rich foods from the get go.

Serving protein can look many different ways—it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to slab a piece of tri-tip on your baby’s high chair tray. Consider batch-cooking a couple of different types of fish, like salmon or tuna, puréeing them with bone broth or coconut milk, then freezing them in small ice cube trays. Poultry is another great starter food for babies, so try puréeing an organic chicken liver or chicken breast. Although the benefits of meat are great, keep fresh fruits and veggies as a vital part of your baby’s diet. Produce makes a valuable companion to animal-based meals, so serve broccoli or zucchini with fish, peas and carrots with chicken, or blueberries and tomatoes with eggs. The key is to balance the foundation of your baby's (and your own!) plate.


The New Mom’s Guide to

A look at what postpartum depression is really like, and information on how to treat it. by Jamie Siebrase


Colorado Parent | March 2020


There was powder-day-goodness on the other side, but all I noticed was a dark, disorienting world narrowing in on me. I’d always been a pretty joyful person. I had bad days, sure, but overall I was upbeat and outgoing. Then my whole personality changed. I felt angry, anxious, and just plain sad. Picture Eeyore, the downtrodden donkey from Winniethe-Pooh. Fifteen percent of women will experience depression during the year after childbirth. With one in seven new moms affected, I wasn’t alone, and yet I felt isolated because I didn’t want to talk about my depression with other moms. Postpartum depression (PPD) is a treatable mood disorder. It’s not the “baby blues”—that self-limited, emotional rollercoaster that causes you to burst into tears three days postpartum for any small mishap. “Almost all women experience the baby blues,” explains Joyce Gottesfeld, M.D., a Kaiser Permanente Colorado OB-GYN. Two to four weeks postpartum, as hormones stabilize, the tearfulness should dissipate. If it doesn’t, that could be your first indication that something is amiss. Just like preeclampsia or gestational diabetes, PPD is a complication of pregnancy. “If we start recognizing postpartum depression as a medical condition that can happen after pregnancy, rather than a wrongdoing, maybe we can remove some of the stigma,” says Chutaporn Charnsangavej, M.D., an OB-GYN at Pinnacle Women’s Healthcare. And that’s when the healing can begin.

PPD typically develops four to six weeks postpartum, and moms experience it in various ways. “It feels like all the joy has been sucked out of our house,” my husband would say during my bout of depression. For months, I had so much bad mojo pent up by 5 o’clock that I’d usually rip into him

before he had time to put down his backpack, rattling off an A-to-Z list of everything I hated. I cried for several hours throughout the day. Sometimes I yelled at my toddler, or squeezed my newborn’s arm too tightly when he wouldn’t go down for a nap. The only thing happening in my bedroom at night was insomnia, but the most embarrassing admission is that I resented my newborn like crazy because he took precious time away from my toddler. Aside from loss of appetite, I had all the classic symptoms of PPD: intense irritability, insomnia, anxiety, sadness, crying, and difficulty bonding with my baby. Some women with postpartum anxiety develop persistent fears or panic attacks. In extreme cases of depression, moms are at risk of hurting themselves or their babies. If you have similar symptoms that last every day for more than two weeks, or you’re struggling with everyday tasks, you might be experiencing PPD. I was so caught up in motherhood, I don’t think I realized how bad things were until my son’s six-weekold appointment. I was waiting to see my obstetrician, and my baby was strapped into his carseat, crying. My doctor came in and asked, “How’s it going?” I burst into tears. She said “OK! You wait here. I’m going to get a nurse to walk around with your baby, and we’re going to talk.” When she came back, she asked, “Have you heard about postpartum depression?” A nurse held my baby while my midwife went over initial treatment options. There was a video to take home to my husband. There were also unanswered questions about how, exactly, I’d gotten so sad.

There is no one thing that causes postpartum depression. Most experts agree that postpartum depression

Postpartum Support for Moms


Stock models for illustrative purpose. Opener: Justin Paget/Getty Images. Interior photos, background: Getty Images.

uring the first miserable year after my second son’s birth, I was stuck on a never-ending drive through the Eisenhower Tunnel. Every time light appeared in the distance, the 1.7-mile passage stretched a little longer.

Baby Circle Parenting Support Group at Belly Bliss Baby & Me Yoga (postnatal) at The Mama'hood Postpartum Wellness Center Boulder Healthy Expectations Perinatal Mental Health Program at Children’s Hospital Colorado MyStrength online support from Kaiser Permanente

arises from some combination of hormonal changes, psychological adjustments to motherhood, and fatigue. Gottesfeld says that women with a history of depression or anxiety are at a higher risk for developing PPD. And women who get severe PMS might be more susceptible to the hormonal shifts that happen postpartum, when estrogen and progesterone levels drop drastically. Young women, and women struggling financially, are more likely to develop depression. Having access to social support is huge: A recent study from the Canadian Medical Association Journal indicates women living in big cities have the highest rates of postpartum depression, largely because they have lower levels of family support.

March 2020 |


answer is yes, do it, and don’t look back. You’re not less of a mom because you have support.


Other moms might be the best resource of all.

Most experts believe sleep deprivation plays a role in depression, and other environmental triggers might include trouble breastfeeding, an unplanned C-section, a baby in the NICU, or a fussy baby. “It can also be more surprising to people who are particularly type-A because they aren’t used to feeling that way and they’re not prepared for it," says Gottesfeld. To complicate matters further, some men and adoptive parents experience PPD, too. “Some people have no risk factors at all,” Gottesfeld says. “That’s one of the ways we know there’s a biochemical component.” The big takeaway is that any number of things can lead to PPD. In most cases, it’s multiple issues piling up.

Doctors know that early intervention is important, but moms feel like it can be hard to get help. I learned from Facebook that the birth of a child is a time of constant joy and great hair days. Imagine how I felt when the reality of stool softeners and sitz baths set in. When I didn’t look or feel like all the other happy moms I saw online, I didn’t want to let on that I was different because I feared people would think I was a bad mom. I was so good at hiding my depression that I think most people who knew me at the time, including my parents, would be shocked to hear how sad I was. “A new mother might feel some shame that she’s not as happy as she should be or isn’t feeling the way she thinks she should feel,” Gottesfeld says. That’s one reason many moms don’t seek help. And because the symptoms of postpartum depression are broad, it can be difficult to achieve a diagnosis. “Your OB-GYN should screen for depression


Colorado Parent | May 2020

at your six-week postpartum visit, with a verbal questionnaire, a written test, or observation,” Charnsangavej says. In addition to using typical screening tools such as the GAD-7 and PHQ-9 questionnaires, Gottesfeld asks her patients, “Do you like your baby?” and “Are you having fun with your baby?” The questions often spark a longer conversation. Pediatricians, spouses, partners, grandparents, and siblings can all serve as resources for new moms to help identify depression.

There are several treatment options for PPD. “If it’s not an emergency, I feel comfortable referring patients to behavioral medicine specialists to make a plan that can involve therapy and possibly medication,” Gottesfeld says. “There are medications that are acceptable for breastfeeding, and many patients are able to get off their medication after a few months,” says Charnsangavej. For a variety of reasons, I was opposed to medication, so my provider and I hashed out a plan that involved psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy; lifestyle changes, like getting out of the house daily; and carving out regular time for exercise and self-care. “Talk therapy is helpful, but it’s a personal and practical decision as to whether a new mom has time for it,” Charnsangavej points out. She’s right: I spent two hours with a therapist every week for six months. It was time consuming and expensive. Moms with depression should evaluate their household needs. Can you afford to hire a cleaning service, or a postpartum doula to help with chores, errands, and childcare? If the

Through the Alma program at Kaiser clinics, mothers who previously experienced postpartum depression are being trained in behavioral activation, a component of cognitive behavioral therapy, so they can support new moms during the postpartum period. Mom-mentors meet with new parents via videoconference, an offering inspired by moms who voiced a need for flexible counseling while they juggled the demands of work and older children. During the program's pilot and test phases, three mom-mentors have worked with 37 new moms. Researchers are seeing positive results, says Arne Beck, Ph.D., a senior investigator at Kaiser Permanente Colorado’s Institute for Health Research. Researchers at the Renée Crown Wellness Institute and community partners are working hard to expand access to the Alma peer-mentor program to support moms across Colorado. “Women who experienced depression in early parenting had an incredible sense of dedication, and were eager to support other moms,” says Sona Dimidjian, a professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Colorado Boulder and director of the Renée Crown Wellness Institute.

By the way, your depression isn’t going to ruin your child forever. Take a deep breath, and repeat after me: Kids are resilient. “The truth is, even babies isolated in the NICU don’t show any emotional deficits long-term,” says Charnsangavej. If mom is feeling sad, ask partners, spouses, grandparents, or neighbors—whoever you trust that might be available—to help during the initial postpartum bonding period. When a mom gets treatment, the outlook is positive, and PPD is usually resolved within a year. Women who don’t get treatment are at greater risk of developing major depression later in life. My depression lasted nine months, and it was a lot of work maintaining a treatment plan, carving out time for self-care, learning to ask for help, and letting go of the guilt. Eight years later, my baby and toddler have become well-adjusted boys, and somehow I’m still married. After so much sadness, there I was, driving into the daylight, finally leaving my tunnel in the dust. Jamie Siebrase is a Denver-based freelance writer, mother, and author.

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May 2020 |


Flowers for Mom Mother’s Day gifting just got a fresh upgrade. By Kara Thompson Pickletown: Rachel Nichols @thefondlife. Backgroudn: Getty Images. The Perfect Petal: Frances Marron Photography.


ifting flowers is a classic way to show appreciation on Mother’s Day, and these local florists came up with clever ways to make the staple feel even more meaningful. Plus, they’re making it easy to access florals during an unusually hectic time.

Arrange Your Own

To help Colorado families celebrate, Jessica Sparzak, founder and designer of Pickletown Flower Co., created an arrange-your-own bouquet kit that kids can put together themselves. Order the workshop kit online, which comes complete with a vase, selection of flowers, and flower food. Each bunch will vary, but customers will have the option to choose from pink, purple, or an assorted mix of colors. A link to an instructional how-to video with ideas for arranging will also be available for kids who are looking for some inspiration. What makes Pickletown unique is their emphasis on sourcing long-

lasting flowers, which is why they include dry products—like pampas grass—in every arrangement. “I like to use plants that we know are going to last, like wax flowers or proteas, which can both live for up to two weeks,” Sparzak explains. Tip: When flowers in your bouquet start to die, simply remove them and rearrange what’s still thriving to give your vase a refresh. TO ORDER: Visit Mother’s Day items will be available for local pickup the Friday and Saturday before the holiday at 11 locations along the Front Range. Shipping is available through FedEx.

Pair Favorites A wine and flower gift set? Talk about a dreamy duo. For the notorious last-minute shoppers, The Perfect Petal is making Mother’s Day gifting a breeze by pairing a bottle of wine from Mondo Vino, a local wine and spirits shop in the Denver Highlands, with one of their stunning bouquets. They’re also offering a box filled with a face mask, candle, bath bomb, and a can of bubbly with a petite dried arrangement as the focal point. One trend Romina Palacios, manager of the boutique and flower shop, says you’ll see in their arrangements this spring is a mix of peonies, lilacs, and tulips paired with twiggy wildflowers.


Colorado Parent | May 2020

To really bring their bouquets to life, Palacios says they often mix a variety of colors and textures together, like using dry bunny tails with softer florals such as anemones. The shop will be arranging their Mother’s Day bouquets in ceramic footed vases, but if you’d rather do without the vase, they can wrap blooms in black paper and cellophane before tying them together with twine—a signature touch they’re known for. TO ORDER: Visit The shop offers delivery Monday through Saturday and will also be open on Mother’s Day for curbside pickups.

Bloom: Bloom by Anuschka. Keep It Simple: Nichole McKune

Keep It Simple

Go Abroad In order to create their one-of-a-kind, picturesque bouquets, Bloom by Anuschka has high-quality florals flown in from Holland twice a week. “We approach every arrangement like it’s a piece of art, meaning every placement is intentional and thoughtfully considered. We think about color, texture, and shape, and how each flower works together,” says shop owner Anuschka Pashel. For Mother’s Day, a few arrangements Bloom is offering include their beloved orchid planters and roses in a variety of cheerful colors. Pashel says customers can also expect to see hyacinths in their bouquets, which have been a big hit

this spring because they’re wildly bright and fragrant. “We’re anticipating a lot of peony love this season, too. So far, the weather hasn’t been conducive, but we’re hopeful,” Pashel shares. To add the finishing touch, Bloom wraps the base of each of their bouquets with a leaf ribbon, which hides the stems and instantly makes the arrangement look more elegant. TO ORDER: Visit Same-day delivery is offered in the Denver area—going as far as Boulder and Castle Rock. Curbside pickup is also available.

If you’re on a tighter budget or would rather pick a few different bunches to put together, grocery stores still have a nice variety to choose from. Nichole McKune, a Goldenbased lifestyle blogger and mom of two, has learned a few tricks for elevating the fresh flowers she buys from the market. Her best advice: Adding greenery to a bouquet of neutral colored flowers can make it feel special. “The King Soopers near my house always has an assortment of greenery that’s affordable. You can typically find a few branches of something like eucalyptus for just a few dollars,” she says. Florals from the grocery store can also last a surprisingly long time, but to get the most of them, McKune suggests trimming the stems before putting the flowers in a vase, and changing the water daily. If you have flowers that benefit from extra moisture, like hydrangeas or orchids, she also recommends lightly misting their petals every day. Simply do a quick search online to see if the flowers you bought could use a spritz. When it comes to putting blooms on display, McKune says you can elevate your arrangement by swapping a glass vase for a decorative pitcher or a tall, skinny ceramic vase. It’s also nice to spread pieces of your bouquet throughout the house. Try placing the bulk of your flowers on your kitchen counter to fill up any empty space, then scatter the remaining bunches in smaller vases on your mantle, bathroom counter, or desk.

How to Microwave -Dry Flowers Preserve your Mother’s Day bouquet by turning your favorite blossoms into pressed, dried flowers with just a few supplies and (surprise!) your microwave. Make the preserved flowers even more special by using them to create memorable crafts. Some of our favorites: Place a delicate bloom inside a locket, frame flowers and leaves to put on display, or laminate a tiny bouquet on paper to create your own bookmark. SUPPLIES: • Bouquet of flowers (Small flowers with a single layer of petals work best)

• Sheets of copy paper • Paper towels • One brick or tile INSTRUCTIONS: 1. Trim flowers off of their stems, keeping scissors as close to the base of the bud as possible. 2. Fold a piece of regular copy paper in half, unfold and place the flowers inside. Then, fold the paper back over to cover. 3. Sandwich the folded paper between two paper towels and place it in the microwave.

4. Place a brick or tile on top and heat for one minute to one minute and 30 seconds, depending on your microwave.

5. Carefully remove the brick or tile with a hot pad before slowly pulling back your paper to reveal your dried, pressed flowers.

May 2020 |


On The Road with Kids

It was our family’s first real road trip, and we trekked to southwestern Colorado, where we found a week of endless magic and a whole lot of the Centennial State we’d never seen before. By Hilary Masell Oswald


Colorado Parent | May 2020


or most of my first 10 years as a parent, I had fastidiously avoided the classic American travel trope known as the car trip. It’s not that I don’t enjoy a good long stretch in the front seat, staring out the window at new vistas or belting out ’80s pop lyrics at the top of my lungs with the windows down. I love car trips. I just wasn’t sure if my children would be as enthusiastic. The vision of long hours riding together, handing crackers to my beloved progeny every 15 minutes while I answered the dreaded “Are we there yet?” didn’t inspire me to plan a trip that required us to travel long distances in the car.

That is, not until last spring, when I realized that my children—Hadley and Harrison, who were finishing fourth and first grades, respectively—had a relatively limited view of Colorado. We live in Denver. We hike in the foothills. We ski on the mountains along I-70. So it was no wonder they had no idea about the Centennial State’s other highlights. “What if,” I said to my husband, Jason, one spring night, “we took the kids on a Colorado road trip this summer?” He was up for it, so we whipped up an itinerary that met two criteria: We could get to each stop in fewer than four hours—with the exception of one unavoidable long day—and we

would trek to places our children hadn’t already seen. The goals: Give our kids a sense of the wonder of Colorado, and enjoy our time together. We booked our trip for the first week in June—only because it worked best for our family’s schedule. But it turned out to be a boon for pricing. Many of the places we stayed offered lower lodging rates than the fees for staying in the height of summer, and we avoided the crowds. So on the first Sunday in June, we loaded up the car—an assortment of carbohydrates at the ready— and zipped out of town on our first real family road trip. Here’s how it went.


Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort DRIVE TIME: 2 HOURS, 15 MINUTES 125 MILES, 2 NIGHTS

My mother, a retired elementary-school teacher with spot-on instincts for what delights children, had gotten each of the kids a map of Colorado and highlighted our route. She’d also bought two spiral-bound notebooks and written simple notes to the kids with activities. She listed the little towns along 285 and told the kids to check them off as we passed through these blips on the map. She made a note about Kenosha Pass and its views and asked the kids to tally how many pickup trucks, herds of cattle, and other animals they spied. Hadley and Harrison loved the activities. The notebooks kept the kids so entertained that they didn’t even ask for more screen time. We rolled into Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort mid-afternoon and checked in. The resort has several different lodging options that range from full-fledged cabins with up to two bedrooms and a loft to hotel-like rooms in the main lodge. We stayed in a two-bed room in the Creekside Suites, which includes a small kitchenette with a stove top, microwave, Maps and simple spiral notebooks with suggested activities and sites to check off kept the kids busy during stretches of driving.

May 2020 |


and refrigerator. (The suites are a short drive from the main lodge and the pools.) Staying at the resort entitles guests access to the resorts’ pools and hot springs—though in early June, the Creekside Hot Springs in the Chalk Creek were closed because the substantial snow runoff made the flow too high (and too chilly). No matter: We spent two-and-a-half satisfying days in the Upper Pool, zipping down the rushing water on a 400-foot water slide with views of the Collegiate Peaks. That felt like a solid introduction to the wonders of Colorado beyond the Front Range.

TIPS: • If you have room in the car, pack breakfast and lunch supplies for this portion of your trip. Also consider bringing extra towels from home. While the pool has towels available (one per person), with all of the hopping in and out of the pool for snack breaks, we could have used a few extra dry towels. • Grab dinner at the resort’s Mary Murphy Steak House, which serves up—you guessed it— steakhouse fare. Maybe we were all just famished by our days swimming and sliding, but every one of us gobbled up our meals. (Bonus: The kids meals come with fresh vegetables.)

The Upper Pool at Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort in Nathrop, near Buena Vista, boasts a 400-foot water slide in the shadow of awe-inspiring mountain peaks.



I confess that my main motivations for visiting Telluride were: one, my deep fondness for its charm, and two, my anticipation at seeing our kids’ faces on the free gondola ride that shuttles people eight miles from the Mountain Village into the town of Telluride, tucked in a box canyon. But because we really did want our kids to expand their understanding of Colorado, we used our visit to Telluride to talk about the state’s mining history and how the arrival of the railroad (which happened in 1890) transformed the town. (You can find good basic history at We stayed at The Peaks Resort & Spa in Mountain Village (a lovely, family-friendly hotel with an outdoor pool and—wait for it—an indoor


Colorado Parent | May 2020

• Zip into Buena Vista’s charming River Park, adjacent to the Arkansas River. The morning we were there, we saw kayakers paddling down the river, and our kids played on the giant climbing rock—an ideal way to get out the wiggles before heading to our next destination.

waterslide!) and spent our days exploring the town of Telluride. One morning we hiked the Bear Creek Falls Trail, which is a five-mile round-trip trek to the falls. We didn’t reach the falls because, about three-quarters of the way up, we came across the aftermath of an avalanche: downed aspens and conifers that looked like they’d been snapped at the base by giants. It was a spectacular, sobering, and fascinating sight that our kids have mentioned countless times since. For a lighter bit of fun, we also visited the town’s beloved Wilkinson Public Library and wandered along Colorado Avenue with treats from Telluride Truffle.

TIPS: • Because early June isn’t yet high season, the restaurants weren’t very busy, but still, arrive early at Brown Dog Pizza, which is a local favorite. Kids can make their own pizzas (the server brings dough, cheese, marinara, and toppings, if you like), and adults will find the Detroit-style square pizzas satisfying. • At 9,078 feet, Telluride’s airport is reportedly the highest-elevation commercial airport in

The author and her children hike the Bear Creek Falls Trail near Telluride and encounter the aftermath of an avalanche.

America. Keep your eyes peeled for planes taking off and landing. (We spotted a few from the gondola ride!)

Hiking the Bear Creek Falls Trail.

May 2020 |



Mesa Verde National Park and Cortez DRIVE TIME: 2 HOURS 96 MILES, 2 NIGHTS

One of the truths of travel that I hope our children learn is the Hobbit-esque fact that you just never know what you’ll find once you leave home. In late May, an 8.5 million-pound boulder slid from the ridge above Highway 145 between Telluride and Cortez and landed on the road, so we set out from Telluride toward our final destination with some trepidation (me) and thrilled anticipation (them) about spotting this giant obstacle, which was indeed an impressive site. We arrived safely in Cortez in time for an early dinner at The Farm Bistro and a grocery stop to gather supplies before the 30-minute drive to our cabin at the Canyon of the Ancients Guest Ranch. The working ranch’s half-dozen cabins are sprinkled across a couple thousand acres of property, and when we pulled up to ours, a small herd of cattle were grazing just outside it. (“Are those ours?” our son whispered.) We watched the sunset from our porch and then meandered into the cabin’s gorgeously appointed interiors for much-needed sleep. We spent the next day at Mesa Verde National Park, which preserves the archaeological history and cliff dwellings of the Ancestral Pueblo people who lived in this area from 600 to 1300 AD. I figured the kids would be mildly interested, but I was wrong: They were captivated. We started at the visitors’ center, where exhibits (most of them easy enough for our six-year-old to read) gave us all a helpful introduction to the Ancestral Puebloan culture and story. The kids also got their Junior Ranger booklet. They spent the day recording information they learned before showing it to a ranger and taking a solemn oath to protect America’s national parks and green space. (See photo on page 44.) From there, we drove up the 21-mile road to the actual sites. The park materials provide great guidance on how to view all of the cliff dwellings and learn about the native peoples’ history, which we followed. The highlight of the day was a guided tour of a cliff dwelling called Balcony House, which includes climbing a 32-foot ladder, squeezing through a narrow 12-foot tunnel on your hands and knees, and scaling some steep stone steps. (Our children declared it “totally awesome!”) Also in the “don’t miss” category: the Mesa Top Loop, which distills 700 years of Mesa Verde history, and the Chapin Mesa Archaeological Museum’s film about the people and the geography of this area.


Colorado Parent | May 2020

Mesa Verde National Park immerses families in the ancient history of Colorado and its Ancestral Pueblo people.

We left the park around 5 p.m., weary and delighted. We grilled burgers on the cabin’s back porch (for which our son insisted we apologize to the cows) and chatted casually about the various theories of why the Ancient Puebloans left the cliff dwellings. All in all, it was a near-perfect day.

TIPS: • Fourth-graders in the United States get free national park passes. (Get your child’s at Our daughter loved

that she “paid the way” for her family’s day at Mesa Verde. • Take lunch! There aren’t a lot of dining options in the park, but there are ample spots for great picnicking. • Do a tour of the cliff dwellings. Sign up early at the visitors’ center or online because they fill up fast, especially in the height of summer travel.

STOP 3.5:

Four Corners Monument DRIVE TIME: 55 MINUTES 50 MILES

On our drive, I might have whispered to Jason that we were encountering the Western version of “Deliverance.” The road is what you might call “less traveled”; the landscape, barren. But Harrison couldn’t stop talking about the sheer thrill of putting his hands and feet in four different states. “Just wait til I tell my class that I was in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Arizona all at the same time!” he kept saying. What’s a mom to do with that kind of enthusiasm but oblige? The monument is owned by the Navajo Nation and circled by stalls where artisans sell native artwork and crafts. The area has a desolate kind of beauty, which we took in while waiting for our turn to take a photo on the circle that indicates the spot the states touch. There’s not much to do after securing the proof that we were, indeed, there, and admiring the goods for sale, so we shuffled back to the car and started our drive home.

TIPS: • The entry fee is $10 per person from March 1 to September 30 (children six and under are free), which made this a pricier-than-I-had-anticipated one-hour stop. • Definitely buy Navajo fry bread from the cart adjacent to the stalls. Go for the powdered sugar on top, too.



What can I say? We had driven to the far southwestern corner of Colorado, so we had a long trek home. (We chose the path up through the eastern edge of Utah so we could take in the red rock formations and avoid backtracking to vistas we’d already seen.) The four of us did our best with games (which deteriorated into the achingly dull game of “guess the number I’m thinking of between 1 and 50”) until it seemed prudent for us all if the kids

Stop at Four Corners for a photo opportunity and fry bread, there is little else around for miles.

watched a movie…and then another. We ate a lot of snacks, admired the moonscape of eastern Utah, and cheered when we finally got on I-70 heading east toward Denver. And even in those last anguished miles when we all just wanted to be out of the car, I knew we’d had the kind of magical trip I’d hoped for. I thought about the times Hadley or Harrison would cry out, “Is this still Colorado?” as we passed through

the San Juans or watched the sheep from our cabin porch, or the in-depth chat they had about whether they’d ever want to live in a cliff dwelling and for how long. We pulled into the garage, tired but satisfied, and Hadley piped up: “That was awesome. Next year, Moab?” Hilary Masell Oswald is a Denver-based writer and editor-at-large for 5280 Home magazine.

May 2020 |



The Best Way to Beat Quarantine Boredom?

Created by two scientists and moms with a passion to close the gender gap in science and technology, YELLOW SCOPE creates science kits tailored specifically to girls. Girls learn what it’s like to be a real scientist through fun hands-on experiments: learn about the foundations of chemistry, explore acids, bases, and pH, take a close look at DNA and traits, or uncover the art and science of color. Ages eight to 12. $25 and up.

Get a box of fun delivered right to your door. By Christina Cook


fter being cooped up in the house since March, we’ve all had to get a little creative when it comes to family entertainment. Break through the boredom of being stuck inside by ordering one (or a few!) of these activity boxes. They’re full of entertainment and adventures that will bring the whole family together for hours of stay-at-home fun. Cooper & Kid—known for their family-centered activity kits—is offering a CORONAVIRUS SCHOOL CLOSING RELIEF PACKAGE


Colorado Parent | May 2020

featuring discounted Cooper Kits. Each kit provides more than six hours of hands-on fun with five themed projects, a storybook, recipes, and tips for parents. Age five and up. Available in two, three, or four kit bundles starting at $130. Enjoy family time in the kitchen and expand your child’s palate with an EAT2EXPLORE FAMILY COOKING KIT. The service delivers culinary inspiration from around the world straight to your kitchen table. Choose a box based on a country or region and you’ll receive three easy-to-follow recipes, hard-to-find spices and sauces, and a shopping list for fresh ingredients, plus fun educational materials for kids to learn about the culture of the food they’re cooking. $25 for one box, $21 and up for a subscription.

THE ADVENTURE CHALLENGE: FAMILY EDITION contains 50 mystery scratch-off activities for families to complete together. Pick a challenge a day and you’ll have entertainment for weeks to come. The book also acts as a keepsake for you to look back on all the fun you had together—for each challenge, there’s a spot to add a photo and write about your experience. In desperate need of a date night? Extend the fun with the couple’s edition! $40 and up.

Ditch the screens and spend a quality night interacting with your little one—and teach them important life lessons—with a KIDS NIGHT IN BOX. Created by a mom and dad team, this subscription box was designed to bring families together at home. Each box includes interactive activities, a book, music, and a snack centered around a different theme. Ages three to eight. $42 for one box, $120 and up for a subscription.

Mother and sons: eat2explore. Coronavirus school package: Cooper & Kid. Scratch book: The Adventure Challenge. Science kit: Yellow Scope. Kids night in kit: Kids Night In.

Cook together while learning about food from around the world with eat2explore.

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PARENT LIKE A PRO with our video series #COPARENTSENCOURAGE! Learn tips and tricks from local parents. Get new ideas on homeschooling, learning resources and avoiding boredom!