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April 2020

Growing Great Families Since 1986

15 Camps

For Kids With Special Needs Simple Steps to a Greener Family Life 7 Freebies for Colorado Kids 5 Ninja Training Gyms to Challenge Your Junior Warrior 60 Fun Things to Do at Home

PART OF THE

PUBLISHING FAMILY

ColoradoParent.com


Where

our worlds come together.

The experts at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children at P/SL will make your kids feel like themselves again fast. We offer a dedicated children’s hospital with a 24/7 ER just for kids and access to more than 300 pediatric physicians and 50 specialists. We team up with you to get your kids back to their world fast, because we’re #AmazingTogether. Learn more at WeAreAmazingTogether.com


Discover your capable, confident Montessori child.


Green Family and Couch Doodle: Getty Images

CONTENTS April 2020 features

advertising

28

43

GROW A GREENER FAMILY

COLORADO SPECIAL PARENT

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Gather inspiration from other Colorado parents to grow just a little greener in 2020.

Advice for successful transition to adulthood, 15 no-limits camps, and a conversation with STAR Institute for SPD Research.

departments

22 38 40

Camp Guide Education & Enrichment Private School Guide

6

ON THE WEB

17

PARENTING 911

8

FROM THE EDITORS

18

GOOD STUFF

11

GOOD TO KNOW

20

HEALTH & WELLNESS

Coping With Contagion News

58 60 IDEAS FOR FUN AT HOME

14

READ TO ME

36

FUN & ACTIVITIES

We're keeping a close eye on the spread of

16

IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD

62

ROUNDUP

The latest on ColoradoParent.com

What We Learned

Restrooms For All

Great Railroad Reads

New and Noteworthy for Denver-Area Families

on the cover

4

Unruly Sideline Parents

Eggscellent Eater Basket Ideas

Candy Flower Treats

Ninja Training Gyms

12 7 Freebies for Colorado Kids | 28 Simple Steps to a Greener Family Life 54 15 Fantastic Special Needs Camps | 58 60 Fun Things to Do at Home 62 5 Ninja Training Gyms

Colorado Parent | April 2020

COVID-19 and the many ways it’s impacting Colorado families. With that in mind, we're suspending our regular Calendar of Events in this issue. Instead, check out these fun ways to keep the family entertained at home.

Zoë photographed by Eliza Donley Nolte skippingrocksphotography.com


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There are brighter days ahead! Learn more and join at mychildsmuseum.org. Members-only Mornings sponsored by

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On the Web

Colorado Parent Online Social distancing, crafts, cover kids, family at home: Getty Images.

Crafts for Everybunny We’re eggstatic to share another roundup of themed crafts with you! This month’s theme is all about Easter.

Cover Kids is Back! The search is on for the next Colorado Parent cover kids! Enter now through April 30 at ColoradoParentScene.com.

How are you staying busy over this extended spring break? Tag your photos with our community hashtag #ShareColoradoParent and show us the fun and creative things you’re doing at home!

The Parent’s Guide to Social Distancing Now that COVID-19 has caused most public spaces, schools, and restaurants to temporarily close, what are you going to do with the kids at home for weeks? We’re sharing a bunch of fun (and educational) ideas to keep the family entertained. Plus remote learning tips and resources, hands-on activities, ways to support local businesses, and more.

CONNECT WITH US

@coloradoparentmagazine

6

Colorado Parent | April 2020

@coloradoparent

@coloradoparent

Pinterest.com/ColoradoParent

Sign up for our E-NEWSLETTER at ColoradoParent.com


Part of th CPR News s e Teens Under eries Stress

Help your teens have a healthy relationship with their phones.

Find out more at cpr.org/teens.


From the Editors

What We Learned…

LO V

We are a strong community. Coloradans come together, and we care for each other.

E

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

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

IT Check out our sweet springtime craft with a surprise inside. Page 36

ADVERTISING SALES Advertising Director Patrick Pacheco patrick@coloradoparent.com Senior Account Manager Brigette Swartz brigette@coloradoparent.com Account Manager Hilary Angel hilary@coloradoparent.com Client Services Coordinator Shundra Jackson

TRENDING

LE

PRODUCTION Art Director Heather Gott

E AV IT

COVID-19 There is no way around the news of COVID-19, and it may be making your child anxious. We’ve got some tips for easing your child’s fears. Page 20

In honor of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22, trade old wasteful habits for new, greener ones. Page 28

CAN’T WAIT

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

With schools closed and families practicing social distancing, your kids probably need things to do! Although we suspended our Calendar of Events this month, we do have a list of 60 activities, projects, and ideas for creative play on page 58. We can’t wait to get started on some ourselves.

ADMINISTRATION Billing and Collections Manager Jessica McHeard

YOU SAID IT

circulation@coloradoparent.com Printed by Publication Printers Please recycle this magazine.

For the district to affirm the LGBTQ community and outline some guidelines to create a safer, more welcoming learning environment is a really important first step. —Daniel Ramos, executive director of One Colorado, in response to Denver Public Schools’ recent resolutions that support student and staff expression of gender identity. Page 11

5280 PUBLISHING, INC. 1675 Larimer Street Suite 675 Denver, CO 80202 P (303) 832-5280 | F (303) 832-0470 Visit us online at ColoradoParent.com PRESIDENT & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Daniel Brogan PUBLISHER Remy Spreeuw

ALL GENDE

Share your feedback and ideas! Email us at edit@coloradoparent.com.

8

Colorado Parent | April 2020

DISTRIBUTION & CIRCULATION AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR Audrey Congleton Audience Development Coordinator Caitlin Kittrell

R RESTROO

M

DIGITAL PUBLISHER Andrea Bott 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.


COLORADO ROCKY MOUNTAINS FRONT RANGE / DENVER

For our kids, it’s so much more than a game. The First Tee of Denver is a way kids from all walks of life can discover their potential while they learn the game of golf. It’s a life-changing experience that shapes kids’ lives off the course through what they learn on it. Register today at thefirstteedenver.org Enter discount code parentmag for $20 off


COVER KID SEARCH The search is on to find fresh-faced Colorado kids for our 2020–2021 covers. Ages one to 12. Three winners will be selected to ham it up for the camera in a professional photo shoot and appear on the cover of an upcoming issue. Submit an entry and photo for a chance to see your child’s smiling face on the newsstand.

entries open

Colorado Parent

MARCH 26

-APRIL 30

Submit your pics at C O L O R A D O PA R E N T S C E N E . C O M


Good to Know HELPFUL NEWS, IDEAS, AND TIPS FOR COLORADO PARENTS

ALL GENDER RESTROOM

Illustration: Getty Images.

Restrooms for All On January 23, Denver Public Schools (DPS) board members voted unanimously to require all district schools to provide at least one gender-neutral bathroom in each facility. This makes DPS the first district in Colorado to go forward with the inclusive change, which could take effect next school year. Since most schools already have an individual or family restroom, signs will simply be changed from single to all-gender. The board resolution also supports student and employee expression of gender identity or sexual orientation, allowing teachers to hang rainbow flags and students to self-report their gender identity to the district without parental consent. This new measure follows DPS’ November 2019 resolution that promises to acknowledge the preferred pronouns and names of students and faculty, even if they have not legally changed their personnel records. Board member Tay Anderson championed this resolution on his

campaign trail after hearing frustrations from DPS parents and students. “I’m proud that DPS is the first district to do this, but I don’t want it to be the last, so I’ve been challenging other districts to adopt the policy to make sure that they’re affirming their community,” Anderson says. “We need to be doing the work to make sure that every student understands, in DPS, we have your back.” Daniel Ramos, executive director of One Colorado, an LGBTQ advocacy organization, believes the district’s resolution sends a very firm statement. “We know that LGBTQ youth tend to miss more days of school because they’re too afraid to go,” Ramos says. “So, for the district to affirm the LGBTQ community and outline some guidelines to create a safer, more welcoming learning environment is a really important first step.” —Lily O’Neill

April 2020 | ColoradoParent.com

11


Good to Know

Free for Colorado Kids Not that you need a reminder, but raising kids is pricey and can put a big ol’ dent in the bank account. However, despite its expensive reputation, Colorado is generous to kids, providing world-class freebies throughout their youth. Here are some programs in the state that offer the gift of literacy, outdoor fun, and unmatched art education for free. You’re welcome.

Freebie

Purpose

Infant to 5 years old

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library sends one free book each month to children ages 0-5 years old who are registered in participating areas.

To promote literacy.

imaginationlibrary.com

3 to 5 years old

Register for Elitch Gardens' Pre-K Pass by May 17, 2020, and your pre-K kiddo gets free unlimited visits to the theme and water park for the 2020 season.

Absolutely just for fun.

elitchgardens.com/seasonpasses/pre-kpass/

4 years old

A free copy of the One Book Colorado selection is made available to Colorado 4-year-olds through public libraries and Denver Preschool Program classrooms.

To support literacy and encourage families to read together.

onebookcolorado.org Check the Pickup Locations page for book giveaway locations.

5 years old

Full-day kindergarten is tuition-free for all Colorado children.

To make early education opportunities accessible for all children.

cde.state.co.us/cpp/fulldayk

4th grade

Every Kid Outdoors offers a pass during a child’s 4th grade school year (and the summer after) for free access to national parks across the country.

To connect kids to nature and U.S. history through the national park system.

everykidoutdoors.gov

5th grade

The 5th Grade Passport offers Colorado 5th graders three free days of skiing or riding at each of the 22 Colorado ski areas; a total of 66 days of free skiing.

To get kids active and give every child a chance to experience Colorado’s mountain sports.

coloradoski.com/passport

Infant to 18 years old

General admission to the Denver Art Museum is free to youth age 18 and under.

To provide kids with access to art and programming at DAM.

denverartmuseum.org

Adaptive Sports Competition Comes to Denver

Imagine Your Child on Our Cover! The 2020 Colorado Parent Cover Kid search is on. We’re looking for Colorado kids, ages one to 12, who love to pose for the camera and share their mile-high personalities. Three kids will be selected from among the entries to take part in a professional photo shoot. They will appear on a cover of Colorado Parent magazine between August 2020 and July 2021. Enter now through April 30. ColoradoParentScene.com

12

Website

Colorado Parent | April 2020

Each year, youth ages six to 22 with physical disabilities, visual impairments, or intellectual impairments test their skills in the Adaptive Sports USA Junior Nationals. They come from around the country to compete in archery, paratriathlon, powerlifting, shooting, swimming, and track and field. For the first time in the event’s 37-year history, Denver will host the summer competition on July 19-24. Leading up to the games, hometown athletes are invited to train for and attend the qualifying 5280 Challenge event on May 30 at Legacy Stadium at Cherokee Trail High School. Interested youth and their parents can visit juniornationals.adaptivesportsusa.org for eligibility and training information, rules, and qualifying standards. 5280challenge.org

Illustration: Getty Images. Adaptive Sports: Adaptive Sports USA.

Age


Family Hiking: Getty Images.

Good to Know | Tech Dad

App-y Trails! As the days get warmer, Colorado families like mine are itching for a spring hike. It’s also the time of year when you must check trail conditions before you go. I’d be lying if I said I haven’t driven my family to one of our favorite hiking spots only to find frozen trails or muddy conditions. Here are my favorite apps for finding trails and checking their conditions before you make the trek.   ALLTRAILS   IOS and Android AllTrails is time-tested and filled with years of hiker feedback. The app allows users to look up general trail information and check out reviews. And since many people use this app, the reviews often contain helpful information about recent trail conditions. As a dad, I appreciate the skill ratings listed for each trail, which allow me to decide if my four-year-old can make it to the end. The free version is enough for me, but if you want to share or print trail maps, the pro version is worth the annual fee. Free; $30 per year for Pro. alltrails.com VIEWRANGER IOS and Android Similar to AllTrails, use ViewRanger to search for trails and general trail

information. This app also includes reviews, but they’re not as active as AllTrails. I like the unique augmented reality feature that gives hikers the ability to hold a phone up to a mountain range and identify various peaks. You can also view 3D flyovers of a trail you plan to hike. Both are useful features in Colorado, but you will have to pay $5 per month for them, and more for additional maps. Free plus in-app purchases; $20 per year for Premium. viewranger.com CHIMANI NATIONAL PARKS IOS and Android We have four of the best national parks in our own backyard, making this app super useful for Colorado families. Chimani National Parks is a GPS navigation app with trail maps for any of the 419 national parks. Users earn points and badges by visiting parks (verified by GPS location). The best part: The maps work without a cell phone signal, which can be spotty inside the parks. Free; some features require a subscription. chimani.com  Kirk Yuhnke is a father of three, self-admitted tech geek, and a morning news anchor on the Fox31 Morning News.  

April 2020 | ColoradoParent.com

13


Good to Know | Read to Me

by Watty Piper; illustrated by Dan Santat (Penguin Young Readers, April 7, 2020)

This year marks the 90th anniversary of the beloved classic, which has been reimagined by a Caldecott Award-winning artist. The book includes a foreword written by singer/songwriter Dolly Parton. “On many occasions, when my dream seemed far away, my Mama would tell me the story of the Little Engine to comfort and encourage me,” she writes. “While I listened to her, I would close my eyes and think of myself as the Little Engine and just start saying over and over again, ‘I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.’ It gave me strength, it gave me hope, and it gave me the courage to keep chasing my dreams.”

All Aboard! The Airport Train

by Nichole Mara; illustrated by Andrew Kolb (Abrams Appleseed, 2019)

This accordion-style board book folds out car by car, taking kids on a tour of an airport train and terminal. There are flaps to lift on every page, and readers are asked to help a girl find a missing ticket as they are introduced to all the passengers on board.

READ TO ME

Clackety Track: Poems About Trains by Skila Brown and Jamey Christoph (Candlewick, 2019)

A favorite of a Denver Public Library children’s librarian, Clackety Track features trains of all shapes and sizes, including a bullet train, sleeper train, and an underground train. Vintage-style illustrations are paired with poems: Rows of grooves, cables, and bars. / Graffiti rockin’ out the cars. / A badge of rust. A proud oil stain. / There’s nothin’ plain about a train.

All Aboard! Great Railroad Reads By Lydia Rueger “Chooch” was one of my son’s first words. It was his version of the sound a train makes. His favorite bedtime song began: “They’re two, they’re four, they’re six, they’re eight,” and if you have a little train lover at your house, you know the rest. There’s no denying young kids’ fascination with trains, and there’s no shortage of classic and new train books to help you enjoy the ride.

On the Train

by Carron Brown and Bee Johnson (Kane Miller, 2015)

This book in the publisher’s Shine-A-Light series includes hidden pictures beneath dark pages, revealed only when someone shines a flashlight on the pages, or holds them up to a light source. It’s an interactive book that’s full of surprises as kids peek into the boxcars of a freight train, the cabin of a passenger train, and other places.

All Aboard the Moonlight Train

by Kristyn Crow; illustrated by Annie Won (Doubleday Books for Young Readers, 2020)

Avid readers of The Polar Express and Steam Train, Dream Train will enjoy this whimsical new bedtime story filled with colorful animals. There’s a clickety-clack rhythm throughout the story, as kids meet a toucan ticket-taker, an elephant engineer, and other animals.

Click here to find more books about trains.

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Colorado Parent | April 2020

Two Little Trains

by Margaret Wise Brown; pictures by Greg Pizzoli (HarperCollins, 2020)

Margaret Wise Brown’s text, originally published in 1949, is paired with updated illustrations by a Geisel Award-winning artist. The simple story with sparse text follows two different trains on the same journey west, through a wide variety of landscapes and weather conditions, until, as the story goes, “they had come to the edge of the west.”

Shortcut

by Donald Crews (Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins, 1992)

Readers follow a group of children who decide to take a shortcut home along the railroad tracks. When a train comes, they have to move fast, and end up on an adventure.

The Little Engine That Could: Penguin Random House. All Aboard the Airport Train: Abrams. On the Train: Usborne, Ltd. Shortcut and Two Little Trains: HarperCollins. All Aboard the Moonlight Train: Penguin Random House. Clackety Track: Candlewick.

The Little Engine That Could: 90th Anniversary Edition


Rocky Mountain Theatre for

2020 Summer Camps In Denver & Boulder

B R A N D N E W FA C I L I T Y I N D E N V E R

YOUNGER COMPANY

ages 5-9

• Peter Pan • Mary Poppins • Snow White • Aladdin & more!

First Plymouth Learning Center… Where your child is seen, heard, known, and loved— just the way they are!

Now enrolling ages 15mo. - 5 years. Flexible options available. Want to learn more about us? Check out our website fplc.org and then give us a call for a tour where you will learn more about our wonderful community. Please call Noanie Geistert, FPLC Director, at 303-762-9355. Everybody, welcome. Seriously. Everybody.

OLDER COMPANY • Matilda • Tarzan

• Annie Jr. • Shrek Jr.

ages 8-16

& more!

"Professional Youth Theatre At Its Best!" 8:1 student staff ratio, full production elements, professional venues, & summer camp fun.

Save $50-$100 by April 30! www.theaterforkids.net/coupon

303.245.8150 www.theaterforkids.net April 2020 | ColoradoParent.com

15


Good to Know | In the Neighborhood

In the Neighborhood » New and noteworthy for Denver-area families. LAKEWOOD Poetry Out Loud State Champion Named The 2020 Poetry Out Loud State Championships—for which high school students memorize and perform poetry on stage—took place on March 3 at the Lakewood Cultural Center. Kiya Cockrell of Fountain Valley School (Colorado Springs) was named 2020 Colorado Poetry Out Loud State Champion. She won a $200 cash prize and $500 for her school’s library to use for school materials or books. lighthousewriters.org

STAPLETON Counseling Center Offers Alternatives to In-Person Therapy To support homebound clients, busy schedules, and social distancing due to the COVID-19 virus, Kindred Counseling now offers email counseling, known as scriptotherapy. Using email in a secure, HIPAA-compliant and confidential client portal, therapists will address clients’ concerns through typed responses. In addition, the center’s Rising Strong Intensive workshops for men and women, based on Brené Brown’s model, will be conducted online starting in April, at a reduced fee. kindred-counseling.com

16

Colorado Parent | April 2020

GREENWOOD VILLAGE/LAFAYETTE Top Public Schools Named Niche.com recently named metro Denver’s top 25 public elementary, middle, and high schools for 2020, based on data from the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Census Bureau, as well as information from parents and students. Schools receiving the number one spot in Niche’s ranking included Belleview Elementary School, Peak to Peak Charter School (middle school), and Cherry Creek High School. niche.com

ARVADA Jeffco Teacher Publishes Book on Mindfulness Kathy Marvel, a teacher in Jeffco Public Schools for 26 years, recently published the children’s book, And She Said Breathe, to help elementary school students cope with stress. Each page includes a different event that could be worrisome for children throughout the day, paired with breathing techniques to help them feel calm again, and respond to difficult situations. thesunshinespotlight.com

Poetry Out Loud: Lighthouse Writers Workshop. Mother and baby: Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, photographer Sandy Puc. Teacher: Kathy Marvel.

CENTENNIAL Volunteers Needed to Help Bereaved Parents Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep (NILMDTS), a nonprofit organization that provides parents suffering the loss of a baby with the free gift of professional portraiture, is currently seeking volunteers. Professional-level photographers volunteer their time to conduct intimate portrait sessions with parents and their babies. To volunteer as a photographer, digital retouching artist, or in another capacity, fill out their online form. nowilaymedowntosleep.org/volunteer

ACROSS COLORADO Student Athletes Compete on ANW Junior Season two of American Ninja Warrior Junior on Universal Kids featured a wide range of kids from Colorado, including: Bradi Brownfield (Parker), Taylor Green (Dacono), Olivia Kosanovich (Boulder), Emily Keener (Arvada), Anabella Hienrichs (Boulder), Kaden Lebsack (Castle Rock), Ceri Evans (Kittredge), Kaden Forsha (Littleton), Daisy O’Brien (Longmont), Anika Pivetta (Berthoud), and Kayla Dodge (Broomfield). Tune in on Saturdays at 5 p.m. throughout April to see kids compete. universalkids.com


Jerseys: Getty Images. Illustration: Lauren Rebbeck.

Good to Know | Parenting 911

IMMERSE YOURSELF IN AEROSPACE!

PARENTING 911

Unruly Sideline Parents THE PROBLEM: At almost all of my kid’s soccer games, there are parents who yell and scream at the kids, coaches, and referees throughout the game, making it miserable for the rest of us. Despite the coach setting rules that this behavior is unacceptable, it continues. Are there other options for dealing with unruly parents on the sidelines?  

parents should insist the coach meet with the team’s parents (a simple email will not do) and clarify that there’s a big difference between positive cheering for the team and ruining the game by screaming. The message has to be crystal clear: If the behavior continues, offending parents are welcome to watch the rest of the game…from the parking lot.

THE EXPERT: Jay Solomon, former youth sports coach for 15 years in Denver.

Cut down on the clutter. Aside from parents modeling poor sportsmanship, the reasoning is obvious: Youth athletes are already overloaded with a cacophony of voices on the field. Their teammates are shouting, opponents are trash-talking, and coaches are barking out commands. Young players do not need to hear distracting comments coming from the stands. Parents cheering loudly, yes; shouting instructions or arguing with referees, no.

THE SOLUTION: Without question, it’s the coach’s responsibility to set the tone and establish guidelines for proper behavior during a game —for the players on the field and parents on the sidelines. Many coaches address spectator etiquette early in the season at parent meetings and via email. Too often, as the season progresses, the guardrails come off and some parents shift from cheering for their team to yelling at officials, coaching from the sidelines, and disrupting the game. Stay out of it. Parents confronting other parents about unruly behavior rarely ends well. Parents may listen to authority figures who offer their expertise (such as child psychologists, journalists, or parenting authors) but tend to bristle at the slightest admonition or “lecture” from their peers. Involve the coach. If the goal is long-term behavioral modification, it really is up to the coach to put their foot down. Concerned

READER POLL: what type of sideline parent are you?

The Observer

65

%

Win or lose, I’m just here to support my kid.

Keep perspective. When my son was a soccer referee as a teenager, there was a particularly hotly-contested game on the verge of being tainted by a few obnoxious adults. He stopped the match and walked over to the sidelines. “No parent in the history of soccer has ever changed the outcome of a game,” he told them. “Let the players decide who wins or loses.” It took a teenage referee to bring a bunch of overzealous adults back to their senses. Let the players play, the coaches coach, and the fans do what they do best: cheer. 

Open to students in grades 6-12, Wings Aerospace Pathways is a program from the team at Wings Over the Rockies. Develop hands-on skills in real-world context, work on actual aerospace projects, build a REAL airplane and LOTS more.

JOIN US FOR A PARENT INFO NIGHT: April 7th or May 7th 6:00-7:00pm Harrison Ford Theater Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum

RSVP online: WingsMuseum.org/WAP

Wings Aerospace Pathways is an enrichment

—Courtney Drake-McDonough

The r Competito

The Socializer

program and compliments but does not take the place of an accredited educational institution.

The Cheerleader

% % 1 0 0 2 5

%

s My kid need

to win.

This is my only adult interaction all week.

Everyone deserves a pat on the back.

WINGSMUSEUM.ORG/WAP April 2020 | ColoradoParent.com

17


Good to Know | Good Stuff

Eggscellent Easter Basket Ideas Stuff your kids’ Easter baskets with more than just candy this year. Here are five festive gift ideas that’ll last longer than a sugar high. By Christina Cook These Meri Meri wooden stacking bunnies are a great, simple toy for kids of any age—and cute enough to double as seasonal household décor. $20, merimeri.com

Levtex Easter baskets are big and roomy and oh-so-cute to boot. Adorable basket characters include gender-neutral gingham bunnies and a fluffy chick. $22, nordstrom.com

Baby Gund’s Flora the animated bunny will have babies hopping for joy as she sings and flops her ears for a game of peek-a-boo. $40, gund.com

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Colorado Parent | April 2020

Handmade and available in fun shapes and designs like unicorn horns, fortune cookies, and sushi, Twee sidewalk chalk will have kids creating for hours. $10 and up, tweemade.com

Background: Getty Images.

See what happens when the Good Egg and his friends escape from their cartons in the new book from best-selling author Jory John, The Great Eggscape!. $11, harpercollins.com


WINGSMUSEUM.DRG/DRDNES WINGS OVER THE ROCKIES AIR

INTREPID c:...tedby:

MUSEUM•NYC

& SPACE MUSEUM 7711 East Academy Boulevard, Denver, CO 80230 I Historic Lowry Air Force Base, Hangar No. 1 I Near Quebec & Alameda

WINGS

OVER THE

ROCKIES

AIR & SPACE MUSEUM

April 2020 | ColoradoParent.com

19


Health & Wellness

Coping with Contagion News Expert advice to prevent young minds from running away with fears. By Anna Sutterer

N

ews of an epidemic or pandemic can cause a frenzy in schools, workplaces, online, and at home. Follow these steps to reduce your child’s rising fears and underlying anxiety. GET YOURSELF COMFORTABLE WITH THE INFORMATION FIRST Before you address your child’s fears, check in on your own anxieties about illness and the current news. Information you pass on can be tinged with your preoccupations and transfer unnecessary stress. Explore your history of anxiety, express concerns privately to a trusted friend, and keep conversations with children as uncomplicated as possible. Also, equip yourself to answer the many questions that will come up by consulting reliable

20

Colorado Parent | April 2020

sources that track the disease and provide clear action steps. When you know how the disease spreads, its symptoms, demographic risk factors, cases reported near and far, and what hygiene habits are recommended, it is easier to reassure your child. Reliable sources for COVID-19 information include: • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cdc.gov • World Health Organization who.int • Children’s Hospital Colorado childrenscolorado.org • ParentSmart Healthline 720-777-0123 • Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children

rockymountainhospitalforchildren.com • Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe • Telemundo Denver telemundodenver.com Above all, remember to keep the lines of communication open. Make yourself available at the random times kids will want to talk about any part of the news, school procedures, and friend and family interactions. BALANCE FACTS WITH REASSURANCE Don’t sugarcoat, but answer your child’s questions with as much factual information as is ageappropriate. With younger kids, keep things simple, reminding them that adults they trust will continue


Health & Wellness

handling the care they’ll need. Dispel general fears by explaining the reason why people are wearing masks, schools are shut down, and vulnerable family members are particularly concerned. “A kid’s imagination can be way worse than we think,” says Matthew Pedersen, a counselor at Morey Middle School in Denver. He had students come to him with anxieties about COVID-19 before school closures, many of whom haven’t seen him for other counseling needs. A young brain, a middle school brain in particular, says Pedersen, can be developed enough to “feel all the feelings.” But their frontal cortex, where critical thinking and impulse control happens, is still in development. Helping students reframe their concerns into appropriate perspectives is one way Pedersen addresses the issue. Research shows people who are able to “label their emotions tend to regulate them better,” according to How Emotions Are Made by psychology professor Lisa Feldman Barrett. Be aware that there may be a different worry underlying a child’s anxiety. Address misinformation, stereotypes, and bullying behavior that can result from heightened fears. People of all ages are known to spread rumors and harmful assumptions during times of uncertainty. Model appropriate empathy and how to think for yourself when you hear something that’s not right. Ask kids what they are seeing and hearing, and how it’s affecting their thoughts about the situation. NORMALIZE AND DIFFUSE Outbreak news is a good reminder to revamp our hygiene routines. Teach kids to sing a 20-second tune and make lots of bubbles while washing their hands. Equip them with appropriate information about protecting themselves, but don’t go overloading them with masks, hand sanitizer, or gloves unless specifically called for by health officials. Putting pressure on new habits out of acute fear of the consequences won’t help the situation, says Pedersen. Instead, broaden the reason for regular handwashing, tissue use, and coughing techniques.

And, continue your typical expressions of affection and family fun, even if you’re feeling stressed and prone to forget. Kids need normalcy in times of stress. CONNECT AND MAKE A PLAN Check in with family, friends, and neighbors regularly via phone or text, and share with your kids that their loved ones are well. Create care plans in case any one of your people gets sick and keep the number of your primary care doctor, pediatrician, or local health clinic in a convenient place. “Be thoughtful about your family care plan and validate stress that family members are experiencing,” says Dr. Joel Tanaka, senior vice president of medical services at Peak Vista Community Health Centers. If your child is up to it, inform them of the care plan and have them commit to help according to their ability. However, don’t put too much on a child showing signs of avoidance and panic. If the health threat becomes more imminent in your community, practice what your family might do to connect with each other and have fun even while under quarantine or separation. Start talking on the phone and writing notes to each other. Make a list of learning objectives to continue building on at home, consulting teachers and school districts for guidance. Practice coping skills, taking action to do positive things and outweigh negative thoughts. Doing these in advance, says Pedersen, “is a more efficient, less stressful situation.”

Children’s Hospital Colorado’s online video “Answering Kids’ Questions About Coronavirus” shares examples of conversations with kids about the recent outbreak. If your child suffers from heightened anxiety, visit GoZen.com to view conversations with clinical psychologists and therapists.

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Sleep with the sea turtles, rays and sharks!

MARINE BIOLOGIST FOR A DAY

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Young Voices of Colorado

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Auditions for 2nd-8th Graders May 14 and June 9 No audition for K-1st Graders - just sign up!

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Join Young Voices www.youngvoices.org/join 303.797.7464 April 2020 | ColoradoParent.com

21


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

CAMP GUIDE ACADEMIC/STEM Camp Invention Multiple locations throughout the state 800-968-4332 campinvention@invent.org | invent.org/camp

Imaginations will soar in the all-new Camp Invention®️ program, Elevate! Campers will collaborate in handson STEM activities exploring concepts of flight, Earth’s ecosystems, and sports innovations! Secure your spot and save today.

Code Ninjas Arvada, Broomfield, Denver, Highlands Ranch, Louisville, and Parker | codeninjas.com

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., Boulder 303-492-7188 | scidisc@colorado.edu colorado.edu/sciencediscovery

K-12 programs covering a wide range of STEM disciplines. Full-day programs at CU Boulder and CU Anschutz provide a mix of engaging, experiential learning activities that explore CU science using university equipment, laboratories and resources.

Every Child Reading Denver/Littleton/Lakewood | 720-288-7396 4everychildreading@gmail.com everychildreading.org

Our amazing summer program supports students with dyslexia or struggling readers to thrive. Using experienced well, trained Orton-Gillingham teachers we provide intensive reading intervention, math and writing support in a supportive community.

eXL Learning Lowry Town Center, 200 Quebec St., Denver 303-364-9581 | info@exllearning.com exllearning.com

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 | angela.munger@hrcaonline.org hrcaonline.org/camps Get creative with more than 50 art and 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.

22

Colorado Parent | April 2020

iD Tech Held at 150 Prestigious Campus Locations 1-888-709-8324 | idtech.com

iD Tech is the world leader in STEM education, with 450,000 alumni and over 20 years of experience. Summer programs for ages seven to 19. Students build in-demand skills for futures in coding, game development, robotics, and creative arts

Ocean First Institute Marine Science Summer Camps 3015 Bluff Street, Boulder | 303-956-7885 info@oceanfirstinstitute.org oceanfirstinstitute.org Grades third through eighth. Monday-Friday, select weeks June 8-August 7 ($225/camp). Unique ocean adventure, run by marine biologists, right in the mountains! Camps available: Girls in Ocean Science, Marine Conservation, Ocean Science, and Ocean Research & Technology.

Pop Culture Classroom Summer Camps 2760 W. Fifth Ave., Denver. | 303-325-1236 education@popcultureclassroom.org popcultureclassroom.org/camps

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., Ste. 130, Denver 303-800-0011 info@siliconSTEMacademy.com SiliconSTEMAcademy.com

Our Summer STEM Camps are #1! Hands-on, engaging camps like: Minecraft Modding, 3D Printing, Coding 101, YouTube Video Production, Stop-Motion Animation and more! Now in five convenient Front Range locations. Check out our Coding Bootcamps for Teens!

ART Art Garage 6100 E. 23rd Ave., Denver | 303-377-2353 katie@artgaragedenver.com artdaragedenver.com

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!

artSPARK Creative Studio 2630 W. Belleview Ave., Suite 160, Littleton 303-795-7897 | info@artsparkcreative.com artsparkcreative.com

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 and a variety of media. School Break Camps (ages five to 11) and Summer Camp options (ages three to 15).

Athena Project’s Girls Create 2344 E Iliff Ave., Denverr info@athenaprojectarts.org athenaprojectarts.org/summer-camps

Fun, creative playwriting, comedy/improv, song writing and fashion camps for girls sixth to 10th grade. Empowering girls to lead and affect change through the arts.

The Wonder Co. Northwest Denver/Wheat Ridge | 720-772-1278 hello@wondercodenver.com wondercodenver.com 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 10.

COOKING Flour Power Kids Cooking Studios 2030 E. County Line Rd., Unit E, Highlands Ranch 720-656-9405 highlandsranch@flourpowerstudios.com flourpowerstudios.com/highlandsranch

Each day we will create a morning snack, lunch, and afternoon snack. We will supply everything needed for an amazing week filled 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 | info@uncorkedkitchen.com uncorkedkitchen.com

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.

DAY CAMPS Adventure Quest with Renaissance Adventures Denver Metro & Boulder County | 303-786-9216 info@renaissanceadventures.com renaissanceadventures.com

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!

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

Arvada Center Summer Camps are available in a variety of subjects including digital arts, drama, visual art, and more. With options for children ages three to 18, there’s something for everyone this summer at the Arvada Center!

(DAY CAMPS continued on page 24)


AWARD-WINNING

CAMPS Real Skills for Grades K-10

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Archery Wilderness Survival Fishing & More! 

denver.trackersearth.com

Summer at Ricks Summer at Ricks blends fun summer activities with rich learning experiences all while enjoying the benefits of the University of Denver Campus. 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, Play-Well Lego engineering camps, Cardboard Challenge, and more.

Email ricksctr@du.edu or Call 303.871.4839 to learn more!

April 2020 | ColoradoParent.com

23


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

CAMP GUIDE Bird Conservancy of the Rockies’ Bird Camps 14500 Lark Bunting Lane, Brighton 303-659-4348 ext.18 stacey.monahan@birdconservancy.org birdconservancy.org/birdcamps Bird Conservancy of the Rockies offers year round camp experiences for kids ages four to 17. All camps are about getting kids outside to have fun and explore nature while making friends, and developing leadership skills.

Bluff Lake Nature Center Summer Camp 3400 Havana Way, Denver | 720-708-4147 blufflake.org

Through a blend of nature exploration, hands-on lessons, games, crafts, and free-play, we inspire campers to better understand and enjoy the outdoors. We give every camper the opportunity to be curious, active, and appreciated. Ages six to 15.

Camp Backcountry 6005 Ron King Trail, Littleton | 303-471-7052 campbackcountry@hrcaonline.org campbackcountry.org

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.

Camp Greenwood 5801 S. Quebec St., Greenwood Village 720-838-2496 | greenwoodcamps.com

Camp Greenwood offers youth, ages five to 12, a way to be active and have fun. Our summer camps encourage a healthy lifestyle by providing a safe, fun, and creative environment. This full-day program includes swimming, games, sports, crafts and field trips.

Camp HRCA 9568 S. University Blvd., Highlands Ranch 303-471-8928 | angela.munger@hrcaonline.org hrcaonline.org/camphrca

Colorado Academy Summer Programs 3800 S. Pierce St., Denver | 303-914-2531 summer.programs@coloradoacademy.org coloradoacademysummer.org

Eight weeks of summer camp. One beautiful campus. Something for every age and interest. More than 20 different programs per week. Extended care. Bus service. Hot lunches. Swimming lessons. Outdoor pool. 94-acre campus.

Friends School Summer Program 2020 Boulder | 303-499-1999, ext. 258 friendssummercamp.org

Weeklong, morning, and afternoon sessions. Preschool, elementary, and middle school camps. Preschool Backyard Camp, science, STEM, art, architecture, photography, cooking, sports, dance, theater, and more. Registration begins February 14. Discounts available.

Growing Gardens 1630 Hawthorn Ave., Boulder | 303-443- 9952 carly@growinggardens.org growinggardens.org/peacegarden

Spend a week gardening, cooking, and creating 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 projects, and games.

Iliff Preschool, Kindergarten & School Age Summer Camps 4140 E. Iliff Ave., Denver | 303-757-3551 iliffpreschool.com

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 (age four and up). Enrollment forms (post kindergarten-12) available online.

International School of Denver Summer Camps 7701 E. First Pl., Unit C, Denver | 303-340-3647 summercamps@isdenver.org isdenver.org/camps

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.

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.

City of Aurora Senac Creek Nature Camp Senac Creek Nature Center at Aurora Reservoir 303-326-8429 | nature@auroragov.org auroragov.org/daycamps

JCC Denver Camps 350 S. Dahlia St., Denver | 303.399.2660 amarshall@jccdenver.org jccdenver.org/camps

Discover the wonders of water, nature, animals, plants and a whole lot of fun-filled adventure as a hands-on explorer at Aurora Reservoir!

City of Aurora Star K Nature Camp Morrison Nature Center at Star K Ranch 303-326-8445 | nature@auroragov.org auroragov.org/daycamps

Get outside and into nature for adventure-filled fun and hands-on learning. Exciting experiences await with a variety of camp themes to explore all things animals, the earth and outdoor survival in nature!

24

Colorado Parent | April 2020

Unlock your summer potential with JCC Camps! Enroll in Camp Shai, Ranch Camp, Tennis, Art, or Wolf Theatre Academy classes for Summer 2020 and prepare for the experience of a lifetime! Sessions run June 1 through August 14.

Kent Denver School 4000 E. Quincy Ave., Englewood 303-770-7660 ext. 541 summer@kentdenver.org kentdenver.org/summerfun

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 directorofadmissions@mchdenver.org mchdenver.org

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.

New Cottage Arts 655 S. Federal Blvd., Unit A, Denver 720-335-5345 | info@newcottagearts.org newcottagearts.org

New Cottage Arts believes in music and art for everyone. Camps include Puppet Theater: Romeo & Juliet, Piano Camp, Rock Band, and two-week Arts AllAround Camp for fun-loving, adventurous, and artistic campers! Full & half day available. Ages six-17.

New Horizon Academy Broomfield and Denver | 720-419-3353 inquiries@nhacademy.net newhorizonacademy.net

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!

Outta Bounds Day Camp by Camp Timberline 10 Front Range locations | 970-484-8462 office@camptimberline.com camptimberline.com

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.

Parker Arts 20000 Pikes Peak Ave., Parker | 303-805-6800 paceedu@parkeronline.org | parkerarts.org

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!

Studio Arts Boulder 1010 Aurora Ave., Boulder | 720.379.6033 contact@studioartsboulder.org studioartsboulder.org

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.

(DAY CAMPS continued on page 25)


CAMP GUIDE Summer at Ricks 2040 S. York St., Denver 303-871-4839 ricksctr@du.edu | du.edu/ricks

EQUESTRIAN

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.

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.

Horse Camp Chatfield Stables Chatfield State Park, Littleton Summer at Ricks blends fun summer 303-933-3636 activities with rich learning experiences. chatfieldstables.com

Thorne Nature Experience 303-499-3647 thornenature.org

Spend the summer catching frogs, getting muddy, biking down trails, and exploring wild places with Thorne Nature Summer Camp! Our experienced instructors facilitate joyful, hands-on learning and appreciation for Summer Camp at SOAR the outdoors while keeping 226 SOAR Lane, Balsam, NC 828campers safe. 456-3435

LEARNING DIFFERENCES

Trackers Earth Denver South Bonnie Brae 720-355-2758 denver@trackersearth.com denver.trackersearth.com

Trackers Earth summer camps get kids outdoors and into nature to learn real skills and traditional forest craft. Their camps lead outdoor adventures, where kids learn wilderness survival, live fantastic stories, and make new friends. Grades K-10.

Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum Summer Camps 7711 E. Academy Blvd., Denver 303-360-5360 ckepner@wingsmuseum.org wingsmuseum.org/camps

admissions@soarnc.org soarnc.org

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 NC, FL, WY, CA, NY, & Belize.

MUSIC Queen Bee Music Association Crested Butte, CO & Santa Fe, NM lindsay@ queenbeemusicassociation.org queenbeemusicassociation.org

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.

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!

YMCA Camp Noco 9 locations in Boulder, Larimer and Weld Counties 303-443-4474 afterschool@ymcanoco.org | ymcanoco.org

Urban Arts Music 635 N. Williams St., Denver | 303818-8386 zeldazelda@aol.com | urbanartsmusic.com

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.

No matter what your level or style, we help musicians learn to enjoy the possibilities of music making in so many creative ways. From beginners who want a musical introduction, to seasoned aspiring professionals, our offerings are diverse and unique.

April 2020 | ColoradoParent.com

25


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

CAMP GUIDE Swallow Hill Music 71 E. Yale Ave., Denver | 303-777-1003 info@swallowhillmusic.org swallowhillmusic.org/camps

Swallow Hill’s Summer Music Camps will have your child playing, rocking, dancing, and strumming all summer long. For kids ages six to 18.

OVERNIGHT CAMPS Adventure Quest with Renaissance Adventures Denver Metro & Boulder County | 303-786-9216 info@renaissanceadventures.com renaissanceadventures.com Our overnight camp is set in the beautiful mountains of Sedalia, CO, and is an immersive Adventure Quest program featuring experiential education through liveaction roleplay (LARPing) where girls and boys ages nine to 17 work together to save the kingdom!

Cal-Wood 2282 Co Rd 87, Jamestown | 303-449-0603 camps@calwood.org | calwood.org

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.

Camp Chief Ouray 1101 County Rd. 53, Granby 970-887-2648 | chiefouray@ymcarockies.org campchiefouray.org

SPECIAL NEEDS Adam’s Camp 6767 S. Spruce St., Centennial | 303-563-8290 contact@adamscamp.org adamscampcolorado.org

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.

Ascendigo Autism Services 818 Industry Pl., Carbondale | 970-927-3143 info@ascendigo.org | ascendigo.org

Ascendigo Adventure Camps offer rewarding, challenging outdoor experiences with positive, autismspecific support for all levels of ability, behaviors, and functioning. We also offer life enrichment and outreach services for individuals of all ages with autism.

Preparing Students for College Success Johnson & Wales University Denver Campus 802-387-6885 summer@landmark.edu landmark.edu/denver

This program is for rising high school juniors and seniors who have strong academic potential and performance. Parents will benefit from the opportunity to better understand their student’s needs regarding college readiness.

TACT 2733 W. 8th Ave., Denver | 303-295-0163 tactinfo@buildwithtact.org | buildwithtact.org

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.

Teaching the Autism Community Trades is a Denverbased 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!

La Foret Conference and Retreat Center 6145 Shoup Rd. | 719-495-2743 logan@laforet.org | laforet.org

SPORTS

One hour south of Denver, our 365 acre pine forest is a world away. Trained counselors create a safe, brave space where kids know that they will be unconditionally accepted and loved for who they truly are. We have exciting camps for kids entering grades two to 12.

YMCA Camp Santa Maria 51321 US Highway 285, Grant 303-443-4474 ext. 4301 santamaria@ymcanoco.org ymcacampsantamaria.org

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.

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Colorado Parent | April 2020

Air Force Sports Camps 2169 Field House Dr., U.S. Air Force Academy afasportscamps@airforceathletics.org goairforcefalcons.com/camps

Come discover the fun we call golf. Learn grip, stance, short game and full swing!

City of Aurora Springhill Jr. Golf Camp Springhill Golf Course | 303.739.6854 rdierker@auroragov.org | golfaurora.com

We’ve teamed up with The First Tee Front Range! Come discover the fun we call golf. Learn grip, stance, short game and full swing

Gold Crown Sports Camps 150 S. Harlan St., Lakewood | 303-233-6776 camps@goldcrownfoundation.com goldcrownfoundation.com

Let your child improve their skill set, build their confidence, and stay active at the Denver Nuggets Hanzlik Hoop Camp or Summer Volleyball Camp. With a 1:8 coach to camper ratio and 45,000 square feet of hardwood, camp is sure to be a great time!

The First Tee of Denver 3181 E. 23rd Ave., Denver | 720-865-3415 info@thefirstteedenver.org | firstteedenver.org

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 | lisa.sheley@hrcaonline.org hrcaonline.org/sportscamps

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., Boulder | 303-444-7234 swim@oceanfirst.blue | oceanfirst.blue

Register for our Marine Science & Swim Mini-Camp for ages four to eight. Marine science enthusiasts will learn about the wonders of the underwater world through hands-on experiments and activities, and then hop in the water for a swim lesson!

The 2020 Air Force sports camps offer 19 sports to choose from and are open to all skill levels. Camps are held in the same facilities where Division 1 athletes compete. Don’t delay, as most camps will sell out fast!

City of Aurora Aurora Hills Jr. Golf Camp Aurora Hills Golf Course | 303.739.1550 ccalliha@auroragov.org | golfaurora.com

We’ve teamed up with The First Tee Front Range! Come discover the fun we call golf. Learn grip, stance, short game and full swing!

City of Aurora Murphy Creek Jr. Golf Camp Murphy Creek Golf Course | 303.739.1560 mcreekgolf@aol.com | golfaurora.com We’ve teamed up with The First Tee Front Range!

Tell Colorado Parent readers about your summer camp! For more information, contact sales@coloradoparent.com.


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TECH CAMP

FOR AGES 7-19 Coding. Game dev. Robotics. Digital arts. This isn’t just a camp. It’s an experience unlike any other. Here, you push past the boundaries of school, finding your squad and bonding over the latest tech. Led by expert instructors, you will build the skills needed to forge a brilliant future.

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In partnership with CU Denver (UCD), University of Denver (DU), Ashley Elementary (Denver), Green Mountain Rec Center (Lakewood), Louisville Rec Center, Thornton Rec Center, STEAM-tacular camps (2 Denver locations), and Private Tutoring & Virtual Learning available upon request.

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Weekly June 1 July 31

Monday–Friday weekly from June 8–August 7, 2020 · Full day or Part-day Minecraft · Circuits & Costume Hacking · Apps Design · Drones · Robots · Game Design · Science 303-381-3741

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Open to ages 8-10 & 11-13 Starting at $299.00/wk per person

Choose from new themed camps filled with aviation and space activities!

Register online at WingsMuseum.org/Camps April 2020 | ColoradoParent.com

27


Becoming a

#GreenFam April 22 marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Gather inspiration from other Colorado parents to make your family a little greener in 2020.

28

Colorado Parent | April 2020


Opener, interior illustrations: Getty Images.

B

ased purely on numbers, my family of five is a complete carbon nightmare. According to a study published in 2017 in the journal Environmental Research Letters, the environmental toll of having children is substantial. My three kids combined produce an estimated 175.8 tons of CO2-equivalent emissions annually. To offset their yearly impact, 2,052 teenagers would have to recycle all of their recyclables for the rest of their lives. Did I mention, um, yikes? Families drive across town for basketball tournaments and piano lessons; children leave lights and gadgets on and refuse to eat their dinners. Convenience is the biggest eco-nemesis of all: From on-the-go snacks and prepackaged vegetables to lightning-fast housecleaning, most mom-hacks require single-use products. The majority of the families I know genuinely want to make eco-sound choices, but many feel overwhelmed by the thought of adding additional tasks to their already-jam-packed schedules. Sustainable living doesn’t have to be so mind-boggling. My 2018 New Year’s resolution was to become a zero-waste family. If an entire city (Boulder) could scrape together a strategic plan to eliminate waste, I figured that, given enough time and information, my family could also embrace a super-green lifestyle. The more specific a goal, the easier it is to achieve. When “zero-waste” seemed insurmountable, I broke down my big resolution into attainable objectives. Objective one: Reduce waste by eliminating paper towels and all those handy cleaning wipes. Like yours, my kids are professional mess makers, and like most Americans we blew through paper towels. Ripped off square-by-absorbentsquare, I’ll admit paper towels seem like a small problem. But similar to compound interest, and plastic straws, small stuff adds up. Americans use more paper towels than anyone

else in the world. In 2015 alone, we bought and tossed more than 7.4 billion pounds of paper towels and other tissue materials, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Between the water and trees that go into making paper towels, and the fossil fuels it takes to produce and distribute them, and the plastic wrap needed for packaging, paper towels are more impactful than they seem. So I stocked up on dish towels, microfiber cloths, and reusable napkins, and a few weeks later, the only people who missed our paper towels were guests whose kids spilled juice on the floor. I wash dish towels and cleaning cloths on cold, in the same load as our bath towels, so any water waste is minimal. (With water it’s more about the energy it takes to heat it anyway, hence the cold cycle.) I squirrel away one roll of paper towels for stomach bugs because, barf. Other than that we’ve been paper towel free for two years, in which time we’ve also reduced waste by stowing reusable grocery bags and coffee mugs in the car, and buying fewer toys that would have ultimately ended up in a landfill. Waste is the downstream of people, so naturally when it comes to families there’s going to be a certain amount of surplus. That’s where composting and recycling come into play, creating closed-loop solutions for what would otherwise become waste. Denverites only recycle about 63 percent of their recyclables. Fewer residents compost, even though more than 50 percent of what the average Denver household puts in the trash is organic material. After nixing paper towels, I signed up for weekly curbside composting with Denver Composts, a feebased composting program offered through Denver’s trash collection service. It didn’t take long to teach my school-age children what they

Baby Steps to Greener Habits

Green Step: BYOBags

You don’t have to quit plastic cold turkey or set up your family for zero-waste all in one day. In fact, you’re more likely to fail—and give up—if you try to do too much at once. Instead, take it one step at a time. Pick one green change to nurture each month. When that first change has become a habit, add another. Try these baby steps to a greener family.

MONTH 1

380 BILLION Plastic bags and wraps used each year, in the United States alone. 12 MILLION Barrels of oil required to create the plastic bags Americans consume yearly. Reduce your family’s single-use plastic bag habit. Invest in sturdy canvas or fabric tote bags (if you don’t already have 25 hanging around the house) and put them in the car. You’ll be reducing not only plastic bags headed to the landfill, but also the oil and resources required to produce them in the first place.

should compost and recycle, and pretty soon we were down to just one trash bag a week, compared to the seven-plus we’d previously dumped. For being so cute and compact, babies are especially harsh on the planet. The average baby goes through 5,000 diapers before being pottytrained, and since the vast majority of U.S. families use disposable diapers, an estimated 20 billion diapers end up in landfills each year. When I was pregnant with my nine-month-old daughter, I invested in a few Rumparooz cloth diapers, and stocked up on gDiapers compostable inserts, so I could reduce some of that waste by cloth diapering at home. I currently use chlorine-free diapers when we’re out and about, but I’m also planning to check out Dyper, a newish subscription service for compostable bamboo diapers. Being an environmentalist doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing undertaking. The biggest thing any family can do to green up their act is believe—really believe—that lots of low-impact actions add up to make a big difference. Ready to get started? Flip through these pages, find one eco-friendly thing you aren’t already doing, and incorporate it into your family’s daily life. When it becomes second nature, pick another eco-friendly thing, and repeat. —Jamie Siebrase

MONTH 2

Green Step: Say Bye-Bye to Single-Use Plastic Bottles Let each family member pick out a reusable drink bottle or travel cup of their own. When you head out for errands, a day at the park, or family vacation, bring them along. Ask if the coffee shops or cafés your family visits have a discount for using your own cups.

April 2020 | ColoradoParent.com

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Reuse: Art Supplies EARTH-FRIENDLY CRAFTING ReCreative Denver saves unwanted and gently-used craft and art supplies from entering the waste stream. As an added bonus, the paper, yarn, paint, fabric, shells, buttons, and any other supply you might need for kids’ art or school projects are made available for purchase at 50 to 75 percent off. ReCreative is also a community art center where kids and grownups can drop in for art-making in the Kids’ Marketplace, Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for a $5 donation. recreativedenver.org Recycle: Food and Yard Scraps COMPOST OPTIONS Not ready to set up your own backyard compost? If your city government doesn’t offer curbside composting service, check out Rocky Mountain Composting, Alpine Waste, and Compost Colorado to see if they service your area. rockymountaincomposting.com, compost-colorado.com, alpinewaste.com

MONTH 3

Cleaners: Humble Suds. Lawn care: Sunday.

Reduce: Food Waste GREEN FAMILY FESTIVAL We Coloradans love our festivals, but they can create a flood of waste. Each year, Slow Food Nations food festival invites people to connect with farmers, chefs, and speakers, and sample food. They work to reduce the environmental impact of the festival by using compostable and recyclable supplies, setting up water refill stations, and hosting a Zero Waste Family Meal on the last night, made up of food leftovers turned into a feast by renowned chefs. slowfoodnations.org

Eco Home Products These parent-owned Colorado brands are greening up our household chores. SMARTER LAWN CARE Founded by Boulder dad of three Coulter Lewis, Sunday smart lawn plan is a customizable lawn care kit that delivers the nutrients you need to cultivate a beautiful, non-toxic lawn, right to your door. Using location-specific climate and soil data, Sunday creates a tailor-made plan for your lawn composed of simple ingredients like organic food waste, molasses, and seaweed. Simply attach the nutrient bag to your hose, spray, and enjoy a chemical-free lawn that’s safe for kids and pets. Plans start at $129 per year. getsunday.com MORE CONSCIOUS CLEANING Denver-area moms Jennifer Parnell and Holli Schaub were on a mission to clean up the cleaning aisle when they co-founded Humble Suds, a line of safe, non-toxic—and great smelling—cleaning products handmade in Evergreen, Colorado. Made from mineral- and plant-based ingredients like organic raw beeswax and saponified coconut oil, Humble Suds products include all-purpose cleaners and concentrates, an all-surface scrub, dry laundry soap, and a wood and leather balm. Available at select Natural Grocers, refill stores, and boutiques. humblesuds.com —Christina Cook

MONTH 4

Green Step: Refuse the Straw, Seriously!

Green Step: Switch to Cloth

500 MILLION Straws used every day in the United States alone, according to one estimate.

Swap paper towels for microfiber cloths, washable towels, and rags for cleaning. Zero Market at Stanley Marketplace carries chenille cloths to fit floor sweepers that otherwise use piles of disposable dry and wet cloths.

Now that you are in the habit of bringing your own travel cups and refillable bottles, you won’t need the straw…or the disposable cup.

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Colorado Parent | April 2020

MONTH 5

Green Step: Be a Locavore Find local farmers’ markets and youpick farms to frequent for fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the growing season. This will reduce the carbon footprint of your produce and introduce kids to the source of their food.


FARM CAMPS AT CHATFIELD FARMS WEEK-LONG CAMPS Grow your mind, plant a new friend and dig into Chatfield Farms with our camps. Discover the world of plants through art, science, cooking, gardening and outdoor exploration. For kids ages 6-12. REGISTER TODAY! Visit botanicgardens.org/education

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4 Colorado Families Lowering Their Environmental Impacts

Natalia Ekberg

Arvada Instagram: @raisinggeneco Natalia, Andrew, Daniel (7), Alex and Stefan (4)

Natalia and her husband both had low-impact childhoods, but having children made them realize how wasteful parenting and the convenience mantra could be. For 10 years, she’s been working on consciously living an eco-friendly lifestyle, but recent reports on global warming raised an urgency for bigger action in her family and community.   What is your family's personal mission when it comes to earthfriendly living?  Empowering love and respect for nature and lowering our family's carbon, and overall, footprint are two driving forces behind our family's

Kathryn’s earth-friendly lifestyle started after she says her family suffered from benzene poisoning due to poor air quality from fracking. They chose to move to the mountains for the clean air and began thinking about all forms of pollution that affect their lives.

Kathryn Maciula

Coal Creek Canyon Instagram: @maciulamountainschool Kathryn, Patrick, Joseph (5) and Loddie (3)

MONTH 6

What is your family's personal mission when it comes to earthfriendly living? Our hope is to spend as much time as possible outside and to teach our children to cherish our planet. Our

everyday decisions and the focus of my Instagram page. The side effects of this lifestyle so far seem to be resilient, happy and healthy kids. What was the easiest part of your journey to greener living? To stop using a dryer for clothes. Colorado's dry air makes it very easy for clothes to air dry fast on an indoor rack, which helps them last longer and offers our children a very eco-friendly chore.   What was the hardest? Transportation: living in a suburb requires daily driving. While we enjoy better air quality, less noise

goal is to spend 1000 hours outside in 2020. What was the easiest part of your journey to greener living? Switching to homemade cleaning products in order to avoid harmful chemicals was super easy! And cheaper. We do all of our cleaning with baking soda and vinegar. What was the hardest? Making the move up to the mountains and getting used to mountain life has been a huge

MONTH 7

Green Step: Walk or Bike

Green Step: Give Your Dryer a Vacation

Leave the car in the driveway. Instead, bike to a nearby errand, take the light rail for your next date night downtown, or start a walking school bus by inviting neighborhood families to walk to and from school together (walkingschoolbus.org).

As the weather warms, save energy and wear and tear on your clothing by hanging a couple loads of laundry in the sun to dry. Don’t have a clothesline? Head to a big box, hardware, or home store for a collapsible clothes rack or two.

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Colorado Parent | April 2020

pollution, and a good amount of green spaces, we could greatly benefit from a wider system of biking trails and wider sidewalks that would safely connect schools, shops, parks, and recreation centers. Airfare is also a challenge with family members in another state and out of the country. What is your best earth-friendly tip for other parents? Educate yourself on the state of climate issues and try to apply an “eco-lens” to your everyday decisions, from shopping to waste and energy management to kids’ classrooms and birthday parties.

adjustment after living in the suburbs our whole lives. It can be difficult, but so worth it. What is your best earth-friendly tip for other parents? Don’t feel like you need to make all the changes at once. Take inventory of your home and life and determine where you can take small steps. And just get outside! The more you and your children love and appreciate the natural world, the easier it is to find the motivation to make those changes.

MONTH 8

Green Step: Opt for E From receipts to credit card statements to tickets, select the “e” option and have them emailed to reduce unnecessary paper waste. MONTH 9

Green Step: Turn Off the Lights It’s simple, but, oh, so hard to remember: Turn off lights and electronics when they’re not in use to conserve energy.


Noel Killebrew

Denver zerowastemaker.wordpress.com Noel, Derek, Björn (3), and Orson (1 month)

Melissa Colonno

Denver deliberateless.com Melissa, Dan, Willa (7), Cameron (5) and Zoë (2)

Noel was inspired by Colin Beavan’s No Impact Man book and documentary during college. “I turned my college apartment upside down taking his no impact challenge,” she says. “My favorite part of the experiment was learning to sew my own reusables, which really stuck.” Not long after college graduation, Noel started dating her now husband and they built their life together with her sustainable habits as part of their foundation. Noel uses her creativity to make items her family needs, sewing, knitting, and crafting her way to a low-waste lifestyle.

What is your family's personal mission when it comes to earthfriendly living? Make more, consume less. We love upcycling, DIY, and creative problem solving. Can we use what we have to make more of the things we want and need? By inserting ourselves into the manufacturing process we slow down the cycle of consumption. It’s our goal to create a life we love with intention and to make the most of what we have.

For at least 10 years, Melissa and her husband have lived a relatively earthfriendly lifestyle; cloth-diapering their children, buying clothes from consignment stores, and grocery shopping with reusable bags and containers. About three years ago, they decided to move their family to central Denver, where they would be able to live life without relying on a car. They sold one of their two cars, and now only drive a few times per month. They prioritize a “hyper local” lifestyle to reduce their environmental footprint and improve their quality of life. What is your family’s personal mission when it comes to earthfriendly living? Just like the title of my blog,

Deliberate.Less, our goal is to make very deliberate decisions about how we live our life. We think carefully about the things we bring into our life and the causes we support. We try to resist the tendency to overschedule our family and instead strive to find a slower pace of life whenever possible. What is the easiest part of your journey to greener living? Two things! First off, composting. Because I live in Denver where the city collects compost weekly (for a fee), it is very easy to compost all our food scraps and yard waste. Secondly, choosing to bike and walk most places was an easy change for me to make. When I realized how driving less was a very effective

What was the easiest part of your journey to greener living? Bringing my own travel mug was easiest. Even as a child, I carried a canteen everywhere with me.

MONTH 10

MONTH 11

Green Step: Review Your Recyclables

Green Step: Make Mondays Meatless

On average, Denverites recycle only 63 percent of the recyclable waste generated by their household each year.

Meat production accounts for an estimated 15 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization.

Download the Denver Recycles or Eco-Cycle Recycling Guide App to learn more about appropriate recycling. There are places to responsibly recycle everything from mattresses to electronics, so they don’t end up in the landfill.

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Colorado Parent | April 2020

Pledging to go meat-free for just one day a week is nothing new. A similar campaign started during World War I to aid with food shortages; during World War II it became Meatless Mondays. Institute your own Meatless Mondays and experiment with pasta, quinoa, veggie, and bean dishes.

What was the hardest? Changing our traveling habits has been the hardest. My husband and I both dislike biking. We have yet to make public transit with infants and toddlers work for day-to-day commuting, and we travel by plane regularly to visit family. What is your best earth-friendly tip for other parents? Figure out what you love and build from there. Whether it’s gardening, frugality, biking, whales, fast fashion, national parks, animal agriculture, cloth diapers, or whatever, find the issue that speaks most to you and start somewhere.

way to reduce our family’s carbon emissions, it became an even easier choice to make regularly. What was the hardest? Reducing the amount of trash my children create at parties and other gatherings.   What is your best earth-friendly tip for other parents? Follow one simple guiding principle: refuse single-use everything. Not just straws, water bottles, and coffee cups, but also baby wipes, single-serving snacks, juice boxes, balloons, dryer sheets, and more. There are easy substitutions for all of these items. Making this one mental change can help improve the health of both your family and the environment.

MONTH 12

Green Step: Kids’ Choice Find an environmental issue that your child cares about, whether it’s clean water or composting, and takes steps to support their passion.


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www.gvaschools.org April 2020 | ColoradoParent.com

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Fun & Activities

SUPPLIES: Fillable Easter eggs Ruler Cardstock Hot glue gun Paper straws Flower and leaf templates (download them at ColoradoParent.com) Candy and chocolates (for filling)

INSTRUCTIONS: 1. Use a pencil to trace a flower and two leaves on the colored cardstock of your choice. Measure the diameter of your egg, which is usually about 1½ inches, and draw a circle in the center of the flower to match. 2. Help your child cut out the flower and leaves. Cut out the center circle to create a space for the egg.

3. Apply hot glue around the inner circle's rim and then fit the elongated part of the egg snug inside. Safety Tip: Adults should do any hot glueing! Once dry, peel off any glue drips on the egg. Crafts: Antonella Grossi. Background: Getty Images.

Candy Flower Treats Spring into the season with this simple craft that turns cardstock and paper straws into cheerful, treat-filled flowers.

4. Apply a dab of hot glue to one end of a paper straw before attaching it to the flower.

Created by Antonella Grossi, a blogger and crafter at whitehousecrafts.net

6. Open the egg and fill it with treats!

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Colorado Parent | April 2020

5. Hot glue the leaves to the paper straw stem.


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EDUCATION & ENRICHMENT EDUCATION

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Young Voices of Colorado 99 Inverness Dr E., Ste. 150, Englewood 303-797-7464 | margie@youngvoices.org youngoices.org

Montessori del Mundo 15503 E. Mississippi Ave. 720-863-8629 info@montessoridelmundo.org montessoridelmundo.org 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.

LONGMONT Sunflower Farm Preschool 11150 Prospect Rd., Longmont 303-774-8001 sun o erfarmmail@gmail.com sunflowerfarminfo.com un o er arms licensed farm ased preschool is for kids ages three to six, this program includes hands on animal time, gardening and harvesting, trips to our magical fairy forest, music, art, stories and as much outdoor time as possi le ull or half days.

We offer language immersion in Mandarin Chinese, panish rench and ussian. ur students develop a global perspective by learning a second language and exploring diverse cultures to cultivate understanding and respect. Be prepared for a Global future!

New Horizon Academy Preschool and Early Education Multiple Denver area locations newhorizonacademy.net

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.

Rocky Mountain Prep Denver (NW, SW, SE) and Aurora locations | 720-464-3530 enroll@rockymountainprep.org rockymountainprep.org

Rocky Mountain Prep (RMP) is a network of free, top-performing public elementary schools. RMP is no enrolling for pre through fifth grade at our Denver and Aurora schools.

artSPARK Creative Studio 2630 W. Belleview Ave., Suite 160, Littleton 303-795-7897 info@artsparkcreative.com artsparkcreative.com 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. Classes, camps, and parties include a variety of 2D and 3D media.

ACTING Rocky Mountain Theatre for Kids 303-245-8150 info@theaterforkids.net theaterforkids.net We inspire kids to reach for theatrical excellence, offering more than 20 summer camps, year-round actors conservatory programs, and more. We provide students an in-depth perspective where both the creative process and professional product are emphasized.

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!

MARTIAL ARTS ATAFMA (Family Martial Arts) 4510 S. Reservoir Rd, #A, Aurora 303-690-0560 | info@atafma.com atafma.com

Traditional Martial Arts classes for ages four and up. We focus on teaching discipline and respect in a fun active environment. has een serving the Aurora/Centennial area for 25 years.

Tiger Kim’s Academy Taekwondo & Tang Soo Do 1480 Steele St., Denver | 303-388-1408 tigerkim.com

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.

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Teaching students to REASON, DISCERN & ASPIRE through a classical Christian education

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Open House 8:30am - 10:30am May 6 Schedule your visit today! ArmaDeiAcademy.com (303) 346-4523 Highlands Ranch | Lone Tree

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Colorado Parent | April 2020

• • • • • •

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Forming faithful disciples today to be strong leaders tomorrow. • Offering Preschool through 8th Grade with a licensed faculty • Rigorous curriculum • Christ-centered, Catholic faith formation • Comprehensive community service program • Exceptional faculty and staff involvement • Before and After care available • Extensive selection of extracurricular activities including a strong athletic program Contact Marie Young for a private tour or information

mayoung@ourladyofloreto.org | 303-951-8334

April 2020 | ColoradoParent.com

39


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

PRIVATE SCHOOL GUIDE AURORA CedarWood Christian Academy 11430 E. 19th Ave., Aurora | 303-361-6456 roborny@cedarwoodchristian.org cedarwoodchristian.org

Montessori Children’s House of Denver Mayfair, Stapleton, and Park Hill campuses 303-322-8324 directorofadmissions@mchdenver.org mchdenver.org

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.

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.

Our Lady of Loreto Catholic School 18000 E. Arapahoe Rd. | 303-951-8334 OLOLcatholicschool.org mayoung@ourladyofloreto.org

Ricks Center for Gifted Children 2040 S. York St. | 303-871-3715 ricksctr@du.edu | du.edu/ricks

Offering preschool through eighth grade. Forming faithful disciples today to be strong leaders tomorrow. Contact Marie Young for your private tour today!

BOULDER Mapleton Montessori School 3121 29th St., Boulder | 303-449-4499 dede@mapletonmontessori.org mapletonmontessori.org

We offer a nurturing, dynamic Montessori environment where young children learn by exploring, creating and playing. We foster a love of discovery with ageappropriate, purposeful activities that spark intellectual, social and emotional development.

DENVER Children’s Garden Montessori School 444 Detroit St. | 303-322-0972 jboes@cgmontessori.com | cgmontessori.com

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.

Iliff Preschool, Kindergarten, and School Age Summer Camp 4140 E. Iliff Ave | 303-757-3551 info@iliffpreschool.com | iliffpreschool.com

Est. 1963. Year-round, play-based programs focusing on social development and academic enrichment for toddlers through Private Kindergarten. Popular Summer Adventure Day Camp for post kindergartners to age 12. Enrollment forms online.

International School of Denver 7701 E. First Pl., Unit C | 303-340-3647 info@isdenver.org isdenver.org

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.

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Colorado Parent | April 2020

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 about gifted education and each individual student.

HIGHLANDS RANCH Arma Dei Academy 341 East Wildcat Reserve Parkway 303-346-4523 admissions@armadeiacademy.com armadeiacademy.com

Classical Christian school (pre-K to eighth grade) with a mission to glorify God by providing an excellent classical Christian education founded upon a biblical worldview that equips students to live purposefully & intelligently in service to God & others.

Cherry Hills Christian School 3900 Grace Blvd., Highlands Ranch 303-325-8175 chcupdates@chcc.org | cherryhillschristian.org Since 1985, Cherry Hills Christian has provided students in Preschool through 8th grade with a unique blend of quality academics, Christian principles, character education and service. We are now enrolling for the 2020-2021 school year!

ENGLEWOOD First Plymouth Learning Center 3501 S. Colorado Blvd., Englewood 303-762-9355 fplcdirector@firstplymouthchurch.org | fplc.org We proudly serve children 15 months to five years of age. We have many schedule options for the school year. Small class sizes create a strong community at FPLC. We offer several summer sessions. We look forward to meeting you!

Humanex Academy 2700 S. Zuni St. | 303-783-0137 humanexacademy.com Humanex Academy is an accredited middle and high school celebrating 35 years of excellence. We offer students a small, individualized learning environment, and a chance to succeed for those who have struggled in traditional classrooms. We work with students with a variety of learning differences, who are 2e, ASD, or are struggling with anxiety. We bring a positive experience to education.

LAFAYETTE Dawson School 10455 Dawson Drive, Lafayette | 303-665-6679 admissions@dawsonschool.org dawsonschool.org

The Boulder region’s premier K-12 independent school, offering challenging college-prep academics, robust athletics and arts programs, and renowned experiential education. Preparing students to bring their best to the world for 50 years.

LITTLETON Aspen Academy 5859 S. University Blvd. | 303-346-3500 admissions@aspenacademy.org aspenacademy.org

Aspen Academy is a pre-K through eighth grade independent school that focuses on three primary areas: academic rigor, character and leadership development, and community strength and service. Students are empowered to be kind, curious, innovative, and entrepreneurial.

ERIE Vista Ridge Academy 3100 Ridge View Dr. vistaridge.org Vista Ridge Academy provides wholistic Christcentered elementary education for preschool to eighth grade, encouraging children to think creatively and critically, problem-solve and explore, collaborate with others, and develop strong character in accordance with our core values.

MULTIPLE LOCATIONS Guidepost Montessori Longmont and Parker guidepostmontessori.com/parker guidepostmontessori.com/longmont

At Guidepost, your child will enter the wonderful world of Montessori lessons and learning materials designed to captivate and inspire. Now enrolling children age 12 weeks to six years. Contact us to learn more.


Humanex Academy

Imagine the Amazing Equipping neurodiverse students for life. Enrolling now for fall semester 6th – 12th grade

www.humanexacademy.com

April 2020 | ColoradoParent.com

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Illustration: Lauren Rebbeck Background: Getty Images.

CO LO R A D O

SPECIAL

PA R E N T

Preparing a child with disabilities or special needs for their future requires detailed planning, assistance, and a wealth of research. There are organizations all around Colorado who offer enriching, adventurous, and helpful services to give your child the fulfilling life they dream of. This annual Colorado Special Parent section highlights some of the organizations that will help kids test their limits and grow, as well as prepare them for the step into adulthood.

CREATING INDEPENDENCE TOGETHER Plan ahead for success.

NO LIMITATIONS Find the right camp for your child.

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PLUS THE INS AND OUTS OF SENSORY PROCESSING DISORDER PAGE 50

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Creating Independence Together For parents of children with disabilities, planning ahead is key to a successful step into adulthood. By Angela K. Evans

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NEXT STEPS While educational environments offer benefits and services for students with disabilities from the ages of three to 21, adult services center around eligibility for certain government and employment programs. Even if students continue into secondary education, they don’t receive the same individualized support they do in K-12. And, since they are adults, parents aren’t required, and sometimes are not allowed,

Erik Johnson—pictured with co-founder of Beyond the Blackboard Jean Boylan and director of retail sales Carah Killian—had a plan for his next step in adulthood while he was still in high school. He has worked at Beyond the Blackboard in Arvada for 15 years.

to interact with instructors and be a part of the process. “That can be an emotional shock to families when they're going from an entitlement system into an eligibility-based system,” says Tanner

Whittaker, the director of transition services at Easterseals, an advocacy and service organization for people with disabilities. “Navigating all of the different systems can be difficult. But that’s where it’s critical to find out who the key point people

Opener: Getty Images. Welding: T.A.C.T. Erik Johnson: Laura Johnson.

Teaching the Autism Community Trades (T.A.C.T) The unemployment rate for people with autism in the United States is 90 percent, a fact that inspired Danny Combs to start Teaching the Autism Community Trades (T.A.C.T), a nonprofit technical school that helps individuals with autism build confidence and social and emotional awareness. "It's overwhelming as a parent when you start looking at all the different services that your child needs and organizing it all,” says Combs, who has a son with autism. “There's no book or chart or anything that really helps you navigate it.” Designed for those transitioning into the workforce, the career training program at T.A.C.T covers multiple disciplines, including electrical, welding, automotive, carpentry, construction, and manufacturing, and teaches to the Colorado Trade and Technical Education Standards. T.A.C.T provides individualized instruction and support with a 2:1 or 3:1 student-to-instructor ratio.

Since it started in 2016, T.A.C.T has served more than 500 young adults in the Denver metro area. It offers workshops and summer camps to younger children as well, helping them discover their interests and capabilities early on. T.A.C.T also works with employers, encouraging them to hire T.A.C.T graduates for their talents rather than their disabilities. It’s our selling point, Combs says, not only because of their talents, but also because research shows that people with autism have significantly better retention and on-task engagement rates than the average U.S. worker. With an 86 percent job placement rate, T.A.C.T is helping people with autism find meaningful and productive work. T.A.C.T students have won prestigious auto restoration competitions. Some of the electrical graduates are installing the first 1,200 lights on the I-70 project with Sturgeon Electric. As Combs says: “They’re literally lighting up our streets.”

April 2020 | ColoradoParent.com

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COLORADO SPECIAL PARENT 2020

or the past 15 years, Erik Johnson has helped with receiving at Beyond the Blackboard in Arvada—moving boxes from the truck into the store, unpacking them, and pricing items. Then comes his favorite part of the job: breaking down the boxes and recycling them. Erik is the store’s “most dependable, long-term employee,” says co-owner Jean Boylan. Erik, 32, also has Down syndrome, which affects his speech, making it difficult for most people to understand him. For Erik’s mom, Laura, finding Erik’s place at Beyond the Blackboard while he was still in high school eased her concerns about transitioning him out of school and into adulthood. “His self-esteem and his sense of purpose for what he does there is the most valuable thing,” she says. For many families, the transition into the post-school world can be daunting. Developing a comprehensive transition plan for a child with disabilities is key. The plan can help avoid the isolation and boredom that often comes with leaving the structured school environment and give individuals an opportunity to use their gifts.


Boy sawing: T.A.C.T.

COLORADO SPECIAL PARENT 2020

are within those systems and begin to establish a relationship with them.” IDENTIFY TRANSITION GOALS Each student with a disability should begin incorporating transition goals into their Individualized Education Program (IEP) at the age of 14, according to The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Amendments of 1997 (IDEA). The plan prepares the student for life after school, focusing on their particular needs and interests to incorporate in continued education, vocational training, employment, and independent living. Through the state-wide School to Work Alliance Program (SWAP), school-based transition programs work closely with the Colorado Department of Education and the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) to provide pre-employment services, career development, and case management. Additional resources, organizations, and agencies can assist with parental self-education and early planning processes. “You want to stay ahead of the game on what programs are out there,” says Yvette Plummer Burkhalter, executive director of the THRIVE Center in Aurora. THRIVE offers training sessions for both parents and youth in transition. In Project Independence, parent sessions cover topics from continuing education and employment to understanding transportation options. THRIVE’s youth transitions program focuses on self-advocacy, which teaches students the power of their own voice in communicating their needs and desires as they become adults. Self-advocacy is a key component of a healthy transition, says Teresa Greene, youth independent living adviser at the Center for People with Disabilities (CPWD) in Boulder. “We want them to be able to advocate for their needs in their home and their community, in their school, or even just for themselves,” Greene says. A DIFFERENT KIND OF INDEPENDENCE Independence must be defined individually, Greene says. For some it may mean living alone, going to work, and taking public transportation. For others, it may mean washing their own dishes or doing their own laundry while still living in the family home. Whatever the case, independence always involves the “dignity of risk”—parents letting go and allowing their children to experience failure. Regardless of what it looks like, independent living benefits the whole family, Greene says, giving freedom not just to the person with a disability but their parents, siblings, and everyone else involved. For Erik, independence meant moving into his own apartment. Five years ago, he relocated

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Colorado Parent | April 2020

The career training program through T.A.C.T. teaches trades to individuals with autism, preparing them for a step into the workforce.

to a complex in South Denver where both people with and without disabilities live. Cottonwood Community Alternatives provides necessary help for individuals living in the complex. Staff is present around the clock to help Erik cook meals, take his medications, and catch his bus— provided through RTD’s Access-a-Ride—to work each morning. "For me to be able to see how well he is doing independently, both with his job, with his apartment… It's exactly where I want to be with Erik,” his mother says. “We still have a very close relationship… but his life is independent at this point. And that's such a reassuring feeling as a parent—to know that he is thriving.” Angela Evans is a writer and editor in Boulder.

3 Inclusive Employers Any Family Can Support Blue Star Recyclers in Denver and Eco-Cycle CHaRM in Boulder both recycle electronics and other materials, and employ individuals with disabilities. bluestarrecyclers.org, ecocycle.org Brewability Lab in Englewood brews and serves small-batch, hand-brewed beers and is staffed by individuals with disabilities. Pizzability is scheduled to open this summer. brew-ability.com Stepping Stone CO-OP Coffee Shop and Marketplace in Littleton serves up coffee, lattes, and baked goods Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings from 9:30-11:30. The coffee shop trains and employs people with a variety of disabilities. facebook.com/SteppingStoneSC


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COLORADO SPECIAL PARENT 2020

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Behavioral Learning Center (BLC) improves socially significant skills for individuals living with developmental challenges. BLC programs are designed for individuals of all ages diagnosed with autism, developmental disabilities, or any other social delays/challenges.

Our Services Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) Parent Education Social Skills Groups For more information on our services, contact us at: (720) 330-2827 | oadenver@blcca.com

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8370 W Coal Mine Ave Suite 105 Littleton, CO 80123

April 2020 | ColoradoParent.com

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Child: Getty Images.

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

We have classes for ages 2 and up, ranging from Hip Hop to Children’s Yoga and More...

COLORADO SPECIAL PARENT 2020

JOIN US ON THE DANCE FLOOR!

Three Questions Parents Should Ask about the School-to-Work Transition Process 1. What community resources are available in my area, outside of the school system? There is no shortage of organizations working to ensure adults with disabilities live, work, and thrive in our communities. It’s just about finding the right ones to suit your family’s needs. “The services should always be individualized. And don’t let anyone lower that expectation…If that’s going to college, make sure you go down that path. If it's to go on and work in a certain field of employment, really push and make that a requirement within their transition plan," says Whittaker. If you’re in Aurora, the THRIVE Center provides parent and student training. The Jeffco Transition Alliance Group (TAG) offers online training for parents in Jefferson, Clear Creek, and Gilpin counties. You can also reach out to one of the nine Colorado Centers for Independent Living around the state, all of which provide services at no cost. 2. How can my child’s interests become a job opportunity? Growing up, Erik Johnson loved folding clothes, which led him to a job with the Denver Broncos right out of high school. He folded towels, organized drinks, and cleaned the team equipment during off-season training. Does your child enjoy introducing themselves and talking to people? If the answer is yes, maybe they can become a greeter at Arc Thrift Stores, which employs 350 people with disabilities around the state. Or maybe they love building things and could benefit from a summer program with T.A.C.T. Pay attention to your child’s interests and help them further develop their skills.

E X P E R I EN C E A C L A S S TOD AY ! Bring this ad in to the studio for a month of free classes! classes! 5451 W. 32nd Ave., Wheat Ridge, CO 80212 info@feelthebeat.dance | 303-816-8683

WWW. F E E LT H E B E AT. D A N C E

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3. What benefits will my child need as an adult and when should I apply? As your child transitions into adulthood, they may become eligible for a variety of government benefit programs, including social security, housing, supported living services, and health insurance. Many of these programs have complex application processes and waitlists. For example, Health First Colorado, the state’s Medicaid program, offers additional benefits for people who need access to 24-hour services to live independently through its Developmental Disabilities Waiver (DD). The current waitlist, however, is more than 2,500 people, according to Heidi Haines from The Arc of Colorado, an advocacy organization. To avoid lapse in coverage between youth and adult benefits, start the application process early.


Your best life is just around the corner! Introducing The Behavior Exchange, a center of excellence in ABA therapy opening this spring in the greater Boulder area. We’re serious about helping children with autism in a fun way. Our colorful, hope-filled hives (a.k.a. locations) combined with our individualized approach to Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy has set a new standard in north Texas where we started. We’re committed and excited to do the same for families in Colorado. Over the past 20 years, we’ve been on a mission to bring meaningful change to the lives of children and their families. Our diverse range of services and original curriculum provide a pathway for success that leads to a happier life for your whole family.

Our services include: • B.E.E.S. (Behavior Exchange Early Start) for school readiness • Social Skills Group for school-aged children • One-on-One Therapy, where many of our clients start • Summer Camp, offering all of our services in a 10-week format • School Advocacy for parents who want help with the IED process • Parent Training to continue learning in everyday life • And much more!

COLORADO SPECIAL PARENT 2020

We CAN help your child reach their full potential – no matter their age or ability. Schedule a consultation today! 720.647.8541

enrollment@behaviorexchange.com

behaviorexchange.com/boulder-hive

Shelly is our lead Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) for our new Boulder hive. She can answer all your questions and schedule an assessment of your child before we officially open. The Behavior Exchange is an in-network provider with most insurance.

500 Discovery Pkwy., Suite 100 Superior, Colorado 80027

PARENTS, DO YOU KNOW? Colorado is one of the few states with a program that allows a parent or family member to get paid to take care of their special needs child. If your special needs child is on Medicaid, then you may qualify to get paid to take care of your child. All for Kids Home Health can help you find out if you qualify for this program. Our company was started by a parent walking in your shoes – we care about you! We offer medical, dental, and vision insurance, 401(k) and paid time off.

All for Kids Home Health 4155 E. Jewell Avenue, Suite 900, Denver, CO 80222 720-456-8054 | terri@allforkidshealth.com

April 2020 | ColoradoParent.com

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COLORADO SPECIAL PARENT 2020

Boy: Getty Images.

The Ins and Outs of Sensory Processing Disorder A conversation with Dr. Sarah Schoen from the STAR Institute for SPD Research. By Angela K. Evans

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rowing up, Dr. Sarah Schoen’s older brother didn’t like to be hugged or touched. It was something she always noticed, but never really understood. Years later, working as an occupational therapist, she came across Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). She wondered if her brother’s premature birth and early months spent in the neonatal intensive care unit without “tactile normalized sensory experiences,” had anything to do with his later behavior. This question led to her current work as research director at the STAR Institute for SPD Research based in Greenwood Village. SPD research is a growing field within occupational therapy, but isn’t a part of the standard Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) used by most pediatricians, psychologists, counselors, and social workers. Still, limited studies have shown that 5 to 16 percent of kids from kindergarten to early middle school exhibit some sort of sensory challenges. We recently asked Dr. Schoen about her 17 years of research on SPD.

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COLORADO PARENT: What is SPD? SS: Our senses give us information about our body and the environment. Sensations flow into the brain where they are organized to move, learn, and be productive. When well-organized or integrated, the sensations are used for behavior and learning; when disorganized, life can be very challenging. What might make it challenging in terms of being a parent and seeing atypical responses in your kiddo is figuring out: Is this indicative of a clinical disorder or is this just an idiosyncrasy that can be adapted to? CP: What are you finding in your research at the STAR Institute? SS: There are two streams that are emerging. (First), research is suggesting that sensory and motor abnormalities may actually precede, (or) be the first signs of, the full blown expression of some psychopathology: in particular, some developmental disorders like ADHD, dyslexia, and autism.

The second stream is the role of sensory processing in general health and wellness across the lifespan—the recognition that we’re all sensory and that we all have sensory differences. The more we can learn about our sensory differences, the more productive we can be in daily life, whether it's in the workplace, at home, or at school. CP: How is SPD different from developmental disorders like ADHD and autism? SS: What we know now is that close to 90 percent of children with autism have sensory features and probably closer to 40 percent of children with ADHD have sensory issues. And the senses are also foundational to the motor system. So it's not just sensory processing, but, in many cases it's a sensory motor disorder. For example, getting dressed in the morning can be a real challenge for kids who have these sensory motor impairments. Sensory issues can exist independent of


COLORADO SPECIAL PARENT 2020

REVEL

When times get tough‌ keep dancing!

We believe teens and adults on the autism spectrum have the ability to connect, work, learn and explore new interests together. Learn more about our mission and goals at revelinlife.org

Online dance classes for all levels and ages. For as long as it takes. Photo by Misha Photography

revelinlife.org | 720-534-0601

ccdance.org/onlineclasses Just off Highway 36 in Broomfield

3001 Industrial Lane, #12 | Broomfield, CO 80020 | 303.466.5685

April 2020 | ColoradoParent.com

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Kids learning: Getty Images.

COLORADO SPECIAL PARENT 2020

Sensory Processing Health and Wellness

STAR Institute is the leading international clinic for the treatment of children and adults with sensory processing challenges and other conditions in which sensory problems commonly exist, e.g., attention deficit disorders, autism and social emotional differences. Our treatment center pioneers and provides best practice intervention for children across the spectrum of developmental and behavioral diagnoses. STAR Institute treatment teams consist of expert specialists in the fields of: Occupational Therapy Feeding Therapy Speech & Language Therapy Social Emotional Health

We believe every parent should be empowered with their child. Visit our website at www.spdstar.org or call us at 303-221-7827.

Funding available through Developmental Pathways and Rocky Mountain Human Services for groups and camps. Call STAR for additional information.

other clinical disorders. Granted, there's a lot of research that needs to be done, but there still is preliminary information out there that shows there are some brain mechanisms that are functioning differently in a population of kids who don't qualify for another diagnosis. To me, if sensory features are an early marker for a potential disorder, it speaks to the importance of providing interventions early. CP: Explain more about interventions. SS: The foundation of the intervention that we use (at STAR Institute) is called sensory integration, which occurs within the context of play. So we have a big gym, there are swings, climbing structures, different tactile experiences. It's a multisensory environment in which the child engages in play activities that target their unique sensory features. The interventions are very effective. From our research we're finding that it remediates a lot of their social-emotional impairments and improves coordination. CP: What's your advice for parents who either suspect or just received a SPD diagnosis for their child?

2020 Summer Camps Building self-esteem, social confidence, communication and school readiness! Superhero In Training Critical Core Mighty Masterminds Bike Camp

School Readiness The Rebounders Teen Club Tabletop Games Club

To learn more about our groups & camps, funding options and to enroll, visit us at www.spdstar.org or call 303-221-7827.

SS: Parents should know that it is real, that they didn't cause it, and their child won't grow out of it. I think people worry: Is it something that I've done as a parent? Am I not a good parent? It's well documented (that some kids) have physiological differences in the way that they process sensory information. My first recommendation would be to find an occupational therapist who's trained in working with children who have sensory issues. It's the therapist working with the child, but within the context of the family. All of our parents are always involved in the treatment session so they fully understand how they can support their child, how they can adapt things in their environments, and how to create what we call a sensory lifestyle for the family and for the child at home. spdstar.org Angela Evans is a writer and editor in Boulder.

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Enriching lives. Strengthening communities.

COLORADO SPECIAL PARENT 2020

Supporting individuals with developmental disabilites or delays & their families for more than 50 years!

dpcolo.org | 303.360.6600

PA R E N T L I K E A P R O

ColoradoParent.com Find out new ways to replace screen time. Plus, plan the perfect party, choose the best restaurant, find your favorite kid-friendly hike—and a whole lot more!

When you need an alternative to

Screen Time Sensory Friendly Programming

APR 5

The Buffalo Bill Experience MAY 17

Paul Bunyan with the Colorado Symphony

720.509.1000

lonetreeartscenter.org

Visit lonetreeartscenter.org/sensoryfriendly for our full schedule!

April 2020 | ColoradoParent.com

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Great Colorado Camps for Kids with Special Needs

Megan's Place offers both respite care and an opportunity for a select number of kids to experience a sleepaway camp at YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park.

By Courtney Drake-McDonough

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ummer camp helps kids discover all of the things they can do—testing limits, discovering new abilities, and gaining confidence. These camps create accessible experiences for kids with a variety of differences, whether they're physical, emotional, developmental, or intellectual. ADAM’S CAMP Intensive therapy and recreation for children and adults with a variety of special needs. Various Denver-Metro locations, Colorado Springs, and Granby adamscampcolorado.org The Early Start Therapy Program, for ages six months through four years, offers half-day intensive play-therapy sessions throughout the year. Overnight Adventure Camps for ages nine and up include weekend getaways in the Metro area, four-day road trips, and weeklong camps at Snow Mountain Ranch in Granby where campers go ziplining, sailing, horseback riding, and swimming. Programs are designed and delivered by trained therapists. Registration: Camps fill up fast but waiting lists are available. Contact: Lesley at 303-563-8290, lesley@adamscamp.org.

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Colorado Parent | April 2020

A.R.I.S.E (ADAPTIVE RECREATION AND INCLUSION SERVICES FOR EVERYONE) Recreation opportunities and programs to expand social, cognitive, affective, and physical abilities. Aurora auroragov.org A.R.I.S.E. day camps are held Monday through Thursday, for age 13 and up. Camp experiences include cooking classes, swimming, museum visits, behind-the-scenes tours, and attending plays, water parks, and farms. There are two overnight weekend camps for age 18 and up. Registration: Begins on April 10. Register online, in person at any Aurora recreation center, or by phone at 303-326-8650. Waiting lists are also available. ASCENDIGO SUMMER ADVENTURES CAMP Camp for kids age seven and up on the autism spectrum, offering opportunities to get outdoors. Roaring Fork Valley ascendigo.org Incorporating a Naturalistic Developmental Behavioral Intervention approach—the use of natural settings to teach developmental skills—the staff at Ascendigo creates individualized lesson

Campers: Megan's Place.. Boy and counselor: Asendigo Summer Adventures Camp.

COLORADO SPECIAL PARENT 2020

No Limitations

Kids with autism learn developmental skills in a nature setting at Ascendigo Summer Adventures Camp.

plans to help provide unique experiences for campers. Activities include sports, horseback riding, wakeboarding, rafting, and climbing. Registration: Registration and scholarship


Group: Hopkins Summer Program.

applications are available online. If a particular week or sport is full, a waiting list will be started.

COLORADO SPECIAL PARENT 2020

BRECKENRIDGE OUTDOOR EDUCATION CENTER (BOEC) SUMMER WILDERNESS PROGRAMS Outdoor adventure camps for a variety of ages, disabilities, and special needs. Breckenridge, Arkansas River, and Buena Vista boec.org Overnight camps provide experiences with camping, rafting, rock climbing, fully accessible high ropes course, canoeing, and kayaking depending on the type of camp. Kids live, work, and play with supervision by BOEC staff and, in some camps, specialized therapists from Children's Hospital Colorado, Brain Injury Alliance of Colorado (BIAC), and other specialty organizations. Registration: Begin the registration process on the BOEC website to learn more about specific camps. CAMP PAHA Sports and leisure day camp for people ages six to 25 with various cognitive or developmental disabilities and diagnoses. Lakewood lakewood.org/paha Staff trained to assist in Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), including grooming, feeding, and other daily tasks. Campers are divided into small groups with one staffer for every four kids for activities that include swimming and other sports, arts and crafts, hiking, drama, and music. Registration: A preregistration process must be completed before signing up for classes. Campers will be automatically placed on a waiting list when they select their desired sessions, until their profile is complete and verified. CFCE SUMMER CAMP Twelve-week day camps for children age two and up with motor disabilities. Arvada, Aurora, and Loveland conductiveed.com Children at CFCE summer camp work on gross and fine motor skills, increase their flexibility and strength, and practice life skills, such as dressing, transferring, and eating in groups of similarlyabled peers. Campers also spend time outside, make arts and crafts, bake, and play games. Registration: Set up a free assessment by emailing admin@conductiveed.com before registering. Download the registration form to get dates and fees online.

learn to ride a conventional two-wheel bicycle using adapted bike equipment. A second camp, The Magic of Music and Dance, is a weeklong (Monday through Friday) day camp for all ages to practice dance, movement, singing, and acting while creating and performing a production. Activities also include swimming, rafting, and a family barbecue. Registration: Register online at challengeaspen.org/summer-camps. If camps are full, call 970-923-0578.

CHALLENGE ASPEN Day camps for kids of all ages with various special needs, but especially designed for those with cognitive or developmental disabilities. Glenwood Springs and Basalt challengeaspen.org iCan Bike day camp, through the iCan Shine program, helps kids age eight and up with disabilities

COLORADO LIONS CAMP Provides summer programs for people with special needs, ages eight to adult. Pike National Forest, 30 minutes west of Colorado Springs coloradolionscamp.org These weeklong (Sunday through Friday) summer camps are geared toward people with a variety of special needs, including blind and

Campers at Hopkins Summer Program balance work on individual goals with field trips around metro Denver.

vision impaired, deaf and hearing impaired, Down syndrome, Asperger’s syndrome, sensory processing disorders, and mental disabilities. Working in a 1:4 staff to camper ratio, activities include archery, arts and crafts, a ropes course, talent show, sports, and nature activities. Registration: Register online. Names will be placed on a waiting list if camps are full. HOPKINS SUMMER PROGRAM Children ages six to 13, with academic challenges and developmental disabilities, gain socialization while exploring Denver metro communities. Denver hopkinseducationservices.com This camp starts in a classroom setting, where campers work on targeted IEP goals or individual skills at their level. Afternoons are spent on daily field trips around the metro area related to the theme of the week, in supported, small ratios. Registration: Complete the online application.

April 2020 | ColoradoParent.com

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COLORADO SPECIAL PARENT 2020

Frisbee: Highlands Ranch Community Association. Children with circuit: T.A.C.T.

Discounts are available for multiple weeks. A meetand-greet will be scheduled prior to camp to aid in the transition and personalize the experience. HRCA THERAPEUTIC RECREATION CAMPS Sports and science camps for kids with a variety of needs. Highlands Ranch hrcaonline.org/tr A variety of programs are run by Therapeutic Recreation staff and assisted by volunteers. Camps include teaching balance and coordination; skills to play a variety of sports, emphasizing teamwork; a STEM challenge with engineering with Legos; and training for a kids triathlon in August. Registration: Register online, by phone at 303-471-7043, or email Summer Aden at summer.aden@hrcaonline.org. Waiting lists are available. Contact Summer for availability of classes of interest. MEGAN’S PLACE Respite care and summer camp for children with disabilities, ages three to 18. Wheat Ridge and YMCA of the Rockies: Snow Mountain Ranch megansplacellc.org In addition to activities and field trips at their Wheat Ridge location, a select number of children attend the sleepaway YMCA camp which includes archery, paddling, fishing, swimming, and summer tubing. Many of the staff are trained on seizures, g-tubes, catheters, injections, and medication administration. All staff are CPR/first-aid certified. Registration: Begins on April 1. Call Kristin at 720-427-1979 to set up a tour and meet with staff to make sure camp will be a good fit. Paperwork is available online. NATIONAL SPORTS CENTER FOR THE DISABLED (NSCD) THERAPEUTIC HORSEBACK RIDING CAMP Adaptive lessons for athletes with any physical, emotional, behavioral, or cognitive diagnosis. Snow Mountain Ranch, Granby nscd.org Four-day overnight camps for individuals age 10 and up include cookouts and tent camping. Campers learn how to tend to and ride horses, practicing skills in the arena and on daily trail rides. Campers who are not independent in selfcare require a personal care provider. Registration: Registration and waiting lists are available online. If the minimum number of campers is not met 7 days prior to the camp, it will be canceled. Contact Diane at 303-807-5722. ROCKY MOUNTAIN VILLAGE, EASTERSEALS COLORADO Sleepaway camp in the mountains for people, age six and up, with any kind of physical and/or developmental disabilities. Empire easterseals.com Campers at Rocky Mountain Village enjoy horseback riding, zip lining, climbing, swimming, arts

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and crafts, music, drama, and fishing while gaining outdoor living skills. Counseling staff works in low ratios with campers, often providing oneon-one care. Two nurses are on-site all summer. Registration: Register online and create a profile. If a camp session fills up, the camper will automatically be put on the waiting list. Contact campinfo@eastersealscolorado.org or call 303-569-2333 for more information. STAR INSTITUTE SUMMER CAMPS Half-day camps for kids ages three to 17 with sensory processing challenges and other diagnosed disorders. Centennial/DTC spdstar.org Camps through STAR Institute include School Readiness Boot Camp, Superhero in Training Summer Camp, and Bike Camp. Social skills, language, and engagement are developed through games, sports, crafts, and cooking with guidance from occupational therapists trained to assist with sensory processing and integrated skills. Registration: Visit the website to select the desired camp and complete the intake registration form. Once received, parents will be contacted with next steps to either pay a deposit or be placed on the waiting list. T.A.C.T (TEACHING THE AUTISM COMMUNITY TRADES) SUMMER CAMPS Students with autism spectrum disorder are exposed to hands-on activities that are enjoyable but also lead to skilled trades. Denver buildwithtact.org Camp classes are geared toward specific age groups and include guidance in hands-on activities such as learning how to make musical

TOP: HRCA Therapeutic Recreation Camps in Highlands Ranch give kids a chance to play sports, engineer with Legos, and build friendships. BOTTOM: Summer camps through T.A.C.T. include hands-on activities that build skills in various trades.

instruments, sewing, furniture-making, and an introduction into the trades that includes carpentry, electronics, fiber arts, and auto mechanics. Registration: Visit the website to register. Camps fill up fast due to their small size. Contact Becky at becky@buildwithtact.org for questions. Courtney Drake-McDonough is a Denver native, writer, editor, and mom of four.


COLORADO SPECIAL PARENT 2020

Ages 14+ June 15-19, 9am-1pm 535 E Mississippi, Denver 80210

@MOVEINCLUSIVEDANCE

Empowering individuals with autism through education and employment in skilled trades.

www.buildwithtact.org

April 2020 | ColoradoParent.com

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60 Ideas for Fun at Home

Check out these fun ways to keep the family entertained at home. Look for even more home-based activities at ColoradoParent.com

A Project a Day Keeps the Boredom at Bay By Christina Katz

Background, doodles: Getty Images.

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taying engaged during long days at home does not have to mean planning elaborate activities or purchasing expensive toys. Galvanize kids’ attention by keeping a fun list of projects that can be done with scant money and planning. Many of these projects encourage upcycling household items or picking up or ordering a few inexpensive items. Consider any projects that may interest your children and print out instructions you find online. Then pull all your projects into a folder, make a list of supplies, and gather or order them to have on hand. Once the first chorus of "I'm bored" begins, you'll be ready to dive into plenty of fun hands-on ideas. 1. Plant seeds for a vegetable garden that everyone will enjoy.    2. Bake homemade granola for energizing yet economical breakfasts.   3. Make a beanbag-toss ladder game for playing after dinner.   4. Sign up for a far-away pen pal and write weekly letters.    5. Grab binoculars, a guidebook, and a notepad, and take a bird-watching walk.  

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6. Create an ultimate croquet game with obstacles impeding each wicket. 7. Make sock puppets and construct a theater for performing with them.   8. Blow bubbles with kitchen items and homemade bubble formula.   9. Create bedroom window banners with craft supplies you have on hand.     10. Mix up a batch of strawberry shortcake biscuits and serve with berries and homemade whipped cream.    11. Plant sunflowers in cups on a windowsill and then transfer them outdoors once they have sprouted.    12. Start a homemade instrument band.   13. Paint colorful garden rocks and encircle the house with them.    14. Gather items that signify your era and bury them in a time capsule.   15. Set up a table, chairs, and teacups for a fancy tea party.

16. Melt old crayons into rainbow crayons using muffin tins.   17. Make a watch-me-grow-up slideshow and send it to far-away relatives   18. Construct an indoor or outdoor fort.   19. Have pets pose for photos you can use to paint watercolor portraits.    20. Hold a paper airplane making and flying competition.   21. Once it's warm enough, camp out overnight in the backyard.  


CALLING ALL

PA R E N T S!

C olor ado Pa r e nt h a s l au nc he d a ne w ne w s le t te r for Fa m i l ie s L i v i ng w it h S p e c i a l Ne e d s: C olo r ad o S p e c i a l Pa r e nt . It c o ve r s e ve r y t h i ng f r om t he l ate s t lo c a l ne w s a nd e x p e r t ad v ic e , to ad apt i ve a nd i nc lu s i ve e ve nt s t h at e n r ic h a c h i ld's l i fe . It c on ne c t s f a m i l ie s w it h r e s ou r c e s a nd sh a r e s t he r e a l s tor ie s of lo c a l f a m i l ie s on a s i m i l a r j ou r ne y. SIGN UP NOW AT

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22. Recycle whimsical items into a fairy garden in a shady spot.   23. Spray a glow-in-the-dark maze onto the lawn for evening fun.   24. Put on an outdoor play, original or adapted.    25. Pack up juice boxes and snacks for a leisurely bike ride.   26. Spend the day learning to juggle.   27. Lay on blankets in the yard and read books or poetry out loud.   28. Make muffins or coffee cake with blueberries and share some with an elderly neighbor.    29. Make models from kits on a sunny porch or patio.   30. Plan a hydrated hike destination you can reach from home, then rest, then go back.   31. Paint words, names, or destinations on scraps of wood and make them into signposts around the yard.   32. Make a role model collage with images and words and then share what you admire aloud.    33. Gather up white clothing and shoes, then tie-dye them or decorate them with permanent markers.   34. Come up with a fantastic family vacation then start a vision board you can add to over time.   35. Research, practice, and put on a magic show complete with hats and capes.

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36. Create a family nature journal that includes pressed samples and photos you can add to all summer.   37. Hang rolled paper against a flat wall and let each child make a colorful graffiti statement.    38. Research another era and make retro paper dolls and outfits.   39. Make found-object wind chimes to hang by front and back doors.   40. Grab a couple ladders, pool noodles, and folding lawn chairs and construct an over-under obstacle course.   41. Make up photo scavenger hunts for each other.   42. Pick up a putter, sink some plastic cups in the lawn, and turn your yard into a mini golf course.   43. Research group dances and have after-dinner practices.   44. Search online by day and study the constellations you will watch for by night.    45. Virtually visit a faraway place of each child's choosing through the internet.   46. Make a family patchwork quilt by giving each family member a certain number of squares to finish. Use fabric scraps from around the house.   47. Make homemade pizzas from scratch.   48. Make origami with waterproof paper and hang them from tree branches in the yard.   49. Practice all day for a family talent night.   50. Practice colorful cookie, cake, or cupcake decorating.  

51. Study fashion history and then pull together fashions out of recycled materials. 52. Sit around the fire pit and share what you like about books you are reading.   53. Set up an indoor or outdoor theater, pop popcorn, and stream a favorite movie.    54. Arrange a stuffed animal parade.   55. Drape together a napping or reading tent with sheer drapes hung from the ceiling.   56. Create an oversized map for an outdoor treasure hunt.   57. Construct a city out of recycled items. 58. Craft a maze in the yard with masking tape or painter’s tape.    59. Learn a new card game.   60. Share what you appreciate about time together with your family over homemade pie or cake.   Author, journalist, and writing coach Christina Katz remembers lazy days of inspired imagination, creativity, and bliss, in the days long before cell phones.


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Roundup

maybe can’t do other sports due to disabilities of some sort, yet they can come to our gym and instantly become a ninja.” Ninja Intensity is always adding something new and trying to duplicate the obstacles seen on ANW. Age four and up. ninjaintensity.com

WARRIOR CHALLENGE ARENA Broomfield In business for 14 years, Warrior Challenge Arena houses more than 120 different challenges in four categories: team challenges, personal challenges, competition games, and high-flying stunts. “Every activity is facilitated by a coach who will customize the program based on the ages, skill sets, competitiveness, and interests of the group,” says Michael Homan, owner. Age three and up. warriorchallengearena.com

Ninja Training Gyms Give your kids a new physical challenge with this growing sport. By Lydia Rueger

F

ollowing the popularity of NBC’s show, American Ninja Warrior (ANW), which recently wrapped up its 11th season, gyms with obstacle courses in which kids can vault, swing, climb, and dodge have popped up all over. Try out these places for fun, or train for the next season of American Ninja Warrior Junior.

5280 Gymnastics in Littleton offers ninja classes for ages four and up.

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Colorado Parent | April 2020

FLOW VAULT PARKOUR & NINJA Henderson “[Flow Vault] is unique in the way that it brings both parkour and Ninja Warrior professional training from basic recreational classes to competitive teams,” says owner and ANW competitor, Lorin Ball. Parkour utilizes climbing, swinging, vaulting, and tumbling to get from point A to point B, explains Ball, while ninja training focuses on obstacles modeled after the TV show, usually involving more upper body conditioning. Age five and up. ninjabrandparkour.com

NINJA INTENSITY Castle Rock Ninja Intensity owner Brandi Lebsack opened the gym for her son. “I knew there were kids out there that didn’t love the typical or traditional sports,” she says. “We also have kids that

5280 GYMNASTICS NINJA CLASSES Littleton A competitive gymnastics facility, 5280 Gymnastics features a challenging salmon ladder obstacle. “Students that are able to master it can be confident to beat the same obstacle almost anywhere else,” says 5280’s ninja director, Donielle Court. Classes are based on the curriculum created by ANW champion, Drew Drechsel. Age six and up. 5280gymnastics.com

NINJA NATION Centennial and Lafayette Ninja Nation offers many of the same iconic obstacles seen on ANW, with an emphasis on safety. “Our focus on energy, encouragement, and engagement really helps kids learn to fail and get back up again,” says Jill Cummiskey, regional director of operations. Age five and up. ninjanation.com

Click here to find six more places to train like a ninja.

Child on bars: Ninja Nation. Group in gym: 5280 Gymnastics.

Kids can train on many of the same obstacles seen on ANW at Ninja Nation gyms.


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Colorado Parent April 2020  

Colorado Parent's April 2020 issue is here! Read about 15 camps for kids with special needs, steps to a greener family life, 60 fun things t...

Colorado Parent April 2020  

Colorado Parent's April 2020 issue is here! Read about 15 camps for kids with special needs, steps to a greener family life, 60 fun things t...

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