Colorado Parent July 2023

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with Courage Series
Tips to Avoid Summer Learning
Cool off with a Cone
The Must -Have Birthday Guide


There are a variety of different ways you can enjoy a summer vacation that fits within your budget.


There’s plenty for families to do, see, and explore in Estes Park!


Leaving your child home alone? Check out this article!


Amy Foreman


Brandon Foreman


Alexis Alexander

Laurie Acosta

Client Relations


Austria Cohn

Emily Drez

your child is begging you for a pet, here are some tips to help them manage their new friend. @coloradoparentmagazine @coloradoparent @coloradoparent Sign up for our E-NEWSLETTER at @coloradoparent CONNECT WITH US
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Poppin’ Fireworks and more

The 4th of July Street Fair and Family-Friendly Beer Garden

On Second and Washington Streets in the town of Monument, you’ll be treated to a street fair complete with food, arts and crafts vendors, booths of local businesses and nonprofit organizations, and much more. The fair runs from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and connects with the family-friendly beer garden in nearby Limbach Park that features performances by local musicians through 5 p.m.

Monument Hill Kiwanis 4th of July Parade

Hosted by the Monument Hill Kiwanis Club, the parade, notably dubbed the “biggest small-town parade in America,” kicks off with a children’s parade that begins at 9:30 a.m. followed by an Air Force flyby that marks the beginning of the main parade at 10 a.m.

Fourth of July Celebration in Breckenridge

Anyone who visits Breckenridge knows the mountain town is famous for its Victorian architecture, but this celebration is a close second in memorability. This celebration includes a 10k trail run that ends in Carter Park, the Firecracker 50 Mountain Bike Race noted for its difficult terrain, and a parade down Main Street that showcases floats, car and bike clubs, and more.

4th of July Spectacular in Aurora

At the Aurora Municipal Center, feel the hype by attending this evening of food, vendors, and musical performances starting at 6 p.m. For those wishing to see a fireworks show, they have you covered. Once you’ve had your fill of fun, highlight the night by heading to the Great Lawn for a fireworks display beginning at 9:30 p.m.

The Great American Picnic and Fireworks

Gather your friends and family and flock to Broomfield County Commons Park for an evening of fun. Enjoy inflatables, a one-of-a-kind bike parade live music, concession stands and food vendors, and an adults-only beer garden. They plan to close out the evening at 9:15 p.m. with a fireworks display.

A Platform For Girls’ Dreams
Solutions How to Throw a Birthday Party for Your Sensory Sensitive Child
Things We Love Picks for Summer Fun
Birthday Listings good to know contents 2022 2022 2022 2022 home
Birthday Experiences in Denver good to know
Independence Day at these exciting events
for everyone!
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Photo by Breckenridge Tourism Office

Top 5 Places to Get a Cone

Whether it’s after a hike, visit after dinner, or spur-of-a-moment trip, cool off this summer with velvety and rich ice cream. These are some of the best shops to stop at around Colorado that will satisfy everyone’s ice cream craving.


This delicious ice cream spot isn’t just known for the fun flavors and exciting toppings that delight every child’s taste buds, but the atmosphere will bring every family back wanting more! At Imagirifik, there are prizes, play equipment, candy, video games, and more that will easily fill an entire afternoon with fun. Whether it’s a cotton candy ice cream topped with Fruity Pebbles, Lucky Charm Marshmallows, and Gummy Bears or the Sleepless espresso ice cream with nuts and Heath bar, everyone can create a cone that is perfect for them. Imagirifik, Centennial.


Rolled ice cream is becoming a popular dessert choice that turns traditional ice cream into a new and exciting concoction. At Milkit, pick your favorite flavor from the long list like Chai Tea, Chocolate, Java Chip, Mango, or Mint Oreo, and top the rolled ice cream with Popping Pearls, jelly, fresh fruit, or loved chocolate bars to make a delicious treat. Milkit also offers Boba Tea and signature creations like Meet Your Matcha, Nutella Ooh Na Na, and Takes Two to Mango. Milkit, Greenwood Village.

Bonnie Brae

Nothing can beat homemade ice cream from a family-owned shop like Bonnie Brae. The retro shop has several flavorful choices, from classics like chocolate, strawberry, and Rocky Road, to exciting mixtures like Tripe Death Chocolate, Amaretto Peach, and Sticky Fingers. The family shop offers 28 different flavors in addition to sherbet and sorbets.

Bonnie Brae Ice Cream, Denver.

Caffeinated Cow

After a Colorado Springs adventure, swing by the cream parlor, Caffeinated Cow, for a sweet ice cream cone or a cup of coffee with a creamy aroma. Caffeinated Cow focuses on family, community, and locally-sourced ingredients to brighten everyone’s MOO-d. Along with the delicious treats, the parlor offers a fresh food menu like bagels, pastries, and sandwiches that are baked locally every day. Caffeinated Cow, Colorado Springs.

MyKings IceCream

For a colorful and rich scoop, head to MyKings IceCream, which welcomes every customer with tunes. There are 12 rotating flavors in addition to the six that are always available, like the Superman, Blue Moon, and Golden Oreo. If you don’t want a cone, no problem! The Mile High Floats, creamy milkshakes, ice cream cookies, and dessert nachos are great alternatives.

MyKings IceCream, Denver.



Parenting with Courage: Values-Based Parenting

— Austria Cohn

contents happenings 27 Our Top Picks for July 30 To Do Today fresh mindset 34 Fresh Mindset Meet Kara Hellums good to know 25 learn 23 Summer Learning Loss is Real

Noun, tre·ppie [treh-pee] a young female entrepreneur leveraging the power of Treppie’s online storefront marketplace to transform her handmade artisanal work into a thriving business. Taken from the middle part of the word En-trep-reneur.

Treppie is a Denver-based online marketplace that has gone national, which sells products from art pieces, clothing, and jewelry, to customized pet accessories and party supplies. All of these products are made by female entrepreneurs who range in age from 9 to 25. Jennifer Andrews is the founder of Treppie, and her vision for the company is to teach, support, and provide a safe platform for young women to sell their products.

Andrews, who is a speech pathologist by training, will never forget the day she conducted a speech test on a 10-year-old girl who gifted her with a handmade makeup pouch.

“It was so cute and truly fantastic, like something that I would have bought at Pink’s or Wish Gifts,” Andrews says.

After suggesting that her young student pursue selling the bags as a business, Andrews began finding other talented girls looking for a place to sell their creations. Shortly after, Treppie was born.

A Platform For Girls’ Dreams

By selling through Treppie, young girls will learn basic life skills like how to be proficient with time management and how to fill out a W-9. These young entrepreneurs will also learn important business elements like understanding SEO and profit margin, as well as learning how to sell goods through product descriptions and picture quality.

“Education is everything to me,” Andrews says. “These basic skills can be learned at any age, and the more you learn, the better you'll be at anything you do. This educational piece is really what separates us from all these other platforms.”

With young females selling products in a virtual market, safety is at the forefront of Treppie. The company guides the sellers through the mailing process and product pictures (not showing their faces). Especially for sellers that are under 18, Treppie encourages the girls not to name their storefronts after themselves.

Many young entrepreneurs begin selling their products on social media like Instagram, and they would receive direct messages and take some form of virtual payment. Seeing how other people were selling products online, Andrews wanted to take safety a step further. Treppie’s financial team is communicating with the potential buyer. Before passing on the order, they make sure it’s a legitimate buyer, so the girls aren’t spending all the time and money on a fake order.

“I certainly want to do everything I can to make this a positive and safe experience for them,” Andrews says. “We do a lot of PR work, like we market their products on social media.”

Next time you’re looking for a gift or want to find a handmade bath bomb or custom portrait of your favorite four-legged friend, check online at This is a great way to find unique and customized products, while supporting the dreams of young female entrepreneurs.

good to know

How to Throw a Birthday Party for Your Sensory-Sensitive Child

Birthdays. They come once a year and are usually met with much anticipation and excitement by the celebrated boy or girl. When you think birthdays, you think balloons, cake, ice cream, friends, and presents, right? Those are all wonderful traditions, but what happens when you have a child who actually acts out (in a defiant) way, when all of these good things are going on around them? Children with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) want to be celebrated like any other child, but for the parents who have to watch the tailspin of emotions that come from what was supposed to be a great day to what has now become a dreaded occasion–can be very tough. Let these six tips help you celebrate and enjoy your child on their birthday because when it really comes down to it, they want to be loved on just like everyone else.

1. Bigger isn’t always better. I used to tell myself that I had to invite every single one of my son’s friends to his birthday party in order for it to be a success. Wrong. The more kids I invited, the more hyper he got because there was just too much going on for him to focus on what the occasion was really about: him. Now we let him invite one friend to do one special thing and the focus becomes about the

experience of the party and not the behavior.

2. No hype. Remind your child that her birthday is coming up and that you are so excited to be celebrating her special day. Talk to her about her very first birthday and share photos with her from years past. Instill the idea that the day she was born was one of the best days of your life and that you are so thankful to have her as your daughter. This special moment will prioritize what is really important about her upcoming day: that she is happy, healthy, and loved. Sometimes when parents build up the big day, it can become too overwhelming for their child to understand. No need to downplay the big day, but do not build so much anticipation that your child is unrealistic about what to expect.

3. Kids who are sensory seeking (like loud noises, have a hard time understanding personal space, are loud, and in general, pretty hyper) are easily swept up in the chaos that can come with a birthday party. Think outside the box and invite one or two friends to keep the noise level to a minimum to help your child function on his special day.

4. Kids who are sensory avoiding (get stressed out by loud noises, do not like to be touched, get overwhelmed when there are multiple things going on) will most likely act out if they cannot process what is going on around them. Remove the obstacles before the party even begins and set your child up for success. Instead of latex balloons that pop easily and make loud noises that can scare children, opt for Mylar balloons. They last longer and are less likely to pop. Instead of buying your child 10 gifts that she will likely forget about once she has opened them, buy her two or three gifts that you know she will get lots of play out of

and that are equally beneficial to her (necklace making kit, dinosaur excavation kit, or water beads). It is simply too much for a child with sensory issues to be expected to sit still in front of 20 people, opening gifts, saying thank you, and remaining calm. Know your child’s limits and work around them.

5. Pick the right time of day. If you know your son is usually grumpy in the morning but acts pretty happy in the afternoon, then plan a get together in the afternoon. If you have a big family and you know your child does not do well with lots of people around, turn his birthday into a birth week and space out when he sees people. This will be more fun for everyone involved. Family gets a chance to celebrate and notice the birthday boy and you get to be around an equally happy child who is more likely to act appropriately when the attention is directed at him.

6. Don’t expect too much. If you notice that your child is getting overwhelmed by everything going on around her, take a time out. Let your child have a few minutes to herself to collect her thoughts and take things down a notch. Maybe instead of playing Pin the Tail on the Donkey, you opt for a coloring contest where each person gets a prize for participating. Children with SPD have a hard time understanding social situations that other people just simply know how to handle. Take the drama out of a birthday meltdown and create an environment where everyone wins.

Celebrating a birthday can be bittersweet for the parents of children with SPD. Most likely, we have thought of every way possible to make the day a great one for our child, only to be disappointed when they act out from not being able to process all that is going on around them. This heavy weight of guilt washes over us as if we cannot breathe and we start to question whether or not we are good parents for only allowing our child to invite one friend to his party. Let go of the guilt and accept the reality for what it is. Your child functions better when things are simple. Celebrate that, and while you are at it, celebrate the fact that you and your child have made it one more year growing in this SPD world together.


Things We Love

Do you have a child who loves to paint but you don't want to deal with the mess? This iHeartArt Paint By Numbers art kit comes with a 1.25-foot hangable canvas, 16 paint colors, 2 brushes, and a pullout tray that functions as a workstation. $19.99,

When a cold drink doesn't cut it, you need a nice consistent breeze to stave off the heat. The JISULIFE Portable Neck Fan is compact and lightweight and features 78 air outlets and three speeds to keep you cool. $39.99,

Ice cream is the perfect way to cool off after a long day of playing outside in the heat. Serve up to 4 quarts of sweet treats like ice cream, frozen yogurt, or gelato in minutes with this Electric Ice Cream Maker and its powerful motor. $57.99,

What’s more classic than a water balloon fight? These refillable and self-sealing silicone Reusable Magnetic Water Balloons will keep any water fight rolling easily. Since they don't burst, you won't have to pick up any balloon bits in the yard. $24.99,

Want to play baseball without the hassle of driving to the park and fighting for a spot to play ball? Bring the baseball field to your backyard with this Grand Slam Baseball Water Slide made of durable PVC that comes with a baseball and a bat. $34.97,

good to know
Keep the fun going with these products for your little artist, the ice cream enthusiast, for beating the heat, and getting some outside time.
BIRTHDAY LISTINGS All graphics for the Birthday Listings by 16 COLORADO PARENT JULY 2023


Bake My Day

(303) 482-5882

Cake Size: 6-12”

Delivery: Yes

Cain’s Creative Cakes

194 S. Federal Blvd., Denver (303) 619-4541

Cake Size: Various

Delivery: Yes

Cake Crumbs

2216 Kearney St., Denver (303) 861-4912

Cake Size: 4-12”

Delivery: Yes

Cute Cakes and Bakes

6951 W. Ida Dr., Littleton (515) 720-2708

Cake Size: 4-12”

Delivery: Yes

Denver Cake Company

Cake Size: 6-14”

Delivery: Yes

Flick of the Whisk Cakes

(720) 279-4318

Cake Size: 6-10”

Delivery: Yes

French for Sugar 1201 E Colfax Ave., Denver (303) 522-6886

Cake Size: 6-8”

Delivery: Yes

Glam Cakes and Confections

16542 E. Powers Pl., Centennial (303) 704-9365

Cake Size: 3-17”

Delivery: Yes

Made by Hand Cakes

(720) 712-8799

Cake Size: 6-10”

Delivery: Yes

Mermaid’s Bakery

1543 Champa St., Denver (303) 534-0956

Cake Size: 8”-Half Sheet

Delivery: Yes

Mile High Pies & Cakes

Denver (303) 552-2628


Cake Size: 6-12”

Delivery: N/A

Milk & Cake 6345 East Hampden Ave., Denver (303) 757-2007

Cake Size: 6-10”

Delivery: Yes

Phresh Baked Goods

(720) 828-3855

Cake Size: 4-14”

Delivery: Yes

Wicked Ambitionz Catering

15133 E. Wesley Ave., Aurora (720) 318-9208

Cake Size: 9-16”

Delivery: Yes


Ages: 5-99

Rates: $375

Time Range: 1-5 hours


Ella’s Charm

7156 Issasquah Dr., Colorado Springs

(719) 551-8001

Ages: 2-14

Rates: $100

Time Range: 1-3 hours

Grasshopper Kids

(720) 644-1670

Ages: 3-12

Rates: $200-500

Time Range: 1-2 hours

Little Monkey Bizness

10430 S. Progress Way., Parker (303) 841-5888

Ages: 10 months-8 years

Rates: $169-399

Time Range: 1.5-2 hours

Luigi’s Game Truck

2493 Northview Pl., Castle Rock

(720) 363-7043

Mystic Escape Room

5776 S. Rapp St., Littleton (303) 862-9666

Ages: 7+

Rates: $86-218

Time Range: 1 hour

Play n’ Paint

1814 S. Naples St., Aurora (313) 400-8787

Ages: 4-18

Rates: $250-350

Time Range: 2 hours

Play Street Museum

7075 Austin Bluffs Pkwy., Colorado Springs (719) 377-9779


Ages: 8 and under

Rates: $400-995

Time Range: 1-2 hours

Renaissance Adventures

5717 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder (303) 786-9216

Ages: 6-17

Rates: $100-500

Time Range: 0.5-2 hours

Royally Enchanted Princess and Character Parties

6172 S. Telluride St., Aurora (720) 505-0451

Ages: 1-18

Rates: $170-1,100

Time Range: 0.5-2 hours

Wands and Wishes


2823 Elmira St., Denver (720) 612-4363


Ages: 3-8

Rates: $130-250

Time Range: 0.5-1.5 hours



Virtual Party Supplies


(303) 469-5441

Ages: 1-Teens

Rates: $350-800

Time Range: 1-1.5 hours


Aerial Cirque Over Denver

4605 Quebec St., Denver (720) 560-4701

Ages: 6-14

Rates: $250-400

Time Range: 1.5-2 hours

Archery Games Denver

5405 W. 56th Ave., Arvada (303) 305-4531

Ages: 6+

Rates: $24-30

Time Range: 1-2 hours

artSPARK Creative Studio

2630 W. Belleview Ave., Littleton (303) 795-7897

Ages: 1-13

Rates: $325-550

Time Range: 1.5 hours

Butterfly Pavilion

6252 W. 104th

Ave., Westminster

Candeeland Kids

7969 E. Arapahoe Rd., Greenwood Village (720) 799-2244

Ages: 0-9

Rates: $400-550

Time Range: 2 hours

Colorado Bounce Company

12790 W. Alameda Pkwy., Lakewood (720) 524-7033

Ages: 10 and under

Rates: $150-700

Time Range: 0-2 hours

Rates: $245-395

Time: 2-4 hours

Warrior Challenge Arena

3400 Industrial

Ln., Broomfield (720) 370-9700

Ages: 4-18

Rates: $20-40

Time Range: 1-2.5 hours


3971 Palmer Park Blvd., Colorado Springs (773) 637-9999

Ages: 10-16

Rates: $25-35

Time: 0-2 hours

Kids Wonder 7562 S. University Blvd., Centennial (303) 835-0709

Ages: 0-6

Rates: $249-979

Time Range: 2 hours

Loveland Laser Tag

401 N. Denver Ave., Loveland (970) 663-9999

Ages: 5-8



7 Birthday Experiences in Denver

If your child has had several birthday parties already (the ones with DIY decorations and dozens of little ones running around the room you will eventually have to clean), you may be looking to do something a little different for their next birthday. Instead of a birthday party, consider a birthday experience! Birthday experiences are still parties, but they are less about the sugar highs and gifts and more about memorable experiences with friends and family. Here are some places in Denver that will be a whole lot of fun for the birthday child.


Top Golf

Golfing at Top Golf is a great experience for beginners and pros alike. Rather than standing outside at a golf course underneath the hot sun, Top Golf’s three-story hitting bays are climatecontrolled and feature TVs, complimentary clubs, free wifi, self-scoring balls, a bar, and a restaurant. You can even order food and drinks from your bay! If you don’t want to play, you can hang out at the rooftop terrace or mezzanine lounge, or you can sit back in the comfortable booth at your station and see who scores the highest.

Archery Games Denver

It’s more than just shooting at targets! Archery Games Denver, suitable for ages seven and up, is an “archery dodgeball” experience during which two teams will battle each other with bows and foam-tipped arrows on a massive playing field. Your group will play one of seven games after a quick practice round–no archery experience required! The game is completely safe, designed not to leave any marks or bruises, and masks will be provided to protect your eyes.

Kids Wonder

Let the birthday kid take on the world at Kids Wonder, a children’s play center perfect for little ones from six months to six years old. The facility’s “Lil’Town” has a home, school, grocery store, cafe, fire station, construction zone, theater, and a vet where your child can play pretend while learning important skills. If you’re celebrating a toddler’s birthday, there is a toddler-safe area with small climbers, slides, and playhouses. There are also

inflatables for children ages three to six years old. While no outside food or drinks are allowed, there are healthy snacks available for those who need to recharge.

American Paintball Coliseum

American Paintball Coliseum is Denver’s best destination for paintball, laser tag, and airsoft fields. Friends and family can battle it out in the obstacle-filled indoor paintball fields, hit bullseyes while axe throwing, run through a one-of-a-kind laser tag field, and more. Airsoft would be perfect for those who prefer not to get hit with paintballs.

Sky Zone Trampoline Park

Take your birthday experience to the extreme at Sky Zone! Whether you want to compete against friends and family or swing on your own, everyone is guaranteed to enjoy this experience. You’ll be soaring to new levels on the zipline, trapeze, and silks, or you can shoot hoops at SkySlam or play a game of Ultimate Dodgeball. Then, swing by the birthday child’s favorite restaurant for dinner and dessert.

Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus

Do some birthday exploration at the Children’s Museum! Children ages eight and under are invited to play and learn on their own terms in four kid-friendly exhibits: investigate, imagine, explore, and create. Here, you’ll learn the secrets behind bubbles, save the day at the fire station, go on adventures in Joy Park, learn about food and nutrition, and so much more. Your

birthday child will surely appreciate this gift of learning and want to go back again and again.

Denver Zoo

Your birthday experience will be a certified wild time at the Denver Zoo. You’ll get to make new furry, feathery, and scaly friends; get up close and personal with the giraffes; visit the animal hospital; and maybe even have an animal encounter while you’re there. As an extra birthday gift, you could book an experience at the Zoo such as feeding and petting the stingrays, an immersive 4-D experience, and an adventure with the lorikeets. Visit their website for events that may be happening during your visit.


Grandparents can gift experiences to their grandchildren as well! Instead of buying them the latest and greatest toy, here are some things you can do together:

• Teach them a new skill (baking, building, crocheting, fishing, etc.)

• Take them to lunch and a movie

• Go to the theater

• Do an activity together such as hiking or swimming

• Take a day (or weekend) trip to the nearest city you’d like to visit

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Summer Learning Loss is Real: Here are 9 Fun Ways to Prevent It

Education experts have known for some time that children who don't go to school throughout the year can experience learning loss when the summertime hits. Still, most schools and districts have yet to extend the school year in light of this information.


Statistics on summer learning loss vary depending on the study, but those studies most commonly cited have found that kids lose, on average, 2.6 months of math and two months of reading skills over the summer. Other studies, as reported in Summer learning loss: What is it, and what can we do about it? by David M. Quinn and Morgan Polikoff, have found varying results. But most notably, those in lower-income families tend to have greater learning loss during the summer than kids from higher-income families. Experts believe that this is largely attributed to the lack of resources available to lower-income families and in poorer communities.

The good news, however, is that there are ways to reduce your child's summer learning loss.

You can help your kids by providing them with plenty of educational and enrichment opportunities throughout the summer months ahead. The following fun activities will keep your kids' brains active. These activities will also help kids retain what they learned throughout the school year or even expand upon it.

Keep 'em reading.

Public libraries offer an array of summer programs for kids. Take your kids to the library often for special programs. Also, have them bring home a selection of books to read during the summer.

Play word, money, number, and logic games with them.

Look for board, video, and computer games, particularly those that have won educational awards. Also, search online for ideas for boardless games that don't require materials. Another idea is to turn it into an art activity. Have your kids create their own board game to play.

Incorporate learning into your travel. Before you go on your family vacation, do some advanced research. Look for science centers, history museums, and historical sites to build into your trip. Then, have your kids join you in mapping out the trip. This will help keep geography fresh in their minds while also learning map skills.

Do some journaling.

Give your kid a journal to write in. It can be fancy or just a spiral notebook. If your child hasn't kept a journal before, suggest she spend 20 minutes writing in it every night about her day's adventures and activities.

Let your child know that it's her private journal, and you should promise her that you will not read it unless she chooses to share it with you. This might encourage your child to invest more time and thought into her journaling.

Get messy with science.

If there's anything kids love, it's making a mess, and summer is the perfect time for messy science experiments. Pick up a kids' science experiments book from your library. Then, have your child read through and choose some experiments to do. Your children will learn a lot just from reading about the different experiments. Then, they'll have a blast pulling the experiments off.

Attend summer camp.

Look for a summer camp that has a strong emphasis on learning activities. The summer camp could be one that offers an array of activities that support a variety of subjects. There are also many summer camps with a special focus. Your child could choose one in an area she excels or has a particular interest in. Or, you could help your child choose one in an

area of difficulty that will help her to better grasp a specific subject before returning to school.

Get baking and cooking in the kitchen. Baking and cooking helps kids in both math and science. Have your kids choose a recipe they would like to make, but instead, have them make half a batch or triple the batch. This will require them to calculate the measurements, and all of you will have a delicious snack to enjoy together afterward.

Form a neighborhood or friends book club with their friends. This can be done a couple of different ways, depending on the age of your kids. Kids of similar ages can choose one book to read each week. Then, they can meet to talk about the book they read. They can discuss the plot and characters, what they liked about it, didn't like, and their take away from it.

Another type of book club, especially for younger kids, will require more parent involvement. Create a logging system so each child can keep a record of the books they've read. At the end of the summer, hold a pizza party for all of the participants. Create homemade certificates and give out inexpensive prizes to all the participants. Then, honor the winner with a special prize.

Do workbooks or puzzle books. Give your child a workbook for the grade your child just finished in school. Have your child work on it throughout the course of the summer to keep what she learned fresh in her mind. Another fun option is puzzle books. You can find puzzle books in most subject areas. There are mathematical, logic, word search, and crossword puzzle books.

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Parenting with Courage Values-Based Parenting

Here’s the truth: parenting is HARD. Between the sleep deprivation (whether it’s because you have littles or because your older children’s problems are keeping you up), the constant feeling of being needed, the never-ending list of to do's, and the absolute barrage of outside forces telling you how you “should” parent, it’s no wonder so many of us end up feeling lost. In fact, in a recent PEW research study, most parents (62 percent) reported that parenting has been harder than they expected, with over a quarter of parents (26 percent) reporting that parenting is a lot harder (anyone else feeling seen?).


Over the next four months, we will explore how to uncover an approach to parenting that is grounded in ease and self-trust so that parenting doesn’t feel so hard (sign me up!). This month, we will delve into how to use values as the inner compass from which all our parenting decisions can be guided. Then, in the subsequent three months, we will explore parenting through the lens of brain science, emotional intelligence, and tangible strategies. Each month I’ll also share some simple homework we can do to make progress in the direction toward more ease and confidence in our parenting. Shall we?

Clarifying our Values

While it would be great if there were a singular manual we could all read to teach us how to parent effectively (and I’d argue there are some books that get close), the







Calm Challenge









Concern for others




Delight of being








Once you have your short list of three to four values, next write down a couple sentences or phrases describing what that value means to you. For example, if you have a value of compassion, does that mean you give yourself compassion, or one another in your family, or perhaps it’s a value for everyone you encounter?

What does it look like to be compassionate? Does that mean forgiving yourself when you’ve made a mistake? Reminding your children that they are good humans when they fall short? Committing to see the best in one another and all people? Really getting

truth is, parenting is uniquely individual. Those of us with more than one kiddo know this phenomenon well–what seemed to work seamlessly for our first kiddo falls completely flat when tried the second time around. The same is true for parenting. You might read up on positive parenting and feel that it doesn’t “work” for you, but then you learn about conscious parenting and feel that it just “fits.” The reason for this is, in part, because we each have a unique set of values that guides our lives, including our parenting decisions. By definition, values are "a person’s principles or standards of behavior, or one’s judgment of what is important in life." Whether we are conscious of it or not, each of us is making decisions on a day-to-day basis that are rooted in what we value. Articulating what those values are is a great way to bring awareness to your decision-making, and

Faith Family






Global view




Hard work










Joy Justice






clear on what each of these values means for your family is an important first step. Once you’ve done this, find a place (or two or three) around the house where you can post these values so that everyone in your family sees them often.

Over the course of the next month, talk about these values with one another, and explore what each value looks like in parenting. If we go back to the compassion example, what does it look like to parent with compassion when your child lies to you about breaking or losing something? What does it look like to treat yourself with compassion

eventually to find a sustainable parenting approach that feels values-aligned, and therefore more grounded. So, that’s exactly what we will do this month.



Below you will find a list of values. As you read over them, take a moment to jot down any of the words that resonate for you. You can also feel free to add words not on this list. After your first pass, go back through the words you wrote down and circle the ones that really resonate for you. Finally, take that shortened list, and see if you can whittle it down to three to four values. Importantly, if you have a co-parent, or if your children are preschool aged or older, it can be incredibly helpful to do this exercise together, so that what results is a list of values that the whole family is on board with.



Others’ points of view



Personal Growth



Quality of work






Service to others









Tradition Trust

when you lie down in bed and reflect on the way you may have yelled at your kids that day?

Parenting from our values takes courage because it often means we must reflect on ways we may be falling short, and that takes a lot of vulnerability. It also means we may be judged for our parenting decisions when they don’t fit what mainstream parenting tells us we should do. With practice, what results is a steady confidence, and even a sense of ease, as we continue turning inward to find the answers for how we “should” parent.

Explore the works of over 250 artists showcasing various mediums, enjoy live music, and participate in interactive art activities. July 1-3. Cherry Creek North. Cherry Creek Arts Festival 1
happenings Our
Photo by Liz Levy

2 Rooftop Rodeo

Head to Estes Park for the annual Rooftop Rodeo, a family-friendly event showcasing traditional rodeo competitions such as bull riding, roping, and barrel racing. July 5-10. Estes Park.


Sensory-Friendly Playtime

Enjoy WOW! Children’s Museum by exploring the museum without noise, crowds, and stimulation of a typical day. July 16. WOW! Children’s Museum, Lafayette.


Colorado Dragon Boat Festival

Experience the vibrant culture of Asia at the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival. Enjoy cultural performances, traditional music, dance, and martial arts demonstrations. July 22-23. Sloan’s Lake Park, Denver.


Evergreen Jazz Festival

The beautiful mountainous landscape of Evergreen welcomes jazz lovers and features high-quality artists and bands from across the country. July 28-30. Evergreen.

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

OurPicks happenings 28 COLORADO PARENT JULY 2023


Yoga on the Rocks

Start your day with yoga at the most awe-inspiring venue, Red Rocks. Experience a bit of peace while you slow down and breathe in the open mountain air. Until August. Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison.

7 Bugs

Arapahoe County Fair 10

The Arapahoe County Fair is back for another exciting summer of activities that the entire family will love. Visitors can plan ahead for their outings or show up the day of and participate in the fun events happening. The fair features axe throwing, live music, lawn and carnival games, and even contests like the Team Jigsaw Puzzle, Fastest Fingers in the West, and Longest Potato Peel Contest!

Tomashi Jackson: Across the Universe

Tomashi Jackson creates vibrant research-driven works using different materials, and this specific exhibition will present nearly a decade of work across disciplines. Until September 10. Museum of Contemporary Art Denver.

Chocolate Factory Tour

On Friday, the fair is all about craft beer at the Pours on the Plains event. Guests will receive beer sampling tickets and have the chance to taste award-winning libations from more than 15 Colorado breweries. Pours on the Plains is a 21 and up event only, and guests must buy a separate ticket to participate in the Pours on the Plains.

Jump online to view the entire list of events happening throughout the weekend, like the Cirque Adventure, where guests will see acrobats fly, flip, and jump off just about anything. The performance makes for a great, family-friendly and high-adrenaline show. If you’re a dog-lover, then the Canine Stars Stunt Dog Show is one that you won’t want to miss, which includes big air stunts, dock diving, frisbee freestyle routines, high jumping, flyball racing, and other extreme dog sports. There is also a Petting Farm that children and families can explore together.

The fair begins Thursday, July 27, and ends Sunday, July 30. Friday and Saturday, the day will end with a sparkling and thrilling firework show at 9:30 p.m. Make sure to hop online to see all the activities and snag a ticket.

At Hammond’s Candies, explore the world of candy and see how lollipops, candy canes, and other delicious treats are made. Tours are offered throughout the year, and visitors can book online. Hammond’s Candies, Denver. Enter the world of bugs at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science through immersive activities and hands-on games and learn about their vital role in the natural world. Until August 27. Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
happenings OurPicks JULY 2023 COLORADOPARENT.COM 29

to do today


1 Saturday

Englewood Summer Markets


Head to the Englewood Civic Center for a lively day of food, local music, and 20+ vendors with artisan goods for sale. Shop at a variety of vendors, including jewelers and handcrafters, and grab lunch from one of the many food trucks. Englewood Civic Center.

2 Sunday Family Concert


Bring the whole family to the family concert: Peter and the Wolf + Goodnight Moon, a beloved symphonic fairytale to introduce young listeners to the instruments of the orchestra. Tickets

are $10 each; children under two that are sitting on laps may attend without a ticket. Chautauqua Auditorium, Denver.

South Pearl Farmers Market

The South Pearl Farmers Market offers a great variety of fresh and wholesome products. This farmers market supports the local community by offering products that are grown, raised, produced, or gathered by the vendor in Colorado and counties bordering the state. South Pearl Street, Boulder.

3 Monday Independence Eve


Celebrate Independence Day Eve with a spectacular firework show in the heart of downtown Denver at Civic Center Park. The Colorado Symphony and other local artists will perform sweet sounds. Gates open at 4 p.m., music begins at 6 p.m., and fireworks will blast off between 9:15 and 9:30 p.m. Civic Center Park, Denver.

Stars and Stripes Forever Firework Show


Get a jump on your Independence Day celebrations with fantastic music

and wonderful food and drinks from Breckenridge Brewery. This event is rain or shine, and no refunds will be offered in the case of inclement weather, so come prepared. Breckenridge Brewery, Littleton.

4 Tuesday Summer Carnival


Head to the Flatiron Crossing for an exciting Summer Carnival that is full of rides, games, and food. The carnival is happening daily until July 9 but is closed on Mondays. Make sure to buy tickets online in advance. Flatirons Crossing, Broomfield.

5 Wednesday

Cirque Du Soleil KOOZA

KOOZA combines acrobatic performance and the art of clowning while exploring fear, identity, recognition, and power. There are regular tickets, VIP experience, family packages, and more online. The performance is happening until August 13 and lasts 125 minutes. Ball Arena, Denver.

Free Days for Chatfield Farms

Throughout the year, Chatfield Farms and York Street offer free days for families to attend and have fun.

Registration is required, and spaces fill up quickly. Free days are for regular hours and do not include ticketed events. Chatfield Farms, Littleton.

6 Thursday

Drive-in Movie: Luca


The adorable movie about two sea monsters that dream of owning a Vespa and traveling the world is a perfect film to see with the whole family at Elitch Gardens. Movies are free with a season pass or park admission ticket. Elitch Gardens, Denver.

High Mountain Hay Fever

Bluegrass music echoes across the Wet Mountain Valley in the heart of the Rocky Mountains at the annual High Mountain Hay Fever Bluegrass Festival. Check online to view the music schedule for every day of the festival. Bluff and Summit Park, Westcliffe.

7 Friday

Colorado Black Arts Festival


Colorado Black Arts Festival proudly presents its 37th annual celebration of African American arts and culture and is free for everyone to attend. There will be amazing performances, different forms of art, a scavenger hunt, and more! Denver City Park West.

First Friday Art Walks


The First Friday Art walks at the Dairy Block are back! These art walks feature quality, family-friendly, westerninspired pieces at an affordable cost. There will be live local music, pop-up bars, and food and drink specials from Dairy Block Partners. Dairy Block, Denver.

8 Saturday



Crosscurrents is a day full of music on the South Platte River that is free to attend. Jam out to live music from two stages all day and sip on craft cocktails and cold beer. Kids and dogs are welcome and encouraged! Confluence Park, Denver.

PBS Kids Fest


Rocky Mountain PBS Kids Fest is back this summer! There will be games hosted by local community organizations, food trucks, and activities for the whole family to enjoy. Guests will even get a chance to meet Daniel Tiger. Be sure to bring your camera. Panorama Park, Colorado Springs.

Enjoy Fitness in the Park on July 9.
Photo by Rui Dias

9 Sunday

Fitness in the Park


Fitness in the Park is a free yoga or pilates class at Rendezvous Event Center, which is recurring until August 27. Classes are designed to accommodate a wide range of experience levels and abilities to ensure that everyone is welcome. Start your day with a quiet, gorgeous park setting and a trained fitness instructor. Rendezvous Event Center, Winter Park.

Sunday Bingo


Every Sunday, head to BARBOX for an afternoon of Bingo. There will be a series of games with fun prizes from both Aspen Grove retailers and Breckenridge Brewery. Everyone is welcome to join, but this recurring event is weather permitting. Aspen Grove, Littleton.

10 Monday

Kids Club


Hang out and explore a different after-school activity every Monday. Have fun with books, STEM activities, crafts, games, and more. This afterschool program is perfect for kids in kindergarten to fifth grade. Standley Lake Library, Arvada. jeffcolibrary.

Thick Skin


If you want to see comedy at its rawest, head to Thick Skin at Comedy Works downtown. The comedians Mike Stanley (Amazon Prime) and Matt Cobos (High Plains comedy fest) host a lineup of comedians all stars from across the map, juxtaposed with a lottery of new comedians where anyone can try their hand at stand

up. The hosts will crown the winners, and bad comedy will be ridiculed. Comedy Work Downtown, Denver.

11 Tuesday Baby Time


Help the littlest minds develop and grow by bouncing, singing, rhyming, and reading with your baby. This is a great way to prepare your child to read before kindergarten. Columbine Library, Littleton. jeffcolibrary.

Kindness Rocks


Spread a little kindness by painting encouraging messages, designs, and pictures on rocks to leave as a surprise for others. The library will supply the rocks and paint; guests can register online. Irving Street Library, Westminster.

12 Wednesday

Bands on the Bricks


From rock to reggae and everything in between, Bands on the Bricks is Boulder County’s premier outdoor summer concert series. This not-to-bemissed summer tradition includes eight weeks of free concerts from the best local musicians. Pearl Street, Boulder.

Low-Sensory Evening


At the Children’s Museum, there are low-sensory evenings that have limited attendance and less noise for children and their families to enjoy the museum without it being overwhelming. Admission is free for families or children with disabilities, but visitors must jump online to reserve a space. Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus.

Summer Kids Club


Grab your lab coats and beakers because a scientist from the Mad Science Lab will be showcasing educational and entertaining experiments. The Summer Kids Club also happens on August 9 and is Princess and Superhero themed. Sing and dance along to some of your favorite songs, and don’t forget to come dressed as your favorite character! Make sure to register online. Cherry Creek Shopping Center, Denver.

14 Friday

Batman in Concert


The Colorado Symphony will perform every note from the original Batman (1989) while the movie is simultaneously projected on a large screen. Tickets range from $15103, and the Colorado Symphony suggests staying for the credits! Boettcher Concert Hall, Denver.

Take and Make: Thaumatropes


For ages 5-12, create some old-time fun and learn about the persistence of vision with a homemade thaumatrope. This will be a great way for kids to be creative and have a fun toy to bring home with them. Pikes Peak Library District, Colorado Springs. ppld.

15 Saturday

Breckenridge Beer Festival


The Breckenridge Beer Festival offers beer tasting, live music, a VIP area, and wonderful food and retail vendors. This summer festival draws a wide range of people, from beer aficionados to families. Beaver Run, Breckenridge. summer.breckenridge

Water Lantern Festival


The Water Lantern Festival is filled with fun, happiness, hope, and great memories you’ll cherish forever. Tickets get more expensive the closer it gets to the date, ranging from $26-55. Carpenter Park, Thornton.

16 Sunday

Low-Sensory Mornings


The Downtown Aquarium offers Low-Sensory Mornings where they turn down the ambient sounds and open early so families can enjoy the Aquarium in a calmer and quieter environment. Tickets must be purchased online, and this event reoccurs every month. Denver Aquarium.

Keystone Wine & Jazz Festival

July 15 and 16, sip on wines while strolling River Run Village to the beat of dozens of jazz musicians. This year, there will be more wine, delectable food dishes, and unique merchandise from near and far. Wine-tasting glasses and food passes are available for purchase, and the popular 2 Glass 1 Food Pass ticket returns so you can have fun with a friend at a great value. River Run Village, Keystone.

17 Monday

Best of the 90s Camp


Celebrate bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Green Day, Weezer, and many more at the Best of the 90s Camp. Students will spend Monday through Friday learning and practicing songs from the 90s, and on Friday there will be a live performance. This is ideal for students ages 7-18 who have had some previous instructions. School of Rock, Littleton.

Teen Pottery Wheel


During the Teen Pottery Wheel program at Ceramics in the City, children 12 and up will create three masterpieces. Your teen will learn about wedging, centering, pulling a wall, and more on the pottery wheel, along with glazing the final pieces. Ceramics in the City, Denver.

18 Tuesday

Summer Films & Kids Movie Club


At Rialto Theater, bring your kiddo for the free summer movies, and there will be chances to win prizes too. On July 18, watch The Goonies, and on the 25th is Space Jam. All movies start at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., and registration is not required. Rialto Theater, Loveland.

Weekly Mat Class


Build deep core strength, safe mobility, and nervous system health on the mat using your body weight and added props. The Pilates Method offers a variety of modifications that make it accessible to all bodies at all points of their wellness journey. Jump online to book a spot today. Arrive at Nurture, Denver.

19 Wednesday

Beginning Readers Book Club


The Beginning Readers Book Club will help kiddos become more confident and lifelong readers. Kids will build reading fluency, strengthen comprehension, and practice social skills while preparing for the school year. This free program is designed for struggling readers going into 2nd

Try pottery on July 17.
happenings July JULY 2023 COLORADOPARENT.COM 31

and 3rd grade and does not require registration. Broomfield Library.

Tween Gaming Club


Join Longmont Library’s gaming club for 3rd-5th graders, where kiddos will play the Nintendo Switch on a big projector screen. Feel free to bring your own switch, and there will be teen helpers that will have some great gaming advice! Registration is not required and reoccurs the first and third Wednesday of each month. Longmont Library.

20 Thursday

Afterschool Kids Maker Club 3:30-4:30pm

For kindergarten through fifth grade, bring your kiddos to the Afterschool Kids Maker Club to learn new skills and be creative. The library will provide open-ended art and science exploration materials for kids to explore and have fun. Decker Branch Library, Denver.

Top O’ the Rockies Rally

A weekend full of exciting outdoor and indoor activities comes July 20-23. Fill your days with world-class paved or dual sport riding opportunities, and during the evening, enjoy the beer garden in the park. During the weekend, there will be on-site food and entertainment, along with downtown restaurants within walking distance. City Park, Paonia.

21 Friday

Butterfly Scientific Illustration


The Butterfly Scientific Illustration is an art fused with science workshop.

During the class, guests will illustrate, learn, observe, and render subjects in a scientifically accurate way. Member tickets are $65, and general admission is $75. Butterfly Pavilion, Westminster.

Stories in the Park


For ages two-six, head to Cottonwood Park in Louisville, which will be a morning full of stories and crafts. Registration is required, and the event happens rain or shine. Cottonwood Park, Louisville.

22 Saturday

Arts District Food Tour


On this three-hour walking food tour, taste some of the best dishes the RiNo Art District has to offer while exploring a cool, industrial neighborhood. During the tour, you’ll visit five award-winning local restaurants to taste delicious dishes with the option to add alcoholic drink pairings. Tickets start at $70 and can be purchased online. II Posto, Denver.

Summer Brew Fest


The Summer Brew Fest celebrates craft beer at Mile High Station. Sample a wide variety of beers from local and regional breweries, enjoy live music, and savor tasty food truck offerings. Tickets are $55 in advance and $60 the day of the event.

Mile High Station, Denver.

23 Sunday

Americans with Disabilities Act Celebration


Enjoy hands-on art-making and a

movement-based activity for children and their families as the Clyfford Still Museum celebrates the 33rd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. From accessible yoga and creating beaded mala bracelets to sipping on a free refreshing smoothie, the day will be full of fun activities. Clyfford Still Museum, Denver.

Sensory-Friendly Morning


The Sensory-Friendly Mornings at the Denver Art Museum is a program for kids with neurodiversity or sensoryprocessing disorders and their families to visit the museum in a safe and fun way. The museum will open early, dim the lights, and provide tools to aid and guide the sensory-friendly experience. Denver Art Museum.

24 Monday

Mamma Mia! at Red Rocks

Film on the Rocks is back for another exciting summer full of your favorite movies. The awardwinning film Mamma Mia! is a great musical comedy to see with the entire family. Enjoy this film with the state-of-the-art audio-visual

the Plaza on July 26.
Wearyourbestflower crownonJuly29.

coupled with delicious snacks and refreshments from concessionaires. Red Rock Amphitheater, Morrison.

Summer Songwriting Camp for Teens


Sign your teens up for the Summer Songwriting Camp, where kids will learn to express themselves through songwriting. This week-long camp ends Friday, July 18, and the teens will have the chance to perform their songs. Registration is required, and it costs $350 per participant. Resonate Music Therapy, Colorado Springs.

25 Tuesday

Family Melting Pot Night


Kids 10 and under eat free at the Melting Pot on Tuesdays and Sundays. The Melting Pot is delicious and a fun and unique experience full of fondue, chocolate, and more! Melting Pot, Littleton.

26 Wednesday

Kids on the Plaza Noon-2pm

Play in the splash pad fountains, enjoy activities with artists, and watch children movies afterward at MetroLux Dine-In Theatres. Movies begin at 2


p.m., and tickets are $2 each, or snag the package for $10, which includes the film and kid’s lunch. This event reoccurs until August 9. Foundry Plaza, Loveland.

Weekly Figure Drawing Session


Head to RedLine every Wednesday for the weekly Figure Drawing Session. This session is non-instructional, laid back, and welcoming to artists of all experience levels, and materials are provided. Tickets are $10 for the general public and free for RedLine Members. RedLine Contemporary Art Center, Denver.

28 Friday

Evergreen Jazz Festival

Through July 30

The landmark 20th festival takes place in Evergreen, Colorado and features big talent in a great setting. Includes five stages of entertainment. Evergreen, Colorado.

Mozart Under Moonlight


The Colorado Symphony presents Mozart Under Moonlight at the Arvada Center for one night only. Resident Conductor Christopher Dragon leads the orchestra on a glorious evening celebrating one of the most revered composers of all time. Lawn

tickets are $28, and reserved seats start at $49. Arvada Center.

Underground Music Showcase

From July 29-31, enjoy this music festival that features over 100 local and national bands performing at various venues in the South Broadway neighborhood. Experience the vibrant Denver music scene across multiple genres. Denver.

29 Saturday

Low Sensory Mornings

Experience Denver Botanic Gardens without the crowds. This therapeutic horticulture program is intended to give individuals and families who prefer a quiet, less-crowded environment a chance to experience the gardens. Denver Botanic Gardens.

Rocky Mountain Flower Fest

The Rocky Mountain Flower Fest will have live music from incredible bands, flower installations for photos, flower crowns to wear, delicious food trucks, craft beer tents, an artisan market, line dancing, and more! Check online to see the lineup and buy tickets for the beautiful festival that combines music and a farm full of flowers. Venetucci

Farm, Colorado Springs.

30 Sunday

Boots and Brews


On Sunday, join the fun at the Castle Rock Chamber’s Douglas County Fair Parade. Enjoy live music, an assortment of beer, and food trucks. There are free family activities like face painters, balloon artists, and even a mechanical bull to test your skills. Festival Park, Castle Rock.

Popcycle Ride


The Kids on Bikes Popcycle Rides happen every Sunday and promote community, biking, and local trails. The ride is a six-mile round trip along the Pikes Peak Greenway trail at a very relaxed pace with little street crossings. America the Beautiful Park, Colorado Springs.

31 Monday

Bilingual Storytime


Head to Longmont Public Library for stories and songs in Spanish and English for children of all ages. All aged children with a grown-up are welcome, but this storytime is best for three years and older. Longmont Public Library.

Nova Ita: Propagation

There are several new installations and more ways than ever to interact with the art and the story. Guests should expect to see new and improved augmented reality experiences, tactical puzzles, and art gems throughout the museum on the self-guided tour.

The art gallery is open Monday through Sunday, except for Tuesdays.

The immersive experience is 90 percent ADA accessible, excluding the “Little Playhouse” installation, but it can still be viewed from the outside. Jump online to snag a time slot and purchase tickets. Prices vary; standard adult admission is $22, child tickets are $12, and the Priority Anytime Pass is $32.

Experienceartlike never before.

Step into a world of wonder and excitement with Noca Ita: Propagation, the latest and third installment of Spectra Art Space’s immersive experience. This is an all-ages narrative-driven immersive art, botanical, augmented reality, virtually theatrical, and highly

interactive experience. This perfect adventure for families combines art, technology, and nature. Many of the artists and creators of Nova Ita: Propagation are featured at Denver Meow Wolf, which is known for its interactive and mind-bending art.

Spectra Art Space, Denver.
Photo by Julianna Photography

fresh mindset

I want them to learn the value of serving other people. Whether it’s their life in the hospital, their life at school–whatever it is–we’re working to serve a higher purpose.

KARA HELLUMS is a mother to six children and a child life specialist at the Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children. When Kara’s working, she supports young patients and their families during their time at the hospital through education and using tools like play therapy to help children cope with the changes. Posey, a golden retriever/lab mix, is Kara’s favorite furry friend that encourages, calms, and brings joy to the kids on their medical journey.

fresh mindset
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