Colorado Parent September 2023

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Parenting with Courage Series

Bullying: What Are the Schools Doing?

The Art of Cheerleading

9 Kid-Approved Back-to-School Traditions

A NEW CHILD CARE CENTER COMING TO WINDSOR A new early learning center is coming to Windsor and will open its doors in February 2024 to serve 179 children, bringing jobs to the community. Sign up for our E-NEWSLETTER at CONNECT WITH US SNACKTIME! STRAWBERRYLEMON MUFFINS Enjoy these delicious muffins as an easy breakfast or a quick after-school snack. MEASURE WITH YOUR HEART Learn how to make this Creamy Tortellini Casserole in Meat Sauce. 8 INEXPENSIVE HOBBIES YOU CAN PICK UP Expand your horizons and try something new this month. Share your feedback and ideas! Email us at PUBLISHER Amy Foreman ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Brandon Foreman SENIOR EXECUTIVE ADMINISTRATOR Alexis Alexander BUSINESS OPERATIONS Director of Operations Laurie Acosta Client Relations Coordinator Sarah Miller Accounting Coordinator Brittany Duplessis EDITORIAL Managing Editor Amanda Miller Associate Editor Austria Cohn ART/PRODUCTION Senior Graphic Designer Grace Knox Graphic Designers Madison Graham Alex Herring ADVERTISING Account Executives Crystal Barrett Camille Cavin Jade Gray Jennifer Hoffmann Martine Melancon Ryn Whiteside COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT Director of Community Partnerships Teri Hodges Community Outreach Roxane Voorhies Printed locally by Publication Printers Colorado Parent is published monthly by Geaux Publish, Inc. and distributed free of charge. Subscriptions accepted. Only authorized distributors may deliver and pick up the magazine. We reserve the right to edit, reject, or comment editorially on all materials contributed. We cannot be responsible for the return of any solicited material. Colorado Parent ©2023 Geaux Publish, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is prohibited 1675 Larimer Street Suite 675, Denver, CO 80202 P (303) 320-1000 Visit us online at Distribution + Circulation: @coloradoparentmagazine @coloradoparent @coloradoparent @coloradoparent @coloradoparent 4 COLORADO PARENT SEPTEMBER 2023

3 Best Places to Pick Apples

U-Pick-It Orchards

The best time to pick apples in Colorado is August through October, so pack the car and explore these fascinating and delicious places with the whole family. There are several orchards around the state to make for an exciting adventure, and some orchards offer fun activities for families and a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables to bring home.

Big B’s Delicious Orchards

In early September, Big B’s Delicious Orchards opens their doors for U-Pick Apples. Besides picking apples, Big B’s has an amazing café and store, a tap room, live music, and even a campground to hitch a tent and spend the night. Check online to view the live music calendar and plan your visit. No reservations are required to pick apples, and the orchards are open seven days a week. 39126 Highway 133, Hotchkiss.

Store Hours: Sunday-Thursday, 10am-8pm; Friday & Saturday, 9am-10pm.

Ya Ya Farm & Orchard

For family-oriented fall activities, head to Ya Ya Farm and Orchard in Boulder County. Not only is there a delicious apple orchard and everything apple products like apple cider donuts and apple pies, but there are also farm stands where families can see mini donkeys, ducks, peacocks, chickens, and more. There is no admission fee, but U-Pick does require reservations in advance. Jump online to reserve a spot today! 6914 Ute Hwy., Longmont.

August-October Hours: Tuesday & Wednesday, 10am-3pm; Thursday, 10am-6pm; Friday-Sunday, 10am-3pm.

Adam’s Apple Orchard & Country Store

Adam’s Apple’s beautiful orchard grows apples, plums, and pears and invites friends and family to the U-Pick experience. Along with the orchards is a country store with different seasonal products, like fresh fruits, canned jams, and jellies. 42135 Weld County Road 43, Ault.

Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 10am-6pm. U-Pick is only available on Saturday & Sunday.

12 10 The New Local 12 Solutions Back-to-School Traditions Your Kids Will Cherish 14 Things We Love Game Day Picks 16 Free and Delicious Fine Dining for Kids good to know contents 2022 2022 2022 2022 home 17 Sensory Activities for Babies good to know
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A Misunderstood Sport

Cheerleading tends to be written off as a female, after-school activity that some don’t even consider a sport. Cheerleading is not just putting on a colorful, bedazzled outfit–there is hard work and team dynamics that are necessary for each athlete to safely perform these acrobatic stunts.

“Cheerleaders are some of the most intense, driven, and passionate athletes in the world,” the Cheer Information Center states. “The variety of elements of the sport, mixed with the extremely competitive nature of the sport, produces tough, strong-willed athletes.”

Here are some things you might not have known about cheerleading.

Team Bonding

For all team sports, team bonding is essential to have a uniform and successful team where each player can count on their teammates and coach. It is vital for a cheer team to have great communication and to trust one another, not just because it makes the routines run smoothly but because it keeps the cheerleaders safe. Safety is an essential element of this dynamic and challenging sport.

Health and Concussions

Even with cheer teams that can count on every player, injuries still can occur.

More than half of the injuries seen in cheerleading are sprains and strains, but according to Athletico Physical Therapy, concussions account for 31.1 percent of injuries that occur in cheerleading.

According to a study published by The American Academy of Pediatrics, football was the leading sport of concussions during practice in 2019, but cheerleading was second and beat out several sports, including basketball, hockey, and soccer.

“You may be thinking this high rate of concussions would be from cheerleaders falling and landing on their heads. However, the cheerleading position that suffers the most concussions are the bases and athletes who support the flyers in the air by holding them up and catching them,” states Athletico Physical Therapy.

The Sport for Everyone

Despite some beliefs, cheerleading is not just a women’s sport.

“Of course, boys are bigger, and they’re stronger. They’re going to enhance any routine that they’re in because they’re able to help with the stunting,” says Shawn Lagarde, the owner and director of a cheer academy. “If people would not be so close-minded about the sport itself and just realize that anybody who has the love for those things–the tumbling, dancing, and stunting–they can enjoy cheer.”

Parenting with Courage: Emotional Intelligence

contents happenings 27 Our Top Picks for September 30 To Do Today fresh mindset 34 Fresh Mindset Meet John-Claude “J.C.” Futrell good to know 25 learn 21 Bullying Prevention: What Are the Schools Doing?
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Marie-Juliette Bird is the Founder and Executive Director of The New Local, and her vision is to provide a space for local women artists to showcase their work.

“We are a nonprofit, and we champion local women, artists, designers, and makers,” Bird says. “We build bridges between that local community of artists into the broader community. We focus on outreach to underserved members of our community so that everybody gets really exceptional and inspired art education and programming.”

This isn’t a typical art gallery. Bird has combined the finer arts with beautiful handmade crafts that are one-of-a-kind pieces. From sculptures and paintings to oils, books, and bags, there are many treasures to explore.

“It’s really important to me personally to break down these barriers that you sometimes have in the art world, where fine art is in one category and then crafts are in a lower category,” Bird says. “Also, usually, it denigrates

The New Local

women who historically and culturally are the ones making the crafts.”

In addition to the artwork, The New Local offers several classes, programs, and camps for young aspiring artists and creative adults. From drawing and painting classes to hand-stitched leather and packbasket workshops, there is an activity to inspire everyone. Many of these classes are taught by artists that have goods in the gallery.

Some of The New Local's upcoming classes include Weaving Color for ages 7-10 (September 6), Teen Abstract Painting (September 11), and Kids Clay and Hand Building for ages 5-10 (September 12 to October 17).

“The artists who display their work in the gallery have an opportunity to keep all of their sales income that they make and then give back to the community through teaching and volunteering,” Bird says. “Most of the teachers on our roster also have work in the gallery, but there are people in the community who just want to teach.”

Besides the fun, creative, and inspiring classes, The New Local also offers scholarship programs.

“We are really passionate about bringing elevated programming to the entire community regardless of people’s ability to pay for a fancy art education,” Bird says. “We encourage everybody in the community to get involved; take classes, sponsor programs, volunteer, and apply to be an artist.”

On the top floor of The New Local is an art studio for the artists, which is an affordable space for them to create and dive into their passion. The second floor is where the art gallery is, and the bottom floor is the creative workshop space.

“We feel like it’s important for everyone in the community–kids, parents, aspiring artists, teenagers–to be able to see the work of people living in our community and be inspired by that, and learn and interact from them,” Bird says.

While strolling down Pearl Street in Boulder, you’ll come across a beautiful three-story Victorian home with eye-catching, natural greenery scaling up the side. This is where The New Local, a nonprofit art gallery, is located.
good to know

Back-to-School Traditions Your Kids Will Cherish

With all the excitement and possible anxiety that the first day of school can bring to your children, help them take on the new school year with enthusiasm instead. Pick a few of these back-to-school traditions to start this school year and then keep repeating each year to making going back to school more fun.

School Year’s Eve Dinner. No need to stay up until midnight, instead toast to the new school year the night before with a special “School Year’s Eve” dinner. Whether it’s a favorite homemade meal or a trip to a local restaurant, celebrate as a family with a delicious dinner to make the kids feel special and gear up the excitement. Talk about what everyone is looking forward to in the coming year.

Student Survey. Create a series of interview questions for your kids. Ask what some of their current favorites are, what they are hoping to learn, and what they want to be when they grow up. The interview questions can be fun to repeat on the last day of school to see how their answers changed through the school year, as well as from year to year.

Height Check. Each year, it feels like kids grow like weeds. Make it a tradition to mark down everyone's height the night before school starts. Whether it’s on a wall in your house, in a doorway, or in a closet, it will be a family heirloom as you watch everyone grow each year.

Gift of Words. Gift each child a new book for the new school year. Whether it’s the latest best-selling picture book, a new popular series, or one of your own favorites from childhood, it will be something your kids will remember. Go a step farther and write a note on the interior cover of the book to your little one.

Sidewalk Cheers. Break out that sidewalk chalk after the kids have fallen asleep the night before school starts and get creative on your front stairs or sidewalk. Write sweet messages or draw pictures to help ease any first day nerves.

Breakfast of Champions. The first day of school deserves more than cereal and milk. Make a favorite breakfast complete with

something that smells delicious to help spring them out of bed. Whip up their favorite muffins and include that for their morning snack to remind them you are rooting for them.

Strike a Pose. Get creative with your first-dayof-school pictures. Create a template with the date and school year, and then pick the same spot to take those photos later on to see how much your kiddos are growing. Whether it’s a chalkboard, a piece of paper, or a custom t-shirt, make the photos your own.

Sweet Note. The first day of school deserves a note of encouragement snuck into the lunchbox. No need to compete with a crazy creative lunch, instead include a note or drawing that will help your kiddo get through the day.

Post-School Party. Toast the end of the first day of school with a post-school party with some of their favorite or new friends. Let the kids pick popsicles or their favorite cookie to munch on while they debrief all the first day of school festivities.


Things We Love

Show up to the next Broncos tailgate or game in style with these must-have game day items.

Add some extra orange and navy to your game day fit with these Broncos Feather Earrings. These handmade earrings are lightweight and perfect to wear from tailgate to post-game celebration. $35,


The Lorbro Clear Purse is stadiumapproved, and it’ll last throughout the season. Made of high quality, 1 mm thick PVC and reinforced stitching with quality metal accessories to make the bag more durable and long lasting. $11.99,


Stomp into the stadium in style this football season to cheer on the Broncos wearing these adorable Betsey Johnson Cady Blue Rhinestone Booties. $82.98,

For the littlest Broncos fan, this Baby Fanatic Broncos Security Blanket comes complete with an embroidered Broncos logo and is perfect for cuddling during naptime before the big game. $16.99,

Show your love for the Broncos with the Game Time Denver Broncos HD Combo Package. Accessorize your favorite technology, whether it’s your Apple Watch or your AirPods Pro. $44.99,

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Free and Delicious Fine Dining for Kids

If you Google Search “Kids-Eat Free Restaurants,” several spots pop up, like the Golden Corral, Applebee's, and other large chains. But where do you go for a special celebration like graduation, a job promotion, or honor roll? Well, here are delicious eateries that are perfect for a nice dinner out. From mouth-watering steakhouses to gourmet American and Mexican spots, here is the best list for free or discounted child platters.

Texas de Brazil

Purchased with a full-price meal:

Birth-2: Complimentary

3-5: $5

6-12: Half Priced

“Savor traditional Brazilian churrasco cooking served with the generous spirit and hospitality that Texas is known for…They slow-roast meats over open flames and present an impressive display of seasonal greens, vegetable dishes, and regional delicacies.”- Texas de Brazil

From the beautiful presentation of each dish to the delicious platters to choose from, dinner at Texas de Brazil will be a night to remember. Several different kinds of meat are offered, like Garlic Picanha, Filet Mignon Wrapped in Bacon, and Parmesan Drumettes. Texas de Brazil is a chain with only one location in Denver. 8390 Northfield Blvd. Ste 1800, Denver.

The Bindery Denver

Purchase of an adult entree:

Birth-10: Eats Free

“The Bindery moves to strike a balance in our modern lives by providing artisanal foods,

handcrafted and nurtured with great care, and a dining experience grounded in a tradition that is both playfully inventive and decisively chic.”- The Bindery Denver

This delicious spot serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as sweet desserts and coffee. The dinner menu has several flavorful courses, like Carrot Mezzaluna, which is served with mascarpone, raspadura, and black sesame cumin salt. There are nonpasta options like the Roasted Pasture Lemon Half Chicken, which is Israeli cous cous, sultanos, red onion, almond, harissa, and frizzled lemon. 1817 Central St., Denver.

Tavern Hospitality Group

Purchased with an entree:

Birth-12: Eat Free

“Each Tavern uniquely takes on the flavor and personality of the neighborhood in which it resides…Vital to the success of the brand is the high standards upheld for the fresh food and friendly service provided to guests.”- Tavern Hospitality Group

The Tavern is a Denver-based family-owned operation that has several locations. From Pan Roasted Salmon served with spicy sweet potatoes, sautéed spinach, and whole grain mustard orange glaze to Beer-Battered Fish and Chips that are plated with Tavern fries, cocktail sauce, tartar sauce, and coleslaw, there are several savory dishes to choose from. Locations: Uptown, Lowry, Tech Center, Littleton.

Texas Roadhouse

Tuesdays, Birth-12: eat free

“Texas Roadhouse was founded upon providing fresh, quality food for a value, which is why we make our food from scratch, even the bacon bits, croutons, and dressings…Legendary Food, Legendary Service starts with taking no shortcuts. We take great pride in every plate we serve, every time.” - Texas Roadhouse

The tasty steakhouse starts every meal off with a basket of bread with honey cinnamon butter (the hardest part is saving room for the entrees). Texas Roadhouse offers several delicious starters, entrees, and desserts, along with beautifully mixed cocktails. Several locations.


Family must be seated before 6 p.m. Birth-10: eat free

“Spanish for Acorn, Bellota taps into a shared culture and heritage to bring a menu of lively regional Mexican dishes deeply rooted in tradition and steeped in custom. Our a-la-carte menu features family-style dishes, regionally inspired tacos, a half-dozen house-made salsas and numerous offerings that take advantage of the wood-fired oven.”- Bellota

The Boulder location has several delicious offerings like the Taco Flight, which includes seven tacos served with carrots and jicama, as well as the Mushroom Al Pastor made with king trumpet mushrooms, pineapple, salsa morita, and other fresh ingredients. 3350 Brighton Blvd, Ste. 150, Denver. - 4580 Broadway D1, Boulder.

good to know 16 COLORADO PARENT SEPTEMBER 2023


Sensory Activities for Babies

As children grow, it’s our job as parents to expose them to different types of sensory stimulation so that they develop skills and are able to cope when confronting strange new stimuli. How we do this is by making sure there are plenty of sensory-stimulating activities planned throughout the day.


Jayna Niblock, PhD, OTD, OTR/L, BCP is an Occupational Therapist at STAR Institute. As a mother of twins, she knows all of the benefits of sensory activities. “We are all sensory beings and have various things we do that support our ability to complete daily life activities and find enjoyment in life. Helping anyone of any age to learn about their own likes and dislikes supports their overall development and well-being, as we use sensory information to plan our movements and learn more about our world,” Niblock explains. If you’re looking to help engage your child’s senses, here are activities Niblock recommends to do with your baby–by sensory system.

Touch: People are familiar with sensory bins with various textures in the bin that an infant or child can play with. For small children, I like to make sure it is something that is age-appropriately edible because we don’t want to have to take something away from them if they are going to put it in their mouth. One thing I like to start with is crushed graham crackers or another cracker substance. It falls off their hands mostly, which is important for a child who may be sensitive, and if they decide to eat it, you are okay. You can have the bin be something they can explore with utensils or toys, and allow them to explore the touch of the graham cracker as they desire.

Taste: It is very age-appropriate to have huge variations in what kids do and do not like from day to day (trust me, I’m living this now). When you start purees, you can add different spices to increase the variations in flavors a young child is experiencing. Making sure to present things many, many times before it is eliminated as a food is important.

Smell: Getting a variety of food items or spices together and smelling them, then looking at

pictures or whole items of the spice (garlic, cloves, etc.), or grabbing flowers of differing smells and removing the stem, can be a big smell for infants to engage in. Having a child in the kitchen while parents are cooking can be a great way to expose them to a variety of smells.

Sight: Slow rolling activities (ball, toy car, other toys with wheels, and bonus points if it lights up) will allow an infant to learn to coordinate their eyes together as they progress to a toddler. Make sure the object is only slowly rolled, without bouncing. You can take the feedback from the child (trapping or stopping the ball) as a cue that you found the speed they are able to be successful at. Depending on how tired they are, this speed can change, as they are working the muscles that coordinate their eyes and they get tired and strained just like our other muscles.

Auditory: We’re taught to ask kids, “What sound does the cow make?” or to make a sound and ask the child what animal makes that sound. Flipping this to a supportive strategy allows for them to make the connection between the animal and sound more readily. Saying, “The cow says ‘Moo,’” while looking at a picture or an actual animal, allows the child to make the connection between the animal and the sound. We don’t need to “test” kids about what the different animals say by asking them the questions. By changing the question to a statement, it allows them to not be in a situation where there is a demand to respond. This is really important as we get into the toddler phase, as you only get to place so many demands throughout the day on kids that age, so you want to save them for the important things.

Vestibular (Movement): My favorite vestibular activity is an adapted tummy time activity and can be used with any infant that fits onto their parents'

forearms. You place the child on their parent’s forearm with their bottom close to the elbow and their head towards their parent’s hand. Depending on the size of the child and parent, two hands may be needed to keep them safe. Moving them through space can be as small as a back-and-forth movement, or as big as traveling through space with the parents moving fast and spinning. These variations allow for the development of different vestibular processing abilities, and any big, fast, or spinning movement should be done in short bursts. Then, read your child’s cues. Have they started giggling in a way that says that was a lot? Or are they giggling for a little while and then they stop giggling to let you know that you can go again? If the child is too big to fit on a parent’s forearm, you can do something similar by having them lay on a blanket or towel and pull them around.

Proprioception (Body Awareness): Crawling or tummy time activities are the best way to build this system and are really important for kids who have progressed beyond crawling (especially if they never crawled) to get down and continue building this system. Crawling and tummy time also builds core strength in both the stomach, and more importantly, back muscles needed for sitting still and doing activities with their hands.

I like to create tunnels because this provides the child with the cue that crawling is needed, and this can be done with an actual tunnel or simply throwing a blanket over the edge of a couch or another surface to have them crawl under. Placing items in the tunnel for them to crawl over and navigate increases the challenge for them, as well as the body awareness they are getting from the activity.


Bullying Prevention: What Are the Schools Doing?

Jack Padilla committed suicide in February of 2019 at age 15. Beginning in second grade, Jack experienced bullying at school. As he grew older, the bullying only became more vicious. It wasn’t until after he passed that his family discovered just how dark the interactions with his fellow classmates had become.

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“After we were able to get his phone open and read the messages,” explains Rick Padilla, Jack’s father and the Suicide Prevention Administrator for the City of Denver, “[there was] a particular group of students that wanted to come over and shoot him. One young lady told Jack, the day before he died, that Home Depot was having a sale on ropes.”

The bullying and comments were reported to the police department and a criminal investigation followed. After the investigation, no criminal culpability was found, leading Padilla to sit down with the District Attorney’s office to discuss reporting. “I said, ‘Well, I don't agree with the outcome. I respect the process, but I don't agree with the outcome, so I'll do something legislative.”

The outcome is what really inspired Padilla to create Jack and Cait’s Law, a law that requires the Colorado Department of Education to use a stakeholder process when updating the bullying prevention and education policy, stating parents of students who have been bullied must be included in the process.

“That was what was catalytic for me, because I think the police department failed and the school failed to investigate the bullying leading to my son's death. Not to say my son took his life because of the bullying, but as I've learned about suicide, it’s a complex issue and there’s a lot of chapters, and that certainly is one of them for students,” says Padilla.

While stopping and preventing bullying from happening requires all of us to come together, what are our schools doing to help stop this from happening? How much can they intervene?

The School’s Role

“Colorado schools have local control, which essentially just means that every school district can have its own policies. There's a state law that every school district has to have a bullying prevention policy. What goes in [the policy] can

be tweaked a little bit based on the needs of the district, or what makes the district unique,” says Adam Collins, Ph.D., Statewide Bullying Prevention Manager of the Colorado Department of Education (CDE).

The CDE provides a Model Policy that serves as a guide for school districts, in terms of what the best practices are for bullying prevention. The Model Policy includes what bullying is and is not, which is crucial in helping teachers take the right steps in intervening or preventing bullying.

At the beginning of each school year, administrators will explain to students what behaviors are expected of them while at school. The goal is to create an environment where every student feels protected.

“Our hope is that if a school is seeing bullying, maybe in the hallways because it's a really unstructured area, then they take steps to address it. For example, having teachers stand outside of their doorway and have positive interactions with the kids in the hallway as they're walking from class to class. Just having the teachers physically present can decrease the likelihood of it to happen,” says Dr. Collins.

He also notes that one of the biggest things a teacher can do is to stop the bullying when it is happening. “If you think of the alternative and the teacher doesn’t do anything, it essentially just implies that the behavior is okay and creates a negative school culture,” he explains.

Reports of Bullying

Many parents feel that there isn’t enough being done in order to protect the students from bullying. Dru Ahlborg, Executive Director of the Bullying Recovery Resource Center, shares that her son was relentlessly bullied for years and the schools didn’t solve the problem.

The Center was created from experience, and through her work with the organization, Ahlborg helps hold the schools responsible and assists and

advocates for the families with the aim of putting an end to bullying.

To help strengthen prevention efforts, CDE’s Model Policy includes a flowchart for administrators to follow in order to appropriately respond to the bullying once it has been reported.

Dr. Collins explains, “The first thing is they always make sure that the students are safe, because that's the highest priority. From there, you go into doing the investigation, so understanding something that is actually bullying, because if not, then maybe you're looking at some other discipline policy. In the flowchart, you can kind of see what we suggest schools can be doing. That includes everything from talking to all the kids who are involved and anybody who witnessed it, and notifying families. There are a lot of different pieces that go into it.”

If support is needed, the school will provide the appropriate support to the student who is experiencing bullying. Colorado also offers the I Matter program to youth, which provides students with up to six free therapy sessions.

Work to Be Done

With so much progress being made, there’s still plenty of work to be done in terms of creating environments where our students can be protected from bullying behaviors.

Padilla feels that by having more accountability on the schools, more timeliness in conducting the investigations, and some due process for the aggrieved parties will help to move us into the right direction.

Unfortunately, bullying is happening everywhere, and a lot of the time, we aren’t even aware of it. Holding each other accountable, reporting what we see, extensive training, enforcing positive behavior among students, and practicing empathy can move us one step closer to preventing bullying in our schools.



Parenting with Courage: Emotional Intelligence

We are now in our third installment of our four-article series on Parenting with Courage. In month one, we explored values-based parenting, where you spent time clarifying your family’s unique values. Last month, we delved into the first pillar of the Courageous Parents framework, that “every behavior is the result of an unmet need.”


You committed to putting on your detective hat when your child is struggling to get underneath their behavior and find the unmet need. This month, we’ll explore the second pillar of the Courageous Parents framework, that “connection is the foundation for thriving.” Before we do this, let’s reground ourselves in the overall goal of the Courageous Parents framework. That is, to find a values-based approach to parenting where you can access ease, joy, and self-trust by parenting with awareness and choice, rather than constantly being reactive.

Now, let’s get into this month’s pillar of Courageous Parents: connection is the foundation for thriving. I argue (and many researchers and child development experts would agree), that more important than just about ANYTHING else you may do as a parent, is your commitment to maintaining and repairing a strong and authentic connection with your child. This is a big idea, so let’s break it down.

Countless studies have shown that a strong caregiver-child connection forms the foundation for developing emotional intelligence. What’s more is that research indicates that children who feel securely attached to at least one caregiver tend to have better emotional regulation, resilience, self-worth, empathy, and social skills. Essentially, connection is what nurtures emotional intelligence in your child.

Imagine a world where your child is equipped with the emotional tools to navigate life’s twists and turns. Afterall, what is resilience, if not the ability to navigate the really hard experiences that life will inevitably throw at us with an ability to stay present, and without needing to tap out, numb, or use unhealthy coping mechanisms? This is the magic of emotional intelligence. Picture them confidently managing their emotions, fostering healthy relationships,

and expressing empathy towards others. On the flip side, failing to prioritize and nurture the connection between you and your child can leave them ill-equipped for the emotional challenges that lie ahead. Two things are true - the stakes are high AND there is so much you can do to foster this connection, regardless of your children’s ages.

Through loving interactions, attuned responsiveness, and quality time, you create a safe space where their emotional needs are met. This then forms the bedrock for them to explore their feelings, develop self-awareness, and understand the emotions of both themselves and others.

To illustrate this further, let’s talk about Will, a dedicated father who came to work with me when he found himself unable to support his five-year-old son through some pretty intense meltdowns.

Through our work, he came to understand the importance of connection in fostering not only his son’s emotional intelligence, but also in gaining his son’s cooperation. Over time, Will was able to prioritize three things that made a huge difference in his relationship with his son, as well as his son’s willingness to cooperate with his daily requests (things like getting his shoes on, going to the dinner table, and turning off the TV).

First, Will made it a priority to engage daily in what I call “delighted time-in,” where he left his phone in the other room and entered his son’s world to play with him, while also delighting in what his son was doing.

Second, Will changed the way he made requests of his son. Instead of shouting from the other room, “turn off the TV and come to the table!,” Will started taking just a few extra seconds to walk over to where his son was, sit down with him, and take an interest in whatever his son was

doing. He would then offer a playful way for them to get to the dinner table (“shall we do rocket ship or spin while we walk?”). Will realized that while he thought doing this was going to take extra time, it actually SAVED him time because he often only had to ask once. (Importantly, it also preserved the connection between Will and his son).

Lastly, Will started apologizing to his son when he found himself losing his cool and yelling. Will would circle back with his son to say, “I’m sorry,” and would also invite his son to share how he felt when Will yelled. Through these moments of connection, Will witnessed the frequency, intensity, and duration of his son’s meltdowns drastically reduced, as he blossomed into a compassionate and emotionally intelligent young soul. Their bond became a safe place where emotions were embraced, believed, and even celebrated.

As you move through parenting, remember that emotional intelligence is not about shielding your children from negative emotions, but rather about equipping them with the tools to navigate and understand their emotions. And importantly, remember that this is developed in our children through their caregivers fostering a safe space where vulnerability is embraced, and empathy is modeled.

As we continue to nurture the bond we have with our children, and apologize when there is an inevitable rupture, we uncover a parenting approach filled with confidence, warmth, and connection.

While this may sound simple, it’s certainly not easy! The truth is, we were never taught how to do this. Many of us also never had this modeled to us. It's important to know that there isn't anything wrong with reaching out for support.

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happenings Our Picks SEPTEMBER Attend the Colorado State Fair to see the adrenaline-packed show, which features epic flips, races, and stunts. $23-$27. September 1 & 2. Colorado State Fair, Pueblo. Toughest Monster Truck Tour 1 SEPTEMBER 2023 COLORADOPARENT.COM 27

Jazz Aspen Snowmass

Celebrate Labor Day Weekend by heading to the three-day music experience that features The Lumineers and Billy Idol. Tickets start at $199.95. September 1-3. Snowmass Town Park.

Jurassic World Live Tour

At the Jurassic World Live Tour, your favorite dinosaurs come to life during the adrenalinepumping adventure. Tickets start at $20. September 1-3. Ball Arena, Denver.

3 4

Denver Fairytale Ball

Dress up as your favorite fairytale character and meet the princesses. Make sure to bring your camera to capture the magical day. $22-25. September 2. Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities.

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Labor Day Kids’ Pet Parade

At the pet parade, kids can show off their favorite furry friend (or stuffed animal) and brush and bathe their four-legged companion. This event is free. September 4. Louisville.

Events may change after
ahead to confirm important information and check with locations about individual COVID rules. HEADS UP!
2 5
9 OurPicks happenings 7 28 COLORADO PARENT SEPTEMBER 2023


After School Garden Club

Bring your kiddos to the farm each Tuesday to play games, make crafts, and explore. Classes are $80 for the month. September 5-26. Hawthorn Farm, Boulder.

7 Flock Party


Castle Rock ArtFest

The two-day art festival highlights the talents of more than 110 exhibitors displaying a wide range of works, from life-size sculptures to photography and jewelry. Free. September 9 & 10. Festival Park, Castle Rock.




On Saturday, September 30, plan for a day full of fun at the FamilyFest. The festival features family-friendly vendors, free kid activities, prizes, presentations, and even diaper and toddler derbies. The festival takes place at the SoccerHaus Sport and Event Center in Colorado Springs from noon to 6 p.m.

Every vendor will have free activities for children to participate in. Some activities include a ring toss, a gumball machine with toys, a mini-workout for kids, corn-hole, prize wheels, contests, crafts, and so much more! There will also be special guests from the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum doing demos and Q&A-style forums so you can learn how to get your kiddo to the Olympics.

Bring your baby and toddler to participate in the Diaper Derby, which is a race full of crawling babies to see which one is the fastest. The races begin for babies (12 months and younger) at 2:30 p.m. The Toddler Derby (12-24 months) starts at 3 p.m.

This festival is great for parents to shop for familyoriented products and services and learn more while the kids are having a blast.

Adults need tickets to attend, but children are admitted free! Pre-purchase adult tickets are $5, and tickets day of the event are $8. There is a VIP Admission Package that is only available online for $38.99, which includes four adult tickets and the digital book Extraordinary Parenting How to Raise Kids to Become Geniuses

4845 List Dr., Colorado Springs.

is a free, one-of-a-kind yoga experience with furry friends, and all ages are welcome. September 23. Grand Hyatt Vail.
The Denver Zoo invites guests who are 21 and up to the
Flock Party is a colorful, casual, and all-inclusive benefit that features live entertainment, exclusive animal experiences, and more! Tickets are $150. September 9. Denver Zoo.
happenings OurPicks SEPTEMBER 2023 COLORADOPARENT.COM 29

to do today


1 Friday

Baby Storytime


For ages two and younger, head to Highlands Ranch for a morning full of songs, rhymes, and stories. This is a great way to start off the morning and get your child excited about reading. Meet in the Kids Corner at the Highlands Ranch Library. Douglas County Libraries offer several storytimes at various locations throughout the week, so hop online to see the full schedule. Highlands Ranch Library.

First Friday History Tour


Step back in time and experience

the rich history of the Historic Elitch Theatre every Friday. The beloved cultural landmark has played an important role in the city’s artistic and theatrical heritage. During the tour, guests will learn about past stories, famous performers and artists that have been on stage, and the rich cultural heritage. Tickets start at $15. Historic Elitch Theatre, Denver.

2 Saturday

Caveman Music Festival

Saturday is the second day of the Caveman Music Festival, which features more than 20 artists on two stages, food and drink vendors, lake rentals, fishing spots, and beautiful camping areas. There are lodging options if you don’t want to camp out during the festival. There are several ticket packages available; single-day general admission passes start at $99.99. Monument Lake Resort, Weston.

Family Day Out:

Grilling Extravaganza


Uncorked Kitchen and Wine Bar are offering a Grilling Extravaganza class, where guests will make barbeque chicken sliders with grilled slaw and pound cake with grilled peaches and

ice cream. This is a great way for families to spend quality time together and learn how to cook. Tickets are $79 a person, and children must be six years or older to participate. Uncorked Kitchen and Wine Bar, Centennial.

3 Sunday Kids Create 4-4:30pm

The Denver Public Library invites kiddos ages birth to five for hands-on learning and making experiences. Children and their caregivers will explore new materials and create projects together. No registration is required for this event. Central Library, Denver.

Labor Day Firework Show


Head to Elitch Gardens for an epic fireworks show that the whole family will love. The fireworks begin when the park closes, and the show is free with a season pass or park admission ticket. Elitch Gardens, Denver.

4 Monday

Labor Day Mini Marathon

Send off summer with the Labor Day Mini Marathon, where runners will sweat their socks off before the cold

weather comes in. Sign up for the half marathon, 10K, and 5K and run, walk, or jog at your own pace. Participants will receive a running shirt, finisher’s medal, chip timing, and delicious post-race food at the finish line. Registration for the half marathon is $75, the 10K is $48, and the 5K is $33. Salisbury Equestrian Park, Parker.

Meditation Mastery Challenge


Monday, September 4, starts off the five-day Meditation Mastery Challenge at Revive Bodywork in Denver. The classes will focus on developing a healthier morning routine, and the yoga teacher, Audrey Nash, will support you in your meditation practice. There will be gifts given to people who attend three days or more, and if you make it all five days, you will receive your own meditation cushion to take home. This class is free for Yoga and Wellness Members or $20 for drop-ins. Revive Bodywork, Denver.

5 Tuesday Beetlejuice - The Musical

The Denver Center for the Performing Arts brings the dearly loved Tim Burton film Beetlejuice to musical form starting September 5 through the 17. The story follows the strange and unusual teenager, Lydia Deetz, whose whole life changes after meeting a deceased couple and a demon. Tickets start at $35; the musical contains strong language and mature references. Buell Theatre, Denver.

Toddler & Preschool Storytime


Support early learning and develop a love of reading with stories, songs, and rhymes, followed by time to socialize and play. This program is best for toddlers and preschoolers ages two to five and their families. Broomfield Library.

6 Wednesday Free Playgroup


Children between the ages of birth to five and their caregivers are invited for a playful morning full of music, movement, art, and fun! Registration is required, and space is limited, so jump online to reserve a spot. The Historic City Auditorium, Colorado Springs.

SCFD Free Day

On Wednesday, head to the Clyfford Still Museum for a free day! Space is limited, and guests must register online. Tickets will be available one week before the free day. Clyfford Still Museum, Denver.

Enjoy the fireworks on September 3.

7 Thursday

Fly Fishing Film Tour


The Fly Fishing Film Tour is back for another exciting year and is presented by Costa, YETI, and Simms. The show will feature several locations like Cuba, Alaska, Wyoming, Australia, and other breathtaking places. General admission tickets are $25, and the doors open at 6 p.m. Buffalo Rose, Golden.

Pictures on the Plains


At the Arapahoe County Fairgrounds and Park, bring the entire family to see the classic film Back to the Future The showing begins around 7:30 p.m., and tickets are $5 per person and $7 at the door. There will be fun pre-moviethemed activities before the movie starts. On September 14, Top Gun: Maverick will be playing. Arapahoe County Fairgrounds and Park, Aurora.

8 Friday Dog Man: The Musical


The hilarious and heartwarming musical is coming to the Newman Center. Snag tickets online for the exciting and adventurous musical that’s based on the Chronicles of Dog Man. The Robert and Judi Newman Center for the Performing Arts, Denver.

9 Saturday

2nd Saturday at CSU Spur


On the second Saturday of every month, head to CSU Spur for a day packed with family-friendly programming like cooking activities and opportunities to watch veterinarians perform surgery and see scientists at work. CSU Spur is free and open to the public and is a fun way

for kids to learn! CSU Spur, Denver.

Free Day at the Denver Art Museum Engage with art, explore onsite activities, and experience exhibitions during the free admission days at the Denver Art Museum. If you can’t make the free day on Saturday, mark your calendars for Tuesday, September 12, because the museum is offering an additional free day. Denver Art Museum.

10 Sunday

Star Wars: A New Hope in Concert


Travel the galaxy with Luke Skywalker while the Colorado Symphony plays along to the movie. If you can’t make the showing on Sunday, the unique cinematic experience also occurs on Saturday, September 9. Tickets start at $10 each, so jump online for a seat today. Boettcher Concert Hall, Denver.

The Market at Belmar


The final day to shop at local vendors in Belmar is Sunday, September 10. The Market showcases local farmers, makers, crafters, seasonal produce, art, clothing, and more! While you’re shopping at the market, stop by the Mimosa Bar that’s hosted by Bar Louie for a delicious drink. Belmar, Lakewood.

11 Monday

Baby Time


Help your baby’s mind develop and grow by bouncing, singing, rhyming, and reading. This event is recurring, so jump online to see the other dates. Arvada Library.

Postpartum Care


This postpartum class will ease your transition into life with your newborn, including ways to support your physical recovery, nipple and breast care, abdominal support, and nutritional recommendations. This class is two and a half hours long and will answer questions you didn’t know to ask. Sign up online for $75. Colorado Birth & Wellness, Denver.

12 Tuesday

Colorado Mountain WineFest


If you’re a wine connoisseur or want to learn more about wine, plan to attend the largest wine festival in Colorado. Guests are treated to unlimited sips from over 50 Colorado wineries, live music, chef demonstrations, artisan vendors, educational seminars, and more! The festival begins September 11 and lasts until the 17. Tickets start at $15 and can be purchased online. Palisades.

Tales by the Trails


Every other Tuesday, bring the kids to Chautauqua for storytime. Parents can relax while the little ones enjoy an adventure with beloved local storyteller Judy Volc. Space is first come, first served. This is a free event for all kiddos and their families to enjoy. Chautauqua Community House, Boulder.

13 Wednesday Blood Drive


Head to Aspen Grove for the community Blood Drive that is hosted by Vitalant. Blood is in high demand, and inventory is down, so consider donating on Wednesday. People who want to donate can sign up online or call Vitalant’s Appointment Center and use the code A982 when registering. Aspen Grove, Littleton. donors.

Picnic on the Farm


Head to Growing Gardens for the threesummer series Picnic on the Farm. Each picnic features a unique, delicious menu curated in collaboration with a community restaurant partner and the Growing Gardens team. Bring a blanket and find a spot on the farm to enjoy your picnic. On September 13, Kelley and Ping will provide delicious food, and tickets range from $70 to $120. Hawthorn Barn, Boulder.

14 Thursday

Bright Night


Bright Nights at Four Mile Historic Park is a chance for you and your

family to experience light coming to life like never before. There will be handcrafted larger-than-life sculptures that will illuminate the night and your imagination. This enormous interactive exhibit is happening until October 1, and there are several dates to choose from. Adult tickets are $25 for nonmembers, and child tickets are $15. Four Mile Historic Park, Denver.

Jonas Brothers


Head to the Ball Arena for a night full of pop music by the Jonas Brothers! The band will perform five albums in one night, and concert-goers should expect to hear their favorite jams like “Sucker,” “Waffle House,” and “Only Human.” Tickets start at $39. Ball Arena, Denver.

15 Friday

Joy Park Free Night


Enjoy a free night at Joy Park on the third Friday of each month, where children can explore the outdoor fun. There are several exciting activities, from zip lines, strolling through the apple orchard, and navigating the river to digging in the sand and becoming an explorer. Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus.

Late Night Happy Hour


Enjoy a late-night happy hour and live music every Friday and Saturday at Hapa Sushi and Sake Bar. Starting at 10 p.m., there will be two for $12 Sushi Rolls and other discounted appetizers, as well as $12 Sake Bombs and other delicious cocktails. Hapa Sushi, Denver.

16 Saturday

11th Annual Superhero Event

Head to Greeley for the 11th Annual Superhero Run that has a 10K, 5K, 1 Mile Run, and a free Kid’s Fun Run. Proceeds from this run go to Life Stories Child & Family Advocacy, which gives a voice to abused children and prevents child abuse. For anyone that can’t make it to the in-person race, there is a virtual version that lets you run whenever you can. Race prices start at $25, and there is a costume contest. Greeley FunPlex.

Corn Maze


From September through October, head to Chatfield Farms to get lost in the seven-acre corn maze. This year’s corn maze is sea-creature themed with several fun twists and tricky turns. The entire maze can be viewed from the 15-foot-tall bridge. There is a mini-maze for children 10 and under. Tickets start at $12 and must be purchased

Go to the market on September 9.

in advance for a specific time. Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms, Littleton.

17 Sunday

Introduction to Mountain

Biking Class


Experience the thrill of mountain biking with an REI instructor, where you’ll learn and practice various riding techniques, navigate minor obstacles on trails, and more. Bikes will be provided with no additional charges, and children under 18 are welcome if a registered, participating adult accompanies them. Registration for this class is $129 for REI members and $159 for nonmembers. Marshall Mesa, Boulder.

Low Sensory Morning


The Denver Aquarium opens early and turns down the ambient sounds so children with autism or sensory processing disorders can enjoy the exhibits in a quiet and calm setting. Tickets for this event must be purchased online. Downtown Aquarium, Denver.

18 Monday

Arctic Monkeys


The rock band, Arctic Monkeys, comes to Red Rocks for two nights (Monday and Tuesday). Make sure to jump online to snag a ticket, so you can listen to your favorite songs like “I Wanna Be Yours,” “Do I Wanna Know?,” and “R U Mine?” Tickets start at $79. Red Rocks, Morrison.

Colorado Gold Writers Conference

Beginning September 8 through the

10, attend the Colorado Gold Writers Conference at the Hyatt Regency. The founding members of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers will attend, and there will be special guest speakers and workshops for attendees. Hyatt Regency Aurora Conference Center.

19 Tuesday

Absolute Rubbish: A Trashion Show


Meow Wolf Denver is presenting their very first fashion show, where innovation and sustainability collide in

a dazzling display of avant-garde looks. This is for ages 18 and up, and the doors open at 7 p.m. Meow Wolf Denver.

Trivia Night


Every Tuesday, head to FlyteCo Brewing for an old-fashioned trivia night! Guests will win prizes, drink beer, and socialize with friends. Participating in trivia is free, but same-day reservations are strongly encouraged. FlyteCo Brewing, Denver.

21 Thursday

Great American Beer Festival


The Great American Beer Festival is a perfect way to celebrate and discover beer by trying all the different styles like sweet, sour, light, dark, hoppy, and funky. Guests can sample unique and limited-edition beers from September 21-23. Tickets start at $95. Colorado Convention Center, Denver.

Prepare and Serve

Dinner to Kids in Need


Volunteer with Project Helping to prepare and serve a home-cooked meal

to the kids and staff of the Residential Program at Denver Children’s Home. This volunteer opportunity is only for 21 and up, and you must register online. Denver Children’s Home.

22 Friday

Boulder Fall Fest

The three-day autumn festival, Boulder Fall Fest, features delicious local bites, live music, and family activities along the historic Pearl Street Mall. Make sure to check out the Firefly Handmade Market, which is a perfect place to find unique items. The Pearl Street Mall, Boulder.

Snowmass Balloon Festival


The long-standing Rocky Mountain tradition features three days of festive balloons launching into the air. Spectators are encouraged to drive in, hike up, bike around or walk right up to take in the sights of the balloons. After the launch, head to the Snowmass Mall or Base Village to enjoy breakfast or brunch. Snowmass Village.

23 Saturday Go-Karting on Ice

Navigate the maze on September 16.
Checkoutthefestival onSeptember22.


For unique and competitive fun with friends and family, plan to attend the Go-Karting on Ice event happening Saturday and Sunday. Prizes will be given out to the best dressed. Big Bear Ice Arena, Denver.

Vegan Street Fair


The annual Vegan Street Fair is back for another exciting year and welcomes all ages. It’s free entry into this event, and guests will celebrate vegan food by exploring vegan-friendly and local vendors. Vendors will have bite-size portions to sample and different kinds of vegan products. Denver.

24 Sunday

Autumn Gold Festival


Saturday and Sunday, enjoy beer, brats, and bands at the Autumn Gold Festival in Estes Park. Admission into the festival is free, and several events are happening throughout the weekend, like the Classic Car Show, a raffle drawing, and more! Bond Park, Estes Park.

Water Lantern Festival


There will be live music, food, local vendors, lantern decorating, and more!


General Richard Lambert Foundation, Brighton.

25 Monday

Let’s Play!


Join Playcrafter Kids on a creative art adventure to connect, create, and play more with your child(ren). This is a five-day program for children ages two through five, and it costs $90 per child. Foothills Unitarian Church, Fort Collins.

26 Tuesday

Kids Night


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

Rockies vs. Dodgers


Cheer on your favorite baseball team, the Colorado Rockies, while they play the Los Angeles Dodgers at Coors Field. Tickets start at $14. Coors Field, Denver.

27 Wednesday

All-Day Happy Hour


Enjoy great deals on your favorite drinks at St. Vrain Cidery’s all-day happy hour every Wednesday. Get $1 off each pour, and $4 off flights and growler fills. St. Vrain Cidery, Longmont.

Colorado Farm and Art Market


Find local, fresh ingredients and products while simultaneously supporting the community. The market is open until October 11. Colorado Pioneers Museum, Colorado Springs.

28 Thursday

Colorado Springs Comedy Festival


Head to Loonees Comedy Corner to see 40 of the funniest comedians from across the country! This is a 21 and up experience, and tickets range from $1275. Loonees Comedy Corner, Colorado Springs.

Women’s Run Club


This free event is a great way to be active while socializing with other ladies. After the run, head back to the Denver Beer Co and celebrate the hard work. Guests can reserve a spot online, and there are several different routes ranging from 1.5-5 miles. Denver Beer Co Platte Street.

29 Friday

‘90s Glow Run


Dress up in your favorite ’90s attire, bring glow sticks and a headlamp, and enjoy the one-mile fun run at the Rocky Mountain Village! Rocky Mountain Village, Empire.

Wine Walks


Downtown Parker invites wine connoisseurs and people wanting to explore different wines to the Wine Walk. Parker Chamber Office.

30 Saturday

Autumn in Colorful Colorado


Guests will make delicious meals inspired by Autumn with their partners. This event is for 21 and up. Uncorked Kitchen & Wine Bar, Centennial.

Harry Potter Night


The Colorado Rockies will compete against the Minnesota Twins. Come dressed in your favorite character, and the ticket package comes with a limited edition Harry Potter-themed Colorado Rockies scarf! Coors Field, Denver.

Brews, Booze, and Bavarian Foods

as long as they can. The winner is the one who can last the longest with good form.

Another competition taking place is the KEG Bowling, and yes, it’s bowling with kegs, so go for a strike!

Bring your four-legged friend for the Long Dog Derby, where you’ll let your dog loose and see who is the fastest.

While you’re participating in the activities, there will be live music that everyone will enjoy. Try out the silent disco, join the sing-alongs or chicken dance, and make it a night to remember. Taste a variety of beers from different breweries, and make sure to stop and get some delicious Bavarian foods.

The 53rd annual twoweekend festival is back in downtown Denver and is full of competitions, live music, beer, and more! The Denver Octoberfest is happening from September 22 through October 1 on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

It’s fun for the wholefamily!

If you’re feeling competitive, come to the Oktoberfest prepared to compete! This is a traditional Bavarian strength contest, Stein Hoisting competition, where contestants test their strength by holding a full one-liter beer stein out in front of them for

Finally, the popular and loved costume contest is back, so bust out the lederhosen and braid your mane because the judges will be watching!

General admission is free, and there is a VIP Package available that comes with the Premium Beer Hall, which offers the most authentic experience. Jump online or check out their Instagram for more information.

2100 Larimer St., Denver.

fresh mindset

“I would love for them to find something that they love and to invest their time and energy into it. And to do their best to be strong, empathetic people. That’s what art has given me. I would hope that it gives them the same joy and the same lessons.”

JOHN-CLAUDE “J.C.” FUTRELL is a husband, an inspiring father to three beautiful children, and the Associate Director of Youth and Community Programming at the Denver Art Museum. J.C. believes that art provides a platform for people to tell their own stories, and it can be used as a tool for children to create, problem-solve, challenge themselves, and find inspiration.


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