Helping Your Kids Get Badly Needed Exercise

You've heard the debate before, and even pondered it yourself. "When we were kids... we used to play outside until dark!  And ride our bikes all over town!  And have dirt clod fights for hours!" Oh, wait.  Maybe the last one was just my little brother. Sadly, times have changed.  And frankly, conditions aren't as safe for children as they once were.  Add in the fact that we now live in a much more sedentary society, one riddled with screens for entertainment.  So how do you keep kids active? Personally, I find it very challenging to help my kids get badly needed exercise.  I look for opportunities to provide active play for them both.  But my tween daughter is at an age where I'd like her to start learning to be self-motivated, when it comes to fitness and a healthy lifestyle.  This past year she turned 12, which was an age which allowed her to be added to our family gym membership. She really enjoys this, and it's helped being able to take her along with us to go get some … [Read more...]

Poolside Road Kill… & What I Love About Swimming Lessons

I’ve “made” my kids take swimming lessons every summer for years now.  I’m not sure why that’s the Mom’s Job, but apparently it is.  Since my 12 year old daughter has pretty much mastered the four main swim strokes, I finally let her off the hook this year.  But my 6 year old son still has some learning to do.  He actually requested to take them his year, so that was a pleasant surprise?! Since I work full time days, my husband has been a good sport about taking J to his lessons every day at noon.  I sneak out for a lunch break, and get to go watch him.  It’s been nearly 100 degrees for weeks now, but it’s a worthwhile show to watch. We are just entering Week 2.  Here are my favorite things I love about watching a 6 year old’s swimming lessons. Second Time’s the Charm My son hesitated at his very first diving board attempt. His instructor was waiting patiently in the water, with a floating device.  My son approached the end of the board, where he paused for quite some time … [Read more...]

5 Fun Activities for Hot Summer Days

I work full time, and suffer from a slightly larger dose of extra mom guilt in summer.   It weighs on me, if I think my two kids aren't getting to have any fun.  Plus, the summer school break flies by so quickly.  It’s only 10 weeks long in Colorado! So this summer I have made a concentrated effort to line up fun activities for my kids. 5 Fun Activities for Hot Summer Days These are a few of the things we have done this summer, that you may like to try yourself.  We’ve had three solid weeks of 100+ degree temperatures.  Whew!  Here are my 5 fun activities for those smokin' hot summer days. #1 – Free Bowling My sister in law tipped me off to this one, or I may not have believed it.  I tend to be skeptical of anything claiming to be “free”! Check out KidsBowlFree.com, and see if you have any local bowling alleys participating.  Every enrolled child can bowl 2 free games of bowling every day, all summer long.  All you pay is the price of shoe rental.  We’ve tried it, and … [Read more...]

5 Things You Need for an Awesome Kids Party in Denver

When you're in charge of planning your child's party it's easy to set up high expectations for yourself.  Especially with social media platforms like Pinterest around to remind you what your party could look like, if you had an unlimited budget, and accessibility to a plethora of celebrity quality vendors. For the rest of us mere mortals, here are some ideas to ensure that a kids party in Denver (or anywhere) is a success! Attention to the Child It's easy to completely take over the party and plan it according to your own specific tastes. However, it's important to remember why you're throwing the party in the first place. Be sure to take into account their interests, age, and personality. This will lead you to planning a custom party for your child, and they will have fond memories about it for years.  Ability to Research Online The Internet is your absolute best friend when you're in the midst of planning a celebration. Finding a source for party planning is as simple as … [Read more...]

FREE Summer Reading & Activity Program ~ Bug Camp

As a parent of two school aged children, I confess I don't worry too much about "stopping the summer slide".  In Western Colorado, their summers off from school are precious and short.  They need a break. But I have already noticed the antsy boredom.  And the too-much-screen time.  So when I heard of Cricket Media's free summer reading and activity program, I immediately checked out the site.  They've got a great calendar set up, with something new to check each day.  So far I'm seeing downloadable activities that inspire reading and getting outside to explore with a nature bingo hunt.  Very cool! This *just* started, so now's a great time to get started and check it out! Free Summer Reading Program ~ Bug Camp 2017 Cricket Media invites families everywhere to discover a world of adventure and learning with BUG CAMP 2017!  This free summer reading program launches June 5th. Created with engaging content from Cricket Media's award-winning magazines for children and teens, … [Read more...]

PSA: That Time I Almost Hit a Middle-Schooler With My Car

Stunned.  That's how I still feel.  Last week when driving my middle school aged daughter to school... I almost hit one of her classmates who was crossing the street.  And  I've been stewing over the frightening "rule loophole" this fell into, ever since. Aside from almost hurting a child with my car, the other reason it was so scary was that neither of us technically did anything wrong. I was at the stoplight, needing to turn right.  She was waiting at the same stoplight, waiting for the pedestrian light to turn green so she could cross.  I'm typically a super cautious driver, but my daughter was almost late for school. The light was red.  I decide to go ahead and turn right.  A perfectly legal move, right? Half way through my turn, the light turns green. The pedestrian sign turns green. And that little girl... only a few feet away from my car, but completely fixated on that pedestrian signal... steps right off the curb into my pathway.  I *almost* hit her.  It was … [Read more...]

5 Perfect Spring Day Ideas to Get Kids Outside

The biting cold starts to leave the air, and the feeling of warm sun on your face almost leaves you giddy.  If you live anywhere with distinct seasons, the arrival of Spring weather is an exciting change.  My family and I always feel inspired to open those windows… and even better, get outside and play! Winter sports may be winding to a close, but there is so much fun to be had in Spring.  You don't need expensive or technical gear in order to do so.  If you need some motivation or inspiration, here are 5 free ideas to get kids outside this Spring.  Plus, some information on the upcoming fun and exciting Kids to Parks™ Day! #5 - Color Scavenger Hunt There are so many fabulous ideas on Pinterest for kids nature hunts!  Here are two of my absolute favorites. Color Scavenger Hunt – I really love this one for its beauty and simplicity.  No time for printables?  Grab a piece of paper and markers to make a quick chart for your kids.  Then send them out to look for what nature has … [Read more...]

Start Kids Early at Summer Adventure Camp

Living in Colorado brings with it the privilege of easy access to a gorgeous outdoor playground.  It’s a large part of why my family lives here, yet it still takes an ongoing effort to get out there and enjoy it.  Even though we love the outdoors, we get busy with everyday life. Then there’s those darn screens, always ready-at-the-helm to suck time.  So I’m constantly looking for opportunities to fit outdoor play into my kids schedule.  Avid4 Adventure summer camps is bringing in the reinforcements, and has got you and your kids covered this summer. "Sending our daughter to Avid4 Adventure camp was one of the single best decisions we’ve ever made as parents. We learned much about her as a person and she felt awesome about herself and her experiences."                                                                                       ~ Avid4 Adventure parent Avid4 Adventure Summer Adventure Camps I absolutely love the Avid4 Adventure’s concept of summer adventure camps. … [Read more...]

The Drop Dead Scariest Thing at the High Ropes Course

I've known this was coming for about two years now.  It's a rite of passage for all 5th graders at my daughter's elementary school.  At the end of the year, they take a field trip to a High Ropes Course.  One final boost to their self esteem and confidence before tossing them into the Lion's Den (a.k.a. Middle School). Although I typically try to attend all field trips, I had made the conscious choice to *not* witness this.  I trusted them to keep the kids safe.  I just didn't think I could watch it. I made it half way through my work morning, before I broke down and headed over to the high ropes course.  I'm so glad I did. The Right Stuff Who knew these kids had this in them?  I've been around the majority of them since kindergarten, and have a beat on most of their personalities.  But I did not see this coming. To be honest, when I pulled up it didn't look like much.  After parking and walking in for  closer view it hit me.  That high ropes course was incredibly scary. … [Read more...]

Backpack Snacks: 5 Budget Friendly Foods that Will Survive a Backpack

It's that time of year again!  Having groceries on hand, and either packing snacks and lunches for your school aged kids, or them attempting to tackle it themselves becomes a daily challenge.  My 5th grader this year is getting better about packing her own food for the school day.  And I love that their teacher allows them to snack in the classroom throughout the day, as long as they aren't disruptive. But I'm frequently at a loss as to what to grab and purchase at the store for backpack snacks and lunches, so thought I'd share these helpful ideas from FoodInsight.  They serve as a nutrition and food safety resource for consumers, health professionals, journalists, educators, government officials, and students. Backpack Snacks 5 Budget friendly foods that will survive a backpack and provide on-the-go nutrition, ensuring kids get the fuel they need without the muss or fuss Trail Mix Trail mix is bite-sized and packed with protein & healthful fats Add a handful of … [Read more...]