The tragic abduction and murder of 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway while walking to school in her Westminster neighborhood has struck fear into the heart of parents all over the country, and particularly in the Denver metro area. Short of barring our children from going out of doors, what can we do to keep them safe and healthy when they are out of our immediate sight?
Sharing books on topics like personal safety, stranger danger, and street smarts is a gentle but effective way of educating and informing children about these essential facts. Authors of these books are especially careful to impart information in a matter-of-fact manner that does not frighten children, but rather gives them the necessary tools they need to keep themselves safe and protected from harm.
Behold, the first day of school...a time that fills the hearts of parents and children with excitement and dread, often in equal measure.
Particularly for brand new preschoolers and kindergartners, as well as for other children who have never been to school, the first day can be a time of wondering and worry as much as anticipation and excitement. A great way to soothe fears as well as celebrate this new experience is to share a picture book about beginning school, the first day of school, and other school-related experiences.
For first-day fears, try these titles to help reassure children:
A recent New York Times Book Review article sings the praises of audio books and recommends several gems for family road trips. With summer right around the corner, it’s a nice reminder that audio books are the perfect way to keep the whole family happy on long car drives.
I have three children, and when we take a road trip, we always have several audio books on hand. I find they are far superior to DVDs for making a road trip a fun family experience. Unlike videos, which only the kids can watch, audio books are something the whole family (including the driver of the car!) can enjoy. In addition, we can listen to the audio books while also looking out the window. And – really – what’s the point of a road trip if you aren’t taking in the majestic scenery rolling past?
The Denver Public Library is pleased to host the annual Denver Public Schools K-8 Art Exhibition from April 5 to April 19. Come see these wonderful works created by Denver’s elementary and middle school students. While you're downtown, visit some other art institutions around Denver. Then bring out your child’s (and your) creativity by making art from materials found around the house.
Participation in the arts provides many benefits for children of all ages. According to Americans for the Arts making art strengthens critical thinking and problem solving skills, bolsters self-confidence, and improves memory. After viewing the Denver Public Schools exhibit on Level 5 of the Central Library, take advantage of Denver’s active art community and spend a day immersing your child in visual art.
A growing body of research is discovering that there is a real crisis in boys’ reading. Boys are reading less and less well than their female peers, and this gap only gets worse as children get older. Much of the reason for boys' poor reading is that the types of books being offered to boys in school often hold little or no interest for them.
Jon Scieszka, award-winning author of The Stinky Cheese Man and other favorites, has started a campaign called Guys Read to encourage boys’ reading. He believes that simply offering boys books that they will enjoy is a huge step in making the shift from reluctant to motivated readers.
The Fresh City Life My Branch Colorado Authors Series presents Kyrie Collins, author of Playdate with Denver and Colorado's Front Range on Sunday, November 20 at 2:00 p.m. at the Schlessman Family Branch.
When Collins moved to the Denver area, she had a two-year-old toddler and was six months pregnant. Immediately, she began searching for a resource of fun and interesting places to take her children. Most of the information she found was either for older children or focused on a specific area or activity. She wanted a wide array of destinations for every season of the year and for every budget. Since she couldn’t find one, she decided to create one.
International Walk (or bike) to School Day is Wednesday, Oct 5th!
In the 1960's about 1/2 of all kids walked or biked to school. Now nearly 90% arrive in cars or buses. Take a walk with your child and cash in on the environmental, safety education and fitness benefits together! Children ages 1-15 years of age typically receive less than $1 in traffic education and the cost of an injury involving a vehicle is staggering.
Safe Travel for the Elementary School Child Children need adults to teach them how to be safe around vehicles, not to dart between parked cars, to watch for turning cars and not to play behind a parked car, even if it is in their own driveway. Here is a bicycle and pedestrian traffic safety education training course with K-5 curriculum from the Colorado Department of Transportation.
The kids are heading back to school and the summer sunlight is waning, but that doesn't mean family outdoor fun can't continue.
The benefits of outdoor play for children are numerous. Everything from enhanced brain development, social aptitude, physical fitness, and environmental appreciation have been linked to getting outside. With cooler temperatures on their way and fall colors just around the corner, here are some great books to help you leave the house and enjoy our amazing natural surroundings with your kids.
The 24th Annual AIDS Walk Colorado is taking place August 13, 2011. Who will you walk for?
Parents all over the world have lost children of all ages to AIDS. Generations of families have been destroyed in Africa due to this disease. Newspapers report the statistics but children and those who care for them, are the most articulate about the impact of AIDS on their lives.
Nasdijj says it best when asked why anyone would adopt a child with AIDS in his memoir The Boy and the Dog are Sleeping: "Because one comes to you. Because you can."