During the 9-week festival, participating Regal Cinemas, United Artists and Edwards Theatres will be offering selected G or PG rated movies for just $1 on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. A portion of proceeds from the Summer Movie Express will also be donated to the Will Rogers Institute.
You can visit the Regal Summer Movie Express page to find a participating theater in your area. For our local readers, there are several in the Denver Metro area.
Now that many of the kids are out of school for summer break, perhaps you are looking for something to do with them tomorrow?! You can always head to the LEGO Store for their FREE Monthly Mini Model Build. This month it happens to be this fun mini jet ski!
The event starts at 5pm until supplies last. Children 6 to 14 are welcome to participate, and there is a limit of one free jet ski per child.
With summer right around the corner, now is a great time to start thinking about and maybe even preparing some activities to help your children practice and enhance their academic skills this summer.
It does not take much effort, but the benefits are great in preventing a slip in abilities over the long summer break. Last week, we looked at how to incorporate social studies enrichment into your summer travel plans or from home. This week, we are offering some tips for making writing an integral yet exciting part of the season for kids of all ages.
Making Writing Fun for Young Kids
-Writing alphabet letters using shaving cream: Using a gallon size bag that closes completely, fill it with shaving cream while leaving some room for it to move around. Seal it tightly after letting out extra air. Kids can push the cream with their finger to create letters. The same idea can be achieved using hair gel, food coloring, and glitter that are mixed together. The whole idea is making letter practice fun and unconventional.
-Writing words in a mini sand box: Partially fill an old baking pan with plain sand, colored sand, or flour. Let your child use their finger to write words. Simply rub a hand over the content to create new words. To create rhyming words, simply brush over the first letter and change it to a new letter. It’s as simple as making a mini “indoor sand box” and is perfect for kinesthetic learners.
-Practicing sentences using unconventional writing tools: Motivate kids to write by letting the method with which they create sentences be unconventional. Think outside the box, and let kids use rubber stamps, stencils, or other items to create sentences. Without realizing it, kids are still practicing the same skills but in more entertaining ways.
Making Writing Personal and Pleasurable for Older Kids
Let’s face it, most kids don’t like to write because they only see their writing being used for assignments instead of in real life. Summer can be a great opportunity to let kids simply write without confines… no pre-determined context, no pre-created questions, no length requirements, etc. It is all about allowing them to choose what to write and how based on what personally interests them.
-Journaling: Allow your child to choose a journal that they love and writing utensils they enjoy using most. Their journal could be as simple as a spiral notebook or as elaborate as a locking diary with their favorite characters on it. They could even create their own by cutting out pictures from magazines and placing them on a composition book by brushing diluted glue over them. Once the journal has been chosen, simply let kids write. If they need guidance, encourage them to write about their daily activities, to record family vacation memories, write letters to their future self or someone else, or create creative stories.
-Progressive Stories: Instead of leaving all of the writing up to the child(ren), get involved yourself or have the whole family participate. Have everyone who will participate write an introduction to a story. After a pre-determined length of time (every day or every week), have everyone switch stories and add on based on what was written before. Continue writing and swapping throughout the summer. Celebrate at the end of the summer with a story sharing night. It’s sure to be a source of laughter and family fun!
If you enjoyed this post, make sure to also check out these which are part of our Children's Summer Learning series:
Remember the Denver Staycation Ideas that I shared with you last week? I'm excited to share that I've once again teamed up with bloggers from all over the country this year who have also rounded up staycation ideas for their local cities.
Whether you are looking for things to do in your city this summer or visiting one of these locations on a vacation, make sure to check them out! Also, if you're looking for tips on how you can make your staycation or vacations a successful one, make sure to check out my posts on 10 Ways to Save on Your Vacation and How to Plan a Staycation.
Have you checked out my post on 10 Ways to Save on Your Summer Vacation? One of them is to take a staycation which is a fantastic option for those of you that would prefer to stay close to home this year. A staycation is similar to a vacation, except you get to pass on the flight tickets, long road-trip gas costs and hotel expenses. One of the most difficult things about planning a staycation is thinking of creative things to do. This is where a theme can really come in handy. Select a theme that your family is interested in and then seek out activities that fit within that theme. For those of you that are in Colorado, I have included a round-up of some of my favorite Denver staycation and summer activity ideas below!
Historic Denver Activities
Denver Mint: Tours of the Denver Mint are free, but you will need to make a reservation online. Keep in mind that you must be at the tour entrance no later than 15 minutes before your tour time. Also, don't forget that there is no parking at the Mint, so you will need allow for some extra time to find a public lot in the area and walk back before your tour is scheduled to start. Lastly (I learned this the hard way), the Denver Mint does not allow any bags in their facility (with no exceptions) and there are also not any storage options, so make sure to leave all bags and purses at home or in your car.
Red Rocks Park: Admission to the park and parking is free. They also have guided tours available for $6 for adults and $3 for children and seniors.
The Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave: Open daily 9:00am to 5:00pm through October 31st. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors over the age of 65, $1 for children between the ages of 6 and 15 and free for children under 5. Visit the Buffalo Bill Museum website for more information about this attraction.
Dinosaur Ridge: Visit Dinosaur Ridge the first and third Saturdays of each month for a 2 ½ -hour detailed walking tour of the Ridge with one of their geologists. Tours start at 9:00 am and reservations can be made at 303-697-3466 Ext. 103 prior to 5:00pm the night before. Shuttle bus tours are available for $4 or you can tour the exhibit hall for $1. **Head on over here for more Museums and Historic Sites in Colorado.
Outdoor/Nature Themed Denver Activities
Denver Museum of Nature and Science: The museum is open daily 9:00am-5:00pm. Adult tickets are $13, seniors over 65 are 10, ages 3-18 are $8 and children under 2 are free. There are also a few package deals available if you want to visit the IMAX while you are at the museum. Make sure to also check out the list of free admission days for 2013.
Denver Botanic Gardens: Tickets are $12.50 for adults, $9 for children between the ages of 3 and 15 and free for little ones under the age of two. They are open 9:00am to 8:00pm daily through September 30th. Make sure to also check out the list of free admission days for 2013.
Hudson Gardens in Littleton: Admission is free through the month of May and only $1.50 per person (adult or child) after May. There are also lots of bonus activities throughout the summer, so make sure to check out their activities page while planning your visit.
Denver Zoo: The Denver Zoo is open 9:00am to 5:00pm through October 31st. Tickets are $15 for ages 12-64, $12 for 65+, $10 for ages 3-11 and free for children under the age of 2. There are a lot of demonstrations and activities to participate in while you are there, so make sure to check out their daily calendar online. The Denver Zoo can be very busy on the weekends, so if you can plan this activity for a weekday you are likely to have a far more enjoyable visit. Make sure to also check out the list of free admission days for 2013.
Visit a Mountain Town or Take a Hike: There is no shortage of beautiful mountain towns and hiking trails in Colorado. Visit the State Park website for lots of ideas.
Amusement Park Themed Denver Activities
Elitch Gardens in Denver: For a limited time, purchase season tickets and you'll get them for $79.99 per person $10 off the regular price), plus they will throw in a free parking pass. There are also lots of other perks to having a season pass. Check them all out and purchase your season passes on the Elich Gardens website.
Water World in Denver: There are a number of different admission options that start at free for children under 40"and go up to $39.99 for an all day General Admission pass. Front Range King Soopers stores also sell discounted ($5 off) General Admission and Child tickets. King Soopers also sells Family 4-Pack ticket packages that include 4 admissions, 4 personal pizzas and 4 drinks.The Family 4-Pack is $139.96 (tax is already included--this works out to be $34.99 per person). If you purchase your tickets form King Soopers you can bypass the ticket windows and head straight for the entry turnstiles. Make sure to also check out the Water World website for other discount and coupon options.
This is just very small sample of the things that there are to do in Colorado, I'd love to hear your ideas in the comments section of this post.
A few other theme ideas include: Adventure Theme (sky diving, white water rafting, paintball), Volunteer Theme (select several different charities to volunteer your time with), or Spa Theme (schedule a few different spa treatments throughout the week, also be sure to check out my post on at home spa treatments).
Do you plan to take a staycation this year? Share with us in the comments section!
National Fishing and Boating Week is June 1st through the 8th which means that if you state is participating you'll be able to take your family fishing for FREE, with no license required on public bodies of water.
For our local Colorado readers, free fishing days are June 6th and 7th. Free fishing days are a perfect opportunity for beginners to try out fishing for the first time!
No matter what season in life you may find yourself in, we are never too young or too old for some good old fashioned fun! This Easter, consider incorporating an egg hunt into the festivities no matter who is around to do it-- young kids, older kids, children of all ages, or just all of us kids at heart (yes, that means us adults, too). Using the following ideas, your egg hunt will take on a fresh and new spin will keeping the tradition alive.
Egg Hunts for “Older” Kids
I vividly remember the time when my cousins and I thought we were too cool to do the Easter egg hunt anymore. At the same time, it was a fond memory for all of us. So, my dad added a new twist that we all loved. He filled the eggs with cash instead of candy, and one egg had a dollar instead of coins. He went to extra heights to make the hiding spots better than ever. It was a challenge not only to get as many eggs as possible (so we could make more money!) but to be the one to score the “big” cash of the dollar egg.
If you’re looking for a way to keep older kids into the festivities, consider adding cash into the egg hunt. Don’t just limit it to the teenagers as this could also be a fun way to earn money above and beyond allowance for younger kids. Besides, who says adults can’t have an Easter egg hunt, too?!?!
Egg Hunts for Small Children
Give younger children the opportunity to actually enjoy “hunting” for eggs and not just be disappointed that the older, faster kids got them all first. Create a separate space either inside or outside for each young child to follow their own jelly bean trail leading to each of their eggs (several jelly beans laid out in a line then one egg, repeat).
The colors and candy will motivate them to actually stay on track, and the Easter egg hunt will be much more than just setting out eggs on the grass for the little ones to try to.