As summer vacation sets in, reading with your children doesn’t have to take a break until September. It’s no secret that there are more hiking, biking, and beautiful parks to visit than possible in one summer in Boulder, or even a lifetime. But, there’s more to our town than its pristine beauty and wildlife – especially when it comes to engaging with your kids through fun, mentally stimulating activities to help keep them intellectually curious between school years.
Reading with your children and taking them to one of the numerous educationally focused spots in Boulder might just be the best (and most fun) mental aerobics for them, both this summer and beyond. So, here’s the scoop on some of the best places in Boulder to enjoy the simple pleasure of story time with your kids, as well as options for your teenager who might scoff at the idea of story time with their parents.
Boulder Public Library
For a local feel, there may be no place better than the Boulder Public Library. With four distinct locations, Boulder’s public libraries have something for everyone, every age group, and every reading level. From musical story time for all ages to “Wobblers & Walkers” story time designed for kids 15-24 months old to STEM Story Club and Yoga Story Time, you won’t be disappointed by the array of programming the Boulder Public Library system has developed over the years.
Have a teen in the house? Not to worry – BPL still has your child covered. In addition to volunteer activities such as pairing teens with younger children as reading buddies, the library has a number of events designed specifically for teenagers. For example, there are “Teens, Trivia, and Tea” events where kids can enjoy complimentary tea and coffee while playing exciting trivia games sure to keep them on their toes. If trivia isn’t their cup of tea, not a problem. Check out “News Savvy” where a panel of experts from the media to academia present their views on the state of “fake news” and teach your teen how to distinguish what is “real news” and what is not – a skill all too necessary in today’s media and youth culture.
A Boulder institution, Boulder JCC offers classes and seminars ranging from food and farming to fitness and health, afterschool programs, and even a camp revolving around the best parts of story time. Boulder JCC is offering a four-day “Storytime Adventures” camp for kids 4-5 years old. At this day camp, your little ones will be immersed in a different story each day. Through imaginative activities such as singing, dancing, arts & crafts and more, the pages will truly come to life for your children.
For teens, however, Boulder JCC offers a wholly different and innovative summer camp: Camp Inc. Business Academy. At Camp Inc., current 4th through 12th graders learn what is needed to create their own startup. They’ll be able to write software programs, learn new languages (such as Python), study graphic design and marketing, and even use state-of-the-art 3D printers to make their creations a reality. And that’s just one example of the camps offered for teens – check out all the options and see what great activities Boulder JCC and Camp Inc. have to offer this summer season.
Clothes Pony & Dandelion Toys
If you haven’t been to or heard of Clothes Pony & Dandelion Toys in Boulder, it’s time to change that. This spot is owned and operated by two sisters with a passion for helping kids grow through play, sing-alongs, weekly story time and other activities to encourage learning by way of fun. For those of you who like to keep to a tight schedule, Clothes Pony & Dandelion Toys couldn’t make it any easier. Every Thursday at 11am the store hosts story time, complete with stories galore, ceaseless laughter, learning made fun, and animal crackers.
BARNES & NOBLE
Perhaps the most well known chain of bookstores around, Barnes & Noble doesn’t disappoint its Boulder patrons with a seemingly never ending list of story time events. With story time occurring once, twice, and even three times per week, there’s no excuse not to give it a try. Plus, with stories ranging from Dr. Seuss classics to local authors, it’s hard to find another place with such diversity, sure to delight all of your child’s interests and curiosities.
So when those summertime trails fill up, instead of fighting the crowds outside, see all that Boulder has to offer indoors with educational activities suitable for every age level and family schedule. Step into the stories with your children and let the adventures begin!