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Tiny Houses


Tiny Houses are catching big attention in Colorado. Learn about the tiny house movement from an organization dedicated to smaller housing alternatives. Barbara Mariner, Live Simply Colorado, discusses what it takes to live tiny, including resources, costs, building know-how, money, land and legal issues.

6:30 p.m. Tuesday, September 15

2 p.m. Saturday, September 19

Wheat Ridge
6 p.m. Thursday, September 24

2:30 p.m. Saturday, September 26

6:30 p.m. Tuesday, September 29

2 p.m. Saturday, October 3


Jenny, Golden Library

The nights are getting cooler, aren't they? But the days are HOT! How about some fun places to keep cool during these dog days of summer?

WHERE: Surfside Spray Park
           5330 W 9th Ave (just west of 9th & Sheridan), Lakewood
WHEN:  Aug 22-Sep 6: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
           Labor Day: Mon, Sep 7: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
HOW MUCH: $1 per person (pre-walkers free)

We went to a birthday party at this park a few weeks ago and I was sure the GPS lady had lost her way until we were right on top of this hidden gem. Most of the park is a circle of sprayers of varying height and duration. My boy was enchanted by the aim-able water cannon, naturally. My daughter developed a game where she ran through the whole park without getting wet at all, so it is certainly what you make of it! There is a little-kids area with a water-way and movable obstacles so the children can explore the physics of water. And then they can stand on a fountain! The tables and shelters are set far enough back from the splash pads that you don't HAVE to get wet to have a good time here, although that is kind of the point, isn't it?  Surfside used to be a swimming pool, which is evident from the facilities: lockers! changing areas! multiple stalls! 

WHERE: Ralston Central Park
            5850 Garrison St, Arvada
WHEN:   Splash Pad hours through September 15:  10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

When Ralston Central Park opened last summer, we couldn't wait to go. And neither could anyone else! It was like Thunderdome over there. We went one time, had fun, but the chaos was a bit much for me. It's still a very popular park, but it's calmed down a bit. I really like the layout of this park: there's a traditional, vaguely "Swiss Family Robinson" themed playground that's separate from the splash park - so, like at Surfside, you don't HAVE to get wet. The splash park has features for all ages: plenty of shade and tables for parents/caregivers; tall leaf-shaped showers, and buckets that dump for big kids; fountains that shoot up from the ground and cascade down from about 3ft for our littlest friends. The facilites are new, and - as far as park facilities go - delightful.

WHERE: Discovery Park
            3701 Johnson St (38th & Kipling), Wheat Ridge
WHEN:   Park hours: 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.
            Splash Pad hours May 1 - September 30: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

I confess, Discovery is my favorite park right now. It has lots of little environments so it feels like more than one park. The splash pad is user-generated: if you want to get wet, you must stomp on the in-ground "buttons." My little one doesn't care for surprises, so she likes that she has some control over whether or not she gets soaked. Up the hill on the south east side of the park is a meandering "stream" for ankle-deep wading and paddling. There's a toddler playground near the splash pad, and a big kids playground across the way. There's a skatepark, a sculpture park with a "secret" tube slide, and even a dedicated sandbox (with water feature) for [getting really filthy] an extra special sensory experience. A bonus for Discovery Park is that there's a Port-o-Let available year round. I know, gross, but in Colorado it's a shame the bathrooms at most parks are only available during the summer. We like to be outside when the weather's nice - even in February, and when you gotta go...

I hope you've had an amazing summer. Stay cool, Jeffco!


Photo credits: Surfside - Design Concepts Community and Landscape Architects; Ralston Central Park - Westword.com; Discovery Park - Bobby T. at Yelp.com


Time is running out!


Yes, it’s hard to believe that Summer Reading is coming to an end this Friday.  We are so grateful to the 30,000 people who registered and logged their time to help us reach – and exceed – our goal!

When Summer Reading ends, logging minutes will shut down until next year, so be sure to log all of your minutes by Friday, August 14.

With fall coming, our focus is shifting from summer to back-to-school. We’ll be evaluating our program and getting ready for next year.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Log your minutes before midnight, Friday, August 14.
  2. Take a screen shot or print off your reading log. 
  3. Celebrate your accomplishment by downloading the Summer Reading Certificate and fill in your time to share with teachers, friends, and family. 

Thanks for being part of Summer Reading 2015.

It's a Wrap Party and You're Invited


Wrap up your summer reading accomplishments at our celebrity-style “It’s a Wrap!” party.

12–4 p.m. Sunday, August 23
Jefferson County Fairgrounds 
15200 W 6th Ave Frontage Rd., Golden 

This countywide event is the perfect way to wrap up your summer before school activities get too crazy! We’ll have fun activities for all ages, including:

  • Bouncy Castles
  • Top Hogs
  • Folkloric Dancers
  • Live Music
  • Big Trucks
  • Race Cars
  • Bookmobile
  • Mobile Computer Lab
  • Face Painter
  • Side Walk Chalk Art
  • Vendor Booths
  • Kids Crafts
  • Concessions
  • Giant Board Games
  • Book Swap
  • Community Art Project

...And more! Bring a gently used book or two and swap it for another! No need to RSVP, just bring yourself, your smiles, and help us celebrate an incredible summer of reading!

Author Visit: Lost Restaurants of Denver


Do you remember the chile rellenos at Casa Mayan or perhaps the cannolis from Carbones? Join authors Robert and Kristen Autobee for a discussion of Denver's culinary past and their book, Lost Restaurants of Denver. The book is full of success stories and recipies from waitresses, chefs, owners, and suppliers. 

Authors Robert and Kristin Autobee are taking us on a tour down memory lane. Join us and you’ll leave with great memories and a know-how on how to prepare old favorites like the hearty helpings from the Hungry Dutchman or the dainty morsels from the Denver Dry Goods Tearoom.   

Robert and Kristen Autobee
Thursday, August 13     6 p.m.


Karen, Kids and Families Outreach Librarian

As a kid, there was always a cetain feeling of dread combined with excitement when the summer came to a close and my mom and I would go 'back to school' shopping. Whether heading to the first day of preschool or the first day of second grade, I always had butterflies in my stomach and trouble sleeping the night before. Reflecting on my experiences as a child and as a teacher, I thought I would share some books to help prepare your little one for the first day in a classroom or daycare.  I also included a few titles to make your elementary or middle school bound child laugh or feel a sense of ease about the upcoming school year.  

A cute board book for toddlers, preschoolers and kindergarteners.  

See how Dino wins each "match".  


Daddy doesn't stick to the list in this funny story.  

A new book about overcoming elementary school bullies with a great attitude. 

Number 7 in James Patterson's popular middle school series.  This book will have boys and girls ages 9 and up laughing!


Image credit: Flickr


Great Decisions: In-depth conversations on complicated topics


Turn on the evening news and you’re sure to be overwhelmed with a barrage of complicated issues affecting our world. From digital privacy to ongoing conflicts in the Middle East, the controversies and challenges seem never ending. Have you ever wished you better understood what these issues really involve?

Join us for in-depth conversations about some of today's most complicated and important U.S. foreign policy topics. The eight-week program begins August 26 through October 28.
Columbine Library is hosting the next series which occurs Wednesdays at 3 p.m. and we provide the materials you need to participate.

  • August 26  Introductions and pick up materials (23 copies of materials are available)
  • September 9  Russia and the Near Abroad
  • September 16  Privacy in the Digital Age
  • September 23  Sectarianism in the Middle East
  • September 30  India Changes Course
  • October 7  The United States and Africa
  • October 14  Syria's Refugee Crisis
  • October 21  Human Trafficking
  • October 28  Brazil's Metamorphosis

Reservations are not required. In order to fully engage, we recommend participants read each article prior to the discussions. Articles and materials will be covered at the August 26 meeting.

Karen, Kids and Families Outreach Librarian

Having nine nieces and nephews as well as knowing a lot of friends with children, I have been invited to countless babyshowers.  My favorite gift items?  Bath toys!!  You can never go wrong with bathtime books, foam letters or rubber duckies.  Bathtime is a wonderful opportunity to engage your baby, toddler or preschooler in the Five Early Literacy Practices: Talk, Sing, Read, Write and Play.  

On pbs.org, they describe many ways you can encourage language and literacy development during bathtime; from naming body parts to asking your child what are they going to need for bathtime.  There are even suggestions for first graders. My favorite one was to make up stories about the different bath toys.  Once upon a time, there was a Pirate Duck named Orange Beak.  He was on a mission to locate the treasure stolen by Princess Barbie and her Little Pony friends...

Ideas that incorporate the Five Early Literacy Practices into bathtime:

TALK- Use different words to describe how toys move in the water: splash, dip, sink, float, rock, glide, etc...

SING- Sing to baby about body parts (ie. Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes).  Make up or learn new bathtime songs like the one about the turtle, Tiny Tim, on Jbrary (I LOVE JBRARY!!!)

READ- Read bathtime books to your baby or point out words on your child's bubble bath or shampoo bottle

WRITE- Use bathtime crayons to write baby's name on the tile or use foam letters to spell out words

PLAY- Mix in science and math concepts by adding measuring cups and spoons to your bathtub toy collection

Read a good book before or after bathtime:


A board book. Great for babies and toddlers!

A cute story about an elephant reluctant to take a bath.

One of my favorite characters, the Pigeon!  Mo Willems' books make me laugh!

Rub-a-dub!  Now get those kiddos into the tub!  And keep logging Summer Reading minutes!

Barbara, Evergreen Library

STORYTIME: a regular time at which a story is read aloud to children. 

Wanna get jazzed for the day? Just come to a storytime at your local library!

I do a weekly toddler storytime at the Evergreen Library and I look forward to it all week! It is my time to shine...use silly voices, see lots of smiling faces, Shake My Sillies Out, and end with a grand finale of the Hokey Pokey...this is not your mother's storytime! Gone are the days of hushed voices and long stories. Instead today's storytimes are interactive and most of all fun!!! Filled with well illustrated and age appropriate books, songs, fingerplays, felt board and interactive activities there is something for everyone at your libraries weekly storytimes.

According to The Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy (CLeL), ECRR (Every Child Ready to Read) highlights EARLY LITERACY STORYTIMES as one of the crucial activities designed to promote early literacy in young children.

Why it's Important:

Literacy-based storytimes offer libraries a way to be partners in education with parents and caregivers. Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy (CLEL) supports the definition of a literacy-based storytime as one that contains the following components:

  • Parents and caregivers are invited to attend storytimes with their children
  • At least one early literacy practice is highlighted during each storytime
  • Storytime leaders model activities that build early literacy skills
  • Books and activities promote the use of early literacy skills and practices
  • Information about early literacy skills and practices and/or tips for building skills are provided to parents and caregivers during storytime, either verbally, via a handout, or both

At the library we LOVE storytime and we want you and your child to LOVE it too! So, drop on by and give us a try, we can't wait to see you!!! 

Jenny, Golden Library

I have a confession to make. I've had the Monkey Preschool Lunchbox app ($1.99 Apple/Android) on every device I've owned since I first discovered it several years ago. It's so simple, so fun, and so rewarding that even though my kids first started playing with it when they were each about 18 months old, they still play at 5 and 3. Here's why:

It's varied: there are 7 different mini tasks - counting, letter recognition, matching, colors, puzzles, shapes and sizes. A sweaty-palmed 2 year old may have trouble with the puzzles at first, but that same child in a few short months will be waving your expensive phone/tablet around in triumph. 

It's repetitive: yes, this is also one of its drawbacks, but young children thrive on repetition. It provides opportunity to both practice emerging skills, and gain mastery of the concepts presented in the game. Before she'd perfected the art of the swipe, my daughter would simply hand me the phone when she reached a task she couldn't complete. I would help her do what was asked, and she would take over again. We both win.

It's fun: I mean, it has a little Memory game in it. The monkey does flips when you pack its lunch! Flips! And then you get to choose stickers that dance around because they're so excited that you're such an amazing genius. Or your kid is. Whomever. I also sort of like the calypso/calliope music...for a little while. 

Since they've discovered YouTube, Monkey Preschool Lunchbox is no longer the go-to app on any of our family devices anymore. But if we're out at a restaurant, or stuck in a doctor's office, or really anywhere there might be a long wait and no wifi, we are playing this game and loving it. I downloaded the app when it was featured for free, but if you have young kids and smartphones, this may be the best $1.99 you ever spend.  

If your kids, like mine, have pretty much mastered these skills, you may want to try Monkey MathSchool Sunshine. It's got 9 more mini-games that teach sequencing, patterning, counting, adding and subtracting. My 5 year old son loves the connect-the-dots to help the baby turtle find the ocean.

I didn't know until right now that they'd also developed a reading game. I'll bet you can guess what I'll be using our next app store credit for...



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