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Colorado State University Extension offices like the one in Clear Creek County bring the research and resources of the university within easy reach, and our staff are here to help. Contact us at (303) 679-2424.

Boredom Busters for Kids

Your Clear Creek County CSU Extension has gathered this list of activities, learning materials, and at home programming for youth. As our calendars, school calendars, and other extracurricular activities have been canceled we recognize these stay at home orders are difficult for kids. Please browse our lists of activities by topic. Many are organized by third parties and are not affiliated with Clear Creek CSU Extension.

DIY and Virtual Summer Camps

  • Nature WatchCamp in a box kits – For those looking for a way to keep in touch with their stay at home campers, we selected 11 Nature Crafts Kits that are perfect to divide up and send to each of your campers. Send one or several different crafts. Let campers work on their own or create a fun camp hour through a Zoom session teaching and making the projects together.
  • Experience our National Parks from Home with these family friendly activities. There are plenty of ways to enjoy the parks from the great indoors. From family friendly activities to an immersive audio experience, there are a variety of ways you can bring the wonder of our national parks into your home.
  • Family Maker Camp is an excellent way for families to get hands-on at home. At Family Maker Camp, we bring you daily live do-it-together sessions with Makers, daily projects, and community support. Family Maker Camp is online, free for everyone, and generously funded by the members of Make.co. Whether you are 5 or 95, everyone can join, no matter where they live. We have almost 60 new sessions since we started in March! Sign Up for the Maker Camp Newsletter, Follow the Facebook Page, Join the Facebook Group, Subscribe to Make: Kids for notifications of Live Sessions

STEM Learning

  • Wild Rose Education: has been offering free webinars, learn more about them on wildroseeducation.com and learn about events on Facebook.
    • The Youth Water Leadership Program is also moving to a new hybrid virtual format which allows for teens from across the entire Upper Colorado River Basin to participate. Expanding the reach of the program has been boggling my mind for the past couple years, and now it is proving to be possible with teens knowing how to use distance education frameworks and effective online platforms. We’re kicking off the new programming with Geo-Hyrdro Teen Tuesdays on June 2 for 14-18 year old high school students. There is an entire menu of summer offerings on our website for teens from across the entire Upper Colorado River Basin.
  • Code.org/Break – Computer Science learning – With schools closed and tens of millions of students at home, join Code.org each week for Code Break — help us build the world’s largest live interactive classroom, with weekly challenges to engage students of all abilities, even those without computers.
  • 101 Boredom Busters by STEM Toy Expert wrote the Ultimate Boredom Buster: 101 Things to Do When Kids Are Bored
  • Scratch at Home by MIT – Looking for ways to engage in creative coding at home? Our Scratch At Home page provides children, families, and educators with ideas for engaging in creative learning activities using the free Scratch coding environment. Just getting started with Scratch? Our Ideas page has a variety of resources to support learners: from beginner tutorials to starter projects to downloadable Scratch Coding Cards.
  • NASA STEM at Home We’ve also created a landing page on the NASA Museum Alliance that includes all the at-home resources that NASA is rolling out to support families with STEM learning at home. It’s easy to make NASA content part of your outreach and social media (#NASAAtHome); and join for Space Science Week
  • 50 experiments in 50 days: To help, the Steve Spangler Science team will be sharing “50 experiments for 50 days”, starting on Monday, March 23, 2020 at 9:00 am PT / 12:00 pm ET. Steve will go Live on his Facebook page @SteveSpangler on Mondays each week to announce that week’s experiments.  The experiments will then be released daily on our Facebook Page and Instagram Page so that you and your kids can follow along. Be sure to like our Facebook Page @SpanglerScience and Instagram Page @SteveSpanglerScience to join in on the fun of our 50 experiments in 50 days!
  • Science Mom (and Math Dad): a daily show featuring science and math lessons, crafts and games. Hosted by Science Mom and Math Dad, this two hour livestream is a wonderful way to put some fun learning into your quarantine. Each show will feature a science lesson, math activities, interactive games, and stories. If you’d like to share your creation with other families who are following along with Quarantime, post it to Instagram with the hashtags #quarantime and #sciencemomsquad. Learn more info about the daily series on their Facebook post.
  • Experiment: Grow Bacteria in Petri Dishes – Here’s a fun way to show our little hands-on learners the importance of cleaning surfaces.
  • The 4-H STEM Lab! Looking for easy ways to get your kids interested in science? The 4-H STEM Lab provides fun, hands-on STEM activities for kids of all ages to do anywhere—with just the right amount of “messy factor!“ These fun and easy activities are designed to instill curiosity and critical thinking, helping kids develop skills to be successful in life.  
  • 4-H STEM – Inspiring STEM – Projects to do at home: Let’s be honest, STEM can be intimidating to adults, so of course it’s not surprising it is for kids too – especially for those who haven’t been exposed to the topics often. Trying new things can be scary, so a perfect way to overcome any fears is to introduce new ideas in creative ways. Check out Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz’s, an author for the Growing Up Bilingual blog, favorite STEM projects she made with her son.
  • Denver 4-H STEAM resource list
  • Robotics
    • CODE FOR GOOD CHALLENGE – The Pitsco Education and Arduino Education Code for Good Challenge is the ultimate summer coding competition that offers students ages 13-18 the opportunity to solve problems that impact our neighborhoods, communities, countries, and planet. We’re asking our next generation to use their engineering and coding abilities to create some good in the world by tackling the tough challenges so many are facing. Participation is free and the prizes are GOOD!
    • Science BuddiesMake a robotic hand
    • iRobot Launches Robot Simulator, Free Online Curriculum for Robotics Education – Your kids can learn to program robots from scratch, for free, on their computer or phone
    • Robotics, FIRST® @ Home – As a global robotics community that prepares young people for the future, FIRST® is committed to continuing our efforts to give students the skills and confidence they need to change the world – today and tomorrow. During this challenging time, we know there’s a lot of information coming at you very fast, from many directions, about how to keep students engaged. To help, we’ve created a place where you can learn about opportunities for online learning/skills development, FIRST supported activities, and provide a place to stay connected to the FIRST community during this global pandemic.
  • Science Buddies: Access to hundreds of STEM lessons and activities you can use with students who are home. Lesson Plans, Activities, Projects including Pandemic Science Activities.

Storytime

  • Clear Creek County Library District: Storytime with Miss Holly and Miss Honeybun every Wednesday at 11:15 am on Facebook Live.
    • We have been busy shifting programs and services online and finding ways to bring the library to you at home. Follow us on social media, check our website frequently, and keep reading to learn more!
  • StorylineOnline is a YouTube channel where celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Chrissy Metz, Kristen Bell, Wanda Sykes, Sarah Silverman and many more read stories that your children will love. Each video also has moving illustrations from the book to keep your children even more entertained.
  • Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library – “Goodnight With Dolly” will feature Dolly Parton reading a series of Imagination Library books all carefully chosen for their appropriate content at this moment in time.

Home Education

  • ReallyGoodStuff.com has compiled a variety of resources to Educate, Engage, and Entertain Children at Home from their website as well as other online resources.
  • Family Programs Onsite at the Denver Botanic Gardens – Explore the wonders of nature together as a family with these program offerings onsite at Denver Botanic Gardens. Pre-registration is required for all programs. View Family Programming and pre-register.
  • Junior Master Gardener Program: Blooms and growth inspire hope. This spring, the JMG team will be sharing flowers in bloom every morning on our Facebook page, and we’d love to see pictures of yours as well! Click the link to see today’s post. Calling Young Gardeners! Have elementary age students? Join the NEW virtual National JMG group on Facebook Live! Sessions start April 2nd. Garden Activities will be led by National JMG staff, and your kids can earn a JMG Certification in Plant Growth and Development. Stay tuned on their Facebook for more information!
  • KidsGardening.org: Garden Activities including projects and crafts
    • KidsGardening celebrates the joy and wonder of gardening with children. This year, we encourage families and educators to share how they #GardenTogetherAtHome for a chance to win fun gardening gear.  We encourage you to enter our Kids Garden Month celebration as many times as you like via our webform or social media. Prize winners are selected randomly, each week, from all existing entries. The last day to enter is April 30, 2020, so don’t delay!
  • Denver Botanic Gardens, Kids learning resources
  • SPUR CSU System’s list of educational resources on a wide variety of topics

Sustainability and Natural Resources

  • Project WET, Water Education Today: is keeping an updated list of all of its Home and Telecommuniting resources.
  • Nature Watch: offers 15 fun, hands-on science kits that you can do at home! With many children unable to participate in regular school/extra-curricular activities due to the Coronavirus, here’s a great way to keep kids engaged in fun, educational activities while they are at home.
  • Your Plan, Your Planet is a free online tool from Google, in partnership with the California Academy of Sciences and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Your Plan, Your Planet invites students to examine their own (and their family’s) impact on the environment by evaluating everyday activities related to the consumption of food, water, energy, and the stuff we all use.

4-H Learning

  • Check out the National 4-H COUNCIL’S Spring Activity Guide for more fun projects to do with your family.
  • Fresh Chefs 4-H Cookbook – Need some inspiration for mealtimes? Cook with 4-H in the free digital Fresh Chefs Cookbook with recipes from 4-H youth, celebrity alumni and supporters, and featuring Celebrity Chef, Author, 4-H Healthy Habits Ambassador and Tennessee 4-H Alumna, Carla Hall!
  • #4Hhygge Challenge: To keep our families busy, we have started the 30 Day 4-H Hygge Challenge. Each challenge has its own social media graphic and there is a blurb below you can share along with the post. Please feel free to use and share as you would like. All of the challenges will be in the folder before the end of the day. “Hygge is the Danish practice of mindfulness and finding joy in simple things. Join in the 30 Day 4-H Hygge Challenge and share a picture of you completing the challenge along with #4HHygge.” List of activities
  • Utah 4-H: has free Discover 4-H curriculum provides 82 topic areas to help keep kids busy – from 3D derby cars, astronomy, food science and animal care to surviving a zombie apocalypse, cake decorating and coding. Visit Utah4-H.org, and you will see that many of the activities can be done with things you already have in your home!

Just for Fun

  • Coordinate a neighborhood “Bear Hunt” for the kids.  As many neighbors as possible should put a stuffed bear or other stuffed animal in the front window so when kids and families take a walk they can search for “bears” and count how many they find!
  • Plan a staycation – when spring break and weekend travel is canceled, it’s time to get creative and plan a staycation to enjoy the fun things at home and in your backyard. Here are some ideas for staycation planning, along with family arts and crafts projects.
  • Virtual Education Resources from CSU – The Colorado State University System team has pulled together more than 50 virtual educational resources to keep everyone in your household entertained and learning, such as: Douglas County Extension’s baby chick cam, Denver Zoo’s virtual safari, CSU’s Little Shop of Physics experiments, and more.
  • Learn about dance with a CSU Program CSU has created a great virtual lecture-demonstration and education packet designed by the students of CSU’s Contemporary Dance Repertory Outreach class — for kids and adults of all ages! An Artist’s Life – CSU Dance Outreach Trailer and An Artist’s Life – Full program CSU Dance Outreach

Staying Healthy / Learn about Coronavirus/COVID-19

A calendar view of other kids activities to do from home


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Keeping ahead of COVID-19

This rapidly evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) has imposed an unsettling, fluid situation upon our community and its businesses. While the team here still aims to maintain a “business as usual” approach, we are making a number of significant changes to our operations to account for a situation that is far from normal.