Early Childhood Connections by Help Me Grow Utah: School Readiness

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Kali here, from Help Me Grow Utah! I am so excited to be joining you each month to share tips about early childhood. I love working at Help Me Grow because of its mission. Every member of our staff loves families and wants to do everything we can to support and empower parents by connecting them to the knowledge, information and resources they need.  If you haven’t already heard about Help Me Grow, I promise it’s worth checking out! Where else can you check your child’s development through a simple questionnaire, find age appropriate activity ideas, get reliable answers to any parenting questions you have and so much more; all for free? Find out more about what we can do for your family here.

With summer coming to a close, school is on everyone’s mind. Without a doubt, going to school is a big part of every child’s life! Think about it: children spend a good portion of each weekday, from age six to 18, sitting in a variety of classrooms. Because of this, preparing them is at the forefront of most parents’ minds early in a child’s life. However, school readiness means so much more than being able to count to ten and say the ABC’s. Let me share a secret with you: the BEST way to make sure your children are ready for school is by helping them in all areas of development (including: physical, cognitive, communication, and emotional) from the time they’re born. Why? Because one skill builds on another! Being ready for school is a product of the first five years of your children’s lives.

While this may sound overwhelming, it’s actually much simpler than you think. What you need to do is turn everyday moments and experiences into something more. For instance, when your child is excited about a bug he saw on the driveway, kneel beside him and look at it. Talk about it. If you dare, touch it. Take a moment to live in your child’s world. I know it can’t always be done. But believe me, it can have a significant effect when you have those few moments and make the best of them! Some of you reading this probably aren’t quite sure how to do this. Well, that’s one of the ways that Help Me Grow Utah is here for you! To learn more and see what we can do to help with school readiness, call 2-1-1 and ask for Help Me Grow or visit our website helpmegrowutah.org!

Kali Iverson—Community Liaison



Early Childhood Connections: Milestones

July 2015, marks the one year anniversary of Discovery Gateway Early Childhood Connections blog posts! Milestones play an important role in our everyday life, especially as children grow. We mark birthdays, graduations, and other critical accomplishments with celebrations and reflections. Once a child enters the world and begins growing, knowing exactly what milestones a child should be making and when, can be challenging for parents and caregivers. Help Me Grow Utah is a FREE information line connecting families to community resources and child development information. Help Me Grow Utah is one of Discovery Gateway’s valued community partners, and this year we’ve invited Help Me Grow Utah to share their valuable information with you each month. For more information on Help Me Grow Utah visit www.helpmegrowutah.org

Discovery Gateway’s Sixth Annual Children’s Festival – Entertainment


A Special Fundraising Event to Benefit Discovery Gateway’s Programs and Exhibits

Discovery Gateway is proud to partner with the Utah Foster Care Foundation’s Chalk Art Festival, the same day.

Saturday, June 20

11 am – 7 pm

Members: $5

All events listed below are included in admission*
The Chalk Art Festival is FREE and Open to the General Public


Mike Hamilton Magic with a Message 

Kem and Carolyn Gardner Theater

12:00 pm

Join award-winning magician Mike Hamilton as he reveals the magic of reading! Hamilton’s Magic with a Message® has been enjoyed by children all across the Wasatch Front and is filled with tons of mind-boggling illusions.

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World Stage – Courtyard

12:00 pm & 12:30 pm

About MusicGarage.Org:

MusicGarage.Org is a Utah-based agency whose staff have trained and placed hundreds of youth, ages 6-19 in bands to perform at hundreds of venues, fairs and festivals since 2009. Hosted in the state-of-the-art 3,000 sq ft facility that includes a concert venue, recording facility, and rehearsal and lessons studios. Call 801-577-BAND to take advantage of the free teacher referral service or join jam night; where kids can come by and jam with other kids and learn more about MusicGarage.Org

Club Quetzalcoatl

World Stage – Courtyard

1:00 pm

Irish Dance Utah

Rinceoiri Don Spraoi – Irish Dance Utah

World Stage – Courtyard

2:00 pm & 2:30 pm

About Rinceoiri Don Spraoi – Irish Dance Utah:

Pronounced “rin-cory don spree” in Irish Gaelic, our name means “dancing for fun”. We are an inexpensive performance centered school that provides an Irish dance education solely for the love of Irish culture and dance. We have dancers of all ages and abilities, ranging from 5 yrs to 50 yrs! We love to perform for local events. We are not a competition school, we truly dance for fun! RDS is a local organization that supports itself from tuition, grants, and contributions. By taking classes, you support our mission of bringing a cultural educational experience to those who may not have the opportunity otherwise. Incorporated in 1997, Rinceoiri Don Spraoi is Utah’s oldest Irish dance school.

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Starz Unlimited Dance Studio

World Stage – Courtyard

3:00 pm & 3:45 pm

About Starz Unlimited Dance Studio:

Starz Unlimited Dance Studio is located in Salt Lake City and offers daytime and evening classes in ballet, clogging, jazz, ballroom, pointe, hip hop and tumbling for ages 3 – adult. Since 1995 Starz Unlimited has been offering quality instruction, affordable classes and modest costumes, music and choreography.  We are a non-profit, volunteer run co-op of families, working together for the common goal of enriching children’s lives and self-esteem through DANCE!  Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and for more information on Summer and Fall classes visit us at starzunlimited.org


Utah Children’s Theatre

World Stage – Courtyard

4:30, 5:15, & 6:00 pm

To Bee or Not to Bee – written by Youthstage Students

Izzy Bee is next in line to be Queen, but she isn’t sure she wants to take on the responsibility. Since her mother is so busy with royal responsibilities, Izzy turns to her best friend Dizzy for support. With her friend’s help, Izzy is introduced to other professions that might be a better fit. Meanwhile, neighboring Cuckoo Bees, Thorn and Thistle, are planning an invasion of Izzy’s hive. When Izzy discovers the plan, she unites the citizens to thwart the invasion and learns some lessons about herself in the process.

 About Utah Children’s Theatre:

Utah Children’s Theatre has excelled at bringing family-friendly entertainment to the stage for over 28 years. As Utah’s premiere theatre for young audiences, its mission statement is “inspiring children to cultivate creativity through the theatrical arts.” Utah Children’s Theatre has five distinct programs to accomplish this: Theatre school, Youthstage performances, Mainstage performances, a Shakespeare Festival for Kids and school field trips.

Recent awards received by Utah Children’s Theatre include:

  • Best of State 2014 in Children’s Theatre and Playwriting
  • Best of State 2013 in Community Arts
  • 2013 Mayor’s Award for Design Excellence (for the renovation of the historic Avalon Theatre
  • Salt Lake Magazine’s Best of the Beehive 2012: Best Kid’s Entertainment by Kids (Youthstage)
  • Nickelodeon’s Parent’s Pick award for Best Summer Camps (2009) and Theatre for Children (2010).

For more information on summer camps, tickets to the Shakespeare Festival for Kids or other upcoming events at Utah Children’s Theatre, please go to our website at www.uctheatre.org or call the box office at 801-532-6000.

Discovery Gateway- Bumblebee Bash

Changing Faces: Face Painting


11 am – 7 pm


Balloon Granny: Balloon Art

Carol Wilson


11 am – 1 pm

Discovery Gateway- Bumblebee Bash

Changing Faces: Balloon Art


11 am – 7 pm

Selfie Photo Booth

Birthday Room

11 am – 7 pm

Take a selfie in front of the Discovery Gateway backdrop with props and post them to your Facebook or Instagram with #DGChildrensFestival

Free programming; admission not required.

Discovery Gateway Educational Programming: Art

Beverley Taylor Sorenson ArtSpace for Children

11 am – 7 pm


Super Hero Name and Super Power Art

Generously supported by Salt Lake City Arts Council, Salt Lake County’s Zoo, Arts and Parks program, and Sorenson Legacy Foundation. This project is supported in part by the Utah Arts & Museums, with funding from the State of Utah.

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Discovery Gateway Educational Programming: Wacky Science Experiments

Lower Atrium

11 am – 7 pm

Corn Starch Suspension – Exploring why this mixture sometimes acts like a solid and sometimes like a liquid

Stereo Hangers – Listen to and create sound waves just using a coat hanger and a string

Dry Ice Bubbles – Ghostly bubbles that disappear as fog when popped

Water Wall – Explore gravity through flowing water. Use various found materials such as water bottles, pipes, and funnels that kids can play with and manipulate and then watch the effects of their adjustments to them.

Early Childhood Connections: Summer Safety

Summer has finally arrived! As children and families venture outdoors, it’s important to take the time to incorporate safety into your summer plans. Here are some easy guidelines to help families stay safe at play:

Beat the heat. Never leave children in the car unattended. It is always dangerous to leave children in the car unattended whether the air conditioning is on or not. Take time to plan trips that children can tag along, or leave them home with a trusted adult while running family errands. In addition, offer children plenty of water throughout the day to avoid dehydration. Often times children become so involved in play they forget to stay hydrated. Always check to see where children are playing when moving the car in and out of the drive way. Take a few seconds to know where the kids are in relation to your vehicle. Be water wise by always supervising children near water. It only takes a small amount of water for a child to drown. Enroll children over the age of three in a swimming class. While camping, supervise children closely near lakes and streams, as children can easily be swept away by the strong forces of underwater currents. Have a blast while celebrating with fireworks by avoiding purchasing consumer products and enjoying a public display instead. Visit your local community calendar for times and places to enjoy a family-friendly firework show. Finally, enjoy that city parade safely – sit a safe distance from parade traffic and never allow children to run into the road in search of candy as they may be easily missed and run over by passing floats. For more information on safety, visit the Salt Lake County Safe Kids Coalition at http://www.safekids.org/coalition/safe-kids-salt-lake-county. Have a fun summer and stay safe while at play!

Early Childhood Connections: Creative Play

Batman visited the museum today! I was coming into the museum in the late afternoon the other day, when a four year old child wearing a batman shirt and cap was exiting with his parent. I said “Well, Batman, thanks for visiting Discovery Gateway today – did you have a nice visit?” I watched as the child shared the biggest grin … he was clearly delighted that I referred to him as “Batman,” to which he responded, “Yep. Gotta go back to the Bat Cave.”

Superheroes continue to capture the attention of children and adults alike. What is it about these fictional characters that we find fascinating? I recently read an article that said the recent opening of Avengers: Age of Ultron brought in more than $640 million worldwide in its first 12 days, and set a new record for a weekend opening. That’s amazing to me. There was a time when super hero play was thought of as violent, aggressive and disruptive. While it is true that can happen (children can get carried away when becoming consumed by this type of fantasy play), the good news is we know that pretend play is an avenue for healthy emotional development. If we re-think super hero play and direct its focus to pro-social superhero play, we can help children play safely and learn self control. Parents and caregivers can do this by setting up guidelines and supervise children while they play, encouraging positive super hero play and allowing children to face their fears in order to feel empowered and in control. Finally, recognize that superhero play is important, as it promotes creativity and social development. A great example is Super Kids Save the World! – the newest traveling exhibit visiting Discovery Gateway through the summer. Come see George and learn about how he will Save the World by Lunchtime.

Early Childhood Connections: Week of the Young Child

“Today we know more than ever before about the importance of children’s earliest years in shaping their learning and development. Yet, never before have the needs of young children and their families been more pressing.

“The Week of the Young Child™ is a time to recognize that children’s opportunities are our responsibilities, and to recommit ourselves to ensuring that each and every child experiences the type of early environment—at home, at child care, at school, and in the community—that will promote their early learning.”  – National Association for the Education of Young Children. (N.A.E.Y.C)

Discovery Gateway: The Children’s Museum of Utah is a dedicated space where children of all ages and abilities can imagine, discover and connect with their world. Please join me in celebrating children and families across the world during the week of April 12 – April 18 with a Finger Paint Challenge. Take some time out of the day to sit and finger paint with a child. Let your imagination and creativity soar as you both explore and experience the magic of art! Be sure to post on the Discovery Gateway Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages – we’d love to see your creations. For ideas and finger-paint recipes visit http://www.craftychild.com/finger-paint-recipes.html

Summer Camps 2015

Discovery Gateway is teaming up with the Natural History Museum of Utah to bring you summer fun and learning!

INVENTORS WORKSHOP | 2nd & 3rd grade

In Partnership with the Natural History Museum of Utah

July 14 – 17

8:30 am – 4:30 pm




It’s all about the creative process, inventors, and inventions this week. While at Discovery Gateway each morning we’ll get ready to participate in messy science. We’ll experiment with Instant Worms, create rockets, participate in Operation Egg Drop, and lots more. At NHMU each afternoon we’ll investigate inventors and invention that helped shape our world from the use of solar power to perfecting a kite design. We’ll also deconstruct gadgets and toys and then use our new skills and all those thingamabob parts to concoct our own amazing new contraptions. Drop campers off at Discovery Gateway by 8:30 am and pick up at NHMU by 4:30 pm. Transportation between sites will be provided by NHMU


DEVELOPMENT LAB | 4th & 5th Grade

In Partnership with the Natural History Museum of Utah

July 14 – 17 

8:30 am – 4:30 pm



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Calling all inventors! Join us as we explore the science, inventors and the inventions that have helped shape our world. We will tinker with ideas, build prototypes, and deconstruct gadgets and toys. We’ll use the leftover components to construct our very own contraptions. Campers will also explore a variety of messy science as they work with a wide range of materials that will be use to inspire design.

Drop campers off at NHMU by 8:30 am and pick up at Discovery Gateway by 4:30 pm. Transportation between sites will be provided by NHMU.