Granted, northwest Denver resident Timber Dick is running for city council, but put that aside: Dick and his extended Tillemann-Dick family are good sports to host the first Great Northwest White House Egg Roll on their own front lawn.
What is an Easter-egg roll, anyway? "It's this rather bizarre little contest where you roll an egg across the lawn with a spoon," explains Dick, crediting First Lady Dolly Madison, who got a kick out of it in Washington, D.C., more than 100 years ago, with the idea. (Interestingly enough, there is a White House connection beyond those intimated by Dick's bid for political office: During Teddy Roosevelt's regime, a Western White House was proposed for construction in Colorado. It was to be designed by the same architect who sketched the plans for the Tillemann-Dick abode.)
In addition to the scheduled main event, the family will set up tables at which neighbors can write letters to troops serving in Iraq. Events begin today at 10 a.m. at 3939 West 46th Avenue, and end at noon; call 303-561-1314 for details. -- Susan Froyd
A Real Turnoff
The hardest part about TV-Turnoff Week (April 21 through 27) isn't getting the kids to unglue themselves from the boob tube for a measly week; it's parents who really need to be weaned off the big babysitter in a box. Sure, you can pack everyone, including yourselves, off to the zoo or the library or the movies (in all fairness, though, does the big screen really count?) in lieu of the Disney Channel, but if you ask Marie McClendon, author of Alternatives to TV Handbook, you'd do just as well to send the kids outdoors to figure things out for themselves. "A lot of adult genius comes out of boredom," she notes. "Let them be bored."
They don't usually stay bored for long once they remember how to use their heads.
McClendon was originally inspired as a kindergarten teacher in Montana by an extraordinarily "balanced and whole" young student named Noah who was raised in an essentially TV-less home. They played communal dictionary games and made music for fun. But you can improvise, claims McClendon, who's had plenty of practice as the mother of four.
The key to raising kids, she says, is being able to get messy. "That," she adds with a laugh, "starts at birth." McClendon suggests getting wet, for starters: "Water has endless possibilities," she says. One other thing: It doesn't just take a village to raise healthy kids; it also takes parents who aren't in too much of a hurry. -- Susan Froyd
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Compared with the ancient denizens of Dinosaur Ridge, whose fossilized footprints have traversed the Dakota Hogback near Morrison for millions of years, Easter is pretty wet behind the ears. But since kids love dinosaurs and the Easter Bunny with equal zeal, the folks who keep the natural resource tidy, well preserved and open to the public figured, why not mix metaphors once a year? We think it's a keeper: This year, the ridge will host its first annual Dinosaur Egg Hunt with all the usual egg-hunt trimmings, but with the added excitement of free guided van tours. The twist? Tiny toy dinosaurs for the kids will nestle inside the hidden eggs.
The fun begins this morning at 10 sharp at the Dinosaur Ridge Visitor Center, 16831 West Alameda Parkway at Rooney Road; admission is $5. For information, call 303-697-DINO or log on to www.dinoridge.org. -- Susan Froyd