Wanderlust Festival extends to kids | SummitDaily.com

Wanderlust Festival extends to kids

Breeana Laughlin
Summit Daily/Breeana Laughlin

While mom and dad were finding their “True North” at the Wanderlust Festival on Friday, children were getting their hands dirty making “seed bombs.”

The kids mixed seeds from native wildflowers with soil and clay, packed the mixture into a ball and let it dry.

“We want to use plants that belong here, so they don’t beat the other plants up and dominate,” the Kitchen Community teacher told a group of about 20 children in the Wanderkids program. Children were encouraged to drop the seed bombs while they walk outdoors.

The activity took place at a “learning garden” created on-site by the Boulder-based nonprofit Kitchen Community.

The organization is working with schools and community centers across the country to install learning gardens, which are outdoor classrooms that connect kids to food.

“Our system is different because it is made up of curvilinear garden beds that can be installed in a morning by a school community,” said Peter Vitale, director of public/private partnerships.

“The beds are durable because they are made of food-grade plastic that will last for decades,” he said. “Because they can go together in all these different shapes you can create a really aesthetically pleasing environment children want to be in and teachers want to teach in.”

The nonprofit founders designed learning gardens to be places kids want to play and teachers want to teach, with the goal to help decrease childhood obesity, improve academic performance and strengthen communities.

“A study found aggressive play was entirely absent in the learning garden, while aggressive or competitive play was present elsewhere in the schoolyard. So something about the plants and the soil has a very calming effect,” Vitale said.

Activities are being held at the learning garden throughout the four-day Wanderlust festival at Copper Mountain. The festival, which started Thursday and continues through Sunday, combines yoga practice with musical performances, lectures, farm-to-table dinners, wine tastings, hikes, films and more.

Organizers incorporated a family-friendly aspect into the event, inviting participants to bring along their children by enrolling them in the Wanderkind Kids program. The on-site program is offered for kids ages 4-10 to have an “exceptionally cool Wanderlust experience all of their own.”

Gina Ojeda is one of the leaders of the kids program and is a certified Yoginos Yoga for Youth instructor.

“It’s a kids program geared to teach children self-discipline, respect, balance and bring clarity into their life on and off the mat,” she said.

Kids learned Yoginos lessons and participated in a variety of activities, like the one at the learning garden, throughout the day.

“The day is full of chanting, singing, games and laughter,” Ojeda said. “We are doing all sorts of activities. It’s a really neat program.”

More information about the Wanderlust Festival at Copper can be found at http://www.wanderlust festival.com.

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