Spring is in full throttle and summer is right around the corner! Now is the perfect time to get outdoors and explore your gardens! Finding little creepy crawlies with your little ones is not only a fun exercise, it instill an inherent curiosity in your child. That curiosity will push them to explore and learn about not only the great outdoors, but all aspects of the world. Education should inspire them to find out more, not stifle their natural wonder.
Take your little one(s) on a nature walk, strolling slowly in your back yard or community garden. Take 5 minutes in each area, observing things carefully, to see what you can find! Keep a look out for lovely little ladybugs. Here are 10 fun facts about ladybugs to teach your kiddos:
- Ladybugs are also called Lady beetles or Ladybirds.
- The male ladybug is usually smaller than the female.
- A ladybug beats its wings 85 times a second when it flies.
- The spots on a ladybug fade, as the ladybug gets older.
- In many countries, ladybugs are considered to be good luck.
- Aphids are a ladybug’s favorite food, making them good for your garden.
- There are over 5000 different kinds of ladybugs worldwide.
- A female ladybug will lay more than 1000 eggs in her lifetime.
- Ladybugs chew from side to side and not up and down like people do.
- Ladybugs are all around us! Ladybugs can be found in trees, shrubs, fields, beaches, and even houses!
What you Need:
- Egg carton or round cardboard piece
- black and red markers, paint or crayons
- scissors or whole puncher
- Pipe cleaners
- Optional: googly eyes
- Separate one cup from an egg carton or use any round cardboard pieces you have on hand.
- Using markers or paint to color the egg carton cup red. Then, using black paint/markers, color in the head, and make spots on the body.
- Using the point of a scissors or a hole puncher, an adult should make 6 small holes (3 on each side) at the base of the cup (these will be for the legs. Make 2 small holes (for antennae) where the top of the head will be.
- Insert a black pipe cleaner into each a side hole and out the other side for the legs. Use half a pipe cleaner for the antennae.
- Glue on googly eyes or paint on white eyes.
- Take your ladybug into the garden and try to spot some real ones!
This Simple Recipe is Tasty and Cute!
1-small red apple
2tsp.- strawberry cream cheese (low-fat)
1/8 cup- raisins or dried cranberries
1 or 2-red or black seedless grapes
Optional: lettuce leaves for garnish if desired.
Alternatives: peanut or almond butter instead of cream cheese. Round cereal instead of raisins, a small pinch of cinnamon. Use your imagination and what you have on hand in the kitchen.
Wash the apples and lettuce. Arrange a few lettuce leaves on each plate. Cut apples in half from stem to bottom. Remove seeds. Lay each half of apple cut side down on
cutting board and cut in half from stem to bottom. With skin side up place both halves of apple on top of lettuce. Put a small amount of cream cheese in-between the apple
halves to adhere the apple back together (enough to have a small amount squish out the top). Stick raisins to cream cheese down the middle of apple, then use a small dab of cream cheese to adhere the raisins (see picture below) on each wing. Cut a grape in half and use cream cheese to stick it to one end of your ladybug apple for the head.
This is a perfect recipe for adults and kids to make together. It’s fun, easy, cute, and so tasty. And did Chipper mention it’s healthy too? “Healthy before sweet, can’t be beat!”
May 16, 2013 at 8:30 pm
Looking for some fun family “workouts” that feel more like play? Check out these simple outdoor activities that will get everyone in your family off the couch and help you bond while burning some calories. Getting active outdoors isn’t only good for your body but also you and your child’s social and emotional wellness. As Chipper likes to say, “Healthy Habits Grow Happy Hearts!” Try a few with mom (or with your kids) to celebrate Mother’s Day this week and have some fun while keeping fit!
1. Hula Hooping
Hula hoops became a hot toy in the late 1950s and are still a lot of fun for families. Hula hooping can burn more than 500 calories an hour — not bad for a $10 piece of plastic! Hoops come in a variety of sizes for children and adults, and weighted hoops for more advanced “hoopers” will give you even more of a workout. Try a little more variation than just the normal standing hula hooping with these 3 Great Hula Hoop Exercises for Kids.
2. Jump Roping
Jumping rope burns an estimated 600 calories an hour. Jump ropes are also cheap, starting under $10. Also, because jump ropes are so portable, parents can pack one in their suitcase for workouts while they travel. Who knows — maybe Dad is a future double dutch champion!
3. Skating and Scooting
Have some old Rollerblades or Razor Scooters hanging out in the garage? You probably forgot how fun some quality time on wheels can be! Dust them off and cruise around the neighborhood or a nearby park with your kids. Kicking along on a scooter is sure to get your heart rate up. And in-line skating burns at least 300 calories an hour for adults. Consider doing a scavenger hunt to keep you moving.
4. Boogying Down
Your family loves singing along with the radio in the car. Why not dance along to the music when you’re at home? Having a family dance party lets parents and kids get silly while also getting some good cardio exercise. Hip hop dancing can burn about 400 calories an hour, so turn up the beats indoors or outside!
5. Playing Frisbee
Frisbee has a cult following, with hundreds of colleges now offering “ultimate Frisbee” (a Frisbee game similar to soccer) as a school sport. Your family could be full of Frisbee champs! With plastic discs starting at $5, it’s worth a try. Frisbee golf is another fun disc game.
6. Walking — or Hiking — with the Dog
What has fur, four legs, and is dying to be your exercise pal? That’s right: the family dog. Studies have shown that owning a dog can make you healthier, in part because you’re likely to take more walks. But if your daily walks have become more like a chore, infuse some fun as well as fitness. Go as a family, pick different routes each night, and throw in some jogging.
7. Playground Playtime
Just as kids love rec time during the school day, they’ll enjoy romping around the playground when school is out of session. When is the last time Dad tried his hand at crossing the monkey bars or doing some pull-ups? And when was Mom last on the swings, pumping her legs to get sky-high? Playgrounds offer fun physical activity for everyone — even if you’re just chasing the kids around.
8. Tag, You’re It, and Other Outdoor Games
Tag, kickball, wiffle ball, kickball… you name it! Neighborhood games may be waning in the digital age, but they’re as fun as ever and hopefully due for a comeback. Challenge your family members to some friendly competition, and enjoy the great outdoors like it’s the good ol’ days. Here are some great ideas from Chipper!
May 9, 2013 at 2:33 pm
Chipper knows how important it is to get your little one to get into the habit of brushing their teeth at an early age!
Squirrels’ teeth grow very fast so they need to constantly sharpen and shorten them! To trim their long teeth and to keep healthy, squirrels like Chipper chew on hard things like twigs. Here’s a video of a squirrel at UCLA sharpening its teeth:
Like squirrels, we need to keep our teeth healthy! We’ve all heard it from all of our dentists: “You need to floss more!” or “Don’t forget to brush the very back of your molars!” Most of us don’t worry about their warnings until the day before our next dental visit. The worst that can happen is that we get a little cavity, and, they just fix it with a silver cap, right? But, it turns out, bad dental hygiene isn’t just bad for your teeth, it’s also bad for your general health! The infographic below lists 14 bad-dental-hygiene ailments that plague everyday people just like you and me. Poor oral hygiene can lead to heart disease, respiratory disease, and even brain abscesses! Preventative medicine is the best medicine, so please, listen to your dentist and floss your teeth and brush all the way to the back of your molars! Your body will thank you!
Need a way to keep your kids’ teeth healthy? Have your kids brush their teeth to this Chipper song–to ensure that your kids brush their teeth for a long enough time and to guarantee that the experience is fun!
Let’s Go Chipper for Healthy Teeth!
May 7, 2013 at 1:00 pm
Happy Cinco de Mayo! For those who don’t know, Cinco de Mayo is a celebration held on the 5th of May (today!). It is celebrated in two places; the United States and Mexico. In Mexico, the day is primarily celebrated in the state of Puebla, where the holiday is called El Día de la Batalla de Puebla, or “The Day of the Battle of Puebla.” Originally, the holiday was celebrated in Mexican-American communities to remember the fight for freedom and democracy during the American Civil War. Now, the Cinco de Mayo is celebrated in the United States to honor Mexican heritage and pride. In Puebla, the holiday is observed in remembrance of the Mexican army’s victory over the French during the Battle of Puebla.
To celebrate Cinco de Mayo, here is one of Chipper‘s favorite Mexican recipes: Chicken Tortilla Soup!
Here’s what you need to make 8 servings:
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed chicken broth
1 1/4 cups water
1 cup whole corn kernels, cooked
1 cup white hominy
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 boneless chicken breast halves, cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces
crushed tortilla chips
shredded Monterey Jack cheese
chopped green onions
1. First, in a medium stock pot, heat oil over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic in oil until soft. Stir in chili powder, oregano, tomatoes, broth, and water. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
2. Stir in corn, hominy, chiles, beans, cilantro, and chicken. Simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Ladle soup into individual serving bowls, and top with crushed tortilla chips, avocado slices, cheese, and chopped green onion.
Did you know that chicken is a very good source of protein? A serving of 4 ounces of chicken provides 67.6% of the daily value for protein. In addition, the leanest part of a chicken is the chicken breast, which is half the fat of a trimmed Choice grade T-bone steak. However, eating the chicken with the skin doubles the amount of fat you consume. So, if you’re trying to cut down on fat, cut the skin! Chicken is also an excellent source of niacin, which is a cancer-protective vitamin. Read more about chicken and its health benefits here!
Let’s Go Chipper for Cinco de Mayo and healthy eating!
May 5, 2013 at 12:00 pm
Happy May Day! May 1st marks the start of new beginnings and Spring Birth. Many celebrate this day with fresh flowers, bon fires, and feasting. No matter the season though, nature is constantly growing and expanding. One of the greatest phenomenon’s in life is seeing new life come forth. Here’s one group of scientists amazing experience:
In 2009, a yacht was traveling in the South Pacific, not far from the Tonga Islands, when the crew came across a weird sight. Look at these photos and try to imagine the thrill of experiencing this phenomenon.
No! This is not a beach.
It’s volcanic stones floating on the water.
WHERE IS THE VOLCANO?
AN UNBELIEVABLE SIGHT, HAD TO
TAKE PICTURES BECAUSE NO ONE
WOULD BELIEVE IT!
THE WAKE FROM THE YACHT.
WE STAYED ON THE EDGE OF THE WATER.
THEN THIS WAS SPOTTED: ASH AND
STEAM RISING FROM THE OCEAN.
And, while WE were watching,
a plume of black ash, a HUGE CLOUD.
COVERING EVERYTHING IN RED, EVEN THIS FAR AWAY.
THEN THE SKY TURNS BLACK WITH ASH
AND THE OCEAN TURNS GOLD FROM
THE SUN’S REFLECTION.
OUT OF THE OCEAN, MOUNTAIN PEAKS ARISE?
MORE ERUPTIONS; ASH AND CLOUDS.
THEN MOUNTAIN PEAKS RISE HIGHER
AND A BRAND-NEW ISLAND IS FORMED!
CREATION OF MOUNTAINS
CAN YOU IMAGINE THE THRILL OF BEING
THE FIRST AND ONLY PEOPLE TO WITNESS
A NEWISLAND BEING CREATED, WHERE
THERE WAS NOTHING THERE BEFORE?
Photos courtesy Jesse Allen NASA Earth Observatory
An amazing discovery! The “beach-like” raft of lightweight, frothy volcanic rock floating on the ocean surface are known as “pumice.” Pumice rafts are not an everyday occurrence, but they have been observed before. In 1986, a pumice raft
of unknown origin caused engine trouble for a Dutch vessel in the South China Sea. Biologists have also proposed pumice rafts as a way to explain how plants and animals spread from island to island in marine environments. Learn more about this forming island, now known as Hunga Tonga or “Hunga Ha’apai,” here
May 1, 2013 at 12:23 pm
Happy Sunday! This week, Chipper snacked on and played with one of his favorite nutritious foods, celery! Normally, Chipper picks up some celery every week at the super market. Did you know that celery provides anti-inflammatory health benefits? Or that the crunchy vegetable contains antioxidants such as vitamin C and flavonoids that help protect us from unwanted oxygen damage to our cells, organs, and blood vessels? It does!
This week, Chipper created flower prints from celery. It is an easy craft that can be created with materials that are lying around at home. All you need is: celery, a knife, paint, and a piece of paper! Here’s how:
First, take your bunch of celery and cut off the bottom.
Then, dip the bottom portion of the celery stalk in to paint and stamp away! Chipper used red paint.
The celery stalk ends up creating these fun, flower shaped objects.
Here’s Chipper‘s end product.
Chipper cut up the rest of the celery stalk and enjoyed it with some peanut butter.
According to an article by Harvard Health Publications, peanut butter has fiber, vitamins, and mineras, among other nutrients. Unsalted peanut butter contains a terrific potassium-to-sodium ratio, which “counters the harmful cardiovascular effects of sodium surplus….even salted peanut butter still has about twice as much potassium as sodium.” In addition, many research studies have concluded that people who “regularly include nuts or peanut butter in their diets are less likely to develop heart disease or type 2 diabetes than those who rarely eat nuts.”
With this craft and snack, teach your child the importance of being creative and snacking right all at the same time!
Let’s Go Chipper for creativity and healthy snacking!
April 28, 2013 at 12:00 pm
Happy Arbor Day! Arbor Day is a national holiday that encourages people to care for, appreciate, and plant trees. Each state tends to celebrate Arbor Day on its own day, the most common date for Arbor day is the last Friday of April. Proposed by a journalist by the name of J. Sterling Morton, the first Arbor day was celebrated in Nebraska, 1872. Other countries besides the United States celebrate environmentalism and tree-planting, too:
Japan – Greening Week
Isreal – The New Years Day of Trees
Korea – The Tree Loving Week
Yugoslavia – The Reforestation Week
Iceland – The Students’ Afforestation Day
India – The National Festival of Tree Planting
In celebration of Arbor Day, Chipper made a coffee sleeve tree recycle-craft this week! This craft is simple, eco-friendly, and even incorporates the theme of trees for Arbor Day!
Here’s what you need:
First, cut the coffee sleeves open and cut pieces to create a trunk. Cut the green coffee sleeves open and cut leaf shapes. If you don’t have green coffee sleeves, just use marker, paint, or crayon to color your coffee sleeves green!
Then, place glue (or tape!) down the center of your piece of construction paper like so:
Place the pieces down like so:
And there you have it–a fun and simple tree craft for Arbor Day! After creating this craft, spend some time with your little one discussing trees. Did you know that trees help keep our soil healthy by minimizing soil erosion? Or that there are over 23,000 kinds of trees on Earth? Click here to read and learn more about trees!
Let’s Go Chipper for Arbor Day!
(Chipper got the idea for this craft from this blog.)
April 21, 2013 at 7:00 pm
With Earth Day inching closer, now’s a great time to start thinking about good ol’ Mother Earth. Held annually on April 22, Earth Day is a world-wide support day for environmental protection. Earth Day began in 1969 when John McConnell, a peace activist, proposed a day to celebrate the environment and Earth’s beauty. The reason why Earth Day is on April 22 is because of the abundant amount of youth activism in the 1960s: April 22 is a likely day for college students to be available because it falls between Spring Break and Final Exams. Interesting, right?
In celebration of the upcoming Earth Day, Chipper made an Earth Day craft this week! Not only is this craft simple, it will teach your little one about the importance of loving our planet.
Here’s what you’ll need:
Firstly, draw a circle on blue construction paper and cut it out. This will be the water of planet Earth.
Secondly, cut out arbitrary land-like shapes out of green construction paper and glue (or tape) them onto the blue circle. Your planet Earth is starting to take shape!
Then, place your hands into a heart like shape like so. Trace your hands and cut them out.
It will end up looking like this:
Using glue or tape, adhere your hands onto your already-made Earth. Voila! This craft symbolizes the importance of using your hands in activity to love on the environment around us.
Optional: Using red marker, draw a heart in the middle like so. This could further solidify the link between using hands to actively take care of Mother Earth.
Let’s Go Chipper for Earth Day!
April 14, 2013 at 10:30 am
To all of Chipper’s animal friends: BAMBI & THUMPER REALLY DO EXIST!
May you always have
Love to Share,
Health to Spare,
And Friends that Care!
Here are the REAL life animal friends that remind Chipper of the Disney Classic, Bambi. In the beginning of this heart-felt film, Thumper and Bambi become quick friends and help each other grow and build confidence.
Pictures taken by Tanja Askani. What an amazing photographer to have caught these shots!
“Eating greens is a special treat, It makes long ears and great big feet.” -Thumper
Friends are there to support us during hard times and laugh with us during the easy ones. For example, when Bambi’s mother gets killed by a hunter or when Thumper meets a young female rabbit (ironically called a doe), the two unlikely friends stick together and help each other through it all. No matter where you come from, how you grow up, or what you look like, friendships can be made in the most unlikely places and can last a lifetime.
Although from two completely different species, Rabbits and Deer have more in common than most of us realize! Both are mammals and are indigenous or over time have been introduced to most regions of the world.
“If you can’t say something nice… don’t say nothing at all.” – Thumper
Both animals are great jumpers and can easily out run most predators unless taken unaware.
Both rabbits and deers are herbivores and they are also a huge source of meat for humans and animal carnivores alike.
Kiss on the head!
Similarly to deer, male rabbits are called bucks and females are called does. Baby rabbits are called kittens though (who knew?) while baby deer are usually called fawns.
Rabbits and Deer both live in groups (called a ‘herd’ when a group of deer) and when they are eating one stands guard (usually the buck for deer); if danger is sensed the guard signal to the others to run away. To spot deer or rabbits, they are usually out and about to feed at dusk and dawn.
Various cultures view each of these adorable creature differently. China raises more rabbits for food than any other country where as the United States primarily raises rabbits for pets and medical research. Deer are hunted all over the world and commonly seen as a nuisance to gardens and crops (same as Rabbits) but deer have also been a sacred and holy symbol in a number of cultures and religions. Learn more about deer in mythology.
DID YOU KNOW that Deer are the only animals that have antlers? They are the fastest growing living tissue on earth! Antlers are usually only found on males, but in some species, like caribou, you will also find them on females too. Moose have the largest antlers. Antlers grow from spring until fall. While growing, antlers are covered with a soft tissue known as velvet. This tissue contains a network of nerves and blood vessels and is very sensitive. In the fall, the velvet is shed and the antlers harden. In the winter, the antlers are shed. Antlers should not be confused with horns. Horns are never shed and continue to grow throughout the animal’s life. If they are broken, they won’t grow back!
Meet Chipper’s Rabbit and Deer friends! Daffodil is a white-tailed doe, , the smallest members of the North American deer family, and Jasper is a Jack Rabbit, who is actually a hare, not a rabbit. Hares are larger than rabbits, and they typically have taller hind legs and longer ears. These two friends both are from North America and like to stay with the warm weather.
Daffodil and Jasper
When was the last time YOU saw a deer or a rabbit? What time was it? Where were you? Share with Chipper!
April 9, 2013 at 7:37 pm
This week, Chipper visited the University of California, Berkeley, the number one public university in the United States. Above is Chipper at Cal’s famous Campanile clock tower! Chipper really enjoyed his visit as he walked around campus and sat in on fun, yet interesting classes! He really understands and advocates the importance of higher education. Did you know that according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median weekly earnings in 2010 for high school graduates (age 25+) was $626, while the median for individuals with bachelor degrees (age 25+) was $1038? Moreover, BLS also reported that those with high school diplomas experienced a 10.3% unemployment rate in 2010, while the those with bachelor’s degrees experienced a 5.4% unemployment rate. In addition, those who have participated in higher education are more likely to have a wider array of career choices as well as being able to change careers more easily.
Not only does higher education play a role in financial and occupational stability, it also plays a pivotal role in social matters! Different studies have shown that people who have obtained higher educational degrees often lead good satisfied lives, and are therefore more likely to participate in social work and volunteering activities.
Chipper recognizes that funding higher education is hard work! But thankfully, there are many scholarships offered by the federal government, various corporations, and local clubs. Let’s Go Chipper for Higher Education!
April 7, 2013 at 8:00 pm
Easter is right around the corner—Happy Early Easter! For many of us, Easter is the Christian holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his crucifixion. For others, this time of Spring celebrates the Jewish holiday of Passover. However, for those who aren’t religious, Easter is followed with the tradition of coloring hard-boiled eggs and giving baskets of candy. This tradition of bunnies, eggs and candy go back to the holiday’s root purpose: procreation! Easter was originally the celebration of Ishtar, the ancient Assyrian and Babylonian goddess of fertility. Her symbols (like the egg and the bunny) were and still are fertility and sex symbols. After Roman Emperor Constantine decided to Christianize the Empire, Easter was changed to represent the rebirth Jesus as well as the spring season of birth and growth. Who knew!
This week, Chipper tried his paws at Easter egg dyeing. Here’s how he did it!
What you need:
Before starting the dyeing process, be sure to cover your surface with a sheet of newspaper or paper towel.
First, hard-boil some eggs. If you don’t how to hard-boil eggs, here’s how.
First, combine a teaspoon of vinegar with one cup of hot water (Chipper stuck his cup of water in the microwave) and 20 drops of your food coloring of choice. OR, go al natural by using food scraps and berries to make some natural dyes: http://ow.ly/joSNv & http://ow.ly/joSKZ
Here are a few book resources to check out if you and your little one’s decide to try natural dyeing and want to learn more about what plants make which colors:
Using tongs or a spoon, immerse your hard-boiled egg into the vinegar/water/dye mixture for around five minutes. Keep in longer for a darker hue. Carefully remove egg and set it aside to dry. Chipper put his in a cup to dry!
If you and your little one want to get creative, here are some ideas: try using electrical tape and creating a design (Chipper made a heart!), use crayon to draw a design on the egg before submerging it into the dye, or even submerging your egg into several different dyes to create a fun new color!
Let’s Go Chipper for Easter eggs!!!
March 26, 2013 at 1:10 pm
Spring is here at last! What better way to celebrate than by spending some time with your little one’s making a craft? Crafts are not only great fun, they make pretty, sentimental decorations for around the house or classroom and they help develop your little one’s mobile skills, creativity, and coordination. Try making some Spring Blooms using recycled toilet paper rolls this season. This craft will teach your kids how easy (and pretty!) reusing trash can be.
Learn more about Spring with your little one’s as you make the craft and talk about the importance of recycling. Make your own garden this season! Planting the seed, watching them grow, and seeing them bloom is a valuable experience for children of any age. It’s also another great way for you to connect and spend time with each other. Children are natural gardeners: They’re curious, like to learn by doing, and love to play in the dirt. Working in a garden, a child can experience the satisfaction that comes from caring for something over time, while observing the cycle of life firsthand. Gardening gives children a chance to learn an important life skill, one that is overlooked in standard school curriculums. Gardening is also a great way to teach environmental awareness by exploring the workings of nature.
What You’ll Need:
- Empty toilet-paper rolls
- Kid-friendly scissors
- Bamboo skewers or stick with a pointy end for stem (pencils work great!)
- Paint or Markers
- Paintbrush if using paint
- Tissue paper or recycled paper colored and crumpled
- Green cardstock or construction paper (Alternatively, you can use recycled cardboard or paper and color it with markers or paint)
- Draw a ring 2 inches from edge of tube. Repeat on other end. Then, from each 2-inch ring, draw cut lines every 1/2 inch. Snip along each line to make petals.
- Fold petals back to create flower. Paint flower and bamboo skewers; let dry. Cut out green leaves and glue to skewers.
- Push the skewer through one end of the flower’s center until it just touches the other end. Crumple an 8-inch square of tissue paper and place in the center.
Let’s Go Chipper this Spring!
March 21, 2013 at 1:27 pm
Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! Celebrated as a recognition of the Irish and Irish culture in America, Saint Patrick’s Day is observed through the prominent wearing of the color green, parades, fun, and religious observance! Saint Patrick was a Romano-British Christian missionary and bishop in Ireland. For those who religiously observe St. Patrick’s Day, they attend mass to thank God for their patron saint.
In honor of Saint Patrick’s Day, Chipper made a fun paper plate leprechaun this week! Made out of simple materials you can find around your house, this craft is the perfect low-maintenance activity for you and your little one.
Here’s what you need:
To make this cute paper plate leprechaun, first take a sheet of green construction paper and cut out a top-hat shape. The size of the hat will vary depending on the size of your plate.
Secondly, cut out a strip of black construction paper and an empty yellow square and glue (or tape!) them on to the hat. These will be the embellishments on the hat.
Next, take your red construction paper and cut out 1mm wide strips.
Next, glue the red strips on the outside perimeter of the paper plate like so:
With a marker or chopstick, roll each strip from the outward most point to the plate. Your goal is to curl the red strips so that it becomes a fun beard for the leprechaun!
Glue the hat onto the plate.
Using markers (or crayons or colored pencils) draw on a face!
And voila! Now you have an easy, fun, and cute decoration for Saint Patrick’s Day. Try hanging it in your little one’s room in celebration of this holiday. Chipper hung his in his treehouse room. Let’s Go Chipper for Saint Patrick’s Day!
March 12, 2013 at 2:15 pm
Let’s Go Chipper encourages children to explore and play which helps promote physical activity and conscientiousness. Respect, good character and environmental stewardship are the underlying message in each story delivered through music, mishap, and humor.
Now, think of a world without music – where communication was dependent solely on words alone. If you don’t understand the words of the people around you, how do you get connect? In South Africa, migrant miners from all over Africa began stomping and slapping their rubber boots (given to them by the mine owners) and formed a non-verbal, rhythmic mode of communicating that survives as it’s own art form today, gumboot dancing.
Dr. Linda Kouvaras, Senior Lecturer, Melbourne Conservatorium of Music
, The University of Melbourne writes, “People who are suffering together – those who have been enslaved, for example, or abused workers – have traditionally created and sung “work songs” together as a means of giving voice to their common experience and to give vent to anger, grief and frustration at their mistreatment. Through protest songs and music festivals devoted to raising consciousness, urging peace or ending poverty, music is a meeting-ground and a channel for activists.”
Further, she states, “Researchers have found a surprising level of commonality in musical conceptualization among children of distinctly different ethnic backgrounds and languages. Music has tangible effects on our state of wellbeing; some medical conditions, in many patients, in fact only respond positively to Music Therapy. If we share an innate way of perceiving and reacting to music, then music is a primal means by which we can interconnect.”
So, what does that mean for us as parents? First, honor the music in our child’s life. React and respond to every small musical moment – whether it be regular practice or the impromptu song and dance routine in the kitchen. Second, expose them to music, ALL music, classical, rap, country, rock, you name it and revel in their discoveries of themselves and others thru it. Third, weave music into their everyday. There is a reason we all remember the songs our parents taught us on those long road trips or hymns we sang together in church. They connected us to each other. They connected us to moments in time. The connected us and allowed
us to communicate with the world.
March 10, 2013 at 9:30 am
Jellyfishes are one of Chipper’s favorite animals because they are just so fascinating: they lack heads, hearts, and brains, they existed before dinosaurs, and they never stop growing! These amazing animals are 95% water and can even sting when they’re dead! There are around 1000 to 1500 different types of jellyfish worldwide, including one of the top 10 deadliest animals on earth, the Australian Box Jellyfish. Learn more about these awesome sea creatures!
Try making this easy and fun jellyfish craft with your kids this weekend. It can be made from materials you have lying around at home– all you need is a plastic bag, some safety scissors, string, and an empty see-through bottle. It is also a fun way to remind your little one that the environment needs to be kept clean to sustain these amazing little creatures! Plastic bags are a dangerous pollutant to our oceans and teaching our younger generations to utilize reusable bags more often is an invaluable lesson. Learn more about how plastic bags harm our environment and how to avoid using them here.
First, take a plastic bag and cut out a small square. Chipper’s was the size of a CD case. Any color plastic bag will do!
Secondly, pinch the middle of the plastic bag square so that it forms a head. Use string to tie off the bag to secure the head.
Using scissors, carefully cut the bottom of the bag into thin strips–these are the jellyfish’s tentacles!
Fill a empty bottle with water (Chipper used an empty milk jug). Stuff your jellyfish into the bottle, cap the bottle, and shake to watch your jellyfish in action!
Along with this craft, a fun and active activity to engage your little one would be to act like jellyfish around the house. “Sting” each other and play a game of tag!
Let’s Go Chipper for Jelly Fish this weekend with a wiggle and a giggle!
March 5, 2013 at 1:10 pm
Chipper playfully teaches children good character and academically relevant material through multi-sensory experiences. We often encourage reading a story then engaging in another activity which will reinforce the message. Crafts, physical movement, and music come together to provide a more resonating experience. Each song serves a purpose; music is inherently playful and the creativity that is required both on a professional and amateur level has implications far beyond the instrument in hand.
Nina Kraus, from Northwestern University (Illinois, USA), reports that musicians trained to hear sounds embedded in a rich network of melodies and harmonies exhibit both enhanced cognitive and sensory abilities that give them a distinct advantage for processing speech in challenging listening environments compared with non-musicians and leads to changes throughout the auditory system applicable to situations outside the musical realm. She writes, “This effect of music training suggests that, akin to physical exercise and its impact on body fitness, music is a resource that tones the brain for auditory fitness.”
Further, a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience suggests that musical training before the age of seven has a significant effect on the development of the brain. The study provides strong evidence that the years between ages six and eight are a “sensitive period” when musical training interacts with normal brain development to produce long-lasting changes in motor abilities and brain structure.
So what does that mean for us as parents?
- Advocate for music in the schools and support the efforts to help fund them. Every child, regardless of socioeconomic status, should have the opportunity to experience music and musical instruments as part of their regular curriculum.
- Introduce instruments at a young age. This may take multiple iterations until the perfect match is found.
- Broaden their musical landscape (and your own). Take them to an opera, a symphony, or ballet. Trust that their young minds are capable of comprehending and enjoying the complexity of sounds.
- Keep practicing. Remember that no one ever says they wish they hadn’t had lessons as a child, just that they wish they had “stuck with it.”
- Search locally. When looking for a teacher, consider your local community college and inquire about lessons from music students there. Often, they are much less expensive and perfect for beginning students.
Maybe, mom and dad did know best when they encouraged us to practice. And maybe, just maybe, we need to heed that advice with our own children. Let’s Go Chipper for Music this March!
March 4, 2013 at 6:30 pm
Recycle crafts are great for the environment, low-budget, and really teach kids how to maximize the resources around them into a creative utility. With spring right around the corner, these bright paper flowers are the perfect craft to refresh a classroom or any kind of room space.
How to make a Paper Flower:
1. Color in the cardboard packaging fillers in with your favorite color marker–be sure to color both sides! These pieces of cardboard are from the packaging material between some bowls that were recently purchased. If you don’t have these flower-looking pieces of cardboard lying around, use some scrap cardboard and cut out a similar shape! Don’t have cardboard? Local grocery stores will often give them out for free.
2. Draw and cut out a small circle out of black construction paper. Chipper used a small bowl to draw a perfect circle. Similarly draw and cut out a bigger circle out of yellow construction paper. Chipper used a larger paper plate to measure out the diameter.
4. With scissors, 1″ cut strips around the perimeter of the black ovule at every 1/4″ or so. Do the same with the yellow stamen, about 2″ strips.
5. Using a thin marker, pencil or chopstick, curl the strips on both the black and yellow circles.
6. Using glue or tape (Chipper used glue), assemble all the pieces together. The order is as follows, from bottom to top: two cardboard packaging fillers, the yellow stamen, and the black ovule.
7. Create leaves by folding green construction paper in half and drawing a leaf shape. Cut them out and glue or tape them to the back of the assembled flower!
Once your little one has finished his/her floral creation, have your kids name the flower parts and functions of the parts they assembled! (Leaves, petals, stamen, ovule). By interacting with the flower in a hands-on way, kids will remember and recall the information more easily.
February 26, 2013 at 12:47 pm
“To love one’s self is the beginning of a life-long romance.” -Oscar Wilde
February is the month of love! Show your appreciation to your friends, family and loved ones by making them a Valentines Day card or decoration. Nothing’s as special as a home-made craft. Connect on an intimate level not only by making something but by giving extra kisses and hugs this month. It’s the little things that really matter so spread your love in small ways.
Appreciate and care for the planet by making recycled crafts, it’s amazing what you can make from “trash.” Save some trees by reusing old Valentines Day cards: just cut off the cover from an old card then attach it to a fold piece of recycled scrap paper. Color it, add decorations, or cut it out in the shape of a heart. They sky’s the limit when crafting with recycled materials. Just use what you have around the house. Pink buttons would be adorable on a crafted card!
Make a “Love Bug!”
First, cut out a heart (it’s easiest to fold a paper in half, draw a half heart from the fold, then cut a long the line) from a recycled cereal or food box or any paper product that’s a bit thick.
Then add some love! Our Chipper friend Callie used red, white and black construction paper to make hearts and a red napkin to cover her big heart. She folded strips of black paper and glued on fuzzy pom pom’s for her love bug’s eyes! She used glue but tape can be used here as well. Add some googly eyes or some legs to your bug. Put it on a popsicle stick and play or hang it on the fridge.
Have fun making a love bug with a toilet paper roll and come paper scraps! Decorate with ribbons, beads, buttons and bag ties. Here they used pipe cleaners for antennae and made wings from construction paper. You can easily use recycled paper and color it red, pink and purple with crayons and markers.
Let’s Go Chipper and get crafty this Valentines Day!!!
January 31, 2013 at 4:58 pm
Let’s Go Chipper!™ is an award-winning eco-educational series playfully teaching children good character & a love for the environment. This year we’ve partnered with Hyatt Place® Phoenix/Mesa to bring Chipper into the classroom and inspire conscientiousness in kids. Call to receive your classroom kit or to book a story time with one of our Chipper Ambassadors, or let us create a program for you school, church, or community organization.
Meet Chipper’s Hyatt Helpers and have your kids color and name our five new desert friends from Arizona! Connect with Chipper and the Hyatt Helpers on Facebook to receive great downloads, and updates on events and activities and join us for a Chipper getaway enhanced with on-site or take-home activities that will enrich and educate your children.
Join Chipper and our Hyatt Helpers in connecting, celebrating, and conserving the environment.
Learn about our 5 new Arizona friends and help us name them!
How to participate:
- Click on a character above (choose one or go through all five!).
- Save and print the PDF.
- Have your little one(s) color and name the character(s).
- Snap a photo and upload your photo(s) of your little one(s) holding their character(s) online to our Facebook contest tab online (make sure your character’s name is visible but NOT your name and address!)* OR mail your character(s) to:
Hyatt Place® Phoenix/Mesa 1422 Bass Pro Drive Mesa, AZ 85201
Submissions must be uploaded online or received by mail by March 8, 2013. Vote on the I’m Chipper 4 Hyatt Place Facebook page tab through March 21, 2013.
FIVE WINNERS will be announced on March 28, 2013 and receive*:
Two nights stay at the Hyatt Place® Phoenix/Mesa for family up to four, a Gallery Cafe Certificate of $25, and a I’m Chipper 4 Hyatt Place Summer Fun Gift Pack! (Total value=$350)
*The “Name our Hyatt Helpers Contest” and prizes are exclusive to Hyatt Place® Phoenix/Mesa. Parents, we respect the privacy of your children. Please use your discretion in including your child in the image you upload when sharing your submission.
Let’s Go Chipper and get creative naming our Hyatt Place Helpers!
January 29, 2013 at 2:33 pm
Let’s Go Chipper!™ is an award-winning eco-educational series playfully teaching children good character & a love for the environment. This year we’ve partnered with Hyatt Place® Phoenix/Mesa to bring Chipper into the local Arizona community and into the classroom in order to inspire conscientiousness in kids. Come visit on your next business trip or come stay for a family weekend getaway filled with Chipper fun. Learn more about our upcoming events at our Chipper for Hyatt Place®Phoenix/Mesa website.
The Let’s Go Chipper series featuring books, apps, movies school- and community-based programs that playfully teach children respect, good character, and a love for the environment. Contact Chipper for your classroom kit or to book a story time with one of our Chipper Ambassadors, or let us create a program for you school, church, or community organization!
Ready to learn about Arizona? Check out these fun facts about the state’s history, people and official state symbols.
- Statehood: February 14, 1912. Arizona was the 48th state to join the United States.
- State Flag: Adopted in 1917, the lower half of the flag is a blue field. The upper half is divided into thirteen equal segments, six light yellow and seven red. In the center of the flag is a copper-colored five-point star. The red and the blue are the same shades as the flag of the United States of America, and it measures four feet high and six feet wide.
- State Seal: Arizona’s main enterprises and attractions are represented in the seal, which was adopted in 1911. In the background of the seal is a range of mountains with the sun rising behind the peaks. At the right side of the mountains are a water storage reservoir and a dam, with irrigated fields and orchards. There are cattle grazing on the right, and a quartz mill and a miner with a pick and shovel on the left.
Population and Geography
- Population: 6.5 million (2008 estimate)
- State Capitol: Phoenix
- Largest Cities: Phoenix, Tucson, Mesa, Glendale and Scottsdale
- Border States: California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah
- State Size: 113,909 square miles, the 6th largest state in the USA
- State Motto: Ditat Deus (“God Enriches”)
- State Nickname: Grand Canyon State
- State Songs: “Arizona March Song” and “Arizona”
- State Flower: Saguaro Cactus Blossom
- State Gem: Turquoise
- State Tree: Palo Verde
- State Bird: Cactus Wren
- State Fossil: Petrified Wood
- State Mammal: Ringtail
- State Reptile: Arizona Ridge-Nosed Rattlesnake
- State Fish: Apache Trout
- State Amphibian: Arizona Tree Frog
- Official Neckwear: Bola Tie
Nature-inspired, play-based learning, enjoy hands-on crafts that will engage children while teaching valuable lessons in science, art, and social skills. Have you made a Helping Hands tree?
Chipper Ambassadors are available for story time activities in the classroom, community, or visit us during a Chipper family getaway providing fun for kids while parents reconnect.
Fun Things to do with the Kids in Arizona
Desert Botanical Garden | Located within Papago Park, this beautiful botanical garden has stunning plants and flowers as well as special exhibits. Children’s program activities, like weekend face-painting, are included in the admission price and are supervised by the head of the garden’s nature preschool program, which runs for three weekly 90-minute sessions in spring and fall. One exhibit you won’t want to miss is the butterfly habitat.
Hall of Flame Firefighting Museum | This is the ultimate playground for every kid who fantasizes about sliding down a firehouse pole. Visitors climb aboard the historical fire engines and try on real firefighters’ hats and gear. In addition to exhibits that bring Arizona’s firefighting history to life, don’t miss the presentations about fire safety. The staff and volunteers who give these talks are so animated that the kids become mesmerized and don’t even realize they’re learning valuable life lessons.
Pioneer Arizona Living History Museum | Young visitors meet the Old West at this re-created pioneer village, where your family can explore life as it was in Arizona a century ago. Stroll past historic buildings that range from a schoolhouse to the blacksmith’s shop to an opera house. Since this was rancher country, there’s plenty of livestock on hand to capture your kids’ attention. Arrive in time for the re-enactment performed daily at 11:30 a.m. and you’ll even have an encounter with the sheriff, his deputies, and the bank robbers they’re pursuing. The show culminates with a shoot-out, after which the actors sign autographs.
January 14, 2013 at 2:31 pm
With a new year comes new life! Salmon spawning season has officially begun and grizzly bears, bald eagles, and sport fisherman couldn’t be more excited. Salmon are not just tasty to eat though. They are important to our Eco-system and very unique aquatic animals. Salmon (derived from the latin term salmo which means leaper) have one of the most interesting life cycles of any animal on earth. Born in a fresh water stream and then migrating into the ocean to live in salt water, they migrate for thousands of miles before returning to their natal stream to spawn (or lay eggs). This behavior is called anadromous, and salmon are not the only fish that are born in fresh water and spend the majority of their lives in salt water. Sturgeon, trout, and many other fish do the same thing. In South American Rivers, sharks are also anadromous.
So what makes the salmon special then? Pacific salmon are unique in that spawning is the last act of their life cycle. One of the most remarkable things about salmon is how they manage to find their natal stream after spending years in the ocean migrating for thousands of miles. Some studies have indicated that smell is a factor that enables a salmon to hone into the stream it was born in. Other studies indicate that the brain of the salmon is sensitive to the magnetic field of the earth and that this may be a factor in the homing instinct. Regardless of the mechanism that enables a salmon to do this, their ability to find the origin of their birth after migrating thousands of miles from home is truly a remarkable feat.
Salmon undergo a physical transformation during their transition from the saltwater environment back to the freshwater home of their birth. This transition affects the appearance of the fish very radically. Not only do they stop feeding, but they also undergo a color and shape change. The male salmon typically forms a curved mouth (called a kype) with large canine like teeth. The males of some species form a hump on their back during their transition. The female salmon do not undergo such a radical shape change, but do undergo significant color changes.
During the spawning migration up river, the male of the species takes the role of protector and attempts to gain the favor of a suitable female. To the fisherman, this means that the male fish are more likely to be aggressive and strike a lure or bait that intrudes his territory. Females will also strike lures and baits, and we can only presume that this is due to a similar protective trait, or an instinct to continue feeding.
Once a dominant male and female fish have paired up for mating, the female begins to clean a well-oxygenated gravel bed by scouring it with her tail in sweeping motions. The female will select an area in the stream bed that has an upwelling of water through the gravel. A spawning bed, called a redd, can be approximately 2 to 10 feet long and 1 to 6 feet wide, depending on the size of the fish.
It should be noted that by the time fish are ready to spawn, their eating quality has severely degraded. Salmon flesh that was once red, is now be white and mushy. In every state, it is illegal to disturb spawning fish. The best eating fish are those fresh out of salt water and not the fish that are ready to propagate the species.
Once the first redd is finished, the male and female align themselves next to one another for the actual spawning ritual. Their bodies quivering next to one another, the female releases her eggs at the same time that the male releases milt. Fertilization occurs in the water as the eggs drift down into the gravel.
After the eggs have settled, the female swims upstream and sweeps the river bottom with her tail to cover the nest of eggs with clean gravel. The female will then proceed to dig another redd at a nearby location and the male will accompany her to protect the area. Learn more about these amazing creatures in the video below and see live salmon runs at Spawn USA.
Join Sally as she adventures from fresh water to salt water and back again to teach Chipper about the life of a salmon, science and nature. It’s a magical journey through streams, rivers, and up fish ladders to the sea. Chipper and Sally help grow little ambassadors of nature into future stewards of the environment.
Part of the award-winning series, Let’s Go Chipper!™ Into the Great Outdoors, Sally the Salmon is an eco-educational adventure inspiring respect for nature in young children. For teachers the story is correlated meeting national academic standards in science, social skills, and arts & literature.
Kids listen and watch as Chipper, the squirrel along with Paisley, and Rusty, go below nature’s surface to explore the sea. The playful lessons include learning about habitats, salmon and underwater life, recycling, environmentalism, and the importance of keeping our waterways clean. Let’s Go Chipper this spawning season!
January 3, 2013 at 12:16 pm
One week till Christmas! Are you ready for the festivities? Celebrate in style and try decorating with some of these cute crafts made from recycled materials. They are fun and easy to make and a great way to spend some time with your kids. The Holidays are about spending time with the ones you love and making everything sparkle and glow (from the inside-out). 7 days left — 7 crafts: Time to get Crafty this Christmas!
1) Corky Rudolph Decoration:
All you need for this simple craft is a recycled cork (which should be plentiful during the Holidays), a brown pipe cleaner, a red bead or pin, and some googly eyes! Don’t have ornament hooks? Just bend some paper clips out–they work great! Don’t want to buy googly eyes? Just draw some on with a permanent marker, cut some out with paper, or find something around the house like buttons, push pins, or pom poms.
Twist you brown pipe cleaner around your cork in the middle and then shape ends into antlers. Then ass your nose and eyes: use glue (hot glue gun works best but any will work if you let dry long enough) or just stick in a push pin nose. Then attach your ornament hook/paper clip/string, hang on your tree or around the house, and voila! You have a quirky Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer decoration!
2) CD Ornament:
Put your Recycled CD in the microwave for 5-10 seconds to get this spider-web effect!
Add a photo and some ribbon or recycled wrapping paper for a sentimental decoration to save through the years or give to a loved one!
Create a personalized ornament add to your collection by using a recycled CD! Not only does it provide a sturdy base for your ornament, but you can design some neat looks with its circular shape. This would is a great project to showcase your family’s holiday photos through the years. Or get nuts with some puffy/glitter paint! Anther idea is to color your CD with some markers, add Elmer glue, and let dry for a pastel colored CD decoration.
Recycled CD’s become beautiful tree hangers!
Represent your 4-legged family member this Holiday Season!
3) Clay Pot Snowman
Use an old plant pot or a recycled plastic cups to make snowmen! Find some wrapping paper or use recycled paper first and wrap your pot/cup using tape or glue. Then use markers or puffy paint to make your snowman face! Torn fabric or ribbon can be used to decorate the top. Just cover a cup with some paper, poke a hole in the top with scissors to hang (with string, ribbon or a bent paper clip), and let your child use their imagination to make a original ornament!
4) Egg Carton Silver Bells
Transform a simple egg carton cup into a fabulous bell ornament! This is a simple project, good for a parent and young child to make together on a winter night!
- Egg Carton
- Large Needle
- Thin ribbon or yarn (thread works too since these are quite light!)
You can do the parts that need scissors and needle depending on your little one(s) age(s). Your child(ren) can wrap the foil and hang the finished bell. Each bell is made using one cup cut from an egg carton. Start off by cutting off an egg carton cup and trimming around the edges. Cut a piece of tin foil about 6-inches square and wrap it around the egg carton cup and tuck the extra foil into the inside of the cup. Set the foil wrapped egg carton cup on your table upside down (open side should be on the table). Poke a small hole in the center of the egg carton cup using a needle. Cut about 12-inches of narrow ribbon or thick yarn. Holding the two ends of the ribbon together, tie two or three knots on top of each other. Push the other end (the looped end) up through the hole so that the knot is inside the bell. Pull the ribbon up as far as it will go. Your bell is now ready to decorate if you like. You can decorate with stickers, glitter, or anything else you have around or just leave it plain. Hang on your Christmas tree and enjoy!
5) Festive Container
Make a fun container perfect for a Holiday gift of cookies/etc. using a recycled Pringles potato chip container or a coffee container or a oatmeal container (pretty much any container you have used that has a sealed top). You can even send these in the mail!
- Items to Decorate (see below)
Clean out the inside with paper towels letting them absorb most of the oil that might be left in the can or whatever was in your recycled container. Then using paper, fabric, or wrapping paper cover the outside. Hot glue works best for the fabric and wrapping paper; white glue or tacky glue is sometimes better for construction paper. Both work fine though so use whatever you have. Now get creative! Decorate with markers, glitter and sequins–sky’s the limit!
If you are using this container for cookies, put waxed paper inside once the outside is decorated. Stack cookies into the can just like the chips used to be. If there is a little space at the top and another cookie won’t fit you can use a little waxed paper to act as packing. Put the top back on and you have a wonderful cookie gift for friends, family or Santa!
6) Old Bags, New Look
Why spend money on new gift bags every year? Re-use, Reduce, and Recycle! Save sturdy store bags throughout the year. As the holidays approach, the family personalizes the bags (and covers any store names or logos) by gluing on old holiday cards.
- Sturdy store bags
- Old holiday cards
- Wrapping paper
- Glitter pens
Glue old holiday cards (you can also added pieces of wrapping paper) to sturdy store bags you’ve saved. You can embellish the bags with glitter pens, adding stickers and other decorative touches. Save money, have fun, and give customized gift bags to all your loved one this year!
7) Home Made Dreidel from Plastic Bottle Caps
Here’s a Hanukkah craft that’s also a Hanukkah game! Spinning tops are a traditional Hanukkah toy, so what better activity to engage the kids this Hanukkah than with a simple technique for making their own brigade of spinning tops? These tops spin so amazingly well, it’s almost hard to believe!
- plastic bottle caps: either from regular soda bottles, wide mouthed juice bottles, or bottles like vinegar bottles
- toothpicks or wooden skewers
- a thick needle or sharp item, such as a hat pin or those metal things you use to hold poultry together for roasting (employed by an adult only)
- colorful electrical tape (optional)
- quick drying glue (optional
- Make a hole exactly in the middle of the bottle cap. Some caps have a small bump there, if not eyeball it. A hole not in the center will result in a imbalanced top.
- Enlarge hole if necessary by moving needle around while still in the hole.
- Insert tooth pick or skewer through hole, trim second side of toothpick (dangerous) or shorten skewer.
- Secure toothpick with a few dabs of glue, though usually not necessary, and decorate with small pieces of electric tape.
- Have fun!
HAVE A CHIPPER HOLIDAY SEASON EVERYONE!
December 18, 2012 at 3:32 pm
If you live in an area where there is no snow to make a Christmas snowman, try one of these crafts with your little one and make your very own snowman or snow-woman from recycled material! Even if you have snow around, having a little homemade snowman on the tree or around the house makes a cute decoration! Make a treasure hunt out of it and see what materials you can find around the house or outside. You can even make little stick arms if you have a glue gun. Finding the perfect stick can make a great outing with the kids. Use burned out bulbs to be really eco-friendly or some saved toilet paper rolls to start and then get creative!
Click this image to learn how to make a snowman using tissue paper!
IF USING PAINT: Wipe bulb down with rubbing alcohol, this will help the paint adhere to the bulb. Let dry. Paint entire light bulb with white acrylic paint and let dry. Apply a second coat. If finish appears streaked, you can use a large paint brush or a sponge to blot on a “stucco” look. It is not necessary to paint the socket. Allow bulb to dry completely. Alternatively, try using some spray-on adhesive and white glitter to create a snowy effect, as seen in the video below.
You can use puffy craft paint for the eyes, nose, mouth and buttons or use permanent black and orange markers once the paint is dry. Alternatively, you could also use colored paper and cut out small round dots for the mouth, eyes and buttons and a small triangle for the nose. In our toilet paper snowman, we used small black pompom’s and a small piece of orange pipe cleaner for the nose. Work with whatever you have around the house or let your kids get creative! Half of the fun is figuring out what to use to make your craft.
One way to create a snowy look is to use spray adhesive and some white glitter!
For the scarf try finding some thick string to tie around the top of the bulb or cut up an old sock! You could event use colored paper or some pipe cleaners. Just like if you were making a real snowman, you have to work with what you can find!
This crafter used puffy paints, adhesive spray and white glitter. You can use regular glue mixed with a touch of water and apply with a paint brush to avoid using adhesive spray!
For the hat, you could use a piece of black paper, color the metal with a permanent marker, or get crafty with some cloth or an old sock. To hang your snow man on the tree, use some twine or wire and wrap around the groves of the top.
Toilet Paper Roll Snowman
Start out with a recycled toilet paper roll. Chipper had a white one but you can easily cover a cardboard toilet paper roll with some white paper (cut cut out a strip thick enough to cover roll and then attach with tape or glue). Then find materials for the nose, buttons, hat, mouth and scarf! Add some arms if you’re feeling ambitious. Here, Chipper used what he had in his craft box: pipe cleaners, pom pom balls, googly eyes, sequins, and a bit of construction paper! Good supplies to have on hand for any craft are: scissors, tape or glue and your imagination!
First, make your face! Chipper used black pom pom balls for the nose and mouth and googly eyes!
Then add the arms! We used black pipe cleaners here and poked a small hole in either side of your paper roll using a pair of scissors. You can use small sticks here or wrap a pipe cleaner around the snowman neck to attach the arms.
Instead of a hat, Chipper made some ear muffs using two pom pom balls and a small piece of cut pipe cleaner. We attached using glue and you can make the band stay by poking tiny little holes and bending the very tip of your pipe cleaner on either side and insert them into the holes. Regular old Elmer’s glue works to attach the muffs.
Cut a thin strip of construction paper for the scarf and attach with double-sided tape or glue. Alternatively, use a old sock, cut a thin strip, and tie around your roll! For buttons, Chipper just glued on some sequins but you can use real buttons, pom pom balls, or whatever you have on hand! There are TONS of crafts to make from recycled materials and paper rolls. Start your own collection by saving your rolls in a paper bag in the bathroom. Keep a designated craft box filled with materials and supplies so you and the kids can get crafty whenever possible. Crafts are not only a lot of fun, they are a great way to connect and practice motor skills!
Other ideas: Make Santa with some cotton balls or construction paper or make a little Rudolph–Let’s Go Chipper this Holiday Season!
Try making other Christmas Characters using toilet paper rolls! Sky’s the limit!!!
December 14, 2012 at 2:51 pm
We all want to eat healthy—it makes us feel better mentally and physically! Choosing which kinds of foods to buy or what recipes to make can seem daunting sometimes. And there are a lot of fake “healthy” foods out there to confuse us, thus making good food decisions isn’t as easy as it used to be!
Knowing your seasonal fruits and vegetables are a good place to start (that’s where Chipper can help!). Buying local, seasonal produce is not only good for your body but a wonderful way to support your community! Look into your local farmers market to do your produce shopping and try out one of these 5 Apps that help you shop for healthier foods at the grocery store and make nutritious recipes in your own kitchen!
One great food to eat during the winter are beans! They are an excellent source of protein and folate; 1/4 cup of cooked dry beans equals 1 ounce of meat! They are also high in fiber; 1/2 cup provides about 1/3 of an adults daily needs. Beans are very easy to use; very low in cost; and can be served hot or cold, mashed or whole. All adults should try and include 3 cups of canned or cooked dry beans in their meals each week.
Today, top your favorite green salad with cooked kidney (or other) beans. Tomorrow, try using left over beans to make a tasty dish: Spicy Mac ‘n’ Cheese with Beans (see recipe below). Freeze left over beans in 1 cup portions and save for soups, salads and chili dishes you make later! When shopping, look for beans that are firm, clean and bright in color. Store beans in an air tight container in a cool, dry place. For recipes, 1 pound of dry beans makes about 4 to 5 cups of cooked beans. Soak dry beans overnight to shorten cooking time and retain their texture.
Spicy Mac ‘n’ Cheese with Beans Recipe
- 2 CUPS Red Kidney Beans, cooked
- 12 oz. lean ground beef (omit for vegetarian recipe!)
- 1 and 1/2 CUPS frozen whole-kernel corn
- 1 Large tomato, diced
- 3/4 CUP dried whole-wheat elbow macaroni
- 2 TSP Chili Powder
- 1 CUP water
- 1/2 CUP low-fat cheddar cheese, shredded
How To Cook:
Heat a large skillet; brown the meat on medium-high heat; drain. Stir in corn, tomato, beans, uncooked macaroni, chili powder, and water. Bring the mixture to a boil; reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, or until macaroni is tender. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese, cover, and let stand for 5 minutes. Serve immediately and ENJOY
Makes 6 servings; Each serving provides: 302 calories, 20 grams protein, 33 grams carbohydrate, 10 grams fat, 116 milligrams sodium, 7 grams fiber.
December 4, 2012 at 1:56 pm
Now that Turkey day has passed, it’s time to start preparing for Chipper’s favorite Holiday: Christmas! Why is it Chipper’s most loved holiday, you might ask? Because it’s a time of giving and receiving; a time of family; a time of carols, bright lights and cheer!
This Christmas, think about making your own gifts and ornaments! Not only is it environmentally friendly, it’s a lot of fun to do and a great way to teach kids how to reuse rather than always consuming the new! Also, a special custom gift made by a loved one is something any family member will cherish.
Recycle Christmas Tree Ornament Crafts
Another way to be environmentally friendly thisHoliday Season is to buy a living Christmas tree! It will smell divine, filter the air and can be planted once Christmas is over! The earth could always use another tree and they aren’t too hard to take care of (no worries to those non-green thumbs out there!). Plus, best of all, they aren’t as expensive as giant cut trees! Yes, they tend to be smaller, but with all the added benefits, take it into consideration this year.
what you need
To make ornaments, first gather any old Christmas or Holiday cards you have saved (usually located in a old shoe box under the bed somewhere). Then find some extra string, ribbon, thread or pipe cleaners to hang them. Any extra pieces of wrapping paper can be used as well!
Old Christmas Cards
Besides the cards and string, all you need is a pair of scissors and a little bit of tape. Then it’s time to get creative! Cut out stars or circles or use some Holiday cookie cutter shapes as a guide. You can draw your own shapes on the back as a cutting guide or just go free hand! Use as much of the cards as you can by using the back to cut out ornament shapes. You can even tape pieces together (see double star ornament below) or add things around the house like buttons, sparkles, and pompoms.
Poke a hole using your scissors
Cut off front of card
cut out a shape around decoration
tie the string!
then hang! Voila, ornament!
Use the back of the card to make small decorations!
make as many shapes as you can fit!
Then cut out!
- Double Star Tree Ornament
Lastly, poke a small whole in your ornament once it’s cut out. Then put a string or ribbon through the hole and tie (you make have to use a pen or the pointy end of your scissors to get through the hole depending on how thick you string is). Now you can hang your ornaments and have a beautifully decorated tree this Christmas!
Make a candy cane by taping some wrapping paper onto pieces of cards you didn’t use, then cut it out. You won’t need a string for these–just hang using the curve!
Tape or glue back of card to wrapping paper
Candy Cane made from old wrapping paper!
Keep in mind, this is only ONE way to make home-made ornaments! Please follow our blog for more ideas in the following weeks or follow us on Pinterest for all kinds of Holiday ideas! Let’s Go Chipper this Christmas!
November 28, 2012 at 6:00 pm
Turkey Day is in just two days! Looking for some fun recycle Turkey crafts for this kids to make? Try out one of these recycled turkeys! They are fun and easy to create and make cute decorations or table settings. Plus, these crafts incorporate teaching your child about being grateful for what they have and encourage them to think about all the things they are thankful for!
1. Thankful Turkey Decoration
- Paper Plate
- Toilet Paper Roll
- Sauce container or cut bottom half from paper cup
- Colored Paper or white recycle paper
- Markers or Crayons
- Helping Hand Download
- Glue stick or tape (Double-sided Tape is the best!
First create the Turkey body! Wrap brown paper around toilet paper roll and secure with tape. Or you can just color it brown depending on what you have on hand. Then cut out eyes, a beak and a waddle and use glue stick or small pieces of double-sided tape to secure on paper roll.
Make the hat using a black piece of paper or color white recycled paper cut into a circle and a colored sauce cup (or use the bottom half of a paper or Styrofoam cup–use permanent marker for this so black won’t rub off). Use a helping hand or just trace your little one’s hand using color paper or white paper then color, cut out and attach with glue for the feet base.
Now it’s time to get colorful! Color your paper plate as desired . Then cut out feathers from various colored paper or from white recycle paper and color for feathers. On each feather, have your little one write something they are grateful or thankful for.
Attach to your paper plate using tape or glue once your done. Then attach to your turkey body and voila! You have a Thankful Turkey Decoration!
2. Helping Hands Turkey
- Paper Plate
- Helping Hand Download
- Colored paper or white paper and markers/crayons
- brown paper bag
First, cut out a turkey body from a brown paper bag (or used recycled paper and color!). Then add eyes and a beak by drawing them on or cutting them out and gluing/taping them onto your body.
Now trace your little one’s hands or use Chipper’s Helping Hands download (Double-click to save, then print!) for the feathers. Color them, cut them out and glue them onto your paper plate like feathers. You can write here what they are grateful for or have your child(ren) make a list on the back of their plate!
3. Fall Leaf Turkey
- Paper or Styrofoam cup
- Fall leafs
- Colored Paper or white recycle paper with markers/crayons
- Optional: Googly eyes
Create a cute Turkey Decoration/Table setting using some real or fake Fall leafs! Make an expedition of it and find some Fall leafs outside or go to your local craft/99 cent store for some inexpensive fake fall leaves.
Then it’s time to start the craft! First, color your cup (black or brown, permanent markers work best. Then make feet, beak, and waddle using colored paper or colored recycled paper. Trace your shapes and cut them out and attach to cup using tape/glue. Make eyes from paper or use some fun googly eyes!
Now attach your leaves! Glue will word best for real leafs. You can add a name for a table setting using a tooth pick and a name card. Just glue or tape name card to toothpick, then stick it in the top of the cup!
4. Toilet Roll Turkey
- Toilet Paper Roll
- Colored Construction Paper or Recycled paper and markers/crayons
Much like our first Turkey crafts, wrap brown paper (or colored recycle paper) around toilet paper roll and secure with tape (Double-stick tape works best). Then cut out eyes, beak, waddle, feet and fathers using various colors.
Now attach using glue stick or small pieces of double-sided tape to secure on paper roll. Make the hat using a black piece of paper or color white recycled paper cut into a circle and a colored sauce cup (or use the bottom half of a paper or Styrofoam cup–use permanent marker for this so black won’t rub off).
Alternatively, you can use a strip of black construction paper rolled and taped into a hat shape and attach to round circle. Just get creative with what you can find around the house! Like Chipper always says with craft making, “Whatever works!”
5. Recycle CD Turkey
- Old CD (Option: put CD in Microwave for 5 seconds to get a spiderweb look on the CD–or add wings with paper and/or permanent markers)
- Colored Construction paper, recycled paper colored, OR Brown, Yellow and Red Foam Paper sheets
Have some old CD’s from the 90s that are too scratch to listen to or no longer in your playlist? Use them for crafts!!! Try this Turkey CD craft by taping some feathers from the craft store (or make your own from paper! See above crafts) to the back of your CD. The cut out a turkey head, beak, feet and waddle from your paper of choice and attach to CD with tape/glue. Draw in an eye or glue on a googly eye!
We are so Chipper for Turkey Day, are you??? Please share some of your Turkey Craft ideas!
November 20, 2012 at 2:32 pm
Teach your kids to lend a Helping Hand this Holiday Season with Let’s Go Chipper‘s Helping Hands Book! Join Chipper and friends on a playful journey that will teach kids the importance of using our hands in helpful ways. By positively reinforcing the good that comes when we all work together children will be ready to lend their hands and hearts around the home, school, and community.
Use our free Helping Hands download to make an awesome Thanksgiving Day Tree with hands filled with all the helpful things done by your little one(s) or try this Turkey Craft. First, save our Helping Hands print out above!
Then have your little one cut it out as our Chipper friend, Little Avery, did here:
Then start making your turkey! First add the turkey waddle AKA the “gulla -gulla.” Avery used a folded pink pipe cleaner here but you can use construction paper or just a colored recycled paper!
Then add the eyes. Fuzzy pompoms or googly eyes work nicely or just color in an eye. Make this craft really simple by just using crayons and markers for the whole turkey or go nutty like Chipper and use pompoms, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, feathers, buttons or anything you can find around the house to decorate your Turkey!
Last but not least, add the feet and and color the feathers! Again, pipe cleaners cal be used for feet or just colored cardboard or paper. Letting your child figure out each element is part of the fun and a learning process! It’s not always about how it looks but how much fun you have making it!
Develop your little ones creativity by having a box full of craft/recycle items and letting them come up with their own crafts. It’s amazing to see what a child’s mind will come up with! For example, Avery made a wee umbrella using some sauce cups and a pipe cleaner:
What kinds of crafts have your kids made? Share them with Chipper!
November 13, 2012 at 7:00 pm
Donating food and goods to the needy is a great way to teach your child to give!
November is the month of giving! With Thanksgiving right around the corner, now’s the time to clear our those cabinets and closets. There are many, many people in need of food and warm clothes this Holiday Season. We can all make a difference by giving away and donating to our local food drive! Find a food bank near you or donate to Feeding America online!
Feeding The Turkey!
Teach your child(ren) to be generous and giving by setting an example! Take them to your local Turkey Donation Station and make generosity fun! Having them put cans of food or extra warm clothes in the donation bins themselves is empowering and creates healthy habits! Actions speak louder than words–don’t just talk about it, DO IT!
Donation Turkey in Corte Madera Town Square, CA
Giant turkey’s are a great attraction to bring in donations and also make it fun for the kids! Don’t have a donation station in your neighborhood? Start one! Or, learn how to create your own VIRTUAL food drive!
Donate or host your own Toys for Tots Drive so those in need can get a Christmas Day present too!
Get Ready to Fly with Chipper’s Airplane Activity Kit this 25% OFF Holiday Season–perfect for a kids travel gift or your next family trip!
Let’s Go Chipper is not only donating food locally, we are donating our Get Ready to Fly Activity Kit to kids in need this Holiday season! Get your own Chipper Airplane Activity Kit for more than %25 OFF this Holiday Season!
All proceeds from our Helping Hands book will go to the Red Cross Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund! Click here to purchase with 25% OFF!
In addition, all our November proceeds from our Helping Hands book, which teaches kids how to help out around the house and community, will go to the Red Cross Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund! Lend a Helping Hand this month and give back to those in need!
November 12, 2012 at 3:41 pm
Today is election day! Many of you are probably sick and tired, if not a bit over whelmed, by the bombardment of political news and ads. Others may be so excited and apart of the wave of enthusiasm! Either way, Chipper encourages you to get out and vote today!
Why, you may ask? Well, we should take advantage of our right to vote since many brave men and women lost their lives gaining and keeping this right. People in other places of the world continue to fight and bleed for the basic right to have some say in you and your children’s future.
Lead by example! Teach your child that their voice and opinions matter. Show them that voting contributes to the greater good. They will become responsible citizens if you show them how. Still unconvinced? Here are some top 10 reasons to get involved and VOTE!
| Top 10 Reasons to Register and Vote 10. It’s your money. The county commissioners, governor, state officials, legislators, president and members of Congress you vote for will decide how much of our wealth to invest in public services and how to fairly share the tax burden.
9. It’s your children’s education. You elect local and state school board members who set public education policy and budgets that will affect how well prepared your children and grandchildren will be for the future. Decisions by our legislators, governor, members of Congress and president also affect the public schools– and the quality and cost of higher education as well.
8. It’s your job. Congress, the president, the governor and your legislators influence what job training is available, minimum wage, pay equity, fairness in hiring, health insurance through your employer, job and pension security, and workplace safety.
7. It’s your health care. Actions by the governor, legislature and Congress as well as their decisions on Medicaid, Medicare and private insurance laws determine your access to health care.
6. They’re your highways. Nevada’s population and traffic are growing rapidly. Your county commissioners, legislators, governor and members of Congress decide what highways are needed, what alternatives to highways such as public transit to support, and how to pay the bill.
5. It’s your Social Security. The president and your members of Congress decide how much payroll tax you pay, cost of living increases and benefit schedules for your Social Security pension, and what Medicare services you receive and share payment for.
4. You live in the United States. Your county, state and national elected officials set standards, enforcement strategies and budgets. They plan and zone where roads and industries will be built and how public lands will be used –decisions that can determine how and where you live and work.
3. It’s your neighborhood. The elected officials and judges you vote to retain make daily decisions about crime prevention, laws and law enforcement, safe and affordable homes, traffic patterns, where to put schools, parks and recreation.
2. They’re our children. We do our best to keep them healthy, fed, safe, educated and cared for. The officials you elect set policies that affect all Nevada families in pursuing their goals and dreams.
1. It’s your Constitutional Republic. Make it work. Register and Vote.
Top 10 Reasons Why Young People Should Vote
10. You get a cool sticker afterward that says, “I Voted!”
9. Local elections like school board and city council races really do have an impact on your daily life.
8. If you don’t vote, you’re not allowed to celebrate the Fourth of July. Honest.
7. Young people have the most to gain and lose in any election because they have to live with the consequences longer than anyone else.
6. If you vote and an adult you know doesn’t, you can tease them about it forever.
5. With the Internet, it takes about a minute to get all the registration and voter information for your state and county.
4. At the polling location, you might get to finally meet that cute guy or girl you always see in your neighborhood. Plus, they’ll be instantly impressed by your devotion to civic duty.
3. Every political issue and policy affects you whether you know it or not. If you don’t vote, you’re putting control of your world into the hands of someone else…and you have no idea where those hands have been.
2. The feeling of power you get after voting is a great rush.
1. Election Day is the one day each year when everyone in the U.S. is EQUAL. Your vote counts just as much as anyone else’s does!
Top 10 Lame Excuses Not To Vote
10. My dog ate my registration card.
9. Reruns of the Simpsons are on TV.
8. Martin Sheen of “West Wing” is not running. (Well, maybe that should be a good reason…)
7. I forgot to register to vote.
6. You went the last time and there was no free food.
5. I don’t know who is running.
4. I don’t have a ride.
3. I am too busy.
2.You feel guilty when the person you voted against loses.
1. My vote won’t make a difference.
|10 Ways to Cast Your Vote if You’re Under 18
If you’re old enough to vote, by all means, vote! If you’re not, here’s a list of other things you can do to get involved in a campaign.
10. Listen to a candidate speak.
They might end up representing you, so check them out.
9. Ask questions.
If you want information from a candidate, ask for it. Contact their official campaign headquarters. Most have websites with contact information.
8. Surf the Web.
Go to the internet and surf. Almost every candidate has a statement on the issues of their campaign.
7. Volunteer at your local polling center.
On the day of elections volunteers are needed to help people at the voting booths. Why not step in to lend a hand?
6. Write a letter to the editor.
Voice your concerns about an issue or sing the praises of your favorite candidate to your school or local newspaper.
5. Go behind the curtain.
If you’re old enough, vote — if not, go with your parents or a friend or teacher, just to see how it’s done and take some of the mystery out of the process.
4. Run for office.
We don’t necessarily mean running for an actual government position, but you could try class president, art club secretary or school board student representative — the more you learn about elections, the better prepared you will be to vote.
Groups like KidsVotingUSA have set up mock elections, so that even if you aren’t old enough to actually vote, you can participate and follow the races. Go to: www.kidsvotingusa.org.
2. Register other folks.
Even if you’re not old enough to register to vote, you can still work in your high school or community to help others who are not yet registered.
1. Become one with a leaflet.
By that we mean you can volunteer with a campaign. If you really like what a candidate stands for, offer to help him or her out. They may need help passing out leaflets or answering phones at their campaign headquarters.
November 6, 2012 at 2:38 pm
November is the month of giving and thanks. Chipper wants to teach our little ones compassion and generosity and the best way to inspire is by setting an example! That’s why Chipper is reaching out and making requests for any schools or kids in need. Chipper is putting his holiday list together for gift donations so contact us soon!
We are also donating all our November proceeds from our book, Helping Hands, to the Red Cross Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund. The Red Cross and other disaster relief groups have been working hard, day and night, to support communities devastated by Hurricane Sandy and make sure they have food and water. Help Chipper help others in need by purchasing your copy today and spreading the word!
All proceeds from our Helping Hands book will go to the Red Cross Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund! Click here to purchase!
Whether you are a parent or a teacher, making a Helping Hands tree craft is a great activity to teach your little ones to lend a Helping Hand! Just print out some of Chipper’s Little Helping Hands coloring sheets (just save the image below, then print!) Use recycled paper when possible and talk about ways we can help the planet!
Begin making your tree by taping or gluing strips of brown construction paper or recycled paper bags to a recycled cardboard tree trunk. All you need is some tape or glue and a pair of scissors! We made the Helping Hand Tree shown below for a community Chipper Camp-out at the Sequoya Country Club, CA in under 10 minutes! See a video of the event here.
Then have your kids write something they have done to help out family, community or the environment on their hand. Then color and cut out. Use the hands as leaves for your tree!
Now place your tree somewhere in your home or classroom to admire. Add more hands with every new way they help out! Make a fun game out of it and challenge your kids to fill up your tree by Thanksgiving! Then they can share all they’ve done to help with friends and family and discuss other ways to help out!
Let’s Go Chipper and Lend a Helping Hand this Holiday Season!
November 2, 2012 at 4:02 pm
We are Chipper for Bats this week! They are the only flying mammals in the world and a symbol of all things spooky and Halloween! They help out in unexpected ways, though: Bats spread seeds through the rainforest creating new growth; Bats saliva is being studied to see if it can help humans with various disease such as blindness and heart problems; Bat poop is also very good fertilization! Celebrate and decorate All Hallows Eve with these cute Bat Crafts!
Recycle Bat Craft from Toilet Paper Roll
Make a bat from recycled toilet paper rolls! They are fun to make and a great way to show your class how you can make trash into art. Start your own collection to use for this activity and many, many more toilet roll crafts!
- First, press down two sides of one end of your roll so it makes two points. Use tape (double sided works best) or glue to secure your bat ears down.
- Now you can either use black and construction paper to cover your roll or just use markers and crayons to color your bat’s fur.
- You can use googly eyes or just cut out some eyes with white paper and cut out a set of fans to glue or tape to create your bats face.
- Use a black or brown pompom for the nose or whatever other recycle craft materials you have around! Hot glue is ideal but regular glue will work with some patience for drying and avoid burned fingers!
- For the wings, try printing out some of Chipper’s Helping Hands or have the kids trace their hands. Cut out two hands and then use markers or crayons to draw the thin bones in a bat’s wing that are similar to a human hand. Simply tape or glue them on and your bat has wings!
- Optional: You can bend the bottom of your roll in the opposite way you did for the head and ears to make the bats pointy bottom half and put it on a Popsicle stick to flap around or leave as-is so it can be set somewhere as a batty decoration!
Egg Carton Bats and Leaf Ghosts
Make some cute bats out of an egg carton and adorable ghosts from leaves! Both projects are easy and kid friendly. Hang them together for some spooky cute Halloween decor!
Bat materials: egg carton, scissors, googly eyes, glue, ribbon, black paint and paintbrush or use black markers!
First you must gather your egg cartons! One carton makes 4 bats so get as many as you want!
First, cut out 3 cups from an egg carton. Then, cut the bottoms of the 2 outside cups to resemble bat wings.
Now paint your bats with one coat of black paint or let your little ones go nuts with a black marker or crayons.
Glue on some googly eyes after the paint was dry or just draw them in (white paper with a black dot works fine!) Glued ribbon or string to the top of each bat to hang them around the house! Find a Halloween branch outside to hang them on to make a Halloween tree. Adding some fake cobwebs is a nice touch.
Ghost Materials: Artificial (maple shaped) leaves or find some real ones, white paint, paintbrush, black marker, glue and ribbon.
Fake leaves can be found a your local dollar or craft store or make an outing of it and find some real leaves to dry and paint! Painted the leaves white on both sides with 2 coats of paint to get them really white. Draw some ghostly eyes and mouths with a permanent marker so it looks like your ghosts are saying “Booo…oooo!”
Let’s Go Chipper and a little Batty this Halloween! Have you made any Halloween crafts with your kids? Please Share!
October 25, 2012 at 4:38 pm
The Harvest Season is here and Halloween is right around the corner! Let’s Go Chipper and get outdoors to enjoy the cool weather with some of these fun activities!
Halloween is a time for tradition and connection–not just Christian connection of the All Saint’s Day tradition, or any older pagan or Celtic traditions that have blended into our present day vision of Halloween. But today’s traditional rituals of costumes and candy and our connections of community and family. Halloween’s grand tradition of Trick or Treating encourages people to knock on strangers’ doors. It connects us to the ritual of meeting our neighbors and knowing our community. Being outside is not only about communing with nature. It also is about having an appreciation for the place you live. For kids, Halloween is a fun-filled holiday of make believe and tasty treats, but it is also a time to walk around and get to know our neighborhood.
Have a wonderful Halloween and make sure you are safe and visible! Safety reflectors help you be seen and be safe in the dark so cars can see you. If your child uses a reflector you can reduce the risk for being hit by a car by 85%. Without a reflector the driver of a car may only see you when you are 25-30 meters away, but a reflector can be seen 140 meters or more in the headlights. This can give the driver 8 more seconds to see you and react!
Connect with Family, Friends and Nature this Halloween:
1. Go pumpkin picking to your local pumpkin patch!
Learn how they grow, get outside, have some fun! Pumpkin harvesting happens in late September and October so find a local pumpkin patch near you today! Here are some tips to choosing the perfect pumpkin:
- Look for a smooth, evenly colored pumpkin free of bruises and mold.
- Make sure it has a flat bottom.
- Don’t carry it by its stem.
- For children, try to select a lighter-colored, softer pumpkin. Although they don’t last as long, they’re easier to carve.
Try carving a different image into the back to have a dual-image Jack-o-Lantern!
2. Carve a Jack-O-Lantern! After you have your pumpkin, break out your Exacto knife and a black sharpie and then get creative. There are so many types of styles and designs, the hard part will be choosing what to carve! If you have a younger child that can’t handle a knife, there are tons of kits full of stickers and decorations you can buy or just let them go crazy with some permanent markers!
Here are some tips for carving, lighting and preserving your Halloween Jack-O-Lantern:
- Draw a lid on top of the pumpkin.
- Draw a “tooth” at the back of the lid as a guide for replacing it. Cut along the lines and angle the blade toward the center of the pumpkin.
- Clean out seeds and strings.
- Scrape inner pulp away from the area you plan to carve until the pumpkin is about 1-inch thick.
- If using a pattern, trim it, leaving a 1/4 inch border around the design. Tape the pattern to the pumpkin. You can make your pattern fit any size pumpkin by reducing or enlarging it on a photocopier, or take it with you when you’re pumpkin shopping to get the right size/shape.
- Make your dots small and close together. For detailed designs, try using a corsage or push pin. If you’re having trouble seeing the pattern you’ve transferred, rub flour over the dots to make them more visible.
- When you’re ready to carve, hold the pumpkin in your lap. Hold the pumpkin saw like a pencil and saw steadily in an up-and-down motion. Saw at a 90-degree angle using gentle pressure.
- When using a candle, cut a hole on the upper, back part of the pumpkin. The hole will work like a chimney, allowing the candle’s heat to escape.
- If you want your opening on the bottom of the pumpkin, rather than the top, attach the light source to the bottom lid and place the pumpkin over it. Try drilling a hole to secure the candle. This provides more stability, helping with the flickering effect.
- For a multicolor display, use a battery-operated light with LED bulbs.
- A flashing light, like the Pumpkin Masters Ultimate Strobe Light, helps create a spooky look.
- Sprinkle a little cinnamon, nutmeg or pumpkin spice on the bottom of the pumpkin lid for a seasonal scent.
- Pumpkins are 90 percent water. Depending on the weather, an untreated, carved pumpkin can last anywhere from a week to just a day.
- To make it last longer, coat cut edges with petroleum jelly, inside and outside.
- Spray the pumpkin with water, cover it with plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator when it’s not on display.
- Soak or spray the pumpkin with water mixed with a little bleach to ward off mold and kill insects.
- To revive a shriveled pumpkin, soak it in water in a bucket or bathtub for one to 8 hours. The worse it looks, the longer it should soak. After removing it, let it drain for 30 minutes and then dry carefully with a towel.
3. Make a Pumpkin Scarecrow!
Fill an entire weekend based around building pumpkin scarecrows for the perfect combination of playing, house chores, family outing, harvesting and lots of arts and crafts!
Challenge your kids to find pumpkins that are the same size as their heads! Then you can make kid sized scarecrows together. Another component for scarecrow building is lots of leaves to stuff with. Raking leaves will suddenly become more important than just a cleaning exercise–it’s fun! Of course, spend some time playing in the leaves and invite the neighborhood friends to join the play!
To make your Scarecrow you’ll need:
- Leaves for stuffing
- Old clothes, pants and shirt or baby sleeper
- Wire, twine or nails
- Black marker
First, tie knots in the ends of the pants and stuff with leaves. Sew the shirt to waist of the pants. Make a whole in the crotch of the pants.
Second, make a cross out of sticks and shorten the length to match arms. Put the vertical stick through pants and stick in the soil. Put the horizontal stick through the shirt arms. Stuff it with leaves.
Third, measure pumpkin on the scarecrow. Make sure you do a cut where the head fit best on the scarecrow. Make a hole in the lower back part of the pumpkin so the stick can hold the head up.
Fourth, start carving and scooping out the seeds and pumpkin flesh. Use a marker to make a face on the pumpkin or carve it! Add decorations to make it scary or happy. Plan on carving out faces on Halloween day and putting lights in them to make them scary!
4. Make a Halloween Branch!
Go for a walk in your community, and look for fallen branches. When you are home, tie your branches together with fish line. Hang it up at your porch or by your door. Decorate with spiders and spider webs and get ready for your spooky visitors!
What you need:
- Good shoes and clothing for the weather
- Spider Web decorations
- Some home made or store bought spiders
- Fish line
5. Make a Chestnut Spider!
You will need:
- 1 chestnut
- 8 pieces (3 cm each) of pipe cleaners
- 1 Pair of scissors
- 1 string or steel wirer
- 7 toothpicks
First, use a pair of scissors to poke holes in the chestnut (paint the chestnut for a bit of added color).
Second, cut one end of each toothpick and push the sharp end of the toothpicks into your holes.
Third, put string or wire around the toothpicks, until it looks like a spider web.
Fourth, bend each pipe cleaner into the legs of your spider. Fold each pipe cleaner from the chestnut and wrap it around the spider web. When you have done all 8 of them you, have a spider in a web!
Let’s Go Chipper into the Great Outdoors this Halloween!!!
October 22, 2012 at 8:54 pm
Whoooo’s Chipper for Owls this October? We are!!! Try out theses adorable Owl S’mores as easy treats for after school snacks, cute party favors, or Halloween!
- Graham Crackers
- Chocolate Chips
- Yellow Candy Melts (Butterscotch candies taste great too!)
- Candy Corn
- Cut one marshmallow in half and place both pieces on a large graham cracker (2 stuck together).
- Put a candy melt or butterscotch candy on top of the marshmallows.
- Heat in the microwave for about 2-5 seconds, just enough to make the marshmallows puff up, but not get too hot. Alternately, you can use an oven. Just make sure not to melt it too much!
- Once you take it out of the microwave (or oven), add a chocolate chip on the yellow candy melt and the candy corn beak while the marshmallows and candy are still warm. Everything should stick together nicely!
- Let cool and serve! You can make these the night before a party and everything is still very tasty.
These cute Owl S’mores work perfectly for Halloween Festivities! If your child or class loves owls as much as Chipper, organize an Owl Camp Out Party the next time you go camping or on an excursion or when a birthday rolls along! This snack will be the perfect fun activity! Let’s Go Chipper for Owls this October!
Learn how to make the perfect S’more. Enjoy Chipper’s Song, “Are we there yet? AKA The S’more Song!”
Chipper’s S’more Song
Recipe and Photo Credit: Amy Locurto, LivingLocurto.com
October 10, 2012 at 1:49 pm
We are Chipper for Owls this October! Did you know that these amazingly beautiful creatures can be found in the fossil record up to 58 million years ago! The largest recorded owl fossil, Orinmegalonyx oteroi, stood about three feet tall. They aren’t kidding when they call them Wise Old Owls! There is so much we can learn from these ancient birds–even about recycling!
Owls, like Chipper, have also been a symbolic ambassador of the great outdoors, encouraging people to appreciate nature and protect out environment. The famous Woodsy Owl always says, “Give a hoot–don’t pollute!” and Chipper always says, “Lend a Hand–Care for the land!” and plays by the Leave No Trace principles:
- Plan Ahead and Prepare
- Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
- Dispose of Waste Properly
- Leave What You Find
- Minimize Campfire Impacts
- Respect Wildlife
- Be Considerate of Other Visitors
Get Chipper for Owls this October by trying out these fun crafts that are perfect to try at home or in the classroom!
Toilet Paper Roll Owl Craft:
Toilet Paper Roll Recycle Owl Craft — Perfect for Halloween!
Have your chile or your class make their very own owls using recycled toilet paper rolls! Just have some markers or crayons, tape or glue, and some googly eyes!
- First, press down the sides of one end of your roll so it makes two points. Use tape (double sided works best) or glue to secure your owl’s ears.
- Then color make your owls face! Draw eye or glue on googly eyes in their heart shaped face and use markers or crayons to draw on a beak and feet.
- Use various colored markers or crayons to make ruffled feathers and draw on some wings. Use our Helping Hand coloring sheet or trace some hands or cut out some wings from recycled construction paper to make an owl in-flight! Additionally, you can pick up some feathers from a craft store and glue those on too! Or use some beautiful Fall leaves for your wings
Scare Owl Craft:
Are birds munching up your garden? Are they flying into your glass windows by mistake? If you have either problem, you need Scare Owl! Bright light reflects off this owl’s CD-eyes to help scare away approaching birds.
What You Need:
2 old CDs
2 large googly eyes
white craft glue
sheet of light-brown craft foam
scraps of dark-brown and black craft foam
1-foot piece of thin ribbon (or string)
What You Do:
Lay the CDs in the center of the light-brown craft foam. Glue in place. Glue a wiggle eye in the center of each CD. Let dry for several hours.
For the head: Draw an oval with “ears” around the outside of the CDs and cut it out.
For the forehead: Cut out a large triangle from dark-brown craft foam. Glue it on top of the CDs.
For the beak: Cut out a beak shape from black craft foam. Then glue it on top of the dark-brown triangle.
Let forehead and beak dry for several hours.
Punch a small hole at the top of the head. Thread a piece of ribbon through it and tie the ends in a knot. Now Scare Owl is ready to hang!
Dangle this watchful owl from a window latch, and backyard birds might think twice before flying into the glass. Or if birds are destroying your vegetable garden, hang Scare Owl from a nearby post.
Plastic Bottle Owl Craft:
A wise old owl sat in an oak,
The more he heard, the less he spoke;
The less he spoke, the more he heard;
Why aren’t we all like that wise old bird?
Wisdom sometimes comes to you as life lessons. It is up to you whether or not you want to treasure that wisdom, learn from it and pass it on, or ignore it and let it pass you by.
According to a 2001 report of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), roughly 1.5 million tons of plastic are expended in the bottling of 89 billion liters of water each year.
The amount of plastic recycling is down to 19% in 2003 from 53% in 1994, most of which can be blamed on the low rate of recycling water bottles.
Only about 13% of water bottles are recycled, leaving tens of millions to go to landfills and become waste. Simply recycling will help to keep plastic water bottles out of landfills.
DO YOUR PART! Recycle and reuse! Make it fun with crafts and teach your kids! Let’s Go Chipper!
October 9, 2012 at 5:18 pm
Nothing puts a dent in your day like discovering moldy, wrinkled fruits and veggies in your kitchen. Here are four natural tricks to keep your produce fresher, longer! Are you Chipper for fresh food?
Case #1: Moldy Berries
The tragic tale of berries gone bad too soon (but they were so new!) doesn’t have to plague your kitchen any longer. All you have to do is take your berries, soak them in a bowl of vinegar and water, dry in a salad spinner, and put in a partially sealed, towel-lined bowl and voila! — they will be mold-free for up to seven days! Hopefully by that time you’ll have already used them in a delicious berry smoothie! Add some to your family’s morning cereal or in some yogurt as a tasty yet healthy snack!
Case #2: Browning Avocados
Avocados make for great party guacamole, but nobody wants to dip their chips in a bowl full of browned mush (besides, it tastes funny). Avocados turn brown when they contact oxygen. So, simple solution: don’t let air near your avocados. Many try to do this with plastic wrap or sealed containers. But let’s face it — that never works very well. (Plus, food doesn’t like plastic!) Instead, put the cut avocado in a bowl on top of some onion slices. Th e sulfur in onion’s will slow down the browning process! Plus, they’ll taste extra good when your make that guac!
Case #3: Ailing Apples
Avoiding ailing apples can be somewhat tricky. While uneaten apples are generally resilient to molding or bruising for about a week or even two, the moment you slice them open, they remain white for only a few minutes before they begin to turn yellow and brown…then your little ones probably won’t like to eat them when they open their school lunch! This doesn’t mean your apples are no longer fresh — really, they are! But the immediate browning can make it appear that those slices have been sitting out for a while. The reason for this? Apples, similar to potatoes, have a special enzyme in them that reacts when exposed to oxygen. The reaction forms a type of rust on the surface of the apple that we see as the browning effect, and it actually does cause the apple to spoil at a slow rate.
But there is hope! In order to keep your apples looking fresh, simply do the following:
After you cut your apple slices, immediately soak them into a bowl of cold water mixed with salt (about 1/8 of a cup of table salt mixed in one quart of water per apple). Afterward, rinse the apples under cold water. It won’t leave an overwhelming salty taste. Because salt acts as a preservative, it does just that: preserves the apple from oxidizing! Or, if you’d like to keep your fruits a bit more citrusy, you can also soak your apples in lemon juice, orange juice, or any other type of acidic juice, which will counter the oxidization process as well. Your healthy treat shouldn’t just taste good — it should look good too!
Case #4: Atrophied Asparagus
Packed with fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins, asparagus is always a great vegetable to add to your diet. Yet while it is renowned for the health benefits it provides, it is simultaneously notorious for its shelf life. Asparagus stored in the refrigerator lasts for only about two days after it is has been bought from the market. If you are an avid asparagus eater, you know that the stalks shrink in size, crispness, and taste if you don’t cook them within 48 hours. Their shriveled and wrinkled appearance isn’t an indication that the thermostat in your fridge is too low, but a result of asparagus’s respiration rate (or the rate in which fruits and vegetable spoil), which is high. Of course, the best way to enjoy this delicious veg is to cook it the day it’s bought. But that isn’t always going to be the case!
So here’s your plan B. Another great way to ensure that your asparagus doesn’t become your next produce casualty is to do the following:
Cut off about an inch from the bottom of the stalks. Then, store upright in a cup, vase, or jar of room-temperature water. Lastly, cover the tops of the asparagus with a plastic bag (grocery bags or ziplocs will work) to retain moisture, and store in the refrigerator. Your asparagus will last a few days longer and taste new and fresh!
Recipe: Kale Krispies
We are so Chipper for kale! This versatile veggie is a good source of potassium, calcium, and vitamins A and C. Making a salad or sauteing it with some garlic are some standard ways to enjoy kale. Sometimes though, our eyes are bigger than our stomachs and that big bunch of kale is starting to look a little wilted. So is it time to throw it out? No way! Instead, make a healthy snack for when you’re on-the-go. Kale chips are easy to bake and super tasty so your kids will love this healthy snack as well as you!
- a bunch (or two!) of kale
- 1-2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil (depending on batch size)
- sea salt
- cookie sheet(s)
- parchment paper
- a mixing bowl
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and prep your cookie sheet(s) with parchment paper.
Rinse off the kale and remove the stem. You should now have some generous-size strips of kale. Tear the strips into smaller pieces and toss it in the bowl.
Drizzle (lightly) with olive oil and add a few dashes of sea salt.
At this point, you could spread the kale out on your prepped cookie sheet(s), pop them in the oven for 12-15 minutes (or until slightly browned around the edges) and come out with some yummy kale snacks.
You get a little creative with it! Add some crushed red pepper flakes to give it a little heat or whatever other seasonings you or the Kids love! Or add a lemon to the mix for some extra flavor. Maybe try some parmesan cheese or hickory BBQ seasoning on a batch. There are tons of possibilities, but whether you’re a vegetarian or just want to try something new, you’ll be addicted to kale chips before you know it! Let’s Go Chipper and eat some fresh and healthy food!
October 3, 2012 at 1:07 pm
Paper plates, brown paper bags, and torn up paper are things that are great to use to create awesome arts and crafts projects. Invest in some paint; and look around the house for string, old buttons, newspaper, and beans. Whatever you can find! You can even looks outside! Leafs, pine cones, and sticks are perfect craft materials.
Celebrate the Fall season with this fun art project for kids: Coffee Filter Fall Leaf Garland! As the weather changes and families start to spend more time indoors consider arts and crafts for your child, as a fun way to pass the time and keep the boredom away. Turn off the TV and have a Family Arts and Craft Day! …or Night!
Create a colorful and easy Fall leaf garland with your tot or in the classroom that will have everyone loving the new Autumn season! This craft is wonderfully simple, making it a perfect project for little ones. Using coffee filters instead of plain paper creates really vibrant leaves that will spruce up any area, whether it’s your child’s bedroom or home room! Stringing the leaves to create the garland encourages your tot’s budding fine motor development, and offering your child marker-drawn leaves introduces staying within the lines while painting. The result is a really beautiful Fall leaf garland the whole family/class will love!
What You’ll Need:
- Coffee filters (cone or round)
- Red, yellow, orange, and brown markers
- Red, yellow, and orange watercolor paint
- Hole punch
Help your child by drawing a leaf shape on a torn open coffee filter. If your tot is old enough to do this his own, show him how to carefully tear open the filter and offer him a marker to create the outline of a Fall leaf as seen below.
Now color! Offer them red, yellow, and orange watercolor paints and small paintbrush to use for painting within the lines. The watercolor paints will mix and blend with the markers to create really colorful leaves. If your child wants to add a few other colors to the leaves, allow him to use his creativity while painting! Talk about the different colors you see in the trees or even take a little Fall hike or scavenger hunt before hand to get some good ideas. Learn more abut why leaves change colors here and explain to your young minds!
Continue painting coffee filter leaves until your child has created a big stack — around 10 to 12 painted leaves creates a really nice garland you can hang on your mantel or along the window so the colors are really highlighted!
Once the filters are dry, cut out the leaves by following the faded outlines and then use the hole punch to pop a hole at one end for lacing.
- Offer your child a length of string and use for lacing the leaves. To secure them in place, tie a knot after each leaf and continue stringing until you have used up all your leaves.
- Now, find the perfect spot for displaying your finished coffee filter Fall leaf garland and have a Chipper Fall everyone!
October 2, 2012 at 3:09 pm
Fall is officially here and the evidence is all around us! From shorter days, to falling leaves, to the coming Harvest Moon–Autumn is one of the most beautiful seasonal changes! Show us your photography skills and enter your best photo that shows the changing season or how you enjoy the Autumn season in Chipper’s Fall Photo Contest! The winner will receive Let’s Go Chipper’s Fall Fun Package along with our Get Ready to Fly Kit! Fly like a Leaf with our kit that includes a cute plushy back-pack and a fun activity book for the next time you travel with the kids. Plus, we’ll add some surprise Fall goodies for you and the kids! Don’t forget to vote for your favorite entry and share once you’ve entered!
We all enjoy the colors of autumn leaves. The changing fall foliage never fails to surprise and delight us. Have you and your little one’s ever wondered why and how fall leaves change colors? Why a maple leaf turns bright red? Where do the yellows and oranges come from? To answer those questions, we first have to understand what leaves are and what they do.
Leaves are nature’s food factories. Plants take water from the ground through their roots. They take a gas called carbon dioxide from the air. Plants use sunlight to turn water and carbon dioxide into oxygen aneaves are nature’s food factories. Plants take water from the ground through their roots. They take a gas called carbon dioxide from the air. Plants use sunlight to turn water and carbon dioxide into oxygen and glucose. Oxygen is a gas in the air that we need to breathe. Glucose is a kind of sugar. Plants use glucose as food for energy and as a building block for growing. The way plants turn water and carbon dioxide into oxygen and sugar is called photosynthesis. That means “putting together with light.” A chemical called chlorophyll helps make photosynthesis happen. Chlorophyll is what gives plants their green color.
As summer ends and autumn comes, the days get shorter and shorter. This is how the trees “know” to begin getting ready for winter.
During winter, there is not enough light or water for photosynthesis. The trees will rest, and live off the food they stored during the summer. They begin to shut down their food-making factories. The green chlorophyll disappears from the leaves. As the bright green fades away, we begin to see yellow and orange colors. Small amounts of these colors have been in the leaves all along. We just can’t see them in the summer, because they are covered up by the green chlorophyll!
The bright reds and purples we see in leaves are made mostly in the fall. In some trees, like maples, glucose is trapped in the leaves after photosynthesis stops. Sunlight and the cool nights of autumn cause the leaves turn this glucose into a red color. The brown color of trees like oaks is made from wastes left in the leaves.
It is the combination of all these things that make the beautiful fall foliage colors we enjoy each year!
Helping Hands Fall Tree Craft:
Take your little one’s outside to observe and find some colorful Fall leaves! Se if they can name all the colors, and for older children, help them identify what kind of tree each leaf comes from. Once you’ve collected some Fall leaves, you can dry and flatten them in some thick, heavy books while you make a your Helping Hands Fall Tree!
Autumn is the Harvest season so let’s harvest healthy habits with Chipper’s Helping Hands Craft. Print out some some hands from this link or copy and save this image:
Then get some recycled cardboard and brown construction paper and make your tree! We just used some scissors and tape for this one:
Have your children write or draw how they help family, their friends, their community or the planet on their Helping Hand. Then color it and cut it out and tape or glue to your tree! This is a great project for teachers to do in the classroom and you can even add some of your real Fall leaves you found to the tree!
Here’s a beautiful Autumn video to inspire your for Chipper’s Fall Photo Contest! Have a very Chipper Harvest Season!
September 28, 2012 at 3:03 pm