Posts filed under ‘Activities’
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!”
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!
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.)
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:
- Harvesting Color: How to Find Plants and Make Natural Dyes ► http://amzn.to/100e5fa
- Complete Guide to Making and Using Natural Dyes ►http://amzn.to/X6gMPC
- More Easter fun for the kids – find a local farm tour in your area ►http://www.farmerspal.com/organic-lifestyle/events/tours/page/1/
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!!!
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!
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!
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 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!!!