Posts filed under ‘child development’
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!
Let’s Go Chipper Craft: Make a Helping Hand Tree
Join Chipper and friends on a playful journey that will teach kids the importance of using our hands in helpful ways with our book, Helping Hands. 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.
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! Learning should always be fun too. Making a Helping Hands Tree Craft is easy. First, print out some of Chipper’s Little Helping Hands coloring sheets above and ask your little one(s) to write and/or color how the ways we can/could help out our family, friends, and the planet! Such as use recycled paper when possible
Not you can begin making your tree by taping or gluing strips of cardboard, brown construction paper and/or recycled paper bags to a recycled cardboard tree trunk (use a rectangular piece of cardboard, whatever side you like…You can make it more tree-like by cutting the edges with scissors). All you need is some tape or glue and a pair of scissors! You can add a “hole” in the trunk as seen below just by cutting out a circular shape from black construction paper and taping or gluing it on. We made the Helping Hand Tree below for a community Chipper Camp-out at the Sequoya Country Club, CA in under 15 minutes but it might take you a bit longer than that the first time See a video of this fun camp out event here.
Have your kids write and/or color something they have done to help out family, community or the environment on their helping hand. Then cut out and attach the hands as leaves for your tree. Keep adding to your tree all through the year and get inspired to help out in many different ways!
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 a certain date. Then have them share all they’ve done to help with friends and family and discuss other ways to help out. Our children learn by example so add a few hands of your own to the tree and connect with your kids positively.
Let’s Go Chipper and Lend a Helping Hand today!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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 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!
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!
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!
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!
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!