Posts tagged ‘avoiding the summer slump’
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!
It’s just about time when the kids are going back to school at last! According to the National Association of School Psychologists, getting a new school year off to a good start can influence children’s attitude, confidence, and performance both socially and academically. The transition from August to September can be difficult for both children and parents after a long summer of broken routines and various trips. Even children who are eager to return to class must adjust to the greater levels of activity, structure, and, for some, pressures associated with school life.
The degree of adjustment depends on the child, but parents and family can help their children manage the increased pace of life by starting early, being realistic, and staying Chipper! Re-establish your regular bedtime and eating schedules early so it won’t be as hard to set once school actually starts. Have your children do some scholastic activities to prepare them mentally to start stuffing their little brains! Restart their memorization skills with Chipper’s fun Matching Game App.
Your child will benefit most from one or two activities that are fun, reinforce social development, and teach new skills! Chipper’s coloring pages App are easy, no-mess activities for your kids to play while on-the-go, shopping for back-to-school. For those of you with preschoolers, Chipper’s Pillow Backpack is the perfect item for your little one’s to hold a few necessities while having something to rest their little heads on during nap time! Sing-a-long songs with all of Chipper’s friends are a fun way for them to shape up their reading skills and dance moves. Check out Chipper’s brand new Amazon Webstore to see all our great school items, including reusable totes, fun backpacks with matching lunch bags, and much more! Get Chipper with your kids this school year!
Recycled crafts not only make great gift for friends and family. Making and buying recycle crafts benefit our environment and reduce waste! Recycle crafts also help promote traditional crafts that are fading as people opt for cheap mass produced items. By buying or making handcrafted gifts, you can help keep those skills alive! All crafts, not just those that are made from recycled material, also encourages originality and creativity. Whether you are starting with the materials and find a suitable product to create from them, or you start with the product and have to figure out what recycled items can be used to create it, it requires ingenuity. This can only benefit art and crafts in general!
Instead of tossing out bottle caps, which are not recycled and go strait to a land fill or the ocean, create cute magnets with your kids! All you need are some caps, some magazines and a pair or scissors, magnet tape (very easy to find and inexpensive), and glue!
Cut out cute images or letters to spell your little one’s name or initials to fit inside the bottle caps then glue in. Then attach a small piece of magnetic tape to the back and stick to the fridge or other metal surfaces. These custom mini magnets are great for hanging your young artists’ drawings and paintings. They can be used for spelling out messages (or spelling practice!) and also make a great gift! There’s no better gift than one made with your own to hands for someone you love. Get Chipper today and get crafty!
Some parents and educators lament that technology is taking away from their kid’s natural and organic childhoods. Yes, hours upon hours of watching TV or playing video games is not a good thing for young, developing minds but various studies have shown that interactive games or apps and sing along DVDs and music are excellent educational tools. One study, organized by the Education Development Center, Center for Children and Technology in 2001 for the Labor, HHS, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee (United States Senate), found that using educational technology improved test scores and early literary skills.
Not only are apps a great way to excite kids to learn and immerse themselves in various subjects, apps can be specially designed to different kinds of children with different learning needs. Whether they are dyslexic, autistic, or need more help with their math, there are apps that were specifically innovated to benefits various individuals! More and more, educators and parents are turning to iPads and apps to help inform and prepare our future generations. What better way to prepare your kids or students for the newest technology in the workplace, than by giving it to them as a part of their education? Apps are inexpensive, easy to use, and your kids/students will love you!
Chipper’s iPhone app was created to excite kids of all ages and needs to get outdoors and teach them about our diverse environment. Help your child develop their analytical skills and have some fun on your next road trip or flight! Apps are great for on-the-go entertainment and are also a wonderful tool to avoid the summer learning slump. Check out this article about Chipper’s app to learn more and see a user review!
Please enter COUPON CODE “40ipads” and 50% of your purchase will go to purchasing iPads for Children with Special Needs through the non-profit Growing Up For Good, and in support of A4CWSN, Apps for Children with Special Needs. Shop now through August 15, 2012. Each purchase includes a special Chipper For Parks badge. Download Chipper’s iPhone app for on-the-go fun! Like Chipper’s Facebook Page for special deals and free downloads!Here is a list of other Apps designed for kids with special needs: http://www.mainecite.org/attachments/article/146/24470331-iPhone-iPad-and-iPod-touch-Apps-for-Special-Education.pdf Here is a list of sites devoted to giving teachers and educators the best ways to use the iPad and Apps in the classroom: http://www.techlearning.com/default.aspx?tabid=67&entryid=513
“Giving is the secret of abundance.” — Sivananda
All of us want our children to grow up to be responsible and generous. Giving them the opportunities to help out around the house with chores or simple tasks, such as cooking dinner or folding laundry, plants these seeds of independence and reliability. Making opportunities for your kids to play and interact with their peers and siblings help them learn to communicate and hone their interpersonal skills for years to come, important skills for whatever they do in life.
Let’s Go Chipper is an Eco-educational series of apps, books, and community programs that encourage your little one’s to get outside and play, learning about the environment and growing in nature! Our newest book, “Helping Hands,” is a great way to inspire your little one’s to help out their family, friends, and community! A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book support programs that benefit the positive physical and emotional well being of underserved children. To learn more, please visit www.letsgochipper.com. Bellow are 5 ways to encourage habits of kindness and service in your children on a daily basis.
1. Make service to others a family affair
You hear it time and again: Parents are the most influential role models and the best teachers for children. Children watch what adults do. Preaching to them to volunteer/feed others/help out at the local food pantry will likely fall on deaf ears if they don’t see the moms and dads doing it, too. Get involved in a local community service project at your local park! There are tons of opportunities and if you share your park service story with us on our Facebook page here, we will send you a FREE Chipper for Parks badge! Or purchase your own badge here and we will donate a portion of the proceeds in YOUR name to a park of YOUR choice!
2. Talk about it
Emphasize that not everyone has hot meals to eat and lots of clothes to wear. Children don’t typically recognize this, and it’s up to parents to teach them. Let them know about the project, and how they can offer a helping hand to those in need. Have them go through their clothes that no longer fit them and take a little trip together to drop off old clothes and toys at your nearest Good Will.
3. Involve children in a regular or semi-regular basis
When participating in community volunteer work, find something that can be done at least a few times each year. This doesn’t mean you have to fill backpacks with school supplies at the local community center or serve meals at the local food pantry every week. A consistent volunteer activity will stick in a child’s mind if they participate once a month, or even once every few months.
“It’s important to consider the basic logistics of any volunteer opportunity. If the opportunity is close by, a commitment to help out on a weekly basis may be fine. If it’s farther away, you may need to commit to helping on a monthly basis instead.”
4. Make sure your child can be actively involved in the service or project
Don’t expect to take children — especially young ones — to an activity where they have to sit and watch. They won’t want to keep going, and it entirely misses the point of including them in the first place. Compassionate Kids also advises parents to consider both their abilities and their children’s abilities when deciding on the kinds of community projects to participate in. Don’t overwhelm you or your kids–helping out should be a fun learning experience.
5. Use everyday opportunities to teach kindness
Teach children that some of the best ways to volunteer and help others is to simply do it as opportunities are available. In other words, kindness to others doesn’t have to be a structured event or community-planned charity work. The whole family can get involved in:
- Giving water to and offering help to a family whose car is broken-down on the road.
- Donating money, clothing, or toys to a family in need of assistance.
- Preparing and taking meals to those who have recently lost loved ones, had babies, or have family members in the hospital.
If showing kindness to others is a part of their upbringing, it’s easier for children to make it a consistent habit in adulthood. Make it the norm, not the exception, for you and your family. Get Chipper and get helping today!
Here are more community service ideas for children and resources for parents:
- Raising Children Who Care: Volunteering Ideas for Kids by Silvana Clark
- Community Service: A Family’s Guide to Getting Involved by KidsHealth.org
Late spring and early summer means it’s gardening season! While gardener parents are probably already allowing their children to help out with the tasks, many don’t consider giving their child his own personal garden area to maintain. However, if your child is old enough and the space is available, Chipper suggests setting up a personal garden for your little one. Below are five reasons why giving your child a garden is beneficial.
1. Encourages responsibility without extreme losses:
Every parent wants to raise a responsible child with the skills to care for another living being. However, it isn’t always easy to assess your child’s capabilities if she has never been given such a task before. Instead of using small animals like goldfish or gerbils as “starter pets,” let your child manage a garden first. Plants require just enough care to teach important lessons about meeting the needs of another creature; but if something goes wrong, and they die, it’s not as devastating.
2. Teaches planning and organizational skills:
Maintaining a garden isn’t as easy as putting plants in the ground at random. A knowledgeable gardener considers the conditions wherein the chosen plants will thrive. Your child will have to plan his garden while thinking about which plants grow best in direct sunlight versus partial shade, how far apart each plant should be from the others, whether or not certain plants affect the health of others, and other concerns. Although he doesn’t have to get everything perfect the first time, introducing such ideas early on will encourage him to improve his garden every year. Making labels for each plant is another great activity they can do!
Now is the best time to encourage independence with 4th of July tomorrow! Most kids love the feeling of control they get when working on something of their own–like a garden. They gets to pick out the plants, decide when to water and weed the beds, and after all the flowers have bloomed and the veggies have grown, they decide what to do with them. This means that, instead of asking us to buy gifts for your kids to give to friends and family, they have something to give them that is more meaningful since they grew it through her own hard work with her own two hands. Or, if your chooses, they may simply keep everything to herself for a tasty dinner or snack. That kind of freedom is something children don’t enjoy too often!
4. Emphasizes the importance of plants in everyday life:
Many people and their kids these days don’t know where their food comes from!Sustainable, local food sources are becoming more popular, according to this New York Time article. You’ll know for sure that your child knows what farming entails if you let him try his hand at gardening. Not only will he know that carrots grow underground and tomatoes bush up, but he’ll have a deep understanding of the life cycle plants and how a seed, if given enough love and care, can grow into something that can nourish his body. This cycle and understanding is not only educational, it is a deeper knowledge of life that will benefit your child for the rest of their life.
5. It’s a chance to get messy and have fun:
Gardening is a chance for digging in dirt, playing with worms, picking ripe veggies, and cooling down with the hose. If that doesn’t sound like an exciting day for a child, then Chipper isn’t a squirrel! Getting outdoors is vital to children’s health and
development and caring for a garden will get them out that door more often! If you are lacking space in your backyard, check out this short video on easy indoor gardens here. Need some kids sized gardening gear? Check out this Junior Gardening Set from Let’s Go Chipper!
Time to show your patriotism! Spend some quality time with your kids this week to celebrate American Independence by making this fun 4th of July Firework Center Piece. Not only is it easy, for ages 4 and up, but it can also be made from all recycled materials! All you need is a toilet paper role and some of the grand red, white and blue colors!
- Toilet paper roll or Paper towel roll
- Red, white, yellow and blue paint. Alternately, you can use markers or crayons to avoid messy paints!
- *Paint brushes (only if using paint)
- Red and blue construction paper. Alternately, to save money and trees, use the color pages of magazines, in long strips. You can always find the color you need in ads!
- White tissue paper or white recycled paper (just flip over to use the white side and crumple to give it some flexibility!)
- Popsicle sticks are great but you can also use leftover pencils/sticks/straws and tape on the inside
- Glue stick, or tape to cover the roll
- Fat pencil or marker to curl strips
- *Paint brushes and palette (only if using paint)
Parks are great places for children to make important connections–with their parents, their peers, and the environment. They are also a great place to improve and maintain kid’s physical fitness with play based activities. Just by playing, they are moving and that’s good exercise! And playing outside, in the dirt and sun, has been shown by countless studies to improve and benefit every aspect of a child’s growth and development. Sadly, many parks around the country are closing down due to economic strain and lack of attendance. That’s why the folks here at Let’s Go Chipper are championing parks and open spaces all over the world to encourage visitation and inspire children everywhere to be the environmental stewards of the future! Here is a list of six reason’s why parks are so important for children’s well being!
• Parks are safe places for kids to go. Whether it is reality or just the perception of reality, many parents are fearful of letting their kids play unsupervised outdoors except in very controlled circumstances. Stranger-danger, fear of poisonous plants, fear of stinging and clinging insects—all of these are reasons why nature for some is a place to be feared not embraced. Parks are one of the few places that are generally very safe for kids to go. They are specially designated places for the public to enjoy nature, free from most hazards, and watched over by staff and the public. Park visitors promptly report unsafe conditions or hazards. Many eyes on the park make for a safer place for kids to play.
• Parks are one of the best places for discovery and play. Think back on your own childhood. The life of your imagination was a fertile place. Playing king-of-the-hill on a pile of dirt, building a fort or a clubhouse in the woods, flipping rocks over in a stream, exploring in uncharted territory—all were hugely enriching experiences. Natural parks are places for kids to discover the eggs of a frog in the water collected in a tire track and to see squirrels (Like Chipper!) running through the tops of trees, jumping from tree to tree. Kids will load up their pockets with objects collected on a hike to later marvel at how interesting the things found in nature really are. Parks are places for kids to discover nature and exercise their imagination!
• Parks are places for families to connect – Parks connect kids and adults with nature and to each other. Perhaps more than ever, families need places to connect with each other. Parks are all-purpose places for kids to connect with nature and with families to connect with peers. They are one of the few places that families can go where there are no barriers to communication—no amplified loudspeakers, no big screen TVs, nothing other than the sounds and sights of nature. Parks enable connections between families, between generations, and to nature!
• Parks are close-to-home nature places. As open space is rapidly disappearing from our communities, designated public open space and places for nature are becoming all the more important for all ages. The power of local parks, even small neighborhood spaces, to connect kids with nature is not to be underestimated. Joe Elton, Virginia state park director, recently reiterated a long-standing observation about parks: “You visit your local parks daily, your state parks a few times a year, and your national parks perhaps but once in a lifetime.” Kids can find nature in almost every park, and there are parks and public lands close to where almost everyone lives. If there are not, become an advocate for them. They should be everyone’s backyard!
• Parks provide a sense of adventure for kids. Parks have the unique ability to provide kids with a sense of adventure. Every hike in the woods brings new things to see, and around every turn there is something new to discover. Kids gain a sense of accomplishment from challenges met outdoors, which leads to greater self-confidence and self-worth. Parks are a great place for kids to take risks, within acceptable limits, and to discover that the fears they have about the unknown are conquerable. Every successful adventure in the park that kids have contributes to their maturity and to their developing a sense of stewardship for wildlife, natural resources, and open spaces.
• Parks are a place to remember. Some of our earliest and most special memories were formed in parks—lifetime experiences that we remember the rest of our lives with great satisfaction. Parks were special places where we forged friendships, had adventures, and learned new things about life and ourselves. Parks still provide these kinds of experiences to kids, and they produce powerful positive memories, affecting kids in ways we cannot always easily perceive. These park experiences influence kids’ ethics, their career choices, and even how they will be as parents.
Parks connect kids to nature in all the right ways. Discover where your close-to-home local parks are and get to know the park personnel who supervise them. Enable your kids to play there—they will be grateful to you for the rest of their lives. One simple way to support a parks is to purchase your very own Chipper for Parks Badge. We will donate a portion of the cost to any park of your choice, in your name. Support your local parks and noble Park Rangers–Get Chipper and Get Outdoors!!!
Occupying your kids during the summer can be challenging, especially when there is a significant age difference between them. Doing some home made crafts is one inexpensive way to connect with your kids and have some fun! Try out this Kitchen Roll Kaleidoscope craft idea on the next rainy day or when your kids are stuck inside complaining of boredom. It works surprisingly well and can be made from scraps around the house. Entertaining your children has never been easier or as environmentally friendly as this!
YOU WILL NEED:
- A kitchen roll
- Mirror card (or foil glued onto card)
- Small colorful transparent objects (e.g. beads, sweet wrappers, Lego ‘lights’)
- Three transparent plastic discs
- Glue stick
- Sticky tape
- Greaseproof paper disc (optional)
- Black paper disc (optional)
- Paper to decorate (optional)
Please note: All measurements given in this tutorial are based on you using a standard kitchen roll tube (23cm long with a diameter of approx 5.3 cm).
1. Begin by cutting your mirror card into three strips (gluing some foil on recycled cardboard does the trick). The strips need to be 4.3 cm wide and 21cm long. Once cut, sellotape the three sides together to form a triangular prism. Make sure the shiniest sides face inwards. Push into kitchen roll tube so that the prism is flush at one end.
2. Cut two discs of plastic (some old food containers work perfectly for this). The circles need to have a diameter of 5.3 cm. One disc needs to be totally transparent whilst the other needs to be frosted. If you haven’t got frosted plastic to hand then simply glue a piece of greaseproof paper onto a transparent disc. Put the transparent disc inside the tube so that it rests at the end of the prism. Tape into place.
3. Pour your beads into the end of the tube. Don’t overfill as the beads need to be able to move around for the full effect!
4. Place the frosted plastic disc onto the end and secure in place with tape.
5. Turn the kaleidescope over. At this end you need to tape a disc of cardboard (5.3 cm diameter) with a peephole cut into the center. Also, glue a disc of black paper to the cardboard disc if you want it to look a bit smarter.
6. Decorate the tube in any way you fancy. Glue some colorful paper at either end if you want to still see the tube or go crazy with some markers. Adding a corrugated paper cuff to the middle of the tube so that you can hold the cuff with one hand and rotate the tube with the other is also a good idea.
Making crafts is as easy as going through the garbage and recycle bins then getting creative! What kind of recycled crafts has your family done or come up with? Chipper and friends would love to know : )
Chippers award winning app brings adventurous play and outdoor fun to the tips of your fingers! With the kids home during the summer, occupying them can drive parents up the walls when they can’t find a moment to themselves. Many parents are now taking advantage of our digital culture by using fun, exciting apps to avoid the summer slump and keep their kids learning and occupied. Let’s Go Chipper’s App is a great resource to entertain your kids while also educating them about our complex environment and the great outdoors! Starting this Saturday, June 23rd, our app will be completely FREE for one day only. All you need to do is like our Facebook page here and then visit our App store to start the fun! This offer is only available for iPhones and iPads but will be available for the Android soon. Ge Chipper today and explore all the possibilities!