Posts tagged ‘exercising with kids’
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!
“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine into trees.”
We are definitely Chipper for Parks! Parks are places for us to clear our minds and enjoy our surrounding. They are places for our kids to free their imaginations and explore nature! Stretching over 1,200 square miles (761,268 acres) of central California, Yosemite National Park is one the largest and oldest parks in America. With almost 4 million visitors each year, it is also one of the most frequented parks in the country. It’s no wonder why so many people travel from far and wide to visit if you have ever been lucky enough to visit before. The park’s forests of Redwoods and Sequoias and it’s huge valley’s filled with waterfalls and gigantic rock formations are awe-inspiring indeed.
When famous conservationist, John Muir, arrived to Yosemite in 1868 from his beautiful home land of Scotland, he was changed for life and inspired others to visit this magical place, leading the area’s way towards being a National Park. He also spurred scientific interest and was one of the first to theorize that the major landforms in Yosemite Valley were created by large alpine glaciers. After President Theodore Roosevelt visited Yosemite in 1903 to visit John Muir, he said, “”It was like lying in a great solemn cathedral, far vaster and more beautiful than any built by the hand of man.”
Yosemite is full of opportunities for fun activities in the great outdoors! Explore Yosemite by hiking or biking. Spend some time with a park ranger learning about Yosemite or get a broad overview by taking a bus tour. You can teach your children to give back to the planet and help Yosemite by volunteering for a few hours (Memorial Day to Labor Day).
Your kids will love becoming apart of the historical Junior Ranger or Little Cub! The Junior Rangers reach back to the Yosemite Junior Nature School, organized in June 1930 and lasting until 1954. In 2010, more than 24,000 children became Yosemite Junior Rangers (up from 6,000 in 2007). Learn more about Junior Rangers with these links. Consider visiting the Nature Center at Happy Isles (summer only) or the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center for interactive exhibits.
Don’t forget to earn your FREE Chipper for Parks Badge on your next park visit by posting a picture of you and your tot in nature on Chipper’s Facebook Page, or give back to a park of your choice– in your name– when you purchase a badge here!
The Yosemite Guide has information about all scheduled activities and hours of operation for services.
Visit here for more information on this national treasure.
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!!!
Are you Chipper for Parks? Do you want to give back to the community and nature? Come join Chipper and friends every Saturday until March 16th, 2013 at the Presidio Shoreline to help keep Crissy Fields stay clean of trash and invasive weeds. Volunteering is a way to help support your community and to teach your kids how to help out. It’s also a beautiful way to spend a summer day and connect with the family!
Volunteers are also needed to help keep these public areas maintained as popular destinations for both local and worldwide visitors to use and enjoy. Projects include winter beach clean-ups, weeding, vegetation pruning, sand removal, and trail maintenance. Project locations are at Crissy Field and along the coastal regions of the Presidio, including East Beach, Crissy Airfield, Crissy Promenade, Baker Beach, and China Beach. Walk in volunteers are welcome or register here. Groups of 5 or more volunteers must register in advance and a special project can be arranged just for you!
- Volunteers ages 10 and up are welcome. With young volunteers, adult chaperones are required.
- No experience necessary. Training and tools will be provided. Ability to do manual physical labor, lift and move objects, repeatedly kneel and bend at the waist, and learn to use a variety of hand tools. Fulfills community service requirements.
- Bring the appropriate waiver forms (go to link at bottom).
- Please wear clothes that can get dirty, long pants, close-toed shoes, layers for changing weather, and rain gear if necessary. Also, bring a personal water bottle and sunscreen.
Can’t make it out on Saturdays? Give back in another way by purchasing a Chipper for Parks badge. A portion of what you pay goes to a park of your choice in your name! Also, check out our book “Let’s Stroll with Crissy Fields” to learn more about the beautiful diversity in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Meet Elroy, the Great Egret and take his tour learning about the history of Crissy Field, plants and animals, and the tides and marshes!
Meeting Location varies. We will meet on site for the workday.
Call (415) 447-9376 to hear the updated schedule.
Location: Crissy Field
Time: 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Fee Information: Free
Contact Name: Laura Elze
Contact Email: Laura_Elze@nps.gov
Contact Phone Number: (415) 447-9743
For additional info, click here.
Summertime means all the kids are out of school and restless for some fun! To avoid boredom driven mischief and lazy days in front of a screen, get them outside and active! It can definitely be a challenge to occupy kids of different ages at the same time, but there are lots of things that the little ones can do while your older children have fun too! Here are a few great activities to keep them all busy, as well as provide some beneficial exercise and nature-inspired learning!
1) Bean Bag Toss! Draw different throw lines for children of different ages! (You might even let toddlers walk up to the target and drop their bean bag into the hole!) Don’t have bean bags and a target? The kids can do an exciting craft and make a Bean Bag set themselves! It’s a whole lot of fun and better than having toys thrown around the house or at each other!
2) Water Play! With supplies as simple as a wide plastic bowl (or water table) and a collection of cups, older children can experiment and learn about volume and cause-and-effect, while younger kids develop fine motor skills and enjoy a cooling splash! Getting a small pool is always great for the little ones and a home-made slip and slide is a ton of fun for the bigger kids! Learn how to make one here.
3) Hopscotch! Older children can play according to traditional directions (toss a marker into the number squares in order, hopping to pick it up each time without stepping out); younger children can take a turn tossing a marker anywhere on the game, or just hopping from square to square.
4) Sand Play! No matter their skill level, children of all ages can play in the sand together! If your demo-minded toddler and architect big kid have different ideas about how to treat a sandcastle, try introducing play figures instead of building tools for a dino dig, moon landing or other imaginative play. Here are some fun sand molds Chipper like to use. And don’t forget to wear some sun screen! Buy your All-Natural, Paraben-Free Chipper sun stick here!
5)“I Spy” Nature Game! Each player uses a pair of binoculars (real or crafted out of toilet-paper rolls) to find something in the yard. With older children, you can play a guessing game or challenge them to spot smaller objects such as a bird’s nest. Younger children will enjoy just playing along or counting items in broader categories, such as trees or flowers. Scavenger hunt activity:Make a list of things for your child to look for through his binoculars. These can be simple things like a bird or a tree, or more specific things for older children, such as certain types of plants or leaves and specific colors of animals. Check off the things as they are discovered!
Join Chipper and his friends at your closest National or State Park this Saturday, June 6th, to celebrate the 5th annual National Get Outdoors Day (GO Day)! Admission to a number of parks is free and there an array of events being held by federal agencies, nonprofit organizations and the recreation industry. Chipper and others are again teaming up to encourage healthy, active outdoor fun! Prime goals of the day are reaching currently underserved populations and first-time visitors to public lands, and reconnecting our youth to the great outdoors.
Each GO Day event will offer a mix of information centers and “active fun” areas – places where guests, and especially kids, can use a fishing pole, go geocaching, help pitch a tent and more. The sites will provide photo opportunities with characters like Smokey Bear, Woodsy Owl and other interesting creatures. Many sites also feature areas that focus on other aspects of healthy living, including sustainability and good nutrition. In addition to the GO Day events, participants will be invited to nearby follow-up activities called EchO events occurring throughout the summer, which include introductions to mountain biking and fly-fishing, hikes with rangers to see wildlife, kayaking and rafting and much more!
Save the Date and Save our Parks by purchasing your very own Chipper for Parks Badge and you can chose which park to donate to in your own name. Chipper encourages young Americans to seek out healthy, active outdoor lives and embrace our parks, forests, refuges and other public lands and waters this GO Day!
Schedules change and the regular day’s order shifts as school ends and summer break begins. Kids tend to forget about their normal school activities and their after school chores when summer starts. The house becomes a crazy mess and months of learning disappear very quickly with out some productive activities to exercise your child’s mind and body!
Avoid this Summer Slump by having your kids take a little time out each day to read or play scholastic games. Take them to the library on those extremely hot days. Having them help out around the house is a great way to keep them busy and teach them responsibility (and keep the house looking nice!).
To keep writing skills fresh, buy children a notebook and let them decorate the cover (another fun craft activity!). Then tell them it’s their vacation journal and have them write down three things that happen each day. Plotting out your summer travels on a map is another fun way to keep up critical thinking skills.
Enroll your child in summer programs. Most community centers and churches hold day camps and week-long summer camps. Recent studies have shown a direct correlation between violence and the lack of time spent in nature. Getting outside the house helps engage both mind and body and can do nothing but good.
Chipper loves lending a hand anywhere he can and in our newest book, Helping Hands, teach kids the importance of using our hands in helpful ways for their family, friends, and the planet. 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. Get Chipper this summer and make your child’s play educational as well!
This Saturday, June 2nd, join Chipper and friends for the 20th anniversary of America’s largest trail celebration! Save the date and find an event near you at this link: http://www.americanhiking.org/NTD.aspx. There are so many trails to explore at our State and National Parks!
Take a local hike or take the dogs out for a nice walk in the summer sun. There are also bike events, horseback rides, and paddle trips if you really want to get active. Gather the family and go on a photo safari or bird watching expedition. Your kids will love the outdoor experiences and learn so much, especially with extremely educational geocaching activities taking place at a number of parks.
Take advantage of this special day to volunteer and give back to the community. There are a number of projects where you can lend a hand: trail maintenance and clean up, health fairs, and more! Talk to the Park Rangers at a park near you to learn more and Get Chipper on the trails this weekend!
For those of you living in the Bay Area, here’s a link to all the local activities and volunteering opportunities to celebrate our trails this weekend: http://www.parksconservancy.org/events/volunteer-events/special-events/national-trails-day.html
Exploring nature is good or the body and the soul! Playing outside creates meaningful connections with peers, siblings and family while also providing necessary exercise. We can learn so much about our planet and ourselves by just stepping into the forest. Enjoying the great outdoors doesn’t have to be limited to hiking, camping or heading to the mountains for a weekend getaway (although those are all fine ideas). Connecting with nature is as simple as heading out the back door! Why not try one of these ideas in your very own yard this Summer?
- Go cloud watching
- Build a fort
- climb a tree
- Roar at the moon
- Go on a nature scavenger hunt
- Plant a garden
- Create a backyard beach
- Explore a flower
- Run barefoot through the grass (especially wet grass)
- Dig in the dirt
- Watch ants
- Camp out in your backyard
- Tour your neighbor’s front gardens
- Take a color walk and name all the colors you see
- Jump in puddles
- Birdwatching expedition
- Bake mud cakes
- Raise a caterpillar; release a butterfly
- Build a fairy house with twigs and leaves
- Make leaf, rock or bark rubbings (get creative and make an outside art project out of it)
- Start a back yard field guide (complete with a drawn map and descriptions)
- Create rock art (trying to balance as many rocks on each other can be fun too–Rock Jinga!
- Gaze at the stars and find shapes
- Plant a tree from seed or some flowers
- Play with sticks (sword fights are always fun but be careful!)
- Build snow animals during the Winter
- Watch a sunset or a sunrise from your yard; look at it each day and see how the sun moves!
- Go butterfly watching (and maybe catch a few!)
- Host a back yard garden tour or throw a planting party!
- Make a moon journal
- Run through a pile of leaves
- Start a seed collection..or a rock collection!
- Paint with mud
- Take a flower walk (collect some, place in a thick book, for a fun, beautiful dried-flower craft!)
- Create a fairy garden
- Go on a backyard photo shoot and make a album of your findings later!
- Search for spider webs
- Go on a back yard safari
- Explore a tree
- Design a backyard hiking trail
- Create a treasure map
- Enjoy a backyard campfire
- Go on a bird scavenger hunt
- Make a bird-feeder
- Start a nature journal
- Paint rocks
- Create land art
- Take a compass walk
- Make sand angels (or a nice snow angel in Winter)
- Go on a backyard bug hunt
There’s so much to do with out going very far! For more ideas and inspiration to get you and your family outside and connecting with nature, visit: http://goexplorenature.blogspot.com. Get outdoors and get Chipper today!
Here at Let’s Go Chipper, nature is our inspiration. Getting outside, even for a minute to feel the suns warmth on your skin, can lighten you day and clear your mind. There’s no better way to really appreciate nature and all its benefits than to enjoy a camping trip. It brings family together, encourages exercise and play, and is just plain fun for everyone, especially your pets!
It’s not always easy to remember everything to bring when your head to your local park or to a faraway wilderness. Like the scouts teach us, it’s very important to BE PREPARED! You never know what situation you’ll face and you can never be too careful.
Here’s a simple list of your basic camping necessities to help you plan your next camping adventure! Our original story and activity book, “Let’s Go Chipper: Into the Great Outdoors,” is a marvelous resource for your young adventurers to be apart of getting ready and learning some basic guidelines of exploring nature while staying safe. Click the link above to check it out!
- WALKS WITH NO ROCKS! Good, comfortable shoes and warm, absorbent socks are a must for any trip, especially for you avid hikers! Bring a pair of slippers is a good idea as well for making those late night bathroom trips.
- LEAVE NO TRACE! Be sure to bring some sort of trash and recycle bags! Keeping our campsites clean and picking up the messes we make help keep our environment healthy and clean for the next campers and future generations!
- LAYER CLOTHES! Make sure to bring some long pants for hiking through non-trail areas where you could get poison oak (or poison ivy). No body likes to get itchy scratches or bites while enjoying the beauties of nature. A First Aid kit with anti-itch cream is a MUST!
- SNACK ATTACK! Having healthy snacks, like trail mix or fruit, is key for any trip. Without some good nutrition, the kids (and you!) will start getting cranky and dampen the fun. Always have water near by as well and don’t forget to hydrate!
- PLAY BUT DON’T STRAY! When your kids are old enough to explore a bit on their own, make sure they ALWAYS hike with a partner and have a whistle, compass (that they can use!) or a piece of mirror with them in case they get lost. For the little ones, a good rule is, “Keep you Tail on the Trail!”
- FROM YOUR HEAD TO YOUR TOES, AND DON’T FORGET YOUR NOSE! Having adequate sun protection is even more necessary now that the sun is in its most active stage (the sun shifts its intensity level every 11 years)! Bring your hats and your visors when having fun in the sun. Make sure the sunscreen you choose is from 30 to 50 SPF and Paraben-free (Parabens are harmful preservatives in many skin and beauty products). Here is a great resource of what to avoid while making the important purchase of your next sunscreen: http://breakingnews.ewg.org/2012sunscreen/ Your next camping trip shouldn’t stress you out. Nature is a de-stressor! Just be prepared and GET CHIPPER!!!