Posts tagged ‘Family celebrations’
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!
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)
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!
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
Going green means not only recycling and buying organic. It means growing your own food too! The food industry in America pollutes our environment almost more than any other industry in our country. The chemical, processed foods and preservatives we eat are making us unhealthy and unhappy. Help make sustainable, organic food for you and your loved ones by making your own garden! Or plant one together at your school or local community building.
There’s no better way to getting your hands dirty and spread your enthusiasm for healthy eating with your friends than by throwing a food party! You can host an indoor gardening party or an outdoor celebration! All you need is some empty egg cartons (for growing seedlings that can be transplanted later), or pots (with holes in the bottom), dirt or compost, and a few little shovels or even large spoons. Pick up some certified organic seed packets at a gardening store or order online at www.seedsofchange.com. Buying seeds here will ensure that your planting party seeds are NOT genetically modified (GMO).
Hybrid or GMO seeds are sterile and less nutritious. Since they don’t reproduce, they actually harm the biodiversity of our food sources. Also, using GMO seeds supports a vicious and expensive cycle that forces our farmers to buy new seed every year rather than following the ancient tradition of collecting and cleaning seeds after a harvest and saving them to be replanted to grow into more produce year after year. Certain natural strains of seeds have long histories. Recycled by farmers for over 150 years, these seeds need to be preserved just the way they are. We all want our food to be fresh, simple and pure!
If planting an indoor garden versus a window or outdoor garden, make sure to chose vegetables and herbs that can be grown in a confined space and don’t need much other than a little sunlight and water. Some good seed choices would be peppers, heirloom or cherry tomatoes, r simple herbs such as sage or marjoram. Gather your friends, divvy up the seeds and other supplies and get planting! Make a copy of the care instructions for each type of plant for everyone! Also make sure to only one type of seed gets planted in each container.
Keep in touch and let each other know how each of your little “farms” are faring. Make sure to transplant when the sprout get about two inches high if you used egg cartons (maybe throw a second Transplanting Party!). Then when they have fully grown, harvest your plants and make a feast! It’s yet another great way to get everyone together and when you all eat the delicious produce you all grew with your own two hands, nothing tastes or feels better! You can even keep the cycle going by cleaning your seeds and starting over gain by replanting next year.
Anyone can start their own little garden! It’s a great, fun way to get people growing their own veggies, herbs, and even edible flowers! GO GREEN AND GET CHIPPER TODAY!
Tomorrow will be the celebration of San Francisco’s trade mark, the Golden Gate Bridge. Built in 1937, this magnificent suspension bridge linked the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula to Marin County, cutting a half hour ferry ride into a 10 minute drive or a 20 minute walk. Construction of the bridge began on January 5, 1933, cost more than $35 million, and took exactly 1643.5 days to build. It has one of the most spectacular views of the Bay and Alcatraz Island and it’s image is known world wide as a tribute to human ingenuity. This Sunday (TOMORROW!) it’s glory will be celebrated with a number of events and tribute performances. For those of you who live in Northern California, the main activities will be held at Fort Point, Crissy Field, The Presidio and Marina Green. Anniversary activities will also be held at Fort Mason Center, Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco Maritime Historical National Park, Fisherman’s Wharf, and Pier 39. The main event is the fire works show held from 9 to 10pm. For more information, check out the event website here: http://goldengatebridge75.org/. It will be a spectacular event so come join Chipper and his friends in the celebration on Sunday, May 27, 2012!
When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore!
This Saturday, May 5 (a.k.a Cinco de Mayo!) not only is there an annual meteor shower epic proportions, created by the leftovers from Halley’s comet, but the biggest moon of the year will be lighting up the night! It will be a wonderful opportunity to talk a night-hike with the family to watch the mammoth rock rise around 11:30pm EST after a long night of eating delicious Mexican food. At the same time, the annual Eta Aquarid meteor shower will be hitting its peak, NASA scientists say. A super-moon, swinging in 221,802 miles (356,955 kilometers) from our planet, occurs when the moon hits its full phase at the same time it makes closest approach to Earth for the month, a lunar milestone known as perigee. Scientists also refer to the event as a “perigee moon,” according to a NASA video on the 2012 supermoon.
Full-moon-walks are a wonderful way to see nature in a new light and check out all the nocturnal flora and fauna! They are also a great opportunity to spend time with the family and connect in a meaningful way with each other, by holding hands, counting shooting stars and sharing hopes and dreams. Seeing the stars and the moon in the night sky make us remember how insignificant and small we are in comparison to the universe, especially on a night with the super-moon shining. This feeling of just being a part of a huge whole was what John Muir wrote about feeling when he first saw the huge stretch of wild forrest ahead of him amidst snow-capped mountains and ocean-like lakes:
“When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands, flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty.”
-John Muir, 1915
Since 1872, the United States National Parks System has grown from a single, public reservation called Yellow Stone National Park to embrace over 450 natural, historical, recreational, and cultural areas throughout the United States, its territories, and island possessions. These areas include a diverse varieties of areas —Parks, Monuments, Memorials, Military Parks, Parkways, Recreation Area, Seashores, Scenic River Ways, Scenic Trails, and others.
Parks are the living, breathing monuments to our nation’s history, culture, and landscape. In some ways, they represent the soul of the Nation. They need care and support to overcome the many dangers that threaten to destroy them forever, such as pollution and and an increasing lack of funds from Congress for the vital care and support they need. The Park Rangers, charged with this protection, need our help as well, by visiting and volunteering at a park near you.
Next week is National Parks Week and the folks here at Let’s Go Chipper want to encourage all of you to take the family to your local Park to show your support for the priceless benefit to our lives, health and education that parks give. We want to encourage our future generations to champion the park systems by appreciating their beauty and fun. Junior Park Ranger programs are one great way to embed this appreciation and interest. Join us in raising awareness and necessary funds to support local playgrounds and our national park systems by buying one of our Chipper for Parks Badges. You can leave a specific park in your order and we will contribute a portion of the price directly in your name.
The National Parks Service also has “Fee Free Days” each year where you don’t have to pay any entry fees to gain access to the park. (“Fee waiver includes: entrance fees, commercial tour fees, and transportation entrance fees. Other fees such as reservation, camping, tours, concession and fees collected by third parties are not included unless stated otherwise.“)
The Fee Free Days for 2012 are:
- January 14-16 (Martin Luther King Jr. weekend)
- April 21-29 (National Park Week)
- June 9 Get (Outdoors Day)
- September 29 (National Public Lands Day)
- November 10-12 (Veterans Day weekend)
This deal applies to the 397 national parks that in the USA, but of the total national parks many don’t charge regular admission fees. To find out if there is a national park near you this Easter Weekend that is free year-round check out the U.S. National Park Service’s Find A Park page and explore the great outdoors!
If you have children you’ve certainly experienced the phenomenon of “the collection.” From pencils or shells, to baseball cards or stamps, to rocks or pinecones, these “treasures” can range from the mundane to the elaborate & valuable. You’ve certainly heard stories of baseball or comic book collections selling for thousands of dollars? Well even the smallest wrapper has value to a child.
Toddlers and preschoolers show early signs of collecting as they gather items and plead for them not to be disturbed or thrown away. These “early collections” are often boxed, bagged, hidden in drawers …even pockets! But as much as these items might clog a vacuum or attract a few ants; these collections tell stories.
When you come upon a collection sit down with your child and ask questions. Why did they like the item? What do they want to do with the item? Empower your child to build a story; inanimate objects to us, take on a life of their own for a child. If it is an animal or item which should be returned to nature, help your child learn what a habitat is and why it should be released responsibly.
We’ve got a great activity for you this week – Collection Containers! Celebrate the discoveries by acknowledging the power of discovery. With a cylindrical package like a coffee can or oatmeal box and a toilet or paper towel roll and some potential found treasures to decorate with – you will have a safe place for everything. (we like to keep ours next to the washer – a great place to empty pockets).
Follow along and share your creations with us on Facebook. Let’s Go Chipper!
I’m hungry? …What’s for breakfast? A Sunday morning full of sunshine and the trails mapped out for the family hike but soccer – the quarter finals of the Women’s World Cup – keeps us inside cheering. We can’t even move to get a bowl of cereal for the kids. And then, our seven year old exclaims: “I know how to make breakfast!”
Swiftly, the pan comes out with eggs and butter ready to go. Standing by her side making sure all is safe; the eggs get cracked, the bubbling sounds send wafts of morning breakfast flavors throughout the house. Bagels in toasting, the game going into overtime, Brazil scores, minutes to go, cross-kick and US heads it in. Game tied again! What will the results be?
For now, we call victory for Sunny Side up and the sunshine will just have to wait.