Posts tagged ‘respecting nature’
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!”
“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.
Are you Chipper For Parks? If so, join us in raising awareness and necessary funds to support programs – from local playgrounds
to our national park systems. Due to continued government cutbacks funds are being diverted and parks and playgrounds are being closed. Chipper and friends are on a mission to connect and celebrate with families and communities across the country.
Help kids earn their badge by stepping onto a new path! A path that connects and provides everyone with an opportunity to play, explore, and learn about our parks and environment.
By purchasing the Chipper For Parks badge you are helping raise funds which will directly support:
- Educational programs for schools and communities, underserved children and all families
- Conservation and revitalization programs – from clearing trails to planting flowers and trees, to the repair and maintenance
- Sustainability programs – keep the parks open!
Chipper For Parks Badge: $5
Includes Chipper Kit filled with play-based ideas to help educate and connect in your schools and communities.
Click Here to purchase one today and start supporting our parks!
The Chipper For Parks badge is a colorful, embroidered, iron on patch made in the USA. Wear your badge proudly and encourage other kids to join Chipper’s path to the great outdoors.
Proceeds will directly benefit educational and community programs, trail maintenance and keeping our parks open. You can leave a park name and we will contribute directly in your name. Up to $2.50 of each purchase will directly support programs.
Your Chipper For Parks badge also includes a kit of ideas and activities you can launch in your classroom or community. Come together to help our park systems.
Stay connected and learn how we are all making a difference through our daily updates and blogs. If you would like to become a true Chipper Ambassador, let us know at your time of purchase and we will get you ready to go into the great outdoors – leading a new generation of children and families onto a path to happiness and health.
Let’s Go Chipper!
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!
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.
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!