Posts tagged ‘spring activities with kids’
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!”
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)
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!
We all look forward to long weekends full of relaxation and fun. This Memorial weekend, spend some quality time with the family at your local park! Our National and State parks need the support that our visits bring during these hard financial times. The last Monday in May, our nation celebrates this holiday that is more than just a day off from work. It is observed in honor of our nation’s armed service personnel who were killed in wartime. While you enjoy your time off, consider taking a trip to one of the many parks that specifically celebrates and honors the heroes of Memorial Day. Also be sure to check out national parks that may offer special events during the holiday weekend (there are many!). Here are a few parks with tributes to our fallen comrades:
Vietnam Veterans Memorial: On you next visit to D.C., see sculptures of gratitude to those who restored freedom to South Korea. It is open to the public 24 hours a day. Rangers are on duty to answer questions 9:30am to 11:30pm daily.
World War II Memorial: Also located in Washington, D.C., honors the service of 16 million members of the Armed Forces of the United States of America, the support of millions on the home front, and the ultimate sacrifice of 405,399 Americans. The park staff offers daily interpretive tours every hour on the hour from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
The Flight 93 National Memorial: Located in Shanksville, PA, honors the 40 passengers and crew members of Flight 93 who lost their lives in a struggle with hijackers who had overtaken the plane on the morning of September 11th, 1991.Hours are as follows: Winter Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Summer Hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Mount Rushmore National Monument: Located in South Dakota, this famous monument was established in 1925 and commemorates the first 150 years of the history of the United States. It’s open every day of the year, except for December 25.
Gettysburg National Military Park: The Battle of Gettysburg was one of the most critical battles of the Civil War and definitely deserves your attention. This Pennsylvanian park not only commemorates the Union victory, but also recognizes the devastation the war had on local farmers and residents. From mid-June through mid-August, Gettysburg National Military Park offers a variety of ranger-guided programs for visitors
National Mall and Memorial Parks: Officially established in 1965, these parks protect some of the older parkland in the National Park System. Check out the interpretive programs offered by the park service every hour on the hour from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, World War II Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, and Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
Chamizal National Memorial: The Chamizal Convention of 1963 was a milestone in diplomatic relations between Mexico and the United States. This Texas memorial was established to commemorate this treaty, which resulted in the peaceful settlement of a century-long fight over boundaries. The Memorial’s Visitor Center and Los Paisanos Gallery are open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m, while the Park Grounds are open daily from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. The Memorial is closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
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!!!