Posts filed under ‘Chipper Adventures’

A Memorial Day to Remember – 5 Fun Family Activities


A Memorial Day to Remember – 5 Fun Family Activities to celebrate our service members!
#MemorialDayActivities

Continue Reading May 21, 2015 at 3:54 pm Leave a comment

Everyday is Mother’s Day: 3 DIY Gifts for Mom


Shhhhh, in just over a week the one day moms stop what they are doing and except as their day will be here: Mother’s Day!

Whether it’s a brunch, breakfast in bed (how about some heart shaped toast for mom using a cookie cutter?!) or just a day away with friends it’s the one-day mothers worldwide get to let go and have the family take care of them.  If you’re a mom reading this just push the “share” button because we’ve got some fun ideas this year to help make it special.

Mother’s Day was created by Anna Jarvis in 1908 and became an official holiday in the US in 1914 when Woodrow Wilson signed the proclamation. Anna’s mission was to honor her own mother whom was a peace activist on both sides of the civil war. Today, families around the world celebrate moms with gifts and flowers. This year, what about something a little more sentimental?

Take the time to sit down with your child and talk about what it means to be a parent. Write a list of things mom does to make everyone feel special. With these thoughtful ideas you can create the perfect gift to make mom feel special:

1. A Portrait of Mom:DIY Gifts for Mom

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What could be more creative than a personalized collage for mom? Do a search around the house and even in the recycle bin. Find little trinkets, images from magazines, old photos, pins and beads or whatever you can find that represents mom and everything she loves. Simply arrange your findings onto a poster or recycled cardboard and glue down. You can create mom’s smiling face or maybe an animal she loves. It’s up to you!

2. DIY Functional Faceplate:

LP_WebHeader_DIY Mothers Day

The LivingPlug INLET + Make Your Own Faceplate Bundle truly makes DIY gifts easy! Simply choose a photo of you and mom or of something mom loves then upload and crop into a square! Order by Monday May 4th to get your Faceplate printed and sent in time for Mother’s Day!

The tamper-resistant INLET plugs right into your ugly outlet, aesthetically improving any space. It has 3 outlet plugs, a USB plug, and a convenient on/off button that saves you around 10% on your energy bill. Choose from an array of beautiful Faceplates, check out our Chipper Faceplates, or make your own for mom this year!

3. Love Bucket

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Recycling is a wonderful place to start DIY projects and is also a great way to show your love to Mother Nature! Find a container, box, can or anything you can recycle into a “Love Bucket” filled with positive, loving notes to mom or even “chore coupons” like “I’ll wash the dishes for a week!” or “I’ll help fold laundry for a month!”

Simply find a container (we used recycled gum containers) and decorate with paints, glitter, paper flowers, hearts etc. Fill the container with recycled paper scraps, each one with a note or chore coupon written on it. Glue on a ribbon to hang around the house or simply place on mom’s bedside table. It’s a great DIY that’ll keep in giving!

What are some other DIY gifts you’ve made for mom? Share with us on Facebook or in the comments below!

April 30, 2015 at 5:07 pm Leave a comment

The Rainbow Connection


IMG_8135“Mom, if we’re Irish how come I can’t see Leprechauns?” Hmmm, I had to ponder this question last year as I walked with my daughter from school on a rainy day. Our path was under dark clouds streaked with little cracks allowing just enough sunshine to peak through and make for a magical skyline.

2015-03-11 16.46.09I opted for the easy out: “Leprechauns are magical like fairies so you can feel their spirit around you but you can’t always see them.” It didn’t work. We’re at the tail end of “Do you believes” and the Leprechaun answer wasn’t buying me any time. She challenged me on how I can believe things I don’t see or have proof of.

How do we exercise the magical little spirit born from a clear conscience that fades at an age far to young for my liking? Make believe and “Let’s Pretend” games have lost out to apps that distort your voice or change your face into a circus character. We aren’t relying on our imagination when the device is directing us, and many parents feel pressured to push their kids to perform over free play.

I’m never one to give up and continued on about how there is much around us we cannot see but if we just take a moment and wonder, the feeling of hope and faith will win over our mindset and the need for intellectualizing the matter at hand. I explained to my daughter that we don’t always need an explanation when we feel a certain way. The ability to believe in ourselves is important; our thoughts, feelings, actions, and attitude toward the world around us should be enough sometimes. We don’t always need proof.

It was a simple conversation but the base of it was “self doubt.” I knew my daughter was feeling doubt with herself so she was having doubt in everything else around her.

Last PhotoWe continued on and looked up at the sky marveling at how it can change in an instant. The clouds had parted even more which made a beaming of light lead straight to a large painted map on the blacktop. It sparked excitement in my daughter and just as she looked ahead ready to race to the playground she stopped. She grabbed my hand firmly. I looked at her concerned and she just pointed ahead without a comment.

Literally the beam of light lead right to a man crouched over the giant map painted on the blacktop. He wore a black old-fashioned suit with big black boots. He slowly stood up and turned slowly as if realizing he had been found. My daughter and I stared at the man – astonished – it was a Leprechaun! No kidding, the man wore a suit too short we could see his boots and ankles. He even had a rounded top hat and a full beard.

Let's Go Chipper_Irish Soda Bread RecipeWe approached slowly; my daughter never let go of my hand. The man stood silently as we neared. I felt the pull of my daughter so I walked away from the map and eased us toward the swings. He watched us and then gave me a wry smile and walked on across the blacktop to the grass.

My daughter and I stopped and turned, both of us silent. Then she looked at me with wonder.

“It’s what you believe, that matters.” … I gave her a smile and she released my hand from hers and bolted to the swings.

March 17, 2015 at 5:00 pm Leave a comment

Happy 14th Birthday Geocaching!


geocaching with kidsRemember the year 2000? In the United States, a pound of bacon only cost $3 and a gallon of gas set people back $1.26. The iPhone was still 7 years away from being introduced. But on September 2, 2000, some hearty adventurers, tired of being tied to an office cubicle day after day, launched Geocaching.com. The adventure to inspire outdoor play through GPS technology began.

Just like any story-worthy journey, Geocaching.com’s beginning was filled with uncertainty. Before “geocache” joined the ranks of approved Scrabble words or a Geocaching game piece rocketed to the International Space Station, Geocaching.com launched with only 75 geocaches. Today the site lists the locations and descriptions of nearly 2.5 million geocaches. Adventure is truly waiting to be discovered all around you, as long as you’re in the 180+ countries where geocaches are hidden [hint: you are].

geocaching with kids

Here are some more little known facts about the game you love:

  • The activity of geocaching was originally known as the GPS Stash Hunt.
  • What we now know as the first geocache was hidden on May 3, 2000.
  • The cost of running Geocaching.com was originally funded by the sale of donated tshirts.
  • More than 9 million people have created Geocaching profiles.
  • The word ‘geocache’ means ‘hidden location on Earth’, as ‘geo’ means Earth, and ‘cache’ is French for a hidden location or place.
  • Hugh Jackman goes geocaching (and other celebrities like cyclist Jens Voigt).
  • Share your Geocaching birthday wishes and personal geocaching fun facts (like when you started geocaching) on the Geocaching Facebook page.

geocaching with kids

The mere mention of the word ‘treasure’ is guaranteed to light up kids’ eyes. So, why not take them on a real-life treasure hunt with geocaching? People use global positioning devices and the internet to seek out items hidden by others. “When my guys were 12 and 13 it was fun to do geocaching where you find people’s hidden items via internet clues and GPS. It’s done all over the world [and] it’s fun to hide items too,” says mom of two, Kerri Hopkins. Want to try it? Check out Geocaching.com for help and download their free app!

Let’s Go Chipper into the Great Outdoors and find some Geocaches! When, where or what was your last Geocache? Share your story in the comments below or on Facebook!

September 3, 2014 at 6:00 pm Leave a comment

Chipper Family Stargazing Tips + Recycle Craft


Take advantage of the clear Summer Skies! There are many opportunities to have fun this Summer, and one of them require only your backyard, some family and friends, and a clear night. The answer? Stargazing! It’s not only a fun, bonding experience but you and your little ones can learn something new!

Let's Go Chipper | Family Stargazing

Why stargaze?

Our galaxy is filled with planets, comets, asteroids, nebulas, black holes, and stars! Everyone should take advantage of the beautiful view available anywhere on a clear night. Not only is it fun and inspiring to look at the amazing night sky, there are also many chances to learning something new about our Universe. Here are some facts and information to answer any questions your little ones might have!

What are stars?

Remember the song “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star?” It perfectly describes our fascination with those twinkly dots of light! They are bright, but some are brighter than others. They are also extremely distant from us. The closest stars to Earth after the Sun (yes, the Sun is a star!) are Alpha Centauri A and Alpha Centauri B, which form a binary pair (two stars that orbit each other). The third star, which may or may not be part of our solar system, is Proxima Centauri and is about 4.22 light-years from Earth.

Stars are made out of very hot gases and produce their own energy. There are many types of stars and when a star gets old (think several billion years!), it starts to die and all of its gases are pushed into space. New stars are soon made out of those gases. Yes, even stars recycle! Some of the heavy metals found in human chemistry and other life on our planet were created from dying stars. You can scientifically say we all have a little star dust in us!

Let's Go Chipper | Family Stargazing

What about those shapes and patterns?

The patterns seen up in the sky are called constellations. They are patterns made out of stars, each different than the other, varying from animals to mythological creatures. But you can’t see all of the 88 modern constellations in one night. While some are visible right from your backyard, there are even more on the other side of the world.

Let's Go Chipper | Family StargazingSome cool constellations you must see:

  • Orion – Named after a hunter from Greek mythology, you can see it from all over the world! Just look for the distinctive 3 star belt.
  • Ursa Major & Ursa Minor a.k.a Big Dipper & Little Dipper – They can be found right near each other and look like large, square spoons.
  • Hercules – Dedicated to the strong and immortal son of Zeus, the king of the mythological Greek gods, it is the fifth largest of the modern constellations.
  • Draco – Latin for “Dragon” and shaped like the fantastical mythological creature, this constellation can be seen all year.

How to Stargaze:

Everyone will enjoy this wonderful night activity on a warm summer night or anytime of the year. Here are some directions to get started:

1. Check your local weather reports for the best clear night to stargaze. Here’s a great website to check besides your local weather report: http://www.noaa.gov 

Tip: The best night to stargaze is one before a rest day or the weekend as you will be pretty tired after a long night of stargazing!

2. Have supplies ready before the night of the event:

• Clothes and blankets, bundle up in layers, the temperature could suddenly drop at night even though it summer

• Pillows, rug, blanket or anything comfortable to lay down on and keep you dry and clean

• Snacks and drinks to nibble on while watching

• Binoculars and/or telescopes – if you don’t have any binoculars or telescopes available, try a FREE Stargazing Apps:

– NASA App

– Sky Map

– Star Chart

– Night Sky Light

3. Chose a location. It could vary from your backyard to your nearest park. Keep in mind to choose a location with the fewest lights to have a better view of the starlight!

4. Decide on when to go, gather all your supplies, and have fun!  Consider waiting for one of the several meteor showers throughout the year. Count how many shooting stars you see and don’t forget to make a wish! Here’s a list of meteor showers in 2014:

Name Date of Peak Moon
Quadrantids Night of January 2 Just past new
Lyrids Night of April 21 Rises around 3 a.m.
Eta Aquarids Night of May 5 Sets after midnight
Comet 209P/LINEAR Night of May 23 Early morning crescent
Perseids Night of August 12 In view most of the night
Orionids Night of October 21 Dawn crescent
Leonids Nights of November 16/17 Early morning crescent
Geminids Night of December 13 In view after midnigh

 

Obsessed with stargazing or don’t have the time to do it during the week?

Stargaze right from your home with this quick craft!

Let's Go Chipper | Family Stargazing

Materials:

  • An old jar with its lid
  • Blue or black construction paper or use markers/crayons/colored pencils to color recycled paper
  • A hole puncher
  • A glow stick

Directions: 

  1. Roll up the construction paper inside your jar and cut out any excess that overlaps so it fits exactly inside the jar.
  2. Hole punch “stars” anywhere on the construction. Tip: Want authentic star patterns? Use this Constellations guide to help you draw constellations.
  3. Roll the construction paper inside the jar and place 2-3 glowsticks or battery operated lights inside.
  4. Twist on lid to jar to close tightly.
  5. Turn off all the lights and enjoy your new stargazing jar!

Stargaze this weekend or even tonight to see the Perseids Meteor Shower! Share your star gazing tips with Chipper below.

August 12, 2014 at 1:04 pm Leave a comment

Celebrating Families and Independence


This Thursday, families and friends across the country will celebrate our nation’s independence –flaunting red, white, and blue on the Fourth of July. It was in 1776 – 234 years ago ­–  that our fore father’s signed the Declaration of Independence. Written by Thomas Jefferson, it is the day America declared itself independent of the British Empire.

Lets Go Chipper FB Cover Photo_4th of July

Get your own Chipper Plushy at our store!

So as parades go by and communities celebrate, Chipper’s Tips assure everyone will be in full cheer:

1. Stay Together! Large crowds often form on Fourth of July fireworks displays, parades, and other such outside events, so please stay close together to ensure everyone’s safety. Pick an easy and familiar spot to meet at in case someone gets lost. Remember Chipper’s tip: “You can play, but don’t stray.”

2. Be safe! Fireworks are dangerous when not handled properly, so keep children at a safe distance and under constant parent supervision.

3. Careful cooking! When barbecuing, prevent injuries or burns by making sure all children stay away from the cooking area and keep all fires under control with water nearby at campsites in case of an emergency. Don’t forget to leave no trace and clean up afterwards, making sure all flames are put out.

4. Think of your Pets! Pets often become frightened with loud noises such as those made by fireworks, so be prepared to either leave them at home, bring something to shelter them with, or bring something that might help comfort them in such a distressful time. Most importantly, prevent possible injuries by restraining them in some way and ensuring that they, too, keep their distance from all fireworks as well.

5. Sun Protection! Remember to re-apply sunscreen every two hours or so to prevent any possible sun damage. Chipper’s tip: “From your head to your toes, and don’t forget your nose.”

Have a Chipper 4th of July!

July 1, 2014 at 6:00 pm Leave a comment

Chipper Tips: Family Nature Connections


Let’s Go Chipper! … Into the Great Outdoors

Today’s children are losing their connection with our natural world and spend over seven hours a day of “screen time.” The negative effects are lack of physical exercise and opportunities to explore creatively and exercise our critical thinking. That’s the research, but what if we just go on our gut instinct and reflect on how our days unfold?

Family Nature Connections

When we pause the “research and worry” button and consider our basic desire to connect with our children and just play, we should all feel confident in just saying “yes” to taking time to join our kids on the floor, grass, or on the swing set! Adventure into the park, take a walk around the block, or get the bikes out. Nature is waiting for us.

Children in touch with their natural environment are healthier, do better in school, have increased creativity and improved concentration. Realizing these benefits and sharing adventures and experiences help broaden a child’s perspective on life which leads to a stronger emotional spirit. Even more so leading children in guided experiences, engaging in hands on activities, and exciting conversation will inspire a contributive spirit so today’s child will become a more conscientious, involved student and member of the community.

So what can we do?Family Nature Connections

  • Let’s get physical – Be active, play outside, and just excite a sense of freedom to explore
  • Connect with the outdoors – Provide access to safe, green spaces
  • Discover the five senses – Provide activities which will engage seeing things in nature, listening to nature, touching, smelling … even tasting
  • Participate – Provide opportunities for your kids to engage in the process and therefore be interested in taking care of the animals they find in nature

Most importantly for parents – don’t fear getting dirty. We say, “It’s not a good day unless you do a load of laundry.” So next time you have the urge to check your phone or text a friend when your child is close by, put it back in the bag … maybe play a little “tag” and see how letting go can make you feel connected to your child and remind you of how easy it is to build your own care free spirit.

How do you get outdoors with the kids? Share with Chipper!

May 15, 2014 at 6:17 pm Leave a comment

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