Posts filed under ‘Chipper for Parks’

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

A Presidential Pooch


I'm a Chipper Mom | Expert Advice for Moms and ParentsThe ads in the papers, TV, and push notifications on our apps all say “Presidential Savings” to capitalize on a day meant for celebrating our US leaders whom have lead this country to where it is today. You might not like where we are today as a nation but if you turn off the noise and focus in on family you’ll quickly realize the most important guidance starts in the home and empowers the core character of our children. And feel lucky that you only have to guide your family and not the many layers of government that help the President run a country of billions.

My own parents instilled in us the understanding that we are all a part of what makes a home, community, country and world, good. Treat your neighbor with respect, care for the environment around you, and never shy away from lending a helping hand.

There are many ways to instill a sense of giving in your children. The basic assigning of age-appropriate tasks like making the bed to taking out the trash teach responsibility which is at the core of self-discipline. Introducing your children to experiences, which include people or animals in need, will activate their hearts and emotions allowing everyone to tap intoPresidential Puppy empathy. It’s empathy that drives our compassion to help others and perhaps that is why so many presidents had dogs in the White House. Sure, it makes for incredible photo ops but research shows caring for an animal or having an animal in the home reduces stress and increases compassion.

Schools across the nation are beginning to welcome pets into the classroom to help teach responsibility and care for others. This tail-wagging program is helping reduce the stress of bullying cases for these participating schools. I’ve often wondered why we need a pet to teach us this when human-to-human interaction should excite these emotions. After years of working with animals through 4-H and now as a foster family for Rocket Dog rescue I realize it is the innate understanding of Adopting dogs as family petsunconditional love. Dogs and most pets don’t hold anything against us. They will give love, be an enthusiastic participant in play and stand by your side no matter what you choose to do. They won’t judge. They lift you up when you feel down.

Research shows having a companion beaming with unconditional love and attentiveness strengthens our own emotions and helps us with relationships. Our four-legged friends keep us physically fit; they stop to say hello to neighbors which helps strengthen our awareness of our community. They help us think beyond ourselves. As we celebrate President’s Day – remember: to lead is to guide others with decisiveness based on realizing what is best for all and with compassion for everyone.

Imagine if our world leaders met at dog parks instead of windowless rooms with hardback chairs. I imagine we would treat each other differently. Like Harry S. Truman once said

Children and dogs are as necessary to the welfare of the country as Wall Street and the railroads.

February 16, 2015 at 9:07 am 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

Spring Has Sprung!


The snow is melting, the time has changed and the weather is officially transitioning to warmer days that linger into the night. It’s spring. What a time to connect.

What other reason do you need to take your kids outside – sunshine synthesizes the vitamin D, fresh air helps clear the mind, and the trails are ready so pull out the map. Overwhelmed by what to do? Then ease into the change; stay home and get to know your backyard, front porch, even your windowsill. It’s time to garden!

Tilling the soil is tactile which excites the senses. Allowing your child to touch the soil when planting gives them the physical experience which is beneficial especially to kinesthetic learners. The gentle push of a seed into a can or container inspires an emotional connection. Ask questions like “what will grow here,” “how will you take care of your seed?”

By taking time to brighten up your home with plants and flowers you welcome a new season while teaching your child about weather, caring for the environment, parenting, and even cooking! Planting carrots takes just a few feet sideways and down and the magic of pulling out a crunchy snack from the ground in the middle of summer is something to remember. Have you ever wondered how long it takes to grow a carrot or the many different shapes – take a look hereChipper the curious squirrel loves to garden

At the end of the day, watering and checking your plants gives your children a sense of responsibility and an appreciation for schedules. If you are considering flowers, hop on over to one of our favorite blogs – Frog Mom and see what’s growing on.

The biggest “aha” for parents is the reminder that getting dirty has its benefits and place in a child’s life …so let’s get growing! We’ll see you in the garden.

Chipper Spring

March 21, 2014 at 1:16 pm Leave a comment

Chipper for Parks: Recycle Can Craft for Conservation (FREE PRINT OUT)


“Going outside the classroom – and observing what is right there – that is where meaningful learning happens.” 
Lilian Katz, Professor Emerita of Early Childhood Education, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Chipper for Parks Badge! Connect • Celebrate • Conserve

Chipper for Parks Badge! Connect • Celebrate • Conserve

Start the new year off right by getting outdoors and supporting our national parks and open spaces! Not only do parks preserve the earth’s beautiful ecosystems and diverse animals, they help our children grow into conscientious, healthy adults. Studies show that kids who are exposed to nature, and engage with their natural surroundings, develop an appreciation for the environment and empathy for all living creatures. Nature helps us feel happier and expands our imagination. We feel calmer and more at peace in the outdoors. So with the New Year barely underway commit to connecting your children to your local parks and make a plan to visit at least one state or national park. Say “hello” to a park ranger and thank them for what they do to keep our lands available to all.

There are a number of parks with Junior Ranger programs for kids. Click this image for more information!

There are a number of parks with Junior Ranger programs for kids. Click this image for more information!

January 20, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, is the first Fee-Free Day* of 2014 so plan a nature trip for the long weekend. Here are some Chipper Tips for camping and hiking with kids!

Chipper engages, excites and educates young children and families to become the environmental stewards of tomorrow through meaningful connections with our local, state, and national park systems. Kids delight in exploring paths, discovering critters, and playfully exercising while at the same time fostering community bonds. Get your “I’m Chipper for Parks” badge today! A portion of our profits go to a park of your choice. Learn more about our Chipper for Parks program!

Support Our Parks

Purchase a Chipper for Parks badge or create your own collections can and donate to a park!

Chipper has worked with Girl Scouts, community leaders, teachers, Park Rangers and more to help lead a new generation into the great outdoors. Chipper teaches the principals of Leave No Trace and important safety lessons to keep everyone on the path together. Read our Park Ranger Interviews to learn more about being a protector of nature!

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Teach your little one(s) more about conservation and keeping our planet clean with this fun and useful recycle craft! The majority of human waste going into landfills comes from consumer goods. We must find creative, alternative ways to reduce waste. Chipper’s recent partnership with Keep Phoenix Beautiful highlights the 5 Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Reconsider and Reimagine! Reimagine a recycled can or container into a cute collections bin! Place it on your kitchen counter, in the classroom and help raise funds for parks. Once filled, visit your local park or make a trip to a national park and share the joy in supporting our park systems.

What You Need:Let's Go Chipper - Chipper for Parks Collection Can

Instructions:

Chipper for Parks Collections Can Label

  1. Simply collect and clean a can, container or bottle.
  2. Print out our FREE Chipper for Parks Collection Can Label.
  3. Have your child color and write their name and the park they want to donate to.
  4. Cut out your decorated label so it fits on your can or container.
  5. Then tape (Chipper uses double-stick) or glue on to attach!
  6. Find a place for your recycled collection can.

Parks need our support. As you walk the paths share with your child that their contribution is what helps maintain paths and flora and fauna. Our parks rely on government funding and donations so every coin counts! We’re Chipper for parks and this is our “Piggy Banks for Parks.” Help us spread the idea!

Park Rangers are happy to share their knowledge about their park with our future environmental stewards and many parks run great activities and outings for kids.

Find more ways to help our parks here or consider organizing a local fundraiser! Which park is your favorite? Share your answer and pictures of your Collection Can with Chipper!

*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.

January 12, 2014 at 7:51 pm 1 comment

Chipper Tip: Teach Your Kids to Garden


Gardening with Kids | Let's Go ChipperWith new technologies constantly emerging, children are increasingly looking to screens to entertain themselves. However, according to Stephen Kellert, Tweedy/Ordway Professor Emeritus of Social Ecology and Senior Research Scholar at the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, “there’s increasing evidence that suggests that even in the modern world, whether it’s attentional capacity or stress relief or critical thinking or problem solving or physical fitness, …the experience of nature helps facilitate these adaptations.”

The truth of the matter is that children need engagement with nature—nature provides a tangible look at the world around us that technology simply cannot offer. For example, a child may learn about the difference between a seagull and a robin in a textbook, or even an online article or software. However, being able to physically go to a zoo, and interact with and see both the seagull and robin can arguably teach that child more than just learning about said animals in a textual manner.

Kellert asserts that there is enormous complexity in nature. He states, “when you think about the variety and complexity of the everyday understanding, you realize how much adaptation and coping and classification and naming that goes on in response to this extraordinarily complex, complicated, diverse world that is beyond our self. You begin to realize how much opportunity there is for children to… name, to classify, to problem solve, to create, to think about how to…critically think and adaptive response to different elements of this dynamic, ambient, changing uncertain, surprising world that is the world of beyond just ourselves as a single species.” Clearly, there is mass importance in involving your child in nature. A very simple way is to teach your kids how to garden in the bounds of your own backyard!

Here are some simple steps to teaching your kids how to garden, courtesy of WikiHow:

  1. Focus on making it fun and interesting. If your kids actually are interested in the fascinating process of plant growth, animal interaction, etc., they’ll be more inclined to participate.
  2. Make sure you have the right tools. Having the right tools and equipment is not only essential but makes the gardening process more fun!
  3. Because your kids are beginning gardeners, choose plants that are easy to grow. Suggested plants include: Sunflowers, Radishes, Squash, Tomatoes (from seedlings), Lettuces, Peas and beans, Sweet peaspoppies,alyssum, marigoldspansies or nasturtiums.
  4. Show you children the basics of planting seed! Beforehand, till and add nutrients to the soil—they can learn about this process afterwards. For now, focus on just helping your children plant seeds!
  5. Along with teaching them how to garden, introduce the various types of wildlife that are involved with garden life. This will add an extra dimension to your children’s nature education.

Clearly, there are many benefits to exposing your child to nature; additionally, it’s super easy to introduce nature into their education! Let’s Go Chipper for nature and education!

 

July 10, 2013 at 2:00 pm Leave a comment

Chipper for Parks: Yosemite National Park


“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine into trees.”

                                                                                                 -John Muir

Yosemite Valley

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.”

Mirror Lake

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.

Bicyclists riding down bike path with Half Dome in background

Visit here for more information on this national treasure.

July 20, 2012 at 1:11 pm Leave a comment

Are You Chipper for Parks?


Are you Chipper For Parks? If so, join us in raising awareness and necessary funds to support programs – from local playgrounds

Chipper’s interactive work book!

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:

  1. Educational programs for schools and communities, underserved children and all families
  2. Conservation and revitalization programs – from clearing trails to planting flowers and trees, to the repair and maintenance
  3. Sustainability programs – keep the parks open!

Chipper for Parks Badge! Connect • Celebrate • Conserve

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!


July 13, 2012 at 1:30 pm Leave a comment

Chipper Tips: Little Helping Hands


“Giving is the secret of abundance.”Sivananda

All of us want our children to grow up to be responsible and generous. Giving them the opportunities to help out around the house with chores or simple tasks, such as cooking dinner or folding laundry, plants these seeds of independence and reliability. Making opportunities for your kids to play and interact with their peers and siblings help them learn to communicate and hone their interpersonal skills for years to come, important skills for whatever they do in life.

Helping Hands is a fun book for your little ones to learn more ways to help out! Click here to purchase.

Let’s Go Chipper is an Eco-educational series of apps, books, and community programs that encourage your little one’s to get outside and play, learning about the environment and growing in nature! Our newest book, “Helping Hands,” is a great way to inspire your little one’s to help out their family, friends, and community! A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book support programs that benefit the positive physical and emotional well being of underserved children. To learn more, please visit www.letsgochipper.com. Bellow are 5 ways to encourage habits of kindness and service in your children on a daily basis.

Chipper for Parks Badge! Click here to purchase and start helping our parks!

1. Make service to others a family affair

You hear it time and again: Parents are the most influential role models and the best teachers for children. Children watch what adults do. Preaching to them to volunteer/feed others/help out at the local food pantry will likely fall on deaf ears if they don’t see the moms and dads doing it, too. Get involved in a local community service project at your local park! There are tons of opportunities and if you share your park service story with us on our Facebook page here, we will send you a FREE Chipper for Parks badge! Or purchase your own badge here and we will donate a portion of the proceeds in YOUR name to a park of YOUR choice!

2. Talk about it

Emphasize that not everyone has hot meals to eat and lots of clothes to wear. Children don’t typically recognize this, and it’s up to parents to teach them. Let them know about the project, and how they can offer a helping hand to those in need. Have them go through their clothes that no longer fit them and take a little trip together to drop off old clothes and toys at your nearest Good Will.

3. Involve children in a regular or semi-regular basis

When participating in community volunteer work, find something that can be done at least a few times each year. This doesn’t mean you have to fill backpacks with school supplies at the local community center or serve meals at the local food pantry every week. A consistent volunteer activity will stick in a child’s mind if they participate once a month, or even once every few months.

Compassionate Kids, an organization that encourages volunteerism by children, has this advice when considering how often to participate:

“It’s important to consider the basic logistics of any volunteer opportunity. If the opportunity is close by, a commitment to help out on a weekly basis may be fine. If it’s farther away, you may need to commit to helping on a monthly basis instead.”

4. Make sure your child can be actively involved in the service or project

Don’t expect to take children — especially young ones — to an activity where they have to sit and watch. They won’t want to keep going, and it entirely misses the point of including them in the first place. Compassionate Kids also advises parents to consider both their abilities and their children’s abilities when deciding on the kinds of community projects to participate in. Don’t overwhelm you or your kids–helping out should be a fun learning experience.

This mom has two little helpers! How do your kids help you out around the house?

5. Use everyday opportunities to teach kindness

Teach children that some of the best ways to volunteer and help others is to simply do it as opportunities are available. In other words, kindness to others doesn’t have to be a structured event or community-planned charity work. The whole family can get involved in:

  • Giving water to and offering help to a family whose car is broken-down on the road.
  • Donating money, clothing, or toys to a family in need of assistance.
  • Preparing and taking meals to those who have recently lost loved ones, had babies, or have family members in the hospital.

If showing kindness to others is a part of their upbringing, it’s easier for children to make it a consistent habit in adulthood. Make it the norm, not the exception, for you and your family. Get Chipper and get helping today!

Here are more community service ideas for children and resources for parents:

July 12, 2012 at 1:30 pm Leave a comment

Chipper for Parks: Family Camping this Summer


There’s nothing like spending time with the family around the camp fire under the open sky. Camping gives us all a retreat from the crazy, busy pace of our daily lives and gives us time to reflect and connect with your children. A little fresh air does wonders to a depressed teenager or a grumpy 4 year old. Take a nature walk and collect some rocks and leaves or just laze by a stream and watch the butterflies flutter by. There is no limit to the fun you can find when exploring our parks open spaces.

Join Chipper in supporting our Park Systems this summer by visiting and camping at our State and National Parks. Get out there and have your own adventure at one of our 279 State Parks. Click HERE to find parks with available sites and reserve your spot to start enjoying the great outdoors! Our noble Park Ranger’s can use all the support they can get with budget cuts and closures happening left and right. Donate in your name to any park of your choice when your purchase our Chipper for Parks Badge. Nothing inspires and benefits you and your children quite like nature and parks are the safest, easiest place to reconnect with our beautiful planet. Where will you go for your next camping adventure?

July 5, 2012 at 3:00 pm 1 comment

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