Posts filed under ‘Chipper Tips’

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

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

The Best Gifts from the Holidays


The Best Gifts from the Holidays: Family Time Capsule, Vision Boards, and ways to connect monthly!

Continue Reading January 5, 2015 at 6:00 pm Leave a comment

An Inspired Childhood | Sour Cream Coffee Cake Recipe


An inspired childhood is our gift to our kids and it is built on what we give emotionally, do to set an example, and provide as a means to supporting the skills our children will need to grow up and be successful independent contributive adults. It is the giving of ourselves and the sharing of our own stories – how will you build your family foundation?

Continue Reading December 30, 2014 at 6:00 pm Leave a comment

Helping your family “Fall Back”


Helping your family Fall Back!” –  Daylight Savings Time ends November 2, 2AMTips for Adjusting to Daylight Savings

An extra yawn one morning in the springtime, an extra snooze one night in the autumn is all that we ask in return for dazzling gifts. We borrow an hour one night in April; we pay it back with golden interest five months later.

                                                                                                – Winston Churchill

Before we had kids, I used to love the end of daylight savings time – a wonderfully lazy Sunday morning gift. In that gloriously anticipated hour, I’d sleep late, or indulge in coffee and reading the Sunday paper front to back (yes, back in the day of the paper actually showing up on your doorstep).

As a parent, next Sunday reminds us that there are no more free hours. Instead, we walk out of work in the dark and wake the kids up when their little bodies are telling them it’s still too early.

Your overtired, off-schedule little ones can be a challenge, but take heart: it usually takes less than two weeks for circadian rhythms to adjust. As the family looks forward to a snuggly autumn and winter, here are some tips for “falling back” more gracefully:IMG_1708

 

  1. Be consistent. Keep meals and activities schedules in place. Keeping your routine with little standard time tweaks will help ease the transition.
  2. Get outside. Sunshine is the reset button. When you can get your kids into the sunshine first thing in the morning, their bodies will adjust more easily. No sunshine? No worries. Just seeing the light of day, and the fresh air, makes the moment the perfect wake-up call. Check out this list of 50 ways to get outdoors in your own backyard for some ideas!
  3. Adjust your schedules. Start bedtime 15 minutes earlier a week as you head into the November 1 weekend.
  4. Nap. Nap. Nap. If you have young children, watch for signs of fatigue and put them down before they miss their sleep window. Crankiness doesn’t help the transition.
  5. Give your early risers what they need. For children over four years old, early rising will be an issue. Give them a stack of new library books and an alarm clock. Agree that they must stay in bed until their “wake-up time,” and allow them to peruse their new books if they’re up early or download some FREE coloring pages here. Blackout curtains can help since it will be much lighter in the morning.
  6. Connect. On Sunday, take advantage of that gloriously anticipated hour to enjoy your family. Take a fall leaf walk in the park before the winter weather sets in. In the evening, enjoy an early dinner, a cuddle on the couch; and an early evening story or movie.
Chipper Family Moments Pamphlet for November

Chipper Family Moments Pamphlet for November! Click here to sign up.

With your child snuggled next to you, reminisce about the good old days where you took that extra hour to sleep in your bed. Free of diaper wipes, stuffed animals, blankies, and shin guards, you could read the whole paper. Today, you’ve got the whole world in your arms.

Chipper Tip:  Remember to check your smoke alarm and flashlight batteries when you set your clock back and add a few more canned items or flats of water to your grocery list – you are winter ready!

October 26, 2014 at 5:30 pm Leave a comment

3 Chipper Tips For Halloween


Why do mummies never reveal their true age? Because they like to keep it under wraps!

Let's Go Chipper | recycle crafts | DIY Halloween Mummy Craft

Make some fun Recycle Halloween Crafts! Click here for instructions.

Halloween is almost here and is a time where both kids and parents get out the cute or scary costumes, the spooky decorations and the delicious candy for a family fun holiday! Enter our Halloween Contest by sharing your costume ideas or past costume pictures to our Facebook wall! Winner will receive our Chipper Family Moments intro box of fun ideas and activities to connect family.

Chipper Family Moments  | Halloween Costume Contest

Click here to enter our Chipper Family Moments Halloween Contest!

Whether you’re Olaf, Elsa or even a scary Vampire this year, Halloween can also be a useful learning experience in both manners as well as safety for your little ghosts and ghouls. Three rules to remember this upcoming Halloween; be safe, be healthy; and don’t forget your manners!

Caution! Witch Crossing.

Chipper and Paisley Flashlight Shadow Animals

Help your children be safe by giving them flashlights, reflectors, or glow sticks to help them see and be seen by drivers when crossing the streets. According to safekids.org, on average, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car on Halloween than on any other day of the year, so make sure they’re prepared, understand the importance of staying on the sidewalks, and are aware of their surroundings. A parent or responsible goblin should always accompany the young witches and wizards and should remind them to only visit homes with a porch light on and NEVER enter the home or vehicle of a stranger.

Happy Healthy Haunting!

Chipper Healthy Halloween Snacks and Treats

Click here for Healthy Halloween Snacks and Treats!

Remembering to keep happy and healthy eating habits with all the surrounding candy can be quite a challenging task. Remind your children how important it is to eat a good meal prior to trick-or-treating and to avoid tummy aches by rationing treats for the days after Halloween; all things in moderation. It’s also very important to sort and check each of the prized candy to confirm no tampering was done. An adult should throw away spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious treats. To promote healthy diets for children, some companies will even buy back the candy from your little ones this year; to find a place near you, check out this website >>>> http://www.halloweencandybuyback.com/

I Witch You A Happy Halloween!

halloween-chipper-FB

Halloween is a great opportunity to practice good manners. Remind your little goblins, ghosts and ghouls not to be greedy. One piece of candy from each house is the general Halloween rule and a nice “Thank you!” at each and every house is a must. Even if the candy choice isn’t a favorite of your little ones, a “Thank you!” is still important and shows everyone how polite and well mannered your young Trick-Or-Treaters really are. Another great way to practice good manners is to remember to stay on walkways and avoid stepping on flowerbeds and lawns. Teach your little minions (or monsters?) to treat each home they approach like it’s their own! What other manners do you teach your kids during All Hallows Eve? Share with us in the comments below or on Facebook!

We just couldn’t resist one last treat – Have A Fang-Tastic night!

Knock! Knock!

Who’s There?

Wanda Witch!

Wanda Witch who?

Wanda Witch you a very Happy Halloween!

October 23, 2014 at 6:00 pm Leave a comment

School Just Started and I’m Cheating Already


Sometimes it’s okay to cheat.

Continue Reading September 8, 2014 at 7:28 pm Leave a comment

Contain Yourself: Show You Care


Everyone loves to know that they are appreciated and loved no matter what age; but with our busy schedules today we often forget to stop for a moment to make sure everyone truly knows how important they are in our lives.

According to the Raising Children Network, any kind of acknowledgement will help to build confidence, develop a relationship and encourage good behavior. Emotional literacy is also an essential skill to develop within children starting at a young age and by allowing them to express themselves through these notes you greatly enhancing their literacy by allowing them to be emotional in an nonverbal way.

The container for this week will help ensure that these special thoughts and acknowledgements are not forgotten by making cute ‘mailboxes’ for everyone in the family.PIggy Bank 1

Once the mailboxes are complete and placed somewhere central in the house with paper and pens, everyone will be able to capture their thoughts of appreciation by simply slipping a note into a family member’s mailbox. You can also make it a family event to read everyone’s notes out loud, allowing the family to gather together once again.

Piggy Bank 5What you need:

  • Coffee or Oatmeal cylinder container
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Magazines, paper, paint or anything you want to stick on your container
  • Scratch paper for your notes to each other
  • Pens for writing notes
  • Creativity and Imagination!

Piggy Bank 4Making your container:

  • Find a time your family is all free and begin to collect materials to decorate your container.
  • Cut a slit in the top of the container making a place your special notes can be placed.
  • Let your minds go wild and make a container that represents you and you want to have on show in the house.Piggy Bank 2

Chipper made this cute “Piggy Bank” container with pink construction paper. Make your own animal (cow, horse, squirrel, etc.) or just decorate it with markers/crayons, nature materials, glitter … sky’s the limit! Add a “tail” to your mailbox by folding a strip of paper back and forth until you’ve reached the end then tape it to your container.

Piggy Bank 3

What kind of notes will you deliver to your family? It can be as simple as, “Thank you for doing the dishes!” to a more elaborate message of appreciation for behavior, actions, or even a hug! There’s nothing like getting some appreciation after a long day of work or school so consider making it a weekly family action.

Share your family mail boxes with Chipper and the gang in the comments below or on Facebook! We’d love to see what you come up with 🙂

 

July 13, 2014 at 1:28 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

10 Chipper Tips for Gardening with Kids


A veggie garden is a great place to teach your youngsters valuable lessons while spending satisfying time together. Gardening is more entertaining than any video game; I have yet to meet a child who didn’t get a kick out of playing in the dirt, planting seeds and watching them grow. And finally, there’s no better way to get kids to eat veggies than to grow their own.

Gardening

Jasper the Jack Rabbit and Chipper help out in the garden!

So where do you start? These 10 ideas just might inspire your gardener-in-training:

  1. Take a field trip. Visit a farmers market or produce aisle and talk about what you see. Explain the life cycle of a veggie, from seed to fruit to dinner table. Have kids taste-test a few varieties, then help them plant the ones they like.
  2. Let them choose. While at a nursery or garden center, ask your kids to pick out a few seeds or plants they want to grow. Also let them select any extras, like trellises or containers. If they’re involved at the very beginning, they’re more likely to remain interested throughout the growing season.
  3. Give ’em some space. Pint-size gardeners love to have their own little section of a garden. They’ll treat this space with extra-special care. Let them make the decisions, from what gets planted to keeping the occasional “pet” weed.Let's Go Chipper Gardener Set
  4. Tools of the trade. On birthdays or other occasions, give your children a colorful garden tool, apron or hat. Make it a game to get dressed up as a gardener when it’s time to play outside.
  5. Family history lesson. Use your time outside as an opportunity to tell kids about your family. Was Great-Grandpa a gardener? Did Aunt Nora grow heirloom tomatoes? It’s a great way to get them interested in relatives and radishes at the same time.
  6. Theme gardens. Try an alphabet garden, where your kids choose everything from asparagus to zucchini. Or create a garden of miniatures with cherry tomatoes or mini-pumpkins.
  7. Be realistic. You can’t expect a 6-year-old to spend an afternoon weeding, so you’ll have to perform some of the mundane tasks yourself. When kids do tackle these chores, don’t expect perfection—a few jagged rows or a weed here and there won’t matter. Remember that kids have short attention spans, so make your garden a fun place where they can see real results.
  8. Let’s go crazy. Kids love unusual varieties, so don’t be a conformist. Instead, walk on the wild side with yellow tomatoes, white eggplants, purple carrots, brightly colored chard and giant pumpkins.
  9. Teachable moments. Explain how natural vegetable gardening promotes healthy living by providing safe, nutritious, low-cost food for the family. Also point out that growing your own veggies means more exercise, no pesticides and less pollution from delivery trucks.
  10. Continue in the kitchen. Invite your children to help you make dinner by adding cut-up garden produce to a salad or soup, and let them snack on a few as you cook. Don’t be surprised if they learn to love veggies.

The bottom line? Kids imitate what they see. If you love to grow things, chances are they’ll be enthusiastic, too. And remember that one of the most important things you’ll ever grow is a gardener.Let's Go Chipper | Making Change for the Better | Build Communty Gardens

Plan a community garden for your school or neighborhood! Collect spare change to fund the project and teach your kids how they can help make change for the better!

10 Best Veggies For Kids To Grow

  1. Sugar snap peas. Kids love to eat them fresh off the vine and they are packed with Vitamin C!
  2. Lettuce. Easy to grow and lots of cool color varieties, plus it contains a considerable amount of iron.
  3. Pumpkins. Plant a smaller variety, like Jack Be Little, for your smaller helpers. Don’t forget to eat the seeds which help keep heart heathy!
  4. Radishes. Within a month, these fast growers are ready to pick AND they help keep away allergy sniffles.. Just for giggles, try red, white and purple varieties.
  5. Carrots. Quick-growing carrots are perfect for short attention spans. In addition, they are filled with powerful vitamins that support your eye sight.
  6. Potatoes. Kids really dig potatoes, which are as much fun to harvest as to eat. These nutrient-dense veggies can be cooked dozens of ways!
  7. Green beans. The big seeds are fun and easy to plant. Plus they are packed with Vitamin B!
  8. Cherry tomatoes. Little hands love to pick these tiny fruits. They are sweet and nutritious, filled with fiber, protein and Vitamin C.
  9. Sunflowers. These beauties take off without much work, and come in tall or small varieties. Plus, it’s fun to harvest the seeds, or leave out the seed heads to attract birds.
  10. Broccoli. Like many veggies, garden-fresh broccoli tastes sweeter than store-bought. Broccoli is also a powerful antioxidant and great for bone health.

What other veggies do you kids love to grow? Share with Chipper in the comments!

May 4, 2014 at 6:00 pm 3 comments

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