Posts filed under ‘Good Kids Apps’

Bring the Holidays to Life with Small Potatoes!


Chipper Holiday Spud Party

The Holiday season is upon us and it’s time to start the fun! More often than not, games and activities these days are played on a screen. Kids aged 8 to 18 spend, on average, 44.5 hours per week in front of a screen, according to the Department of Health. Whether they are watching their favorite show or writing… er, typing a school assignment, the amount of time kids (and adults too!) spend looking at a screen is flabbergasting!

Let's Go Chipper | Small Potatoes Magic Toy Maker IMG_1923

Apps and online games can be educating, fun, and beneficial in various ways but we cannot underestimate the importance of real-life experiences and play. Play is a remarkably creative process that fosters emotional health, imagination, original thinking, problem solving, critical thinking, and self-regulation. As children actively invent their own scenarios in play, they work their way through the challenges life presents and gain confidence and a sense of mastery. When they play with materials, children are building a foundation for understanding concepts and skills that form the basis for later academic learning.

Combining the digital and durable worlds is something our Let’s Go Chipper!™ programs have been encouraging for years and now our friends at Magic Toy Maker are bringing in some cute spuds from the App world righto your doorstep. Little Airplane’s Small Potatoes, a popular kid’s show in the UK starring adorable, singing spuds, has come to life in a new app, Small Potatoes Magic Toy Maker. Dress up and personalize your Small Potato with an array of Holiday outfits on the app then get it delivered right to your doorstep for under $20! Shipping is free until November 11th so don’t miss out on the fun! Plus, you can design your very own gift tag with a variety of fun backgrounds and stamps to personalize a present.

There are hundreds if not thousands of new apps to choose from out there but the Small Potatoes Magic Toy Maker is different because it integrates online play with a physical good! Nothing is more magical during the Holiday Season than bringing imagination to life in the form of a soft and cuddly plush toy designed with love. Download it today for free on iTunes or Google Play and join the conversation on the Magic Toy Maker Facebook page! 

November 4, 2014 at 6:15 pm 2 comments

Chipper Tips: Teaching Beyond Acceptance


“Different Not Less”

Making Change for the Better | let's go chipper | Teaching Autism Awareness to KidsCan you believe we have a generation growing up realizing that we are all different and that we should celebrate not criticize, shame, nor ignore individuals needing our kindness and support. We live during a time when parents have enough information teach their children acceptance and even more so to acknowledge that we all have a right to reach our potential? We share knowledge through so many channels and, collectively, we can make change for the better.

One of the best ways to teach your children acceptance is through education. Give age-appropriate information and then look for influential and inspiring individuals either aligned with the cause or someone faced with the challenges. Share your own experiences as a child and how you overcame indifferences through education.

When you educate you empower empathy and the interest to help. Collaborate within your community and come up with ideas to support causes or share Chipper’s Making Change for the Better initiative where every person can help reduce waste while increasing financial support for others in need.

April marks Autism Awareness and Acceptance month and Earth Day – so we have reasons to celebrate when noting causes which support people and nature … a very Chipper cause!

We are moved and inspired by the work of Dr. Temple Grandin, animal science doctor, professor, best selling author, autism activist and probably most noted in the livestock industry as an exceptional animal behaviorist for her teaching the industry more humane livestock handling processes. In 2004, Grandin received the “Proggy” award in the “Visionary” category, from PETA. It should be noted that Dr. Temple Grandin was diagnosed with Autism at the age of two but she regularly speaks and shares of her success stemming from early support and a supportive foundation built by family and educators. Read her most recent book.

During the month of April we will support A4CWSN giving away books and Chipper plush and sharing stories. Join us raising awareness and acceptance and learn more at Autism Speaks.

Autism Awareness: Make Change for the Better!

Making Change for the Better | let's go chipper | Teaching Autism Awareness to Kids

Educate and Inspire Action

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex set of neurological disorders and developmental disabilities that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. ASD is generally diagnosed before three years of age. There is no known cause of autism, but early intervention plays a huge role in treatment and can greatly improve a child’s development.

Autism is a spectrum condition; this means that although some people with autism may share certain difficulties; their conditions may affect them in different ways. Many individuals with autism can live independent lives but others may need a lifetime of special support. In March 2012, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention issued their ADDM autism prevalence report. The report revealed that 1 in every 88 births in the United States is shown to have a form of autism. The report also shows on average 1 in 54 boys were diagnosed with autism, and 1 in 252 girls. Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S.

The Facts

  • There is no medical detection or cure for autism
  • Autism costs a family $60,000 a year on average
  • Autism receives less than 5% of the research funding of many prevalent childhood diseases
  • Boys are nearly five times more likely than girls to have autism
  • The annual cost of autism is $60 billion
  • The annual cost of autism per person over a lifespan is 3.2 million
  • The annual cost of autism is $60 billion
  • 60% of costs are in adult services

The Hope

When we all work together we can help fund more research into the causes of autism, provide families with financial support, and increase awareness and acceptance of autism spectrum disorders.

Did you know? One 14.5 ounce can (standard soup can) filled with mixed coins can average anywhere from $12 – $45+. Imagine if you find a few dollar bills laying around as well – put them in the can and let’s help contribute.Your spare change makes a difference!

Making Change for the Better | let's go chipper | Teaching Autism Awareness to Kids

Download Chipper’s Making Change for the Better label and wrap a can or container. Collect your spare change and donate to an organization or a local support chapter.

Join Chipper in making change for the better!!!

April 1, 2014 at 6:00 pm 2 comments

Chipper Tip: Only Rain Down the Drain!


Just Rain down the Drain

You see the signs right? And it seems obvious but millions of pounds of trash and plastic enter our waterways through our curbside drainage system each year. The effect on our plant and sea life is huge: about 22,000 bodies of water in the United States are considered “impaired” by the Environmental Protection Agency due to this pollution.

Let's Stroll Crissy Fields | Eco-Educational Book and App for Kids | Free Activities

As we celebrate National Wildlife Week and the theme being “water,” be inspired to take action over just acknowledging the importance of clean water for our animals on land and sea.

What we can do:

  1. If you see it, own it: Lead by example and pick up trash when you see it on the ground. Use good judgment, plastic/foil chip bags, paper bags, and plastic bottles are generally safe to pick up but be safe first.
  2. Make the grade: Collaborate with your classroom and take a walk through the neighborhood. A good stroll is healthy for both mind and body and the clean up helps foster a deeper connection with your community.
  3. Power to the Park Ranger – Chipper is the most enthusiastic ambassador in town and always pays respect to the ranger. Invite your local state or national park ranger, or junior ranger, into the classroom to teach kids about streams, rivers, lakes, waterfalls, even the little puddle along the path. All give life to the forest and eventually make it to the sea. Teaching kids the principals of Leave No Trace will inspire them to pick up any litter along the trails during spring and summer hiking and camping adventures

Here are some great tips and things to keep in mind:

Collaborate as a family, school, and community and join Chipper in Making Change for the Better – what we do as individuals makes a different for all! Print the label below, attach to recycled can, collect change, and donate to the Ocean Conservancy to help keep our water ways clean!

Making-Change-for-the-Better-Label_Waterways

Click here to download, print, and color!

 

Let’s go Chipper and remember to give a little thumbs up to the National Wildlife Federation!

Let's Stroll Crissy Fields | Eco-Educational Book and App for Kids | Free Activities

March 18, 2014 at 5:45 pm Leave a comment

Remember when we use to frolick in Autumn Mist?


I’m a Chipper Mom: Review: Good Kids Apps

Puffs Playground App

A day long hike turning over rocks, jumping in and out of streams, and casting magical spells on each other was only made better by the sounds of my mom strumming her guitar singing “Puff the Magic Dragon” by the campfire. Even as a young girl, I always cried because it made me think of my first dog, Puff, a playful sheepdog ever loyal and at the ready to be my best friend. The song about a magical dragon sparked many adventures with my own imaginary friends. No matter where we went camping it always felt like the land called Honalee after that first night and most requested campfire song.

Imagination is a powerful tool for children and when we nourish it we help foster the creative spirit which even scientist say is necessary. Dr. Michio Kaku, Theoretical Physicist and author says creativity plays into the “aha” moment; this allows the scientist to think outside the box and push towards new beneficial discoveries be it in medicine, engineering, space programs, all of it. Imagination is the first seed of creativity and kids need the opportunity to exercise theirs through multi-sensory experiences. I say this because with so many apps on the market today, I often wonder if they stifle and stunt imagination over excite the wonder of true explorations that engage our five senses.

I recently discovered Puff’s Land of Honalee had gone digital so I was curious to see if after 50 years, could the magic still be sparked by tapping on an app. Puff’s Playground app welcomes all ages into Creative Cove, a creativity center with a plethora of tools to paint, draw, create mixed media collages, or simply use coloring pages from the original artwork Puff, the Magic Dragon storybook.

A fan of puzzles, I enlisted the help of my two daughters to join me in Puzzle Plantation where we connected the pieces to bring images from the original Puff to life. In Castle of Concentration we engaged in a classic game of memory featuring character art but innovated with playful sound effects.

A magical, good kids app.

A magical, good kids app.

Created by FatRedCouch, a Marin-based interactive media company headquartered in the former building of George Lucas’ Industrial Light and Magic, as well as Pixar, I was happy to see the spirit of imagination was alive and well along with the level of quality in the artwork and production. A quick browse through the publisher’s portfolio of apps and you can see they are indeed committed to creating good kids apps.

There is plenty to do with this app (it’s free with in app purchasing) but we hit our self-prescribed family-allotted time limit so it was time to grab our sticks and go have some fun on Mt. Tam frolicking in the mist we call fog this time of year. The app sparked memories for me and created another layer of wonder for my kids, I knew it would translate to more pictures being drawn at the kitchen table.

I’m a Chipper mom and, to me, a good kids app should inspire thought, conversation, and creativity. I want a Good Kids App to be playful and embrace nature, art, science, music, and educate while having fun. Sounds like a lot but it’s not when you focus truly on the development of a child; when it comes to imagination just excite it and watch the wonder light up. If you are choosing an app, I hope you will follow Chipper’s GoodKidsApp guidelines:

  1. Is it story-based with a clear, kind message
  2. Does it engage and excite imagination away from the gadget
  3. Does it spark conversation and promote learning

Puff’s Playground app does this and more for us as I quickly learned while listening to my girls sing a cherished song introduced by Peter, Paul, and Mary more than 50 years ago. Time to frolick!

Available on iTunes. Free with in-app purchases.

Android

Puffs Playground App

Puff Playground App

Puff Playground App

February 23, 2014 at 9:23 am Leave a comment


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