Posts tagged ‘activities for kids’

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

Chipper Recycle Craft: Baby Chick


Are you ready for Easter? Learn more about the Holiday and celebrate with this cute Baby Chick Recycle Craft!

Continue Reading March 28, 2015 at 3:00 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

Daily Thanks: Four Ways to Develop the Habit of Gratitude in Your Family


I'm a Chipper Mom“It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.” David Steindl-Rast

Daily expressions of deeply felt gratitude is a common experience among happy, healthy families. Like any other good habit, learning to feel and express gratitude takes practice. Fortunately, even before you’re great at being thankful, practicing gratitude will affect the happiness and success of every family member. To build your gratitude habit, adopt some of the following practices:

1. See the Sunrise – Starting your day with a quiet moment of reflection centers both your body and mind. Before your day gets away from you, imagine the people and things that are gifts in your life. Activating your brain with what’s so great about parenting, you are better prepared to greet the inevitable “ Mommmmmmm, where are my cleats, flash cards, homework I forgot to do?” with appreciation and patience.

2. Express and model gratitude – Albert Einstein once said, “Setting an example is not the main means of influencing another, it is the only means.” This means you. Declare your gratitude as it happens—often and out loud to whomever will hear it. There’s plenty to notice: Healthy kids, secure homes, great teachers, a cup of coffee, the driver who stopped so you could cross the street, and the trash that was taken out before you asked. It’s all a gift. Showing appreciation builds and encourages our friends and family. It also reminds them of the gifts in their own lives.

3. Make creative fun ways to show gratitude in your home – Whether you have toddlers or teens, there are wonderful ways for children to learn to visually express gratitude.

  • Try a family gratitude journal. Each person in the family is asked to share one good thing at dinner which is then added to the journal.
  • Fill a jar or bowl with tags, leaves, or stones.
  • The family fridge or a whiteboard are excellent places to display our joy at the gifts. Place post-its at kid level to note things as they happen.

You will find this exercise will quickly build on itself.

4. Make time to get out together – Walk out that door! Throw caution to the wind! The benefit of 30 minutes–as a family–outdoors far outweighs dirty dishes in the sink or the unmowed lawn. Call out to your gang to put down the electronics, come out of your bedroom, and walk away from the clothes hamper. Instead, walk together to the park. Jump on your bikes and let the kids be the guides. Get an ice cream. Make up a neighborhood scavenger hunt. Talk, share, ask questions, connect.

Being truly present is a gift. When we give quality time to our kids we are showing them love. Be grateful for them. They will be grateful for you. (even if they don’t always say so.)

Gratitude rocks

October 12, 2014 at 10:06 pm 1 comment

Chipper Activity + Craft: Nature Walk and Craft Project


Explore the outdoors with your little one(s) and collect nature materials to make cute critters! Not only will you a foster a connection with nature, your kids can also exercise their imaginations and creativity. There is so much you can find outside: nuts, rocks, sticks, leaves, petals, and more. 

Nature Animals | Let's Go Chipper

Picture from naturallymom

Chipper Playfully Teaches: Earth and Space Science, Creative Arts and Fine Motor Skills.

Adventure into the great outdoors with young children and use the natural materials as craft supplies for creating creatures from the children’s imagination or animals identified on the walks.

Collect with a Partner | Let's Go Chipper

Collect with a Partner

Timing: One Hour
Explore and collect: 15 minutes
Craft Time: 30 minutes
Extra 15 minutes:
 Travel time and padding because projects with young children will always take longer than you plan!

What you need:

  • Reusable tote to carry found treasures
  • Cardboard bases from recycled boxes and scrap paper and materials for accessorizing crafts
  • Glue and string
  • A partner or chaperone
  • Imagination
Create a crocodile | Let's Go Chipper

Create a crocodile!

Chippers Tips:

  • Explain the rules of staying together “You can play, but don’t stray!” and the project
  • Check off that everyone has their tote for collecting items. While exploring, be it in the backyard of a school facility, house, childcare center, or beyond the yard, keep children on track by talking about what they might find; the colors, shapes, texture and more.
  • Assist young children with glue or glue gun and string assembly.
  • Welcome conversation while exploring. What do you see, hear, smell and feel?
Get bit by nature...creatively! | Let's Go Chipper

Get bit by nature…creatively!

Upon returning, sit down and talk about the items in the bag and what can be made; a butterfly from leaves, a nature cake, a boat from sticks, a car from rocks and bark. Welcome the conversation and encourage the creativity!

Chipper Activity + Craft: Nature Walk and Craft Project

Image from WildlifeFun4Kids

May 9, 2014 at 1:30 pm Leave a comment

Chipper Recycle Craft: Saint Patrick’s Day Leprechaun


Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! Celebrated as a recognition of the Irish and Irish culture in America, Saint Patrick’s Day is observed through the prominent wearing of the color green, parades, fun, and religious observance! Saint Patrick was a Romano-British Christian missionary and bishop in Ireland. For those who religiously observe St. Patrick’s Day, they attend mass to thank God for their patron saint.

In honor of Saint Patrick’s Day, connect with your children to make a fun paper plate leprechaun this week! A leprechaun is a type of fairy in Irish folklore, usually depicted as a little old man, wearing a coat and hat, who partakes in mischief and magic! Made out of simple materials you can find around your house, this craft is the perfect low-maintenance activity for you and your little one.

What you need:

Screen Shot 2013-03-08 at 12.48.07 PM To make this cute paper plate leprechaun, first take a sheet of green construction paper and cut out a top-hat shape. The size of the hat will vary depending on the size of your plate.

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Secondly, cut out a strip of black construction paper and an empty yellow square and glue (or tape!) them on to the hat. These will be the embellishments on the hat.

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Next, take your red construction paper and cut out 1mm wide strips. IMG_0665

Next, glue the red strips on the outside perimeter of the paper plate like so:

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With a marker or chopstick, roll each strip from the outward most point to the plate. Your goal is to curl the red strips so that it becomes a fun beard for the leprechaun!

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Glue the hat onto the plate. IMG_0673

Using markers (or crayons or colored pencils) draw on a face!

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You’re in Luck! Now you have an easy, fun, and cute decoration for St. Patrick’s Day! Try hanging it in your little one’s room in celebration of this holiday or let them wear it to school and teach their friends about the magic of leprechauns.

Now, what will you make this happy leprechaun for dinner? Irish Stew? Share a lucky moment with us on Facebook.

March 12, 2013 at 2:15 pm 1 comment

Chipper Recycle Crafts: Halloween Bats and Ghosts


We are Chipper for Bats this week! They are the only flying mammals in the world and a symbol of all things spooky and Halloween! They help out  in unexpected ways, though: Bats spread seeds through the rainforest creating new growth; Bats saliva is being studied to see if it can help humans with various disease such as blindness and heart problems; Bat poop is also very good fertilization! Celebrate and decorate All Hallows Eve with these cute Bat Crafts!

Recycle Bat Craft from Toilet Paper Roll

Make a bat from recycled toilet paper rolls! They are fun to make and a great way to show your class how you can make trash into art.  Start your own collection to use for this activity and many, many more toilet roll crafts!

  1. First, press down two sides of one end of your roll so it makes two points. Use tape (double sided works best) or glue to secure your bat ears down.
  2. Now you can either use black and construction paper to cover your roll or just use markers and crayons to color your bat’s fur.
  3. You can use googly eyes or just cut out some eyes with white paper and cut out a set of fans to glue or tape to create your bats face.
  4. Use a black or brown pompom for the nose or whatever other recycle craft materials you have around! Hot glue is ideal but regular glue will work with some patience for drying and avoid burned fingers!
  5. For the wings, try printing out some of Chipper’s Helping Hands or have the kids trace their hands. Cut out two hands and  then use markers or crayons to draw the thin bones in a bat’s wing that are similar to a human hand. Simply tape or glue them on and your bat has wings!
  6. Optional: You can bend the bottom of your roll in the opposite way you did for the head and ears to make the bats pointy bottom half  and put it on a Popsicle stick to flap around or leave as-is so it can be set somewhere as a batty decoration!

Egg Carton Bats and Leaf Ghosts

EggCartonBatsGhostLeavesFinale

Make some cute bats out of an egg carton and adorable ghosts from leaves! Both projects are easy and kid friendly. Hang them together for some spooky cute Halloween decor! EggCartonBatsGhostLeavesCloseup

Bat materials: egg carton, scissors, googly eyes, glue, ribbon, black paint and paintbrush or use black markers!

EggCartonBatsMaterialsFirst you must gather your egg cartons! One carton makes 4 bats so get as many as you want!

EggCartonBatsCutCloseup1

First, cut out 3 cups from an egg carton. Then, cut the bottoms of the 2 outside cups to resemble bat wings.

EggCartonBatsCutCloseup2

Now paint your bats with one coat of black paint or let your little ones go nuts with a black marker or crayons.

EggCartonBatsPainting

Glue on some googly eyes after the paint was dry or just draw them in (white paper with a black dot works fine!) Glued ribbon or string to the top of each bat to hang them around the house! Find a Halloween branch outside to hang them on to make a Halloween tree. Adding some fake cobwebs is a nice touch.

EggCartonBatsCloseup

Ghost Materials: Artificial (maple shaped) leaves or find some real ones, white paint, paintbrush, black marker, glue and ribbon.

GhostLeavesMaterials

Fake leaves can be found a your local dollar or craft store or make an outing of it and find some real leaves to dry and paint! Painted the leaves white on both sides with 2 coats of paint to get them really white. Draw some ghostly eyes and mouths with a permanent marker so it looks like your ghosts are saying “Booo…oooo!” GhostLeavesCloseup

Let’s Go Chipper and a little Batty this Halloween! Have you made any Halloween crafts with your kids? Please Share!

October 25, 2012 at 4:38 pm 1 comment

Nature Treasure Hunt: Autumn


Wonderful way to connect with nature and explore the great outdoors as a family or class: Nature Autumn Treasure Hunt!

Chronicles of a Suburban Nature Mom

I ready about going on a winter treasure hunt in Clare Walker Leslie’s book, The Nature Connection, and I thought it would be a fun thing to do during the fall, too, with some slight modifications. Here’s how you do it…

On a sheet of paper (one for each child if desired or one paper for the group), create four sections, with each section labeled as follows:

  • Section 1: Colors
  • Section 2: Sounds
  • Section 3: Scents
  • Section 4: Shapes

Beneath each section heading, leave space to write down at least five observations. The child may or may not find five, but at least give them the space.

Does your child keep a nature journal? This would be a great activity to record in the journal!

Perhaps instead of writing, your child(ren) would prefer to draw what they see or take photos (of the items that are visual). Be flexible…

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October 10, 2012 at 11:56 am Leave a comment

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