Posts tagged ‘activities with 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

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 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

Read with Your Children


The morning hustle: head down getting everyone up and out the door with little time to wrap my head around what is really important to me on this day. Dashing out the door with totes, lunches, and kids in tow we zip to the highway for the first drop-off on the last week of summer camps. Music on, conversations fragmented and a red light finally offers me the first brief moment I get to pause. On this particular day, the pause at what my daughters call “the longest light” is suddenly so worth it.

“Mom, what book do you think that mom is reading to her daughter?” I look over and marvel that through the oncoming traffic and nestled into a bus shelter surrounded by the hedge greening the road my daughter notices a mother and daughter quietly reading; so focused they don’t hear or realize life whizzing by them. What a way to start the day. I am reminded that it only takes a few moments to make a meaningful connection with your child. Sitting closely, turning the pages, and discussing the story, I thought to myself “what an opportunity to connect.”

The green light sets us back on our way but I stayed in the right hand lane with the slower traffic so I could spend a little more time with my kids today. We talked about the summer library program and how we needed to catch up since we didn’t read as much while on vacation. My eldest daughter reminded her sister of the book she’s suggested, and for once my youngest agrees it might be time to try a “bigger” book. She asked if I would sit with her to read it in the beginning in case she had trouble with some of the words or understanding the story. I agreed.

For the next ten or so minutes we named all the books we could remember reading. We shared our favorite books we had read together as kids, and I shared the book my mom gave me years ago repeating what she wrote on the inside cover. I still cherish the message today.

Snuggle up and read with your kids.

Snuggle up and read with your kids.

Reading is essential to the positive upbringing of a child. The benefits are never ending but a few important ones come to mind:

  1. The opportunity to snuggle up and physically connect – using your voice to put life into the story, hands to depict characters and scenes all add to the magic of the moment.
  2. Left to right – run your finger along the page as you read and you help your child understand that’s the way to read a book. Read then discuss the illustrations to teach visual storytelling. Sometimes words and pictures are different but it’s interesting how they can tell the same story.
  3. Engaging your child’s imagination excites verbal skills – repeating words, and asking questions will spark conversation and help your child form complete sentences as well as learn new words daily.
  4. Academic excellence – it’s probably the number one goal most parents have when they think of their child’s future. Research shows early reading moments will help students perform better in school.
  5. Interpersonal relationships – all stories are based on relationships and the opportunity to learn through imaginative stories will help young children build basic skills for positive interpersonal relationships.

There are more reasons to read together and LeVar Burton is probably the biggest champion of reading to children. Research continues to validate the benefits at every age and stage of a child’s early brain development.

I could spend hours reading through this research but inspired by the mother and daughter sitting at the bus stop I’d rather turn the page with my own children and create a story or two of our own. What is your favorite childhood book – share with us on Facebook or start reading today with your children.

August 4, 2014 at 8:29 am Leave a comment

Click “Hug” if You Agree


Can you believe Facebook is turning ten today? What started out as the great college connector has morphed into a time capsule of long lost friendships, baby’s firsts, “I Do’s” and quite a few “I wish I didn’t” moments. It’s the world’s greatest connector yet at the end of the day many of us still feel disconnected. Depression and mental illness is diagnosed more than ever before; and how many times a day do you say, or hear someone say: “I’m so busy.”

Let's Go Chipper | I'm a Chipper Mom

The good news though is that carving out time isn’t the goal anymore, it’s maximizing the time you have when you are together. And research clearly shows physical contact plays a big part in emotional health, revealing: touch helps in the release of Oxytocin, a hormone that helps create a sensation of trust; while also reducing the levels of the stress hormone Cortisol. Hmmmm. Don’t most children thrive when they feel safe? And according to all the commercials, it seems like we all want to reduce the Cortisol.

“It is the first language we learn,” said Dacher Keltner, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, and the author of “Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life” (Norton, 2009), and remains, he said, “our richest means of emotional expression throughout life” …physical contact, that is. From sunup to sundown, here are a few Chipper moments to help you connect:

  1. Rise and Shine, offer a gentle touch on the back or wipe the hair from your child’s face along with a quite “good morning,” a hum of your favorite song, and light discussion of what is happening that day. A “soft start” is a pleasant way to get the day rolling and the moment will probably make you feel better as well.
  2. High Fives and Respect: Incorporate this within the home, at work, or on the field. Studies show people performed better in the office when they were given a pat on the back and according to research done by Tiffany Field, Ph.D., director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami it can also boost your immune system.
  3. Dancing check-to-cheek: There is nothing better than hitting pause at the end of the day then pressing “play.” Seriously, holding hands, up in your arms, cheek-to-cheek get the music going and channel Fred and Ginger with an old fashioned song and a moment to just physically connect. Grab your spouse, your partner and role model. Open your arms and welcome everyone in. Here’s a Chipper song to get you going.

The opportunity to connect is always there and what we need to embrace is the reality that just a few minutes can fuel your heart and keep the emotional engine running on positive. Click “like” if you agree but don’t you wish in celebration of their birthday, Facebook would launch a “hug” button? 🙂

February 4, 2014 at 12:02 pm Leave a comment

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