Archives for March 2010

How To Make A Jet Pack

If your little one is as imaginative as mine is, then you absolutely have to do this project.  Not only will it spark your child’s imagination, but it will get them moving, too.  Perfect for indoors or out, this jet pack will have your kids soaring!

All you will need are 2 empty chip cans, 4 full pieces of construction paper in any color, 1 piece of red or orange paper, glue, tape, decorations (stickers or glitter), and an old back pack.

This can easily be modified by omitting the back pack and using yarn.

First thing you will want to do is have your child decorate 2 sheets of construction paper any way they want.  I let my son have at the glue and glitter.  For a much less messy version, you can use markers and stickers.  :-)

While your child is decorating, you can take the other two sheets of construction paper and trace circles on them.  I used a salad bowl and it worked just fine.  Grab anything about 7-9 inches in diameter.  Trace the circle and cut.  You will then want to cut a slit in the circle that reaches the center.  Now turn the paper onto itself to make a cone.  Use glue or tape to hold the cone shape.

Now cut strips of the red or orange paper.  Cut a piece of tape long enough to fit completely around the circumference of the chip cans (an estimation will be just fine, no need to measure).  Lay the strip of tape down sticky side up and place the strips of paper on them.  Be careful to only put the strips on the lower half of the tape.  You want there to be enough tape to still attach to the can.  Now place the tape inside the open end of the cans just along the edge.  You can affix on the outside or on the inside.

Your child’s artwork is about to become the decoration of the rockets.  Glue or tape their embellished construction paper around the chip can.  Carefully run a bead of glue around the rim of the closed end of the cans.  Now just place your cones onto the glue.  I strongly recommend using glue instead of tape for this part, I know from experience.  If you want this instant, you can always use hot glue and not have the long drying time.  I tend to not use hot glue since I have four little hands “helping” me with projects.  I am worried my two hands aren’t going to cover all four from reaching for a hot glue gun.


Lastly, glue your rockets to the back pack.  We got this back pack at our thrift store.  If you do not have a back pack you can easily use a pencil to poke 4 holes into each can.  Two holes near the top (parallel, but closer to one side so they easily lay against your child’s back) and two holes near the bottom.  String one piece of yarn or twine through the holes at the top and another through the bottom holes.  Now you can tie the rockets to your child’s chest area and waist.

I created the back pack version because I did not want to be asked a hundred times a day to tie the rockets on.  A back pack can easily be put on and taken off by my 3 year old.  Now the only problem is I have to make another one, because my youngest wants one too.

This could be your child running off to explore strange new worlds. :-)

by Expert MommyKim Young

How to organize “What’s for Dinner?”

Oh no! It’s 5:30 you just arrived home from toddler ballet, the baby is crying and her siblings are getting restless. As you toss them a pretzel rod and rummage through your kitchen cabinets, your thinking I have to be more organized, there has to be a better way. There is a better way to feed your starving children, yourself and significant other without, cutting short on nutrition and making 2 meals (one for you and one for the kids. I used to be so guilty of that) Here are a few things to do, which will get you through those time crunch hours.

1) Always keep ingredients of a few favorite meals in your pantry. I love Annie’s organic Mac and Cheese or a bag of frozen stir-fry veggies mixed with chicken. Anything you can think of that takes about 15 minutes to make.

2) Keep a running list of things you run out of on your fridge or somewhere close by. Soon as you see you are out or low on something, jot it down.

3) Have a meal you and your spouse love, but this kids not so much? Make your meal, but omit the sauce for the kids or don’t combine it all together. Whatever their issue is with it, simplify and enjoy the meal the way you want it too.

4) “Don’t knock till you try it, put a little on your plate! Some kids think it’s great!” This was a little jingle sung by some cartoon on Saturday mornings when I was a kid. It has always stuck with me. Remember your kids watch your reactions to food and should be encouraged to try it before making any “Yucky” comments.

5) Slow cookers can be your best friends. Find a few of your favorite crock pot recipes and take the time to do a least one a week. A great meal that you literally just had to throw together.

6) Resort to take out! I know some days we just don’t have it in us. Find the best 3 take out places around you and ask about their most nutritious dishes. Another option is to stick to a main dish and you add the fruit and veggies at home.

This is a good start! Don’t forget that some stores offer personal shopping and all you have to do is pick it up! Not a bad way to go even if you use it only once in a while. Remember to make you plan, have a few things to fall back on, try new things, Betty Crocker knew what she was talking about with the slow cooker and never be afraid to ask for help. That’s what good friends ( and spouses) are for.

How to Stop and Breathe

Just back from an “intermission,” a much needed break from work and my regular routine. It felt richly luxurious to have spent four days and three nights in a cabin by a river with just me and my two dogs and my 40 million thoughts. :)

I was on a conscious quest to regain my equilibrium, having sensed that I had become precariously off-center as of late. My back will attest to that!

Serendipitously, I brought along Eric Maisel’s Ten Zen Seconds on a recommendation from a very balanced friend. Maisel points out that our habitual shallow breathing (generally 2-3 seconds in duration) is a defense against knowing our own thoughts: [Read more…]

Positive Parenting Tip: Affection

positive_Parenting_tipOur Yogi Parenting audio tips are presented every Friday by Michaela Turner, BS Ed, CYKT, YKT, Co-creator of the Yogi Parenting course.


Listen to this :15 AUDIO TIP:

If you are ready for parenting to be easier, more fun and less stressful, sign up for a free Yogi Parenting lesson.

Michaela is a 30-year veteran educator and a Certified YogaKids® Teacher and Trainer. In addition to Yogi Parenting, she teaches yoga baby and yoga kids classes for children throughout St. Louis, Missouri.

Practical Mommy’s Impractical Art Project

Step 6: … in heels!

Mimi says, “Balance is especially important for the follows because you’re wearing those super tall heels!”

I’ve always had feet problems. When I was 22, I actually had foot surgery and was laid up for 4 weeks. Navigating the “El” train in Chicago every day on crutches was a lesson in composure. My friend Jeremy actually made me a mix tape (yes, that would be cassette), titled Feets Problems. I gave up rollerblading because my feet couldn’t take it.

So now I tango. In heels. 5-8 hours a week. Ha! Ironically, my tootsies are loving it!

Well, perhaps “love” is an exaggeration. What I’ve found is that my feet and legs, even my stomach muscles are much stronger. My balance is much better. [Read more…]

How to Care for Your Preemie at Home

Nicole Bohorad, co-founder of Parentville.com and mom of a preemie is back to share tips on how to care for your preemie once you’re home together. Nicole points out that temperature regulation is essential to the care of your infant.

She also shares more details and resources on temperature control and breastfeeding your preemie in this helpful .pdf: My Mommy Manual & Parentville Interview 2

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How to care for your preemie in the NICU

[Read more…]

How To Be a Hip Mom

No more excuses moms … here are 5 quick easy tips on how to be a hip mom. The best part — these 5 things take less than 10 minutes! You’ll look and feel great …and you’ll thank me.

Expert Mommy, Catherine Horgan

How to Eat

I know, of all the things we need coaching on, eating hardly seems like a worthy topic for an entire article. Well, before you yawn and move on to something else, consider that Zen Master, Thich Nhat Hanh has written not just one measely article but an entire book on the subject. Seriously.

I would have agreed with your estimation prior to my experience at Thich Nhat Hanh’s One Buddha is Not Enough retreat in Colorado last summer. It was then that I discovered that I was quite adept at shoving food into my mouth but that my consciousness of the experience of eating was quite rudimentary. [Read more…]

Yoga Parenting Course Featured on Great Day St. Louis

Last Friday, Zen Mommy and Carol Daniels talked about the Yoga Parenting course. Suzanne shared tips with viewers on using some of the tools included in the 8-week online course: the signs, the time machine, and the bunny breath.

One of the things that I love about these tools as they aren’t just “gimicks.” They work — with kids of all ages, not just toddlers and preschoolers but also teens and grown children (even spouses)! *wink*

There’s a reason that they work and it’s all rooted in the brain and how we are wired as humans. The Signs work because as Suzanne explains to Carol, it disengages us from the power struggle. It also activates a different part of your child’s brain: the one that has to visually read the sign.

Bunny Breath works because it oxygenates the brain. When stressed, we operate from the brain stem, the most primitive part of the brain. When we breathe, we move up to the neocortex, where higher level thinking and learning occurs.

Click for more on the Yoga Parenting course.

Or buy the course today!

Month Two: Tummy Time

I remember tweeting with a dad of twins and he told me “the first three weeks are the honeymoon period. Enjoy them!” And he was right! Baby girl and baby boy are now much more awake than when we first brought them home. Just when you’re getting used to the routine… eat, sleep, wake, diaper change, eat, sleep, wake… (you get the picture) things have changed. The GOOD NEWS is this gives us plenty of time to play. Here are some ideas to keep you and your nearly two month old baby active during their increasing alert time:

  • Tummy time. Get out the camera ’cause you never know if your ttle one will ROLL for the first time like my baby girl did here!

  • Massage time
  • Bath time
  • Go outside and smell the fresh air / take a walk
  • Play music, sing and dance. No one is watching… I promise 😉

Send me your newborn play ideas. I’d love some tips as baby boy and baby girl are awake and ready to play more and more each day!