Monday, October 12, 2015

Mindful Families Class at Lokavindu Yoga in Old Town

Mindful Families Class

Mindful Families
Relaxation techniques, meditation and yoga for families.
weekly class Sundays beginning October 18th
5pm to 6pm at Lokavindu Yoga
2802 Juan St. #21 Old Town San Diego Ca.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Tapping Workshop at Lotus Fitness 331 E St. Chula Vista, CA.

Tapping Workshop with Tania Franco

Emotional Freedom Technique Workshop
Sunday October 25th 10am to 12pm
at Lotus Fitness and Wellness
331 E St. Chula Vista, Ca.

Tapping is a combination of acupressure, cognitive behavioral therapy and NLP.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Guided Meditation For Children: A Caterpillar In The Garden

Photo by Tania Franco in Balboa Park San Diego, California

It has been important to me as a mother and a Psychotherapist to share with my 6 year old son relaxation techniques to help him manage daily stress effectively. One of the ways that I help my son relax is before bedtime: I give him a short massage using lavender massage oil and I guide him through a 10 minute meditation.

I share with you the script of one of his favorite meditations, A Caterpillar In The Garden:

(Read slowly, pausing now and then, with a calm voice)

Imagine that you are a little caterpillar in a beautiful garden
In this garden you feel safe and calm
You see many types of flowers (mention your child's favorite flowers)
Trees (mention their favorite trees)
And green grass all around you

You continue to walk around the garden

Listening to the different sounds
Smelling the fragrances in the air

Until you find a comfortable leaf to lay and rest in

Breathing in and out
Relaxing your feet
Your legs
With each breath feeling lighter
Your pelvis, hips and buttocks
Feeling how you are abdomen moves with your breath
Your back
Breathing in and out
Relaxing your shoulders
Arms and hands
Jaw, mouth, cheeks
Breathing in and out

Feeling your body soft and loose... 1...2...3...
Relaxed... 4... 5...6...
Breathing deeply... 7... 8...9...10.

I hope your child/children enjoy this meditation as much as my son does. Exposing children to different relaxation techniques strengthens their self-esteem, supports them in effective stress and emotional management.

-Tania Franco 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Taller en Tijuana: Manifiesta la Vida Que Deseas!

Manifiesta la Vida Que Deseas! Taller de Visualización Guiada y Creación de Póster de Vida
Sábado 10 de Octubre de 10am a 12pm
en Anjali
Calle Gardenias 4424 Fraccionamiento Las Palmas
$300 M.N. por persona

Saturday, September 26, 2015

EFT Workshop

EFT Workshop at Lokavindu Yoga

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) Workshop
Saturday 9/26 2pm to 4pm
at Lokavindu Yoga
2802 Juan St. Old Town San Diego California

Friday, September 25, 2015

Life Goals Visualization and Dream Board Workshop

at Lotus Fitness and Wellness 331 E St. Chula Vista California

Create The Life You Want! Life Goals Visualization and Dream Board Creation Workshop
Friday 9/25 6pm to 9pm
at Lotus Fitness and Wellness
331 E St. Chula Vista Ca.
$20 per person (bring a friend 2 for $30)

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Meditation 101 at The University Club

Meditation 101 with Tania Franco
Meditation 101
Saturday September 19th
10am to 11 am
The University Club Atop Symphony Towers

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

My Favorite Yoga Poses Right Now

Images by Dante Morales and Edgar A. Morales

There have been different times in my life in which certain yoga poses resonate more with me than others. I have been practicing yoga for 17 years, so I have gone through many phases.

When I first started, Tree Pose and Warrior II fascinated me.

With Tree Pose I could work towards having greater balance. The more I practiced this position I gained more balance and it felt like it could spill over into the rest of my life. I felt great hope each time I held it for a couple of breaths longer.

In Warrior II I connected with an inner strength I had not felt in years, or ever. It brought me in contact with my personal power. It was thrilling.

I went through enamored phases with Child's Pose, Camel, Supported Shoulder Stand, Wheel pose and many more, and what I realized was that my body would let me know which were the poses I needed most. I tried to listen and incorporated them into my regular practice.

 Right now my favorite yoga poses are Headstand, Dancer's and Monkey Pose.

Headstand is known as the king of yoga poses and has many mental and physical benefits. I am interested in it because for years I feared it and consciously chose not to do it. I even had an Ashtanga yoga teacher coax me many times into doing it in spite of my whining. I am now fascinated with it because I have lost the fear of it... sort of. Don't get me wrong, it isn't easy. But every time I manage to do a headstand I feel like I can conquer my goals, or at least take a step closer to achieving them.

Dancer's Pose feels like I am venerating life in the most graceful way. I feel joyful and deeply grateful when I practice this pose.

I enjoy hip openers because I feel like I am cleaning out negative memories and feelings from my body whenever I do them. It is believed that painful feelings are held in the hips. Monkey Pose (split) is a very challenging hip opening pose, but each time I do it I can find a way to relax into it. I'll admit to be a bit surprised and in awe of my body whenever I do this pose.

I find it amazing that I can fall in love with yoga over and over again, and always discover something new through my practice. I wonder what pose I will cherish next.

Positive Affirmations Workshop

Positive Affirmations Workshop With Tania Franco

Sunday September 27th
10am to 12:30pm
at Lotus Fitness and Wellness
331 E St. Chula Vista Ca.
$20 (bring a friend, 2 for $30)

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Beauty Is Everywhere

Photo by Tania Franco
Today I am grateful for the moments when I am able to see the beauty around me. There are times when I easily see the grace in others, in experiences and in myself, and there are times when I don't. How you see the world is how the world sees you. When I am flowing with a positive perspective, I get a similar response back. It also applies to a negative view.

I enjoy life and those around me most when I choose to see life through admiring eyes.

Beauty is everywhere, all we have to do is choose to see it.


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Homemade Pizza

Homemade Pizzas

I feel grateful for homemade pizza.

A friend of mine taught me how to make it a few years ago when my son was a newborn. It's funny how it had never occurred to me that I could make my own. After realizing I could easily make it, it opened me up to making many dishes I loved but only ate at restaurants.

My son and I made the pizzas shown in the picture above (left one is his and right one is mine). I enjoy baking and cooking with my 6 year old because it is a time to bond and he also learns about math and chemistry. We make pizza together a few times a month.

I use Trader Joe's Pizza Dough which needs to be left out at room temperature about 20 to 30 minutes before cooking. Preheat your oven when you take the dough out of the fridge.

Son's homemade pizza recipe:
1/2 Trader Joe's Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
A couple of Tablespoons of Marinara Sauce
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese as much as you like
Crimini Mushrooms
Sliced Black Olives
Spinach cut into small pieces

My Pizza Recipe:
Other half of Trader Joe's Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
A couple Tablespoons of Marinara Sauce
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Ricotta Cheese (a few teaspoons)
Red Bell Pepper
Crimini Mushrooms
Red Onion
Sliced Black Olives
(I will add as many veggies as I can depending on what's available: tomatoes, zucchini, squash,etc.)  

Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes.

Then voilá! Pizza is ready. Let it cool down a few minutes, slice and serve. I like to accompany mine with arugula or avocado slices on top or a side salad.

Gratitude creates happiness. What are you grateful for today?
Tania Franco

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Create The Life You Want: Visualization, Life Goals, and Vision Board Creation.

Visualization, life goals, and vision board creation with Tania Franco
Sunday August 30th from 10am to 12pm
Lotus Fitness and Wellness
331 Chula Vista Ca.
(619) 426-5688
$20 for one
Bring a friend, 2 for $30

Please bring:
  • a mug (tea will be available)
  • a yoga mat
  • wear comfortable clothes
  • bring a couple of old magazines to share
  • bring an open mind and heart

Thursday, August 13, 2015

A Vase Full of Fresh Flowers

Hydrangeas, my favorite flowers.
Today I am grateful for the vase full of fresh flowers. A bouquet of flowers makes my home feel special. Since I was a child I always wanted to be the type of woman who regularly bought flowers for her home, wore dresses and skirts regularly and smiled often. Maybe that's why it gives me such satisfaction to look at these hydrangeas in my living room, they symbolize more than what I am conscious of.

Gratitude creates happiness. What are you grateful for today?

Tania Franco

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

You Scream, I Scream, We All Scream For San Diego Ice Cream!

Ice cream in San Diego, Ca.

Today I feel grateful for the small pleasures in life like ice cream. After a hot day of summer activities in San Diego with my soon to be 1st grader, a scoop or two of ice cream are a dream come true.

Some of my favorite places to get ice cream in San Diego are:

  • Menchie's in Mission Valley 
  • Happenstance carts from Viva Pops at Pioneer Park or Heartwork Coffee Bar
  • Vero Gelato in Mission Hills, also available at The Kensington Cafe and Whole Foods Hillcrest
  • Ben and Jerry's at Horton Plaza
  • Daily Scoop on Juniper in South Park
  • Chocolat in Hillcrest

And when on a budget:

  • Thrifty at Rite Aid
  • Chick fil a soft serve cone 

As I write this I realize that the Morales-Franco Family really like their ice cream!

Gratitude creates happiness. What are you grateful for today?

Tania Franco

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Playfulness Keeps Us Young

Coronado Beach San Diego, California

Today I am grateful for playfulness. We, my husband and I,  bought a couple of body boards intended to provide fun and entertainment for our  6 year old son. Truth is, we might be much more excited about the actual body boarding than the little one. The pic above is exhibit A.

Through the last decade I have let my playful side come out. I will swing on a swing at the park, play freeze tag and laugh out loud while doing so, jump waves and feel giddy like a child. Allowing ourselves to be playful is one way to truly enjoy life.

Gratitude creates happiness. What are you grateful for today?

Tania Franco

Monday, August 3, 2015

Finding Magic In Everyday Life

Photo by Dante Morales

I feel grateful when I find myself seeing the magic in every day life. Experiencing synchronicity, meaningful coincidences, like thinking of a friend and suddenly getting a phone call from them or finding an obscure book I wanted at the entrance of the book store, etc...

A beetle landed on me the other day and stayed there for a long time. This put a big grin on my face. My son was with me and seeing the experience through his eyes only made it much more special. I have read that beetles are considered a symbol of good luck and took it as a sign of good things to come.

Seeing life through a child's eyes can make anything seem fascinating. I find it's easier to see the magic in every day life when in the company of my 6 year old.

Gratitude creates happiness. What are you grateful for?

Tania Franco

Friday, July 31, 2015

Yoga and Meditation Classes in Chula Vista, Ca.

Lotus Fitness and Wellness 331 E St. Chula Vista, Ca.

Yoga and Meditation Class at Lotus Fitness and Wellness
331 E St. Chula Vista Ca.

Sunday's at 10 am

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Picnics In The Park

Today I am grateful for picnics in the park. I really enjoy getting together with friends, sharing a meal while being outdoors . Whether we are watching a movie, listening to music at a concert or just a regular day/evening outdoors.

I like being surprised by what friends bring to share and also enjoy getting creative and prepping easy to carry appetizers.

Gratitude creates happiness. What are you grateful for today?

Tania Franco

Monday, July 27, 2015

Ah... Coffee

Decaf Latte at Heartwork Coffee Bar Mission Hills San Diego

Today I feel grateful for coffee. Good coffee.

It's a bit unusual but since I went caffeine free I have learned to enjoy the pure taste of coffee.

I used to drink a large cup of coffee sweetened with 2 overflowing tablespoons of raw sugar and about 1/4 cup of half and half. With the intention to make slow but long lasting dietary changes I learned to drink my coffee black, which took a few steps and a lot of affirmations to learn to like it that way. Once I was drinking black coffee I switched to decaf and have been that way for about 4 months now.

Now I have a cup of coffee once or twice a week and when I do, I savor it.

Gratitude creates happiness. What are you grateful for today?

Tania Franco

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Modern Yoga and Meditation at Presidio Park, San Diego Ca.

Presidio Park, San Diego Ca.

Modern Yoga and Meditation Classes
9 am Beginner's Yoga
10 am Guided Meditation

At Presidio Park, San Diego Ca.
Near the pergola Presidio Dr. and Cosoy Way

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Nature Fills My Heart

Ocean Beach San Diego CA.

Today I feel grateful that I can be in nature often. Nature fills my heart. Whether I am walking through a park, hiking, or at the beach, I always feel happier when I get to be outdoors.

I like to take off my shoes and walk barefoot on the sand or on the grass. I have read many times that walking barefoot in nature is a wonderful way to release stress and I couldn't agree more. I feel grounded and connected to the world when I take the time to be in nature.

Gratitude creates happiness. What are you grateful for today?

Tania Franco

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Hooray For Date Night!

Today I am grateful for date night. I love spending time with my spouse. We have a lot in common so conversation doesn't run dry and we make each other laugh out loud which is a treat. We usually pick: yoga, gym, coffee, a walk, hike, bookstore, dinner, movie, or a combination of these. I can honestly say that even going on a Target run while holding hands can feel romantic. Although, we try not to do that on date night.

It's so important to have adult conversations and reconnect with each other regularly.

Gratitude creates happiness. What are you grateful for today?

Tania Franco

Introduction to Meditation Workshop

331 E St. Chula Vista CA.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Happy Hour With Friends!

Ortega's Bistro Hillcrest, San Diego CA.

Today I feel grateful for Happy Hour with friends. In a few hours we managed to laugh out loud a few times, share deep conversation and down a couple of drinks.

It is important to make time for friends. As time passes and  responsibilities grow, it gets harder to stay in touch. I try to see friends once or twice a week with children and at least once a month just the adults.

As women trying to juggle kids, work, household chores, it's important to reconnect with our individuality and spend time with friends and family sans children.

Gratitude creates happiness. What are you grateful for today?

Tania Franco

Friday, July 17, 2015

A Power Nap Makes It All Better

Today I am grateful for that luxurious 2 hour nap I got to take. My husband and son rock! They were mindful that I have peace and quiet so I could rest.

I try to get 8 to 10 hours of sleep nightly. Lack of sleep is my kryptonite. In my college and pre-baby days I napped regularly 10 to 30 minutes almost daily. Since becoming a mom 6 and a half years ago, I hardly ever nap.

Sleeping well has always been a priority in my life. My paternal grandfather, a Pediatrician and Professor, battled insomnia most of his adult life. He made sure to regularly speak to us about the importance of good sleeping habits and power napping. I am grateful that I listened.

A power nap makes it all better.

Gratitude creates happiness. What are you grateful for today?

Tania Franco

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Meal Planning Makes My Life Easier

Image by Tania Franco

Today I am grateful for meal planning. It makes life so much easier! The picture I share above  is the meal plan I made for our household this week and a few of the foods we ate.

I usually pick 4 main dish recipes and 4 sides. I make my grocery list with the ingredients of the recipes I picked along with my kitchen staples.

To keep it interesting I have many cookbooks, study recipes and use Pinterest to keep track of new and healthy meal options. I am not a fan of cooking but I am a big fan of eating yummy foods, so I look for easy and doable recipes.

I will usually ask my husband and son what they are in the mood for that week and plan accordingly. I also try to choose meals that use many of the same ingredients so I am not left with lots of leftover food.

Gratitude creates happiness. What are you grateful for today?

Tania Franco

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Easy Healthy Appetizer Recipe - Only 3 Ingredients!

Image by Tania Franco

A couple of months ago I hosted an Appetizer-Sangria get together. A couple of friends came over and one of them brought this delicious dip/salsa creation that was delicious and healthy. Right away I asked her for the recipe. I could not believe it had only 3 ingredients!

Recently as I was meal planning, each week I plan 4 dinners and 4 sides and draw up my grocery list, I remembered this recipe. I looked it up online and decided to make it as one of our dinners accompanied with a salad.

I made it in a flash and we devoured it, we being my husband, my 6 year old son and me. Yes, my finicky eater loved it and ate 1/2 a cup! This practically made it perfect in my eyes. It made for 2 meals for 3 people for approx.$13 dollars. Inexpensive and healthy.

Easy Healthy Appetizer - Only 3 Ingredients!:

1 package of Trader Joe's Steamed Lentils
1 container of Trader Joe's Fresh Bruschetta
1 container of Trader Joe's Crumbled Feta Cheese

Mix it together and serve. I accompanied mine with pita chips. You can eat it as is or accompany it with tortilla chips, raw veggies, serve in a lettuce wrap, you name it. Get creative.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Tania Franco

Friday, July 10, 2015

The Ocean Is My Temple

Torrey Pines, La Jolla Ca. Image By Tania Franco

Today I am grateful that I live near the ocean and have access to beautiful beaches. Being in nature makes me feel alive and fuels my sense of wonder.

Today I had a picnic with my family, then practiced yoga with this view. The beach has always been a place where I center myself, feel connected to the earth and to the ethereal.

The Ocean is my temple.

Gratitude creates happiness. What are you grateful for today?

Tania Franco

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Lego Time = OMG What Can I do Right Now?

My son's recent Lego creations

Today I am grateful for Lego-time (quiet individual playtime), in other words, mommy gets a break time.

My son will follow instructions exactly as needed (mostly when it comes to building Lego's), sit still for up to 45 minutes, and use his creativity. Meanwhile I get to write this post, blog, cook, clean, read, or all of the above. Basically I try to make the most of these valuable moments.

What are you grateful for today?

Tania Franco

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Connecting With Your Inner Wisdom

Practicing The Art of Happiness Meditation Group

Today I am grateful that I was able to share a felt sense exercise with my meditation group.

One of my favorite ways of teaching and practicing meditation is by connecting with the felt sense. The felt sense are subtle sensations that occur in our body that help us be more in tune with our inner wisdom. Consciously paying attention to our body's messages throughout the day strengthens our ability to listen to our deeper self and become empowered by it.

There are certain physical symptom's that each of us have when under stress: shallow breathing, tightness in jaw, tightness in neck and shoulders, butterflies in the stomach. Checking in with these sensations throughout the day can empower us to practice a relaxation technique and reduce the symptom's.

The symptom's are very subtle. I like to rate them on a 0 to10 scale. 0 being nothing and 10 being extreme. If I notice that I have tightness in my jaw and I rate it a 5, it is a cue to remind myself to take deep breaths. By practicing sensing, I have come to know how my body feels in many situations and have been empowered by it. We all have this ability.

Notice how your body feels when you are with someone you really like.

Notice how it feels when you are with someone you don't.

Our body doesn't lie.

Practice checking in with your body throughout the day and use this awareness to make subtle changes to improve your quality of life.

Gratitude creates happiness. What are you grateful for today?

Tania Franco

Friday, July 3, 2015

Enjoying New Flavors

I grew up being a finicky eater and was very selective in my food choices growing up. It wasn't until I was pregnant at 30 years old that my taste buds began to enjoy and crave new flavors. I began to eat spicy salsas and even tried making them to add to my meals. Onions and garlic took on a richer taste and I began to try foods from all over the world.

Today I am grateful for all the new flavors I have come to enjoy. This week on my menu are many Greek dishes and foods I would never have eaten before.

Gratitude creates happiness. What are you grateful for today?

Tania Franco

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Joy of Reading

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society 

I love to read! There is something very special when I find a book I feel connected to, immerse myself in it's particular perspective and learn to value the diversity of its characters. It's like living various lives and attaining pearls of wisdom to add onto my own.

Today I am grateful for "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society". It is a charming book. It has made me laugh out loud and touched my heart. Many times a good book has felt like a good friend.

Gratitude creates happiness. What are you grateful for today?

Tania Franco

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Family Yoga Gratitude

The Morales-Franco Gang in Tree Pose

Yoga has been my saving grace. It has helped me learn to like being alone with myself. Through my 17 year practice I have found I can create a sense of inner peace within me.

I feel grateful that I can share such a beautiful practice with my family. We try to attend a weekly family yoga class where we can bring our very active 6 year old. It's fun and relaxing at the same time. Well... most of the time. I still have to get over that a 6 year old boy will act like a 6 year old boy, even at yoga.

Gratitude creates happiness. What are you grateful for today?

Tania Franco

Practical Gratitude

Image by Tania Franco

Practicing gratitude regularly has brought me much happiness. When I realized that I had thousands of things to be thankful for, it put things into perspective.

I want to post what I am grateful for regularly as a means of inspiring myself but also to inspire others in realizing that everyone has many blessings throughout their day.

A regular gratitude practice has been linked to increased happiness, better health and a deeper spirituality.

Today I am grateful for Edgar's, my husband, continual efforts in organizing our home. The above picture shows part of a shelf filled with containers that store different ingredients (protein powder, chia, flax seeds, etc.) that are used regularly in our household. He really knows how to beautify a space and make it as practical as possible.

Gratitude creates happiness. What are you grateful for?

Tania Franco

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Tapping For Kids (EFT for Kids)

Image by Tania Franco

It is important to give kids options that can help them reduce stress and manage uncomfortable emotions. I meet many adults who have limited self care resources and because of this they now have a hard time managing emotions and stress. By teaching children techniques to address uncomfortable feelings early on we are giving them valuable tools they will be able to use into adulthood.

Tapping is a great way to teach children how to practice self care. In a nut shell, when we have an uncomfortable emotion it is believed in ancient philosophies that our life energy (chi) is disrupted, by tapping on acupressure points while thinking of the event/feeling that caused it, we allow chi to return to it's full flow.

The WHO, World Health Organization, has recommended acupuncture for over 60 different ailments. Acupressure is similar to acupuncture except that you apply pressure or tap with your fingertips on the energy points on your body instead of placing tiny needles in them.

I have made diaphragmatic breathing, yoga, meditation and tapping part of our family life.I practice tapping differently with my 5 year old then I would with adults but it is still very effective in reducing stress and easing strong emotions.

The following is how I practice tapping with my son:

I gently tap with my middle and index finger, approximately 5 taps on the following points (they are outlined in the image above with red hearts).
  • Karate chop (side of hand by the pinky finger)
  •  Inside corner of eyebrow, near the nose
  • Outer edge of eyebrow
  • Cheekbone
  • Under nose
  • Chin
  • Collarbone
  • Under arm
  • Ribs
  • Tap 5 fingertips of one or both hands
  • Karate chop
I will tap on my son or he will tap on himself as I guide him before going to bed, while cuddling and watching TV, after he's had a melt down, lately right before a melt down which helps relax him.

Giving children different ways to manage their emotions sets them up to be empowered beings now but also helps develop happier adults.

Tania Franco

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Tapping: Acupressure For Emotional Empowerment

Image by Tania Franco
Tapping combines acupressure, NLP, and cognitive behavioral techniques. It is beneficial in making uncomfortable emotions manageable, releasing unhealthy thoughts, creating greater relaxation and reducing physical pain.

First, name the emotion or sensation you are feeling and give it a number from 1-10 (10=the most and 1=the least).

Tap the karate chop point and repeat 3 times: “Even though I have this  (state the emotion/sensation), I am learning to love and accept myself completely.”

Tap each point gently 7 times on each acupressure point while focusing on the emotion or sensation. Make sure you are taking deep breaths throughout the exercise.

Tapping sequence:

Inside corner of eyebrow
Outer edge of eyebrow
Under eye
Under nose
Collarbone (sore spot)
Under arm
Inside nail of thumb
Inside nail of index finger
Inside nail of middle finger
Inside nail of little finger

Do 9 Gamut sequence (see below)

Repeat taping sequence (see above)

Take a deep breath.

Reassess the number (0-10) of the emotion/sensation.

If the number has dropped but the emotion/sensation is still noticeable, repeat the tapping sequence.  At each point say out loud,  “Remaining ___________ (state the emotion/sensation).”

9 Gamut Sequence
Tap the gamut spot throughout this sequence (on both sides of your temple/ fleshy part of hand between little and ring finger)

Look straight ahead

Close eyes

Open eyes and look down diagonally to the right

Look down diagonally to the left

Roll eyes clockwise

Roll eyes counterclockwise

Start tapping on both sides of temple again/ fleshy part of your hand between little and ring finger

Hum a tune out loud

Count to 7 out loud

Hum a tune out loud

Take a deep breath

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Creative Parenting: Recycled Material Jet Pack

Image by Tania Franco

When I was in my early 20's I dreamed of the day I would become a mother and how much art and play would be at the center of my parenting style. Now with a 6 year old I can proudly say that we have made arts and crafts a part of our daily life.

I realize how much all of our activities have helped shape his view of the world. He will see something he likes and automatically knows that we can find a way to make it. No matter what.

The other day we were at a play date with friends and he saw this amazing jet pack made with recycled materials. As soon as we got home I looked it up on Pinterest and added it to my After School board.

We used the following materials we had at hand:

2 Empty sparkling water bottles
Red Tissue Paper (cut it into 10 long strips)
A piece of cardboard from a cereal box
Aluminum Foil
Hot glue gun
Scotch Tape

1.We covered the water bottles and the cardboard with aluminum foil. Put a a little bit of scotch tape to hold it together.

2. We looked for something to use as a strap. I suggested an old T-shirt but my son wasn't having it. Every shirt possible was called his "favorite". I tried to explain that 10 shirts can't all be his favorite but I lost that battle so I looked for a pair of tights that could do the trick. (Yes, I once bought bright Pepto Bismol tights. My husband, bless him, didn't let me leave the house with them on, so they were available for the craft.) I cut 2 legs for the shoulder straps and a third piece to hold the water bottles to the cardboard.

3. I hot glued the water bottles to the cardboard.

4. Hot glued and later stapled the straps (pink tights) to the cardboard.

5. Hot glued and stapled the strap that hugged the water bottles to the cardboard.

6. Cut the tissue paper into 10 strips, put 5 of  them together and stapled them, then stapled the other 5..

7. Hot glued the tissue paper onto each the water bottles.

Voila'! He ran around the house all day playing with it.

Finding creative ways to come together as a family can be truly rewarding for all and can be empowering for children.

Tania Franco