My nephew, Noah, and I were playing house the other day. I was the mom and he was the dad and cousin Evie was our daughter. Noah went off to work and gave me a big kiss. When he came home from work, he pretended to hand me money as well as the dinner he picked up for our family. I said, “Why thank you, my husband!” He responded, “You’re very welcome.” A minute later he turned to me and asked, “Do you know why I brought you all this?” I was confused and asked why. “Because you are lucky,” he answered.
And lucky I am. Lucky to have one darn cute nephew. Noah turned four this week and I wanted him to feel lucky to have an aunt like me. His Uncle Jonny found a perfect DIY present for a young boy, and even more perfect for our little runner, Noah. Instead of making it ahead of time (and having to somehow get it from Switzerland to California), I decided it would be more fun to make his present together. I didn’t tell him what it was but he knew we were working on a very special project. When the very special project was done and he still didn’t know what it was, I told him that it was a Rocket Man Jetpack that would make him run superfast. He wanted to put it on immediately and see how fast he could go.
Superfast he did run. So fast that his feet barely touched the ground.
I loved watching the imagination and joy that came from such a simple gift. Though he probably won’t love it forever, we got to enjoy it now, together.
If you have a young boy in your life that needs a new toy, this is an easy and inexpensive project.
- 2 empty two-liter soda bottles
- piece of cardboard
- silver spray paint
- glue (preferably glue gun or super glue)
- red, orange, yellow/gold felt
- 2 rubberbands
- gold stars (optional)
- Take off the wrappers from the soda bottles. Cut out a piece of cardboard, the width being the width of the boy’s back, the length being half the length of the bottles.
- Spray paint the bottles and cardboard and let them dry.
- While they are drying, cut out some flames with your felt. I used Noah’s hands to trace the red flames as a fun way to get him involved in the project.
- Wrap a rubberband around the top of the three fabrics. Stuff the rubberbanded area into the bottleneck. Secure with glue. Repeat for both bottles.
- Measure the straps around your child’s arms, making sure to leave enough room so they can get it on. Cut the straps and staple them on the top and bottom of each edge of the cardboard.
- Glue the bottles onto the cardboard (about in the middle of the bottles),on the side without the straps.
- Let those little hands add some sparkly stars if they want!
- Strap onto your kiddo and let them run! If the straps fall off a bit, weave some extra strap through both arm straps and tie it snug around the chest.
Note: If you find the glue to not be strong enough, you can duct tape the bottles to the cardboard. The duct tape matches the silver paint!