Princess Katie and Racer Steve want you to win this CD

Princess Katie and Racer Steve are on a mission to do good. A married couple who started out performing at children's hospitals singing pop-y, fun kids rock and are now becoming a kid rock sensation with their songs that appeal to kids and parents alike with life lessons wrapped in pop music.

But the urge to do good doesn't end there. Princess Katie emailed me last week and said she just couldn't sleep knowing that there were poor, deprived Mommy Poppins readers out there suffering without the help of her, Songs for the Coolest Kids CD. She wants to remedy this situation immediately by giving one lucky reader a copy.

Where I'll Be This Weekend: Learning About Tlingits, Free Music and More

This weekend is jam-packed with so many great goings on for NYC kids that I'm kind of conflicted about which one thing to write about, but the one event I think is the most unique, educational, and rare is the event at the National Museum of the American Indian. (Well, plus my mom told me I had to write about it).

Actually it's a couple of different events, but all themed around the Natives of Southeastern Alaska, so spending a day at the museum this weekend turns into a fun and enlightening introduction to this amazing culture that kids don't hear about much here in New York. And the whole thing is free.

eBeanstalk Toy Store: The Gifts that Keep on Coming

Sometimes I look around at my kids' toys and wish we only had the really great ones, you know. Why do we have so many toys that are just junk? How do we get them? Why do we keep them?!

That's what I think whenever I go to sites like eBeanstalk.com, a toy site that only sells the good stuff. Toys are selected by child development experts and tested by real parents and kids and helpfully categorized by child's age, developmental stage and skills. None of that is that unusual, but eBeanstalk has another unique twist.

Lunch Box Ideas: Kids' Lunches Made Easier

I wonder how the Iron Chef would do with school lunches. "Okay, you've got ten minutes to make a healthy, fun, kid-friendly lunch that my child can eat in 15 minutes and you can only use what's in my fridge. Go!" Now that's a food challenge - the one parents face every weekday morning. Whether their kids are in day care or school a nutritious lunch must be provided one way or another.

On the surface it seems pretty simple. Slap together a sandwich, toss in a juice box and some string cheese. Done. It's the every morning thing that makes it so ornery. Whether it's because I'm running late, I've run out of bread or run out of ideas, there are definitely more days than I'd like to admit that I've been so desperate I've come scarily close to sending my child to school with a Happy Meal.

As is our wont, Mommy Poppins has scoured the known universe for resources, services, tips and ideas to help NYC parents make making lunches for school easier.

153 preschools you don't have to call on Sept. 4

It's pretty much generally accepted knowledge that to get your toddler into preschool in NYC one has to sit on the phone with her fingers hovering over the redial button on the day after Labor Day in order to be one of the lucky few who will receive an application - forget about getting accepted.

While it's true that there are a handful of schools that really do seem to put their prospective parents through this absurd torture, for the most part this whole story is a big myth. I'm not saying that getting into preschool in NYC is easy (actually it can be), but there is absolutely no reason why schools should make parents do this and very few still do.

Best of the Back to School Guides

As Seen at Cool Mom PicksI culled through the blogosphere looking for the best back to school guides and bring you the best of 2007 blogging back to school guides. Here's where you'll find the best of what kids going to school need in NYC and beyond.

Best Style: Cool Mom Picks wins hands down for having the coolest, well, mom picks for school this year. Fun fashion, back packs, lunch boxes, school supplies, and a little something for mommy too. This is the list to send your kids back to school in style.

Most Informative: Download a comprehensive guide to getting through the school year with tips on everything from healthy snacks to dealing with bullies at Healthy Perspectives. There's a lot of this kind of information out there, but this 36 page well-organized document seems good and tackles unusual but real issues, like what if you don't like your kid's teacher.

The Greens: Environmentalism is all the rage now. This is supported by the fact that several of the back to school guides I found were "green guides." The guide at Green Moms, the iVillage Green Back to School Picks, and the Green Back to School Guide are not all that different from each other and I would be hard-pressed to pick one out as the best, so here's a run-down of what I took away:

Labor Day Weekend: Wrap Summer Up at 5 NY Fairs

Labor Day Weekend is the last weekend of the summer for NYC kids. Time for one last fling with fun. One last chance to lose yourself to the joys of summer. Labor Day Weekend is also the time for The Fair.

Just a short drive from NYC families can find themselves in 4H country. State and county fairs boast agricultural exhibits where farm kids compete for the best rabbits, chickens, goats, pigs, cows, crafts and more. It's a wonderful view into a completely different type of childhood experience, not to mention a great big petting zoo.

After the jump, a run-down of the state, county and other fairs in the area this weekend. Plus find out how any NYC child can participate in the county fair experience right here in NYC.

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