Magical Childhood Newsletter
Volume 6
May 25, 2001

Hi folks!  I have a few minutes while the girls bang on lids so I thought I'd send out another newsletter.

On the continuing theme on how to help make a difference for children, my good friend Meghan wrote in and asked people to please consider volunteering at their local schools.  Even if your children aren't in school or if you're homeschooling, she points out that it will help make it better for the children who are there.  She says this time of year is very busy for teachers, since they're wrapping up the school year.  I'm going to talk to our kindergarten teacher tonight at ECFE and see how I can help.

Also, Meghan has been working hard putting up the Magical Childhood web site.  I'll update you when it's ready.  It looks wonderful!  I can't thank her enough.

Have a good week with your little ones.  For those of you in the states, Happy Memorial Day!


Crafts from Aunt Leslie

Make a Balloon Pinata!

To do:
Make a thin glue with Elmer's glue.
Blow up a balloon,
cover it with strips of colored tissue paper (several layers!),
leave a hole to fill and let dry.
Pop the balloon.
Fill with candy or very light toys (could add confetti or paper streamers as filler).
Put a long string to hang it inside the hole, cover the hole with more tissue paper and let dry.

Art idea for older kids:

Tape a simple drawing upside down (a clip art drawing of a pirate, for example).  Give your child a piece of paper and pencil and ask him to draw the image as it is (draw an upside down pirate).  Later, tape the picture right side up and have him draw it that way.  Compare the two pictures.  Which one is more accurate?  This is a neat way to show how we draw what we *think* things look like more than what we really see.


Magical mama Jennifer wrote in that when she drives with her kids and they go down a fun hill, she hollers out "One more time!" and turns around to hit it again.  What a cool mom!

Scout Songs

This South African scouting site has indexes of kids' songs organized by category.  There's everything from sad to silly to skit songs.  Lots of them have fun ways that the kids or the audience participate.  Really fun stuff!


10 More ways to make today special:

1.  Help the kids hide love you notes for a loved one (daddy, grandma, etc.).  Fill them with messages to make him laugh or feel good, such as limericks, 5 reasons you're the best grandpa, and so on.  Try to leave some where it will take a few days and some that will pop up in dull places, such as in the car or briefcase.

2.  Run in the sprinkler with the kids.  YOU TOO.  Laugh.  Some day you'll miss these days!

3.  Take the whole family out for a drive.  Park by a lake or just in an empty lot away from city lights.  Lay a blanket down or pull out some lawn chairs and just sit as a family and watch the stars.  See if you can see any shooting stars.  Point out the constellations to your kids.  Talk about what you thought when you looked at the stars when you were a child.

4. Make puzzles for breakfast.  Use cookie cutters to cut shapes out of toast, pancakes or french toast.  Let kids match the shapes to the pieces with the holes and fit back in.

5.  Go down memory lane.  Take the kids to the hospital where they were born, the school you went to, or the park where daddy proposed.  Tell them the stories of those far-off times.

6.  Start a wish tradition.  My mom always saved the tip of her pie for the last bite and made a wish on it.  You can also wish on stars, dandelion fluff, pennies in fountains, or just something you make up.  See if your family can invent some neat new ones.

7.  Ask your child to educate you.  Have her teach you about something she knows a lot about, or even about what's in nowadays.  Kids love to feel like experts.

8.  Have the whole family play charades.  It's fun!  Grumpy older kids especially need to play.  ;)

9.  Start a reading time.  Books aren't just for little ones.  Read novels, mysteries or even ghost stories aloud every night.  You can read while the kids do dishes or other nightly chores, to get them hooked at the beginning.

10. Celebrate an unexpected anniversary.  Search through baby books, letters or old e-mails and find something neat that happened on this date.  Surprise your little one with a cake to celebrate the 4 year anniversary of her first word.  Start writing notes on your calendars of all the milestones your family goes through, then keep them on a master calendar.  How fun it would be in a few years to be able to look at this date in your family's history and see that 6 years ago you moved into your house, 3 years ago the baby crawled for the first time, and last year this was the day your son cooked his first meal.


How one set of parents turned a big box into a pretty snazzy playhouse:

Sometimes the hardest part of loving children is letting them grow up.  I'm not sure how I'll handle it when my girls don't want to take a bath with their goofy mom, or cuddle up for story time or get a monkey hug.  As parents, we have to back up and give them space to run, even if it's away from us.

Just the same, even grown ups need a mommy sometimes.  Everybody needs to keep a little bit of themselves open for giggling, finger painting and being silly.  It helps keep us alive.  I plan on giving my girls the opportunity to grow up, but every so often I'm still going to be their silly mama to keep them from growing old.

Here's a poem I wrote for my good friend's little boy, Anthony, on his "growing up" at six.  :)

                          American Music

Anthony, I remember it all:
Dancing barefoot in your trailer
To the Violent Femmes and your mother's laugh,
Making a snow-beast,
finding the kittens,
You playing with my feet.

I held your hand as we crossed streets
And stepped out of pick-ups.
You laughed when I mimicked Aunt Lillian,
Hugged me every time I left
And remembered me when I returned.

Oh Anthony, I missed a year
And you grew up completely.
You hate the Femmes
And don't like dancing.  You find me odd
and go off to watch cable.

You are six
And as old as your mother,
Both of you
Like playmates out of reach, wild things
That wised up and moved on.

Sweet child, I know that growing
Is the biggest part of living.
But please, for that child in you,
That piece of your mother, that bit of the past,
For the dark and the bright and the never,
What your mother lost and your mother dared,
My sweet thing, sometimes,

The village is growing

I used to address this to moms, but then I had to add dads to the list.  Then I realized some of the readers were grandmas and others had no kids of their own.  I love seeing so many people from all different experiences being so devoted to children.  :)  So if you see me slip up and just talk about moms, feel free to toss something at me.  <G>

Till next time, moms, dads, mentors, teachers, aunties and grandmas!  I hope you have a great week.  Don't forget to take care of you!



A Magical Childhood
Copyright 2001, Alicia Bayer

A Magical Childhood Newsletter is just something I throw together because I love children and love good moms.  To subscribe, send a message to  We do not use ads.  It's not about money.  :)

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