Magical Childhood Newsletter
Volume 23
November 9, 2001

Hi folks!  I'm overdue in sending out a newsletter so I'm holing myself in my den to piece something together for you (and to hide from the monkeys for a few minutes!).

We had a great Halloween over here.  The girls went as movie stars and adored the whole idea of trick or treating.  They got quite a haul of candy and it was really a wonderful night.  The weather has been unbelievably warm out here and we're loving it!

Here's hoping you have a great week with your kidlings.  Now, on with the newsletter.....


Have a child who's 3, 5 or 7?  Take part in this fun Japanese tradition!

In Japan, children who are three, five, or seven years old are thought to be especially lucky.  On November 15, families who have children of these ages take part in a very old festival called Shichi-Go-San, or ``Seven-Five-Three."

On this day, the children dress in their finest  clothes.  Some wear Western-style clothes while others follow the old customs and wear traditional kimonos.  Every child gets a long, narrow paper bag colorfully decorated with pictures-- usually of a pine tree, a tortoise, and a crane, symbols of youth and long life.

When everyone is ready, the families go to a shrine or place of worship. There, they give thanks for the good health of the children.   They also ask for a blessing for the future health and happiness of the children.

Outside the shrine, there are stalls where the parents buy candy and toys to fill the children's paper bags. After the families return home, the children give some of their candy to visiting friends and relatives. In return, the children are often given gifts.  Finally, the day may end with a party.

Why not incorporate some elements into the day at your house if any of your kids fits the bill?


Easy Kid Prints!

From the latest Kinderart newsletter:

Sara from Burlington IA has this terrific idea to share:
"For clean hand and foot prints, wet the child's hand or foot with water, then place hand or foot on paper plate. Pour powdered tempera paint on to the wet print. Shake away over a trash can.  Voila - a foot or hand print without the mess!"


You're still doing that???  Confessions of a closet nurser.....

In some ways I am a very private person, so it goes against my natural inclinations to write about nursing Annalee at 21 months.  I know full well how many people roll their eyes, jump to conclusions, and form creepy opinions on mothers who nurse toddlers.

We're spoiling them.  We're babying them.  We're sick.

But even more than I value my privacy (and the right not to have near strangers judge me like Jerry Springer armchair shrinks), I value children.  And you know what?  Breastfeeding older babies can be very, very good for them.

In light of that, I'm resisting the urge to practice "don't ask, don't tell" and I'm volunteering that I am still nursing my walking, talking, toddler daughter.  I thought I'd share some of my reasons why, along with possible things to say to naysayers if you're doing the same.

It's hard sometimes to continue, knowing that a lot of people are thinking some creepy thoughts about moms like me who nurse toddlers.  But frankly, the only reason I would quit at this point is because of the opinions of uneducated people whose parenting I don't admire.  When I look at it that way, it's easier for me to continue with what feels right for us.  It may help to realize that there are far more closet nursers of one and two year-olds than you probably could guess.

If you're nursing an older baby and facing opposition, here are some suggestions....

I didn't plan on nursing this long, and every mom of a toddler who's nursing has pretty much told me the same thing.  Do I plan to nurse Annalee at three?  Nope.  Am I concerned about it now, though?  Not at all.  Should you be?  Nope.  If you and your little one are still both enjoying nursing, then that's what matters.

It's good for you, it's good for them, and last I checked you were the mother.  Pfft on anybody who gives you grief for it!  ;)


"We don't yet know, above all, what the world might be like if children were to grow up without being subjected to humiliation, if parents would respect them and take them seriously as people."

         - Alice Miller

More Holiday Presents.....

                      Homemade Lip Gloss!

1 tsp. Bee's Wax
1 Tbsp. Petroleum Jelly
Crayon Shavings, food coloring or Lipstick (for coloring)
Essential Oil (for fragrance)

Have an adult melt the wax, jelly & coloring in a small bowl or cup in microwave for a few seconds at a time till melted, stirring often with a toothpick.  Carefully add one or two drops essential oil once all is melted.  Stir well with toothpick, and pour into a small container.  Cool well before using (30 minutes).

*Great containers for lip gloss are small pill containers, recycled lip gloss pots or film canisters.  Kids can decorate the containers to suit the owner.

**Use candy flavoring oil (instead of essential oils) to make tasty lip gloss!


Thanksgiving memories

Throughout the month of November, we're making ongoing thanks pages.  We're filling a sheet of paper at a time with all of the things we can think of that we're thankful for and keeping them up on the walls to remind us of how lucky we are.  Each of us has a different color ink, and we'll all decorate the borders.  The completed pages will go in our photo albums to look at each year.  We could even hang every year's each November, come to think of it.....


Here's a fun way to reinforce the alphabet with young kids.  Tomorrow, announce that you're all going to wear the alphabet!  Go on a family adventure to dress each other with every letter of the alphabet.  For instance...

Apples on baby's shirt
Blue pants
Corduroy jumper
Dress for mama.....

You'll have to get really creative and silly for some of the letters!  See how many you can do!

Glitter Germs!

We did a neat little science thing I found on perpetual preschool today.  Since we've been talking a lot about germs and sickness this fall, it really appealed to me.

When we were all outside, I brought out a jar of glitter and sprinkled it generously on the girls' hands.  They loved that, of course.  I explained that the glitter was like germs, which could get on their hands from sneezing, coughing, etc.  Then I had them shake our hands, play with their toys, and so on.  We talked about how little specks of glitter got all over everything, and how daddy picked up the dinosaur and got Victoria's glitter on his hands without ever even touching her.  It was a great visual way to deal with the whole germ/hygiene lesson in a fun way.



 The leaves are fading and falling,
 The winds are rough and wild,
 The birds have ceased their calling,
 But let me tell you, my child,
 Though day by day, as it closes,
 Doth darker and colder grow,
 The roots of the bright red roses
 Will keep alive in the snow.
 And when the Winter is over,
 The boughs will get new leaves,
 The quail come back to the clover,
 And the swallow back to the eaves.
 The robin will wear on his bosom
 A vest that is bright and new,
 And the loveliest way-side blossom
 Will shine with the sun and dew.
 The leaves to-day are whirling,
 The brooks are dry and dumb,
 But let me tell you, my darling,
 The Spring will be sure to come.
 There must be rough, cold weather,
 And winds and rains so wild;
 Not all good things together
 Come to us here, my child.
 So, when some dear joy loses
 Its beauteous summer glow,
 Think how the roots of the roses
 Are kept alive in the snow.

--Alice Cary 1820-1871


Here's a neat little article about Thanksgiving rituals and how to create neat rituals in your family.
(Note:  Our Thanksgiving is coming up here in America but yours may be past or your country may not celebrate one.  I'm not particularly fond of the U.S. version of it.  I am just in love with the concept of giving thanks.  No matter where you live or what holidays are hoisted upon you, you can create neat ones of your own any time you like!


10 Ways to Make Today Magical......

1.  Enlist the kids in painting a secret corner.  It could be the inside of dresser drawers, a broom closet or the back of the wood shed.  Give them a variety of bright colors and brushes.  Encourage them to paint pictures, stars, words, flowers, anything that will make that space feel powerful, fun or special for them.

2.  Adopt a person.  As a family, decide on somebody who needs some magic.  Find an anonymous way to do a good thing for her or him.

3.  Find a fallen tree branch in a manageable size.  Bring it home, pot it, and string it with white Christmas tree lights for a whimsical decoration in any room.

4.  Bake a ring or other heat-resistant trinket into a cupcake.  Make up a tradition or superstition like whoever gets the cupcake will have good luck for a week.

5.  Gather up some dried flowers, petals or potpourri and take the kids outside at sunset.  Tell them you're going to do flower magic and show them how to toss the petals up into the wind.  Say prayers or wishes for loved ones as you toss.

6.  Pass on a tradition.  Teach your children something unique to your family or something that was handed down from your parents or grandparents.  Share your memories as you do so.  Even baking bread can be a cherished memory if the first time you learn is treated like a special occasion.

7.  Call or write your child's loved ones and ask them all to either send a card on the same day or call on the same day.  Make it an "I love ___ day" and see if you can fill your child's evening with calls or cards from folks who will take the time to say how much they love him.

8.  Let your child choose an alter ego for the day and play along with it.  Let her borrow some clothes and a hat that make her look totally different.  Encourage her to make up a name and an identity, and go along as her Aunt Lucy for the day.

9.  Gather up some rocks and take them home.  Help the kids use permanent markers to decorate them and even leave tiny words or sayings on them, then return them to outside.  Have fun leaving your tiny treasures to be discovered by someone else.

10. Make up secret signals as a family.  Put your heads together to come up with codes for everything from 'I love you' to 'Mom, quit talking and come on already!'.  <G>  Use them!


Now I should get going, put the sleeping girl on my lap into bed, and peek outside to see if the Northern Lights are making a repeat appearance.  Here's hoping your week is magical and someone sneaks in to clean your house.  ;)

Till next time,



A Magical Childhood
Copyright 2001, Alicia Bayer

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

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