Magical Childhood Newsletter
Volume 34
February 27, 2002

Hello magical people! Hope you're having a good week.  We had a beautiful spring-like day on Saturday and then got hit with snow and wind again.  I'm about ready to go stand outside and shake my fist at the sky if spring doesn't come soon!  :)

If you have spring fever too, there are a few ideas on the Magical Childhood site in the craft section under "Ways to Bring Spring Indoors."  We're starting some seeds soon and hopefully having a little green inside will help us get through this last month or two of white.  If you're in one of those sunny, warm places, then please disregard my whining and go bask in the heat.

And now, without further ado, here's miscellaneous stuff gleaned just for you!


Whoops!  A reader pointed out that in my homeschool information I had wrongly stated that homeschoolers were legally able to take part in school extracurricular activities.  It turns out this is not the case in all states.  Check with folks in your state to find out your own laws.  Sorry about that!

Make a fairy house!

Okay, here's one of the neatest ideas I've seen in a long time, passed on by Magical Mama Susan.  This site tells all about how to make a fairy house, complete with pictures of fairy houses that folks have made all over the country.  The idea is to go out in nature and build tiny little homes from natural materials in the hopes that a fairy will take up residence.  They have instructions and much more.  What a whimsical, wonderful idea.


A Magical world......
It's so exciting for me to see where we get visitors from on the Magical Childhood web site.  So far, of the ones we know of, we have visitors from (in order of visitors) the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa, Singapore, Ireland, Denmark, South Korea, India, Trinidad and Tobago, Saudi Arabia, Netherlands, Malaysia, Brazil, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Philippines, Spain, China and Belgium.

I love the way the internet is making neighbors of us all.


"Why do we have to grow up?
I know more adults who have the child's approach to life.
They're people who don't give a hang what the Joneses do...
They are not afraid to be delighted with simple pleasures,
and they have a degree of contentment with what life has brought
-- sometimes it isn't much, either."

~ Walt Disney


This is the most adorable idea.....

From Magical Mama Lora:
The Caterpillar Walk/Dance/Stumble

I've been walking my baby around as she tests her legs, and as we go by, my older daughter calls out "Caterpillar!" and jumps on behind. She holds my shirt tails and I hold the baby's hands in front of me and we walk through the house as a six legged creature that giggles a lot.  Sometimes I pretend to fall, or just sway back and forth, or suddenly start to back up...beep! beep! beep! They both get to laughing so hard they fall down on the floor.

And more from Lora......

A smelling contest- using the foods and spices and other items in the fridge or kitchen. Blindfold the contestant or just have them close their eyes... use bananas, garlic, peanut butter, bread, anything. What smells best? Worst? Then make lunch - the kids will be more aware of their food than they were the day before.

And from Magical Daddy Dan.......

Have you mentioned giving each child in the bathtub an ice cube to play with? Ice cubes are my baby's favorite toys... nevermind all the STUFF spilling out of their closet... Freeze tiny items in the ice cube for older kids, or add food coloring, and there's no extra cleanup afterwards.

Thanks Lora and Dan for the neat ideas!


What fun!  This site will find the rhyming words and phrases for whatever you type in.  I typed in monkey and got chunky, clunky, funky, hunky, junky, junkie, punky and spunky.  Then it said it found it used in context in 7 Shakespearean works, 1 quotation, 1 Mother Goose rhyme and 56 definitions (all of which I could click to read).  You can also search for synonyms, homophones, Shakespearean quotes and much, much, much more.  A totally neat site!

And more on the subject of rhyming, Magical Mama Shannon sent in this great idea....

My son and I made up a game today.  We use the Raffi song "Willoughby wallaby woo," which goes like this:

willoughby walloby woo,
an elephant sat on you
willoughby walloby wee,
an elephant sat on me.

willoughby walloby wannon,
an elephant sat on Shannon,
willoughby walloby warwin,
an elephant sat on Darwin.

...and so on and so on.  I would sing it to him to occupy him in the car, using the names of people we know.  Then, I would sing the verse up to "an elephant sat on..." and he would fill in the blank.  I thought he just had the words memorized when I started using objects.  So I would sing "willoughby walloby wate, an elephant sat on the.." and he filled in "plate."  I think it's a great way to learn rhyming; I didn't know Darwin would pick up on it.


Childhood is that wonderful time of life when all you need to do to lose weight
is take a bath.
 ~Richard Zera


For those of you in education or who are active in your children's schools, here is a wonderful list of ways that schools can help make things easier for poor children:


Here's some fun games to do with a child who's just learning her letters or phonics, and some more advanced ones. 

Play "I Spy" with letters....  Tell your child you're thinking of something in the room that starts with the letter c and ends with a t, for instance.  Or "I spy something with oo in it."

Another fun game to convert into a phonics game is charades.  Take turns going through the alphabet and acting out something that starts with each letter.  First you act out an A word that you think up, like anteater.  Once your child guesses it, she acts out B and so on.

In the car, try to find something that starts with every letter of the alphabet, in order!  Words on billboards count.

For more advanced spellers, take turns thinking of words that contain two consecutive letters.... first a word that has an a and then a b somewhere in it, then one with a b and then a c.......  absolute, because, code, develop, effervescent......  it gets tricky at times!


10 Quick Boredom Busters....

 1.  Turn on the bounciest music you can find and play freeze.  Wiggle and dance outrageously till someone hits pause, and then freeze in place.  See how silly you can look when you freeze.

 2.  Drag the little ones around on beach towels.

 3.  Give the kids a pile of newspaper, safety scissors and tape.  Have them fashion clothes and hats from it.  If you have old sheets, clothes with holes or even pieces of contact paper they can use those for materials too.  Contact paper makes great colorful tape or could be cut into designs for their duds.

 4.  Give them some comic pages and scissors and have them cut out panels to make their own story.  Put a book together and write down the story as they narrate.

 5.  Give them a cardboard box or other object you don't need and a pile of magazines.  Have them cut out pictures they like and glue them onto the box.  Seal the finished project with some watered down glue if you like (or seal with clear contact paper).  You can even do this with food containers.  Let them decorate the Cheerios box or paste pictures onto the oatmeal container.  Enjoy your personalized supplies and then toss when emptied and decorate the next one.

 6.  Have the kids pick out a boring shirt to decorate.  Then gather up spare buttons, pieces of lace, baubles, fake flowers, iron on patches and anything else you can find.  Help them sew, glue and attach the goodies onto their creation.

 7.  Put their hair in corn rows.  Leave a day or two and then unbraid.  Add beads and ribbons to really dress it up.  Better yet,  have them do each other's hair while you take a break.  ;)

 8.  Trace letters on their backs and see if they can guess the letters.

 9.  Grab some impromptu instruments and have a jam session.

10.  Let them pick some colorful old clothes and bind them with rubber bands in creative ways.  Soak them in a bleach solution (you do this part) until faded and launder to do a reverse tie-dye and give the clothes a funky new life.


And with that, I'm off to turn some little girls upside down and tickle them.  Have a great week all!  Don't forget to take care of you.



A Magical Childhood
Copyright 2002, 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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