Magical Childhood Newsletter
Volume 46
August 19, 2002

Hello magical people!  I hope you're having a great week.  It's been particularly nice for us.

It's been good news to see a few happy endings at last with some of the recent child abductions.  Here in the states, the Amber Alert helped bring two more children home last week.  I have some info on the alert in this week's newsletter, too.

We have a little good news of our own.  Only about an ounce big yet... I'm expecting!  It's very early but hopefully we'll have a new addition to our family in April.  We're all thrilled and grinning like idiots.  --But then again, nothing much is new there.  :)

I've gathered lots of fun stuff for you this time so I'll quit yapping and get to it!  On with the newsletter......


Football Ice Cream!

Here's a fun way to make your own goodies and get your exercise too.
You'll need:

1 cup of milk
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 tbs sugar
rock salt
ice cream toppings (optional)
1 gallon sized storage baggies
sandwich sized baggies
duct tape

1.  Mix together the milk, vanilla, and sugar in a small baggie.  Add toppings if you choose.  Remove all excess air before sealing the baggie.

2.  Put a layer of ice in the bottom of the large baggie and add just enough salt to cover the ice.

3.  Place the small baggie inside of the large baggie.  Pack more ice and salt around the small baggie, then add more ice and salt.  Seal the large baggie tightly.  Remove as much air as possible.

4. If you want to be able to be really rough, wrap the baggies and ingredients in newspapers.  Put duct tape around it to seal it.  Toss and shake it for approximately 10 minutes (may take up to 20).

6. Open and eat up!  If it's not quite set, toss for a bit longer or add more salt and ice.

(Note:  I've had no luck finding out if soy milk will work in this recipe.  The few soy ice cream recipes I found had vegetarian gelatin added so I'm not sure if it would still thicken.  If anybody knows, write in and I'll pass it on.)


Easy fun for toddlers & preschoolers

Here's some simple ways to keep little ones busy....

--Place a sheet of clear contact paper-- sticky side up and let them find bits of paper, feathers, glitter, etc. to tack onto it.  When finished, just drop a white paper over it, press and seal the creation behind its own clear window.

--Fill a cookie sheet (to catch spills) with some little bowls filled with flour in one, salt in one, water in one, colored water in one, etc. Give kids little spoons and eye droppers, plus a bigger bowl to mix in.

--Pipe shaving cream in a baggie with a drop of one color food coloring on one side and another on the other.  Let 'em mix and squish, then cut the tip and let them pipe the "paint" onto paper and paint with it.

--Fill a cookie sheet with a layer of salt to write in and wiggle to erase.

--Gather a bunch of objects in a bowl, tweezers, and an empty bowl to move things into with the tweezers.  Older tikes can try this with chopsticks!

--Using paper, crayon scraps and a variety of different textured things (bumpy pan, coins, sandpaper, necklace, popsicle sticks....) make rubbings.  Just put the paper over the objects, rub with the side of the crayon and watch the pattern emerge!

--Give him tinfoil for sculpting, wrapping things, etc.

--Using safety scissors and a piece of construction paper, have her make a fringed place mat.

--Just hand them any of the following... a big box, a sheet, rolls of crepe paper, or other funky stuff and let them come up with the activity!


Got teens?

This site recommends "favorite teenage angst books" and has book reviews of top picks for teens on subjects like journeys, healing, pressure, creativity, and more.  Many of these books contain very adult themes (several deal with teens overcoming sexual abuse, for instance).  If there's a teen in your life going through a bit of angst of his or her own, you might find a great gift here.  Or you might want to pick some of the books up to journey into modern teen life yourself and reconnect with your teen.


And for the younger set......
100 Picture Books Everyone Should Know


Magical Mama Nancy uses this delightful alternative to "because I said so" when kids keep asking why.  She tells her son, "Because I love you."

Much better!  I love it!


"There are only two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a miracle."

(Albert Einstein)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"A Global Art Competition to Heal the World"

Me in the New Millennium

Sponsored by the International Child Art Foundation, this contest asks children aged 8-12 to submit a painting or drawing done in any two-dimensional medium. The artwork should address the questions, "How do I see myself? How do I want others to see me? What do I want to change?" Winners and their parents will participate in the Children's Art Olympiad to be held in Washington, D.C. in the summer of 2003. Other entries may be featured in the Foundation's ChildArt Magazine, UNICEF calendars, and various Web sites.  Deadlinefor entries is October 31, 2002. Kids can read more about the contest at the ICAF Programs for You Web site.

They add: Please don't wait for the deadline! Early entries have a better chance of being featured in our ChildArt magazine, UNICEF's children's art calendars and on several Web sites, including


From Magical Mama Marcella.....

"I just wanted to share a couple of learning times I just had with my daughter who is almost three.

Yesterday I realized that she had a huge cut on her arm.  I have no clue where it came
from and she never cried about it.  Must've been playing too hard to notice!  Well, we use garlic oil instead of Bactine, so I opened a capsule and squeezed it on.  Then I let her smell (sensory) the oil and then... lick (taste) it!  Yes, she licked it.  It was a fun
experience for her and she actually liked to taste of the oil.

The other thing was we invested in one of those swim vests that are sort of like a life
jacket.  $19.99 at Target.  Well, I just got back from the pool with her and it was so fun.  She was so excited that she was "swimming"!  And it was fun to tell her to swim to the "3" and she would swim over to the tile marked "3".  We did all sorts of really fun things in the pool this morning.  Even played with a dead June Bug!  LOL

Thanks Marcella!


Here's a page that tells how a community can set up to use the Amber Alert (to quickly locate kidnapped children and the perpetrators) and gives lots of information on how it works.  There are links to more info on the states and communities who have one in place.


"Be happy. It is a way of being wise."



Is your child Over-scheduled?

Take this test to find out...

The advice at the end is on target, too.


Lunch time!

Here's some frugal and tasty lunch box ideas:

And for vegetarian kiddos:
(There's great ideas in here for non-veggie kids too!)


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

1.  Cut old sheets, curtains, skirts or spare material into long strips and pin them onto the kids' clothing.  Let the kids run through the yard with their streamers and fasten some to sticks to ribbon dance with.  If they're plain white and you want to add art, use markers to decorate.

2.  Plan a special afternoon with each child and tour a local art museum.  Take your time and talk about works you each like and why.  See if there are some techniques you guys would like to try at  home.  We went to a great exhibit of an Ethiopian artist at a tiny nearby museum and the kids were delighted to see that some of  his paintings were done with materials like yarn and scraps of paper glued on.  The quiet atmosphere and slow pace is perfect for conversations.

3.  Start reading a book series together at a special time each day.  Ask your librarian for suggestions or check out any of the great book lists online.  Victoria and I are up to book #10 in the Magic Treehouse series and she and Annalee now play act the characters.  It's become a special saga for all of us to keep up on.  Check out Jim Trelease's Read Aloud Handbook for suggestions of marvelous books to read aloud for each age.

4.  Invent a secret handshake or special good-bye.  A darling family on Oprah demonstrated incredibly convoluted "handshakes" that the father shared with each child every morning before school.  What a special way to start the day and know you're loved!

5.  Have a No No Day No "no's" allowed!  For one day, make it off limits for either you or your child to say the word no.  Make up funny punishments for slipping up or put fun things in a jar as punishments (some of mom's: cuddle with me for 10 minutes on the couch, wear that darling outfit that you make faces in... some of the kids': read us 3 books, play frisbee in the back yard...).  Find creative things to say instead of no, like "That sounds like fun but maybe instead of ice cream for supper we could make supper look like ice cream" or "I don't think we can do that but we could ____ instead" or even (gasp) "yes"!

6.  Brainstorm on creative ways to do 10 dreaded cleaning chores.  For instance, see if the kids can clean the full length mirror behind their backs, make their beds with their eyes closed, or "sweep" the hallway by repeatedly pressing a big piece of old contact paper on it.  :)

7.  Sit down with the kids and help them write several manufacturers of products they like, saying what they like, what (if anything) they don't like, and any suggestions they have for improving them.  Mail them off and talk to them about how maybe they'll get a letter back and how their opinion could help change the product.  Don't tell the kids, but be on the lookout for free coupons when they write back!  Kids can also do this with stuff they don't like.  Victoria called a cookie mix company last week with my help and said how sad she was that the sprinkles on the cookie picture didn't come with the mix.  It can be empowering for kids to feel like they're taken seriously as consumers!  And free goodies are never a bad thing.  :)

7. Start making toasts every night at supper.

8.  Mail your child a long letter telling her special memories you have of him and reasons you're proud of him.  If you have a teen, start leaving notes for each other to talk.  Sometimes older kids have an easier time addressing things through letters.

9.  Take a field trip to tour a nearby factory.  I still remember touring the Paul Mason winery near our house in California when I was little.  We got lollipops at the end (wine for grown ups!) and we sat and watched the fountain light up.  Even the most mundane factory can seem enormous and fascinating to a child.

10.  Give your child a flower petal bath.  Gather some flower petals from flowers like roses (any will do though!) and scatter them on the bath water.  If you like, you can add a couple of drops of some essential oils like lavender.  You can make it more elaborate and make it a magic bath-- tossing in a handful of epsom salts for strength, a teaspoon of baby oil for luck, and so on.  Invite your child to create her own symbolism for what the petals represent.  Or they can mean nothing at all.  No matter what, it feels luxurious and fun!


Well, I'm back from my first round of weekly pregnyl shots, which I'll take for the first trimester to prevent miscarriage.  I'm also back on baby aspirin (I have a rare disorder that thickens my blood).  It all worked the last two times and provided us with our sweeties, so we're crossing our fingers.

This also means that I'll have double the pregnancy hormones again for the next couple of months and probably have heightened irritability, nausea and so on besides the normal.  Goodie!  <G>  But really, I even love that part because it shows the shots are working.

My little ones are off walking the beach with their daddy and a little friend and her daddy, so I'm going to take advantage of the quiet time to..... do laundry.  I'll find something fun to do for myself, too.  Make sure you make time to treat yourself this week too!

Take care, everybody.


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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