Magical Childhood Newsletter
Volume 51
December 31, 2002

Happy New Year!!!!!  I hope you and your kiddos are doing great.  We're doing pretty well here, other than my constant battles with Braxton-Hicks contractions, a round of colds and flu's, and the world's wiggliest baby.

Our house unfortunately looks like the scene of a tragic Salvation Army explosion, but I'm confident that sometime before 70 I will get it clean for at least one day.  Rather than cleaning, I just had to gather all this stuff together for you all though.....  ;)

Make your own glitter dough....

Salt fun!  Here's a craft material we should all be able to dig up.  I gathered up a bunch of projects that use art, science or just plain fun.  There should be something here for toddlers to teens, and even mom or dad might get into the more scientific ones.

Here's a cool salt sculpture you can cook up in the kitchen with older kids:

This one is a wonderfully creative painting project for all ages that uses salt, clear contact paper and paint:

Salt volcano!  Help the kids make their own miniature lava light:

Make your own salt:

Salt painting... Here's another way to paint with salt:

Other easy salt projects:

~ Gather up some colored sidewalk chalk, salt and a styrofoam bowl (or anything a bit abrasive).  Pour some salt in the bowl and have the kids stir it with the chalk to make it magically turn colors!  Make different colors and layer them in small jars, drizzle glue on paper and shake the colored salt on, or use eye droppers to play with the finished salt and see what happens.

~ Make homemade glitter by mixing some salt and food coloring in a small jar.  Microwave for a few seconds to dry and then put in an old shaker.

~ For little ones, spread some salt on a cookie sheet and let them make letter shapes or draw designs.

~ Put a teaspoon of salt in a balloon before blowing it up to make a fun noisemaker.  (Remember to be very careful with balloons around small children.)

~ Mix hot water with as much salt as it will hold and let it cool.  Have the kids paint on black construction paper and see what happens when it dries.


Can't get through to me via e-mail?  My ISP has a rabid, ferocious, awful SPAM filter that the powers that be refuse to disable for me, and it has been bouncing mail left and right.  If you've tried to reach me and couldn't, try this new account I created as a backup:

Also, if you're looking for a free e-mail account, this seems to be a nice way to go.  The site even donates a small bit of money to wildlife causes when you use the e-mail.  As always, all the disclaimers apply and I have no secret business dealings with them.  <G>


10 Things To Do For Yourself This Year....
Take your pick from this list or make up your own-- just find something for you!

1.  Take a free class at Barnes and Noble online or one of the other free sites.  You can get the books from your library.  From how to publish children's books to designing a web site to playing guitar, find something you always wanted to learn.

2.  Set aside a time once a week to meet a girlfriend, sit and write in a coffee shop or stroll your favorite botanical gardens.  Schedule something that gives you peace or happiness.

3.  Volunteer.  Nothing fills your soul and puts your life in perspective quicker, and the good you get back will amaze you.

4.  Enroll in an exercise class with a twist-- no boring aerobics.  How about belly dancing, yoga or kick boxing?

5.  Once every week or two, go to the library and pick up a book about something you know nothing about-- Thailand, making chocolates, easy math tricks, whatever.  Read in the bathtub, in the car while waiting for your kids and in spare minutes.  Get creative about what you learn!

6.  Start walking with the kids every day.  If you like, make a schedule to walk with one each night to get some quality talk time in-- with your partner too!  None of us is getting enough exercise these days, and walking is a great way to boost your mood and help your body.

7.  Once a month, give each member of the family a box and fill it with items you no longer need.  Take the boxes to local battered women's shelters, homeless shelters and organizations that help those in crisis.

8.  Invest in something really pampering for yourself that you'll use daily-- luxurious sheets, beautiful frames to hang pictures by your desk, a sumptuous bathrobe, you name it.  Even buying a fancy mug for your morning coffee can start your day in a whole new light.

9.  Tell friends and family that you are cutting back on commitments this year in order to take better care of yourself and spend more time at home.  Say no to those awful requests you always felt guilted into and find other ways to help out. If it helps, fill certain days on the calendar with words like RELAX and DO NOTHING DAY.  When someone calls, you can honestly say you already have something planned.  ;)

10. Get out of your ruts.  In little ways in all areas of your life, shake things up and move 'em around.  Rearrange your bedroom, change your hairstyle, start healthy habits, put your cologne on different spots.... even tiny things count!  Add a little whimsy, creativity and uniqueness wherever you can.  Take a polaroid of your child making a funny face and tape it to the inside of a desk drawer, paint your toenails different colors, play polka music on the drive to work, whatever.  Keep life fresh and interesting, and don't forget to laugh.


That explains the clutter!

"When you give, a vacuum is created
that attracts even more
of what you have given away."

-- Deepak Chopra

Lost all your rules for your board games?
Here's the rules for all sorts of games, from Monopoly to Speed Uno....

Remember, this  is the best time of our lives.  If that thought depresses you, make some changes!  When you live for the future, you never catch up and you miss your life.  Pretend you're 90 and you get to relive this year with your kiddos.  Make it count!

Here's a sweet idea I've found on multiple sites online.  Original author unknown:

Add some crushed glittery eye shadow or fine glitter to a small amount of hand cream. Put in small jar and decorate.  Print out the poem below and attach to the jar.

Rub a small amount on the back of a child's hand before going to bed to attract angels to watch over them in the night.


    Night is here, and it's time to go to bed.
    But before you lay down your sleepy head
    On the back of your hand rub some Angel Cream
    So angels will watch over you as you dream.

This neat site for all ages teaches about art principles while letting kids create their own online nature composition. It's very thorough and has an online gallery where you can submit your creation at the end!


To laugh often and much;
to win the respect of intelligent people
and the affection of children;
to earn the appreciation of honest critics
and to endure the betrayal of false friends;
to appreciate beauty;
to find the best in others;
to leave the world a bit better
whether by a healthy child,
a garden patch
or a redeemed social condition;
to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson


Jump rope rhymes .....

10 Ways to Make the New Year Magical.....

1.  Have the whole family make up really wacky resolutions (to wear something with an animal on it every day, to only eat brown things for breakfast, to say something nice about turtles once a day....) and see who can keep theirs the longest.

2.  Go through next year's calendar and put fun and/or wacky appointments down throughout the year.  These can be serious commitments for special times or complete zaniness-- preferably both!

3.  Start a new year's diary for each child.  Give her or him a beautiful blank book to fill with thoughts about what the last year has been like.  Put it away with the holiday decorations and bring it out again every year to update.

4.  Make up psychic predictions for the next year (silly to serious) and set up a prize for who gets the most right by 2004.

5.  Go outside right before midnight and watch the changing of the year under the stars with the whole family.  For extra fun, the kids can all toss bird seed like confetti.

6.  Make up a family resolution together.

7.  Make a big deal with the kids out of doing the "lasts" of the year-- last kisses, last time to take out the trash, last sneeze of 2002.

8.  Give your child a magic calendar.  Beforehand, take a white crayon and write secret messages, activities and plans on the squares for random days.  Every morning, the child can color the square with a magic marker to reveal any secret surprises.  Just make sure to note it on a calendar of your own so you know what to expect.  :)

9.  Sit down and have each family member list "backwards resolutions" -- things accomplished over the last year.  This is a great way to celebrate milestones and recognize how much you really have all achieved, and a neat little memory to stick in the scrapbook.

10. Have a New Year's ceremony.  Give each person a cupcake or other treat with a candle in it (or pass out candles).  Light the candles and take turns saying a prayer or wish for the new year.  When all the wishes are said, everybody blows out their candles.


It took way too long to get this together tonight, considering I could have sworn it was almost finished about 4 hours ago.  Of course, I had to stop and build a house out of freezer shelves and twist ties on the hallway floor, mediate a half dozen sisterly squabbles, help with an ABC puzzle, talk over with Daryl whether we're going to the in-law's tomorrow, rescue a blown sheet from the street, pick up the living room floor, change a diaper and sneak up some chocolate.  <G>  Now the house is quiet, I am even more convinced the newsletter is done, and I'm ready to close my eyes and hit send.

I wish you all the best 2003!  Have a wonderful new year.  Kiss your kiddos and 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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