Magical Childhood Newsletter
Volume 55
June 5, 2003

Hello magical people!  I'm back from my baby hiatus, still enjoying our babymoon.  :)

Thanks so much for all of the congratulations and well wishes for baby Jack.  He and I are both doing well and he's in my lap as I type this.  He is growing well.  He was 9 pounds at birth and up to 10 pounds by his two week check-up.  He's a happy, sleepy little guy and a great joy to all of us.  I'm healing very well from the surgeries, too.

We've been enjoying the spring weather around here.  The girls play in the back yard while I garden or swing on the lawn swing with Jack.  Otherwise, he hangs out in the sling or in the stroller next to me.

Enough of my rambling though!  On with the newsletter.......

Magical Mama Amber shared this inexpensive, wonderful project:

I built a sand water table over the weekend, and it turned out really well.  I put together a picture, materials list, cost info, and directions on a web page:
It was very easy to do, and cost me about $15 (including a 40 lb bag of play sand!) so it was a great little project.

Since Amber used storage containers for the bins, she had ready-made lids provided.
Thanks Amber!

This is a wonderful web site with oodles of templates to make your own boxes, bags, cards and more.  Some examples:  a memo book holder, mini books, teapot gift bag, paper beads, a diaper card....  Fabulous fun!

Jodi shared this great idea--

Here's a fun idea for a nice summer day..and easy, lazy clean up too! We do it at the camp I work at and when I babysit, the kids love it! Spray some shaving cream (make sure it's cream, not gel) all over a table outside. A plastic picnic table is a good idea, like those fisherprice ones. And there ya go, let the kids have a ball drawing in it and just smooth it out to draw some more..when you're done, blast it with the hose then you can put on the sprinkler to clean off your kids!

Thanks Jodi!

Last month I shared some information from a conference I attended about  Sensory Integration issues for children.  One thing I learned is that children can calm down and focus after doing exercises that use their muscles.  These activities are great before bed or before sitting down to do school work, or just when children are full of manic energy.

The presenter gave some examples of muscle exercises that help do this and they were easy things like carrying a box of books, leaning and pushing against the wall or holding something heavy during story time.  Whoever thought there'd be studies to show that kids need to carry in some groceries!  :)  Here's a list of many such activities for teachers or parents to use to help kids.

Clothesline Art!

Here's a great way to let the kids be messy and creative without having to clean the house afterwards.  Put the kids in play clothes and then hang an old sheet or tablecloth on the clothesline or spread it on the grass.  Give them some paints and paintbrushes and let them go wild painting it.  When they're finished, you can just wash it for another day. Turn on the sprinkler to wash the kids.  :)


"A mother is a person who, seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie."
~Tenneva Jordan

Oh pfft!  This mother is a person who, seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, gives the kids all popsicles and eats the whole pie.  ;)


Regal Cimema's Free Family Film Days
If you live near a Regal cinema, check out this web site to find out about free family movies offered during the summer!


In praise of slings...

Before Jack was born, I ordered an adjustable fleece pouch from kangaroo korner, a work-at-home mother's online business.  I've been using it all month now and I can't recommend it enough!  The pouch is soft, stretchy, comfy for me and baby, and super easy to use.  I have had dozens of people ask me about it already as I wore it, from store clerks to nurses.

It allows me to have my hands free and Jack can lie in it cradle style or be upright if he wants to see the world.  There are other positions for older babies and toddlers, too.  It's easy to pop him in there and it doesn't make my shoulders ache the way my old complicated contraptions always did. Plus, it's a surefire way to calm him down when he's cranky.  I slip him in and march around a bit, and within seconds he's usually happy as a clam.

I ordered my sling and picked out my fabric and size, and got it in less than a week.  I highly recommend it!  And nope, I'm not getting any kickbacks, pay-offs or goodies and I don't know the owner.  I just really like it!

The site also has lots of information on choosing the right sling and much more.

Here's a wonderful poem to put everything in perspective.  Author unknown.

My dishes went unwashed today,
I didn't make the bed,
I took his hand and followed
Where his eager footsteps led.

Oh yes, we went adventuring,
My little son and I,
Exploring all the great outdoors
Beneath the summer sky.

We waded in a crystal stream,
We wandered through a wood.
My kitchen wasn't swept today,
But life was sweet and good.

We found a cool sun-dappled glade
And now my small son knows
How Mother Bunny hides her nest
Where fern and larkspur grow.

We watched a robin feed her young,
We climbed a sunlit hill,
Saw cloud-sheep scamper through the sky;
We plucked a daffodil.

That my house was neglected,
That I didn't sweep the stair,
In twenty years no one on earth
Will know or even care.

But that I've helped a little boy
To noble manhood grow,
In twenty years the whole wide world
May look and see and know.



10 Ways to Make Today Magical.....

1.  Have a picnic in the back yard for breakfast.

2.  Call a local factory and arrange to tour it.  Tours are generally free, educational and surprisingly fun.

3.  Dress the kids up really silly or fancy and go for a walk.  Have fun and watch the smiles you get from passers by!

4.  Have a family game night and play poker, Trivial Pursuit or Go Fish.

5.  Start an "I love you" journal together on the inside of your cupboard doors.  Cover them with contact paper for easy removal (and for keepsakes).  Take turns leaving notes to each other, artwork, recording special moments, etc.  Make sure little ones understand which places are okay for this special graffiti.

6.  Give your kids some old or out of fashion clothes and let them play fashion designer.  They can cut, alter, mix and match, patch, slash, color, vamp up or dress down each item and then model them to see which creation is voted best.

7.  Make your child's favorite dish and dessert "just because."

8.  Write up a list of 50 things that make your child special and leave it under his pillow or read it to him before bed.

9.  Explore a local park or historical site that you've never visited.

10. Watch the grass grow.  Fill little peat pots or disposable cups with soil and scatter with grass seeds.  Water and put in a sunny window, then wait to watch your sprouts.  Kids can draw faces on the cups and cut the grass into funky haircuts, or they can glam them up Martha Stewart style with ribbons and fabric, or they can go for the artistic look with paint, glued on doo-dads and creative cuts.  After a few weeks, transplant the grass to someplace outside for a permanent memory of the fun.


And now, I have a little guy here who thinks we've been sitting for quite long enough.  I'm off to dance in the hallway until one of us falls asleep.

Kiss your darlings, count your blessings and don't forget to take care of you!

Till next time,


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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