Magical Childhood Newsletter
Volume 63
March 15, 2004

Happy Spring!  We're out here doing Snoopy dances that spring does really seem to be on its way up here in the frigid north.  The wind has been ferocious though, and taught me an important lesson about putting old rugs on the second story deck to wash later.  I am pretty sure our neighbor does not appreciate it in his tree.  :)  I guess mama will be climbing trees later this week.

I found some fun stuff and lots of you have sent in neat ideas for this issue, too.  I hope you find something to try with your kiddos.

There are also some new crafts up on the Magical Childhood web site, squirt painting and yarn eggs.  Look in the crafts section and be on the lookout for more soon.

I'm nursing a fat happy guy and he hates it when I type, so I'm gonna shush and get on with it...


Magical Mama Aileen in Ireland sent in this sweet idea.....

My quest to declutter has not been helped by my recent interest in dressmaking which has added another source- but it is great fun and my latest creations two nylon tulle tutus will be premiering soon. If anyone hasn't tried it buy nylon tulle which comes in rainbow colours and is about 2 euro (around 3 dollars a yard)  i got pink and lilac and inch wide elastic and a needle and thread and in about an hour by hand a tutu and you don't need to hem or anything!!!

I can't wait to try some with my girls.  Thanks Aileen!


Want to make a canopy bed for your kiddo -- or yourself?
Here are lots of easy, inexpensive ways to do it.


St. Patrick's Day Fun...

Here are some ideas on how to mark the day.


I have found the best way to give advice to your children
is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it.
-  Harry S Truman


Tulip Time!

Some of us are lucky enough to have spring flowers coming soon.  If you have tulips you can have a little fun with them.

According to this company, tulips are the only edible spring bulbs.  Check out their beautiful flower vinegars for ideas for your own kitchen.

Magical Mama Barb found a great idea for using chemical-free tulips-- as serving containers.  What a whimsical idea.  Now that would make a magical tea party prop!  The idea was originally in Flowers in the Kitchen: a bouquet of tasty recipes by Susan Belsinger.

Care to try some tulip tuna instead?  This fabulous site lists edible flowers and tells you how to use them safely.  They have photos and recipes galore, including chive blossom butter, rose geranium muffins, honeysuckle strawberry sorbet and lilac jelly.

No tulips of your own?  Make some with the kids then.  Here are some fun and easy tulip crafts to try.


What fun!  April fool recipes to whip up for your family.

The additional recipes are neat too.  The "chunks of glass" dessert sounds like something my girls would swoon for.  I'm not sure if I'm up to cooking fish in the dishwasher though...


Taking care of you....

Last month I asked for suggestions for good ways to take care of ourselves.  Lots of you wrote in with great ideas and I'll share them over the next few issues.  Here are a few.

"I tend to be a person, when I need a break, to go down to the local coffee house for a good book and a large cup of tea.  Not very family friendly, but it gets my head back on straight most of the time.  Hiking through the woods, even with my family, helps too, but it's difficult to do this time of the year in Michigan.  I need to invest in snowshoes."
- Kara

"I was feeling really burned out today, and I kept complaining and saying "I don't... " this or that. I don't have time, I don't have friends (feeling isolated with the baby, etc.), I don't have whatever. I got really sick of hearing myself say this! So, I told myself I needed to take an hour and only say positive things to myself.

I set the time for 60 minutes. Instead of saying "I don't have time..." I would say, "I'm finding time." Instead of saying "I don't have friends," I would say, "I'm making new friends." You get the picture.

Guess what? After 15 minutes, I felt great!"

"I watch the video from the day my baby was born.  I remember the joy we felt that day and I look at him and feel joyous again!
Either that or we jump in bed and play together under the *tent*"

Thanks for all the suggestions!


I  heard a creative idea recently that I wanted to pass on.

When you have a new toddler who grabs, knocks down and destroys what an older child is playing with, use a playpen...

No, not for the little one but for the big one!  She can climb in and have her own "fenced off" space protected from baby's curiosity and baby still gets to explore the world.


A few fun crafts.....

Make a sweet little purse from jeans pockets:

Make a "boo boo bunny" to help kids feel better:

Catch It!
Cut off the tops of plastic milk jugs with handles to use for catching balls and beanbags that the children can toss to each other.


Here's a wonderful idea by Joseph Cornell, author of Sharing Nature With Children:

If you listen carefully with a stethoscope, you can hear the "heartbeat" of a tree. Find a thin-barked tree more than 6 inches in diameter and place your stethoscope against its trunk. Be very quiet. Move the stethoscope around until you can hear the crackling, gurgling sound of sap flowing up to the branches.


10 Ways to Make Today Magical...

1.  Leave sappy graffiti for your child in some out of the way spot in your home and wait for it to be discovered.

2.  Imagine yourself 20 years from now.  What advice would your older, wiser self give you about your life and your children?  Listen to it.

3.  Serve only things that start with P for supper.  For bonus points, wear colors and clothes that start with P too.

4.  Call and cancel one obligation that's not necessary and didn't sound fun.  Don't feel guilty.

5.  Decorate each other's fingernails or toenails with washable markers.

6.  Make time to sit down with your child and tell him what he means to you.  List the things that you're proud of, the traits you admire and all the ways he makes you love him.  Even if he's a teen, trust me.  He'll love it.

7.  Start leaving secret coded messages in her lunch boxes or school bags.  Take a common saying and swap out letters for others-- replacing every "a" with "x" for instance.  It'll give her something to work on during long bus rides and boring waits.  These are trickier than they look!  The longer the phrase, the easier it will be to solve.

8.  Make up a tape or CD of songs with her name in them. (Do a google search for "lyrics" and the name to find lots of songs.) Unusual name?  Then personalize it with names of states, pets, favorite foods or other trivia.

9.  Start some herb seeds on a windowsill together to transplant when the weather gets warmer.  Try a pot of chives.  Once they get a few inches high, let kids use safety scissors to snip off bits for supper.

10. Gather up a bunch of colorful ribbons and let the kids tie them to a curtain rod (keep one end of each knot long to hang down and the other end very short to stick up at the top).  If you like, sew a few jingle bells to some ends.  Open the window and let the spring breeze have fun!  (Obviously, keep these decorations away from little ones.)


And with that, I'm off to read books to a pile of kiddos.
Have a wonderful month!



A Magical Childhood
Copyright 2004, 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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