Magical Childhood Newsletter
Volume 64
April 12, 2004

Hello wonderful people!  This will be a short little newsletter.  The kids and I are off to California to visit Magical Mama Claire and her family.  We'll be back in a little over a week and I promise to put together an extra big newsletter then.  In the meantime, here's a little of this and that....


A fun idea from the Girl Scouts

Daryl picked up an old Girl Scout book and it had this fabulous idea in it.  Go on a paint chip hunt!  Grab some paint chip cards from your local home improvement store in an assortment of colors and then head out to try to find matches.

For a related idea, Magical Daddy Daryl got some wood samples from a home improvement store last year and had the kids go around the house matching up wood tones.  It kept them happily busy for a surprisingly long time!

A reader shared....

a woman i clean for used to be a teacher, her wonderful idea is:

take a metal nuts and bolts container (purchase at hardware store, it has numerous drawers in it) she puts sticky alphabet letters on the drawers and then she places items with that letter in the drawers, she had enough drawers to also include numbers 1-10, and again placed the items that coincide with the numbers!
i think it is a great idea!!!

I agree!  Thanks!

Instructions for kids to make a "Do it yourself Yearbook":

Good news for low income families...

Harvard is now offering free tuition for students that have a family income below $40,000.
Princeton has a similar program, with reduced tuition for middle income families:
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has a program that allows low-income students to work 10-15 hours a week on campus and graduate debt free:
This site has lots of college information, including bulletin boards on subjects from financial aid to SAT preparation to information for homeschoolers:

Got broken crayons?  Here's a fun idea to turn them into a cool t-shirt...

Got ants?
Magical Mama Claire shared this non-toxic alternative for dealing with them:

Just before ant season starts, I go to Costco and buy a gallon of cheap maple syrup and uncork the thing outside.  I set it under the deck, near where the ants seem to want to enter our home.  The kids don't go under there and - by providing outside food for the ants - the ants stay out.  Plus, it's not poisonous to anyone.

Magical Mama Suzanne recommends this site full of rules for jump rope rhymes, playground games and more:

Here are many really good suggestions for what to do when nursing babies start to nibble...

Here's a cool craft for older kids.  Make a blue jean journal...

"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up."
                     Pablo Picasso (1881 - 1973)

10 Ways to Make Today Magical...

1.  Go rock hunting together.  Pick any spot with lots of stones and look for ones that are particularly beautiful, sparkly or cute.  Compare rocks when you're done and pick a few to bring home.

2.  Make a garden sculpture.  Scavenge at the garage or basement for assorted odd parts that nobody wants.  Add some wire, electrical tape or anything else you fancy to hold your parts together and have the kids create something wild and wonderful.

3.  Gather up old, stale spices and let the kids take them outside to "cook" with.  Save empty containers to fill with sand, dirt or crushed leaves.  Give them a couple of bowls to mix their creations in and spoons to stir.

4.  Go puddle stomping.

5.  Go for a bird walk to see how many different birds you can find and ID.  Bring a bird guide if you like or start a journal to document how many kinds you've spotted.

6.  Fill some squirt guns or spray bottles with water and have the kids spray designs on the side of the house or the driveway.  Invite them to draw pictures with the water and see if they can write their names.

7.  Lie on your backs in the grass and cloud watch.

8.  Hold a carnival in the back yard.  Rig up some easy contests (knock over pop bottles with bean bags, toss the ball into the bucket and so on) and get extra toys or stuffed animals that can be passed on.  Invite friends and ask them to contribute their own games and prizes.

9.  Make up your own super heroes and super villains and act out a scene together.  Our girls were recently Butterfly Girl and Fashion Queen and they attacked the Evil Messy Haired Daddy.  (Snort)  The campier the better!

10. Pick out an exotic new food from the ethnic food section of the supermarket to try together.  Have you tried Grass Jelly drink from Japan?  Perhaps some mango syrup from Mexico?  Once a week, agree one strange new food to sample.  Don't forget to get out a map to find its origin.


And with that, I'm out the door!  I'm foolish enough to fly across the U.S. alone with 3 small children.  Please send lots of good flight vibes!

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

Till next time,


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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