Magical Childhood Newsletter
Volume 70
July 23, 2005

Hello again!  So sorry for the long absence.  We've been swamped here with birthday parties, volunteer work, getting the garden in and tending it, kids' activities and generally enjoying the change of seasons.

So much neat stuff is going on here.  Jack is talking up a storm and running us ragged.  Victoria is in t-ball and both girls are in a fun library club and swimming class.

The girls are in a Laura Ingalls Wilder pageant (we live near Walnut Grove and the banks of Plum Creek).  Victoria plays Mary Nelson and Annalee plays Grace Nelson and Grace Ingalls!  It's been a wonderful experience and has been lots of work.

I promise not to be gone so long next time and to bring you lots of goodies to make up for it.  :)


Fun & Easy Summer Crafts


Magical Mama Jennifer shared this healthy way to make lunch fun...

"I reserved the liquid from the last batch of artichokes I made up and added it to a base of  homemade chicken soup I had ,for blue soup. :)  It was a fun hit and I was thinking about all the vitamins they were eating."

I love it!  Thanks Jennifer!


Science Songs!
Thanks to Magical Mama Shez for sharing this site with free songs you can download to teach kids about all kinds of science lessons, from gravity to atomic energy.  They're great fun!

Fun stuff to do with art supplies you have already...

"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are endless."
~ Mother Teresa

Make Your Own Lip Balm Naturally!

Beet Red or Pink Lip Stain

2 tablespoons almond oil
1 tablespoon grated beeswax
1/8 to 1 teaspoon beet juice or beet root powder

Mix together the oil and beeswax in a water bath. Add the beet juice or powder and stir into mixture. Don't worry if the mixture seems to separate; it will stay together when cool. As it cools, you may add more juice or powder until you have the shade you desire, from pink to red.

Yield: 1 ounce of lip balm
© Southeast Texas Honey Company


Magical Mama Tiffany shared this fun, educational game for early readers:

Here's something fun we did here. We called it "treasure hunt."  I hid a piece of candy under a hat.  I used  stickers with short words written on them as clues.  I would put the wrong sticker on the item, eg, a CUP might have the word MAP on it.  She had to read the word, find the correct place to stick the sticker.  On that item would be another sticker etc. etc.  She followed the "clues" until finding the HAT with the candy under it!!  It was great fun and she had no idea she was reading!!!  She keeps begging to do it again!!!!!

Thanks Tiffany!


To give our girls practice writing book reports, we have them review books they check out from the library and post them on sites like Barnes & Nobles and Amazon online.  Their contact information is kept confidential (they just post under their first names) and I'm there to help with the typing and such.  They get practice writing short reports, they get to share their opinions, and they feel good getting "famous" while recommending great books.


UV Fun  We've been having a ball with various ultra-violet lights and gadgets lately.  This site is where we got several neat ones, including UV nail polish (which looks clear until you go in sunlight where it magically changes color!), UV beads and magical UV pens.

Some fun UV experiments include:

Put sun block over a UV sensitive bead and go into the sunlight.  Did it protect it?  What if you dunk it in water?  Rub it?

Hold a pair of sunglasses over a UV sensitive bead.  Do they keep it from changing color?  If so, they are UV blocking sunglasses, which is important for eye protection.

How bright are your UV beads in direct sun?  What about in the shade?  Is there a difference at different times of day?

Hold your UV bead up to a tinted window on a sunny day.  Does it still change color?  What about through a regular window?  What about under water?

We used our UV goodies at a recent outdoors surprise party for Annalee.  The kids got their fingernails painted under the picnic shelter and then went out to see if they'd still change color despite the cloudy day (they did, but were light).  We also had UV beads, colored pony beads (small plastic beads you can get in any craft department) and cord to make bracelets.  Each child got to pick out colored beads and string them on his or her bracelet along with one UV bead.  The bracelet is a reminder to head to the shade or put on sunscreen if the bead gets bright!  It was a huge hit.

"The surest way to be happy is to seek happiness for others."
~ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Magical Mama Claire shared this neat idea...

"Here's a suggestion for youngers that are getting interested in letters.  Bekah is six and she enjoys this activity as well. It's called the Great Big Book Of Everything.  Go to the thrift and get yourself a big old dictionary or even one for each child.  We have a huge giant Websters; weighs about 15 pounds.  Then gather a ton of old magazines, safety scissors and gluesticks.  Let the kids cut out pictures they like and collage them into the dictionary alphabetically.  My two LOVE this activity, it's good for fine motor skills and they learn something along the way."

What a great idea!  Thanks Claire!


This site has lots of wonderful suggestions....
101 Nature-Oriented Things to Do During the Summer


All Natural Soda

I invented this recipe with the kids recently and it was a hit with all.

Mix one cup seltzer water (ingredients should read carbonated water and nothing else) with 6-8 tablespoons of thawed juice concentrate (undiluted), to taste.  Be sure to use 100% juice mixes.  We keep frozen juice concentrate in the freezer and mix up custom mixes.  A current fave is mostly apple-raspberry with one spoonful of orange.  It's great fun-- with no caffeine, sugar, corn syrup or additives.

To make a big batch, mix one can of concentrate with 3 cans full of seltzer water.  You can decorate the glasses with cut fruit to make it even more special.


10 Ways to Make Today Magical...

1.  Make fairy furniture for a secluded part of the garden.  Enlist the kids in assembling twigs, rocks and other natural materials into tiny gifts for the wee folks.  Every few days, sneak out and move them a bit to really get imaginations flowing.

2.  Go on a clean up parade through a park or neighborhood with plastic gloves and bags for trash.  Set a goal for each person like one filled trash bag and when everybody's goal is met, reward yourselves with a treat or celebration.

3.  Take your child to a cafe or coffee shop.  Even teens will love the special one-on-one time with mom or dad.

4.  Make sun stationary.  Collect some colored paper and have the kids arrange rocks, sticks, blocks or anything in a pattern around the border.  Let it sit in the sun until properly faded.  Remove half of the items halfway through and leave others for longer if you want several shades of changes.

5.  Plant your child's initials.  In a large pot or barren part of the yard, plant grass or flower seeds in the shape of your child's initials.  Gently cover and tamp, then water regularly.  Some seeds like grass seed will even grow well in a sunny spot indoors.

6.  Designate one meal a week to be a theme meal and let the kids help dream up different themes.  For instance, every Wednesday's lunch could be wacky Wednesday.  Should all the menu items start with B this week?  Be from a different part of the world?  Be green?  For even more fun, involve friends and make it a pot luck event.

7.  Tape your favorite shows, cancel plans and spend the whole night playing board games, reading books and playing outside.

8.  Put glow in the dark ice cubes or rocks in the pool or kiddie pool for a magical after-dark swim.

9.  Teach the kids how to whistle through a blade of grass and have a grass
concert together.

10. Start a parent-child journal.  Get a blank book and write a letter to your child on the first pages.  Leave it for her on her bed to write back.  Pass it back and forth until it's full.


And with that, I am finally sending this off.  I hope you and your family are having a magical summer.  Don't forget to take care of you!

~ Alicia

A Magical Childhood
Copyright 2005, 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 or  We do not use ads.  It's not about money.  :)

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