Magical Childhood Newsletter
September 25, 2007
Happy Falll! Or for
those of you on the other side of our lovely little planet, happy spring!
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Enough of that boring old stuff! Let's get on with it then!
We spent a week in Maine recently and for much of the time I was in
charge of my own 4 kids and a friend's 14 year old. This game kept
every one of us happy and occupied on long car rides, waiting in
restaurants and many other places where mayhem could easily have
ensued. How many games are equally fun for a preschooler and a
For this simple game, just pose questions in "either or" format. For
Would you rather go scuba diving or mountain climbing?
Would you rather vacation in Hawaii or France?
Would you rather be a goat or a duck?
We got philosophical (would you rather have a long, boring life or a
short, exciting one?) and silly (would you rather dye your hair pink or
purple?) and we all took turns asking questions. It was great fun!
A few good Parenting books....
I always recommend great children's books. Here's are some of my
favorite parenting books.
Siblings Without Rivalry by Faber and Mazlish
ought to be required reading the instant you get pregnant with a second
child! This insightful book is full of cartoons, examples and helpful
Parents, Please Don't Sit on Your Kids! by Clare Cherry
This wins the award for the strangest title, but it's a useful little
book nonetheless and always helps me improve as a mom. The author ran
a child care center and her input would be helpful for anybody who
spends time around children.
Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline by Becky Bailey
This book is about changing our own outlooks and learning to change the
way we react to stress with our children. I find it enormously helpful
every time I start reading it again, but I have to admit I've never
gotten all the way through it! It's deep, heavy reading but it's worth
the effort for me because it helps me handle tough times so much
What are your favorite parenting books? Please share and I'll pass
them on in future newsletters.
Mama Barb shared these two fabulously
The kitchen especially is absolutely delightful and would be a treasure
Use an old entertainment center to make a kid's kitchen:
No-sew, customized clothes for the kids: http://shizzyknits.typepad.com/she_knits_shizknits/2007/04/pi
of the morality of a
society is what it does for its children."
Magical Mama Becca came up with
this neat animal
went to the library today and read a ton of books on animals and then
came back to the hotel and drew our own zoo and hung it around the
room. Bailey drew animal "food" and the boys matched the food to the
animal ( example we drew penguins and bay drew fish and the boys had to
tape the fish by the penguins.)"
"Too often we
give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve."
Magical Mama Risa wrote
"I had a look at your essay
(Taming the Tornado), and brought a couple of my son's plastic rakes
inside from the sandbox. The kids thought it was a hoot to help me rake
up the toys in the living room. :-)
Tee hee! Glad it helped. As I've said before, you may feel a little
silly but as long as it works!
a lovely little craft that even teens and mamas could get into. Make
marble magnets from everything from bits of photographs to cool
wrapping paper designs. A little tin of them would make a great
"On eBay you can
find VERY old Highlights books for very cheap. I happened to keep mine
childhood and ran across them a few days ago. My son can't get his head
out of them. He's having fun looking at the hidden pictures."
Victoria loves "Highlights" too and I bought
her a pile of used ones as a gift that has lasted forever. Thanks
Some Fun Fall Crafts....
Here's a few fun, easy crafts to celebrate the season.
Twig pencil holders: Have the kids gather
up lots of thin twigs. Break or cut them to about 5 inches
long. Loosely slip two rubber
bands around a clean, empty soup can (one near the top and one near the
bottom) and have the kids slide the twigs under the rubber bands.
When the can is covered with twigs, have them loop pretty ribbons over
the rubber bands and tie in bows. Kids can also paint their creations
before tying the ribbons on, if desired.
Leaf placemats: Have the kids gather up
pretty fall leaves and
arrange them on a piece of construction paper. Cover with clear
Stained glass pictures: Ask the kids to
draw some large, basic fall shapes
on a piece of black or brown construction paper with a piece of
chalk. Have an adult cut out the shapes with a craft knife. Use the
shapes for another use and keep the paper with the "hole." Lay the
construction paper over a piece of clear contact paper, so the sticky
side is facing up through the holes. Give the kids small pieces of
tissue paper in fall colors to press on the sticky contact paper. Seal
the back with another sheet of clear contact paper and hang in the
window. The sun will shine through the picture like a stained glass
"Kid Gourmet" Playdough: Let kids be
their own craft chefs
with this fun recipe we invented. In a large bowl, have each child mix
2 cups of flour and a half cup of salt. Pour in 3/4 cup of very warm
has been tinted with a generous dose of food coloring (fall colors like
red and orange work well with the scent). Add 2 TBS of oil and stir
well. Add a little more flour or oil if it's too wet or dry. Now let
the kids sprinkle in the spices of their choice. Good choices are
cloves, pumpkin pie spice, allspice and nutmeg. Though this dough
won't taste very good, it's completely non-toxic and smells like it's
ready for the table! For a fun tactile treat they can shake in some
whole cloves to make bumpy playdough too. Store in an airtight
container in the fridge.
Magical Mama Liz shared this fall craft idea:
are making maple leaf crowns and acorn tops. (Place a large
acorn in a
vise to hold it still while you hammer a finishing nail
into the cap.) They spin beautifully!
They sound darling. Thanks Liz!
is a blog entry with links to ideas for some truly lovely little
toys. I especially like the clothespin dolls, the fairy wings
embellished onesies. The travel finger puppet theater is
and I suspect kids would love it as well. :)
last time you did something just for yourself? If it's been a while,
take the time to give yourself a treat today. Don't forget that our
kids learn how to treat themselves by how we treat ourselves! Set a
good example about the importance of pampering yourself once in a
while. Even a small treat or indulgence can brighten your day. You
10 Ways To Make
1. Play in the
leaves! Rake them up and jump in the pile. Throw them in
the air. Make a big old mess and act like a fool with your little
2. No fall leaves? Cut orange, red and yellow
crepe paper streamers into short strips and make a leaf pile in the
living room. :) Toss them in the air, rake them in a pile with a toy
rake and then use
them for crafts
when you're done. Crumple the pieces into tiny balls and glue them in
patterns on paper or use watered down glue and a paintbrush to glue
them to the outside of a cleaned soup can for a pretty fall pencil
3. Make funny little pumpkin and gourd displays
together like carved castles, pumpkin sculptures (funny orange snowman,
anyone?) or vases
(carve the pumpkin as desired and then put a vase of water in it to
hold flowers). You can also add Mr. Potato Head parts to a pumpkin for
a fun tabletop display (you may have to hammer holes for the kids ahead
4. Visit an apple orchard
and have an apple
day. Gather enough apples to make applesauce of freeze apple slices
for apple pies in the dead of winter. Get lots of
varieties and have taste tests to find your favorite varieties. Make
apple prints with paint. Bob for apples (it's harder than you
think!). Do fraction math with apple wedges. Also check out two
wonderful books on the subject-- How to Make an Apple Pie and See
World and Apple Fractions. Both are favorites here!
5. Draw a giant chalk masterpiece together on
your driveway, sidewalk, or at a city park.
6. Start a nature journal and set aside a time
each day or each week to go out together to fill it up. Make a note of
birds, bugs, flowers and other neat stuff you come across. The kids
can draw the entries and help label them. Bring ID books to make it
easier if you like. You can both write little journal entries about
7. Enroll together in a fitness or sports class
of your child's choice. If you want to go less
formal, let your child pick out a fitness related video for the family
to do together. Take
up anything from
African dance to Karate to water aerobics. Anything goes! Make it fun
and get healthy together.
8. Go to an art museum together. Talk about all
the works you see and then go home and do some art together in a style
you really liked.
9. Walk silly. When Magical Mama Tiffany has a
group of kids to lead somewhere, she has them form a conga line. When
Magical Daddy Daryl leads the kids to the van after shopping, he plays
follow the leader and has them line up and imitate animals and silly
walks after him. It keeps the kids together and leads to lots of
10. Be an absolute goof with your kids. In any
way, at any time, however you like. It's the easiest way of all to
make instant fun. :)
And with that, chickadees, I'm off to play
with the kids and pretend to clean the house. ;) Have a magical month!
A Magical Childhood
2007, Alicia Bayer
A Magical Childhood Newsletter is just something I throw together because I love children and those who love them.
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