10 Ways to Make Today Magical

Happy Monday!  Happy St. Patrick’s Day, too, for that matter.  Happy everything!

Here’s a few ways to make a little magic today or sometime this week with your kiddos……….

1.  Do some rainy day art with food coloring and cardstock.  If you can’t get some rain, let the kids fake it with a squirt bottle or puddle splashing nearby.  Little Page Turners has the instructions and tips.

2.  Do some spring nature studies.  Call some worms underground, start garden plants from kitchen scraps, test your soil’s pH with vinegar or otherwise work a little science into the season.  Here are links to those and other fun spring nature study activities.

3.  Create a family mural.  I am in love with this idea and this art from the amazing Kirsten Rickert.  Visit her blog for the full post and instructions (and lots more wonderful inspiration!).

4.  Wait for a wonderfully windy day and blow bubbles like crazy.  Here’s a picture of us from a few years ago.  It’s also fun to do this on a grassy expanse by evening traffic.  We’ve always delighted at the expressions on passing motorists stuck in traffic when deluged with bubbles being blown by happy children.  :)

10 Ways to Make Today Magical

5.  Do freeze dancing to Irish music (or any fun music).  You can do this in honor of St. Patrick’s Day today or you can use any theme you like.  Put on a CD (or find some good songs on you-tube) and have the kids all dance wildy.  Every time you hit pause, they have to freeze in place.

6.  Paint some walking sticks.  Head into nature and find some big, suitable sticks, bring them home and make them beautiful.  They can jazz up the yard in between nature hikes.

7.  Sit together and do gratitude mandelas.  This lovely one is via Pinterest but I couldn’t find the original artist.  If you know, please let me know so I can give proper credit.

8.  Make grapevine wreaths and crowns.  Here are the simple instructions, courtesy of myself and Victoria a few years back.

9.  Go for a walk in the rain.  Mist counts.  After the rain counts.  Just wearing a fun raincoat on an overcast day counts.  :)

10.  Only clean the green things today.  Go through the house together and put away anything green, scrub anything green and otherwise just give a little love to all things green.  If you like, do red tomorrow, black the next day and so on.

And for a little Muppet fun this St. Patrick’s Day, here’s a version of Danny Boy that always makes me grin.

And with that, I’m off to the wilds of South Dakota with any number of small and large children for the day.

Have a magical week!

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10 Ways to Make Today Magical

Happy Monday!

I hope all is wonderful in your little corner of the world.  We’ve been busy despite the cold winter here.  I’ve found that with five kids now, there really isn’t such a thing as down time! 

I do like winter more and more these days for its forced slowing-down of life, though.  This is the time of year we read the most library books, play the most games at the dining room table, watch the most movies and follow the most rabbit trails to find new hobbies, skills and passions.

That’s not to say I won’t be thrilled when spring comes!  My seed catalogs have me especially impatient for the return of green, and I can’t wait to be able to once again spend the whole day outside with the kids.  But in the meantime, we might as well have fun with what we’ve got!

Here’s a few ways to make a little magic with your kiddos this week, no matter what the weather is in your little corner of the world.

1.  Give your child a Valentine straw rocket!  E for Explore has the free printable and directions.

2.  Do a wacky photo shoot of your child.

3.  Start a pride jar.  Every time you’re proud of your child, write the reason on a slip of paper and put it in a pretty jar. Encourage the kids to peek in their jars!

4.  Gather some fruits and veggies and make some edible art.  I have lots of inspiration on my Cooking With Kids board on Pinterest.

10 Ways to Make Today Magical5.  Try circus tricks together.  See if you can juggle, balance a ball on your nose, walk a “tightrope” on the floor, clown around and so on.

6.  Paint some snowballs.

7.  Make an edible gingerbread house for the birds and squirrels.  Get together some graham crackers, nutbutter and a variety of bird seeds, fresh or dried fruits, and nuts.  Help the kids assemble like a regular house with peanut butter as the “glue” and decorate with the seeds, fruits and nuts.  Take a picture of your masterpiece and then leave it where it’s visible from inside so you can watch to see who visits.

8.  Cut out dozens of construction paper hearts and write a reason you love each other on each one.  Cover the windows or a door with them all, or hang them from the ceiling on lengths of yarn or ribbon.

9.  Do some Pinterest-inspired arts and crafts.  Find a fun project, tutorial or bit of inspiration and sit down together to give it a try.

10. Play the gratitude game at dinner.  Go through the alphabet taking turns naming one thing you’re grateful for in life for each letter.  Anything counts, from artichokes to Aunt Julie.  :)

And with that, I’m off again.  I’ll try to pop in more often this week. 

Kiss your kiddos, count your blessings and don’t forget to take care of you. 

Have a magical week! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I am (uplifting them)

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Here’s a wonderful project that I am so happy to see!

I am (uplifting them) is a new social media project that proposes to use social media to uplift our kids instead of to shame them.

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Page creator Stephanie says:

I am saddened by the amount of kid-shaming photos and stories I see all over the internet. My proposal is that we flood the world wide web with kid-positivity and uplifting stories and photos. So, grab a kid (preferably your own; if not get permission) and ask them to finish the sentence, ‘I am…’ Write down what they say (I guarantee it’ll be positive) snap a picture of them holding it and post it everywhere! Post them here as well and let’s see how many uplifting, positive things we can learn about our children!

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Want to take part?  You can join in on Facebook or Twitter and invite your own kids to celebrate how fabulous they really are.  :)

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I’m off to see what my kids want to put on their signs!

 

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10 Ways to Make Today Magical

Happy Monday!  I hope you’re staying warm in your little corner of the world.  They’ve closed the schools because of the cold here in Minnesota.  It is staggeringly cold!  With wind chills, they say it could get as low as -79.  That’s crazy business!

It’s a good day to stay inside and make some happy memories with the kids!  Or… if it’s lovely and warm where you are, it’s a nice day to go outside and make some happy memories with them — and enjoy it for me.  :)

Here’s a few ways to make a little magic this week…

  1. Start a paper chain of happy memories and accomplishments from 2014.
  2. If you have snow outside, bring some inside in some big tubs and let the kids play with it at the kitchen table.     
  3. If you’re lucky enough not to live in one of the freezing cold places right now, you can still have lots of fun with snow and ice!  Here’s a list of ten ways to make the day magical, warmer style for warmer climates.
  4. Sneak outside and do a bit of this. 
  5. If you can brave the cold, make some snowball art.  Aren’t these wonderful?  They’re done by textile artist Ceca Georgieva, who has lots of other wonderful stuff on her site too.     
  6. Make a list of 100 things you want to do together by the end of winter.  Here’s one of our old winter bucket lists.
  7. Yarn bomb something!  You can even yarn bomb inside objects like chairs and bedposts.  Here’s oodles of wonderful inspiration on Pinterest and here’s stuff I’ve compiled about yarn bombing in the past.

    Lovely yarnbombed tree via Pinterest. Original author unknown.

  8. Get glow in the dark paint and help the kids write secret messages and pictures on their ceilings.  The paint will be invisible during the day.  Paint onto poster board and tape it up if you don’t want to paint directly onto the ceiling.
  9. Make maple syrup snow candy! Here’s a bunch of recipes and instructions. You can use crushed ice if you don’t have snow.

  10. Find a few minutes to do something really nice for yourself.  Buy yourself a couple of truffles at the check-out and go enjoy them in a cozy spot.  Take a relaxing bath with a magazine.  Call a friend who makes you feel fabulous.  You get the idea!  Extra credit if you come back and tell me what you did!

And with that, chickadees, I have to go run the tap again so the pipes don’t freeze again!  And perhaps grab a child to give noisy kisses to, too.

Have a magical day!

 

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Weather Trees!

Weather Tree by Betsy Wetsy on Flickr

I’m in love with weather trees. 

I’ve admired them over the years and always wanted to start one with the kids.

Weathertree.com offers this one for sale from the UK each year…

And they also offer one that focuses on goals (weight loss, exercise completed, eggs laid by chickens and small business profits are some examples!) instead of weather…

And this gorgeous one is available on etsy.

I’ve had several pinned on Pinterest for a while now to inspire me to make my own.

Now with the new year and this free printable weather tree from se7en, we’re all set to go!

Some people just color them with one or two colors for sunny or cloudy, while some color-code the leaves for hot, windy, rainy and so on.  On some calendars, you can see people colored the leaves several colors to show changing weather or various elements of the day’s weather.

We’re going to do the weather (cloudy, rainy, snowy, sunny, etc.) for the main part of the leaf and outline the leaf to show temperature (hot, cold or mild).  Of course, here in Minnesota I think anything above zero counts as mild these days.  :)

Ours is printed and we’re filling in the first leaf tonight.

Happy 2014!

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10 Ways to Make Today Magical

Happy Monday!  I hope you’re staying warm and happy in your corner of the world. 

We’ve had some bitterly cold temperatures here in Minnesota lately (-19 without wind chill!) but it’s starting to warm up a little and I’m optimistic we’ll at least get above zero for a few days so we can properly take advantage of all of our lovely snow.

Here are a few ways to make a little magic with your kiddos this week…

1.  Print out some free toys! 

Made by Joel offers free printables of everything from a paper city Nativity scene to paper slotted animals to an oscillating bird and more.

We’ve also loved the toys at The Toymaker for years.

2.  Go sledding or ice skating in the kitchen!  Pull little ones around on towels, or have them put on socks and slip around the floor.  Older kids can pull the little ones and accidentally get some exercise in at the same time!  If you’re brave enough, give them a bucket of warm soapy water and have them “mop” the floor with their stocking feet.  My girls used to love to do this, though it can get pretty wet!

3.  Host a gingerbread house building party.  Magical Mama Tiffany has all sorts of wonderful recipes and fun ideas for hosting a gingerbread house making party here.

4.  Make the kids a “Yes” tree.  Do you have little ones who love to fuss with the ornaments on the tree?  This is another wonderful idea from Tiffany, who says, “I made the kids a ‘YES’ tree that they can decorate and undecorate to their heart’s content!!”

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5.  Cancel something you didn’t really want to do.  Go ahead.  The world won’t end!  Do something that sounds fabulously fun (or completely lazy!) instead.

6.  Make Santa strawberries or other healthy but delightful treats.  Here is a round-up of ten whimsical (healthy) holiday treats to make with kids.

7.  Have an inside snowball fight!  Crumple up oodles of paper from the recycling bin and give each player a laundry basket full.  Find some good launching spots (behind the couch, behind a table…) and commence flinging!

8.  Have fun with boxes.  If you’re getting lots of boxes coming into the house right now, why not let the kids put them to use?  Let them use them to make robots, tunnels, playhouses, you name it.  You can be fancy and help out, like the ultra-creative mama at Life as a Thrifter

Or just let the kids loose to make up their own fun!

9.  Compliment each other, balloon style!  Pick someone in the room to focus on and toss a balloon up in the air.  Everybody else has to keep bopping the balloon up and keep it from hitting the ground.  You can’t bop it without calling out something fabulous about your subject though!  Think quick! See how long you can keep it up (and how many wonderful things people can think up about each other!).

10. Make a paper chain of happy memories and accomplishments from the past year.

Want more ways to make some more magic with your kids?  Here are 50 ways to make the holidays magical from my examiner column a couple of years ago. 

And with that, I’m off to make a little magic of my own.  Have a magical week!

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A Little Festive Fun

Want to have a little online holiday fun with your kiddos?  There are some really sweet sites that let you virtually decorate trees, make gingerbread houses, cut snowflakes and more.

Technology Rocks. Seriously has a fantastic roundup of gingerbread man fun storyboards, activities, interactive sites, printables and so on like these:

Then there’s the snow round-up of fantastic activities like these:

There’s the Christmas tree decorating roundup with fun links like these:

And oodles more! 

Be sure to check out the rest of the site for all sorts of great printables, educational games and other fun.

Happy Wednesday!

 

 

 

 

 

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