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!!”

yes

yes2

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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Your Assignment….

… Should you choose to accept it, is to do one or more of the following:

1. Cancel something you didn’t really want to do.

2. Cuddle on the couch or bed with your kiddo(s) and read a pile of wonderful books together.

3. Make something tasty together.

4. Occupy the kids long enough to buy yourself time to soak in the bath.

5. Wear jingle bells on your ankles.

6. Call someone who makes you feel happy.

7. Buy yourself a Christmas present. Open it right away.

8. Give a hundred hugs today.

9. Tell us a joke in the comments. :)

10. Do something today that you’ll remember 10 years from now with a smile.

Extra credit if you do more than one!

Extra, extra credit if you tell me about them!

Happy Tuesday!

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10 Ways to Make Today Magical

Happy Monday!  I’m popping in from the midst of our chaos to jot off a quick list of ways to make some memories this week, and to once more give myself a nudge to start posting more often.  After a dozen or so years of doing this I tend to get a bit lazy at times!  ;)

In any case, I hope you’re having a magical December so far.  Here’s a few ways to add a little magic with the kiddos…….

1.  No snow where you live?  Head to the beach and make an adorable sandman instead.  I love this lovely pic from Zontini Studios!

2.  Make some homemade gifts together.  You can try your hands at some DIY beeswax modeling clay or a felt board busy box (with a baby wipes container as a base!) or homemade watercolor paints or some wonderful edible treats.  Check out my homemade toys board or my handmade gifts board on Pinterest for some of my favorite ideas.

3.  Cut up a zillion paper snowflakes and decorate the house.  Paint them with watercolors to make them extra special.  Coffee filters make it even easier.

4.  Give each child a small amount of money and go shopping for the food shelf.  Let them choose what they buy, reminding them to look for stuff they’d want to eat but also that they can get a lot more by buying inexpensive items and they should aim for healthy too.  Go together to the food shelf or drop off spot.

5.  Turn a box into some sort of awesome hideout.  You can make a bear den or a cave or any number of other sweet little cubbies.  Add a reading light and a pillow, and it becomes a fantastic place to bring a pile of books!

 

6.  Make real sugarplums.  These are so much fun and healthy too!  Just fruit with a bit of orange juice pulsed together, then rolled in sugar, coconut flakes or something similar.  Here’s the instructions.

7.  Start a nightly read-aloud.  This time of year, we always gather and read “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” as a family over the space of a few nights.  Make some time to read aloud besides just at bedtime, particularly from books that suit all ages.

8.  If you get some snow, try snow dyeing.  Isn’t this the most beautiful effect?!

 

9.  Try making some LEGO holiday creations.  Here’s some ideas and help finding patterns.

 

10. String cranberries, popcorn and other edible goodies on trees outside for the birds and squirrels.  Be sure to put them near a window where you all can watch them being enjoyed!

And with that, chickadees, I’m off to make a little magic with a few kiddos of my own.  Have a wonderful week and don’t forget to take care of you!

 

 

 

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Random Animal Cuteness

Some days you just need a little extra cuteness.

Miss Fiona woke me at 5 this morning in a bit of a funk.  She’s not feeling well and is being rather hard to please.

I finally went searching on you-tube for cute animal videos, since those can brighten just about any day.

This one was a hit with both of us.  It was also very good for playing “learn that animal name.”  :)

I’ll be back soon with some proper posts.

Happy Friday!

 

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A Happy Update

Victoria at 15, Photo by Carmela Rose (awesome BFF)

Victoria at 15, Photo by Carmela Rose (awesome BFF)

I just had to pop in for a minute and report a happy little update on Victoria, who had her 18 month recheck this week with her oncologist/surgeon.

He says there is absolutely no sign of the cancer recurring and he is 99% sure that she is cancer-free.  He’ll continue to monitor her, but he says he feels really positive about her prognosis.

Now that’s pretty magical news, I tell ya.  :)

 

 

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10 Ways to Make Today Magical

Happy Monday!

Sorry for disappearing for so long again.  It’s a busy time of year for us here, with lots of hiking to enjoy the season and lots of “putting things up” from our gardens, from friends’ apple trees and from produce bought in bulk from local farm families.

October is such a magical month.  It isn’t hard to find lots and lots of ways to make the days magical.  Here’s a few options for the week.

1.  Get the kids’ shoes or bare feet muddy and help them “walk” across the ceiling to leave muddy footprints. 

2.  Dress up the dog in a different crazy costume each night this week and go walking with the kids.

3.  Do some fall nature crafts.  You can find a round-up of ten of my favorites here.

4.  Use a pumpkin for a Mr. Potato Head or use playdough to make fun faces.  Here’s a few dozen other fun things to do with pumpkins besides just carving them.  :)

10 Ways to Make Today Magical 10-28

5.  Dress the kids up in their Halloween costumes and visit a nursing home to deliver treats to the residents (call first and find one who’d welcome the treats and visitors).

6.  Here’s a delightful suggestion from Sakina on the Magical Childhood Facebook page:  here is my magical childhood moment earlier today… perhaps it’s already on your list somewhere??… let your child become the make up artist on yourself.  :)

sakima

I love it!  :)  Thanks Sakina!

7.  Do some Day of the Dead crafts and teach the kids the history of this historic festival that honors loved ones who have died.  Here’s some information about the day and here’s some fun crafts.

8.  Learn how to do The Cup Song with the kids.  Or, go old school and teach them how to do The Macarena or The Hand Jive

9.  Dress the kids up in old fashioned clothes and go visit a historic site like a train museum or a pioneer village.  Pretend you live in those old times and talk about what it would be like.

10. Try this lovely idea from Parents: 

You can brighten your yard with this temporary art project that highlights (but doesn’t harm) a favorite tree. First soak sidewalk chalk in water for a couple of hours to soften it, then go outside and choose a tree that’s looking a little drab — the smoother the bark, the better. Rub the chalk on the trunk to give it a coat of color. Smooth out the chalk and blend the hues with a large paintbrush and water.

Originally published in the March 2013 issue of FamilyFun

And with that, my dears, I’m off to play ball with a small boy, bake some gluten free bread and wrestle some piles of laundry into order.

Have a magical week!

 

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