Tag Archives: holidays

Random Acts of Holiday Kindness

Happy Tuesday!  Sorry to be gone so long again.  There has been all sorts of mayhem in our busy little house, as always.  Once again, I’m working on finding a way to post here more often.  We’ll see how it goes!

I know that a lot of families do Random Acts of Kindness this time of year and I stumbled on this post from coffee cups and crayons that listed 24 of them to do with kids.  There are even free printables to go along with it. I especially like the idea of “candy cane bombing” a parking lot.  :)

FCUBED has just a few RAK ideas but I really liked the idea of taping popcorn to the Redbox machine.  :)

My friend Tiffany does her own RAK holiday fun with her kids each December and you can follow along with their sweet ideas on her blog at Harried Homeschooling Mama.

And this one isn’t random acts of kindness  but I really love the idea of 25 Days of Zen – Holiday Edition from Zen Schmen.

And for heaven’s sake, don’t worry about starting late or doing enough days.  Do a bunch of little ones in one day together, or do one a day from now on, or one total, or anything that works for you and yours.  Those of you who know me know that I’m all about letting go of guilt and perfectionism!  Just have fun with it!

Happy Holidays!  Don’t forget to slow down and enjoy the magic of the season.  :)

 

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Happy Grief Bacon Day!

We’re having a different sort of holiday today.  We’re celebrating our first annual Kummerspeck (or “Grief Bacon“) Day.

The idea came to me a few days ago.  We’ve all been really fighting the blues in our family.  Winter has been long, cold, snowy and oppressive this year.  The kids have been cooped up and cranky.  I’ve been cooped up and cranky.  We’re all irritable and there’s still more waiting before things are really going to be green and warm.

Victoria had told me about a German word that literally translates to “grief bacon” that describes the weight gained from emotional eating, such as after a loved one dies or during a period of depression.   It was featured in Mental Floss’s  15 Wonderful Words With No English Equivalent.

We’ve talked about that natural instinct to hole up in the house with food as comfort and how it’s definitely not healthy as a general practice but how it really does seem to help when things are really feeling miserable, like after the death of pets and loved ones.

So yesterday I suggested to Daryl that we toss out my typical health-crazed ways and proclaim today a Grief Bacon Day (vegetarian members of our family can call it Grief Popsicle Day).  :)  He was on board, so we told the kids we were going to all go to the grocery store together and load up on comfort foods that we’d all pick out together and spend the whole day together as a family watching movies, eating junk food and just indulging ourselves in a way we usually don’t.

We spent the morning cleaning together to prepare (who wants to party in a messy house?) and then spread the table with the first round of indulgences.  Jack had picked out frozen fruit so he made us dixie cup fruit sorbets to balance out the chips, dip and other junky items that others picked.  Gluten free pizza, french fries, banana popsicles, 7-up and other goodies followed. 

There’s lots more to come, including more foods and fun non-food items like puzzles and bubbles, marshmallow and toothpicks for building, more movies and crafts. 

Some days you just have to loosen your own rules and look at the big picture.  A full-out, junky family day was just what the doctor ordered.  The mood in our house has done a 180 (and the house looks better too!).

And now, I’m off to watch some more explosions and add to my stomach ache. 

Happy Kummerspeck  Day!

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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!!”

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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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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Talk Like a Pirate!

Arrr!  How could I nearly let International Talk Like a Pirate Day slip by without posting about it!  Tsk!

Never fear.  I’ve assembled a few pirate goodies for you to take part with your wee pirates with what’s left of the day.

You can check out the Magical Childhood archives to help your kids choose their pirate names.

You can find sunken treasure at National Geographic education.

You can make Jack Sparrow’s tricorne hat cookiesAny cookie stuffed with peanut butter cups is a winner in my book!

You can find pirate crafts and activities at DLTK-kids.

You can make quick and easy (adorable!) newspaper swords, bandana pirate skirts and more at alphamom.

You can find activities for junior pirates (even a pirate curriculum!) at talk like a pirate day (the main site is not always child-friendly).

Lastly, you can have fun with the kids translating text (poetry, news items, homework!) into pirate speak at the english to pirate translator.

And for fun for the grown-ups, be sure to change your Facebook language to pirate for the day!

Here’s how:

  1. Click the Gear icon at the top of the Facebook page and select Account Settings.
  2. The account settings page opens and the language setting is the last one in the list.
  3. Click the Edit link next to it. The Choose Primary drop-down list appears.
  4. Click the drop-down list and click on Pirate English.

And with that, me hearties, I’m off to t’ play with me sprogs!

Have a swashbucklin’ day!

 

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A Little Welsh Fun

St. David's Day on Magical Childhood

It turns out we completely missed Saint David’s Day yesterday, but I found this blog post full of Welsh crafts from Filth Wizardry so delightful that I had to pass it on anyway.

I’m in love with the easy paper leeks!

(Long-time readers also know that I’ll celebrate any excuse to have fun that involves sheep.)  ;)

If you want to continue with the theme of St. David and Wales, here are some wonderful compilations of crafts and activities on DLTK (did you know that dragons are considered Wales’ national animal?!) and Activity Village (I love the dragon sock puppet!).

Wales crafts (St. David's Day) on Magical Childhood

In any case, happy March, chickadees!  Spring is really coming.  Yay!

Look for a post on ways to make the day magical on Monday.  My husband’s recovery is coming along well and I think it’s time for us to start easing out of hibernation.  :) 

Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Wales on Magical Childhood

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