Tag Archives: spring

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

Artwork Copyright Katie Daisy 2010, http://www.flickr.com/people/thewheatfield/, Visit her etsy shop at http://www.thewheatfield.etsy.com

Happy Monday!

I hope all is wonderful in your little corner of the world.  Winter is holding on tight around here but we’re planting seeds and making plans anyway.  My spring fun Pinterest board is stocked with ideas I want to try with the kiddos.

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

1.  Tie long sticks to ribbons and go ribbon dancing in the back yard or park.

2.  Make grapevine wreaths and bracelets.  Click here for a tutorial from my Victoria a few years back.

3.  Mop the kitchen floor by letting the kids sock skate.  Or take it a step farther like this family did and make some sponge skates.  If you go for the mop hockey idea (which is brilliant, if you have a large enough floor and the bravery to say yes to such a thing!), I’d definitely recommend helmets though.  :)

4.  Cheer up your bill-paying.  Have the kids use crayons or colored pencils to draw a picture on the back of each bill as you mail it in, plus decorate the envelope and write something cheerful.  You might make someone else’s day magical as well.

5.  Make some seed bombs.  You can make these little guerilla gardening goodies with shredded paper or clay, plus a bit of dirt, compost and wildflower seeds.  Then have fun flinging them into unloved areas that could use a bit of color (including your own back yard!).  Be sure to use native wildflowers that will not be invasive and follow all those commonsense sort of rules.  :)  Find tutorials at every(nothing)wonderful (with free printable labels!), The Ecologist (where you can learn the very old history of seed bombs and lots more), Mademoiselle Chaos (where you can make moldable little seed bomb shapes with recycled paper), or use this basic formula from BH&G:

Guerillagardening.org recipe: Combine two parts mixed flower seeds with three parts compost; stir in five parts powdered clay (available at art or crafts supply stores), and moisten with water. Form balls one inch in diameter; let dry for 24 to 48 hours (stash in an empty egg carton). Gather in paper and tie with raffia; add easy how-tos on a tag.

6.  Got any Harry Potter fans?  Make their day with homemade Butterbeer, complete with sugared rims on the glasses.  Now if I could only figure out how to make those tiny brooms….

7.  Start a weekly project of making homemade toys together.  These can be simple (like turning unwanted stuffed animals into puppets) or sophisticated (like making homemade dolls).  Check out my Homemade Toys board for lots of tutorials and inspiration.

8.  Start some seeds.  You can start them in egg shells, egg cartons, newspaper pots, muffin tins or toilet paper tubes (cut in half) in recycled plastic boxes (the clamshell boxes from organic salad mixes are perfect) for mini-greenhouses.

9.  Do electric griddle drawings.  These are so much fun that even I have to take a few minutes to make some melty crayon art.  :)  Click here for our tutorial and be sure to be safe.

10. Go puddle stomping!  You too.  :)

And with that, my pretties, I’m off to start a nice pot of soup to try to kick this spring cold that thinks it’s going to get us down.

Have a magical week!


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Listening to Trees

Photo by Naturenet


Here’s a wonderful idea by Joseph Cornell, author of Sharing Nature With Children:

If you listen carefully with a stethoscope, you can hear the “heartbeat” of a tree. Find a thin-barked tree more than 6 inches in diameter and place your stethoscope against its trunk. Be very quiet. Move the stethoscope around until you can hear the crackling, gurgling sound of sap flowing up to the branches.


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10 Ways to Make Today Magical

We’re still in Nebraska but I thought I would pop in with a few ways to add some whimsy to life this week.  Here’s some things we’ve been up to and such to add a bit of magic to life this week…

1. If you have leftover plastic eggs, use them for a bit of fun.  Put different objects in them and challenge the kids to rattle them and guess what’s inside.  Hide them around the house with little tasks written in each one (cluck like a chicken, jump 5 times, spell your name backwards…).  You can even use them for healthy snacks, filled with grape halves, cheese cubes, cereal o’s and so on.

2.  Have lunch in a tree.

3.  Go hiking.  Preferably in some spot you’ve never explored before.

4.  Play mad libs with a favorite picture book.  Have your child list a bunch of nouns, verbs, animals, etc. and every time you come to one in the story, read the next word on the list instead.  It leads to silly fun and sneaks in a bit of grammar!

5.  Make boats out of walnut shells, bark or some other natural materials and sail them down a stream, a ditch or even a homemade puddle in the back yard.

6.  Have egg and spoon races.  Divide the family into two groups and have each team relay race with an egg balanced on a spoon.  We set up a small course in the back yard and had each racer run across the yard, circle a tree and run back to the  next person.  Little ones were allowed to hold their eggs, and we kept running long after everybody had run once.  It was loads of fun, though we did need an extra egg or two!

7.  In a similar vein, have an egg toss.  We stood in a circle and gently tossed the egg to the next person.  Once we’d gone all the way around the circle, we took one step back to make it  harder.  We kept going until Magical Mama Tiffany leaped for a high fastball and became unfortunately goo-covered.

8.  Serve lunch on a stick.  Nearly anything can become a kabob!

9.  Have a “paint everything in sight” day.  Set out beat up old chairs, cement pavers, rocks, anything and let the kids do their artistic magic.

10. Have a treasure hunt for dessert tonight.  Leave cryptic clues that lead round the house and yard.

Have a wonderful week!  Talk to you soon!

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Saltdough Vases and Planters

These are brilliant!

These salt dough vases are built around glass containers from the recycling bin, making them waterproof, completely customizable and virtually free.

And they’re just too cute.  Kids could have a ball doing this!

Head on over to Alpha Mom for the instructions.

Happy Sunday!


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Making Grapevine Wreaths and Crowns


The other day, I mentioned that Victoria has been making grapevine crowns and wreaths and that she wants to leave some as decorations along a state park path. 

Someone asked how to make the wreaths so here’s the super simple instructions.

Sorry I don’t have step by step pictures, but these are pictures I just happened to take on Sunday.


  1. Cut some lengths of any long vine or thin, supple branches.  The ones we used for the wreaths above were dogwood (for the crown) and Virginia Creeper vine (for the mini wreath or bracelet).
  2. Bend them into a circle shape, starting at one end, of whatever size you want.  As you bend, weave the ends around and loop them a few times to keep them together.
  3. Tuck the end into the wreath.

TIP:  Make the wreaths right away after you cut the vines or branches, or they’ll dry out and become too brittle to weave easily.

It’s really simple!  I literally gave Victoria 10 seconds of instructions and a pair of shears and she was at it.  Today Annalee joined in the fun and taught herself in the back yard, too.

Have fun!  Happy Tuesday!


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Grow Some Wheatgrass!

Here’s a fun project to bring a little spring inside, have some fun with the kiddos and maybe even get a little nutrition.  Make and Takes has instructions on how to grow your own wheatgrass, complete with suggestions about fun containers.

If you decide to try to make your own wheatgrass juice, here’s some info on how to get kids to like it (the hand cranker sounds fun!) and how much to give them.

We’ve had fun growing regular grass in eggshell halves.  Let the kids draw faces on the washed egg shells and plant the grass seed to be the hair.  We kept them in a sunny window sill and had fun giving them haircuts.  :)

No matter what you do with it, it’s certainly lovely to see all that green!

Happy Sunday!

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Potted Fairy Gardens

I’ve been trying to share these whimsical fairy gardens with you and Word Press is trying very hard not to!  First it wouldn’t post my photos and then it ate my entry completely and posted it blank.

Let’s try this again!

Pretend I say all sorts of fun things right here and there’s two really enchanting photos.  Then go here and here to see what they did.

Happy Sunday!


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10 Ways to Make Today Magical (Garden Style)

I’m still garden obsessed with the arrival of spring so I swiped this list of ways to make the day magical from newsletter #37 from back in 2002.  I suddenly feel very old.  ;)

10 Ways to Make Today Magical, Garden Style…..

1.  Have the kids usepermanent paint or markers to write plant names on rocks, popsicle sticks or strips of recycled materials to use as plant markers.  For added fun, have them make up a few silly ones that say things like "Albert the bug," "popsicle stick," "Jo was here," "Smile!" etc.

2.  Encourage the kids to have plant swaps with their friends.  Help them carefully dig up a plant from somewhere in your yard or house and swap it from one from theirs.  Even weeds can be sentimental to little ones.  Give it a place of honor in its new home.

3.  Pick some leaves or flower petals and press them between two sheets of clear contact paper.  Cut out, punch a hole, and hang as a sun catcher.

4.  Make flower petal soups, mud pies, grass sundaes and other culinary backyard treats.  Save old spice containers to fill with dirt for seasoning.

5.  Next time you have some rain, take the kids and splash and dance in the puddles.

6.  Do flower magic.  When you have flower arrangements that have died, let the kids take them outside and toss the petals into the air.  They can make wishes or say prayers as they let the wind carry the petals away.  This is especially fun on windy days.

7.  Go on a hike to find interesting shapes and textures of plants and then stamp them onto paper with some paint.  Halved mushrooms, leaves, grass that’s gone to seed, dandelion heads and lots more make fun designs.

8.  Teach your kids how to whistle with a blade of grass.  Have a whole orchestra!

9.  Pay 1 cent each for dandelions and 5 cents for a root.  I always thought I dreamed this idea up but I’ve since found a lot of moms are onto this trick!  Afterwards, weave them into flower garlands and turn each other yellow.

10. Have a picnic supper outside on the lawn.


Have a magical week!

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Quick and Easy No-Sew Fairies!

I’m in love with these darling little fairies that Half Pint Pixie made up for her little girl to celebrate the start of spring!

Hop on over to this page for all the instructions.  I’m sure you could use old fashioned clothespins for the bodies if you didn’t have the little blank dolls, too.

Aren’t they darling?  :)

Be sure to check out the rest of her blog as well.  She’s an Irish, vegan, AP mama who seems delightful!

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