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Ten Ways To Make Today Magical

Hello magical people!  I hope everything is wonderful in your corner of the universe.  Here’s a few ways to make some memories with your kids this week.

1.  For September, use a white crayon to write an invisible message or fun activity on each square in the calendar. Each day, let your child color the square with a marker to reveal the secret message.

2.  Tie-dye some clothes with tissue paper and squirt guns.  I first saw this darling craft on Dollar Store Crafts (that’s their versions below!) and loved the versions (and reports on what worked best) at How to… do something.

3.  Have a paper airplane derby. You’ll find free patterns for simple to fancy planes, helicopters, rockets, frisbees and more here.  This is also a fun way to reuse old coloring pages, worksheets, scrapbooking paper and even maps.

4.  Make crab apple cider If you’re lucky enough to have access to crab apple trees, you have to try making crab apple cider with the kids!  It’s easy (no apple press required) and the cider is beautiful ruby red and delicious.  We have friends who go to a park near their home every fall to harvest unsprayed crab apples for this stuff since we introduced them to it.  It’s a fun, tasty tradition!

5.  Do bleach pen altering.  Here’s a shirt Victoria did a couple of years ago and here’s how she did it.

6.  Invent a secret handshake or special good-bye.  Some families have special handshakes that mom or dad do with each child every morning before school.  Victoria and I had a long series of signs we went through every night when she went to bed for years.  It’s a special way to start the day or end the night and know you’re loved.

7.  Start making toasts every night at supper.

8.  Have a bake-off for your pup!  The internet is full of fun and easy recipes for dog treats, from sweet potato “rawhide” dog chews to gluten free pumpkin dog cookies to no-bake peanut butter oat balls. You can find assortments of recipes on sites like Dog Treat Recipes too.  Make up an assortment together and have your dogs do a taste test to determine their favorites. 

9.  Have a cleaning party with the kids.  Dress up in fabulous play dress-up clothes (party hats and/or tiaras are a must!), blast some happy music, grab some fun treats and clean like crazy together.  Set a timer for every 15 minutes to take a break and enjoy some treats together, and concentrate on being as wild and wacky as possible as you clean.  Decide on a fun family treat to enjoy together when you’re done. Who says cleaning has to be dull?!

10. See if a city near you has a sculpture walk.  Our family loves to visit Sioux Falls every year to walk the annual “sculpture walk” downtown.  Dozens of artists display their sculpture each year and the city gives out pamphlets that tell a little bit about each piece and let you vote on your favorite.  We all walk the streets together checking out all of the works and deciding which ones we like best.  I just found out that a city even closer to us has an annual sculpture walk too.

And with that, my dears, I’m off to catch up on the other 99 things on my to-do list!  Have a wonderful week and don’t forget to take care of you!



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10 Ways to Make Today Magical

Happy Monday!  Sorry I’ve gone off for so long again.  I seem to always be behind in everything but my heartbeat.  :)

Here’s a few ways to make some magic with your kiddos this week….

1.  Plan a silly theme pot luck in the park with friends.  Have the kids agree on a theme (foods that start with B, family heritage recipes, naturally red foods, finger foods, foods on a stick, round foods…) and meet up at the park to enjoy the fun together.

2.  Do art in the rain.  Whether it’s drizzling or full on pouring, gather some sturdy cardstock, watercolor paper, canvas or poster board and art supplies and go out to create in it.  Let the rain help make the art.  Lay the paper flat to see how the raindrops splatter paint and markers as the kids create, or prop it up on an easel to make running paint effects.  Bring it someplace safe to dry and then admire the kids’ artistic collaborations with nature.  No rain?  Use the sprinkler!

3.  Explore a cave.

4.  Make mix-and-match fruit slushies.  Just freeze some fruit (chopped if it’s large, or whole if it’s small like berries) and then blend it in a strong blender with a little water and a bit of sugar to taste.  Let the kids mix and match flavors and colors and then do taste tests to choose favorite combinations.  If you have an ice cream maker you can also make fruit slushies or a soft serve sorbet by pouring in juice instead of your milk mixture.

5.  Decorate some old hats as crazy as you can, and then wear them out in public. 

6.  Clear out a back closet or other out of the way place to become a secret hideaway for your child.  Stock it with flashlights and lots of fun items to decorate it.

7.  Start a family poem wall.  Put up a large piece of paper on a door and put a pen nearby.  Ask every family member to add a word every time he or she passes.  It can be silly or serious.  Save the finished poems in an album or scrapbook.

8.  Make a bubble frenzy somewhere public.  Get lots of bottles of good bubbles and head out someplace where you and the kids can make masses of bubbles to bring smiles to as many faces as possible.  We used to love to do this at a park on a corner where evening traffic was always congested, just to see the smiles break out on grumpy drivers’ faces.

9.  Drape some blankets over a clothesline, tree, tent poles or other props in the back yard and make some impromptu forts.  Stock the insides with some fun books, games, snacks, a flashlight, whatever, and see what fun the kids dream up to have in their new fun space.

10. Go to another town and on the way make up totally different identities for yourselves.  I’ve recommended this one several times over the years, because it’s a family favorite.  :)  All day, call yourselves by your fake names and play along with your alternate life.  Encourage the kids to really get creative for eavesdroppers. 

And with that, my pretties, I’m off to tackle the next 99 things on my to-do list… or get distracted by something shiny on the internet.  That’s pretty likely too!

Have a magical week!


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10 Ways to Make Today Magical

Happy Monday!

I hope everything is wonderful in your little corner of the world.  Here’s a few ways to make some memories this week…..

1.  Run through the sprinkler with the kids.  Yes, you too!  It’s pretty fun to run through the sprinkler when you’re a child but it’s extra special when your mom, dad, grandma or other loved one is running through it with you. 

2.  Give the kids an assortment of broken and/or unwanted items they can use to make yard or garden art.  Wood, metal, plastic, wire, paint and even colored duct tape can all be components — anything from driftwood to bicycle tires can be transformed into something awesome.  Encourage the kids to use things in novel ways and to concentrate on making the final product look really artistic.

3.  Go explore a park you’ve never visited.

4.  Create some land art.  Land Art For Kids has lots of information, and you can join the land art for kids Flickr pool to post your own family creations or just get some inspiration.

5.  Make some fairy tale crowns to decorate.  Mommyblessings has all the instructions to make these personalized, adjustable beauties.

6.  Serve dinner on a stick.  Put out skewers for shish kabobs along with all sorts of items you can stack on your sticks.  You can do a salad on a stick appetizer with cherry tomatoes, celery, green pepper chunks, iceberg lettuce chunks and other salad veggies for the kids to stack and then dip or drizzle with salad dressing.  You can serve steamed or grilled veggies, cooked meat or tofu cubes and lots of dipping sauces (barbecue, ranch, ketchup, teriyaki…) for the main course.  For dessert, put out fruits like strawberries, blueberries and grapes to stack on skewers, along with some fun fruit dips like chocolate syrup and peanut butter sauce (thin peanut butter with some water and sweeten with honey).

7.  Let the kids have fun in the mud.  Yes, it’s messy.  It’s supposed to be!  It’s also utterly magical and should be a child’s right at least every so often.  :)  Luckily, it’s also easy to clean up with the help of a sprinkler or garden hose afterwards.  Here’s all sorts of ways to do it.

8.  Start a cookbook or recipe card box of family recipes for your child.  Every week or so, make one together so one day your child will know how to make all your best recipes.  Make up some recipes together to fill it with, too!

9.  Fill the kiddie pool with bubbles or other fun surprises.  Here’s a bunch of other oddball things you can fill it with.

10. Make homemade ice cream and invent some new flavors.  You can make ice cream even if you don’t have an ice cream maker, as long as you have a couple of plastic bags and some rock salt.  You can make ice cream even if you don’t have half and half.  Just use milk.  It won’t be as creamy but it also won’t be as fattening!  You can make ice cream even if your child is allergic to dairy or your family is paleo, if you use coconut milk.  You can even make ice cream if you’re vegan, dieting or diabetic.  You can even just toss fruit juice in your ice cream maker and make the easiest sorbet in the world!  Just make some up and then have fun with the kids seeing what new flavor combinations you can come up with.  Be sure to write down the favorites!

And with that, chickadees, I’m off to feed my hungry masses.  Have a magical week!






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10 Ways to Make Today Magical

10 Ways to Make Today Magical

Happy Monday!

Sorry for my terrible absences.  We’ve been quite busy with late spring busywork like putting in gardens and some fun adventures like a quick trip to the Badlands.

If you’ve never been to that magical place in South Dakota, I highly recommend it.

We made “home”-cooked meals in the microwave at night for supper and had picnic lunches in order to do it on a budget, and it was just an amazing experience.  We can’t wait to go back!

If you don’t have giant rock structures to climb near you, here’s a few super simple ways to make some magic this week….

1.  Find a new-to-you park to go play at.

2.  Make easy microwave puffy paint, and come up with fun projects to make with it.  Yes, you can make it in the oven, too, if you don’t have a microwave.  :)

3.  Feeling worn out, fighting morning sickness or otherwise not feeling up to much in the way of magic-making?  Let the kids use markers and decorate mama.  :)

(taken when I was quite pregnant with Fiona, and another child gave me the lovely pedicure!)

4.  Get out the hose and make a fabulous mud pit for the kids to play in.  Every child should get to go wild in the mud at least once per summer (hopefully lots more!), and they can just rinse off in the sprinkler when done.

5.  Let the kids experiment with temporary hair dye.  You too, if you’re brave enough!

6.  Head to a science museum.

7.  Find a living history event to go visit.  Either tour a permanent site or look for a Renaissance Festival or Civil War event coming to the area.  Dress up, if possible!

(Look what I get to wear for a Civil War event later this month!)

8.  Bake bread together.

9.  Try preserving some of your garden or neighborhood flowers in homemade perfume.

10.  Make watermelon playdough.

And with that, I’m off again, hopefully for less time this time!

Have a magical week. 

Don’t forget to take care of you!  :)


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10 Ways to Make Today Magical

Happy Monday!  Looking to make some fun and easy memories with your little (or big) ones this week?  Here’s a few ideas, lifted from April of 2010…..

1.  Go walking in the rain.  Or the drizzle, if your rain dance doesn’t work.  ;)

10 Ways to Make today Magical

(We currently have snow outside instead of rain, but I’m telling myself that it can’t possibly last forever!)

2.  Visit the humane society and volunteer to brush cats, exercise kittens and take dogs for walks.  They’re generally happy to have extra help and the animals love the attention.

3.  Decide on a totally silly word or saying to say when you answer the phone.  A friend of ours absentmindedly answered the phone recently with “Three!” and the kids and I found it so hilarious we vowed to do the same.  Hint:  caller ID makes this much easier to do without too much harm or embarrassment.

4.  Go off the beaten path, literally, and explore somewhere you’ve never been before.

5.  Play an old fashioned game with your kids like marbles, hopscotch or jacks.

6.  Grab a pack of colorful sidewalk chalk and head out to make the world more cheerful.  Have the kids leave happy faces, sweet notes, rainbows, silly cat faces, flowers, goofy aliens, you name it, in various places just to make people smile.

7.  Play mud tag.

8.  Get a DVD of a favorite TV series from your childhood from Netflix or the library and watch it with your kids.  Prepare to feel old and cheesy.  ;)

9.  Plant a row of sunflowers and see if you can get them to grow taller than the kids.  Even better, see if you can get them to grow taller than you!

10. Make a bean teepee for the kids.  This year we really must finally get to this project!

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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A Little Snow and Cold Fun When You Don’t Have Snow and Cold!

If you’re lucky enough not to live in one of the freezing cold places right now, you can still take part in lots of fun with snow and ice!

Here’s a list of ten ways to make the day magical, warmer style for warmer climates.  And here’s a little round-up of online snowy fun.  Help the kids make some snowmen, “cut” some snowflakes and more.  :)

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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.  We have some crazy temperatures here lately (even for Minnesota!).  I’m hoping it gets above 0 today.  How’s that for a crazy wish?  :)

Cold, snow or not, here’s a few ways to make some memories with your kids this week….

Watercolor snowballs - A Magical Childhood

1.  Make watercolor snowballs.  Just bring in a pan of snow and give the kids some watercolor paints and paintbrushes.  They can pack the snow into snowballs and then paint them.  Store them in a bucket in the freezer until you’re ready to return them to the wild.  ;)  You can decorate the yard with them or the kids can toss them, but let the kids know they should toss at targets like trees and not people since they freeze a little hard.

2.  Go sledding inside!  Get out a big towel and drag the kids around the kitchen floor.  Kids can pull each other around, too.

3.  Make a “gingerbread house” for the birds and squirrels.  Get together some graham crackers, peanut butter or sunbutter and a variety of bird seeds and then assemble like a regular house with peanut butter as the icing/glue.  Take a picture of your masterpiece and then leave it where it’s visible from inside so you can watch to see who visits.

A Magical Childhood

4.  If you’ve got snow where you live, head to one of the spots where the snowplows dump it off to play.  It makes for instant mountain ranges!

5.  Get glow in the dark paint and help the kids write secret messages and pictures on their ceilings.

6.  Use kitchen gadgets to make supper fanciful.  For instance, use a cookie press to pipe out mashed potato stars.

7.  Make giant ice suncatchers.  Here’s the easy instructions.

8.  Make up a couple dozen fortunes and stash them in cereal boxes, snacks, the cookie jar, etc.  Make some especially silly (Beware of odd rabbits today.  You will have a monkey on your head….) and some sappy (Your mama loves you more than peanut butter cups.  I’m proud of you…).  Slip some in drawers and leave some for your sweetie, too.

9.  Take advantage of the cold and do some cold weather science experiments Vaporize hot water in the air, blow frozen bubbles, experiment with salt and water on colored ice, and more.

10.  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!

And with that, my pretties, I’m off to do the magical job of catching up on laundry!  Perhaps with a whimsical side of kitchen cleaning…  And a bit of hugs and kisses and crafts and silliness with some marvelous little people scurrying about. 

Have a magical week!




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10 Ways to Make Today Magical

Happy Monday!  I hope you’re warm and cozy in your little corner of the world.  We got snowed in for the first time in a very long time this past weekend and it was a little bit delightful.  My boys spent most of the day outside building a snow fort and throwing snowballs, and even 12 year-old Anna was out making snow angels.  Victoria got some gorgeous pictures of it all, and Fiona just stayed inside where it was nice and toasty.  Alex brought her a little bowl of snow to play with, but she decided she didn’t care for it at all. We also made lots of holiday treats and started on our billions of kid-made Christmas cards, which we’d better get moving on or they’ll be Valentines cards.  :)

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

1.  Got snow?  Bring a big tub of it inside to play with.  Add matchbox cars, sand toys or colored water and eyedroppers.  (Tip:  I use a big under-the-bed storage box for the snow and put lots of towels down underneath it to contain the melting mess.)




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

3Make a snowball target!  I love this idea from Nurture Store: “Draw a chalk target on an outside wall, line up some snowballs and shoot to score. Award different points for hitting different areas and keep tally with a score chart. Lots of adding up practice.”

3.  Leave ice wreaths as colorful surprises for your favorite decorated houses.  Freeze one ice wreath for each member of the family (put water in a bundt cake pan and add berries, sprigs of pine and/or food coloring and colored ice cubes and freeze).  Tie a note around it, thanking folks for making the world more magical.  Let each family member leave a wreath on the lawn of their favorite decorated house.

4.  Build a snow dragon or a snow house.

5.  Take the kids sledding inside.  Have them sit on bath towels and pull them around the kitchen or down the hall.  :)

6.  Put on the happiest music you can find and dress up really silly to clean the house together.  Wear tiaras and aprons, superman capes and so on.  Have fun and be silly!

7.  Make gingerbread houses.  Here’s plans to make real ones, with lots of recipes and tips.  Here’s advice from a seasoned gingerbread house decorator on how to make it fun for kids and how to host a decorating party, plus a basic recipe. 

And Mary Engelbreit has plans to make darling permanent ones from recycled materials and craft supplies.

8.  Let your little ones help make a magical holiday scene with this interactive Christmas card from Ashland University.  They can click to make it snow, build a snowman, decorate with lights, hear a choir and more.

9.  Make some treats together.  Here’s a round-up of whimsical, healthy (-ish!) ones to balance out a bit of the junk of this time of year.

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 on the porch swing.  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!  :)

You can also check out this list of 50 free (or almost free) ways to make the holidays magical for children

And with that, my dears, I’m off do the magical task of cleaning my living room — and maybe kissing on some little people while I’m at it.  Have a magical week!


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10 Ways to Make Today Magical

Happy Monday!  Here’s a few ways to make a little magic with your kiddos this week….

1.  Make a paper hideaway.  Hang strips of crepe paper (or toilet paper in a pinch) from the ceiling in a corner of the kids’ room or the living room.

2.  Head to a pet store.  Spend some time with the fishes, birdies and beasties.

3.  Have the kids draw with markers or crayons just using their feet.  It may help to tape down the paper on the floor.

4.  Learn a song together and videotape yourselves singing it.  Be as flamboyant as possible!  Send the clip to loved ones and spread some smiles.

5.  Head outside to do a photo shoot.  Put the kids in charge of choosing how and where to pose!

6.  Make some of these lovely glue suncatchers. These ones are from tales from a corner house.

7.  Make jeweled princess bracelets. Crafts by Amanda shows you how to use cardboard tubes, felt, craft glue and some baubles in this child-friendly craft.

8. Leave silly notes in hiding places all over the house. It may take months for somebody to stumble on all of them, but it’s a wonderful way to break up an ordinary day to suddenly stumble on a note that says “Mama loves you” or “Kisses!  You must come give your grandma 18 kisses immediately upon finding this!”.

9.  Assemble a feast for the birds and beasties outside.  Leave it where you can watch them nibble. Ears of dried corn, peanuts in the shell, berries, seeds and sliced fruit are all favorites.

10. Got Friday off?  Spend the day together at  home.  Watch movies, pop popcorn, bake treats, make crafts, whatever.  Start the holiday season doing something you love with people you love.

Now I’m off to get started on approximately one hundred and five things on my to-do list.  And drink tea.  Lots of English tea with too much almond milk and sugar. 

Have a wonderful week!!!!!


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