Tag Archives: winter

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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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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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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A Little Snowy Fun

Got snow?  Here’s a delightful way to use it!

Wouldn’t it be fun to sneak outside tonight and do this to the family car?  Or even all the cars in the parking lot?!  :)

Happy Sunday!

 

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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.)

coloredsnow

snowcar

paintsnow

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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Is It Spring Yet?

I’m not sure why winter is getting to me

so much this year.

Maybe because we’ve had

SO MUCH SNOW

or maybe it’s just an odd year.

It’s been bitterly cold here –

too cold to even venture out most days–

so today I seized the tropical temperatures

of 30 degrees

and hauled the kids outside

like it or not.

Alex is not always a fan of time outside

And the others were not wild about the idea either

but soon snowballs were flying

and forts were being build like mad.

And then everybody was having fun

and I was the one wishing we could

just go inside already.

And okay, I guess I can see a little fun

in all this cold and white.

After all, what fun would spring be

if it was easy to come by?

Enjoy the weather

no matter what type you’re blessed with this week.

But if you happen to live someplace warm and sunny

please enjoy it a little extra for me!

Happy Thursday!

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Snow Day!

We got a wee bit of snow around these parts recently.

I used the opportunity to have a bit of snow fun at the dining room table.

I had my faithful assistant, Victoria, go get bowls full of fresh snow and fill an under-the-bed storage container with it.

Then I put it on the table with an assortment of little cars and a bulldozer for Alex to do a version of Lonni’s shaving cream snow plow idea from the silly assignment day.


He plowed for a while but his hands got too cold, so we moved on.

First I packed down the snow and gave him a big paintbrush, a jar of water (right in the tub, so spills wouldn’t matter) and some watercolor paints.  He painted the snow for a bit, but it was a bit tricky.  So we moved on.

I put out a muffin tin of water and added primary colors to three of them, and then we made all different colors in the cups.  I gave Jack, Victoria and Alex all pipettes (like tiny medicine droppers, I get them in bulk from a science surplus store for science and art fun!) and they squeezed colors to their hearts’ contents.


It was a colorful, artistic, crazy bunch of fun.


Even I got into the act!


I  highly recommend it next time you have a bit of the white stuff to deal with.  If you don’t have any snow, try mixing up anything white in a similar container and dropping colored water on it.  Dry rice, pale sand, shaving cream… Lots of things would be fun to experiment with!

In my book, any activity that involves pipettes and colored water is a good idea.  :)


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