What’s Your Fairy Name?

Our family volunteered at a wonderful local festival this weekend and the younger kids and I we were presented with marvelously fun name tags from some volunteer fairies.

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It was so much fun that I thought I’d look for a fairy name generator online, and I found a whole host of them.

Here are all kinds of fairy name generators (plus one we made ourselves).  See if you and the kids can find one that suits your crew.

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There’s even a pirate fairy name generator!  🙂

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Of course, we’ve done pirate names here before.

And in the spirit of the generator we made for that, here’s our very own Magical Childhood fairy/elf name generator.  And just like the pirate name generator, this one works for boys and girls.

To find your fairy name:

Pick 3 numbers, each one ranging  from 1-9 (you can use the same number more than once), such as 555 or 931.

Then find the name that corresponds from each list.  In the first set, your child can pick from a fairy or elf name for that number.  The second two names go together to form your fairy/elf surname (such as Glitterbug) :

 

Fairy/elf first name:

  1. Flora/Felix
  2. Sparkle/Teasle
  3. Petal/Bramble
  4. Daisy/Clover
  5. Willow/Wilder
  6. Peaches/Fidget
  7. Meadow/Hemlock
  8. Poppy/Berry
  9. Juniper/Jupiter

Fairy/elf last name part one:

  1. Glitter
  2. Pepper
  3. Star
  4. Ice
  5. Sparkle
  6. Flutter
  7. Moon
  8. Silver

Fairy/elf last name part two:

  1. Bug
  2. Twig
  3. Dust
  4. Blizzard
  5. Leaf
  6. Sprite
  7. Splatter
  8. Goblin
  9. Sparkle

Her fairy name was Daisy Glitterbug. ✨ #rotr #magicalchildhood

A post shared by Alicia Bayer (@magicandmayhem) on

Have fun!

 

 

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Chore Sticks Help Make Chores Fun for Kids

Looking for a way to get the kids to help out more around the house without nagging or fights?  Try chore sticks!

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My fabulous friend Tiffany came up with the idea of chore sticks and we’ve adapted it here with great success.

Here’s all you do:

  • Write some simple chores on one end of some popsicle sticks.  Also write some fun things and surprises.
  • If you have children with very different abilities, you can add a colored dot to the blank end corresponding to each child (so your preschooler would pull sticks with red ends, for instance, and your high schooler would pull ones with blue).
  • Put the sticks, writing side down, in a mug or similar container.
  • Have the kids pull out a chore stick and do the job assigned.  Make up family rules about how many sticks they should do a day (we do 3 a day, plus as many as they like after that) and whether they can swap (we allow one swap per day if chores are drawn that the child really doesn’t want to do).
  • As kids do chores, have them put the sticks back upside down so that chore isn’t pulled again that day (or that week for chores that don’t have to be done often).

The chores don’t have to be just housework.  You can add in anything that you’d like the kids to do more of — exercise, reading, flossing, school-related jobs, you name it.

Some examples of chores on our chore sticks are:  Do 15 minutes of exercise, vacuum the living room, read a book to Alex, write a letter to a relative, do a workbook page in math, dustbust the stairs, brush your hair and tidy your room. 

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Some examples of the treat sticks (which are mixed in, so the kids are anxious to keep pulling chore sticks) are:  Take a walk with Mom, get a quarter, win a prize (I keep small prizes in a drawer for emergency gifts and fun), get a candy and color with Mom.

Everyone I know who has tried chore sticks has had great success with them.  My kids love them and tend to pull way more than 3 a day.

Here are some tips to keep it fun and easy:

Make the chores small and relatively quick.  Nobody wants to pull “clean your room” but pulling “straighten your bookshelves” or “make your bed” is easily doable.

Focus on chores that are pretty enjoyable.  Kids often find out that they don’t mind chores if they get to do things that almost seem like play.  Dustbusters, Magic Erasers, feather dusters and other tools can make jobs even more fun.  If you have many chores in there like “scrub the toilet” and “scoop the cat box” you may find that the kids aren’t too anxious to pull chore sticks any more!

Make it a routine.  Put the mug where you’ll see it often and have a general time every day when the kids pull their chore sticks.

Don’t be afraid to change it up.  If the kids don’t enjoy it, ask for their suggestions on what to add.  They may volunteer to do chores you hadn’t thought of.  Also consider adding more fun and silly jobs.

Keep the treats small and easy.  You don’t want to put “go see a movie” in there if that’s not something you can do at the drop of a hat.  Also be careful not to outweigh the chores (which are the main point) with too many treats.  They should be a special surprise, not every other stick.

Get wacky!  Toss in some “chores” that are pure silliness.  Who wouldn’t like having to do chores like “cluck like a chicken” or “give someone a magic marker ankle tattoo”?  Again, just do a few to keep them as fun surprises.

You could even try making up a grown up version for yourself and put some fun rewards in there!  🙂

Have fun!

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Signs of Love

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Here’s a sweet art project that’s perfect for the times right now.

Girls to the Moon offers instructions for how to make Signs of Acceptance to show people that you care about them and are on their side.

The site says:

What are some words you could say to let people know they are safe with you?

If you felt left out, what could someone say to you to make you feel more included?

If you could make a sign to let people know you will always accept and include them, what would it say?

This project, Signs of Acceptance, turns your favorite words, phrases, slogans, and symbols of inclusivity into beautiful pieces of art you can display at home, school or work.

Better yet: Give it to friend, a local business, or leave it in a public place for someone to find as a nice surprise!

All you need are some basic supplies like foam boards (from grocery store packaging), paper and paint.

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What a great way to combine art and kindness, which we could all use a little more of right now.

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If you do this with your kiddos, please feel free to post links or pics!

 

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Mama’s Holiday Helpers

helpers

I love this sweet idea from Magical Mama Lisa at Simple Gifts Toys.

She says, “I thought I’d show you all how my kids are earning Christmas gifting money while helping me get through the busy season. In the white envelopes are things like cup of cocoa, book with mommy, and a few tiny items from my shop.”

What a lovely idea!

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Garden Potions!

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Here’s a sweet way to make a little magic in the back yard this summer.

My Alex had been having fun making “potions” with rain water, grass clippings and such, and he asked me to help him find new ingredients.  I decided to make it a little extra magical and went and got a pitcher of tap water and a can from the recycling.  I secretly dropped a few drops of green food coloring in the bottom of the can, and then made a show of filling the “empty” can with some grass clippings from the yard.

I gave him the pitcher and told him that I’d put magic grass in the can.  Then I had him pour some water into the can and pour the can into a bucket.  Of course, the water in the can instantly turned bright green when it mixed with the food coloring at the bottom, and Alex and Fiona watched in amazement as the magically green water poured into the bucket.  🙂

I also asked the kids to find 8 yellow dandelions for a second can (that I’d already secretly sprinkled with some yellow food coloring), and we used spent lilac blossoms for a third can that had some blue. 

I also gave them a jar of fairy dust (Florida sand from a vacation) to sprinkle in.

Lastly, I had them gather dandelion puffs so they could blow wishes into their concoctions.

I gave them lots of buckets to pour into, so they could also have fun with color mixing.

Alex is old enough that he easily figured the secret out, but he had fun pretending anyway.  Little Fiona just had fun gathering the ingredients and pouring and pouring.

They happily played for an hour with their potions.  It was an easy, nearly free, absolutely magical way to have some back yard fun.  We’ll definitely be doing more of it!

I also picked up an old spice rack with little glass bottles at a thrift store, and I’m going to assemble a whole magic potion rack for them to use sometime soon in their outdoor play kitchen.  I’ll try to post pictures and update how that goes!

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10 Ways to Make Today Magical

Happy Monday!

Sorry to be MIA for so long again.  Let’s see if I can do better this month!  🙂 

Here are a few ways to make some memories with your kiddos this week…..

1.  Head outside to enjoy the spring weather for some simple, old fashioned fun together.  Blow bubbles (the photo above is from about 8 years ago when the local paper caught me playing with Jack and Victoria in the front yard).  Fly kites. Toss the frisbee.  There’s a reason those things have lasted so many generations.  They’re just fun!

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2. Paint some walking sticks.  Head out to the woods and found some good specimens, and then bring them home and decorate them.

3. Play magic eight ball radio.  This silly game is something my husband and our sixteen year-old, Victoria, came up with on their way to play practice together last month.  All they do is ask the radio a question (How is opening night going to go?  Should the family go to Sioux Falls tomorrow?  How is Alex going to act at the restaurant?) and then press “seek” on the radio.  The first line or sentence that someone says or sings after it finds a station is the answer.  Sometimes they have to press seek a few times to get a proper answer. The answers tend to be pretty funny, and our whole family was laughing when they taught us how to play last week.  🙂

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4.  Make some yarn eggs together.  We first did this craft when my Annalee was a preschooler.  She’s now fifteen!  Here are the instructions.

5.  Do some dice drawing!  Here’s a free printable to play this fun art game, or you could make up your own together.

6.  Go for a walk in the rain (or after the rain) and go puddle stomping together.

Dancing in the rain

7.  Make some Ivory soap clouds in the microwave and then paint them.  Here are the easy instructions and the science behind what happens.

8.  Do some chalk art around the house and yard together.  Parents magazine says:

Walk around outside your home with a piece or two of chalk and look for interesting patterns — eyes in knots of wood, oddly shaped cracks in the sidewalk or driveway, a nail hole in the wall — that can be turned into a little picture with a few quick strokes. Let your imagination lead you; chalk isn’t permanent. Take a photo for yourself, then leave your art for someone else to find.

9.  Do a photo shoot together.  Kids of all ages love to pose for photos, and then you can play with filters and photo apps to perfect the shots.  This is also one of my kids’ favorite ways to make memories with each other.  My big kids are always getting the little ones to pose for them.  🙂

Photo by Jack (age 9), edited by Anna (age 12)

Photo by Jack (age 9), edited by Anna (age 12)

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Photo of Fiona (age 3) by Anna (age 14)

10.  Make some DIY cardboard box kits!  I absolutely love this idea from Inner Child Fun.  Head over for the easy instructions.

And with that, chickadees, I’m off to try to catch up on the next 150 things I’m behind on!  Have a magical week!

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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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