Monthly Archives: September 2009

Bowling with Bunnies!

I love this whimsical little idea!   Print out the cardboard bunnies and cabbages, add a marble to make each bunny roll, and bowl!  The Toymaker offers the printout and TONS more wonderful stuff.  What fun!


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Cardboard Box Condos!

I love this idea from Magical Mama Gwen!  She writes:

Today, I pulled out some small cardboard boxes, cut some windows and doors in them and set up the kids to paint.

They had a great time painting.  Then we dried the wet spots with a hair dryer and the kids turned the boxes into houses for their stuffed animals.  Megan set them on top of each other and declared that they were condos!

What a fun idea!  I’ll be they looked fabulous when they were finished.  And what beautiful girls.  🙂

Thanks Gwen!

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Screaming with Toddlers

My friend Tiffany thinks I have a very loud family.  When we come visit, she sometimes gives me that "how do you survive the noise?" look and then afterwards she brags about how she can hear the ticking of the clock in her nice quiet house once we’re gone again.

It’s true.  We are LOUD.

We all talk far too much.  We are all rather enthusiastic people.  We are all even prone to doing things like bursting into song (usually made up on the spot and very, very silly).  And yes, sometimes we yell and shriek and argue and holler.  But mostly we talk, sing and laugh.

With the exception of Alex.  Alex is not one of those two year-olds who can recite the pledge of allegiance and name every dinosaur.  He’s one of those two year-olds who mostly grunts and points and chooses purple for everything since it’s the only color he can say.

So Alex likes to hoot.

Alex likes to hoot when he’s angry, bored, interested, happy or just about any other emotion.  It can be very hard to handle when you’re trying to catch the last 5 minutes of your favorite TV show or talking to your mother-in-law on the phone.  Luckily I have the kind of mother-in-law who’ll happily talk to a happy (or unhappy) hooter on the phone when that comes up.

Anyway………  (did I mention I talk a lot?)

Today Alex and I were hooting together and at one point I’m pretty sure we alarmed some passers-by but we had such fun!  It can be rather annoying to have a small child shouting all the time, but when you just abandon any leftover need for peace and quiet and just join in on the mayhem it can be downright delicious.

We shrieked.  We yelped.  We hooted.  We hollered.  We made strange beeping sounds at the top of our lungs.  He smiled so wide he probably strained something.  He even fell over with happiness a few times.  And I’m still grinning.

Peace and quiet is overrated.  🙂


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Sensory Integration Fun for Preschoolers

One of the mamas over at Roots and Wings has put together a fantastic list of fun toys and activities to create with preschoolers.  All of them incorporate Sensory Integration and they’re especially suited for kids with autism and other special needs, but SI tools help all children focus, calm down, feel better and just have fun.  A lot of these will even be fun for older kids.


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10 Ways to Make Today Magical

Happy Monday!  Let’s start the week off with something really fun.  Here’s a few ideas….

1.  Go on a leaf gathering walk and gather bags full of beautiful leaves that are still pliant and just starting to turn beautiful colors.  Attach them to lengths of ribbon with glue dots (or use a needle to thread the ribbon through) to hang from curtain rods for a beautiful fall decoration.

2.  Find a friend with an apple tree going to waste (so many people just leave the fruit to fall and rot!) and offer to swap an apple pie for getting to gather lots of unwanted apples.  Make up tons of apple goodies and freeze some prepared apples for winter goodies.

3.  Check the community events calendar of your local paper together and find one event that sounds like fun to attend as a family.

4.  Go on a treasure hunt walk.  Leave clues ahead of time leading to a small prize back home, and lead the kids all over the neighborhood.

5.  Have a Ten Good Deeds Day.  Each family member picks 10 things to do for others (strangers or loved ones) and writes them down.  When the last one is done, everybody celebrates with a little group reward.  Try to log the good deeds in a special place so you can look back on them later.

6.  Put birthday candles in dinner and let your little ones blow them out again and again.

7.  Find a way to ride a train, a city bus, a tractor or some other vehicle that’s new and exciting for your kids.

8.  Bring treats to your local fire station to say hi and thank you.  Chances are, the kids will get to see and do some pretty nifty things.  Either way, they’ll help brighten the day for some local heroes.

9.  Rake leaves together and jump in them.  It never loses its magic.  No fall leaves where you are?  Spend an afternoon making them from old newspapers, junk mail or other paper bits in the recycling bin.  Use markers, paint or crayons to make them beautiful and cut out tons to throw in the air, make into crafts and "rake" in the living room.

10. Explore a local university together.  Between the art, the museums, the architecture, the culture and the atmosphere, it’s a brand new world that can enchant children.  Teens can get a taste for what their futures could look like and little ones can just see it as a new land to explore.


So what are your plans for this brand new week?  Please share!


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Magic Tricks for Kids!

We got home late from a conference and I’m beat.  I had to post something fun before collapsing in bed, though, and I thought magic is always a good thing, right?  🙂  Here’s a few fun and easy magic tricks for kids.  See if your kids can master one or two and astound some friends and family.

Happy Sunday!                    

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Free Museum Day!

 Looking for something fun to do today?  Smithsonian has organized a free museum day at hundreds of museums around the country.  Visit the site to print out a coupon for free admissions for two people and to find lists of participating museums.

Happy Saturday! 

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Easy Sand Art!

Magical Mama Ellen shared this fun and easy craft that we did around here years ago and I had forgotten about.  I think we just used ours as homemade glitter though, and layered in jars sounds even more fun!  I do remember that my girls loved stirring the salt with the chalk and watching it "magically" turn colors.  🙂 

Oh, and do be sure to use styrofoam for the bowl/cup or in it to scrape and stir against (you can recycle something).  We don’t usually have styrofoam but I remember that other materials were too smooth to make the magic happen!

She wrote:

I wanted to share a craft with you that I did yesterday with my 5 year old and her friend who is 4.
Materials needed:
Baby food jars with lids
Colored chalk
Small cups or bowls (I used styrofoam cups)
Pour small amounts of salt into the cup or bowl.  Start stirring it with your chosen color of chalk.  The salt will soon begin to take on the color of the chalk you are using.  The longer you stir, the deeper the color becomes. 
Once satisfied with the color, pour the salt into the baby food jar.  Continue to layer the colors of salt in the babyfood jar until it is full, top off with white salt if needed.
This is an easy way to make "sand" art for kids.  My daughter and her friend loved it.  If you have super glue or a hot glue gun, you can run a rim of glue around the top of the jar before puttin gon the lid to ensure the lid doesn’t come off.

Thanks Ellen!

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I Wish My Mother Had Known

Magical Mama Lucy shared this poem from a book about girls with ADHD.  She wrote:

I know there are a lot of other books out there on ADHD but this book, Understanding Girls with ADHD is groundbreaking.  The book’s author deals specifically with girls who present symptoms much different than boys withADhD. 

I Wish My Mother Had Known
by Mary H.

I wish my mother had known
that I was actually very smart.
I wish my mother had known
that I needed more attention.
I wish my mother had known
that I went to school every day as a little girl,
in fear and dread
at the prospect of being shamed
and humiliated in class.
I wish my mother had known
that my low self-esteem and
lack of physical affection at home
would lead to rampant promiscuity.
I wish my mother had known
that someday I would have to
compete in the world,
and that being married
was not going to make me safe.
I wish my mother had known how desperately
I needed stimulation and attainable challenges.
(Expectations for me were very low,
so even I was surprised when I realized
that I love a challenge!)
I wish my mother had known
that my artistic and creative skills
were important, 
and could have sustained me,
had I been encouraged to develop them.
I wish my mother had known
that I could not organize my room.
I wish my mother had known
that I had a huge curiosity about life,
but that I could not absorb it
in the context of public school.
I wish my mother had known
that I was too sensitive and shy and embarrassed
to have my needs met.
I wish my mother had known
that I could not easily either fall asleep or wake up,
and that I had no control over that.
I wish my mother had known that being put
into the dumb classes,
in spite of my consistently high IQ tests,
was humiliating,
and caused me to not even bother to try.
I wish my mother had known
that having only one friend
was not normal and might have signaled other problems.
I wish my mother had known
that leaving the house unzipped, buttoned wrong,
or without my lunch or books, was a signal.
I wish my mother had known
what we know now.
She didn’t.  She did her best,
and I hope that she knows
how very much I love her.

What a touching poem!  For more information about girls and ADHD, see this article.

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The Month of Winds and Magic

Daryl read in a book once that "September is the month of winds and magic."  I’ve never been a big fan of September because it marks the end of summer and the eventual coming of winter.  Here in Minnesota we don’t always get much autumn in between!  But I have to admit it has grown on me, especially since hearing that quote.

We have been insanely busy, and I imagine everybody else has been too.  This is just too nice of a month to zip through, though, and it’s almost over!

So here’s my little assignment for all of us. 

Slow down.  Go walking.  Play in leaves (or dirt, if you’re in the southern hemisphere!).  Take pictures.  Breathe.  Play outside.  Pay attention to the colors and the sounds and the magic of this amazing month.

It is magical.  Let’s not sleepwalk through it, no matter how much laundry there is and how many obligations we’ve signed up for.

Will you join me in a little magic making????  Please do, and let me know how it goes!

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