Monthly Archives: January 2010

Going Walking

I am inspired by this report (in PDF form) about a nature-based Montessori preschool in Seattle that takes its children on a daily walk every day, rain or shine, for much of the day.

Here in Minnesota, we get some pretty brutal weather.  That said, when I venture out with my crew we always return in such good spirits!  We see beautiful sights, get some exercise, talk, laugh, play and just enjoy the outdoors.  This time of year, we warm up with hot vanilla milk or hot chocolate when we get home — and sometimes hot baths as well.

It can be a pain to gather coats, boots, socks, mittens, hats and so on.   On too many days, it sounds overwhelming and we play inside instead.  But now I’m once again determined to try to take daily walks with my kiddos.

But not all day.  We’re not crazy.  😉



Filed under activities, goals and notes to self

Tissue Paper Resist Prints

Do you have any bleeding tissue paper?  Then you must head over to the Frugal Family Blog and check out this easy craft idea.  She’s so clever!



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Note to Self

Today, more:

  • Playing with kittens
  • Hugs
  • Reading books
  • Crafty fun
  • Lapbooking
  • Looking at old pictures
  • Long talks
  • Cooking with kids
  • Drawing and coloring with kids


  • Time on the computer
  • Perfectionism
  • TV
  • Being too busy to play

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Make an Inertia Zoom Ball!

Here’s a fun little science craft we got from a library book and did the other day.  All you need are a couple of empty plastic bottles, some tape and string, and it makes a really fun toy that happens to teach a scientific principle while it’s at it!

I put the instructions here, along with a little video of one of ours in action and a slide show of the steps.

Happy Thursday!

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Crafts from Aunt Leslie

Years ago when I sent out the Magical Childhood newsletter, I sometimes shared crafts from my Aunt Leslie. My Aunt Leslie ran a day care in her home when she was younger and she loved kids and crafts.  She used to send us crafting supplies and gorgeous handmade cards, ornaments and treasures.  Her letters were like works of art.  She also used to send me craft ideas from her day care days, and I used to pass them on in the newsletter.  They were simple, easy crafts, but they always made me smile.

Tonight, my Aunt Leslie is in ICU and she has a short time left to live.  She had a perforated ulcer and things went very bad.  She’s been taken off the respirator and I’ve been told it’s a matter of time before she dies.

In honor my Aunt Leslie, I’m reprinting these tonight.

Crafts from Aunt Leslie:  Edible zoo

On a piece of paper or poster board, map off areas and put up a sign that says “zoo.”  Have the kids glue animal crackers in the areas.

Crafts from Aunt Leslie:  Glue painting

Add some white glue to poster paint.  Cut out pictures or shapes.  Paint a background with the colored glue and stick the pictures onto it.  For example, use blue paint and cut out fish.  Paint the paper blue and stick the fish onto the “sea.”

Crafts from Aunt Leslie: Picture frame

Cut a picture frame from a piece of cardboard.  Have kids glue macaroni (shells or other shapes) to cover the frame.  Spray paint with gold or silver paint and dry.

Ideas from Aunt Leslie: Sticker Squares

To teach kids their numbers and how to count, divide a piece of paper into ten squares.  Number each, and have kids put the correct number of stickers in each square.

Crafts from Aunt Leslie

Make a Balloon Pinata!

To do:
Make a thin glue with Elmer’s glue. Blow up a balloon, cover it with strips of colored tissue paper (several layers!), leave a hole to fill and let dry. Pop the balloon. Fill with candy or very light toys (could add confetti or paper streamers as filler). Put a long string to hang it inside the hole, cover the hole with more tissue paper and let dry.

Tonight, I sat on the couch and looked at old photos of my late mother, my late Aunt Linda and my Aunt Leslie and told my kids stories.  We laughed and cried and I tried to give them a sense of who Aunt Leslie was before she was the great aunt who sends neat craft stuff.  She was the aunt who took me to see the Johnny Carson show and the aunt who drove around with her boyfriend in Hollywood to help me find palm fronds to take home to Minnesota as souvenirs for my friends.  She was the aunt who found out I wanted to learn to do plastic canvas when I was 14 and sent me a giant garbage can full of all different yarns, plastic canvas and pattern books.  She was a wonderful aunt, sister, mother and grandmother.

Please take time with your kiddos today to call or write your loved ones and let them know how much they mean to you, while you still can.

We love you, Aunt Leslie.



Filed under crafts, the big stuff

Free Printable Model Motorcycles, Macaws & More

Yamaha has the most amazing models available free for download!  You can find everything from motorcycles to Japanese animals that you can print on heavy paper, cut out and assemble with the kids.  Some of these are really intricate and amazing.  These would be great fun for motorcycle loving daddies (or mamas!) to put together with the kiddos.

The site also gives lots of information about the animals and other models.

Cool stuff!


Filed under crafts, printables

10 Ways to Make Today Magical

How do you like our new home?  I’m very happy I’ve switched to WordPress, other than the fact that I miss my colors.  😉  Maybe I’ll figure out a way to make life rainbow colored again in my posts, but in the meantime I can live with black and white.

Here’s some ideas for ways to make a little magic this week…

  1. Have all your dinner conversations in pig latin.
  2. Host the Olympics in the kitchen– pull the kids on towel “sleds,” have them skate in their sock feet, you name it.
  3. Let the kids use washable markers to give you an ankle tattoo.
  4. Write and mail letters to yourselves.
  5. Make homemade butter.
  6. Play hide and seek.
  7. Start making toasts at meals.  The more, the better!
  8. Use kitchen gadgets to make supper fanciful.  For instance, use a cookie press to pipe out mashed potato stars.
  9. Go to a book reading at a local bookstore.
  10. Buy some spring flowers to fill the house with the sights and scents of spring.

Make homemade butter!


Filed under Ways to make today magical

Land Art!

Want a little inspiration for making something magical outside with the kiddos?  I love this Flickr pool of Land Art for Kids.  Check out just a few of the images….

I can’t wait to see what my kiddos can come up with to join in.  Best of all, it’s an all season, all climate kind of project.  What fun!

And yes, I’m still planning on moving shop.  I’m working on getting my bearings at blogger right now.  I’m going to see if there’s any way to transfer a year’s worth of posts over there, other than copying roughly 360 posts.  It would help if I were not quite so clueless about all of this stuff!  🙂

I’ll keep you posted.

Happy weekend!


Filed under Uncategorized

Thoughts About Moving

My paid account at Live Journal is expiring today and I’m toying with the idea of moving to Blogger.  Someone has registered magicalchildhood over there but I snagged magical-childhood in case I decided to relocate.

Many of you have commented that you don’t like Live Journal.  Any opinions one way or another?  It’s my understanding that if I don’t pay for another membership I’ll have ads, which I do not like.  I’ve always been adamant about keeping ad-free and would like the same for the blog (especially if they’re earning someone else money! G).  I also wouldn’t get to play with so many themes, which was always fun for me.  😉

I’m on the fence.  What do you all think?!


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Favorite Quotes

"It’s made by gorillas.  That’s why it’s called a gorilla cheese sandwich!"

    (Victoria at age 3 1/2)

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