Monthly Archives: March 2010

10 Ways to Make Today Magical

Happy Monday!  Here’s another batch of fun stuff to do with the kiddos this week.  If you have other ideas, please add them to the comments!

1.  Make caterpillar pizzas.

2.  Tie long ribbons to sticks and go ribbon dancing in the back yard.

3.  Make some seed bombs and find an unloved place to launch them.

4.  Transform unloved stuffed animals into hand puppets.

5.  Help the kids make up a list of 20 (or more!) things they love about Daddy, Mommy or another loved one and hide them as a lovely surprise.

6.  Help the birds get their nests ready by leaving short lengths of yarn, dryer lint (yes, it’s safe) and even hair from hairbrushes on your bushes and trees.  Later take walks and see if you can spot nests from your gifts to the birds.

7.  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.

8.  Make some rain gutter ball mazes, or better yet set up a water system with these in the back yard!

9.  Declare today a cozy day and wear cozy clothes, cook comforting foods, watch shows that cheer you all up, cuddle on the couch and otherwise make it a special, low-key day.

10. This one comes from Victoria.  Today, I taught her how to weave grape vines and skinny dogwood limbs into wreaths and crowns.  She wants to make lots of tiny ones and hang them on trees along paths at a nearby state park, for hikers to happen across.  It sounds like whimsical fun to me!


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Wise Words…

Shouting to make your children obey

is like using the horn to steer your car,

and you get about the same results.



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Grow Some Wheatgrass!

Here’s a fun project to bring a little spring inside, have some fun with the kiddos and maybe even get a little nutrition.  Make and Takes has instructions on how to grow your own wheatgrass, complete with suggestions about fun containers.

If you decide to try to make your own wheatgrass juice, here’s some info on how to get kids to like it (the hand cranker sounds fun!) and how much to give them.

We’ve had fun growing regular grass in eggshell halves.  Let the kids draw faces on the washed egg shells and plant the grass seed to be the hair.  We kept them in a sunny window sill and had fun giving them haircuts.  🙂

No matter what you do with it, it’s certainly lovely to see all that green!

Happy Sunday!

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Help Kids With Dolly Donations

Have you heard of this neat site?  Dolly Donations offers free, simple cloth doll patterns and coordinates drives to donate dolls to children in need all over the world.

Magical Mama Sarah, who runs the site, just sent 181 dolls (and a few extras!) off to a Haiti orphanage, one for every child in the orphanage.  She’s already at work making more for local children in need.

The site offers free patterns and tutorials to make cloth dollies with a minimum of fabric.  You can even find patterns to knit or crochet, plus instructions on how to paint faces and add embellishments.

Sarah says visitors are free to use the patterns to make dollies for their own kiddos, but asks for people to make an extra (or more!) for children who could really use them.

What a wonderful idea!


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Any Requests?

Eleven year-old Victoria has been having a blast lately making clip art with a free art program we found online.  She made all of these little characters…

She wants me to let people know that she’s happy to do custom work for free!  She already got a request for plant eating dinosaurs and mammoths, leading to some darling little prehistoric cuties.

If you or your kiddos want to play with it yourself, visit SumopaintNote that there are open discussions and there may be inappropriate material on the main site, so it’s wise to explore the site with your child (I haven’t found anything objectionable myself, however).

To open directly into the painting program (which you do online, no download necessary), click here.  This is a wonderfully fun art tool for kids (and grown ups)!


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A Little Smile

My second favorite household chore is ironing.
My first being hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint.
-Erma Bombeck


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Happy St. Patrick’s Day From the Muppets!

Here’s a hilarious version of “Danny Boy” in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.  Enjoy!

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Time to Break Out the Do-A-Dot Markers

I’ve been stumbling on crafts involving Do-A-Dot markers (or bingo daubers) all over tonight.  We haven’t had ours out in years and I think it might be time!

Check out these fun projects…

With coffee filters at Charlotte’s Fancy

And with crayon resist

And Ed Emberley touches at Let’s Explore

We mostly just made pictures with ours.  I’m curious what the kids will do after this long away from them, though.  It should be fun to find out.

What are your favorite ways to use Do-A-Dot markers?  If you have any other ideas, please leave them in the comments!

Happy Wednesday!


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St. Patrick’s Day Fun

If you put everything off till the last minute the way I do, these links might be helpful in throwing together some St. Patty’s Day fun…

3D Tissue Paper Shamrock from Crafts by Amanda

Seventeen ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the kids (from me, with a couple of ideas swiped from this week’s ways to make the day magical)

Find a backwards letter to print from a mischievous leprechaun and all sorts of whimsical idea at Busy Bees.

In the meantime, Happy Tuesday!

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10 Ways to Make Today Magical

Happy Monday!  Here’s ten ways to have a little fun with your kiddos this week.

1.  Make seed tapes.  You can find instructions here.

2.  If you’re in the right part of the country, go maple syrup tapping or even birch tree tapping.  If not, check out some library books, make some maple syrup candy and otherwise savor this sweet treat your own ways.

3.  Watch an Irish family film for St. Patrick’s Day.  Two that I’ve heard are good are Into the West and The Secret of Roan Inish.  If you’ve seen them or have any others to recommend, leave a note in the comments!

4.  Go on a green walk together.  Put on gloves and grab some garbage bags and help “green up” the neighborhood and get ready for spring by collecting litter.  Celebrate afterwards with a walk to a coffee shop for a treat or cookies and milk at home.

5.  Learn to draw some fun creatures.  Here’s a free book to teach you and the kids how!



6.  Learn how to dance an Irish jig!

7.  Warm up a rainy or dreary day with homemade hot chocolate on a stick.

8.  Grab a bag of grass seed and some potting soil (or dirt from the back yard!) and fill any containers your hearts desire with dirt, seeds and a sprinkle of water.  Put them in sunny spots and fill the house with green grass while you’re waiting for the outside to catch up.  Be sure to let the kids trim the grass with safety scissors!

9.  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, I’d definitely recommend helmets though.  🙂

10. 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….

Have a magical week, people!  Kiss your babies, count your blessings and don’t forget to pay attention.  These kids grow up when we’re not looking.

Be extra wonderful to yourself too!


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