Monthly Archives: December 2011

A New Year’s Eve Printable

Here’s a sweet little printable to help the kiddos remember the good and plan for 2012…

Head on over to thirty handmade days to snag it!



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In Praise of Silliness

“Draw a crazy picture, 
Write a nutty poem, 
Sing a mumble-gumble song, 
Whistle through your comb. 
Do a loony-goony dance 
‘Cross the kitchen floor, 
Put something silly in the world 
That ain’t been there before.”
― Shel Silverstein

Here’s to a new year of silliness and fun.  🙂


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A New Year’s Wish

I stumbled across this quote and thought it was marvelous for the new year.  🙂

(P.S.  Doesn’t that photo above look pretty, like a bokeh shot of holiday lights?  I thought so, but it’s actually a shot we took a while back through our microscope.)  🙂

Happy New Year! 

May your 2012 be filled with magic and love.



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10 Ways to Make Today (and New Year’s Eve) Magical

Happy Monday!  I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, Solstice, Hanukkah or whatever your family celebrates.

Here’s some ways to make a little magic this week, especially for the new year.

1.  Make nature confetti.  Let kids duplicate the fun of tossing confetti without the mess to clean up– and help birds and squirrels at the same time.  In a large bowl, mix up bird seed, dried corn, crumpled leaves, small dried fruits, flower petals and/or any other natural materials you have on hand.  Take the bowl outside and encourage the kids to toss handfuls up in the air.  They can shout happy new year, offer up wishes for loved ones and so on as they toss.

2.  Use sand molds to make a really whimsical supper.  Wash them really well and then use them to make mashed potato castles (make it thick, oil the mold, pack it in and then very gently unmold), sea creature ice cream shapes (soften ice cream and spoon into molds, freeze and gently unmold by dipping the mold side quickly in hot water) and so on.  You can decorate the creations with fancy toothpicks, blueberry eyes, peas and carrots, you name it.

3.  Be detectives.  Take the kids to any public place and concoct a story together of what occurred there.  The kids can use clues as small as footprints or litter to figure out what kind of people (or animals) were there and what they might have been doing.  Invent the rest of the story together and weave an exciting tale based on the clues left behind.

4.  Make ice ornaments and hang them outside.  Fill small dishes with colored water and small natural items, along with a loop of yarn.  Freeze outside overnight, then dip in warm water for a moment to pop out of their containers.  Hang on low bushes and trees.

5.  If you have snow in your area, get the kids wondering what kind of visitors have been poking about!  Use carpet remnant, large pieces of cardboard or other scrap materials to make some giant beast prints.  Cut them out (an exacto knife works well) and then poke two holes in each to tie them onto a pair of shoes.  Now go stomp around in the snow while the kids are sleeping or away, and really get them wondering!

6.  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!

7.  Spend an ordinary day in ball gowns, fancy clothes or costume.  Go someplace if possible!

8.  Have your child use magic markers or fabric pens to alter a pair of old white tennies.  Slip a bell onto each shoelace so she can jingle when she walks.

9.  Take a white crayon and write some fun and simple activities on random squares of a 2012 calendar.  Each day, let your child color the day’s calendar square with a marker to reveal any secret messages (the crayon writing will appear like magic).  Some fun ideas for messages are Go on a picnic, I love you, Smile!, Wear purple day, Cake for breakfast and 100 Kisses day.

10. Gather a few branches in a pot or heavy vase.  Give the kids strips of ribbon, small pieces of paper with a hole punched for hanging, and a pen.  Ask them to write wishes, prayers or blessings for themselves and loved ones for the coming year.  Tie the wishes to the branches.  Kids can decorate their blessing tree throughout the year to match the season.  At the end of the year, give them another color of paper to write out thanks and record accomplishments.  The papers can be saved in a small container or scrapbook.

And with that, I’m going off to start on the ceremonial New Year’s Week laundry pile.  😉 

Have a magical week!



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10 Ways to Make Today Magical… Holiday Style

Happy Holidays!  I’m snatching a list of ways to make the day magical that I put in the Magical Childhood newsletter back in 2002!  It helps to have done this for so long and be able to steal from myself when life gets hectic.  🙂 

I know that people celebrate all different wonderful holidays this time of year so some of these might not apply to your family, but I hope that you find something that does!

10 Ways to Make Today Magical…. holiday style

1.  Camp out under the Christmas tree overnight.

2.  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.  Go together to the food shelf or drop off spot.

3.  Go for a drive to see holiday lights.  Better yet, park and walk.

4.  See if your church or neighborhood groups are going Christmas caroling, or put together your own group and visit a few neighbors.

5.  Make gingerbread people.

6. Take in a concert at a nearby school or community center.

7.  Dress up in holiday colors and/or fancy clothes for everyday stuff.  Add curling ribbon to the kids’ hair (and yours!), wear necklaces made from small ornaments, and generally dress to the nines.

8.  Make time regularly through the season to turn off all the noise, gather with the kids and read scripture or stories that move you, say prayers or concentrate on your spirituality in a meaningful way.

9.  Have a red and green meal.

10. Forget about all the “gottas” and live the season through children’s eyes again.  Drink egg nog, sing along badly to carols, sit in the dark and watch the tree, get something flashy for the yard or the door, wear one red and one green sock, tell absolutely everybody “Happy holidays” when you’re out, smile extra, buy yourself a present, make crafts with the kids, play in the snow (or in the sprinkler), light candles, give donations, look at the stars, dance in the kitchen, be goofy with the kids, wink at Santa, say thank you, watch Rudolph, slow down, and enjoy the beauty and the holiness of this amazing world.

And with that, chickadees, I’m off to do my best to make things merry. 

Have a magical week!


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10 Ways to Make Today Magical

Happy Tuesday!

Sorry I’ve been a little MIA lately.  Something about the 5th child has me a little stretched thin these days!  I’m getting back into my groove though and am loving all the things that are keeping me busy.  🙂

Here’s some ways to find a little magic this week…

1.  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!

2.  Got any mismatched mittens?  Make some little snowfolks You can use odds and ends if you don’t have all of the supplies (a little rubber ball could become the head, for instance).

3.  Make billions of paper snowflakes and decorate the house with them!

4.  Get out the sleeping bags and sleep under the Christmas tree with the kids.

5.  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! 

6.  Make an Angry Bird style challenge.  Stack up anything light (paper cups, egg cartons, cardboard blocks…) in all different shapes and then make a simple catapult to launch soft objects at it.  We used egg cartons that we had stockpiled for a friend with chickens, along with a big serving spoon propped over a small can for a launcher.  The kids put soft balls in the spoon, pounded on the other end, and watched the ball fly at the target!  They made all sorts of elaborate towers to crash down and had such fun!

7.  Turn a big box into a playhouse.  Check out this one from Life as a Thrifter.  She even mounted a dollar store mirror inside!

8.  Deliver cookies or homemade candies to your local fire fighters, police station or other community helpers.

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.  Have some Mr. Blue fun, like Color Me Katie.  🙂

Have a magical week!  Don’t forget to take care of you!





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