Monthly Archives: January 2018

10 Ways to Make Today Magical

Happy Monday!  Long time, no see, huh?  <sheepish look>

I’m sorry for being gone so long.  Life has been busy and has just gotten busier over the nearly eighteen (!!!) years I’ve been writing Magical Childhood in one way or another.

When I first started writing Magical Childhood, I had a two year old-daughter, Victoria, and a new baby daughter (Rhiannon Lee, whom we called Annalee back then).  I’d write in the middle of the night with Annalee in my arms.  Last week, that baby (who now goes by Rhia) turned eighteen!

rhiaguitar

Our baby boy Jack, who came along later, is now 14 and a foot taller than me.  Alex and Fiona (10 and 6) still count as little ones, though, and I’m not above being silly and sappy with any of them, no matter the size or age.  🙂

My goal for this year has been to get back to this blog and the Magical Childhood site (badly in need of a 21st century upgrade!).

So how about we get back to ways to make things magical, just like the old days?

Here are a few ways to work in a little magic this week….

1. Print out and assemble some paper crafts.  Yahama has the most amazingly intricate paper motorcycles, Japanese animals and more (even stag beetles!) for you to print out for free on their site. 

paperanimals

2. Teach the kids pig latin and try to have a conversation in it!  Here’s a Wiki page if you need some help!

3. Have a beach day inside!  Fiona came up with this idea last week when it was too cold to go out and play.  She got herself a towel, some sunglasses, books, a homemade fruit drink and even some rocks for atmosphere and had herself a blast on the living room floor.

fionabeach

4. Or a snow day!  Alternately, if you’re in a warm climate, switch things up and play at winter inside.  Make up crumpled paper “snowballs” for a snowball fight (balled up socks work too!), pull the kids around on towels on the kitchen floor and pretend they’re sleds, make ice cream scoop snowmen, you name it!

5. Do squirt painting!  This is a fun and easy craft we made up years ago.  All you need are squirt bottles (recycled ketchup and mustard bottles work great), flour, water, food coloring and a big box to contain the mess.  Here’s how we did it back in 2010.

squirt

6. Hide silly and sappy fortunes around the house.  Make up a load of fortune cookie-style fortunes and stash them in cereal boxes, snacks, the cookie jar, etc.  Make some especially silly (Beware of odd rabbits today.  You will have a monkey on your head….) and some sappy (Your mama loves you more than peanut butter cups.  I’m proud of you…).  Slip some in drawers and leave some for your sweetie, too.

7. Let the kids play with their food!  Alex loves to cut up apples and other fruits and veggies and build elaborate toothpick structures with them.  As long as he eats his work, I’m happy to supply the materials.  Baby carrots, black olives, cauliflower, grapes and cherry tomatoes also make great building supplies.

alexapples

8. Make watercolor snowballs.  We’ve been doing this one for years. Just bring in a pan of snow and give the kids some watercolor paints and paintbrushes.  They can pack the snow into snowballs and then paint them.  Store them in a bucket in the freezer until you’re ready to return them to the wild.  😉  You can decorate the yard with them or the kids can toss them, but let the kids know they should toss at targets like trees and not people since they freeze a little hard and could hurt!

snowballs

9. Make some giant ice suncatchers.  Even in warm climates, you can make these beauties (you can even have the kids make predictions on how long they will take to melt).  Here’s how we make ours, though I recommend making your hole farther towards the middle so it doesn’t melt through the drop and fall too quickly.

icecatchers

10. Start a pride jar.  Every time you’re proud of your child, write the reason on a slip of paper and put it in a pretty jar. Encourage the kids to peek in their jars!

And with that, I’m off to snuggle a little girl who’s woken up and wants some mama time.

I hope to be back very soon.  Have a magical week!

 

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Free Vintage Drawing Book!

Here’s a wonderful, whimsical freebie to help kids (and parents!) learn to draw.

draw

What to Draw and How to Draw was written in 1913 by E.G. Lutz and is one of the public domain books from the New York Public Library on Open Archive online.

The 78-page book is full of old-fashioned, simple drawings for children, such as a castles, fish, birds, cats, all different people and toy soldiers, among many others.

The book also contains simple instructions such as how to paint in watercolor, draw a five-pointed star and create ovals and ellipses.

Here are a few of the whimsical drawing lessons.

draw3

draw6

draw2

The book is copyright free and was uploaded by volunteers. You can read it online with your kids, or download it as a free pdf file, e-reader file, Kindle ebook, and more.

draw1

draw7

draw9

draw10

Have fun!

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Assignments for 2018

In the words of one of my favorite singer-songwriters, Jason Isbell, in the song High Road, “Last year was a son of a b**** for nearly everyone we know.”

I don’t know if your 2017 was a good one or a bad one, but we’re in a brand new year now and I have high hopes for 2018 for all of us.  It’s going to be awesome!  I’m insisting.  🙂

You may have made some resolutions for the new year, but I have a few to add if you’d like to play along.  These are for myself and for all of you, if you’re game.

Things to do more of in 2018

  • Give more hugs and kisses
  • Say yes more
  • Act more foolish
  • Tell more corny jokes
  • Care less what other people think
  • Laugh more
  • Laugh even more
  • Spread kindness
  • Take chances
  • Read a lot of books
  • Make a little magic

Feel free to add to the list!

Have a wonderful 2018.  One of my other to-do items for this year is to yap to you all more often here, so I will see you soon!

May 2018 be Magical

 

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