Category Archives: Ways to make today magical

10 Ways to Make Today Magical

Happy Monday! 

Long time, no see, I know!  How about we make a little magic this week? 

Note:  I started this post early Monday morning but I have a sick little girl today so I am just now finishing it.  Lucky for me, it’s still Monday so I’m still good.  😉

Here are ten little ways to make a little magic with your kiddos this week…

1. Leave some painted rocks in nature for folks to stumble upon. 

painted rock fiona

2.  Give the kids some paint pens or labels and pens, and let them alter some of your spice bottles with magical or crazy names.  Basil can become fairy grass or peppercorns can become eye of newt.  Let the kids’ imaginations run wild!  We did this a few years ago and it was so fun to open the cupboards and find our renamed containers!  

3.  Make a wreath for the door together. It can be made of anything — grapevine wreaths decorated with ornaments and ribbon, pine boughs wired in a circle with a big bow, or simple colored paper hand prints.  Do it together and hang it proudly.

4.  Head outside for a nature scavenger hunt.  If you like, make it an alphabet hunt and try to find items that start with each letter of the alphabet (like wooly bear caterpillar for W). 

5156395983_4f897a8ef4

5.  Give little ones laundry basket rides in the kitchen or down the hallway.  Put a pillow in the bottom, plop a child in and then push, pull and spin it around to your little one’s delight.  You can thread a jump rope or scarf through some holes or the handle to make it easier to pull.  Kids can give each other rides too (and the pulling is great exercise to expend some of that extra energy!).

6. Learn a song together and film yourselves singing it (as flamboyantly as possible!). Send the clip to loved ones and spread some smiles.

7.  Make Painted Soap Clouds

soap

8.  Go gather some pine cones (or whatever is similar in your part of the world) and bring them home to craft with them.  Cover them with glue, glitter, sequins and multicolored paint to display them all over the house and as ornaments.  Nothing is more fun to your average small child than getting to make gluey, glittery, multi-colored messes!

9. Leave silly notes in hiding places all over the house. It may take months for somebody to stumble on all of them, but it’s a wonderful way to break up an ordinary day to suddenly stumble on a note that says “Mama loves you” or “Kisses!  You must come give your grandma 18 kisses immediately upon finding this!”.

10. Dress up in super fabulous clothes and go grocery shopping.  Crowns optional!

And with that, chickadees, I’m off to hopefully not disappear for quite as long this time.  Have a magical week!

 

2 Comments

Filed under Ways to make today magical

10 Ways to Make Today Magical

Happy Monday! 

It’s been too long since I’ve popped in and I’m once again resolving to find a way to do so more regularly. 

So let’s start by getting back to some ways to make the day more magical.  🙂

Here are 10 ways to make a little magic this week…

1. Go on a nature scavenger hunt.  I have a free fall nature scavenger hunt printable page here that you can use, or you can make up your own.

October nature find

2.  Make a leaf crown!  All you need are some pretty leaves (nothing else!) and about five minutes to make a gorgeous leaf crown.  Here’s a short video showing how to do it.

3.  Teach your child how to make a favorite recipe.  Even little kids can learn to make simple things like sandwiches, and big kids love to learn how to cook fancier dishes. 

fiona pizza sauce

4.  Go see a free presentation.  Local libraries, museums, schools and other community centers tend to sponsor all kinds of free talks on everything from butterflies to meteor showers to prohibition.  See if you can find some upcoming talks that your kids would be interested in and go learn something new together.

alex still

5.  Make up some homemade instant hot cocoa mix.  I shared our basic recipe in the Instagram post below. You can adapt the formula to make it vegan, sugar free or otherwise meet your dietary needs and preferences (chime in if you have a favorite paleo version!).  Adjust the proportions until you find the proper ratio for your tastes and then you have your own personal hot cocoa mix that the kids can mix up when they want to warm up with something sweet.

6.  Help your child start a collection.  Kids love to collect things — any things!  Some of our kids’ favorite collections over the years have been rocks, artist trading cards, bugs and bottle caps (Jack’s favorite collection).  You can even collect non-physical things, like types of clouds you’ve spotted (check out The Cloud Collector’s Handbook for a great book for doing that!).

bottle caps

7.  Have some fun with photo apps.  We created this fun picture of Alex with the free Photo Labs app.  Or just open up Snapchat and take some fun selfies together.  Print out and frame your favorite, if you like.

alex comic

8.  Leaf a message.  Use pretty leaves to write sweet or silly messages outside and see who will wander onto them!

View this post on Instagram

#justbecause #leafamessage

A post shared by Sharizat (@sharizat_eats) on

9.  Make some marbleized fall leaves.  Even if you don’t have fall leaves where you live (or not right now), you can make some gorgeous ones with your kiddos.  Apartment Therapy tells you how to use shaving cream, acrylic paint and watercolor paper to make these pretty leaves.

marbelized leaves

10. Have an early morning picnic and watch the sunrise together.  Get up a little early and grab something simple like muffins and a thermos of hot tea and go sit and watch the sunrise together.  You can watch from the back yard, your balcony, the roof of your apartment, a local park, or even pulled over in the car in a pretty area on your way to work and school.  Take some time to just talk and soak in the beauty. 

photo of toddler standing near lake

Photo by Káťa Prouzová on Pexels.com

And with that, my pretties, I’m off to find some food for a hungry little girl and try to wrestle my house in order.

Have a magical week!

Leave a comment

Filed under activities, crafts, happy stuff, neat stuff elsewhere, printables, Ways to make today magical

10 Ways to Make Today Magical

Happy Monday!  I can’t wait to get back to yapping with you all again (if anybody is still out there!).

I’m sorry to be gone so long this time.  Life has only gotten busier since I started Magical Childhood nearly 18 years ago in 2000 (and later this blog instead of the emailed newsletter, in 2009).  Back then, I had a baby girl and a toddler, who are now both officially grown ups  — Rhiannon (Annalee) is now 18 and Victoria is 20 years old!  Luckily, I still have little ones too.  Fiona is now 6, Alex just turned 11 and Jack just turned 15.  My hands are full but my heart is happy, and I love having all different ages of kiddos to play with now.  🙂

I’ll start updating you all with some of the happenings here in our family, but in the meantime how about an old fashioned list of ways to make the day magical?

Here are 10 ways to make some magic this week!

1.  Make mud art!  Find a good place to dig in the dirt and provide some water, spoons, platters and pretties to decorate with (dried flower petals, dried beans, dragon tears, beads, etc.).  Let the kids mix up mud and make whatever designs they like and leave them to dry.  Take pictures and then just rinse and reuse the special stuff later.

mud art

2.  Drape some blankets over a clothesline, tree, tent poles or other props in the back yard and make some impromptu forts.  Stock the insides with some fun books, games, snacks, a flashlight, whatever, and see what fun the kids dream up to have in their new fun space.

pirate

3.  Use clean sand castle molds to an make ice cream castle.  Decorate wildly and eat!

4.  Teach the kids how to play marbles.  This is such a simple way to have fun at any age.  Here are the instructions if you’ve forgotten (or never learned!).

marbles

5.  Put birthday candles in each child’s dinner tonight.  It doesn’t matter if dinner is sandwiches and it’s 9 months from their birthdays, kids just love blowing out candles and feeling special. Relight them and do it again and again!

6.  Make paper boats and sail them in puddles or the kiddie pool.

7. Make some fairy wands.  This is a simple craft we’ve been doing for years.  Simply attach some colorful ribbons to sticks and you’re good to go.

ribbonwands

8.  Have a bubble relay outside.  Players blow or carry their bubbles from person to person and start over if they pop.  Alternately, blow a bubble and see if you can work as a team to blow it across a finish line.

9.  Go for a walk in the rain with your child.  Umbrellas optional.

puddlesboots

10. Have a family “3” challenge. See if each of you can do three sweet things today for each other family member today.  They can be tiny little things, just something to show you love them, things that you know will make them happy.  Make your teenager’s favorite dish for supper.  Leave the dishes and go read a story to your toddler.  Give extra monkey hugs (in our family, we dip kids upside down and holler “monkey hug!” and swing them back up again and again), and so on.

Have a magical week!

4 Comments

Filed under Ways to make today magical

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!

 

3 Comments

Filed under Ways to make today magical

10 Ways to Make Today Magical

Happy Monday!

Sorry to be MIA for so long again.  Let’s see if I can do better this month!  🙂 

Here are a few ways to make some memories with your kiddos this week…..

1.  Head outside to enjoy the spring weather for some simple, old fashioned fun together.  Blow bubbles (the photo above is from about 8 years ago when the local paper caught me playing with Jack and Victoria in the front yard).  Fly kites. Toss the frisbee.  There’s a reason those things have lasted so many generations.  They’re just fun!

bubblenews

2. Paint some walking sticks.  Head out to the woods and found some good specimens, and then bring them home and decorate them.

3. Play magic eight ball radio.  This silly game is something my husband and our sixteen year-old, Victoria, came up with on their way to play practice together last month.  All they do is ask the radio a question (How is opening night going to go?  Should the family go to Sioux Falls tomorrow?  How is Alex going to act at the restaurant?) and then press “seek” on the radio.  The first line or sentence that someone says or sings after it finds a station is the answer.  Sometimes they have to press seek a few times to get a proper answer. The answers tend to be pretty funny, and our whole family was laughing when they taught us how to play last week.  🙂

radio

4.  Make some yarn eggs together.  We first did this craft when my Annalee was a preschooler.  She’s now fifteen!  Here are the instructions.

5.  Do some dice drawing!  Here’s a free printable to play this fun art game, or you could make up your own together.

6.  Go for a walk in the rain (or after the rain) and go puddle stomping together.

Dancing in the rain

7.  Make some Ivory soap clouds in the microwave and then paint them.  Here are the easy instructions and the science behind what happens.

8.  Do some chalk art around the house and yard together.  Parents magazine says:

Walk around outside your home with a piece or two of chalk and look for interesting patterns — eyes in knots of wood, oddly shaped cracks in the sidewalk or driveway, a nail hole in the wall — that can be turned into a little picture with a few quick strokes. Let your imagination lead you; chalk isn’t permanent. Take a photo for yourself, then leave your art for someone else to find.

9.  Do a photo shoot together.  Kids of all ages love to pose for photos, and then you can play with filters and photo apps to perfect the shots.  This is also one of my kids’ favorite ways to make memories with each other.  My big kids are always getting the little ones to pose for them.  🙂

Photo by Jack (age 9), edited by Anna (age 12)

Photo by Jack (age 9), edited by Anna (age 12)

think

Photo of Fiona (age 3) by Anna (age 14)

10.  Make some DIY cardboard box kits!  I absolutely love this idea from Inner Child Fun.  Head over for the easy instructions.

And with that, chickadees, I’m off to try to catch up on the next 150 things I’m behind on!  Have a magical week!

1 Comment

Filed under Ways to make today magical

Random Acts of Holiday Kindness

Happy Tuesday!  Sorry to be gone so long again.  There has been all sorts of mayhem in our busy little house, as always.  Once again, I’m working on finding a way to post here more often.  We’ll see how it goes!

I know that a lot of families do Random Acts of Kindness this time of year and I stumbled on this post from coffee cups and crayons that listed 24 of them to do with kids.  There are even free printables to go along with it. I especially like the idea of “candy cane bombing” a parking lot.  🙂

FCUBED has just a few RAK ideas but I really liked the idea of taping popcorn to the Redbox machine.  🙂

My friend Tiffany does her own RAK holiday fun with her kids each December and you can follow along with their sweet ideas on her blog at Harried Homeschooling Mama.

And this one isn’t random acts of kindness  but I really love the idea of 25 Days of Zen – Holiday Edition from Zen Schmen.

And for heaven’s sake, don’t worry about starting late or doing enough days.  Do a bunch of little ones in one day together, or do one a day from now on, or one total, or anything that works for you and yours.  Those of you who know me know that I’m all about letting go of guilt and perfectionism!  Just have fun with it!

Happy Holidays!  Don’t forget to slow down and enjoy the magic of the season.  🙂

 

3 Comments

Filed under happy stuff, Ways to make today magical

10 Ways to Make Today Magical

Happy Monday!

I hope things are good in your little corner of the world.  Things are pretty good in ours.  I have all of my chicks back in the nest, which makes for a crowded but happy nest in my book.

This summer, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder related to my blood (Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome or Hughes Syndrome) and also with a seizure disorder.  My neurologist has prescribed anti-seizure medication but it’s a pretty serious medication and I’m generally a natural kind of girl.  If anybody has experience with natural treatments to help manage seizures, please leave me a note!  These are not the type of seizures that make me lose consciousness or anything like that, just frequent “sharp waves” and “lightning strikes” throughout the day that make life a little more challenging (as if having five kids doesn’t do enough of that already!).

My husband read once that September is the month of winds and magic.  This certainly is a magical time of the year.  Here are a few ways to make some memories with the kiddos this week….

1.  Stop at a park you pass and explore it together.

August 8

We passed this tiny park about an hour from our home and we got a kick out of the quote by Ole Synsteby about how busy folks are “these days” with their motor cars and such.  🙂

August 8

2.  Teach the kids some magic tricks.  Here’s one site that has some simple ones for kids.

3.  Go feed some ducks, pigeons or seagulls.

4.  Tell the kids that they can’t use their hands for dessert tonight.  Take pictures!

5.  Do some playing in history.  Make cardboard viking shields, have a Little House on the Prairie day, eat like the Colonial Days, make LEGO pyramids or otherwise delve into history through play.  You can peek at my Playing in History board on Pinterest for inspiration.

6.  Watch movies with the kids of when they were little or snuggle up on the couch and look through old photo albums.  Tell stories and be sappy.

7.  Throw a family cocktail party.  Make up some little appetizers and arrange some party platters with tasty favorite foods that you usually reserve for parties.  Put out some fun and fancy looking drinks and fancy glasses (or plastic partyware).  Even orange juice turns fancy in a special glass with a sugared rim!  Tell everybody to dress up, put on some background music and mingle!

8.  Find a really old cookbook and make a meal fit for an old fashioned family.  Some of the intriguing recipes we’ve found include Porridge, Lone Ranger Sandwiches, Creamed Chicken in Potato Nests and Jumbo Prunes with Cream.  Some sound more tempting than others!

9.  Do balloon chores!  Write simple jobs on small pieces of paper and slip them into balloons.  Blow up the balloons and let the kids each pick one to pop.  They do whichever job is inside.  When their job is finished, they get to pop another balloon and do the next one.  Fill a few of them with jokes or other fun freebies, too.

10. 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.

And with that, I’m off to feed my hungry masses and wrestle the kitchen into shape.  Have a magical week!

1 Comment

Filed under Ways to make today magical