Magical Childhood Newsletter
Volume 67
October 28, 2004

Hello you!!!  I'm so sorry to have been gone so long.  I was kidnapped and taken to a deserted island for 2 months.

Okay, not really but I'd feel much better about being so late if I had.  :)

Bad me!  My 3 are keeping me busy with fall activities, illnesses and general mayhem.  I promise to try to make this issue extra full to make up for it-- and to send wishes that you win the lottery, lose 10 pounds and that your kids get on a house cleaning kick.  ;)

Are you taking care of you?  And are you giving out lots of kisses and being dreadfully, hopelessly silly?  Please do.  If you must deal with traffic, laundry, messes, noise and chaos, it is much more bearable if you periodically act like a total fool, laugh, sing songs and sneak yourself some chocolate.

And now, without further ado, here are various bits of info and ideas I've gathered up for you...

Boredom busters
Nothing to do?  Here's a pile of free and easy ways to turn a lazy day fun...

Tux Paint is a free drawing program designed for young children (ages 3 and up).  We tried it out and can happily report that it is great fun!  Effects include making pictures drip, blur and fade, plus adding sparkles, painting in rainbow colors, flipping images and all the standard tools.

Car Maps...
Daryl made up some neat car maps for use in spotting license plates while traveling with kids.  We've been using them for about a month and 6 year old Victoria has accidentally learned where about half of the states in the US are.  The whole family is having fun trying to spot other states so we can completely color in our map.

We have one that's labeled and a blank one to really test your memory.  It's harder than you think!


"Every stage in a child's life is there for a purpose.
If we can respect and respond to her needs fully
during each stage of her life,
she can be done with that stage and move on."

~ Naomi Aldort

Magical Mama Cindi shared this fun vacation idea:

My husband is a teacher so we are doing a house trade with another teacher.
I highly recommend it for families. Having a regular house with kitchen is
so much nicer than a hotel and so much less stressful. We also are trading
cars. We save money and can stay longer. Very family-friendly travel.

Thanks Cindi!


October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

    Domestic Violence affects 1 in 4 women sometime in her lifetime.  In the United States, it is the number one cause of death in pregnant women, as well as the number one cause of emergency room visits for women.

    For information on types of abuse, legal options, the effects on children, how to help a friend who's being abused and much more, see this web site: which also includes links to domestic violence agencies in your area.

    It's also a good idea to educate yourself on all of these issues in order to teach your children how to keep themselves safe in a relationship.

    If you are being abused, there are people out there who can help.  You are not alone.  You're not crazy.  You don't deserve it.

    I've been there, both as director of a domestic violence agency and as a survivor.  I also lost my Aunt Linda to domestic violence.  Feel free to write me if you need info or just need to talk.

We now return to the fun stuff.  :)


Magical Mama Rachel writes:

I've been doing a fun thing with my 2 year old son lately that I thought I would share.  I had been having a time of it getting him settled down at night, so I started trying to make up stories to tell him after the lights were off, but I'm not always good at coming up with story ideas.  One night I handed him an inflatable globe he has, and told him to point to any place on the globe and I would tell him a story about an animal from there.  It worked so well, that it has become a staple of our nighttime routine.  We've had stories about the jaguars in Brazil, the wolves in Russia, the Kangaroos in Australia, etc..  The other night he stunned me when he grabbed the globe, turned it over and pointed to the South Pole, asking if I would, "say another story about the penguins in Antarctica".  Kids can really surprise you.

Thanks Rachel!

Dinosaur Concentration
Here's a page where you can print out your own dinosaur cards to play concentration, match up, or make up your own games.  Fun!

Tie Dye Socks!

Here's an easy way to do tie-dye with the kiddos.

Permanent markers in 2-3 colors (NOT washable)
White socks
Rubber Bands
Rubbing alcohol
Spray bottle

1.  Bunch the rubber bands around the socks in lots of places.
2.  Use the markers to color all over the socks.  The more the better.  You can unbunch some places and rewrap them to cover more of the socks with ink.
3.  Spray all over with alcohol (have an older child or grown up do this part and watch your eyes) or blot the alcohol on with a paper towel.
4.  Let sit for 20 minutes.
5.  Tumble in a hot dryer or iron to set.

Make sure you wash in cold water only and keep them separate in case they run.  Kids can try this on t-shirts, pillow cases and more.

Magical Mama Shez shared this link to a free online magazine for kids and parents alike.  This month's issue of Saplings is 18 pages and includes everything from jack-o-lantern pizza recipes to British slang to a fall word search to information on the paraolympic games.  A truly wonderful little magazine.

Here's a page of little free, fun, educational games you can play online.  I got far too hooked on mythology hangman (it's hard!).  There's also build your own alien, solar concentration, coloring pages of famous scientists and the solar system, and lots more, plus links to educational games on other sites.

Good books for us...
I often share great books I find for little ones but here are some wonderful books I've read lately that help deal with those little ones.  All 3 have armed me with some wonderful new strategies for those times when I want to scream, throw shoes or put my head in the microwave.

Siblings Without Rivalry by Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish
This book should be given to every mom the minute she sees a plus sign on the pregnancy test for a second child.  It's wonderful!  It is simply written with lots of examples and even has cartoons to illustrate each lesson at the end of chapters.  The authors deserve daily foot rubs for life for writing this book.  A must.

Easy To Love, Difficult to Discipline by Becky A Bailey
This book gave me a mental workout!  I felt the need to buy my own copy and use a highlighter, since it was so full of deep thoughts, lessons, ideas, plans and things to think about.  I found lots and lots of very helpful stuff in here. This is not light reading but it can change the way you think about your children and give you much more peace, plus it will help you learn discipline for your own life. I really, really liked it.

Kid Cooperation: How to Stop Yelling, Nagging and Pleading and Get
Kids to Cooperate by Elizabeth Pantley (forward by William Sears)
This book is small, simple and easy to read.  It's full of discipline techniques that help you manage kids without losing your mind.  There are brief summaries at the end of each chapter that can easily be photocopied as reminders or helpful tips for parents, baby-sitters, grandparents or others who may need a whole list of things to try besides the automatic responses of yelling or hitting.  A great basic little book about positive discipline techniques that work.


Quick fun for one year olds...

Ten Ways to Make Today Magical.......

1.  Fill the bathtub with water balloons and let your tike take a bath with them.

2.  Carve mini jack-o-lanterns out of oranges and use as bowls for lunch or dessert.

3.  Have a pajama party with another mama friend and her kiddos.  Everybody camp out in the living room or head home at bedtime.  Pop popcorn, watch movies everybody loves, play games and be silly.

4.  Find a tiny little museum to explore together.  The odder the better!

5.  Go out for dessert together, just one-on-one with your child.  Take forever and really talk.

6.  Jump in leaf piles!  Throw them, roll in them, stomp in them and be a total fool in them.  No leaves in your part of the world?  Make up a whole slew of them from all different kinds of paper and toss them around.  Afterwards, use them as window and wall decorations.

7.  Serve soup or dinner in a pumpkin.

8.  Make homemade dolls.  Challenge the kids to be creative and use all sorts of found materials-- acorns, corn husks, socks, tennis balls, scrap material, plastic bottles, spools, you name it.  If you have boys, call them people instead of dolls.  ;)

9.  Start a tradition of blindfolding your kiddos and letting them point to a place on the map.  Research it and decide on a meal to cook from that area later in the week.

10. Play Family Fear Factor!  Design a whole slew of gross, scary, wacky and harmless tasks for the kids (and grown ups!) to go through together.  One child can help plan the challenges with you each time.  Some ideas... challenge them to eat a pile of cooked liver and onions without using their hands, close their eyes and fall backwards into waiting arms, drink carrot juice with tomato chunks in it, bob for apples, hop on one foot through the kitchen....  The winner can get a special crown or necklace and can help plan the next competition.


And with that, I'm off to read some books and do some art with a couple of little girls while their brother naps.  I promise to be back sooner this time!

Don't forget to take care of you!

Till next time....



A Magical Childhood
Copyright 2004, Alicia Bayer

A Magical Childhood Newsletter is just something I throw together because I love children and those who love them.  To subscribe, send a message to  We do not use ads.  It's not about money.  :)

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