We're moving.  Check out our new digs.  What do you think?  :)

Wordpress really makes it easy.  I imported the whole blog, comments and all.  It will take me a few days to get my ducks in a row.  I'll start posting there as of Sunday though, so update your readers, bookmarks or what have you!

Thanks for all the input!

New site:  http://magicalchildhood.wordpress.com/ 

Land Art!

Want a little inspiration for making something magical outside with the kiddos?  I love this Flickr pool of Land Art for Kids.  Check out just a few of the images....

I can't wait to see what my kiddos can come up with to join in.  Best of all, it's an all season, all climate kind of project.  What fun!

And yes, I'm still planning on moving shop.  I'm working on getting my bearings at blogger right now.  I'm going to see if there's any way to transfer a year's worth of posts over there, other than copying roughly 360 posts.  It would help if I were not quite so clueless about all of this stuff!  :)

I'll keep you posted.

Happy weekend!


Thoughts About Moving

My paid account at Live Journal is expiring today and I'm toying with the idea of moving to Blogger.  Someone has registered magicalchildhood over there but I snagged magical-childhood in case I decided to relocate.

Many of you have commented that you don't like Live Journal.  Any opinions one way or another?  It's my understanding that if I don't pay for another membership I'll have ads, which I do not like.  I've always been adamant about keeping magicalchildhood.com ad-free and would like the same for the blog (especially if they're earning someone else money! G).  I also wouldn't get to play with so many themes, which was always fun for me.  ;)

I'm on the fence.  What do you all think?!

Squirt Painting!

Here's a fun craft using stuff you probably already have in your cupboards.

You need:

~ flour
~ water
~ food coloring
~ 2 or more squirt bottles such as bottles from syrup, glue, ketchup or mustard
~ paper
~ bowl and spoon
~ disposable cardboard box (optional)

1.  Mix some flour with enough water to make a thick paint-like consistency.  Mix in a few drops of food coloring and pour it into a squirt bottle.  Repeat for as many colors as you'd like.  We do three.

2.  Place a piece of paper at the bottom of your cardboard box.  The box will keep the mess contained.  If you like, you can cut off the flaps or cut down the size to make it work best.  Or you can skip this step and do the craft outside or over a safe surface.  Remember that food coloring can stain, so if this is a problem you may want to tint the flour/water with washable paint instead.

3.  Now let your kiddos drizzle, draw and squirt to their heart's content!

We consider this kind of art "camera art"-- meaning it is too messy to keep forever so we take a picture of each creation and drop the finished creations right into a bag to dispose of. We save out one or two of the best to display all day, though.


Another option that's great for little ones is to do the craft in a baking dish and squirt right into the dish.  Kids can draw with their fingers in the goop and then you can rinse in the sink and start again.

This can even be done straight onto driveways or patios. Toddlers will enjoy it with just flour and water in a single bottle. Best of all, it's so cheap and easy they can do it again and again.

Note: Squirt paint won't be tasty but it is non-toxic (unless you mix in paint).  For babes who eat a lot of their art supplies, you can also make it with baby cereal and water.  Sneaky, huh?  ;)

More good stuff:

Play this silly singing game to entertain little ones

10 Ways to play with your baby today

A homemade science curriculum from A to Z

10 Ways to get the wiggles out in winter time


10 Years

My littlest girl turns 10 years old today.  Talk about bittersweet. 

Click here to see a picture of my Anna as a little baby (and to read 10 ways to play with your baby today).  Wasn't she edibly adorable?

Click here to see her all grown up this month (and have her teach you how to fry an egg).  I think she's still adorable, but she's becoming such a young lady.

It's a cliche for a reason, folks.  They DO grow up so fast.  It may not seem like it when you have to prop your eyelids up while holding the crying baby at 4 a.m. or when you're dealing with a major meltdown because you've opened their banana and they wanted to do it themselves, but suddenly you find yourself with these great big people and you could almost swear it can't be possible.

Enjoy your little ones.  And your big ones.

Happy Birthday, Annalee.


10 Ways to Make Today Magical

1.  Get some waterproof markers (or washable if you want this to be temporary) and gather up your kids' plain socks (and your kids!).  Divide them in two piles and inside each sock write a word-- nouns in half and adjectives in another.  Let the kids pick the words.  Some examples for nouns could be: frogs, kiss, homework, love, dog and for adjectives: slurpy, bouncy, pink, magical, and gigantic.  To easily write the words, turn them inside out and put them on the child's foot.  Write the word across the sole and turn back.  Now each morning the kids can pick two socks and see what kind of silly message they spell.  All day they'll have secret silliness in their shoes with nobody the wiser. 

2.  Make up a couple dozen 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.

3.  Dig around for old costume jewelry that you can take apart and hang it from the lights and in the windows.  If you have any glass prisms, hang them to catch the light and scatter rainbows in the morning.  Drape old pearls and beads in surprising places.  You can never have too much whimsy in my book!

4.  Go find a fallen branch, pot it (use anything as filler-- blocks, bags of rice or beans, rocks, whatever, then drape fabric on top of the pot), and decorate a Valentines tree for somewhere in the house.  Tie ribbons or strips of old red fabric on it, drape more of that old jewelry on it, even add some white twinkle lights.  A small one can be a centerpiece or a large one can decorate a lonely corner of any room.

6.  Start a tradition that for one hour, one night a week, you live like "the old days."  Turn out the lights and use candles and lanterns.  Read books, play games and just talk.  Let the kids make some outfits that feel authentic (even an oversized dress or nightie can give that Little House feel) and cook traditional old foods.  If you like, you can even pick up period novels and read those before or during the blackout.

7.  Help your child hide a message in the house for a future resident.  Talk about how sometimes people have found newspapers 90 years old in walls as insulation, how there might be stuff in the attic from their grandparents' childhood, and how years from now some little child might find her memento.  Even apartment dwellers could probably lift a section of carpet in the closet enough to slip a note in or squeeze a signed photo behind the bathroom vanity.

8.  Let him overhear you bragging up a storm about a recent accomplishment or what a fantastic kid he is.

9.  Pick some old, grungy, dark colored clothes and let them use markers to draw designs, words or pictures onto them.  Paint over the designs with bleach (you!), let sit until faded, and then launder well.  Voila!  New, funky jeans and fun clothes!  Reverse idea-- use light clothes, permanent markers and skip the bleach.

10. Completely dress them up, either all dolled up in formal clothes or in a fun costume, and take them anywhere.  The more boring the location the better!  You'll all love the comments and attention!  Make up an excuse together for what you'll say.  Call it family dress up day, say you're on the way to a party (and then have one at home) or tell them some woman on the internet told you to do it.  That'll make you look sane!   ;)

Have a magical week!