[size=+1]Hello, magical you! I keep disappearing for far too long, don't I? Amazing what three small children will do to your spare time. On the bright side, I was gone for 3 months first and then 2, so next time I should be right on time! Many apologies, and I'll get on with it before another year has passed now....[/size] [size=+1].................................[/size] [size=+1]Winter Window Clings[/size] [size=+1]Here's a fun way to let the kids decorate your windows...[/size] [size=+1]Materials:[/size] [size=+1] -white school glue[/size] [size=+1] -food coloring[/size] [size=+1] -transparency sheets, waxed paper or plastic pieces from takeout containers, etc.[/size] [size=+1] -patterns (coloring pages work well)[/size] [size=+1]1. Open the glue bottle and add a few drops of food coloring. Mix well and replace cap.[/size] [size=+1]2. Place pattern underneath transparency sheet.[/size] [size=+1]3. Trace the pattern with a continuous line of glue and fill in. Let dry for at least 12 hours.[/size] [size=+1]4. Peel off and place on window pane or any glass surface. To store, place between layers of plastic wrap or wax paper.[/size] ........................................................................ [size=+1]Crafts from Aunt Leslie: Edible zoo[/size] [size=+1]On a piece of paper or poster board, map off areas and put up a sign that says "zoo." Have the kids glue animal crackers in the areas.[/size] [size=+1]..........................................................................[/size] [size=+1]What fun! Here are lots of fun and easy science experiments for kids, with short instructions in cartoon format. Learn how to get an apple in a milk bottle, how to use a watch as a compass or how to pull a string through your neck![/size] [size=+1]http://www.hunkinsexperiments.com/body_themes.htm[/size] ****************** [size=+1]Chocolate Lip Gloss[/size] [size=+1]3 tablespoons cocoa butter[/size] [size=+1]4 or 5 chocolate chips[/size] [size=+1]1 capsule vitamin E[/size] [size=+1]Melt all ingredients in a double boiler, then blend with a spoon until smooth. Put into a container and refrigerate until solid.[/size] ******************* [size=+1]Epsom Salt Baths[/size] [size=+1]Some parents of children with autism spectrum disorders, allergies, chemical sensitivities, food intolerances, sensory integration disorder, migraines and more say they've seen improvements in their children after starting epsom salt baths. Epsom salts are magnesium (sometimes called the "anti-stress" mineral), and some theories are that many conditions are made worse by a deficiency in magnesium.[/size] [size=+1]A friend of mine with a child with an autism spectrum disorder did try it and said she saw improvement in her son. I've also met parents of kids with food sensitivities who use it to "detox" if the kids have something that causes a reaction. You can pick up a bag of epsom salts at just about any store for a couple of dollars, so it may be something to try.[/size] [size=+1]Here is a web page with more information:[/size] [size=+1]http://www.bbbautism.com/epsom_condensed_plaintext.htm[/size] [size=+1]~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~[/size] [size=+1]Magical Mama Cindi shared this great idea:[/size] [size=+1]My kids love to draw but on an airplane it seems we're always chasing the pen. So before this summer's flight, I took a length of yarn the same color as the pen, put an end on each side of the pen, then wrapped duct tape over the ends so that the pen now had a matching cord. The pens can be looped around a notebook or tray table (or over a child's head under parent supervision). You don't want more than two or three as they can tangle, so I just did three for each child, knowing they could trade.[/size] [size=+1]Thanks Cindi![/size] [size=+1]~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~[/size] [size=+1]More on the subject of allergies....[/size] [size=+1]I shared in a recent newsletter that Jack (now 18 months) has a peanut allergy and I gave out a little bit of information. Many readers wrote in with personal stories or web sites. Here's a sampling...[/size] [size=+1]Magical Mama Sharon wrote:[/size] [size=+1]At this point in time, we (I work for the FDA with recalls) have had many food recalls whereby the manufacturer fails to declare the allergen or the product becomes contaminated with an allergen because of cross-contamination. One way this might occur is if a product containing say peanuts is manufactured on the same line as a product that does not contain peanuts.[/size] [size=+1]Here is a link to the FDA's recall website if you'd like to have access to what is being recalled because allergens have not been declared or there was cross-contamination.[/size] [size=+1]http://www.fda.gov/opacom/7alerts.html[/size] [size=+1]Magical Mama Faye in Sweden wrote:[/size] [size=+1]It is also very wise (and general rule) for all to avoid giving any solid food (including cereals) to baby before 4 months and preferable to wait till 6 months of age. Exclusively breastfed is excellent protection but do note that what mum eats passes through to baby,… this why in many ‘primitive’ cultures new mothers often had “special diets” for 40 days post natal, and often special additives (herbs etc) and diets whilst breast-feeding. It is something we have “forgotten” in our modern society although some Asian and African cultures still practice such traditions I understand.[/size] [size=+1]Eggs should not be given till 9-12 months of age and cows milk avoided till over 12 months of age. Also as you say nuts and shellfish avoided at least 3 years.[/size] [size=+1]The “hard” ingredients – additives etc can be mind boggling but there are sites that detail what these are, my favourite is Food Additive Guide (http://www.foodag.com/en/home.htm).[/size] [size=+1]Thanks![/size] ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ [size=+1]"Are you feeling overwhelmed by your child's intense needs?"[/size] [size=+1]This has some really good advice for when your little ones are making you a little crazy. [/size] [size=+1]http://www.kellymom.com/parenting/velcrochild.html[/size] ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ [size=+1]Fleece blankets! This craft is so simple and fun, and these are so easy. Take two large pieces of polar fleece (remember you'll lose about a foot on each side from the fringe). Cut strips like fringe along all sides of both pieces, about an inch apart and 6 inches long. At the corners you'll have a little square that you'll cut out and remove. Once you have all the fringe cut, start knotting the two panels together. That's it! No sewing, no real measuring needed, and you can very easily do it in an evening.[/size] [size=+1]To make a fleece pillow, follow the same instructions and stuff with pillow fluff once you have 3 sides knotted. We made a big one for grandma last year and it was a big hit. If you have a length left over, cut it into scarves and fringe the ends.[/size] .................................................................... [size=+1]Magical Mama Tiffany shared this sweet bedtime ritual:[/size] [size=+1]Something I have started to do with my son (and now just began with my daughter too) is to rock him and sing a line from a Paul Simon song "My Mama loves me, she loves me, she gets down on her knees and hugs me, she loves me like a rock. She rocks me like the rock of ages she loves me, she loves me loves me loves me loves me...." My son just settles down in my arms and will go to sleep almost instantly and my daughter was so delighted to hear those words... How nice it must be to fall asleep hearing that sentiment over and over again.[/size] [size=+1]I agree![/size] [size=+1]**********************[/size] [size=+1]Here's a free booklet you can download about positive discipline, covering topics from lying to sibling rivalry to toddlers getting into everything...[/size] [size=+1]http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/familydevelopment/DE7461.html#pages[/size] ************************ [size=+1]And here's a list of organizations where your donation can help victims of the tsunami. http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/asiapcf/12/28/tsunami.aidsites/[/size] ************************ [size=+1]Other Perspectives on ADD....[/size] [size=+1]This great page contains compilation of letters from parents of children with ADD, as well as some by children and adults who have been diagnosed with it. There are stories of alternative remedies that helped, stories about the positive side to being ADD, pluses and minuses about medication, book recommendations and more.[/size] [size=+1]http://www.borntoexplore.org/readers'.htm[/size] [size=+1]Then look to the main page for a wealth of information on other possible causes of ADD/ADHD-like behavior, links with giftedness and tons of fascinating (and positive) articles. http://borntoexplore.org/index.html[/size] [size=+1]From Magical Mama Daneille:[/size] [size=+1]I just wanted to let you know something we do with our daughter (29 months old) that she really enjoys.[/size] [size=+1]We have dubbed her Fairy Princess Danika (and her brother, who is not even here yet because he's waiting in Ethiopia to be adopted) Fairy Prince Abrehem. We tell her stories about Fairy Princess Danika and all the wonderful things she does (which can be as simple as going swimming in the kiddie pool with our neighbor, Pixie Sprite Chloe), and she LOVES hearing about all the things "she" is doing. She also likes it when we tell stories about our pets, Pippin the Puppy Dog, Kitty Cat Al, and Kitty Cat Georgia. Everything seems so much more interesting when it's in story form.[/size] [size=+1]We also talk to her every night as she's going to bed about what she did that day. It's an easy way to help boost her memory and also the start of what we hope will be a tradition as she gets older and maybe not so eager to talk to her old mom and dad.[/size] [size=+1]~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~[/size] [size=+1]Magical Daddy Daryl made up a hand-held wind scale where kids can turn the dial to see the approximate wind speed judging by things like whether smoke from chimneys is drifting or rising, difficulty walking against the wind and moving leaves. You can download it here: http://www.thudscave.com/petroglyphs/pdf/windscale.pdf How fun![/size] [size=+1]-----------------------------------------------------[/size] [size=+3]10 Ways to Make Today Magical....[/size] [size=+1]1. Make up paper snowflakes together and decorate all the windows.[/size] [size=+1]2. Have nothing but appetizers for supper. Be sure to use lots of little umbrellas, swords and garnishes.[/size] [size=+1]3. Make up a wish tree for the new year. Write up goals on strips of ribbon and tie them to a tree in the yard or a branch in the house.[/size] [size=+1]4. Make an altered calendar. Use a free calendar and let the kids use markers, paint, stamps, photos, whatever to personalize it.[/size] [size=+1]5. Write an end of the year letter to your child listing favorite memories of the year and how you feel about her.[/size] [size=+1]6. Have each family member pick someone to call and thank for being part of their lives in the past year.[/size] [size=+1]7. Take a large new calendar and use a white crayon to write messages, special appointments, smiley faces, etc. on some (or all) of the squares. Each day of the new year, let your child color the day in with a marker to reveal the secret designs.[/size] [size=+1]8. Make a rule that for the next hour, everybody has to talk entirely in song.[/size] [size=+1]9. Go on a strange quest. If you're stuck at the mall together, announce that everybody has to keep their eyes open for a picture of a frog, a pink hat and someone wearing two different colors of socks. If the family can find all the elements of the quest, you all get ice cream (or whatever treat you like).[/size] [size=+1]10. Cancel plans and enjoy each other. Spend at least one day just relaxing together and focusing on the spirit of the season and the new year.[/size] [size=+1]~~~~~~~~~~~~[/size] [size=+1]And with that, my dears, I'm off. I wish you the happiest of new years. Kiss your sweeties, count your blessings, and do something to make the world more magical.[/size] [size=+1]Love,[/size] [size=+1]Alicia[/size] [size=+2]A Magical Childhood[/size] [size=+2]http://www.magicalchildhood.com[/size] [size=+2]Copyright 2005, Alicia Bayer[/size] 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 email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. We do not use ads. It's not about money. Feel free to pass this on. Don't steal it, that would be rude.