Baby Sign Language – Why? How? When?

Magical Mama Blog - Baby Sign Language Why How When

Baby Sign Language – Why? How? When?

I’m sure you parents out there have heard the term “baby signs” thrown out into the universe a time or two.

Some of you may wonder why on earth you would spend the time teaching your baby sign language if they’re not hearing impaired.

Some of you may think that a baby knowing signs will keep them from developing speech… I’m here to respond to all of the rumors!

Magical Mama Blog - Why you should teach your baby sign language

Why you should teach your baby sign language

So why on earth would you want to teach a baby sign language?

The capabilities to communicate through sign develop much earlier than the capabilities to communicate through speech.

What does this mean?

Your baby can be communicating with you months before they can start forming the words to tell you what they need…therefore, reducing temper tantrums from frustration. (SCORE!!)

Even when baby begins forming words, they may not be able to form as many words or the right words that they need to get a point across to you.

So called “late talkers” can be helped immensely by learning sign.  Once they figure out that a sign communicates something for them, they eventually begin using the word with the sign, then drop the sign all together and simply say what they need.  It can be a great stair step to help their communication.

From personal experience, my husband and I would sit there trying to guess what our little girl could possibly need as she would be crying her eyes out. She had been changed, fed, napped, played with…

We introduced signs to her and within a month or two, she was able to tell us “more food, please” “milk, please” “all done” “play” and more!

Instead of having a melt down, she would literally sign to us exactly what she needed!

If that, in itself, is not enough reason to give it a go, I don’t know what is!

Baby sign language has been proven to have great benefits later on such as a higher IQ, better grades, and a larger vocabulary! Ivy Leagues, here we come!

Bonus!  If you are a bilingual family and you are trying to teach your little one two words for things, the sign can be the bridge between that can help them discover that the sign means one thing and has two names. (For example, if you do the sign for water, you can say water and agua)

Magical Mama Blog - When to start teaching your baby sign language

When to teach your baby sign language

It is never too early or too late!

Developmentally, babies can be aware of sign by 4 months of age…this does not mean your baby that cannot even sit up yet will start signing back to you.

This is a great time for YOU to get used to the signs and begin associating the signs with the words.  Not only will you associate the word and sign, baby can too.

They may not have the fine motor skills to mimic you until 6 to 8 months, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t watching!

We really started enforcing signs around 12 months and our baby has picked them up like wild fire!

Magical Mama Blog - How to teach your baby sign language

How to teach your baby sign language

Start slow.  Trying to teach a baby 50 signs all in one day will be far too overwhelming for everyone involved.

Start with 3 or 4 that will be useful to you like, “milk” “more” “food” or “all done”.  Once they master a few, try introducing two or three more.  Get ready to repeat, repeat, repeat.

Step 1 – Implement it into your conversations with them.  When you say one of these words, use the sign as you say it. “Are you all done with your food?”

Step 2 – Sit down with baby and say the word while doing the sign.  Make sure baby is focused on you.  Take their hands and help them form the sign.  Say the word while you help them do the sign.

Step 3 – You say the word and do the sign and have them try the sign on their own.  They may have a quirk or two that needs fixing which you can help them with.

Step 4 – Try saying the word and see if baby can recognize the word and can do the sign.  If they don’t try right away, use the word in a sentence then go back.  “Do you want some milk?” “Can you show me milk?”

Step 5 – I like to go the extra mile.  When my little one uses a sign on her own, I say the word and do the sign to let her know that I understand her.

This is especially if I can’t get her what she wants right away.  If we’re on the car ride home and she signs “milk“, I’ll say and sign “milk” back and then let her know she can have it as soon as we get home.  Eliminating emotional break downs in the car? SCORE AGAIN!



If you’re curious about what the sign for a certain word is, or you’d like more information, head to

They have a dictionary with over 600 common signs as well as explanations, diagrams and short videos of how to perform each one.

They also have flashcards, wall charts, DVDs, and books if you’d like to really dive in!

Get Started

Here are links to learn a few simple (and useful) signs to start with:




All Done


Thank You


There will be a magical moment that your baby will start signing without a verbal cue.  They will stop what they’re doing, look at you and sign something that they want… communication and no meltdown!

There was a day that my daughter was playing and drinking from her sippy cup, she suddenly stopped, looked at me, and signed “more, please”…her cup was empty…she asked for more water without crying until I figured it out!  Success!

It takes no time at all.  Just adjusting your hand gestures when you speak and BOOM, you have communication!



I hope this is a helpful beginners guide and I hope you explore it!

Happy signing!


Magical Mama Blog - Baby Sign Language Why How When

Magical Mama Blog Baby Sign Language

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7 Ways to Decorate Easter Eggs

Magical Mama Blog 7 Ways to Decorate Easter Eggs

7 Ways to Decorate Easter Eggs

It was Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, and Valentines Day back to back!  It went so fast that for all I know, it could have all been smashed within 2 weeks! Whew… Time to finally get a holiday break…. oh, wait…

Easter will be here before you know it!  Sunday, April 1st!  That’s right, April Fools and Easter are colliding!  Beware!

One of everyone’s favorite crafts at Easter is decorating eggs. Who doesn’t love a good messy holiday craft?

I’m going to give you some fun alternatives from the newbie to the novice!

Getting started – egg prep

You can decorate eggs two different ways, hard boiled or empty…please don’t decorate raw eggs and let them spoil…I’ve seen it happen more than once, so I think a disclaimer is necessary at this point!

For hard boiled eggs, place in a pot and cover with water 2 inches above the eggs.  Turn stove to high and let it reach a strong boil.  Turn off, cover, and let sit for 12-13 minutes. Gently remove the eggs and run under cold water or dunk into an ice water bath to discontinue cooking.

For empty eggs, poke a hole on both ends of the egg with a seam ripper or toothpick.  The hole will need to be about the size of four toothpick holes combined. Insert the toothpick and swirl around to break up the yolk.  Gently blow through one hole and watch the yolk come out the other side.

1. Traditional Dye

Magical Mama Blog 7 Ways to Decorate Easter Eggs Traditional Dye

Magical Mama Blog 7 Ways to Decorate Easter Eggs Traditional Dye

I find that clear, disposable cups or rocks glasses work best so you can see the water level, the color, and it’ll be open enough to easily insert an egg…however, this can be very messy…but it’s craft time!  Get messy!

Boil a pot of water and get out your measuring cup.

Put about 1 to 1 1/2 cups hot water into each container. (Enough to cover an egg)

Add 1 teaspoon of vinegar (this ensures that the color really seeps in and sticks quickly).

Add in your food coloring.

The darker and more vibrant you want, the more drops you’ll need.

You shouldn’t have to add more than 20 drops of coloring to each container (for the new fangled gel dyes, I usually do 2 generous squirts).  Use all one color or mix and match to come up with bright turquoise, purple, magenta and more.

For traditional dye, use a whisk instead of a little wire or spoon for unsteady little hands.

Magical Mama Blog 7 Ways to Decorate Easter Eggs Traditional Dye Crayon Whisk

2. Marble with Nail Polish

Magical Mama Blog 7 Ways to Decorate Easter Eggs Nail Polish Marble

Magical Mama Blog 7 Ways to Decorate Easter Eggs Nail Polish Marble

Get a disposable cup or container full of cold water.

Drip different nail polish colors on top.

Create patterns with a toothpick.

Slowly dip the eggs to pick up the pattern.

Magical Mama Blog 7 Ways to Decorate Easter Eggs Nail Polish Marble

3. Crayon & Dye

Magical Mama Blog 7 Ways to Decorate Easter Eggs Crayon and Traditional Dye

Magical Mama Blog 7 Ways to Decorate Easter Eggs Crayon and Traditional Dye

Draw with a white crayon.

Dye like normal and see the designs magically appear.

Magical Mama Blog 7 Ways to Decorate Easter Eggs Traditional Dye Crayon Whisk

4. Fabric or Tissue Paper (or feathers… or yarn)

Magical Mama Blog 7 Ways to Decorate Easter Eggs Paper Covered, Yarn, Feathers, Fabric

Magical Mama Blog 7 Ways to Decorate Easter Eggs Paper Covered, Yarn, Feather, Fabric

Paint Mod Podge onto both sides of the fabric or paper.

Lay onto the egg as flat as possible.

Do a top coat of Mod Podge.

Magical Mama Blog 7 Ways to Decorate Easter Eggs Fabric Paper Yarn Feathers

5. Glitter

Magical Mama Blog 7 Ways to Decorate Easter Eggs Glitter

Magical Mama Blog 7 Ways to Decorate Easter Eggs Glitter

Cover eggs with Mod Podge.

Roll in a glitter bath.  (I prefer disposable bowls so you can roll them with minimal mess)

Magical Mama Blog 7 Ways to Decorate Easter Eggs Glitter Mod Podge

6. Marbled with Cream

Magical Mama Blog 7 Ways to Decorate Easter Eggs Shaving Cream Marble

Magical Mama Blog 7 Ways to Decorate Easter Eggs Shaving Cream Marble

This is my favorite!

Soak eggs in vinegar for 5 minutes in order for them to take on as much color as possible.

Throw out a thick coat of shaving cream and smooth (or cool whip if your play needs to be edible).

Drop food coloring and gently make designs by pushing into cream with a toothpick or spoon (don’t over mix).

Roll eggs in creamy design.

Let eggs sit in fridge for 30 minutes.

Rinse under cool water.

Magical Mama Blog 7 Ways to Decorate Easter Eggs Shaving Cream Marble

7. Silk Dye

Magical Mama Blog 7 Ways to Decorate Easter Eggs Silk Dying

Magical Mama Blog 7 Ways to Decorate Easter Eggs Silk Dye

For advanced egg decorators!  This works best with empty eggs so you have to be very careful (hence the “advanced”).

Magical Mama Blog 7 Ways to Decorate Easter Eggs Empty Eggs

Grab an old silk tie or silk scarf.

Cut the silk fabric large enough to wrap around the egg and be tied off.

Magical Mama Blog 7 Ways to Decorate Easter Eggs Silk Dye

Cut a light, plain colored fabric the same size.

Magical Mama Blog 7 Ways to Decorate Easter Eggs Silk Dye

Dunk silk fabric in water (wring out excess).

Magical Mama Blog 7 Ways to Decorate Easter Eggs Silk Dye Wet Fabric

Wrap wet silk fabric around egg.

Magical Mama Blog 7 Ways to Decorate Easter Eggs Silk Dye

Wrap your dry, light colored fabric around the silk fabric.

Make tight and tie all loose ends with twine.

Place bundled up eggs in a gallon of boiling water.

Add 3/4 cup vinegar.

Boil for 30 minutes.

Magical Mama Blog 7 Ways to Decorate Easter Eggs Silk Dye

Magical Mama Blog 7 Ways to Decorate Easter Eggs silk dye

Unwrap and let dry.

CAUTION: Because eggs are hollow, they will be filled with hot water!


Magical Mama Blog 7 Ways to Decorate Easter Eggs Dyed Deviled Eggs

Hard boil eggs and let cool.

Roll to crackle the shells but DO NOT PEEL!!

Drop into glasses of water with food coloring.

(You’ll want to use water with food coloring so it’s taste safe and delicious.  Don’t go with traditional egg dye or vinegar dye!)

Refrigerate overnight.

THEN peel off the shells for crackled deviled egg treats!

Fill with traditional egg filling or guacamole!

Magical Mama Blog 7 Ways to Decorate Easter Eggs Deviled Eggs & Guac


Magical Mama Blog 7 Ways to Decorate Easter Eggs

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55 Fun Spring Activities for your Family

magical mama blog 55 fun spring activities for your family what to do in spring

55 Fun Spring Activities for Your Family

Winter is finally dying down and it’s about time to get your family off of their electronics and out in the fresh Spring air!

The kids are looking forward a few months to the light at the end of the tunnel… Summer.  But don’t let this whole season pass your family by.  Check out these crafts, recipes, outings, and ideas on how to make this Spring your most fun yet!

  • Plant flowers

Have an overgrown and neglected flower bed in your yard?  Bring it back to life and get your curb appeal up to date!

If your yard is already in pristine condition, grab some small plastic pots at your local hardware or gardening store and let the kids run wild with dirt and seeds.

  • Go on a nature walk

Drop the phones and iPads, turn off the TV and electronic games.

Head to a large park or go off into a large natural area and enjoy a family walk.  Perhaps have the kids gather a list of things they might see out in nature and let them check off the list as you go.

If your kids are not the outdoorsy type, play I Spy to distract them and keep them out in the fresh air for a while longer.

  • Climb a tree

Yes!  That thing we used to do before texting was a thing!  Have them get some exercise, scrape up their knees, breathe in the fresh air and hug a tree.

  • Pick berries

With it’s growing popularity, more and more local farms are allowing “pick your own” activities.

Days where you get to roam a farm and pick your own fruits and vegetables then check out on your way home.

Think of it as a Farmers Market but you get to pick your food straight from where it grew!

Check out to find an official site near you!

(Not all farms who do this register through the site, but it’s a great place to get started!)

  • Read outside

Implement reading time and make it fun.  Let them pick out a beach towel and go read under a tree.

  • Visit the library

If they’re out of reading material, head to the public library, sign your kids up for library cards and let them check out a book, read it, and return it.

Check your local libraries for story time events if your little one doesn’t read quite yet.

  • Go to the playground

Make it a mission to visit all of your public parks this season.  Have your kiddos figure out what they like the best.  Swings, slides, jungle gyms, etc.

  • Take some photos

No need to hire a professional!  Get out your point and shoot or even your phone and take some fun pictures.  Let the kids pick out outfits for everyone and take a group shot.

Do a mini session with each of your kids.  Capture their favorite activities (while they last).

Let your kids be the photographers and see their imaginations run wild.

  • Fly a kite

Your offspring may not even know what on earth a kite is!

Head to the beach or park on a brisk and windy day and watch them run back and forth trying to get that silly thing up in the air without getting caught in trees or phone lines.

  • Pick wild flowers

Find a field (where it will be legal) to pick some flowers.  If there doesn’t seem to be such a place near you, run over to the park and pick some small dandelions and other mini wild flowers that grow in the grass and make some chains of them.

  • Make mud pies

Go play in the dirt in the back yard.  Turn the hose on the little ones and let them use their own little shovels and rakes in the mud.  Give them some disposable spoons and let them have a nasty little tea party… then follow it with some more hosing off and a nice warm and sudsy bath.

  • Tie dye shirts

Pick up some dye the next time you’re at the craft store.  Grab a pack of cheap white shirts.

Lay shirts flat.  Pinch (or place a fork’s tines) in the center and twist in a circular pattern.

Place rubber bands to keep shape and separate into sections.

Spray or squirt dye.  Follow instructions for drying & washing.

Prepare for a mess!

  • Star gaze

If you live in the city, take a few hours after dinner to drive out away from all of the city lights and enjoy the stars that you’re missing.

Download a star tracker app and remind the kids about all of the planets and constellations they’re learning about in school.

Let the kids drift off in the darkness on the way home.

  • Paint flower pots

If you have some drab terra cotta pots in your garden, let the kids paint them fun colors, designs, or put their hand prints on them.

  • Paint bird houses

Most hardware and craft stores have some plain wooden bird houses that the kids can get creative with and you can enjoy their color-popping masterpieces.

  • Wash the cars

Make chores fun and put those kids to work!  Adorn the bathing suits, crank up the tunes, and let them get messy while your cars get clean…ish.

  • Play catch in the yard

Break out the baseball or football and work on coordination, focus, and teamwork.

  • Decorate Easter eggs

Cover EVERYTHING with a few disposable tablecloths from the dollar store.

For traditional dye, use a metal whisk instead of a wire for unsteady little hands

Get a disposable cup full of cold water, drip different nail polish colors on top, create patterns with a toothpick, then slowly dip the eggs to pick up the pattern.

Draw with a white crayon, then dye to reveal the drawing.

Mod Podge fabric or paper onto your eggs.

Cover eggs in Mod Podge then roll in glitter for the sparkle-obsessed little girls in your house.

Throw out a thick coat of shaving cream or cool whip (if your play needs to be edible), drop food coloring and gently push into cream with a spoon (don’t over mix), let eggs sit in fridge for 30 minutes, rinse.

For advanced egg decorators, grab an old silk tie or silk scarf.  Empty yolk from eggs by poking holes on both ends and blowing the yolk out.  Cut the silk fabric large enough to wrap around the egg and get wet with water (wring out excess), wrap wet silk fabric around egg, wrap with a dry, light colored fabric,  and tie all with twine. Place bundled up eggs in a gallon of boiling water.  Add 1/2 to 1 cup of vinegar and boil for 30 minutes. Unwrap and let dry.

For full instructions and pictures, head over to my post on 7 Ways to Decorate Easter Eggs!

  • Have an egg hunt

If you’re not feeling like putting time and energy into hiding eggs in your house, yard, or local park…or you have the fear of finding eggs randomly for years to come… check the paper for your city’s celebration.

Most schools and churches also have some sort of Easter EGGstravaganza where your kiddos can go and hunt for eggs.

  • Hit up the batting cages

Run over to your local batting cages and whack at a few baseballs.  Enjoy a snack while you’re there.

Make it a friendly competition between Mom and Dad or the siblings.

It’s a great way to get out of the house, spend a few dollars, get some exercise, and make some memories!

  • Go to the arcade

If you don’t think an arcade exists near you, head to the inter webs!  Chances are, there is one within the local movie theater or family fun center.

  • Play mini golf

This is one of my favorite things to do!  Friendly competition that almost everyone is equally bad at!  I just found out there is one near my house after searching for years and I can’t wait to go kick my husband’s booty.

  • Go to a baseball game

If you’re not near a major or minor league stadium, check the local colleges (or even high schools or local parks and rec department).  There will be a game to go to somewhere (some for free), where you can enjoy some sunny weather, a ball park snack, and some good old fashioned baseball!

  • Jump rope

Get that dusty jump rope from the garage or grab a few at your local store.

Let the kids try breaking their own records while they jump around and get all of their energy out.

OR go out and find a double-dutch length rope and teach your kids all of the old rhyming, jumping games from when you were in elementary school.

  • Jump on a trampoline

If you don’t personally own a trampoline, check online.  Indoor trampoline gyms (Sky Zone is a popular one) are taking off and are popping up everywhere.  Some gymnastic studios with tons of trampolines offer up a few hours for you and your family to get wild on their equipment.

  • Make an obstacle course

If you want to be creative, grab things from the house and garage and make an obstacle course in the yard.

If you’re looking for something easier, head to a local park and map out a course over the jungle gym and playground.  Be sure to talk to your kids about safety with other kids around as well as making the course safe for themselves.  It never hurts to have a first aid kit in your bag for scrapes and bruises.

  • Feed ducks

Almost every town has some kind of duck pond.  As a kid, I loved feeding the ducks and making duck noises at them.

DO NOT FEED DUCKS BREAD!  Try halved grapes, a bag of birdseed, corn, peas, or torn up lettuce.  This is a great way to make room in your fridge for your next grocery trip.

  • Go to the zoo

If you think you’re hundreds of miles away from the nearest zoo, think again!  Check online to find a “zoo” near you.  I though being in the western corner of Texas would mean a day’s drive in the car to a fun zoo.  Turns out, there’s a small one 2 hours away!  Perfect for a day trip with a toddler.

If you’re not willing to drive too far, look up local petting zoos or farms with visitor activities.  Kids love to see exotic animals and learn about them.

  • Find shapes in the clouds

Go back to the time before cell phones where you could go lay on the grass, look up, and point out the things your imagination was making.  Introduce your kiddos to this classic!

  • Visit a museum

Every town has a museum of some kind.  Even if it’s not a mile long building with dinosaur bones and works of art, it will probably have some great historical fun items from your town.  It’s great to check these out for the future when your kids will end up having to do projects and homework assignments about their town.

  • Play on a slip ‘n slide

They cost the same as a board game and it’ll get your kids outside!  Let them run and get their energy out, work up an appetite, and get some Vitamin D.

  • Have a picnic

This classic is another one disappearing quickly.  Pack up some sandwiches, snacks, and juice boxes and head to the park or beach.  Enjoy food out in the sun, lounging on the ground, and talking to each other!

If it’s raining, too hot to go outside, or there are too many bugs, set up in the middle of the living room and turn on a fun movie.

  • Go to a farmer’s market

Your town may have a small little market that pops up with fresh, locally grown food from small  farmers, local artisans with hand made goods, and some fun live music.

Check out the paper or internet to see where your town holds theirs and check it out as a family.

  • Make S’mores

Grab a local fire pit at the beach or camp ground, light up your fireplace, or make them over the stove top.

  • Play with chalk

Grab a big box of chalk the next time you’re at the market.  If your kids tire of drawing pictures quickly:

Teach them hopscotch.

Draw a town with some roads and get out the cars.

Make a crazy squiggly line and challenge them to walk one foot in front of the other like it was a tight rope.

Draw a grid of shapes and have them jump from one to another as you call them out.

Have them trace each other’s outlines or have them trace one another’s shadows.

Have them draw a background and take pictures of them interacting with it from above.

Draw capital nad lower case letters and have them connect them with a line of chalk.  You can also do this with fractions and decimal points fro older kiddos.

Make large overlapping shapes and have the kids color in the empty spaces.

  • Blow bubbles

Nothing better than watching the little ones play with bubbles.  Just make sure you’re ready for bath time immediately following the sticky action.

To prevent getting too messy, bungee cord or tape the bottle of bubbles to a chair, table, or porch column so it cannot get spilled.

  • Make slime or play doh

It seems the hottest new thing for kids to do is make slime.  A ton of kids have turned it into a business and make money selling it to friends.

Check out my recipe for edible yogurt play doh for the little ones to play with.

  • Make a pie

Let the little ones make a mess with flour in the kitchen.  Make crust from scratch, add in fancy fruit filling, and let the kids get creative with designs on the top of the pie.

  • Play croquet

Grab a croquet set in the toy/outdoor section of the store.  It usually comes with a great stand and stores very compact.  This old-timey sport gets the competitive kids outside, concentrating, and using up their energy…and gets them off of their electronic devices!

  • Bob for apples

Grab the garden hose and fill up a big tub.  Throw a small bushel of apples in and watch them go wild.  It’ll cool them down from the heat, it’ll challenge them, and it will make everyone laugh.


Somehow people think bobbing for apples is easy…don’t know where they get this idea!  My favorite is watching little ones who have lost a few teeth going for it!

  • Visit a water park

Pack the sunscreen, shirts, and sandals and head off for some water slide mania… or a lazy river gala.  That’s always my favorite part of water parks.

If there’s not a full blown water park near you, there’s probably a community center that has slides and a lazy river or at least a splash pad.  Those are popping up all over!

  • Have a watermelon eating contest

When you’re at the store, grab a nice big watermelon and toss it in the fridge.

Slice it up and have a contest…hands allowed or not is up to you!

  • Make a bird feeder

If your kiddos love nature and are wanting to do a little bird watching, do some arts and crafts time to make a bird feeder and bring the birds right to them!

Cover a toilet paper roll in peanut butter and roll in bird seed.

Hollow out a piece of fruit to the peel and fill with birdseed.

Spread honey or peanut butter on a pine cone and sprinkle with bird seed.

Make a dish from popsicle sticks, old milk cartons, egg cartons or anything you have lying around the house.

String some circular cereal onto pipe cleaners.

String any of these to a tree or pole near a window and wait for the birds to come feast.

(I, personally, am terrified of birds and this will be a Daddy-Daughter activity)

  • Host a BBQ

Have a good old fashioned barbecue.  Have friends or family bring sides and provide the grill and the meat.

You can make it extra Pinterest Perfect by grabbing some packs of the glass soda bottles at the store, getting a gingham table cloth and having a little 50s BBQ Bash!

  • Go puddle jumping

What is spring without a little rain?  Get the kiddos in their slickers and galoshes… umbrellas optional.

Throw on your favorite rain themed tunes and let the kids get a little messy in nature.

Be sure to have a nice warm, sudsy bath when you get back home.

  • Camp out in the back yard

Pull the old tent out of the garage and set it up in the back yard.  Break out the glow sticks, fun snacks, and stories.

If there is an aspiring guitarist in your family, sing some tunes and star gaze before crawling into a sleeping bag snug as a bug right next to one another.

You’ll probably need to go to the chiropractor in the morning, but the memories will last longer than the aches.

  • Play flashlight tag

Run down to the local park after sunset.  Have everyone dress in dark colors and bring along a flashlight (with fresh batteries).  Set perimeters on how far they can go.  Designate and IT.  Whoever they shine their light on first is then IT and everyone runs and hides in a new place.

This works best on playgrounds with lots of jungle gyms, picnic tables, or trees.

  • Go horseback riding

If your area may not be known for horses, check online!  There is always a stable near by that you may not be able to see when you drive by.  Get the kids a little old school experience on horseback.  Some stables let the kiddos feed the smaller animals and help to groom and care for the horses.

  • Play board games outside

Yes!  Take them outside!  You’ll want to do this on a day with little to no wind and I’d recommend games that don’t have paper money or teeny tiny pieces.

Set up on a picnic blanket or table.  Soak in the Vitamin D and leave those electronics inside!

  • Go on a bike ride

If you don’t have bikes, there are still shops that rent out such items.  If there isn’t one near you, check out your local Walmart or such.  Most big bikes are around $70.

Head out to a local park with a big cement path or navigate the sidewalks in your neighborhood with little ones.  For older kiddos, go off-roading.

  • Make home made ice cream

It’s a lot more simple than you think!  You don’t need one of those bulky barrel & crank devices.

Give each kiddo a 2 sandwich size ziplock bags and 2 gallon size ziplock bags.

Add 1/2 cup heavy cream, 1 tsp vanilla extract, and 1 TBS granulated sugar into the sandwich bag, squeeze the air out and seal.  Double bag so you don’t lose any!

Fill the gallon bag half way with ice and add half a cup of coarse salt.

Place the sandwich bags in the middle of the gallon bag, push the air out and seal.  Double bag!

Shake Shake Shake  Shake Shake Shake  Shake that ice cream!  Run around, toss it back and forth.  It takes about 10 minutes for the ice cream to form.

Mix in your favorite sauces or crushed up candy bars.  Let them get creative with flavors.

  • Visit a State Fair or carnival

If you’re no where near where your state has their annual state fair, check out to see when the next county carnival is and put it on the calendar.

If your state fair isn’t scheduled until the summer or fall, check to see if the grounds are open throughout the year and plan a visit.

  • Go to the movies

Watch the previews of all the (rating appropriate) movies that are in theaters near you and let the kiddos choose their favorites.

Check to see if there are any deals at your local theater for a cheaper experience.  Movie prices have skyrocketed and popcorn and soda prices are laughable.  In our area, tickets are half price on Tuesdays!

You can make a day of it and see a movie, eat somewhere (less expensive than the movies), then head right back for a second feature.  This is great to do on hot days that you maybe don’t want to waste all of your air conditioning budget on sitting inside at home.

  • Go on a scavenger hunt

When I was young, my mom used to make lists of random things like paperclips, rubber bands, newspaper, thread, a penny from a certain year, etc.  and we would go door to door in little groups in our neighborhood or around the campground we were at for the weekend and see which group could collect the most.

If that is outside of your comfort zone, you can give them a list of things found in nature and can head to a local park to let them divide and conquer.

  • Make home made lemonade

Look up a recipe or let the kids try as they go.  Turn it into a science experiment.

Is it too sour?  Add some sugar.  Is it too sweet?  Add some lemon.  Is it too thick?  Add some water.

Let them figure out their perfect recipe and enjoy it outside!

magical mama blog 55 fun spring activities for your family what to do in spring

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15 Toddler Sandwich Ideas

Magical Mama Blog 15 Toddler Sandwich Ideas

15 Toddler Sandwich Ideas

My little one is over a year old.  She is enjoying table foods and feeding herself…but she still has not a single tooth.

I wanted to start giving her some fun sandwiches that she could pick up and enjoy (and chew with her old lady gums) without a mess.

All of these recipes are incredibly simple because who wants to use up multiple pots and pans to feed a rug rat?

I also tried to make the prep work basically non existent so you can whip up a sandwich in a moments notice.

Pro Tip:  Instead of sitting there slicing and tearing the bread into little pick-up pieces, get out your pizza slicer and BAM! neat little pieces with no effort and in a fraction of the time.

Pro Tip #2:  In an attempt to keep your little one from tearing apart their sandwich, get it constructed and smash with your hands or a plate.

This lodges the ingredients into the bread pockets and gets the bread slices to want to stick to their mate.

Even if your toddler rips their sandwich in half, the ingredients should stick to the two slices and can still be enjoyed in separate pieces.

Magical Mama Blog: 15 Toddler Sandwich Ideas



  • Banana (& yogurt)

Simple as can be!  Smash up a ripe banana and slap some bread on either side.

You can beef up the meal by adding in a bit of yogurt and get some active cultures in their digestive system.

  • Avocado & Egg

Mash up some avocado and cook an egg (or just the yolk).  Mash together and slather your thick mixture on your bread and voila!

You basically have a healthy “egg salad sandwich” fit for a toddler.

  • Turkey & Cheese

magical mama blog toddler sandwich ideas turkey cheese cookie cutters meal ideas bite snack

An easy classic.  I made these for a day care party and they were a hit. No need for condiments.

For added fun, I used regular cookie cutters for the sandwiches for the older kids and smaller cutters for my baby and the other little ones that didn’t quite have the teeth to handle taking bites.

  • Strawberry & Nutella

Magical Mama Blog 15 Toddler Sandwich Ideas

For a sweet treat, smear Nutella and stack some sliced strawberries on top.

To bump up the fun, roll the bread with a rolling pin (or smash with your hands or a plate), smear the Nutella, add the strawberries, roll and wrap in saran wrap, chill in freezer for a few minutes, and cut like sushi.

Not only is it delicious!  It looks amazing!

  • Avocado & Hummus

Get a healthy kick in their diet by mixing some hummus with avocado for a thick spread with some fun kicks of flavor.

Serve with some fresh or steamed vegetables for a hearty meal. Carrots, zucchini, corn, or tomatoes work well (sounds like a delicious pita wrap!)

  • Peanut Butter & Raspberry

Jams, jellies, and marmalades are packed with sugar.  Adding some soft, sweet fruit onto peanut butter gives the same taste without all of the extra junk!

  • Avocado & Tuna

Get some protein in there by mixing up some sweet, ripe avocado with some tuna fish!


Cream Cheese Sandwiches

  • Puree & Cream Cheese

If you’re like me and you managed to make a ton of purees at home and baby moved on to solid foods, you have a ton of left over cubes.  I’ve been trying to come up with creative ways to get use out of them and this one is perfect!

Heat up some cubes of blueberry or zucchini and mix with cream cheese so it doesn’t seep into the bread.

If you have some tubs or jars of baby food laying around, those work great too!

This can be great for mini cracker sandwich snacks as well.

If baby likes it that much, pour puree straight into a tub of whipped cream cheese so it’s mixed and ready at a moment’s notice.

  • Raspberry & Cream Cheese

Magical Mama Blog: 15 Toddler Sandwich Ideas

Mash up 6-8 raspberries in a bowl and add 1-2 tablespoons of cream cheese.  Mix into a thick spread.  Throw it onto some bread and BOOM!  Lunch is done!

  • Cream Cheese & Avocado

Mix some fresh avocado up with some cream cheese for beefed up avocado toast and to give baby’s palate something sweet & creamy to go with the green.

  • Cream Cheese & Cucumber

Thinly slice some cucumbers (I like to peel them because my little one has no teeth and it gets all the waxy chemicals out of the way).  Spread a layer on cream cheese and stack your cucumber.  Easy as can be!


Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

For easy dipping into soup, cut grilled cheese sandwiches into long, skinny sticks!

  • Grilled Cheese

Either make on a pan for toasty bread or in the microwave for warm cheese on soft bread) depending on your baby’s preference or teething situation.

Give them a tomato soup dipping bowl and they’ll be the happiest campers.

  • Broccoli Grilled Cheese

Finely chop some broccoli florets or heat up some left over broccoli puree from the freezer, mix in with grated cheese and grill or microwave.

  • Spinach Grilled Cheese

Sneak some green into your child’s diet whenever you can!  Grab some frozen (or fresh) spinach, cook and puree.  Mix in with grated cheese and melt on the bread.

  • Sloppy Joe Grilled Cheese

If the family is enjoying some meat loaf or burgers for dinner, break up some ground beef and throw some ketchup or mild spices into it and mix with cheese.

Babies without teeth CAN get meat into their diet!


Hope you little one enjoys some fun new recipes!

Magical Mama Blog 15 Toddler Sandwich Ideas

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8 Things To Do With Lots of Links

Magical Mama Blog 8 Things To Do With Lots Of Links Linky Ring Toys

8 Things To Do With Lots Of Links

Lots of Links or “link rings” or “linkies”…whatever you call them…are useful as all get out!  If you’re anything like me, I was thrilled to receive package after package of them when my little one was on the way.

I wanted to get Lots of Links, Stacking Cups, Stacking Rings, and Blocks…all of the essentials I had as a kid.  All the great toys that you can use your imagination with as opposed to the electronic junk that is dominating the toy market now.

I’ve noticed that a lot of parents let them disappear into toy boxes once they’re not using them on play gyms anymore, but they can be played with in a million new ways and they are incredibly useful!

  • Attach toys

Magical Mama Blog 8 Things to do with Lots of Links attach and hang toys in the car or crib

When baby is little, this really comes in handy.  Before baby is running around, picking up toys, you can hang toys from play gyms, pack and plays, and cribs for baby to swat at and reach for.

When baby is older, this comes in handy in the car!  You can make a chain of links from the head rest and attach toys, or attach them directly to the car seat.

My little girl is practically a toddler and I use them to attach toys in the car still because if she throws them, I can easily pick them up!

  • Make pull game

Magical Mama Blog 8 Things to do with Lots of Links Linkies Link Rings

Attach all the links into one long chain and place them in a bin of some kind.  Give baby one end and let them pull it out like one of those never ending scarf chains that magicians used to have.

Their faces light up as they grab and pull and their muscles and coordination get a good work out.

  • Make an instrument

Magical Mama Blog 8 Things to do with Lots of Links Linkies Link Chain Ring

Grab a big Tupperware container from your kitchen, throw a handful of links in, and seal up.

Let baby shake to their heart’s content!

  • Make a stacking game on a paper towel holder

Magical Mama Blog 8 Things to do with Lots of Links Linkies Link chain ring

If you have a freestanding paper towel holder in your kitchen, pull the paper towels off and show baby how to stack the links onto the rung.

If baby doesn’t quite have the coordination to stack yet, put the links on for them and let them pull them off.  Makes them just as happy!

  • Set in Jello for a dig

Magical Mama Blog 8 Things to do with Lots of Links Linkies Link Chains Jello Dig

Magical Mama Blog 8 things to do with lots of links linkies link chains jello dig

Prepare for a mess.  Make a batch of Jello in a big dish and throw some links in and around so some are poking out and some are floating inside.  Put in the fridge to set.

(I used a bit of washi tape in order to have some of the links stick out.  They will float flat on the top if you don’t, which is fine, I just wanted to give her a challenge to dig in there!)

Either set out a dollar store plastic table cloth or put them in the tub and have bath time right after.

Let baby tear through the jello to get to the links.  There will be a mess, but they will be immensely proud of themselves and you don’t have to worry about them eating their sensory play!

  • Make link drop bucket

Magical Mama Blog 8 Things to do with Lots of Links Linkies Link Chain

This is one of my daughter’s favorite toys.  She pulls it out at least 3 or 4 times a day.

I simply took a coffee canister once it was empty,

gave it a soak and a wash,

traced a big rectangle into the lid,

cut it out with an Xacto knife,

sanded it to make sure it was safe for little fingers

and we’ve played with it multiple times per day since then!

We call it the “putting away” game…I’m trying to pass on my love of cleaning to her at an early age!

She carries it around by the slot on top like it’s a purse!

  • Baby Proofing

Magical Mama Blog 8 Things to do with Lots of Links baby proofing linkies link rings

If you have handles on your cabinets, you can throw a link or two onto them and BAM!  They’re baby proofed!

  • Do a color sort

Magical Mama Blog 8 Things To Do With Lots of Links Linkies Link Chains Color Sort

When baby starts recognizing the different colors, you can place a colored piece of paper on the floor or get out some Tupperware out.  Show baby some samples of color matching and let them give it a try.

Once they’re good at it, it can be a busy activity to keep them amused while you do something else!


If baby gets sick, you’ll want to sanitize these links, check out my post on Toy Disinfectant Spray and Wash.


Magical Mama Blog 8 Things To Do With Lots Of Links Linky Ring Toys

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How I Earn Money From EBATES Every Day

Magical Mama Blog How I Earn Money From EBATES Every Day

How I Earn Money From EBATES Every Day

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

Ahhh the lovely age of online shopping!  Raise your hand if it’s saved your life on more than one occasion!  (Every single person raises their hand)

When I was pregnant and on maternity leave, I was one of the laziest people on the planet.  It went from running out for a few things a couple times a week to hitting the grocery store twice a month and relying on Amazon Prime to get me anything I needed within 2 days delivered to my door.

THEN I found out about EBATES…shopping on Amazon and other popular stores online that I already do… then getting cash back…literal cash back in the form of a check or PayPal!

No fees, forms, catches, or signing up for e-mail subscriptions…just cash!

Now, I am one to try to get everything from Amazon for the ease of timing and shipping…but when I began to see the percent of cash back (Up to 10% cash back or more!!) I could get by going direct to these companies online…I was sold!
Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

How does it work?

Simply sign into EBATES,

Go through to the category you’d like to shop for,

You can refine the stores you’re looking for or specific products you’d like to locate,

Click on the store name to see coupons and promotions

Click Shop Now and EBATES will assign you a shopping trip number and will redirect to the online store

Buy what you want

The cash back will be added to your EBATES account the next day!

Is it only online?

NO!  You can check the categories under “In Store Cash Back”

Find “Hot Deals” along the top menu for deals on free shipping, gift cards, BOGO and more!

Do you ever purchase and not end up getting cash back?

That is possible.

Each company sets restrictions on what will qualify to get cash back.

For example, when you go “Shop Now” for Amazon, it will tell you the qualifying departments that can get you cash back.

The best way to avoid not getting your cash back is to click on the store, go through the coupons to be directed to exactly what will get you that cash back plus other savings from the coupons, THEN click on Shop Now.

Is it just for unknown stores I would never shop at?

Below are just a FEW of the thousands of online stores that give you cash back through EBATES!

(Because I am a mommy blogger, these are all specifically from “Babies, Kids & Toys”… and this isn’t even half of the selections from this category!  You can get cash back from basically ANY store online!)

Note: Cash Back percentages based on February 2018

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back


Yes, you heard it!  You can get CASH BACK from your go to online shopping spot!  I am literally on Amazon every day…yes, every day… no judgement here!  Up to 3% cash back for the qualifying purchases made on your shopping trip.

Aden & Anais

Those gorgeous baby blankets, burp cloths, swaddlers, bibs, and more can earn you 3% cash back!

Babies R Us

Snag 1% cash back while you shop for your baby essentials!

Buy Buy Baby

2% cash back on all of the luxurious baby accessories at Buy Buy Baby.  This could save you big on some registry gifts for the expectant mom on your list!


Get coats for the entire family and grab 2.5% cash back!


This is my go to shop for my baby’s wardrobe.  Now, I can get some cash back on those precious little outfits that my baby will outgrow overnight…and I can use that 2.5% cash back to buy her more clothes she’ll grow out of.


Need to stock up on arts & crafts supplies?  School supplies?  Take a whopping 5% cash back from Crayola!

Discount School Supply

2% cash back on all of the Elmers glue you need to make enough slime for the whole class!  Cash back for the insanely specific list of things you were given for the next school year?  YES!


YES!  You can get 1% cash back for all of those one of a kind pieces you find on Etsy!

Fisher Price

2.5% cash back on all those toys and those huge play sets!


One of the baby meccas!  Strollers, car seats, high chairs, play yards, swings?  All of your baby needs could earn you 2% cash back.

A whopping 6% cash back for the Halloween costumes that will probably be worn once!

The Honest Company

4% Cash back on diapers, wipes, baby washes & more at the Honest Company!

JC Penny

3% cash back and they always have great coupons.  They have Carters and other baby brands that are usually on clearance PLUS cash back!


Keds for the whole family plus 4% cash back!

Kids Foot Locker

3% Cash back on all of those shoes that they are constantly outgrowing!


Kohls always has a ton of coupons plus 3% cash back.


2.5% cash back on those evil foot-breaking toys that invade the hearts of children!

Melissa & Doug

Melissa & Doug are taking over the toy market.  Their gorgeous and simple educational toys and wooden puzzles are a pleasure to have in your home…especially when it earns you 4% cash back!


2% back on all of the bottles, pacifiers and teethers you can get your hands on!

Oriental Trading Company

This is my go to for party supplies.  Grab the little goodies for the while class for the next holiday celebration.  It some times takes a few weeks to arrive, but shipping has only gotten faster over the years.  Grab 2% cash back on top of the already amazingly priced goodies.

Osh Kosh B’Gosh

2.5% cash back for all the little overalls you can get that sweet baby!

Skip Hop

Skip Hop has some precious baby gear…half of my Amazon baby registry was stocked with Skip Hop diaper bags, bath tub accessories, and toys…2% cash back on all of it!

Things Remembered

6.5% cash back!!  If you’re wanting to get something personalized for your spouse or a grandparent, get a good quality product and a whopping amount of cash back!

Vista Print

3% cash back for those baby announcements, Christmas cards, and personalized photo gifts?  Yes, please!


Up to 7% cash back plus a ton of coupons!  Get all of your health essentials for your family plus a TON of cash back.


Up to 10% cash back…yes, you read that right 10%…AND it’s almost every single department!  I am not a fan of going to Walmart…but for this kind of cash back…Hello Walmart online!


5% cash back! When I was pregnant, I was on Zulily every single day for Maternity wear and cute, one of a kind baby outfits.  If I had been getting 5% cash back, I would have been on there 3 times a day!

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

Refer & Earn

Oh yes!  You don’t have to spend a cent to earn!

When you sign up for EBATES, you’ll get your own code to refer friends.

If you refer someone with your links, they sign up, and spend at least $25…

you get $15 cash back and they get $10 cash back!

Free money for everyone!!

Be sure to get your friends signed up and shopping quick!  You usually have about a 3 month window for your referral period!

If you sign up through my link below, you’ll get your $10 cash as soon as you spend your first $25 on a qualifying purchase. Score!

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

Once you get your $10, send your referral link to friends and get them cash back while you collect some as well!

Get this app on your phone, put it on your internet browser on your computer, bookmark it…Start visiting sites through EBATES.

Look through every category!  Everything you need could be earning you money with no work involved!

Save up money for vacations, get gas money for the kids, start a savings account, start a college fund.  It may only be a few dollars at a time, but with the amount of online shopping that is possible, it can ADD UP!

Get yourself over to EBATES and sign up for free and start earning today!

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

Magical Mama Blog How I Earn Money From EBATES Every Day

Magical mamablog how this mom earns money on ebates every day

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How To: Make Baby Hairspray

Magical Mama Blog How To Make Baby Hair Spray

How To: Make Baby Hair Spray

It is inevitable.  Your baby’s hair will suddenly spring up like weeds and overnight, they will go from a balding Benjamin Franklin…

Magical Mama Blog How To Make Baby Hair Spray

…to a troll doll….

Magical Mama Blog How To Make Baby Hair Spray

You want to tame the static, fly aways, and emo hair chunk in their eyes…but alas, your straightener and your hair products aren’t exactly designed for pure little baby hair.

Then you sit there after bath time brushing those teeny tiny tresses trying to decide if you want to…

go through the dreaded first hair cut,

chase them around and wrap their precious hair into microscopic plastic rubber bands,

attempt headbands, bows or barrettes that will definitely end up coming off of their heads in two seconds,

or you can let them go around looking like a little ragamuffin.


Fear not!  There is a way to tame their wild hair without any harsh chemicals or products!

I present to you:  BABY HAIRSPRAY!


This magical concoction will keep baby’s hair mostly in place throughout the day and easily washes out in the bath with no residue, skin irritants, or hair damage!

And you probably have tons of the two ingredients in your kitchen right now!

What you’ll need:

1/2 cup water

1 tsp granulated sugar

Spray bottle


…You read that right…sugar water…

Believe it or not, this is not a new fad.  Sugar water to tame baby’s hair has been around for generations!   Go ask grandma if she did it or knows someone who did!

Magical Mama Blog How To Make Baby Hair Spray Hairspray Toddler Tame Control Products

Make that baby spray!

Boil the 1/2 cup of water.

(or put 1/2 cup of water into a glass measuring cup and microwave until you see it bubbling…I used this method because I’d much rather wash a measuring cup than a pan)

Add in your 1 tsp of sugar and stir until it dissolves into the water.

If it is freshly boiling, the sugar puts on a small fizzley show for you and disappears almost instantaneously.

Pour your sugar water into your spray bottle.

(I grabbed this little spray bottle that fits the whole recipe perfectly in the Target travel/mini section within the beauty department)

Spray away.

Does it work?

This stuff is fabulously gentle and keeps hair out of baby’s eyes and pretty in place.


Magical mama blog how to make baby hairspray messy hair sugar water spray bottle


Magical Mama Blog How to Make Baby Hair Spray Hairspray Baby Toddler Tame

Obviously, if your child has their hands in it all day, it won’t hold well.  But out of sight, out of mind.  If their hair isn’t tickling their forehead and ears and is out of their eyes, they may be able to focus on other things.

As your little one gets older, you can add more sugar for a stronger hold.

I have had no experience with the spray going “bad” from age.

The great thing about this spray is that it is so gentle, it won’t irritate their little heads or damage their hair.

Enjoy exploring all the new hair styles you can create!

Magical Mama Blog How To Make Baby Hair Spray

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24 Diaper Changing Hacks All Parents Need To Know

magical mama blog 24 diaper changing hacks all parents need to know tricks tips life saving life changing diaper changes

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24 Diaper Changing Hacks All Parents Need to Know

By the time your child reaches a year old, you’ll be an expert.  You will have changed approximately 2,500 to 3,000 diapers (according to experts and many experienced mamas out there).

There will be horror movie scenes that you will live through.  You will get poop on you.  You will get peed on.  There’s really no escaping any of it… but if I can give a few helpful tips to keep in the back of your mind along the journey, that can’t hurt!

Magical Mama Blog - 24 Diaper Changing Hacks All Parents Need to Know

  • Have the next size up on lay away

Your baby can literally change sizes over night.  Even if your baby is a few pounds away from stepping up to the next size, have at least a small package around…you’re going to need them eventually anyway.

You will reach a time when you will have constant blow outs…either up the back or out the legs.

Unfortunately, if you’re experiencing blowouts up the back, you can go up a size, and it will come out of their legs…the only option you have at this point is to try switching brands for a different shape or waiting it out and having lots of extra outfits ready.

(This applies mostly to Preemie, Newborn, Size 1 and Size 2… once you get into size 3, you’re usually good for about a 10 pound window of their life)

  • Size up at night

If you’re getting up every morning and…

  • your little one’s pajamas or bed are wet
  • the diaper’s wet indicator has reached some kind of magical color you haven’t seen before
  • your baby’s diaper is huge and weighs a ton

…it is time to size UP at night.

If your little one is sleeping for longer periods of time (or even through the night…woohoo!), they’ll be missing out on several diaper changes.  They’ll need more storage to get the moisture off of their skin so they don’t get diaper rash.

Magical Mama Blog - 24 Diaper Changing hacks All Parents Need to Know

  • Know the secret of the envelope sleeves!

Most onesies come with magical double folded fabric on each shoulder that can be opened up and rolled down.

If your baby has a blow out up their entire back, you don’t want to try to maneuver all of that mess over baby’s head.

Fold the top piece of fabric back, the bottom piece of fabric forward, pull their arms out, and pull down.

Cheers to all the Dads I just saved from the first blowout mess!

  • Use the onesie to your advantage

If you have a particularly handsy baby, unsnap the buttons at the bottom and roll the onesie up and encase their arms into a little onesie straight jacket.  Voila!

  • Newborns won’t cry when they’re wet

Newborns have been hanging out in liquid for a few months.  A wet diaper doesn’t bother them too much.  Newborns are known to have about 10 wet diapers per day.

Checking them every hour or two is a good habit to get into as it can keep their sensitive little bums from diaper rash.

  • Babies need naked time

Nothing is better for preventing and treating diaper rash than a little naked time.  All of that moisture constantly trapped in there with friction is just asking for a rash!

Check out my blog on 7 causes of diaper rash and 11 cures!

  • Diaper under diaper

Especially in the first few months, little ones will feel a cool breeze and things can spew out of both ends with serious projectile force.

Your safest bet is to:

  • Open up a new diaper & place it under baby’s current diaper
  • Carefully open up the diaper that is on them
  • Clean up and prepare to use it as a shield just in case
  • Remove the dirty diaper
  • Place baby’s bum safely on the new clean diaper waiting beneath

This will save you countless changes of clothing and changing pad covers.

  • Ruffles out

Those extra little ruffles of fabric that surround baby’s legs?  They tend to naturally fold in because that is how they are packaged to be compact.

PULL THEM OUT!  They are meant to be on the outside so that the elastic can be as close to the baby’s legs as possible to prevent blow outs!

  • Extra wipes for boys

Boys tend to put on water work shows during changes.  Instead of investing money in a useless “pee pee tee pee”, throw a wipe over his business and you’re safe.

Some people put clean diapers on top…and that’ll just waste a ton of diapers in no time. Unhook his dirty diaper, throw a wipe on top, give him a few seconds, then continue on changing.

  • Keep bags in your bag

Diaper bag necessity: a handful of sandwich bags.  It’s always when you’re at your baby-less friend’s fancy house when your baby decides to make the nastiest mess in their britches.  You’ll want to be able to seal that up as to not frighten those around you with stench.

It’s also handy if your little one has a blow out when you’re on the go.  You can get them into their fresh change of clothes and contain the mess until you can get home and soak those clothes.

  • Have a car stash

Make a stash with a few of baby’s current size diapers and a few of the next size up, an outfit in the next size up, wipes, and cream. I suggest having things up a size so you don’t go to use your kit in an emergency and have everything be unusable.

I suggest getting a sealed box if possible (a plastic tub with locking lid).  Cars over heat and freeze and you don’t want your wipes and cream to dry out on you!

  • Have a mobile stash

Props to you if you’re willing to take baby to the changing station in their room 10 times per day…but for most of us, it’s just not realistic.. especially for those with multi-level homes!

Have a basket or bin in a few different rooms with at least diapers and wipes. It will save your sanity and your energy.

  • No need to waste a diaper

You’ll find out that you have some kind of hidden Superman strength after a few hundred diapers have been changed.  You’ll rip off an entire tab and render a diaper “useless”…fear not!  It doesn’t have to be this way!

Place a second diaper underneath baby.  Wrap it around the ripped diaper and secure.  When it comes time for the next change, simply clean baby and remove the inner diaper and you have a clean diaper with tabs still intact already in place!

  • Don’t waste money on a warmer

Diaper warmers…while it sounds so nice to not have anything to shock baby’s sweet bum, it’s unrealistic.

If you’re on the go, there will be no warmer, and baby will have to go through it just like everyone else has.

You can easily hold a wipe in your hand for 10 or 15 seconds and get the chill out of it.

Magical Mama Blog - 24 Diaper Changing Hacks All Parents Need to Know

  • Get set up before you start

This may sound like common sense, but go ahead and double check your stash before you get started.  When you’re nesting, I’m sure there were hundreds of diapers and wipes at the ready…but move down the line a year later, you won’t be so on top of it 100% of the time.

Make sure you have enough supplies and that it is within easy reach…at one of these diaper changes, baby will roll over, crawl away, stand up, and eventually run away…you’ll want to have at least one hand to keep them there.

  • Check your changing area

Babies are curious by nature.  Check that wires, heavy objects, boxes, bins, displays, etc. are all far out of arm’s reach.

Those arms grow quickly and they’ll be able to squirm into trouble before you know it.

  • Prepare to wrestle

Once your baby is rolling over, they’re going to be in explore mode.  The stationary diaper changes are mostly of the past.  There is no great way to stop them.  Just prepare for it.

  • Let your toddler help

Your baby will start doing a lot of monkey-see monkey-do.  My child adores getting her hands all up in the diaper changing business trying to figure out what I’m doing down there.

If baby is wanting to see and do…give them a wipe (after you’re done actually wiping) and let them get some practice in…go ahead and see if this helps the potty training stage!

  • Get a changing station buddy

Get a toy or two that are specifically for diaper changes.  Something preferably plastic that can be wiped and sanitized if it gets messy…which it likely will.

We give our little one an old remote with no batteries in it.  She is fascinated with the remotes in the living room and she is not allowed to play with those.

This becomes a treat and then she is distracted for a few moments while we get the changing done.

  • Get the sticky off without wasting wipes

When you are in the hospital after baby is born, the nurses may advise you to add some warm water to the wipes to help scrape the mess from that sweet little bum.  Though it works, I am hardly ever changing the baby and able to run over to the sink and wait for warm water.

Have some baby oil on hand.  You can even put it in a spray bottle mixed with a bit of water.  The stickiest of meconium doesn’t stand a chance against it!

  • Make a dirty football

Master rolling a dirty diaper from the front to the back with one hand.  Re-secure the tabs on your newly formed dirty-diaper-football.

This prevents baby from getting hands and feet in the mess as well as it accidentally slipping onto the carpet or falling out of the diaper genie.  Save yourself.

  • Let toddlers be on the go

If it’s just a wet diaper, try your skills at a standing diaper change.

Some days, you’ll go the extra distance to avoid a screaming, wrestling diaper change.

  • Get a Baby Bum Brush

This gem!  I don’t know how people went so long without inventing this beauty!  You can check it out on my blog about 15 Amazon Products all First Time Parents Need

Diaper cream needs to be spread liberally to work properly and when you’re doing it by hand, it ends up more on your hands than on your baby’s bum.

The bum brush applies even and thick, wipes clean, and keeps your hands as clean as possible!

If you’re not about the bum brush, grab a wipe and wrap it around your finger.  Then apply from there to save your hands.

Even if you have a diaper shower or register for diapers, you’ll wind up with Newborn, Size 1 and maybe a few Size 2.  My child has already used more of Size 3 than the rest combined.

Amazon sends me bulk amounts of diapers to my door. That’s right…to my door!  Diapers are never on my grocery list and there are never any late night runs to the store!

I can change the size, amount, and delivery date as needed.  It is magical!


If all else fails, talk to them, sing to them, make funny faces, point out what each body part is called as you put their head and arms and feet though different articles on clothing.  They can sense fear, anxiety and anger.  The more relaxed they are, the easier it will be!

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Happy diapering and may the odds be ever in your favor!

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How To: Make Edible Yogurt Play Doh

magical mama blog how to make edible yogurt play doh dough silly putty toddler baby activity

How To: Make Edible Yogurt Play Doh

You’re trying to get something done and your toddler is running after you, screaming for your attention… Sound familiar?

No worries!  Take 5 minutes to mix together 2 ingredients that are already in your kitchen!

My child is a hungry hungry hippo, so she will put anything within arm’s reach straight into her mouth.  When I want to give her something to amuse her for a few minutes, I need to make sure it’s taste-safe.

Luckily, all you need for this recipe is yogurt and cornstarch!  Both, taste-safe ingredients make for a fun, attention grabbing activity that your child can do in their high chair while you get things done.

I’m not going to write a few hundred words that you’ll simply scroll through in order to get to the recipe!  Here it is!

What you’ll need:

2 containers of baby yogurt (a little less than 1 cup)

1 heaping cup of Corn Starch

magical mama blog how to make edible cornstarch play doh dough silly putty toddler baby activity

Throw both ingredients into a bowl and mix until well combined.

If your dough is crumbly, add yogurt.

If your dough is sticky, add corn starch.

It’s just that simple and it makes a ton!

magical mama blog how to make edible yogurt play doh dough silly putty toddler baby activity

You could easily cut the recipe in half if you want to save ingredients or you have the feeling it will end up on the floor.

It keeps well for a few days in a ziplock bag in the fridge.

magical mama blog how to make edible yogurt play doh dough silly putty baby toddler activity

It has a great smooth and rubbery texture that is great for sensory play!

magical mama blog how to make edible yogurt play doh dough silly putty baby toddler activity

magical mama blog how to make edible yogurt play doh dough silly putty toddler baby activity

Give it a try and see how your kiddos like it!

magical mama blog how to make edible yogurt play doh


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Celebrate the Olympics with your Family

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Celebrate the Olympics with your Family

The time is quickly approaching for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.  I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait the two years from the Summer games to the Winter games!

My husband and I plan out our watching schedule and root on our teams in our favorite sports.

The games will take place February 9th through February 25th.  While you’re rooting on your favorite athletes, why not get your kids up and moving? Nothing excites kids more for sports and competition than the Olympics.

While they’re up and excited, why not make some fun family activities? Here are some fun ways to bring the Olympic games into your home!

Opening Ceremony Party

Have each member of your family create a flag out of card stock to represent them.  Assign each member of the family a color and use that to represent them through your games.  Grab some card stock and dowels.

Parade around the living room or backyard to fun music. Have the kids work together to come up with an opening ceremony performance.

Get out the craft supplies and have the kiddos construct an “Olympic Torch” that can be passed around and displayed while the games are in session.

Turn it into a research project.  Ask them, what games were in the first Olympics? When did they divide it into Summer & Winter games?  What are the world records for medals?  When did the Olympics take place in your country?


Grab some medals to hand out at each event.  Be sure to pick out events where each kiddo can succeed.  Grab some or make some out of salt dough or chocolate coins.

Winter Olympic Games to Play

Figure Skating

Head to your local ice rink and rent some skates for a few hours.  Show off your moves to one another. Grab some score cards, let each family member perform, and work out a fair scoring system.

Speed Skating

Dust off your roller blades and take the kids out for a spin.  Many bike shops or even toy sections of stores will have a beginner set for your little ones to learn.

Make sure they have on safety gear and use some cones to mark out your rink and race away!

Ice Hockey

Grab some brooms and a ball and go out into a field, mark off goals with your cones and let the kids go wild.


Take the kids to the backyard or a local park.  Set up cones for them to sprint, then have a nerf gun or water gun (depending on weather) and targets at the end of their foot race.


Grab some big chunks of cardboard from the garage and find a local park with a big, grassy (and safe) hill.  Set up a finish line and let the kids run and slide feet first or head first (whichever makes you feel safer).  You may consider the safety gear above for the less coordinated kiddos.


Human curling! Grab this fabulous slip n slide and set it up in your backyard.  Set up cones on either side and see which kiddo can get the closest to the target.

Skiing / Snowboarding

If you’re near mountains that have some fun resorts that you can visit, go snowboarding or skiing. If your kids are experts on skateboards, have them teach you how and try out a race.

Closing Ceremony Celebration

Adorn yourself with your earned medals, throw out some Olympic themed snacks and decorate with some flags and quiz the kids on what country belongs to which flag.

Throughout the games, encourage the kids to do some research on the countries they don’t have much knowledge about.

During the viewing of the closing ceremonies, ask them what continent each country is in or one interesting fact about it.

Summer Olympic Games to Play


Create a balance beam by balancing one long wooden board on some smaller boards on each side.  Have the kids show off some skills and create a fair scoring system.

Rhythmic Gymnastics

Grab some spools of ribbon and cut and tie some onto the dowels you grabbed for your flags.  Turn on some music and have the kids choreograph a dance.

My sister and I had ribbon dancers when we were little and would put on performances and teach ourselves fun tricks all the time. Try it with hula hoops or a small ball as well!

Synchronized Swimming

Head to your local swimming hole, community pool, or your own pool if you have it.  Grab a waterproof speaker and turn on some music while your family tries out their graceful water dance moves.


Have some lap races in the pool and work on the different strokes your kiddos can do. Set up a kiddie pool or a large container with water and have each family member pick a rubber ducky.  Use water guns to push your rubber ducky past the finish line!


Head to the local swimming hole (or your back yard if you have a pool).  Let the kids try out the diving boards, slides, or just have them jump from the edge of the pool and (safely) make up some tricks to show off. Bring those score cards along with you!


Grab some pool noodles and have the kids duel it out while you have no worries about anyone poking their eye out!


Let the kids try out their target skills with some suction-tipped nerf gun fun!

Canoe Sprint

Take a drive to your local lake or marina.  Rent a canoe, get some exercise, then have a fun little race.

Road Cycling

Head out for a family bike ride.  For the younger kids, try out a park path or big flat parking lot.  For the older kids, try a more natural environment for some off-road biking.


Head to the hoop in the back yard, your local park or YMCA to have a few hours of shooting hoops.  If your little ones aren’t ready for an actual game, try an inventive game of HORSE.


Find a local volleyball court and head out to play a few rounds of beach or indoor volleyball as a family.


If your kids are ready for a little fight (without actually fighting), set up a ring and break out the sock ’em boppers!

Table Tennis

Grab a table tennis set on Amazon and turn any table into a sporting zone!


Your local parks and recreation should have a public facility where you can go play a few rounds of competitive tennis as a family.  Get your kiddos decked out with sweatbands and let them run and grunt just like the pros!

Long Jump

Tape out a measuring system and give each member a few tries to jump the farthest without falling or stepping.

Javelin Toss

Grab a handful of straws and place out some bowls or painters tape along the ground and score on how far your little ones can throw. If they’re not up for straws, let them try paper airplanes.


Have a wonderful time with your family, cheer on your country’s athletes, and enjoy yet another  inspiring season of unity and friendly competition at the Olympic games.

magical mama blog celebrate the olympics with your family activities amazon fun cheap games

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