magic 

Playmobil Magic Castle and Royal Carriage

A royal treat: the Magic Castle play set. Credit: Playmobil
Break out the tea and crumpets -- we've got royal wedding fever and we're not afraid to spread it on to our kids.
And, really, what little prince or princess wouldn't want ...

How Santa Travels the Whole World in One Night

When you were a kid, did you ever ask your parents how it was possible to visit every house in every country all in one night (you know, except for the homes of those who were naughty)? Perhaps they came up with something clever to tell you, like tha...

Do Shy Kids Ruin Nativity Plays?

My response to that is, well, what's NOT to be ruined about nativity plays? I can't stand them, myself, and I was raised Catholic (so you'd think I'd be all about them). I probably feel this way because as a child in Catholic school I was relegated ...

Do Your Kids (Still) Believe in Santa Claus?

Do your children still believe in Santa Claus, if they ever did? Do you? I bet not. It seems every generation is less and less inclined to believe in jolly old Saint Nick. And I can understand why. His outfit, for one thing--it's totally outdated. R...

How old is too old for trick or treating on Halloween?

My father, who's birthday is on Halloween (lucky guy!) would tell you that you're really never too old to celebrate Halloween. His love for the holiday is probably the reason Halloween is my favorite day of the year. That said, we've all opened ou...

Raising self-esteem is magic

Learning magic tricks is more than just good fun and manual dexterity; it turns out it raises kids' self-esteem as well. Researchers at the University of Hertfordshire in the UK assessed the sociability and confidence of fifty ten- to twelve-year-old...

Teacher accused of being a wizard

One of my favorite teachers back in high school was Mr. Dorchester. He was a little quirky and absentminded, but he made studying history fun. He was a new-agey kind of guy who often drifted off subject with incredible tales of his own travels and ex...

My memories of santa

I don't know if you celebrated Christmas in your household when you were a kid, or if you gave particular attention to Santa Claus, but I certainly did. I loved Christmas as a kid and still do, even though let's just say I've stopped listening for ...

Half Magic, by Edward Eager

Before there was Harry Potter, there were the books by Edward Eager. In some ways, they are quite dated -- how many people here know what a davenport is anymore? -- but beyond that lie timeless adventures that will excite children of any era. I read ...

Tools for cool dads: Magic

I'm always on the lookout for ways to make my kids think I'm cool. Kids think magic is cool. Well, actually, pretty much everyone thinks magic is cool. Of course, magic isn't really, well, magic; it's all about distraction and deception. If you know ...

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