Winter Wins - How to Stay Active (and Sane) Indoors!

Posted on January 11, 2016 by Mary Harper Dick | 0 comments

Ahhhhh!  With Christmas over and all the holiday excitement gone, we are left with just winter…cold, short days where the kiddos can’t get outside to release all that exuberant energy.  How can magical moments happen when kids are too wild and unable to properly release their energy and parents are going crazy trying to handle it!?!   Here are a few fun suggestions to pull out in times of extreme need that may be able to infuse some fun and magic into a cold, wintry day!!

Indoor Obstacle Courses!

By simply using things you have around the house you can create a fun and challenging obstacle course that will help kids expel some energy.   Here are some ideas for your courses:

  • Use string to make a laser course
  • Gather items that get progressively taller to jump over
  • “Mountain Climb” up the stairs
  • Walk backward and/or forward on a straight or zig-zagged line
  • Using only paper plates to stand on, slide across a rug or a carpeted room without falling
  • Tip-toe across a room
  • Do a number of jumping jacks
  • Do zig-zag hops on either side of a string or a jump rope
  • Do forward rolls
  • Crab walk
  • Using tape, make circles or squares to use as a hop scotch or have kids take large steps into

You can make your course large or do many small ones.  You can time your kids or see how many challenges they can complete.  Either way, your kiddos will love being challenged and getting out some energy.



Dance Parties!

My kids love to dance.  If I turn on some good music and promise to take a video of their awesome moves, they will dance their little hearts out - releasing all sorts of energy along the way!!



Play “Action Add-On”

This is a memory game:  The first player does an action; the next player must do the action of the first player and then add on his/her own action; the third player then does the actions of the first two players in order and then adds another action.  The game continues until someone forgets one of the actions in the series.  And then you start again!!

Bring back a classic game - Twister!

Twister is a game I played and loved as a child.  I have had so much fun watching my kids enjoy this game as much as I did as a kid.  It is a great way to challenge your body, stretch out muscles and help children learn colors and the difference between right and left!  Plus, it is just fun!

Have fun and stay active…for mom and dad’s benefit as much as your child’s!!


I love hearing from you!  Email me at or leave comments below!

Posted in Parenting Wins!

I believe in Magic!

Posted on January 07, 2016 by Mary Harper Dick | 0 comments

I believe in magic!

No, really!  I truly believe that childhood is and should be a magical and carefree time.  All too soon, a child will have to grow up and face the seriousness and at time, unpleasantness of the real world.  I love the idea of taking every opportunity to make their little hears soar with the magic of being a child!


So, in my home, we partake of every magical delight we can. We build traps for leprechauns, search for the Easter bunny’s eggs, love the tooth fairy, build a spooky graveyard in our front yard for Halloween can’t wait for Santa every year and are looking forward to the Poo Poo Fairy coming to our home to potty train my youngest daughter, Elsie!  We believe in princesses, wizards, Jedi knights, elves and everything in between; and I cherish every memory we share as we partake in all this magic. 

I believe in magic!  I believe in the power that it has to bring joy out of sadness, to make an ordinary day feel extraordinary, and to stir the imagination and inspire!!  That is what it did for me as a child and that is what I hope it does for my kids!

So, I say, dream on and hope our kids never stop believing!!




Ssshhh!  Sleeping Beauty is sleeping!


Halloween Spooktacular!


Back to school party!


Spending the day with a Ninja Turtle and a Unicorn!

Posted in Mary's Epiphanies

The Poo Poo Fairy - How It All Began!

Posted on January 04, 2016 by Mary Harper Dick | 0 comments

Hello!   Seeing Paulina and her world of Helper's Hollow come to life has been such a joy and an honor for me -- not to mention just a fabulous adventure!  As a young girl growing up in Utah, I had a very active imagination and loved anything whimsical and magical.  I put that imagination to good use and began writing poetry and stories at a very young age.  Oh, how I dreamed of becoming a real author one day.  I feel so blessed to have had that childhood dream be realized! 

I am excited to have this new spot to share all my thoughts and stories, and what better way to start off Mary's Corner than with the story of how it all began with me and the Poo Poo Fairy! 

Paulina, the Poo Poo Fairy, made her first appearance in my house many years ago as I embarked on my very first potty training adventure with my oldest daughter, Jane, who was two at the time. She is now eight!  I had read books on the subject of potty training, had watched for the signs that Jane was ready, and psyched myself up mentally for the challenge.  Needless to say, I felt thoroughly prepared to begin.  To my great shock and dismay, my first attempt was a dismal failure…and I do mean DISMAL!  Jane became terrified of pooping on the potty and would do everything in her power to hold it in.  This, of course, made her terribly constipated and irritable.   Which, in turn made me terribly irritable as well.

I ended up having to bag potty training, put Jane back in her diapers and pathetically try to teach her how to, again, poop in her diaper.  I even had to use tootsie rolls and her favorite stuffed bunny as visuals.  I am sure you can imagine the rest!  So, instead of making progress with Jane, I took two steps backward and ended up with a very grumpy household!   I had no idea potty training would be such a miserable experience for Jane as well as for me!  Before my next attempt, I was quite determined to make potty training less horrible and even fun, if I could manage it. 

This is when Paulina made her first grand entrance.  I told Jane that the poo poo fairy was going to come and help her learn to use the potty.  Jane knew that Paulina, her special fairy, would be watching her and would reward her when she tried hard and even more so when she had success!  My sweet husband (always willing to go along with my crazy ideas) would stand outside the door playing fairy noises on his cell phone and would then toss a chocolate chip under the door every time Jane would give her best effort.  And when she finally succeeded, Jane would be thrilled to run out to see the prize left by "Paulina."  Throwing this tiny bit of magic into the process made it so much more fun, and we ended up having great success!

Paulina was so helpful with Jane’s potty training adventure that I naturally decided to use it with my son Beckham.  Instead of tears and struggles, Beckham did amazingly well, and it became an activity our whole family (including Jane) could help with and enjoy.  Upon witnessing the success the Poo Poo Fairy had when helping to potty train my children as well as my nieces and nephews, I decided that Paulina could certainly do the same for other children as well.  I began to share the "Poo Poo Fairy" with anyone and everyone encountering difficulties like mine.  I have been awed by Paulina's ability to make potty training a more delightful experience for other children and their parents.  I am so excited to share her now with all of you!


Posted in Potty Training with Paulina!