MAD (Mindie, Adam, Alex, David) Family Fun is the result of friends and family asking "How do you find so much fun stuff to do?" So, I decided to share with everyone! There are no BIG secrets involved, I promise. I just have a knack for finding fun and now I want to share it with you!

MAD Family Fun is a place to find activities, events and ideas to have more fun with your family. Enjoy!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Groundhog good enough to eat!

I love the NWF website for wonderful kids stuff. I found this last year .... it is a Groundhog you can eat! I do plan to modify it to fit what we have on hand but I am sure it will turn out just as yummy and cute. Here are also some fun facts about groundhogs you may or may not know!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Making cartoons come to life!

Does your child LOVE Mickey, the Wonder Pets, Dora, or as in my case the brand new Bubble Guppies? Could they watch them all day? Yes, but why not turn off the T.V. and have a little MAD Family Fun instead.

Bubble Guppies has only been on 1 week, with 4 episodes at this point, so what’s a mother to do? There are no dolls or board games of them yet. Plus who wants to spend all that money on toys that can go out of fashion as quickly as they came? Search the Internet for free things! Bless Nick Jr. for knowing I would. I was able to find make at home trading cards, color pages, puppets and more!

We have already made the trading card together. I just printed off the color pages for him and I made these wonderful puppets for my son. I covered them in contact paper because I KNOW they are going to get plenty of use for a while. So the next time your child wants MORE of their favorite cartoon friend, search the net, get crafty and turn that T.V. off.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Free online children's storybooks

First I want to say THANK YOU to one of our fans, Tiffany, for bringing this to my attention! Thanks for sharing!

Free online children's storybooks are great for when you can't make it to the library for something new to read. Not to mention, they are education tools! They help improve reading skills and have word by word highlighting. Now how cool is that for a budding reader? Also if you like them on Facebook you can enter to win a free personalized story! Go get clicking and reading.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Is it snowing?

Is it snowing? Yes? Quick, grab a piece of black construction paper and a magnifying glass, bundle up and get out there!!!

Catch snowflakes on the black paper and have a peek. It is so fun to see each of those beautiful flakes up close. When was the last time you took a close look at snow? It can be beautiful and magical. Now go back in, warm up with some hot coco and make your own snowflakes. You will need coffee filters and scissors, that's all.

Fold the coffee filter in half. Fold it again, and again till it looks like this:

Now cut shapes into the edges. Triangles work well but get creative.

When your done and unfold the coffee filter you will have a one of a kind snowflake that never melts!

Get into the mood

Valentine's Day is coming, so why not get into the mood! One of my favorite sites for quick and easy crafting and fun is Disney Family Fun site. Check out the coloring pages, crafts, dot to dots and more. Have a little fun getting into the mood.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

YOUR National Parks

Have you ever been to one of our National Parks? They are amazing places! And they have so much more to offer then just a visit. Many parks have Jr. Ranger programs for children to help them explore and enjoy. Can’t make it to a National park, no worries! You can become a Web Ranger. Not to mention many parks have their own Park Fun Sites with all kinds of activities like dot to dot, matching, mazes, picture search and the list goes on. So take some time to “visit” your National Parks.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Exciting changes at MAD Family Fun

I just wanted to let everyone know there have been a few exciting changes at Mad Family Fun Blog! We have pages now! LOL I know, a simple thing, but something to check out. I have added a Cruise Directing 101 page for quick reference so you don't need to scroll through all the posts. I have also added, drum roll please, a page for Fun in your state. A quick and easy list of links to help you start having more fun! So check out the additions and look for more in the future!

Monday, January 24, 2011

My dirty little secret

I have a secret, I am a Dollar Tree junkie. It has to be my all time favorite store for fun. Give me $10 bucks and I start itching to go to Dollar Tree. Why you might ask? Have you ever been in one!?!?! If not here are some reasons why Dollar Tree is amazing (other then the fact every thing is a dollar or less.)

1.) Holidays - They carry some of the best stuff for throwing a party! From paper products to holiday specific themed items. They have decorations, stickers, candy, toys, lol EVERYTHING. We celebrate Cinco De Mayo at our house. No, we are not Hispanic, but because Dollar Tree carries stuff for it and it is a great way to learn about other cultures!

2.) Craft items - I love, love, love the fact I can stock up on items for my Craft Box at Dollar Tree. They have so much stuff! Not just supplies, but sometimes they carry kits. We have made our own Christmas hats, Easter magnets, and more.

3.) Teacher stuff - We pick up lots of wonderful things in this row, like workbooks, flashcards and posters. My son is 4 and has already started to read. Now I am not saying Dollar Tree did that but they had the tools for me to use with my child.

4.) Gifts - Need a quick gift for someone? Well? Okay now wait, I don’t want you to think I am a cheap gift giver! LOL But as an example: I bought a beautiful Christmas pin and a darling dish towel. I made a homemade loaf of bread and “wrapped it” with the towel and “tied it” with the pin. Now tell me you wouldn’t have liked that gift?

5.) Household needs - You can get all sorts of stuff. Cleaners, plastic wrap/bags, spices, etc. You can also get awesome containers for organizing you house or maybe starting a Craft Box.

6.) Toys - Ever need something to distract you child on a long drive? Or maybe a little pick me up kind of thing? Dollar Tree carries lots and lots of little toys. I keep a stash on hand for special moments like these.

Oh I could go on and on but I think you can see I am a Dollar Tree junkie! If you have never been to one, find you local Dollar Tree. They have so much stuff for family fun!

Cruise Directing 101 - The craft box

How many times have you seen a craft and thought “oh let’s do that” but then you realize you need to pick up a few supplies. How many times have you ACTUALLY gone out and got the supplies and done the craft? This is the reason every house should have a craft box. A box of supplies, on hand, so the next time you see a craft to do, you can! But what to put in it? Well here are the basics of my craft box….

1.) Glue - Stick AND Elmer’s type, because while glue sticks are great for less mess, they don’t always stick what you need!
2.) Paper - Both white and construction
3.) Tape
4.) Scissors
5.) Markers, crayons and paints (with brushes)
6.) Popsicle sticks
7.) Pipe cleaners
8.) Stapler
9.) Hole punch
10.) Paper clips
11.) Rubber bands
12.) Wiggles eyes
13.) Brown paper lunch sacks
14.) Stickers
15.) Yarn

I have added many other things to it over time, like cotton balls, ribbon, glitter, empty baby food jars, etc. But to get started I suggest the list above, after that, use you imagination! I have put in things like old Christmas cards we get to use the pictures off the fronts.

I know, now your saying, “but I don’t want to spend a ton of money!” Well then DON’T!!! I will share a secret with you, Dollar Tree is an awesome store for family fun. Everything is a dollar or less and you can find almost everything on the list there. Heck, you can even find a nice container there to store all the supplies in. So get that craft box together, because I am going to start posting some fun crafts to do!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Barnes & Nobles - something for everyone

Here are some more FREE events to take advantage of….Check your local Barnes & Nobles store! They have something for everyone. My store had things like children’s story times, writer support groups, coffee tasting, holiday events, and knitting and crocheting night. So check it out and see what your local store offers!

Cruise Directing 101 - Check your local paper

Having a hard time knowing where to look for fun events? There are a few sources to find the fun. First is your local paper. Not the big USA Today paper but your local little paper. Penny Savers, Shoppers, Advisor type papers. The smaller community papers tend to cover more “human interest” stuff. I get up to 3 a week (and they are FREE) from various communities around us. I look for festivals, classes and the like. Just as an example, this week I found in my local papers:

Free art exhibit at a local college
Free day at an area children’s museum
$35 basketball program for 3-7 yr old at a rec. dept.
Free Good Life Nutrition Program with kid activities like a “veggie hunt”
Free PJ story time at a local library
Free Ice sculpting festival with kid activities
Free Beekeeping program at a local library
Free “Tip Up” festival with kid activities. (For those of you who don’t come from the frozen north, a tip up is a type of fishing equipment used to ice fish! LOL)

Now I will not be doing all of these, but I will be doing a few of them for sure. So get your hands on your local papers! You never know what you will find!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

NWF Makes fun for kids!

The National Wildlife Federation offers wonderful education magazines for kids. How do I know? My son has a subscription to “My big backyard.” I can’t say enough about this magazine. The photos are beautiful. The nature facts are presented in a kid friendly format. There are tons of stories, games, crafts, etc in each issue.

In fact our most recent issue we have already read from front to back, made the mini book, did the maze, sang the orangutan song, and that was in the first 10 minutes! And there is still so much more to do. They always have a Family Fun Guide that can keep you busy making and doing fun stuff all month. I say this is WELL worth the subscription price!

So take a second and go investigate. The website has where you can take a peek inside the magazine. so you can see for yourself. And tell me what kid doesn't love getting mail with their name on it!

Cruise Directing 101 - Let's get organized

As I said in my intro, I am the cruise director for my family. I am the one who seeks out the fun! Do you want to be your family’s cruise director? Of course you do! Trust me, it is not hard, and I will walk you through it.

For today’s lesson, we will focus on getting organized. The first thing you need is a calendar. Paper is fine, but I use my computer’s built in calendar program that way I always know where it is and it makes it easy to add things I find online. The second thing you will need are events to put on your calendar. But where do I find the fun events and activities to add?

There are a few sources to use to "find the fun." The first is friends and family. Get talking! The best way to find out what is going on is to talk to others. Word of mouth is wonderful. Second, check your local papers. You never know what you might find. The third is the Internet, it is also a great place to look. I know I could go on and on about sources of fun, but I don’t want to overwhelm you! Today is about getting organized!

Now for your homework. Oh yes, there is homework! Go get a calendar or set one up on your computer. Find 1 Family Fun thing to put on it! You are now on your way to being a cruise director!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Does your child love books?

                                          Just some of the books we have gotten!

One more great FREE thing for the kids who are birth to 5 years old! We all know who Dolly Parton is. Now here is one more reason to know her and what an amazing woman she is. It is the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. The Dollywood foundation partners with communities to provides children with a FREE book every month from birth till age 5! There are no income requirements. Dolly Parton just wants to share her love of reading with everyone. What an amazing gift to you and your family. So click the link and see if your community is part of the Imagination Library.

I know my son loves to get his book in the mail every month!

Time to Build and Grow!

Here is a wonderful FREE activity for your kiddos! It is Lowe's Build and Grow Clinic. About every 2 weeks on Saturday morning they have these. Now I know it says recommended for 1st-5th grade age kids, but my son started last Mother's Day at age 3!

Why, besides the fact it is FREE, should you take your kid to Build and Grow? Well there are a few reasons 1.) They learn how to follow instructions 2.) Read a "blue print" 3.) Use a hammer (yes as you hold the nail they WILL hit your fingers LOL) but the most important of all 4.) They gain confidence and joy from making something themselves!!!

Let's go to the zoo!

Let's go to the zoo! It is about 10 degrees out here in Michigan, but why not go to the zoo! Don't worry, you don't even have to leave your computer. One of the wonderful things about the age we live in is the "virtual visit." There are many wonderful zoos and many of them now have web cams. One of our family's favorites is the National Zoological Park. We love to catch a glimpse of the naked mole rats. Come on, who doesn't love a naked mole rat!?!?

Not to mention you can have even more fun on these site because they usually have a Kid's Corner, club or activities that are FREE. An example is at the National Zoo they have the Conservation Kids' Club. There are coloring pages, puzzles, crosswords and more! So make a day of it and go the zoo!


First I want to say hello and welcome! My name is Mindie, I am a wife and mom. I take both jobs very seriously. You might say I am the cruise director of this family! It is my job to bring the fun. I have had friends and family tell me time and again, "you do such wonderful things with your son" and "where do you come up with all these ideas?" So I decided instead of telling each person one at a time, I would blog it for the world to enjoy. Why shouldn't every family be having more fun!?!?!

I have a million ideas to share but I don't want to over load people or myself trying to share everything all at once, so I have decided to go at this one day at a time. So if your ready, so I am! Let the fun begin!!!!