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!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Get crafty at Micheal's

I am always on the look out for free/low coast activities, Like Lowes Build and Grow. Well I just found another store that is catering to the kiddos, Micheal's. They have a bunch of Easter, Earth Day, and Mother's Day Make and Take events coming up. Some are with purchase but some are FREE. So find you local Micheal's and give them a call to see if the event is going on in your store!

Plant Pals will grow on you!

When I was a kid, we used to take frozen O.J. cans or soup cans, wrap paper around them and decorate them as people. We then planted grass seed inside to grow “hair.” I used to love cutting my people’s “hair.” Well Disney’s Family Fun site gives a twist to my childhood craft and I like it!

They are called “plant pals” and you basically do the same thing I did as a child but with a clear cup. Why do I think this is better? Because you can see the roots!! How cool is that!!?!? You can still cut the “hair” or put bows in it, but I can’t wait to do this with my son because we can talk about how grass grows from seeds and we will be able to watch the action!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cool Crayons

Just wanted to share this neat site with you guys. Colorful Creations sells the cutest crayons ever!

And right now they are offering a special where you can get 2 FREE sets of crayons. You do have to pay shipping and collect up all your old broken crayons, but come on, what where you going to do with all those old icky crayons anyway? Throw them away!?!? NO!! Send them to Colorful Creations and get back something your kids will love. So go check it out. They have so many designs to choose from.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Make sure you hide your stash very well!

I keep what I call a “stash” at my house. A bag full of things I pick up on discount, at the dollar store, or wherever. I have everything from books, craft supplies, and little toys, to games, building kits, and a million other things. Why might you ask do I hoard stuff? Cause you never know when you might need something. For example, a long car trip, bad day at school, or a dreaded snow day. It was on a recent snow day that I hit my “stash” and pulled foam swords and pirate eye patches for a pirate day.

Now that you know what a “stash” is (and I hope you make your own “stash”) I want to warn you on hiding your “stash.” My kid is 4 and knows mommy can make cool stuff appear without going to the store. He has taken to looking in my room, often, and he found my “stash.” He took liberty with 4 building kits I had picked up at Michael’s for a buck a piece, and decided to not only build them in the middle of the night but to PAINT them too!

While he had a great time and was very proud of himself, I was disappointed. He only destroyed $4 worth of kits, but mommy clean paint out of the carpet for over an hour. He taught me a very valuable lesson that day, HIDE YOUR STASH WELL. My words of advice are this, have a “stash” and hide it VERY well or you never know what you might wake up to. LOL

Contest Time!!!!!

As you know, here at MAD Family FUN, we sell nothing, which I think is awesome. MAD Family Fun is all about sharing information and having cheap fun. So I thought what better way to share and have fun then to have a craft contest.

I believe in teaching my son to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. So that is going to be part of this contest. So here are the RULES: You MUST use either a toilet paper or paper towel tube in your craft. That’s it, simple. Please make your craft and upload a photo of it to the MAD Family Fun Facebook page with your directions for making it. JUDGING will be done by MAD Family Fun “friends.” Photos will be collected into an album for people to vote on by hitting the “like“ button. You may enter up to 5 different craft ideas. Ideas must be posted to the Facebook page no later then April 27.

PRIZE: Well of course there is the honor of winning the first ever MAD Family Fun craft contest and the awesome bragging rights! Isn’t that enough? LOL I promise there will be a little something more. Remember I don’t sell anything so the prize will come out of my own pocket. Let’s just say it will not be a million dollars but it will be Fun!

Simple kid friendly crafts are the best. Here are some examples of things we have done.

Pirate paper towel tube                                                Pirate toilet paper
spotting scope                                                               tube parrots

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Start planning your April fool's pranks!

Do you love to pull pranks? Is there a little naughty in you? Well get ready to be mischievous! April 1st is coming up and Disney' Family Fun site has some awesome ideas to trick folks with food. My personal favorite is the mashed potatoes. Our son hates them! LOL So guess what he is getting for dinner that day. Hope he heeds mamas words that you should always try 1 bite of everything on your plate.

Ice Cream "mashed potatoes" with carmel gravy!!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Join the Great American Backyard Campout!

On June 25 tens of thousands of people across the nation will gather in backyards, neighborhoods, communities and parks to take part in a one-night event that will provide a memorable experience for all generations, a night of old-fashioned fun outdoors. Great American Backyard Campout is family fun with a purpose: helping American kids benefit from outdoor time.

I am not doing this to raise money, though if you want to donate to the National Wildlife Federation, they are a good cause. I am doing this to encourage people to get out and have some FUN!! So join us, well maybe not in person, but in spirit, from wherever you may be, and camp out!

MAD Family Fun has started a “team” for this event and I encourage everyone to join in. When you get to the team page you will see the blue join team link. Why join? Because you get access to tips, songs and stories, recipes, and games and activities. So get registered with the MAD Family Fun team for the Great American (or wherever you may be) Backyard Campout!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Hidden Gems in your own backyard!

We have lived in our area for just over 8 years now. Today we visited an amazing place so close to home, yet we never knew it was there! We found out about this place while attending another event and I am so glad we did. What is this magical place you might ask? Well I’ll tell you, it is Critchlow Alligator Sanctuary!!!

We had met the owner at the before mentioned event, where he had brought some of his alligators for the kids to learn about. Mr. Critchlow’s wonderful personality enchanted our son so much, he talked about him for weeks. I had picked up the sanctuary’s business card at the event, so when our son said he wanted to have “the best day ever,” I pulled it out and said, let’s go!

Not only did we get to see alligators, turtles, snakes and lizards, but we all got to HOLD baby alligators! Mr. C as he is called, was educational and entertaining. I just want to say, he is amazing with kids.

We also got to go out to the “greenhouse” and see the bigger alligators (3 ft and up.) Mr. C taught our son how to call alligators and even let him feed them!

I know only some of you are from Michigan and even fewer of you live close by, but if you are ever near Athens, it is well worth the money (which was only $3 a person during the winter months) to stop at the sanctuary. So why am I telling you all this?

Because we all have hidden gems in our backyards! It is amazing how having fun can lead to more fun. One event opens the door to another adventure. So keep your eyes and ears open. Talk to strangers! LOL Who knows what wonderful hidden gems you might find!

And I just want to add, we can’t wait to go back this summer because not only do they have the cool Mr. C and his awesome animals, they have mini golf too!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Hear the silence?!!?

It is so wonderful to spend time together as a family. But you know what can be just as nice? “Me time” for momma! I have been blessed with a whole day kiddo free!!!

My husband loves to home brew and his friend has 5 boys. So, since our son is one of those dreaded “only children” it is a wonderful chance for him to get some good old fashion kid time in. While daddy is brewing, our little man is running wild! I have had reports of leaf pile antics and the joy of rolling down a hill over and over. And I have cleaned the house! It no longer looks like a twister hit. So as I sit here in my very quiet and clean (which I know will not last) house it reminds me that having individual fun is healthy too.

While we may not be having fun together today, we are all still having fun. And that makes for a happy family!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Chicks and bunnies

You know when spring is coming because ever TSC store and feed mill has baby chicks for sale. Tonight we took our son over to TSC to "visit" the animals. They had a variety of baby chickens, some ducks and even some baby bunnies. Our son totally LOVED getting to see and pet them. The staff was very nice and it was FREE.

We did not bring anybody home, though I would have loved too. We tried the chick thing last summer and well, our dog ate them. :( He couldn't jump up on the couch but he managed to jump the fence. So for now, we just visit and love on the animals at the store. So if you're out and about with your family and see a TSC store, swing in and check out the wildlife! LOL

In loving memory of Peep and Tweet,
you were wonderful friends.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

GOLD in them there mailbox!!!

Remember a loooong time ago I said when we got to 50 fans I would tell you how to get some gold from Alaska? Well folks we made 50 (and then some!) So here it is...the secret gold LOL

My son and I did this and it was so neat. Just go to Felix Paydirt's Gourmet Gold and fill out this form. Mail it off with your 2 stamps and they will send you gold. They want you to buy their dirt of course, so they send you a sample so you might buy.

When David got his little bag of dirt he was beyond excited. And yes, there was a few flakes of what I assume were real gold! Make your child's or anyone else's day and send away for your Alaskan "paydirt."

Top O’ The Morning To Ya!!!

Well it is St. Patrick’s Day and I hope you are wearing your green. My 4 yr old reminded me with a pinch! I informed him I have GREEN EYES. LOL

So does anyone have plans? We do! When my son gets home from school, we will be building a new Leprechaun trap. I just picked up some gold chocolate coins to fill it with when he goes to bed tonight. We are also have corn beef and cabbage with red potatoes for dinner. And I picked up the cutest little shamrock cake at the store bakery. It should be great fun for all.

Well I must be off, I have to pick the boy up from preschool. I think he will love his shamrock shake I got him at McDonalds!!!

Friday, March 11, 2011

National Wildlife Week, fun and educational!!!

Held annually since 1938, National Wildlife Week is NWF’s longest-running education program. And now it is simpler then ever to have fun and learn. They have a sign up for "educators" to receive free stuff and lesson plans.  I don't know about you, but I am the educator in this family, so I signed us up. They have a great "kid's" page with coloring pages, games, puzzles and more. So take a minute to check out this wonderful and fun resource and Enjoy National Wildlife Week!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Play Doh is FUN

One of my favorite childhood toys was Play Doh. So today while I was out I spent $2 and got a 4 pack for the family. Sure I could have made some at home, but I will admit, I love the smell of the "real" stuff. I also wanted to do something educational today so I visited the Play Doh website and found some very interesting things, lesson plans! You can have fun with the play doh while teaching your children, and they don't even know it! Talk about evil genius!!! Thanks Play Doh......I am off to make an alphabet zoo with my son!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

St. Patrick's Day traditions

You don’t have to be Irish to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day! At our house we have lots of fun with this holiday. My husband, who is a wonderful cook, usually whips up a traditional dish, and I as the mom add the “magic” to the day. We usually decorate with shamrock garland and leprechauns, but it doesn’t stop there. We have a St. Patrick’s Day tradition…the visiting of the leprechaun.

A few days before St. Patrick’s Day, the leprechaun, starts to leave clues. Like green water in the toilet. I just added a few drops of green food coloring. My son actually got mad at this one, because he said “the leprechaun needs to flush when he is done” LOL!!! But it all leads up to trying to catch the leprechaun.

We used a coffee can, but you could use anything, like a tissue box. We covered it in green construction paper and decorated to look like a “nice place for a leprechaun to rest.” We put a hole in the lid and a rock we covered in gold glitter inside. Our son checked it every morning in hopes of catching a leprechaun. On St Patrick’s Day my son was rewarded not with a leprechaun but a nice chocolate gold coin, which you can get at most grocery stores. He was beyond thrilled and started planning next years capture right away! LOL

So have some fun, add some magic to life, and make your own traditions. Because trust me, when the water turns green in the toilet, my son KNOWS the leprechauns are back!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A sappy adventure continues..........

So we decided that this year, we were going to try and make some maple syrup. Okay, now I know what your thinking, are they nuts, LOL, umm maybe! I figured I would share our little adventure with you, not necessarily encouraging you to go tap a tree, but to realize you can have fun doing just about anything! Maybe a family garden this summer or putting together a fish aquarium. You can learn and have fun as a family doing just about anything.

So here is the start of our adventure.....

Soft but firm pipe cut to make taps, pop bottles and milk jugs hung with coat hanger wire to collect, and a 5 gallon bucket to dump it all in. That is all it took to get started! In 1 day we got over 2 gallons of sap!

We combined our sap with a friend's and boiled it down. Did you know it takes 40 gallons of sap for 1 gallon of syrup!

And here is the first of our finished syrup! It is so yummy. Our french toast was amazing! The trees are flowing and to date we have collected around 30 gallons of sap!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Books are yummy!?!? Yes!!

March is reading month! We love to read here at the MAD Family. My son's preschool is doing a reading challenge and I asked if I could help with the fun. So, I get to not only go in and read his class a story, but I am taking along a bunch of little bookworms. These are so simple and sooooo cute! Just some rice krispy treats, fruit roll ups, and a little bit of your time. Why not make up some for your little readers or heck, yourself!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

BOGO Fun!!! Yummy ice cream!!

Now I know it is still winter and some of us are so cold we can't see straight but here is a wonderful deal to have some fun. Go on Baskin Robbins on Facebook and "Like" them. Then click on the coupon where you can Buy 1 Baskin Robbins cone and Get 1 FREE!! (It is a few posts down.) What child or adult for that matter wouldn't have a little more fun in their day with a yummy ice cream!