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!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Animal Planet



I know many of you love animals and love playing games, well does Animal Planet have the site for you! Yes, there are games for all ages and quizzes too, but I had to laugh when I found the "adopt a parasite" game and the "pimp your pet" games! So click on over and have some fun, I know I am having a good giggle!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Moo-ville fun!


There is a wonderful place in our neck of the woods,  Moo-ville. This weekend they held their 6th year anniversary and of course we had to go. No really, we had to, David had so much fun at the celebration last year we HAD to go again!!

Moo-ville is a dairy farm and creamery. They are family owned (their children are some of the nicest and hardest working kids you will ever meet) and grow all their own feed for the cows! They produce not only milk, but cheese, ice cream, yogurt, and more.



For the celebration they had inflatable bouncy houses for the kids on top of the activities they always have, like the play area and petting zoo!


They had amazing deals on all their ice cream they make including an all you can eat ice cream sundae bar for $4 and all you can drink root beer floats for $3. Our family did the float!!! Dad said the $1 hot dogs were awesome and very large. The boy and I enjoyed our small ice cream cones. Oh I must add, Dad also tried the bacon ice cream!! Ummmm, no comment from me, but he seemed to like it!

Of course we needed to know where the milk came from to make our wonderful ice cream and for just $1 each, we loaded up on a wagon ride and headed to the farm to find out. We learned all about how they raise cows and got to meet some of the fine "ladies" who make that milk!

Think he is excited?
Checking out the ladies who make the milk


Now I know, once again, not everyone lives near me. But what I am trying to do is inspire you! Go online and search, see if you have anything like this in your neck of the woods. Trust me, it can be fun, educational, and yummy!



Words to live by

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Wolf Lake, FREE and fun!!!


We were looking for something fun to do and we came across Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery. Now I know some of you might be thinking, what the heck!?! Well in Michigan we have lots of water and the DNR helps keep those bodies of water stocked with fish that have for various reasons, such as over fishing and habitat destruction, been impacted. There are only 2 visitor centers at hatcheries in this state and we are lucky enough to live near one.

The interpretative center is beautiful and the displays are interesting, educational, and hands on! The staff was amazing and the grounds had a wonderful pic-nic site with tables.

Looking at fish scales
Learning how to grow a fish










We picked up a "family scavenger hunt" backpack at the front desk. It came with a list of questions, binoculars, bird id book, band-aids (just in case) and a 2 way radio (just in case.) We headed out to complete our hunt and had some wonderful adventures. Upon returning the backpack and our hunt, we were rewarded with a very nice nature poster.

One of the highlight of the hatchery is the "show pond." Each visitor is give 1 token for food to feed the amazing fish in the pond. Let me tell you a tip, bring quarters and lots of them!!! Feeding these fish are fun!!!


While on our scavenger hunt we saw lots of wildlife. This place is a bird watchers paradise and they even have a bird watching platform on the grounds. We enjoyed hearing the bull frogs located near there.

Goose with young


At the bird watching platform
Turtles (there were also muskrats near here)


If you go, make sure to take the hatchery tour. It is not only educational but very fun. We learned how they collect the eggs, hatch them and rear the young fish.

Explaining how they get the eggs
Where they hatch the eggs



The baby fish

I know this sounded like an odd outing but trust me it was fun. If you don't live in Michigan, try looking up your DNR and see if your state has a fish hatchery. I promise it is well worth the visit!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

FREE ice cream

Walmart is having an ice cream social this weekend!!! On May 28th from 5-9pm you can go have a free sample of Edy’s ice cream topped with Nesquik’s Chocolate Syrup and Reddi-wip, while supplies last. Find a participating store near you.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Do NOT buy ones of these!!


Two things my son loves, Diego and dinos. So when he ask, no begged, for this “My First Dino Digging Kit” I said sure. I mean it says it is a hands-on learning kit after all. Oh my, this thing was a nightmare!!!

First we did the “easy” snap together glow in the dark dino. Now tell me, that’s a T-rex right?


WRONG!!!! That is not what we got. I was wondering why we were having such a difficult time till I realized our kit had a Brachiosaurus!!!! And it did not “snap” together. Thus I broke out the glue. Disappointing.

So next we moved on to the block you were supposed to excavate and find dino bones. Now, the kit say ages 4-8, but even I was having a hard time scrapping away the block. Then as David was working a bone out, we heard a loud *CRACK* as the piece broke!!! Well by that point, little man was so beyond disappointed that we just soaked the block in water till it dissolved. There were other broken “bones”, maybe they happened during shipping to the store, I don’t know. So as my HIGHLY disappointed son sat on the couch, refusing to participate anymore, I was stuck to clean, dry and glue together this crappy dino.

Now the box also included 3 grow and shrink dinos. David didn’t want to do them. I don’t blame him. I fear they will either do nothing, or grow so large as to break the glass we try to grow them in!!! What was meant to be a super fun learning experience turned into the morning from you know where for both of us. So if your child asks for one, or you see one and think “that would be cool to give to…” DON’T!!!! Save yourself and others from the dino kit!!!! Turn and walk, no run, from the dinos!!!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Give-A-Way!!!!

On you mark, get set, GO!!!!!!!

You have 24 hrs to enter! Everyone who comment on Facebook under this post saying "I wanna win." will be entered! Just that simple. Oh you do have to be a MAD fan (you know the "like" button) but if your seeing this you already are!!


So.....well.... What are you waiting for? You know you want to win a MAD Family Fun Pack!

I will draw one random name from everyone who comments "I wanna win" and post the winner tomorrow (5/24/11) at approx noon eastern time.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Campfire in a can


Is it raining? Do you live in an apartment? Or maybe you just can't wait for the Great American Backyard Campout!!! Well now you don't have to!! You can roast marshmallows anytime, with campfire in a can, aka Sterno.

You can get Sterno cans just about anywhere. They are normally used for keeping serving trays warm or in fondo pots, but they also make a great source for roasting marshmallows. Kabob sticks make the perfect mini roasting stick. So why wait? Roast a marshmallow today and get into the summer fun!

***edited to add***
Hubby said "remember not to set it on the table." LOL Hmmmm had not thaught of that but the can says it too! So put you can on a plate!!! Safety first people :)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Free events are awsome!

THANK YOU TIRRELL FARMSTEAD!!!


What is fun? The "Spring Fling" at Tirrell Farmstead!! We headed out there today for their event and had an awesome time! As we arrived they were shearing a sheep. They let all the little ones (and us kids at heart) come up and pet the sheep and feel the wool.

Check out a sheep getting sheared!
video




We also got to watch them milk the sheep. All the kids got to try putting their finger in the milker to feel the suction! Tirrell Farmstead takes the sheep's milk and makes their own cheese!!! They make it right on site and have a cute little store where they sell not only the cheese, but soaps, meat, eggs, crafts, and more!


They also had a game of cheese rolling going on! David got 10 ft, Mom got 48 ish feet and Dad is the "Cheese Chuckin Champ" of this family at about 55 feet. Yeah Dad!! Best of all it was real cheese so our hands smelled yummy after playing!


There was a petting zoo and David made a new friend. The Eaton County Farm Bureau had radish and corn seeds for the kids to plant and take home and there was the wonderful surprise of a FREE lunch! I'm sorry but nothing beats a beautiful spring day, eating grilled burgers and dogs while siting on a hay bale listening to sheep.


Davd and his new little friend
 
Planting seeds


The wonderful folks who served up a yummy lunch

Pets you don't have to feed? ROCK on!!!


How stinking cute are these guys!?!?! I saw them in an e-mail from Disney's Family Fun and you can make them too! Of course we never do any thing just like the instructions say, so skip the spoons and use paper. And you don't have to just make turtles. Let your imagination go. Here is one we did!

A butterfly


Friday, May 20, 2011

Today is Endangered Species Day



What do all these and so many more animals have in common?
They are endangered species!


So why should you care? They are not in your backyard, or maybe you don't think some of them are cute enough to care about....well check out who is endangered in YOUR backyard!

But now your thinking "what can I do, I am only one person." One person can make a difference! Why not tell Congress and the President that funding fish and wildlife conservation must be a priority. Why not send friends and family a FREE e-card. Making others aware is something anyone can do. You could also change your facebook photos in support for the day.

But the easiest thing you can do, if take your kids outside and enjoy nature. If it is raining, read them a nature book.  Here are some endangered species coloring pages you can print off. Fostering compassion for nature in our children will make all the difference in the world!

So what are you doing this Endangered Species Day???

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Gas is fun!!!



Yes, I am talking about farts and gas. At our house farts are funny, yes I live with boys! So I thought we should learn all about them. This book is VERY informative on the whole matter! LOL

Then we did an experiment with gas. We put vinegar in a soda bottle and baking soda in a balloon, when combined they make a chemical reaction that produces gas. We did it a few times and found the more of each the bigger the balloon got. We also sniffed the gas in the balloon try to figure out if it was a meat eater or plant eater (you have to read the book!) So, get to your library and check out this book and then make your own farts at home!



Our "fart" experiment
video

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Cruise Directing 101 - Be prepared!!!

Summer is almost here. Many preschoolers have graduated or will be doing so this week. Older kids will be out for the summer soon enough. What to do with them!?!?! BE PREPARED!!! In my other cruise directing posts I have mentioned how to get a calender going, how to find events and so on. So today I want to talk about being prepared.

Now I know you can not plan every minute of every day, and who would want to. But what you can do is have a general idea of what to do so your not caught with a child who wants to do something and your left scrambling. Like at our house this summer, each day of the week will be different, like math Monday, science Tuesday, etc. Now I am not going to plan like I am a school teacher but lets say on Monday my son wants an activity, well I will do something with math. Maybe take a walk and count flowers or make cookies (recipes are a great way to learn fractions.)

Another way to be prepared is to keep an activity bag in the trunk of your car. Have some snacks, a blanket, a few toys (like kites.) This is great for when your out and about and see an awesome park to play at.

Get a membership somewhere. We have one at our local zoo. It makes it nice when we just need a break from the backyard fun. Not only does it keep cost down in the long run, but special events at the zoo help break up the everyday grind.

Summer is almost here, so do a few things now to be prepared so your not pulling your hair out in a few weeks with children who are claiming to be bored!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

275, 300, 325 and more????


All righty there my fun friends...I want to give away some fun stuff. Sooooooooooooo, when we reach 275 "likes" I will put all the people who "like" MAD Family Fun in a drawing and pull one lucky winner to get a surprise prize pack!!! 300 "likes" I will do it again. 325 "likes", well you get the picture right? LOL So tell your friends, tell your neighbors, heck tell strangers, because I really, really, really, want to give prizes away!!!! So go "like" us one facebook!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Make candy with science

Here is a fun link that will not only teach you how to make your own rock candy, but tells you the science behind how it works. A very cool experiment for all ages. So get going, check it daily, and have fun!!!! Yummm!

Neat paper dolls

I tend to look for things that interest MAD Family members (boy stuff), but I know there are a lot of little girls out there too! So here is a neat link to make some cool paper dolls!!! Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Get ready to celebrate Cinco De Mayo!!!!!


The holiday of Cinco De Mayo (the 5th of May) is NOT Mexico’s Independent day. It celebrates the victory of the Mexican militia over the French army in The Battle of Puebla in 1862. It is mostly celebrated in the Mexican state of Puebla and in the United States. What was once a celebration spontaneously created by Mexicans and Latinos living in California at the time as a show of support for defending freedom and democracy during the Civil War has turned into a day of celebrating Hispanic tradition. So now you know what Cinco De Mayo is, right?

So how do you celebrate Cinco De Mayo? Well around the MAD household we do it full force just like anything else!! We have decorations we got at Dollar Tree to make the place festive. You could serve up some chips and salsa. Or if your feeling feisty, you could make Polvorones a.k.a Mexican sugar cookies.

2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup butter or margarine
Preheat oven to 300 F.
In a bowl, stir together flour, sugar and cinnamon.
Cream butter with a beater.
Add flour mixture 1/2 cup at a time to the butter while still beating until it is all incorporated.
Use a teaspoon to spoon out small pieces of dough and shape into a cookie.
Place on ungreased cookie sheets and bake 25 minutes.
Optional: sprinkle warm cookies with sugar and cinnamon
Makes 24 cookies




How about playing a fun game of Pin the tail on he donkey??? Click here to find the donkey. And here are the printable tails! Maybe coloring a picture is more your speed. Why not try this one.


Maybe your super crafty like we are. Well do I have some fun craft for you to try.........


A paper bag Pinata!!! (2nd one down)









Make your own tacos and tostadas. They suggest using foam but we just used paper.
                      What about a make your own paper lunch bag maracas!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Amazing Free wetland CD-ROMs


You know me by now, I love FREE and I love educational fun!! Well I hit the mother load on this one!! The  CWPPRA or The Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act, has a site that offers these free materials on the Louisiana waterways. I ordered both of the CD-ROMS and was actually VERY surprised by the content. The MAD product tester has to be pried from the computer because he was just having way too much fun playing the games. Shhhh, don't tell him he was learn.

The material is divided up for different age ranges and the lesson plans provided are awesome. There are not only games on the CDs but also printable stuff too. I can not put into words how cool these are, so just go order your family a set for FREE.