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!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Mickey and Friends Fouth of July Flag

Check out this super cute flag from Disney! They are so easy to make. Just print of the flag and follow the included directions. You will need a "small wooden dowel" for this craft but who wants to go to the hardware store for a dowel? Just use something of similar size like a a twig from your backyard even!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Barnes and Nobles summer reading program (kids can get a FREE book)

Check out the Barnes and Noble's summer reading program for kids! It is simple and fun and your child can get a FREE book! Our son's school sent home a Reading Journal but you can get yours here! Print off your journal, have your child read, visit store for a free book, so simple!

Step 1. Read any 8 books and record them in the Reading Journal (PDF).

Step 2. Bring the completed Reading Journal to your local B&N store.
Find a Store.

Step 3. Choose a FREE BOOK from the selection on the Reading Journal list at the store... Enjoy reading!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


I so can't wait for this to hit our local mom and pop theater! We love our mom and pop because of the great prices, so we have to wait a little longer to see things. Brave looks like a winner. It is set in the highlands of 10th centery Scotland. The princess, Merida, defies an age-old custom, causing chaos in her kingdom. A girly girl she is not and that is what I love about this storyline. I think it is great to have an action movie with the girl as the hero! Check out the trailer .......

Here are some tie in activities you can print and do before going to the movie. The kit includes recipies, mazes, playsets and more. Have a Brave party before you go to get your little ones excited!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Hold your own animal olympics

This summer the Olympic Games are once again being held. Why not get in on the action by holding you own animal olympics! No I don't mean actually make your guinea pig lift weights, I mean learn about animals and try competing using their skills!

Can you walk like a bear? Can you leap like a frog? This is a great way to get kids physically active and have some fun! So check out the Animal Olympics and go for the gold! 

Making memories

Be it a day trip or a week of vacation, this handy printable will give your child the chance to not only practice their hand writing and thinking skills, but to create memories to save. Parents can collect up each sheet and at the end of summer combine them into a book so the child will have a truly unique item that will remind them of all the great times they had this summer!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Summertime coloring printables

Do you have a Dora fan? Or maybe a child that just loves to color? Check out this 5 page printable, Dora Summertime Coloring Pack. Give them something to do so you can take a mini break!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Get Crack-a-lackin!

They're BACK! That's right folk, Alex, Marty, Gloria, and Melman are still trying to get back to the Big Apple and this time they find themselves in Europe. All the reviews point to another great movie.

You can check out all the fun on DreamWorks Madagascar 3 website. Here you will find videos, downloads, games and more.

And if you really want to have a crack-a-lackin good time, check out this party pack we here at MAD had the opportunity to use to party down via Crowdtap. This thing is jam packed with activities including a zebra cake recipe, face painting ideas, masks, games and more. So party Madagascar style! We would love to see photos and hear about your version of a Madagascar 3 party!

Ocean in a bottle

This craft is fun, easy, and best of all doesn't cost much as some of these things you might already have in your craft stash. So what do you need to make an ocean in a bottle?

Bottle (we got a 3 pack at Micheal's for a couple dollars but you could recycle a water bottle)
Acrylic paint
Paint brush

The first step in this project is to paint the outside of your bottle with images of seaweed and fish. Makes sure to let the paint dry before moving on to the filling process.

Once the paint is dry it is time to add in the sand (we used colored sand) and glitter. You can get these into your bottle easier by rolling up a piece of paper to use as a funnel.

Last step, add water! Put the lid back on and give it a shake. It is like a snow globe for the summer. Children will have a good time making and playing with their ocean in a bottle.

This post is part of....

Friday, June 22, 2012

Mythical creatures

Check out these super cute printables from Disney's Family Fun! Your kids can make their very own Mythical Character Playset! Who doesn't love unicorns, fairies and gnomes!?!?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Passport to Imagination (Tue, Thur, Sat)

So did any of you go to the first day of Micheal's Passport to Imagination? We did and had fun. The theme was Australia and the Fun Tester made this cute stingray! The kids also made a pin of the Australian flag to wear.

Today's theme is Mexico and the Fun Tester can not wait! Before we go we will be learning about Mexico and Monarch butterflies.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

National Ice Cream Soda Day is today!

Ice cream sodas were invented by Robert Green in 1874 during Philadelphia's sesquicentennial celebration. Legend has it that Mr. Green added vanilla ice cream to the soda he sold after he ran out of ice (though Mr. Green claims he had dreamt up the innovation prior to the event). Intentional or not, it was a delicious way to keep the sodas cold, and they were an instant hit. Green was so proud of his creation that he even had the phrase “Originator of the Ice Cream Soda” engraved on his tombstone!

These days, there are many delicious variations of the original ice cream soda, including root beer floats, Boston coolers, and purple cows. To celebrate National Ice Cream Soda Day, all you need is soda, a few scoops of ice cream, and a straw! Have Fun!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Great American Backyard Campout is June 23

Saturday is the annual Great American Backyad Campout! You can join in by camping in your backyard, a park, campground or even your balcony. You don't have to register and raise money for NWF, you just need to get out there! If you do register you get access to all sorts of fun ideas, recipes and more. (And no you do not have to raise money.)

We did the Great American Backyard Campout last year and had a great time in our backyard. So be brave and get out there, if not for yourself, for your children. They will have a wonderful time and great memories!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

He's "J-ing!!!!!"

The Monarchs at the Gerald Eddy Discovery Center

On our recent mini vacation we visited the Gerald Eddy Discovery Center near Chelsea, MI. While we were their we got to see some Monarch Butterfly caterpillars. We were then told that if we could identify and bring back some milkweed plant we could adopt one of these little guys in their Monarch Buddy program.

Our new buddy!

Well by now you know that we here at MAD are some nature lovers and we could not miss out on this free and exciting offer! So we adopted out little friend and brought him home with us from vacation. I must admit, I never new how much a caterpillar poos. That’s right, no need to reread that, I said pooed. This little guy makes a lot of it for something so small!

We adopted him on a Thursday and six days later he has chunked up! When I went to empty all the poo out this morning I froze. The caterpillar was “J-ing.” He was doing what you ask!!?! “J-ing” is when they hang upside down and relax right before they make their chrysalis. This is VERY exciting, because at the Discovery Center they told us once he is relaxed he can make his chrysalis in under 20 minutes, so don’t blink.

So here I am this morning running around trying to get everyone ready to go to the little Fun Tester’s 4 month well baby check up all the while keeping an eye on Mr. Caterpillar. I so don’t want to miss the “magic moment.” I feel like I should be playing soothing music or something to encourage the caterpillar along.

I am sure Mr. Caterpillar looked at my calendar and planned this so he could be alone. I feel like he is just waiting for us to leave! *Sigh* He would pick today. Here’s hoping …..

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Free Jiffy factory tour is a hit!

Recently, we here at MAD went on a mini family vacation. Our son (6) enjoys watching shows like “How it’s made” so our vacation included a stop at the Jiffy Factory in Chelsea, Michigan for a
FREE tour. You know Jiffy, the little blue box, savior of bad bakers and hero to those last minute requests. After all, I was told Jiffy was invented by Mabel White Holmes, grandmother of the current President, Howdy S. Holmes, because of a male neighbor who made rock hard biscuits.

We arrived a few minutes before the school group we were joining up with so we had a chance to chat with the tour guide Kate, who was so friendly and full of information. Now I just want to let you know, if you do plan on visiting for a tour (which you should) children must be in first grade to go through the factory. Since our newest Fun Tester is not even 5 months yet, he and daddy had to wait when we went into the factory. But I was told not only were they well taken care of, but got to meet the President and CEO of the company! Lucky guys!

Our tour started in a comfy theater where we were provided a yummy (we got raspberry) muffin and a bottle water to enjoy during a brief movie about the history of the company and parts of the manufacturing process we would not be seeing in the factory. You can watch this virtual tour on the Jiffy website. I was impressed how not only our son, but all the kids were enjoying the film. I mean seriously, they took a bus load of children at the end of a school year, on a beautiful day, and asked them to sit for 15 minutes and learn. And they all LOVED it!

After the film we got to go out into the factory and see the magic. It is amazing that during peek production such a modest factory can put out 1.5 million boxes of mix a day! Our Fun Tester loved watching the boxes move along from station to station, going up conveyor belts and over head. At the end of the tour he just had to have a photo of the Jiffy big truck, hair net and all.

We each received a goody bag at the end of the tour too. I was so excited to get some of that yummy raspberry muffin mix (Adult goody bags come with two boxes of mix) as our store doesn’t carry that item. I was also excited to find out I could buy it from the Jiffy online store! The Fun Tester was excited he got to keep the hair net!

While at Jiffy we also picked up a souvenir t-shirt (only $8) for the oldest Fun Tester that said "If you don't know Jiffy, you don't know muffin." I don't know why but it cracks me up every time I read it when he walks by wearing it. On our way to the car our Fun Tester informed me it had been the best day of his life. When I asked him why, he said because he got to visit Jiffy!

If you live in Michigan or are planning on a visit, I HIGHLY recommend a stop at Jiffy.  The packaging and product are all made in the U.S.A.  One woman I spoke to had been a guide there for 35 years and her mother was a guide for 20! Employees don't work that long somewhere unless the company is doing something right.

So go have some laughs, learn a little and have lots of fun at the Jiffy Factory tour!

This awsome adventure is now ABC and 123
abc button

Monday, June 11, 2012

Get crafty and travel the world

Join the worldwide voyage at Micheal's to learn about awesome animals and cool crafts! We are so excited!!!! Their online interactive passport page is amazing! You can learn all sorts of educational facts about other countries and get instruction for making some super cool crafts.

There is also an in-store portion to this summer program with craft events.  I don't know about you but we here at MAD are so there! So grab your passport, check your local store and get your imagination going.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Cloud Appreciation

The long lazy days of summer are here. Why not take full advantage of the lazy days by laying in the grass and doing a little cloud appreciation. Of course there is the scientific aspects of clouds. But there is also the artistic aspect of clouds.

Artistic aspect you might as? Yes, remember as a child watching a cloud and imagining it to be a castle, dog, or the shape of a dragon. When was the last time you took your family out to the yard, laid on a blanket and let your imagination run wild?

In the UK there is even a group called The Cloud Appreciation Society! There are some amazing and beautiful photos of clouds on their Facebook page. It really is worth a moment to peek at.

So the next time your children claims to be bored this summer, send them out to appreciate the clouds, grow their imagination and maybe, just maybe be inspired by nature.

Friday, June 8, 2012

World Oceans Day is June 8th (Today)

June 8th is World Oceans Day. But what does that mean to you? Maybe you don't live near an ocean or have never even been to one...... so why care? Today is the day to find out why. Head on over to World Oceans Day on Facebook and see what you can find.  Why not learn all about our oceans with some FREE lesson plans or check out some of these other fun things......

National Geographic has wonderful photo galleries you can go through to see images of our oceans and the life in it.
The ARKive website is amazing, not only do they have photos, but video and more. Very neat!
This website gives some good ideas on how to celebrate World Oceans Day, including the "7Cs Pledge" for ocean conservation.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Growing Gummies

Here is a neat little trick you can try at home, growing gummies. All you need is a few gummy bears and a glass of water. Drop the bear in and walk away! Here is what our bear looked like after 24 hours in water compared to a none soaked bear. I wounder how much bigger he could get!?!?! We will also need to get some other gummies (like worms) and try this again.

Note: Our Fun Tester said they really had no taste after being soaked.