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, August 31, 2012

It's Friday Fun Friend time!!!! Is it you????

Drum roll please.................
This week's Friday Fun Friend is Diane from Michigan. What she likes best about MAD is all the craft ideas. For fun she talks to her neighbor lady, ummm, I am her neighbor! LOL See I am entertaining in real life too!
The craft item she can't live without is paper and crayons. When asked if she had anything else to share she said:
I have no awesome children. LOL Actually I have 3 and one dog. I need to start doing some crafts with my kids though.
Congrats to Diane! I would say watch you mailbox, but I plan to just have the oldest Fun Tester do the delivery and save on shipping. :) To learn how to be considered for MADs Friday Fun Friend click here .

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Fun with Fairies, a little childhood magic

A Fairy Hosue

Childhood should be a magical time of life. When imaginations blossom and anything is possible. So few kids today have that magic in their lives. Even my oldest is beginning to get jaded and ask question. So today I asked him if he thought fairies were real. I was answered with a simple but firm "NO." How sad is it that at just six, he didn't even think maybe.
Something had to be done and fast! If the possibility of fairy existence is in question, you know Santa is next! So I quickly grabbed a bag and we head out for a walk in our yard. I told him to put nature things in the bag like flowers and berries. He asked why, but I just told him to wait and see.
When we returned to the house I told him we were going to invite fairies to live at our house. We would make a nature potion, build a house and sprinkle the house with the potion and watch! So we made up our potion, collected items and built a house, made a big ceremony out of sprinkling it and he spent the rest of the day checking for fairies! This morning they did not exist, but tonight, maybe, just maybe, they might.......

"Fairy Potion"

What You’ll Need:

• Glass jar
• Water
• Food coloring
• Flower petals and other items from nature

Gather your items from nature to put in the fairy potion.  After you’ve gathered your nature items for your potion, you’ll then add water and food coloring to your jar. Next add the nature items to the jars. You could mix them up with a "magic stick," but my son being a boy decided to shake it up.

 "Fairy House"

For our house we gathered sticks and bark and used a tree's root area to build. Let your child do this on their own as there is no wrong or right way to build one. I did however tell my son, no glue or nails, that the fairies would notice and be on to us. After my son finished his house he covered it with grass to make it look even more natural.

You can also make a mythical creature playset with this idea and let your little one's imagination go wild.

Umi Off to School Coloring Pack

Fall is here and school is upon us. Parents cheer, children, well, let's just say they may not be as happy about it is we are! Build some back to school excitement with this coloring pack from Nick Jr.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Our Fun 50 States Giveaway

We at MAD love to travel (we don't get to do it much anymore) and visit all the wonderful and FUN states. I was shopping the other day and ran across this book, workbook, and flash cards. I grabbed them for my oldest son and then though, "hey I bet someone's child might like these too!" So I grab an extra of each to give away to one of you!

Simply us the the rafflecopter gadget below to enter. You can get extra entries for following our blog or sharing this giveaway with your friends! For extra entries you must complete the initial entry requirement of liking MAD on Facebook or the extra entries won’t qualify. And yes I do check.

This giveaway is open to US residents only and will end on September 7, 2012 at 12:01 AM (EST). The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be announced here on MAD's blog AND on our Facebook page and will have three days to contact us at or a new winner will be chosen in their place

And don't miss out on any fun in your state. Visit the FUN IN YOUR STATE section of our blog to find activities and festivals in your state.

And the flashcards are good for
learning the capitals.
The durable soft cover book
is full of wonderful facts.

The workbook has lots of activities to get a
child learning while having fun.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

FREE admission to the past

I am sure only a very few of you are aware, I have a B.S. in History. I love sharing the past with other, especially children. There is nothing more amazing then when you see in a child's eye that spark when they make the connection with the past and realize how it impacts them.

If you live in Michigan or near by in a neighboring state and have no plans for Labor Day yet, I want to let you know about Target Day at Greenfield Village. If you have never heard of Greenfield Village it is a trip back in time. I have never been due to the prices, which on a normal day are $24 for adult and $17.50 for youth. We just don't have $65.50 to drop like that and I am sure most of you don't either.

I would like to thank one of our Fun Friends, Penny, for giving me the heads up on this great opportunity.

Monday, September 3, 2012 in Greenfield Village (Labor Day)
  • Free Admission to Greenfield Village
  • Hands-on and interactive programs
  • Dramatic presentations
  • Live musical performances

*** Just a reminder if you do plan on going, I have heard this place is large with lots of walking. The weather for Labor Day is looking iffy due to the hurricane down south bringing Michigan rain. This is a great opportunity but check the weather before you go.

Unplug and go outside

I am sure we all have heard that kids today spend way to much time plugged in and not enough time playing outside. I honestly hate our television. If I would let him (which I will not) my oldest would sit for ours watching mind numbing cartoons. But as I said, I don't let him. I make him go out and enjoy the day, hunt bugs, and dig in the dirt. And when he really doesn't want to, I set an example by going out with him, even if I have other things I need to do

If your child is like most, they just want to sit. So what can a parent do. Well I have one friend who literally send her kids out and then LOCKS the door so they have to stay outside. While it makes me laugh, I can't see doing that to my son. The last thing I need is the neighbors calling to tell me my sound is in the yard "watering" the tree.

I saw this image posted online, and for the life of me I can't remember where, but I clicked on it and read it. It had some very interesting information..... go on, click on it and read it..... I'll wait.....

I know, your sitting there going, yup, those darn children need to get outside, but how do I get them outside. I may not have the best answer to how to get your kids outside but I do have a fun one from the Children and Nature Initiative by Nation Environmental Education Foundation. Write them an Rx like a doctor would with these handy script forms.

Be creative with this...tell them they have to go find 5 ants and write what they were doing, spot three different species of birds and draw pictures of them, or collect 5 types of leaves and ID them. If you have a pool, tell them to do laps. Do they have a bike? Tell them to ride around the block so many times. You never know, they might just enjoy what you prescribed!
If you need a few more ideas, check out our post of outdoor activities for people who don't like camping.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

So you don't like camping.....try these

So you are not a camping kind of person. Bugs bother you. You prefer a hotel. Guess what? In the words of Dr. Phil (who I don't really like but hey) It's not all about YOU. What about your children?

Children today sit in front of T.V.s and computers. We all know it is not healthy. When I was a child we went outside to play ALL day in the summer. Outside is a place children don't go anymore. Some times as parents we have to suck it up and do things we don't necessarily care for, like go outside, go camping, and look at bugs, so our children will start to do those things too.

Here are some simple ways to ease into the outdoors for you and your children. Try to push yourself AND your children past your comfort zone. You might just find out you do enjoy the outdoors more then you thought! And if you still don't like camping, it's okay! At least your child will have experienced life beyond the walls of your house. And who knows, you might spark a love of nature in them in the process.

  • Take a hike/walk. A nice walk can be a chance to connect with your child.
  • Throw rocks. In land or on water. It’s almost therapeutic.
  • Read books. But not necessarily on your couch. Pack a backpack full of books and find a nice natural area to hang out for awhile.
  • Play in a river. Kids love splash around and you might too.
  • Go for a picnic. Grab some food or pack a lunch and find a shady spot.
  • Ride bikes.
  • Spend time in the backyard just playing.
  • Take pictures. Take pictures of things you see and find, it will get your child really looking at nature.
  • Catch frogs. Or other other critters. I know I am pushing some of you bug haters on this one
  • Go on a expedition You can collect rock, flowers, leaves, sticks, etc.

  • So now that you have some simple ideas, get out there!

    Campfire Roasting Logs giveaway

    I love the smell of a campfire....LOVE it. When we moved into our home, there was an awful pine that needed to be removed. I have nothing against pines in general mind you but this one was awful. So I cut it down. We didn't want to pay to have the stump removed so we decided to burn it out.

    I gathered some of those red brick edgers to make a ring so we would be legit and in line with the town ordnance on burning. Ten years later that sad little ring is still there. I still love having fires in it but it is rather sad looking.

    Sooooo, I was excited to find this giveaway from duraflame® where you can win a brand new fire pit for your backyard and a supply of Campfire Roasting Logs! Of course I entered, will you?

    Friday, August 24, 2012

    Are you this weeks Friday Fun Friend!?!?

    It's Friday and that means we get to meet another one of our Fun Friends! This week it is Jessica Hurlbert from the fun state of North Carolina!!

    What she like best about MAD are all the crafts. For fun she and her 6 children like to do crafts, cook and hike.

    The one craft item she can’t live without is contact paper.

    Congrats to Jessica for being this weeks Friday Fun Friend!!! Watch you mailbox next week for a special gift for being this weeks Fun Friend.

    Do you want to be featured as a Friday Fun Friend? Then check this out and next week could be YOU!


    Sorry it isn't the greatest photo, but I snagged it off of a news article. The article is about a great chance to score some free school supplies this Saturday (tomorrow)!

    "Art Van Furniture and Meijer Supercenters are teaming up to help ease the cost of going back to school. Compliments of Michigan's number one furniture retailer and Michigan's mega retailer parents can pick up stringed back sacks filled with crayons, pens, pencils, pocket folders, etc."
    For more information visit the Art Van page on Facebook! 

    We are luck since we do Lowes build and grow which is at 10 and Art Van which, is in the same shopping area, opens at ten we can kill two birds with one stone!

    Thursday, August 23, 2012

    Shirt winner!

    Congrats go out to our Fun Friend Heidi Gohn who is the winner of our Toy Story 3 shirt giveaway!

    FREE Sonic blast (no purchase necessary!)

    My hubby love Sonic and is very disappointed there isn't one near us. But that doesn't mean you should miss out! Print a coupon for a FREE Sonic blast!!! There’s no purchase necessary! You need to use it before September 9.


    Tuesday, August 21, 2012

    Free mini bobble head

    Here is a different type of free item, a mini bobble head! And no they don't JUST have Jesus! They have the pope too!! And other designs as well. They are a new site and to thank people for "stopping by" they are giving away mini bobble heads! It is simple... fill out the form, pick your item and your done. They do not ask for any billing info. Just your name and address so they know where to ship your bobble head to!

    Sunday, August 19, 2012

    Shear Fashion - poor sheep

    This past week was our local county fair. As a child I showed livestock and other things at a fair and this year my oldest son is showing at his first fair! On one of our trips (he gets in free as an exhibitor, so we went a lot) we strolled through the sheep barn. My youngest son, who is six months old had never seen a sheep up close and personal before and I thought it would be fun.

    It was more fun then I could have imagined. Not because of my youngest response to seeing sheep, but because of the sheep and their, umm, couture! Yes, I mean those sheep had on clothes. After spotting the first sheep, my oldest son said “mom, check out that one in camo!” Ummmm, yup, sure enough, there was another sheep wearing clothes. In fact there were quite a few sheep in clothes.

    As one of the young exhibitors told me when I asked about the high fashion, the sheep had just been sheared and bathed and the outfits were put on to help keep them warm. May I just point out it is AUGUST. I doubt they would freeze. Upon further investigation we learned it was to keep them CLEAN. Now that made more sense.

    Now I will admit, some of these sheep look good. My favorite would have to be the shiny blue spandex. But some of these poor sheep, like the green strips and I paisley…. poor sheep. You know the other sheep were picking on them! We had a great time at the "fashion show" making up stories all about the fancy sheep.

    Here is the gallery of get-ups we saw..... (hope you have a good giggle like we did!)

    Friday, August 17, 2012

    Introducing this weeks Fun Friends

    Congrats to Catherine! She is this weeks Fun Friend!!!

    Cat and her beautiful family are having fun in the great state of Alabama. She was one of our first fun friends here on MAD and has shared her fun with us including this photo of their adventures on vacation.

    She is a mommy to two girls, Geni (6) and Bella (3). For fun they like to go to farmers markets and pick fruit. They like to collect shells at beach and investigating bugs. They even had a wedding for Walking sticks! Now that does sound fun!!

    Cat says the one craft item she can not like without is glitter.

    For being such a loyal, support, and of course FUN friend, we honor Cat!

    Cat please email me your address at so we can get your gift out to you and the girls!

    If you want to be considered for our Friday Fun Friend click here to find out how!

    Thursday, August 16, 2012

    Shark Watermelon - Anyone can make this!

    It is Shark Week and we are doing and learning all about sharks. As we were surfing the net we came across a shark made out of a watermelon. As I posted on MAD on facebook, the fun tester saw this and begged, BEGGED me to make him one. So off to the store to get a melon we went. I was a little worried about pulling this off but this is actually easy peesy lemon squeezy! Okay melon squeezy. Either way it was way simple!

    First I cut the angle for the base and then popped out a wedge for the mouth….

    Then I disemboweled the melon!

    Next I took a potato peeler and removed just a strip around the opening to reveal the white of the rind. Using a small knife I cut triangles all the way around. At this point I felt more like I was carving a pumpkin then a watermelon.

    Next I chopped up the watermelon and filled the shark back up. I cut a piece of left over rind to make a fin. Last I glues on two very big wiggly eyes and let’s just say, I am not the best mom ever! LOL Yup, that’s what the fun tester told me…… Best mom ever, well at least for the next hour!


    Toy Story 3 Shirt Giveaway (Ends 8/23/12)

    Who doesn't love getting FREE stuff!?!? Well here is your chance to score a shirt just like our oldest Fun Tester has! It is a Toy Story 3 Mr. Potato Head "High Five" Youth Large T-shirt.

    In order to enter just follow the steps...leave a comment (on this blog, not on facebook) telling us your Favorite Toy Story 3 character!

    You can get extra entries for liking us on facebook, following our blog, or sharing this giveaway with your friends! For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement or the extra entries won’t qualify.

    This giveaway is open to US residents only and will end on August 23, 2012 at 12:01 AM (EST). The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be announced here on MAD's blog AND on our Facebook page and will have three days to contact us at or a new winner will be chosen in their place.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Wednesday, August 15, 2012

    Another great giveaway from She Scribes

    School is upon us.... Parents cheer, children cry.... but it is that time of year. Back to school mean the kids need supplies and here is your chance to get some great ones from She Scribes. I love her giveaways! You win every thing in the photo and more! I know we could use some more scissors around here. It seems every time we go to do a craft someone has eaten the scissors. I am sure when we move someday we will find all 217 lost pairs. Gotta love children!

    Okay maybe not 217 pairs, but I am sure that we would find a couple dozen pair!

    This giveaway end 8/22/12

    Shark coloring pages

    Sharks, sharks, everywhere!!!!  Print off some of these great coloring pages for shark week! This site offers lots of choices. Just right click on the picture with your mouse and choose print picture and your done! Happy coloring!!!

    POLLY-O/KRAFT String Cheese coupon promotion & FUN giveaway

    Look at all this fun stuff you can win from She Scribes!

  • Two POLLY-O/KRAFT String Cheese Gratuity Coupons
  • A Lunch Box to pack their favorite lunches in
  • Dry-Erase Bright Crayons
  • Dry-Erase Washable Markers
  • Dry-Erase Board Set
  • Twistable Colored Pencils
  • Wild Notes 1 subject
  • Wild Notes Journal
  • Wild Notes Refill Paper

  • I love She Scribes because not only is Kimberly a great blogger but she finds the coolest stuff to giveaway!

    Tuesday, August 14, 2012

    Do you love your pets? Wanna win them something cool!??!

    You all know by now, we here at MAD have a few critters.... A dog, two cats, two chickens, a salamander, a baby snapping turtle, tadpoles, and a beta. Over time our pet population goes up and down depending on what our oldest Fun Tester drags home and sadly when one of our beloved pets passes (like Bella our 19 year old cat who died just over a week ago.) 

    One thing we pride ourselves with is giving our pet family members the best possible life we can, so when I saw that over at She Scribes they are having an Animal Planet Pet Products Giveaway I was all over it!

    Look at these really awesome prizes they are giving away:

    Animal Planet Auto-flow Pet Fountain

    Animal Planet Collapsible Pet House

    Animal Planet Round Pet Bed

    Animal Planet Sherpa Pet Blanket

    Now the fountain and the blanket caught my eye, but I put in to win the sherpa pet blanket for our old dog. Why? Because I have a sherpa blanket and the dog LOVES when someone...umm the oldest Fun Tester... leaves it on the floor! I love the dog very much but do not love the smell he leaves on my blanket. So he needs one of his own. So if you love your pets, why not head over and enter to win.

    Shark craft

    Do do Do do Do do Do do…….

    What kid wouldn’t love to make their own shark!?!? Well now they can! All you need is a piece of construction paper for the body, a paper plate fore the teeth and some googly eyes to finish it off!

    First, cut triangles out of a paper plate all the way around. This will give children a chance to work those motor skills and develop their scissor skills.

    Next fold the paper plate in half and bend the teeth in.

    Once your teeth are ready, it is time to make the shark body. Fold your construction paper in half and get creative. No two shark bodies half to be the same. Be brave and wing it! Once your body is cut out, glue on your teeth and eyes and you have a shark!

    Monday, August 13, 2012

    Make your own shark teeth

    How cool would it be to have a shark jaw to hang on your wall?!?! Well instead of killing a shark and going through all the ick to get a jaw, why not make your own! All you need is a paper plate and a pair of scissors!

    First cut out the center of the plate. Fold the plate in half so you can see the top and bottom jaw area. Next start cutting teeth all the way around the opening. Leave some space at the jaw line so it folds easy when your done.

    Make sure to add the detail to the outside of your plate to really make it look like a jaw. Now bend those teeth up, fold in half again, and you now have your own eco-friendly shark jaw!