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, March 30, 2012

Earth Hour 2012 (3/31)

So, ummm, what is Earth Hour? Glad you asked, because I had never heard of it till this year. It is simple yet profound. What it is, is at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday march 31st, people all over the globe turn off their electrical items (lamps, tv, etc) for one hour.

Their official kid's ambassador is Pocoyo and they have an activity book full of fun stuff you can print! And here are some more ideas for fun during Earth Hour....

1. Tell or read stories. Grab a candle and some blankets and tell stories in the living room.
2. Play flashlight tag. Don't want to sit still? Play a fun round of flashlight tag or hide and go seek in the dark.
3. Take a walk. Enjoy the night sounds and scenes of your neighborhood by taking an evening stroll with your kids.
4. Make shadow puppets. Gather the family and a candle and put on a shadow puppet show on a blank wall.
5. Star gaze. Hopefully, all of your neighbors will have their lights off for Earth Hour as well, so this could be the perfect evening to grab a telescope or some binoculars and head out to see the stars.
6. Set up camp. If your kids are little, Earth Hour might hit right around bedtime. Get the most out of the event by making it part of special camp out bedtime, either in the backyard or right in the living room.

Trick your little farmer

That's right, it says DOUGHNUT seeds! LOL This easy printable craft is a great idea for April Fools' Day. All you need is your printer and some Cheerios to pull this gag off!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

April Fools' Day Food Fun

Looking for a fun way to prank your children this April Fools' Day? Well look no further! Disney's Family Fun site has some foolproof food pranks. Check out the ice cream potatoes, gelled juice and faux fish sticks!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

March is National Noodle Month

I did not know that March was National Noodle Month, but now I do! So let's celebrate. Here is a super cute idea for making "noodle monsters." All you need is some yarn, glue, plastic forks and of course wiggle eyes!!! The good folks over at also have a yummy snack that goes with this craft. So what are you doing for lunch?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Wow, look at it grow!

I posted a while back about making an indoor garden. Our fun tester was bitten by the spring bug and sooo wanted to start planting a garden, so we did this instead of jumping the gun on our vegetable patch. I am not sure what "cat grass" is exactly, but it grows fast!

Planting Day

72 hours after planting!!!

The cats LOVE to chew on it. If it were not for the fact we would have every stray cat in the neighborhood on our law, I would put this stuff on our front yard to fill in the bald spots because it grows so fast.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Our mini birdbaths

Here are the results of our mini birdbaths we made today. I soooo loved this craft. It was so much fun to do. We even had a visitor at craft time, one of the MAD Fun Friends, Missy!!! So enjoy a few photos of our creativity. I hope it inspires you to make your own.

Fun Tester's

Mine and a copy the Fun tester made.

I think this was the best one of the day! Made by one of our fun friends, Missy.

Too cute "birdbath"

Check out this totally cute spring craft from the NWF!!! These mini birdbaths are supper cute and easy to make. They will make a perfect addition to your yard. I just picked up all the supplies to make them! Now I am just waiting for our fun tester to get out of school!!! Heck why not make them as gifts too! Grandmas everywhere will want one!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Famous cartoon poultry

Since it is National Poultry Day, it got me wondering.... Who are some of the famous birds out there in cartoon land??? So far I have come up with:

Foghorn leghorn

Donald and Daisy Duck (and extended family)

Daffy Duck

Chicken little

Dinky duck

Gandy goose

Can you think of anyone else?!?!?!

Handy Chicken craft

These are super easy and fun to make! Each "chicken" needs:

1 piece of yellow construction paper (folded in half)
1 piece of orange construction paper (folded in half)
1 paper plate
2 wiggly eyes

On the fold construction paper, trace the out line of your hand. Cut these out and use the yellow for wings and orange for feet. Use left over orange paper to make a beak. Then get gluing!!!

Chicken Jokes

What child doesn't enjoy telling a joke (even if sometimes it makes no sense or just isn't funny)!?!?! Well here are a few chicken jokes for your little ones to learn and these are actually cute!

How does a chicken mail a letter to her friend?
(In a HEN-velope!)

Did you hear the joke about the broken egg?
(Yes, it cracked me up!)

How do chickens bake a cake?
(From scratch!)

What does a mixed-up hen lay?
(Scrambled eggs!)

What does an evil hen lay?
(Deviled eggs!)

Where do tough chickens come from?
(Hard-boiled eggs!)

What do you call it when it rains chickens and ducks?
(Foul weather!)

Chicken fun facts

I thought we would share a few fun facts about chickens you may or may not know..... For example, like the sign in the photo states, it takes about 21 days for an egg to hatch!

Here are a few more interesting and maybe odd facts for you:

  1. There are more chickens on earth than there are people, over three billion in china alone.
  2. Recent evidence suggests that domestication of the chicken began in Vietnam over 10,000 years ago.
  3. A chicken's heart beats at an amazing 280-315 beats a minute.
  4. Chickens can run at a speed of 9 mph.
  5. Chickens are the closest living relative of the tyrannosaur.

Today (3/19) is National Poultry Day

Today is going to be a most egg-cellent day! I have lot of fun poultry related things to share with you. Makes sure you have your scrambled eggs and get ready to do the chicken dance. Stop over and visit our friends at Fresh Eggs Daily to get in on even more poultry fun. Cock-a-doodle-do, rise and shine and let’s have a fun old time!!!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Critchlow Alligator Sanctuary

If you have been around MAD for a while, you have heard of the great mid-Michigan, Critchlow Alligator Sanctuary. We have shared our visit with you before. With spring right around the corner they are gearing up for another wonderful summer. Currently they are still on winter admissions of just $3 a person.

The big Gator Release Days are coming up April 7 & 8 and 14 & 15 (weather permitting) from 1-6pm. We actually got to help on release day last year and it was amazing.

Our little Fun Tester wrangling a gator

So why am I telling all about Critchlow's again? Because they are offering a great price for a family season pass. For $50 you get a year of gators and Mr. C (which I promise your kids will love just as much if not more then the gators!!!) AND their mini-golf is FREE to all season pass holders. Now you do the math because taking a family out for a round of mini golf adds up.

So, you can get a great pass to a great place and throw in some mini golf, but also keep in mind, that $50 goes to help am amazing place. Did you know it is still legal to own a gator privately in Michigan? Do you know Critchlow's is one of a VERY few places these great critters can go to once their owners realize the do not make good pets! Critchlow's does an amazing job giving there beasties a place to live out their lives in a healthy and enriching environment.

Recycle, grow, share

Looking for a fun project? Why not plant an indoor “garden.” You don’t need an expensive planter to do it either. My hubby had made monkey bread he had bought in the frozen department at the store. The pan it cooked in was this cute plastic bunt looking pan. After a quick scrub it was ready to be recycled into a garden planter.

We glued a $1 mushroom on the center bunt pan portion, filled with dirt, added seeds, and a $1 gnome. Now if you notice in the photo the seeds we picked are cat grass. When this thing starts to grow, not only will it be cute, but it will give our kitties a treat!

So be creative and make your own recycled indoor garden.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Learn About Butterflies Day

They have a day for everything don't they!!! And today is Learn About Butterflies Day. So let's learn a little bit about them, shall we?

Here is the anatomy of a butterfly:

So how do you know if it is a butterfly or a moth?

  • Most butterflies primarily fly during the day  and many moths fly at night.
  • Butterflies have knobbed antenna and moths have feathery or straight antenna.
  • Butterfly bodies are usually slim, while moth bodies are plump and hairy.
  • Moths usually spin silken cocoons to enclose their pupae or burrow underground to pupate.
  • Butterflies form chrysalises.

  • What do Butterflies eat?

    Butterflies dont eat like we do, they get their nurishment from drinking. They have a long narrow tube in their mouth called a proboscis that acts as a straw. They usually set on top of a flower and drink the nectar. And did you know, butterflies can taste with their feet!!!

    Coffee Filter Butterfly craft


    What you'll need:

    • 1/2 of a pipe cleaners 
    • Paper coffee filter
    • Water color paints
    • Paint brush
    • Water

    How to make it:

    1. Flatten the coffee filter and place it on a newspaper, the paint and water will soak through. Set aside on paper towels to dry.
    2. Fold the pipe cleaner in half.
    3. Fold the coffee filter accordion style.
    4. Position the coffee filter into the bent end of the pip cleaner.
    5. Twist the pipe cleaner around the filter.
    6. Bend the tips of the pipe cleaner over about ¼" to create the antennae.
    7. Fan out the butterfly wings.

    Monday, March 12, 2012

    Umizoomi Spring Color by Number

    I don't know why, but my son loves to do color by number. Some day I am sure we will have to get him a paint by number!!! But for now, these Umizoomi Spring Color by Number pages will have to hold him. I hope you children enjoy them half as much as are Fun Tester will..

    Get ready for St Patrick's Day

    Here are some fun printable for St. Patrick's Day. Getting things ready before the day of an event makes having fun on the day so much easier. So get printing so you have them ready for the BIG day! Just click the image to go to the printable!!



    Coloring page

    Saturday, March 10, 2012

    Great ice cream deal!!!

    Do you like ice cream? I do! Ice cream is FUN!!!! Go Like Baskin Robbins and you can print this great coupon!!!

    Friday, March 9, 2012

    Adventures in baby prints

    So someone was kind enough (or had a sense of humor) to give us a handprint kit for our baby. What a wonderful it idea, right? In theory!!! But in practice it was such an adventure.

    First off, the kit said to make the baby’s handprint when the baby was asleep. Now I am sorry but no matter how “asleep” our child might have been, his little fist kept clenching. What to do? The plaster was setting and each try had the same sad results……

    So our handprint kit became a footprint kit!!!

    So just keep in mind the next time you give a baby gift, think long and hard before you give a handprint kit. Do the parents have a sense of humor? Can they roll with the punches???? On second thought, just give them a gift card for dinner.

    Build and grow!!!

    I know I have pointed this out before, but we here at MAD love going to Lowe's FREE Build and Grow clinics. I mean first off, it is FREE and we love free. Secondly it gives kids a chance to learn how to read build prints and follow directions. And most importantly, to me anyway, is the pride and satisfaction my son gets out of building his own toys!!! So what are you waiting for? Get signed up today.

    Upcoming projects include:
    Carnival Hoops 3/10/12
    Art Station 3/24/12

    Thursday, March 8, 2012

    Make a clock

    With daylight savings this weekend, why not make a "spring" clock!?!? It is so simple and a good way to start talking to your child about time and how to tell it, if they don't already know. Most clocks are digital these days, so let's keep the "old" tradition alive of how to read a REAL clock!

    You need:
    paper plates
    brad (you know the thing with the two little arms you can bend open)
    pipe cleaners
    wiggly eyes
    something to write with
    Photo from Alphamom

    Springing forward this weekend

    Yes folks, that time of year is upon us, when for some out dated reason, we parents loose another hour of sleep. (Like we don't loose enough as it!!) Actually, Daylight Saving Time made its debut in the United States in 1918 in an effort to save power. Since it was lighter outside later into the night, less electricity was used. What ever the reason..... I want my hour back!!!

    So what can a parent do to help their children stay on scheduale?

    1. Start moving bedtime up immediately. Move it up 10-15 minutes every  night until Sunday. For example, if you normally start your bedtime routine at 7pm, move it up to 6:50pm.
    2. Keep your bedtime routine consistent.
    3. If your child is old enough to tell time, explain the time change.

    While these tips may not fix the confussion in a small childs mind as to why it is 9 and not 8, it will help you keep you routine in the long run. And if your a working parent, getting out the door on time is very important.

    National Be Nasty Day

    Beleive it or not folks, today is National Be Nasty Day!!!

    "Why put your best foot forward when you could use that foot to kick in the door and show everyone how rotten you can be? Get in your car and do some donuts on your neighbor's front lawn. Run through the aisles of the supermarket and tear everything off the shelves. Show up five minutes late to a meeting and don't even bother making an excuse. Sure, at the end of the day you might not have any friends left, but they were cramping your style anyway." - The Ultimate Holiday Site

    Now I am not sure why there is such a day, but it made me laugh and well laughing is fun! Just be sure to NOT tell your children about this one. Like children really need another excuse to misbehave!!

    Wednesday, March 7, 2012

    How a chicken hatches from an egg

    I love sharing things with my children that I think will peak their interests and possible teach them something. As most of you know, our oldest son has a couple chickens we raised from babies last spring. This year he is joining 4-H as a clover bud and will be taking a chicken to the fair. We are so excited for him. He really does love chickens.

    He knows chickens come from eggs, but I am sure ANY time now the questions are going to start as to how that chicken grew in there. Well thank goodness for our friends over at Fresh Eggs Daily on Facebook!! They have a blog and started a new project that we will be following closely to get some of these answers. It is the The Great Egg-scape. They are hatching eggs in an incubator and you can follow along on the great adventure.

    Like today I learned that on day 6 of incubation wings and legs of each embryo are almost complete!! How cool is that!!!

    from Fresh Eggs Daily

    Live, learn, love

    One of the greatest things (in my opinion) about being a parent, is the chance to share the world with my children. I love exposing them to nature and teaching them to be caring and compassionate. Maybe that is why we have a house full of critters!

    Nothing makes me prouder then when our 5 year old sees the dog is out of food and stops long enough to feed him. Or when he lets us know the chickens are low on water. The fact that he cares enough about the animals to be nurturing is an amazing things. I think these are skills all children should develop. Whether you give them a horse or just a goldfish, that responsibility helps them realize they are NOT the center of the universe and to have caring feelings for others even if they are “just” animals.

    Now I am not advocating everyone run out and get a new puppy! But might I suggest a new fish or hermit crab? Or if you already have a pet at home, why not let your child take the lead on caring for it. You will, of course, have to make sure they do it, but let them be responsible. Explain to them that the animal can’t feed itself. Express how happy it makes you when you see them stepping up. It will in the long run do a few things:
    1.) Teach your child to be responsible
    2.) Teach your child to be compassionate
    3.) Bring a little more fun into the family by having a pet
    4.) Move one of the many chores YOU do, to the capable hands of your child, allowing you to have 5 minutes to yourself.

    Meet Alex!

    Our little "surprise" baby!!! Meet Alex, who joined MAD on 2-8-12 at 10:36 a.m. While we were not planning on having more children, we were not preventing it either. So I guess we shouldn't have been that surprised!

    Alex was 7lbs 6oz and 19". He is such a tiny bundle of love. He has added a whole new dimension to the fun here at MAD and we are so looking forward to sharing the world with another amazing child.

    Tuesday, March 6, 2012

    Bean sock bunnies

    Now we do not (since we have boys) have such cute socks around here, but I am willing to go buy some just for this craft! These Sock Bunnies are simple and sooooo cute! Why not make a whole litter of them!!!

    Get ready for spring visitors

    Spring will be here soon, so it is time to get ready for those spring visitors! Here is a wonderful craft that combines teaching your children about nature and recycling. These bird feeders would make a great afternoon project!


    Peanut Butter Fudge!!! Yummy! Why not make some up with your little ones (or for yourself!) This recipe is from Horizon Organic, but you can always use regular milk.

    Friday, March 2, 2012

    March 3 Dr. Seuss event at Meijer stores

    Just a FYI for those of you who live near a Meijer store!!! This FREE event might be fun.

    Still need more Seuss???

    This great site had TONS of activities based on Dr. Seuss books! If you can think of a book, they have thought of some really great activities to go with it! A MUST check out site. Make it a Dr. Seuss day any day!!

    Horton hears.....

    Check out these fun activities all based on Dr. Seuss's Horton hears a Who! There is even a certificate for "Doing a good job." I plan to print a few of those! Kids love to be rewarded for good behavior!

    Dr. Seuss coloring pages and dot to dots

    Let your inner Seuss out with some wild colors on these great printables!

    It's Dr. Seuss's Birthday

    March 2 is Dr. Seuss's Birthday!!!

    Yes folks it's Dr. Seuss's birthday!! So why not head over to Seussville for some fun!

    Thursday, March 1, 2012

    Perky Paper Plate Pig

    It is National Pig Day, so why not make your own little oinker! Break out the paper plates and your pink crayons and get going!

    Oink,'s National Pig Day!!!

    National Pig Day, March 1st

    When many people think of pigs they think of mud and slop, or else bacon and bacon. But there's so much more to love about these rotund creatures, and that's precisely why sisters Ellen Stanley and Mary Lynne Rave started National Pig Day in 1972. Did you know that the reason pigs roll around in the mud is to cool themselves off since they do not sweat? Or that pigs place fourth on the animal intelligence list? Perhaps pigs aren't just for dinner; they also make for charming dinner guests. (via the Hallmark Ultimate Holiday Site)