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!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

World Tiger Day

Today is world tiger day! Head on over and check out the Tiger WWF facebook page. And check out this amazing information from the WWF on tigers!
Amur (Siberian) Tiger

Scientific name: Panthera tigris altaica

IUCN Listing: Endangered

Habitat: Coniferous, scrub oak and birch woodlands

Location: Primarily eastern Russia, with a few found in northeastern China

Interesting Fact: In the 1940s the Amur tiger was on the brink of extinction, with no more than 40 tigers remaining in the wild. Thanks to vigorous anti-poaching and other conservation efforts by the Russians with support from many partners, including WWF, the Amur tiger population recovered and has remained stable throughout the last decade.

Bengal (Indian) Tiger

Scientific name: Panthera tigris tigris

IUCN Listing: Endangered

Habitat: Dry and wet deciduous forests, grassland and temperate forests, mangrove forests

Location: Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar and Nepal. India is home to the largest population.

Interesting Fact: Some Bengal tigers are cream or white in color instead of orange, due to a recessive gene for this coloration. These "white" tigers are rarely found in the wild.

Indochinese Tiger

Scientific name: Panthera tigris corbetti

IUCN Listing: Endangered

Habitat: Remote forests in hilly to mountainous terrain, much of which lies along the borders between countries

Location: Widely dispersed throughout six countries: Thailand, Cambodia, China, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam.

Interesting Fact: Access to the areas where Indochinese tigers live is often restricted, and biologists have only recently been granted limited permits for field surveys. As a result, relatively little is known about the status of these tigers in the wild.

Malayan Tiger

Scientific name: Panthera tigris jacksoni

IUCN Listing: Endangered

Habitat: Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests

Location: Southern tip of Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia

Interesting Fact: The Malayan tiger was only identified as being a separate subspecies from the Indochinese tiger in 2004. It is very similar to the Indochinese tiger, but is smaller in size.

South China Tiger

Scientific name: Panthera tigris amoyensis

IUCN Listing: Critically Endangered

Habitat: Montane sub-tropical evergreen forest

Location: Central and eastern China

Interesting Fact: It is estimated that the South China tiger is functionally extinct. Currently 47 South China tigers live in 18 zoos, all in China. If there are any South China tigers in the wild, these few individuals would be found in southeast China, close to provincial borders.

Sumatran Tiger

Scientific name: Panthera tigris sumatrae

IUCN Listing: Critically Endangered

Habitat: Montane forests, the remaining blocks of the island's lowland forest, peat swamps, and freshwater swamp forests

Location: Exclusively on the Indonesian island of Sumatra

Interesting Fact: Sumatran tigers are protected by law in Indonesia, with tough provisions for jail time and steep fines. Despite increased efforts in tiger conservation, including law enforcement and anti-poaching capacity, a substantial market remains in Sumatra for tiger parts and products.

Free kids haircuts anyone?!?!

For the whole month of August, JC Penny salons are giving kids FREE haircuts!!! Any child in grades k-6 can get their hair cut for FREE!

All you need to do is head on over to the JC Penny site and find a participating location near you and schedule the appointments.

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Olympic opening ceremony is tonight!

Who is excited? I am soooo excited. This will be the first year our son (6) will "get" the whole Olympic "thing." We have been making Olympic themed crafts and he keeps asking how many more days till Friday. Well it's FRIDAY!!!! And we here at MAD have a few more fun Olympic ideas to share with you to make the opening ceremony that much more exciting!

The opening ceremony can get a bit boring after awhile for smaller children so why not give them this super cool Olympic Bingo from Thirty Handmade Days. And while you watch you will need refreshment of course. So why not whip up some of these popcorn torches and ring cookies!

These torches are so easy to make! Simply roll up a paper plate and wrap tin foil around it. Next line the inside with red tissue paper and fill with popcorn. Our Fun Tester has already eaten a torch full today and can't wait to refill it to watch the Olympics.

Now on to our next event, Olympic rings made from cookies. We just bought a package of round cookies, mixed up food color and frosting and there you have it, yummy Olympic rings! Now before you call foul, I know the first ring in the top row is black, BUT food color does not mix to make black and I was not about to run to the store to buy a small expensive tube of black frosting. Yes, I am cheap and thankfully the Fun Tester didn't mind a little improvising.

I don't know who is more excited about it getting to 7:30pm, the Fun Tester or me! All I know is we are going to have a great time together!

Carmex giveaway

I don't know about you guys but I do like Carmex, so it was easy to hit like! Not to mention I now have a shot at this cool prize. Why is this prize cool? Well everyone can always use some free Carmex, but the blanket is PERFECT for keeping in the car for those fun moments like a picnic, watching fire flies at dusk, and catching a free concert in a park. Hurry and enter!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Maine Artisan Bread Fair this Saturday

Do you live in Maine? Looking for something different and interesting to do? Why not check out The Maine Artisan Bread Fair on Saturday July 28th. The fair is FREE and open to the public. It is a festival that invites fair-goers to sample fresh-baked breads and pizza from wood-fired ovens, talk to professional bakers, listen to live music, watch demos, and seek out the best baking equipment, tools, books, Maine cheeses, organic milkshakes, hand-woven kitchen towels, antique kitchen wares, fresh farm foods, and much more.

Olympic Medals Craft

What Olympics is complete without medals!?!? So today we made our own out of things we had and so can you. Use your imagination and use things you already have at home. No glitter? Use crayons. No yarn, use a shoe string. Ask your children to find things to make the medals out of and you might be surprised how creative they can be! Here is how we did ours....

First you need something round for the medal. We used lids from baby formula cans, but you could use paper plates or lids from play-doh cans.

After using a hole punch to make our holes we added a little glue and glitter. They're medals so they had to shine! We had some plastic numbers that we covered in glitter and glued on for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. A quick piece of yarn and our medals are ready for awarding!

Olympic giveaway

Here is your chance to win some Olympic swag from She Scribes. One winner will receive everything pictured which includes:
  • 2012 Olympics NBC Duel Flags Pin
  • Trophy Cap
  • 2012 Olympics Team USA Backpack
  • ¾ Sleeve Raglan T-Shirt
  • Olympic Calendar
How neat is this! So pop over to the She Scribes blog and enter for your chance to win!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

FREE admission to Kids N Stuff

Heeds up for our Mid-Michigan Fun Friends..... Kids N Stuff children's museum is having a FREE admission day tomorrow, July 26th!

Here are the remaining FREE admission dates for this summer:

Thursday, July 26th 10:00-7:00 Sponsored by Steel Products in Homer

Thursday, August 23rd 10:00-7:00 Sponsored by Mark Putvin State Farm in Albion

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!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Olympic rings craft

Designed in 1912, when the present day Olympics were established, the Olympic rings represent the five parts of the world who support the Olympics. The colors blue, black, red, yellow, green on a white background representing all the colors on the flags of the supporting nations (at that time).

Who can celebrate the Olympics without rings?!? So here is our version of the rings done with pipe cleaners.

Now just tape them to the wall to get ready for the opening ceremony on Friday night!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Olympic torch craft

Before the Olympics can begin, there has to be the running (or in the case of our youngest Fun Tester, the sitting) of the torch!

The torch is a tradition started at the Berlin Olympics in 1936.  The torch is lit at the site of the Ancient Olympics – Olympia (Greece) and relayed to the site of the current Olympics over the course of several months.

The torch is carried by athletes, politicians and ordinary people. In fact, we here at MAD are proud to be related to one torch bearer, my uncle Mr Scienski.

Now it is time for you to grab a paper towel tube and wrap it in tinfoil. Stuff some tissue paper in the end and you have your very own torch. Now, make the kids run around the block in honor of the Olympics (and maybe even wear the out for bedtime.)

Win an amazing vacation from NPF

What is more fun then a vacation on someone else? Check out this great chance to win a vacation from the National Park Foundation. There will be smaller weekly winners but the at grand prize is:

at the end of the summer NPF will select a grand prize winner who will receive a once-in-a-lifetime houseboat adventure in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, spanning northern Arizona and southern Utah, provided by Lake Powell Resorts & Marinas!

So get entered by answering a simple question.... I love you guys so much I will even give you a hint to this weeks answer:

It has to do with Cape Cod! :) If you get it wrong it is not my fault!

The Olympics are almost here!

The 2012 Olympics in London are just days away! Who is excited? I am so excited this year to share the Olympics with my son who is 6 and will be able to understand it all.

We started out by checking out the Official London 2012 Olympics site. The site has a count down clock which helps add to the excitement of it all! You can even watch the torch relay live! I personally love the opening ceremony and can't wait 4 more days.

Some of the other nice features on this site are the sports and countries sections so you can see what is going on and learn about who is participating. And of course the best part is the schedules and results section so you can keep track of who is winning what!

Print Free books!

Who doesn't love FREE? And who doesn't love to give their kids books? At MAD we love to read and at Nick Jr they have an assortment of free printable books with all the characters your child likes.

There are stories with Dora, The Wonder Pets, Diego, Kai-lan and more! So click on over and get printing.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Crafty Party - Join Us!

We are having a craft party! And we want you to be a part of it, in person or in spirit.

Craft Party is a global celebration of meeting and making. It’s a time to get to exercise your creative spirit. This year’s theme is "Wish You Were Here." Esty, who is sponsoring this event, encourages participants to work on projects that reflect their hometown.

Etsy and their special sponsor, Michaels, will provide a box of craft supplies to every party with at least 25 participants that have signed up by August 12th. I would love to see MAD get 25 people! Since we all live in different places I thought we here at MAD could divide the box up and some of our lucky Fun Friends could get mini boxes! What do you think? Sound fun? Then RSVP and Join Us

I look forward to seeing all the photos of the neat crafts everyone will make! Since our town is a migration stop for the sandhill crane I am thinking about a craft that has to do with cranes. What is special about your town?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

So you wanna be a zoo keeper when you grow up!

In honor of National Zoo Keeper Week, we thought you might want to know what it takes to be a zoo keeper. Let me tell you there is A LOT. A WHOLE LOT! But, thanks to the St. Louis Zoo we can tell you that if you're in Elementary School here are a few things you should do to get started on the right path. And the best part of this info, is that all this stuff is FUN! Okay maybe not the work hard in school part but hey, anything CAN be fun.

  • Go on nature hikes
  • Take trips to zoos, parks, and natural history museums.
  • Read books and magazines on wildlife and related topics.
  • Watch nature shows on TV.
  • Keep a pet. Taking care of a pets will teach you a lot about responsible animal care.
  • Join science clubs and volunteer to help with fieldwork projects in your community.
  • Observe wildlife and bring along field guides to help you better appreciate what you're seeing.
  • Keep a nature journal.
  • Take a class on animals or nature at your local zoo, animal sanctuary, or park.
  • Work hard in school, not just in classes on science and nature but in all subjects.

  • Who likes cookies?!?!? Win a cookie party!!!

    Enter now for a chance to win everything you need to host your own Cookie Challenge Party complete with coffee and tea for up to 10 guests, custom invitations to help spread the word, a scorecard for you and your guests to document your findings, and most importantly, Archway’s newest cookies, Pecan Turtle and Rocky Road. So what are you waiting for? Enter to win an Archway Cookie Challenge Party!

    Wednesday, July 18, 2012

    It is World Listening Day

    Wednesday, July 18th 2012 is World Listening Day. The purposes of World Listening Day are:
    • to celebrate different ways we can focus on our soundscape (sonic environment);
    • to raise awareness about the acoustic ecology movement, including ideas regarding how noise pollution can be reduced; and
    • to introduce new educational initiatives and community events related to listening and acoustic ecology.
    So how do you participate in World Listening Day? Simple.... Listen! Turn off the radio and T.V. and get away from the traffic and listen. In parks you might hear birds, rustling leaves, buzzing insects, and the crunch of a trail beneath your feet. Where ever you are, stop, close your eyes, and listen.

    It is amazing what you can hear when you don't have the noise pollution created by man. We here at MAD play listening games all the time. Because we stop and listen and learn what is in our environment, our oldest Fun Tester can now identify some birds just by their call!!!

    So take a minute today and listen! You might just have some fun!

    Tuesday, July 17, 2012

    Hurry! 3 hrs left to get this free!

    Aren't these straw glasses cute! Hurry and you can snag a pair of FREE drinking straw glasses with FREE shipping!!! All you have to do is sign up and they DO NOT ask for any credit card #. How cool is that. There is a limit of 1 per person. We signed up for ours. Hurry and get yours!

    Don't let the Dog Days of summer end like this

    We here at MAD love animals so we were extremely upset when we walked out of free craft time at Michael’s to see a dog in a car. It was over 100 degrees out. We quickly returned to Michael’s and in a loud voice told the clerk what we saw. The owner left the store with me on her heals.

    I informed her that what she was doing to that dog was animal abuse. Her response “I was just at Petco and I had only been in Michael’s five minutes and I left the windows cracked.” Really? You love your dog enough to take him to a pet store but not enough not to cook him?!?!?

    After a stern lecture from me and the treat of me calling 911 she left. I then went down the shopping strip area to Petco and told the manager what had happened. He was in sock and just as disgusted as I was. I asked him if it would be possible to have the clerks remind people to NOT do this to their pets. He said it was a great idea and they would.

    I can not believe in this day and age people, who clam to love their pets, still do stupid things like this. But what made me sick is she really didn’t get it. It was 100 degrees. Cracking the windows does not stop the car’s interior temp from going up. Please help get the word out…..

    Leaving your pet in the car in these temperatures is animal abuse.  Leave a pet in the car can and will cause death.

    Monday, July 16, 2012

    Plaster Tracks

    Have you ever found an animal track? You might be surprised if you look closes just how many you can find! Here is a fun project that not only will get you out in nature looking for tracks, but will allow you to bring those tracks home! All you need is:
    • a soda bottle (cut into rings)
    • plaster of Paris mix
    • water
    • plastic spoon
    • something to mix in 

    Look for tracks on damp ground and soft mud. The best place to look is where animals go to get water. Check out the bank of a creek or lake. If you are walking in a field or wood keep your eyes on paths as animals like to use the easiest way to get around too! Once you have found a good track that you want to keep, clear away any leaves, small stones or twigs without disturbing the track.

    Now it is time to make a plaster cast of your print. Place one soda bottle ring around the track so that the track is centered, and press it about 1/2 inch into the ground. This wall that will keep the plaster from running out. Follow the directions that came with the plaster and mix up enough to make a cast of the track..

    Now you are ready to pour the plaster into the circle you made earlier. Do NOT pour the plaster directly on the track. It might ruin it. Instead, pour to the side of the track and let it run into the track. Fill the circle to the top. Now you have to wait. No kid enjoys waiting so you can look or other tracks, have a pic-nic, or just go for a walk.

    After about 30 minutes the cast should be set enough to remove (Parents use your judgement if you think it needs more time.) Do NOT try to pry the track out, instead dig around and under it and lift it out. You can clean the extra dirt off after it is finished setting. Plaster is warm as it sets, so once it is cool you can clean it off with a brush.

    So what did you find? Need some help identifing your tracks? Check out these examples from the USGS website:

    Friday, July 13, 2012

    Free kids haircuts anyone?!?!

    For the whole month of August, JC Penny salons are giving kids FREE haircuts!!! Any child in grades k-6 can get their hair cut for FREE! 

    All you need to do is head on over to the JC Penny site and find a participating location near you and schedule the appointments.

    Odd Plushes

    Here at MAD our Fun Testers are blessed with the coolest Great Aunt ever! Out of the blue, packages of joy arrive, and today was one of those days. Usually it is an awesome book or an amazing new stuffed friend. Well today, something odd came. Something my child LOVED. What did she send him this time? She sent him Head Lice, a Dust Mite, a Bookworm, and a Bed Bug!

    Each critter came with a tag that not only told what it was (with scientific name) but showed the actual size and gave a great narrative of the "thing" in question. I died laughing at the gift because it was so perfect for our little scientist. And I am sorry, but when has a bed bug been so darn cute!

    These plushes were such a hit they earned instant "bed privileges." If a plush makes it into bed, that means our son LOVES it. Yes, my son went to bed with lice and a bed bug! That cracks me up. I was curious after he went to bed so I looked at at the tags to see where these awesome guys came from. I typed in the address and I was soon thumbing through GIANTmicrobes.

    They have everything you never thought could be a plush! Black death anyone? How about some giardia? I am telling you the E. coli is cute. Prices range between $8.99 and $9.99 for the plushes but they have more.... there are vinyl toys and other merchandise too. I tell you, the guy who thought up these products is a guineas because I have NEVER seen anything like this.

    Maybe your child would not want one of these. Maybe your child is not as weird as my son. But maybe your pediatrician is awesome, one of these would be a very unique gift.  If you have a friend with chicken pox or hey fever, what would be better as a gift. This is defiantly a site to peek around for what ever ails ya!

    Thanks again to Aunt Gloria for send a bundle of fun to brighten the day!

    Thursday, July 12, 2012

    Theme Park Giveaways!

    Money is tight and theme parks cost an arm and a leg. So what are you to do? Enter the Red Gold Tomatoes giveaway! Each theme park is offering a very special VIP Day for you and three friends. All three parks are located in Ohio so keep that in mind when you enter. We here at MAD live close enough it would be worth the drive.

    All you have to do is register on there site and you can enter all three! Just follow the park links to get started.

    Kings Island
    Cedar Point
    Wildwater Kingdom