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FamilyFun Big Book of Summer Fun

FamilyFun Big Book of Summer Fun

As soon as school lets out for the summer, there are two words every parent dreads: “I’m bored.” This issue is for every parent who wants to head boredom off at the pass by having a playbook of summer activities ready. Packed with crafts, activities, games, travel, and food, this magazine provides 100+ ideas for summertime fun. It's divided into 4 chapters that cover all the core FamilyFun brand topics—Create, Play, Explore, and Eat.

United States
Meredith Corporation

in this issue

1 min
create a summer to remember.

Summer break kicks off with joyful anticipation. You can feel the energy in the air as the kids run out the school doors. Before the excitement begins to fade in the heat, you need a game plan for boredom-busting, memory making fun. This issue is your playbook! Start things off right by creating a summer fun station (page 12) where sidewalk chalk, bubbles, and jump ropes are always ready for action. “Play Ball” (page 38) puts a new twist on backyard games. We’ve included ideas to make it more challenging if your superstars want to take their game to the next level. When the kids need a break from the action, turn to easy craft projects for all ages. “Rainy Day Delights” (page 30) has great crafting ideas for preschoolers and elementary-age…

2 min
get happy together

We often speak of “finding” happiness–as if it’s something we stumble upon, a lucky penny on the sidewalk of life. Actually, it’s an emotion over which we have a fair amount of control. Science is confirming what Dorothy had to go to Oz to discover: Happiness is not somewhere over the rainbow. It’s right in your own backyard. In the pages that follow, we share easy ways of putting positive vibes into action every day, from laughing more to plugging in less. The great news is that introducing your kids to happiness habits is a package deal. “It’s buy one, get one free. You can’t teach these habits without getting happier yourself,” says Christine Carter, Ph.D., author of Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents and…

1 min
commit acts of kindness

DECLARE A WEEKLY THREE GOOD DEEDS DAY. Challenge each family member to chalk up a trio of thoughtful acts, then report back at dinnertime. Write down the good deeds and hang the list on your fridge. It also serves as a great reminder to be kind. KEEP A KINDNESS FUND. Donate together to a favorite charity. The bonus payoff: feeling happier than if you had treated yourself. (In a 2007 study, when researchers gave subjects $5 cash, those who spent it for the good of others reported just that result.) To make it fun, decorate a collection jar, set it in a central spot, and be sure deposits are greeted with hearty cheers.…

1 min
laugh a lot

SHARE GOOD JOKES. Along with the cookbooks, keep a few humor compendiums in the kitchen. Two can’t miss titles: Ten-Second Tongue Twisters, by Mike Artell (for ages 6 to 9, barnesandnoble.com) and Laugh-Out-Loud Jokes for Kids, by Rob Elliott (for ages 9 to 12, amazon.com). ENCOURAGE CLOWNING. Schedule an evening of ridiculous parlor games once a month. Try a funny walk contest, a silly version of Simon Says (“Simon says cluck like a chicken”), or a fictional character dance-off (“Daffy Duck versus the Hulk. Go!”). LAUGH ONLINE. Bookmark links to hilarious kid-friendly videos for impromptu viewings when real-life laughs are in short supply. Find animal clips at cuteoverload.com or give your kids a screen-time assignment to search for the most comical videos on The Muppets’ YouTube channel.…

1 min
jump for joy

TURN IT INTO A RACE. Hold a backyard skipping and hopping competition by placing pool noodles, garden hoses, and other low obstacles across the yard to be hopped over on one foot; the areas between them must be crossed by skipping. Anyone who runs is out. TRY BOUNCY GEAR. Stock up on playthings that encourage joyful jumping. A pair of pogo toys that our testers loved: the Kidoozie Hop & Squeak Unicorn Pogo Jumper, $19.99, learningexpress.com, and the Alex Super Go Pogo Stick, $39.99, amazon.com.…

1 min
glee fuel

There are no instant cures for the blues. But not surprisingly, scientists have found that maintaining a healthy diet with key nutrients can improve your emotional well-being. “Studies have demonstrated there’s a decrease of between 30 and 50 percent in depression when people eat a more whole food-based diet,” says Dr. Drew Ramsey, author of The Happiness Diet. Focus on foods with these nutrients. OMEGA 3 anchovies rainbow trout salmon sardines B-12 beef cheese clams eggs yogurt B-9 (FOLATE) broccoli chickpeas lentils spinach VITAMIN E almonds avocados sunflower seeds swiss chard MAGNESIUM bananas brown rice pumpkin seeds quinoa…