FamilyFun April 2016

Every digital issue ( 8 a year) is a wealth of do-able ideas to help you with everything from making a creative sack lunch to planning a birthday party with ease. Look at everything you get ... • Family-favorite recipes that are quick, easy and inexpensive (and win kisses for the cook!) • Fresh ways to turn ordinary activities into extraordinary adventures that kids and grown-ups will enjoy. • Fun, hands-on crafts for Valentine’s Day and homemade goodies for Christmas ... and every special day in between! • Favorite kid-tested, parent-approved vacation ideas ... plus easy ways to preserve your memories for a lifetime. Get all the help and encouragement you need to make every day with your family better than the day before ... say yes to Family Fun now!

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Meredith Corporation
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let’s take a trip!

When I was a kid, we didn’t go on many vacations, which meant that when my parents did pack up the car to go away, it was a very big deal for me and my sister, Amanda. I distinctly remember the first time we stayed at a hotel with a pool. We were somewhere in the Adirondacks on our way to Santa’s Workshop, a magical-sounding place my mom had visited when she was a little girl. There was nothing particularly fancy about the place, but Amanda and I couldn’t have cared less. We had a pool almost outside our door. We could get ice from an ice machine. And we were going to see Santa! In the summer! I’m not sure how we ever slept. But that’s the thing about family…

an edible experiment!

TO MAKE THE BEADS Pour 1 cup vegetable oil into a glass and chill it in the freezer for at least 40 minutes. In a saucepan, mix together 1 cup Gatorade and 1∕₂ tsp. agar powder (find it with the Asian foods). Bring just to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring. Pour into a heatproof bowl (an adult’s job) and cool for 20 minutes. Take out the oil. Fill a dropper with the Gatorade mixture and squirt it into the oil. As soon as the juice hits, it will form a ball and sink. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beads to a bowl of cold water to rinse. Drain in a mesh strainer. Eat the beads alone or as an ice-cream topping! HOW DID THAT HAPPEN? The formation of the beads looks…


A mini fashion show for my daughter and her friends for her sixth birthday. Nicole Lavoy Mechanicsburg, PA I had a reptile man come for my son’s party, because I was so afraid of snakes and thought this would help me get over that fear. He had the snakes in huge containers. One got knocked over, and I jumped on top of my car until every reptile was caught! Robin Kanter Mercer Island, WA For my daughter’s tenth birthday, we threw an Olympic-themed party. Our guests chose countries to represent and participated in activities like relay footraces, water ballet, and swimming. As the guests entered the “stadium,” they held their countries’ fl ags, and we played a snippet of their national anthem. At the end, everyone received a gold medal. Julie Dossantos Fort Pierce, FL I…

right on point

COOL THINGS TO MAKE AND DO TOGETHER Forget those problem sets! Get your kids psyched about STEM with interactive toys they can make at home. They’ll be amazed to see science, technology, engineering, and math in action in a setting that feels nothing like school. Start them on our fun projects, then step back and leave room for tinkering (see “Take It Further,” page 20). If at first they don’t succeed, show them how to modify and try again— it’s the key to sparking lifelong curiosity, creativity, and passion for experimentation. balancing buddy Your child will be delighted to see this silly pal teeter on his tiny toothpick point! WHAT YOU’LL NEED • Wine cork • Two 12-inch bamboo skewers • Toothpick • Modeling clay • Decorations (like paper, googly eyes, and paint) WHAT TO DO 1. Place the cork upright…

unfold a surprise

THE SPARK! This project is inspired by orizomegami, a Japanese art of dipping pleated rice paper into vegetable dyes to make beautiful designs. Learn more about other forms of Asian art at the Smithsonian’s Freer|Sackler Galleries (asia.si.edu). the setup Iron a few coffee filters to make them flat. (An adult’s job—iron up to four at a time on the highest setting, no steam.) Set them out on a covered surface with lots of paper towels and a few bowls of liquid watercolor paint. (We used Sargent Art Watercolor Magic, $11; amazon.com.) You can also make it from cake watercolors : Remove each one and place in a bowl, then add a few drops of water at a time, mixing as you go, until the paint becomes a thin liquid. fold the coffee filters Show your…

’do it up!

Emily Neuburger is a careful, reflective person. Usually. But when it comes to projects like this? Caution f lies out the window. “I’m all about spontaneous creativity,” says Neuburger. “I encourage kids to focus on the quirky ideas that come to mind, instead of pushing them away .” That’s where these simple collages began. Neuburger was thinking about hairstyles and how varied they are. “I thought, what if I did the hair first, and let the character come out of that ?” Since kids also tend to draw faces first, this patternbreaking exercise gets them thinking. “One idea sparks the creative process,” she says. Neuburger also swears by using found materials, such as envelopes and encyclopedias, to add depth to collages. “There’s something magical about pieces made from recycled supplies,” she says.…