FamilyFun December / January 2017

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!

United States
Meredith Corporation
Back issue only



This is no secret: Holiday traditions are the Krazy Glue of families. It’s not like the special things you do the rest of the year aren’t important or meaningful, but the ones that fall between Thanksgiving and New Year’s seem to somehow bind you, well, krazy strong. That’s why we filled this issue with ideas and inspiration that will fit right into your family’s usual activities—and shake them up a little too: Ready to hand over the reins on your annual cookie production? Let the kids take charge of decorating this year (page 55). Like to encourage your little elves to craft at least a few handmade gifts? You won’t want to miss “Made for Play,” which features four toys kids can make for their siblings and friends (page 18). Do…

to get in the holiday spirit, our family...

Makes tons and tons of cookies. Then we make homemade wrapping paper for the tins. We give them to family and friends, our mail carrier, sanitation workers, and colleagues. It’s a great way to teach little ones to enjoy being in the kitchen and give something yummy to others. Heather BergmannHubertus, WI Has a giant gingerbread house–making party, with tons of icing and candy! Katie Duchesneau St. Stephen, Canada Goes tree hunting! Even if we don’t buy one from that specific farm, walking through rows and rows of pines (with their lovely scent) in our hats and mittens and imagining all the family time to come among the Christmas lights gets us ready! Cait Halliburton Keene, NH Celebrates all the holidays! We learn about the traditions of all our family and friends, then we cook meals,…

big-screen hits

Dec. 16 ROGUE ONE The latest Star Wars spin-off starts just before the original film and follows Jyn Erson and a Rebel Alliance team as they attempt to steal the blueprints for the Death Star. Jan. 13 MONSTER TRUCKS This live-action/animated film features a tentacled creature named Creech who befriends Tripp, a high school senior. Together, they turn scrap parts into superpowered vehicles. Dec. 21 SING Matthew McConaughey voices a koala who holds a singing competition to save his failing theater. Contestants of all species show up—including an elephant with the pipes of Tori Kelly LAST CALL FOR MESSY BABIES! Parents and Dreft are looking for America’s cutest messy baby! To enter, capture your messy baby (6 months to 2 years) and upload to Parents.com/dreftmessiestbabycontest or post to Twitter or Instagram with #messiestbabycontest by November 30, 2016. The grandprize winner…

our favorite holiday books

The Thirteen Days of Christmas by Steven Davison “ We’ve long adored this book from Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, where your ‘ghoul love’ gives you stars, true-love potions, and more for your fortune-card tree.” Elizabeth Shaw, editor-in-chief The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg “The book is full of wonder! It rings with enchantment.” Emily Chen, senior designer The Amazing Christmas Extravaganza by David Shannon “My mom still reads this—with all the voices—to her grown children.” Liz Schnabolk, senior editor Carl’s Christmas by Alexandra Day “There are only a few words, so my girls love filling in the blanks as Carl and his infant charge go on a winter adventure!” Ayn-Monique Klahre, deputy editor Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto and Ed Martinez “My family loves this book because it’s funny and captures the energy of busy holidays in the house– everyone’s…

made for play

FISH FRIENDS Your kids can make a whole school of these quirky stuffies for their crew! What you’ll need Fish templates (find them at familyfunmag.com/printables) Fabric (about ¼ yard per fish) Chalky colored pencil Kid-safe needle Embroidery thread Opaque white fabric-paint pen Beans or fiberfill 1. Cut out the templates and trace onto your fabric with colored pencil (feel free to let kids draw their own fish bodies too!), then fold the fabric in half and pin. Cut through both layers about ½ inch outside the marking. 2. Starting at the bottom, stitch the fish together along the chalk line, leaving about 6 inches open along its belly. 3. Add the fish’s features with the paint pen, letting each side dry in between. Help your child iron to set the paint per manufacturer instructions. 4. Stuff the fish with beans or fiberfill, and…

8 bright nights

DIY DREIDELS Put your own spin on these brilliant dreidel decorations! Open one each night to reveal a special family activity. What to do: Print the dreidel template (find it at familyfunmag.com/printables), cut it out, and trace it onto eight pieces of colored cardstock. Assemble following the directions on the template (you’ll need a black marker, wood craft stick, and tape). Before closing the dreidels, have each kid write a family-activity idea on a slip of paper (no peeking!) and tuck it into a dreidel, then add your own surprise ideas to the rest. Hang with ribbon. SAND ART MENORAH + CANDLES Your child can use all his favorite colors to make a menorah he can safely keep in his room for many years to come. What to do: Start with eight small glass jars,…