FamilyFun May 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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happy mother’s day!

We might not ever need an excuse to spend some QT with our kids, but once in a while, it sure is nice to have one. That’s what Mother’s Day is about for me. It’s a free pass to ignore all the usual niggling obligations of the weekend and just plan a day of fun with the guys I love most in all the world. In theory, I know that permission for such abandon is never actually required, and yet I’m always surprised when I realize how many weeks have passed since we had an entire day together that wasn’t interrupted by birthday parties, baseball games, or errands to every store in town. Sometimes you (and by you, I mean I ) need a reminder. What better one than Mother’s…

holy roller coasters

COBRA’S CURSE AT BUSCH GARDENS Tampa Got a little daredevil in tow? Head south, where you’ll find this innovative coaster that brings you face to face with a huge (80-foot, 10,000-pound) serpent statue. Also seriously cool: Instead of the traditional incline pull, an elevator-style lift takes you to the top. (Height requirement: 42 inches) FLIGHT OF THE HIPPOGRIFF AT UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD Universal City, CA As if one needed an excuse to hit the West Coast’s just-opened Wizarding World of Harry Potter: This cute coaster sets you in a car led by a Hippogriff. Ideal for kiddies, the ride has twists and turns but no steep drops. The first outdoor coaster at Universal Studios Hollywood, it’s like the foam on your Butterbeer! (Height requirement: 39 inches) LIGHTNING ROD AT DOLLYWOOD Pigeon Forge, TN Good old Dolly does it…

the best mother’s day gift i’ve ever received was...

special poem my oldest son wrote for me. He’s not very mushy, so it meant a lot to me for him to take his time with something so special. Maria Evangelista-KuelperLivermore, CA A spa day at my son’s kindergarten class. My little guy got so excited to do my makeup, hair, and nails. I had so many little sparkly clips in my hair. And, yes, I wore them to Target after. He was so proud! Just seeing how happy he was that I liked his makeover was awesome. Amanda DearingNew Lenox, IL A heart-shaped diamond necklace. I spent my first Mother’s Day in the NICU with my son, who was born nine weeks early. Now almost 4, he asks me what it is, and I let him know that it was his gift to…

be a diy jedi

May the Fourth be with you! Celebrate unofficial-official Star Wars Day (May 4) with these easy light-up sabers. To do: Cut a clear T12 light-guard tube (about $4 at hardware stores) to 25½ inches. Tightly roll a 25 x 4¼-inch strip of vellum or tissue paper, insert it into the light guard, and adjust so ½ inch remains uncovered at one end, using a bit of clear tape to hold in place. Close the other end with the plastic cap that comes with the tube. Wrap electrical tape around the lamp end of a 1½-inch diameter LED flashlight until the tube slips over it snugly, then secure it with tape on the outside. Switch on to play! TEACHER GIFTS: WHAT TO DO Start with our designs for inspiration, then use each teacher’s…

tech tutorial

Brit Morin was a crafty kid. “I loved drawing, making marbled paper, creating elaborate gel-pen letters in the notes I passed in class....I thought it was just part of life!” she says. But as Morin got older, creativity was squeezed out. “It shocked me when art went from being a subject in school to an elective!” And it kept happening as she moved through her Silicon Valley career. “I was working hard, learning how to code and reading technology blogs, but I yearned for a creative outlet,” says Morin. So in 2011 she quit, planning to take a break before heading back to tech. She started a list of what she wanted to do and learn in her time off (baking, 3-D printing) and discovered that it all had to do…

shape it up

the setup You’ll need plain or colored poster board (cut into smaller squares), scissors (including a pair with decorative-edge blades), and assorted art supplies, such as a glue stick, cardstock, markers, and washi tape. the project Have your child decorate the poster-board squares by gluing on cardstock or creating patterns with the art supplies. Next, help him cut the pieces into smaller organic shapes (to make the ones we used, download our template at familyfunmag.com/printables). Be sure at least two shapes are half-circles—they’ll help form a base. To create the slots, make two ¾-inch cuts very close together, then discard the tiny strip of paper in between; add two or three slots per shape. Once your child has five or more shapes, he can slide two half-circles together at the slots to form…