FamilyFun November 2015

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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all those ideas?

A SNEAK PEEK AT WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THIS ISSUE That’s a question I’ve been asked countless times over the years, and the answer is simple: FamilyFun’s staffers and contributors are idea fanatics who are always on the lookout for projects that are easy, ingenious, and above all, fun. As a result, we see the world a little differently: a cracker box turns into a toy truck (page 30), two acorns transform into a cute squirrel (page 25), and a bowl of gumdrops becomes—ta-da!— a Thanksgiving treat (page 94). Just ask Joy Howard, our food editor, who developed that last project. “When I walk into a grocery store, it’s like seeing a world of creative possibilities,” she says. That open-ended excitement is just what we hope you feel when you look through…

dino-mite sites

EXTRA-BIG IDEAS FOR YOUR EXTRA-FUN FAMILY The millions of prehistoric creatures that roamed what is now North America didn’t disappear without a trace: they left behind footprints, bones, and other fascinating evidence, which you can catch a glimpse of at these five amazing sites. At some, you can even join paleontologists as they work to unearth new finds. 1 Dinosaur National Monument Jensen, UT Do your kids love to get hands-on with exploration? Then head to the worldrenowned Carnegie Quarry. It’s one of the few places on earth where you can reach out and touch real dinosaur bones, right in the sandstone that trapped them millions of years ago. nps.gov/dino 2 Dinosaur State Park Rocky Hill, CT Under a towering geodesic dome, you’ll walk beside one of the world’s largest dinosaur trackways, featuring hundreds of 200-million-yearold footprints. Want…

at our house, bathtime usually brings...

Puddles. And chaos. > EMILY FREDERICK SANTANELLA Really interesting conversations and insights into the world of a 4-year-old. > MISTY LAFOND Naked dance parties and shrieking. Lots of shrieking. > ROXANNE FERBER A river running across the floor. > @MEL_BROWN A glow event. I add bubbles and some LED “ice cubes” to the water and dim the lights. > MELISSA KELLY AHERN VEDDER Wet kitty paws. My cats are very interested in watching my kids in the tub. > @GRETCHEN GIACOMA Tic-tac-toe and hangman played with washable tub crayons that double as soap. > MOLLY VERRELLI A wiggly, slippery baby and a soaked mom. > @BEANZ1348 Warm towels, stories, and a great night’s sleep. > TRINA GUNZEL LET’S SOCIALIZE! Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr. Search “FamilyFun magazine.” by the numbers 33k Number of Pinterest users following our CAKES…

mind the gap

1. Reese, age 7, couldn’t wait to tell the news to his teachers at school. > SHERRY KELLEY, COWETA, OK 2. Six-year-old Sean’s tooth went flying and was never found. The fairy came anyhow. > STEPHANIE WILLISON, INDIANAPOLIS, IN 3. Just off the school bus, Alexia, 6, shows off her brand-new grin. > RACHEL BIP, TERRYVILLE, CT 4. Ezekiel, 6, wakes with a smile, even when short a tooth or two. > ASHLEY JEFFREY, SPRING GREEN, WI 5. Jade, 6, hijacked a tooth container from the school nurse in anticipation of this moment. > DAWN BANKSTON, MORRISTOWN, NJ 6. Determined Natalie, 7, yanked her own first tooth > JODI CLARK, WEIDMAN, MI 7. KayleeAnn, 6, fills the backseat with gap-tooth glee. > SAMANTHA NICHOLS, MORENO VALLEY, CA Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and keep an…

leftover-pie party

The Town Littleton, Massachusetts The Family The Stoneys: Kimberly, Sam, and Elliott, age 14 (above) The Idea Thanksgiving is all about family, but many people spend the next day, Black Friday, shopping for bargains. The Stoney family of Littleton, Massachusetts, does things differently: they host an open house for friends on that Friday and invite guests to bring leftover pie from their holiday feast. “We’re thankful for our friends as much as we are for our family,” says Kimberly. “We started this tradition so we could see both groups over the holiday. It’s a great alternative to shopping!” A get-together where everyone contributes means that hosting is totally stress-free. “The party takes minimal effort on your part,” she says. “It’s not supposed to be work.” Bonus: you probably just cleaned your house for the holiday, so…

look what you did!

1. SNEAK THROUGH LASER BEAMS When my kids need an indoor boredom buster, we set up “laser beams” by winding red yarn all around our furniture. Then I carefully help the kids make their way through the obstacles. They love it! Amber Steinkamp Dedert Liberty, IL 2. CREATE A KIDS’ CAFE We like to turn our kitchen into a “café.” My boys write and design the menus, then we make them into placemats using selflaminating sheets from the dollar store. They like to help me set the table and then tell me their “orders.” (I make and serve the food.) It’s easy and always fun! Gina Bell Antigonish, NS, Canada 3. STRING UP AN INDOOR ZIP LINE Our family likes to make indoor zip lines! We draw a picture of someone—it could be a book or movie character or…