FamilyFun September 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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let the new year begin!

No offense to January 1, but for me, the real pivot point in the year is the first day of school. As the mom of two, that’s when I practically hear the hands of time clunk forward and feel my family propelled into the world of new schedules, new teachers, and new school stuff to label (and lose!). It’s a busy time, but I always love it because, like the other New Year, it gives my family a chance to rethink our routines. Fortunately, this issue is packed with ways to do just that. For example, I’m all over the sheet pan suppers on page 34. These midweek dinners dirty just one pan and taste great (trust me: we have a test kitchen here). I know my daughter, our family’s crafting…

custom kicks for cool kids

1. POP ON A POM Dress up a pair of plain flats with a fuzzy bauble. To attach the pom-poms, apply a dime-size dab of strong glue to each (E6000 Craft held up well in our tests). Press it into place, glue side down, and hold it for 10 seconds. Let it dry overnight. 2. DRAW A DESIGN Treat canvas sneakers like a blank canvas! Lightly sketch a simple motif with pencil, then follow your lines with paint pens (we recommend Elmer’s Painters Paint Markers). 3. ADD JEWELS AND TULLE To adorn rubber toe panels with sparkle, apply flat-backed gems with tweezers and strong glue (E6000 Craft, mentioned above, works great). For fluffy ties, cut tulle a few inches longer than the shoe’s original laces, then thread the tulle into place and…

the buzz

by the numbers 535k Number of FamilyFun Facebook fans—and counting. This happy half million loves to “like” ideas such as these ultra-popular POLKA DOT RASPBERRIES. behind the scenes FALL TOGETHER NOW Eight-year-old Inez and FamilyFun Associate Art Director Leslie Anne Charles goof off on a leaf-gathering mission at our Wild at Art shoot. See the story on page 40. finish this thought ON SCHOOL MORNINGS IN OUR HOUSE, YOU’LL OFTEN HEAR SOMEONE SAY ... “Wakey wakey, lemon shakey!” > TOBY MEREDITH BERMUDEZ “I AM up!” (said from under the covers). > NAOMI FLONNORY “I’ll pay you if I can go back to bed.” > KELLIE CARMICHAEL “Go back in your room and put underpants on.” > MELISSA KREMMEL “Why can’t I just wear the same clothes as yesterday? They aren’t even dirty!” > @ERIKAMYERS “Stop dancing so you can make your lunch!” > CHEYENNE GOWIE ALLEN “Wheek, wheek!!!” (The…

put on a pb&j drive

The Town Hatfield, Massachusetts The Kid Lavery Greenfield, age 9 (center, above photo) The Idea For someone in a love-hate relationship with PB&J (Today, “I’m sick of it! My dad packs it for me every single day!” Tomorrow, who knows? “I go through phases”), Lavery Greenfield of Hatfield, Massachusetts, can’t seem to get enough of the stuff. That’s because since 2013, Lavery has held the October Peanut Butter and Jelly Jar Drive—her invention—to collect these two sandwich spreads for her town’s local food bank. With major success. Rewind to September 2013, when Lavery, her mom, Renée, dad, Chris, and brother, Nolan, now age 5, toured the local food bank. Lavery recalls their guide asking them to guess what foods children requested most. The answer: peanut butter and jelly. And that’s when Lavery dreamed up a drive. How It…


WE ASKED: HOW DO YOU CLEAN AND ORGANIZE KIDS’ CREATIVE MESSES? YOU ANSWERED … LIFT UP THOSE LEGOS Before the kids play with Legos, I put a bedsheet on the foor. When the kids are done, it’s easy to lift the sheet and dump the toys back into their buckets. If any get away, I put panty hose over the vacuum neck. It lets me suck up strays but blocks them from going into the machine. Amy Tatlock Charleston, ME MAKE GLITTER DOUGH To clean up leftover glitter messes, I tell my kids, ages 3 and 5, to use their play dough like a stamp. So at the same time they’re cleaning, they’re making “glitter play dough”—a kid favorite. Genifer Reid Highland, CA SEPARATE YOUR SUPPLIES We use a clear plastic shoe organizer to hold all our…

the happy good-bye

“MY TUMMY HURTS.” Anthony’s voice came from the back of the car as I pulled up in front of the school. In the rearview mirror, I could see my second grader staring back at me with eyes that said, “I’m not ready to face the world inside those hallways today, Dad.” This wasn’t an unfamiliar occurrence; in fact, it was becoming a regular event. What was curious, though, was that my 7-year-old son’s change in attitude seemed to happen overnight. A kid who’d been chipper and bright-eyed and ready to learn had suddenly taken to curling up on the couch every morning, on the verge of tears, telling us how much he hated school, and how he really didn’t want to go. My wife, Kristin, and I struggled to figure out what…