Family Fun is one of the best budget-friendly resources I know. (Buy a 1-year subscription for only $1.49 on Ebay!)
I find so many good ideas...that I promptly forget to use. I've begun letting Andrew rip out projects for himself.
Do you have a system for doing all the great crafts and games you see? How do you make sure that your educational investments don't go to waste?
Boy, can I relate to this. As a grandmother and a day care provider I am always on the 'look out' for new ideas that I can use with the kids. Ideas that will not break the bank, that will keep the children interested, and that just MIGHT teach the children and ME something.
I keep a file in a large 3 ring binder. Ideas for toys, ideas for food, ideas for games, ideas for art, ideas for gifts, etc. all in one folder. I pull the ideas from many different places. If an idea comes from the internet I print it and put it into the binder. This has worked for me for almost 20 years. I love to look at some of the older ideas. Some of the ideas are 'new' again. Roxie
Good question! I find that if I don't do them right away, I never do. I'd love to hear others' ideas on the subject.
I started using Dawn(at By Sun and Candlelight)'s file folder system to keep all the ideas for projects. Everything is filed according to the date when might be used (I also have an anytime file) and I remind myself every week to look through it and pull out a few. I got in the habit of planning lessons this year for homeschool so I'm trying to keep that up through the summer. I love to let Levi choose, but I usually pre-select a few for him to choose from.
Family Fun is an excellent resource - some of the projects are even fine for Levi to do ON HIS OWN!!!
I pull a few aside for Sunday School, but use at home... well my system is, I don't get anything done! Then I find a stack of magazines with no idea why I saved them. I think my Martha Stewart Baby is the only one where I have gone back for idea after idea and that was for baby showers.
I started keeping an expandable file for these ripped out projects. Scribbit has a really cool binder that she uses with all of her summer ideas in it to keep the kids busy. I thought that was a really great idea too.
Have you seen Soule Mama's book- The Creative Family? It is INCREDIBLE- great for frugal families and shares how to instill creativity in your children. I am really loving it!
Totally agree: Family Fun is the best source for ideas, and still totally overwhelming. I've ripped out pages and put them on the fridge, made lists of supplies to get, even added to-do's to our monthly calendar, and it's still rough-going. What can I say, I'm a lazy mom.
Hi, Just found you and I will be back!
I'm the same way with Family Fun...finally ditched my old subscription, because I already have a huge back-log. Now, if I could just get to the huge pile of fabric downstairs and get the kids summer shorts made...ugh.
As a homeschooling mom of three little ones, an artist, and pack rat...hmm. LOTS of shelves and let the kids have stuff that they can experiment with that you don't mind having "wasted"...some of the cutest "crafts" come from kid ideas.
I love Family Fun magazine! My mom gave me a subscription, but I had no idea that you could buy subscriptions so cheaply on ebay!!
I dog-ear the activities I love, then either type them up or clip out the articles to save. I try to use the ideas that month, or I tend to forget about them.
I've also started a holidays file using microsoft word. So I type in the great ideas in Family Fun magazine to save for next year.
Thank I just bought one I have been wanted to get that mag. for so long I just don't like to part with my money but I think I can handle 1.49$ thanks
Wow. This is too funny! I just sat down at my computer desk with that very issue of Family Fun in my hand. As I was checking blogs on my feed reader, I kept thinking about how I could organize or keep track of all of the wonderful things that I had just read about. So, I about fell out of my seat when I read this post! :)
I always read about all of these projects and then end up forgetting about them! I CANNOT wait to hear the ideas that your readers come up with!
My system is my blog! I weekly make a post of cool ideas I find on the web. If I see something neat offlinel I try make it a quick post so I'll remember to try it out someday! :-) It'll all be there for me to browse without actually taking up room in my house.
My kids are still little, but I really really enjoyed hearing everyone's ideas for how to keep track of new fun projects.
I bought a book called "Ideas for Families" published by Good Books in Intercourse, PA (no joke) and most of them cost .99 or less. It's a great book with many parents contributing ideas, organized by how the projects and traditions could be used. I also like SouleMama's "Creative Family" which has the actual instructions for the projects.
Wow that sounds like a great subscription deal! Thanks. I no longer keep magazines, if I don't do an idea right away that's OK, I read magazines for entertainment and then they go in the trash/recycling.
Does Family Fun have a web archive of projects? If I wanted to do something specific that I remembered I'd search the beautiful information treasure of the Internet.
I so do the exact same thing, Merideth. I have been receiving this magazine for several years now, and love reading it from cover to cover. But I think that I've only completed about 4 or 5 projects/ideas from it. This serves as a reminder for me to do better with this resource.
I list them in my planner on the monthly divider! The two pages face each other for the calendar, then the opposite sides are blank with lines--this is where I put "things to do this month" whether it's getting the deck powerwashed or Family Fun Superbubbles p. 33. I put the page number so I can go back. If it's a hit, I tear the article and put it in an activity file. I hope that makes sense!
I love this magazine (but rarely implement all the great things - one day!!) My goodness, I didn't know you could get a subscription off of Ebay for $1.49. That's wonderful.
I have hard cover 3 ring binders that I have put labeled seperators in. I cut out all the craft ideas, gardening tips, decorating ideas, recipes, school tips file them in the binders. I punch the pages with a 3 ring hole punch. I also made the divided sections out of the clear slip in pages so I can put things in there until I have time to punch holes and put in. I also have a folder in my files that is for things to be filed. I also have pages I tore out of magazines that are in various drawers around the house. I also have magazines that I have not gone through to tear out stuff yet.
Ask a friend to do it with you. Its more fun and less work, and creates memories for the kids and for you.
Love Family Fun!
just ripped out 2 FF article on making kid-sized furniture out of cardboard boxes and paper scraps, and weaving a jump rope out of old nylon tights!
My daughter is watching a little neighbor girl this summer and we're rounding up ideas for when the novelty wears off.
I used to get Family Fun when all I was doing was babysitting! I loved it. But I couldn't keep up with the ideas :( So I eventually let it lapse. I'll try it again when my children are a bit older.
For now, my passion is its twin for younger children -- Wondertime!
Please heed my warning about buying magazine subscriptions on eBay. There are some legitimate sellers out there, but there are MORE scammers.
Magazine wholesalers generally forbid their distributors from selling on eBay because publishing houses require them to get a certain minimum price. That's usually the price you see on Amazon or other reputable places.
I found all of this out the hard way after I ordered a gift subscription on eBay and it never showed up. (Talk about embarrassing -- my friend didn't get her gift and I looked like a big cheap-o for buying it on eBay. Lesson learned!)
I bought a pretty fabric covered file folder box at Target. I have a file folder marked for each month plus ones for the big holidays. Before the start of a new month or holiday I can look through the folder and see what we want to attempt.
For years I subscribed to this awesome magazine to use at the after school program I ran. I saved them in some magazine files by month. I gave them away when I moved cross country, but every time I read one at the dentist I regret it. So many *Terrific* ideas in the magazine. I think they are worth saving!
As for my decorating magazines, I scan the photos I like into my flickr file in a set I call "inspiration." This saves space and also makes it so easy to "flip' through them from time to time.
That is totally one of my favorite kids magazines...and highlights. I get them both from Ebay, along with all of my subscriptions. :)
We tear out what we like and put it in a notebook with protector sleeves and whenever the kids get bored, we pull the notebook out and pick a project to do.
This is a great question because I've never been able to master it. I see the ideas and always wished I'd ripped them out and filed away.
Now my kids are too big. Maybe in the future for grandkids - now that is an idea! :)
First off, I love your blog! I have been reading for about a month now.
FF is one of my favorite magazines too! I have taken a binder with sheet protectors to keep the articles / ideas that I would like to keep. It keeps it all together and neat. HTH!
I love family fun! I pull out the ideas I want to do and tape them onto paper and put those into plastic sleeves then into my 3 ring binder. I organize by season and cooking projects. When we need an idea I just need to pull out by activity book.
Oh, I love that magazine, and so do the girls! We often buy back issues at thrift shops--they're just as good as the new ones.
I actually cancelled my subscription to Family Fun because the darn things made me feel guilty! I pictured Moms across America making tye-dyed stationary or something with their kids, and was disheartened that we never could make it happen at our house. :) I'm sure this feeling was caused by some deep-rooted insecurity within myself!
Oh, Oh! I have a system. :) I actually get my ideas off their website rather than the magazine itself. When I see an idea I like, I print it and file it in my holiday folders. I have one for kid birthday ideas, travel ideas, holiday ideas (with a seperate one for Christmas, of course!) and school craft ideas. Then when a holiday comes up, I open the folder and look through to see what I can use. I used to just save the ideas in the favorites folder but I learned the hard way, they often delete ideas. :(
Meredith, truthfully, I just go online and pull out ideas, print them and hole punch'em for the binder. I have a GIANT tub of supplies (a rubbermaid with lid I found at the Goodwill for 3 bucks) I use with the children for making homeade and personalized birthday cards, pictures, presents, gift bags, etc. and any other crafting projects we like to do --- I'm squeezing in more and more time this summer - that's my goal - to craft outdoors on the patio tables -
It's so much fun to gather new ideas from Urbanmamas.com and other Metro parent websites --- They publish magazines with thrifty ideas throughout!
I also clip 'kid games' out of the newspaper - It rains here 10 months out of the year - so the indoor game idea thing/craft supply store clearance notices abound in our weekly and daily papers!
OLD children's craft books from the 60s lurk around yard sales and goodwill here too --- they're tossed into my basket so fast -
Our goodwill looks like a department store - You should see the donations - amazing what people don't have room for anymore - Good recipe books from the 70s and 80s crowd my bookshelf, along with 'rainy day' craft idea books for the children-
Working mama in the NW!
I have written a book about creating memories and traditions. I would love to send you a copy for your family and one for you to give away.....how can I do this?
Pam, South Bend
I try to file them. But, I forget to check them each season. I guess I need to make a habit of checking my files and then scheduling them. I know my kids like it when we do them, so...
I have a notebook w/ the clear page protectors (that I tend to use as "pockets" for each month. I slide ideas that are season/holiday specific in there & then check it periodically. BUT I also believe that letting hte kids create their own fun is best. I use ideas like this as a "cheat sheet" for when they're bored & need guidance. As long as they're happily conducting VBS for their dolls on the jungle gym in the yard I'm not about to drag them in the house to do a craft or game or whatever no matter how much they might like it. So, if we don't use the ideas I don't consider it a waste if the kids were too busy being kids :)
We mark off pages and every week the girls pick a craft they want to do and it gets done. I just tend to save them in my fav file and then when it's time for a new craft I skim through. I do need something more organized though.
Family Fun has something new (and FREE!) for subscribers. It is called "Coverleaf" and can be accessed at www.coverleaf.com/familyfun. It allows you to "clip and store" online. I am still navigating its features, but it looks promising. Just a thought...
Michelle in Georgia
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