Motherhood, Marriage and Other Wild Rides

Health, Happiness and the Pursuit of Mommyhood

#15 Fun Things To Do With Your Family This Weekend November 21, 2008

Build A Family Photo House!

This adorable three-dimensional house makes a perfect photo memory display, and is a great way to reuse items from the recycling bin! Younger

Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home

children can create simpler designs, enjoying the process of cutting and pasting. Older kids will appreciate more intricate details when decorating their house. 

For tweens, have them create a swanky hang-out with pics of all their BFFs. Instructions courtesy Kaboose.com

 What you’ll need:

  • Recycle a toaster pastry box, cereal box, or or one of similar shape and size
  • Construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Pennies, pebbles or modeling clay
  • Tape
  • Photographs of all family members (get permission from your parents first)
  • Fine-tip permanent markers
  • Tiny flowers, birds, or other decor as desired. (Make them from construction paper!)

How to make it:

  1. The top of the box (with flaps intact) will be the top of the house. Decide what color you would like your house to be and cover the outside with construction paper. Leave three extra inches of construction paper at the top all the way around (where the flaps are – see figure 1).
  2. Cut slits in the construction paper at the top corners, so that the paper can fold like the flaps can. Glue the construction paper to the flaps.
  3. Trim the pictures into rectangular windows, or you may decide to cut carefully around the person’s picture (sort of like a paper doll) and glue that to a rectangular piece of white paper to make a window.
  4. Decorate the house, placing the windows and a door. You might want to include your family name, a message and the year.
  5. Put pennies, pebbles or the modeling clay in the bottom of the box to give the project some weight and keep it from falling over.
  6. Fold corners of the big flaps of the top of the box inward to make an upside down “v”. Fold the corners inward, but leave them sitting like tabs, so that you can glue the roof to them. Fold the small flaps down inside the box.
  7. Decide what color you would like your roof to be and cut the construction paper to cover it. Glue it on and then add any details you would like to your house, i.e., window boxes, shutters, flowers, ivy or anything else you like! 

Make Home-made Old Fashioned Gingerbread Men!

Making gingerbread men (and women) is a blast, plain and simple. Toddlers can get in the action by breaking eggs and mixing ingredients, and everyone enjoys rolling the dough, and making shapes. The scent of fresh-baked gingerbread will draw the masses from blocks around.

Dressing your ginger-people for success is a snap: Choose healthy snacks such as raisins, dried cranberries and pepitas, or go Old School with gum drop buttons and licorice whip smiles. Click here for the recipe!

Future Environmentalists Club

Did you know that Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 use large amounts of electricity and can each consume as much energy as TWO new refrigerators?!  

According to a new report released by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), you can cut your electric bill by as much as $100 a year simply by turning it off your Xbox 360 or Sony Play Station 3 when you are finished playing.

Playstation 3 uses five times the power of a stand-alone Sony Blu-ray player to play the same movie. This is a particularly dramatic difference considering these two products are made by the same company. Changes need to be made.

The NRDC is urging manufacturers to make future systems more energy efficient, to help save consumers money, for our clean energy future, and reduce global warming pollution.

  • Looking at the “big three” video game consoles – Sony Playstation 3, Microsoft XBox360 and Nintendo’s Wii – the report measured the amount of power they use when they are active, idle and turned off. It found these systems use nearly the same amount of power when you are playing them as they do when you leave them on and walk away.
  • On average, the report found that Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 use large amounts of electricity –150 Watts and 119 Watts respectively. These two systems can each consume more than 1,000 kilowatt-hours per year if left on all the time. The Nintendo Wii, however, uses significantly less power when on (at <20 Watts) and actually uses slightly less power than the previous generation of their console.

NRDC is working with the leading video game hardware and software designers to help make these improvements. In particular, NRDC is working to make sure users will be able to automatically save their settings and place in the game before they shut down the systems. 

For a full copy of the report, and ideas for saving energy in your home, click here.

“By raising our children with a strong sense of respect and reverence for Earth, we help ensure that there will be adults to step into ecological leadership positions.”–Helen Coronato, author of  Eco-Friendly Families, 

*Submit your family’s fun weekend activities—The best ones will be featured here!
Looking for more weekend ideas? Click here for Fun Things To Do archived entries

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One Response to “#15 Fun Things To Do With Your Family This Weekend”

  1. […] #15 Fun Things To Do With Your Family This Weekend … Future Environmentalists Club Did you know that Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 use large amounts of electricity and can each consume as much energy as TWO new refrigerators?! According to a new report released by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), you can cut your electric bill by as much … […]


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