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How Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie Make Family Life Work

August 21st, 2011 9:16am EDT

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Inside the Jolie-Pitt family: How Brad and Angelina raise six kids, make movies, and stay happy together while managing it all. Plus, this week's issue of PEOPLE features a special 24-page bonus section on Hollywood's Cutest Kids including the children of Jewel, Laila Ali, Halle Berry, Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith, and many more celeb tots.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are the first to admit they and their six kids live like nomads. "Home is wherever we are," Jolie, 36, said in a newspaper interview on July 29, as her family settled in to a London compound after a series of stints in Malta, New Orleans, Budapest, Venice, L.A., and the south of France. "There's so much to explore in the world. If you can travel, I think it's the best way to raise kids."

If anyone seems to have mastered the complex art of raising six rambunctious children on the move, it's Jolie and Pitt. Working with what Pitt, 47, called "military" precision as they move across continents, "Angelina is constantly trying to find fun activities for the children to do," says a source. And so they've visited aquariums in London and Malta, tasted crickets in Cambodia and jumped into the spa pools in Budapest and the waves in Cancun. Privileged? Perhaps. But despite their fame, the Jolie-Pitt bunch is just a "normal" family, says a source. "The children are always playing, jumping on each other and sharing fun moments. They share a special bond." As the kids grow up, here's how the world's most famous couple makes it all work.

Everyone must be portable: Knox and Viv, 3, "have grown up so much they can go everywhere now," says an insider. They already help with family moves: Like the older kids, Knox and Viv help pack one bag each with their travel musts. They're also old enough to tag along on more adventures.

Do birthdays in a big way: Whether it's hiring a sightseeing boat in Paris or putting up a bouncy castle in their L.A. backyard, Brad and Angelina make each kid's birthday a special occasion. On August 6, the day after Maddox's 10th birthday, the four older kids and their parents caught the musical Wicked in London. "The children looked excited," says an observer.

Keep the toy chest stocked: Trips to the local toy store are joyful – and regular – outings no matter where the Jolie-Pitts are stationed. Mom and Dad usually avoid big-ticket splurges, sticking to basics like stuffed animals, Nerf guns, costumes, and board games – though they sprang for new bikes for the kids on August 13. The kids are also paint-your-own-pottery fiends.

Make a splash: Waterparks, beaches, and pools are a sure hit among the Jolie-Pitts. "Pax is the one who leads the charge at water activities," says a source. He took bodyboarding classes with his brother Maddox in Cancun in July. In Malta, Pax and Zahara couldn't get enough of the Black Hole, an extra-long waterslide, at the Splash & Fun Water Park. "They really enjoyed it," says a source.

Tire them out: "As any mother knows, you have to plan everything for the kids first, then you organize your day," Jolie said last year. To give naptime a chance, she and Pitt make sure the kids burn off energy, whether they're bowling (a family favorite), tubing down California's Mammoth Mountain, or whizzing along at a Budapest zipline park, where Shiloh and the gang went last November.

Keep up as they grow up (if you can): "Now that all the children are older, things have calmed down a bit in the household," says a source. "There's a great family dynamic right now." With the gang growing up before their eyes, Pitt and Jolie say they may make fewer films. "I don't love [acting] as much [as I did]," Jolie told a newspaper. "I love being a mom."


*Also In This Week's 'PEOPLE'*

-Special Section – Hollywood's Cutest Kids!
-Jennifer Lopez & Marc Anthony: "She Will Always Love Marc And Has Days Of Doubt"
-Photos Of Jewel & Ty Murray's New Son Kase: "We Have Parent Goggles; We Think He's Perfect"
-Aruba Mystery – What Happened To Robyn Gardner? "She's That Girl That Lights Up A Room"
-Last Gift Justin Bieber Bought: "I Bought My Grandparents A House"

Get the new issue of PEOPLE magazine, on newsstands everywhere now, or check out PEOPLE.com!

© 2011 PEOPLE
Photo Credits: © 2011 PEOPLE


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