20 Buys to Keep Kids Busy This Summer
Long summer days can mean recurring strains of "I'm bored!" Snap the mundane out of their days and reduce their summer brain drain with one of these fun (but educational!) buys.
School's out for summer, but that doesn't mean the learning has to stop. Keep kids' brains active and engaged with these fun buys for every age, from building kits to interactive books. They'll have so much fun, they won't even realize they're basically learning a new skill.
Calling all superheroes! Let your kids' creativity shine with this kit for creating their own comic books. The kit comes with everything they need to get started, including a writing guide that helps them shape their characters and stories. And the best part? They can send their work off to have it professionally printed and bound.
Hone those geography skills and get kids excited about exploring their world. With 52 creatively illustrated maps, showcasing places to visit, native plants and animals, famous people, as well as geographical features, this book gives your kids an in-depth look at different continents and countries around the earth.
Start your city planner early. The set of 20 blocks fit together like a puzzle in multiple ways so your child can create and recreate her architectural vision. And remember it's all about balance, whether adding a rooftop garden or building a hi-rise, to keep the city from falling down.
Give kiddos the perfect spot to play make-believe, read a favorite book or just hide from their siblings for a while (so much time together!). Available in dozens of adorable prints, these play tents are made from cotton canvas and are a fun addition to any bedroom or playroom.
For the perfect rainy-day activity, give your petite geologist an excavation site. Each kit has a digging tool and brush and a plaster rock full of eight crystals just waiting to be revealed. Once they've finished their task, they can display their newly discovered rock collection.
Open-ended play at its best. Kids put the brightly colored geometric shapes together through magnetic construction to create whatever they can imagine — in 2D or 3D. Designed for kids as young as four to work on fine motor skills and spatial thinking, there are expansion kits geared toward older kids to continue building those essential STEM skills.
The number one thing teachers encourage kids to do over the summer is to read every day. Take your kids on the classic adventures of The Hardy Boys with the first five books of the series. This set features custom-designed covers by Juniper Books so in addition to wonderful stories, they'll also look amazing on your bookshelf.
Fizzy drinks, polymer pudding and color-changing foaming jelly, oh my! Get kids excited about chemistry with experiments they can eat and drink. This kit teaches kiddos the basics of chemistry, including acids, bases, solutions, formulas and more. You might discover you have your very own little Madame Curie or George Washington Carver.
Get their creative juices flowing with a blank, but unusual, canvas. With five weatherproof paints, two paintbrushes and four large rocks to decorate, this kit will keep kiddos busy and happy during hot afternoons. Then, send them outside to decorate your yard with pops of color.
Bring the symphony to your child's fingertips with this interactive book that teaches him the different aspects of a symphony and the families of instruments. The 19 sound buttons allow your preschooler and elementary-age kid to hear each instrument's part of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. Next stop: Carnegie Hall.
Who wants to fly paper airplanes when you can soar with dragons? The book, which is full of dragon traits and their habitats, shows kids step-by-step how to create 12 dragons, including foot-long flyers and dragon hatchlings. Make a theme day of it and watch How to Train Your Dragon — hours without having to hear the dreaded "bored" word equals parenting success.