In my kids' activities (class parties, Brownies, and preschool), they have experienced all the tried and true crafts, snacks, and games at least twice. It's a tough crowd. For personal and professional reasons, I perused many books to find unique ideas to hopefully elicit comments like... "Mom, this is cool."
Here's a small sampling of my favorite books to help keep kids happy this summer:
38 Ways to Entertain Your Parents on Summer Vacation
Dette Hunter (author)
Kitty Macaulay (illustrator)
Annick Press 2005
Hands down, the best children's book for summer, and check out the title... what child wouldn't want to see what's inside? Having taught winter after school classes titled "Summer Arts and Crafts", instructed ten years of Art Appreciation activities, and bought and read every art and craft book known to man, I thought I had seen every craft possible. The ideas, activities, and fun things to do in this book are so simple, unique, and creative. But most importantly, it's a book written for kids... to empower them and to give them the ideas to enrich their summer. The illustrations are very cute and engaging.
The Kids Summer Games Book: The Official Book of Games to Play (Family Fun)
Jane Drake, Ann Love (authors)
Heather Collins (illustrator)
Kids Can Press May 2002
An indispensable book for fun in the summer. Easy-to-follow instructions for over 150 classic and new indoor and outdoor games. Yes, there are alternatives to Lego Star Wars on Playstation 2 and Guitar Hero on the Wii.
The Super Duper Art and Craft Activity Book Over 75 Indoor and Outdoor Crafts for Kids (52 Series)
Lynn Gorden (author)
Karen Johnson, Susan Synarski (illustrators)
Chronicle Books October 2005
Written by the authors of the 52 deck activity series, this book compiles the same simple, easy-to-do, creative projects that are in the card series. Fun title, cool graphic styling, and the well-written simple instructions make this book a must have.
Betty Crocker's Kids Cook!
Betty Crocker's Cookbook for Boys and Girls
Don't you just love looking at this cover? (Sorry, I had to put this in here for me.)