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The Summer Fun Guide

Summer vacation is an opportune time for kids to explore the world around them - as close as their big backyard or as far as a family road-trip may take them. Whether looking for new things to do on a warm afternoon, ways to keep entertained on a long car-ride, or simply a good book to curl up with on a rainy day, our Summer Fun Guide offers something for everyone.

BulletAt-Home Adventures BulletSummer Reading
BulletBackyard Entertaining BulletFamily Travel
BulletGardening & Backyard Wonders  

At-Home Adventures
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With a little imagination and planning, you can vacation from home. Start with these ideas from our friends at Reading is Fundamental.

These award-winning products will provide a passport to helping your kids explore and discover the world around them.

While most parents don't have the funds or the time to take the kids around the world -- let alone upstate -- the movies offer travelogues with which to teach children about places they have yet to see. Here are a dozen films available for home viewing that will send your kids' imaginations to the far corners of the earth-and even back in time.

A trip to an art museum is, literally, a trip to a treasure house. As with all trips of exploration and discovery, a museum trip will be more successful if you have done a little advance planning. Here are six suggestions for a happy excursion.

“Mommy, I’m tired. When are we going?” These are familiar words to parents who take their children to an art museum without a plan to make the visit fun and interesting. Here are games you can play on your next museum visit.

Planning a trip to your local zoo or aquarium? Give your kids a preview of what they'll see and do with these animal-inspired books, videos, and music.

Backyard Entertainment
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So you're planning the big family picnic/reunion/anniversary/birthday/barbecue bash, and you're wondering how to keep all the guests entertained? Games are just the thing to work off excess energy and work up a good appetite.

Though all the world's a stage, the perfect place for kids to debut their dramatic talents may be in your own backyard. With a favorite book in hand, a couple of bed sheets and some clothespins, and a lot of imagination, Broadway is just a step or two off the porch.

All the Backyard's a Stage

Did you know that the sun makes up 99% or our solar system? Did you know that there are 400 billion stars in the Milky Way Galaxy and that scientists estimate that there another 50 billion galaxies in the universe? We have collected a universe of products for you and your young astronomers packed with fun facts like these.

Rush hour won’t affect these modes of transportation.

Gardening & Backyard Wonders
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Our guide to our favorite backyard exploration and gardening articles.

Gardening is an activity that the entire family can enjoy together. Don't miss these great garden ideas and start digging into the fun.

From bugs to broccoli, the following garden-inspired books and toys offer something for children of all ages.

Inspired by the book Weslandia in which a young outcast creates a new civilization in his backyard, this Earth Clock activity teaches children how to build a sundial to understand how the sun can help us tell time.

One of the most colorful additions to any wildlife garden is birds. To attract more birds to your backyard, JMG offers the following ideas for Far-Out Feeders.

Children can learn to snack in more healthful, nutritious ways and may be more willing to try new and different foods grown from their own gardens.

Gardening begins with a packet of seeds and some stories. Jerry Griswold offers his selection of essential gardening stories for kids.

When you go on a bug hunt, you’ll discover a new and fascinating world, right beneath your feet. This world is populated with creatures that look like they’re straight out of science fiction. But there’s no make-believe here.

For bugs, butterflies and other backyard wonders, these products are sure to encourage further exploration.

 

Summer Reading
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Curiosity about the world makes better citizens of us all. The price of a book, or trip to the library, is a first class ticket to stories that bring children as close as they can get to actually growing up in different parts of the United States, Brazil, China, Cambodia, Nigeria, Mexico, South Africa, Eastern Europe, or Western Asia. From fairy tales to autobiography and from legends to history the books recommended here offer children a tour of countries real and imagined.

Even the shortest excursions can lead to big adventures for little ones.

Parents who need ideas about how to plan vacations with their children should get Christina Hardyment’s Heidi’s Alp. Hardyment’s notion was to take her kids around Europe visiting sites associated with favorite children books.

Dog days of summer getting to you? You know what they say: Every dog has its day. But come the last sultry weeks of summertime, seems like the canine species gets more than a month! In our dogged pursuit of excellence in children's entertainment and educational products, we've dug up a few titles that are a breed apart in engaging young minds-even during these doldrum days of August.

Summer Reading
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Find a special event or family-friendly venue in your vacation destination.

Who said traveling with the kids can't be fun? Whatever your route, wherever you go, these toys, Are We There Yet? ... You Tell Me!games and activities, audio books, and music will help make the trip delightful, not dreadful. Compact, easy to pack and stow, these “portable picks” will keep the traveling whines at bay.

No family vacation is complete without a healthy dose of “are we there yet?” coming from the peanut gallery. Why not turn this question into an educational game for those inquisitive kids and let them answer it for themselves?


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