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For Less Than a Tank of Gas

For less than it costs to fill up the gas tank in the family car, parents can let children explore outer space, go on an adventure in the backyard, create a neighborhood summer Olympics, and travel the world. Summer may be all about fun, but learning something new isn't far behind.


StarPlan a Family Movie Night
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Family movie nights offer a great opportunity to learn and laugh together. Try planning a summer movie series. To create a series, pick a theme the whole family will enjoy such as fantasy/magic, mysteries, travel adventures or even Hitchcock. Let each family member take turns picking a movie that fits the series.

Family Travel Adventures
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.

Summer Film School: Hitchcock 101
To study an artist's body of work sharpens critical thinking, and Hitchcock is a great opportunity for that. Your children, after a few films, will spot themes and even signature techniques; they'll compare and contrast plotlines.


StarPlan a Family Game Night
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Just like movies, family games are an ideal way to gather family members of all ages together for a few hours of pure family fun. Look for games that appeal to each family member's age and interests.

Family Games for Family Fun
Our selections offer games of memory, matching, strategy, scavenging -- and old fashioned giggling.


StarGet in the Olympic Spirit
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As we get ready for the summer Olympics, help kids get in the spirit of the games at home. Plan a special afternoon with a neighborhood opening ceremony, kid-friendly competitions and a special awards ceremony to celebrate all of the partipants.

The Backyard Olympics
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.

Let the Games Begin
If you can't get to the Summer Olympics in Beijing, create your own Backyard Olympics. These Parents' Choice Award winners will deliver a stadium full of family fun.

Push, Pull, Pedal & Swing
These child-friendly modes of transportation are perfect for neighborhood excursions or some friendly neighborhood races.


StarGo on an Adventure in Your Backyard
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Backyards offer boundless opportunities for entertainment and exploration. Put on a play, go camping, go on a bug hunt, plant a garden. Backyards, no matter how large or small, are fertile ground for summer fun.

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

The Great Outdoors
These Parents' Choice award winners highlight the great selection of outdoor products that offer opportunities for kids to dig in the sand, build the ultimate fort, paint the sidewalk in 3D or drive their own sport coupe.

We have collected a universe of products for you and your young astronomers packed with fun facts and ideas for exploring the night sky.

All the Backyard's a Stage
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

You Can Become a Storyteller
Planning a campout in the backyard. Don't forget the smores and some good campfire stories. Both novice and seasoned storytellers can always enhance the storytelling experience by following a few simple steps.

Backyard Exploration and Gardening Guide
Our complete guide to our favorite backyard exploration and gardening articles.

StarExplore Your Neighborhood
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Adventures can begin by exploring your own neighborhood. Look for local walking paths, historic places, gardens or playgrounds. Local zoos, aquariums, museums and science centers also offer lots of fun and educational opportunities for kids year-round. Check the venues in your area for special events and discounts available throughout the summer months.

Museums: Six Ways to Go
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.

Combine Learning and Fun at Art Museums
Here are games you can play on your next museum visit.

Lions & Tigers & Whales, Oh My!
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.

Going Nowhere
Family walking may start out as a way of getting through that terrible Sunday when both the television and the car are in the shop. But it develops into a taste.

Create a 3D Town to Nurture Young Explorers
You can nurture curiosity and help children develop mapping and geography skills that will serve them both now and later in life as they set out on their own adventures.

StarExplore the World
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There are endless opportunities to explore the world around us through books, movies, educational toys and games, and websites. Take time this summer to learn more about places you would like to travel to, places that have a special meaning to your family history, or places in the news.

YouTube As a Field Trip (and As a Catalyst for Safer Video Searching)
Lisa Guernsey talks about taking a virtual field trip online -- a mini excursion that lasted 15 minutes, cost nothing, and could be embarked upon as soon as curiosity struck.

The Adventure Begins with a Turn of the PagePack Your Passport
These award-winning products will provide a passport to helping your kids explore and discover the world around them.

Armchair Travel
From fairy tales to autobiography and from legends to history the books recommended here offer children a tour of countries real and imagined.

The Adventure Begins with a Turn of the Page
Even the shortest excursions can lead to big adventures for little ones.


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