It’s late summer, you’re low on ideas and your kids are bouncing off the walls. We’re here to help with intriguing ideas for busting boredom.
Reach for the sky
Take a dizzying tour of the world’s tallest skyscrapers via Google Arts & Culture, at bit.ly/tall-towers. Then use that lofty inspiration to design and build your own sturdy skyscraper with directions from Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry: bit.ly/design-towers.
Make art on the trails
It’s a lovely time of year on local trails as the lush greens of summer start giving way to the changing colors of fall. Grab a sketchbook and a set of colored pencils, and see what you can find to draw. Try a few different perspectives on the same fern or tree; how does a slug view it? What would a bird see? The Washington Trails Association has more recommendations on how to make hikes fun for kids at bit.ly/wta-kids, including printable Mad Libs and a scavenger hunt.
Doodle your day away
Free drawing lessons abound online. Two that stand out in very different ways: Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems (bit.ly/mo-willems-draws) and the optical illusions at Circle Line Art School (youtube.com/user/circlelinemedia). Kitchen Table Classroom lists more at kitchentableclassroom.com/draw-online.
Pop into the kitchen
Need a sweet treat to cap off an otherwise healthy first-day-of-school breakfast? America’s Test Kitchen Kids has a scrumptious recipe for strawberry pop tarts, which are far better when homemade. It’s at bit.ly/test-kitchen-pop.
Awaken your spidey senses
Spiders, nature’s intricate architects, are suddenly everywhere. Cheryl Hayashi, a curator at the American Museum of Natural History, takes us inside their captivating creations at bit.ly/spider-silk-video. And watch as a small spider lifts a snail shell up a tree, at bit.ly/spider-snail. But be careful what you believe: “Everything that ‘everybody knows’ about spiders is wrong,” the Burke Museum’s Rod Crawford writes as he debunks myths at bit.ly/burke-spiders. After you’ve explored your yard’s dark corners with a flashlight to see where the webs are, you can build your own with a PBS Kids craft at to.pbs.org/3kYMoE5.